Sunday, September 25, 2022

One thing in, several out, ficus, Freecycle, Fiona

Yesterday was the Bringing in of The Ficus, now a bit over eight feet tall and almost fifty years old.

As usual I had to cut the taproot she'd put down over the summer, and a lot of hair roots, before she let go. 

Also as usual she came right out of the pot like a kid dragging her feet and leaving her boot behind.

But this was good because I was able to brush off some earth, then, once indoors and back in her pot and saucer, I added in new soil and watered it down.

And now she's all what kept you, been waiting to get in with my friends.

Reunion party last evening.

Some of the friends have left via Freecycle, while the weather is still warm enough to travel.

I started all of these from cuttings and rootings from the parent plants which I still have. 

No lack of takers including people who didn't read the entry and asked what they were! And would I split them up, yes, of course, but you need to tell me when you'll come, I'm not getting into a penpal correspondence about it.

But I'm nice to plant fans because I feel they're kindred spirits. And now I know it's easy to pass on extras via Freecycle.

While I was at it, I moved on some chairs I've had around unused for ages, 

I made the entry late last night and woke this morning to someone who wants to come by any minute. So I got up promptly to lug them outside onto the step,  where the last of the houseplants await pickup this morning too. 

The step's getting a bit crowded.

Yesterday was a day of finally getting things done. I baked bread now there's no need to think twice about heating up the kitchen

Oatmeal and wholewheat, very sturdy and artisanal, and ready for that Vermont butter and Vermont sharp cheddar you see in the picture.

I'm very concerned for Marie, our blogger friend on Prince Edward Island, and hoping she  and family managed to get through Fiona intact. It was a big hit on coastal Eastern Canada.

Thankful for a quiet day here and wishing you all a happy day everyone.

Photo AC 

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Knitters ahoy! And reading, with junk food for thought

Yesterday was a great knitting group, a full house, with work like this

Beautiful, no? S is a great knitter. Someone pointed out that you could tell who was knitting what, from the color choices which they'd dressed in, too. 

S was wearing an outfit in the warm mellow shades of the foreground hat, M in the blues and greys of the shawl she's working on, and I was in bright green and toned in with the current socks. 

At home, a sleepless night made me glad of junk reading, like this hugely enjoyable box o' gossip

Earlier, in contrasting,  I'd read this really serious examination of the history of monarchy as a concept and whether it has a future, very well written with the inside information of a reporter now free to write what his paper was obliged to suppress at the time. Not gossip, serious consideration of the concepts.

And here's the current book group selection

She wrote the Olive Kitteridge books, and I keep on thinking that's the writer, forgetting the actual writers name. This one promises to be as episodic and provocative and touching as earlier books featuring the main character here,  Lucy Barton. 

Yesterday on the way to the knitting group, I saw a double crested cormorant at the lake, sitting on a fallen tree snag, wings held out to dry in the sun. No place safe to pull over for a picture, but here's the pose

They're fishing birds, whose wings are not waterproof, because they dive and need  to be not too buoyant, or they wouldn't be able to stay under water to hunt. So when they surface,  they have to dry out like this.

They look primitive, like dinosaurs, which I guess they are.

Happy day everyone, today's plans include bringing in the ficus, the nights getting chilly now, sorting out the houseplants with a view to Freecycling duplicates, likewise  a few other household items, and a bit of urgent food shopping. If I get the current jigsaw puzzle completed, nearly there, I'll Freecycle it, share the wealth.

Doing pretty well at the moment, the knitting group being a great timely infusion of good company. 
May all your company be good today!



Friday, September 23, 2022

Good news and other news

 So here's the good news

To look forward to. Two whole dozen snowdrops on the way. To be a memorial planting for Irene.

Yesterday's pleasure was to resume this

Too soon to know what it will be. This is the cordage made from daylily foliage and iris leaves, with silk roving added in. To Thrones and Dominions audiobook.

Then the other news. A major talent has left us, but her work survives

If you haven't read the Wolf Hall trilogy, put it on your winter reading list, it's totally gripping.

I have a weird connection with Hilary Mantel. I read in her memoirs an account of the view from a house she'd lived in briefly as a child, and kept thinking how familiar it all felt. 

A bit of detection revealed that in fact I had been in that room in that house. A University friend lived with her family there, and I saw that view on the morning of her wedding from the house. 

Handsome Partner was best Man, I was matron of honor, and it was a happy morning getting them all out to the local church. 

Considering Mantel's later writing on how houses are haunted by earlier inhabitants and events, it feels oddly significant.

And today's art, art will save us all

In good news, Judge Cannon has retracted the disputed classified document order completely, leaving only the other documents to be examined. The first and probably last big case of her career. Total admission of incompetence.

We need to get out the vote, keep the House, improve the Senate and keep good things going.

Happy day everyone, seeing my knitting buds today

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Life still happening

 Yesterday's walk, tired but still moving, produced this little guy, at the house near the concrete rabbit

And yesterday's lunch was a vegetable roast

Potatoes, onions, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, Old Bay, kosher salt, sprigs of sage and Italian basil, served with a sprig of Thai basil, dash of malt vinegar. 

And today it's

Happy day everyone, celebrate life and surviving.

Legal reversals in TFG world, appeals court rapidly crushing the Cannon ruling, lightning swift. Two of the three are trump appointees. Some judges can't be bought! Yay.


 Just to give her the respect of her own post

I now survive John, Kevin, Vincent, Joan, Irene, Joseph, Rita and Gerard.

RIP all.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Always something to learn

 Here's today's sock situation

And once this pair's done, here's the next Sock Ministry adventure

It's very clever engineering, where you knit one long thing, with the toe and heel places organized with scrap yarn. Then you separate it into two socks, add in toes and heels and that's it.

The toes and heels are identical, and are the same as the toes I do for tube socks. Heck, I could even knit two PAIRS at once, but perhaps I shouldn't get carried away.

I needed a new adventure for a contrast with the personal and general news.

The jigsaw puzzle is proceeding verrrrrry slowly. 

I was told yesterday that the local library now lends out puzzles on the library card. I doubt if they'd be thrilled at the kind of long-term loan I'd need, at this rate, but the suggestion was kindly made.

I may get the streets of San Francisco completed before the next Big One changes them. We'll see.

Meanwhile, happy day everyone,  desperate news from Putin's latest try, let's hope it fizzles.  And that the special master judge on TFG's antics holds firm to not having your cake and eating it. 

Meanwhile, Sock Central is set.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

What to do next. Chop wood, carry water, make soup, laugh

So the last couple of days have been busy with condolence messages and texts and emails and general concern, and thank you so much.

I've been making soup

Bringing in the basils from outside to hang in the kitchen

Honoring women's art
And finding that my mental bandwidth didn't extend to building a clothes rack from these components

These are the same bits of PVC pipe I've used to build an embroidery frame, a niddy noddy, an adjustable four selvage loom and a clothes rack. But right now, mourning brain simply can't rise to the occasion.

So I cut my losses and ordered a spring tension rod to install over the washer and dryer, to dry clothes and save energy. Sometimes simple is better than clever.

Today the house cleaners came and I spent time in the library browsing

Handsome Son came this afternoon and we spent a lovely afternoon on the deck drinking tea and eating Indian treats, most of which he finished, and I sent home the rest with him.

We had a time talking about Irene, and the celebration of life probably happening in her house in October.

It occurred to me that when I die there won't be local people to involve in a similar event, since I've outlived most of my friends.

So Handsome Son and I arranged that when I die, he'll come into this blog to announce it, and conduct an online celebration of my life for anyone who wants to take part.

I did this for Handsome Partner, private simple cremation, then online celebration and people from many countries took part and were pleased to have the chance. 

He also asked that they plant daffodils in his memory, or another perennial if daffodils didn't work where they lived.
So I'm hereby doing the same.  Please plant any spring or summer bulbs you like to remember me.
There, arrangements complete! 
I don't plan on doing all this any time soon, but Be Prepared!

Meanwhile even in sadness I just can't not laugh, so here's a couple of  offerings for you

So there we are !
Happy day everyone, we're all such tiny specks of light in the universe, may as well be happy

Monday, September 19, 2022

A few thoughts

Thank you everyone who texted and emailed and commented about Irene's death.  It's strange to be writing this, now that it's happened. When you see someone pass ninety, then ninety two, at which point she said she was just going a day at a time, it seems as if it shouldn't be a shock. Yet it is.

I'm now the last of my generation of nine children. 

She lived alone and independent in her own house right up to  last week, another indomitable lifelong single woman like several of my friends who preferred the single  life, in their  homes, in their own way.  

As one of our mutual friends said yesterday: she was her own person. That's quite a tribute.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Irene Ryder RIP

 Irene Ryder

June 11, 1930 -  September 17, 2022

My last remaining sibling 

She used to follow this blog, sometimes commenting as dogonart.


Misfits and fake candy

 Misfits box yesterday

After many years of not liking them, I rediscovered a taste for red seedless grapes.

Some for regular eating, some now in the freezer -- frozen seedless grapes work just like candy, sweet and crunchy.

The reason for the crowd of carrots is that I needed a couple of extra items to complete the minimum charge, and they're needed for soup along with the butternut squash. Some are now in ice water in the fridge, stay crisp for days that way, handy for a snack while you're wondering what to eat. 

When Handsome Son was very small, I used to keep a little dish of cooked carrots in the bottom of the fridge right where he could reach. He would swipe one when I opened the door , thinking he was so clever!

Cauliflower for roasting with onions and scallions.

I found that as usual I'd made more than enough rice the other day, so I converted some of it to make rice pudding on top of the stove. With the walnuts and cranberries, and a bit of cane sugar, it made a nice late night snack. 

Today is about making stock from the trimmings of the vegetables,then soup, probably squash and carrot.

Saturday I had a delayed reaction to the booster, tired, uninterested in food, and a bit low in energy. I had to rest in the middle of prepping the vegetables and breaking down the box.  

I had taken a walk and wondered if my suddenly wobbly legs were going to get me home, but they did anyway. 

So it was a quiet day, visit with Amitha getting caught up, but quite a bit of dozing off when I thought I was reading. Just the usual word to the wise in case you get the booster, to avoid getting it when you're expecting to be busy. I thought I'd got away with no reaction this time.

Such an exciting action packed post today!

Happy day everyone! Get boosted when you can, freeze grapes. Enjoy the day. 

Photo AC 

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Such a rich life

Yesterday was the knitting group, a reunion with two members who hadn't seen there for ages, and my first since all the exciting health events over the summer.

Here's the endless scarf in progress by our self taught young artist friend, with him considering how much longer to go.

And the temperature blanket in progress by the other person in the picture

The black stripes separate the months 

In other good news they're thinking of moving the morning of the book group which means I could rejoin. It's the same day as the knitting group and I can't do both in one day, time, mileage etc, so I've been choosing the knitting group and missing the bookies.

And the library, this is a library based group, has a current exhibit about early artifacts of the Lenni Lenape original inhabitants, sadly driven out by colonial settlers.

Not very good pictures, light poor, refiections

There are many flint and slate arrowheads, clay lamps and other interesting items in the fields around here , sometimes turned up by spring plowing.

When foundations are dug for new buildings, it's not unusual to turn up interesting early artifacts. Princeton university sends little teams of hopeful archaeologists out, and there's one area down the road which I think may be a learning place, since I've several times seen teams of  students turning over the same corner of a field each spring. 

When RCA built their HQ, across from where we eventually came to live in West Windsor, our neighbors who already lived there would go across after hours, and search about in the upturned earth. 

They found a lot of recognizable items like little oil lamps, the small clay type, arrowheads, axe heads, great stuff. The official archaeologists struck out and the neighbors were so sorry for them that they handed over most of their finds for the museum collection! It was a huge neighborhood joke that two housewives had wiped the eye of the Important Museum People!

Then friend Amitha, next door, back from India, came over with treats they'd brought back

Did ever a person have better neighbors? I think they really appreciate how I love the kids, since a lot of older people are more in the get off my lawn frame of mind. I told her it was far too quiet with them away!

How can anyone bear to move to those 55+ places, where only the occasional visiting grandchild is as seen in the deserted streets? Not my jam, anyway, even when it's noisy I'd rather be pestered with kids and the hilarious things they argue about.

So that's us. The San Francisco jigsaw puzzle is coming along.

 I find I'm the put a couple of pieces in in passing style of puzzler rather than being engrossed for hours.  It's nice to have it in progress on the table.

Happy day everyone I hope your day's as rich as mine