Friday, July 31, 2020

I hate being old in the middle of a health epidemic, with a buffoon as the leader and clowns bringing up the rear

I avoided saying "my leader"! But worst of all, why am I always putting the needle to the bubble?

I'm seeing my counselor again. Last March I was seeing Kathleen maybe once a month. We were pretty talked out. When she called to turn our April appointment into a phone appointment, I decided just to take a break altogether. 

Floating, bouncing, haunting, loitering around this bubble all summer only augmented my ability to think, and especially about this coming winter. I like regularity. Larry takes my trash to the curb. Don mows the grass. I've never found someone to clear the snow.

One solution is to abandon the snow. Move to assisted living. I've completed all the paperwork except the doctor's certification of health. I wonder if that's a crap shoot. It is in a couple of weeks. I won't move, at least not yet, but at least it's settled, one way or another.

I will figure out how to hire a reliable snow remover. 

On the other hand, just go to the cafeteria for meals. But, who would make crostatas?  For lunch today I finished the blueberry I made the other day. When lunch was over, I rummaged in the pantry for an appropriate plate. Who said it must be round?

The worst part of my life right now is the damn warp. I sat down after lunch, with a smile on my face and a clear head and tied on two bouts before my fingers cramped and fumbled. It will do me no good to try again before tomorrow. So, five are tied, six to go.

To keep up my enthusiasm, I put my two blues on the table. I will choose one to weave with next.

One is called denim and one is called jeans. Any guesses? I am so pleased all the colors were named by Monsieur Brassard, and I need only order them.

When I decided to weave towels for sale, I ordered thirty seven colors, and have woven through about half. The only additional color I've ordered is black. Not only was I surprised to have a customer want it, I was surprised to sell the rest. Few are left. After the blue, I'll weave grey. Can you believe someone wants grey towels? 

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

A long, tired day

I arose this morning with every intention of accomplishing much. Much! I took a shower, stripped the bed and started the laundry. I followed the cat to the other end of the trailer, fed him, cleaned the litter. Washed my hands and made breakfast. A time to sit and think about what to do today.

First, plant watering. It has rained decently over the last week, but not for the last day and a half.

Hooray Mandevillas. They make me feel like I know what I'm doing, most of the time.

And the Gerbera and the zinnias! The whole step menagerie is still going up the steps, and like me, falling apart a bit at a time.

Next a problem to resolve. Seeds I'd ordered from Etsy to gift my daughter on her birthday did not arrive, not even in time for the party. But the tracker said they did arrive, on the 20th. I called the post office, and once again I'm dealing with my address being scrambled by Etsy. So old. Tomorrow they will look in all the boxes. My money is on not finding it.

Now it's lunch time. More crostata and a good start on new books.

Folded the laundry, put it away, and remade the bed.

But I was good to my resolve of accomplishing much, especially tending to the warp on the loom. I picked up and delivered a package to a neighbor, stopped for my mail, drove cross town to retrieve my repaired hearing aid, stopped at the drugstore and came home. Dragging.

Nevertheless, I sat down and tied on one more bout of forty threads, and decided it was time to make supper. A family favorite, cabbage and noodles. Yum. My lovely new cabbage took a while to cut and half an hour to cook down. OK, I was deep in birds. I dished up, and ate and read birds.

After supper, cleaned up. Not too big a mess. Started the dishwasher. Locked the door and shuffled to the soothing office chair. I sat many minutes, too tired to change to slippers. Finally leaning over to untie my shoes, I had such a thought. I forgot to make noodles!

Oh well, lots of leftovers for several kinds of bubble and squeek.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Done, supper, and ready to start

I simply do not remember dreams. I may awake from a dream in the night and think "I should remember that," but I don't. I woke up in a dream this morning. I was selling my car, and I asked the man I was selling it to, "Please find the source of that awful buzzing and stop it!", and it didn't end, so I rolled over to get up and find it myself, and of course, it was my alarm.

So I really did jump right up, for breakfast and to get straight back to the last five bouts to put on. Also the cat, but he knows it's all about him when the door opens. So, I did it. Two bouts before lunch and three after. I also made a blueberry crostata, after I finished the raspberry crostata for lunch. But I didn't take a picture.

Eleven bouts turned on and pulled out to tie on. That will be several more days. But, all the physically painful part is done, and my shoulder is grateful.

When I was grocery shopping last week, I went slowly down the produce aisle, watching for the chard. It's easy to miss if I don't read every card. There it was, red and white, and right next to it, chard with half the stems cut off. I picked up one of those and kept on going. Back home I tossed it into the refrigerator, with all the other fridge stuff, and kept on until the groceries were stashed.

And then I thought, "that chard was not in the bag! What did I put in the fridge? I looked at the bill and found I'd purchased rapini. 

So, after I finished that warp, I collapsed in my desk chair and began looking at rapini. It doesn't have much of a reputation. Or recipes.

I followed along the gist of one recipe. I did the same thing, but I used two pans and my personal plate. They used two pans, four holding plates for each item cooked, until ready to go back in the pot, and a serving dish. 

The recipe was a pretty little serving plate of rapini, with little fried potatoes snuggled in. For six people. From the same amount of rapini as I have there, plus two Yukon Golds. See what I mean about the bad rep. That would serve up to a tablespoon apiece.

Anyway, I gently fried up three or four sliced garlic cloves. They left theirs whole, and removed them and hid them among the rapini leaves, too. Then I washed the rapini and put it into the pot, with more olive oil. The whole time I was cooking the two Yukon's. When I had fried all the water away, the rapini was very small down there. I quartered the potatoes, sliced them, put them in the rapini pot with more oil, until they were golden. Then I mixed and served.

This actually is a decent veggie. Strong, but good. 

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Perhaps tomorrow...

I spent the entire week avoiding starting the new warp on the loom. I got up yesterday, determined, and wound one section and started another. Then I went to a graduation ceremony; came home too late and tired to do more.

But oh, boy, this morning I was on it! Started after breakfast and wound until noon. Five of eleven sections wound on when I broke for lunch. Then, back at it. And with the first ten turns or so, I found what an old wimp I've become. I didn't quite, I turned that sixth bout. More than half done. And I quit for the day.

I did go to Ruth's yesterday, where some of the family gathered in the TV room to watch Francis' graduation live streamed. And his mother and sister sat in the socially distanced audience. I'm tired of our telling each other that we maintained social distance. After four months, of course! Here's France, crossing the outdoor stage. It was a beautiful day yesterday.

And that's the end for me. If you have a grandchild graduating, I wish you as successful an outing as Francis had. 

Thursday, July 23, 2020

One pan Bruschetta Spahetti

I'm not Italian. I was raised pot roast on Sunday and decent stuff during the week. Spaghetti is a big family gathering at a local Italian restaurant, and a big plate of spaghetti under thick red sauce and some meatballs. The big people knew how to eat spaghetti from the fork, the little people just sucked it in. That was spaghetti, noodles under sauce.

I am the accidental subscriber to the New York Times "Five on Friday" recipes. One-Pan Bruschetta Spaghetti came up recently and I printed the recipe. The link to the recipe is above, and their picture below. Mine looked exactly the same, and I forgot to take a picture. As the author says in the introduction, you must "resolve not to eat the whole pile of noodles yourself".

It is also billed as not a traditional pasta dish, which is a relief, vis-a-vie the title. I am still stumped on "Bruschetta". So much for it being bread, toasted, as I thought. But I just listened to a series of chefs talking about their bruschetta, and mixed in with the descriptions of truffle oil and grinding the tomato pulp into the toast, the best description was "bruschetta, it's just stuff on toast." 

That was an Australian chef. Loved him. But I still have not transitioned from Bruschetta bread to Bruschetta spaghetti. On the other hand, I have consumed in two days two thirds of what I had calculated as four days of meals. And, I will have consumed the whole pile of noodles myself.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

This little pig went to market

This past month I met my monthly goal of going to the grocery store once in the four week period covering the deposits of all my incoming funds. Mother used to say "Pay day!" when her Social Security check was deposited, or "I have to wait until payday," or "Payday is tomorrow." I hope I never do that! All the funds I do get are scheduled for the same week, no thanks to me.

I took my very short list and went to market. Mostly I wanted tomatoes. My sister has tomato plants. In the spring, she sent her husband to the nursery for two plants. He returned with two dozen. I may have told this story already. I went to their house about then. I have no idea why I went, but I have a vivid mental picture of Tom sinking tomato cages in the lawn and placing tomato plants at regular intervals around the perimeter of the yard.

Recently I encountered a recipe I really, really want to try. "One-Pan Bruschetta Spaghetti". I thought bruschetta is bread. In any event, it sounds wonderful, but I need tomatoes. My sister was coming to see me, and I said I would love to have half a dozen tomatoes. It is the season and she has the resource.

She arrived empty handed, and said "a dozen fist sized tomatoes are taunting me by not turning red." 

So I bought some nice Roma's at the store. They were cold in the store, so I put them in the fruit bowl. Much later, when they were warmer, I held one to my nose. Divine. I could still smell it most of the way through the kitchen. So, that's for supper, and if it's good, I'll share.

The main thing on my list was fruit. I'm addicted to those little crosatta's. I bought blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and for good measure, a can of sliced peaches. And another round of frozen crusts. Today I realized the crusts were "double crusts". I retrieved last week's aluminum pan from the recycle. How fortunate trash day is tomorrow.


I bought all the fruit just to get it lined up and ready to go. Three more went into the freezer.

I hung onto the counter and cleaned up the mess. My back is in agony. It's been a long day, shopping, storing provender and baking!

But the kitchen is clean, and here's a new blog to post. Oh, yes, I took a picture for Mary Moon.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Coherent thoughts

I read or heard something yesterday that stunned me. 

The bit of information sloshing around is that the president has ordered the Postmaster General to end overtime. At five p.m. any undelivered mail hits the station floor and the employee goes home. I suppose the reason this information struck me so vividly was the use of the phrase "undelivered mail hits the station floor!"

My manufacturing background shudders at that. "Hitting the floor" is anathema. Why doesn't the president talk about eliminating overtime, which seems to be his agenda. Why say the work is thrown on the floor, except that is the president's opinion of the ability of the post office to deliver uncontaminated mail.

I don't know. I don't know where I heard that, except I only listen to 90.3, WCPN. My news is Google News consolidation, and that only for the papers I will pay for. A few months ago I made a clean sweep of all the pay walls, and have added back only one, WSJ, and that only today.

Who reported that? I cannot find it on Snopes.

The president did say he will not publicly commit to the election results if he loses. That's just cow shit.  Unless some private militia barricades him in Nixon's closet, he will be escorted out. I'm sure the housekeeping staff will have his bags and goods packed.

Here's another question. 

Why won't unmarked police (?) in unmarked cars leave Portland? It  is demarcated into a legal city commission government with an elected city council and all the rest of the legal accouterments of a duly formed  commission government. Have some one of them authorized this policing authority, with proper public hearings?

It's late afternoon, going on four. I ran an errand this afternoon, and came back to finish. I had a long string of questions I did not write down. Maybe another day.

We had such a storm Sunday night!

Friday, July 17, 2020

Empty loom -- lots to do

I won't remember to do this unless I do it right now. I need to open Facebook (shudder) and post the last of the towels from this warp.

I finished lilac, there on the bottom, and orange, sort of across. I've had both colors before, and sold them at the two open studios last summer. 

And then go over to Instagram and post the new towels there. More tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Alert today

No pills this morning; things to do! First I watered the plants:

You remember this fellow; the one I almost froze to death because I didn't think fast enough. It will never catch up, but it sure does try.

And the pink and the red. Look at all the blossoms those two are setting!

And the glass lady. She makes me happy, quietly anchoring the corner.

The salpigolis. I ordered 100 seeds for next year, plus a bag of butterfly garden seeds. I know where to buy zinnia seeds, so I'm all set!

Pig has his usual pot of Gerbera daisy on the bottom step and look at those zinnia go, now I've pounded the hole in the bottom of the pot!

I spent the morning on the phone and straightened around all the tangled incidentals. So tell me, if 25 mg losartan is on factory backorder for quality problems, why is 50 mg available now, and would I just be able to cut it in half? Of course I can, especially since it's eight dollars less expensive than 25 mg.

But wait, why are you telling me about 50mg and 25 mg in the same breath, when the 25's are on backorder for quality problems. And why aren't the 50's having the same problems? Oh, the 25's came in this morning's shipment and you could fill that order if I'd rather.

The whole fucking world has gone mad. Speaking in tongues.

After lunch I put on my mask, fired up the car, and went to pick up scripts and cat litter and laundry soap and dishwasher soap.

On the way home I saw what my porch says to everyone when my car isn't there:

It's kind of nice. I need to move a big pot of flowers under the water lily. I must think about what it will be.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Just waiting

Waiting for school to start.
Waiting for school to end.
Waiting for spring.
Waiting for Christmas.
Wait until your father gets home.
Wait until you're sixteen.
Wait until pigs fly.

How are we going to get out of this?
I don't know.
Keep shouting into the wind.
Like the governors of Florida and Texas
Like the president of the United States.

Ohio was keeping the corks under water.
Now Covid19 is on the rebound here, over 3,000 deaths.
We also are way behind in testing. 
I don't understand those implications.

It's just a cluster you know what. 
Cluster bomb is the best descriptor. 
We don't know what will happen.
We sure can guess the worst.

Back at home, I emptied the loom.

Haha. That's sort of a joke. The loom is empty of weaving material.

I was out of mental energy, and left the fabric laying.

I never thought I would do this. We need a laugh.

One leg is glamorous. One is not. I wish I'd pulled up both jeans. 

The stockings are decent. The pills are better. 

I'm not taking the pill unless I want to devote two hours to a nap.

I'm waiting to hear back from doctors. I guess I'll call tomorrow.

Sunday, July 12, 2020


Sometimes I feel like my cat should feel. He doesn't follow me from room to room, but he makes sure he arrives shortly after I do. Every night I tell him "Time to leave," and sometimes he does and sometimes there is an argument. Every morning he's outside the bedroom door. I wonder if that's where he spends his night.

I'm sulky of late. For the next four weeks I have nothing to do and nowhere to go. There is one family birthday in there, but after I send wishes, nothing more will occur.  This state of affairs predates Covid-19 by four or five years. It is what it is.

Occasionally Amazon comes through. It's Sunday, and a package just arrived. The elastic stockings with toes. I just opened a new tab to answer the delivery question. It is great.

These are not my first elastic stockings. The first set were toeless. I thought they were a good idea, but I did not know enough. They made my toes pudgy. I am no expert on shipments from China (I did get that watch refund!), but there was a fun experience with that long ago shipment of zippered elastic stockings. The company sent a chipper little email asking, How did I Like, and would I Send a Picture?

And I responded, send me another pair, and on receipt, I will send the picture. That effectively ended our correspondence.

I am back reeling from the damn Lasix. It renders me loopy or comatose. I did not take any the week leading up to the vascular scan, because I did not dare drive under the influence. Today I got up at ten. I did outdoor chores before heat. Eighty-one degrees, and I'm complaining.

My zinnia, holding down the entire pot of salpiglosis, long for painted tongue.

The "real" pot of zinnias needed direct attention. In my haste the other day, I put the seeds in a clay pot with no drainage hole! After yesterday's big rain, the seedlings were floating! I wedged the pot on its side, poorly, and attacked the bottom with a hammer and a phillips. It worked.

And finally, I began my morning weaving. I am past the end of the last run of towels, nice orange towels. But they are still on the beam, because I also within striking distance of the end of the warp. I had a partial spool of lavender, which wound onto eight bobbins, or four towels. If there is warp left, I'll weave it off in cream.

I was down to the last four bobbins when I nodded off. I moved to my desk chair, where I can restrict nodding off to half an hour or so. Then I wrote a post. Back to finishing the warp, because all those towels to finish and a warp to wind on is something to do.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Thunderstorms moved two hours down the line

Yesterday morning I was in a quandary. It already was hot at eight a.m. I had that vein ultrasound at one thirty. I had a porch of plants about twelve hours overdue for watering. I had trash to move out to the trash cans. On top of that my foot still hurt, literally like blazes.

For me, that is an entire, slow motion morning. So, I took a shower, just so I could sweat, watering plants.

I stopped at the drug store for the back ordered losartan. I was told it is on backorder per the factory. I made a mental note to kick this one back to the cardiologist, and went on my way to the vein ultrasound.

I did say I would take pictures of the colorful new downtown, but that was easy to promise on an uneventful Sunday afternoon dry run to the hospital and enroute to the event on Thursday, post lunch hour.

As for the ultrasound, what I saw was very interesting. I stood for the second half, and watched the screen as the technician followed the course of some vein, stopping to mark both sides of each valve. Eventually she said "Your veins cooperated admirably," and departed with my parking deck ticket. She came back with it and said I'd been there way less than an hour, so would escape the deck for free.

I just checked the internet for the losartan backorder, and see it is about contaminated ingredients in India. I knew about that, but in tracking the recall numbers these last several years, my factory in India never was involved. Now it is. It's still in the doctor's hands.

Since spring my sinuses have been in revolt; overloaded. An annual problem, and worse this year. Something happened a couple of days ago, at lunch, at my kitchen table. The table is against a window that has fake pane dividers. I was looking down at my book, looked up and heard a click in my ears that sounded like a door latching.

Suddenly the window panes began flipping, like an old time movie reel. I could not look left or right without adding dizziness to the scene of flipping window panes. So, window panes it was, until the episode ended.

The thunderstorms are now pushed back another forty five minutes. I have accumulated ingredients for cottage cheese and noodles for supper. Off to put it in the oven.  

Monday, July 6, 2020

Sometimes I fill the entire day

This morning I went to the drug store to pick up a prescription that is out of stock a couple more days. From the drive through I went and parked in front and got myself to the ice cream case, hoping to locate chocolate peanut butter, to assuage my disappointment. Nothing! I settled for somebody's butter pecan.

Mom first found chocolate peanut butter ice cream in the seventies, on the other side of the state at Sauder Village, the furniture manufacturer that maintains a replica village way west, almost in Indiana. In a few days she loaded me and most of the grands in her car and we were off on a day trip for ice cream.

In the nineties, driving from art show to art show, I discovered Hershey chocolate peanut butter, at the first rest stop east bound on the Pennsylvania turnpike. But don't stop; the area has been totally remodeled to Any Toll Road USA rest area, and Hershey has no store.

Sometimes I find it. Hershey maintained a fountain in a local restaurant and sometimes Laura and I ate supper there, and sometimes just stopped for ice cream. That could have been a relationship made in heaven, until the chef put his hand too far into the till...

Today, after the prescription disappointment, I drove across town to have my glasses adjusted. I came home via Richfield to Peninsula, and on the exit ramp realized I only needed to go toward Richfield to get to Country Maid.

How strange to find them in full Covid mode. The door was now exit only, the entrance the former emergency exit in the small seating area. I happily donned my mask and stood in line for the next  server in the once noisy and bustling shop. I bought a half gallon of the real deal.

I got home from all the adventures around two in the afternoon. I looked over the flowers and decided they could survive until tomorrow. But only until then. We're well into the nineties.

My white mandevilla has bloomed. I'm so pleased. There is another blossom way at the top. Several, in fact.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Not much to say--clean house and scalloped potato recipe

The two young women came to the door on time. I told them that when I had "cleaning ladies", they began at opposite ends and met in the middle, one hour later. I hoped they could do the same, and they did.

They worked from my bedroom and the living room to the middle, saving the studio for the last. After a little more illumination of their job, I disappeared into the studio and wove for an hour. When Addy came in to vacuum, I explained the easiest way to tackle the litter and the cotton dust under the loom, and we all reconvened in the kitchen in an hour.

I understand they were so excited at their wages and tip they stopped at their friend Cathy's house to squeal in delight. Cathy attracts children like metal to magnets. My house cleaners are going into ninth and tenth grades, so about fourteen and fifteen. I told them I would have them back in three weeks. They very professionally cleaned up after themselves, thanked me and left.

Scalloped potatoes: an 8x8" or 9x9" will work; there are 4 cups of potatoes here, and the dish could hold another two.
    4 cups thinly sliced potatoes (Yukon Gold or Russet) about 2#
    3 tablespoons butter
    3 tablespoons flour  
    1 1/2 cups milk
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 dash cayenne pepper
    1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided

Note: I used less than half a cup of cheddar, melted into the rue. I don't have cayenne, and used hot pepper flakes. Mustard powder would have been good, too. I didn't use paprika.  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 1.5 quart baking dish. 8x8 or 9x9.
In a small sauce pan, melt butter and stir in flour. Stir to bubbly, thick consistency. A minute or two.
Whisk in milk and season with salt and cayenne.
Cook sauce on low until smooth and bubbling, stirring occasionally with a whisk.
Reduce heat and stir in up to 1 cup of cheddar cheese.
Put half the potatoes in baking dish. Smooth out to an even layer.
Pour half the sauce over the potatoes. No need to mix evenly.
Repeat with second layer of potatoes and cheese sauce.
Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese on top. Top with paprika for color.
Bake uncovered for about 1 hour at 350 degrees F, or until potatoes are fork tender and top is browned.

I believe the secret to this recipe is the thinness of the slices of potatoes. I think back on scalloped potatoes at childhood suppers, and they were quarter inch or more slices. The taters often had a crunch. The second "secret" is making the flour/butter combo bubble in the pan, and bringing the rue back to a thickened bubble. And, that's all I can tell you about cooking.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

A magnificent tail and an indeterminate tale

Two young women (on summer vacation from school) distributed hand drawn and colored flyers advertising their willingness to clean houses and wash cars. I invited them in today to tell them what I would like cleaned and how. They agreed, and will return tomorrow at eleven. I will wear a mask, and give each a mask to wear. I'm very interested in how they do. 

I made a new recipe for scalloped potatoes last night. I can only say they were perfect scalloped potatoes.

I added some mushrooms between the layers, and the taste is a great addition. I'm thinking I could sneak in a layer of greens, several different things.

Toby was to be retrieved at five, so I left the yummy taters bubbling and went for him. Here he is, Marine cut, though certainly not ready or suitable, or even available. Don't kid yourselves; I would pass him off in a minute.

Toby with his magnificent tail and the extra pound he's working on.

There is nothing left to report save it is too hot, and everything had a suitable drink of water this morning. The new gerbera Daisy is a tad shell shocked, but its leaves are green and lovely. One of the blooms actually is an identical twin on one stem. The one most center.