Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Love/Love, Love/Hate, Hate/Hate and the BL Method

I find myself faced with very complex relationships in this house.  Relationships with objects.  Most of my angst is caused by the kitchen appliances.  I have always (or 99% of the time) had a gas oven/stove.  I am comfortable with gas.  I know when the heat is on, I know how high the heat is, I know when it's off.  My new-to-me electric stove is showing itself to be a challenge.  This kitchen was "modern" in the late 70s/early 80s, with a separate range top and built-in oven.  My mother cooked thousands of meals in it.  My sister cooked hundreds.  I struggle to get through the day.

My relationship with the oven is what one would refer to as a "love/hate" relationship.  I love the fact that I don't have to bend down and haul out bakeware.  However, it is a miniscule oven.  None of my baking sheets fit.  Then, again, it is self-cleaning.

My range top is a whole other kettle of eels.  The heating indicators on the knobs have worn completely off, so I need to guess at the temperature I am setting the burners.  The burners are not flat.  The stovetop is black and shows everything.  I am learning to cook on it via the BL Method.  Burn and Learn.  Needless to say, it has a four-star hate/hate rating.

Another appliance that gets my spleen in a state is the washing machine.  It's brand new and must have been designed by people with exceptionally long arms and an unending source of patience.  I have neither.  BUT I have a dryer.  This is very convenient in the winter and it's nice to have soft bath towels again, but I will be hanging my clothes outside, come spring.  To heck with the HOA.

All of the hate/hates fall to the wayside, however, because of the garage.  I have an actual garage with doors that open and close and with space to park my car.  It makes me incredibly giddy every time I tuck the car away.  I choose to turn a blind eye to the chaos that is next to it.  And in the basement room.  And in the den.  And in the spare room.

Coming up in the ongoing saga that is my new life:  Covid, Covid rebound (it's a thing - who knew?), Lyme's, RSV, the State of NY, real estate agents, and lawyers.  Oy.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Dorianna Gray

Apparently, this move has had more of an effect on me than I realized.  In NY, you can use your photograph almost indefinitely on your driver's license.  Once you get a reasonably good one taken (not easy) you can hang onto it for decades.  This is good and bad, however.  If you're pulled over by the police when you're in your 80s and your license still has your 40 y/o visage, there is a good chance they won't believe you are you and will haul to off to the slammer for trying to impersonate a much-younger person.

Moving to a different state, I had to surrender my 45 y/o portrait and have a new one taken.

Good grief.

To say that I went from the first blush of medium age to looking like Al Capone's nana, would not be an understatement.  I pointed this out to my sister, expecting loving support and denial.  After she laughed to the point of tears, she shared the revelation with the check-out clerk at Job Lots - who had the same reaction.


Monday, November 7, 2022

A$$ Over Teacup or Pop Goes the Sweezie

 After dithering for weeks about how to segue into the blog after such a long absence, I just decided to jump in.


It's been an 'interesting' few months.  All members of the family are moved up to Vermont.  It went pretty smoothly, given all of the upheavals and disruptions to routines set in cement.  Slimmie spent the first three days in the closet of his room (a corner room with cross ventilation, rose-colored carpeting, the sun during the day).  His Auntie had bought him a 'cat cave', so he was able to move out of the closet and into the cave.  Eventually, he inched down the hall and discovered the cushy chair with a view of the birdfeeder.  His horizons widened.

Officer Peanut and his sidekick, Lovey, have been extremely busy, monitoring the comings and goings of everything and everyone.

Sweezie?  She, like her plants, is starting to spread her leaves and grow.

There were a few bumps in the road to paradise.

So many bumps that I now have enough material for this blog to hold me into the next century.

More to come.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

The end of an era.


The Smith Kids

They always were a close family.  Right to the end.  My mother, Kit (Kathryn), her sister, Josie (Joan) and brother Jim all passed away within the last three months.  Mom went first - probably because she was oldest and always first - Josie went early last week and my uncle Jim passed away a few days later.  It has been a sobering time.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Salad, anyone?


This bad boy was in my vegetable box at my favorite farm's share table.  It measures 20" across!  Good grief!  It is now taking up a quarter of my fridge and I am busy researching salad recipes.  

Update on the next phase project - after a disappointing meeting with the local estate appraiser/auctioneer, we now have to sell/donate most of the parental furnishings ourselves.  Connie and I had a powwow yesterday and photographed everything, then sat down and tried to come up with fair prices and OBRO alternatives.  I am doing the posting and front work, and Connie will do the showing.  Why is it that all the interesting 'jobs' that one can add to their resume, come when one doesn't need a resume?

Meanwhile, my container garden is doing better than any in-ground garden I've planted in the last five years.  I may have found my gardening niche!

Monday, June 27, 2022

The dumpster has landed and other equally exciting news.

 It's amazing how short a week actually is, when you are under pressure to clean out a house, yard, barn, sheds, etc. in seven days.  A neighbor (who bought the farm that was once home to my Jersey cow, Jasmine) had started a roll-off dumpster business, so I tapped him.  We also put a dumpster at mom's to deal with the PAPER and all of the 30+ years of "stuff".  Luckily (not), we haven't had to deal with rain.  At all.  Ever.  Apparently, all storms have gone west, north and south of us.  I am once again very happy to have my rain barrel.

The heat has ramped up the growth in my assorted and numerous containers.




Black cherry tomatoes

Some big tomato

Banana peppers

My tiny cilantro plant has morphed into a cilantro tree, as they do, the parsley is rampant, as is the thyme and oregano.  The rosemary is holding her own in a corner of the purple planter.

I have been restocking my free pile on a daily basis, but it is getting a bit onerous, as people insist that they need to me list everything available.  I do not have the time or inclination to do so.  There is a real frenzy for canning jars - I have given away at least five dozen and there are many, many more to go.  Apparently, an intervention was needed some time ago.

In non-moving news, this year's spring Assist (across the road) List was way longer than years past.  I am sure that it's due to my fairly non-stop driving at all hours of the day and the bliss of retirement.  It stands at:  12 turtle assists (11 red eared sliders and 1 small-thank goodness-snapping turtle); 4 adult geese assists across the main thoroughfare, 5 goose family assists across same, and one hair-raising gosling assist across the same damn road that could have gone badly.  Jr. was separated from his family and there was a lot of 60 mph+ traffic.  There weren't enough breaks in the flow to safely herd him across, so I managed to catch him and darted (okay, not exactly darted - havent done that in years - but I did achieve a fairly fast shuffle) to the other side, where I was attacked by his irate parents.  Harumph.  All I got for my trouble was goose poo down my shirt and a case of the wheezes. goose.

Not many specifics on the move, other than I am hoping to clear out everything I am not taking by the end of July.  Serendipity stepped in when my friend, Rosie, said that she was buying a house and needed to furnish it.  Yaaasss!  In a nutshell, I am moving from my little farm out in the sticks, to a house that is almost three times as big as this one, in an... xburb of a town in southern VT.  While the house is large, the land is small and I will have neighbors I can see for the first time in 16 years.  I will be bringing my container garden with me since there is not enough light for a garden at mom's, and the deck is huge.  The plans, at present, include getting the house ready for sale over the winter and then starting a hunt for a piece of property in the general area, where Connie and I will build our little tiny house complex.  Fingers crossed.  Of course, this is not an ideal time to move into a large house that is heated with fuel oil.  I see many layers of sweaters in our near future.

Peanut is not impressed with
the news of living in sweaters

Thursday, June 2, 2022

I may have gotten a little carried away.


Realizing that I may be leaving my garden when it is in full production, has propelled me into putting 99% of it in containers.  Just a few, I said.  Just the basics, I said.  Above is the 'herb garden'.  Lovely.  My deck now looks like this:

And that is only a sample.  I have, at last count, 27 containers.  It's a good thing I have friends with trucks.  I did put five tomatoes, spring peas and kohlrabi into the actual garden.  I also have lots of flowers planted just because.  Then, three days ago, I was looking out the front door, drinking in all the green-ness and saw THREE rabbits on the wrong side of the electric net fencing - that is, inside.  I shooed them out and realized they scampered - unimpeded - through the netting.  After a lot of trouble shooting, the problem seems to be that the outside electrical outlet is kaput.  I rummaged through my garden stuff and came up with a full bag of dried blood meal (ugh).  However, desperate times and all.  I sprinkled it liberally around the inside perimeter of the fence and crossed my fingers.  Day two saw no damage.  Day three saw the disappearance of all my kohlrabis.  I put row cloth on the peas and am going to have to put up a temporary fence inside my fence until I can replace the outlet.  If it would stop raining, I might get a chance.  

Weatherwise, we seem to have jumped past May, June and July and have landed in August.  Hot, hot, hot and humid, humid, humid.  My least favorite weather.

At least I don't have fur.  I will say that the hot weather, liberally interspersed with the numerous thunderstorms has made everything grow like mad.  And how is this for a thing of beauty:

This is the azalea that grows next to my friend, Zirel's front deck.  When I came up the driveway to pick her up, I almost drove into the woods, I was so bedazzled.  Nature is a wonderful thing.