Thursday, July 18, 2024

bits of smurf, plants and rocks


I didn't even sleep until 5:30 this morning.. and I can't say it was a specific dog or chicken noise... it just was, and it was morning, and I was awake.  It was 5:23 and I turned off my 5:30 alarm.  And then I puttered around until 8:30 to feed the chickens!

I made curry rice and egg, and drank two pots of coffee (12 cuppers), and potted two houseplants, took pictures, and did the dishes, and some laundry, watered the gardens and worked on this bag, and French, and Danish, and Russian.  I still need to do something on my mobile Duolingo.  I looked at art supplies, and yarn, and plants online, and a few other things.  It just makes me want to use what I have all the more... although some Italian sketchbook paper did catch my eye enough.  The paper I currently have is so bright white that sometimes it annoys me.

begonia plants

the begonia cuttings we had ordered came, after being lost for TWO days in the mail (misdelivered) and we were a bit unhappy, not with the seller, but I told her we'd give them every chance we could and if they don't bounce back she said to let her know.  This was the picture Mark took right after he opened it.  When I came home after work Esme said 'That package finally was delivered, although it didn't turn out well...'   She and Mark put them in pots and in the room with the other begonias and we can see if they do anything.



apparently, I'm a penguin

I have rocks in my pockets, my wallet, my purse, on my desks, and in numerous dishes and drawers...

Amanita type mushroom (poisonous, of course)

I succeeded at making a 'dog joke' today, when I told Charlotte not to eat that, just because I was taking a picture of it.  She 'said' to Daphne beside her something on the order of 'sheesh, humans / can you believe she said that?'  and Daphne must have 'said' something that I didn't catch entirely as she was looking the other way towards Charlotte - and then Charlotte 'said' 'LOL oh you made a joke!' to me.  

spider plant

 I checked the umbrella plant - it's almost ready, but not quite.  The roots are just beginning to be tiny hairs on it, and I need to change it's water and hope it gets some good light for another few days.  BUT - as I was doing that, there were several little spider plant babies (this is one, just one! - and then I put two smaller ones in another pot together) that had fallen down behind the shelf and I clipped them and gave them pots.

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

bit of fried rice

 Lots of errand running today, to Esme's school, and feed store, and grocery store et al et al...  and I work tomorrow

I have been getting a bit more sleep in the mornings, but Esme's school had texted about something needing to be picked up for all students this morning while I was still trying to sleep, then texted again, and again.. with updates to the info.  So, I pulled myself out of bed long before the alarm I had set.  And THEN- when we got there, apparently I had missed the part of one of the texts where it said 'after two o'clock', and it was noon.  *sigh*.. luckily we had other things to do as well but it required a roundabout trip back there later to get it all done.

Once we were finally and actually home, I could do laundry, and make dinner, and other things.  Esme had to fight a broody hen for the eggs.  I picked up all the rugs and put them in the wash, and then Charlotte gave me such moon-eyes and looking at the one clean one on the shelf that I gave it to her - and she immediately thanked me and curled up on it, even though her whole body didn't fit on it, it was primarily nose and paws buried in it and the rest of it shoved up under her chest.  Ten minutes later, without Mark knowing that I had given this rug to Charlotte, Sweetie asked him for 'her rug' that is usually in the kitchen and he came and told me about her 'bee dance' that she needed one for her cold butt.  I had to laugh, and told him I was currently upstairs drawing this sketch about giving Charlotte one!

I guess I do need to finish crocheting that other big one so I will have more than one spare.  I thought one spare was doing good!

Cleared out leftovers in the fridge - and used some of the still good things to make fried rice.

olive oil

frozen peppers, frozen green onions

prepared ground beef we were going to put some on a pizza

seasoning salt, soy sauce, water

raised all that to a sizzling, added some of the rice with white sesame seeds I've been making up and using in the fridge

porkchop seasoning (ginger, sugar, garlic, paprika, and a few other things, we make a big batch and then use it up)

one egg at the very end

That was some pretty good fried rice!


We had banana and cherry and ice cream for dessert a few hours later - which we hardly ever make a dessert.   Mark asked if it was a banana unsplit, since I had chopped the bananas.  I told him it was a kind of Sundae.  He said, what a Sunday on Tuesday?

I did some Spanish today, very little French, a couple rounds of Latvian vocabulary, a little Cyrillic children's book reading, I'm still at the 'I know that word is Dog, and that word is Milk' etc etc... stage, much like I am with Japanese - but I am recognizing more and more.  I saw the word Animal and Bird today and knew them by sight.  Will have to do something on my phone, have alternated between a lot of Portuguese and some Spanish on there lately, sometimes a bit of Russian.

I had ordered a bright purple begonia cutting for Mark to start propagating for next season - and the post office (not the one I work at, but the zip code I actually live in) has delivered it to the wrong house.  It was marked delivered here yesterday but the postmaster over there checked the GPS and said it was obviously elsewhere, and would have to be retrieved and then brought out here.  With it being a live plant, I hope they do find it tomorrow, deliver it, and it isn't dead.

I added a couple of cartoon animals to that accordion sheet of paper I was working on. 

Monday, July 15, 2024



A digital sketch of mine.  My husband said he liked what I did with the turkey birds, it took him a couple of times seeing it and saying 'what is it about that' to realize it was mine and not just something I had shared on from another artist... he said I should do some more of those.  Although this one is a bit more contrived (the birds fell together as I was playing with shapes, and this one I planned to make some sort of dog or fox-shaped thing) it brings through a bit of the same style.  


I am still working on putting my head back together from this weekend - that sort of throw the ball back and forth between 'past stress' and 'calm moment' and 'future worry' that I know is an inherent part of being me.  Onward, through etc.. all that.  I've done some French and Russian, Spanish and Portuguese today.  I feel like I want to take on something a little bigger after finishing that A1 Russian course.  But I'm not sure what, and I've been quite tired in between things I really needed to do, so I've taken ambitious things only as they come.  

(I remind myself that I'm always doing better than Marco Fogg lying on the floor of his apartment staring at the Moon Palace sign, I wouldn't read that book again, but it gives me hope that I was screaming 'idiot' at that guy and his choices and that it still comes up in the back of my brain among the 'you've seen worse examples' column of the matrix)


I have to work again on Wednesday, and Mark would like for us to go to the farmer's market and sell things tonight.  I took the truck out to return the loaner battery and get some grocery items, and brought it home- it seemed to work fine on the battery that (Esme and I) installed.


 This is one of the things I was taking up time with while waiting for the mechanic the other night - the other one is just a huge tangle of bird and mask stuff in ink on white paper like I did in the past - I need to find some new textures to draw, perhaps.  It might be a good time to go look through all the magazines I still have and then draw another one of those afterwards.  My brain picks up patterns and themes that I don't even realize until I begin to draw.. and I love that about it, but it's also like shaking a Magic 8 ball.  

Kick self :  Olive oil, and milk, and cheese.  I know I use them, and I tell myself to use them up, and then I can buy more, but the instincts of my mother's household take hold and I start conserving them to the last teaspoonful... which actually doesn't help me, because I still need to buy more of them, and I can't really make anything useful, and sometimes even they go bad before they're actually used usefully.   Writing this here is a sort of sonar blip that I will remember I said this about them, and maybe work better at that, it's like walking by that hose in the hallway that I meant to install outside over and over, and then Esme said something about it, and when it was connected to her voice echoing as I passed by it, I did something about it.





Sunday, July 14, 2024

bits of nothing much

Well, Friday was a bit frustrating, but it ended well.  Our mechanic brought the mail vehicle to us around midnight, and a loaner battery for us to get the other truck to town to have a new battery installed in it at our convenience.  And I got to work on Saturday.  Because I hadn't known if I would have a vehicle working, I didn't volunteer for Sunday and here I am, with a Sunday off.

And I'm playing a game - Stardew Valley, that has had a new update and Esme has been playing it for a while and chatting with me about little bits here and there.  I'm playing it in French, and trying to read the wiki in French as well and with lots of new things, that is a learning experience.  You see lots of words that you normally wouldn't - and wonder if they are just translation oddities or if that is the way it would actually translate to French.

my new farm and house have a long way to go, but I spent some time on it already.  Some new crops are carrots, summer squash (yellow) and broccoli.  And there are some very strange new events, like 'Green Rain', in which large fiddlehead ferns grow as tall as trees and moss grows on everything.  You'll also find Demetrius (the local scientist) outside his house in a Hazmat suit doing experiments.

Those are 'tomates marinées' (marinated tomatoes) and I just since those pictures got my little chicken coop with two chickens.  

I've been to my studio table the other day, while I waited anxiously for the mechanic to arrive... and just messed around a little with pens and then with paint.  With finishing the one language course, and feeling generally stressed - I've been doing French on both Duolingos.  However, because of algorithms, that doesn't stop my FB and emails and ads from showing up in everything from German to Greek.  I still find that hilarious.


Yes, there are a million other things I could be doing other than playing a game.  My brain reminds me of that every other ten minutes or so.  And yet.  //fall on floor in starfish formation (yoga, ADHD stuff)  Yes, it's been a hard week. 

3pm //we've gotten the new battery... it'll be a family effort to install it

Friday, July 12, 2024

bits of surrealism

a sketch : Turkey Mama and her Chicks

I couldn't convince myself to get into paints or pencils last night, even though I've been sort of 'itching' to - I can't get over the hump of spreading out even more things, among the things I've put away and those I haven't yet ... and doing messy work that takes physical time, and then putting it away or leaving it out - having yet another physical thing that no one else will ever see except maybe here etc etc... even though the urge to create is really really strong -- I understand most of our society's response to such a creative SPLAT as I used to make daily was : 'Do you ever sleep?  What do you do with all of that?' and those are both valid and further confusing questions

it's an ongoing existential crisis thing and I feel like I deal with it pretty well considering the absolute event-horizon space-warp thing that goes on in my head all the time.  I've worked hard to 'slow my clockrate' as Mark calls it - we're both 'high clockrate' people in his terms, but it's all mental work and sometimes especially after waking up from dreaming, it feels a bit futile and like I really SHOULD race around doing eighteen things, and then I remind myself that I'm only human and it's impossible to do everything at once, no matter how much coffee you drink.  It all feels so surreal, finite vs. infinite, NOW time vs. all other time.


So part of my coping with the exact difficulty of 'create--don't create' at the moment is reminding myself I can open my graphic processor, which is not very technically advanced, use it to choose colors and put some things down like a digital etch-a-sketch and just because I don't want to go to my studio table or art easel, it doesn't mean I have to choke that urge down to put an image 'out' of my brain, or play with the process, like the turkey mama and her chicks above.



and I can try to urge myself to finish other things I've started

pulled this off the little loom and finished it up  

It has a button closure underneath there and is big enough for a pair of glasses, a checkbook or several pens

It's 8 am.  I stayed up until 10 last night (didn't even make nine the night before) and was up only once with a dog, and then slept until 6:30 am.  

Finished the A1 Russian course.  I'll keep going on Duolingo now as I had sort of held off of it and done the other languages because I was guaranteed to get some practice every day doing that.  I feel I can read Cyrillic a lot better than when I started that - which was a goal for Bulgarian learning.  The Bulgarian site sends me a word of the day every day, written in Cyrillic, and I've been able to pronounce it from the word quite a bit better before clicking it to go to the page with the translation, trans-literation and pronunciation audio clip.

did a smattering of Greek, Danish, Spanish and French, will do something on my phone later

started another crochet tote bag to make during television time, it's smurf blue

have to call the mechanic later today (he didn't respond yesterday but I only called him once) and see if he has ordered the parts for the truck.  Work Saturday - of course that is still a worry about getting home, but what can I do about it other than call the mechanic today, which has to happen a little later.  I'm feeling lately like Samuel Beckett just before the Quantum Leap... like I have way too much energy but if I begin to expend it instead of save it for the things I need to do, I will fall to exhaustion instead.  So it's a bit like having your physical body on a leash while the brain is a bouncing puppy.  And yet - I don't want to get into other huge things either, because I can't sustain them.

Baking might help.

Watching a bee gathering nectar in the clover, while watering the garden and filling the chicken dishes, helped a little, too.

Made breakfast, egg and cheese on toast.  Set out a stick of butter from the freezer to thaw to make something with later.

Made cinnamon rolls, with just a glance at a recipe and hardly any measuring (the butter was pre-measured, because it comes in a stick) - they turned out pretty good, at least, while hot and with coffee.  Sometimes these things get hard as a rock when they cool down - will look at that.  I can see why some people use cream cheese in this type of recipe, and perhaps with more flour and something like that I could roll the dough even thinner on the parchment paper and still get it back up without it becoming lace.  It's been years since I even tried to make them from scratch, coffee cake used to be my goto because it didn't require the rolling.

Thursday, July 11, 2024

sleep schedule, snails, and pancakes

 I'm thinking back to that big storm we had where the dogs had me up three times during the night, and then all the postal route, and trying hard not to fall asleep when I got home, but still going to bed 'too early', ending up waking in the middle of the night anyway...  I tried really hard not to go to bed too early last night, and still was up for a few hours around midnight.


My husband made this 3D model (and the pencil cups, and the extra large paper clip, as well) and here it is in action.  It is Deco Desk Snail at printables.


desk snail and Extra Large Paper Clips


Pancakes, to use up a bit more of my blackberry syrup

Esme was still asleep, and Mark doesn't eat breakfast

but the dogs were very happy I made food, as they usually get some

Mark assisted some with helping me figure out the cord routing on my television up here - so it works again.  It turned out to be one loose plug in the back of it.  It gets no reception, but I can see the collection he has downstairs and pick from it - which I can do from my computer, as well, but it's not as comfortable to knit in the desk chair as it is in the bed.  Then we got Esme a game on Steam I'd been looking at, but didn't think it would work on my computer.  He asked why - and I have been having driver issues with two of the other games I did used to play.  

So, based on his 'you shouldn't be having problems' *sigh* I went and looked up the error codes and found the right commands to put in the user interfaces and finally, yes, got both of those games running.  I don't really play games that often, though.  I've been tuning in to Stardew Valley a bit more since their update, just to see the new crops and because I find catching all the fish a worthwhile challenge while juggling all the crops and animals every day.  I'm also playing it in French.  One of the first things I asked Esme about the new game was 'Can you play it in Spanish?' since she starts Spanish class next month in school.  I hear Mark let out a huge guffaw from the other room that was one of my first questions about it.  I went and found a tutorial on how to change the language (from the Options screen, under the Play, then pick español)

If we hadn't had that strange issue with the truck yesterday (I put it back on the charger down here, but it is likely to need a new alternator) these next two days, today and tomorrow, would have been nice and restful.  I felt like I was on a good roll, except for the sleep thing - which can only work out with time and mindfulness about it.  

Hoping Saturday will not be an issue, or the mechanic will finish up the last bits on my mail truck and it will be driveable while he replaces this part.  If we can get it started with the charger here it can get to work for me - (getting home is maybe need a jump, maybe it will start, and no stops on the way home etc.) or definitely get us down to the mechanic to exchange vehicles.  Not a worry I wanted on my brain but as I told Esme sort of it's not one thing it's another and you just have to figure out how to work with every item as it comes up.  She was a big help yesterday walking some of the cords and things up with me to the vehicle, which was a ways up the driveway and around the corner and almost in Grandma's yard.  Then she learned how to test the voltages, and how to untangle the extension cords, and how to hook the charger to the vehicle, how to take it back off, and what the required voltages were that we were testing for.  She said she enjoyed getting some more car knowledge.


Duolingo: did Welsh, French, Spanish, Greek, Danish (one round each) and Portuguese (mobile, full 50xp) , then put a border on and tied up this dishcloth


It's 9:30 am... off to do my rounds on two Duolingo profiles (computer and phone) and decide when to do the Russian program, tie up the dishcloths and weavings that I had made the past few days.. garden, clean up my art supplies desk perhaps, but probably also get sucked into Stardew Valley again for a bit as I planted a bunch of summer squash seeds (courge d'été in French) and that is a new crop.  In my real garden I was going to start putting to rights those back two beds that I couldn't use before the long garden hose was bought.  But, that was yesterday, before the truck issue took up the entire afternoon.  I don't know how much I'll get to, or if we are going to try to do anything with the vehicle this afternoon, either.