A Little Bit Late But Loads of Pictures To Catch Up

The meadow is exploding with goldenrod!

So yellow!

Walking along a newly mowed path I was briefly seeking shelter from a quick shower in this covered picnic area,

Just off to the left is my new house.

Then on with the walk…

Past this lovely tree and following the creek by the Indian Mound entrance…I found where it meets the river behind the corn field.

And more interesting trees.

And wildflowers…

On the way back to the house I talked to a man flying his remote control airplane. I took a picture of it flying around me.

The following day I returned to the river behind the cornfield.

My house is one of those roofs on the opposite side of the corn field.

I gathered moss for my moss gardens by the front door where there is no sunshine.

My remaining fish bottles with wires and rocks will hang over this bench when my son and Marla return for Thanksgiving.

While walking through the meadow I saw many butterflies and added some to my Meadow Book.

It was nice to have time to catch up with my book and what is happening in the meadow.

And one more thing. At the end of the kitchen cabinets sits the Information Center. It never occurred to me how easily it would be mistaken for a Bible open on a podium. The movers were the first to ask if it was a family bible. No, we never had one of those in my house. We had dictionaries.

Perhaps it is an assumption of where I live…that this would be a bible. It is not. And when I looked over to see what page it was opened to I found this sweet little drawing….illustrating a quintain.

A quintain is a mounted target for jousters when practicing. Interesting, right? A good scrabble word if nothing else…doubtful it will come up in cocktail conversations, but I might just share it anyway before opening the dictionary to a new section. And the word “quirk” is a good one for Wordle. I will check out that word, “quirt” before I change the pages. The fact that the acid content in the pages causes browning of the edges, gives it even more authority and the wisdom of age. It was published in 1983.

So that is all for now.

Til later….


Small Distractions

I brought home an armload of flowers to put on the hearth a few days ago. The new living room rug is down but wants to keep curling on the ends where it had been rolled. Cartons are weighting the taped edges but it will take some more time for it to go flat.

I added a smaller snake than we had before to the front garden. Then ordered a bamboo fountain and small pump to have a water feature by the front door in a favorite old pottery bowl.

Then I took a day to organize and catch up on the alcohol consumption books. I started them over twenty years ago. The book had to be covered with a carry bag of some alcoholic beverage. The early ones were LCBO standing for Liquor Control Board Ontario. The first came with a friend bringing a very nice Dalwhinnie single malt scotch. The book pages are blank sheets where a label of something alcoholic is peeled from the bottle, pasted onto the page with a comment or two of how much I liked the drink and how much I may or may not have liked the company I drank it with. No label was to be repeated but the companions certainly could be. The books are made in all sorts of sizes depending on the packaging I am fitting for the cover. Extra short folios are added to allow for the addition of labels taking up space.

So here is the one just finished and the new one just started.

The book on the left from an excellent time with Australian friends lasted until the final drink at my old place. The one on the right was the only way I could find to fit the box a terrific scotch came in given to me from an equally terrific student in Australia. I drank the scotch there but brought the box home. If you are ever in Tasmania drop in to the distillery and enjoy.

Above is the inside cover

And here are pages from the previous book so you can see neatness is not a priority.

And the new labels in the new book. The first page is a bottle of 19 Crimes Cabernet Sauvignon. I kept this bottle because it was the last I had with the original convict chosen for the label. His descendants later objected and now there is a different one. It seemed fitting it be one of the first in the book.

Then my love of 19 Crimes faded as they were willing to put anyone who served time on their labels. Celebrity Americans who had not a single thing to do with the 19 crimes of deportation from England to Australia.. My daughter’s partner, Ben, brought this one down to celebrate the new house…knowing I would not make the purchase myself.

The one on the right is the last of one of Patrick’s very excellent choices in scotch whiskey. So now the book waits for a new to me label from a bottle of something hopefully drunk in good company. There is a wonderful history in the pages of these books. And when a favorite companion passes on, I slip the obituary into the pages where we last had a nice drink together. There are now fifteen books in all. And in addition, the two Covid books with labels of what was getting us, the family,  through isolation.  Those, of course, are not near the fun of the others to look back on.

And finally today, to stall opening more boxes, I made some savoury scones. I learned two things in the process. How to make buttermilk out of milk. Just add 1/2 tsp lemon juice to 1/2 cup milk. Mix together and wait 8 minutes before using. You could also use white vinegar but I am not a fan of vinegar.

The other thing I learned is not to separate the scones after cutting them into wedges to bake. Cut them into equal pieces but bake the round whole before separating them after baking and cooling.

These are delicious using up bits in the refrigerator.

Til later….

The Wine Helps

To say I was sick of packing and looking at boxes would be an understatement. But when I see the completely empty spaces, I see real progress!

When they pick up all the shelving units from my studio storage area, they will have to pack up my drill press as well. It doesn’t fit in a box and I cannot lift it. The shelves and that old work table will go into the garage on the side I will use as a studio of sorts. Mostly for printmaking with the etching press and proof press out there. My fingers are itching to start carving again.

I never thought I’d see the back of the under stairs storage but it is all cleared out and I stood back there to get the picture.

And I thought of giving the large easel away but was talked out of it. So into the garage it goes for the time being.

And at the new house there are some new things happening. All flooring and baseboards are in. New granite counter tops in the kitchen and bathrooms.

And the shower is complete except for the glass door that goes here and in the guest bathroom shower.

I delivered all the light fixtures and fans on Friday. I might be a couple of lights short and will check on that tomorrow.  Seems I need to get a ceiling fixture for the entrance to the front door and a second ceiling light for over the sink island.  I did not want those hanging down pendants so opted for a recessed fixture that the builder and electrician think needs to have a mate. Easy.

I have started packing the pantry. Good grief! Why was there so much in the way of canned goods and pastas in there?! Did I think I was not going to the store before the year was up? This morning on my weekly trip to the dump quite a few out dated jars and cans went with me. But I did keep three jars from the back of the shelves….maple syrup our son harvested and cooked down in 1984 as a school project. When he comes for Christmas I think we need to open a jar and have some over pancakes. As I remember the syrup had a very smoky flavor due to the open fire he had to use to cook it down. And I remember that it is a bit thin for syrup because how many hours upon hours can any of us watch sap thicken. Harvesting from our own maple trees was so much fun. Just like making wine from the wild grapes along the road and dandelions from the yard. Does anybody even do those things nowadays?

A new drawing in the house book.

Maybe when I walk through the meadow to the new house tomorrow morning the builder will greet me with the house keys…..maybe not. For now I am enjoying a glass of red while I write this. Friday night friends picked me up to go to the winery to meet their friends. It was another chance to practice my social skills….woefully fading over the last few years. It was delightful. I think I am getting better at it. No where near ready for a whole room full of people, but a couple at a time seems doable.

Til later…..

Trying Hard

I am trying hard not to feel such hatred now….but there’s a long way to go getting past this urge to throw the pain back into the lives of those who have caused this turmoil to so many.

Our country has suffered and declined with the rise of a new kind of fascism that far too many of us hoped we weren’t seeing. Who among us would want to admit it really could happen, and here of all places. Who would have thought that our trusted sources for truth could so easily manipulate the gullibility of so many who just wanted to find a way to matter in a world moving at a pace that was hard for them to keep up with. Who could have possibly imagined that their salvation would arrive in the form of a man so obviously corrupt with his own self interest. A man that would be positioned to become what history will claim the worst president in American history.

He rode into power on vile behavior and lies to an appallingly ignorant and lazy base of his political party. A party that has in turn seen their opportunity to push an agenda solely created to benefit the tiny percent of wealthy donors that keep them in power. In four years everything had been set in place to oppress the disenfranchised, crumble the safety nets we all assumed would be there forever, and lie, lie, lie to those so desperate to believe.

Lying has never come so easy to the Republican Party. And it has never brought them to the exalted positions they feel they deserve as it has now in 2022. Whatever they are selling, a good amount of our citizens are buying it. How else could so many sit in places of power that make decisions for the entire population of the United States and by extension, the world?

The slimiest among them, Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz, Jim Jordan, Kevin McCarthy, Marco Rubio, Ron Johnson, Marjory Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Louie Gomhert, Mo Brooks, Ron DeSantis, Matt Gaetz, Madison Cawthorn, Josh Hawley, and more, have tainted the entire party with their desire to be seen as loyal to a disgraced leader and prove themselves worthy of his support in their political campaigns to move even further up the ladder of leadership. They make me sick.

Over the past several years I have wondered what their wives, husbands and children think of them. Why don’t they speak up, move out and get away from the suffocation of lives under the weight of insatiable egos. My own children try to tell me that the reason they stay silent is that they value the prestige garnered among their closed, small-minded, selfish circles and would not seek to give any of that up. Their hands are continually held out to be rewarded with private schools, nice cars, fancy clothes, and friends just as shallow as they are.

And in our country, as it has now become, the children will also attain the power of their parents on the backs of of another generation of people so easily pulled along on a string of lies.

The most egregious move the Republican Party has accomplished came through the Supreme Court’s ruling to reverse the guarantees of women’s rights over their own bodies. A right that has been “settled law” for fifty years. The court was packed with three lying, manipulating justices appointed just the last few years. They joined others just waiting for a majority to put women back where they belong…breeders and white breeders at that. Those of any other color will find it much more difficult to get the medical help needed.

In many states there will be no exceptions to their banning of abortions…not rape, not incest, not natural miscarriages, not babies who cannot survive outside the womb…..all, every one, must be carried to full term at great physical, financial, and mental cost to the families . involved. And several states like Texas, have made it unlawful to help these families in any way and to report those aiding the suffering to the authorities so they can be properly punished. Fascism.

I am obviously not a member of the Republican Party.  I lean left, not right. I was raised to help the less fortunate. I was raised to care and not hate. I am having a hard time with that not hating part. Today I am filling up with it. It is a good thing I am not attending the protests around the country. It is a good thing I am not confronted by a young pro-life christian man who thinks he has the right to push his beliefs down the throats of women everywhere. It is a good thing that for today I sit at home hating him and what he and his people have done to America.

Today I have donated to the campaigns of all those around the country who might be able to bring us back to where we can have the respect for ourselves that the world once bestowed on us.

Nice pictures and news of my house will come later…

Til then..