Saturday, September 18, 2021

How am I busy when there's only me here?

I had planned on walking on the Preserve thinking the weather was cool, to do my bit of seasonal observation for my little notebook.

Like yesterday's notes about honeysuckle berries now out

And a painted lady butterfly visiting the sedum, too fast for pix.

Then things seemed to happen. I found it was going to be too hot after all, for me to walk out. And I needed to cook vegetables to keep up my five a day. And I was determined to be conscientious about prewashing my fabric, at which I'm usually hopelessly negligent. 

 I thought that last one would also involve ironing, needing more space than the tiny bit of kitchen counter I usually use. Never owned an ironing board, not planning on starting.

So I cleared the dining table, hauled the laptop upstairs to the printer location, placemats into the kitchen basket, ironing blanket and iron in place, cutting board, wood, to rest iron. 

Then back downstairs, I started the soup, leeks, still using them from that overbuying caper, onions, scallions, celery, curry powder, kosher salt.

Then upstairs for the laundry, to add in the fabrics to what I realized was already plenty of laundry and set that going.

Back downstairs to the cooked soup,  and I did another step after blending. I strained it because celery and leeks have some pretty resistant fibrous bits, and it's better without them. The flavor's still lovely. And the straining worked fine.  Then added in the rest of the roast vegetables and sausage from the Handsome Son's pasties. This all had to heat through. And it was really good. 

A bit hot today for soup but I couldn't resist trying it.  I did have roasted white and sweet potatoes from yesterday, good with a fried egg, 

but they can be supper instead.

Chives on top of the soup. Six more containers for the freezer. Powerhouse soup.

Back upstairs to the laundry, changed all the dryer settings for the fabric, rayon challis. And got a great surprise when they came out perfectly smooth, no need for all that ironing planning at all. The batik's softened up and the yellow one was already soft. Second load into the dryer at usual settings.

I was thinking this morning it was just the kind of day to wear the batik pants i haven't made yet. Motivation.

Downstairs again to ladle the now cool soup into single helpings for the freezer, label them, reorganize the freezer to fit them in where I'll find them.

Back upstairs to sort the fabric and search for another rod to hang them on till I get to them. 

Not fancy, just a handy way to let them breathe and be all set for cutting.

Then back down to sit for a minute on the sofa and look out. And nature came to me in the form of a monarch butterfly settling on the butterfly bush next door.  No need to go in search. 

If you've followed my impersonation of a piston rod on the stairs this morning, you may agree it's not a bad equivalent of a walk on the rough ground of the Preserve.

And here's a couple of observations from the patio. 

One of Amitha's climbing vegetables has scaled the fence and there's a little something ripening at the end there. Anyone know what?

And here's an adaptation of a piece of armature copper. It's really intended for the inside of a clay sculpture, 

I used it long ago, as is, to create a sculpture on and around the cherry tree. Which accepted it and grew around it, making it a permanent installation.

This bit is all we could salvage when we felled the tree, so now it's supporting the vine from seeds tossed this year. There may be time to get something edible this year, since there are a few flowers there.

Not forgetting the outside world, I'm following up on a request from Act Together New Jersey, to show off my card showing me as a regular donor. Small but regular. 

We're working all the time on get  out the vote, bills to make it ever easier to vote and be counted. In my case, armchair or dining table activism. Old but not done yet! The selfie is to encourage everyone to be active locally, wherever you live.

Annnddd... speaking of the outside world, hold the presses! Good thing I didn't go out. Old friends Girija and Rajiv, now living an hour away

 stopped by just on the offchance, stayed briefly, masked, wouldn't sit, explained they were not touching anything, to protect me, distanced, lovely conversation, catch-up, 

gift of beads snd thread from Mumbai where she went recently to see old parents.

She took pictures of current work to show another artist friend. Rajiv said the beaded figure was very Indian in feeling. Some of the beads on it came from Girija, including the ruby topknot. 

Haven't seen them in ages. They used to live across the street, saw them all the time. They're fans of my baking. I miss them. They said same same.

Gosh this was a treat. Huge surprise.

A pretty eventful day, all in all.


  1. I published this hours ago. Phone showed it published. But it had stuck at draft status. Blogger having a fine old time. I'm pretty sure I managed to publish this time. I can't tell unless I notice no comments at all and look again. Aarghgh.

  2. It published!
    What a wonderful thing for old friends to drop by and visit! Just the best. I'm sure they do miss your baking but I am also sure they miss you more.

    1. Thank you for showing up so promptly! We do miss each other, yes.

  3. You tired me out with all those trips up and down the stairs. The visit from your friends was a wonderful surprise! I'm so happy you got to see them. How wonderful they are to bring you gifts. They obviously know what you love!

    1. She told me when she was in Mumbai she told her friend to put together a bag of items for me! The friend knows about beading, so I got her best guess! So cool that she was thinking about me when she was on a visit because her father isn't well. I'm older than her parents, and a very different kind of person.

  4. Measuring the stairs in miles, I won't be surprised if some days you make it to Boston, ok, maybe Rhode Island. Lovely smiles from friends

    1. I wish pedometers allowed for climbing, not just steps on level ground! But even that can add up if you're active in the house. One time during the caregiving years I measured my distance one 7 am to 11pm day just inside the house, not counting my outdoor walk. Five miles. The normal toing and froing of total invalid care. No wonder I got thinner. I was in my seventies then. Just a kid!

  5. after this day your legs must be solid. up and down, up and down. I do like that batik. and I had to laugh at you want to wear the pants you hadn't made yet. and what a nice surprise visit from friends.

  6. Piston walk indeed! Including multiple elevation changes!

    Your dining table activism is inspiring, Liz. Thank you for reminding us that every bit helps. The "Hidden Brain" podcast for today honors people like you, in contrast to the rabid 'partisan fans' (on either side) who do a lot of shouting but do nothing to actually make a difference.

    How wonderful to have dear friends drop by. What a highlight in your busy day!

    Chris from Boise

    1. Thank you. I'm proud to say that on two fronts we worked ourselves out of a job. I spent many hours scanning and printing vote by mail applications and sending them with a handwritten note of encouragement to hundreds of registered voters, in 2018. We got the law changed. Nobody needs to apply. Every registered voter from now on automatically gets the ballot in the mail. The other is that you don't have to move heaven and earth if your mail in ballot is rejected for error. The Ballot Cure legislation means you can simply fix it at the county clerk's office. No maze of regs to navigate.

  7. Old friends! Such a wonderful surprise!

    You certainly keep busy!

  8. I was thinking as I was following along on your day that you got plenty of exercise going up and down the stairs. And how wonderful that you were home and able to see your friends when they stopped by for a chance visit! What a blessing for you all.

  9. I have to laugh at how pleased you make me to have moved from my six steps. Except I've gained ten or eleven, one way, to the laundry room in the basement.

    1. I think we're in different places in health. I have no joint problems, stairs are easy, no hurry to leave them. But if I had issues climbing I'd be very happy to leave them and move to a ground floor home

  10. Obviously the universe aligned in such a way that you were home when your friends popped in - had you done what you originally intended you probably would have been gone. Meant to be!
    Must admit I laughed when I read about the ironing board - I haven't had one since we moved here and rely on a pad which works well for most things but not for a large amount of fabric. When we cleaned out the condo where our friend lived I brought home her ironing board. Good idea in theory, but I have to remember I even have it!

    1. I iron so rarely that it's not worth having a piece of equipment for it. Just a blanket on the countertop does it.


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