Friday, August 26, 2011

Full of sorrow

Our good, sweet cat Nehemiah passed away Wednesday. He had been battling diabetes since July of 2009 and we had been treating it as best we could with twice daily insulin, pills and the ocassional subcutanious fluids.
Tuesday we could tell he was winding down.

Wednesday Timmy made a choice to take him to the vet. I think he was grasping at any shread of hope. They started to give him fluids and he coded. Timmy feels enormously guilty and I understand that, but he was doing what he thought was right and he was trying to help. Still, he's heartbroken. I've never seen him this distraught.

We had a service Thursday morning and buried him in the herb garden under the catnip. Our friend came to the service and took us to lunch. Neither of us have been eating much, neither of us ate Wednesday night. It was nice to finally have a meal.

I know this will get better and I won't cry at the drop of a hat. For now, we're both grieving. We still have Lenny, but Lenny is pretty aloof compared to Nehemiah and he really is my cat. Tim really misses his buddy. I wish I could make everything better.

I believe Nehemiah came to us when we needed him, and when he needed us, and a new cat will come to us when the time is right.

Until we meet again good friend. I will comfort myself by thinking of the crusty warriors passing you around for cuddles and scritches in Freya's hall, you drowing out their laughter with your purr and begging for scraps from their plates.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

So how's that produce?

I love this time of the year, the garden provides me with lunch and dinner every day.  Fantastic!  With the weeding mostly manageable, it's sit back and bathe in the beauty of fresh veggies and fruit. Yum.

Main garden bed on the west side of the garage.  We're thinking about expanding it with a lower tier. I think the lilac bush will need to go away completely if we do this, and not just hacked into oblivion.

 Early girl tomato in the herb bed.
When I pulled out the pear tomato with blight I replaced it with a cherry tomato plant and it's starting to produce fruit.  The tomatoes are taking forever to ripen....
 Italian mild peppers.  I started this from seed, and it's the only one of 12 plants that survived the ravages of the cat.  It is doing really well!
Summer squash! 

The zucchini plants became infested with a grub that killed the plant.  So far no sign on the squash.  I pulled all the zucchini and re-planted.  I may have enough of a growing season left to get a second crop.
 Our peas started off slow, but they are going well now.
 We've about tripled our raspberry plants with the addition of our neighbor's plants and we had a great crop this year.  Can't wait until next!
My first time growing eggplant (another plant that I started from seed).  It's doing really well and I've harvested 3 medium sized oval eggplants.  I made a spicy eggplant dip with 2 and eggplant pizza with the other.  The pizza was good, but the dip is heaven!!!
My first time growing cauliflower.  I should end up with 4 heads total.  I've picked 2 so far and they were good.  I started the plants from seeds so I'm pretty happy.
 Bush beans
 Burpless cucumber
 Our apple tree is doing much better this year. Harelsons!

Melons have started and I should be able to pick my first one this week!  The are similar to cantaloupe, and are roughly the size of softballs.  There was one on Saturday where the rind had started to turn from smooth green to a knobby beige.  Yay!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Completed Cloak

 In January I was contacted by a friend after he had attended Calontir Winter War Manuvers to tell me that a mutual friend was to be knighted at Lilies and they were looking for someone to make the cloak.  He thought of me and I was happy to volunteer.

I started with a grey wool herringbone woven blanket that I picked up from Faribault Woolen Mills outlet store.  I added a band of purple wool at the top and bottom.  I wove the trim myself using my inkle loom (not correct for his time period but I could complete it quickly and easier than card weaving).  It's a chain pattern.  ;^) 

The gold chain was appliqued linen, outlined with a red chain stitch in wool thread. 

The runes were stitched in chain stitch using yellow and red wool and read: "What is best in life? to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentations of the women."

Halvdan really liked it so I am quite pleased!

(Lenny was very helpful)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

June Garden Update

I'm trying to take pictures of the rapidly changing garden ~ once a month.  It's amazing how quickly things change.  Currently it is rainy and cold for the official start of summer.  Temps are almost 20 degrees under average, but we hope to creep up into the 70's come Friday.  We may see 80's on the weekend.  My tomatos can't wait.

For a reference I'm listing the pictures in the same order as my post from May.

The raspberry plants appear to have survived the transplant process and should produce fruit this year.  Rock on!

We're going to have a good apple crop this year.

The fence is certainly keeping the critters at bay.

 Lettuce (mesclin and romain), green onions, daikon radish, turnips, cauliflower, melons and beans.
Cauliflower (that I started from seeds)
Beans! (and I planted more so they will start producing when these are exausted)
 Spinach, eggplant (that I started from seeds), dill, cucumbers and snap peas.
Squash, red onions, peppers, zucchinni.  No blossoms yet, but they are starting.

 The native bed is starting to bloom.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Healthy Eating at Lilies 25

I just got back from Lilies and I wanted to share some choices that I made for food. While I was staying with a group, I was esentially going solo this year and I didn't want to spend my time cooking so I planned my food to be grab and go. I arrived Monday evening and left Friday morning so my meal plans were breakfast/ lunch/ and dinner for 3 full days + 2 snacks each day an evening snack Monday and Friday breakfast before we left.

For breakfast I made the Baked Oatmeal with Blackberries recipe from Sparkpeople. I added just a touch of maple syrup to up the sweetness. I baked it in a 8 x 8" pan and cut it into 9 squares. I brought enough squares for breakfast each morning and ate a hard boiled egg to up my protein. I brought a container of my home made yogurt, which I topped with raspberries and a drizzle of honey. I would spoon a small amount on my baked oatmeal, or treat it like a dessert after dinner.

I made Coach Nicoles Vegetarian Meatloaf and brought ~ 4 portions. I ate this at lunch or dinner/ depending on my mood. I made a quinoa and beet salad with red onions, red wine vinegar and olive oil (my own concoction). I would eat this for lunch or dinner. I grilled chicken breasts ahead of time and cut 2 into 1/2" strips. I'd place a few on my plate at lunch or dinner. I also brought grapes, packaged diced pears (in little sealed cups), cut up celery and carrots, a small stick of hard salami (which I never ate), peanut butter, whole wheat crackers, almonds, raisins and dried apple slices. I did bring instant Miso soup and Thai Kitchen instant noodle soup, but I found that I usually didn't want to deal with cooking food and was happy to eat the cold things from my cooler.

I was really happy with my food choices. I felt that I was eating well. Naturally I countered my healthy meals with plenty of beer and other drinks, but that is what Lilies is for. I did get in a 20 minute run Tuesday morning and I did an hour or yoga Thursday morning, plus I walked a LOT.

I did plan on coffee in the mornings and brought a simple device that rested on my cup, held a paper cone of grounds and I poured boiling water through. It was fantastic! I also drank a LOT of water. I filled a clay gallon jug with water and emptied it each day, plus I would fill my cup around the site at various stations while I was out. Staying hydrated was easy to do if I planned it out.
I think one could do something similar for a longer camping event like Pensic, but it would be harder with a family. I would probably choose more options that did not involve space in the cooler.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Garden season beginning

This year we have had a very cool spring, which has set the growing season back by at least 2 weeks.  Disappointing to be behind, but I do have everything planted and stuff is up and growing well. 

The herb bed is looking pretty good.  Most things are growing back from the previous years.  The lovage is ginormous as it has been every year.  New addition would be moving the tomatoes to the herb bed.  I think they should do pretty well.

I built a box for the wild straberries, which I overwintered in containers.  They seem to be happy since they are producing flowers.  We'll see if they produce fruit.  Probably not this year.  I added nasturtiums and rosemary to the box.

I transplanted several raspberry bushes from our neighbor's yard and they seem to be settling in pretty well.  They may produce fruit this year, but we will see. I'm hoping that the apple tree will be more productive this year as well.  I've been hording my apple sauce all winter long. 

 The perennial beds are looking fantastic.  I added the solar lights on the lattice and I love how it looks at night.

The new boxes got added to the south lawn and are growing summer squash, zucchini and red onions.

The native bed is looking fantastic.  The fence has kept the rabbits from eating the asters down to nubs. I also added a fence around my vegetable bed.  I WILL have beets this year! 

 Good thing I added the fences this year.  Varmints! (but they are awfully cute....)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Wedding Day!

Not mine, don't get any ideas...
May I start with a simple reminder of how time zones work.  If the live coverage starts at 3 am est that would be what in central time? Yeah, that would be 2 am.  Oy.  Almost not worth going to bed in the first place, but I did get a little nap.  Thank god for tea....and a spot of cordial.

Naturally I'm not the only one who thought a live blog would be a good idea so if you would like some actual entertainment I suggest joining Heather and Jessica on Go Fug Yourself.
Lenny would like me to keep the noise down, he's trying to get his beauty sleep.

Big Ben is chiming: so exciting!  I'm looking forward to seeing the mounted guard.  Those horses are fantastic.

I think the most dressed up I'm getting this morning is a sweater thrown over my jammies. Speaking of dresses, I'm loving the dresses for the day.  The one woman in line in the bright yellow dress and matching hat is smashing.  LOVE!  God I love these hats!

It's refreshing to see a commentator "squee" when speculating on what the bride will be wearing.  

The tea and biscuits are a good choice first thing, as was the hard boiled egg.  I'll move onto an English muffin in a while, along with the sardines, herring and fruit.

How gorgeous are the Beckhams?  Wow.

The people camping out are quite mad, but I do envy them.  It looks like a chilly morning though.  Not like that July day in '81.

Did I see Rowan Atkinson in the crowd?  If they are Black Adder fans they have just risen in my esteem.  The Prime Minister's wife isn't wearing a hat...SCANDAL!! 

I can hardly wait to see what mischief the young attendants will get into during the service.  There is no way a 3 yr old is going to behave for 1+ hours.

4:14 - William (or I should say, His Grace, the Duke of Cambridge) looks very happy.  All smiles and waves in the car to Westminster.

Nehemiah is simply happy for the sardines from my plate. Lenny is snoring. 

I do like the trees in the naive.  It's simple and elegant. Oy, 40 minutes still until the wedding....time for a nap.

4:30 - somehow I doubt that the Queen will be arriving via mini-coach. I am interested in what the bride's mother is wearing.  It sounds delightful, but we'll see if her hair has been tamed from it's normal state of a hot mess. Ok, the dress is beautiful, but her hair still looks ragged. If Catherine takes after her mom she will certainly age well.

4:43 - The queen is in bright yellow, which makes my mistaking the woman all in yellow queued up to head inside the church about an hour ago for her Majesty all the more weird. Can't wait to see these kids! Camilla looks nice.  Thank god Wills didn't inherit his father's normal expression.  "Close your mouth please, we are not a codfish!".  Queen and Duke: 63rd wedding anniversary, 85 and 90. Bless!

4:52 - Here comes the bride!!!!! 
I swear I am breathless.  I'm seeing a lace sheath, very pretty.  Love the hair!  I knew there was going to be lace. A small bouquet, so pretty.

4:57 - OMG are these kids cute.  Pippa looks gorgeous.  Great genes those Middletons.  I want to know what tiara Kate is wearing, slow down!  edit: Queen's halo tiara

 5:00 - Grace Kelly!  Thank you BBC commentator!  Yes!  We've arrived! So gorgeous!  Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen gown, same for Pippa.

5:10 - Harry wrangles the ring, while Pippa wrangles the children.  I'll take the ring please. I'm sure the Archbishop got the gig because of his voice alone.  Dang!

5:21 - Man and Wife!

5:49 - "and did those feet in ancient times..."  Love that hymn!  I want a full orchestra at all weddings.  Can I just say again that the hats are amazing!  I also think more weddings need a battery of trumpeters.  God Save the Queen!  my tea is cold

5:56 - signing the register.

6:30 - Great carriage ride back. Love how the sun came out as they were approaching the palace. At least an hour until the balcony appearance.  Time for cake and possibly a nap.

Speaking of cake: wow!

Totally worth the sleep deprivation.  What a wonderful memory!