Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Today's Report

Today's forecast was for a Hi of 68 degrees, and Lo of 36 degrees and mostly clear. Tomorrow's forecast is for a Hi of 67 degrees, a Lo of 52 degrees and partly cloudy.
I haven't checked the seeds, but I get home after dark, so that probably won't happen until Saturday.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The New Garden Begins

No, the new year is not here yet, but today I start to think about my new garden. I have had some luck with my all-of-a-sudden, bet-I-could-make-this-work green house that I threw together. I have marigolds, lettuce, peppers, celery, cilantro, and fennel still growing under it and I through out some spinach, and lettuce seeds today just for fun.

This year tho' it's all about the planning, and I have high hopes.

We had some rain yesterday and lots the day before so everything is moist. I don't believe that we have had a frost yet...if we have it was just some fluke, one time, just barely sort of thing. Today's forecast was for a Hi of 59 degrees, and Lo of 40 degrees and partly cloudy. Tomorrow's forecast is for a Hi of 51 degrees, a Lo of 35 degrees and mostly clear.

My thrown together green house consist of 3 sections of arcs shaped out of hardware cloth and tie wrapped to some kind of black pvc sort of piping that was wrapped in a tight circle to begin with so the arc was sort of natural. The two end sections have a hardward cloth ends so they fit together over my raised bet in sections. The idea about covering them in plastic came to me the first time I thought about a frost and for a few dollars I bought painters drip cloth and covered my entire assembly (twice).

On the knitting front I have socks for my Dad nearly 2/3rds complete with pleanty of time before wrapping. I have also done about 1/4 of my afghan, so that's good.

All animals are healthy and accounted for. I do have plans on adding 2 new chickens to my flock this year. Definite layers are going to be picked from my choices at the Roach Feed Store. I like my Ameraucanas, but I would rather have eggs.

No, this is not a curren picture of my raised bed, but that is just a picture of plastic - boring. Here's something from a couple of months ago. :-)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Autumn has arrived, on time, which is unusual for this area. I have two tomatoes planted and two serrano peppers blooming and producing. And, my cotton plant is still looking good. I grew a seed on my window sill...trouble is I have no idea what seed it was, so I planted it in the garden bed hoping that it will grow into something recognizable.

I have also started knitting another pair of socks, just straight rib stitch socks with new yarn from the Woolie Ewe. I have only started, because they were ripped back twice yesterday until I came up with a discipline that will stop me from knitting on the wrong sock (I am knitting two on a loop). I have a stitch holder literally pinning the other sock so I can't knit it and when I finish the sock I am on I move the stitch holder to it, thus not allowing me to go back and start in error again. The yarn is a golden sort of khaki. I think I am knitting to a more accurate size this time, so I hope to keep these and not have to send them to the Mavericks to find someone who will fit them.

The flower garden in the front yard is looking pretty good. I have white zinnia's, and salvia, obediant plant and other stuff that I don't remember the names of . . . but now I will make sure and write down the names 'cuz I feel silly not knowing what is already growing in my own garden.


Items that I can't live without: My computer for obvious reasons, My sewing machine for creative reasons, My TV for occasional reasons, My radio, disk player, and iPod for listening reasons,

Things that I can't stop doing: Gardening...don't know why's in my DNA, Knitting - can stop, have stopped, don't want to stop again.

Reading or as I put it in the 21st century, Listening - books on CD keep me going.

And of course working, working is the thing that really keeps me going in many, many ways.

After making this list my needs seem so much smaller, understanding that electricity is a big thing and potable water is a BIG thing.

I am going to evolve my living space to fit into the person who has my can't live without list. You might think haven't you already done that? Isn't that what adults do? And I say, no that isn't what adults do. Adults have to evolve to who they are sans their childhood inputs for...well forever I would guess. Constantly honing who they are from the inside out, working away from who they are from the outside in - the projections of parents, and grandparents, and siblings.

I think that those adjustments might be very subtle, but to make your heart happy the subtleties are important.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thank God for Dogs and other things . . .

I suffer from panic attacks. I have ever since I was in my teens for sure, maybe even earlier. I didn't know that is what they were exactly until I was having one and called a friend for support and in my describing why I was calling she said, "It sounds to me like you are having a panic attack." In my head panic attacks were like on TV: lots of emotion, lots of acting out, having to sit down, nearly fainting, or breathing really hard. My panic attacks are very internal and except for a shortness of breath (which is very faint compared to those re-enacted on TV) no one would know it was happening. She said Xanax (sp.) was the answer. My doctor didn't agree, but she prescribed something less addictive, which I appreciate.

The interesting thing is now that I have a name for what happens, and now that I consider is a "thing" and not just overwhelming nebulous feelings taking me over, I can deal with it. Obviously I can take the drugs my doctor prescribed and don't get me wrong: I DO! But, also, I feel the symptoms starting, I identify the feelings as "outside the norm". I can say to myself, "okay this is happening, but you can breath through your nose, don't make any rash statements, take a pill and give yourself 30 minutes to calm down". Sometimes when I am busy I get caught up in the feelings before I get a chance to analyze them. Things seem so out of proportion when this happens, but as soon as a breather comes and I can say "wait, I think I know what's going on" there is a calm (slight, but real) that allows me to deal with the panic, both emotionally, intellectually, physically and chemically. For those of you who don't suffer from panic attacks (which a year ago I would have said was me) it is hard to explain how all of this is going on inside and very little of it is identifiable to the outside world. You might see a dust up with a co-worker as just that when actually something has put that person or yourself in the throngs of a panic attack and the dust up is just a reaction. You or the other person might come across as aggressive or angry or very confident, when in actuality you or the other might be dealing with some very strong internal emotions that are making the reaction seem like this, but it isn't choice or strength of's just underlying panic. This is all very easy to see after diagnosis and chemical balancing, and nearly impossible to see before.

So, how do Dogs fit into this? Well, I had a panic attack today . . . stressing over unidentifiable dollars in a billing situation at work. Money is one of my panic buttons, but usually not someone elses, that is unless I have to justify something that happenened 6 months ago on a bill that is literally 5364 lines long and I can't seem to find the answer. Anyway . . . that is a long boring story, but the panic begins and I am not aware of it until just before my drive home. My doctor says you really shouldn't be driving during a panic attack...I just laugh...when you have been having panic attacks as long as I have . . . well I couldn't count how many times I have driving during one. Anyway, I am in the car and I know that I just need to get home where there is something to drink (water or coke, not alcohol) and take a pill. When I get home tho' there are dogs to take care of. Cats and chickens, too. But dogs jump up and greet you and sit in your lap and lick you face and bound around the yard and then back to you and for a while the panic is just gone. No, I was not cured I still took the pill.

I am trying to wean myself from this behavior. I am going to try to use dogs, and knitting to ease my panic naturally (when I am at home, I don't have this luxury of time and space at work). My plan is to breath through my nose, play with the dogs, take a pill, pick up my knitting. Trick my brain into thinking that it is the knitting that is calming the panic not the pill. And using that transference make my knitting take the place of what the doctor prescribed.

We will see how that goes here at Powell Cottage. Ta ta.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Being an Adult...ugh!

My father is staying at my sister's house this week. He stayed at my house the last time that he was ill. He is no longer going to be able to live on the farm. We haven't said this out loud yet to him. We, my siblings and I, have talked about it. I even think that Dad realizes it now. The dynamics of an elderly parent is quite interesting. You see things in yourself and your siblings that other circumstances haven't shined light on before. My sister's blustery disapproval of opinions that she doesn't agree with are made so much like my father's and I had never noticed it before. She continues to say things like "he just needs to start taking responsibility for ... (fill in the blank)", or "he just needs to change ... (fill in the blank)". I have to laugh (not rudely, but...) My father is 82 years old. I don't think he's going to change. To tell the truth I don't think that he could at this point. My mother died when she was still relatively young, 69. She needed care but that was because she was sick not because she was old. My grandmother is the only relative that we have really seen get old and she lived with my Aunt and Uncle. I was the only child in my family that visited her very often. I saw her get old. My Aunt and I dealt with her aging as best we could. She lived to be 88, and even after broken hips and other ailments she did pretty well, but she spent the last 2 or 3 years going down hill. There is a point when we realized that she is just no longer in charge of herself. We would listen, we wouldn't argue with her (except for occasionally when we were just exhausted) and my Aunt, my Uncle and I, would decide between ourselves how we would handle whatever came up in her behalf. It isn't pleasant to see an authority figure in your life become a dependent, but that is what it is. Plain and simple. Just move forward from that place and know that most of America will be moving that way with you.

That is all from Powell Cottage today,

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Another lost weekend. Laundry, cleaning, organizing. No TV~! well, one DVD. Lots of knitting. I received some yarn in the mail that I ordered on sale 40% cashmere & 60% silk. It was 4 ply and the plys separated easily. I worked a gauge swatch with 2 plys and got a gauge perfect for a sweater that I was interested in making, so I am very happy that I now have plenty of yarn for it. I have also spent a lot of time knitting on my blue variegated tank top. The yarn for that is a fingering to lace weight DMS yarn about 50/50 cotton and acrylic. I really like it and I think that I will use it to make socks in the future.

I hung my laundry on the clothesline this weekend. I really love my clothesline. It brings back my childhood, and it is so much more efficient than my dryer. Not only in energy efficienct, but I also have enough line to hang a few loads of wet clothes and I don't get the backup that comes with having to wait for a dryer load to finish.

I am listening to a lot of audio books these days as well, the real reason I haven't been watching TV. I am so motivated when I can do things and be entertained at the same time. Music does that for some people and I like music, but I love having someone read to me. That takes me back to my childhood as well.....I am spending a lot of time in my childhood lately. Hum???

I read Martha Stewart's blog today about her Chow dying. I sat at my desk and sobbed. I can almost not write about it. The feeling that I will have when Jack dies, or any of my five, but Jack for sure . . . well . . . I can't even describe the pain that shoots through my heart thinking about it. Jack is going to receive way more hugs than he is will want when I get home tonight.

So that's all from Powell Cottage where the tomatoes are looking good and the cotton is high.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sleep, Glorious Sleep

It will look like there are two entries for June 17th, but actually the "lost weekend" one is from the 16th. Apparently I didn't get enough sleep during my lost weekend, because last night upon arriving at home and after feeding the animals I went to bed. Yep, 6:30pm and I was out I woke up a few times during the night, but I didn't actually get out of bed until 7:00am this morning. I feel great! Really great! Okay my list of to dos for last night got blown out of the water, but I feel great so I don't care. Eeeek! Tonight I will have to double up.

My beloved pups were so patient with me. No one tried to wake me up until around 6:40am. By then tho' they were tag teaming me trying to get me out of bed. Somehow tho' I slept in between each appearance of a new dog upon my chest. I have learned to tell my cockers apart by weight and feel of the coat. I don't even open my eyes anymore if I don't feel like it. Of course the cats start screaming for breakfast as soon as they know I am up. Luckily Hester, Hilda, and Hazel don't start clucking for attention until about 9:00am if I still haven't fed them by that time. They allow me to stay in bed late on the weekends. I would say sleep late, but the dogs see to it that I don't really get any extra sleep on weekend mornings, so staying in bed is just an illusion of extra sleep.

Radish update: My seeds have sprouted. Yeah, vegetable cream cheese is in my near future.

That's all from the well-rested at Powell Cottage.

Lost Weekend

This was a lost weekend for me. It happens many times when the paycheck has been deposited, the errands run and I am left to my own devices. There was a moment when it felt like the early 1960's to me. I had just put some clothes on the line to dry and I was cutting up some pajama bottoms that had ripped irretreivably into soft cotton rags. I remember a time when we did not have paper towels in our house, but instead a drawer of dish towels and in the broom closet a bucket of rags. I remember black and white films in school regarding fire safey that showed containers of oil rags going up in smoke on their own. Now, instead of throwing out old Tshirts, or sending unneeded gifted Tshirts to the Goodwill. I actually cut them up to make rags. I still use paper towels, but I am weaning myself off of them.

I spoke to my Dad on Father's Day, and watched golf on TV. I knitted and cleaned and took care of the garden and the animals. I napped whenever I felt like it and of course threw my schedule all out of whack for Monday morning, today. I am not a very good housekeeper. It is something that I work on all the time. I once had a large house and that was just too much for me, and I once had an efficiency apartment and that was just too small. My house now is small but still overwhelming when it comes to cleaning. It seems like you just get with something and something else has gone terribly awry. Somedays I get depressed about it, but I continue to give myself pep talks, because I think that just barely, inch by inch, I am catching up. I have faith. I will get my house cleaned all at the same time at least one more time before I die. AND. . .if it doesn't happen I probably won't care anymore.

Well, that's all for today from the clean livingroom at Powell Cottage.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Working From My Own Desk

I have a second job. In the evening I enter 4 things to sell on eBay. I know, I know, everyone thinks that this is going to be a gold mine and after a while they are dissuaded of that belief. I have, however, worked through both the ups and the downs of that phase and I am now happily back with my eBay pursuits. I figured out that the second job (that I determined I needed) would probably pay $8 an hour. $32 a night. I am very often able to make $32 a night on eBay and even if I don't the cost of gasoline saved and eating dinner at home allow some leeway on that dollar amount as well.

So, . . . after the dogs have been let out and the cats have been fed and I have changed to my home uniform (shorts and Tshirt) and the garden has been watered, I sit down at my desk and see what needs to be shipped. I used to have on and off spurts of getting my eBay work done, before I came up with my system. You know those medicine dispensers (for want of a better word). The ones that say S M T W T F S on the tops of the individual compartments. I use one to organize and standardize my work. I have 5 small mother of pearl buttons that I put into the compartment for the day I started (again) to enter eBay items. Then as I enter one item I move that button from today's compartment to tomorrows compartment. My rule is I have to do at least 4 a day. I have the 5th button for those days when I get a spurt of enthusiasm. I will do one extra and use that one to make up for the days when I just don't want to be bothered. Unfortunately these days come way to often, but the button procedure keeps me doing my job. How pitiful would I have to be to not enter 4 measly items in one evening (only 3 following a really enthusiastic day).

With this good luck, I get to spend my evenings at Powell Cottage and care for the animals and the gardens. It's a pretty great life!

Have a happy day ~

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Carbon and Radishes

Last evening after looking for radishes at the grocery store with no luck. I chided myself and went home and planted radish seeds. It's those moments that make me think harder about my "carbon footprint". That is the first time I have used that term. I have been hearing it everywhere but it has just entered my lexicon. I have a blue kitchen trash can lined with the blue liner that the city allows for recycling pickup and I have the list of allowables taped above the can. Still I find myself going back to the regular trash to grab back some item that I threw out, but which should actually be recycled. I have just started being this dogmatic about recycling. About time! I think.

So radishes, I have tried a method that was mentioned on a podcast called Tales from Terry's Allotment. He grows carrots in a large deep container (I imagine something like a trashcan). They sometimes are feet long rather than inches. I thought that sounded terrific and even tho' it was after carrot planting time in Texas when I heard the podcast I set up a container for myself. I added some nasturtiums for a trial (long spindlely things so far), and that is where I laid out my strips of radish seeds.

Growing your own is so rewarding in so many ways. Cheaper in sooooo many ways!

Well that's all for now from Powell Cottage.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Powell Cottage

Hi, I am Anne. I live in Powell Cottage along with 5 Cocker Spaniels, 2 cats and outside 3 chickens. I have a flower garden and a kitchen garden. I am my family's historian. I am a 3rd or 4th generation knitter. I am hoping that this blog will be a stress reliever. I have always written to relieve stress, but knowing that the world can read your words adds a bit of excitement to it. It is late and this is just my trial entry. So . . .

. . . Goodnight from Powell Cottage