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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Another opportunity!

A picture of the dish of Eggs Florentine Benedict I was served. I ordered one egg, on top of the lovely Florentine, and the other half of the English muffin, nicely buttered, lying to the left. The right would have been acceptable; I could turn the plate around.

The plate arrived, carrying the eggs in the oval serving platter, with an enormous pile of hash browns obscuring the view. I was so startled at the disagreeable presentation, I turned on the waitress. I only ordered one egg; where is the other half muffin; what is this pile of offal?

I believe any restaurant that serves hash browns only does so because they cannot make decent home fries.

She explained I would not be charged any less for only one egg, and she would take the eggs away and scrape off the offending egg. I said her obligation was to bring a new, correct order.  She simply whipped out the plate of hash browns and left.

The eggs were delicious, and Lynn gave me half a toast to mop up the yolk and sauce. The waitress came back to find my plate cleared save the extra egg, and smugly said she knew I'd eat most of it. I take patronizing poorly; nevertheless, I did not pronounce her doom aloud. But, I did do something I have not failed to do in fifty odd years. I did not tip her.

I hope when we go back, we have the same server. I'll see if she has learned to listen.

Down in the studio, I finished clearing off the bobbins of colored thread. All are sitting empty, so I can  fill forty bobbins of natural to commence winding onto the back beam. And not a minute too soon. 

Today I received an invitation to participate in another open house, for two Thanksgiving weekends. After selling out my old stock in the summer, I have nothing to do to be ready except weave, weave, weave. I'll give you a progress report soon.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Try the new Blogger!

Does anyone else have that obnoxious orange rectangle at the bottom of the left sidebar?  Have you learned how to be rid of it? Have you looked into “the new Blogger”? As far as I can see, it is using a blog to make money. I remember this wave going round a few years ago, but a little less aggressive. I wasn’t stuck with the orange rectangle. We have too much orange as it is.

This is a grumpy blog. I’m close to done with re-threading my loom. I think back to my sister’s nimble fingers, threading a loom’s heddles so quickly, tying on the new warp at many times my rate. She doesn’t do this anymore, and bending over a loom is no easier for her than for me these days.

My complaint isn’t doing the job, but working through the jumble of a brain injury to complete this part of it. Interesting I can still push the proper treadles in the proper order, throw the shuttle and lay down neat row after neat row of work, yet have such a problem rearranging four threads in every sequence of eight across a warp of four hundred odd threads.

I don’t work well come afternoon, and I know that. I started the re-threading in an afternoon, and just quit after wasting an hour or two. I should have known better! I came back the next morning, and it was a struggle, but I got a bit done. The same the morning after, and so on, until two days ago, when I finally “saw” what I had to do, in my brain, and set up a little sequence I could deal with.

Shortly I was past half way done. Now I have worked down to the last eighty threads. I started up again after lunch, and reached those last eighty threads, only to be stopped again by my other accomplice, back pain. So, here I am in my therapeutic chair, waiting for two acetaminophens to take effect.

For, I am determined to finish before supper. Tomorrow I’m going to breakfast with friends, and then to the dentist. In short, tomorrow is shot, both time and pleasure. We’re going back to a restaurant I really enjoyed the first time, when I had an egg Benedict. There were so many Benedict variations on the menu I could not make a rational choice that morning, and settled on the first offering, a classic poached egg on English muffin, with Canadian bacon.

Yes, I hear my Canadian and British friends shuddering.  I love a Benedict egg above most breakfast offerings.  At the moment my back ache has eased enough for me to go back and probably finish my thread job. I will come back with the rest of the blog this evening.

So, it’s 6:45. I finished the threading, and even checked each bout for accuracy. Good to be done, and even better to be done and correct. It’s still a long haul, but the most painful part is over. I had supper, put the dishes in the dishwasher, and hobbled my back here to my Tempur-Pedic office chair.

For breakfast tomorrow I shall have a Florentine Egg Benedict. A poached egg on spinach and tomato, on an English muffin, topped with Hollandaise sauce. The Hollandaise has a real zing. I think I’ll have a side of bacon. Yum, yum.

I looked carefully, but there was no photographic interest in the warp in the heddles. Here instead, out the front door and over my shoulder.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

I still know the way

The doorbell rang last night. I still was sitting at the table, empty plate to my left and coffee on the right. I'm engrossed with the book I'm currently reading, Bryon Stevenson, Just Mercy, and finished the paragraph before I went to the door.

David was there, football jersey scrunched up in his hand. Could I drive him to the game, please? I agreed, and he brought my trash cans in from the street in the time it took me to get keys, cane and sunglasses together.

David has been here in the park as long as I've been here. He showed up offering lawn mowing services way back then, and I told him I'd bought a lawn mower for Laura. He reminded me we have to weed wack the perimeter of our unit and shed, too, and he was available. I bought a weed wacker. You can't know too much.

We had a pleasant chat on the way to the high school. We were still in the park when David asked me a technical question about the car: how was the refrigerator holding up? I couldn't believe anyone who did not own a Dodge Caliber knew the glove box also was a refrigerator. I only figured it out by accident and close perusal of the owner's manual.

The young man is quite the car buff, and quizzed me exhaustively on every car I admitted to owning. In short order we pulled into the mayhem of a Friday night home game. David held up his jersey and we were waved through, to the reserved tailgate party area, also the team entrance.

Tonight I was startled by the noise of a weedwacker  around my unit. I went out, and was face to face with David and his weedwacker. I thanked him for his kindness, and asked after the game.

It was rained out. There was a substantial storm last night, and I did glance at the clock and wonder if the game was over. Then I went back to the book.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Done, done, and done

Yesterday friends Deb and Pam came by to liberate a shovel full of Aunt Laura's iris from the old garden, and go to lunch.Which we did.

Before they arrived I came very near the end of my second attempt to make a shirt. I finished it in the afternoon. My thyroid and I came to a satisfactory resolution of the job.

If I ever make it again, I probably won't trick it out with buttons. Otherwise it is a decent job, for fabric of a width intended for towels. There is plenty of the fabric left; I've just set it aside for the time being.

We left the garden with the intended plunder, and more. Snuggled in among the wild overgrowth, many colchicum blossoms. One of us had a shovel and one of us had an extra bag and one of us would like some bulbs to plant.

I've decided to go ahead with planting a pot of bulbs. We are zone six, more or less, and the bulbs I want are hardy to zone 3. My pots are completely immobile. 

They are situated to hold the poles with hooks that hold my hanging baskets. The poles are secured to the deck uprights. Each pot weighs at least seventy five pounds.

Short of a tornado, nothing will move. I do subscribe to "better safe than sorry", so I shall fashion snug winter jackets of burlap. Perhaps I'll sit out in the sunshine and stuff them with straw. Or not.

At lunch that afternoon, an invitation was extended to participate in another artist open house. It's time to get back to something I'm good at. There is no line at my door for shirts, but there is a small clamor for towels.

The open house is in November, so that is my target. I must re-thread the loom, at which I am slower than ever. And rewind a lot of bobbins, and put a big towel warp on the beam and pull it through the heddles and reed. And tie it up. You know. All the tedious prep work.

But first I have an appointment to have my hair cut. Until we meet again, when I will have far less hair. And this picture was two weeks ago. My hair is irritating now. Not good.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Bulbs in a pot

What with packing, moving, unpacking, assembling the new house, plants had little planning and a very late start here. The ever present mandevilla could do no wrong, but how to spruce up the rest of the cement foundation of my deck.

Lacking any garden worthy area of land, I coveted large clay pots with shiny finishes. Four of them to arrange strategically around the deck. The cost, at two to three hundred dollars, per pot was prohibitive, and the idea was set aside, until I discovered resin pots. 

They looked very like the shiny pottery pots I wanted, though weightless.

I had so many left overs stones, so much left over soil, I had no ballast shortage. I bought the resin pots and added some clearance shelf plants that would fill up space. It was very satisfactory for this summer.

For next summer I would like flowers I really enjoy. First I would like the opinion of wiser gardeners than I. The flowers all grow from bulbs, and all the bulbs will be planted in a resin pot.

The resin planters are 16” in diameter and 14” tall. They have an 8” base, in case that’s important. The walls are half an inch thick and the planters hold eight gallons of soil.

At eight inches I would plant allium, iris and lilies. At seven inches, white narcissi’s, only. Then at five inches, snowdrops, crocus and anemone.

For what it’s worth, the frost line here is four inches. Since the pots are exposed to freezing from the walls in, I think frost line is moot. I probably must think of how I will protect the pot exterior from the cold, but I can do that.

Any advice? All advice welcome. And opinions. I seldom bite back.

In the meantime, "summer's almost gone, winter's coming on". Soon I will be taking apart the hanging baskets and clearing out my resin pots. Time to make a plan!

Friday, September 6, 2019

Back at it

I spent much of the month of August---asleep!  I wasn’t tired, I was soporific.  Sometime during the day I would stagger to my bed, or risk sinking where I was. Or, wake with a snap from reading the paper or a news report on the computer, stagger to bed and sleep two to three hours. 

Medical sleuth that I am, I deduced my thyroid was crapping out again. My next appointment with my endocrinologist was scheduled for the last day of September.  The day after Labor Day I called for the next available appointment. It was the next afternoon. I took it.

I generally go to this appointment with lab work done and new thyroid readings on record. But this was a “damn the torpedoes” situation in my estimation. I left with lab work authorization in hand, and had it done yesterday morning. The results were in my email yesterday evening, and yes, another instance of thyroid crapping out.

A new script goes to the drug store today, I’ll get it tomorrow, and start working back to normality.

What gets accomplished in a day with three hour naps? Precious little.

To remind myself I have a life, not to mention I like to eat, I kept up three meals a day. That may not have been the best plan; there were several less than palatable meals. No pictures were taken.

I loaded the dishwasher. I took out the trash. I fed the cat. God forbid I forget the cat! His room is on the opposite end of the house from mine.  The instant I turn to leave my bedroom, he’s on the move. Tail up, head glancing back to be sure I’m following, little legs moving thump, thump, thump, thump, one, two, three, four.

If the bottom of the food bowl shows, I am warned by a heart wrenching howl before we reach the room. He doesn’t care if the water is half gone, or if there is an extra poo littering his box. Just let the food dwindle, and he raises an alarm.

I watered the flowers.

I did not clean the house, although I did hire a service recommended to me. Two nice women cleaned my 860 square feet in less than thirty minutes. Sadly, the owner did not lower her minimum charge, and that in spite of ruining a day by appearing two hours late. “Oh, I forgot to call you!”  As soon as they left, I went in for the nap.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Waffles and more culinary delights


2 cups flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, separated
5 tsp butter, melted
2 cups milk

Sift the flour, add baking powder, sugar and salt. Sift again. Beat egg whites until stiff, set aside.

Beat egg yolks, add to milk and add to dry ingredients, only enough to blend. Add melted butter. Fold in egg whites last. 

Cook according to waffle iron instructions.

I put 1/2 cup of batter in the center of my 8" waffle iron.

This made ten waffles. I did not scrape the last half cup of batter out of the bowl.

My only hint is, sift the flour everywhere the recipe says sift the flour. It's as important as beating the egg whites.

The table was lovely, with three plates with waffles, butter, the maple syrup jug. Jim and Lynn had orange juice and milk. I had coffee. No pictures happened.

Lynn said to me to please not be offended, but she had maple syrup once and did not like it. It was too thin and watery and not sweet at all. I forget what she compared it to, but it was not favorable. So, she would use Jim's sugar free syrup.

I put the little jug of warm syrup on the table.

"That sure smells good," she said. She tried a waffle hole full. Instant convert to maple syrup.

I told her it was just maple syrup. You know, the stuff they make in Geauga County every spring. 

I asked where she had maple syrup. "Cracker Barrel," she said.

I did get up an hour early this morning, to commence my cooking duties. I opened the egg carton, and to my surprise, they were every egg color. I did take a picture of a blue egg.

I don't know if you can tell it's blue. I used my egg separator, the fellow with the accommodating nose. It didn't work well. Since I no longer trust myself with the standard, egg shell to egg shell method, I guess a real egg separator will go on the shopping list.

Since I had to go back in the kitchen for the recipe, I took a couple more pictures.

Aren't they pretty. And since I'm mostly proud of my state, here is one last picture:

Black Bonnett Amish Farm Elderberry Jelly is also fabulous, and you can take that from someone who grew elderberries and made jelly for twenty years.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Waffles 'n bacon tomorrow

I invited Lynn and Jim for breakfast tomorrow. I mentioned at one of our weekly trips for breakfast that I make the best waffles in the entire universe. Jim said he makes the best bacon, and so it was on.

My "best waffles in the universe" are from the cookbook of my childhood, long gone. It involves whipping the egg whites until they have peaks, then folding in the batter, slowly, and making the pancakes. 

I have a new waffle iron to try out. I bought it in Wisconsin, so we know it will make fabulous waffles. I do not have a syrup pitcher, so when I added it to my list of "must get", it was time for a run to the thrift store, Abbey Ann's.

I spent nine dollars and change:

There are two pitchers, one for maple syrup and one for Jim's sugarless syrup. Also on my list, an 8" square baking dish, a pie pan, a ten inch lid and two muffin tins.

If I'd just been browsing and found that square baking dish, I would have bought it! It's Pyrex. It has handles and a lid!

A while back I added the cast iron skillet to my small arsenal, and have occasionally regretted not having a lid. Now it has one, and glass, no less. I can keep track of the state of caramelization of my onions. Not for waffles!

Friday, August 23, 2019

Beauty in a discombobulated week

I have a self-inflicted head ache. The worst of it is my own fault. It's a "woman" thing, but in obverse. I cannot gain weight, for the simple reason I don't eat. Not because I lack a cook, but because it's bedtime before I remember I didn't eat lunch or supper.

Last Monday, at the doctor's, I weighed as much in all my clothes, and my shoes, and my purse and phone as I last weighed when I'd checked at home, in my nightgown: 110. On the way home I made an over speed left turn into Schwebel's out of date bakery store. I put $15 of junk food into half the cart. Sort of decent junk food, but nevertheless...

Can you conceive of all the sugar and preservatives! Before bedtime I'd consumed four creme sticks, in addition to lunch and supper. On Tuesday I ate half a carrot cake extra. And the other half on Wednesday. Today, I just picked something. Oh, the sugar high. Oh, the headache!

This morning the scale announced 115. No matter what, all that stuff is out of the freezer and off to cards next Tuesday. I cannot deal with the headache! Nancy's grand kids can look forward to getting off the school bus for at least a week!

Overnight there was steady rain, and the temperature today, and forecast for a week to come, is 78, or 25.5 c's. The wind has been steady though, and I should not have been surprised to find the soil dried out already.

I worked my way along all the plants, watering, and look what came for a short visit. It took me three shots to get it in focus. Fortunately, it was patient.  Such a beauty! I looked it up and found the life cycle of a dragonfly is about six years. Sadly, they have only a couple of months in flying beauty.

At the end of summer the sweet potato vine has bloomed a bit. The mandevilla are as beautiful as ever, and the Gerbera's last buds are in full bloom.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Summer winding down

Hard to see here, but one Mandevilla has reached over and entwined with the other. I really can't tell if the pink reached out for the white, or the other way around.

But, it's very obvious the leaves are beginning to fail, and not for want of watering! That happens at the end of summer.

I finally have a rod of an appropriate length for my dancing glass lady. She is out to enjoy the end of summer.

This Gerbera daisy is among the most prolific I've had. There are three more red flowers to bloom.

And because I have no red Gerbera's for display yet, here are some purple and yellow's. Not Gerbera, but nice nevertheless. You know how I am with remembering the names.

School is back in session  for many, so please drive carefully.

Every day is one day closer to election day. The outcome is a crap shoot. We need to show we are committed to voting, this year and next! Guide young folks to registering. There still are two plus months here in Ohio, to register. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Old women, hear us roar

I do apologize to those who might be embarrassed raising their voice and demanding attention. I know more than a few of you, too, and probably love all of you, especially for being so nice.

A person who may or may not be out in the audience owes me a substantial sum of money, and has been paying it on time for some time. I cannot tell you how much I dislike being inconvenienced by, oh, going to the bank, for example. Years ago I asked the debtor to deposit the check into my account. I knew it was possible.

My bank happened to me when I bought the house, thirty odd years ago, and has followed me around ever since. This bank has no drive up windows at their banks in Ohio. Most branches are located in supermarkets I don't shop at. In Hudson I can walk up twenty stairs for the back entrance, or park at a head-in angle at the front.

For thirty odd years I have arranged to have few direct transactions with the bank. Now that I move too slowly for most of the world, and use a cane to boot, I prefer to have no direct transactions with the bank.

The debtor stopped direct deposit. I didn't buy the excuse, but no matter, no more deposits. Check would arrive by mail. In the beginning it didn't, but that seems straightened out now, and today I had a check in hand to deposit.

I do all my banking on line. Or thought I did. If I owe you money and you have a mailing address, I pay the bill. If you skip that step, and directly debit, I pay the bill automatically. Deposits never crossed my mind, until today.

I called my bank. No, you cannot deposit a check via your pc. You need to download the app to your phone. Step by step I replicated the instructions given on my pc to my phone.  All you young people have heard me rage over the years, This Is Not Intuitive!

App downloaded, I opened my account. Then everything that is so easy on my keyboard and with my mouse, just went to shit, as usual. No matter how often I tapped buttons, nothing happened. I called the bank, for walk through instructions.

Still, nothing happened. And the wonderful bank lady, who knows me, did not yell back. And then it began to click. I felt the button pulse under my finger and then move on, as it should. Will you believe, that phone knew what to do. 

"Be sure to sign the back of your check first!"

"Find a darker background!"

"Hold the camera over your check!"

And so forth and so on and then boom, my screen exploded in balloons and ribbons and announced First Time! You deposited a check for the first time! Congratulations!

I was as excited as the phone. The bank lady gave me a couple of tips, like don't write VOID on it yet; put a check mark somewhere to indicate you deposited it. Oh, yes, call us any time.

You know I love pictures, but depositing a check with a phone app really is boring, after the first time, so here are recents. It poured all day yesterday. I love the way the mandevillas wrap and wrap around the poles.

The golf course grows more raggedy, and I have not seen the heron in weeks. Scuttlebutt says the Conservancy is closing in on the amount of money the owner wants. Good for the owner; don't give away Mr. Yesberger's trees!

I am still weaving, but oh, so slowly. The first is all the same colors arranged as stripes, and still on the loom. The second is all the same colors, randomly. Each piece will be the front or back of the same shirt. I'll probably hold them up for approval, after they are fulled.

Friday, August 9, 2019

A day of fine surprises

This morning I kept a long standing breakfast date with Lynn and Jim, at a place in Kenmore renown for home fries. I had two eggs over easy, English muffins with jelly, and the crispy top of the half a plate of home fries. So good I did go one bite over the limit.

On the way home, idly watching the passing street signs, I saw Bisson Avenue. I asked Jim to go around the block and I showed them the part of Akron developed by my great grandfather, James Hogue, and Frank Bisson, his business partner. Since my last trip through, blocks and blocks have been redeveloped. Jim says by Habitat for Humanity.

To celebrate that, Jim pulled into Krispy Kreme on the way by. This is one of the few stores left in Akron, the first, and the store that still makes the goods. You know what I brought home for lunch. Red raspberry filled jelly donuts.

Since we were on a roll, I asked Jim to go through the drug store drive through to get my Lyrica script. I intended to play my new game. When the cashier asks "Are you aware of the price?" I generally reply "Let me guess. Is it three hundred dollars this time?" Since I donut holed, it runs around a hundred thirty.

I waited and waited. The question never came. Finally she asked if I had any questions for the pharmacist, and I said "Yes. How much is it?" "17.44," she replied. "It's gone generic." Very anticlimactic on one hand, and fabulous budget news on the other. 

But wait! There's more to tell. Some time ago I ordered a rug for the living room area. I expected it today, but finding it on coming home from breakfast far exceeded expectation. Lynn and Jim seem up for anything, and when they left, the rug was on the floor.

And if you thought that was the end, what could possibly be left, it was not the last surprise of the day. Hours later, eating supper, I heard clickitty clack. I looked over my shoulder, and to my surprise:

Yes, when I go shopping tomorrow for a high backed, high stool, I will also purchase double sided carpet tape, for those corners.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Faint hope

I'm worn out today. I started the day with the grocery store. I get up early enough to start my days early, but out and about still is a low priority activity. However, I really wanted to make stuffed shells, and needed all the fixins, plus some more containers to freeze the extra portions.

First stop the container store, second the grocery store. The good news, it was early enough in the morning to have the stores to myself. Bad news, no giant shells. I settled for giant rigatoni, not so easy to stuff with stuff. 

Worse yet, I stood so long at the counter stuffing, my back is in screaming pain. That's just something I must deal with, and the solution is a trip to the thrift store for a bar stool (with back!) to use at the counter for long, tedious tasks. Soon, I think.

Almost ready. When the timer buzzes, I'll take off the lid and let it start cooling.

My cat has yet to forgive me for leaving him for a week.

But rather than glare at me most of the day, he's playing big cat, little cat. I'm the big cat, and he spends the day annoying me. If I sit down, he's into the chair. If I lie down, he's beside me.

None of his toys hold his interest, so I bought a new toy. The online videos show kittens and young cats beating the snot out of this toy. There are three levels, and three inextractable balls go round and round. All the video cats are on the hunt for the balls, around and around.

Mr. Cat has demonstrated the ability to pin all three balls at once, look over his shoulder and telepath his opinion, "Is that all ya got, big cat?"

Monday, August 5, 2019

Wisconsin miscellany

We had an adventure. There was a pop, and a gauge on Ann's six month old car announced the decreasing air pressure. We waited quite some time for AAA, but help did arrive, and a chatty young man loaded Ann's car to the flatbed and me to the cab. It all came out right.

As ever, I photographed barns, and I found another old school house to photograph, too.

The road went on and on, under blue skies and white clouds. A beautiful week; it could have been longer.

I opened my door to this shadow on the opposite wall. The blind, my curtain, and outside, a mandevilla tendril, doing its thing.

And the mandevillas are in full bloom. The red mandevilla finally has put out blossoms!

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Mitchell Park Domes

A lot of sightseeing went on last week.  Like all of us, there is a lot of her state of Wisconsin that Ann has not explored, and takes advantage of visitors to get there. We spent an afternoon at the Mitchell Park Domes in Milwaukee.

These are conoidal (not geodesic) structures, a horticultural conservatory. I made a link to the technical description. Now for a picture heavy trip through. There are three domes, one for wet and/or warm climates, one for hot and/or dry climates. 

The third changes, and currently features a series of vignettes constructed by local groups. After a quick look about, I sat out the third. The mechanical elements of that structure made a direct attack on my hearing aids.

Outside, a sundial. Stand on the correct calendar month, orient the sun to your back, and your shadow rests on the time. It works.

The entrance, including all three domes.

In the lobby, there are scavenger hunt flyers. Young parents set the children the task of locating the plants listed. And with no further ado, the tour:

A youngster on the hunt.

I remember difficulties of photographing fish through water, years ago. I remember needing a polarizing lens. Either technology is advanced, or goldfish are different from brook trout. The concrete frog is very overexposed.

This photo collection is more a statement of me than of what I saw. The first half is dry region vegetation, the second wet region. There was a good deal of humidity involved, or not.

The TBI so changed my brain orientation, I'm now right brained, I guess. So, no description of the facts of each scene, just pictures. I'm used to it now; it's even a pleasant way to pass my time.

Apparently there is controversy about the future of the domes. One factor wants them gone and their purpose consolidated with other institutions. And those who love what they are want them to stay. I just enjoyed the hours.