Monday, March 29, 2021

Jam and a surprise supper

Full disclosure: I have been staying up too late, sleeping in mornings for several days now. The only way I know to get back to a better routine is go to bed earlier last night (which didn't happen) and get up at my "normal" morning time (which I did this morning). Of course, consequently, I am in trouble staying awake. I've dozed off several times.

Jam: Almost every morning I have a lovely grain filled bread for breakfast, toasted and jammed. I prefer jam to jelly, and for several years have used boysenberry jam.

It's a lovely hybrid of raspberry, blackberry, dewberry and loganberry. For several years I could buy boysenberry jam at the market, but when they quit (for lack of sales volume, I suppose), and did not restock, though I asked them to do so, I turned to my reliable source, Amazon, and bought it from there ever since.

I joke with my cat that he has a jam breakfast, too. He has his breakfast before I ever have mine, and I sprinkle a powder on his kibble that I began using several years ago in an attempt to reduce hairballs. It is something called Nutra-Thrive, and it's first ingredient is fish oil. A kitty yum, yum I can tell you.

My attempt to filch a picture from the internet was not successful. It is in a little brown jar, an inch of powder in a three inch tall container. It goes on a quarter teaspoon at a time, and I stir it thoroughly to get the powder on all the kibble. Next morning the powder is licked from every remaining kibble and from the bottom of the bowl. I believe he would be unhappy if I quit.

A new container of Nutra-Thrive is needed, too, so I checked, and sure enough, Amazon carries it. Theoretically, all the jam will arrive in the same shipment.

Last night I was going to make a mushroom pasta for supper. I need to use the mushrooms I bought, and also the greens I bought. But when I opened the refrigerator door last night, most of all I needed to use the squash I bought from the day old bin. It was already cut, one piece halved and one quartered. It had a yellow rind, was not identified and I did not recognize it. It looked like any fall squash, so I roasted it.

As I scraped it from its shell I realized at once I was dealing with spaghetti squash, for the first time since I was thirty something. In short, it did not become a family favorite. But, I saved myself. In my freezer was a tiny container of jarred spaghetti sauce, saved for a rainy day, or a spaghetti squash as the case may be.

I am so looking forward to braised mushroom and leek pasta for supper tonight.

Has anyone watched the Netflix series "Episode"? Opinions, please.

Sunday, March 28, 2021


 OK, the pneumonia thing is done and dusted. I did send the doctor an email, "What, if anything should be done about the CT findings?" We'll see.

My weather has certainly changed! Spring is transitioning to fall. I put a note on my calendar to not jump the season and hang mandevillas before mid May. I believe I will pick a sunny day next week and plant my seed hoard. 

I am especially interested to see how well I did with salpiglosis seed collection. I was not especially confident with either my understanding or my method until I collected the zinnia seeds. I have enough of them to start a zinnia shop. Nevertheless. I bought another packet. They were right next to the wildflower garden seeds, so I bought both. It's probably time for them to stretch their arms and wiggle their toes and begin another year.

All the blue cobalt towels were hemmed yesterday, when I came back from shipping two large orders. Isn't that just how it always is? I actually wondered how I would find room on the shelf for the new stack of blue cobalt, or if I must make room on another shelf. And then in one fell swoop, the shelf was cleared for me.

The circle of towels needs big spaces to get around, and the other sad news, there are no more cream. I probably should have selected a color other than kiwi, but I kept it. This entire set I've selected is very "retro". I also have black, grey and, I think, periwinkle.

Well, I finished the last book in the "retro" line up on my Mp3. I had Theodore Dreiser and Henry James. I swapped out for a new biography of Alexander Hamilton, and Obama's first book, read by the author. I guess I'll fire them up and keep on with the kiwi.

I never got to the subject of the title, "Jam", so I'll pick up there next time.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Dr. Joanne's conclusion

And the CT scan says my old lungs belong to a former smoker who has undergone multiple surgeries and never took the tube to blow on and raise the three little balls seriously. I do not have pneumonia. All I ever had is a PC who heard diminished breathing sounds, and leaves me to read the procedure results. No word yet from her about the scan. Maybe at my six month follow up she will say "Well, as you saw, the scan said bla bla bla, which is not serious at this point of life, so I put off discussing it until your next appointment."

So, on to life. We must keep an eye on Georgia. I hope better minds than mine are making action plans we can help with. The blatant exercise of voter suppression must not stand, and it's a much bigger problem than boycotting Georgia peaches. In addition to forcing change in the short run, how do we show that the right to vote belongs to all of us.

I'll keep listening and reading, and some clear mind will help me understand what to do.

And back at home, I have plenty to do. I must go to the post office soon and mail some packages. The post office closes at one on Saturdays.

Back home, towels to weave. I was in a discussion of looms yesterday. I love and appreciate the counterbalance LeClerc that I use; it is a worker and I put it through its paces. I took off the blue yesterday, and while it was fulling I tied on the warp and just began the next color. Remember kiwi, that interesting green. It's been a long time since I last wove it.

And the length of blue is waiting to be cut into towels, as soon as I get back from the post office. It closes at noon on Saturday.

And on a happy note of spring, my neighbor stopped with an early birthday present, a gerbera daisy. Won't pig be a happy fellow when it's in a pot on the steps.

Finally, remember this travesty in Georgia. My vote was challenged once, here in my little blue corner of an extremely red state. I lost my temper and faced the man down, until he finally waved his hand and told them to accept my vote. But this is so much bigger, including here in Ohio, where late release of census figures will keep gerrymandering in place for another ten years...unless we do something about it.


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

A bit stifled at the moment

I've been busy every day, last week and this. Bizzy, bizzy, bizzy, as I've often typed, and not just weaving. But I've had so little to say. I've been concerned about this damn pneumonia thing, and shuffled about in it.

First there was an x-ray that showed pneumonia in the right lower lung and a bit in the left. A course of drugs and a new x-ray that showed it gone in the right lung, but present as much now in the left. Wait three weeks and yesterday a CT scan to see what the pneumonia is doing.

Pause for statement from patient, why wait three weeks? Response: to see if it resolves. I emailed the doctor, why are we waiting?  They don't make real answers in writing. It's all verbal. Email answer: protocol.

So yesterday was the CT at one, with no eating the previous four hours. That probably is the chief cause of my current irritation Half the cause, at any rate. I got up early to be done with breakfast before nine. The very brief CT over, I drove through Dunkin Donuts to have a lunch of coffee and bagels stuffed with cream cheese.

I simply cannot tolerate the flavor of fast food any more. Not an honest hamburger from a real restaurant, but stuff that really isn't food, but refined petroleum distillates. The little cream cheese stuffed bagel had an interesting, herby flavor, but...? I ate the second one because I still was hungry. That was about 1:30, and at bedtime the flavor still consumed my body.

Worse yet, the results of the CT have not yet hit my clinic chart. X-rays show up no later than the next morning. Now it's been twenty four hours since I took a deep breath, hold it and breathe. 

On a happier note, I stopped at the gallery and consigned a dozen towels to Diane. She seems excited. Knowing how full up she is with artists' works, I expected the towels would be scattered about, augmenting other displays. To my surprise, immediately inside the door:

And for everyone who has not seen the inside of a shop in too, too long:

And that's about a third of what is in there. Riverlight Gallery. Diane ships. But buy your towels from me. 

And finally, I'm off to get Laura in a few minutes, for the monthly shopping and laundry spree.

I'm sure I'll have the answer to the CT scan by tomorrow, and I can quit grumbling. And, I've begun a new pair of socks, to try the new toe. After the socks, I have a red sweater to knit. Hard to believe trying out a new toe takes precedent over a red sweater.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Happy days

I slept in one hour this morning. That felt wonderful! Made the bed, got dressed, read my email. Fortunately I read the email; UPS scheduled Monday's delivery for today.

There still were three bouts to tie on. I haven't whined much about the progress of the new warp on the loom. It just is, and I've kept steadily at it, winding it on and tying it to the old. I've tied two or three bouts a day, and yesterday I left off with three more to tie. So, not even breakfast yet and I see I better begin tying darn soon. 

The box arrived after lunch. I kept on with the loom. It was tied on but not to the front, yet. Can't weave that way.

But, all tied the front apron and ready for weaving, I moved on to the bobbin winder to put blue cobalt on my bobbins and open the box.

And there you have it, my next warp or two and enough of the most popular colors to keep people happy for a bit. Actually, I've been wanting to weave grey and black again, and good to have them. And I wove a few bobbins of blue cobalt, before I quit for the day.

So, that's been my occupation these last couple of weeks, dressing the loom again. I have an appointment Tuesday to deliver a load of towels to the gallery in town. 

Spring definitely is here and it's growing warmer every day. I'm looking forward to nosing about the gallery again, first time in more than a year!

Friday, March 19, 2021

Close calls

I missed most of yesterday. There was cold, nasty rain all day. I took out the trash in the morning and called venturing out of the question. This morning my trash cans are at attention at the road and I'm good to go myself.

Here is the new haircut, on my way to lunch with Ruth. The green scarf was for the holiday. I cannot locate my Erin go bragh pin. I'm out of places, except, obviously, where it is. 

It was wonderful to see each other; we'll do it again. The only news to report is that we are growing older. 

You may recall I was hurrying to finish a pair of socks, to begin a new pair. Suddenly I was encountering a split in the yarn and tied a knot, to work in later. I looked at the inside after a bit and knew I could not wear a sock with eight or ten knots. I marked the edges, pulled out three needles and ripped out at least an inch.

Back on the needles and a little knitted. It seems a moth attacked the ball of yarn. I also hustled that bit of discarded yarn out to the trash. I do not have any cat proof waste basket.

The amaryllis continues its confounding way. The leaves simply are big beyond imagining. It swoons over my kitchen table. The two little growths on each side that could have been new blooms simply withered away. A new leaf has emerged from the center.

My googled instructions are to follow the plant's lead. The leaves will collapse, as did the blossom stalks, and then it's time to cut them off and consign the pot to the back of the closet. I'm also instructed to continue watering up to that time. I feel that all that water is keeping the cells intact. But if I quit watering, will I kill it?

In the midst of all this pondering, my wonderful little motion sensor light fell from it's place on the wall again, and this time must be the last. Although stuck up with factory supplied double sided tape, its weight exceeded the sticking ability of the tape. Two sets of tape were supplied, and I went through both. What to do? How to hang it up? 

The little light lived on the dryer for a couple of days while I considered hanging it, but how? I have those hooks to be peeled off when done, but how to supply the loop for hanging. I considered twisted cord, but then I would have to stop tying on the new warp to make that.

Rustling around the waste basket for a safe place to dispose of that yarn, I did find one of those nasty wires that close up bread bags. It was mine!


I put it down with a strip of paper tape and then a layer of gorilla glue. The cat was all attention from the tower as I used the chest of drawers for a work surface. As I was spreading on the glue, he flashed into my line of sight and I barely swept his nose from the glue. Such a cat.

Monday, March 15, 2021

It isn't Sunday, just for starters

When things aren't happening as planned, my tidy little world appears crumbling, in my head at least, and sometimes in fact. I'm the person who has to know everything! It is absolutely true, I need to understand how things will happen, and how soon or distant.

For the last month or two nothing has been on track. Nothing!

This discourages me. The last time I was considering moving to an independent living facility, I had two interventions. The first was the cat, which I could not rehome, and the second the pandemic, which gave everyone a new attitude.

I put out a great burst of positivity that lasted literally a year and a half. Having no more grandchildren responsibility, I moved on to weaving. Set up shop, ordered a great deal of thread, and worked away, like Silas Marner.

All plans must wind down in time. No momentum is sustainable forever. Some universal law or another. I'm winding on a new warp under a great deal more tension. It's very hard on my arm, but once done, I will like it far more than the last. More tension means more yardage on the loom and off the tubes on the spool rack. And then, O Shit, more tubes will run out than I have replacements.

Time to reassess my life. Sales last year were very good, but definitely fell away this year. Not of concern, unless I buy a lot more thread, some of which I will need to finish the current warp.

I was kicking that can around this weekend when suddenly several things happened. The first order in four or five weeks came in. Then another. Then the gallery in town, where I used the show, asked me to come back, with the towels. And in the meantime, I decided I may as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb, so I signed up for six shows this summer at the Peninsula Flea.

And I called my supplier and put in a big thread order.

Then I went to town to mail my orders. I came home by a ten mile detour, just so I could drive up Truxell and get a current picture of the corkscrew willow header of my blog, and look what I found:

Valley Fire out on maneuvers. Those are the pumps into the lake, the ones that Nick, an especial favorite fireman of mine, painted red back when I was the department clerk. I'll guess they were just clearing lines; I know they refill that pumper truck with "city water" from a nearby town.

When I first pulled up, they were pumping that plume out over the lake. I couldn't get out of the car fast enough for a shot.

I came on home, stopping for the mail and to put my packet of material through the rent payment slot. That was another thing irritating me over the weekend, as you may recall. Making me grumpy and wanting to blow this popsicle stand.

It sure was windy, and my hair blew in my eyes and my mouth. It has been growing far too long, and part of feeling sorry for myself. So, I made an appointment for it to be cut tomorrow, before anything else.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Beets for supper

When I moved to this unit I resolved to do several things better. One involved food choices, and to that end I bought several cans of butter beans and navy beans and kidney beans and cannellini beans and beets. The former slipped away in soups and beans and greens, but the beets clung to the shelf. Finally I was down to the last can of beets, and still it remained. When the can opener blade pierced the lip last night, I knew I could get it gone. Sadly, it takes me three nights to consume a can of beets.

A packet from the landlord has come to each tenant. Granted I have been fifty years between landlords; nevertheless, I find this landlord exceedingly annoying. Instead of asking if any information on file has changed since the last submission, we are given all the paperwork to fill out and file again. The compounding problem of inadequate support services, and I conclude they can just evict me. I have a lovely independent living facility in mind, and I don't have to cook. And I can bring the loom.

I am winding on a new warp. Two facts have emerged. The first is to accept my right shoulder is giving out and this warp may be a week or so getting to the loom. The second is, I will run out of more than the four replacement tubes of warp I have on hand.

So what to do? Subdivide those four into enough to complete the warp? Go small, say five more tubes? It comes from Canada, and the shipping would be astronomical! Go big? How big? I ordered forty new tubes of warp.

I also have a lot of colors left to weave into towels. But, what to do with them? I've decided to try shows again this summer. Actually, just one show, the Peninsula Flea. I found the application, which I must get in soon. And, I absolutely must find someone to help me load in and out.

Busy, busy, busy, if I can get started. I must make an appointment with myself!

I did make an appointment for Toby to see the groomer and be divested of a lot of hair. He loves Vicki, and everyone there, they tell me. I will love the absence of hairballs. They greeted me every morning for the last two weeks.

Best of all, his sleekness fits right into the top lounge area.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

What a difference a swallow makes

The first time I read the phrase "one swallow does not a summer make," I had no idea of a swallow except something in the mouth. I carried that misconception far too long. And I was even longer seeing an actual swallow.

Yesterday was so promising, I dressed in lighter clothing and lasted through breakfast before I switched out the lighter fleece for my heavy Carhart. I found and watched Harry and Meghan's interview. I have yet to watch the extra thirty minute clip, but I will. 

Princess Diana's death tragic death made an indelible impression on me. I was too familiar with suicide, depression, harm before that time, and her death happened over our Labor Day weekend and at a personal  event that seared it and her two children forever into my memory.

Listening to Meghan and Harry's account of their three years in the palace seemed like a recounting of Diana's life. I am happy for them that they have taken up residence "over here." And I know there are as many opinions of that young couple as there are opinions, so I leave that topic there.

And today...

I knew when I got up, it would be a good one. Back into yesterday's "spring" clothing, which I've worn all day. What a difference a swallow makes, and I've never seen that bird about here, but I watched them every summer evening when I lived on the next road south.

Most of the morning I spent sitting on the very uncomfortable bench out on the deck, breathing deeply, in and out. How wonderful spring smells. I think I could even smell daylight savings time coming on.

Eventually I retired to the studio and began cleaning up the loom for a new warp. Then lunch and back to knitting. I keep working as much as I can on this sock; it's the second of a pair. I want them done so I can start over and try a new toe pattern I've found.

I do need to find something interesting to watch on Netflix. I've torn off my old totally notated desk pad so I can list new programs to watch. I just finished the Mormons Murdering Mormons documentary. 

Ruth and I have a lunch date next week. The last time we went to lunch, last November, I wore a jacket that caused her to say she thought she had the identical jacket in her closet. I'll wear it again next week and see if she wears hers, too.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Breaking into spring

There hasn't been much to say about the current batch of towels on the loom. I like the color well enough; this set, plus the few natural towels that ended the warp. I have enough warp left to put on the loom for the usual six colors of towels, and then no more unless/until I buy more warp.

The towels came off last week and I fulled them and set them aside. Later I cut them, and set them aside. Saturday morning I stationed them to begin hemming, and then the sleep fog overtook again. I crept to the chair, put up my feet and was gone.

I woke after two hours, refreshed, but cold. And my mind's eye was focused on a blue fleece blanket in the back of my car. I've had that blanket for over twenty years, given by a friend back in my weaving days. It always lived in my vehicle and kept me warm many nights, napping on the drive home.

Straight to the car and the blanket was mine. I put it in the washing machine and returned to my hemming job.

 Washed and folded, against the next nap.

Cat proofed. I am sooooooooooo allergic to cat dander, and Toby has plenty of dedicated and pampered nap spots.

Back to the warm and sunny front room and the stack of towels. My daughter called. I put her on speaker and kept on sewing, describing the window of sunshine, the beautiful green aqua flowing under the presser foot, the cream towels to hem next.

Sounds like Key West, she said. The Caribbean, the Mexican Riviera. And yes, the new green aqua is exactly that wonderful color of the water over the cream colored sand.

When I finished the warp off weaving cream, I had three towels plus an exactly square remnant. Napkin folding always begins with a square, and now I have a square. No need to first fold my towel down to a square to begin folding the rose. I can't say it has improved the appearance of the final product, but it has improved the procedure.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

The day after

 My sister took me to the appointment for my second vaccine dose yesterday, and I was very grateful. First, I was vaccinated on the passenger side, in the other arm, which I thought good to do. Then, on the way home, my arms grew numb. But, I decided I would beat it this time, and when home I tuned into my current Netflix entertainment, Sweet Magnolias, which is dreadful, and started another sock. I made supper, read blogs and came to bed.

I've finished the course of antibiotics for that double pneumonia, and talked to the doctor about it today. She sent an order for a new x-ray to the clinic and I agreed to get over there soon. I wove some, ate lunch, and then my head filled with bees. I plopped into the recliner and went to sleep. In an hour my phone rang; my neighbor with the mail. I took it and went back to sleep. An hour later Ann called. We chatted, her lunch date arrived, and I went back to sleep.

An hour later I woke, cold. I went to the bedroom, got an extra blanket and went back to the chair. This time I slept to six, got up and found some leftovers. Now I've retired to the "office", to clean up the day's emails and maybe read the news. Or, go back to bed.

I just noticed the new amaryllis leaf, growing from the center of the plant. I do not know what the growths on each edge are. And, this leaf is not pointy, it is squared off. The internet told me to let it grow until the leaves fell over, when I should put it away. I wonder when that will happen.