Friday, September 25, 2020


 My, how time does fly when you spend it mostly whining.   We've had four frosty mornings in a row, so it is so long, farewell to the garden.  The kale and Swiss chard still stand, bless them, but everything else has bowed out for the season.  

Excuse the utility pole - photo of my favorite maple tree, across the road. (Curse new blogger - I still can't figure out how to insert captions.)

Gratuitous image to illustrate how I feel about summer ending and the onset of autumn.  We are in a warm-up phase, but that will only last over the next week - when we are going to enjoy our first Arctic weather visit.  Geez.  I managed to get my furnace service scheduled for just before the cold strikes, thank goodness.

Still no communication from the Mothership - I guess they have more important things to do, like take over the world.  I've applied for SS and am in the process of applying for Medicare, although it is now taking up to 60 days to go through. 

My sisters and I were able to squeeze in one more girlz night at our favorite watering hole, and I am so glad we did.  My youngest sister stayed with me for three nights and I took full advantage of her (relative) youth and dynamoism (if not a real word, it should be - with my sister's picture next to it in the Webster's).  We hauled in the Meyer lemon tree and repotted my Norfolk pine.  She tut-tutted over the state of my deck and giant hops vine and proceeded to sweep, organize and prune the heck out of the vine.  It looks like someone else's deck.  We unboxed and set up my deck rocking chairs - which are perfect, except for the fact that they are very low and it takes me a half-hour to get out of them.  We also tackled the wilderness/jungle in front of the compost station and finished weeding the garden.  AND she cleaned all the kitchen surfaces.  I wonder if I can lure her back for a month.....

As of today, my office is closed.  The movers are coming to transport the furniture, the signs will be removed and the keys turned in.  So ends my 22 year run.  I had gone in a week ago to pack up my personal stuff and to make an inventory of the office.  I will not miss the commute.  I will also be better at posting.  It is a slippery slope, waiting for just the right inspiration.  Sometimes a post, in its entirety, will pop into my head like an early birthday present.  But, most times, it's like pushing string and herding cats.  Thank you for being so patient...

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

New Lists

Since I've been around the block a few times (and around the sun - figuratively speaking - MANY times), and, since I am of a rather suspicious nature (too many Midsomer Murder viewings), the writing was on the wall as clear as day.  How's that for chock-full of idioms?

First - after the company I work for announced that everyone was getting a 20% pay cut, they also informed the support staff that, if they were given a bonus, the bonus would be paid out half up front and the second half at some to-be-announced date at the end of the year.  I received an email from HR informing me that my second half was being paid in August.

Second - my supervisor, who apparently thinks I can function with little or no oversight and rarely 'checks in', sent me an email to 'catch up'.

Third -  When she got me on the phone, she added HER supervisor.

Yes, it's official - my office is being closed and I am being emancipated from my job.  Even though I was not surprised, it still gave me a jolt.  I suppose it was more from the fact that, after over 22 years of working at the same place - through three 'generations' - it was over in less than five minutes.

My new list includes:  signing up for Social Security, signing up for unemployment benefits, brushing up my already-created resume (thank you, Michelle), wending my way through the dizzying varieties of supplemental health insurance, tightening my belt, and pulling up my BGPs.

Meanwhile, back at the homestead, we've been assailed almost daily by a juvenile red tail hawk.  He or she is completely inept at chicken attacks, thank god.  But I am compelled to rush out on a regular basis to shoo him/her off.  It has also underlined my belief that roosters are not necessary, as everyone lets me know of impending danger.  I lost my last rooster and have no plans to replace him.  Then I lost Dolly - my sweet Swedish Blue/Cayuga duck cross.  It was a total mystery.  That leaves Dimples from the original four ducks.  Luckily, Marianne's male duck is all alone on his pond, so Dimples will be joining him as soon as they reinforce the fence.  While she may not be thrilled with her new boyfriend, she will definitely love the pond.

The garden is pretty much finished for the year.  There is the ever-present and abundant kale and the Swiss chard is still limping along.  I have managed to weed out four of the eight beds and hope to finish by the end of this week.  Then starts the process of putting things right before winter.  As I will now have loads of time... I hope I will get more done.  

I had hoped to get local peaches and plums, but a late frost wiped out any hope of most stone fruit here.  Then - magically - this arrived in the post:

Prune plums from Oregon!  As always, my lovely friend (in every way) had perfect timing.  I whipped up my favorite plum crisp (GF) and made a batch of plum jam.  

I have also been taking advantage of the vege bounty (thanks to friends) and have been roasting a big pan of vegetables every week.  It is my favorite way to cook ahead, as you can eat them hot out of the oven, at room temperature, as a cold salad - you can toss them with a light vinaigrette and some feta cheese.  You can roast them with feta cheese.  You can toss them hot with sundried tomato pesto and mix with pasta.  There is no end to the variety of meals one can conjure up.

My sister spent the night this past Friday and she helped me wash the dogs the next morning.  Since Peanut counts her as his favorite human in the world, she can do anything to him and he goes along willingly.  While Lovey never smells bad, Peanut is a hot, sweaty little being and gets a little 'ripe' after  a while.  They now smell like lavender and cedar.

Best of all, the last reminder of the Great Quail Fiasco has left the homestead.  It will now house rabbits on a homestead to the south of me.  As another plus, two bags of fleece found a home with a spinner who is interested in adding more Cormo/CormoX sheep to her flock.  As it happens, I have a CormoX that I would LOVE to rehome (are you listening, Norman?)  Fingers crossed.  

So, off I go to contemplate my navel, attend another useless Zoom meeting, and try to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life.

P.S. Nancy, here is the tomato pie recipe I use - Epicurious