Friday, August 31, 2018

Taking Things Into My Own Hands

With all the rain we had last week and this week my lawn is growing like weeds (which are probably 35% of it anyway).  I got a call from Marlin the owner of our lawn service earlier this week saying that all of his summer help had gone back to college and he was going to be off or away for the next month so Jake, an ex-employee was going to be mowing, that I should make sure to be home when he came because my lawn is special (being hilly and having the garden watering hose that needs to be unhooked and reattached).  I called Jake that day asking him to come and mow next week but got to thinking that Marlin was asking a lot, asking that I hang around on the off chance that Jake would come to mow because they never call ahead, they just show up.  So I got the lawnmower out of the shed where it's spent the last 3 summers, got it gassed up, and after about 20 pulls it started.  !!!!!  Unfortunately the self-propelled part didn't work so I scaled back my expectations and just mowed my front yard AND I consulted with the next door neighbor who has a side business of mower and snowblower tuneup and repair.  He thinks it's an easy fix and will look at it tomorrow.  Maybe I'll get the rest of it mowed Sunday and Monday.  I have to remember to let the renter know that the days of the lawn service are over so she or her fiance will be expected to mow her half.

Tonight I had the second half of the Jumbo Shrimp with Spicy Cuban Black Beans.  Just as delicious even if the shrimp were a tad rubbery from their turn in the microwave.  Yum.  Gotta buy more cans of black beans.

August 31--Fedor Michajlovic Slavianskij, Family Group on Balcony.  "Only the children are happy," Gwen said.  "Huh?"  Andy wondered if they were looking at the same painting.  They stood in front of an oil of a couple with three small children and a sour looking aunt or nanny.  The father stood looking at the mother, palette and brushes in his hand.  Now that he really looked at it Andy thought that they'd been painted when they were in the middle of an argument.

My sinuses are filling up and aching something fierce.  I sincerely hope there's a weather change moving in and ragweed or something is sending out tons of pollen because I do not want a cold.  I wouldn't be surprised if I got one, in fact, I've kind of been expecting one, but I'd really rather not.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Happy Birthday, Mom!


If she hadn't been so careless as to burst her appendix after her 65th high school class reunion, Mom would have been 90 years old today.  Happy Birthday, Mom!



In honor of Mom's special day I sewed up the two pairs of black leggings on the Pfaff sewing machine she gave me for my birthday just a month before she died.  The modal/spandex pair tried to crawl through the soleplate of the machine into the bobbin compartment but despite being black and nearly impossible to see where it was stitched I managed to extricate it and triumph.  The cotton/spandex fabric behaved.  This completes my Fringe Association Summer of Basics challenge.  Five pairs of leggings made in five days.  Dandy!

Lilly the Loveseat arrived this morning around 9 a.m.  Doesn't it look nice in its new home?  I took off the matching side pillows and put on the print ones from the old loveseat.  I'm not sure I'll keep them but I'm not a fan of the matchy-matchy ones.  Maybe I'll see what's on the shelves at T.J. Maxx one of these days.

You are so sorry you weren't here for supper.  Tonight I actually cooked a fresh meal.  It's WW Jumbo Shrimp with Spicy Cuban-Style Black Beans.  Sooooo good and so fast to make and only 2 points per serving.  I promise that I'm not turning into one of those bloggers who takes pictures of her every meal but I need to be accountable for a while so I get out of the ice-cream-and-cookies-for-supper habit so I'll be posting a picture of my supper for a week, maybe two.  I'm eating good breakfasts and lunches but have trouble managing something healthy and nutritious late in the day.  Doing this helps.

August 30--John Singer Sargent, Pomegranates, Majorca.  Cut through the dull, leathery skin and you find yourself with what looks like a handful of garnets.  Pomegranates are a surprise.  Who would expect their dried up appearance to disguise the intricate, sparkling, and juicy seeds inside?

And that's all I wrote last night.  I stared at the beautiful painting with its swirling colors and thought about how tasty those little dark red seeds are and how I even like crunching the seeds inside.  I remembered the first time Mom and I bought one in the mid-70s and came home to puzzle out how to peel it and then how to eat what we found.  But the more I stared the fewer words popped into my brain and out the end of my pencil.  So I gave up.  Better luck next time.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018


I decided to pull a few carrots today and learned why the seed packet tells you to thin the seedlings after they reach a certain height.  Many of the carrots were agglomerations of two, three, or even four carrots.  They look like orange aliens but they're tasty.  I scrubbed these and gave them away but there are plenty more where those came from.

This little hummingbird is a regular visitor.  It's amazing how you get to be able to tell them apart toward the end of summer.  There's a pair of fledglings that come to the honeysuckle every day or so and I'm convinced that they're nest-mates because they're always chasing each other or fighting over a flower.  Typical.  I saw a hawk on the retaining wall but it flew off before I got the camera or phone up and ready.  That's when I wish I had a camera embedded in my eye.

Tonight's supper was one for the books.  I made up a recipe for chicken and refried bean burritos a few months back, assembled and froze them, and discovered the bag of them hiding behind the ice cream last week.  I have five left after today and when they're done I will absolutely be making more.  I take off the plastic wrap, fold the frozen burrito into a paper towel, and nuke it on High for 2 minutes. Then it stands for a minute or so while I halve some cherry tomatoes and pick some good looking spinach leaves out of the crisper.  I carefully open it, sprinkle on a little fat-free cheddar, squirt on some green sriracha (not as hot as the red stuff, zingy but tasty), and lay on the veggies.  Oh so good and only 4 points--3 for the tortilla and one for the pepper jack cheese I put in when I made them.  If I leave that out I can use fat-free cheese and shave off a point.

I didn't write last night, I just wasn't in the mood.  Tomorrow the new loveseat gets delivered between 7:20 and 9:20 a.m. so I'll be up early to clear a path for the delivery guys and drag a comb through my hair.  Don't want to scare them away before they bring in the new one and take out the old one. I promise I'll sew the black leggings tomorrow.  Cross my heart.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018



It looked nice and calm this morning when I got up.  But the sun didn't shine for long.

I spent the morning at the bank and then at the Social Security office.  I got two letters from the SS Admin yesterday with two different amounts on them and it made me nervous so I went over there (along with half of the population of Green Bay, it seemed) after I got done at the bank, took my number, and waited.  Only about half an hour and it only took five minutes for the person to give me the answer which was, "you'll get another letter in about 30 days with the correct amount on it."  Thanks for nothing.  But I changed the withholding so of course it'll change.  Good thing I'm not living paycheck to paycheck.

I had every intention of sewing up the black leggings today but I just didn't have the energy.  As the afternoon wore on it got darker and darker until this is what it looked like in here at 5 o'clock.  That's 5 o'clock in the evening, two and a half hours before sunset.  It had been raining for about an hour by then and hadn't really lightened up much.  I made a quick trip to the store for 3/$5 strawberries because today was the last day of the sale and was lucky not to be out in a downpour and home before the next wave.


Tonight's supper was curried chicken salad on a bed of spinach.  Next time I'll shred the chicken instead of dicing it, the pieces are a bit big, but it's tasty and quick to fix.  One of these days I'll get back to actually cooking meals but for now it's summer so I figure a salad is a valid meal.

August 28--Paul Gauguin, Brittany Landscape:  The David Mill.  You could hear the rumble of the millstones far down the valley.  This time of year, when the harvest was in full swing, farm wagons lined up to sell corn and wheat to Laurence the miller.  At the other door housewives lined up to buy flour and cornmeal.  The stones made a sound like thunder that led people to look up into the sky to see if storm clouds were piling up in the west.  Fallen aspen leaves floated on the stream like coins from the forest that got sucked into the sluice and fed into the mill to drive the gears that turned the stones.  Laurence thought of the golden leaves as Mother Nature's payment for his labor but he never said it out loud.  It was too fanciful a thought for a working man like him.

I keep thinking that soon I'll have all of the post-funeral paperwork done and then something else comes in the mail.  I know I need to keep an eye out for the name on the bills that come over the next month or so to change any of those to my name.  I got a phone call from the social worker at the hospice office asking how I'm doing.  I don't mind the phone call but I find that low, sing-song tone of voice (pseudo-sympathetic like a funeral director) annoying to the max.  It makes me want to reach through the phone and bitch-slap her.  Nice, huh?  On that happy note, I think I'll turn in.  Maybe it'll rain and thunder me to sleep again tonight.

Monday, August 27, 2018


That was the sound of my sewing machine this afternoon as I zoomed through sewing up three (3!!!) of the five pairs of leggings I cut out over the weekend.  I'm so glad that I dug out that ancient (1992) Stretch & Sew leggings pattern because of its clever construction.  Each leg is one piece, no side seam, so you sew up the inner leg seams, then tuck the legs one inside the other with right sides together, pin the center seam from front to back, and sew that, then all you have to do is sew the elastic onto the raw edge, fold it over, and sew it down remembering to make a tag for the back waist.  Then it's a quick job to turn up the hems and sew them.  Done!  I discovered a stretch zigzag stitch on Mom's Pfaff that she gave me which really speeds things up.  I started with the white cotton/spandex pair, then sewed up the black & white print 100 Acts of Sewing Pants no. 2 pair because I could use white thread for both.  Switched to gray thread and bobbin to sew up the gray cotton/spandex pair.  Tomorrow I'll change to black thread and bobbin to sew the cotton/spandex pair and the modal/spandex pair of black ones and be all done.  *sigh*  This feeling of satisfaction is why I sew.  Also the sheer glee I felt when I tried on the white ones before I hemmed them to check the length and to make sure they fit.  They do!  They fit like they were made for me.  *ahem*

This bunny is the only wildlife that held still long enough to get its picture taken today.  I had lifted the camera intending to take a photo of a goldfinch on the zinnias but this rabbit hopped up and shooed it away.  (It knows it too; look at the shifty, self-satisfied look in its eye.)

I awoke today with renewed determination to eat healthily and kind of managed.  I did eat a few chips and a cookie or five (they're small) and I might have over-served myself in the ice cream department but look at my supper.  It's my WW version of a Cobb salad and it was absolutely delicious.  Instead of bacon (too fatty) I crisped some Canadian bacon that I cut into small bites.  I got smart the other day and portioned out the chicken I marinated and grilled last week and then froze it so I got out a packet and nuked it for my salad.  Durwood ordered Egglets from the Harriet Carter catalog a while back and may I say that I will never go back to making hard-boiled eggs in the shell again.  You spritz the little cups with cooking spray, screw on the lids, and tong them into boiling water for 16 minutes.  Then you cool them in ice water and pop them out.  They're dome-shaped instead of egg-shaped but for everything except deviled eggs they're perfect and so easy.  Thanks, Durwood, I'll think of you every time I use them.

After I slid the Canadian bacon slices into the fry pan I got out the fork I always use to fry bacon and realized that it's what I asked for in 1976 when they were doling out Grandma Angermeier's things.  I'm not a "stuff" person, don't need to hold onto a mountain of things to remind me of people or occasions but I do like functional things like this fork or the Egglets that I'll use over and over, objects that bring a loved one to mind.  I use a lot of Mom's sewing things and every time I fix something I consider whether to use the Hank way or the right way (I think I may go 50-50 on that; someday I'll retell the "sock in the toilet tank" story for newer readers)

August 27--Berthe Morisot, The Hydrangea.  The small cluster of white flowers trembled as Julienne pinned them into Marte's hair.  "Make sure they will stay in when I dance," Marte said.  Tonight she would go to her first ball and everything had to be just right.  Julienne put her hands on her younger sister's shoulders.  "It's so cold outside they'll probably freeze before we get there and if the cold doesn't kill them the overheated ballroom will."

I hear thunder in the distance and every once in a while I hear rain.  We're supposed to get big thunderstorms in about an hour and all night until 4 a.m., have another sunny, humid 85 degree day, more storms tomorrow night, and then it's supposed to be in the mid-60s and dry on Wednesday.  Crazy weather.  G'night.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

A Couch Day

Today was a couch day.  I warmed the couch while watching CBS Sunday Morning, then cut out the other two pairs of leggings that I bought fabric for last weekend (100 Acts of Sewing Pants no. 2), carried my supplies and the cut fabric downstairs, came back upstairs, and spent most of the rest of the day on the couch knitting and watching shows I'd DVR-ed over the last month.  Nothing noteworthy, nothing I had to think about, just mindless HGTV and NatGeoWild shows.

No, really, the only other thing I did was go out on the patio to disassemble the floral arrangements that were dying and, while I was out there, I picked the ripe tomatoes.  I did channel Durwood at suppertime by washing one off and eating it leaning over the sink like I was eating an apple.  I highly recommend it.

Here's what I knitted.  I ran across a pattern for a slipper sock knitted in super bulky yarn on size 13 needles so I dug out all the super bulky from the "leftover yarn" bin and made one.  I might make another one.  It won't match, of course, because I used up all of these yarns but I might make another.

August 26--Rene Lalique, Comb.  Gabe saw something glitter under the pile of leaves next to the trail.  He walked past but turned back after just a few steps.  It wasn't easy to find again.  He had to backtrack more and try to retrace his steps so that the weak spring sunshine sparkled on the metal again.  At first he thought he had made all that effort to find a beer can pull-tab but it turned out to be a carved bone comb with gold and pearls on it.  He had to tug to pick it up and realized with a sick feeling that it was tangled in the long brunette hair of a young woman buried under the leaves.

Well, that's creepy.  Maybe I need to stop listening to books featuring small-town sheriffs and game wardens that are always stumbling over bodies and find something less gruesome to listen to.  Maybe I'll switch to Agatha Christie and Dick Francis books; they're usually about murder but they're much less descriptive.  *shrug*  We had a couple thunderstorms roll through this evening and up until a few minutes ago it was raining but it seems to have stopped.  We really don't need any more humidity, my cheekbones are aching now.  No more, please.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Working My To-Do List

So there aren't many photos today and what photos I have aren't colorful.  But this morning I took myself in hand, made a to-do list, an ambitious one, I also wrote in my Bullet Journal for about the first time in August.  I got a bunch of things done, not all of course, but a satisfying number of them are checked off.  

I spent the morning making curried chicken salad, weighing, cutting and bagging meal portions of grilled chicken, washing lettuce and spinach, and writing a long journal entry.  All three meals today were WW friendly.  Now, that doesn't mean that I didn't fall into bad habits between meals but I ate veggies and fruit and lean meats in reasonable quantities at appropriate times.  When putting the grilled chicken into the freezer I found a bag of chicken and bean burritos that I made a few months ago so I nuked one for supper, peeled it open, and laid in fresh spinach and diced tomato from the garden.  A quick and easy feast!  I'm working on the between-meals failings.  I sat and portioned out a bag of mini pretzel twists (12), mini caramel rice cakes (8), and counted out many 16s of dark chocolate M&Ms into little pill pouches so my supply of WW 2-point-quantity snacks is replenished.  Baby steps. 

This afternoon I went over to the furniture store and bought the loveseat I picked out yesterday.  It'll be delivered on Thursday.  And for ten bucks they'll haul the old one away.  Can't wait.

Fringe Association, a blog I read daily, has hosted a Summer of Basics challenge the last two years.  I had every intention of playing along again this year but with one thing and another I've been a bit distracted, so I find myself six days from the end of the "summer" (she counts June, July, and August) not having made even one basic--and I had the fabric all ready.  *flings up hands*  Aanyway, tonight after supper I hauled up the cutting mat, scissors, pins, three lengths of cotton and spandex fabric, and a Kwik Sew pattern for leggings from 1992 that fits me just right (with a little adjusting) and got black, gray, and white leggings cut out.  I'll bet I can get at least two of them done by the 31st.

August 25--Paul Vever, Gui (Hair Comb).  Mai slid the comb gently into Sylvia's hair, pulling a curl through between the pearls that looked like lilies of the valley.  Sylvia's red gold hair was almost the same color as the tortoiseshell of the old comb.  The comb had been handed down from mother to daughter for generations, worn at balls, weddings, and presented at court.  Mai patted an errant wisp of hair back into place then bent to kiss the back of Sylvia's neck.  Sylvia shivered and reached to clasp her maid's hand.  Blue eyes met brown in the mirror.  Neither of them spoke.

It wasn't very hot today but it sure was humid.  And still.  It was supposed to rain today but it was just oppressively damp and dreadful feeling.  I sure am glad I have air conditioning.  Time to hit the hay.  I'm pooped.  Crawling around on the floor to pin and cut out patterns isn't as easy as it used to be.  Imagine that.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Stay Away From My Nuts!

At least that's what I figured this chipmunk was saying this morning.  It sat there and warned off all comers from the crook next to the peanut wreath.  There were a couple chippies on the ground right below it, one on the retaining wall, and another one on the Emma's chair on the patio.  Turf wars among the rodents.  Sheesh.

My garnet Crocs came today.  Woohoo!

Did I tell you that I sold both of the old-ish TVs?  I put the 32" TV that I bought for Durwood's assisted living studio (that ended up being too small for the space) in my living room and realized after I rearranged the living room furniture that I could sit on the couch and see both TVs which seemed silly.  So I cancelled one cable converter box and put the 22" and 26" TVs on Facebook Marketplace.  A Fast Lube place bought the smaller one for their waiting room (paying me $5 extra to deliver it) and a single mom bought the bigger one for her bedroom.  She and I met in a church parking lot yesterday evening to exchange TV for cash.  Everyone is happy.  I'd never used FB Marketplace but it worked pretty well.  Seems that the scammers and creepazoids that frequent Craigslist haven't moved in yet and I'm just as glad.

The weather got a bit cooler today so I decided to wear that pumpkin linen Dress No. 2 I made a few months back with the sleeves rolled up above my elbows and like it so much that I went to Joann's and bought 2 lengths of linen to make more.  (Yes, DD I had to go back for that red striped linen, it's been on my mind since Saturday but I used a 50% off coupon on the more expensive one and a 20% off coupon on the other one--saving and spending at the same time!  Is that what they call "new math"?)  Yes, I know I'll have to chain myself to my sewing machine to get everything sewed up but, you know what, I don't care.  I'm not blowing the budget, not even denting it much, and besides wearing this made me feel good today and I need that feeling right now.  (don't tell me if you think I look like a dork, okay?)

After the fabric store I went across the street to a furniture store looking at loveseats and I found one I like that's totally in my price range.  The loveseat I have is over 10 years old and the springs mostly gave up the ghost years ago.  In fact, seven years ago I took the thin plywood board Mom had under her couch cushions and put it in mine.  I think it's time for a new loveseat and its name is Lilly.  It's upholstered in a tweedy brown fabric that will coordinate with the dark brown carpeting. Their everyday price is 20% off list which brings it under $500.  Score!  I promise that this is the last big expenditure for a while--except for getting the side chair in the living room reupholstered which it desperately needs.  Then I'll be done--really most sincerely DONE.

August 24--John LaFarge, The Fish.  Simon lay on his stomach staring down into the stream.  A trout had tucked itself under the exposed roots of a tree, barely flicking its tail to stay in place in the current.  The spots of sunlight that filtered through the leaves made the fish's scales pop with color.

That's all she/I wrote.  Exhaustion overtook me and I ended up in bed shortly after 9 o'clock last night and turned the light out by 9:30 then I didn't wake up until almost 7 o'clock.  Wahoo!  Sleep, it's what I needed.  I don't feel quite as wrung out today which is a good thing and made doing battle with the pharmacy the nursing home used over their very "creative" bill easier.  At least I didn't cry.  Off to have some supper then go knitting.  Hasta la vista, babies.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Birds & a Sock

This morning I had a couple birds posing for me.  First this hummingbird hovered at the feeder long enough for me to snap a couple pictures.  It kept its back turned so I couldn't tell if it was a male or a female but its size leads me to think it's a female (they're a bit bigger).

Then a couple Downy Woodpeckers came to pose.  This male spent a few minutes snacking on the suet and then this one spent some time pecking around the peanuts.  I couldn't see if it was a male because it didn't turn its head but it left when the male did so I'm guessing it was either a female or a fledgling following daddy around.

I picked up the Pink & Gray Anklet this afternoon and realized that the last time I'd put it away I only had one more decrease round to knit before it was time to Kitchener the toe shut, weave in the tails, and be done.  Why do I do stuff like that?

I know why I'm doing it now.  My brain isn't connected to any part of me right now, it's off in la-la land doing loop-de-loops trying to figure out what I need to do next and how to live without Durwood to take care of and worry about.  I'll get it, I know it's too soon to expect anything else, but I just feel so... so scattered.  I did some closet reorganization today so that I'm not in danger of an avalanche when I open my closet.  

Yesterday I grilled the boneless chicken parts I'd marinated for a couple days.  I should probably portion it out tomorrow, eat some, and freeze the rest.  Maybe I'll manage to make curried chicken salad too.  That would be good.  I bought a loaf of multigrain bread at Breadsmith the other day and have been eating it almost exclusively since.  Tonight I made an egg scramble with peppers, onions, and WW sausage on toast.  Hey, at least there were veggies involved.  I call that a win.

August 23--Odilon Redon, Yachts on a Bay.  It wasn't the greatest day to be at the beach.  The wind blew the sand around, swirling it in a cloud that blasted Amber's face and got in her eyes.  It was cold for the end of September too.  She hadn't packed a warm jacket so she shopped the clearance rack at the convenience store.  The only warm thing they had was a sickly pink hoodie three sizes too big with a picture of a sailboat and "Coming About" on the front.  She huddled in it against a sand dune and wondered what she was doing there.

Well, I fell under the lure of buying more of those creepy little soft toys.  I googled them and found them for almost half-price at what looks like a farm supply store in Minnesota and even with shipping they're much cheaper.  Now I'll have to find something that LC is crazy about playing with.  *sigh*  This Meemaw-ing can be hard work.  I'm tired and am turning in.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

When the Going Gets Tough...

... the tough go shopping!  A little retail therapy never hurt anybody.  Oh, it might put a little dent in the budget but do no lasting damage.  Last week DIL1 told me that all of the Crocs factories are closed so there'll be no more Crocs.  I love my Crocs.  When they first came out I thought they were stupid.  Who'd wear plastic shoes?  Wouldn't your feet get all sweaty, smelly, and stinky?  (they do but you can wash your feet and the shoes)  Then I was up at The Clearing one fall and went into Fish Creek to the Oilerie and the bookstore next to it.  Across the street a store was having its "end of season" sale so I wandered over and bought a pair of Crocs for less than half-price.  I loved them.  They're a fairly ugly green--and I didn't want to take them off.  I've bought some Crock knockoffs since then but they're just not as comfy as the real thing.  I bought a pair of lower profile black ones at Fleet Farm a couple weeks ago and then today I had to go to the mall (ugh) to cancel Durwood's Direct TV (because they had to see a death certificate, and I had to go to a corporate store not the outpost 2 blocks from here, to cancel the contract) and walked past Famous Footwear.  They had a "buy one, get one 50% off" sale and they had Crocs in the window.  I went in and left $100 later with 2 pairs in boxes and one pair being shipped.  Eeee!  The pair coming in the mail is garnet, which is another name for red but a more subdued, mature red.  Can't wait.

Today I started on all of the things that have to be changed now that I'm not part of a couple, all of the bank accounts, the company pension and insurance that needs forms and certificates faxed in, the cable parts that need mailing back.  I'll have to watch to see which bills come in Durwood's name and get those changed.  This is going to be a lot of futzing around on the phone and waving death certificates at every Tom, Dick, and Harry with a nametag and a company polo shirt.  But tomorrow I'm taking myself to our broker's office to sit down with her and work together to make sure that I have enough money to live on for a long time and also how to protect it and me.  It only took Durwood 41 1/2 years to teach me about money but it turns out I was listening and learned not to be quite the spendthrift I was in my younger days.  

Last week I made up a batch of chicken spaghetti that DD and I only ate on for one meal so I portioned it out and put it into the freezer.  I've got some chicken tenders and boneless thighs marinating that I hope to grill out tomorrow or Thursday so I'll have that to build meals around too.  I figure that my best hope to get back to healthy eating is to have things on hand that I can grab that aren't ice cream and cookies and do have things like veggies and meat in them so I'll be eating better and feeling better, at least physically.

Oh, when I went to get some fabric yesterday (because I bought a culottes pattern on Saturday when I was there with DD and didn't buy any fabric for it; I bought black eyelet and black twill, boring I know, but they'll go with everything) I picked up a couple of these scary-looking Teeny Tys for OJ (their big eyes kind of creep me out).  Turns out he has some and LOVES them, makes up conversations and activities for them, so of course he needs a couple of them at Meemaw's house.  I was looking at them this afternoon and finally understood Mom's compulsion to buy each and every Star Wars guy for DS when he was little.  I was calculating how many different ones were in the display at Joann's and how much money I have in my wallet and...  ohhh, slippery slope ahead.  Backing up.

I am happy to report that I fell asleep on the couch around 9 o'clock last night, woke at 9:30 and went to bed, and didn't wake up until 6 o'clock in the AM.  Hooray!  Over 8 hours sleep.  Plus I dozed off at the kitchen table this afternoon for 45 minutes or so.  DD commented that she was glad that someone is taking over the kitchen table napping duties now that Durwood is gone.  I'm just glad to sleep more than 5 hours a night.  Pretty soon I'll get back to prompt writing but I figure sleeping's more important right now.  Right?

Sunday, August 19, 2018


Six o'clock today was the time to go pick up Fair entries so LB picked up HH and me around 5 o'clock and we went over to the fairgrounds.  I hurried over to the Cultural Arts area where the play kitchen was displayed--and it not only won a blue ribbon, it won Best of Show in its class.  WooHoo!  That means I can enter it into the State Fain next year if I choose.  It's tempting.  My Sudoku Afghan, mohair & wool shrug sweater, and felted purse each got a second place red ribbon. The nest of four owls, the pair of dishcloths, and the play kitchen got first place blue ribbons.  LB got 14 blue ribbons and one red one--and her baby hat, sweater, booties, and blanket won Best of Show too.  HH earned three blue ribbons and one red one.  We did good.  Now to plan for next year...

I finally took the time to go out to see what the garden has been doing all week.  Lots of tomatoes were ready for picking.  DIL1 said that she picks ripe tomatoes, bags them and freezes them until she's ready to roast them with onions, bell peppers, and garlic to make roasted tomato sauce to use in recipes all winter.  Brilliant!  So I got me out a gallon Ziploc and dumped all of the cherry tomatoes that were sitting around in the fridge and on the counter so they didn't just rot, then picked all the ripe ones.  I'll cut some up to put in my chickpea salads and slice others for lunch sandwiches.  I have half a cucumber that needs eating too.  I've got to get back to making decent food for myself.  Eating right makes me feel better.  I should do it.  This diet of cookies and ice cream isn't doing me or my waistline any favors.

The carrots are looking good.  I won't pick them for a while although I probably could thin them out so that the remaining ones got bigger... maybe I'll do that tomorrow or Tuesday.  The two butternut squash are growing nicely too.  Mm, squash soup is in my future.

Yesterday afternoon after we bagged and donated all of Durwood's clothing, carefully separating the business and casual clothes we discovered to our disappointment that the Salvation Army Men's Closet for men needing interview clothes is closed.  DD and I then took ourselves and our wallets to Joann Fabrics and made serious inroads.  A little retail therapy made the day a bit brighter.  I found some stretchy fabric to make leggings (all black and black & white print), the bolt end of the purple and orange floral linen I already have a small bit of, a bright floral for my first 100 Acts of Sewing Dress #3 which is basically a caftan, all there was of some creamy white cut fabric that I'll make a tank-like top from to wear over colored camisoles, some cream cotton printed with tiny black spiders, a pattern for culottes, and some needle threaders.  In the mail last week I got 2 yards of Bee Splat cotton from Spoonflower to make a shirt out of.  I thought I might cut out those three pairs of cotton leggings I got the fabric for a couple weeks ago but I just didn't have the oomph today.  I got a couple things accomplished--dropped Durwood's remaining Rxs down at the disposal box in the police station lobby, donated a few belts that we missed to Goodwill, and cancelled one cable box.  I figured if I can sit on the couch and see both TVs, that's one TV too many, and turning one box in will save me about ten bucks a month.  Every little bit helps.

Smoke from the California fires has finally made its way here.  The sun shone pink/red through the clouds when we were coming home Friday after the funeral.  The moon is red when it rises too but as pretty as it is I hope the fires are extinguished soon.  Scary stuff.


DD read yesterday's blog post and sent me the photo she took of Durwood's sea turtle urn nestled in the flowers.  I love the way it looks, don't you?  It's just right.

Time for bed.  I awoke before 5 AM again today.  I have hopes for sleeping later tomorrow.  Wish me luck.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Been Up For 5 Hours...

Evidently 5:00 AM is my bladder's wake-up time and this morning my brain clicked on at the same time so I've been up putzing around, making phone calls, trying to make the old remote talk nicely to the new TV (without any luck), and taking pictures of flowers.

But first... look at this butterfly that visited the zinnias yesterday morning.  It's a blue swallowtail.


Then in the afternoon a pair of male goldfinches visited the zinnias for an afternoon snack.  I am totally planting more zinnias in those planters next year.  They draw birds and butterflies, what's not to love.

Speaking of flowers, there weren't many yesterday but I love each and every one.  When the funeral guy asked what kind of flowers we wanted both DS and I said tropical and not in vases, in an arrangement that supported the (empty) sea turtle urn.  I don't have a picture of the turtle urn but it's exactly right.  Everyone loved it, I'm sure Durwood loves it too.  He'd better, since it's the vehicle that will take him back to the coral reefs he loved.

ETO, the woman who originally hired me to work at the dive shop, and her family sent this gorgeous arrangement of birds of paradise.  Perfect and absolutely beautiful.


Our friends from the Aqua Center dive shop sent this enormous peace lily.  It's amazing and it couldn't have come at a better time since the one they sent for Mom's funeral seven years ago isn't doing real well.  It's nice to have an all-green one to put in its place.

Aunt B, Mom's sister and the person that those of you who read this blog daily are familiar with from the comments, and her beloved sent this beautiful white orchid.  After posting this I'll be looking up how not to kill it on the internets and probably printing off a 10 page care manual.


A few members from the Bay Lakes Knitting Guild came and presented me with this extra-orange version of a prayer shawl from the Guild.  These women know my love of bright colors well.  I'll be sure to think of them when I'm wrapped in it--if the high temperatures and humidity every decide to leave.

It was lovely and heartening to have so many people come to share a hug and a Durwood story, to have a laugh at some of the crazy things he did.  It made us all feel like we weren't the only people that loved him.  Thank you all who came to the funeral and thank you to all who have sent FB messages.  You've made a difference during a very tough and stressful week.  Don't sell a quick FB message short, knowing someone's thinking about you and yours does indeed hold a person up.

DD and I met out-of-town friends for supper last night and we ate at Plae Bistro where I hadn't eaten before.  I had the mussels.  Oh. My. God.  They were so good.  The "small" plate is about a pound of mussels (which looks like a bushel basket full because of the shells) with succulent mussels in a rich, creamy liquid full of minced onions, garlic, and bell pepper with flatbread to sop it up.  I was proud that I managed to eat it all without having mussel juice dripping from my elbows.  I tasted DD's mac and cheese, it was good, better than good, but it'll be a long time before I look at anything but the mussels on that menu.

I haven't written a prompt for the last two nights.  I've been too tired by the time I rolled into bed.  I haven't neglected my little ankle stretches and my bedtime meditation, I just haven't written.  I'll get back to it, maybe tonight, tomorrow night for sure.  Today we're packing up all of Durwood's work clothes to take to the men's closet at the Salvation Army store.  Good thing we're strong both in muscle and stamina--or is that just our innate stubbornness?  Yeah, probably that last one.