What Happens in October ……… Goes on All Winter


That’s what happens in October. It starts getting cooler, and I start baking bread. I do bake bread in the summer months, but that bread is usually a quick focaccia, not the bread that takes me all day. The bread from this cookbook that we can’t live without.

I don’t know how I survived, baking bread from the age of 11, without having a copy of The Tassajara Bread Book. I found my book at a library book sale on the Island, right before we left. It was 50 cents. I gladly paid it. I have used that book several times a month since then.

There are all sorts of wonderful recipes inside. Like the one for Walnut Brown Sugar Cake or Bagels or wonderful whole wheat muffins you can stick anything in and they turn out miraculous. And the bread …….. oh, the bread.


Tomorrow I’ll get out the really big mixing bowl I have for bread – I can barely lift it. And I’ll make the sponge and let it rise for a couple of hours. Then I’ll mix in the rest of the flour, the oil and the salt and knead it for 15 minutes. And let it rise again, punch it down and let it rise again, until finally I can make it into loaves with my favorite french rolling pin, folding and pinching until the loaves are perfect. And then it will rise again.

Finally – it will bake for almost an hour. And we’ll have fresh bread enough to last a couple of weeks. Provided we don’t eat it all tomorrow evening hot out of the oven.

WTH #1

ABC News
                                                     ABC News

This is the weirdest thing. There’s this hurricane out in the Atlantic. The current forecast says it will move away from the East Coast and head out to sea. It won’t even smack into the Maritimes like Hurricane Juan did on September 29, 2003. I was there, I remember.

I went to the grocery store today and the place was incredible. The parking lot driving was insane, the people in the store acted like they hadn’t seen food in 6 years and it was frankly, a bitch.

At checkout, the manager was bagging my groceries. He said it was because of the big storm coming. Big storm, I said??????? I thought we weren’t going to get hit with that. Well, he said, they think we are.

This evening I received two emails. One from my phone company, letting me know they are on top of things and have everybody ready to make sure the phone lines stay up. They have extra workers ready to go and then they wrote to please not touch a downed phone wire. Thanks, I won’t. I’ve never received an email from them before – ever.

Then I get one from my satellite TV provider, telling me what channels to watch the weather on and how to watch if for some reason I can’t watch on TV. Well if their satellites go down, will I be able to get the weather on my computer? Huh? Never had one of those emails either.

So I’m sitting here thinking maybe that storm is worse than I thought. Luckily I am prepared. I fought for my food today – and I won.

Weird, Yet Happy, Day




Dad and Ben
                                                                          Daddy and Ben

Today would be my husband’s 77th birthday were he only alive to see it. I’ve kind of ignored the fact that today would come ……. maybe hoping it would just go by me and I wouldn’t think or anything.

However, after my son’s birthday in September, there was no getting away from it. DS and DH celebrated birthdays 3 weeks apart. And Mom’s birthday is the 23rd and our anniversary is November and so is Dad’s birthday – and then comes December. The anniversary dates of the deaths of my father and husband. They both had to die in December???????? Honestly, how rude of them.

And then my birthday …… are we still celebrating that? Yes. Just shopping wise, as per usual. All those sales, ya know.

But today came and weirdly enough, I’m not sad. Hubby and I had a bit of a talk this morning and he smiled and let me know he is okay. Odd dreams – but I’ve always known that when someone “on the other side” visits me, it is a visit. Mom used to visit me all the time, until Dad died. Then I dreamed  about her after Dad’s death. She was on a park bench and I sat down with her. She patted my face and told me I did well. I had always dreamt of her before that as very sick, although she would tell me she wasn’t sick at all. After Poppa’s death, she wasn’t sick any longer. A couple of days ago I dreamed about Mom. We were talking about cleaning house and how she used to make us clean on Saturday mornings. She drove us nuts. If we didn’t get up early enough for her, the vacuum cleaner would be turned on in front of our door! We got up. Mom was laughing in my dream ………. she never laughed much when she was here.

So I’m not unhappy today. I’m okay. I’m okay because I did what I had to do to take care of my husband and I know it was time for him to go. And he’s much better off now – I know he can talk, walk, eat, run (like he used to), listen to music and do all those things he wasn’t able to do the last 4 years of his life here on Earth. He’s fine. And I am too.

Knitting in the Night

Almost done - one sleeve to go. Gonna have to let it wait until November.
Almost done – one sleeve to go. Gonna have to let it wait until November.

It’s the start of Plucktober! What’s that, you ask, scratching your head? Obviously you’re not one of the 10,200+ Plucky Knitter Group Members. Because that is all we’re talking about.

Plucktober is kind of a knitting marathon. Honestly, some knitters stayed up all night to get a head start. Others, like me, crashed at the usual bedtime with dreams of socks, mittens, shawls, hats and sweaters taunting us in our dreams.

I have plans. I’m going to do a hat, mittens and scarf for the wee offspring. Wee offspring is 35, but he still gets cold in the winter. And I’m going to cast on a lovely sweater in gray – my most favorite bright cheery color – for me.

And then there’s the Boots & Faded Jeans. The gray is called Mighty Mac for the Mackinaw Bridge which links the mainland to Mackinaw Island. Ah Mackinaw Island ………. sumptuous place. And then I have Run Forrest coming on Bello  ……… kind of a browny bronzy color for another sweater (there’s a sweater marathon in my future).

With all of these lovelies, I also have Old Money on Bello. Now I hadn’t bought any Bello until the last Instant Gratification Update but lord.  It oughta be banned. I touched that single, lonely little skein and passed out. Immediately I put up an In Search Of for more of this yarn. I need this yarn.

In between all of this, I’m working on my quilt. I have put down a bit to see what I think and today I’m going to rearrange the colors. I have a plan in zee haid and I veel make it work.

A whole month of power knitting ……….. bring it on.

Trouble – Right Here in River City


Well, it’s raining. It’s not just raining. It’s really raining and has been since sometime last night. It comes down in walls of rain.

I went to the local PO in the hardware store this morning at about 11 and hydroplaned the whole way home. Broadway was flooded then – and it’s not any better now.

I just saw a notice on Twitter to drive carefully around the Broadway Park area because it’s flooded. Guess where I live? Yup. On Broadway Park.

That tree up there is down two streets west of me. The street I drive back and forth on whenever I go out to get to anything on north Broadway. I was on that street this morning.

So far, we have power. But folks have to move their cars in downtown because high tide is here or coming and the Kenduskeag Stream is coming up. Also we’re on a tidal river so anything downtown would be a problem.

This is what the Whole Foods in Portland looked like earlier today. Don’t imagine it’s any better now. And there’s been a mudslide on Route 1A between around Dedham/Ellsworth. Not good.


It’s going to rain until tomorrow morning ……… and then Hurricane Joaquin will head up the coast. It’s going to be wet here for a few days ……..


IMG_0088It might be all I write about for a while. Color. Where to put what color …… how to create the effect I want with the colors I’ve made.

I’ve been busy cutting up squares (all done Thank. God.) and now am sewing them together. I was amazed at how great the fabric takes to cutting up. I’ve found that I like the multi-colored fabrics I’ve dyed best of all. When cut into squares, they can be sewn back together and colors from different parts of the cloth co-ordinate but don’t match – if I make myself clear there. I’m getting a whole new look.

I dyed my favorite ones by soaking the cloth in water and then scrunching it into a small container. Then I sprinkle colors of dye where I want. I then pour over a mixture of soda ash, salt and water and drain off any excess in the bottom of the container. Then I turn the fabric over and repeat. These pieces are on my favorite list – as are the bound pieces I’ve dyed.

I either fold, pleat or twist the cloth and then secure it with rubber bands. I soak it in soda ash, salt and  water and then prepare the dye. I do mix the dye with hot water and pour it over where I want. Then the whole grouping gets turned a couple of times. I usually poke the cloth with a spoon to make sure dye is getting into all the parts and doesn’t leave much white area. If it does, no problem. I just repeat the process the next day.

I hope to have a picture or two to share over the next few days. I’m at the stage now where they’re sewn together in 4-patch blocks and I want it all together before I do a glamour shot.

Too much fun ………

Squares Part II

IMG_0106It’s all in the wrist. See you get an Olfa cutter which is a round blade stuck on a plastic thing you hold in your hand. There is a guard, which doesn’t always help because I forget to put it down. so, then you cut all those fabrics into 2.5 inch strips. You do this on an Olfa mat so your table doesn’t get full of scratches. 😛

THEN you take those strips and cut them into 2.5″ pieces so you have squares. Cute. It sounds okay when I write it. Doing it makes me crazy. I’ve never liked cutting out – but you know I can’t make the quilt if I don’t cut the fabric so cut the fabric I must.

I’ve spent most of the day cutting squares. Yesterday was strip day. And soon I’ll be able to start sewing them back together – into strips. In different colors, of course. Kind of like life, cut it up, put it back together ……… over and over and over.

This Old House

s_s__old_house___7_by_shudder_stockNo that’s not my house. It is a future projection of my house unless I 1) win the lottery 2) rob a bank 3) sell the thing and move away.

This afternoon, there I was, minding my own business. I was actually hand washing dishes because the dishwasher died a couple of years ago. I could care – never got a dish clean anyway. As I was scrubbing away at the mess I made while making Cream of Cauliflower Soup – I heard this rushing noise under the sink. Kind of like Niagara Falls only louder. I looked under the sink. (First major mistake).

Hmm. The pipe seemed to be hanging down where it should be attached to another pipe. That couldn’t be good, right? DS was in his room, with the headphones on and the music blasting. He can hear nothing. So I stood there, holding the pipe, praying for release.

Luckily he had to go to the bathroom and I yelled for help when he left his room. Down he came and I told him what happened. He suggested I go sit down while he looked at it (he suggested this rather boldly I thought).

Not only did I sit down, I grabbed an Angry Orchard from the fridge. If any time calls for alcohol, this was it. He sat down on the floor and studied the pipe, the nut that held the two pipes together and got all dirty. He saw the problem. The washer had slipped back into the elbow pipe. Cool. He put it back together and tightened it.

Since that’s been leaking since the winter of 2014, I’m pretty pumped. We think it may not lea, any longer. Or if it does, we can go get another washer and some plumber’s tape.

On the same theme, I made contact with the La Di Da landscaper again. Oh yes, he’s going to come give us an estimate. But he wanted to know if I  had a chance to fix the front porch yet, because he didn’t want to do the landscaping to have it torn up for construction. The only problem is, it’s the back porch railings that need repair, not the front porch.

I thought about it. And I interpreted his words to mean this “Get real bitch – you can’t afford us.” So the bitch got real and told him not to bother coming by. I did not explain to him how I will make sure everyone I know knows he is useless and obnoxious. I can do that, yes I can.

I haven’t heard back from the SECOND landscaper. I think the bushes with all their thorns scare people to death. And also the outside of this house looks like I am on my last penny. Well, I’m not. But I also don’t have tons of extra money to do things that need doing. I can keep up with the minor things – major ones? Nah.

At some point in the very far distant future I’m going to sell this house. I will get something from it because I owe a lot less than what it’s worth. And then I’ll move on. And I won’t be moving into a 100-year-old house ever again. Right now, I’d take a mobile home over this place.