12 September, 2017

Proud Of My Garden

 It rained Saturday night. Blessed Rain.
Took the lingering smoke from the forest fires out of the air.

 I planted all of my sunflower seeds over a section of the garden and they ended up somehow, only in two places.

This fuzzy sunflower and it's 'friend', L'escargot, are in fine form today.

Thankfully, Peter Rabbit and his twin did not eat these seedlings. Or, did they dine on some?
They really liked my squash and pumpkin seedlings.  Good thing rabbits are cute.

 I'm really liking this dahlia and it's red spurs, randomly placed. I am a lazy gardener at best, and I don't dig my dahlia tubers for the winter. The blessings of living in the mild Willamette Valley.

Sometimes I lose some, sometimes they come back.

Everbearing Strawberries

  Look! at my amazing amaryllis.

I threw these used bulbs outside in this very sunny exposed bed in the garden years ago and they are thriving.
Since they are thriving, I meant to toss the last ones from Christmas here as well. But in the winter, I don't know where these pink ones are.

 My Fireworks Dahlia. I think I bought this tuber in the store in town and I don't think it's got a name but I might dig this one up for winter. Maybe.      I hope it comes back next year.

 Nasturtiums, cucumber vines and Dill. Yes, a weird combination. But they seem to like each other.

 I put this fence in over 25 years ago. My garden area is about 50 feet x 50 feet. The fenced area is about 25 x 25 ft. To keep the rambunctious dogs out. Haha. Those dogs loved strawberries, raspberries, peas. But it did keep them from running through new plants.

It does not keep Peter Rabbit and his friends out.

The bare ground is where I am digging my potatoes. The plants have died down and they are through growing. That's the hangar back there.

Anyway, I grow my peas and cukes on this fencing. The perimeter is not  whole anymore after many years of rototiller adventures and kids and dogs. Not to mention the wildlife I choose not to see.

 The runway is over to the left in this photo. Strawberries in upper right side. Sunflowers in upper back. Cukes and nasturtiums in front center

Garden path. We have pavers in front of the hangar which is to the right in this photo. The strawberries were all along the right edge of this paved path and jumped ship a long time ago to a happier place. Now I grow sedums where the strawberries used to be (righthand side of path).

Also a small Japanese maple tree.

 Strawberry leaves all dewy with rain with sunflowers and dahlias providing a pretty background. The raspberries are behind that providing a bit of a windbreak.

I don't always keep up with my garden but I rearranged things in my life a bit and managed an awesome garden this year. Usually the weeds get the upper hand *fast*.

I'm hoping all these cool sunflowers reseed themselves.

10 September, 2017

Drying Laundry

My niece just moved back to the states after living in Singapore for the last year and a half. She brought back a folding laundry rack cuz no one uses/has a dryer over there. Nor does much of the world. But, here in the states, we all have electric clothes dryers.

After my trip to Japan two years ago, I lusted after a simple drying solution. But all the outdoor drying tools in the USA were permanently attached to your house or inconveniently placed as an umbrella in the lawn. All vetoed by the other person in the household.

All amazon sells is the tiny version of the foldable rack above - suitable for drying lightweight items like lingerie.

I was raised to be environmentally conscious. I compost, re-use what I buy for other purposes, try to keep my (destined-for-the-landfill) garbage to a minimum and generally leave the planet a better place for my children.

So I wanted this foldable, small footprint rack above bad enough to beg my friend in Kyoto to send me two. They are each big enough for a medium load of laundry.

In Singapore and Japan, they also have rods across their patios for hanging big stuff and these racks just hook over them.
I still want to install a big rod across my patio  but I have found a way to use these racks year-round just by hanging it off my kitchen chair.

What I have found in nearly two years of using them?
1. My knit tshirts stay long and no longer shrink "up".
2. Less pilling and everything lasts longer.
3. duh - less energy usage.
4. In the summer, most items are dry by the end of the day. In the winter, inside my house, they are dry in less than two days.
5. Planning ahead if you want to wear that favorite shirt/shorts on a certain day skillset.
6. I still have a dryer for emergencies.
7. In my two person household, in the winter, I use the dryer once a month for sheets and towels. In the summer, they go outside.
8. With my auto-immune bloating tummy, I love the fact that my tshirts stay the original length still.
9. It only takes 5 -10 minutes to clip everything on to the rack.
10. Pencil Girl asked if clothing got musty in the winter and I haven't found it to be so.

This very quickly became my routine and I don't really think about doing it differently.
It's easy to do - my first indicator of success.

Can't recall if I showed pictures of the two planes in the hangar. Still doo-hicking around with the J-5. Still hasn't gone on it's maiden voyage.
And the big old Stearman biplane.

Hope you hop over to my IG feed - RocketGirl50. I just figured out how to use my gorilla tripod to take a video of me skinning tomatoes. Exciting times, I tell you.

04 September, 2017

A Week Off

I sewed every day.

We are hiding inside because of near 100' heat all week and smoke from the wild fires trapped in the Willamette valley.

I knew it would be hot when I started  my vacation time. Perfect for doing my liver cleanse and sewing. My biggest plan was to sew in the cooler mornings and list items for sale in my etsy shops in the hotter (damp & sticky) afternoons.

  We still don't have the (orange) Piper J-5 airplane flying. Hubby is still dorking around on this and that. But look, They both fit inside the hangar. Our other airplane is a Stearman biplane.

 I had a little time before my hair appointment to take photos of the dahlia fields.
1:30pm and my iphone still takes awesome photos.

Yes, I managed to get my hair cut (not since october!) and I got in on someone else's cancellation to the dentist as well.

I usually set up my dental appt about 9 months out and hope for the best. My work schedule changes so frequently, I finally make it on the fourth cancellation. My dentist's crew know where I work and they will try and fit me in until an appointment 'sticks'.

Somehow, I don't think you should try this with your hairdresser. I needed a haircut back in April and here it is - September. Six inches gone.

I tried out some online selling places and was successful with my old Riccar. So nice to see it go to a good home. And clean out my garage a little. This machine does an awesome straight stitch but I have two others that do the same. I might still sell my Singer Stylist as I have my grandma's old Singer 301.
Not right now. The stylist sits in a nice cabinet with I put in the bedroom for a place to set down stuff.

So - what did I sew? A new pair of work shorts with all the topstitching and pockets. A lot of lipsense bags and a custom order of a doTERRA essential oil bag. I also finished two UFO's and working on a third.

I also listed a crazy amount of stuff for etsy but there is still a mountain in my garage that needs to be listed as well.

How did my liver cleanse go? Well - I'm finishing it up now. Basically, it was an elimination diet of anything with allergens and five days of being a vegetarian. No chocolate (sugar) and no coffee.

I failed.
On the chocolate.

I made it to Saturday -- about 10 days in and caved.

I disliked being vegetarian. Mostly because I can't eat beans (legumes - big allergen) and I can only tolerate rice once or twice a month. A lot of my allergens, I can tolerate in small doses but the effects accumulate and I can get really non-functonal fast. I can eat some nuts but they don't really get digested with my small intestine not behaving well.

There's a surprising amount of protein in dark leafy greens - which I juice. Each glass of green juice probably contains at least 8 grams of protein and I drank green juice 2 -3 times a day.

I was also taking  a product based on pea protein and I was reacting to that as well.

However, all the extra B-vitamins? Tremendous mental acuity and focus.
I didn't peter out around 2 or 3pm. I was good at the beginning about eating more to keep (chocolate) cravings at bay but slacked off if I got the wee bit busy.

If I do this again, and I will, I will skip the product and go straight to a liver cleanse without pea protein.

I had high hopes this cleanse would clear up some skin issues (yet another symptom of not getting enough nutrients because of my small intestine). Some cleared but the rest are still there. Less stress (no daily smack-down) helped.

My eyes seem to be clearer. Rested.

  My niece recently moved back to the area from living in Singapore, so I went and visited on Saturday. So much fun to see my practice grand-kids! The girls still remembered me and had to show me e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.

I stopped at Ikea on my way and this button rug continues to taunt me. If I had a place for a white rug. I get so tempted to just buy it and stash it but I don't need more clutter.

I also took care of some clutter piles around the house. Bundles dropped with good intentions.

I cleaned the inside of my car after living out of it the past year, or so.

And I got my laser printer back printing after a year. It stopped working when we had a power outage and it took a year in the time-out closet for me to get up the time to sit down and uninstall and reinstall, fingers crossed, and it worked. Big smile.

28 August, 2017

Sunflowers Are A Sign

The garden is entering it's glory. I'll have enough tomatoes by this weekend to start canning them. I'm pretty simple - stewed tomatoes are simple and easy and QUICK. I use pint jars so if someone needs two cups of tomatoes for a recipe, we're good.

I tried really hard with the garden this year. A big plus is that my family crisis's got moved to the back burner. The forced overtime at work is still difficult, so free time is at a premium. 

I decided to try not blogging to free up some time. Well that was a fail. Pretty soon the photos pile up and I start hiding from dealing with them. Then my iphone told me I'd reached a cloud limit. Well, actually, it sounded like apple was threatening me. Solution was to deal with photos.

By blogging a little bit instead of a lot.

I don't keep most of these photos. I do have files set up on my desktop for Flowers, Family and what I've made. This makes it easier to transfer to the external hard drive. Still hiding, but a little more organized. The rest of the photos are deleted.

Wendy's Wish Salvia

The grapes are turning colors

I have this week off work. I'm trying a liver cleanse (2 -3 weeks) in an effort to get some relief from the SIBO bloating and inflammation. I was ready for some quiet to concentrate on this particular diet. I'm only on day five, so it's too soon to have an idea if it's helpful.

I already eat a very restrictive diet because of the Leaky Gut/auto-immune responses. This time, I am giving up chocolate (and sugar)for three weeks  and meat for the next five days. Vegetarian is not something I've tried as I'm allergic to some veggies and getting enough protein to get through the long work day is difficult.

But I don't have to work so I timed this part to coincide with days off.
I use chocolate for stress and for extra calories to get through my work days. I had wanted to try something like this for a while but... yeah.

In sewing news, I made another pair of work shorts. My red ribbon (fair!) blue shorts from last year are getting a tad faded and worn. All that blue thread on blue fabric makes my eyes twitch with all the top-stitching involved.

I will say, this new pair probably won't win a ribbon for even top-stitching. And I mixed up my pockets (six!). I put the side pocket on the back side. NO worries - not ripping that off - because the pocket flap on the side seam pocket mostly fit.

 After sewing miles of topstitching, I was ready for some fun sewing. These are my favorite M&M's, Peanut Butter. But have you tried the new coffee flavored ones? A customer brought in some he found at Walgreen's and they were pretty tasty. I had just started this diet so I ate two and passed the packet off to my co-worker with strict instructions not to show them to me.

Anyway - you just cut apart the bag and sew it  back together with some lining fabric and a zipper. Cute little pouches already destined to two nephews and one lucky friend.

 I pondered for a while on how much to charge for these in my etsy store but I'm not sure I would ever sell one. I sell my other zippy's for $18 - 22 dollars. Would you pay $20 for this small snack-size pouch? It will hold coins, other small stuff, two regular small packets of m&m's.

When I don't think I can get enough for my time or trouble, I gift my makes. Crazy attitude.

But do you know how long it took me to get to charging $18? Here in Canby, I'd be lucky to sell a small zippy bag for two bucks.
 I used the backs too with their UPC codes.

Inside is the bottom of the bag stitched on as a 'label'.

Sunflowers just mean summer is coming to a close and autumn beginning. You can already see the leaves turning.
It's hot here this week but the nights cool down fast - another sign.

I've got a long list of things to do this week, but I'm concentrating on sewing in the morning and listing on etsy in the hotter afternoons.
I still need to finish digging my potatoes and another basil snip and dry.
I am also trying to re-organize my stuff. Mostly with the thought of not looking at it where it got laid down with good intentions.

For this liver cleanse, I am also concentrating on eating more to keep certain cravings at bay. I've had many conversations with my docs about eating more to actually lose weight. I am relying entirely too much on chocolate so I am hopeful I can get that energy craving to a back burner. I don't eat sugar as a rule except in chocolate.

Happy End of Summer thoughts to you.

22 August, 2017

Dahlias And County Fairs

 The dahlias are living the dream.

Bumblebees this morning looked like they were sleeping off a pollen binge.

The garden is behaving itself producing just a few raspberries for breakfast and a few tomatoes for lunch. None of that buckets of produce causing friends to turn and walk the other way when they see you coming with more zucchini. None of that pressure to can (haha - pun intended). Even the weeds are puny (knock on wood).

Time to see which items won blue ribbons at my county fair.

 This is not my quilt (I Don't Quilt) but I love the playful animals getting into adjoining blocks.

And this teal and aqua one? Yum.

 Through the display window - my chicken hotpad making tracks on the chickie wallhanging.

My Mr. Hedgehog lipsense bag was a fair favorite. I bought that fabric from my friend in Kyoto.

 And my only second place red ribbon.  I bought this tote bag as a kit. Determined to follow instructions, I disliked the size of this bag (giant towel bag) and the lack of color interest (beige blah). The night before I had to enter my fair entries, I conceived a brilliant plan of ironing on this Big Book saying. Ahem.

Yes, in my hurry, I ironed it on upside down. I had to rip out the whole pocket area and lining and re-sew the pocket so it could be read.  Even though it did not get a blue ribbon, that red is still worth two bucks!

I made $26 dollars this year - enough to buy another couple of yards of fabric.

And finally, my daughter was able to connive her way into another Denali flightseeing trip (third time this year!) and managed to get herself into the right-hand cockpit seat for a bird's eye view of the mountains in summer. Her aunt (my sis) took her family up to visit Alaska.