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Sunday, December 30th, 2018 08:18 am
My sister waved me off from going up to see Mom yesterday, so with a little bit of energy i tried to make the most of the day. I hemmed two tea towels as gifts, trying not to be too much of a perfectionist about it. I think i'm getting the hang of the miter seam at the corners.

We had Christine's sister & her husband over for dinner. I'd bought Alaskan black cod (aka sablefish*) when i bought the salmon, so we served that with a salad (out of a bag). D-- brought cheesy grits made with blue corn, and that made a delightful meal. We will have my Dad and mom's sister over on New Year's eve with lasagna from a nearby restaurant: an unusual round of entertaining for us!

Christine's not feeling great this morning - the cold i've had is probably taking a toll on her.

I've a sense of urgency about getting organized and clear about next priorities. I don't know how much of an impact Mom's care will have on me. I think i probably have the capacity if i become better at time management.

I don't think i mentioned it but i recently read a NY Times article on "The Brain Fog of Menopause." I've been aware since before we moved of a sense that i was slower, that things took longer, and i'd just written it off to the inevitability of aging. The thought that a mental sharpness might return on a rebound is delightful and wonderful.


*I'd also seen it sold as butterfish in California, but looking up "butterfish" on line it seems a common name for a number of species, some of which seem unappetizing.
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Friday, November 16th, 2018 07:31 am
Much gloom in the weather this week. I took a clumsy spill and don't think positively about it. )

I've coped with the gloom by running the SAD lamp all day and having a second afternoon cup of coffee. Evenings haven't been particularly productive.

We have invited my folks over for Thanksgiving brunch, a meal that will bypass some holiday entrenched issues and will hopefully be joyful for Christine. (My sister's family is out of town so there isn't the usual large joint meal between my sister's family, her sister in law's family, and my parents. We've joined for desert in the past few years, bypassing the dead carcass, some dysfunctions, and making it easier for Christine. Breakfast for four is a nice scale for us, and my parents were delighted to be invited.

I've ordered a Christmas tree from a fundraiser in the little mill town with the Bridge, and we have a large so-called Moravian star (made in Mexico) to hang on the front porch this year. I've gotten so out of the habit of observing holidays -- particularly with decorations -- between hermit lifestyle and dealing with Christine's Elephants. (Christine's Elephants have holiday triggers.) With my own change of going off the SSRI, i suspect any disappointment that had been flattened out over the years would have been felt acutely, so i am glad to have some plans to observe.
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Sunday, November 4th, 2018 08:27 am
Saturday morning worries. First i found something had pushed up an air vent and insulation into the kitchen. This is like two years ago when something pushed up an air vent. WHAT IS UNDER THE HOUSE???? The cats all ate their kibble with their backs to the wall -- i can't help but believe that was out of wariness.

Then Edward the Cat* brought a vole into the bed and ate it on my side. Argh, we'd just changed the sheets. And it's the new sheets. I suppose it was better than releasing the vole next to the dozing Christine and having it crawl on her.

Between the vent and the vole within the same hour i think Christine's nerves were shot early in the day. I think someone was working on a camera controlled cat door system that denied cats access if they were carrying something in their mouth. It's seeming like a great idea.

I was joined by my mother and niece to have breakfast at a fundraiser for the county historical society. Afterwards we drove a bit in the country and checked out a place that i had hoped would have seasonal wreaths made of real greenery, but no. The morning light was lovely though, and i think i identified a nice view of a farm.

Later Christine, carry and i drove a little over an hour north to pick up apple trees. Near the tree place we passed some sort of dive bar that was flying both a large and small confederate flag. The 2007 google map imagery from the road just shows a small flag flying. The satellite imagery shows the larger flag, poorly. I'm asking for trouble online, i suppose, but i left a one star google review noting the flags. The first time we drove by, an African-American woman was driving by in the opposite direction: i can't imagine living near there. Christine, this morning, is still distressed by driving by the place.

The apple trees look great, but i can't put off getting trees in the ground much longer. At least at this time of year they are slowing down.

When we got home we did spend some time under the house, delightfully decent thanks to getting it "encapsulated" a year plus ago. White plastic on the floor, bright lights in the fixtures, silver insulation on the walls. It's pretty easy to see things against the white plastic. There are some tiny holes, field mouse or vole sized, chewed in the plastic. I'm pondering sending my nephew under there to tape them up. While it's cleanish under there, it's still crawling and rolling. My muscles aren't happy about it. Our current theory is that a cat (probably Edward) pulled up the vent while chasing something. I don't know that i believe it, but we didn't see any evidence of bigger critters under there.

I appreciate my extra hour back, but i would be grateful if we just stopped fiddling with clocks.


*I've been reminded that pet names that are people names are a bit confusing. Which is quite fair when little critter context is provided.
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Wednesday, October 31st, 2018 09:02 am
It's not really cold, but here i am in a dress and a tunic and a sweater and a shawl with fingerless gloves and a hot drink. I am sick of this cough.

Yesterday Edward brought a vole in and released it into the bed. I am delighted he's going to be protecting my fruit trees from the critters, but we don't want him bringing them inside. So -- what to do with the rescued vole? We released it in the woods. Hopefully it was far enough that a vole would make a new life for itself. Edward is finally taking to the orchard, now that the grass is growing in. (And, perhaps, now that it isn't miserably humid.) This morning, when i put the bell up on the door so Carrie can ask to be let out, Edward hovered at my feet, so i let both of us out. The moonlight was bright and Edward's pale form flowed down the steps into the pre-dawn. The stars were wonderfully bright and there was, like yesterday, no sound of frogs or insects. I opened the porch door so Edward could return via the cat flap.

I got distracted by looking at seeds this morning. (Nooooo! no more!) This time i was inspired by a New York Times reference to a succulent green Mesembryanthemum crystallinum (ficoïde glaciale). ... and oops, there i disappear again. I should really just get my miner's lettuce seeds planted in the green house and see what happens there. I'd accidentally bought buckwheat microgreens seeds instead of sprout seeds (the difference is the presence of husks), so i'm also planning a flat of microgreens. The YouTube videos make it seem like a way to riches: i'll just be happy with greens for myself. I really want to try and minimize seed purchases for a bit -- although if i play with microgreens this winter, that will be a quick way to blow through older seeds.
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Monday, October 29th, 2018 07:28 am
This weekend was very very quiet as i focused on not doing anything that would make me cough. I have a side worry about depression-esque behaviors (avoiding contact with people), but i am treating myself as sick until the cough is resolved.

Friday brought nearly two inches of rain, and that night Christine watched the entire World Series game on Friday night in all its epic extent.

Saturday morning was very quiet as Christine caught up on sleep. I spent a great deal of it going through my seed orders and planning out all the seeding activities i need to undertake over the next months. Creating or updating evernote species pages for all the potential plants and working out the planning spreadsheets took much of the day and i was still fiddling into Sunday. Apparently i've 88.5 thousand flower seeds, many of these are meant to broadcast over the orchard and not to plant one by one. Nonetheless, there's a pretty large number of seedling pots i calculated i'd need. The good news is much of this seed will remain viable in the fridge: i don't need to plant the flowers i mean to start in pots all this year.

My next step for gardening is to buy a very big bag of vermiculite, a fluffy version of mica that is often used in potting soils. I'll use the vermiculite to mix with the wild flower seeds i intend to scatter over the orchard area to help distribute them more evenly.
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Wednesday, October 24th, 2018 11:23 am
Monday & Tuesday were intense workdays when i worked -- i took a few hours off Tuesday morning to be "sick," that is, deal with feeling exhausted. And this morning i haven't really gotten up. And it's almost noon. I was hoping to plant some trees.... I think i'll make some leaf raking and seed scattering a goal. Maybe Saturday i'll be up to tree planting.

It's lovely out there! So i go out in it.


I do worry that depression is lurking, but the coughing is incontrovertible. Solve that, then move on.

Yesterday i had a pleasant call with a recruiter, and i felt copetent and delighted to be considered for an "assistant director" position. Today i wrote and said, no. It is really hard to think of a gig that would be better than what i have now. The only think i wish for is that the teams who build our systems had more staff, and that might happen if we make a good business case. So....


It is an incredible blessing to have had my work situation turn around so delightfully. It's not perfect, but it's really close to it!
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Monday, September 24th, 2018 06:00 am
The tulip poplars had begun turning yellow in August, scattered yellow leaves in the green. And i noticed the black cherry trees' leaves falling -- also yellow. Elm leaves are beneath the elm, even if i don't notice color change in the tree. Dogwoods have red in the leaves, and i'm beginning to notice the occasional bright red of sumac. The leaves i raked up from underneath the maples were burgundy-black, but the tree still seems green.

My recollection from last year was that autumn color, as a striking thing, didn't really take off until mid November.

The roadsides are covered with the golds of goldenrods and flowers related to blackeyed susans and sunflowers.

Christine's asked after why i am interested in Joe Pye weed, a tall native plant that has a cloud of hazy pink-purple flowers at the top. I like saying the name, but i think i am also delighted to see Not Yellow at this time of year. I plan to grow great blue lobelia, which will hopefully be a lovely contrast to the golds.


Bits of weekend, recorded )
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Friday, June 15th, 2018 09:25 am
The stupid mouth discomfort is frustrating. I might still have low-for-me iron, as the blood test came back with a value that falls between the value when i had the diagnosis of low and the value measured some time after that when i was "better."

Therapy on Wednesday was interesting: my therapist says she notices me being much more vulnerable in the last few sessions as i taper off the SSRI. I know i am going slowly and it's helping me acclimate to having much more reactive emotions. Still not noticing highs, more affected by frustration and sadness. But maybe, maybe, i will want connection with people more?

I did have an insight about work and how i am no longer really "on a team." I think i miss that. Being remote doesn't help.

...

In yard news, OH EM GEEEE! The cleared orchard area is amazing. The rapid removal of stumps that had become little sign-posts, reminders of clearing one thicket or another, the weather at the time, anxiety-causing hangups of trees in other trees.... I could still see limit of where the goats worked, where i had cast down fescue seed the first winter. All of those markers are gone: it's just a rich red clay swathe, with a little island around the triple-trunked massive tulip poplar and a dogwood.

I remember when that tree seemed far back in the woods -- i thought it was three trees. I remember the revelation of the base of the tree, fighting through honeysuckle and autumn olive.

There are swale and berms just uphill from the house. The berms are made up of buried sweetgum trunks from the two massive trees we had the father and son team cut down. It's all very rough because the guys just do everything with their equipment, as if they were wearing transformer suits to haul and dig and pull. Watching them encased in their equipment as they pulled the poison ivy out of the tree, i think back to all the honeysuckle i've thrown my full weight against and failed to budge.

Between now and my trip to Ohio, i want to broadcast buckwheat seed and rake out the berms.

The other thing they did for us was dig the rain garden, a basin with down-slope berms for runoff from the downspouts that are in a poor place for rain barrels. One of the most surprising parts of planning this garden is finding recommendations for plants for rain gardens that other sites say want dry soil. I assume this has to do with the feast or famine (flood or drought) quality of a sand filled clay basin. I'm also curious about definitions of shady, as i see blue eyed grass listed as for a shady rain garden. Given where i found blue eyed grasses this year, i wouldn't call it shady, at all.

Yesterday, driving home from getting my blood drawn, i stopped at a garden supply place and arranged to have 54 cubic feet of sand and 54 cubic feet of ground pine delivered and poured into the hole they dug. After work, i tried to mix the sand and "compost" as best as i could and smooth it out. I worry there's too little "compost" but i followed the extension agency instructions. I've buried the giant litter pan we used for the cross country trip to act as a reservoir for the two plants i have ready: a pitcher plant and a cranberry. I've not purchased the rest of the plants for the area, which i want to be themed in blue.

In pet news, Carrie has discovered there is room enough in the bed for her to crawl in next to me. Unfortunately, she also startles and jumps away every time i stir. This then wakes me. And then she jumps back in the bed. I suspect this means she'll sleep in my spot while i am in Ohio and it's going to be entertaining when i get back.
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Tuesday, June 12th, 2018 10:05 am
Driving up our blue gravel driveway, the tunnel of green is still crowded to the driver's left by autumn olive arching into the drive. A pedestrian might notice the white perfumed flowers of spotted wintergreen low to the pine-needle covered ground and the sensitive ferns and clumps of sedge transplanted to the right side of the driveway from the orchard-to-be. The drive forks, where we will eventually have a sign that says "Go This Way" posted, so people will follow the fork to the right instead of going straight. The fork has a copse of trees, with fading daffodil leaves, violets, a clump of ferns and moss (also transplanted) that make the point of the egg- or teardrop-shaped driveway island.

In front of the driver is our garage, weathered cedar siding like the rest of our home, with dingy fiberglass garage doors down or up and revealing a space crowded with moving boxes and yard equipment. One or both of our vehicles would be parked in front of the garage. If the driver paused, they would be under the shade of one of the black walnuts. To the right of the house there's a meadow with what appears to be a traditional split rail fence (but none of the rails are split) and tall grasses beyond. That's what was the overgrown septic field. Daisies bloomed in May, and i've hope for bright blossoms from the bee balm later this summer. Right now it's seed heads of fescue drying.

And there's a giant chicken sculpture.

The purple blossoms of the crepe myrtle might lead one to mark the (also dingy) white plastic fence surrounding the back yard. The concrete riser for the septic system and a pile of gravel are also there in an expanse of mown green.

In a month or so, i'm hoping the green weeds to the right of the driveway reveal flowers. A Jerusalem artichoke has a fat bud this morning and the sword shaped leaves of gladiola spear out from other greenery. I've planted zinnas and sunflowers and lots of other plants.

If the driver continued round the island, they'd simply see a jungle of greenery in the round part of the island punctuated by a metal sculpture of a bumble bee. They might notice the few white yarrow blooming. Walking, one might notice the single spiderwort's blue blossoms or a yellow coreopsis bloom, and the stump with a rain gauge resting on top. I suspect most of the plants in the native flower mix i planted there last winter will require another year before they bloom. And the phlox i planted in the foreground have been well dined on by deer.

A brick walk to the front door is separated from the driveway by a small mossy ditch and some shrubs. The ditch, lined with local rock, disappears under the the drive.

Many drivers just stop here. It's reasonable for a delivery driver to sprint up the walk in the shade of the magnolia, up the wood stairs, and to plop the packaged down on the red concrete floor of the porch between the blue-green chairs before sprinting away. But there's a parking space on the other side of the walk way and the circle of the drive is wide enough that one can pull to one side or the other to park and allow others to pass. I just don't understand just parking in the middle of the drive. Brother N--, i'm looking at you.

Waiting on the porch, a visitor might take in the the little courtyard area bounded by the kitchen window, garage wall, and sheltered by the saucer magnolia. Three long haired cat sculptures in concrete, each a slightly different color, are congregated among ferns and violets. The wider yard -- one end of the raised herb garden, the tulip poplar with the large green leafy growth of the bears foot plant, the garden plot beyond with corn, poppies and onions blooming, and the mysterious pole with white guidelines, more crepe myrtles and a bed of flowers with a few lilies -- gold and burgundy -- blooming as well as something yellow. At this distance, one can't really make out the safflower plants, just the bright yellow tuft at the tip of each thistle-like flower.

--== ∞ ==--

Meanwhile, i can hardly talk today. Joy. I wrote to my doctor to see about getting a blood test for any particular deficiencies.
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Wednesday, June 6th, 2018 03:47 pm
The mother rabbit has been visiting the nest, so all the unmolested bunnies are OK. The one i returned to the nest that i hope wasn't injured had opened its eyes and stood up in the basket, so i suspect its siblings are close to beginning to explore on their own. I hope the one that survived Edward is able to move out of the nest as well.

Reorg at work today: it felt like all the development leadership when i joined the company had been moved out with a particular lay off, but a quick look at the org chart revealed that the folks who are involved with leading the data side are many long term folks. I suppose the application side is more visible at the executive level. The data is like the engine of the car, but the user interfaces are like the car body that gets all the attention. Same engine just gets move to a new body. Meanwhile engine improvements just keep happening.

I'm on half a dose of the SSRI i have been on since hitting bottom during the reign of the "New Director". I'm not sure about the change. Frustratingly, i have failed to log my state through much of May and so i don't have much data about distractability to compare with before making a med change. I can do a nice organization of the data, though, so if i HAD been keeping records i'd be able to review.

Recommendation: airtable.com It's a web-hosted spreadsheet that also has forms. I suppose google tables might do the same thing, but this "freemium" service isn't supported by ads.
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Friday, May 25th, 2018 07:49 pm
When i saw the term, "deroofed blister," i knew to what it referred: the square inch area on the back of my left foot, for one.

I've bought some of the blister bandages before and thought the main point was how they apparently cushion: not so! In fact, they should only be used on "deroofed blisters" and not on nascent blisters. This time i did some reading, and found another technical term: exudate. Apparently, the hydro-colloidal bandage absorbs the exudate to create the healing environment that makes them so effective.

This post by a podiatrist explains quite nicely, using "weeping" for exudate.

Anyhow, i hope i'm treating this very weepy deroofed blister correctly now.
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Friday, May 18th, 2018 06:23 am
Long ago applications of bile and current repercussions. )

Part of the dwelling on my mom's shaping of me as a child is that i am currently wrestling with the word "lazy." What does lazy mean, any way? )

I do note that i've reduced my SSRI prescription to a roughly 60% level (alternating between a 3/4 dose and a half dose). I think that instead of tapering down again next week, i will stay at this level another week.
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Monday, May 7th, 2018 08:51 am
I think i'm on the track for healing, so that's reassuring.

An iris bloomed Friday morning. The azaleas outside my front room window -- where i sit all day -- have fully bloomed. I think the Carolina Wrens are done with their nest. I'm sad to think i missed them fledging. On the other hand, i can get all the sensors out of the green house and take down the plastic. It's hard to believe it was 34°F last Monday morning, i repeat, with the next ten days predicted to have 50s to 90s. The thermostat has switched from heating to air conditioning. No reprieve.

The weekend threatened rain, but none of the localized thunderstorms deigned to visit our skies. The cloud cover did keep things moderately tolerable, even if humid. I was outside much earlier than usual on Saturday morning, which worked out well. I don't feel i got that much done, but i suspect i did lots of little maintenance tasks, in between. Christine and i also had a nice visit on the front porch, where a tufted titmouse boldly approached us so that they could pull strands of coir out of the hanging basket liners.

Saturday evening we planned to celebrate our friend J-- D--'s 50th birthday. Christine had bought a lovely gift that came in a rather large box. I recalled that the thrift store was a good place to get gift wrap on the cheap, and found the perfect wrapping paper and curling ribbon. That plus a three dollar shirt to wear as a jacket over a sleeveless dress i have came to five dollars. I spent more than that on the card in the drug store, selecting a goofy singing and animated card while listening to another couple exclaiming over the card prices. (Yikes, yikes, and yikes, i agreed.)

Just before we went off to dinner i walked Carrie and ended the walk by twisting my weak, right ankle and falling on my knee with the prepatellar bursitis. (That plus my mouth - geeze Louise.)

The celebrations of my and Christine's birthday with J-- and spouse L-- had been just the four of us. At J-'s brother's funeral a few weeks ago, we bumped into F-- and spouse D--. I didn't know F-- but he had been J--'s and Christine's dungeon master in long ago years of D&D. Christine had suggested they join us, so dinner had a sort of awkward getting to know one another energy.

I rousted myself for Sunday worship. Public Friend Chuck Fager first read from George Moses Horton's autobiographical note of his enslavement and teaching himself to read. I was expecting mostly waiting worship, but Chuck brought a message about Wisdom, and talked about the book of Proverbs. I have not been enthused about that book, as it evinces the sort of eye rolling as does Polonious in Hamlet. I feel a little more curious about it now in a "more things change the more they stay the same" sort of way.

Sunday evening i went to my folks to celebrate their anniversary with them. I may regret explaining a little about Christine's elephants to them as her absence now receives a response of "Please tell her ..." and so on, which is no help. While i was there i began attempts of air layering their magnolia tree, and one attempt with a camellia. Not as easy as it looks online with the sun beating down on my back and wrestling with the thick magnolia foliage.

This morning i am apparently off to a slow start, but since i've been away from the computer all weekend, i needed to spill all this out.

The State of the Garden for length )
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Thursday, May 3rd, 2018 09:26 am
Still miserably uncomfortable due to the ulceration in my mouth. I had a good cry last night then went and bought too much food: rice pudding, ricotta, fresh mozzarella, (gluten free) pasta, frozen mac & cheese, carrot juice. I would make risotto but Christine wants to do something for me, so she will make a traditional rice casserole with a can of soup binder. She had Elephants yesterday, so we were a bit of a mess together.

I think back to the last time i was in so much discomfort -- apparently it was in the summer and autumn of 2010. It went on for months and months, and work was also high pressure at that time. Eventually, i connected the issue with low iron, probably due to giving up iron enriched wheat products. But i remember the on-going ache, the eating anxiety over finding wheat-free options, and the pushing through the discomfort.

I know i can push through, but i am acknowledging that i have the opportunity now to relax and give myself space to not push through. On the other hand, this is such a transitional week outside: i resent resting and not going out and getting seeds in. Was it just Monday that it was 34°F in the morning? Yes, it was, and all the blossoms on the early azalea and on the lilac are burnt. But it seems the weeds are taking over in places, mowing needs to happen, etc, etc. Still, it seems best to just recline and keep my head low as that seems to ease the discomfort a little.
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Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018 07:09 am
The cold seems to have "burned" some of the lilac and azalea blooms, but the peony from Christine's family is blooming quite prettily.

I haven't gotten out because i am feeling miserable. My mouth is ulcerated in many spots and the inflammation goes up into my sinuses. Oh woe is me.

Due to the discomfort, i've been eating lots of white bread. This is probably not helpful as i suspect something in wheat products to make me more susceptible to irritations like this. (Although, the iron fortification actually prevents a certain type of ulceration under my tongue.) I'll add back iron supplements to my evening doses, but in the short term i wanted something soothing and gluten free. I made Vivian Howard's cornbread coffee cake (from another recipe on the web where pecans are in the streusel) with substitutions of corn flour for the whole wheat flour and a healthy dose of xanthan gum. (And frozen peaches for the strawberries.)

The most problematic part of cooking was that my cast iron pan is eight inches in diameter. So, i used a square baking dish that probably wasn't quite right in volume and area and heat behavior, and it took forever. By the fourth time i was checking, i was just stabbing the cake through the overdone streusel on the top, and pulling out a chunk -- when it was finally an actual chunk i was delighted. It's GOOD, and i'm eyeing a 10" cast iron deep pan and a lid.

I don't have a Dutch oven. The deep pan would hold four quarts instead of the Lodge Dutch oven which holds five. With just two of us, the smaller volume probably isn't bad. Skimming through the Dutch oven recipes out there, though, it seems like most are dishes i'd make in the pressure cooker.
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Thursday, April 19th, 2018 12:01 pm
I banged my left knee really hard almost 8 weeks ago and it's been reacting for weeks. I just spent much more time than i expected at the doctor, with the happy result of a diagnosis of prepatellar bursitis, a recommendation NOT to drain the fluid (which sounded more painful than my knee is currently), and advice to minimize kneeling and not to fall on it again (which was given with acknowledgement that it is pointless advice).

In getting the x-rays to make sure nothing else was going on, the right knee was also imaged. Turns out that knee has a bad fitting knee cap, and i can expect some (more) arthritis there. It was bothering me more a year or so ago, but not so much these days.

So, i might get a little chair for various gardening tasks, but in general, no change of life. Yay! But my excuse not to go to the Saturday morning exercises goes away. Sigh.
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Tuesday, April 17th, 2018 07:34 am
I am hoping for fewer aches today. whine )

Anyhow. Gosh, i'm going to be excellent at being an unpleasant old lady. Anyhow: chiropractic or massage asap? Or new shoes? I hate buying shoes. Sigh.

There's a frost warning out and i'm just hoping it had nothing to do with my yard, because my special holy basil is sitting out under the dogwood acclimating and the peonies have more buds than you would believe.

I dreamed last night of seeing a tiny lot for sale for a dollar beside a road. The landscape was sort of industrial brown field near wetlands-ish, perhaps like in Fremont, CA. The narrow lot had a singlewide trailer on it (which would be going away when the lot was sold). The lot was encircled with a chainlink fence, and by the road the fence was wide enough for lost things to be sitting on top of it. My old sewing machine, cellphone, and keychain were there. I asked after buying it: there were two scientific study sites (possibly superfund monitoring sites>) that had easements. I was still interested. In the fuzzy mind of waking up i realized it would be a perfect site for a little house and i started planning what i would plant there.

It's been almost a week since i was all burbly with happiness at my last therapy session. It's definitely worn off. I blame the aching, but also the sense of being too busy.
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Sunday, January 7th, 2018 08:18 am
I ended up leaving work early on Friday to rest. And i did a good bit of resting yesterday. Chest still feels tight & heavy, coughing spells still occur.

We have no water this morning, which is not a complete shock. The area has passed the 1982 record number of consecutive subfreezing hours yesterday. Our outside thermometer says -8°F this morning. We'll run a lightbulb out to the pumphouse in a while and hope nothing has cracked. We have jugs of water around for when we loose power (and the pump doesn't work) so no hardship yet. Also, there's plenty of snow to melt.

Eight Fahrenheit degrees below freezing. I am strongly inclined to cuss.

With respect to resting, i read The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. which i almost didn't finish: it takes off very very slowly, and i felt the foreshadowing (can you have foreshadowing with time travel?) was rather blunt. But FINALLY there were a few new characters that introduced a little more complexity and i did finally finish. I also read Piers Anthony's Wielding a Red Sword and concluded my expectations have changed since i was in high school. If i end up reading more today, i'll try reading a book i just had delivered which is about Quakers in Tibet in the 1950s.

Speaking of delivering, we had several postal packages trudged through the snow to our house. The were light but bulky (HVAC filters, primarily). I thought of someone else's story of not receiving a delivery because their porch hadn't been cleaned of snow. I suppose delivering up our snowy walk and snowy drive and snowy porch is no big deal because the roads are black ice and icy snow.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Sunday, November 5th, 2017 07:26 am
My therapist had made a time management comment which made me a little irritated. The irritation was primarily that, "Yes I KNOW HOW to do time management, just need to reestablish the habit." We talked a bit more, and i think she realized what i was doing and she didn't push. However, her comment led me to have a more specific idea of using calendar entries: i started blocking off post-meeting time to do meeting follow up. It completely filled my Friday, and i felt exhausted at the end of the day. I've had similar issues with other time boxing practices in the past. I apparently want more down time. It's better than not having the time blocks, though, i think, so i'm going to give this practice a month or so to work out.

I think it makes very explicit the issue of incoming to-dos vs available time. That's uncomfortable.

Yesterday i went our around 11 with Carrie. She ran about off leash and i raked leaves and lopped doen a few autumn olive. There were only tow instances of crossing the road: i think this is better than last time. And she found another bone/ I probably could have let her have this one as it was less ... putrid ... but not knowing whether it's road kill dragged into the woods or what leaves me uncomfortable.

After taking her in and giving her an artificial bone (yeah, probably less healthy), i cleaned out a good bit of the tomato plants. I'm pondering potting up some of the plant. Maybe keeping some in the fridge? The base stem lies across the soil and has so many rootlets: it seems that could be a far easier way to start a plant in the spring rather from seed.

I dried some catnip, and i'll dry some mint later today. The Greek oregano and the rosemary have done wonderfully, and the sage is pretty happy too. Yay for herbs.

Christine came out and cleared dried stilt grass from a mystery wooden frame with chicken wire and the now edge of the woods. We hooked cables around bits of the frame and pulled it out with the truck after levering it up over the soil in the frame. It appears to have been a planting area, not a chicken coop. I imagine the previous owner creating a cage for their plants. Given the depredation of my brassica seedlings, i sympathize. Still. It seemed a silly solution. We then took down a line of autumn olive that were right behind the construction. The yard is even more open now, and the black walnut stands more solitary. I scattered the last of the cover crop brassicas in the open area: i may regret in coming years these plants, but i think they'll be far easier to deal with than the chickweed, bittercress, and stilt grass.

The lump of soil will possibly make its home in the variety of holes in the yard. The wood chips we filled the western holes with have decomposed enough to return the ankle twisting hazards.

We are sore, and i have recurring inflammations that contribute to mild malaise. We broke our video limitation rules and watched a show last night: The Durrells in Corfu. One reviewer at IMDB is clearly displeased, but i've found it a delightful show. Admittedly, watching the young boy amass his pets -- a caged pelican, etc -- leads me to thin lipped disapproval. I had ... hoped? ... that the convict in episode three would show some sympathy for the imprisoned critters, but no.

On Friday the fellow we are thinking of using for driveway and orchard root removal and grading work came over and took a look. The constant "just pile the roots up in the woods, they'll rot quickly" response of folks is mildly irritating as i look at the huge logs in the woods that the previous owner left. Other than that, i think he'd be great.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 09:16 am
Monday headache enough to stop work and take a nap. minor complaints )

Carrie's chewing over the weekend included my nice leather wallet from Levenger and my neice's Garmin Vivio (a fitbit type thing).

Also discovered the cats had been relieving themselves in an Ikea bag that contained my photography vest, some unwashed hiking socks, and other miscellaneous hiking and photography bits from August that i had not unpacked. So far the enzyme cleaners seem to be making a good difference.

My pets are going to teach me to Put Stuff Up. Sigh.

Weather is spectacular today! Dew point is in the mid 50s and the sky is an incredible blue ("California blue" is how i think of it since moving from the SF Bay Area). I am a little bummed that we went from humid to crisp without much mild in between. Tonight is dinner with my sister in law before she heads to Asia for a few weeks, so i won't be able to use this lovliness to work in the yard tonight. This Saturday, though, will be a bonfire day.

My sister is back from Germany today. O Travel -- i don't envy them at all.

I bravely told a correspondent from the local county mailing list that i'd be happy to meet up with him for coffee. Social. Eep. But probably good for me. We were corresponding about county politics and history.

As a side note, for an insignificant southern county, there are a handful of nonfiction books about the area. The naturalist book has a strong thread of economic/entrepreneurial content, that i _assume_ complements the slow money thread. Neither is technically about the county, but i believe both have a strong sense of the place. I wonder if there are other books, and whether this is unusual.

Estill, Lyle. Industrial Evolution: Local Solutions for a Low Carbon Future. New York: New Society Publishers, 2011. http://www.deslibris.ca/ID/436551.

Hewitt, Carol Peppe. Financing Our Foodshed: Growing Local Food with Slow Money. Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers, 2013.

Kaufman, Wallace. Coming Out Of The Woods: The Solitary Life Of A Maverick Naturalist. First Printing edition. Cambridge, Mass.: Da Capo Press, 2000.


(To be clear, i'm not talking about the infinite number of local histories and genealogical references that i'm sure most counties have produced.)
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