Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Daily Notes March 31


I changed the sheets on the bed today.  And the one I pulled from the linen closet was the one I had mended.  It was purchased as a "'second" and was great until a worn spot became a shredded spot. I added cloth under but then must have needed more support from above with the long strip and the small circle.  It's very strange looking.  What was I thinking????   I gave it a tug- it holds.

I had many medium loads of wash with all the bedding (the washer doesn't like doing a large load).  King sheets, duvet cover, pillow cases. I just stopped because the old machine let me know with blinking lights that it was tired and wanted to stop.  We did three or four washes.  Together.  And the dryer is finishing up the last wash.  I will have to replace the unit someday but things seem to be much more normal when I sit and watch the machine- it likes company, I guess. We've worked together for 29 years.

I bought tangerines at the grocery yesterday and my hands smell of citrus peel.  Quite nice.

The grocery now has lanes and a monitor to keep everyone 6 feet apart.  It's all very calm and the employees don't look as stressed anymore.  Still have no flour on the shelves.  But I have enough for our needs.  I haven't felt the urge to bake bread yet. I am going to bake potatoes.  I have butter, sour cream and chives in the fridge.  So it will be a delightful supper.

No flour but the snack and cracker shelves were full to overflowing.  Plenty of chips as well.

We woke to snow.  And now sunshine.  The daffodils have started to show some yellow but they haven't opened yet.  The two days of rain cleaned things up I hope.  Washed away any virus germs in the air.  I can imagine that, can't I?

I watched a guy with the Good News video he made.  There were some wonderful images.  The entire police and fire department in a city in Spain flashing vehicle lights and horns to say thank you at the big hospital.  Another city with high rise building flashing the apartment lights off and on in all the apartments.  Happiness.

So, to end this post-- do something to show happiness to someone today.  Just some little thing. Unexpected and kind.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Daily Notes- March 30


After breakfast mending.  The left elbow of my red sweater.  It once belonged to my 82 year old friend Gregor.  After she died suddenly, a friend and I were asked by her family to clear out the sewing room.  While I was there I saw the cleaning women packing up Gregor's clothes and I asked if it would be possible to have her red cardigan- to remind me of my friend (who I had lunch with every week).  They two women eagerly looked for the red sweater and gave it to me--everything was going to Goodwill.  I still think of Gregor each and every time I pull the sweater off the shelf. And I am reminded that I thought Gregor was very old at 82 and now that I am 73- she doesn't seem that old anymore.

Today the Comfort docked in New York.  Too late, I think.  And Jackson, Mississippi asks for our prayers.

We texted with our son this morning.  Five weeks of working from home for him. He said he was going to slow cook some pork this morning for sandwiches this week.  He says he also goes out for a long walk each day and will pick up take out on his way back home.  He's far away in California. He also said a law was passed that landlords cannot collect rent right now.  So restaurants remain in business and no one can be evicted.  I don't think that is what is happening here in Maine.  Most of our downtown is closed up.

Well, we are going to the grocery store-  in the rain.  It's very dark and dreary out there.  Would be nice to have sunshine but we always need rain.  To fill the local wells and ponds etc.

I made the Bean and Escarole soup yesterday and it was delicious.  I have four containers in the fridge for this week.  I'll make chicken soup for G today.  

On MSNBC Craig Melbourne asked the Jacksonville Bishop of a church to say a prayer.  For all of us.  He said he'd never done that before - to ask for a prayer but it seem like the right thing to do today.   The Bishop gave us a lovely prayer.  It was the right thing.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Daily Notes- March 29th


Asparagus.  Destined to be "sliced on the bias, sautéed in butter and soy sauce and served on a bed of steamed white rice".  A favorite recipe of James Beard from Food 52.

This morning I wrote an email to my friend- she mentioned she had recently picked up her three pack of inhalers (same dose as mine) and I asked if I could have one and if and when my own prescription was filled- I would give her mine.  She was just here dropping it off.  I do not have to worry about the Pharmacy right now.  I am good for 30 days plus the five doses left on my inhaler.  Patty is and has always been the kindest soul.  She was my partner for Master Gardener classes in 2001.

It's not April yet but it is raining.  I am pretty amazed that G and I got so many things done yesterday prior to the two promised days of rain (ending in sleet for us here in Maine).  The Preen weed/grass preventer that I had carefully sifted onto the paths in the raised bed garden needs to be watered in thoroughly. Neither G or I was very happy about dragging out the hoses from under the house.  So, the forecast for rain sounded good.  And it's cold outside. Very.

We pruned the peach trees and pounded in the (fruit tree) fertilizer sticks.  The Queen of Plums got pruned and she also got fertilizer sticks.  The old shrubs (whose name cannot be spell checked correctly) got heavily pruned with G's lithium battery chain saw. Cuts like a hot knife thru butter.  Not that happy about the lithium part.  But we got the pruning done. G always thinks I take off "too much" but once the leaves bud out it always seems like I took nothing away.  I am an excellent pruner- I have made mistakes but I learn from them.  We can even see the stone path leading to the shrub whose name cannot be spelled correctly.

I watched a Hallmark movie last night.  I think I might be "over it" with them.  The scenery for the movie was "enhanced" by way way too many fake flowers.  Half or more that do not bloom at the same time.  Ever.  Hallmark does not bother to employ people to do "realistic" decoration. The whole movie reminded me of the fake flower section at JoAnn's.  And the guy was chopping carrots and celery etc to make soup and then announced the soup was "ready" not ten seconds later.

I did get to watch Vivian the Southern Chef trace the evolution of hand pies across the South.  It got recorded in the middle of the night-long after the Teddy Roosevelt program.  The pepperoni pies were very interesting.  And the coal miner's lunch pails with the top pan filled with a small baked pie.  The owner of that lunch pail said his mother would stay up late to bake the pies for her husband and two sons to have for their lunch down in the mines.  Now that is love.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Daily Notes- March 28th


The two PBS shows I was wanting to watch last evening- programs listed in the newspaper and the guide on Xfinity- were not shown- instead we got the life story of Teddy Roosevelt.  I had seen this bio before. I would have preferred to watch a lovely Southern Chef make biscuits.  Earlier in the evening I got to watch the Brits working on their French Chateau.  The stuff with the roof was unbelievably dangerous.  And that ladder!!!!  OMG!!

Liz commented on there being no bread in her grocery delivery.  Here in Maine, it's eggs.  I was surprised to see the cooler filled with egg cartons for the first time in weeks.  A large sign said one carton per checkout.  Milk was in short supply and the kind I drink- none at all.  Our store has some sort of in-house bakery so those aisles are well stocked.  I haven't ventured into the paper products aisles so I have no idea what is going on with toilet paper.  Someone called it "personal paper" on the editorial pages.  But (ha) I think it's one package per checkout.

Oddly enough, the outer edges of the grocery- vegetables/fruit/meat/dairy/eggs/frozen foods are well stocked- just like usual times.  The shelving inside - the mid section of the store- that's where things get strange. Sugar, flour, dried beans, pasta, cereal, coffee, canned vegetables or soups.  That's what is hard to find. Those shelves are nearly bare.

I did get ketchup and peanut butter on my last visit and that was a real happy moment. Kraft mac and cheese is just a fantasy right now- never available.

The six feet apart spacing is required in the lines to the cash register.  So that gets quite complicated as only two cashiers are working instead of 8.

Customers are wearing masks and any sort of gloves they own.  Gardening gloves most often.  Hand sanitizer is in a bottle  at the entrance and one must hold and use to apply to hands.  I take a pass on picking up that bottle.

Compared to the frenzy of the first weekend of the shutdown-- this seems okay.  Rather Zen.
I think we are all considering not "if" but "when" we will get sick.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Daily Notes- Still March 27th

I don't usually come here twice in one day.  But today- I realized it's just--just---been 14 days.  And it feels like a Lifetime.  It feels like a month at least. I was SURE it was a month.  How could the President be "bored of it" in such a short Time.  My children said that.  "Bored of it".

I don't do much each day- I make food, I wipe down surfaces, I watch a small bit of news- just to stay current and every other day- I do a load or two of washing. Drying it and folding it.

Reading is a comfort but... either-- my eyes or my new readers- are making the words swim after a few pages.  I am exhausted.  I put in the new moisturizing gel drops.  They make me sleepy.

I realized I had forgotten to buy the wonton wrappers for the cupcake sized lasagnas. I looked them up on the internet to see if they had a recipe for them.  Yes. But I would need cornstarch to keep them from sticking together.  And it seemed like such a difficult thing- to go look in the pantry.  To see if I owned any.  I just got up, now, to look.  I own cornstarch.  The recipe card in my very nice handwriting (Deb L said so) is here in front of me.

People who know I sew ( I don't, I make quilts) are sending emails or calling- knowing for sure that I will have quarter inch elastic for the masks they are making.  I do not.  I never have had any.  I wish I did have some to give to them.  One woman has made 81 masks.  I feel guilty that I have had no urge to make even one.

New York is now putting two people on each ventilator that they have. Doubling their capacity. I hope they share the technique with Italy. I'm sure they have. It's the right thing to do.

Two Weeks.  A Lifetime.  

Daily Notes- March 27th


The Recipe Box.  And under it the recipes I have printed off the internet and torn out of magazines and newspapers.  I haven't made most of them.  Yet.  The Bean and Escarole soup is in front.

The Bad News first.  The Pharmacy item they called us about- well, turns out to have been for my husband.  The gal at the Pharmacy told me that no inhalers have come in for ANY of the people waiting for them.  She said they order and wait and but none arrive.  Today is another day.

Good News- what my husband ordered was a new rescue inhaler.  For me.  So I can have something to use when my breathing gets difficult.  I am also reminded that my lung doctor said a shot of full caffeine espresso will do the trick in an emergency situation (those tiny cans from Starbucks).  I may have to forego the decaf. Of course I will give my heart quite a shock with the espresso. In order to get my lungs working I will have to get my heart going like crazy. Very dark chocolate might have a similar effect and and I call it "medicine".

I baked a pizza yesterday.  It was very good.  I was making one every Sunday of Football Season.  Then stopped.  Should just call it Sunday Pizza and have it all the time.  Tom Brady has a new trademark TB X TB.  Husband and I talked about him possibly going with Tampa Bay just to get TB X TB. Now he can't be number 12 anymore.  Some other guy has that number at TB.

This also brings to mind a friend of ours living in Tampa.  Hates the Patriots and Tom Brady.  Oh, dear. I won't buy him a TB X TB tee shirt.

G was out all day doing yard work and we have another good day for it today.  I was out for awhile  tidying the fenced garden with the 8 raised beds yesterday, cutting back dry stalks of some of the flowers and herbs.  I have more seeds to get started in my little milk jugs.  I have a packet of seeds that is titled Bee Garden.  I like the sound of that.

I finally got around to answering the Census Questions.  I hate doing things online.  I don't want my info on the internet.  The next to last question made me laugh out loud.  As to marital status they wanted the sexual orientation of my partner (as I was the one filling out the form) and gave about 12 or more choices.  I have no idea why they would want to know this for the Census.  And I had no idea  there was such a variety of partners out there.  Like having 49 flavors of ice cream and I chose vanilla.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Daily Notes- March 26th


I stood in front of the large bathroom mirror years and years ago to make this self portrait.  Looks like I am wearing that same sweater today.  I was going to paint this but ....as with things.....other new things superseded and I found this when looking for collage papers in late December.  It's been on the chair over by the wall ever since.  I might have even shown it to you before.

My hands.  I got them exactly right.  And my pockets.  I am drawing what you are seeing here.

I called the Pharmacy yesterday at 1pm.  Nothing.  And I called before my breakfast this morning. Nothing.  But just now...not 5 minutes ago.....yes, it's ready for pickup.  Happy Dance.

Yesterday G went outside to do weeding.  He did that as work after he retired.  He worked for a landscaper and weeded.  He enjoyed it.  So, he weeded yesterday and enjoyed it.  The bed he was working on looks really good.  He also added a new bird feeder to the bed across from the back of the house windows.  Closer so we can see the birds.  Not many.  And I am thinking about where to dig a shallow hole for the bird bath.  A small pond sort of bird bath down by the feeders and the fenced garden.

Well, I was just on phone for awhile and now I'll hit publish and go pick up my inhaler.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Daily Notes- March 25th


Good Morning.  As if it there wasn't enough STRESS to go around- I got knocked for a huge loop yesterday when I went to the Pharmacy and was told they do not have any inhalers to fill prescriptions.  Seems that last week a wave of people who had unfilled (for a long time) prescriptions for inhalers decided they needed to fill them.  Wiped out the supply chain. Echos of the Toilet Paper thing. Hoarding.  Re-selling at a profit. The worst sort of human behavior.

I am not proud of this but the fragility of my systems gave way and I stood in front of the Pharmacist crying. Not to invite sympathy.  I just had no borders left.  There are a few days left on the inhaler I am using twice a day.  I usually order my next one when I get down to one week.  Each day I am to call at 1pm to ask if they have an inhaler for me.  I am NOT to assume they will have one in time. They will TRY to find something to give me.

Thank goodness I had already chosen my few grocery items.  I don't think I would have been able after hearing the bad news. I did, thankfully, choose some Ben and Jerry's ice cream and that bag of Fritos my daughter told me not to buy.

I got down on the floor in the beans section to find the last 8 bags of brown lentils all the way back against the wall on the bottom shelf.  I scooped them forward so other shoppers could see them and bought only one.  And pulled forward other items as well while down there. I had done that early in the pandemic to bring forward boxes of oatmeal.  Not every person in their 70's can get down on the floor and then back up and we like lentils and oatmeal.

And perhaps I was stupid to get down when I am never sure I will be able to get back to a standing position. I just didn't think about that.  I should.  With distancing.....I wouldn't expect any help.

I bought a lovely head of escarole in the produce section and will be making a favorite soup of mine.  I looked for and found the recipe in the card box.  I took the card with me to Florida one February long ago and set a pot of it simmering.  The home owner (we were guests) and his adult daughter (I had know her since she was 2) exclaimed "beans and greens" and ate every speck.  I was reminded of that day when I selected the escarole. I will remember it as I eat my soup.

I am washing my hands (often) with a small bar of French soap I found in the back of a drawer.  So creamy and just the very faintest fragrance.  A whisper.  And it is not making my hands dry- they feel smooth and soft.  So, I wash my hands more often.

Have a good day my friends out there where ever you are.  The sun is shining here in Maine.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Daily Notes- March 24


Looking down over the edge of the back deck an hour ago as I finished shoveling.  Six inches of heavy wet snow overnight and a power failure.  I am wondering if the wet snow sanitized the air we  are breathing?  The dry air here in the house is causing me to cough quite a bit.  Ricola cough drops to the rescue.

My milk jugs (with seeds and soil) got very wet yesterday with the snowfall.  The little parsley seedlings are the only top growth and they seemed okay.  Sun is very bright outside and I went "snow blind" out there in the back -south side- with the bright sunshine.  G says I need to wear ski goggles. I have the screen door open on the vestibule porch so the Fig gets fresh air.  Even with the door open, it's 50 degrees now (inside).  The Fig Tree is starting to produce leaves.

My prescriptions are ready for pick up and my daughter is "allowing" me to go to the store to get them by myself.  I am going to maintain a six foot separation from people and wear a surgical glove on my right hand and only touch things with my right hand and then dispose of the glove.  Since I am coughing and that might get me ejected from the grocery store- I will have my mouth and nose covered and will have a cough drop in my mouth.  And more unwrapped and ready to put into my mouth. She will administer some sort of "daughter lie detector test" when I return.

I think she learned this behavior from my example when she was in high school and college and did not always tell the truth the first three or four times she was asked a question.

Maine closed all of our public ocean front beaches yesterday.  People were coming from other states  over the weekend to walk close together on the sand and we can't have that sort of behavior.  So.  Maine Beaches are Closed. Even to card carrying Mainers.  Glad my daughter and her friends got to walk the beach Saturday. They observed the 6 feet rule.

I have deleted most of what I wrote here today....  I did send Gretchen an unedited email.  Hope I haven't offended her. It's hard to tell anymore what is okay and what is not okay to say.  I usually get in trouble with "not okay" to say.

But if everything gets to be "safe to say" is it actually a conversation?

My Investment Banker (a woman) sent me a letter about investment things and I replied- we're okay- we have toilet paper- carry on- it will all work out.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Daily Notes- March 23


Pandemic Sugar Supplies.  In additional to wiping down all surfaces, Word Search puzzles, Suduko puzzles, planting seeds, cutting back dead stems, raking perennial beds, repotting plants and Law and Order.  G likes Sweet and I like Salty.  My Salty is down to zero right now.  The oversalted soup sort of tamped it down.

We are staying busy and staying at home.  The count went from 70 to 89 with the virus last night.  One person has recovered. Nothing like other States but we have only 1.2 million people in the entire vast State of Maine and most of them are old and living in Senior Living Communities clustered around our larger cities and hospitals. Sort of like being on a Cruise for 365 days a year. With that level of contagion possible also.  Residents are confined to their rooms- no dining together or lectures or cocktails.  They do get copies of word puzzles each morning.

I called in my two prescriptions and was notified by the recorded voice that they are VERY busy and will TRY to get to MY prescriptions TOMORROW.  But maybe NOT.  Makes me feel all warm and cozy.  One is an inhaler and the other is tiny pills that need to be counted into a bottle.  Still a problem for most Mainers to get toilet paper so family owned take out food places are giving you a complimentary roll with each order.  Everyone is enjoying that.

I potted up more seeds yesterday and made sure everyone was moist and happy.  G cut back the peony stems we left up- We had other concerns in the Fall with Riley and didn't get to the Fall Cleanup chores other than the leaf blowing.  I like to rake leaves but G likes the very noisy leaf blower as did all the service providers hired by all of our neighbors.  The leaf blowers were a constant from morning until late in the evenings.  Someday we'll be hiring people to do things. But not yet.

I did almost all of the easy Suduko puzzles in my book.  They were not easy..  So I am not even attempting the medium and hard ones.  I did all the easy puzzles on the right hand pages of the book and now have to go back and do the ones on the left hand pages.  I don't like the left hand pages. This morning's puzzle is only 30% filled in.  So I checked out the internet and found a do it yourself fruit fly trap and made it from a jar filled with white vinegar and dish soap, covered with plastic wrap and then rubber banded to jar and holes poked into top.  Now we are waiting for the arrival of the pest fruit flies.  Actually, here in our house its dirt gnats.  They are drawn to G's candy filled yogurt each morning and the jelly on his bagels.

Well, as you can read--Life here is not all that thrilling.  I am going down to the sewing room to pick litter off the carpet and to stuff all the scrap cloth back into the bags.  I have been thinking of doing some eco printing but find reasons not to do it each and every day, so far.  I have also considering baking bread. I have not done that, either.  It just doesn't seem necessary.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Daily Notes- March 22


The floor in my sewing room.  and I have attempted to clean the space but always end up having to dump the boxes out looking for a specific scrap of cloth.  Not finding it most of the Time.  Easier to just close the door.  Those little bits are hard to pick up unless one gets down on the floor with them- then how to get back up?  Nothing to hold on to and rolling chairs are bad choices. (just saying...) The trials of the aging in place.

The Sunday paper included a grocery insert- full color.  Not sure the reality of the store shelving will make many shoppers happy.  I have two items on my list- ketchup and crunchy peanut butter with no positive thoughts about either item.  So far, none to be had.  I am dreaming of finding ricotta, frozen spinach and mozzarella to make a large pan of vegetarian lasagna.  I have sauce and noodles in the pantry--it could happen, right?.  The store flyer mentioned pork butts and I do have a crock pot and some BBQ sauce so I could make pulled pork.  That might be the way to go. If.....big if here.

My walking buddy is going in hoping for the avocados pictured in the flyer.

Did you know airplanes are still flying passengers from place to place?  I though they were all grounded.

I watched a PBS program I had recorded on our TiVo.  The Press. I watched all the episodes from afternoon to evening and was feeling very refreshed and calm heading to bed at midnight. I was feeling normal.  I did not delete them.  I may need them all again in the coming weeks--or months.

Yes, I am internalizing that this will last for many future months.  All summer.  But I will have the garden to occupy my hands and body then.  Right now I am counting the weeks until the compost bins- the three of them- are thawed and I can start sifting them. Good hard work. I need it.

How are you filling your days?

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Daily Notes- March 21


New buds.  The flowers on the white orchid were all infested with the fuzzy white bug.  I sprayed and cleaned etc but the bug won.  Let's hope we have more luck with the virus???

I only had 9 ounces of brown lentils in the jar- so I added an extra potato to the pot on the stove. It is simmering.  Usually this particular German recipe makes a very thick soup. Very.  So, a little less of the lentils might make the end result less "formidable".  I didn't want to open an entire can of whole tomatoes to get the one tomato the recipe asks for.  Instead I squirted in some ketchup.   And noted that ketchup is now a rationed item. I wonder if they have any ketchup at my grocery?  They have no peanut butter.  Plenty of jams and jellies.

We went for a drive yesterday.  Like a Ghost Town. We did stop at Firehouse Subs to buy dinner (they had their open sign ON and others did not). We ordered by phone and then G went inside to pay and carry our food out to the car.  We ate at home. Their meatballs are excellent and I am wondering if they would sell them by the pound if asked. G says they will do anything to make a sale. He might be right unless stock is low.

I am considering asking my neighbors if they are interested in having a chat.  I have seen that people are carrying chairs over to the ends of driveways and talking with neighbors in other neighborhoods. Distances between the chairs is greater than 6 feet but also outdoors so perhaps safer???  We could each provide our own cocktail to sip.  Others are doing the same on the internet.

The new deadline for tax preparation is just giving my procrastination a wider scope-- but Maine has decided to stick with April 15th - so............ I need the Federal to do the State.

Watched the Chateau program on PBS (it was recorded so not sure when it actually is on) These two Brits buy a 26 room old crumbly chateau in France and are fixing it up.  Last night we watched the work necessary to install an elevator (from Spain) before Christmas.  And it was a lovely Christmas.
The one Spanish installer said- in a very shocked voice- "I do not know how they managed to do all the work in three weeks with just the 3 people"- as when he visited previously- things were in very rough shape.  I often wonder if the BBC brings in people to "help".

G does not like the program.  But his father was not this kind of guy.  Like the engineer on the Chateau program.  So, I am charmed because it all reminds me of my childhood and how we just did everything ourselves.  Breaking thru walls, making a kitchen, a basement bathroom, a bedroom in the Attic (never completed but used until we all went away to college).  The MacGyver pool cleaning system that nearly electrocuted my brother.  We actually laughed.  I grew up on the very edge which makes me color outside the lines as a way of life.  But highway driving scares me to death.

So, I have covered cooking, houseplants, dining out, visiting neighbors, watching tv---and I even managed to wash clothes and scrub the toilets (like the last thing I ever want to do).  It is NOT raining or snowing so I am going to go out on the deck to check on my milk jugs and seeds.  Especially to see what the parsley seedlings are up to- perhaps more that two leaves????  And I have about 10 more seed packets to plant into jugs.  Going to be a spectacular gardening season.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Daily Notes- March 20th


Desktop.  Just moments ago.  I finished the mending/repair of my red sweater.  I used the pocket to fill in where there were holes.  That's my digital thermometer.  Taking my temperature and NOT having a fever--calms me down. Listening to Jude on Spirit Cloth also calms me down. She had a short audio test today.  And Grace welcomed two baby boy goats yesterday.  It was a long, cold night but it ended well.  They are very cute. No names yet but I think they will be interesting.

It's cold and raining here and while G does his back stretching exercises, I am going to bundle up and take a walk to the end of the street and back.  Under my umbrella. Maybe twice.  Exchange the indoor air in my lungs with fresh outdoor air. Then have a large mug of hot, sweet tea.

I watched the latest version of Murder on the Orient Express on tv last night.  Lovely visually but........so glad I didn't pay money to see it.

I have a number of things set to record this week on my TiVo but my most favorite thing to watch is a self made movie (PBS) of an artist summering here in Maine and his paper collage methods and his gardening.  I have watched it 6 times I think.   He crumples and paints the white standard pad paper, lets it dry and then slowly rips the papers into shapes to glue- white glue with his fingers- onto the drawing he has made on stretched canvas.  He does this work at a table on a glass windowed porch- the kind all Maine cottages have to keep the mosquitos out in the summer.

I also love watching The Healing Machine- also PBS.  I have wire- a root ball cage and lots of little things like rusting stars and beads- I could make my own healing machine.  Set up a table in the vast empty living room.  Plastic on the floors.  Hang it from a branch in the big oak tree.  With a special attachment that allows it to rotate in a circular fashion.  Sparkle in the sunlight.

I like watching people make things.  I have two cooking shows set to record on TiVo.  One is a chef named Vivian Howard.  She is a Southern woman and she talks.  Talks more than she cooks.  But she talks about cooking, about food, about her history with food.  And she is sloppy and makes a mess and then laughs about being messy and then just makes another mess.

Jude is going to have another class. She is going to talk and sew and make and I am going to be so very happy listening to her voice.  It's the best thing ever.  And I wonder about other bloggers I love reading.  Would I love listening to them as well?  Telling me stories.

This Time alone in the house.  I miss listening to people talking most of all.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Daily Notes- March 19th

Most of my sewing yesterday was on my number one grey sweater.  The adjacent areas worn thin with large holes under my left arm.  Major work.  The red sweater is needing some help also.  But I have no red to use as a patch.  I do have a black sweater I could cut into.  Or I could wait until Goodwill is safe again-- but I was not finding ANY used cashmere sweaters in any colors for months and months.  So I will use grey or black to patch the red sweater.

Daughter arrived with our groceries (lots of shelves in store are still empty no restocking).  The "stay at home" shopping was fun (sort of).  I made a list and took pictures of the items.  We sent pictures back and forth when my brand of instant coffee was NOT on the shelf.  I got the store brand as it's just coffee. Something hot to drink in the morning that isn't tea. Coffee doesn't mean all that much to me. But I would have missed it at breakfast.

And I had her purchase a small piece of smoked ham to cook with my recently discovered brown lentils. $1.47.  My store sells the small ends they cut off before slicing the deli meats. I will make the lentil soup from a recipe given to me by a dear German friend from the 1980's.

And we now have pizza dough and pepperoni.  I also got sweet potatoes.  I like them baked and then stuffed with roasted vegetables and tons of butter. Or just alone with lots of butter.  I asked her to buy more butter.

I should have gone outside for a solitary walk yesterday- fresh air.  Today it's cold and raining. But I could imagine if Riley was still here- I would be walking him out in this weather.  So, I shall go out. Down to the end of the street where it meets the road and then back to the end and home. Or even do it twice.

Daughter bought stamps- I should have gotten some as well.  Next time. But we did get Pay Per Bag garbage bags.

And the Taxes loom.  I haven't even begun to sort the paperwork out yet.

If you had a choice would you subscribe to Netflix or Amazon Prime? We cancelled Netflix about  a year ago because we never watched it but we need something to watch besides News, Law and Order and Hallmark (which G hates).

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Daily Notes- March 18th


My pantry.  An old cupboard with shelving that is obviously not supported in the center.  The light was not good because of the skylight above and to the left.  I have enough of everything and will only send daughter to buy fruits and vegetables.  And dairy.

I even discovered a jar of lentils (I love lentil soup) way back on the top shelf.  A bag of dry black beans plus three cans of black beans.  Pasta. Canned marinara from Trader Joe. And canned jackfruit which is supposed to make a great vegetarian "pulled pork".  There's falafel mix also.

I also realized we have only been asked to shelter at home for FIVE days now.  I had thought it was closer to 2 weeks.  Felt like it.  The morning paper brought distressing news.  Maine has 32 cases of the virus and 23 of them were confirmed at the hospital 2 minutes drive from the greenhouse where I worked. The testing site is within walking distance of my home. It was a hospital but now is a Senior Health Center.

Our "curve" is zero on 3/11 and 32 on 3/17.  Very unsettling.  Six Days.  Five of which I was in the house.

I found a "non" recipe for soup.  Saute a member of the onion family in some oil (a leek if you have one or green onions).  Add one or more root vegetables cut in small pieces.  I always have carrots and celery in the drawer during the cold months and very often cabbage and a few potatoes.  Add water (or broth if you have any) I have a few jars of dry cubes handy at all times.  Add grains or beans if you have them.  Doesn't matter which ones.  Rice, barley, lentils.  Add anything you have in the fridge that would cook quickly: greens, canned veg or herbs.  Raid the frozen veg supply for a cup of peas or green beans or corn.   There you have it-- SOUP.  It does need to simmer for awhile to cook everything.  

A fellow blogger freezes excess tomatoes in the summer- just tucks the whole tomato in a bag and into the freezer.  She roasts them right out of the bag (frozen) or tosses them into the soup pot.  No thawing. I am SO DOING THIS in August and September.  And not buying little cans of diced tomato for soup.

Now.  I usually have some sliced bacon in the freezer and usually begin my soup by slicing off some bacon from the short edge of the package trying not to slice my fingers.  I saute that in the soup pot with the member of the onion family to get things going.

I sewed a few more edges to the cloth collages yesterday evening and trimmed the edges of one collage because the black cloth was too overpowering.  I did this at the dining room table while watching MSNBC.  Drinking tea.  Realizing I don't leave the house all that often in normal times.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Daily Notes- March 17th


I added borders in to the left side and top yesterday.  That small corner and the grape cloth on the top. which might have been the bottom- I don't remember which way is UP anymore.

Daughter managed to get us a new thermometer to take our temperatures.  Every store had none on the shelves.  She finally mentioned it to the clerk at one of the places she visited--- found out they are now stocked behind the counter.  So people can only buy ONE.  So there is enough for anyone who needs one.  The clerk said people were taking ALL of them.  Just handfuls of thermometers- so management had to stop that sort of behavior.  Wish they had done that with toilet paper.

My husband read in the paper that people are calling 911 to report a shortage of toilet paper.

Soap is best for washing hands so I went looking for bar soap in the storage areas here at home and found a lovely large bar of French soap.  We'll be enjoying the hand washing experience even more now.

I was hoping the chive plants had put up fresh shoots in the warm weather we had been having. But it has not decided to produce Spring growth yet. Today we had rain, power failure, wind, rain.....so far.   Not weather for a nice walk.  I was going to use the fresh chives in a green mix with parsley added to rice.  For the holiday.  Herby green flecked rice.  If I had tiny potatoes the mixture would be lovely on steamed potatoes.  I could do it with dry chives.

It was very good luck on my part, to have checked out that new cookbook from the library .  One of the BEST qualities of the book is the far right section called "if you don't have any...... use........." for each master recipe.  Because, I do not have ......... these days and I also do not have........but I can figure it out.  Gives me clues.  I may actually have the Time to become a good survival cook because a young man with fever, cough etc who has tested positive has been reporting to work- sick- for days now in an area of high concentration of stores.  People. Not a mile from where I sit typing this.  So, I think we are in the house for an additional 3 to 4 weeks.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Daily Notes- March 16th


Up at the top of this one, just under the pink strip--I can imagine I am seeing my forehead and  eyes- looking out at whomever would be looking at this cloth collage.

Tell me if you see it,  or it's just my imagination.

Today I saw a few birds. Out in the backyard.  Still no squirrels.  It's like the animals out in the woods have self quarantined also. It is also very very quiet.  Too quiet. G has gone to see the dentist for his annual tooth cleaning (yippee they are back to being cover by Medicare).  The dentist office doesn't know if they will be staying open during the quarantine.  But gave G an appointment for April 14th.

I have the proper foods in the house now.  I didn't take the two week thing seriously enough.  But now we have what we need to eat as we would normally eat.   Sigh.  It takes awhile for me to assume reasonable-ness.  And I washed the refrigerator shelves and organized the contents.  Too many packages of cheese (which is not actually a bad thing as most everything is better topped with cheese.) And my milk has a long expiration date so I can use it to make sauces etc. ( with the cheese).

My horoscope for the day: embark on a new task, hobby or pastime.  Explore the possibilities, and open your mind to new activities.

In tidying the freezer section of the fridge yesterday I found three bags of avocado pits (taking up room that is better served holding ice cream).  I know they can be used to color cloth so I am going to look it up see if there is a specific mordant for the cloth and then use some of the pits to dye cloth.  Or over-dye cloth.  I think it comes out pink.  Or I will just move the bags of pits to the porch freezer- which is a bit "iffy" for real edible food right now.  It goes off and on- marching to it's own little internal drummer.  It's quite empty. Plenty of room for avocado pits.

I tend to march to my own odd little internal drummer-  a very unique one that gets me into trouble more often than not.  "Does Not Play Well With Others"  was mentioned often in my elementary school report cards.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Daily Notes- March 15th


Our first grocery shopping experience since the Virus came to Maine.  There were empty shelves but I got almost everything on my list.  I needed laundry detergent.  The shelves were mostly empty and I need the no fragrance etc kind.  No liquid but I got those little packets.  Last package.  Deep Breath.

I discovered my bottle of detergent was running low this morning as I washed bedding (I think it might be wise to change sheets etc more often now) and realized I didn't have a backup bottle. And I actually started hyperventilating.  "I need clean clothes". So we jumped in the car and went shopping.

I got bananas because if I am sick (not currently) they are a nice food to eat that doesn't need cooking. I had G stock himself up on bagels and yogurt and orange juice.  Breakfast is a deal breaker meal for him.  I'm good with oatmeal.  But I did buy the very last box of Cream of Wheat.  And I got down on the floor swept the back of the oatmeal section forward so others could get what was left. I forgot to buy peanut butter.

All in all people were very gentle with each other.  A woman had two bags of all purpose flour when I arrived to find no flour at all.  She gave me one.  And we both purchased yeast. Bread baking 101.

I also purchased beans, pasta (I have rice), onions, potatoes, cabbage and carrots.  Easy meal foods. There are assorted frozen proteins in the freezer here at home.  I can dig them out and use them.  It will be a surprise. Yep.

We watched a few hours of Africa on BBC yesterday (very soothing) and then a movie- the Ghost something with Scarlett Johansen. Our first futuristic sci-fi Japanese movie.  That was something unexpected.  I thought it was wonderful to look at even though it was very very strange. I am thinking we will purchase a streaming service going forward.  The one from Amazon.  Perhaps if this goes on for a long time- we'll change it up every month.  Keep things fresh.

Daughter arrived to carry the Christmas Wreaths up into the attic over the garage for us.  She also asked for a list of authors we like and took it with her.  She and her friend (guy who shoveled our driveway) are driving to Portland to a used book store.  Daughter loves books. Guy loves books.  Love searching for books.  And library is closed. Possibly for a very long time.

Three additional new cases of Virus- in Portland.

We are thinking about Chinese Lunch- like we do on Sunday.  But we stayed away from Goodwill.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Daily Notes- March 14


A surprise today.  I haven't checked the milk jug greenhouse with the parsley seeds in a few days and today I took a peek and look........ parsley!!!!  I usually buy a 6 pack of plants and that's enough to grow, use and freeze--and I have the possibility of a dozen plants. yippee.

That --and the 47 degrees here in Maine- got me out to rake leaves etc off the bulb garden and then plant seeds in 8 more half gallon milk jugs. Now I get to do a tick check of myself.

I was getting a bit tired of being in the house all day while it was raining yesterday. I may go looking for the folding chairs and sit out in the sunshine and get some vitamins while "sort of quarantined".  Our daughter doesn't want us to leave our property.

Still no notice from the library- my books are still listed as "in transit". My library was going to try a "no contact" system during the library shut down.  I think they bring the books outside the library, set them down and then you walk over and pick them up.  The 6 foot distance rule.  Books will be sanitized going out and coming in. One person at a time.  I think we call and make an appointment.  It sounds like a good plan- but we'll see.  They could send books by mail as well.  A special deal with the post office across the street from the library.

Movie theaters are closed. Several restaurants in Town are still open.  G had lunch at one of them yesterday and brought take out home for me.  I'm thinking the Dairy Queen won't open this month. Or ever.  and that is really really depressing now that I am thinking about it.  There's been another positive test in Portland this time.  So, one case north of us and one south of us. Should be double that in five days and then triple in another five days if they spread it around.

The dentist office called G about his appointment Monday.  He can still go in for it or he can cancel. I think that will be what happens with everything in the next 2 or 3 months.  Perhaps they will take our temperature before letting us into the waiting room.  They took temperatures of people in the press room at the White House today.   That had an interesting name for this sort of thing. I wish I could remember.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Daily Notes- March 13th


My work station.  The lid of a Harry and David gift box.  Why I am using the lid and not the box itself- well, I don't know.  Perhaps the lid seems more like a tray?

I noticed additional worn thin holes in the elbows of the sweater I am wearing- last night.  So I have to thinking about how to mend them- the worn thin holes are alongside a very large elbow patch I added to each sleeve.   So do I add patches to each side of the larger patch or replace the original patch with a much wider one?  G thinks I should just get rid of the sweater.  But I have nothing to replace it with. So what would I wear all winter???

It's raining today.  Dark and dismal.  Maine has it's first Corona positive test.  A Navy veteran who traveled.  Now they have to discover where and when and who might also be infected.  I can hear the rain hitting the big skylight in the kitchen. Lots of rain.

I think I already mentioned the Gardening Class cancellation.  I am feeling relieved.  I was already thinking about "safe space" etc. Today I am thinking more about actual gardening and finding the small headed rake with a long handle to clear leaves from the little bed of Spring bulbs on the side of the deck out the back door.   Wear my raincoat.  And a hat.  G has found a large selection of different sized rakes for me to choose from. And the dahlia tubers need potting up.  And I need to find the other two packages--I think we had four packages of tubers.

Today's cooking will be chicken soup for G and something else for me.  Pantry Soup I think. I don't know.  G has a very good book he is reading.  I found two for him. I did not find any good books for myself.  I returned the ones I had on the shelf unread.  If it's a struggle on the first few pages- I just stop.  As a last resort, I can read Wolf Hall again.  Or I will rest my eyes.  They are very tired.

And I will add to my list of books on my library site.  Two (Connie's recommendations) are in transit. I don't know what I would do without Connie.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Daily Notes- March 12


Scraps.  One from DebL and one from me.  The sun is not shining today and there is a chill in the air.

I was hand stitching a fabric collage yesterday- adding additional border strips.  One went on. Then the next two- didn't look right.  So I went into the sewing room to look for scraps that would play well with the others.  That's the thing about using scraps......they aren't endlessly available.  They run out.  They need to be pieced together to make a strip long enough. And then it isn't long enough.

So yesterday, as I looked and the daylight turned to dusk...I was not able to find what I wanted and...I was not able to find something else that spoke to the piece.  Something different. Something unexpected.  No Sun means the search will be difficult today as well.  I could haul everything out to the back deck and look thru it all outside.  But I will more likely, pick up another of the 8 or more collages being made and see if something "to hand" makes the cut.

In the beginnings of making the collages--- with few pieces of cloth- things can work together.  Later with five or more colors- it isn't as easy to add new colors if you can't find more of a cloth already in the collage for some slight continuity.  Well, I could if I went back into the centers and unsewed things and replaced them.  I don't want to get started with too much surface appliqué just yet.

It's frustrating.  Because as soon as I make a deconstruction decision- that cloth I was searching for will show up- stick to my sleeve or my slipper and I will sigh and close my eyes and ask "why?".

We are having baked beans and grilled cheese sandwiches today.  A planned meal.  I announced it at breakfast.  To G and to myself.  Restoring order to the household.

Now, I return to the baskets of cloth scraps to seek and find.  No books to read.  My selected books are not what I thought they were and I will not be reading them.  I ordered two recommended by Connie.  And there was one from the best seller list.  I will order that as well.  Then wait. And sew.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Daily Notes- March 11

All things vegetable.  I am considering making soup.  I finished up the Pantry Soup (Dee's recipe) yesterday and need another small can of diced tomatoes and small white beans in order to make it again- sans the extra salt I added.  I could use black beans. And actually make black bean bisque which the Little Bistro used to make before it closed up and moved away.  Catering was more profitable.  The recipe- just the items listed no amounts- is in the box of index cards if I went to search it out.  I made Carrot Soup for the neighbor across the street when she broke her wrist a few years ago.  Carrot with white beans and leeks.

I have plenty of carrots, onion and celery for the coming Pandemic, but could use some potatoes and another box of elbow macaroni. And I am thinking I need to check on the boxed cereals like Cream of Wheat.  I like eating that when I am sick.  And to make that I only need water, sugar, butter and cinnamon and then I can return to sleeping on the couch with my heating pad.  

But I am not sick.  I am washing my hands.  Trying not to touch my face.

I am going to be counting copies today for Sunday's class.  Then drop off the masters and have the library make enough for the 50 people they think might arrive.  I just keep wondering if they will cancel it.  The local college- with the two students from Milan last week- have closed all athletic games.  No audience.  The Greenhouse has invited me to teach the same class on Small Space Gardening in April.  And I need to collect Small Space Gardening items in the garage and stack them up-ready to go.

Since the library is next door to the grocery store- I will buy my soup supplies and then return home. I was thinking of making Deb's Meatballs and Sauce but .......  I don't have room in the freezer for containers of meatballs.  G likes eating soup and the Quick pasta sauce I make so I will stay with the regular line up.

We stayed up late to see Steve run the numbers on the Primary results last night on MSNBC. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Daily Notes- March 10th


My Candy Kyrptonite.  I had hidden this bag away and then forgotten where it was hiding. G found it.  Put it out where I can see it.  Sigh.  Once I open the bag- the contents has a very short lifespan.

Two Things Regarding The Virus.

Son in California sent email that his company has asked all employees to work from home.

Two private college students who were "recalled" from their European Studies in MILAN ITALY thought it would be FUN to come visit the Maine campus and hang out and eat in Town restaurants etc etc.  The college sent them back their respective home states when they discovered they were visiting.  Then sprayed the buildings they visited and stayed in overnight on campus. What was done to the public restaurants etc is unknown.  This is within 2 miles of where I live and breathe.

I read an entire book yesterday with my new prescription lenses and everything was great.  Today I have some repair sewing to do.  I am going to cut into a very nice black cashmere sweater ( a small size I will never wear again) to make patches for my second favorite sweater that has a few holes.

I had patched it with a lighter colored sweater and the patches are way too noticeable and not in a good way.  I am hoping the black with the charcoal grey will be less eye catching.  And I noticed an additional worn spot on the other sweater.  The light grey sweater I have on now had large elbow patches added last year.  But I have found a new bare spot right next to the elbow patch.  So, I need to add more reinforcements.

I refuse to give up on my two much loved sweaters.  New sweaters aren't as nice and really difficult to find ones not made in China.  I may also add some wool Boro stitching to give additional support to the old sweaters. But that means finding wool to do the Boro stitches.  The two sweaters are just wearing out from daily use--just like I am probably wearing out from daily use.

Monday, March 09, 2020

Daily Notes- March 9th


I little (old) Sun for the day today.  Supposed to warm up to 60 but we have no Sun so I doubt things will go above the present 48 which is good enough. One of the few pieces of cloth to have eyes. That little loop where a nose would be looks wrong to me.  I might unsew that.

The phone just rang and my new prescription Readers arrived by whatever delivery service  Michael uses.  So I will be able to read and sew today.    There will be a learning curve as the new lenses are  different and stronger.  Let's all think positive thoughts.  I have the new prescription in the glasses I am wearing as I type but I never know which of the three lenses I am using.  It's fascinating how the brain can select and ignore.  It's almost like my eye focus is playing a very elegant game of hopscotch.

Sunday we watched hours of BBC- The Seven Continents of Earth and the Animals that call them home. (seven seems like the right number but if I am wrong- forgive me?) It was hard watching some of the animals suffer (starve) due to the clear cutting of forests.  Others having no water to drink. Others freeze to death where it has never gotten so cold. But as usual the photography was so beautiful.  I never tire of seeing Earth from Space.  I hope when I die that is what I see.  Oh, such thoughts.

Garbage Day tomorrow so I am planning to clean out the fridge today.  I scavenged nachos for G the other day and yesterday he had some pasta.  I had something I had purchased and didn't eat right away. A mistake.  It is always good the same day but not 2 days later. I still have fruit and yogurt in there to eat.  And plenty of greens.  I may use my new (library) cookbook by Carla Lalli Music to pan roast greens and veggies. I will follow the directions to get a good brown on everything.  Hot pan.

I watched episodes from Season One of Law and Order.  Lennie was a lawyer instead of a detective.  Not a good fit but he did have on a lovely suit and tie.  Chris Noth- very very young and much better looking as he aged.

I had wanted to watch the 2017 movie Yesterday on HBO but couldn't get myself to subscribe. I do not know why I am so compulsively frugal.  It's a really wonderful movie.  Emma is playing locally and G is willing to see a second Jane Austin production.  He watched Sanditon on PBS.

G is done with breakfast so we are going to get my glasses.  And pick up ONLY two items at the grocery.  Possibly three- I need deodorant.

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Daily Notes- March 8th


Cloth from the Walnut Pot.  The left side is soft cotton cloth, walnut and rust.  It took three FULL days to get to this silvery grey with dark rusty spots. I can do this in 20 minutes in the steamer on the stove with just a few household ingredients so no need for walnuts for this silvery grey color.  I had hoped for more but now think plain white cloth is the wrong substrate for walnut.   The green cloth.  Was (still is) a good quality commercial cotton of a most obnoxious acid yellow.  Purchased when I was buying intense color cloth.  I came across it in the basket and shuddered.  Now, I love it.

I washed it with Dawn and hot water, rinsed it and wrapped it around a fresh new tin can.  Added rubber bands and tucked in dark brown onion skins.  Only a few hours in the walnut pot- it was ice cold when I put the cloth covered can into the pot (pot is in the garage and it's 30 degrees in the garage) and set the pot on high.  I also added plain water to cover the can diluting the mixture even more.  I came back after 3 hours and took it out- it was very, very dark but I knew that was "fake news." It washed out to this very interesting green cloth.  Parts of it are much darker than others (notice the small square cut out) and rubber bands left faint markings that look like stripes.  The brown onion skins always leave a golden "glow" on cloth and I just love that.

Going forward with the walnut pot--I am going to be cooking commercial cloth.  Giving some of the ugly ducklings a chance to shine.  And using more rubber bands.  So much better than string.

The word that came to me- about the walnut process- Ameliorate.  To make or grow better. To improve.  I don't know where that came from- never used the word before- it just appeared and I wrote it down and looked it up in Websters this morning.  Strange but true.

So...now I am going up into the Magic Attic to look for other ugly, "hurts my eyes" colored  cloth and will tuck them one at a Time in the Walnut Pot and ameliorate them.

I am just very very happy with this new green cloth.  Spring Cloth.  And I will try to Ameliorate myself as well.  Happy Day Light Savings Time.

Saturday, March 07, 2020

Daily Notes- March 7th


Clipped from this morning's paper.  I hadn't thought this was possible in such a deep red state (Maine) but it gives me hope. And yes, those are Maine Scallops.

We have strong wind this morning- blowing sideways thru the bird feeders.  My cross the street neighbor has her front yard patio set out and ready.  No one ever sits there.  But it looks welcoming. I just peeked out the south facing window behind the orchid table (always warms up first) and I can see the first shoots of the tiny daffodils poking thru the soil.  I have tried- in past seasons- to grow snowdrops there. Failed. So now that spot is packed with rescued hyacinths and tiny daffodils (rescued from a dumpster). Ajuga is trying very hard to cover everything up- I let it stay for the dark leaves and lovely blue Spring flowers. And when Spring is over- I carefully dig it up and move it to places where I don't mind it smothering weeds for me.  Like a living ground cover. It always comes back.  Renewable. It's favorite spot is up against the foundation here on the south side of the house. Nice and warm with plenty of snowmelt water to drink.

Most of the orchids on the table have a flower spike.  By Easter the table should look amazing. The double branched white orchid (daughter and I rescued from a compost pile)- is already covered in flowers.  Saying thank you, I think.  I love the plain white orchids.  They always bloom and bloom.  I do not like seeing them colored with food coloring into deep blues and pinks.  It takes awhile but eventually they revert to plain white.  When the dye water is washed out of them.

No phone call so my new prescription Readers will not be returned to me today.  Perhaps- hoping--Monday.  I have books I want to read on the table here- sigh.

I had a very hard sudoko puzzle (they say it's "easy") this morning but I am having trouble solving it. I allow myself one peek at the answers in the back just to get me re-started if I can't find even one number to fill in a box.  Didn't help. Some mornings I can start and finish two or three.  This morning's puzzle is left over from yesterday morning.  And now it will be tomorrow morning's problem to solve. Or not.  I promised myself I would finish each puzzle I start.

Liz mentioned in the comments that the second from the top fabric collage "glowed".  I have no way to communicate with you Liz, so let me say "thank you for that comment" if you read this post. I am going to add another strip or two to the collage and see how that goes.  I, too, think it glows.

I pulled the cloth soaking in the walnut crock pot out (after a week) and washed it.  Again it is paler than I want it to be but I got rusting can marks on it and it is washed and dried and ready to go.  Well, it needs it's hot iron pressing.  The linen responds so well to a really hot iron, picking up a surface shine that I like. I reserve the rumpled look for my clothing, Ha!

Friday, March 06, 2020

Daily Notes- March 6th


My bedroom carpet- just 4 of the many circles.  Still "sparking joy" every morning.  This carpet never had dog nails snagging loops (Riley didn't travel to my side of the bed).  Some of the other carpets are fading, unraveling and just looking tired.  I need to get down on the floor with my scissors and clip loose ends again.  It is a difficult process.  I am not limber.  But this one rug is as perfect as the day it arrived.

Will I live long enough to see a woman elected President?  That is what I am thinking about this morning.  I can hope to see a woman elected Vice President.  I will hope for that.  Nancy is third in line to the Presidency.  Which is something we should celebrate.

I am tired. My eyes are dry.  I can't read because my reading glasses are away waiting for the new reading prescription lenses.  I am remembering to wash my hands "compulsively" as they suggest in news reports.  Some one in Maine tested positive.  I can't sew because I can't see close work. I guess I will listen to music and close my eyes.  My Suduko puzzles (two this morning) did not go easy.

MSNBC has done some personnel changes that mean I will not be watching that channel much going forward.  I didn't like Chris Matthews at all so won't miss him.  But Ali Velchi?  Very much. And what has Nicole Wallace done to her face???  Sigh. Nothing stays the same.

I forgot to buy mouth wash yesterday and something else. I purchased these biscuits with tiny dark chocolate dots mixed into the dough.  Addictive. Not cookie biscuits- though those would be delightful- these are butter, flour biscuits like for breakfast with eggs and bacon biscuits but with chocolate bits.  I told G I needed to buy more of those as well as the mouthwash.   And more vegetarian sushi.  That was excellent as well.  Brown sushi rice.  They make it fresh everyday at our grocery.  I guess I just remembered what I wanted to buy.

Roads are dry and I have a full tank of gas.  I guess I'm "back on the road again" unless we get more snow.  I have two books to return to the library and another book to get for G.  He's re-reading an author he likes.  He forgets.  So, this is a good thing- enjoying books he liked reading. Again. "for the first time".  I have stacks of old paperback romances saved up for my own loss of memory days.  Start with one and read them all and then start over again.  Over and over.  It's written on my  health initiatives paper.

Now I have to go see which fabric collage Liz liked in the comments yesterday.

Thursday, March 05, 2020

Daily Notes- March 5th


The Wall.  I put all of them up on the wall across from the breakfast table before going to bed.  Looking at the work to see what needs what done to them.  Only Riley's cloth with the black borders is holding steady and presenting as finished.  I do not see myself adding surface stitch to any of them. All the pieces are hand stitched together with the seam stitches showing in a contrasting thread.

I made Dee's Pantry Soup yesterday.  I must have salted it more than once- because, while delicious, the soup is too salty.  I followed the directions to add a raw potato to the soup to absorb extra salt. No. Then I added additional water.  No.  I have never actually oversalted food before this so it is perplexing. My next attempt will be to add cooked elbow macaroni.  Yep.  Potatoes, Beans and Macaroni. In one bowl.

I was watching MSNBC and missing Velchi.  He has been moved to early morning Saturday and Sunday (via an internet search). A real disappointment to me at 3pm. So I turned off MSNBC.  I couldn't safely watch Bernie Sanders and his stupid hand gestures for one more second. And he chides "millionaire politicians" and guess what... Bernie is a millionaire several times over and he's a politician in the US Senate.

A Princess cruise ship is now stranded outside the San Francisco dock with sick passengers.  Why did the passengers get on the boat in the first place???  But now the nickel has dropped as to why they have the virus in these coastal states- Cruise lines.  All up and down the coast.  San Diego to Seattle.  And we know that older people go on cruises.  And older people get sick first.

Another reason to love Maine right now.  No one comes to Maine in the Winter.  And there are only 1.2 million people spread over the entire land mass of Maine. Lots and lots of really cold nothing up here. But we do have a beautiful ocean coastline with nothing between us and Europe.

Elizabeth Warren finally said she was done.  Losing one's own state is shocking (and embarrassing) and her Senate seat is most likely in jeopardy.  I hope she had a plan for that.  Here in Maine, Susan Collins is not doing well.  Politics is not a sure thing in 2020.

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Daily Notes- March 4th


Grace asked in the comments section yesterday (and I didn't see it until she emailed me) to give more help with the Milk Jug as a Seed Greenhouse Idea. Before I get into it- Grace I use tape to hold the top half to the bottom half.  A few pieces.  Some easy to stick and re-stick tape.  Because you are going to want to open and close while checking on the seeds.  The jugs in this picture have not been cut open yet and have no soil.  They do have holes drilled into the sides and bottom. No caps. Leave tops open.

The milk jugs act as a little greenhouse for the seeds.  And none of the waiting and germination needs to happen in the house, with lights etc- it all happens outdoors.  In my case, here in Maine, the milk jugs get rained on and covered with snow.  Doesn't matter.  The bottle heats up and cools off. A process very much like Mother Nature's.


Here's my jug planted with parsley seeds and not closed all the way- scotch tape holding it closed.  NO CAP.  Soil.  I think I could have had more soil in the jug. Quart sized jugs or gallon sized for larger needs.  Only one kind of seed in any one jug.  You can see- right under the paper label- one small round hole the drill made. You can't see all the other ones and the holes in the bottom for drainage.

Flower seeds (perennial and annuals) could have been started in January to February.  Cold crop vegetables this month.  Herbs, lettuce, parsley, oregano, cabbage, thyme, and some flowers like hollyhocks, catmint, marigolds.

The jug here has holes drilled into the sides and bottom for air circulation and drainage.  The soil is seed starting soil mix or a container soil.  NOT regular garden soils.  Too heavy for seed roots.  And the top half of the jug is cut with scissors leaving a hinge at the back by the handle.  So the top stays attached to the jug.

The soil needs to be evenly moist- even a bit over watered at first.  Then you never water it again while the lid in over the top. The Sun will heat the jug up and cause condensation which will run back down into the soil.  It's okay if it gets rained on- or if it snows.  You will want to secure the jugs if it's very windy where you are gardening.  I have dug out a shallow hole in the snow and set each jug in their own little hole.  Not deep- just to keep them for tipping over.

The lid can be tilted back to make it easy to fill with soil and to plant your seeds then put back in closed position and fastened with tape.  Read your seed packet.  Some seeds need to be covered (do not want light exposure) and others ask to be sprinkled on the surface of the soil.

Nothing much has happened in the jug with the parsley seeds but the packet said they were slow seeds to germinate.  The packet said I should soak the seeds before planting them and then cover with additional soil as they do not germinate in the light. They want darkness. Other seed packets might tell you the seeds you have chosen do like to germinate in the light so seeds would be sprinkled on the soil's surface.  Read the packages.

If there is interest in the procedures- I will try for better pictures here.  Just let me know in the comments.  But I wanted Grace to get her answer right away.  So, the pictures aren't the best.

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Daily Notes- March 3rd


Saw this on a design page and am thinking if everything else in the house is white --that my kitchen cabinets have to be slate grey or charcoal grey.  The uppers white, I think- to not call attention to themselves.  The floor will be black ceramic slate from Italy.  Not wood.  Not again.

Coffee date with my former co-worker from library.  We had a good chat.  Then to the grocery store.  She was looking for lentils.  I was hoping to find oatmeal.  And I did. Friend had to drive to another store to find lentils.  She emailed that she had gotten me a box of oatmeal just in case (at the other store).  That was a very kind gesture.

G figured out the hinges on the cabinet doors.  They were made to go on the outside and he was trying to screw them into the inside (like the originals which had been inside).  I like the detail of the black hinges showing against all the white. Like small black buttons on a white shirt.

I took a break from vacuuming the floors.  That Central Vac Hose really really annoys me.  Always kinking up.  I have the hallway and bedroom to do and then I will......done.  And the two bathrooms.

I took a few of the cloth collages I have been making to show my friend.  We talked about the colors on one of them- that they aren't working.  So, some unseeing.  Well, that, too. .... but Un-sewing.
I was trying to "make do" with the handful of cloth I had scooped out of the scrap basket.  Some of it didn't play well with any of the others.  And it's a color I really don't like.

Friend thought the "grape" blue scrap was part of a French Blue Linen shirt I wear in the summer- no sleeves.  I laughed- no it was grape juice eco colored. Gives me an idea to soak one of the plain white shirts in grape juice this Summer if we get grapes again.  Wear the lovely Blue.

Monday, March 02, 2020

Daily Notes- March 2nd


Daughter's Soup.  She asked for turmeric, garlic, ginger and green things in her soup.  Things I do not get to put into G's soup.  There is also carrots, onion, celery and chicken - the basic soup G likes.

I had to do some mixing and matching due to the "virus" going around.  All the chicken bouillon cubes were sold out.  I had to buy the powered Herb Ox Sodium Free and then figure out how much salt to add.  But salt can always be added.  Daughter will eat with rice noodles- the way I like it also.

I haven't made Dee's Pantry Soup yet for myself but she said it only took 20 minutes to prepare so I will just make it right before I want to eat it.  I bought yellow potatoes and cabbage.  Can't wait.

Our daily newspaper has decided to NOT publish a paper on Monday.  So G did word search puzzles with his breakfast and I stitched three new side pieces to something I found on the sewing room floor. Fate.  It was there and I didn't waste more Time looking for something else.

Taking a break from the laundry and might not go back.  Washed my new corduroy pants.  Daughter had a "feeling" for two days that she would find me a new pair- and walked into Goodwill Sunday afternoon and over to the Plus Size section and there on the very end of the rack (where she was standing) - charcoal corduroy pants- soft wide wale.  They turned out to be men's pants but when I tried them on- they fit like they had been custom altered to fit my body.  No need for waist tucks or hems.  Perfect.  And they are an excellent match to my grey sweaters.  I will look very well dressed.  It's a miracle.  A Hallmark  Moment.

I am halfway into yet another Contemporary Romance paperback.  Another one with mixed race issues.  I have to ask which of the librarians is ordering these books.  And how often they get checked out.  Curious.  I do enjoy reading them.  I hope others give them a chance.

Sunday, March 01, 2020

Daily Notes- March First


This one has been sitting around for awhile.  I added a border on three sides of the walnut cloth, a small square to the coral and a scrap strip which looks like open arms to the beige upright in the lower section.  I am not "in love" with the coral.  Never has been a color I enjoy looking at.  I may unsew that out of the mix but looks like it touches everything and will be a real trial to unsew and the re-sew a new piece into the hole.  A good test of the new eyeglasses.

The mismatched of cloth is what happens when this is what is in the tray and you are trying to make use of what you have and not go shopping for different scraps in the sewing room.  I bring a large handful- after stirring the scraps but sometimes- what comes is now all that great together.  Other times the odd ducks swim like swans.

I may rotate this until I find something I like.  The piece is on top of the larger cloth I am cutting up. the first one out of the walnut pot that first day.  The others are still in the, now cold, crock pot out in the garage.

I am waiting for G to finish his word search puzzle so we can set out for Goodwill and then the grocery.  Oops, I forgot I was going to order a new inhaler this morning before breakfast.  Gotta go!!

I just called and will be ready around 2 pm.  We are off the the Goodwill and then library and then groceries.  Daughter wants chicken soup and Dee made a mouth watering soup with cabbage and white beans that makes me want soup.  So her list of ingredients is being added to the shopping list.
Simply cabbage, broth, carrots, and a can of tomatoes.  Oh, I need to add 4 potatoes to the list.