Tuesday Things

Summer feels never ending. Our days stretch out into one hot and humid day after another. Occasionally a big dark cloud will rumble by, dropping a smattering of rain before the sun beats out hot again. I like to visit the garden early in the morning. I look for cabbage moth eggs on the broccoli. I usually catch them but must have missed one because I had to squish my first worm this week. They seem to be only pest issue. I planted calendula as a “trap” plant and while it’s disgustingly covered with aphids, I don’t see a single one on any of my other plants. Today, we harvested the last of the lettuce, and put in more beans and carrots. It’s a bit late for the carrots, but we’ll see. Our tomatoes and Abram’s melon plant are growing all over the place. I’m surprised at how much I love this little corner of our yard. Jesse is surprised at how much I love it too.

I’m grateful for happy corners. We need them. Yesterday, Violet was playing volleyball barefoot, stepped wrong, and broke a bone in her foot. She’s okay, but in a boot and on crutches. In the grand scheme of things, I know it’s a little thing, but in 2020 it’s one more thing limiting our activities and we feel it. The universe is in cahoots with our kids against screen limits.

Knitting: I’m still almost done with the first sock of the Evergreen pair.I only have five rows and then the toe. I have no excuse not to just get it done. Tonight. I’m promising myself. Despite not actually doing any knitting, I’ve spent a lot of time daydreaming about the next projects. I put together a binder with the patterns for the next few projects I’ll be tackling.

Reading: I finished The Guest Book by Sarah Blake. I don’t have a rating for it because I don’t really know if I liked it. I find that I’m feeling that way with more and more books. I’m about three-fourths of the way through Hunger by Roxane Gay.

Watching: Hamilton. Because of course. That 70’s Show because Red and Kitty’s relationship is sweet. Violet and Abram and I are also watching old Once Upon A Time episodes. Watching them find the ways different symbols/stories work together between Storybrooke and the fairy tale world is fun. It’s also got just enough dark/dangerous to keep them interested. (Have I mentioned I love their ages, because do I ever love this stage.)

Making: Nothing. Actually, I did make cinnamon raisin bread yesterday. My plan was to make English muffins today with the discard and mix a loaf together tonight for baking tomorrow, but it’s too stinking hot. Plans for tie-dye (pillowcases) and friendship bracelets.

Hope this finds you all well and staying healthy! What are you -ing this week?

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  • Hi Kate,
    We’re in a heat wave too—I feel so bad for Violet having to wear a boot because of a broken bone 🙁 .

    My kale is getting eaten by worms, so I’m trying to keep on top of them. (The plants do recover and produce a good harvest in the fall, or at least they have every other year I’ve grown kale, so I’m hoping this year won’t be any different; the plants do look really bad right now, though!)

    I’ve been trying to get some much-delayed spring cleaning done, although it’s hard with the heat. I cleaned up the basement so my older son could set up his home office (he’s started his co-op, but will work from home for the first little while until the company office reopens and he moves to Toronto). I also defrosted the deep freeze (in preparation for all those—fingers crossed—batches of kale I’ll freeze in the fall). Still waiting on the yarn for my sweater, so have been knitting a second pair of socks for my husband as well as a dishcloth from some stashed yarn. Reading Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile. I just set up a bread starter for baking tomorrow. This will be my first attempt at sourdough, but it’s a yeasted recipe so maybe that means it’s not a true sourdough? (I don’t know if it’s the heat that’s making my brain sluggish, but I am having such a hard time understanding all this stuff…)

    • I’m tempted to buy some row cover recommended by a fellow raised bed gardener – at least for next year. I really want this broccoli!! Speaking of kale, I picked some up from a local farm (I’m not growing anything this year) and we turned it into frozen kale pucks for soups this winter. Is it silly that such a simple task made me feel very content inside? Fingers crossed yours recover for fall and helps fill up your newly cleaned deep freeze!!

      You’ve definitely been more active. I can’t bring myself to do much of anything during the day this week!

      I hope your bread turns out wonderfully!! I don’t know enough to be a snob about a “true” sourdough or not. I’m just always so excited when I bake a loaf and everyone eats it!!! 😉

      Hope you have a good week, Marian!! Hope you’re all staying safe and well!!

  • “The universe is in cahoots with our kids against screen limits.” I have to agree with you, it would seem that way. Glad Violet is okay, poor kid.

    What I am –ing? I’ve made vanilla ice cream with the Kitchen-Aid mixer attachment AND I’ve made enchiladas using refried beans and enchilada sauce I made at home [not store bought]. I continue to try new recipes just for the heck of it. Both of these were delicious.

    I found an old copy of The Code of the Woosters by P. G. Wodehouse and am rereading it for the first time in probably 20 years. It’s a delight of absurdity and wordplay.

    Other than that, we’re not doing much of anything. Too hot outside, too germ-y to go anywhere inside. What a summer…

    • Ooooh!!! Homemade ice cream AND enchilada sauce. What a treat!

      I never heard of P.G. Wodehouse until just recently. And now I keep hearing about it. I may take it as a sign to find a copy and read it!!

      We’re under a heat advisory today so a stack of books and Catan and some art supplies are going to be in use. Kids and universe cahooting or not I’m *trying* to rein in the screen time!

  • I’m loving reading about you loving that little corner in your yard! It’s a fun outdoor exercise for both your body and soul. I hear it in your words!

    “The universe is in cahoots with our kids against screen limits.” And yet you are still on the stubborn end to rein them in… Certainly gave me a good chuckle at the humor of that, but not funny about a broken bone, even if just a toe. Toes are important, too!

    -ing : Sewing idea was sent to my mental canning as too many other projects are coming to the front of my priority of projects. I use a three ring notebook too! This is an easy way for me to write out, sketch or draw my ideas, snip pictures from magazines, collect estimates on costs and list resources. Then I can easily prioritize them by manually shuffling, sending more important, actually in need (or some more of value to me) projects to the front of my binder. And those that get pushed towards the back of my project binder… well those get canned! Keeps me from that annoying ping pong chatter in my mind because one person just can’t do it all 🙂 tho it’s fun to daydream the project binder, isn’t it?

    -ing : Reading The Long Call (introducing Detective MV) by Ann Cleeves. I was exactly halfway way when the move started and all energy went to that effort. 2 month none reading books. Yes, here too we are experiencing emergency broadcast for the next extreme heat, 5 degrees higher the normal temps. Expecting 7-10 days. So using morning, after the misquotes, to do outdoor yard endeavors and retreating inside by 11:00. Good to read, great timing with my projects and need to rest my overworked body!

    -ing : Taking photos of the trees, good plants and invasive plants. Extremely fun! Researching names, which are invasive for eliminating. Also fun! And revitalizing the grass yard. Hired a different mower person who will come weekly and is doing a technique of recycling the grass adding nitrogen back into the grass and eliminating clover and undesirable Johnson grass as to grow desirable St Augustine grass.

    -ing : Getting contractor estimates for patio covering leak which is causing exterior wood rot leaking inside 3 times in 4 weeks into bedroom. Three different contractor’s estimates lead to three very different proposals.
    -ing : thinking lots and lots about that!

    ing : Wearing mask, practicing social distancing, and definitely hearing increase, so many more sirens to the hospital two blocks away and halo flights yesterday! I thought there must have been a major traffic accident, but it’s COVID19. 19 died in my county yesterday. We are at 400 new cases yesterday, 300 the days before. I am here to verify what you are hearing about Texas COVID19 is real. (unfortunately)

    • Oh, TD!! Sending prayers for continued health and safety as that goes on around you. I’m sorry to hear it but it sounds as if you are keeping busy settling into your cottage and taking care of your home and yard with a balanced schedule of work and leisure!

      I’m glad to know I’m not the only one with a binder! Great minds!!

  • Summer DOES feel never ending. Or is that neverending? I never know. Or is that neverknow? Also, I want to read that book, How to be a Conscious Eater. I have been on this clean-ish eating kick this summer and it has been quite enlightening.
    I tried to get into That 70’s Show and just didn’t get into it. Anna loved it too and I usually love what she loves (and what YOU love too) and it just didn’t vibe with me. AND I WAS A 70’s kid! Go figure….
    Poor Violet, this summer is hard enough as it is. And it is so hot down here in northern Illinois, I thought it wouldn’t be bad up by you guys.
    We went to the most beautiful park in Milwaukee the other day and it was a respite from the heat because of the trees. Then had THE BEST burger, fries and custard ever. And it wasn’t Culver’s (which is overrated). I’ll whisper you the name and maybe you can make a field trip this summer when the boot comes off.

    • Culver’s was never my favorite. I’m actually a bit of a snob about it because I worked at a frozen custard stand in Kewaunee for two years. It was my first “real” job. But yes, please do whisper the name. We have family over there so that would be a very fun field trip!!

  • Hi Kate,
    I am so sorry about Violet’s foot. I had to wear a boot a few summers back, and it was no fun at all! And you’re right about how small things now feel bigger when our daily worlds are so much smaller.

    I finished The Guest Book and have the same response to it. It was a bit too didactic for me, and I just didn’t like Evie much (or Kitty or Ogden or Evelyn or even, in the end, Joan–although their chapters were much more interesting and compelling than Evie’s). I do wish I’d understood, much earlier in my life than I did, class divisions and how they function. I suppose I can appreciate that. I had a thought in reaction to this that I had in response to Downtown Abbey: Women in the upper classes, in some ways, have less freedom than those in the lower. EXCEPT: That’s a construct. That’s true if they want to remain in their class, which is, still, ultimately, a choice. They almost always have more choices about the things that really matter (food, clothing, shelter, physical safety).

    Feeling more than a bit peevish about choices and the ruling class as I look ahead to the fall and cannot shut off the cacophony of bull$h!t about schools reopening. The summer does not feel endless to me. It is flying by far too quickly, and I’m dreading September.

    In terms of doing, I’ve been working this week on re-doing my laundry room. The washer started to give out right when everything went on shutdown. I was able to get a temporary fix, but in recent weeks the death-cry noise started up again, so I knew I had to get a new one. The old washer/dryer set didn’t work well in the space–too big–and the room really needed paint and a redesign (for function), so that’s been taking up most of my time. Not the most exciting project in the world, but satisfying to see a need, be able to respond to it, and see concrete results.

    Hoping you get a break from the heat. Still hasn’t really felt like summer weather has started here. (I’m not complaining! About that, anyway…) Take care–

    • Didactic is the perfect word!! Thank you. The only character I truly liked was Reg. And your conversation on choice both here and in your comments elsewhere (that Kerry Washington line was one of my favorites in the show), have me thinking deeply.

      I can see how summer would feel short for you. I know this a time of year you usually relish, but with all the news (and bullshit) going on – especially in regards to schools reopening – I can imagine it’s frustrating and difficult. I still haven’t made the decision about whether I’m going to send my children when schools reopen this fall. They desperately want to go and I want to let them but I also feel like having the choice (there’s that word again) to have them home, I’d be silly (and maybe even irresponsible?) not to take it. I appreciate that we’re being honest about what role school plays in our society (and how it’s less about education than social services) but I wish we’d take the next critical step and ADDRESS those issues and the why. (Preaching to the choir, I know.)

      I hope your laundry room project goes smoothly. I love when you can combine a *have to fix* with a functional improvement. And I hope you get to enjoy some lazy, run-all-together days this summer despite everything. ❤️

      • I can’t speak for schools in your area, but if I still had school-age children and a choice, I’d keep mine home (at least initially). And that’s entirely about physical safety. Realistically, we aren’t going to have what we need to practice safe social distancing (according to, you know, SCIENCE). In my state, students won’t be required to wear masks, so we can start with that and then move on to space requirements, which none of our buildings can accommodate. We’re planning to use temperature as a screening, but we’re also learning that many people who are infected don’t have an elevated temperature. This virus is scary and it seems that it might have long-term health impacts even for those who have light symptoms. Kids will pass it, and they will take it home with them. My concern is about your safety as much as theirs.