Sunday, June 30, 2013

Beads, net, Tyvek, pesto, where will it all end...

To find out, go here

Yesterday's gardening was done across the street in a neighbor's back yard, hauling out weeds, helping plant tomatoes, transplanting pachysandra in my design for her life.  She's not around enough to weed -- this is her weekend home -- so I'm strongly suggesting we plant pachysandra in her planting beds, then grow veggies in containers put right down on the pachy, as I do.  Works a treat, keeps weeding to a distant memory, and I don't think I'll let her disagree..she has a patio about the size of mine, with a concrete apron where I have a deck, so it's the edges that need the work.

But what looks like a small area in prospect gets huge in the heat of summer and with limited time to work on it with all the other weekend stuff needed.  Very discouraging to come back every Friday and find the patio all overrun again after clearing it last week.

I grow all my herbs and most of my flowers in containers, and they look great. In fact most people think they're planted in the ground, since the pachy covers up the containers anyway.  So I hope Karen will like this solution.  She's looking interested anyway.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Handsome Partner's Birthday

Today is  HP's birthday, and since I'm busy playing music later today, Handsome Son and I will go out to dinner tomorrow to celebrate HP's life.  New place we haven't been to before, seems appropriate, casual, but good Italian food, I'm told.  Typical NJ restaurant: in a strip mall, very low key not much in the way of decor, but they know how to cook!  Nice acknowledgment of the day.

Meanwhile, work in the studio is keeping on keeping on, and the latest finished piece is here

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Dollivers Get in a Jam. Strawberry, that is.

So the Dollivers, insisting that after all the heavy labor of bringing home food from the farm this year, it was time to reap the harvest so to speak.  So, togged up in their denim gear, suitable for farm and house, they decided to use all the strawberry harvest from this year, one of the best ever, thanks to various weathers, as jam.

They delegated me to do the heavy lifting, such as stirring to an unboildownable rolling boil,

too dangerous for delicate Dollivers, and sterilizing the couple of glass containers I managed to find, and pouring the resulting delicious stuff into them.

The cook's privilege is to eat the foam skimmed off the top on plain yogurt. Heaven on a spoon.  Never waste the foam.

Then, the jam done and jarred, not the only thing that was jarred by this time, they decided the jam needed hot biscuits, right away. 

So we made a batch of wholewheat with flaxseed and sunflower seeds. 

And tested it out, using the remaining two Dollivers, the entitled ones who did no work, as guinea pigs, I mean guests to tea.

This is great stuff. It simply doesn't get any better than warm homemade bread with fresh homemade jam from local fruit.

This is after a day of embroidering up a storm, then taking a trip to the thrift store despite numerous road closings and confusing detours
for repairs, to score three heavily beaded and sequined tops, for the beads and sequins, and a bag of leftover tulle ribbon in various colors, right for an upcoming embroidery gig, then some serious debeading of the tops, this is not work for wimps.

I  may sit down and read a Barbara Pym after I get out of here.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Bloomsday 2013

To see a couple of sky pix in honor of Bloomsday and a waxing moon, go here

Lovely weekend of perfect June weather, friends around, lunch unexpectedly with two of them, cooked by one to order, while watching the US Open golf, window washing (their idea my windows their work of removing them cleaning and replacing, beyond my own strength, in gratitude for my explaining how to do it for themselves to save hauling out a ladder to wash the upstairs windows,yay) stitching galore, wonderful viewing of The Guilty, Michael Kitchen actually playing a bad guy, the idea.

Then a quick text today to a literary friend, the kind of person on whom nothing is wasted, wishing her a happy Bloomsday, and a response wishing me about Leopold.  Like I said, nothing wasted on her. Wonderful friend to have.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Annual Pesto Bash and Other Significant Events

Today is sister Irene's (dogonart to you) anyway, her birthday.  Hippo Birdies, and many many more.

And the other annual event was the Making of the Pesto, at least the opening day of same.  Today it was oregano and sage, one batch of each flavor.  This year I'm not mixing flavors like last year, just going to put the batches up separately then mix and match as I cook.  

I freeze each batch flattened out in a ziploc bag, and when it's frozen, it stands on edge like a library book, takes up no room in the freezer and you can break off exactly the amount you want.  I also, instead of washing out the blender (I do chop first by hand, then finish by blending the walnuts, parmesan, olive oil and leaves) I poured in a few ounces of water and blended that, and I'm freezing the resulting mix, to add to soups or whatever will have water in it anyway.  Waste not want not.

The blender is a very nice one, a freecycle, in fact, I suspect because the original owner moved on up to a food processor after watching one too many food shows...perfectly operating blender. 

This freed up my old one, actually a collectible with one switch for on, and one for off, which went to Handsome Son who loves old items like this especially when they function, which that one does.  You have to hold on the lid, I warned him, since it dates back to before they made the deep lid which didn't fly off so readily..and I just remembered that was a freecycle, too.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Ribbons, streamers, balloons, cake, merriment

Tests all done this morning,and they showed nothing wrong, yay!

So after a few anxious days and a lot of helpful messages from blogistas and others, I plan to loaf on the patio, in the sunshine, have a little glass of wine, do some embroidery, make a pot of special Chinese tea I was given last evening, weird little cakes of tea, and generally breathe again.

Meanwhile, it's like a factory floor around here today -- a major tree came down on my neighbor's house, totally unexpectedly, calm evening, no wind, just last night, and she and her kids escaped by the skin of their teeth as it came down on them.  No people hurt, fences gone, huge chippers at work today hauling away a large section of a fifty foot tree. 

I spent the evening with them helping them breathe again! and their son, who had been playing poker with his buds on the deck, in true Y chromosome fashion, moved the poker game to another friend's house!

Never a dull moment.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

White Rabbits!

The blogpost title is what you're supposed to say on the first of every month, no I don't know why, I just do it!

Mixed few days -- stove broke down, horror, couldn't bake my bread.  But I did get a good techy out yesterday who examined it and said,well, it looks as if your igniter's all corroded.  I resisted the temptation to say, well, you're no oil painting yourself, and inside of an hour he had whipped out the old part, spliced and organized and replaced it, and we're back in business.  This is good.

Then it was my annual physical which went well, except that my doc tells me my endo has dumped his practice and gone to work in Big Pharma, dangit.  Right in the middle of getting my ultrasounds organized.  But that might not be too pressing, try to get into another practice before the due date of October. 

More upsetting was that she discovered a new thing , and ordered up a mammo and ultrasound asap.  By midweek I hope to know if I'm in any real trouble or not.  Not much sleep last night.

Meanwhile, on the subject of rabbits,  my usual browser isn't responding and I had to go to IE which doesn't like this site.  So my linking didn't work very well. So if you would like to see rabbits, just go to  Anyway, give it a shot!

And send plenty of vibes that I'm only dealing with a false alarm.