Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Sunday, June 30, 2024

Venturing Forth

It's a jungle out there.

I spent yesterday working in the jungle. I pulled more weeds from the wild violets, that is done. I transplanted daylily into two very large pots, I'm not wanting to buy flats and flats of annuals anymore. I got annuals I bought last week, marigolds and petunias, into the pots in front of the barn. I plan to transplant some of the massive amount of phlox into areas I would not mind their being their prolific selves. This is a large property and we are getting old, time to start narrowing down some of the areas of care with plants that don't need my attention. I plan to put daylily around a bird bath in the area by the huge patch of violets. They can argue with one another over the space. One thing I am certain of....when the world ends, daylily and phlox will survive and conquer.

More work today.

Friday, June 28, 2024

Despair. Roses. Rain. And More

The look on Frieda's face.....she is expressing how I felt after ten minutes of last evenings debate. I know there is a general attitude among democrats that Biden should not be criticized. Let's just say, his ego has gotten the better of us. It's not simply his age, although that is a factor. It's how he has aged. If anyone sees vitality in him could it please be pointed out to me? Confusion, that I see. Let me clarify, I will vote for him, the same reason I voted for him in the first place - Trump. Ego does get its way. 

Enough of that, if you watched, you saw.

Her majesty, the rambling rose, has been in full flourish for awhile now. I spent time cutting four feet tall catnip out of the side on the right of the screen. Catnip grows profusely here. I have another of this same rose in a garden to the left, not pictured. I spent considerable time weeding a large patch of wild violets, another plant that thrives. It does make a pretty ground cover.

It started to rain at about eight pm and continued through the night into early morning, with big wind. We lost power for three hours, but we were sleeping or in my case, dozing. No outside work on the menu today. It's soaked out there.

Lastly, yesterday I had trouble responding on some, but not all, blogs. Some I had to put my name in because it wouldn't let me sign into google, some were normal and Miss Merry's blog would not allow me to comment at all. Has anyone else had this happen? I would attribute this to a change in computer if it weren't so arbitrary.

Then we have this to ruin our lives.

Added on to post later. Heading for a NYT article:

Here’s What the Court’s Chevron Decision Could Mean in Everyday Terms

The Supreme Court’s decision on Friday to limit the broad regulatory authority of federal agencies could lead to the elimination or weakening of thousands of rules on the environment, health care, worker protection, food and drug safety, telecommunications, the financial sector and more.

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Up and Running

I survived the great computer upload of yesterday. I had a few bumps along the way, but by 11:30 pm it was all done. The old computer still works but updates hadn't been available for sometime, which didn't bother me, but online sites started refusing Safari access and I was getting notices that I needed to update Chrome, which I could not do. So I bit the proverbial bullet and got a new doodad. I haven't ventured into all the new features yet. 

This is Gatto front and center day. He does love him some bag! The dining room table gets use as a cat platform. They can admire themselves at will in the mirrored glass. I keep telling myself I should use it a couple of times a week, but I guess I don't listen to myself well. Most of the furniture is under slipcovers because of a certain orange beast who loves to shred upholstery. I often tell him no good deed goes unpunished. For those who don't know or remember, Gatto was a stray who hung out here. Late December 2022, on a very subzero night, he begged to come into the house. I let him in. And in he stayed. The little shredding/ shedding machine.

It's finally a nice day and several more to come. It's about time, weather! The next few days will be busy outside days. This will be a welcome thing.

Enjoy the day, fine folks.

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

I may not be online today. I got a new computer and am just about to try transferring from one to the other. It seems it can take hours. So we shall see. 

Monday, June 24, 2024

We had a day without rain Sunday. It's sunny and nice at the moment. Hopefully we have string of theses days so more hay can be cut and baled. I baked a loaf of buckwheat bread, a 50-50 blend of buckwheat and all purpose flour. I did an autolyse and then an eighteen hour ferment. It did really reduce the density of the bread. It looks like chocolate, doesn't it? 

Time has been racing by. It feels like June has disappeared in a whoosh of unnoticed days. Perhaps I need to be mindful of my days before there aren't any left! Well, the excitement of this day will be picking up my grocery order. The refrigerator is a bit bare, no greens at all. 

As is evident, I have nothing on my mind nor happening at the moment in my life, so it is best to say ciao before I bore you and myself into a stupor. Ciao.

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Tell Me He Isn't Cool

While much of the US and Canada have been under a heat dome, this was us last evening. McCool knows how it's done.

Rain. On top of rain. Did I mention Rain? After three years of drought I am hesitant to complain, but, man, is it possible to get a couple days off? Asking for a friend. Southern Minnesota and Northwestern Iowa had 17 inches of rain, according to this mornings local news. My friend in that part of Iowa texted last evening saying they'd had 12 inches and one to three inches an hour more was predicted that night. There is flooding down there. It seems the new normal is feast or famine.

It's too wet to work in the yard, water is standing everywhere. We live at the top of a hill, yet we still have ponds and streams. The sump pump didn't need to work for three years and now it's on overtime. Am I complaining? Not fully, just kvetching. On a positive note, the muscle relaxer has helped my back. It's still tight but not as tight, allowing me to do more stretching exercises. I may actually be able to operate at 75% capacity if I work at it. This is a win. 

I'll leave on a positive. Make it a good one.

Friday, June 21, 2024

Another Quiet Friday

Go away, let me sleep.


I finally got around to making a clafoutis yesterday They are so simple to make I have to wonder why I make one maybe once a year? I use Julia Child's recipe, I like it the best. I loved watching her PBS cooking show, what a character. I have two of her cookbooks, not the first one. That one is a tome. This is strawberry and rhubarb. It's really good. It doesn't photograph well, but trust me.

It's Friday so I am free from lunch making duty. Mark picks up lunch at the deli, it's Philly Friday. We split one and that is more than enough. We will also have a bit of clafoutis to top it off. It's an all day rain, at least that's what's forecast, it hasn't happened yet. Let us just say, we are soaked. I haven't any plans for the day so maybe that means I will do something. That would be a pleasant surprise.

Do or don't do....have a good day.

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Love of Objects

Several of my blogger friends have been in a winnowing process of objects in their homes. I have been doing this off and on for about a decade. So much has gone out the door it surprises me how little it seems is gone. I think I was a buyer of things back in the day. Later I switched to a buying and breeding of horses. The first habit cost much less. I have objects I'm not ready to let go. China, which is rarely used anymore, crystal stemware, which also is not used much. To that point, I decided to take these Lennox crystal brandy snifters out of the China cabinet and put them in a glass fronted cabinet I have in the kitchen with the more used crystal glassware, ie, Mark's bourbon glasses. I am using them as water glasses. I used to be an appreciator of cognac. I used these for that. I haven't had any cognac since we moved from St. Paul. I think the lifestyle change was the reason for that. I also have red and white wine glasses of this crystal. I just cannot let go. Besides, I think items such as these are obsolete. The younger generations see no point and I guess I can see their point. All things are orderly, so it won't be a huge burden for the son to handle when I'm toes up.


I made shrimp and rice with cajun seasoning. I used a recipe for the seasoning. Spicy! Brown basmati rice wasn't the best choice, I think something with a softer texture would be better.

Big news! I got the remainder of herbs and vegetables planted yesterday. Better very late than never. It was a beautiful day, something that is now in short supply here. Summer has become so humid. I'm a northerner, forget about where the grandparents hailed from. I am an honorary Scandinavian. More rain is in the forecast later today and into tomorrow. I may have overdone the rain dance.

I'll leave you with that. Have a fine day.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

It's a Beautiful Morning

It's a beautiful day in my neighborhood. Finally. It's the only one for several more days, cuz guess why? More rain. I know, a bit of complaint is creeping in, but it's been raining daily, often all day. Instead of complaining, I'll try to enjoy the day and get the rest of my planting done. June 19th, Juneteenth, when I wrote June 19th I realized what day it is. You know, so much of our history has been hidden behind our notion of exceptionalism. I'll leave it at that.

So.........as I said, a beautiful day in the mid 70s F. Mark is stuck in his office completing his CPE (continuing professional education). Part-time retirement sometimes doesn't seem like retirement at all. Then I remember the long hours and, yes. It does. His corporate clients have now all sold their companies, so audits are now a thing the past. Those clients still rely on him heavily, they have said they hope he will continue working. As long as the brain works, he says he will. He would make me crazier than I already am if he didn't have his office work. He can't sit still if he isn't occupied.

I have been baking bread for decades, yet this is the first time I tried the autolyse process. It's simply adding only the flour and water and letting it sit for a couple of hours before adding yeast and salt. It allows the whole grain flour to soften and develop more gluten, giving it a better rise and a more open crumb. It works! This is 100% whole wheat. Amazing to me. I'm going to try buckwheat next. I like the flavor of buckwheat but the bread is very dense. Ah, the excitement of the kitchen. 

That's the news from my little corner of the planet. Ciao.

Monday, June 17, 2024

A Fine Day

We had a pleasant afternoon yesterday with Matthew. He brought fried chicken and all the sides. We provided a beer. Mark looks like he may be worried he'll be squished by Grizzly Adams. 

He is much more comfortable when he is the taller one. I look like a frumpy old lady. Ah, well.

Matthew snuck in a shot of his mother.

It was a hot one yesterday and today is more rain, all day, and cooler. We have flood warnings around the state. The sump pump is on  constantly. I think we are waterlogged.

Today is laundry, oh boy! Other than that, I think I'll have another relaxing day. Rainy days are so good for that. Maybe I'll start bread dough fermenting. Decisions, decisions.

You all have a good day, I know many are in a heatwave. Stay cool, if you can. 

Saturday, June 15, 2024



Go Away 

It's the middle of June. I bought my plants yesterday. I think this is the latest start I've had, but in my defense the weather has not been cooperative. We have rain forecast all day, starting this morning. I planted most of the herbs and one tomato that can grow in a container. The rest I'll try to get done today, in between the rain. I found my mosquito repeller, thank Oden, it allows me to do some work outside. I hope we don't have an early autumn.

The son is coming tomorrow, bringing lunch. I do enjoy not being responsible for the food. He usually brings pizza or fried chicken, both of which I'm all good with. Bill's brother mowed our lawn yesterday. Our mower isn't home yet, I don't think Bill feels well. 

As you can tell, life is quiet. Which is not a bad thing, except it doesn't make for anything interesting to report. Ah, well.....

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Thank You

You have all been so kind to me through my pain, immobility and recovery, as well as being extremely complimentary regarding my weight loss. I had it pointed out a few years ago by a friend that I am unable to accept compliments. Well, I accept yours, along with the the kindness and empathy you have shown me over these couple of years. We don't need to be in the same room to call someone friend. You have my sincere gratitude.


Monday, June 10, 2024

Busy Monday Morning

I went to my rescheduled medical appointment this morning and decided to take one of my lousy selfies before I left. As of today I have lost 67 pounds in about two years. A little left, but if the weight loss stops now, I can live with it. The PA agreed that a muscle relaxer may help ease the tightness in my back. If not, then it's to PT for something called dry needles. Otherwise, I'm as fine as hens' teeth. 

It's a beautiful day and one I should get myself outside to do some garden work. Mark has gone to the deli to pick up lunch, then after laundry and lunch are done I think I will head outside.

Another food photo, what else is new? I think this is probably one of my favorite dinners. Easy and delicious, what more could I want? Well, maybe winning the lottery.....

Happy Monday one and all.


Saturday, June 8, 2024

Big Day Out

I put my best foot forward and walked into a grocery store for the first time since February 2020.

Gatto used to chew on the sliders, so both have a tear in them. Bad boy. I had an appointment with the NP yesterday in Waconia. When I checked in I was told she is in Watertown on Mondays, so the appointment was cancelled and rescheduled. I thought I had not paid attention to the site when I booked online, but when I checked my appointment verification and the appointment reminder, both said Waconia. It wasn't my brain lapse.

Since I didn't have an appointment we went to Aldi. I have been unable to walk more than a few feet at one time, so I have not been doing any shopping, except online for pick-up. I did well for myself. You know your world has narrowed when walking through a grocery store is a monumental event.

I ordered and received a new phone yesterday. An iPhone 15. I didn't need a new phone, but Mark did. He uses his phone as a phone only, with occasional texting. So, he gets my old phone and I get a new one. The "old" phone is only three years old. They are disgustingly expensive gadgets we cannot do without. Apple is up to their old ways and has changed the charging cord, so I had to order that.  Mark has inherited an iPhone 12. Lucky me, I will be helping him navigate the different way of opening the screen. That doesn't sound like much, but believe me, it will be a big deal. Of course, I had difficulty activating the phone. They have now gone to eSIMs, no longer using a physical SIM card. That was fun. Goodbye any plans for the afternoon.

Remember when the phone company installed a phone and that was it? Life seemed simpler, but you couldn't play solitaire on your hand-held computer. So, there's that.

Friday, June 7, 2024

Interesting Information

I stumbled upon this video series yesterday brightline eating. I have watched three videos and I'm waiting for the next to be available. The information doesn't apply to me, but I find it really interesting and the presenter to be knowledgeable. I took the quiz. I already knew the answer; I am not an addictive personality. Unless you count horses, but let's not do that. There are many reasons I know this but the foundation reason is, I was a rebellious teenager during the sixties and we will leave it at that.

I posted this link for those who may have food chatter, who binge eat, who crave and consume foods loaded with sugar. Maybe this will be valuable information to someone who reads this.

Last evenings dinner. Tomorrow I'm going to grill ribs and try a BBQ sauce recipe my-friend-I've-never-met sent me. I don't like BBQ sauce, but I'm going to give this a go. It's made with rhubarb. He said it's not sickly sweet, which is what I do not like. The purple-ish rice is known as forbidden rice and emperor's rice. Or simply black rice. It's not the usual color one would expect, but it has a nutty flavor and it's a rice that is actually good for you. I thought I would explain it for anyone wondering what that purple stuff is.

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Horses and Weeding

We've had a lot of rain. The pasture grass is up to the horses bellies, they are in grass heaven. The grass has started to seed, so the sugar content has lowered, greatly reducing the risk of grass colic and founder. Until you've tended horses it isn't possible to know how sensitive their digestive system is. They are large, strong beasts and they are also sensitive beasts.

The oldest of the herd is Babe, a 29 year-old mare. The youngest is Ivy, a 19 year-old mare. Babe looks remarkably well. As her breeder I going to say good breeding counts!

It's windy today so Mark may be able to continue his garden weeding venture. It's hard to see if there is anything but weeds in there. I stopped helping him weed long ago. He is a master weeder and he actually enjoys doing it, so my job is to tell him what not to pull. I must get to the nursery, nothing is planted. I see my primary tomorrow so I will go after that. I'm going to throw out the idea of muscle relaxers, since I seem to have jumped on the Pharma wagon. My back pain is greatly reduced, but the muscles are very tight. I have to walk slightly bent forward and I don't like it. I do my stretching exercises daily, along with chair yoga and it just doesn't release. It's worth bringing up. I also think I have scalp psoriasis and I'd like that confirmed, one way or the other. It would explain the loss of hair. The joys of the Golden Years. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Kitty Version of Giving the Bird

Frieda was looking at me, so cute I picked up my phone to take a photo. The little twerp turned her back to me.

It's another hot and humid day, with storms blowing in late this afternoon. After this storm we are going into a cooler and dry period of about ten days. We need to get the gardens sorted during that time. I haven't planted a thing. I'll need to get to the nursery. Otherwise, I have been plodding along in my organization endeavor. I have actually made some headway. Yippee, me!! I have never, ever been a fan of the Pharma industry, but I must say I am forever thankful for Wellbutrin and Celebrex. They gave me my life back. 

I have some things occupying my time this morning. I'll check-in with you all this afternoon. Ciao.

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Making Space. Making a Mess.

Yes, another highly anticipated progress photo and report.

You are welcome. 

I spent yesterday afternoon emptying and reorganizing closet space. I moved my newly assembled shoe rack from the main closet to the adjacent space. Many shoes are slated for donation. I was a shoe nut in my time. Now I'm whittled down to these. I'll never wear the riding boots again but I will keep them as a fond memory.

In my usual conversation with myself I pondered on how slow I work. I was thinking it was aging and my still limited physical ability, and yes, that does play a role. Thinking a little deeper I saw, thought, I have always been slow and methodical in my work. I'm simply a bit slower now. That somehow buoyed my spirits.

Now, I start working on the disaster I created in the rest of the room through my small endeavor. You wouldn't think such a mess could be made from a closet reorganization, but I am a champ.

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Grey and Wet

Good Morning!

Another day of rain, it looks like. We have had several days in a row of rain. Yesterday it poured from the sky. It's trying to compensate for the two years of drought. 

I've been puttering around the house. Even undisciplined puttering is getting some things done. I assembled a shoe rack I bought over a year ago yesterday. When I got it and opened the box, I abruptly closed it. So many pieces. Yesterday was the day to get it done. I won't say how long it took me to finish (hours) but it's done. Now onto some closet clearing. 

I've been thinking about and doing a little online searching for some type of groups I could get involved with. Between Covid isolation and three years of very limited mobility, well, I have become a recluse. I need some type of engagement. There is a problem: where I live. There isn't much available. I tried this about a dozen years ago and it fell flat. With the drastic polarization in the country it becomes even more difficult. I live in a very Trump Republican county. There really isn't anyway to avoid Trump talk at the moment. I suppose I could expand my search to online groups outside of this area, but I really would prefer in-person. In the mean time, I guess I'll putter.