Thursday, March 15, 2018

raised bed at Shepard Lane Garden

 We did the rest of the raised bed construction today, minus the final layer of soil.
It ended up with 25 bricks, and so far has 6 bags of compost, 6 bags of topsoil and 3 bags of sand in it, over a layer of the most unprinted cardboard I could find in our garage.  Each of the sections is just over 4 foot square.

Mark took a lot of pictures of us putting in the last bit of soil, and helped with all of the hard work before in the day, driving to get the things and etc.



 All of the materials were mixed together, and the rain will compress it down.  We will need to add another layer of soil after that.

I've asked Irene and Mikey to each pick four or five things they want to plant from seed.  I have some purple carrots, small orange carrots, basil, lemon basil, radishes and lettuce - as well as the spinach that Mikey wanted to try again.  We could put a few plants of zucchini or summer squash to try.  Tomatoes and peppers will be planted like we always do - over in another section where there will be plastic held down by cedar logs.  We will plant morning glory on the fences, and a few rows of corn and sunflowers and beans, and flowers in the flower garden (behind me by the chicken house).

Mandolin Chords : I've found this site useful and am trying to get my fingers to recognize the G, C, D chords.  C is really hard!  Native Ground simple mandolin chords

On the caffeine thing - on my days off I need more than on my days at work.. At work I'm more distracted and moving around more - there is hardly time to know what I'm missing or focus much.  When I'm at home I'm a little colder and am needing something hot.  So, I had two cups of coffee each of these days and about four cups of black tea with half-and-half in it.  I've not done the keto for two days now... but still see the difference in the mirror with how flat my stomach is compared to last year.  I think I can start in with a little rice and two tortillas a day and see how I fare.  I've read an article called 'biohacking' and realize this is what I'm doing - trying to find the best results for my body and for my activity. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

day in Jackson, dentist, mandolin

We've had a long day to Jackson and back.  Esme had a dental appointment, and she gets very anxious.. but she did well.  And we're 'ok' with the exam for the next 6 months!  She has a tooth growing in 'over' a baby tooth but they think it will all work out okay... if not, then we will look at it again then.

We got some balsawood planes at the hobby store (and yes, I got a bit of yarn), and Mark and Esme made them to fly at home.  Esme and I went out in the sunshine and took some pics.  The sarvis is blossoming now, and there is some little moss on the cedar wood with red flowers.

We stopped into a music store and Esme bought a harmonica, and I bought a mandolin that was priced at such a deal!  I had one twenty years ago and I never got to do much with it - now I've downloaded a tuner on my tablet and am trying to learn the chords.  Esme has a recorder (like a flute) coming in the mail on Friday.  She wanted a musical hobby - and she asked to stop at the music store to see flutes, but they didn't have any this time of year.  She did buy a harmonica.

And I moved some of the bricks we still had to check the measurements for tomorrow's project.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

day one less caffeine (day 19 keto-ish)

I've stumbled on the 50 grams of carbs or less a few times lately.. but I have lost weight and I do fit into my narrow-waisted jeans.  I can't say I'll continue with 'more energy' for a while.. because I've decided to try cutting back on the acidic coffee I drink.  My dentist pointed out that my teeth already have weak enamel.. and nothing short of a veneer (which I looked up later, he didn't offer) is going to help them.  I'll be lucky if I don't lose a few more of them because the enamel is already worn through at the gum line.  //growl// well my whole family has bad teeth and I've done better with mine than many...

So today I had a cup of coffee in the morning, and a black tea bag at lunch, and a green tea at break.  And I've been drinking extra water the rest of the time.

I did get some things done when I got home - laundry, changing the new toilet seat (with Mark's help) and some insurance paperwork I've been putting off for a week or more (and thus, was due a week ago).  That is still something, and on the 'lose an hour' daylight savings day, too.

Friday, March 09, 2018


 Esme took some pictures out in the garden today while we were clearing out some of the spaces around the bricks and fences.  We also found a snail shell, and saw that the babys breath and the peach-centered daffodils were blooming.  We found a strange root left over from last year!  We didn't know what it was - it smelled like a turnip or radish family, though.

The strange root we dug up out of the flower garden, probably a turnip, rutabaga or an overdue radish.

For reference : I planted some extra tomato seeds tonight.  Three of the other six have come up.  Planted tonight : three Black Prince (in the empty slots), six 'Banana Legs', and eight 'Dark Galaxy' seed pots.

Playing around with the proposed garden structure for the year.  I know we need to put an area for corn and sunflowers in, and the bean fence.. and we might use the chicken yard for a few things this year (besides chickens)...morning glories grew so well on that fence that we thought to make the fence an actual growing position and use it to let things climb like beans and such.  The plastic-lined area will be held down with cedar logs, like usual.  We will put some annual flowers in the perennials bed like usual - marigolds, zinnias, cosmos and nasturtiums.  I have lemon basil and regular basil for the herb area to add to the lemon balm and  mint that grow there.  The oregano grows next to the gladiolus in the perennial bed.  The little bent pea fence in the left corner we can't get out - and an ant hill has taken it over.  I don't want them to take over the raised bed area, but they might.  The new hosta should show up with the older one in the bulb garden this summer just behind where the daffodils are blooming now.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

sarvis bits and a chicken in a doghouse

The sarvis trees are starting to bud out, one of the first signs of Spring.  I also caught our Gennet chicken (English game hen) hanging out in the old doghouse I stuffed with extra straw.  I threw her some seed there.  Daphne dog still holes up there sometimes when it is cold or rainy.  A few other shots just because their patterns and/or colors attracted me.  The chartreuse in the moss is like sunshine on fields of new grass.. which I adore even at a distance.

 There is something about the stone wall to the right and the mirror reflection showing through the ice cracks ... the progression of ice along the right edge.  I didn't capture exactly what I wanted to say - but there is always another day to try.

More sarvis trees.   I do love how the buds in the background blurred to bright spots scattered artistically behind.

 The aforementioned chicken.

sarvis buds

// I have a drawing I did of Mark in our first year of marriage that is sort of Klimt-styled that I want to put up somewhere.  It is not 'much' of a drawing, black ink on white paper, but it has that something that I always remember, some bit of expressive joy.. and I don't have anywhere that is 'right' to hang it up at and it isn't really small and easy to tuck in anywhere.  Have to think about it.  I go hunting for it every once in a while.  It has little fish (of course, its me) swimming out along the edge of it that suggest he is dreaming something.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018


It's cold and wet and dim outside.  I took the camera with again just in case, but only snapped a few things that were in focus because of the 'dim' part.

Esme got in trouble at school again for not doing homework - so we have added checkboxes to the calendar to try to keep track.  She isn't too happy at any cost about it - being in trouble and/or having to have it checked up on.

We looked at some of the erosion patterns  at the bus stop because I was trying to explain my 'mathematical elegance' to Esme and how it relates to math equations and patterns.  She saw what I meant - I think - and pointed out that the little rivulets the water made in the soil demonstrate what I was saying..  yes, they do.

Our stepping stones for when the water is high in the ditch and the mud would suck the shoe right off your foot.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

kitchen towels and mathematical elegance

It would be hard to explain to you what I mean by 'mathematical elegance', but I see it everywhere, and when I get a moment to reflect on it, I try to capture the feeling. Being a synestheseate (senses overlap) it is like seeing music that is too complicated to be heard - deep wide music that stretches over and inside you at the same time.  You are part of the Universe with all of its patterns extending around you, rhythms and melodies and harmonies interspersed with color and light and space.  

I saw this on the way back from the school bus this morning and it played out a rhythm to me - staccato drums overlaid with a delicate pattern of bells and strings.  I love the way the colors of the sunrise came through as well, changing the timbre of the 'music' within the depths.

I was going to capture the golden grass in front of the fog, like the high tones of clarinets and other woodwinds and perhaps mid-tone violins in front of a quiet symphony of other small sounds. and then Daphne walked behind the grasses and added her own part to it.

 The fairyhouses have their own mathematical elegance, too

I liked the fog progression into the distance here, and it shows how the fairyhouses are stretched out across the landscape.

 Esme said this was a 'fairy moon' far above the fog.  I liked her description.

// other
I made myself some kitchen towels the other day - the patterns of the blue cacti fabric still clung to my mind weeks after seeing it - so I bought it and some 'Ursa Major' fabric with little stars and bears to go on the backside.  I had cut up some bright turquoise bird fabric that never became shorts (Esme just is too big for me to really make much for her now, the fabric cost to off-the-rack cost almost is the same now) and paired it with some polka dotted blue fabric I had in my collection.  I made three of the bird towels and one dishmat, and two of the loop-top kitchen towels to hang on the fridge.

 I made little loop tops on them - not extremely useful right now but it cost nothing to put them in - they might be useful later.

 They actually hang on the other side of the fridge - not in front of the door, but there is no sunlight there ;)

These are very cheerful.  Seeing their colors is like tasting crisp cherries buried in ice cream.

I did this one morning while waiting for Esme to get dressed for school.
We have a collection of coconut and pineapple things on the table to make some granola bars Mark has been wanting.. and I wanted to update the board that previously had the 'rabbits in rowboats'  She has a coconut on her head and is dancing the hula.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

tomato seedlings and zen

The tomato seedlings are starting to come up.  These are the ones I planted two weeks ago as a 'make it or break it' leftovers in the bottoms of packages.  So, actually, I don't even know exactly which kinds these are.  But, they are something I would enjoy, if it got to full grown.  So, there's that.

I read an article about zen the other day - and to take it where you can find it and seek it when you have a moment, no matter what is around you or ..  There is this daffodil that showed up in our garden this year, far away from the others, and all by itself.  I was thinking about that daffodil today.   I was passing the area on the road (zenning while driving, all thoughts are good, take the paths and travel them in your mind until you reach the points that are trying to be made etc etc.) where the orange daylilies are, and the daffodil prompted in my head at the same time.  I always see the daylilies and think "I want some of those" as in.. I want some at my house.  But I didn't fully appreciate the daffodil in my garden until that moment.  I didn't ask for it - but I was given it, and I should celebrate it instead of wondering where to move it to.  And I keep 'asking' in a way for the daylilies but I DO have them..  I have them on that stretch of road every year, keeping me company on my way to and fro.  And now a daffodil has me, and my garden.

Strange little wanderings.. but still, they are there.
Feel it All by KT Tunstall is still echoing in my head in a lovely way, making me happy, even though I just watched it  the once earlier this week at work after not hearing it for years.  My memory is nice for that.  I just wish it would always repeat the good things. 

Saturday, March 03, 2018

day 12 on keto 50 grams

I'm on day 12 of a 21 day keto reset.. 50 grams of carbs or less.  I'm doing good and feeling the difference.. but I also felt it when I stayed up and didn't sleep as much for those three days... I had the energy to do so but didn't get the 'big energy' the next day - kind of leveling out because I was making up for that lost sleep.

I can see the results again.  (remember I did this last August/September).  I can fit comfortably into my narrow-waisted pair of jeans AND bend over t o tie my shoes without feeling pinched.  When I look in the mirror at my waistline - with a shirt tucked in - I don't see my stomach sticking out as much as it had been.

Another thing I've noticed.  Our serving sizes are really messed up.  I looked at a bag of macadamia nuts and it said a serving size was a quarter cup!  I pour out three to six nuts when I eat them.. how in the world is a serving size that high?  And the chips I was using as my carb treat.. they say 11 chips is a serving.  4 to 6 is a GOOD sized serving for a snack.  These chips are about a third the size of a dollar don't need to eat any more than a handful at a time unless you're starving.. which, in that case, make a real meal.

Friday, March 02, 2018

wrapped bits

It is getting warmer.  I am holding my itching fingers back even though I saw people buying GARDEN plants at the store yesterday.  Why?  I mean herbs and lettuce and tomato plants.  Huh?  I did plant iris bulbs the other day - which, by the way, they are doing great.

I was proud of Esme for writing a very well-contained and thought out story last night for her language arts journal.  It was about a music teacher who says he goes for lunch but it missing for three hours -and is found hiding out lost in his music in a secret room composing and practicing a love song for his wife.  It was very sweet, and she did a great job writing it out and thinking it out as she wrote it.  That is still the hardest thing for her - the only thing that 'shows' mostly after all the trouble she had learning to form sentences as a toddler.

I caught three hours of sleep this morning.. and Mark is going to do the grocery shopping while I have to close at work.  Esme wants to go to rollerskating on Sunday, and I have to remember to bring her library book back.

I've been reading a bit of In the Country of Last Things but then I was soaking in my music instead of reading at lunch yesterday.  Remembered a snippet of music from a musician I really like and went looking for that song and couldn't find it in my collection.  It is the only song of hers I used to listen to on Spotify that wasn't in my CD I had - 'Feel it All' by KT Tunstall.  'Do you know what you've done to me?  You made my branches grow.  Now they can play with the wind, and they can carry the snow.'  I love that idea.

But my favorite song, and it often makes me cry, but always leaves with hope and love - 'Field of Gold'.. about the only song I like by Sting, but I like it.. a lot.

I got out some blue yarn that was leftover from making my shawl last year.  I was wrapping bits of it up and untangling it.. a big mess.  I want to put a few more rows on the bottom of the 'already finished' shawl so I can complete tying it around my waist when I'm wearing it.  It is just a skitch shy of that .. I can tie it, but it slips out in minutes.  A few more rows would do it... It already has about six crochet rows on it so it won't look any more out of place than it already does.  Esme likes the shawl - it is fuzzy blue yarn at the top.. she says she wants to be wrapped in a fuzzy thing.  *ha* 

Thursday, March 01, 2018

grounded and floating bits

Esme and I walked up to the school bus stop this morning.  It is still raining, it has been off and on for a week or so.. but we saw where the lilies are starting to try to come up - I guess that must be what they are, and we planned to look for a place to put the Love in a Mist seeds we got free last year and never planted.  They say 'when ground can be worked at earliest point in spring, plant in well-drained soil'.  Mark suggested up there would be a good place, high up enough on the hill they might come back year after year.  We scoped out where we might put sunflowers later.

I came back and went into the main garden and uncovered the sticks and leaves off of the oregano.  I took a pinch of it in my thumb and forefinger and scored it so I could get a good smell of it.  It is so strong right now because the leaves are new.

I met the wild chicken halfway back from the garden and she is trying to live in the doghouse in the rain, the one I packed full of extra straw last fall.  Not a terrible place for a chicken, close enough to the house bad things probably would be worried about cats and dogs and the goat nearby.  I gave her some food scattered in the dry areas under the tree.  She walked within three feet of me to eat - so she has been having a hard time the past few days getting enough if she came that close to get the food I was throwing.  'Wild' means she runs at the sight of you - and doesn't come within six feet of you unless she has a reason.

The floating bits.
I found a great deal on  an item that could be our room divider.  We talked about that project but it seemed too expensive for something we didn't need right now.  Then it fell in my lap at ten dollars - so I get to pick that up after the rain dries up and hopefully we will find a way to install it over the next few months.

I've bound off the blanket and am tying in the ends.
Laundry, huge piles of laundry.
I need to get a bit more sleep.. but it is hard to go back to sleep for an hour or so only to get right back up.. there are so many things that could be done in an hour... like laundry... like planning ...

Someday this year I need to get the novel out and read it again, and see the next step.  I had thoughts about Paul and Isabel in the time rift and I never thought them through much because it entirely changes the story of Brian and Ingrid that was where I started... Ingrid and Paul are siblings.. and Paul has been lost since they were little more than children....the 'piece of Ingrid' he took with him, that makes her distant still.. I was going to turn that into a key but I never got there.  I need to brainstorm on paper but I never end up doing it more than just in my head.  It's been something like four years running and this  story seems to add to itself when I'm not looking but hardly ever when I actually WANT to make progress with it.  Even the title keeps feeling false.. like someday it will pop into my head and I'll know it is true, but it hasn't happened yet, so I just keep calling it the Magpie story in my head when really that is just Ingrid's nickname, and the story is so much more.

I wanted to read the Auster book again before I started.  I just remembered that was the kickpoint last time.  Something was reminding me of that book.. I bought it, read a few chapters but then got sucked into something else.  It's a slim volume.  In the Cities of Coin and Spice by  Valente made me think of the Auster book, which made me think of the writing project, which made me run in mental circles ruminating on what it was that I was trying to coalesce...

I should investigate a light for over the washing machine, even a stickup one... Esme forgot her necklace in her pants pocket last night and I had to dig through the wet clothes mid cycle with her to find it.  It was almost stuck around the washing machine agitator and was stuck partially in one of the holes in the bottom of the wash-basin... hard to get it out but we managed and it didn't even break.  So hard to see in there, though.

Made four mood playlists on my music... Deep, Rise, Bang and Scrape.   I need one more, a shortened group of Rise and Bang to make something like Fly.  I'm looking forward to getting my favorite song in the mail to add in.  I used to listen on Spotify and put those all in but after they became subscriber or you don't see anything at all (instead of subscribe not to see ads), I haven't been back.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

That little bit

I feel a bit more energy from the keto diet.  I'm not doing it to lose tons of weight - but to reduce sugar cravings and eat better in the long run.   I was beginning to rely on sugar things again as 'food' and as the weather warmed up and I wasn't spending half of my calories JUST to stay warm.. that just didn't sit right with me... I wanted to get up energy to go out and do things, but the sugar is a bad thing for that - it gives you highs and lows.

 I decided to start the keto thing again, at a 50 gram high and allow myself carbs, but not SUGAR carbs specifically.  I have a tortilla each day, a few tasty-spiced corn chips, a cracker under some peanut butter.  A piece of dried pineapple or a thumbnail size of dark chocolate are the most 'sugary' things I allow.  I can have a tablespoon of berries or a grape, without needing to go grab a handful of M&Ms or a Little Debbie cake after that.  Sugar has done that to me in the past - give it an inch and it screams for a mile - and that catches up to you if you don't kick it in the tail once in a while.

 And I have gotten the energy spike, and the thirst for real clear water again, and the 'I'd just rather not' looking at a donut instead of the 'I wish I could have two of those right now'.  I find myself craving green tea or an almond, olive, or a piece of fish, instead of thinking about a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich dripping with jelly.  So, I will keep on with this until I feel something click again.. my body usually tells me what I need to know, and I'm trying to listen to it. 

I knit three rows on my huge blanket I have been making for years again.... and my arm yelled at me.  Each row takes about 10-15 minutes to work through if I'm going at a normal pace.  This is why I hardly ever work on it.. but I am getting to a stopping point finally.  It is large enough to stretch out over my feet and pull up to my neck and tuck the ends under me reading a book.  That is good.  I can bind it off in a few more rows and then work for a few days to a week tying in all the ends.  It is a multi-striped blanket, with LOTS of colors.  The yarn is washable acrylic Red Heart, which I've used for all my blankets in the past years.

And I want to use some fabric and make some half-towels again, like the burp rags from when Esme was small but a bit bigger to use as dish towels and the like.  I have two fabrics that will do well as front and back.  Just have to sit down and cut the pieces all to size and sew them together and topstitch them.

read 'Uprooted' by Naomi Novik, and 'The Flaw in All Magic' by Ben Dobson.  Both were incredibly good books.  I'm on 'The Name of the Wind' by Patrick Rothfuss which has been on my wait list for a bit.  It was recc. in the same list as Uprooted.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Garden Project

The days are finally warming up, and we've started a garden project on Facebook called Shepard Lane Garden (because it was easier to spell than our full address...

I bought some little blue irises today and added them to the bulb garden.  The pink hyacinth are coming up, and the lemon balm is fragrant.  I love the way the green shines in the sunlight.

  blue irises

 pink hyacinth

 lemon balm

I also found the two varieties of morning glory I was looking for more seed of.
One is 'Flying Saucers' and the other is 'Blue Star'.

There are 'Alaska' peas germinating in a pot inside.  Once they poke their heads out and get a few sets of good leaves (and the last frost passes next week we hope) I can dig up a section of earth and put up a trellis and still have enough time to get a good harvest.

and top it off with one shameless garden cat begging for attention!

Sunday, February 25, 2018


Uprooted by Naomi Novik was a good book.  I really liked the original-to-the-magician magic types, where each had their own natural style of magic.  It was a really epic fantasy tale.

Thinking more about the garden.  Also had a friend out and she was considering coming to help us at times this year with the garden in exchange for some of the produce.  It would be a good learning experience for her, too.  She helped me clean a few things out of the garden in prep for work later.

Started my Alaskan peas germinating.  Hopefully by the end of the week I can dig a small area up and put them out there.  Looking into a mini cultivator tool to work on areas like that. 

Found my morning glory and moonflower seeds, bought some zinnia and cosmo seeds.  The other day I went through the seeds and picked out a lot of things into the 'this year' bucket.

Tied up three washcloths and a sock the other day, so much yarn and I'm not really sure if there is anything I 'need' to do with it.. but those things worked.  There is a blanket I've been working on for years taking up much of my table.  I'm not sure if it is quite large enough to be useful yet.

Started the keto diet again on 2/20 and again I'm going with the 'high' version, of 50 carbs or less... and only testing my day's worth of food every other day or so (because the app annoys me not letting me put in half servings of things with the keyboard not having a decimal point).  Friend is going to try going for it too but I keep urging her to ease into it, don't just go all out and crash.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018


Yesterday Esme received a good note from her reading teacher that she has improved on reading chapter books and is really doing well in her class and assessments. 

We went to the library and we went through the non-fiction.  I showed her several sections I knew she would like - the earth/weather science and animals and machines sections mostly.  She said 'but none of these books are at my level!'... but I said that the only books in the library that were 'levelled' were the readers over in that one cabinet (for beginning readers), everything else you just look at the spine or title, pick it up and open it up to see if it is for you or not.  She took a moment to think that over.  Then she started going through books and found two she wanted to take home, both non-fiction, both about archaeology/paleobiology. 

I finished reading 'The Hundred Year Old Man who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared', by Jonas Jonasson.  It was VERY funny, and well tied together.

I'm reading 'The Wizards of Once' by Cressida Cowell (How to Train your Dragon) now.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik is next on the list

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

50 grams of carbs nearly-ketogenic diet

I'm starting back on this.  I bought supplies at the store and am working on limiting the grains and carbs back down to 50 grams (real keto is 20 grams and under).  I lost a good amount of weight on this plan before November of last year.  Now that it is a little warmer I'm up to trying it again.  It was just too cold and with the holidays in the way it was tough to stay on track.  It also felt too cold for exercise during those long months.. but I started to feel a little more like getting into that when the temperatures got above 40 the other day, too.

Breakfast tomorrow : coconut milk in coffee with cinnamon and half of a chicken patty.  Maybe a few hazelnuts or brazil nuts.

Lunch tomorrow : sunbutter in a extra-fluffy tortilla (most of the carbs here), 2 fish fillets, slice of roast beef, egg, swiss cheese slice, pepperjack cheese cube, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, a few Wasabi flavor corn chips and green olives.  I've packed coffee with cinnamon and a jar of fresh well water to either drink straight or make tea.  //I went back and added a tablespoon of real mayo and a pickle.

Will have to figure out dinner when I get home.

I have seeds

I have lots of seeds.  It is a bit of a problem in that I know many of them are old and I will never use them all.  But it feels like having envelopes full of potential.. and sometimes boxes full.  I don't have the time now to be out in the garden - or maybe I just don't have the ambition I did when Esme was younger.  Maybe I'm not as hopeful and plant less each year.  But I dug through my boxes today (signs that it is finally getting warmer again) and made my 'this year' list (in my head) and decided what things I need to go acquire and what things are ready to be thrown out.  

I planted two tiny flats of tomatoes and peppers - six each, in the greenhouse corner and we'll just see if they make a go of it at all.  I'm showing restraint at the moment but I know I'll end up with the four or five flats of each and begin weeding them down to survivors.  The seeds I planted today were the last dregs from packages I just didn't want to throw away wholesale.

I'm setting my priorities.   I will be planting some beans this year,  several varieties.  I love having the sunflowers.  And there is so much corn still in the packages - but I won't plant the corn with as much hope of eating it but only for 'scientific' purposes.

So I want this year:
pole beans and Provider bush beans
some sort of corn?
cucumbers (I eat these)
a tomato and a pepper that produce (have to plant a few of each to make sure)
dill and basil
morning glories
And I might take a chance against the bugs again this year and plant a summer squash

I made a bag of 'free for all' bean varieties (and a few gourd seeds and peas in there) that I will just toss out around the garden and see what if anything they do.  They don't have any identification and are old.. so .. let nature do what it wants with them.

I remember that one year I planted butternut squashes down in the valley and they actually produced tiny little squashes but not really big enough to eat.  That was hope and optimism!  It was interesting seeing them clinging to life trying to grow amid the jungle of other plants.  There was this one that I planted partially in a hollow under the end of dead log and it was the best of them all - it had some shelter away from the mass of sun-loving weeds and lots of fertilizer from the decaying wood and I would go fill up the hollow with some water when I could from my watering can.

 Top : Bosnian beans which I have grown out every other year or so since I was sent nine of them in a package.  Middle Left: Good Mother Stallard beans.  They have never produced for me, but I've been stingy with them and only planted ten or so at a time..  I might just have to put the whole package in the ground and try to see what happens.  Middle Right : Hyacinth beans (with the white stripes) are the progeny of a plant a friend at work gave me years ago.  Bottom: 'Turkey Craw?' beans I've often just called white climbers.  They appeared out of nowhere (probably a stray bean in a package I was given) and have been prolific enough I have this many left over from several years.

Monday, February 19, 2018


I read Wolf Hollow, a Newberry award winner.  It was a good read, sad a bit, but a good read.  I'm on 'The Hundred Year Old Man who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared' now.  It is a blast.  I am so glad I found it in the library reccs. 

After the hike today Esme and I painted a little - we each made a little thing, hers an 'environment' with a fish, and mine a boat.  Mark made spaghetti sauce and it was very good.  We all watched 'A Dog's Purpose' and cried.  It was a wonderful film even though it was so sad in many places.  We're truly dog lovers... (with seven, how can you not be?)

Did a little cleaning and put up a painting in the bathroom ('Wash your Hare') and reframed a card by NoosedKitty I had bought years ago of two little rabbits hiding in a teacup.  Both of those turned out good and I felt a little accomplished.  Started repairs on our bed quilt.  It needs so much.  I should probably find something I like at the upholstery shop (Robertsons) and just recover all of it... or finally use my nautical equations fabric to do so.  I had been saving that for a long time but it might be that time.

I have tomorrow off, too and we wanted to go to the library but not until after Esme is home from school.  Will see how that goes.  She is very interested in plants, earth science, environments, ecosystems and etc...  she wants to look through the non-fiction section and find books to read... she says!  She will probably just play the computer for 3/4 of the hour and scramble to find books again like usual?  We'll see.  I did the red hair dye again tonight and I think it evened out the purple/red from last time.  We'll see what it looks like in the actual light tomorrow.

In the woods

 Most of these pictures (except the obvious ones) were taken by Esme out in the forest today.