Tuesday, October 31, 2023

The monstera moves in

So, after all the work I did, rehabbing Gary's plants for him, giving him my afternoon, like a nice neighbor,  the excitable person across the street gets him all worked up about the toxicity of the monstera plant. He's easily convinced, being very protective of Billy the Pup, though I doubt if there's much danger.  Most houseplants are toxic to some extent, but few are lethal.

Anyway the upshot is that the giant monstera, seen here second from left, has moved in here.  

I spent a long time getting it straightened after all its travels had knocked it sideways, and staked up.  So here it is. For now anyway. I hope Excitable Lady doesn't get him all upset about the other plants, because I'm not taking them!

Handsome Son is visiting today, so he'll get the rest of the cranwal etc bread, which I put in the freezer for this purpose, otherwise it would be gone. I'm glad to have his company this afternoon, then Textiles and Tea, which will help with the day. 

I hate Halloween, for reasons having to do with the ghoulish aspect and PTSD, so for me it's a day to get through. Our current population hasn't grasped the convention that door closed, porch lights off, means this house doesn't do Halloween, so it may be a bit disturbed. But, as they say of other special days, it's only one day.

Last night I put the heating on for the first time, since the temps are down to the thirties overnight. This may be a record late date, though October is usually a no heat no cooling month, always welcome for the budget.

And here's a pertinent Haggard Hawks puzzle

happy day everyone, enjoy it or get through it,  whichever is on your agenda.

Photo AC

Monday, October 30, 2023

If music be the love of food..And other misreadings

 My honorary granddaughter sends me an art card every week, and when she was in Berlin recently to  run the marathon, she visited museums, including the museum of early musical instruments. So these cards have started arriving.

Here's a wooden flute, the head of a bass viol, the ancestor of today's double bass, a c clarinet and a trumpet, all dating from the sixteenth century. 

These are instruments which played my favorite early music, very exciting to see. I hope they get played now and then, because they need handling and the wind instruments need warm air passing through them, to stay alive.

Yesterday was a rainy cool day, just right for comfort food, here tuna/cannellini bean fritters, with chili pepper, long pepper, and roast potatoes, sprig of Thai basil for a bit of color, ketchup because I could.

And comic relief from Free cycle


What I say is, if you need more elephant storage, you've got too many elephants.

And Halloween is almost upon us complete with costumes

Happy day, everyone, don't acquire elephants that you'll only have to store. But dress as one for Halloween, maybe.

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Gardening home and away

 Yesterday the long awaited hibiscus arrived, as always much smaller than expected. Here's her day 

Now in a new home, watch this space.

Then the plant operation Gary postponed because I wasn't up for it the other day, happened. 

He arranged to come get me in the afternoon, and, knowing him, his need first to go out to lunch, then to shop, I didn't rush.

Got my walk in, lovely tree colors

Home again, pot of tea and cranwalsweetpot bread, reading Barbara Pym, nap, before he showed up.

He'd been painting baseboards, which he does by removing them and working outside. I always painted them in place, but I have a steady hand.

Anyway it turned out that he and Billy The Pup were refreshing the pots for several large houseplants, trimming roots, all that

He is exactly like Handsome Partner in setting up an obstacle course which he repeatedly steps over and around. 

I think it's a symptom of excess energy,  and found myself, like old times, organizing as we went, keeping tools in a bunch, not lost, empty pots stacked, all that. Quite a trip down memory lane which he was unaware of, just as Handsome Partner was.

We were slightly jarred by a noisy low flying helicopter coming over, which he identified as a military attack helicopter. There's a big military base not far from here as the helicopter flies, and we wondered if it was on maneuvers, relating to Gaza. We agreed that there's a lot going on we know nothing about. Possibly just as well.  

So half a dozen large houseplants refurbished, I retired home for a cup of tea, after a discussion of favorite teas and why.He was very satisfied with our accomplishments, and he's got his plants, some of them, set up for the winter now. 

Happy day everyone, enjoy your day, wet or dry, here it's wet, good thing we got the gardening done yesterday. My hibiscus will be happy with a bit of warm rain, still very mild here.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Cranwalsweetpot loaf and other thoughts

Yesterday I made the sweet potato bread, using the banana bread recipe with a cup of mashed sweet potato instead of banana. And I subbed half of the AP flour with chickpea flour. Added in dried cranberries and crushed walnuts.

And the result is worth doing again. It's moist and golden, and much more interesting than just with AP or even whole wheat. The bottom picture is this morning's breakfast, with the bread under that yogurt and sliced strawberry.

So many things going tragically wrong in the world, at least it's good to stop and have a nice breakfast, to try to send out good hopes. I think everything's connected,and people who try to bring a little bit of cheer, like Inger with her mountain and dog pictures, AP with his regular cat commentaries, Debra with her moon observations and the goddesses and folklore associated with the seasons, they're all so valuable. More bloggers,too, many more.

Yesterday's knitting group yielded great convo, no pictures, no new projects, but wide ranging talk, from Maine, home state of one of us, a road trip in an old classic car to Tennessee, on back roads, to home improvement and getting contractors to listen, to Halloween in Nashville. This group is therapeutic! Or as my Greek friend Bobby (Charalambos) would insist therapeftic, you should say therapeftic!

Speaking of therapeutic, the Haggard Hawks puzzle answer is






what they all have in common is ending in SIDE. If a little change is allowed, you could have ownsided, meaning scored in your own goal, which was my first guess on that one before I got the pattern.

Happy day, everyone, as far as possible. Let's press for a ceasefire in Gaza and restoring of power and internet, and an end to this war crime siege. The Israeli government doesn't speak for Jews, who despite their own heartbreak, are horrified at the response. 

Meanwhile let peace start with ourselves. I'm planning on sharing the new bread with neighbors.

Photo AP

Friday, October 27, 2023

Petrified forest, Fall, and Misfits

 Yesterday I was out walking, feeling well again,  in beautiful sunny weather, record breaking, in fact, see Trenton 

up to 80°f then still 70°f at nearly seven at night

And the Fall colors were blazing away on the street

And in the trees

While across the ocean, where I was a little kid going to the seaside, this happened, at Redcar, known locally as Retkuh.

I had no idea this existed under the wide golden sand I played on and made sand castles. The sand I played with has evidently been washed away.

Meanwhile, back to the present, Misfits arrived, bang on time

Here's the Imperfect Foods truck just leaving after a strong lady left my box

The sweet potatoes were a freebie, aka a perk, and it occurs to me I can use them in a bread, like banana bread, but sweet potato, with walnuts and dried cranberries.  A change from using them as a vegetable, and it's ages since I baked one of those breads.

The strawberries are excellent, not a bad one in the box, and I've got a new yogurt, the last of which will be a starter for the home version. Expensive this week, because I needed both olive and avocado oils.

Yesterday, dressed for the warm weather,  went much better, including knitting and stitching, walking, and generally having a good day. The kids were out of school, parent teacher conferences, and were all cheerfully playing out and walking around looking cool -- middle school!

Happy day, everyone, walk around, looking cool, if that's what you do.

And let's remember the Palestinian civilians in Gaza, including little children, being bombed and starved, trapped in a war they didn't start.

Let's be thankful for our own safety while doing what we can think of to help. I've been trying to showcase their textile arts, as a reminder of their civilization and ancient culture.

 And, until Russia retreats, as always 

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Tricky weather and smart meters

 Yesterday was a day of weather swings, down to thirties overnight, house cold enough in the morning to switch on the fireplace heater for an hour and dress in sweater and jacket. 

Then it got warmer, and I didn't keep up, even making chicken soup in the morning and having some for lunch! resulting in an afternoon of not being well, and so weak I literally couldn't move at all for a while, before realizing I was probably overheated and dehydrated. 

I made it to lying down after a few minutes. Can't mess with that. So, once I could move again and felt a bit more capable, I changed to lighter clothes, drank water and started to feel much better.  This has happened a couple of times over the years, usually stress or, as probably now, dehydration.  Not too smart on my part. I did little other than rest after that, not even knitting, nor stitching. 

Before all that, the water meter man had called, replaced the old meter, new statewide mandate, with a smart meter that reads remotely. 

That went smoothly, so something around here's smart! The humans are having a job keeping up.

Gary  stopped in later, wanting me to help him plant bulbs, but we put it off to today,  figuring that might work better, and another warm day, for which I'll dress lighter, is forecast. Helping him means I suggest places and why, point, and he digs. Easy gardening for me.

He also wanted to know about the meter man, and I could tell he hasn't been checking the mail, to find all the postcards explaining how to get it done, through a company the water utility hired. 

 Later today the misfits box arrives. Meters, misfits, pause for resting, it's all go around here..more or less. A bit of a contrast with  the globe trotting accounts I'm following in blog land!

Happy day everyone, knit on! In whatever form that takes for you.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Textiles and Tea, plant rescue and bagworms

Yesterday's Textiles and Tea featured, Louise Lemieux Berube,  a French Canadian weaver, specialist in Jacquard, one of the earliest to train on software to run Jacquard looms, and a beloved teacher, judging from the comments as she spoke.

She incorporates painting onto her large weaving, and many types of thread in the bobbins. Currrently she's incorporating paper yarn. 

This gave me a great idea for the next wall hanging, using some of my paper weaving, from yarn I spun, Sarah Swett style, from paper I'd dyed. More later on that. And she's been known to branch out into metal, as you see in the forest installation.

Back here, the wall hanging is moving right along

It's starting to feel sturdy in my hands. One more row of squares and it's done.

Gary meanwhile had found little self rooted plants of tradescantia which he ran over with, wanting me to do something about them. 

So here's what happened yesterday

new pot with refreshed soil waiting for use. We were expecting frost so I brought it in overnight.

Work in progress

And here's the pot upstairs under the parent plant.

Meanwhile, I finally got around to a bit of pruning, just as well, because while I was snapping off dead twigs and cutting out crossed branches, I found a couple of  dreaded bagworms.

I opened one case to show you. The others are at a different stage, with a very tough membrane attaching them to branches. As the larvae develop, they eat foliage, and are a serious pest locally. They can defoliate and kill a tree once they get going.

These are gone now, and I need to be alert from now on.

The tree looks happier.

It's been a while since we had a puzzle, here's two

How to use it, then? Or is this like those mattress labels you daren't remove because it's illegal...

anyway here's a Haggard Hawks that's not as hard as it seems at first

And because we all need a puppy right now

Happy day everyone, warm puppies to you!