Sunday, May 24, 2020

May blessings

Ian and are both in the middle of getting the cataracts removed from our eyes, one eye down and one to go.  My right eye is scheduled for this Wednesday.  Ian's first surgery was last Monday and boy are things different in lockdown.  I was his driver and he called from the car to check in when we arrived.  A few minutes later they called back with some instructions and off he went.  He was in the building for an hour and I waited in the car on premise as they requested.

We've been talking about whether we should take advantage of all the incentives and buy a new car.  I mean, when are we going to see 1.9% interest again?  We went to the lot Thursday evening and initiated the process but our credit was frozen at Equifax so we went home to take care of that and went back the next evening.  This is what we chose, a Subaru Crosstrek.  I've driven a Forester since 2004 and also a standard transmission.  This is totally different and loaded with all kinds of technology.  It felt weird as I started to I drive it home, but by the time I finished all three miles, I was absolutely smitten.  We never did take it for a test drive.  We just bought it.

The yard is just starting to flower.  We are always the last house to bloom because of our strange micro-climate but I took my book outside and read all afternoon, listening to the water feature and the birds.  Absolutely lovely.

This last batch of sourdough got two teaspoons of instant yeast and resulted in a much more satisfactory sandwich bread.  It's different every week.

Grandpa bought Delaney her very own little Bolga basket this week to put things into and take them out of.  She has a set of ten little books and one of those is just about to go in.

She takes a bottle every morning at 9:00 which used to be formula but now is milk.  She used to lie on her back and now she is all over the place.  I know how blessed I am.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Spring has sprung

One of my knitting project is Heidi Kirrmaier's pattern Daydream in cotton.  It's wonderfully mindless knitting for those special occasions.

I'm still baking bread one day a week, experimenting with sourdough right now.  I learned last week that the reason sourdough loaves are scored before baking is to give the steam a path out, and if you don't provide that path, it will make its own.  This week I'm going to try adding some instant yeast to see if that would make a less dense loaf.  The flavor is terrific.

I'm still making masks.  The ten on the left are for High Desert Museum and on the ten on the right are for staff nurses at St Mary's Hospital in Reno.  I have ten more to go for them.

I cut out the pieces this morning and then took a break.  It really gets to my back.

I worked on them off and on this afternoon and happily am close to being able to stitch on the ties.

Yard work is on the front of my mind these days.  I went plant shopping with two of my neighbors yesterday.  Clover wanted to introduce us to her favorite nursery, Landsystems, now my favorite nursery.  It was such a lift to get out and drool over the plants.  I came home with 11 plants in gallon pots and I planted every one of them.  It was a cool breezy day with rain forecast for today.  It came, my plants are smiling and so am I.

Clover was loading her cart up with geraniums.  Initially I wasn't interested because growing up in San Diego, they were the plant du jour - common!!  She said that deer don't eat them so she's buying them for her front porch. Times have changed and the varieties are staggering.  Clover asked me to pick one out for myself because she wanted to buy it for me, in gratitude for the hot tub.  I sure didn't expect that, and I chose this one with leaves so intricate they look like silk flowers.
We're still baby sitting, which is the best part of my week!

For Mother's Day we had the kids over for sub sandwiches and Corn Hole.  We haven't gotten together often but when we do, we don't wear gloves and masks.  In the back of all our minds was the knowledge that son Josh was scheduled for major surgery the next morning for extensive repair of scar tissue in his small intestine.  He said that the first 24 hours after surgery were the most painful in his life.

They finally got him stabilized and he was able to go home on Friday.  This situation is a fallout of a birth defect called Meckel's Diverticulum, that first surfaced when he was 12, 36 years ago when he had his first surgery.  Out of 20 feet of small intestine, he only has five left.  He needed surgery a month ago but had to wait until the hospital opened up again, and it was a long month - on top of all the hoopla of Covid-19.  Recovery is slow and painful but we're all relieved to have that time bomb out of his gut.

Last Friday Governor Kate Brown provided the guidelines to begin the opening up of Oregon.  Suddenly Downtown is filled with people again.  I've heard that a lot of them aren't wearing masks and it appears that visitors are returning.  I'm in no hurry to find out.  But I might need to make another trip to the nursery.

Saturday, May 09, 2020

Same old, same old.

I've been obsessed with making bread and after getting successful yeast breads, I decided to get serious about sourdough.  My starter is getting more lively by the week.

All of the sourdough recipes are focused on crusty artisan breads but I want a good useable sandwich loaf.  I tried to make two loaves today out of a King Arthur recipe that I thought was big enough to fill two pans.  Back to the drawing board.

We've learned that we live in a region of microclimates and that our yard seems to be the last one to mature and bloom.  It's the best ornamental garden I've ever had so I try to be patient, even as I see yards all around us flowering at this point.  I've come to the conclusion that it's because we live on a flag lot and are quite a distance from asphalt and sidewalks that tend to hold heat.  I am spending about an hour a day, cleaning up, clearing out and pulling unwanted grass.  I finished pulling all the dead canes from the raspberries today - hope for delicious yummies soon.

I thought I was done with medical masks when I sent that shipment of 25 off to my daughter in Reno who is trying to get masks for her staff.  And then she said she needs more. I came into mask making reluctantly, and when I finally caved and decided to put my sewing skills to work, told myself it was only temporary.

And then the High Desert Museum sent an email asking if any volunteers would be willing to make masks for their staff.  They dropped the fabric off on our front porch last Monday.  So here are the finished masks on the left and another ten cut out in green. 

Ian has been following a situation in Reno.  Our friend Tamara is the head of the nurses union at St Mary's hospital and struggling to get PPE (personal protective equipment) for the staff. Tamara was our neighbor out in Red Rock whom I consider to be a closer personal friend.  I called her to see if she could use masks.  OMG.  "If I sent you a hundred dollars, what will that get me?"  I said, Tamara, it doesn't work that way.  We'll all volunteers.  Our materials are donated.  Okay, she said - let's start with 20.  So that green fabric is the first half of that.  And here I am with cataract surgery Monday, wondering how soon I'll be able to see again to get a move on those masks.

And then there's that ray of sunshine who swells my heart.  She's very much into books this month.