Friday, July 31, 2020

Daily Notes- July 31st

Every time Blogger makes a few new "tweaks" to New Blogger- sigh- 
it doesn't seem worth the effort to continue.
Today the image went in but really really large.

The image itself- now in the medium rather than the gigantically large size- 
squares of cloth I dyed, discharged or painted myself or with the help of a friend in California.
The folded strip is my cherry pit cloth.
It was sitting nearby when I was thinking of a strip border.
I think it will work.

We have another hot day coming up.  Yesterday two thunderstorms moved in.
Rained hard for possibly 10 minutes each time. Could have been a bit longer.
Meant I didn't have to water the fenced garden.
The Grow Boxes with the tomatoes dry up overnight - I need to be going out there
to water right now- but I am here writing to you instead.

Yesterday was a hard day- emotionally.
There was so much anger for our Fake (False) President.
Made worse by seeing REAL Presidents giving eulogies 
(thought I still harbor dislike for Bush and Cheney and what they did)
I worry about what is happening and could still happen in the next 90 some days.

My only amusement- well, not at the Time- was when a very feisty grasshopper got inside my 
shirt while I was watering the Tomatoes.  I tried and tried to get the hopper out
but finally had to take my shirt off in the driveway and shake him out onto the asphalt.
He looked at me.  Made a second attempt......  When I went into the house, 
he was sitting by the Tomatoes- facing in my direction.
A very determined Grasshopper.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Daily Notes- July 30th

Cute Packaging and very tasty tomatoes- I added a few to our plates last night.
$3.99 for the entire branch of cocktail tomatoes.
The fence cut on the box opening must be expensive to produce.
No cellophane.  Tomatoes are open to exchange of fresh air.

The Twin Boys were at the end of the driveway playing with brand new remote control cars 
when I went out to get the morning paper before breakfast.
They insisted on showing me all the things the cars would do until they batteries wore out.
 Then wanted to go check on the Peaches and Grapes.
We self distanced.

The boys also suggested the grassy knoll to the left of the driveway would be an "excellent spot" 
for some additions that they could come and play on.
Told me I needed to get some installed before Summer was over.
One of the Twins has lost his two front teeth.

A very sweet visit on the Day My Little Boy is celebrating His Birthday far away in California.
Neither twin has a scar across the bridge of their nose.  Like my boy does.
Happy Birthday!!!  Love you so much!!!

It's going to be hot and muggy again today.  Mosquito weather.
And husband reports the red leafed crab tree is again infested with brown tail moth larva.
I think- no matter how lovely it is- we will have to have it cut down and removed.
The rash the tiny hairs produce on humans is quite horrible.

At the grocery last evening- (I needed a new fresh mozzarella (one in fridge was old-ick))
I thought the atmosphere in the store was quite different and nicer than during the morning. 
Might change things up yet again.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Daily Notes- July 29th

I was mistaken yesterday.  Attacked and brought to shore by her daughter and died.  Not eaten.
Sleepy little fishing village with expensive rental houses.
Everyone is shocked to the core.

I had an "outing" planned for today- and it is very very hot.
So we sat inside with our coffee. Masks. Etc.
Restaurant owner took our names and phone numbers for contact tracing.
Almost like normal.  But not quite.

Co-worker friend from Greenhouse days.  On vacation.
This is the third August we have met and whiled away a few hours with gossip, catching up.
She and her sister and mother are doing fine.

I am working my way thru the large pile of romance novels by a favorite author.
Daughter took the list of titles I have already and bought what I didn't own.
A very good used book store was going out of business.  
Perfect timing.

We may have Caprese Salad- tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil- for supper.
French baguette to soak up the juices, Balsamic vinegar etc.
I have store bought tomatoes warming up on the porch.
Not sure I have the mozzarella and have to dig around in the fridge.  YES!!!!

I am sleepy today and my eyes are dry and tired.  
I woke up crying.  A dream.  Really a story I was making up but it was very sad.
It almost seems real.  
What is happening in the World seems like fiction but only too real.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Daily Notes- July 28th

Saw this on a site and it's just odd enough for me to really like it.
Not a collage.
A wall in a house. Hand painted with collage face.
Not sure how long I would enjoy seeing this everyday on a large life-sized wall.
Love the polka dots. Not the fingers.

Overcast, Humid and Dark in the house.
Late July and we still have all of August to enjoy.
Time is moving slowly again.

A Great White Shark attacked and ate a woman swimming in the ocean yesterday 
about 20-25 minutes drive from where I live (traffic). I could have shown on that map- Bailey Island. 
Has been attacking seals on same beach /rocks area. 
They think about 16 feet long since he swallowed her.
Still July- Still Shark Week on TV and now LIVE ACTION in Maine.
No shiny metallic bathing suits if you do go into the ocean near Bailey Island.

I have to spray myself and go out and water the tomato boxes.
Mosquitos are fierce.
Chipmunks ate all the kale again. But all day Law and Order and Storage Wars.
Or I will read.
Two of the books recommended to me arrived.  Bookstore and Address Book.
Thank you!!!!!!

Monday, July 27, 2020

Daily Notes- July 27th

Rolled some thread onto clothespins.
The dining table was becoming cluttered and the thread tangled, knotted.
I have chosen to do the over cast stitch on the quarter inch folds with a dark thread that shows. 
I like the look of it. Hand sewn. Rough.

It's raining. Gently but adding to humidity.
When I went to the grocery store this morning- muggy and hot.
Dark in the house, might need to add some lamp light at 11:30 am.

Husband has gone to see another quack. Not an MD. Seeking attention. 
They asked me to come with. I said "you're on your own with him".

At the grocery I bought Summer Food- finally, at last. 
Corn.  Tomatoes (now on a table in vestibule getting warm). Grocery is cold.
I also got shredded wheat and bran cereal.  I have non fat milk.   Need to use it up.
We have things to finish in the fridge.
Clean Out Week.

Everyone had on a mask in the grocery. Stayed 6 feet from each other.
It's a good feeling to feel safe inside a grocery store.
Lowest total in all the weeks of Pandemic on my purchases.
Toilet paper and gallons of vinegar in short supply. 
But baking soda well stocked and I got a box of Brownie mix.

Two Good Books waiting at Library.  I get to go out a second time today.
Oh, and I got Minute Maid lemonade.  Four big bottles. Been missing since March.
Life is Good Today.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Daily Notes- July 26th

Modification on the Pandemic Mask

Remove the elastic from a paper disposable mask and sew it onto a cloth mask- 
after removing the strings used to tie it on your head.
I have not and will not go into JoAnn's for elastic- if they even have any.
My daughter says the majority of women in the store have no masks on. Stand too close.
(she went in fully masked like a Desert Storm combat veteran)
Her landscaping attire resembles combat gear.

I would prefer my friend cut the entire side strip off the masks.
I have asked.

News on the Tomato Situation
The tomato plants- with careful watering and not too much fussing around by me
have started to look like nothing ever happened to them.  Lush.
Well, one of them (possibly two) is merely a stump- but......nothing can be done about that.
Green leaves cover many injuries.

Reading report:  Started and finished reading Where the Crawdads Sing yesterday.
Just as wonderful as the first time and the ending causing my eyes to leak so I couldn't see the words.
Going to ask daughter to be on lookout for a copy to own.

We ordered Chinese take out yesterday.  Dumplings, fried rice and sweet sour soup.
Husband said they were busy and there was a line around the side of the building.
More traffic than we have seen in Town in months.
DQ is now open from 11am to 9 pm (in case we mow the grass late)

Newspaper mentioned Maine has had the most success with keeping numbers down. 
Low population in a large land mass State.  Closed Canadian borders.
No contact with large States and Cities- Boston.  New York.
But paper also had an editorial that we may look back on July 2020 as "the good old days" 
Meaning that far more trouble is on the way.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Daily Notes- July 25th- 19 weeks

Yesterday's square got border strips while I watched a PBS show on Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice.
I have never seen this play.  When I worked at the high school I was often asked to accompany the 10th grade English class on the annual bus trip to see a Shakespeare play.
Mostly the comedies. Merchant is very dark.

I think the people selecting me for this "honor" of going on the bus saw it more as a punishment.
I let them think that.
I loved everything about going into Chicago and seeing a lovely stage production.
Most of all I loved watching the students be all bored and then as their brains started translating..
They would lean forward.  Then smile.  And then there would be joy.
I say translating- it was all English but a different English.
The trip back to school was quieter.  They were remembering.

That was a Time when I realized I would have been a very good Teacher.
And with help from the teachers I worked with in the high school I was ready to go back to college. 
Then husband showed up at home one day saying we were all moving to Germany.
I could have said no.  I might have done just that.
But it would have destroyed his career, we thought.  Maybe it wouldn't have.
It did destroy what mine might have been.

What a tangled web we weave.......

My tomato plants have chosen Life and they are re-gaining their health.
Most of them.  The ones not next to the forsythia hedge on the side of the driveway.

Tyler's new book?  Another disappointment. Really, a short story.
Daughter came home from Goodwill with a paperback of an author I like.
I am going to read that next- It's Saturday- okay to read a trashy romance.

The strip of cloth with the cherry pits?  Not what I expected but very nice.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Daily Notes- July 24th

The aftermath of pickle making.
Twelve Pints and two stinky containers.
Stinky because of days of salting in the fridge with raw onions.
I have rubbed the insides with baking soda. That sometimes works to remove odors.

A "productive" Day here.
The second AC unit is installed and as husband said- easier.
It took most of the day to get rid of the humidity in the bedroom wing.
But sleeping last night was quite pleasant.

I had another "fall" after the AC unit was installed.
I tripped and fell- a carpeted surface.
A bruise on my leg where it hit some furniture.  Left shoulder a bit tender.
No broken bones. And I could have smacked my face.
I am well padded and have excellent bone density for an old woman.
And being an old woman- I did wet my pants.

And after that I canned the pickles  One batch after the other.
Which is an incredible difference.  Only one clean up.
From now on that is how I will do it.  Two batches prepped at the same time.
If I had three of these containers- I would do three batches.
As it is, I do not intend to do any more pickles until mid August.
When there is a glut of squash and people are eager to give it away.

The rest of the day I watched the news 
Trump bragging the doctors gave him the Dementia Test- which is epic-
Do you think anyone has had the nerve to tell him it wasn't an IQ test????

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Daily Notes- July 23rd

The Avocado Pit.
Has a new pot.  Has a new spot. 
On the counter by the sink- under the last remaining skylight in the kitchen.
The Coffee Plant is a companion.
Both plants seem to be enjoying the constant SKY brightness.
The Avocado is now 14 inches tall and has really big green leaves.

I have a dishwasher but haven't used it to wash dishes in -- perhaps 4 or 5 years.
Being just the two of us and not doing much cooking- hand washing is just fine.
We used to fill the dishwasher until there were no dishes in the cupboard and then wash.

I pitted the entire bag of cherries yesterday and then found a strip of cloth and set the wet juicy cherry pits
out on the cloth to set color there.  I had hoped the pits would make "dots" on the cloth. They did not.

Why did I pit the cherries?- I like eating them with my yogurt for lunch but taking the time to pit them?
Somedays that does not work out so... pre-pitting.
And I also discovered pitted cherries in the fridge last longer and do not de- compose.

I was up in the Magic Attic yesterday looking for two tablecloths to send to a friend.
I found the cloths but also some very odd (old) green printed fabric.
I am looking for a musty yellow green. 
Not finding any.  This new cloth could work backside up. But perhaps too yellow.

My sweet fern and copper water did not eco dye "earthy green".
I have another nice piece of dirty tan/brown with a yellow tinge. And marks from the string I tied it with.
I guess I need to keep looking for a small old copper pot.

Or perhaps wrap the cloth around copper pipe.
Any ideas or suggestions out there???

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Daily Notes- July 22nd

Refrigerator Pickles.
Simply white vinegar (1 cup), pickling salt (1.5 T), water (3 cups) and sugar (3 or 4T).
Sliced pickling cucumbers, lots of dill, a grape leaf (has natural alum to crisp the pickle but not necessary) 
and a fat clove of garlic.  You boil the liquid, add to jar which you have packed with halved pickling cucumbers, dill, etc., let sit, drain back into saucepan (keeping cucumbers etc in the jar) and boil again and then add to the jar a second time.  Let cool completely and cap (I use reusable plastic lids from Ball) and then into the fridge.  Makes 2 quarts jars.  Divide by two for one quart jar.

I just figure you all know stuff but I can see someone boiling the cucumbers etc in the saucepan- 
You are adding boiling liquid to a jar packed with dill and pickling cucumbers.

I actually taste the liquid to see if it is needing more salt, more vinegar, sugar
or more water if too salty or too vinegary.  I tinker with it.  Which is fine.
You cannot tinker with canning but you can tinker with refrigerator pickles.

My mother made these pickles every Summer and they were served with every supper.  
Later in the Summer there were always sliced garden tomatoes and sweet corn.
She also made really exceptional breaded pork chops and cold German potato salad.
That was the food we took on any picnic we ever went on- or when we went fishing.

My mother hurried us through supper to get to dessert. She loved dessert.
My brother asked about dessert before he asked what was for supper on his visit.

Two loads of washing done and three loads folded.  One in the dryer all week-how does that happen??

I should pay bills today- write checks etc.  I most likely will do that.

I got a call from a real person yesterday for some sort of Medicare "intake" something.  
I asked him to stop calling as we have another plan that takes care of all things Medicare 
and we do not deal with Medicare directly.  Ever.
Hung up. He called back in seconds to swear at me for quite awhile (very picturesque language).  
I hung up.  He called back.  More swearing says he is trying to "help me".  
I stayed quiet and waited- he finally got tired and hung up. 
And if he is reading this- No, Frank, I do NOT have my head stuck up my ass.
Thank you for asking.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Daily Notes- July 21st

Map of where I live in relation to the open Ocean.
The star up at the top edge of the photo.
Takes 15 minutes for us to drive from the star to point B where my Master Gardener buddy lives.
Where we would go to water her garden when she is in Boston and pick rhubarb.

We used to go to the Ocean every Sunday when we first moved here. We were quite taken with the open water, the huge rocks and the vast nothing that is the Atlantic. No boats. No ships.
But that was much farther north of this illustration.
Here in the islands one can just walk into the Ocean. But we don't. 

We are both Fire Dogs in the Chinese Zodiac.
Perhaps that has something to do with it???

Today I am making refrigerator Pickles.  
They had Kirby cucumbers at the grocery but I didn't have my phone -
so I couldn't find out if Kirby cucumbers were good for pickling.  Until I got home.
Not all cucumbers can be pickled.
Kirby are good so I went back and bought some plus some dill.
My dill seedlings are still very very small.

And I noticed- while walking in the garden to pick blueberries- that one path
is littered with tiny cilantro plants that self seeded themselves.
I noticed because I walked on them and it was fragrant.
I like the smell.  Not the taste.

Still only male flowers on all the cucumbers and squash.
I have lids for my canning jars now.  Might have mentioned that yesterday.
Finished Drive Your Plow Over The Bones of The Dead (I enjoyed it very much)
Next up:  Red Head by the Side of The Road (Tyler) or Where Crawdad's Sing (second time). 
I think Redhead is going to be my pick. Crawdad's is longer and I want to take my time.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Daily Notes- July 20th

A new square- 6 inches, unfinished edge.  The French scrap fabric from a friend.

I set my daughter on the hunt for wide mouth canning lids. 
I am limited by "safety rules" to going to a variety of stores looking for them. Short supplies.
She was somewhere north of here and called.
Wide mouth lids.  I said two boxes- thinking of others needing them as well.
Then I thought three.  She bought four.

We'll have storage cupboard pickles. To last the Winter and Spring.
Saw the correct kind of cucumbers to make refrigerator pickles so G will eat those for next few weeks. But didn't buy- no phone to look it up while in the produce section.
So I must return to the store.  Still Monday so it's "legal".

I hauled hose (for the first time this summer) today to water the tomato boxes.  
It was different as I didn't have a co-pilot wanting long drinks from the hose.
I am wondering how long it will take to be reminded and not just stand and weep.
But the boxes got watered, the fig tree got it's two bottles of water.  
My Plow book is due on Wednesday.  Best be spending the day reading.

Great British Baking Show again on Sunday being a real high spot for me. 
Grandchester was again- a disappointment.  It's the new guy.  Terrible.
Having sex with a pretend nun????  Was that supposed to be hilarious?

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Daily Notes- July 19th

I figured out how New Blogger was loading pictures.
Let's just sit for awhile and think about the momentous-ness of that sentence.

Today a favorite hankie.  I always have a hankie in my pocket.
A friend mentioned being a Nana and needing a hankie in her pocket for all sorts of reasons. Grandchildren reasons.
Back in the olden days of the 1950's- schools- well, mine- required a fresh clean handkerchief 
in everyone's pocket each morning.  
We stood before our stern teacher- who resembled Abe Lincoln in a dress (I have a photo)
and showed her our hankie and our fingernails.  Which were clean. Hopefully.
I would give you the name of this black hulking elementary school- still in use-
but I occasionally have used it in passwords- but not currently.

I cooked yesterday. Yes, I made an actual meal. 
We could sit again and think about the momentous-ness of this sentence.
Not beans and grilled cheese sandwiches. Not pasta with butter and cheese. 
Not pizza- which is technically more work but still not much as I only slice an onion.
And actually not much more difficult that beans and cheese sandwiches. 
But I won't admit it was as easy.
Never.  The washing up was more work. Lots more.

Today is hot, humid and disgusting.  Mosquitos outside and dirt gnats inside.
The AC unit is still trying to make up for the power failure during the night.
I slept.  Like as soon as I set my head on the pillow.
I have laundry to do.  And if it wasn't so humid- and even if it is- I am making pickles.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Daily Notes- July 18th- 18 Weeks.

Blurry but that is how the old iPhone is feeling these days. And my eyes.
I think the lack of moisture in the house (ACUnit doing it's job) is drying my eyes as well.

I am concerned that my iPhone (a 6 or 7 just the one neither daughter or husband wanted)
 is very slowly deciding to just give up and die. 
Some days it can text, some days the weather app has a map, some days- well, multiple days- there is not one email and then my husband does something to it and........44 emails which I delete.
I delete everything as I think the phone has memory problems. Too much clutter.
Today, for the first time EVER- a blurry picture- but it could be my eyes.
The camera was the one thing I could count on. 
I also need the damned phone to call the library when I arrive for book pickup.

I need to put drops in. My eyes.

Today is going to be HOT and HUMID here in Maine. 
We were set to mow the grass but- no, not going to happen today.
Yesterday would have been excellent but the mosquitos were lined up waiting for a blood donor.

So, up top.  The Wall. Almost directly across from where I sit to eat breakfast and read the newspaper. Occasionally, I sit there during the day and watch MSNBC and stitch tiny one inch (finished) squares together and then add borders- going round and round.  None of those on the Wall. Yet.
I don't eat lunch or dinner there.  I don't eat lunch or dinner as a meal anymore.

Breakfast, bill paying, and sewing. And looking at the Wall.
Waiting for the grouping to make some sort of Statement.
Every once in awhile a piece comes off the wall and I do something to it. 
Cut in half and turn one half and sew it back on. Add another border strip.
One thing for sure- none of them goes with any of the others.
The top right allowed itself to grow much larger than the others. The center was made a year ago.
Perhaps that's the rate at which they mature???

I am not reading the Plow book.  Another arrived.  New Author Talia Hibbert.
I wanted to read book one again before reading the brand new book two.
Get a Life, Chloe Brown and now Take A Hint, Dani Brown.
Sort of a light hearted, romance about Brown Lives Mattering.
Dealing with health, pain, anxiety and loss and finding love.

I like the second one already. Giant Rugby guy who reads romance novels. 
He and Dani Brown are going to "pretend" to be a couple since both have commitment /trust issues. 
 So- a real relationship has never worked out for either of them

I liked watching Rugby on television on Saturdays (before Pandemic).
Even though I do not understand the game AT ALL.
But I do think the NFL should start signing the Rugby guys to their defensive lines.
Massive. The size of very tall refrigerators.
They remind me of the DEFENSE from the Ohio University Football Team in my little college cafeteria.
Taking our trays when we finished our meals.  Not making eye contact.
I had no idea.
Now I do.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Daily Notes- July 17th

A gift of fresh picked zucchini (hoop house buyers) and a 3 inch finished square (my own doing).
Perhaps I should sew patches to match my groceries???
Pickles, Pizza, Fried Patties? I like all three. Which should I make? 

I am still weepy- not always about my tomato plants.  I was supposed to have a coffee date with my friend on the front porch here at my house at 10am today- but it is humid and the porch is filled with mosquitos. 
As I stand by the glass door- they come and collect.  Can they smell me thru the glass?
We cancelled and re-scheduled for next Tuesday.

The weather people say it will rain today.  The map in the newspaper- says it won't- too far west.
I want thunder and rain.

Maine continues to be part of the only three states doing a good job with the pandemic. 
Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are yellow or green on CDC maps.
We all have very small populations for the land size of our states.
The Other Side wants to impeach the Governor of Maine (???).
Our hospitals aren't crowded.  We don't have freezer trucks for dead bodies.
We ALL have to wear masks to enter a business (an actual LAW).
Restaurants have curbside pickup and outdoor dining.
In fact, it seems like people are loving curbside pickup and outdoor dining looks like fun.
What's to complain about?

A big, loud crappy old truck skipped past us on the way to DQ the other sunny day,
Big American flag flying on the left and a big Trump flag on the right of the truck bed.
Horn blasting, radio on loud, no muffler.
Must not have been able to find a Confederate Flag.

Always need a reminder of where I actually live..

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Daily Notes July 16th

Yesterday at Goodwill.  
Six soft white very large napkins.
And as I was taking the picture I noticed the embroidered S.
Meant to be, I guess.  
One dollar each.
They might be Damask or they might be Rayon.  i'm okay with either.

There is a heavy sadness in my heart.
The Deer came and ate my tomato plants out on the driveway.
Any tomatoes this year will have to be grocery or farm stand tomatoes.
Some of the plants are still standing though heavily damaged.
I put up cloth that would protect the back sides and edges from the deer going forward.
The fluttering cloth disturbs them.
I just couldn't put them in the compost bins.
I cried. Really, it got to be noisy sobbing.

Tending the growing plants thru the early days of the Pandemic until now had been good therapy.
Now it just all feels........I can't put it into words.
So I will stop typing for today. It's hard to see with wet eyes, anyway.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Daily Notes- July 15th

Basil growing out on the deck.  Next to the Fig Tree which is starting to make a new crop of figs.
This is actually the best Basil I have ever grown- so now I've jinxed it.
I need to pinch out the centers to make it grow even larger. 
Funny, how I have basil now but not when I have ripe tomatoes.

We drove to Reny's which is a discount type store- odd lots but good quality-Carhart-Smartwool etc.
I was hoping they would have canning lids.  They had all else in canning supplies but no wide lids. 
Sign near the canning display said they were having a very difficult time finding canning items.

Reny's refused entry to a woman who refused to wear a mask- they offered her one, she said no.
I was impressed by that.  The guy at the door was serious.

At Goodwill, (since we were so close I decided to go in), an older woman was yelling for her
grandson I guessed as an eight year old finally came up to her. She had been talking to someone on her cell phone and had accidentally hung up on them. 
 Grandson was directed to "push buttons and get the call back".
Now sure if he was going to be able to do that.  Just from looking at his eyes above his mask.
Someday grandma will call to say she dropped the AC unit out the window. (laughing)

I was liking the Pandemic a lot more when the robocalls had stopped.
Now there is online cheap car insurance, credit card scams, grandsons in jail calling grandma, etc.. 
Every time the phone rings I get seriously annoyed.

I am being bothered today by dry eyes (AC air) and acid reflux.
I have put drops in my eyes and had a Tums soft chew.
Now I think I might have something for lunch.  Later I am going to DQ for ice cream.  It's July.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Daily Notes- July 14th

The Avocado Pit.
Has height and leaves.
Feels the need for that larger pot.
My little collection of ceramic animals and birds is now keeping coming with the plant.

The heat of yesterday is gone.
Today we have clouds and heavy moisture.
Rain would be welcome.
Thunder would be cause for much happiness- I hear distant rumbles.

The greenhouse parts- the hoops and connections etc are all gone and off to a new adventure.
The new owners are good people who will enjoy growing things under its roof.
Their dream is a Farm Stand to sell produce.
Right now a glut of zucchini which they gladly offer to share with me.
The wife is making relish.  I said I make pickles.

I am reading an old book- one I owned long ago. Wolf and the Dove.
It has made me cry many times.  The author knows how to string a few words and sentences.
To make me care about the feelings of her characters in 1066.
I am near the end and then the next book
Drive Your Plow Over The Bones Of The Dead

Oddly enough the bones of the dead are too much a part of the book I am reading.
Too much a part of Life in 2020 as well.  

Monday, July 13, 2020

Recipe Notes- July 13th

Zucchini Pickles

From Mrs. Chard's Almanac Cookbook- Hollyhocks & Radishes

Makes 8 pints of pickles (give or take)

I have an 8 quart hard plastic restaurant grade tub with a red lid that I use for the pickles. And I slice with a Progressive Mandolin slicer- 1/4 inch thick slices. I use the knob guard to keep my fingers (and blood) out of the pickles. I cut the vegetables directly into the 8 quart food grade tub.

8 medium zucchini (I use a mix of green and yellow because it's pretty)
6 onions  ( I use two large ones)
1 green pepper and one red pepper, sliced  ( I use two red ones- again for the color)
2 cloves of thinly sliced garlic
You can do what you want here and use more onions or use more squash (what I do)
I jalapeno pepper.  (today the pepper I had purchased was super hot- sometimes it isn't)
1/3 cup coarse kosher salt  (do NOT use iodized table salt- your pickles will NOT be crisp)

Slice and mix things around so everything gets salted.  Top off your container with ice cubes 
I snap on the lid and put the container into the vestibule refrigerator where we store soda. (or Pop)

The instructions in recipe says to let stand 3 hours and then proceed.  I don't.  I think a longer soak in the salt creates a crisp pickle so ---sometimes the tub sits for a full day and more often two days in the fridge.  I give it a shake to distribute things (if I remember) a couple of times.

When you are ready to make pickles-- in my case, have the kitchen cleaned up, the canning kettle on the stove, the jars washed and ready and enough lids........... (a problem this COVID season......)

Mix in a large pot on stove: 3 cups white vinegar, 5 cups sugar, 2 Tablespoons mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon celery seed.  Heat to dissolve sugar.  This is your pickling liquid.

Drain, rinse, drain rinse the vegetables. Do it at least twice. The rinse is to remove salt.  Then a really good drain to remove water. I dump everything in a large colander and rinse and toss and rinse and toss and then I taste.  If still way TOO salty- I rinse more.  But the vegetables WILL be salty.

Add drained vegetables to the pot with the vinegar, sugar and spices.  Bring to a rolling boil.
Continue to boil while filling 8  HOT, CLEAN pint jars with the very hot vegetables and the boiling liquid pickling mixture. Wipe jar rims with paper towel dipped in the boiling water. (from the canner kettle)  Add lids and bands to the jars.  Process in boiling canner for 8 minutes.   Remove jars from canner and let sit on towel on counter until you hear the lids POP and know you have a good seal.   I usually removed bands and wash the jars of pickles (they can still be sticky) and let cool completely.  I write the date on the lid with a Sharpie.   Store in a dark cool cupboard.

 NOTES---I have the clean empty jars in the canner as the water heats up (while I am draining and rinsing the vegetables) and I let the empty jars boil for awhile to make sure everyone is well sterilized.  I remove the hot jars- carefully tipping to remove boiling water from inside the jars--  (while the vegetables have come to a rolling boil in the pickling sauce) and set open side down on fresh very clean towel-- then I fill the jars, wipe the rims, add the hot lids (soaked in boiling water)-- screw on the bands and then the jars go back into the canner - return to boil --and I time it for 8 minutes and then remove jars.Allow to cool completely- listen for the click as the lids seal-- wash off any sticky residue and store in a dark cupboard away from heat. Jars that do not click- need to be boiled again or refrigerated and eaten - they are not for long storage.

Daily Notes- July 13th

Well, just needed to do one additional step here and the photo shows up.  Sigh. It happened by mistake but it happened so I am going with it .   This is the still Life on the table where I hand sew while we watch the "breaking news".  Today they intend to throw Dr Fauci under the bus and back over him as many times as necessary to make sure he's good and dead. Just because he has no "happy" news.

His replacement- a military doctor in a uniform- says this will all be over in 3 weeks.
Florida might NOT be all over in 3 weeks at the rate people are getting COVID.
Some say Florida will be worse than New York City.  Or already is worse.

Big morning for me here-- Grocery (before even eating breakfast) and then Bank, Post office and Library.
It was too much.  I felt out of sorts and panicked a bit.  Could have been lack of breakfast.
Long line at Post Office.  Which is not the usual.
By long line I mean over 10 people but the Post Office has lots of space for us to stand far apart.
 Grocery, Post Office, Bank and Library Parking Lot.  

I found and ate the five ripe blueberries on the bushes out in the fenced garden.
It will take another few days of this heat and humidity and all of them will turn blue on the same day. 
I have to be prepared to make Blueberry Cake.
I have sour cream in the fridge.  
We never got any strawberries for a pie.  There were no local ones at my grocery.
I bought zucchini and yellow squash, red bell peppers, onions to make more pickles.
I am not going to can this batch- just refrigerate them.  Husband can eat fresh ones instead of canned.
Life in Pandemic World.
I'll be saving the jar lids for blueberry jam.  Which will be canned (processed).

Cloudy, muggy and looking like it wants to rain.  But then the Sun comes close to shining.
Perfect weather for growing grass.
Husband sharpened the mower blades yesterday.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Daily Notes- July 12th


Old Blogger again today.  This photo is from A Way To Garden blog and there is a recipe for both kinds of pickles on that site today.  I am adding the picture because the pickles I make look exactly like the jars on the left.  Except....I use zucchini and yellow squash and no cucumbers.  Makes for a cruncher pickle.   I can share my recipe if you are interested.

Yesterday we installed the AC unit in the dining room/kitchen- a very large room with two story arched ceiling.  And---we dropped the unit out the window onto the ground.

I'll let you just picture that for a moment.

I made an emergency call to our daughter to come right over and husband towed the unit back into the house on a rolling cart.  He was all for trying again but I suggested we first see if it still worked. And the on/off panel had disconnected itself.  So he reattached it all, plugged it in and it went on and the air coming out of it was cool.

Then daughter showed up.  She really really wishes we had had a third child- a boy- a handy boy- who lived next door to us- or up over the garage.  Really Wishes For That.

After many, many biting our tongues moments- we managed to get husband to agree to do it our way. The unit is in.  It is cooling.  The house is feeling drier.  Less humid.  I tried giving daughter pie, cookies, baked beans etc etc.  She said she just wanted to go back to her house and take a shower. She had spent the day stacking fire wood for her employer.  Worst possible day to have an emergency parental unit phone call.

But the house is less MOIST and we had a comfortable evening.  One more unit to install. Smaller but I hope it doesn't fall out the window- the drop off at that spot is much higher and it has a slope so the unit could roll into the woods.

When things start to go South as we used to say-(to Hell if that suits you)...they just keep on going.......long after you have any patience or nerve for it.   That's how it feels here.

I spent Time in the Magic Attic packing a box for DebL and the Dye Works.  Post Office tomorrow.
And the tv guide said the Great Something Baking Show is on tonight on PBS.  Thank you!!!!

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Daily Notes- July 11th


I went looking for a green to add borders to this little patchwork.  The center is tiny one inch squares. None of the greens worked (played well with others) until I came across this self painted cloth that is more yellow that green.  It will work.   I am adding two sets of borders to each of the little nine patch squares I made last year.  Pale colors.  To sew onto the robe/jacket.

I may take apart the "pages" of 7 squares by 9, and use the little pieces to make more of these little squares.  The soft white old cloth is all used up.  So, taking things apart is the only way to make something new.  I also have a very soft pale blue to use on another square.  When I make it.......

I am reverting to old Blogger again.  Same problem.  Pictures aren't accepted into the post today even though they went in yesterday and days before.  If they had a "help line" I could ask why.  But they don't.  Not one of the little emojis is "help".  I don't remember what day I had to revert to old Blogger last week- perhaps there is a day when it doesn't work???

I turned the mattress clockwise (it must Not be turned over) and put on fresh sheets and took the down comforter away and put on the much cooler yellow cotton quilt.  I like the blue quilt much more but have no idea where it is.  We brought in the AC unit late afternoon (one day too late as it was really warm in the house last evening) and today we will install it.  I decided a two day process would be less taxing for my husband.  He had already had his annual physical and shopped for hose parts and birdseed. And it gave me time to do a very thorough cleaning of the AC unit's parts and they could air dry overnight.

My husband remembers it being an easy install.  I remember it differently.  We'll soon find out who is remembering it correctly.

Husband went into the crawlspace under the house and brought up more copper pipe for my vinegar jar.  Old stuff from the 80's so for sure all copper.  My Plumber saved it for me when he changed out the radiators. I would use a copper pot for my cloth experiments but I have never found one in all my visits to Goodwill or Charity Shops.  So I will try it with copper pipe segments. India Flint mentions copper water and sweet fern making a lovely green.  So far my little plastic wrapped cloth rolls are an interesting earthy green.  But I will let them marinate out on the hot deck for a few more days and nights.  I do not want to be steaming cloth in the house this Summer.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Daily Notes- July 10th


We reverted to Old Blogger again.  Same problem of inserting a photo.  Nothing has changed since yesterday.  It's been 17 weeks now of COVID 19.   Being inside in July is quite different than being inside in March.

The Peach Trees are being watered.  I just finished the back garden.  Husband is having his Annual doctor's visit in the actual office with the doctor.  We made his list of things to discuss.  This is the first time in awhile that I haven't gone along, but it's the Annual Exam- no clothes- so I said he could go by himself.  His doctor could call and speak to me if he felt he needed to do that.

My bank called to express concern that they had gotten a cancelled check and the signature didn't look right and it was an account with very little (no) activity.  They read the name and amount and I said it was for my haircut.  And I expressed my appreciation that they had called to check.  And I will try to sign the check more carefully next time.  I think I write five checks a year out of that account- mostly for Birthday and Christmas checks for my son and daughter.  This time, a haircut.  It's my "getaway" account for if I ever need/want to pack up and run away from home.  Disappear.

And yes, that is a true statement not just creative thinking.  I've had the account for over 40 years. It's really quite comforting to know it's there.

We might have waited too long to get the window AC units installed.  A bit more humid than usual in the house right now.  Was very hot and sunny but now clouds are arriving.  It might rain.

I added vinegar to the copper pipe this morning and soaked two rectangles of cloth.  Then layered each with sweet fern fronds.  Rolled and tied and into a plastic bag and out into the sun.  Rather than the steamer kettle.  Let them marinate out in the sun with the deck under them- very hot deck surface.

We have run out of things to eat.  I changed to Monday to shop and today is Friday.  I could cook. but I am not enthusiastic.  Could make grilled cheese sandwiches?  Husband has suggested a Firehouse Sub.  We'll see.

Two 7-2 rulings from Supreme Court.  Mr. Barr must be soiling his extra wide suit pants.

Thursday, July 09, 2020

Daily Notes- July 9th

An Act of Bravery 

A diver off of Numble Light experienced difficulty in the open waters.  One man ran out on the rocks to help and then eight complete strangers formed a line and helped pull the man to safety.
A woman who comes to Maine from Ohio each summer was crocheting Christmas Stockings nearby and happened to see what was happening and took this photo.  It is everywhere.
It says so much about Humanity.
Not the unkindness of the White House.  He would never stretch a hand to help anyone but himself.
But the real kindness and humanity of the American People

Let's all reach out a hand to someone in need today.

I had already watered the back vegetable garden when it decided to rain here in Maine.
All day the sky was cloudy and sunny.  Hard to say if it would actually rain.
But it did.  And there was thunder. And much needed rain. I love thunder. Rolling thru the sky.

Rain in the Summer here in Maine is never a sure thing.
I am reminded of the years living in the burbs of Chicago.
And the RAIN.  It would pour down. But it was also so very hot and humid. 
I had my very very BEST vegetable gardens in the burbs of Chicago.
Here in Maine it's a struggle.

Husband and I finished re- padding and covering the last two chair seats for our friend Patty.
I cut the floral fabric so all three match.
It was one of those procrastination things on my list.  But, as usual, the putting off took so much longer than the actual doing of the task. I try to remember that as I procrastinate.
So far, it isn't working.

My jar of rusty metal things and vinegar is bubbling over and has stained the wood of the cupboard where the jar sat, one of my white camp shirts (very sad) but just a small spot, 
and now I have the jar in the "traveling solo" crockpot liner.  Already brown in color.
Should have put the jar there in the first place.
I have a piece of cloth soaking up any future overflows.
The plastic storage bag of walnut hulls is also leaking.
And the Sweet Fern daughter brought me wants to be steamed onto cloth with copper water. 
It is reported that this makes a really lovely earthy green.
But first the copper pipe the Plumber left for me and some of my store of vinegar.
To use because I do not own a copper pot.

It's time.
To eco print cloth.