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Saturday, October 19, 2019

The last Gerbera of summer, and Mandevilla, too

Tomorrow I will clear the plants from the deck, in recognition of the change of season. This is the first year I've been aware of the possibility of over wintering a Mandevilla, and actually doing it has been the subject of much internal debate.

I've scoured the internet. Almost. I only will bring in the red Mandevilla, and that for the reason that I've had red Mandevillas several times, and this is the first time it not only has bloomed, but has done so prolifically.

I also must repot it, as it was transferred to a hanging basket lined with some moss stuff or the other. I hope I have a pot in the shed! I must think this through tomorrow. I really would like to overwinter the white Mandevilla and have the window, but no stand. We'll see.

Yesterday I had the one year check of my reverse shoulder replacement. I was pronounced far better than the average, and dismissed forever on that score. On my way down the steps yesterday, I stopped to photograph the Mandevilla's and the Gerbera.

Charming, no? The pink Mandevilla made its way across, and seems intent on equaling or besting the white. At the bottom of the steps I stopped to investigate, thinking I had a pot. It seems I do not.

The Gerbera daisy has one last flower coming up. This daisy is red, and I do like it. I've resolved in future to buy only red Gerbera's. And if there is not an extra pot in the shed, I will buy one, rather than sending this new little fellow to bed early in the compost pile. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The rest of yesterday, some of today

Yesterday actually began well. Lots of sunshine, and my list of errands was falling like autumn leaves.  

First a trip into Akron to have a hearing aid repaired. It's still the big city, but not nearly so intimidating as when I walked and rode the bus. Especially not after daily and weekly trips through never ending construction, with Laura, to some of the oldest, trickiest parts of town, where all the hospitals are still located.

Then back on the freeway and north to the Verizon store in Hudson. We tinkered with my phone and agreed the on line technician was out of her mind to think the salesman could solve the app problem I have. I did leave the store the owner of a free tablet for a mere $10 extra dollars monthly to my contract. Say what you will in the comments.

Next stop was to be due west to Peninsula, and north to see what was being done to Boston Park. As I approached Riverview Road I said to myself, go the other way on Riverview to the library, two doors down. Use the restroom, say Hi to the staff, then go take on the National Park.

Who did I run into than John and Kathleen, friends for more than thirty years, but out of touch these last three years since they moved across the valley. We all piled into a car and went to lunch and a two hour catchup.

The operative word was "piled". John had a massive, debilitating stroke more than twenty years ago, and my mobility issues are only a little behind his. I met them when they had The Crooked River Herb Farm in the valley, and took in rescued sheep, goats, llamas, dogs and cats. Chickens, too.

Then I went the other way on Riverview, down to Boston Park. Here are two pictures from yesterday, to refresh your memory.
Looking west to the park:

Looking south toward the old end of the Boston Park:

That's the old park, with two cedars in one corner and a sycamore in the other. Now, here is a postcard that came in today's mail:

Two cedars in one corner and the sycamore in the other. I spent the afternoon on the phone with a trustee. I told her, the joke's on us. When the two of us are dead and gone, so are those cedars and the sandstone walks.

Talk is good. In the course of the conversation I wondered, since that green rectangle is not a parcel, how did the Park get permission? I learned the Park is required to meet county drainage requirements, and those hills and valleys I saw yesterday are drainage holding ponds.

Those of us who live here and have fought the park for our rights, all these years, know what the park wants, the park gets. That pretty much was the reason I ascribed to their grabbing an acre of land to develop. That grey area past the sycamore, by the way, is for RV's.

So, if the Park actually was made to do something; i.e., put in holding ponds, it's time to stir up public opinion again. I need to learn how the Summit County Engineer gave up the right to the road right of way. It needs to have been done in writing, or it won't be legal. Although "legal" has never bothered the Park.

I think my biggest and best opportunity to preserve that little square of cedars and an old public water fountain will be some national recognition, such as tying the CCC to it's existence. It probably will do me good to go relentless again.

And the reason I got the postcard? I was invited to an open house for local government officials, toward the end of the month. Hell will freeze over before I set foot in the new CVNP Visitor Center.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Boston Park

Back when I was the township fiscal officer, I had a lot of extra time and energy. I became clerk in 2004, when I was only 61 years old.

I wasn't the youngest kid in the meeting room, but I researched the local townships before I started, and had a list of what I wanted to do. At the top of my list was a web site. I had several designers make proposals to the trustees. 

When they had proposed, one of the trustees, with whom I regularly locked horns, had a friend of hers, who built web sites on the side, make a proposal. The trustees selected him. Or as I used to say of myself, the official with no authority.

Here's a link, Take a peek. Its a sweet little site, outdated even when I was there and struggled to maintain the pages the "webmaster" never updated as technology evolved. 

One of the trustees and I were excited to have it to start recording township history. I see that since I left, nothing has been done except publishing the minutes, twice a month. I started pumping history into that web site like I was canning peaches. I stood at the scanner many afternoons, Saturdays, and a few Sundays, scanning two hundred odd years of township minutes and uploading the files. 

I poured in all the history the town historian had accumulated. I think he was relieved to be relieved of his burden. He even finished projects he'd begun, like the history of the cemeteries. I know he has more to upload, but no one to do it.

Accumulating the history of The Boston Park began because I happened across an obscure reference to the CCC working on the township roads. When I followed up with the park, I was informed there is no such record. That got my back up, of course, especially because the town historian said some locals remembered.

So, I researched and interviewed and footnoted and laid out my findings. Take that, National Park. If I had not made a record of this verbal history of Boston Park,  I wonder if you would have plowed under the entire park!

I took these pictures four years ago. In the top right, the park goes several hundred feet north up Riverview Road, and in the bottom left goes several hundred feet west up Boston Mills. The red building in the background is Zelenski's General Store, in private ownership until Mr. Zelinski died, and then bought by the Conservancy for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The same Conservancy that bought the golf course.

I took these pictures today, until a foreman escorted me off the grounds. All that is left of the park is the flagpole, the cedars and the planter, which they have assured the trustees will remain as part of the history of Boston.

Zelinski's is now the new visitor center for the National Park.

Looking north, you can just make out the train station. It used to be on the other side of Boston Mills, across from the Park. But as any fool can now see, in order to board the train, passengers must pass through the Visitor Center where all sorts of souvenirs are available for purchase. I am the most angry that the Park feels at total ease in rewriting our history! And, history is written by the victors. 

Looking down to the park at the corner of Riverview and Boston Mills Road. I was walking down the berm of the road to take a "new" picture of the scenery above, and especially the sandstone walks, when I was intercepted by the foreman and asked to leave. I replied I would leave when I got my picture and kept on walking. I got past the white truck before he stood in front of me. So I asked him to move, and took the picture below.

He walked me all the way back to my car, and even opened the door for me.

Monday, October 14, 2019

A bright day, not too cheery

It's hard on fall, calendar be damned. Every morning I wake to wet, either a full rain, or a heavy, dew.

By afternoon and evening, the wet has cleared off and I have only shivering flowers.

This afternoon was a bright, bright day, and I set off to play cards. We still have only three; our newbie was able to come; Nancy is off playing bridge. And, I won by one point, on the last hand. 

In fairness, I was ahead the first several hands, then spent the afternoon in second or third place. The two fellows talked "strategy" all afternoon, then teased me about my silent strategy, winning by one point on the last hand. 

Think what they may, my head no longer holds strategies; only the cards I'm dealt and how to play them without reneging. 

This is the field between the trailer park and the main road.That actually is about half our septic field. It was bright and beautiful today.

I stopped by the golf course on the way home. Here is the lake and a bit of the tree in my header. There have been no golfers all summer. 

Weekend news was the opening of the new visitor center for the park, on Main Street in old Boston, and the purchase of the golf course by the Conservancy. The purchase agreement is signed; a lot of the money still must be raised.

More unkempt grounds further along the golf course.

 And more unmowed grounds. I think about the grass that stays green and the grass that grows tall, brown and shaggy. I don't know anyone expert enough in golf course technology to explain the difference. Perhaps Geo. is reading and will explain.

Back home at day's end, one of the last mandevilla blooms. This weekend probably will be their end.

My list of errands for tomorrow includes a drive down to Boston Park, to see what damage may have happened to the Park. This is the People's Park, dating to earlier than the Great Depression, built and maintained by Boston's residents on the scraps of road right of way. It is important to Boston, and I'm curious what care the National Park has exercised. 

Friday, October 11, 2019

A long week

I started my week with a flu shot, the one with the extra kick for seniors. This year the shot was at the drug store. I don’t remember last year’s, except it might have been at the drug store, in conjunction with the pneumonia and the second shingles (I think) shot. Completely benign.

This year’s shot was radically different. As the needle sunk into my upper arm, I felt a cold line travel down my left arm and into my second finger. Then the icy spear went down my left leg, across the top of my foot and into a toe.

When I returned home, I fell on the bed and slept several hours. I’ll try the shot one more year, and if the symptoms repeat, I’m off the shot for a couple of years. How well I remember about ten years ago, when the flu shot put me back in bed for five hours a day, many days in a row. This year it's put me to sleep a couple of hours a day.

We played cards again on Monday, the first time in a month. The church was so busy with one thing and another, plus a new player joining, a date change, all the usual kerfuffle of summer’s end and fall routines commencing. We played hearts.

I making myself focus closely; this season I want to have no episodes of my brain taking a wander in lala land. No excuses, no mistakes. Well, no mistakes that affect the other players. I believe I made it through. I lost by a lot.

The pots of bulbs were watered every time the mandevilla were watered. The water that ran through and out left brown stains on the drive. This was the same dirt that I used last year, without driveway stains. A mystery.

It has been a lovely, warm week, but tonight is the end. Daytime temps tomorrow will be twenty five degrees lower, in the mid-fifties and rain all weekend. We may miss the harvest moon.

This house makes me smile. It's down the street from me.

 And this may be the end of the mandevillas for this season.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Bulbs and cats and cat trees

My mother always referred to a busy day with a lot accomplished as "breaking eggs with a stick".  I think we did.

But first, many mornings, before the alarm to wake me, I am still treated to the sound of a cat thundering from the far end of the trailer, landing on the bed and walking over my shoulder to get behind the curtain.

I know what he's looking at, but today it all came together for a picture:

She knows Toby is here, but I've never seen her cast a glance.

Yesterday I cleaned out the pots, and today, at the appointed hour, my sister and her husband came. Jan and I sorted the bulbs by depth and pot, and we left Tom to the cat tree and went out.

The anemones called for a three hour soaking before planting. Right! I ignored that at the old house, too, and I had beautiful anemones for several years. They still are there; I'm not. We did work a lot of fertilizer into the soil.

Jan soaked every pot with a bucket of water, and watered the mandevillas for good measure. I came in to see how Tom fared.

The cat tree was in good hands, so I busied myself with cleaning up and breaking boxes down, until it was time to test the result.

Yes, it is the cat tree he always dreamed of, apparently. So after lunch I moved on to the studio.

I hemmed another half dozen towels, which also involved re-threading one thread path of the serger because an effing factory knot jammed on the way through. Grrrrrr... I should not be an expert serger threader because some factory thinks it's OK to knot ends together.

I finished the day with a few bobbins of emerald green, had supper, and here I am in my fabulous office chair.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Bonanza day

I texted Cathy this afternoon, "I'm driving to the mailbox. Can I pick you up?" How about that for old ladies! Actually, I can't manage walking the distance yet, but maybe next year. What a haul I had. My bulbs arrived!

I had to turn on the furnace last night; summer is leaving. Mandevilla leaves are falling fast; the plants look so forlorn.

Here are the two that grew together. The pink actually made a turn around the black frame of the white's pot and has pink blossoms there. The white has arched over the pink, and will bloom there soon.

I spent the afternoon clearing the pots out front. My sister is coming tomorrow to help me plant bulbs, weather permitting.

In one of the pots I found a couple of acorns, secreted, no doubt, by a squirrel or chipmunk. I know what those sprouts look like; I dealt with hundreds of them at the old house. I think I'll nurture these, if they come up, and find a place to plant them.

I spent the morning locating a shipment, and it's tracking number. I bought a new observation perch for the cat. He is using one that is ten or more years old, and also used by Ryon Kitty before (and after) the arrival of Toby.

That perch has one of the clawing posts shredded. I'm sure Toby has no problem with carpet tufts floating across the living room floor, but I do. 

This perch is a few inches taller than the current perch. I selected it because the upper platform is supported by more than one pole. In all the videos I watched featuring one pole support at the top, mere kittens swayed as if in a strong breeze.

The tracking number said it's out for delivery today! My aunt's fanny. It is Saturday and after five in the afternoon. No UPS driver has ever attempted to find my address on a Saturday.

A thousand apologies! At my door when I went to make supper:

Monday, September 30, 2019

The Salt Path

Recommending a book with nothing except "it's really good" is not much of a blog. I wish I could say more. I decided to go read some reviews to try and get a feel of how to do it. More on that in a minute.

The reviews were overwhelmingly five stars of five stars. I read two or three of those, and then indulged in a string of below five stars. A great many people could not get comfortable with the subject of the book, and I found that interesting.

I find I can no longer write in genres, of genres, about genres, since the bus accident. The TBI literally sucked maybe fifty thousand books out of my brain. Even had it only stolen the format from me, I still could imitate someone. But there's no one left for me to imitate.

So, I only will say, it's about a husband and wife, together many, many years, who are robbed of home and livelihood by an evil friend (my assessment, not theirs). In the same week as the verdict, either before or after, they finally get the medical diagnosis to explain the husband's left side weakness and pain. It's a degenerative neurological disease that will kill him, probably six or seven years from onset. It now is seven years since onset.

The bailiffs come to change the locks on the door. They set out to walk the salt path. This is set in England. Here we walk the Appalachian Trail, some to find ourselves. I had no idea what the Salt Trail is. It's one small way to find yourself in England when you've lost all and one of you is dying. 

Suspend disbelief and read it for face value.

End of book review. 

Sunday, September 29, 2019


Spending the day throwing a shuttle from hand to hand to hand could be exquisitely boring. I think back on Silas Marner and wonder what he did before Eppie came to him. Ever since I’ve been a weaver I’ve had some sort of feed to my ears, and a book playing on the current iteration of the Walkman.

I’m listening to a book so engrossing, so fascinating, I’ve listened to it straight through, twice. The book is The Salt Path, by Raynor Winn.

References to books of interest are everywhere, and I write the reference on my much abused desk note pad, and try to remember to follow through. The first time I searched my local digital library, The Salt Path was not even a twinkle in its eye, so I left my first ever, in many years of book downloading, lament for a book I’d love to listen to. Eventually it appeared.

Actually, I know nothing about the life cycle of a book. I suppose there is a longer time between the release of a book and the release of the recorded book. Finding the right reader, making the contract, getting a producer. And then the library must obtain a copy.

Another system beyond my comprehension is the lending of recorded books. They have a finite cycle, just like real books. The screen tells me how many recordings they have and how many are available. I borrow a digital book, and two weeks later the library virtually takes it back.

Once I had a hundred or more digital books, on CD’s. I donated all of them to the Peninsula Library when I moved from the big house. My reasoning was, they all were available to borrow. Here’s the mystery. Once I had the burning desire to have all my J.R.R. Tolkien collection back, just to have and to begin in the middle of the night, if I wished. I had no sense of thievery; I had donated the entire set once.

I began downloading, and my MP3 player ran out of room before I finished.  I released the recordings back to the library. So, I learned one or two obvious lessons. I also realized that once I’ve downloaded a book, I can go back and virtually return it, so someone else can borrow it. It still is mine on my PC for the lending period, and mine on my MP3 player until I run out of room.

The Salt Path engaged me from the first sentences. So many of its scenes resonated with my life and experience. Quickly I asked "Is this true”? When I asked Google, the question had been asked so often, its algorithm filled in the words.

That’s what I do when I weave. This is one book I did not set aside when I stood up to leave the loom.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Busy, busy week

In spite of everything, I've been able to give half a day each day this week to weaving. One day this week, a doctor appointment. Then a trip to the lab for a blood draw. 

This morning I took my neighbor to the airport. She has not been on a plane since the olden days. The person she's going to visit told her wheelchair transport was $25 per. She needs a wheelchair as much as I do, and of course I told her to get in the house and call her airline. She sent me a happy text later in the day.

Yesterday, when I had all day to devote to weaving, I spent half the day correcting two sleying errors. I saw them the first day, but left them to the end of the first run of towels. Anyone of you who is a weaver would see them at once. A bit right of center, see the two white "railroad tracks". The reed is threaded (sleyed) two threads per space, or dent. I inadvertently put four threads in those very white places, and spent the morning correcting the problem.

I persevered, and eventually carted a load of orange towel fabric off to the washer to be fulled. I came back and started in on the next batch, which will be blue.

The artist holding the open house wants high resolution pictures for her brochures. I've been turning that over in my mind this week. My phone doesn't make hi res. Then I remembered my camera, and decided between that and my little shooting tent, those pictures were the best she would get.

My sister called this evening with an accounting question pestering her all week, and when we resolved it, I tossed out my hi res photo problem. Would you believe, with the flick of a setting, her new iPad takes high resolution pictures! We're shooting on Sunday. I have a stack of orange ready, and certainly should have blue, and more.

So, the show will go on, and now it remains only to be seen, how many towels will there be.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Progress, nonetheless

I had an appointment with my cardiologist this morning, at 9:50. By the time alone, it is apparent this is an annual appointment and was set a year ago. 

I used to make subsequent annual appointments at nine, leaving much of the day open. Then I began making them at ten. Sometime this past year I moved to eleven. At the counter today, I hesitated, then selected one in the afternoon. How I've aged this past year!

There was an order for blood work in my hand when I left. Like many of us, I take a statin. It's not the responsibility of my cardiologist. However, my primary care physician left the end of July, and I still take the statin. The replacement PC ordered a refill without ordering overdue blood work. 

Then the replacement PC "left the practice". No idea. But my cardiologist cares about blood, so he sent me away with a fasting blood order. And yes, 9:50 was a good ninety minutes too late. I get out of bed to eat breakfast.

It was near lunch time when I got home. I looked at the loom, and went straight to the kitchen table to read some more weekend edition of my friend Lynn's New York Times. And lunch (a thick cucumber sammie), and an acetaminophen, because my back hurt so badly. If that appointment had been for one, I could have spent the morning at the loom!

I wove a total of four bobbins, about three towels, and quit at four in the afternoon. Progress, nonetheless.

My phone camera has a feature I'm supposed to appreciate, because it shows me pictures I took one, two, three, five years ago at this time. Actually, it irritates me when I notice it. And what was I weaving one year ago? Orange towels.

Isn't this pretty! Loops of threads, falling down from the back beam, as I as tying on. They resemble very long hair meeting a curling iron. Think Princess Kate.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Tomorrow is another day, as my elders used to say

It's only Thursday, thank goodness. I got up with the alarm and got to it. After cat business and my tasty breakfast, I watered the plants.

On the job! One earring is a feather, the other a turtle and a water lily, all from his grandmother's charm bracelet, according to the artist.

The mandevillas are still doing well, but this may be the last Gerbera of the season.

While I was out with the plants, the UPS fellow handed me up a package. The other day a sock went down to potential neverland.  I did find a yard stick to fish it out, but said Enough! and ordered a bridge gapper. Take that.

On to the studio. If you wonder what was the problem, the problem was all that stuff was scattered around the studio before this picture was made.

Then the winding of the bobbins. Fortunately only nineteen of forty needed wound. Still, they take time.

Then to the tension box. I'd left enough of the previous warp to tie on, and here I'm half done. It's near one in the afternoon, so I stopped for lunch, and to put supper together.

The rice is cooking for a stuffed pepper. I "parboiled" the pepper in the microwave. I also took a phone call from Ann. I realized a while ago, if I don't call her once a week, she calls me. "Just checking up" she announces, and then we exchange a week's worth of gossip.

I got back to work and ran into a problem turning the bouts onto the beam. The very first reed slot in the tension box is packing lint into the reed, and dragging on the threads. I will solve the problem; I'm pretty resourceful.

By five thirtyish I was pretty done, and retired for supper. That and taking the trash to the curb ended my day.

It's to bed in a couple of hours, and back on that tension box problem tomorrow.

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.