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.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

the swirling bits

 So I'm downstairs, heating up coffee and 'swirling' - and by this, I mean my brain is constantly washing and swirling over multiple regions of thoughts again and again and it's a little like sitting with a big cup of coffee swirling it around in your cup to make sure you aren't drinking the grounds??  Exit now if you don't want to see my representation of just a slice of what goes on in between these ears..

I'm also doing while I'm swirling, and it is just the most classic form of ADHD housekeeping and planning and some inside-out form of reminisce--now--plan middle-out thinking you could ever imagine.  It gets things done, but I've had others (Mark included) explain observing such is 'painful' and 'I have no idea what you're doing at any moment there, it seems to be five things at once, always.  And I cook the same way.)  And- it is, five things at once.  And it adds up, as long as I keep at it and don't sit.  I'm : washing rugs, sweeping floors, wiping counters, staring at the window (involves thinking about moths that have often been there), thinking about sewing, upset about the sewing machine, optimistic about the sewing machine (cycle), thinking about weaving, thinking about baking, planning on cooking rice, thinking about a sketchbook from twenty years ago that is in the left hand pull-out shelf of my desk and paging through it mentally while I'm washing a sink, reminding myself I have three pages left in my current little sketchbook, sketching the last few things I saw on Pinterest in my head in a mental sketchbook with pencils that I have upstairs, layering schedules around me like rings of Venn diagrams in space and guessing what will happen later today, reminding myself about chickens when first light hits (did I mention it is 3:30 am?).. *drink coffee*


I'm reminding myself to sort laundry (which is upstairs), brain-sorting the laundry that SHOULD be in that load and where it has landed and where it goes (before ever doing it in real life), doing a review of Welsh on my computer, bouncing back up from that thinking about that crochet project in the bag I did one row on yesterday, yarn for that, thinking about the yarn on my desk (how it got there, where it's going, how necessary it is to be there right now, the effort it takes to move it, how soon it will get back there again), the project I started and tore back out yesterday, my library book (it's due date, the depressing about not finishing it vs. the depressing it felt reading it, it has such a cheerful looking cover, bah, the trip to the library, Esme saying she was fine with her own book for now and didn't need to go again soon), thinking about the gas level in the truck after yesterday's running around and fuel efficiency logarithmic models vs exponential growth which is the best 'asymptote' representation and if that is even a word, yes it is, why is it in my head right now though, and return to thinking about the art supplies to be sorted, (mentally emptying the entire desk piece by piece and wondering if it is worth the effort), 


thinking about when I was looking for that ring yesterday (blue box, 2 inches, tucked into drawer but not the original drawer vs. constellation of four other rings that are similar and where they are), that when I was looking I thought I should be throwing out and going through that other stuff I found, sweeping the entry way, throwing out a frog, exchanging cats, bringing the goat in for breakfast, knowing I should clean the cat counter but being frowned at by large cat currently eating there knowing what I'm thinking, thinking about eggs - quantity, storage, value, where to use them, thinking about rice, thinking about leaves outside (maple, veins, soft) (and it's still dark out there, so why? because when I'm sweeping I so often look up and see them there and it is pleasurable to see them, the thoughts are intertwined), thinking more about laundry, wondering where that other red dishcloth is now that I've replaced it and did the laundry, well not all the laundry, will start that after this load and it's probably in that bag, thinking about the laundry bag upstairs and exactly which items are in it 


drinking more coffee, thinking about making coffee, thinking more about baking, thinking about all the array of ingredients and where they are and how much there is of them and what they are used for, return to thinking about rice and all the ways I used last week's and that Mark has this other kind he makes for himself which the kitchen dinosaur toy is currently camped out on the lid of, telling myself I should sweep that back hallway, talking to the cat and the dog about the rugs, being glad I made the rugs, saying I should make another one - oh right, it's in that bag but I haven't committed to it being a rug yet, 

And now it's five a.m, but the laundry is started now and hopefully won't wake anybody up when it spins down, and the dogs and cats and goat are happier - and the roosters are crowing, but they'll be happier when I go feed them and change their water when it's light.  Then I can check on the pepper I planted yesterday and all of the other things, and maybe push myself to do one or two other little things like move the French book on my desk back to the shelf and so forth...

5:30 Put the French book away, and ten other things - found the ring, it still fits, I still don't like how it feels against my vein in my hand, there are twenty other little things in that box, beads, a pair of dice smaller than a dime, old earrings, a sachet pouch of Allspice and Star Anise flowers, put it back where I had kept it.  Onward.  Chickens want food.

3:30 pm  : Too much adventure, episode 99

Took Esme to town earlier this afternoon, got greenhouse potting soil and some groceries Grandma had wanted ( and two we had forgotten ) and came back home - forgot to give Grandma the groceries at her drive before we went to our house, and so started the truck back up at our house just minutes after parking it, and drove up to give her those - and just as we would have turned into her driveway the car went completely dead - flat.  We had stopped at a lot of places in town, much more than usual, but still I wasn't expecting this problem in the summer at all (it has the problem in the winter if you let it sit too long between starts).   I joked 'I was thinking too hard right there', and I was thinking too hard at exactly that moment because she was riding in the back up the driveway and I was thinking at that exact moment that I was in charge of her safety when I turned into Grandma's yard and to slow down and take it very easy and -- flat, no lights on, no sound, no movement, just like the car turned into a brick. (ask me about how I used to make the lights flicker at Lowes and the electrical team would tell me I was thinking too hard, they even tested it a bit, asking me what was in boxes in topstock and how many of something was up there without looking etc).. 


but anyway, Esme got lessons in what a car battery voltage should be, what ours was (10.6 volts, and 11.7 after beginning charging, and 12.7 more than an hour later before we gave up and came back down to our house to to rest again) and then she got more lessons in how to put the charger on it and continue to monitor progress.. but it took Mark walking up with me the third time to push the truck out of the middle of our gravel road and into the ditch to get it to start up again.  I pushed it, and he steered.  It didn't start for him before I pushed it and Mark wasn't sure if it was possible that could have kicked it over.  I've seen it in old movies, but who knows?  

Frankly, I was very reluctant to reverse it into the ditch by myself or even with Esme there because I am responsible for her safety and a car running backwards in neutral even with good brakes still makes me tense)   It started and stayed started so we brought it home, and are going to mess with it a bit more later tonight and tomorrow to see if it has deeper issues like needing a new alternator.  I had been texting the mechanic a couple of times during this and he told us to check what the voltage was running and it should be 13 to 14 volts running, if it isn't - then he needs to know so he can order the part.

After that many times walking up there I'm 1.) really glad that it wasn't further down one of the roads around here where there isn't anyone for miles.  2.) grateful we were able to get the charger extension cords to reach that far  and 3.) really tired after being up so early in the morning as well and going to do things

8:00  It is so tempting to go to sleep now, but that means I would be back up at 2 or 3 am so I'm holding out... 

Tuesday, July 09, 2024

Cat in Space, yarn and bank errors


 navy blue cotton thread cone

ordered this thread online to try to weave something in all cotton - it is quite a bit thinner than I thought IT would be, but about the thread width of what I had previously wanted for another project.  So, we'll see.  It said I have 800 yards of it to try probably both projects out.  Been making a bit more progress on the navy blue weaving - did a big block of the blue and will be switching back to the red in a bit.  I have to pull it over the top to continue weaving soon.  I still didn't take the navy and green acrylic mat off the other small loom.  I did make a big waffle-weave dishcloth for the sink (needed a new one) and two potholders, both in just plain red yarn.  And that was my weekend, other than grocery shopping and working much more than usual.  It's Tuesday and I'm saying the weekend is done now, so see what that tells you about that /ha /sigh

This morning I was up from like 3 am to 5 am then even slept in and would have forgotten about the small route they had put me on except something nagged me in the back of my brain - and when I checked the schedule again yes lo and behold, there was me scheduled for it.  So I put some of what we were supposed to get done today off to tomorrow and went and did that.

It rained some yesterday and a lot this morning - and then even a bit more.  The garden appreciated it and nothing looked flooded.  I bought one more pepper plant for the garden when I went for chicken feed, and planted it after I got home.  

rant : 

I had a hassle with the electric company and a fee that was really their mistake, but I paid it, unhappily.  I was disappointed in their logic, and felt down quite a bit yesterday after I talked to them because it just didn't make any sense what had happened - they should have known better trying to double cash a 78 day old check when they were already paid in full (for the three month bills since then!) - there was no way to win-for-losing ...I would have gotten some fee from them or the bank any way you slice it apparently - yet, THEY 'have to get their fee back' from me and the girl was very bubble-gum chew and 'but yea, that happens, we don't like, control it or anything, it's all the computer now'.  Well then, the computer can be better, can't it?  Can't it? 

...(and there my faith in logic becomes Stoic Spock and I have to reorient that not everyone is this stupid, I'm sure... )  Esme and I have had this discussion about similar things - in the car, describing how many people don't think ALL the time, they simply don't have to juggle five streams of thoughts that are overlapping and reminding you about this thing and that and doing calculations - their mind is focused on one or two things at a time that are right in front of them usually and when they finish with it - they move to the next thing, and sometimes their minds are even just blank, and they like it that way, they often aim for it.  They don't watch a show or read a book and have it reverberate with a hundred other connected thoughts for weeks and years later.  They're definitely not estimating the number of cows in that field or thinking about dispersion patterns or trying to compare the electron shell diagrams of Strontium and Tin while driving to work.  They don't remember the last things said in one place returning like echoes of the past when you return there, or have a constant back-checker making math calculations adding things up and dividing percentages after they leave the supermarket.  


Strontium and Tin

They probably don't have a 'collision detection' system running all the time about what calamities might befall everything around you - people running into each other, cars on the highway, things falling, burning, breaking, times and schedules (it helped today, with the 'boy you should look at that schedule it looks weird from here (here being looking at it for thirty seconds last week)) - it involves everything announcing what could go wrong with it in some extra 'awareness' box like a red light on your mental dashboard that won't stay off... my mom called it the protector instinct, when we discussed it when I was a bit younger than Esme, before I got a good handle on it - it can get really loud some days when I've already got too much to juggle and keep track of actually doing myself and yet sometimes especially with radio or music I can tune it down to a normal level.  This is how my brain works - and Esme has some extent of it, and she finds it annoying at the very least but does understand it.  I know I'm being cynical in some percentage except, that she listens to my philosophy rant and says it 'explains a lot, actually' - about the world she sees, about why we are always anxious (because we don't 'turn off' our brains)  and why everything so spectacularly doesn't work in many places, even after a millennia of people fighting over the right way to do things.

Anyway, gah.  The more I think on it, the more lost I will feel about it having no solution.  So, I'm weaving, and knowing I need to sort a hundred other things in the house and I've only begun to do so in my head here and there and pick up and move a few things at a time.   There are one or two things in 'space' I would like to lay hands on again and I know where they are or were before the storage container fell a few months ago, and that I put them safely somewhere new, but when I tried to get them earlier today I didn't take the time to feel 'down the rope' to where they were now.  Instead I ran into something else that would serve, and grabbed that up, and hung up the phone on finding the thing until later.  I've done mostly Spanish today and will do my Russian program in a a bit. Hopefully, I can continue and finish running the errands tomorrow.



Lyffan in from the wet outside, after her dinner.  Mark had seen her chasing frogs when we first called her for dinner - after a rain like this there are hundreds of little hop frogs that appear all over - she was 'completely occupied' he said - and  so we watched a bit more of a movie for another hour and then all the cats were finally ready.  Now she is sitting here sorting out her belly fur and trying to fit in this too small of a space, and maybe knock my garbage can down.  Minion usually sits here - right next to my computer space, but she is downstairs taking Loki's chair away from him that he has been in all day.  I saw him stretched out in the hallway floor and that's unusual for him, peek in the bathroom and there she is licking her feet in his chair with Charlotte lying on the rug saying 'I don't get it - but I'm not involved, I just sleep here.'   As I type this Lyffan has now fell asleep and is shaking her paws and whiskers chasing some outside creature in her sleep.


seems relevant short story idea : several geeks in a big office with headphones on jacked into some machine they haven't been told exactly how it works yet.  And yet someone is standing there with a clipboard trying to see what the results are.  Hey, do we just say 'Aliens, Hello?' or what?  How are they going to hear us?  Where is the microphone?  Do we just think really hard : 'Hello?'  No, man, you have to try something original, like 'And here we are back from Planet Earth with another line of smooth jazz and greetings to tell you, 'hey, we're listening'.. to what though?  How does all this work?<--that was the line of reasoning in a dream this morning just before my alarm went off.  

Sunday, July 07, 2024

bit o bit o the onwards

 At one a.m. thoughts

Lately when scrolling in between language programs after work and before dinner or sleep: kick self to get 'onward' and go do something (either more language, yarn, clean, garden etc), fall over about 8 or 8:30 pm if I'm working the next day

And also at midnights : get up and poke around, usually because a dog has whined they want out, but sometimes just a dream shortcircuits my thinking with some impossible setup or realization... pour coffee, open duolingo, fall into same routine of scrolling after the coffee is done and the language program has gotten done, look up at the clock, kick self to get 'onward' and go back to bed, try to get some more sleep before 5:30 am rolls around, stare at the alarm with one eye, push snooze until nearly 6 am or the dog has whined too much to fall back asleep for ten more minutes


Did package run, had a lunch date cancelled but picked up an avocado and came home and made good food.  Esme said she had already eaten - so made the recipe down below.  I have another heavy shift tomorrow.  I've continued some Danish - interesting mix of the other languages coming into focus there - and did Japanese and French and Spanish today so far, as well as the Russian course I've been working on.  Not charting now, though.  Will sit down with some yarn and work on something while it is still so very hot outside, do the laundry, and then will head out to the garden perhaps as I didn't water this morning (but did last night)

Have gotten several of these plum tomatoes from the plants I bought at our local high school plant sale.  They aren't what I expected, at all - these plants.. but they're producing something.  I've got a sneaking suspicion they are also determinate - but we'll hold the flag out for a bit longer on that.  I'm still waiting for the first blush of pink on the other tomato plant.  I had a couple of leaves from the small collard patch, as well, to check the taste. 

tomatoes billed as : 'Gardener's Favorite' I bought at a plant sale 
earlier this year, not quite what I expected!

Recipe :

light olive oil, frozen yellow squash, frozen greens bag (kale, nasturtiums and other bits from last fall - wow, it was good though, in the whole mix) and some 'chicken parmesan' 'skillet seasonings' mix I've been using up

half of a (regular sized, slicing type) tomato, cut up, added to the above mixture as it started to heat up - I stashed the other half of that large tomato in the freezer

cut up avocado, put it on my plate

stirred in about four tablespoons of rice, added black pepper

served with a torn up tortilla

Danish : (for spelling practice)

dejlig - lovely

hyggeligt - cozy

undskyld - excuse me / sorry

hvor - how

engelsk - English

En dejlig aften : A cozy evening

Det er hyggeligt - That is cozy

Et hyggeligt hus - A cozy house

Kan du hygge dig - Have a cozy time

Hvor er det hyggleligt - How cozy 

Jeg hygger mig med dig - I am having a cozy time with you

bit : I had read somewhere - in one of my culture lessons maybe even a year ago - about the French habit of lightly perfuming their pillowcases and even their body at night, often with lavender, to assist with sleep.  And they will often use a different scent on their body during the day and when out in the evening to differentiate to their subconscious when they smell the other scent it is 'rest' time vs active time.  At the time that I read it, the article didn't make much of an impression on me.  But, I have remembered it.  I usually use an hour of music on my computer set at a low level when my brain can't slow down.  Once the music has proceeded through the album song by song, it shuts off, and if I haven't fallen asleep by the time I hear that last song - I might get up and put on a different playlist.   However, a few times this week I did put a little bit of lavender scent along my shoulders, since I already had a lavender scented lotion.  We'll see.  I can't say if it worked well or not, until I've tried it a few more times.

Friday, July 05, 2024

we're in the long work weekend

well the chart is done - 15 languages in total, for the week, and I'm coming up on two months with working through the Russian course three lessons at a time - I like their format, and may continue the B1 French course when this one finishes (I'm halfway through, it says) or switch over to Spanish and see if that can help me a bit more.


2 am: Super long day-after-holiday, gotten so used to the holiday packages being worked on the holiday but this year we were told to take the 4th off and we did.. but that doesn't mean the packages aren't there waiting for us for the next day, along with the packages that would have been there anyway!  It was just a taste of what the extra surge of the sale later this month will bring us, I guess.. Christmas in July sort of thing.  I crashed after dinner and got up a few minutes ago to do some Catalan and let the dogs and cats in and out. 

When I was delivering mail today I had to go to a certified mail at someone's door and the first waft of their pizza-type food that came out of their house when they opened the door smelled wonderful on an empty stomach, but then the 'back half' of the odor hit me and I could tell it was a chemical food-product and not real food.  And that turned my stomach a little, so I knew I wanted real food when I got home.  I went and ate a pop tart while delivering anyway, but sometimes you get what you can get, until you can get better - and I was trying to drink enough and eat a little to keep myself from getting a headache.

Saw a recipe Carottes Râpées (French grated carrot salad).. makes me think, although I'd really like it about halfway cooked like noodles.  We still have that big bag of carrots to use - and I haven't felt like soup lately and Esme is cooking more little things for herself especially when I'm at work - although she needs to work more on the real food part and not just microwave or cans.  I say that, but the way I learned to cook was circumstances of not having anything easy to cook available - and I don't want to put that on her entirely, either.. part of mine was learned at home as a kid and even moreso when I was in college.  Tonight was a long one at work, so I got home late, and she had just eaten a big sandwich just before I walked in the door, and Mark was getting ready to cook himself a hamburger.  So, I used fresh cherry type tomatoes from the garden today, along with peppers and onions and a few tablespoons of hamburger Mark cooked extra for me, and taco seasoning, and a few tablespoons of rice.  I needed some 'real food' and that fit well enough along with some peanut butter toast.  I eat a lot of peanut butter. 

It will be hot again tomorrow, as well. Another day of delivering tomorrow... work at putting myself back to bed. 

update, 8pm : It was actually a fairly short route, which was good as I was starting out with that bit of a headache, and was still battling it when I got home.  Lots of broth, a bath, dinner with cucumber sauce on pizza (B vitamins) and lots and lots more liquids.  It is 8 pm and I'm headed for sleep again.  I just started on the Danish today on the phone and on the computer - it was one of those I avoided because I had so many other irons in the fire I didn't need more - but after doing Japanese today, and making myself take an extra break to drink more liquid -  I thought - why not?  It is a lot like German, which is also like Swedish and Finnish, and it sort of makes a little rounded parallelogram there as I am learning the words that are close to the words I know, and some identical, but all jammed together a little different. 

Thursday, July 04, 2024

thoughts, pensées

 I had planted ordinary plain basil in my garden for what the fifth time, from seed - recently?  It was a few of those dollar store packets, 4 for a dollar, not much seed in them etc etc.. It was one of those experiments in futility I've been laughed at again and again for... but I thought, yea, why not, this time I'm standing in front of this, pondering buying and planting again as an exercise in futility perhaps, but also in hope - and 'this time for sure' as Mark says.  So instead of waiting months and putting it away for some day - I went out that very day with the little packets and put them in a pot that had been sitting in my garden getting watered - and I made sure to keep watering it, with the rest of the strawberries and such, just in case those seeds succeeded.  And so far, if I can keep water to it - they have - the basil is up and has second leaves all over that little pot.  

So, why did my other attempts at basil fail?  I don't know - I waited too long with the seed, I put them 'someplace special' in the garden that wasn't already a part of everything, and thus, they somehow didn't get enough attention?  The one lime basil I thought failed actually didn't - there are four plants, but they're tiny and I had overlooked them up until now considering the amount of seed I had planted the 'germination' rate vs the cheap packets is dismal.  But - I don't really think that anything was truly wrong with all the regular basil before - it's just perhaps luck as well as utilizing what was in front of me at the right time.  I'm hoping I'll get some good basil leaves to use in cooking later.  


a pink tomato variety I'm waiting on ripening


I thought about all this while I was pulling a strawberry plant out of a nearby brick out there, it having wandered -- and looking at that pot, and the one next to it with the last strawberry plant I pulled out of somewhere, that is also thriving there.  As I walked down to the garage with the pulled plant, asking it if it had a chance, telling it I was going to give it one, and we'll see what happened, this was the best I could do - I thought about the other situation right next to it, and what philosophically I could get out of this, besides 'keep at it', 'keep looking in front of you' and 'do what you can where you can'... basically, just keep trying.


The other thing I did was bring my new garden hose and fittings up from the kitchen into the studio, to be closer to the front door -- I keep passing it by where we dumped it that day putting away the groceries, and knowing I need to do the work to put it on the hydrant and check if all the fittings work together - but I keep passing it by all the same. Bringing it up here will be one less step for when I pick it up and take it outside.  I don't feel I was ready to do the project the day we bought it - it was my birthday gift - and I've been dragging my heels since.  I wonder if there is a fitting I'm missing, and yet, I haven't pushed myself to check because I don't want to break anything taking the old one off the hydrant when we need it so badly in the heat.  It's not going to do itself.  *kick tail* 

 There.  I did it.  Bringing it upstairs first, and then going out after another hour or so for the rest was the key factor.  Besides carrying it upstairs there was the cutting of all the zipties and untwisting the twist ties and unwrapping it from the coil and doing all the rest.  I didn't need any other fittings - but now I'm wondering about the old hose if it would do best as a secondary switchout (would buy another quick connect end for it) or move it elsewhere.



little butterfly asked me why I was chasing it - well, look at those colors!

It's the Fourth of July, and we're not sure if we'll do anything tonight.  I have to work for four solid days after this - so I always look at that horizon and say 'I'm already tired for next week'...  It is also going to be stupendously hot.  We bought a watermelon yesterday and cut it up, shared some of it out.  That's celebrating, right?  

Speaking of starting and keeping at it, I finished one knit dishcloth yesterday and am part way through a second one.  I know those don't take very long, but they still take some time, preferably while I'm doing something else, like listening to the French podcast or watching a movie.  If we don't go anywhere later I'll take the green and navy weaving off the little loom at the very least and tie off the warp strings, but maybe not weave all the other ends in.

my left hand picked up a pen today and I saw this little dragon nesting with rabbits in the scribbles 

The Catalan is kicking my tail today working with some of the idioms and phrases

I read an article about how many words you know in any language, and of course, it was an ad for a kind of learning software that uses that as a term 'known words' and you mark if you know it or not in all the lessons they have.  I used that software for Japanese for a little bit - but I haven't been back to it since it now wants me to join with a payment plan.  


But I was thinking, after reading just a bit of that - how many words do I know in Latvian.... I know it actually is a lot, since I do the vocab program (which is free, BaltoSlav) and regularly score 60-80 in a session, with maybe an average of three sessions being what I mark as an occurrence on this chart. When I do the other program (Babadum) I choose to goto 50 or 100 or 200 points, which means I got at least that many (but maybe some duplicates) correct.  DuoLingo only thinks I know about 4000 French words - but is it true, or do I know more?  It feels like a lot more there - and many more than 3000 Welsh words.  But in actuality, we usually use a small portion of the words we 'know' to actually speak the things we need to every day - unless you are a voracious writer of many topics.  *eyebrow*  


I decided to do a little 'reverse' Czech - that is, as if I was an English learner and using the interface in Czech - which really battened down some words for me when I am learning Catalan from Spanish (the only way it is available).  I found the same thing with the Czech - words I only previously knew one 'facet' of suddenly made much more sense and seemed more 'whole' when using them in the interface and having to select the English word for them and reverse-translate sentences.

And I mean, I like charts.  I was doing a Czech word list (that contained lots of declensions, forms of the same word) for Mark, but I'm not about to go counting them on my own for every language.  Stands back and thinks about that... tempting, but no, at least not right now, I've got other things to do. // but maybe I could do a little book in several languages, if I get any ambition towards quantifying a set of words that would be good to make a set for.  I just can't even keep track of flashcards anymore.

Wednesday, July 03, 2024

Tourne à droite et textiles



I was thinking on textiles again last night, and working a bit on the navy item above - and then started another small pouch one and got it almost all the way to done, in comparison, the one above isn't too much wider but the density of the weave is much much tighter.  I have that bigger rug to finish in orange and grey (crochet, acrylic scraps), and I keep saying to myself I need to make new kitchen dishcloths (knit in cotton) again.  And this is another reason I feel I don't have enough time to make a lot of things to sell at the markets right now... or in September even, as I barely make time to make the things I want to use in my home, but I'm trying to make time for that, at least.

It's going to be very very hot today, especially if it does not rain.  So, I watered the garden in the early morning and just went out and got some vegetables and milk and bread etc. this morning - and then retreated back into the cool house.  I've done a little bit of language exercise - and we were trying to get some pictures of the tile set Mark has made for my Czech spelling.

 jam, carrot, seven, hoe, tiger, dishwasher, wing, wave, claws, garage, frog, apple, cheese, straw, barn, wire

Hey, I remember them all, too!


I really liked that 'plateau' last night that I felt, for at least that moment, that I was doing about the best I could for the day and I had done a LOT.. four loads of laundry, dishes twice, cooking, languages, gardening... and then I took time with music and that green and navy weaving until I was tired enough to sleep.

I did Greek and even Japanese this morning, but as you can see by the title. the French review is on my mind.  I should listen to some radio or podcast or something...after I do the Russian lesson.  I also still need to cook my eggplant lunch, since I settled for using up leftovers last night - the last bit of our pork barbeque leftover from last week, refried with peppers and tomato on a few pancakes and with peaches on the side- which was a huge dinner but Esme ate it with me.  


I had read something about the heat-related thing that my inner knee, just to the left/right of the kneecap on the inside, does swelling when it's hot, and the veins popping out there (but nowhere else, my weird body *sigh* probably harder for people with Ehlers Danlos syndrome and hEDS in general, as I'm reading up on it now) and realized I hadn't been getting or eating bananas lately because of the heat and how they don't keep so well then - and that bananas, and peaches, and making sure you are drinking enough fluids (I never drink enough normally, even when it's NOT hot, I have this thing about the pH of water and choking on it, so I drink mostly coffee and very specific liquids I have come to tolerate, like the kool-aid/tea mixture I bring cold in my thermos) and not sitting putting hard pressure on your legs all day long is the key to all of that -- I have only had trouble the past two years in the hottest part of the year with it - and it was odd I hadn't connected the bananas <--> hottest part of the year bit, but yes, I tend to stave off them for a month or two there, and I need to stop doing that and buy one or two and stick them in the fridge and make sure I eat them...  they turn black on the outside in the fridge, but a day or two they're still good to eat plain, and anything beyond that they can still be baked with


with tomorrow a holiday, and then work the next two days after that - I expect the variety to fall off... we'll see what happens.  I'm glad I got what I consider some of the harder languages in today.  I need to keep up with the Japanese it can get so easy sometimes to just let the words 'fall to pieces' in the hiragana and be staring at it trying to guess instead of decode and remember... but for not having done it for several months I still did good - one or two errors, and a good refresher on vocabulary.  In Greek I consistently got 'seventeen' wrong *smack forehead*.. guess there's a gap there and I've got to write it out a couple of times (along with several other words, to reinforce the differences)


Sauce Recipe for Eggplant :

light olive oil, water, balsamic vinegar - set in pan to heat

add 1.5 tablespoons to 2 tablespoons brown sugar (not packed)

stir while adding 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, and a large squeeze of lime juice

once heated, add about 1/4 tsp of less of garlic powder (Mark says I always put in more garlic than other people can survive next to *ha*) or however much minced garlic you want 

taste, and adjust ingredients if needed - there is a taste right in the middle of everything balanced that is SO good - for stronger sauce, less water at the beginning, but you'll have to watch the soy sauce and oil with the sugar closer as well

This same sauce is really good on kale - wash the kale, make the sauce, and then put the kale in the pan with the sauce and place a cover on it, steaming the kale in the sauce.  Maybe add some red peppers to that and it would be amazing.

I baked five small thai eggplants in some sauce at 350 degrees while I made other things - but putting them in the recipe below makes their skins less hard

What I made Esme tonight : 

light olive oil

1 large tomato cut up

a good handful of frozen onion

a handful of frozen kielbasa pieces

three kinds of frozen peppers (orange, yellow and green banana peppers)

some sauce from above PLUS some smoked paprika

I served that to her beside some of the chicken rice she likes and peaches from the last of the big can we had opened up a few days ago.  I put several strips of eggplant and some extra sauce on my plate with a bit of aged white cheddar on each piece.  It doesn't look great, and it's a bit slimy, but it tasted pretty good anyway.  I never get even that good of a result from trying to cook the large 'regular' eggplants - the long skinny ones seem to be the best fit for me.  Although, I'd like to get more eggplant after another week or so and make it in the recipe to get it written down better.

Tuesday, July 02, 2024

bit o bit my brain moves fast, my body doesn't



We went to the farmer's market last night and spent three hours there, only sold a few plants - but we bought from the other vendors so much we didn't even break even *ha* but good sourdough bread, and a few fresh vegetables, and a big handful of pineapple mint (never seen that before, it smells wonderful) that I washed and put on the dehydrator all night hoping to make some tea with it.  I made a chicken and yellow-tomato and pasta dish for Esme and I and we ate some sourdough with it.  I crashed hard about ten pm, with dogs bouncing me up twice during the night.

So, up at 4:30 am.. why?  I don't know.  I was disturbing myself dreaming about trying to find a vanity cabinet and top for someone with a 14 inch sidesplash (if you know, you know) and it has been a good long time since I dreamt about my old work - so, gah, up and at 'em...  did Italian and Spanish and Latvian, did the dishes, fed the chickens, went out to the garden and had a very nice 'not on a schedule' shower and hair routine that I usually don't have any time for.  Did a bit of German and my Busuu Russian course.  Laundry, more kicking around the garden, water stuff, fertilize, talk to a hummingbird, look at morning glories, pick a few things (lime basil! strawberries!), make an omelette and use up the rest of my rice.  I've made more dishes.  *sigh*  I think about the 'luxury' on my plate compared to my ancestors.  I think about how much I value it compared to others - and how little it feels in comparison to something like an electric bill.  Kick around the garden a third time feeding banana-peel water and egg-shell water to a few things, and found some lemon cucumbers!


Did more German and Latvian again to see if anything from earlier (correcting mistakes) stuck to my head, a few did.  Wonder if I'll do French later on my phone, yea maybe.  Give a good think about whether I need to read my library book (Hello Beautiful World Where are You, Susan Rooney) or it's still depressing - still depressing, I'd rather clean - so I guess that book is still motivating somehow.  Clean things up a little, trying to kick myself to do the rest of the laundry and wash some bedding.  It would be nice - I have the time, but I haven't folded the clothes out of the dryer and the towels are in the washer, so I'm in limboland until I push myself to fold the dryer stuff.


I am planning on cooking something a bit more elaborate for lunch later - thai eggplants and tomato - and yet, Esme won't really like that, a bit more limboland.. but we have pizza if they want something else.  Nod.  I should bake more as well, finished the last of my homemade pound cake yesterday.  I should pick blackberries if there are any - but I've already kicked around the garden three times now and it's going to be hot later.. if I get into things, I could end up doing a lot, or I could just pick at the edges and water and weed here and there and think about a hundred more things than I do.  <--that's me in a nutshell.  And now I've had all that breakfast and it will probably hold me for quite a while if I get involved in something else, so I'm wondering about pushing lunch to dinner.  I should make some more rice, but the glass container I put up the rice in (to serve for several meals) is now in the sink.  

 Sit down and write this.... it's not even eleven am!

the lemon cucumbers - they were hiding under leaves on very small plants - but they're ripe and ready to be used in sauce.

updated : my ambition fell off after dinner and I just did French review on phone, and then again on computer

noon : folded the laundry. *there were no fireworks*

Planted three potatoes that were in the chit stage, and some old white scallop squash seeds that needed to go out or throw out.  Saw a little skink run across the wellhouse and it was yelling Panic!  Minion thought that was hilarious - and she was following me a bit because it was shady there.  She watched me give water to the chickens, and hung out in the weeds.  She said no I'm fine, you go inside, I'm going to sit here and watch the birds.

I wanted to add that I've been doing something new for the past few weeks with my email.  I took a night to just EMPTY everything I didn't need.  And now I delete almost everything every morning out of all the folders - and basically, whenever I'm in there - if it's not save material it's gone almost immediately -  it's a little weird thing but I know it makes other people feel better and somehow I feel it's nice to see it empty as well, not stacking up in the thousands, who knows what is hiding in the depths sort of thing.  Modernity.  Gah.

nine pm - good, did things, felt like I made some progress on things, made rice, cut forage of lespedeza and ragweed to feed to the chickens, gave the dogs a treat of scrambled eggs, made a good dinner for Esme and I, watered the garden again (and Esme fed chickens, and I fed cats), Mark and I watched a movie, I finished the laundry, did dishes (again), wove a bit on two different projects, listened to some music while I did that, and sort of felt a plateau