Sunday, May 31, 2020
New borders- you see the left and top ones in the photo. Quilt top is now 24 inches square. I hand sewed the four borders while watching BBC South Pacific. Just pretty pictures and a lovely man's voice talking about wind, water, sea birds etc. Interior squares were painted fabric made years ago plus commercial. Darker. The next slim border will be dark blue. Like a Sharpie marker making a thick line. Then another light pieced border, wider. And so it will go. The next thin border will be the dark pink/rose you see in the two square to the right. I think that will make good "continuity".
I'm all for scrap cloth and wonky unmatched seams. But I have to have continuity in the colors.
I came up a tiny bit short on top left. Good thing that slice of stripe (also in the center patchwork not visible right now) happened to be on the supply tray to my left. Just that slice. Just that size. I love when that happens. Means I am doing the right thing. Needs a good press. I like to iron as I go.
Most of the center was sewn by machine and perhaps the next border will be sewn by machine. Easier than hand sewing such a thin strip all around.
In other news: I carried the Class Sample of a raised bed with hoops to the back deck. Got more plants out there but it's windy and sunny so I had to cover with shade cloth. Which took some "fiddling" to get it all settled into the good spot. Coverage but also air flow. Discovered what I recalled as being very tiny tomato seedlings are now quite a nice size- ready for transplanting. Not quite ready for the Driveway Garden Boxes. Hardening Off. I am going to plant some of my Borage seedlings in with the tomatoes. My Gardening Book says that borage makes the tomatoes sweeter. We'll see. One of the 2020 garden experiments. So many this year.
We've had very hot weather and today we have strong wind. Havoc for seedlings. So nothing going into the garden yet. I have collard greens and kale seedlings that I want to plant in the raised beds. And cover with cloth to keep the white moths from laying eggs. But not yet. I need four large bags of Bumper Crop fertilizer for the garden. And then I can make my squash hills. I could sprinkle dill seeds today. But then I would have to remember to go down each day to hand water them. We aren't getting any rain. We might be in for a very dry summer.
All I can think of now is someone who should know better threatening crowds with "vicious dogs". Isn't that what slave hunters did? Set vicious dogs on people wanting freedom? Dee will let me know. Vicious Dogs. Okay.
Saturday, May 30, 2020
Painted fabric. The lines are because I folded the sides up and over to fit the brown paper grocery bags I set the cloth on to dry- before setting it in the hot sun on the back deck. This was painted, dried in the Sun, washed in Dawn, rinsed, dried in Sun and pressed with a hot iron and steam in about two hours total time. There was no paint run-off in the first wash and rinse.
Yes, these cloths are very pale but when you see them added to what has already been sewn- you will understand. Even like this- if I cut the strips just like they are stacked here and sewed them together- it would be a lovely cloth. Summer. Just craft acrylic paint-the really inexpensive stuff. I want a soft surface so I add water.
The folding was something unexpected. It is something I will be doing more often now. I like how the paint deepens in the creases. I may use pleats. And, also, I went back and mixed a more opaque hue and painted out on the deck- the cloth on the paper bags. I will do that again. Paint outside in the Sun. Outside. Changes everything about the cloth, the paint and the colors. Hard on these old eyes but if I limit the Time- will be worthy of the Effort. And the brown paper grocery bags substructure- with paint- very interesting texture if I was doing paper collage. I may pull the bags out of the recycling box and cut the most interesting sections.
We finally remembered to eat Rhubarb Pie. And it was not the same as that first pie- I may have done something different. The second pie was wetter. But very good- just a different texture. Could be that the rhubarb had additional time to ripen? The additional crust was perfection. I used the two crust recipe and that gave me more edge to crimp. And perhaps that changed the moisture level as well. Baking is like a lifelong science experiment. For me, at least. I may try to make a Strawberry Pie. I used to make those- just a baked crust and a sweet fruit filling. I think I used to buy some sort of thick strawberry flavored gel and just add berries. I made it when we had company. So not in last 30 years here in Maine. Well, if my brother drives up this year- I'll make one. He liked it.
Friday, May 29, 2020
French Lilac. The deepest purple. Planted in the Fenced Garden and forgotten. But not this year. This year I have Time to Remember. This year I walked down- while the second Rhubarb Pie was baking- to cut a few- three-- stems for the kitchen island. The flowers are smaller than the ubiquitous lilacs we see more often and very fragrant. My daughter says there is one next to an ocean cottage that is a very large TREE. Perhaps I planted mine out in the garden so it could grow into a very large tree?
I looked at my small cloth of two inch squares on the wall behind the ironing board yesterday. I gathered a few larger (but not by much) pieces of cloth to see "how it might go". That is something my friend Grace says. Most did "not go". So I went looking. I climbed the stairs into the Magic Attic.
I was way back in the corners by the walls of the Attic- I hardly ever go back there as the containers there do not hold anything of interest-Ha!!! I opened one- from top to bottom - full of plain lovely cloth perfect for dye-works-old linen tablecloths etc. I pulled it out and now have the container front and center. Can't get lost. The Magic Attic suggests that I spend time with that cloth.
So, I came back down the stairs and took the cloth off the wall behind the ironing board. To add to it until it is a large square. Large enough square. And work on that. But first I need to find some pale yellow and seashore blue. Perhaps in the bag of rolled up linen shirts in the closet. That square wants pale yellow and blue. It's what I was considering when I started sewing squares together. Summer. Some of the blues already sewn into the cloth- are blues I hand painted. So, I might do that as well. Paint. Cloth. The softest watery sun shining blues I can mix. Today. Tomorrow. And possibly some of the sun paint in indigo spotted on top. I need the palest of pinks- sunrise.
Thursday, May 28, 2020
My "direct seeding" seeds -and that means they go from packet to the garden dirt- no need for the little milk jug greenhouse etc. I also had to mix up two bottles of "blue stuff" to feed the petunias as they have lost all their color- the pink and blue splotches and have flower buds but no flowers right now. I am also giving them Northern Sun. Not the heated strong Southern Sun of the back deck.
I had two hanging baskets out on the back deck with little capsules germinating. That went well until last night. The chipmunk family decided to dig them up and eat whatever they found. I have resisted going to the greenhouse where I used to work. To buy things. But I might have to now- to fill these two baskets.
And I need to find a way to rid us of these chipmunks. The cat next door can't catch all of them and the hawk seems to have moved on and the Fisher who used to live in the woods behind us- is no longer in residence (he/she caught and ate most of them in years past). All the predators are gone. We used to trap them at work and then take them for a ride. Trying to figure out how far that ride would have to be before they returned. The boys marked them with Magic Marker. They always made it back. Always.
Yesterday was very hot and humid with lots of sun. This morning is dark, moist and colder with Sun eventually breaking thru. But if Sun holds off-- I can put the seedlings I transplanted out for a few hours. They would enjoy natural light but NOT sunshine. I have some very nice True Hyssop that will fill out one of the Herb Rectangles in the garden nicely. And some lovely Persian Carpet Zinnias. Both successful milk jug seed starting plants.
Husband continues to weed the garden beds on the South side of house. He used to do weeding for money and customers loved seeing him arrive and set to work. A freshly weeded bed looks very nice indeed.
I was set to watch the two Astronauts zoom off into Space yesterday afternoon. But the weather was terrible and will still be terrible on Saturday the second launch date. So we'll have to wait a bit longer.
There seems to be a "joke" of sorts-an "amusement" that this quarantine is tailor made for introverts. We being the personality type that are very comfortable with being out of the crowds. We. I am one of them. And, as the weeks multiply, I am finding myself reluctant to take advantage of any of the few openings allowed right now- across the bridge. With books, cloth and seeds (soil) -I am quite happy. I collected a second armful of rhubarb stalks when we watered our friend's garden yesterday and today a second pie (with one crust but a two crust recipe used) which will -perhaps-- give us little cinnamon sugar pinwheels to snack on as the pie cools.
Wishing you a peaceful day.
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
From the newest box of collage materials and images. This one- I was thinking it would be on the page and I would use my soft oil crayons to add to the image- extend the images to the edges of the new blank paper. This is the first time I have been interested in doing more collage work. I like the look of this bird. I like the way the color was applied. It speaks to me.
Very hot here in Maine today. Will be watering my friend's garden as she will be in Boston with her dad until Friday. Just her kitchen garden. She hasn't planted in the big garden out back yet.
Daughter ventured into Goodwill and husband now has three new books to read. And he has more word search puzzles. We watched the Legend of Tarzan and the pandemic movie with Tom Hanks- in Rome. I can't remember the name right now.
I am tired these days and so very sad. That poor man choked to death by a policeman. My dad was a policeman all his working life. I hope they charge this one with Homicide. Murder. And the police who watched with accessories to murder. What the hell is wrong in America??????
So that's it for today- I have nothing else.....
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Jude's Moons. Purchased a long Time ago- often (most often) lost. This morning I found them under the ironing board, on the floor with some cloth scraps. They had been pinned to the wall. I had given up on finding them. But here they are--- just minutes since they re-appeared. Eight and I think there were nine. There was something I had on the design board. Jude's moon and DebL's cloth. Where??
Someday the two will re-appear.
I got my hair cut. I was the only person in the salon. We wore masks. The next customer was out in the parking lot waiting by her car. I had B shorten it and even things up. But not as short as I had been having it. Very short was the way to go while I was working in a hot moist greenhouse. But not now. But all the waves and curls are gone. I look like a stranger in the mirror.
I finished the last paperback. Well, of the ones I actually wanted to read. Now I have two I am not sure I will actually enjoy reading and three hardcovers on the stairs to the Attic. And The Little French Bistro. And my favorite book that I read over and over- Becoming Finola. I also have a Watchmaker book my daughter says I will enjoy. I could just read the one I just finished again. I will have Wolf Hall to read when my friend is done reading.
I just had to get up to answer the phone an "............ah, Gramma?"" call. I told the guy he was a miserable piece of shit, could rot in jail (or hell) and if I ever see him in person I was going to cave his head in. Land line- those freaks know old feeble people have land lines. I'm old but not feeble.
So...where were we? I also was helping G find the little white plastic add-on so he could charge up his Apple pencil. So, I was already pissed off.
It's going to be that sort of day. I have a big load of husband's gardening clothing to wash, soup to make for my lunch, some cloth I meant to work on, those seedlings that need re-potting and we need to see to the disposal of a dead chipmunk. Possibly the work of the hawk who flies over in lazy circles.
I have to go look for sunglasses now. Sigh.
Monday, May 25, 2020
Onions. A Pandemic Necessity. Most of my recipes begin with an onion. Most soups. These aren't mine- I liked the photo so I am using it here. Food 52 I think is the source. Bon Appetite stopped posting early on. Or they still do and I can't tell- so many advertisements.
I had a very nice shower this morning. 7 am. I was up early. For no reason. Here it is noon and I've had breakfast twice. Just had toast. We are overcast and chilly today-might rain. I took the opportunity to get the petunia tray outside for some brighter than usual light. Not sun. That would fry them. I keep checking to make sure- no Sun. I am also going to need to feed the plants. Mix up something nice for them to drink.
Daughter is texting from the Town across the bridge (and ocean water) from my Town. They opened EVERYTHING. Eat In Restaurants, Goodwill, JoAnn's, Reny's. If it sells stuff it's open. Masks required in two out of three but 6 feet apart is being observed. Library in that Town also open for curbside pick up. Our library- not. Our Town- not. Virus will still get to us.
Close enough that our people driving over there will bring Virus Cooties home with them. Alabama is enjoying record spikes in Virus cases after a week of being OPEN FOR BUSINESS-running out of hospital beds.. They'll be begging for ventilators by Friday. Such misery. Was it worth it?
Daughter got one book in the Clan of the Cave Bear series for G and one of the adventure books he likes. So that is wonderful We'll let them both air out for 72 hours. She said the donation drop off line of cars at the Goodwill was very very long.
I'm reading the last paperback. I might have to start over and read them all again if this goes on into August.-- but a few hardbacks still on shelf....... My son is working from home in California until August. He may work from home the rest of his Life. Most software companies aren't anxious to open their buildings back up. Well. I guess I will be working from Home as well, huh?
Well, Daughter- who I send out on all important recon missions--- has found 24 ounce glass jars of Bavarian Sauerkraut at a store that sells socks, hunting jackets, shoes and tee shirts. I wanted some in the pantry in case it is hard to find in December. For Christmas Food. Right now there is ZERO on grocery store shelves. I am paying attention to shelves that remain empty.
Sunday, May 24, 2020
Transplanted from the milk jugs to flats. To grow a bit more before the garden or the Grow boxes. Today I have Tomato seedlings (yes!!!) and cucumbers to transplant from the jugs into little pots. I also have dill to move into the small plug trays -that bare space mid-left. It gets warm out back on the deck but move to the front porch and you need a sweater or a coat. Freezing. My hands are so cold right now. And I'm in the house.
My daughter sent a text this morning from the Grocery Store. She found zinc. A supplement she takes for her immune system. An article in the Sunday paper mentioned that we now know how to survive and find toilet paper, hand disinfectant (soap is better), flour and yeast and make masks. Once I had Dee's Pantry Soup recipe- I was good. Didn't need much else- we had toilet paper and flour and yeast already. Am making Dee's Soup today. To warm myself up. But will add collard greens, I think, along with the cabbage. Because Pantry Soup is a "fluid thing" and can accept change and innovation. As survivors do. I might even bake a few sweet potatoes.
I still have books to read. But I am closing in on the last of them. The library has cleared my record of the books I returned but is still not processing my requests (or anyone else's). They will move forward with requests and parking lot pickup in the next week or two. No one is going to be allowed inside the library itself. We have a large homeless and transient population that spends the day in the library when it is open. I can understand the library staff concerns. I will be very happy to wait in the parking lot for my books-
As soon as things open back up and the used book supply chain resumes- I am stocking up on books for the second go round of the Virus. Like as soon as the people packing themselves into churches and fast food restaurants with Trump's okay this weekend- start getting sick and dying. We are already seeing people with "no masks and no worries" everywhere. They may have to change Maine's motto to "Live Free and Die".
Daughter is here to pick up her Salvia plants. They lived in the Magic Attic Bathtub since October and are now going to be planted in her front garden beds. Black and Blue Salvia. Zone 6 (warmer). Maine is a Zone 5 (colder). After a lovely Summer and Fall the plants will return to the Bathtub for another Winter. Daughter also brought me a bag of cherries since I am running out of "fruit for the day" bananas.
I washed my car yesterday. Really good- I went over it twice. And I noticed that not only did my father upgrade my modest Honda Fit to Sport model, leather seats and steering wheel but I have custom rims as well. As I was scrubbing them I was thinking- these look very different. Open. With design elements. sigh. My Dad. The car was in the garage when we came...he was dying and dead 12 hours after we arrived. And that's when I saw the car in the garage- when we got back to his house. Now my house. Now my car. Now my problems. 2008. Twelve Years. My car. 32K. I just don't drive all that much but it's the perfect car. I can get in and out of it. Laughing. The BMW- Roadster. Gosh that was a pain to get in and out of but I loved driving it.. I gave up the BMW to drive the Honda Fit. What does that say about me?????
Saturday, May 23, 2020
New game- from the Attic when I went looking for something else. A jumping game where you need to end up with one peg. I have gotten to five. I did not clean it before using. This must have been a Stocking Stuffer from a Christmas when the kids were still in College. Long Ago.
My Telephone Doctor's Appointment (His assistant) went well, I think. I have a new way to be using my rescue inhaler. Before not after symptoms. So, 15 to 20 minutes before I walk to the Library. Which should make the breathing easier on the walk. Less panic. 15 to 20 minutes before I walk out to turn the garden hose on in July and August. Now I just have to remember to do that. And I have a new prescription with 3 inhalers each time instead of one. To lessen the panic of not getting an inhaler refill. I will still panic but only every 90 days. And I will try and use the rescue inhaler 20 minutes prior to going to the grocery store on Wednesdays. Like before I get into the car.
Speaking of the car- it is still crusted with salt from Winter. So I need to wash it.
Husband watered the raised bed garden yesterday. He just wanted something to do. I filled 6 buckets from the wood chip pile to mulch the grape vines. Then I was done with gardening. I am thinking I will fill buckets to mulch the rose bush today and if I am feeling up to it the comfrey bed. Comfrey is a very nice nitrogen source for the grape vines- so I will add some around the roots when the comfrey plants are large enough.
My fig tree is dying. All the leaves are crispy and brown.
I had gone into the Attic to look for something and came down with a yard of white linen that I put into the washing machine. My plan is to do some adjustments to white linen tops that are not loose enough. But it is not work that I am good at so I am apprehensive.
I have also switched over to Summer Clothes. The corduroy pants, thermal shirts and cashmere sweaters are all being washed and dried and put away. I have on stretchy exercise pants my daughter got at the Georgetown Dump and old workshirts from Kmart I bought 30 years ago. Most are faded pale blue, soft, stained and mended and two are brilliantly spotted with colorful dyes. DebL's work. Still so amazing. I feel like a work of Art walking around Town. I also have two of these shirts in yellow. They are practically new- husband never liked wearing them. I wonder what I can do to those two to make them look less "new"?
It feels so different wearing the Summer clothing.
Cases here in Maine are spiking. And.......well, opening up things seems rather ....... but people are wanting OUT. They had pictures of people crossing the road to Old Orchard Beach. Not a mask in sight. Mostly young people. People old like me--no way. I don't want vinegar soaked French Fries that badly.
Husband went out to pick up take out yesterday and came upon a front yard saxophone concert at the end of our street. He stopped the car and enjoyed a middle schooler's music. Other neighbors were widely spaced along that end of the street. Perhaps it happens every evening at 6:30? Sweet.
Angie- I am going to look for the salve recipe. It's really simple. Mostly bee's wax.
Friday, May 22, 2020
What happened yesterday. I used thin scrap bits and pieces to add and subtract to the squares. Hand sewn. I am happy with the result. I can't see myself doing much MORE with this assortment of colors and patterns. Make another one?- I am not that interested but if bored enough, it might happen. What happens to this? I don't have a clue. In other times I would have expanded it from potholder to placemat. But I have no use or need for more of either of those household cloth things. As I look, I am thinking a plain beige all round border to frame it all. Contain the Virus.
I took my morning coffee out onto the back deck where it is very warm. I have gotten some sun on my face. The inside of the house is still cold enough for a sweater but that might change today if it gets into the 80's. Someone from my Pulmonary Doctor's Office is calling today. A Phone Visit. Not an in person visit and not my doctor. I am thinking of concerns to talk about. Write them down. Be productive.
My friend has tested negative for the Virus and broken her 14 day quarantine. I am limiting contact to phone calls. I don't agree that she is Virus Free. She is driving back to Boston today.
Goodwill is opening for business this morning. I am sure they will be very busy. I had wanted to go and get G a book or two for reading( at Goodwill when it opened). But I had a paperback on the Reading Table that G gave a try. I thought it might be "too many words" and not enough action but he is reading it. Sara Paretsky. Hard Time. So.....it's good when he has something to read. Then he doesn't over do the internet game playing apps.
G had the last piece of pie yesterday and I gave him my crispy chicken pieces. I had the vegetable sushi for late lunch. We have stopped eating supper.
We have stopped doing lots of things we have always done. I have no idea if we will ever do those things again. Daughter offered to shovel and move the compost if we decide to buy it- but I don't think I will garden much down there. Perhaps one bed. Zucchini. For G's pickles. One or two bags of my favorite compost- Bumper Crop will be enough for that one bed. Perhaps Flowers.
Herbs which I have already gotten started. I have many Borage seedlings. The Mint is coming back and spreading. The Chive plants are flowering. Tarragon and Oregano are back and doing very well. I need Basil and Dill. I did seed Dill and waiting. My Comfrey is up- all three clumps. I was worried. I have Marigolds in the milk jug greenhouses. I will have to buy calendula or forget it for this year. I have many jars of salve I made in the cupboard. I do want nasturtiums. I like growing them. Edible.
Which reminds me to start a few pots of zucchini seeds. Nothing is going into the garden. We are due for very cold weather the first week of June. Perhaps even frost. That Polar thing. Maine has had 50 degree days in July so-- we never take Summer as guaranteed to occur. Wait and see.
I did buy local greenhouse grown tomatoes. And bread. I am having a tomato sandwich today.
Thursday, May 21, 2020
In the Sewing Room up in the Attic. It was designed to be the sewing room for the second owner of this house. Lovely wall of shelving. Skylight. No heat. No view. I chose not to use. But it is where things are stored. Out of season clothing. Children's Lego Sets. Artificial flowers (I used to make huge displays for the library) and that discount/salvage place always had an abundance of artificial and very large flowers for very little money. I went up to see if the second wire and bead flower was up there. It wasn't. But I did find the Setacolor. And one bottle is Indigo. I am going to make a Moon. And surround it with little thread stars.......... just to see what it feels like to make that kind of Handstories cloth.
I watched videos of people who paint fabric (with Setacolor) for a living. Mickey Lawler. I also watched Jan Mullen and loved watching her rule breaking ways. Then the selection on the right side go Y-tube gave me Setacolor videos and the use of "bleeding tissue paper". Hopefully, the Sun will stay out and be hot enough to set the color for an indigo moon. Here in Maine, it is going to be very very cold into June. I may never get to wear my summer clothing.
I looked and looked at those 2 inch squares. And decided that I will slice them randomly and then sew them back together with a thin slice of something else (something that has no reason on Earth to be inserted there in the cut). It isn't important or necessary that they are squares. That is a step off..... It isn't necessary that they be squares and also that they line up. I was this way once. Wayward with rules. But.......I don't know what happened but now- if I come up against a rule -- I am breaking it.
NOT outside the house. I remain true to the lockdown outside the house. Venturing out only one day of the week for an hour. I do have an appointment to get my hair cut on Monday so depending on how much Time the haircut takes- I might visit my old workplace nearby and buy some plants for my planters. Some pretty flowers. My friend gave me leek seedlings yesterday- I gave her a slice of pie.
I stayed in the house and left her pie on the porch. We smiled and waved at each other then had a long chat on the phone. As for the groceries- I will just make do with what we already have here in the fridge and house. It will be fine. Getting a haircut is a lovely treat.
G and I talked about the additions of compost to the raised bed garden. Logistics of where the compost would be dumped, how (who) would shovel it into the wheelbarrows), how we would move heavy barrows down a steep hill to the narrow aisles in the garden etc. G is already having so much back and leg pain. My lungs limit how much I can do in a day. He stubbornly believes he "can do it" and I try and reason with him. The end result will be 3 cubic yards of good compost blocking one door to the garage all summer and into 2021 and taking up the space where my boxes usually sit. So that will be a problem as well. He is a very stubborn man. Worse as he gets old.
I told him I am not being critical or placing blame. I am just seeing the reality of the two of us going forward. And...would we even plant anything down there????? What do they call it- Reality Check?
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Already a few of these 2 inch component squares have been switched. And I may even turn some over. use the second side. And just now- was thinking of slicing some squares into "sort of" two pieces and then resewing them into not quite squares. Might need three strips. I think it's good to take a picture and that give you some space to really see what is happening or not happening.
Rules are really only suggested guidelines. And more often- a list of what not to do.
My eyes are fatigued. Too much reading or too much bright light. I can go "light blind" outside. I think of that- losing my eyesight. That would be a devastating loss. Fate has strange ideas. Today I will try for things that do not involve "close seeing". No reading.
I did the lo mein additions later in the day yesterday. Fried carrot strips- I made these once for a Southern Family Dinner in Georgia. A large pan of thin sliced carrots- flat rectangles- fried in butter and olive oil until browned a bit and golden. No longer stiff. They didn't want to eat them- I said okay and piled some on my plate- they tried them........I had to go make a second pan of them and was required to fry carrots on every future visit. Fried vegetables are so Southern I was surprised they balked at carrots. I also fry green beans when the are new and just picked. Old beans do not fry well.
Today was grocery day. I had to check the phone to see if it was really Wednesday. I had a very short list. Bananas and coffee. Splenda and bread for grilled cheese sandwiches. Peanut butter. I got a tub of Crunchy Vegetable salad and another of Crispy Chicken pieces. (that was what they wrote on the label) and brown rice vegetable sushi which I love which is made in the store by Japanese chefs. They bow when I greet them. I did see brownies today in the bakery section. But none of the chocolate chip biscuits. And toilet paper- large packages of more than 12 rolls. No flour today and still no yeast packets. When these items are there all the Time....I will know that the supply chain has returned to normal. I didn't need either- I have plenty. I am just surveying. The fresh seafood section was wonderfully stocked and people were buying salmon and scallops.
I am actually no longer "cooking" meals. I haven't even made Pantry Soup. Today, I think I will make a Big Salad and eat the Crispy Chicken Pieces with it. If they had had cold baked chicken I would have shredded it with honey and mayo and had that with my Big Salad.
Well, I seem to have written an entire post on food. And from now on I will be making a 2 crust pie dough recipe when I need only a single crust with high crimped edges and baking the leftovers with sugar and cinnamon. What a lovely idea. Perhaps my own grandmother did the same for me as a small child and I had forgotten.
I was reading the King Arthur comments again after they printed the WWII Wacky Chocolate Cake. (no eggs, no butter, no milk as these were not always available). The person who has to curate that site must need to be medicated- 100 comments on how they did NOT follow the recipe....... one woman added eggs because she hadn't "realized it was a "vegan" recipe" and it just turned out "awful". But sometimes the substitutions are quite good. Like cold coffee and Kaluha instead of water. Yes, indeed.
Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Components. From the second of Jude Hill's on line classes last year. I brought them to the dining room table. Close to hand. In case, I feel like threading a needle. I am thinking I need a very small coral print or check here. And a lighter purple. A stripe maybe. And that's one of the pockets from yesterday. It wants to be part of all things right now. Not sure about that beige cloth under the dots. A good match but not really into "matching" right now. Also not into the "grinding of teeth" combos I put together in the past. Just that small slice of coral- that works. The full square-no.
I got the largest of the seedlings situated into new seedling trays. They are still in "groups" as too delicate for much handling- but not crowded as they were in the milk jugs. I checked on them this morning before even making coffee. Standing up. A good sign. My scavenging of the dumpsters at work (all those years) paid off in having multiple trays in the garage for this task. And sifted soil-less mix to use to fill the trays. I made a mess. Too used to working in the greenhouse and then sweeping the floor clean and hosing it down. Here at home not so easy.
The pie was/is very good. I now know how to make pie crust dough after almost 60 years (my mother delegated cooking tasks when I was 12 along with all the family ironing)- It's the 20 minutes rest in the fridge wrapped in clear wrap. Settles it into itself. Rolls easily. I need to adjust the recipe amounts- I want more of the crimped edges. So, I need more dough. A one crust recipe is not enough and two crust is too much. So, I will need to "do the math".
It always comes down to "doing the math". Be it baking or sewing.
Jude on Spirit Cloth has moved along to making a square cloth. A surface on which we might embellish, appliqué and stitch. I am liking this more so than the robe. I...well, I do not think I would wear the robe. If it was heavily patched and adorned. But a cloth- I could look at that. Enjoy it. Now, I may still use the no pattern pattern and make a shirt. For Summer. And I also might work on the two very expensive white linen shirts my daughter found at the dump. They each need a bit more "ease" in the sleeves and width. Summer shirts here in Maine need to be "breezy". Nothing close to the body. Jude's "pattern" always the garment to be "breezy". Her new robe is titled Summer Breeze".
It is not warm enough yet (in Maine) to even think of wearing any of the Summer Clothing. I am still in Winter pants and sweaters. And right now- I am thinking I need a second sweater. And gloves.
Today I have to find the phone number for Cosmic Stone and order compost for the raised bed garden. Or text my daughter for the number as she is the professional landscaper these days. I never got around to the lo mein additions. I had a lemon yogurt and bran buds instead.
Monday, May 18, 2020
From King Arthur this morning. I wish it had been here in the house so I could eat it for breakfast. But I have the recipe and can bake it. Looks like each person got their own small bottle of ice cold milk with their cake. I think I had this picture on the blog many years ago and said the same things??
I started the morning on warp speed. I have eaten breakfast, been in the Attic, transplanted, fertilized, searched, trialed different fabrics with the cloth I am working on, been in the Attic a second time, considered doing a load of wash (no), searched for a fruit fertilizer spike for the Fig Tree (found), sorted thru the box of old linen Goodwill clothing for plain cloth to make borders, removed pockets from two pairs of linen pants and considered a cloth with appliquéd pockets, realized that I had over watered the petunias so had to go looking for a wire shelf unit for them to sit on and drain. Spent time with Jude's Lion Quilt. It's only 10 am.
I added Fritos and Splenda to my shopping list. I am going to add thin sticks of fried carrot and ribbons of collard greens to my leftover Vegetable Lo Mein for lunch. I found Crisco in the pantry so I can make my normal pie crust and not try to make one with butter.
I really need an outlet for all this excess energy. I am going to need a nap.
Yesterday.....G wanted to mow the grass but after doing only one strip he had to stop. So I got up out of my porch chair, waved him off and cut the grass front and back. He thinks it's man's work. He was never home- I cut the grass for 20 years. Walking mower because it just looks better. Sharp blade. And G loves a really good looking lawn. And, when I finished, lawn looked like green velvet- and I give partial credit to TruGreen. And I agreed to go to DQ for a hot fudge sundae.
I read a very funny Jane Austin era romance book yesterday. Big fancy rich Duke is hiding out in a Squire's stable (sent by his grandmother to hide for a month) due to some "misunderstanding" with a woman and the Squire's daughter sees the Duke's big gorgeous horse in her father's stable. Falls in love. With the horse. Not the Duke (who is pretending to be a horse trainer living in the Squire's stable) but she does say she actually has visited the Duke's stable and loves it as well.. And the handsome rich Duke is having a hell of a time adjusting to that. Of course, proper ladies are not allowed to ride big racing stud horses. Guess how that worked out. This is another book that would translate into a VERY entertaining movie with the right actors. The Squire's Daughter- she was not your usual Jane Austin heroine. And that isn't the title of the book- the book is Man of My Dreams which is totally not the right title. Of course Horse (Stable) of my Dreams wouldn't have been published. laughing.
Sunday, May 17, 2020
There were four of these squares. This one was taken apart and remade a year or two ago. Some leaves still be to be added. I am thinking of replacing a few of the darker leaves with a more lighter green print perhaps something from Joyce's box of Civil War Print Cloth- mine since she passed. Because...... I have added 20 years to myself. And what I like -now. And I can "trial" things on this square before starting/finishing the other three.
I gave up for a while. 20 years? I could not find the fourth cut square. And three does not a Baltimore Square Make. And there was no finding of the original background fabric. So, my choice was 1. Start over with four new squares. 2. Stop. 3. Keep looking (the Attic). When I "re- appliquéd" this square I had found all the reds and greens on the Attic Closet Shelves. But only three squares.
A week ago I found the fourth square. Yes, the Attic coughed it up. I found it as I was selecting fabric to bring down to the new small closet. And as I stood looking at the small selection in the Sewing Room Closet downstairs - I said- I have no red. Do you remember me writing that?
So I went to get red and as I turned to put the red pile down and look through it....... there was the missing square. Just there. Folded into quarters. Just there. I stood for the longest Time. Just not sure if it was real or imagined. It goes like that in the Magic Attic. It was real. Each time I pick up this square- I count. To see if there are three or four. Four. Today.
I am so much better at reverse appliqué these days. I cringe when I see the older work- and I know it was good enough then for people to ask me to teach classes. It is much smoother and invisible now. These squares were before that. This was at the beginning. A first project. Hardly begun and unfinished. The remake up in the picture is really a huge improvement of the original work but still not good enough to make all four. So, I think about what I would change, do differently.
If I was selecting a project from the Baltimore Book today- it would be so much more elaborate- possibly ribbon work. But I am determined to finish (or re-do) the four blocks, sew them together and make a hand appliquéd border for the four of them. The border will have a different background-
I was wanting something new to work on. This is very labor intensive so I have put it off. But this- the four with a border or two- that could be USEFUL. Would be a very special cloth to have or to give. But first- what would I do differently??? This first block might undergo some changes. Then I will make the other three.
Another set of appliqué blocks are nearly complete in the Attic. With hand sewn sawtooth border strips. No machine work at all. The quilt top together would be very very large. I had it out about 18 months ago- spread on the floor. So different from eco dyed cloth. So very different but hints there of what I like now. I folded it all and tucked it back into it's storage box. But it whispers as I walk past.
Saturday, May 16, 2020
What will we remember of this Time? Will it ever end?
I'm sort of thinking it will be this way for a very very long Time.
My daughter came to pick up edging strips. She cut the back of my hair. It feels good. She also carried the big heavy Fig tree out of the vestibule and onto the back deck (all by herself). We watered it. It's a cool and cloudy day- nothing too stressful for the Fig's first day back outside. Yesterday she brought a grocery bag full of yogurts from Walmart. My fridge is packed with yogurt. I asked her-- gently-- to STOP. Walmart has the 8 ounce Noosa honey flavor. I like it. My grocery does not carry that flavor. Yet another grocery is the only one selling the 1 percent milk I drink. Milk without the protein that gives me acid reflux. I do without 1% and drink 2%. Not going to three places. Only one. Closest one. My lipids will suffer the extra 1%.
Cloth. I was drawn to two blogs because of the way the authors of the blogs were using, making and working with cloth. I enjoyed the conversation, lessons and seeing the creative use of materials. But Life and Time changes things and people. Always has and always will. I am wondering what new Path in cloth I will find and explore next? How I will use the cloth I have eco-printed and dyed with natural materials? Will I use these techniques to work with paper, paint, collage? Will I find a way to make etchings? Make another collage book? Make an article of clothing? Finally make a series of House blocks. I brought SKY fabric down from the Magic Attic. For the House Project. But size is what I am thinking about now- what size will the house squares be? Or do they need to be rectangles to accommodate the peaked roof line?
I have seen artists working through the Pandemic. Seen how their work has changed. Wondering where mine might venture? New paths. But carrying the old as well. We'll see- you and I.
Friday, May 15, 2020
Found. I was working on a 2 inch square cloth and had used a few of this blue cloth but then....needing more went to find. Gone. Looked each day. Nothing. Then gave up. On finding this cloth and on finishing the cloth made of many many 2 inch squares. Making masks. Using batik and even false(fake) batik as the base fabric is very tightly woven. And what was lost, is found.
There is very little of that deepest blue (mid left edge). And the light cloth is different- but that cloth was also needed to make the large cloth larger. Hand painted cloth. I could have painted more if I hadn't found this small pile. When this is gone- ........... I feel the same about Deb L's scraps.
My friend's father and I share the same birthdate- years apart..ha!- He has many caregivers and they are very very careful- changing clothes and shoes on the back porch before entering the house. But this happens. He has had a fever for a few days and had stopped eating. He tested positive for Covid 19 as did one of his caregivers. My friend is now back in Maine doing a fourteen day quarantine. She's an RN. And, like me, has asthma issues. She gave me one of her inhalers when I couldn't get my prescription filled. She is my Master Gardener Buddy. So this is hard for me. And today an email from her-- the rhubarb in her yard is ready to pick. Come she says- "I'll wave at you from the window".
So many emotions today. Tears just on the edge.
My second loaf of No Knead bread is in the oven baking. Five more minutes and I remove the lid and let it bake uncovered for 15 more minutes. Always excited to see how it looks when I take off the lid. Bit nervous. Mail truck passing by. Life goes on.
We saw a house for sale in the newspaper. $2.235 million. Small. No mention of bedrooms only the 140 feet on the ocean. But Horizon. You can see where the water meets the sky. Too expensive but I would like to own a house where I can see the Horizon. The sky meeting land or water. Before I die.
Thursday, May 14, 2020
Readership is down and no comments for 5 days. I must be "passed peak" as they say. Back to normal.
Returned my library books to the library via the book return. One other person there doing the same. Then I drove to my old walking buddy's home and we sat out in the sunshine in plastic chairs that can be sanitized and visited. With masks on. Six feet apart and with our own beverages. We exchanged books. I gave her some of my bookshelf and she gave me some of hers. She was excited to get Wolf Hall and Bringing Up the Bodies. I got a few Elizabeth George mysteries. She mentioned that all library booksales have been cancelled for the summer. Which is a bummer.
The Johanna Lindsey romances I am reading are evenly divided- very readable or pretty awful. I think at some point I stopped buying the paperbacks and just borrowed hardcover copies from the library. Which explains why the ones I remember liking- are not in the bookcase here at home. I have a list that I am making and will be asking the local small bookstore if they can order some of the titles for me.
Three stores on our Maine Street have gone out of business. They just gave up and it was in the paper yesterday. One is an old fashioned candy store that only appealed to tourists. They are selling the candy out front on the sidewalk until it is all gone? (or stolen). One was a sketchy "sports" bar. No inside drinking allowed. Another was a "decorating" store. G and I were both wondering what store that might have been. I'm thinking it was the "questionable antiques" store. It's close enough to the health food store- they might want to expand as natural foods that are very expensive - very popular right now. But they have Standard Baking French Baguette which is awesome. I buy one and eat it while walking back to where I parked my car.
It's sunny and warm here in Maine today. And I was still wearing my winter clothes because the inside of my house is still very cold. So I had to move my chair into the shade. I have another loaf of no knead bread in the oven with just the light on. Getting the oven warm for the 6 to 8 hour rise.
Some animal has eaten half of... and this morning I saw --dug a huge hole in the bed with the new calendula seedlings. It's too late to start new seeds. In a fenced garden. So, I will either have none or will need to buy commercial seedlings. It is very disappointing. Better news- the rhubarb plants that seemed to be refusing to grow- are now thriving. Still small, but hopefully the heat won't make them bolt and go to seed. I would like one rhubarb custard pie. I have not seen any rhubarb at the grocery but didn't make a specific search for it. I may search the freezer here at home. And make a homemade crust with some of the butter I have in the fridge.
Are you planting anything? Eating anything interesting? I am going to eat the Crunchy Vegetable Salad I purchased yesterday. Talk to you tomorrow. Take care. Be safe.
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Adding to a smaller rectangle. While watching (listening) to Law and Order. I added border strips and then started adding little bits of appliqué. Nothing in my work these days is permanent. It can all be unsewn just as easily as it was added. Hours later I can dislike something I liked very much when I stitched it. It's like Doodling on paper with an ink pen. No plan. "Eraseable".
Husband was good yesterday and today is not walking. Is rolling around in an office chair.
The weekly grocery visit this morning was different. The vibe in the air was different- more like normal. It felt good but strange. Does that make sense? That "more normal" felt strange? Fewer and fewer empty shelves. Mexican toilet paper. My son sent a text that he had also found toilet paper- a Mexican brand. Rollos. So he told us to "stand down" on finding him a few rolls.
The Deli was open. You could have meat and cheese sliced to order. I did not. I did not feel comfortable with that.
My walking buddy is expecting a bag of romance paperbacks when we have coffee tomorrow morning outside her apartment building. And she expects me to be wearing a mask on our coffee visit. And bring my own coffee. But that is normal. Except for the mask. I don't have to bring my own chair. We have missed "conversation". We were going to do this visit in Town but my friend is in Town more often than I am and says there is a significant homeless population (not immigrants)- sans masks - wherever we might find a place to sit. So there is that to consider. So we will skip Town.
I had bobby pins on my shopping list. They didn't have gray ones (why the hell not?). Only black and brown. The hair on my neck is growing too long now and irritating me- I have missed two haircuts. So I wanted to pin it UP. Daughter has agreed to come and cut a straight line some day. The rest of my hair has decided after weeks of unruly behavior- to settle into waves and curves. There is enough weight. My hair is naturally wavy when there is enough weight. Otherwise it is one big WHITE fluff ball which I HATE. So the fluff ball stage has passed finally. And now I only have to control the back neckline and let the weight of the hair settle into a suitable style. I actually have wash and wear hair if it gets to a manageable length. And then it needs to be kept at that length. Hopefully, I can get a haircut by then. Or I will just have to use more and more of my bobby pins.
There is sunshine today but a cold Sun. Nothing warming about it. Watchathon was a bust. I can't access any of it if I do not have X1 and voice command. Like I want a 24/7 listening device in the house. I do not. I do not like voice command anything.
Well, I guess I have nothing more productive to write about. I have books to sort for my friend and then I am going to eat my brown rice vegetable sushi. As I said to each sales associate at the grocery- "thank you and have a good day". You, too.
Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Good words for Today. I have been out front of the house three times now and figure I will be going out a few more times. The wind is really blowing and the recycle bin has fallen over and my recycling has scattered. So, I have been out picking things up.
On my third trip- a couple walking past --walked back-- over to ask if I teach classes at the greenhouse. I said yes. And we had a very nice 10 feet apart- no masks chat about the classes and gardening. And social distancing. They have grandchildren. I wonder how this will change their (children's) lives as we go forward? But, it has given parents and children TIME to be together in a World where there was never enough Time .......before. So that might be where the most significant change comes.
G says he is worse. Yesterday he could barely stand. Today he walked out to the kitchen after taking a shower (and sleeping all night) and made his breakfast. He didn't collapse onto the floor- which was a possibility yesterday morning. He is not worse. If we weren't in quarantine he would be at the doctor's office asking for strong pain meds. I gave him a couple Tylenol. As a teen I wanted to be a Nurse. But I am reminded of the Nurses when G had his heart surgery. They were very strict and hardly smiled. I may have been a good Nurse.
Maine has gotten a D plus in Social Distancing/Masks. Big Surprise. Tells you all you might need to know about the Political Climate up here. I am happy to stay home. Only going out once a week.
We had doctored up canned baked beans and grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner last night. The night before pizza. Today- there is left over pizza and beans. And I can make more grilled cheese sandwiches. I am wondering why- in 8 weeks of quarantine- I haven't made Kraft macaroni an cheese for myself. It's usually my "go to" food under stress conditions. G has had many many bowls of pasta and marinara over these 8 weeks. I have been having Pantry Soup. And I haven't made brownies yet. G has so many cookies and little debbie cakes he doesn't need anything else.
I am needing cloth to hold and work on. I am reading one of the lame romances. UGH.
Monday, May 11, 2020
Adjustments in attitude. Not much but enough to make things seem less stable. I will be able to return library books this week. I don't know how they are going to facilitate this process but it will be the first of many such events. Trial and Error. Opening the library and then abruptly Closing as it turns out to be a mistake. Perhaps. I am trying to be optimistic as the Library is special to me.
Not for sure. But this is how it seems to me- internalizing the pros and cons.
My image today is the shelf in the bookcase with old toys and new toys. This was something I enjoyed collecting and having out on display. Old toys. Old memories. Old times. Not that they were good. Just not as horrible as the present times were. My Life has not been a happy one. Perhaps you realized that?
My husband has hurt his back- again. Always the same. And he is angry his back hurts.
I finished the book I was reading. Pale Moon Rider. One of my favorites. And it would make a fantastic movie. I always think that as I read it. I can SEE how it would look and sound. And it is terribly sad. And it links back to the Medieval books. The really good ones. The two. I think the link to Pale Moon Rider is in book two- the one I do not have in the bookcase. I have read it, but do not own it. But the woman with the pale white blonde hair is in that book and a relative is in Pale Moon Rider. Hundreds of years later.
I will be moving on to a different author now. A different style.
This morning, I unsewed the cloth I was hand quilting. Took it all apart and washed the cloth. It was very stiff. I do not think I will try quilting it again. The fabric is too tight. A mistake. I think I will just let it go. As it is, unfinished...... not a usable cloth. Just something I made, some thing I tried.
Today on Spirit Cloth. Jude ordered groceries to be delivered (to be safe). The delivery person- sans mask, sneezed into the grocery bag she was delivering. I continue to try and process that image.
Sunday, May 10, 2020
Brought this from the sewing room with a small pile of cloth that might become borders.. The hand quilting project is too hard. The cloth too stiff. I will need to unsew what I have done and re-think. I might just add more borders to it. Or just leave it alone. So I looked for something soft to sew but something not needing "thinking" as I am not doing well with thinking right now. Yesterday I covered my head and just sat on the couch in the dark. I had invented a sore throat etc and was talking myself into being "sick" but was feeling okay about still be able to smell and taste (Fritos).
We had ice cream for supper last night. Each of us had a pint. And I just didn't give a damn about good nutrition.
The neighbor across the street had a visit with her daughter. Parked cars in the driveway. On the phone. Talking- I think the daughter brought food. Take out so they might have been eating in the cars as well.
I talked on the phone with my son in California about all sorts of things this morning. He said the masks I sent him actually changed the way he was "'going" and now he feels more comfortable going out for a walk, ordering take out and waiting for it. He has a mask. I was on the edge of tears because I should have sent him one sooner.
I asked if he was taking advantage of the freeways being empty to drive his sports car. He said no one in California is allowed to drive further than 5 miles from home. The highway is more than five miles from where he lives. So he walks. Here in Maine driving the highway without traffic is one of the Virus Perks. As long as we don't cross into Other States. Might not get back into Maine. Our borders are closed.
There was a ball of Portland Pie Beer pizza dough in the freezer- So, Pizza Sunday.
G is outside- and it's cold. He is finishing up the sidewalk he started two days ago. Taking all the bricks up, weeding, flattening the surface and re laying the bricks. There is sun today but I hardly thing it's warm.
I changed the bedsheets and was reading a blog post and comments when I realized the washer had clicked off. It had done the entire wash cycle without my constant worry and attention. I gave the machine my heartfelt gratitude. For deciding NOT to flood the floor with cold water. It could have gone either way. I just had this heart stopping moment when the machine clicked off. Totally checked out. So "not the usual way" for me. Spaced out. King Arthur Blog today- Foccacia. going to make it tomorrow.
Saturday, May 09, 2020
My Mother's Day gift from my landscaping daughter. She and her employer had driven far North yesterday morning to a very large commercial greenhouse to stock up on plants for clients. After the truck and trailer was loaded, daughter went back in to buy me these petunias. I told her I had loved the purple with white splashes last summer and if possible would like the magenta variety as well. Four of each. Daughter doesn't follow the 1, 3 5 rule of odd numbers. My gift is always two raspberry filled donuts from Frosty's in Town. But they are closed. Have been since March.
I somehow got strawberry and rhubarb jam all over my sweater this morning while eating my toast and watching it SNOW. So messy. Nothing "stuck" as we say here in Maine but it sure did look like a wildly shaken Snowglobe outside. And the wet makes the 40 degrees feel so much colder. Wonder if we will ever be turning off the heat in 2020?
I stood for awhile (just before coming to the computer) in front of the Orchid Table watching a sweet little bird eating out of the feeder stuck to the window. I didn't want to interrupt his meal. He was good looking with orange red head. A Wren. We have a bird bath out there for the birds as well-- to get a drink or take a bath.
I managed some gardening yesterday. I added more soil to the herb bed sections and especially the curved section around the small rose. Soil from the bags stacked behind the garden shed. I then went out into the lawn and dug up daylily that had traveled from the beds (along the fence to the raised bed garden) and into the grass. About 6 plants. I divided the larger ones and managed to make a nice arrangement of four on opposite sides of the arc. G thinks they are orange. I do not. As I bought them and do not buy orange things. Especially daylily. I wanted then inside the fence as I discovered the buds are quite delicious to eat. In fact. all parts of the plant are edible. There are a few more along the fence that I may also dig up and move. I will enjoy them more -inside the fence.
Last night G watched Robin Hood on BBC with Kevin Costner. Horrible. Costner was just horrible. But I was enchanted all the same since I am just finishing up weeks of Medieval Romances. Old stone castles, chain mail, long swords, arrows and everyone filthy. And Alan Rickman. I am always certain that all his scenes are off script. He told the castle whores, "you at 10 and you at 10:15 and bring a friend". And while he was attempting to rape Maid Marion- "quiet please, can't you see I am working here?"
I was in charge of the remote. Husband cannot bear to watch the commercials for abandoned animals. So I must quickly change the channel and then come back when it is safe. We did suffer thru commercials from Kaye Jewelers for the ugliest Mother's Day pendent- and, knowing all stores are closed- no way to purchase one. They must have forgotten to cancel it. All the remaining commercials were for fast food restaurants. I was getting interested in a bacon, egg and cheese bagel from McD's.
Well, I had a few other plans for the post today but I am off the mark so we'll leave it at this. I am planning to bake Sunday Pizza tomorrow in case you wonder what we are eating. Today- not sure what to make. I roasted the beets and had a bowl of them with olive oil and Balsamic yesterday for lunch. Today I may add the fresh mozzarella and more vinegar and oil. Might need to get the food to room temp- not looking forward to eating it ice cold. There is one more jar of Pantry Soup and that is the more likely choice.
Friday, May 08, 2020
Let's try this AGAIN. The image keeps disappearing. This is paper. Meant to sit under a hot object so the hotness of it doesn't disturb a wooden surface and make a mark. Spellcheck doesn't want to spell the name of this item. I purchased four of these 8 inch rolled paper squares because I liked the graphic look of them. I think the maker used newspapers and magazine pages to make them in India or a nearby country. They have been on the blog before. Were meant to be professionally framed under glass years ago. I went to work at the greenhouse. Where dirt and sweat became my Life. Having Art framed wasn't even considered. Now- it isn't possible (virus), but can be remembered.
I was looking for an image this morning- found this and was thinking as I sit here eating my second breakfast (it's 9am and going to be "that" kind of day)-- these square things could be made of cloth. Scraps folded and wrapped. Would take thought. How to do it so it still was Cloth.
Snow coming. Do we wrap the Peach Trees? Huge job. Still tight buds- not showing color as yet. Hoses are out (early for us)- could hose the trees off if they get coated with snow or ice. That might be better. No way to know. Peaches or no Peaches? that is the question. Grapes are slow- not budded so no worries there.
Bright red Cardinal visiting. Rare for us to see one. Daughter has families of them returning each year. In Town- warmer. But still dangerous. She found a handful of red feathers- went looking for the body so it could be thoughtfully buried. Hawks. I see them overhead. Scanning.
I continue to meander thru my days. Some cloth, some cooking, some reading, some BBC animal shows. G likes them. My attention wanders. I can't seem to focus on project work. I can't focus on good meaty books. (Wolf Hall) Only fluffy stuff. I do still check on my seeds. Watching them germinate and grow. I do have things to cook so I think I will roast beets (eat them cold with mozzarella, olive oil and Balsamic vinegar) and cook collards. Make a pan of cornbread. Perhaps bake the sweet potatoes? What will husband eat???? I can offer to fry him a pan of Chinese dumplings.
My eyes are dry and sticky. I am applying the gel drops. I think the house air is drier than usual. Windows would have been opened in any other May. This one is cold. Is the Virus temperature sensitive? Well, I have to just begin with something and then just push thru. Start on Patty's chair seats. Remove the old. Start layering on the new. Do the removal outside. Nasty dust.
I was up in the Attic (the one over the garage)- and found the wonderful old chair my dad worked on. Doing the springs. He kept all the old vinyl upholstery and I carried it all down to the garbage. And then thought- Dad saved this so I would have a PATTERN for the new upholstery. So today I need dig the pieces OUT and neatly fold and label them. He saved me patterns. Thanks, Dad. Love you.
Thursday, May 07, 2020
A box of things my husband dug out of the back of the closet where the hatch is to the crawlspace under the house. He had to replace the smoke alarm. I couldn't hear it giving off that annoying little beep but his new hearing aids picked it up and the sound was driving him crazy- kept saying "did you hear that?" "no".
So---I now have a box of opened and half used things to walk around. All of them look interesting. Two kinds of floor cleaner, bleach, liquid starch and washing soda. And cleanser- -the only container making an interesting statement visually. There was some sort of crafty thing to do with liquid starch. Don't remember what.
I now have two very long and heavy rolls of Decorator Fabric down from the Attic. I think- I was going to make curtains. To match wallpaper. And I was going to line them. During my "Insane Time Period" I would imagine. My Friend Patty took a look at the beige and floral rose printed fabric and said yes..... to me covering her chair seats with it. I could also make some pillow covers. -(but I won't). I am now going to have to look for my brand new- never used electric staple gun. Purchased, I think in the "Insane Time Period" also. I felt I needed an electric staple gun.
I washed the white liner fabric- heavy, tight weave. Useless to me. When Goodwill opens I'll donate it unless a Reader wants it???? Cotton but I can mail a sample if anyone is interested and wants to make sure it's cotton. But perhaps it could be stretched (like canvas) and painted? with Acrylics.
Like I need another project.
I walked down to the fenced garden to water the little calendula seedlings. They have decided NOT to wilt and then die which is very good news. I set them out with a weather report of cool/cloudy/rain in the forecast and we got sunny and dry instead--not a good combo with baby seedlings.. I need to sift more compost and fill the remaining herb garden squares. At least do that. At least do that. Not sure if it will happen.
I had to go to the grocery again this morning (under duress). I hadn't counted husband's yogurt supplies and he was short three days. Not good.. so I went this morning- after we drove to daughter's house as she was positive she had forgotten to lock her house door. She was right. And then I went into grocery to buy three individual servings of candy yogurt flips. Because........
Wednesday, May 06, 2020
All that is left. Now the bread is no longer "crusty" but will make excellent toast. And the crumb is moist and so my husband was interested in eating a slice or two.
Today is my grocery shopping day. The only day in a week of days. Even if I have forgotten something- I do not go again. I "make do" with what I have. Which makes meals interesting.
Today: They had toilet paper (for septic systems). Oatmeal in the big box, old fashioned brand I like. There were still bags of three kinds of flour on the shelf. They had yeast- it was fast pizza yeast- but I make pizza dough so I got some. They had bagels in the kinds my husband likes. They had a two pound bag of organic beets. (I love roasted beets). They had bunches of very fresh collard greens for $2.49 and after watching "Greens" on PBS, I just was so much wanting collard greens cooked down with a piece of smoked meat. I ate a handful of raw collard greens and swooned -sort of leafy cabbage flavor. So happy that one of the little greenhouse jugs on the back porch contains little collard seedlings. A lot of little seedlings.
And just before I was given clearance to move forward to checkout #2, there was a very messy "cleanup on checkout #7"- a woman dropped a glass bottle of something very dark and sticky. My total came out so much lower than usual. I am getting better at this.
Yesterday. We spent quite a bit of Time backtracking all the places my husband had been- and where he might have left/lost his car keys. We checked pockets many times. Eventually- I was still searching, he found me and asked just how many times he had checked his pant pocket for the keys? I said about 20 times. Keys were in his pant pocket all the time. I guess I have to turn his pockets out next time.
We now have garden chairs down from the Garage Attic and ready for sitting and just looking at the grass and the woods. We do that quite a bit. It will seem strange to do it without Riley. But life goes on.
My friend Patty (she's from Boston and uses the F-word as an adverb and adjective continuously- and as a proper noun) is stopped by today to drop off the f**king chairs that need f**king new padding and fabric coverings. I believe she is also bringing alcoholic beverages. Should be a lovely visit. A f**king lovely visit. And that was a f**king messy cleanup in aisle two. I'm just getting myself up to speed here.
Tuesday, May 05, 2020
Several shades of White. My loaf for the week. It's finally done with it's many hours of rising and now in the oven @ 450. Thirty minutes with the lid and 15 minutes without.
Overcast beginning to the day with moments of sunshine. Feels cold in the house and warmer outside. I am bringing the Attic Bathtub Plants downstairs today and out onto the front- north facing porch. Get them used to natural outdoor light gradually and then out back for southern sun in a day or two. Would be nice if we had a light rain. Soak them.
The greenhouse where I worked for over 10 years is allowing 15 people inside at a time, with masks. So I think I might go visit. They have "cold crops" like broccoli and cabbage already in little starter flats and possibly some herb flats. Pansies. Which the deer eat. Deer ate that little columbine I transplanted from the raised bed garden to the front beds. I really, really do not like deer.
Would be nice to get my containers ready for the season if they have what I want. Like by Mother's Day and not in July. I was always late in getting things going for myself while planting things for customer orders. Nothing has changed. I am still running late.
My library will accept returned books by last name. My day to return books is May 14th. They are expecting to deliver reserve books curbside starting June 1. Wow!!!! I have some good books on reserve. A friend went to the Dollar Store this morning and picked up things for herself and a few word search books for my husband. Which was very thoughtful of her. He's just gone out to the mailbox to get them. Three, I think. He likes them.
And timer went off- 15 minutes minus the lid. Bread looks very nice- larger than when I made with Gold Metal flour. King Arthur this time. I also have a recipe for Naan flatbread which I am going to try as well. Something soft and bendable. But am thinking of a poached egg on a toasted piece of the big loaf. I really love poached eggs but never make them. Why is that?????
Well, husband is off to do "men's work" whatever that means. I guess I'll start doing some "women's work" and that means whatever I want it to means.
Monday, May 04, 2020
Mending. My oldest pair of green LLBean Cord pants (no longer being made or sold). I went up to the Attic to find green felt so I could stabilize the weaker areas that needed mending. Many weak spots... on the "vintage" pair of pants. Gosh, I've owned them nearly 12 years or more. Wearing them constantly every Winter.
I used to do this mending on the sewing machine but the sewing always was very visible- with doing it by hand- almost invisible. There were a few tears along the zipper and one very weak spot on the seat of the pants (too much sitting in the Winter). But I was successful and I will be wearing the pants for a few more seasons. When you know you will never be able to buy another pair of pants like this or another sweater like the ones you love.... the ones you have become precious.
Husband is going to cut the grass. It looks like rain.
Son got his masks and the box I sent. He liked the masks I made for him very much. And I think he was happy to get some baking powder- now he can finally make biscuits. Next time we send a box- toilet paper and perhaps flour.
Neighbor (far end of street up by the road) mentioned that they are eating lots of ice cream and candy these days and drinking a lot of alcoholic beverages. We haven't really been into the ice cream- though the top freezer shelf is loaded with Ben and Jerry's. Too cold in the house. I had been drinking wine- G was flashing back to his mom's drinking--so I stopped. It was just a small 4 ounce glass in the evening. I enjoyed it. A mother drinking is somehow worse? For a child?
Today and yesterday's book is about Pirates, the Spanish need to own the Seas and the English Navy. People are getting blown up and sewn up etc. Very eventful and no chivalry. Very different from the Medieval books. A few more from this author- one civil War and Card Games- I am going to pass. another is the Wild West with a silent Indian named Sun something. That one I will read. There is another that I have always liked- it begins with the lead woman sewing. But I can't seem to find that one. Very romantic.
So.....I think I will mix up another No Knead bread and use King Arthur flour this time and weigh it. and then let it sit and do it's thing for 8 to 10 hours. Bake it tomorrow. That will be all the "cooking" I do today. Take the word of my neighbor- candy and ice cream- all we need to be eating.
Sunday, May 03, 2020
My daughter just dropped this off. She's a very kind and thoughtful person. And even though she has no interest in baking (low carb diet) she remembered I like to bake and got me the 10 pound bag. I have never brought the ten pound bag. But I love King Arthur best of all. So I am happy. So many videos of bread making- where to begin...... oh, a new email from King Arthur- I am sure they will have some ideas.
She also- very early morning Sunday shopping- got us a 12 pack of toilet paper. The good Scott paper that is perfect for septic systems. One for her and one for us. Next time she will get some for her brother in California.
We went to DQ yesterday. They had 6 feet tape on the driveway for the people to stand and wait - it's a walk up not an eat in DQ. Old fashioned. Three and then a fourth person wearing masks. No one else. Possibly 20 or more people and lots of small children in line waiting. It was breezy so germs blowing around. And the traffic included so many loud motorcycles. First day warm enough to get them out on the road. In the summer, we'll see large groups of Harley's all decked out in chrome and the riders in black leather and sunglasses out riding in a group. No helmets. Ever. They like DQ.
The Chinese restaurant in Town is back- it was closed for quite awhile. We stopped and got soup and dumplings. That was our first take out in all these weeks. Very nice. We'll do it again.
I managed to sift half a wheelbarrow of compost out of the oldest of the three bins. Still very cold and just starting to thaw. I used the compost I sifted to top up my herb beds. I have one raised bed divided with cement dividers and one type of herb in each. Some are perennial and some annual. The chives are getting nice and green. The sage is slow to get going. The mint has died. Too early for basil.
I have Calendula and Parsley seeded in my little milk jug greenhouses. Ready to fill two of the empty sections. And Red French Marigolds. They are a favorite of bees. I have to start dill again. but first I need to hope the compost pile warms up a bit more so I can sift enough to fill all the sections. The compost was excellent- dark and fluffy. Always amazing that kitchen scraps and paper can turn into rich brown compost. Alchemy.
Saturday, May 02, 2020
You would have thought I was five years old and Santa Claus had pulled into the driveway. A Fed Ex truck. In my driveway. Not any of the neighbor's. And then a box full of fertilizer. Sigh. So happy. Three days early.
Very tired yesterday. Very. So I went to bed early and...the flip side of that is waking up really early. But the Sun is out and it's stopped raining- until tomorrow and the next few days when it will be raining again.
Our daily paper is really thin- two sections- so I decided, instead of recycling it,- I would put the paper thru the shredder for compost. I am getting my groceries in paper bags and shredding those as well. Plastic bags are also offered but I don't need any. I stopped lining my counter top compost kettle with plastic and now just wash the kettle out after taking the contents to the compost pile. I am very serious about compost and need as much dry, brown as I can make. Newspaper, shredded mail and grocery bags. I could easily use double or triple what I make. I have often thought of going thru the neighbor's recycle bins for paper. I might just put a note in a few mailboxes to see if anyone wants to donate paper to the cause. And coffee grounds. Used ones. Worms love coffee, cardboard and paper. But I won't be finding any of that ( coffee grounds in bulk) until the coffee shops are open again.
Daughter had yesterday off- pouring rain and cold- but today they (3 people) are spreading 10 cubic yards of mulch around a property up for sale. To make it look lovely. Ten cubic yards is a lot of mulch and it rained- so it will be heavy. A good full body Cross Fit style workout.
We are going to drive into Town and see if the Chinese restaurant is ACTUALLY open again and order take out. G has been wanting Hot and Sour Soup. The local drive in restaurants and Dairy Queen- all curbside or eat in the car- are open and had good turnout when we drove thru Town to see what was happening. I haven't tried to book an appointment for my hair yet.
A brewery owner up in ski country (Maine) said some bad words about the shut down and opened his place up to customers who didn't stand 6 feet apart etc. Governor called and told him if it didn't stop...... his health and liquor licenses were toast. His business is now closed. It's going to be that way. Like it or not.
I am wondering what it will be like if this ever ends? If. That's the key word.