Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Random is I

Thanks to the hens, eggs are in plentiful supply.  There are more than enough for me, my family and for selling.  I scored some organic spinach from a local-ish farm that offers front porch pick-up.  It's interesting, navigating the new normal.
 Lovey got a new bed for her birthday (7) and adoptiversary (5) and it appears to be a big hit.  The small sausage dog has tried to divert her from the bed so that he can claim it, but she's not budging. 
 However, a more subtle contender circles her on a regular basis.
 Seeds have been started, which always lifts my spirits and gives me hope.
 In my quest to clean out fridge, freezer and pantry, I made some gluten free banana bread that was tasty, but dry.  I am sure it had to do with the fact that I had little almond flour left and substituted with coconut flour.  An entirely different texture and it inhales moisture.  It was still good, although a little too sweet for my mostly-sugar-deprived taste.
For a mild winter, it sure is stubborn.  I don't know how many mornings I wake up to snow.  And I've quit counting out of self-preservation.  I keep hoping spring will arrive before summer. 

To keep the little grey cells from dying off, I signed up to send notes of support to senior care centers.  Two lovely young women have started what has grown into a national mission to reach out to people who feel isolated - Letters Against Isolation.  It gave me a chance to use my beloved Lamb Camp notecards. 

And the beat goes on...

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Mixing it up into a hot mess.

Happy (let me check today's BGPs...) Wednesday!  I spent a good five minutes lying in bed this morning, trying to figure out what day it was.  I actually thought it might still be March because it was spitting snow and 27 degrees.  I've been doing what I can to keep the little grey cells from jumping ship.  Thanks to this freakishly rotten weather, most of my activities are indoors.
There has been cooking for dogs.
Nothing like the permeating effects of
baked liver.

There has been planting - poblanos, zucchini (3 kinds), kale (3 kinds), lavender, cukes (2 kinds), Swiss chard (2 kinds), bunching onions (3 kind).  I hope to add flowers and herbs to the list this week, if I have time.... snort.  If the weather cooperates, I will prep and plant spinach, arugula and salad mix in the cold frame. 

The work on the road continues and I'm taking it way too personally.
Peanut is the family snoopervisor
of all things outside and inside.

There's been a slowing down of staff conference calls - not surprising, as it was announced that we'd all have to take a cut in our salary so that the mothership can stay afloat.  You could almost hear the unhappiness crackling over the lines.  It was just a tad too ironic to have it announced just before Administrative Assistant Day/Week.  It's not easy to try to reconcile the notion that you're appreciated, while they have their hand in your pocket.  I feel for my colleagues who are working from home - with all the stress that entails - while having to make sure their kids are still learning, may have a spouse unemployed, and now have to worry if they can pay their bills.  I am glad I still have a job.

I do find myself wondering - aloud and often - if it's happy hour someplace, starting after breakfast.  As a matter of fact, I am wondering aloud waaay too often.  I am, however, enjoying the 'kids'.  I think Slimmie is the happiest that I am here all the time.  He has taken to flinging his sizeable self onto my lap to help me with my typing at every opportunity.

I have more photos (!!!) but they are not appearing in my feed, so they will have to entertain you in a future post.  A daily battle is waged with my over-used, under-powered, semi-ancient technology.  I have a laptop that has all the oomph of a pile of string, while my new phone is so sensitive that I'm afraid to look at it too long, as it may be able to read my mind.

I hope you all are hanging tight, as they say (and 'tight' has so many meanings...) and taking good care of yourself.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

What day is it and does it really matter?

My days have become divided into two categories:  rainy days and unrainy days.  Since I am pretty much in total lockdown, things have become pretty basic.  The highlight of yesterday was the pruning of my hybrid willow bushes by the virile Lew (sorry Steve - no pictures...).  He did a wonderful job and didn't mind my constant stream of questions - from a safe distance.  I now have a pile of willow branches that I will get into a bucket of water to root.  I am going to, once again, try to grow a barrier between me and the dusty, truck-ridden road.

I have a new set of workmates:

(L-R) Hedgie, Foxy, Bunny, Otter-y, Mousie
Nothing like a quick project to get one through the day.  Even the dogs are tired of my constant presence:
"Are you still here?  If you're not going to
hand out treats, go back to work."
Easter was weird.
Well, not that weird, but it was different.  I am trying to treat this hiatus as a retirement rehearsal - which is probably a good thing, as I am pretty sure they will close the office at the end of the current lease.  I baked some chocolate chip peanut butter cookies, using some powdered peanut butter I discovered in the pantry - a purely impulse buy - and gave them to my neighbor, my sister and the UPS guy.  Today I get the fuel oil tank topped off - at under $2 a gallon, I can't miss the opportunity.  I'm sure it will be a lot more this winter, during the new reality.  Next Friday, the septic guy comes.  I hope I can contain myself....

Meanwhile, it is too cold to garden for long, so I just look longingly out the windows.  I have made little forays into the flower beds, raking and cleaning out.  I am itching to plant my poppy seeds, but have to be sure the last frost has gone past.  I may start knitting exotic animals and little people friends.  Who knows.  I'm down to "X" by Sue Grafton on my audio book list, with one more to go.  She was so close to "Z", it doesn't seem fair that she passed away before she wrote it.  Bless her heart.  I listen/watch Billy Collins read poetry everyday, which is very enjoyable and I highly recommend it (on FB).  At least there is a little stirring of the grey cells.  My sister was here for a couple of days - her husband's family invaded their house (apparently, the pandemic does not apply to them) so we entertained ourselves with take-out from the Mexican restaurant, margaritas and a very strange rendition of Wagner's Ring Trilogy.  If nothing else, we laughed our heads off.  Good medicine for whatever ails you!

This Saturday is my pick-up at the organic farm store and a quick foray into the grocery store, then home again, home again, fast as I can.  I hope you are all safe and sane.  I have tons of catch-up reading on my blog list and am looking forward to hearing how you all are faring.  xo

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Challenging times for a hugger.

As we sidle into the 50th week of SIP, I'm noticing that I really miss the physical contact with family and friends.  I am an incurable hugger.  However, Peanut and Lovey are enjoying the bounty.  I've tried to include Slimmie, but he is not big on hugging.  Head butting is more his style.

After endless days of grey clouds and rain, we finally got some sunny days and I beat a hasty path out to the garden.  Unfortunately, the truck traffic has not subsided much, and the trucks kick up a toxic tsunami of dust that rolls up the yard and to the house.  I have taken to gardening in a face mask.
Lots of standing around in between making
dust tidal waves

Rhubarb continues to grow

Oregano made it through the winter

At the halfway point in weeding (scalping)
the future flower bed
I took the remains of the covering off of the carport and bagged them up.  Nothing like masses of plastic shoved in plastic bags to make the blood run cold.  Sigh.  Ideally, I would like to get a solid garage building built, but the cost is prohibitive and what funds I have are stretched to the max on other projects.
I think it looks like an alien insect
Seeing as I have two willing minions (sisters) who are eager to help me with projects, I have started a new list.  My youngest sister, now ensconced in Vermont until it's safe to go home (NYC), will be intermittently staying with me to break up the monotony.  My middle sister will be here when she has a break.  Woot!  We are being careful not to put ourselves in harm's way, given the fact of our elderly mother and extremely susceptible BIL. 
My sweet Linden
I am having to hire an arborist to cut back my hybrid willow bushes.  My neighbor, who usually does it, turned 85 and I will not have him out there risking life and limb.  Besides, the arborist is gorgeous.  If I was 40 years younger, I'd have a go.  Heehee. 

Inside, the knitting continues.  I just finished a pair of shortie socks for one sister and will be casting something new on as soon as I can decide what it will be - so many projects!  More progress has been made on the little house and I hope to have it finished by the end of next week.  Then I can start on the little furniture and stuffie family members - I think bunnies.

Speaking of bunnies, what are you doing for Easter this year?  It's an entirely new landscape and I am wrestling with the decision of whether to spend it in VT or stay home.  As much as I hate to disappoint my mother, I think it would be wiser to keep my distance.  I'm definitely going to need a whole lotta jelly beans this year.

I hope you are all safe and well, and finding joy where you can,