Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Daily Notes- June 30

I thought the ruler markings would be visible but too much contrast from the outdoors. My avocado pit/stem is now 6 inches tall.  Any other measurements I gave you all-were incorrect.
And the stem is showing indications of leaf making.  Which might be the reason the stem has stopped getting taller.  Leaves are taking energy.
The background is outside the back southern side of the house and the pinks you see are Rose Campion. It has furry gray stems and then each stem is topped with a flat petaled rose pink flower.
Until it flowers it looks very "weedy".  It's self seeded all over the property.

I managed to get daughter's taxes done.  She is getting nearly all her withholding back. 
Which is very surprising. But I checked and the adjusted gross income is correct.  
Must be that new (last year) Trump Tax Code kicking in. Economy Jump Start. That worked out didn't it?

I have everything spread out all over the ottoman in preparedness for our return.
There is so much technical stuff with dividends and cost/basis, and IRA's etc.
I am going to do some mindfulness deep breathing exercises.

After daughter's taxes were done (the printer shot out five copies), the pages all sorted many times, envelopes addressed etc- daughter said she'd stop in to sign someday this week..........um.
So I piled it all on the couch by the front window and sat on the couch to watch some mindless television.

Later I made Pizza and we ate it while watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy.
I did manage to get two nights in a row of good sleep.  Sleep is hard to come by these days.

The Drought is still real here in Maine as we did get 4 inches of rain but most "ran off" because the soil was hard and very very dry.  I think most of the rain soaked into my yard. Hardly any puddles. The strawberry growers were not happy as they can't pick berries if the ground is real wet.  And of course picking wet berries is not good either.  No sun and very damp this morning. More rain coming.
When the bad stuff happens it's like a heavy ball rolling down the hill. The strawberry hill.

Thank you for the comments on the Herb Garden post.
This end result is the work of at least five years but likely more.  Gardening isn't easy.
First, I had to make the bed and divide it into rectangles. Fill with soil. Amended soil. Sandy.
Then I planted a few herbs- some lived but most died. And some herbs I never used so those are gone.
And one year all the rectangles decided to be mint. Another year- all weeds.
Each Spring, the soil is bare and then things start coming up and it gets interesting.
Plant what you use in your food.  And a few pollinators.  Edible flowers are nice.
I had no seed packets of Nasturtiums.  Nasties.  I like the orange ones.  Peppery taste. Edible.
Next year those seeds are on top of my list.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Daily Notes- June 29th

Finished the most recent border this morning after breakfast. I quite like the little one inch circle patch.  It's raining.  Has been since yesterday morning.  A good steady rain- all day, all night and now all of today.  
We were told you we in a serious drought with no rain forecast for weeks and more likely most of the Summer.  And, I guess they got the forecast wrong.
We were supposed to be having lots of lightning.  I prefer thunder. We have neither. 63 degrees.

Yesterday- my intention was to finally get around to doing our taxes-- I know- I say this all the TIME. But I got highjacked by a few missing papers. Daughter had all hers but we did not.  Ended up having to call the company and.......gosh I enjoyed yelling out answers to the recorded person.
Tax statement.  Paper copy.  Mail.  And the mechanical voice said that while it's nice to have a paper copy- they aren't necessary to file taxes- but it does help to get the info into the correct little boxes..

PBS had the story (yesterday) of the Queen of England most people have no knowledge of- except for the movie version of her life- The Favorite.  She did quite a lot to improve England and joined the three countries into the United Kingdom.  She was pregnant 17 times and never carried any of the babies to term. She died in her mid 40's.  And I have quite forgotten her name.

Here is the linen robe/jacket with a trial run of a appliqué for the pocket.  The fabric was quite yellow and stained from years of being on a hanger in the Attic.  It washed out but the fabric is more of an antique white (vanilla) now.  Which is okay.  As this particular item will never be worn in public. 
I live a minimal life.  So just the one pocket embellishment might be enough even though the jacket/shirt has two additional pockets lower that one could embellish.
I am noticing a face in this pocket adornment.  I do not like that.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Daily Notes- June 28

The Herb Garden.  At 6 pm.  Front left is chives.  The flowers past bloom time. Behind the chives a very healthy rectangle of mint.  The tall red French marigolds behind the mint (no flowers yet).  Then the still very small dill rectangle and then we have hyssop.  To the right behind the mint is very tall tarragon. Behind that abundant sage which has flowered (slight pinkness if you look close).   The basil will be grown in a clay pot so I can micro manage the amounts of water it gets.  Likes being moist but not wet. To the right of the chives is oregano.  Lots and lots of it. I have no thyme. (Ha!)  Need to remedy that. 
An Austin Rose at the far end of the herb garden and some daylily- I like to eat the buds.

Husband weeded the bed across the aisle to the left and I may move my self seeded arugula over in the newly bare spot.  Let it seed in new soil and become "abundant".  And sprinkle new arugula seeds.
I didn't grow garlic this year (it was a habit and my pickles do not need much- one large bulb is enough)
I don't like it. The smell on people nauseates me.

The two new grape vines from my friend Patty have started to climb the fence.  Leon Merlot and a seeded Concord.  The grapes I have growing up and over the trellises are a seedless Concord variety that I prefer. You can just eat grapes and not find and spit out the seeds. 

The blackberry bushes outside the fenced garden were abundantly covered in flowers.  I planted the kind that makes the big fat blackberries but the clump also contains the small wild ones.  
I need to find a way to keep the wild animals from eating all the blackberries.  Set my flag.
I would like a few breakfasts of blackberries with my yogurt. Or homemade scones.

I've done something to my right ankle. It hurts and "gives out" when I take a step (without thinking about taking a step first).  The chicken wire under the mulch on the short Peach Tree is working.  No one is digging holes next to the stem of the tree. I found and washed a half dozen linen shirts from the Attic. I also found an old heavy white linen Ralph Lauren "jacket"- when I put it on it drops to the top of my knees. Buttons up the front. Two large pockets right where my hands are.  Might do for a base for a Spirit Cloth robe.  Just appliqué cloth to it and add a bit of length to the bottom to be more "robe-like". 
I could also color it up a bit with some plant materials.  Would be nice to pull on after a Summer shower. Reminds me of the big old thin white linen robe I used to have.
This one would last me the rest of my Life.  Which is a comforting thought.

Might even be a good surface for all the small patched cloth on the wall across from the table.
A Robe of Many Colors.
A very Fortunate Find up in the Craft/Out of Season Clothes Attic.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Daily Notes- June 27th

Messy Fabric Waiting Station.
Sorted.  Jumbled. Sorted. Jumbled.
Endless work.  Just Going as Grace would say.  Just Doing as someone else writes. Just Being as most of us are these days.  But masks and being outside.  Not so much wiping things off.
I have never wiped down the mail or a package delivered or grocery produce with alcohol.
Turns out surface transmission is not how it happens.

The Maine Street in my small Town is lightly populated with outdoor tables. People enjoying a meal and company outdoors.  Some are even getting patio lights.  But the mosquitos are fierce here in Maine. The coffee places, Broadway Deli and the Gelato store have blocked the doorways with a service table.  They take orders as you stand, with mask and wait.  Special benches for Curbside Takeout waiting. The local and very popular Wild Oats restaurant is constructing a newer larger restaurant outside Town. And now with the unexpected success of the Curbside Takeout- the owner is wishing she had thought of a drive thru. Perhaps it can be done??? Added?

Deer walking on the driveway near the street before 10am.  Big ones. 
Then a Marching Row of Black Crows. Five.
No camera handy.
And I worry about my tomato plants on the driveway. Deer eating them.

I wished Storage Wars was on because there is nothing new to watch. Yesterday- Storage Wars.
An all day thing.  Not new- all repeats but it was something different.
Sometimes wishes do come true.
And a new show in August about buying lost shipping boxes.
And then opening them and finding out if you got good stuff or not.

I had a difficult night sleeping. Strange and troubling dreams.
So I washed it all away in the shower and now have laundry to do.
Fresh clothes.  
I had to dig around in the closet to find pants and a white linen camp shirt for today. I think I now have four outfits to rotate.  If I dig deeper I should be able to have five.
And they are not all exactly the same- black and white.  
Colors.  I am wearing colors. In my old age. But not every day. That would be too strange.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Daily Notes- June 26 104 days

Overnight the iPhone collected 27 emails and regained the weather map.  Husband did some sort of magical stuff.  Which I guess is otherwise known as "ordinary maintenance".   I am going to take some credit also because of the aluminum foil taped to the wall next to and behind the router.  

I was up early after a very deep and peaceful sleep.  Extra- ordinary for me.
Had my breakfast, coffee and newspaper reading and then went to water the back deck plants- the few remaining ones as I got most into pots or the raised bed garden yesterday.
I opened the door and "what to my wondering eyes did appear?"

Well, husband - who I woke up suddenly with my screaming- says it's "just a little garter snake"
But it is still a SNAKE.
We got him back out the door and back to what I guess the snake is calling home- the back deck. 
Just in case, I moved my garden shoes into the house.

So, dear friends and readers- it has been a very different morning so far.

I could embellish this event with a cloth and a snake but I just will not even think about that.

The cucumber seedlings (with borage) and the True Hyssop have been planted in the raised bed garden.  I also filled the edges of the dill rectangle with some very tall zinnias.  Last summer I wanted a big colorful flower bed out in the raised beds.  It didn't happen.  I started flower seeds in half the little milk jug greenhouses this year and now I am planting the short ones in planter boxes with petunias and the taller ones in the herb rectangles. I have many "pollinator" plants out in the herb garden.
Wild Bergmot- Monarda fistula from Native Seeds is running wild in one bed.

The Ironwood patch is now made up of about a dozen stems and will be glorious when it reaches it's full 10 feet in height and then in Fall the glorious sapphire BLUE flowers.  
Adjacent to the ironwood is a stubborn circle of Siberian Iris of a deep deep blue.
I have decided to just let it continue to increase in size and stay where it is.  A few strays have popped up in the front yard beds.  It is a gorgeous deep blue. And such a pain to dig up. 
I used an ax and a saw the last time I moved any of it. Like trying to dig up cement.

We had hoped for rain.  But the weather people say it has dried up before falling. 
The Arctic is thawing. Overheated. I almost feel like humans are doomed. 
Please wear a mask- not for yourself but to protect others.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Daily Notes- June 25th

Interesting Day so far.  Awake at 5:32.  Quite hyper.  Constructed an aluminum foil wall for the router. To sort of get it working again.  Deleted almost my entire picture file to open up "space" on the computer because that might be why we hardly get any email- but it could also be that people have nothing to say because nothing is happening. So- no email. Back to bed and woke up at 10am.

Deb's post came thru.  The septic mess. 2am. I don't think I would be easy with putting the towels in the washing machine either. I would have to repeatedly hose them off on the lawn. I am reminded of someone who alternately cleaned up a mess like this and vomited. I can't remember who it was.

This week feels like a "tipping point" as they say on the news. When things go negative or positive.  
I complain about the lack of just about everything here in Maine.  But now it seems okay as we also have a lack of Virus, also.  We have an abundance of Trump No Mask people up here. But they hang out with like minded fools and that sort of keeps them away from the rest of us.

College has a large statue of Chamberlain.  Civil War.  Will they pull it down? Our Senator King lives just down the street. He may have to stand in front of it.

Things are opening up and hardly anyone is interested in entering. 
The restaurant with the big deck along the river was loaded with customers the first 2 weeks. But not so much now- as it looks like the bar drunks are the only ones there now.
The local private college announced all classes for 2nd year and up will be online. Only freshmen will be on campus possibly one to a room.  No sports.  Which is a kick in the gut for downtown businesses.
Three stores in the downtown are now vacant. But Goodwill is open.

I have the two hanging baskets to fill today.  Yesterday there were too many mosquitos and I was still in recovery mode from my fall.  No headaches but left arm/hand a bit stiff and my left leg/knee would rather be sitting on couch. I did some sewing but no reading.  Law and Order was on.

It was supposed to rain.  But it hasn't and we are now under drought conditions. 
The price of water is going to go way up.  Again.
I am thankful it's cloudy.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Daily Notes- June 24th

I think this has been here before- like a few days ago- but not much is new here.  And this has a more vivid color to it as I used the little whatever they are called in the camera to rotate and then brighten. I have a few pockets I have been removing from shirts and pants- to gain yardage- and am thinking I will appliqué some of these little things to the pockets.  And then???? Who knows.

Horoscope for me with Leo traveling in my...........
 today "you are a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma".
Pretty much- for so many, many years.

Breakfast was two raspberry filled doughnuts. A bit stale. and rolled in powdered sugar and I like them better rolled in plain sugar.  But first time seeing donuts in our bakery section.

Yesterday was way more interesting than usual. Husband and I were moving bagged compost to the raised bed garden then moving 30 gallon trashcans of soil-less mix to the garage area for me to use to fill the Garden Boxes.  Well, I tugged on one can and then fell backwards and hit my head pretty hard when I landed.  We did the concussion protocol but first I had to let my daughter know in case my husband forgot I fell down. That would be something he would forget.
I also bruised my left wrist and quickly applied Arnica to the bruise and in 3 hours- hardly anything to see. Completely gone this morning.  But still a bit "tender'.  No headache or double vision. Just some body aches.  Shoulder and hip (as usual) but after a bit of walking it isn't noticeable.
I was very very lucky as I fell on the greenhouse pipes and some wooden pallets.
My hard skull.

Daughter came after work to "see for myself" and we filled the boxes and planted the tomato plants. The damn deer ate the top off one.  I am thinking that that plant won't grow anymore without the growing tip. We'll see.  I also planted the parsley into the two window boxes and the kale into the square grow box I bought at Home Depot months ago.  Now I only have the cucumbers and the tomatoes I grew in the little milk jugs to plant.  And then just water and wait.

Daughter and I also lifted couch and pulled out rug and rolled it (well, she did and I watched). Now the couch is shoved back against the windows and the room looks even more empty. Wonder when it will be safe to visit a furniture store and try out the furniture???  Answer-- maybe never.

Husband wants two hanging baskets on his workshop porch.  But they will be close enough to the driveway for a daily watering.  So I agreed.  Hanging baskets dry out so quickly that they need a lot of regular water during the day. I watered the baskets in the greenhouse twice a day very heavily. It was time consuming and lots of water ran down my arms, down my side and into my pants.  Lovely.

Fruit for the week is going to be fresh pineapple.  Still have some cherries. I got limes and tonic water and plan on drinking ice cold gin and tonic this week.  Tell husband it's ice water.  

I bought rhubarb today ml- after your email- and will be making another pie as soon as husband finishes off his carrot cake.  He still has cookies as well.  I have to remind him to have coffee and dessert. 
No one EVER has to remind me to have dessert. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Daily Notes- June 23rd

An unexpected surprise.  I started trying for an avocado plant last Summer.  Most of the winter I had the pit wrapped in a damp paper towel in a plastic bag in a very warm spot near the radiators- directions from several sources on the internet. Nothing happened. 
Then around February I notice the bulb had cracked and what was described as the "root" was there between the two halves.  I was directed to pot the pit and water regularly.  Nothing happened and a few days ago I was tempted to dump the contents of the pot into the compost bucket.  I forgot to actually dump it and last night as I was closing windows before bedtime- I saw something strange- that was not there the day before.  It looks like something is growing.  Just when I was ready to give up hope.
Perhaps I potted the bulb upside down and it had a longer journey than planned?

That gave me something to think about as I was getting ready to go to bed last night.  Not giving up hope even when it seems like nothing you had hoped for is ever going to happen.

I've just been dragging myself thru the days for about a month now.
Trying to limit the amount of Time spent watching news.
Trying to have an ongoing "project" to work on a little bit each day or several times each day. 
Getting the washing done as it accumulates and not waiting till I have three full loads of it. 
I even managed to vacuum the floors and baseboards which were getting very dusty. 
I do actually water all the plants twice a day outside and try and fertilize them as needed. 
And I cut the grass every seven days- or so depending on how it's growing.
I also take great pleasure in noticing the changes in size of the peaches and plums on the trees.
I take a few moments to enjoy the Beauty Bush in full flower and the Rhodies.

But I am also procrastinating on many things.
That weigh heavily on me.
Yesterday, especially.  Which was why that little shoot, well, it really was a very good thing.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Daily Notes- June 22

Today is not as hot and humid (but heat index is 86) so I thought I would do some sewing while I waited for husband to get out of bed (he stays up later and later playing games on his phone and then sleeps until noon).  I had a couple hours to fill.  I stitched the last two sides to the big pink cloth. The wonky one.  And then I sorted out my thread box and added my new thread to the box-thank you DebL.I also sorted and stacked my fabrics in the two boxes I have out in the room where we eat and watch tv.  I was looking for little squares but there are few of them left.

Up top are one and a half inch squares sewn into what will end up being a 3 inch square.  An assortment but, by my standards, not enough variety. I had to cut a fresh white square for this block as it needed a strong focal point. I also used the back side of all the chosen squares because I like them better a bit faded.
Commercial cloth can be too new looking and the backside looks like it's been worn a bit.

I read a good book yesterday- Big Lies in A Small Town by Diane Chamberlain.  One of my dear internet friends - Connie- recommends books and I always look forward to reading them.  This one had a mystery, a murder, and art.  There was also the possibility for romance but that didn't actually happen till the last few pages but I was okay with that.  This was the kind of book where you actually wanted the author to have written more as I was sad when I got to the end.
And Connie just had a birthday.  Happy Birthday!!!

At the beginning of the Pandemic, I was making and eating Pantry Soup that Dee had written about on her blog.  I was eating it like everyday at lunchtime.  I added small macaroni to it as the weeks went by. But now it's warm (hot) and I am mostly eating peanut butter on white bread because I ran out of French cheese to eat with white bread.  I don't want to cook anything.  I think the very last thing I cooked was the eggplant. I do make things for husband but nothing I want to eat- and it hardly qualifies as "cooking".

I am often wondering if this is how we will spend the remainder of your Lives? Reading books at home alone, eating sandwiches and not going anywhere or doing anything except on Wednesday our one day of going out in public.  I often think they should have assigned a specific day by first initial of last name. But then I guess I would just see the same people every Wednesday.  And that might be boring. Not that I actually know who is saying hello, waving at me etc on Wednesdays.  But I always, always wave back.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Daily Notes- June 21st

I couldn't find any good looking peonies to snap a picture of so you get a pile of work that is ready to go- if and when I am ready to go with it.  I am in a "mood" right now- of not being so energized to do anything.  Not lazy.  Just stubbornly NOT wanting to do anything that needs doing.

Procrastination.  It's a form of Depression.

The much delayed production of the 2019 taxes is a big part of the problem.
I do not want to do them. In fact, I have stated I am NEVER doing the taxes again.  I think 53 years of doing them is enough- in the beginning it was with a pencil and a adding machine.

We are all itchy here from Brown Tail Moth hairs.  They fly around in the air and stick on your skin and then they make you all red and itchy.  Usually in places like your neck and elbows.

We have been watching the Wonderstruck series on PBS and yesterday it was Madagascar for a few hours and they never mentioned Vanilla Beans which is a big export.  They have lots of fig trees on the wet side of the island and all the birds and mammals eat them.  Tiny figs.

I did a load of wash this morning with hot water to kill the Brown Tail Moth hairs on our clothes. I was reminded- by being very hungry this morning- that I had forgotten to eat dinner last night.

I watered the little (not really all that little any more) seedlings with fish emulsion and now the back deck has a very nice fishy odor (not nice). But they needed to be fed.  They really need to be in the boxes or the ground. The little cucumber plants are sending up little tendrils.  Wanting to climb. I think they will go into the raised bed garden.  Tomorrow when it will be cooler- 80.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Daily Notes- June 20th- Fourteen Weeks

The shirt.  Not the best light but everywhere else I took the shirt- was even less realistic. It is deep and dark and mystical.  And I will be wearing it again- but not this weekend- in the 90's here in Maine. Reminding me of the Summer when it was in the 100's for so many days in a row and not one available AC unit to buy- not even oscillating fans.  That's when we decided to buy ceiling fans-
 as soon as any were available.  Feels like Georgia in Maine.

Also, I watched The Rev (Sharpton) on MSNBC and was schooled on Juneteenth history which- I will admit here- I knew NOTHING about.  This, in fact was the first time even knowing the term.  I had thought it was something "new". Shame on me and shame on the schools I attended.

So- 90 plus degrees.  No window AC units installed (yet) and yesterday late afternoon, we mowed the grass, thinking it would be cooler.  It wasn't and I had to take a break between front and back lawns- because I was seriously overheated.  I had a cold wet dish towel around my head and neck.  Not a breathing break. 
A  heat stroke break.

But the grass looks amazing.  I cut a big circle in the back.  Was really a struggle with pain in left shoulder from the acute left turns to make the left side of the circular paths.  Ever tighter.  The front was straight from left to right.  Last time was from street to house.  The time before a curved path.

The peach tree have been watered this morning and yesterday I got petunias and geraniums into decorative pots out front.  Still haven't done the tomatoes in the Earth Boxes.  Will have to wait thru this heat wave. And the mosquitos were vicious yesterday and today.  The B1 needs more time for husband and myself.  I don't have as many bites as usual so some improvement.  Have been rubbing Witch Hazel on them- which takes away the itch for a few hours. Works best on fresh bites.  Not so much on old ones.

We finished up the lawn just as DQ was closing (7pm) and we still both needed showers.  I am hoping we'll get ice cream at some point today.  Making up for last summer when we never had ice cream at all because Riley wouldn't get into the car.  And we couldn't leave him at home- if we could even catch and drag him into the house- which was seriously so very frustrating as it was often too hot for him outside.

But that is in the past.  Not far enough yet but soon.  I hope.

I made some Rhubarb Sauce.  This is something Maine Natives eat on "hot out of the oven" biscuits for supper in the Summer.  My own Rhubarb Sauce will be mixed into my Noosa yogurts. But truth be told (and I always try to tell the truth here) I would actually enjoy a pan of hot biscuits with sauce.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Daily Notes- June Teenth

Peony number two.  This one herbaceous, meaning I think, that it dies back and returns each year.  I could be (usually) using the wrong term.  A word gets stuck in my head and it stays forever.  I love how the stamen look like pimento stuffed olives.

Dee. Yes to the picture of the shirt.  I will be going down to the bedroom closet and getting pictures as soon as I click publish here and have it for tomorrow.

False indigo is also in flower just outside the Orchid window. I bought the deep blue. We sold a yellow and a faded blue jean blue.  I sort of liked them but the deep  blue had won my heart.  I rarely cut it.  Once or twice with roses for someone who was in the hospital.

I cut a bouquet of peonies (minus the tiny ants) to set next to husband's placemat on the dining room table. Mostly the yellow ones. Husband likes yellow.  I like the deep jewel tones.  But the deep magenta peonies are still tight. I also have the flat white with a yellow center- they look like sunny side up eggs.  But they don't look good in a photo. 

Another peony is "just pink" and that one always reminds me of a very long lunch next to the Rhine River with friends.  And the very very large tall vase of pink peonies in the hotel reception area.  Just seeing the flowers brings that day back like it was yesterday. I have big tall vases for just such a display.

I finally got soil into one container and planted a magenta geranium and the pink and white spotted petunias together.  The second container is narrower and got two purple and white spotted petunias and some African marigolds I grew in the little milk jugs.  I hope it works out.

I have already soaked the peach trees with the sprinklers and have the one going in the raised bed garden out back- on a timer.  And I have filled all the old orange juice jugs with fresh water so I can keep the plants and planters well watered without reaching for the hose etc.  I can dose the bottles with a very weak fertilizer solution this year.  I don't have a dog with a long tongue slurping drinks out of the bottles this summer.  He never dumped any of them over.  I was always impressed by that.

BBCAmerica is showing Luther tonight.  We are very excited.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Daily Notes- June 18th

Image from one of the donation Bon Appetite magazines I picked up at the library.  The month of June issue from some year.  Cherries.  I discovered I actually do it the way they recommend.  I cut the cherry in half from stem to stern and then use the point of the knife to remove the pits.  I like to pile cherries into my mixture of Noosa yogurt and Bran Buds (for fiber).

I do feel guilty buying cherries since workers who picked them have spiked the numbers of Covid cases in Washington State.  It's like dominos tipping and knocking the next and the next and the next over.

Watering.  Endlessly watering.  
This is Summer Gardening.  Watering. And later it's giving plants food.  And then collecting the produce.

Today- I will use my rescue inhaler- endlessly and get some soil into containers and try and set up some gardening on the driveway.  Then try and keep the boxes from tipping over as they tend to do in the wind. I am going to miss my co-watering helper.  Some days he drank more water than the plants.

John Bolton could have done the "right thing" and testified to everything written in his book at the impeachment hearings.  But he wanted ...what?  The spotlight on himself? Shameless.

I am loosing track of what I have already written here.  Comes from not having all that much new stuff to share.  Not much goes on in a household where we are either doing small chores, reading or just sitting and doing nothing. The friend with the chairs/seats is calling everyday- to just ramble on. She'll be returning to Boston next week.  To tend her 102 year old father.  Who recovered nicely from COVID.
She was out clearing her side yard of invasive bamboo yesterday.  Told me all about it.

Connie- today would be a perfect day to sit on the back deck- you with a beer and me with that canned Vodka beverage.  I even scored a bag of those corn chips yesterday at the grocery.  

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Daily Notes- June 17th

This peony just opened it's first flush of flowers.  A more "papery" variety and if I remind myself of what we used to say to customers at the greenhouse- a cross between a herbaceous and Chinese tree peony. Itoh. or some such spelling.  I bought it for my husband who loves all yellow flowers.

 I can see myself falling into the dark center.
The dark rose, the deep yellow and the green.  I also like the pink blush on the inside of the yellow petals. These sturdy flowers would make a lovely bridal bouquet in June.

I woke up and it was already past 9am.  On my Grocery Shopping Day. I was going to be missing out on Senior Hours.  But I also wanted to walk past the grocery, past the library to the post office to buy stamps. I found three enchanting pages of stamps.  One of Hot Wheels for my penpal.

The  grocery hallway did not have any canning jar lids.  I did get 10 pounds of sugar. Every canning recipe starts with sugar.  And some pectin in case I make jelly.  When I got home I sorted thru my canning cardboard box and counted lids. I have 36 wide mouth lids and another 36 of the small jar lids.
The first batch of anything is going into the fridge.  And I will not be doing the canning/boiling part so I can just cap those jars with regular white plastic lids.  
Long term storage items will get canning lids and the boiling kettle treatment in August.
Oh, I can hardly wait for all that washing, cooking, boiling etc. in August.

Nothing is going into the freezer.
Well, unless it's ice cream or pizza dough or Chinese dumplings or frozen tomatoes.

My daughter dropped off a surprise bag of books.  Obviously she has started reading my blog.
One is going back- Tombland was good but once was enough.
She also went to Goodwill and found a Lindsey romance I have never read. Very excited.

Before the grocery shopping etc- I had to water all my "still in their pots/not the Grow Boxes"- flowers, tomatoes etc. That took some time.  When I got back home I started the sprinkler on the Peaches. When that stopped I got the Fenced Garden sprinkler going.

I wore one of the two shirts Deb L worked her magic on- The blue one.  Lots of interested looks from people walking past.  No conversation.  A few people I know said hello and kept walking. I am trying to be more colorful in my clothing choices.  Not just white shirts and black pants. 
Deb- you made me feel like the most Artistically Best Dressed Person in the Entire Universe.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Daily Notes- June 15th

Monday.  Supreme Court 6 to 3.  A Good day.
Doing three loads of wash today- summer and lots of changes of clothes. I also washed my slippers. Well, one pair.  I wear slippers all the time.  Even go outside in them somedays.  The good ones with the heavy duty soles.  Not these.

I decided to make a second trip this week.  I had three new books waiting at the library and the FORCE of them was too much for me and I had to go get them.  And Curbside is not really inside.  It's just a phone call, a wait in the parking lot in your car and then walking over to the table to pick the bag of books up. A new to me detective book.  That's the first one I am going to be reading--Thank you Connie!!

No Pizza yesterday.  Husband had pasta and I had peanut butter.  We- well, he was asleep-- watched or tried to watch PBS.  Grantchester?  Awful.  Won't waste any more effort on that show plus had to listen to the PBS Begging.  Which is tiresome- who wants DVD's?  Next up was Beecham House.  
Most of the actors are from previous PBS shows.  The lead guy was in recent Jane Austin. I was interested in seeing how often he would take off his clothes (frequently in Jane Austin) or accidentally shoot himself sticking those muskets into his pants.  I don't know this book or story.  In the previews for next week the Builder from the Jane Austin joins the cast as the wayward younger brother.

If I had to guess- the director is "crushing" on the two actors.
I do not think I will waste any additional time watching next Sunday.

Husband is finishing his lunch and I need to find something to eat, myself.  
The sun comes and goes.  Looks like we took care of almost all of the grape leaf worms with the second treatment.  Looks like another good harvest.  Even blackberries.  Plums. Peaches. All looking like we will have lots of fruit.  I will have to start buying sugar each week for the canning process. I'm sure at peak canning season- there will be none on the shelves.  And canning lids. My grocery has all these items in the hallway leading into the grocery so I will take inventory and then stock up.

I think I will have a Noosa yogurt for lunch  - perhaps add pitted cherries to it.
Sounds good.  My other choice is a salad.  But I think I will have that with my pizza later.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Daily Notes- June 14th

Daughter's Work Pants.
I was given the task of mending the knees.  And I did just fine (Paula the Bernina stitched thru the Carhardt fabric and denim patch really easily- surprise!!).  I used the raised open platform (after figuring out how to detach it) and slipped the legs of the pants up and scrunched the ankle parts up to expose the knees. I used an old and already cut up leg from blue jeans inside.  Beige thread zigzag. Daughter can add paint spots to disguise the zigzag if she wants.  She paints her pants. Takes after her mom.

The Sun is going in and out.  I have the door to the bedroom wing (not as posh as it sounds) closed so I can air out the rooms- open windows.  It gets a bit stuffy down there.  We still haven't installed the window unit AC's.  But it might be Time.

The Lime indoor shrub (tree) is sticky.  Some sort of insect.  And the tree is not getting enough light, so I dragged it out to the Sunporch (vestibule in Winter)--the Citrus never do well outdoors and I misted the leaves with water.  We'll see if this is enough of a change. The little limes continue to grow.  A few new leaves at the top.
My avocado failed to thrive.  Made a root but no stem- no leaves.

Each morning when I get up, I see to the seedlings- water and fertilizer and this morning I also set the sprinklers on the Peach Trees.  I also filled up the bottles with water so they are handy for a quick watering if I see something going dry.  I filled and carried the French watering cans out back to give a good watering to the seedlings.  They need to be in the ground or in containers this week.

I read a nice book yesterday.  Forgot to eat supper. And went to bed early.
Today is Sunday and supposed to be Pizza For Supper but dough is still in the freezer. 
I forgot today was going to be Sunday.
Perhaps husband will enjoy Chinese Take Out?

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Daily Notes- June 13th- 13 Weeks

A neighbor gave me a few old copies of Gun and Garden magazine.  This dog- same face as my Riley and out hunting.  Riley might not have been good around noisy guns but he certainly would have enjoyed the Hunt.  And the water.  And the dirt. And the company of his Human.  So- this very simple paper collage this morning.  On no special day.  Thank you Nancy for the magazines.
One of the magazines had four pages on Grits. How to store, cook and eat them.

Out of the blue yesterday, a woman from New York (but living in Maine) called asking if I might be wanting to sell the 48 foot hoop house (greenhouse) that I have piled up in the yard out back.  For some reason- I thought I was wanting 48 feet of plastic greenhouse- the professional sort- years ago.  

I am way too old for that.

We agreed on her price but I told her the 8 by16 feet wide hoops were going to be a problem to move on highways- from here to where she is on the water.  And I forgot to mention I only want cash. I don't know this woman and --well, cash would be best even with all it's potential Virus Cooties.

I gave myself Time to think about the greenhouse and realized- it means nothing to me.  Whatever plans and dreams that I settled on that project years ago- have gone past.

I also had a "story" going thru my head yesterday.  Like I was writing and seeing it as it made itself up. This story even kept writing itself as I slept and in the early hour after I woke.  Heartbreaking.
I have a very active imaginary Life but this was quite different.  More like a movie I was watching but at the same time editing.  This story has been bringing tears to my eyes since yesterday.  Even now.

I guess the psychological term would be "fragile".

But- and here we go on the "crazy train"-- it seems like a memory rather than an imagined story.
But I do not remember this story. It belongs to someone else. 

We sprayed the grapes a second time for the skeleltonizing worm problem on the leaves.
We argued and complained but possibly have a solution to the garden automatic sprinkler for the season.
I got the Metro Marigolds planted in the herb garden.  A French Tall Red variety that I love and seeded into one of the little milk jug greenhouses.  The last of the seeds from years ago. I need these 6 plants to flower and provide me with fresh seeds.  This particular plant is no longer available in seed packages but is an excellent pollinator.
Today looks cloudy and breezy.  I don't know if it will rain.

My strip pieced wonky cloth will reach 18 inches square today.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Daily Notes- June 12th

We're going to do this their way one more time and then I am joining the Revolution and returning to the old blog.  Connie- I tried the little arrows but nothing moved the line to the far left.  But I did find the line that Deb is talking about in the comments so I can revert.  I am always  critical of "new things" and my husband is always wanting me "to just give it a try" (stop laughing ml ) but I said no to the car that comes with a button and not a key.  And reading books on a computer tablet.  And ordering drugs on the internet.

I guess this new Blogger has given me permission to fly my I Am A Dinosaur Flag
But I do know how to get this thing to publish and insert a photo. so- there is a learning curve and I am making progress.  The Smile Face?- I am still not brave enough to see where that goes. Also the ARROW is now Big and Bold and Black.  And appears when one least expects it.

My daughter suggested these gluten free cookies for me to try.  Poppies.  Six Belgian Chocolate Macaroons. Non Genetically Modified. I must start reading the packaging on my grocery purchases.  The cookies are not expensive and are mostly sugar and coconut with minimum chocolate.  Would be improved by a shortbread cookie base.  But that defeats the purpose of the cookie being gluten free. But it would make the cookie interesting to a wider audience.

As you can see in today's photo- I have added a few more strips to the "project" and tried- successfully, I hope- to get back to the wonky.  I am not hand sewing the two quarter inches anymore- I am laying the already sewn piece to the new strip, turning the top fabric under a quarter inch and hand appliquéing one to the other.  Keeps things flat.  The solid color is new on recent additions.- I could not find the original. And the fabric I am using is lighter in weight and I am not that happy with it.  But many searches have not produced the original pink fabric.  It will show up when I decide I am done. If that lower edge does not iron flat I will have to resew it.  Easy enough with appliqué.

I cooked yesterday.  Made the pork/mushroom ragu that husband likes to eat.  I do not like it. I usually would make a purely vegetarian sauce for myself but didn't even want to bother.  I didn't want to search the freezer for a package of roasted Sungold tomatoes for the sauce.  Because finding none would have been so very sad.  Meaning I will need to grow the tomato plants, tend them, pick the tomatoes, roast them and have pasta sauce in late 2020 or 2021.  Not now.  I neglected to roast any last Summer due to things going sideways emotionally with the dog.  So many things went sideways last Summer.

The Curbside Pickup for the Library sent me an email that more books are waiting for pickup.  In February/March, which seems years ago- Connie recommended a list of books she had read and knew I would enjoy reading.  The books have been "ready for transfer" from other libraries since March.  Two managed to travel just recently.  Which is amazing. I thought they weren't ever going to be sent.

These Curbside Pickup notices are disturbing my Pandemic rule of only one day outside the confines of my house and yard. To limit my exposure to other people's germs.  I picked up books Wednesday- my Shopping Day.  To go out again- just seems wrong. But- BOOKS- how can I not go get them?

I don't want to be "one of those people" who carry on like nothing is wrong anymore and just "do what you want".  I live in a State where things and feelings are getting difficult.  One restaurant (actually it's a bar where people sit and drink all day) is open and letting people sit inside.  A "tattletale" called in and the place got closed down, fined and is in danger of losing its liquor license- so far the restaurant owner has refused an interview with Tucker Carlson of Fox News who has a new remote studio here in Maine. The owner now wants "the name of the person or persons who called"- to take care of them.  And he feels he has the right to do that.  Take care of them.  A nice friendly beat down, I guess.

And so it goes.  I fear the "re-opening" will be massively more painful than the closing.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Daily Notes- June 11th

Well, things will be a bit strange going forward here.  The new Blogger is now in charge and consists of only little icons with no words.  I am just guessing.  I did manage to insert the picture and am now just typing.  Doesn't seem to allow for anything else.  Even though I would prefer the lines start on the left. The words are starting in the center.

Today is not really the best day to be finding this sort of Alice In Wonderland Nightmare.

I am not all that patient with new things.  It's cloudy and moist outside with a slight breeze. A very good- even excellent day to transplant things.  But there will be mosquitos.  Daughter has suggested the daily taking of Vitamin B1 to lessen my attractiveness to mosquitos.  It is working for her.  Took two weeks for maximum effect but she can now walk into a cloud of mosquitos and then fan out and away from her.

So I went into the local Organic Upscale Market.  Bins of $12 organic granola in about 10 different varieties.  This is where I buy miso.  The yogurt is too expensive.  I was gazing into the back wall freezers and seeing interesting meatless wonders.  I would have liked trying one of the burger selections- but this is always one of those philosophical problems for me.  If one doesn't want to eat meat why does one want to buy a burger?  Even one made of plants but looking like meat.

This Natural Market had lovely lovely strong healthy plants for sale outside.  Tomatoes that had very sturdy stems.  Cucumbers and squashes.  I wanted to buy some but didn't want to get out of line.  Only 8 shoppers inside at a time.  Masked.  And I was only going in for the B1 capsules.  Expensive. And I also got a Standard Baking Baguette.  So impossibly French and wonderful.

Now I have to decide which of the strange symbols is "publish".
I do recognize the one that is a question mark.  And I used the one that looks like a camera to insert the picture... which was purely accidental.  There is a symbol that looks like an eye.  The last one is an arrow facing right.  In the center is a tiny symbol of a smiling face.  What the hell is that? the number to a suicide hotline????  So okay.  You may never get to read this post as it might just disappear when I select the first wrong icon.  But it was nice knowing you!  Take care.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Daily Notes- June 10


I hand sewed two corners to this piece.  I had to find the stripe fabric.  Up and down stairs.  Wasn't anywhere so I had to start sorting thru piles and there it was- no edge showing. Next row is the solid pink.  I might need to cut the last edges a bit wonky to get back to that- getting too SQUARE.  And cut fabric in different widths.  I wasn't paying attention.

Spirit Cloth likes the squares.  I like the strips.

Now my eyes are tired and "greasy feeling".  Was listening and occasionally looking up at he tv- Criminal Intent: Law and Order.  Now, I watch at the dining room table- not the couch.

Today was Grocery Shopping Day.  People are intentionally ignoring the enter/ exit directions on the store aisles.  I maintain the 6 feet distancing.  And I wait for fools to get out of the aisles.  Everyone has a mask on in my grocery.  Else, I would complain.  None of the disinfectant sprays I am liking. Those shelves are empty.  I didn't check the toilet paper situation.  They had flour and sugar- still no yeast which seems really strange- any Readers know why that is still "missing"?

None of the good- fried in the Store- corn chips today at Grocery.- Yes, Connie you would like them.

Taking the big stack of Lindsey romances back to the library.  Picking up a few more.  Some books in the series are missing in the local library collection.  So, I'll have to wait for interlibrary loans in the distant future.  And then I will start on Wolf Hall unless my request for Where The Crawdad's Sing  is filled.  I am feeling like reading that again.

The good books that Connie recommended are coming from other libraries- mine does not have them. So I have to wait another 2 or 3 months for those.  By then the next wave of people will be getting sick.   I cancelled some of my own requests and at some point I will write Connie's selections on an index card and delete them as well.  Try again.  Later.

Well, Husband has gone out to look at the baby peaches.  They seem to have increased in size over the past few days.  Amazing to watch.  Peaches at the grocery store are hard as rocks.  I passed.

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Daily Notes- June 9th


I think from the Simple Veganista.  She works on the pictures.  I would not- in any event- purchase every single item in this salad.  It would be too many things.  The red cabbage for a few ribbons. Three colors of bell peppers but perhaps if the produce section had three small ones in a single bag. Cucumber. Limes, Romaine, Cucumber, Chives.  The dressing is almonds processed with lime juice.

My salad bowl would contain Romaine and carrots. Period.  On the fence regarding the dressing.
I don't "splash out" on myself.

We (I) found tiny white/yellow worms on the grapes leaves.  Looked it up on internet. Forgot to write the name down but we mixed up Bt and sprayed the grapes.  Husband's back is killing him and he was trying to reach up to spray so I went into the garage and moved massive ladders until I found one I could carry down to the garden.  Set it up.  Lifted sprayer to husband.  Now we are hoping the little worms- well, I am not sure what happens?  They are unable to eat?

Husband went to get his hearing tested and I started in on cutting the grass.  I got the front done by the time he got home and then worked on the back.  We were a few days off schedule or that big rain storm got the grass growing.  Lots of seed heads.  Looks lovely.  I had a nice shower and now wearing my pink linen capri pants and a white linen shirt.  Very June.   And we had Grass Cutting Finished Ice Cream at DQ.

I even had to figure out how to start the mower.  And good thing as I had to start it four or five times. Kept seeing spots I'd missed.  One spot between two trees on husband's cutting section.

I had written a lot of nonsense here but left the computer before hitting publish.  Good thing as nothing like an hour or more cutting the grass, a shower and a few corn chips to change ones attitudes.  Husband found me a better sprinkler.  It does the full 360.  So I am now happy my herbs etc will get watered.  Now I am going to read my book.  Tomorrow I pick up two more the library (curbside) and return some for their 72 hours waiting period before re-shelving.

I'm glad I didn't press send on that first post.

Monday, June 08, 2020

Daily Notes- June 8th


I just wanted clean sheets on the bed.  And to wash the used ones.  But the washer hiccuped and when I went to stop it- I walked into water.  I got it stopped before the water reached the walls or the new hard wood floor in the bedroom.  Used every towel I own.  Sigh.  Been doing laundry ever since.  Just trying to get everything that got wet- clean and dry again.  One more load into the dryer.

Sigh.  Hate when days begin this way.  But I HAVE clean sheets on the bed.

Husband has set up sprinklers for the Peach Trees.  I think roof runoff from the big storm was enough water for the Queen of Plums.  I need to transplant tomatoes from their little milk jugs into larger pots.  Chocolate Cherry and Bumble Bee Tomatoes.   I sprinkled dill seeds into one herb square right before the sky opened and it rained.  Good timing.

Pizza last evening came out perfect.  Enough left for husband to have for late lunch or early supper. I have some forgotten asparagus to roast in the oven for myself.  Or another tomato sandwich.  The one yesterday was good- even if tomato was one of those "inside a building" farmed one.  Exceptional good looks on the outside.  But no acidic flavor notes inside.  Sort of like some really good looking men.

I have been thinking about really good looking men lately.  Just about looking at them.  At work, when I worked, I occasionally got to spent time with some excellent men.  Usually pitching for the other Team-- but good looking is good looking. And so very nicely dressed.  Miss that. Good manners also.

What to do today?  Now that the laundry is nearly done I can move on to something else. I am not reading today as my eyes are very tired.  Perhaps some sewing.  After I do the little tomatoes. It's already 2 pm.  TV viewing is not any fun.  I paid the two bills I had here and then wrote Charlie a letter and sent him some stickers of a lizard and snake.  I need to find stamps for the letters that a child would like.  Only 5 more Muppet stamps and no Scooby Do.   Perhaps there are video game stickers????  He seems to like that sort of thing.

So---tomatoes.  Folding dry towels.  Roasting asparagus.  Might just be enough.

Sunday, June 07, 2020

Daily Notes- June 7th


Going all Botanical on you today.  From the pile of "weeding" my husband had next to him.  Lovely in it's simple design.

I went out, early this year, to "set my flag" as Grace put it- to keep the birds from eating my blueberries.  I usually clothes pinned a few pieces of garden cloth to the back side of the fence behind the bushes.  The wind would cause it to billow.  The birds would stay away.  I forgot one year- the year Grace made her comment.  They ate every single berry overnight.

My flag has been set.  While out there I carted one 40 pound bag of organic cow manure out to the fenced garden.  20 pounds for the small but delightful rose bush in the herb section and 20 pounds for the rhubarb patch.  Which is looking very nice this Summer.  But it isn't Summer yet is it?

Next to the blueberries is my little section filled with Comfrey.  Flowering.  So when I came back into the house (before the rain) I sat at the computer to learn about comfrey.  It is a "nutrient accumulater" and is very much a Permaculture plant to have.  the flowers- which come and go through the season attracts beneficial insects thereby increasing pollination rates for cucumber, squash and melons.  Borage is a close family member.  I grew borage seedlings in one of my little milk jug greenhouses. A wonderful understory for any Future Apple Tree- basil, borage, clover, dill, lupine and mint.

I digress.  The Rain and Thunder rolled in and poured.  We needed water.  I set the French Watering cans on the edge of the porch steps.  At the end of the rain- they were full to to top.  Husband and I were so surprised. Three to four inches of rain in the wagon by the garage- our rain meter.

Peach trees this morning.  Peaches.  The size of my pinkie finger nail over night.  I feel, at this moment, like the season is RACING up to and passing us.  The Queen Of Plums is loaded with infant plums.  Years have passed and she has struggled with one thing after another.  And the grape vines are looking promising.  A FruitFull Year.

Daughter went Used Book Shopping yesterday and dropped off two bags of books for the Parental Units.  Clan of the Cave Bear series for G and three more paperbacks for my Johanna Lindsey Malory series.  For the next quarantine.  The Marsha Canham book I am missing- Through a Dark Mist is listed as rare- she asked the bookseller to look it up.  I had read it in the past 30 years- once- probably from a library.  But none of them have it in their collections anymore.  Rare also means things get stolen.

But she did find the Lindsey book that comes just before the one I had started reading (from library) so I was pretty happy.  I put that book down and started the new (to me) paperback.  Judy.  Then I will read about Jack.

Sunday- so we will be having Pizza.  Sky is dark.  We could have more rain.  Need to turn on the house lights.  Do some laundry.  Daughter is needing air in her tires.  Life.  It keeps on rolling.  She took a butt cheek plant on her roller blade-ing this morning.  And she had Carhart pants that need Knee /Patch/ Mending.  So, a Project.  I said that was perfect as I am going thru my days without a purpose.  

And I still haven't done the Taxes.  Next year- an accountant.