Sunday, October 27, 2019

A revelation

For my last birthday, way back in March, my sister stopped by with a gift, a quilt she made. Now I own three quilts! One is a light cotton, my summer quilt, one is flannel, my winter quilt, and the new quilt is cotton, but the batt, the lining in the middle, is wool. She has steered her customers to this new wool batt of late. It is light and it is warm, she says.

When she came, way back in March or April, I put the quilt on the shelf for the next season, spring being around the corner. And Laura was packing to move and I was packing to move and it just wasn't the time.

Yesterday I finished my changeover to winter, including changing out bedding. I threw my pillow back on the new quilt.

The pine green that looked nice with my old quilts is a jarring NoNo. I rummaged back on the shelves and found the second case of a pair I used twenty or more years ago.

Now, that is perfect! Jan knows I like green. Purple is her color, though in my dotage I find I'm owning more and more of it. And for the quilters out there, the new quilt is strips of flying geese.

So, last night I slipped under a quilt with a wool batt. It is feather weight, like it's barely there at all. Then the warm turned on. Hard to explain. Years ago a friend picked up a handspun wool sweater I'd made for her husband. He was ill and on the sofa when she went home. She laid it over him and he told her several times how warm it was.

Wool is a different kind of warm. I can explain the reason, but not the feeling. My sister calls the quilts with wool, the ultimate snuggle. 

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Lacking motivation

I have a lovely shopping bag of towels for the artist open house. There are 42, a bit less than twice as many as last time, if my math is working properly. I also turned a new warp on last week, and it looked to be the nicest to date. Then I began tying it on, and devised story after story for the extra two threads I seemed to have picked up.

There is no short explanation here, except I should have investigated the problem before I had the entire warp tied on.  All is well on the business end, the other side, as long as my Rube Goldberg repair holds up, and the cat doesn't sit on it.

The artist open studio draws nearer and nearer. I know the little tag on each towel for the last open studio was a little fold over paper I printed myself, but six months later, I cannot reconstruct how I did it. The real solution is to apply myself tomorrow and put together the art work for a new card! And then, call it in to the card company.

In the meantime, I have an apple mandolin! All my previous encounters with mandolins have not been good. My craftsman brother made a mandolin for my sister that he eventually made a guard for, to end accidental bloodshed, even stored safely out of a drawer. That mandolin sliced potatoes paper thin, and they became potato chips!

I keep an eye out for good recipes, and I saw one for an apple custard cake. They got me at apple and custard, though I was not comfortable with the instructions for slicing the apple. Basically, cut off the four sides, pitch the core and fine slice the apple. My fine motor skills are gone, and most of my gross, too. But way at the bottom, in the credits you never read, it said or use an Apple Mandolin. I found it on Amazon, of course.

There you have it. A cored apple, in twenty four slices, for lunch!

The custard cake was more cake than custard, and I made two changes for the next time. I changed a third cup sugar to a couple of tablespoons, and two teaspoons of vanilla to one. As to the dessert that did not impress me, I cut my eight inch pan into four pieces. I ate two for lunch and two for supper. So much for inviting a friend over, that time.

The book I'm reading there is The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd. I have no idea why I bought it; but it was there on my book shelf. Shortly in I recall seeing a TV movie, or perhaps a theater movie on TV. I can't remember the movie, only that I've seen it. The book is compelling in the way the recitation of this vile part of our history is.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Another week off to a decent start

I saw yesterday how close we are to the next election. When I went to play cards,  the election day dinner already is advertised. November 3rd is hard upon us.

Last week I placed first and this week I placed last. Such is cards.

Today I went with my neighbor to see Downton Abbey. We were quite early and our theater was very empty. Toward the end of the trailers, two other women came in, and sat down next to me. Four people in an empty theater. Strange. Didn't stop Cathy, or me, from laughing out loud and blowing our noses.

A mystery is solved. Some time ago I found a flyer on my door.

I asked at the office and they had no knowledge. Neither did the maintenance fellows, until one mentioned to Cathy recently, "That painted dresser is in the school bus shelter. No books left in it, though!"

Now that I know, I have an armload to take up tomorrow. 

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: