Saturday, July 13, 2024

Potato harvest is in!

 Yesterday I decided it was time for Tattie Liftin'. Meaning harvesting my container of potatoes. It's more an annual ritual than a meal, tiny new yellow potatoes.

Since I'd found some peppermint, I was able to make a mint sauce. People who eat lamb like it together. I don't eat lamb, but it's great with newly collected baby potatoes. Pat of butter and your world is complete. And the rest of the potatoes will be roasted in the toaster oven today. 

Mint sauce is just peppermint chopped fine, pinch of sugar, malt vinegar, no other vinegar need apply. 

I planted eyes from a couple of sprouting potatoes in the kitchen 

Watch this space.

Later in the evening Gary came over to get some help with houseplants and while we were at it, I gave him a snake plant leaf and we planted the sections in two small pots. He's been wanting to do this for ages. It's a plant that connects our families.

I took care of the original parent plant for his daughter's mother, one summer on my patio, years back, when I had enough shade to put out houseplants. 

I kept one leaf -- rent!-- from which grew the big snake plant now in the library. From that I'd grown another. And from that third generation came the current leaf, which will go into his little granddaughter's room. So she'll have a plant from her grandmother, via a winding path.

And here's my plan for the day, read


Happy day, everyone. Just be.

Friday, July 12, 2024

Getting stuff done

 Yesterday Joe the Plumber came and spent the morning at the condo replacing the water heater.

You can see the tight quarters. Its an alcove, no way to enlarge it, which is why the washer and dryer are compact. Also very expensive, the only ones which fit.

There's always a point at which the soldering sets off the smoke alarm. It's undetectable by human nose, but the alarm goes into overdrive. So it seems to be working anyway.

And while I was there I noticed near the building a stand of peppermint, so I swiped a bit 

I'll start it in water then move to a pot.

When I got home, Misfits had arrived 

Still buying bread until the weather moderates and I can bake my own again.

The paper supplies went out in the afternoon to a local friend, and what she didn't need will be freecycled this morning to one of several interested takers. 

She and I had a funny chat about being drawn to blank books and fountain pens. She noted that she hadn't been able to get them to meet and work together yet.. I think that might be true of a lot of collectors. Using them doesn't seem to be the point. 

For me using stuff is the point. 

This picture is my homelife in a nutshell 

On top of coffee table, l to r current DVDs, breakfast tray, on extra table,  DVD player, Kleenex for sad movies, stitched box. Just out of frame, pinloom weaving supplies.

Under the table l to r, stitching supplies and current fabric book, waste basket for threads, spinning supplies, knitting bag.

In the downstairs closet, not pictured, bag of cordage and basket in progress 

This is HQ. It's why I no longer need a studio and extensive art supplies. Life's good. 

Happy day everyone, go Joe, and confusion to his enemies. Joe's bringing the economy roaring back has increased the value of my little mutual fund investments, and directly enabled me to pay for this month's expenses.  So miss me with whining about daily costs.  

Two years ago I couldn't have managed this well. Money may not buy happiness, but a bit extra to relieve the strain is pretty close to it.

Time to play!

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Friends online and in real space

 Yesterday was about staying cool, knitting,  getting surprise visits and online meetings where I could vent my feelings about the current political turmoil.

Best of all was a flying visit from a close friend who moved away but never fails to stop by when she's anywhere near. We did a great catch-up about families and friends, ending with our traditional selfies.

She's so short I have to bob down to get us both in the shot. 

While I was in the online meeting Gary burst in with a question about plants (!) and got a very brief answer.

Nice Indian neighborhood proof #23,543: I was carrying my recycling bucket and a bag of garbage to the dumpster when a young woman ran up, took them from me, disposed of them and wished me a nice day! Total stranger from somewhere down the street. 

Today is about getting the water heater installed at the condo and selling my firstborn to pay for it.

It's also about another friend this afternoon, visiting and getting this from me. She makes art, and I offered her first look before I put this supply of wonderful acid free paper and portfolio on Freecycle.

If she takes only some of it, I have a couple of people eager for the rest of it. It's the supplies left after I had a solo show of prints and paintings. Arches paper, beautiful quality.

So that's where we are today, happy day. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Hot air, poached cod and art

Yesterday the chimney people came, blew out the dryer vent, inspected the chimney, pronounced all was well, emptied my wallet and left.

Followed up by a couple of neighbors wanting to know how I'd found them, how to contact, etc.  Written clearly on the van, but they'd missed it! 

It pays to do business in a development, because people are happier to hire someone who's already been seen around than an unknown Google search.  They certainly earned their money yesterday, climbing on the roof in torrid heat, even early morning. 

Here's what explains the feeling the heat 

And this explains my swollen and itchy eyes

And this is why I've been coughing for days, smell of woodsmoke around this week.

And there's this

All in all, we've had better days.

Meanwhile there was cod to poach, and carrots and dandelion greens to steam, and capers to strew around.

And apricots to finish, with nutritious chocolate almonds.

Outside, when it was cooler in the evening, I did a bit of spotting, a little fungus, balsam flowers self seeded, and other self starting plants 

In other wildlife news, I was filling my rinsing water bowl for daily dishes last night, when I spotted a little clump being swept around the bowl by the hot water. 

I fished it out and found it was a little spider, waterlogged and half drowned. I tried to dry her out a bit without damaging any legs, then maneuvered her onto a paper towel. 

This morning she's gone, so I guess she lived to fight another day. Us spinners have to stick together, through hell and hot water.

Textiles and Tea featured a wonderful Japanese scholar, artist, painter, artisan in shibori dyeing, ikat weaving and boro, the preservation of tatters.

She spoke of this cultural museum in Basel, Switzerland, as a repository of fiber culture from many regions and centuries.

Boro is the preservation and respect for tattered, patched cloth, showing its history and place in the culture.

She wrote the classic English language book on shibori dyeing, before then the texts were in Japanese.

She believes in keeping a flexible mind, letting the materials suggest the next move, and not grimly holding onto the first design idea.  It was an education to listen to her. Check her website for more.

Last evening I finished the next page in my fabric book. Mary will recognize the original fabric, but maybe not its current form 

and yes, the fabric suggested each move, tearing, raveling stitching. I just followed her lead.

Happy day everyone, hang in there, despite climate and political setbacks, we, with nature and art, will survive and thrive.

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Of chimneys and cosmos

Today I will have the sweep in, required inspection, chimney and dryer vents. I'm sorry for people who have to be out and about working in this heat, and wondered if they'd postpone, but I guess business has to happen.

Florida voters, I was at an online Town Hall with your Democratic hopeful for your senator, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. 

She's a powerhouse, first Latina from Florida in Congress, now hoping to replace Scott as senator. She's second generation, from Ecuador, has worked all her life and loves her State. I'd vote for her if I could. 

Florida has Democratic candidates fielded in every contest this year, no more uncontested GOP walkovers. Florida is in play!

Meanwhile, the daily stuff of life ticks over.

Shrimp salad with pancakes, apricots and almond chocolates 

The first of this year's flowers, Russian sage, lavender, black eyed Susans, daisies, from the front yard 

And here's the first flower from the backyard 

I thought you might like to see the pinloom vest with the pressed linen tunic, as you see, mid thigh. I like the short over long look.

I also hope the heat abates so I can get out and wear it. The vest is soft and lacy, really pleasing.

And since I'm anxious and tense, heat does that to me, also the ongoing house needs, last evening I did a bit of spindle spinning.

Roving, left to right, is sari waste, silk mixture and wool. The spindle is my favorite, a 3D printed one. Ancient meets modern. Oddly, twisting roving into yarn untwists my tension. 

All the Freecycle items went in a matter of hours, frames and drawings claimed by one keen person. I'm very happy about the drawings particularly, now in a good home.

Happy day everyone,  don't be fooled by the Russian deza about prominent Dems wanting Biden replaced. 

The Washington Post has already been forced to retract their lie about MOC Ted Lieu. Don't believe the first thing you read from anonymous sources, or rumors. 

I mean serious political figures, not the washed up actors and writers seizing on a way to get attention in their waning years!