Sunday, March 29, 2020

a helpful hack and assorted other mumbles

in which our plucky heroine manages to finally accomplish a thing...

Quite a few months ago, I saw a blog post about turning an Ikea Raskog cart and their tabletop ironing board into a clever mobile ironing station. Seemed like a good idea to me at the time, since I already had the cart, (used as a nightstand in the small bedroom) and it would still be useable in that mode with an ironing board topper. A weekend trip to Ikea and the ironing board was in hand. I did try it out in position atop a cart before purchase, to make sure that I liked the height, which is actually better for our short plucky heroine than my full size ironing board). But until this week, the various parts languished here, awaiting some effort on my part to turn them into a Useful Addition to the Homeplace:

It occurred to me last week that this idea would also make a dandy printer cart. In the past I didn't use the computer printer much, it being eversomuch more spendy than xerox... but since running out to the local copy store is now a non-starter, and there will be occasional things I need to print out (like those tax forms which are delayed but still due eventually) So, I gradually sussed out how best to make this happen...

I didn't have any of the suggested 2x dimensional lumber to cut for use to support the tabletop ironing board when attaching it to the cart, so instead I cut smaller pieces of wood and glued them together in layers to create two supports the right size. This worked well, the smaller lumber being easier to cut with a hand saw. I do own a circular saw, but have never used it, and these are not the best of times to try using an unfamiliar power tool. Two glue laminated chunks were fitted into the uppermost basket of the cart, and attached with screws and washers through the metal mesh bottom.

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Wanted to make certain of a solid connection between the cart, the internal supports, and the tabletop ironing board (not shown here) which also has a mesh internal structure. Fortunately, I have a robust collection of random hardware, and was able to find some suitable washers. Very glad that my ongoing declutter did not extend to my boxes and jars of hardware bits! I'm sure that there are more elegant ways to do such things, but IMHO, especially in these times, done is better than perfect!

a current view of the corner of the living room, now rededicated as the "Acorn Cottage Pandemic Command Bunker Headquarters" ... laptop, phone, chargers, and the new printer cart. Rest of dining table is taken up with the slanted drawing board. This is okay, because my reaction to stress is to not want to eat. I've a view out across the front yard, where I can see the pink violets just starting to blossom, and the yellow forsythia in the parking strip, and far above the houses across the street, there is one tiny niche* where I can see the western sky...
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Day 16 of my isolation. I have been trying to be less obsessive about checking in online about the pandemic situation. I am going to move my big calendar to a more visible spot, to help me notice what day it is. This week I have managed to do at least one Useful Thing each day, or a part of a Useful thing. Nowhere near my usual productive self, but better than the first week of isolation.

I have been trying to get out and walk every day that it isn't bitterly cold and raw with rain. Walking around the neighborhood without a destination is a little boring, which I am attempting to combat by seeking out interesting things to photograph. While most pedestrians seem like they are trying to keep their distance, I am getting a bit angry at the joggers/runners, who invariably ignore distance and seem to think that because they are moving fast, that it doesn't matter if they zoom past Right Next To You. I can avoid the ones I can see in front of me, but the ones that sneak up behind without even a word of warning!!

I am terribly worried about my Aged Parents in this pandemic. My siblings and I tried everything to get my father to stay home and shop online, or some other grocery option, but without success, and he went out to the grocery store and the drug store yesterday. Now I am terrified that he may have been exposed to COVID, despite what precautions are being taken by the stores. Nothing I can do about it, which leaves me feeling terribly helpless. Today I found out that my Aged Aunt has also been out grocery shopping several times, as well as to the hardware store for light bulbs, etc...

This afternoon I was sitting at my dining table with the laptop, looking out the window at the dark clouds to the west, and the forsythia dashing about in the wind. I had the computer turned to FB, where Richard Thompson, in my opinion a World Treasure of a musician, was live-broadcasting a concert from the couch in his home, via his FB channel. I had always wanted to see him in concert, but never imagined it would be in a situation like this. There were over 12K people watching from all over the world. When the concert began I started crying. The generosity of artists in this crisis has me in awe.
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beauty in the time of isolation:
I thought this little mushroom was fascinating, less than 1" tall, growing inside my indoor worm bin, where worms eat my produce scraps and live thier lives amidst shreds of damp newspaper, turning the bedding and food scraps into fertiliser for my other plants.
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March SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 candied pomelo peel back corner fenceyard waste bin
2 blood orange marmaladepantry reorganisedrecycle bin
3 cara cara marmaladecorned beef in freezer -
4 three drawings
repair dainty bag -
5 new ricebag casesfruit tree pruning x
6 printer/ironing cart peas planted
x
7 x periodontal surgery
x
8 x x x
9 x
x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - I have a goodly assortment of tools, and random supplies, and hardware, and didn't declutter everything from the house, and I have the example of my parents, who made things for the household, in various ways all while I was growing up.

* I miss having a vista with all my heart. Only one time in my life did I have that great blessing in my life, the years when I lived at Fjord's End, at the end of the Delphi Valley, and my daily view was all down the valley across the cow pastures to the hills beyond. It was a gift I never knew how important it was to me until I moved there, never having had it before in all the decades of my life, and never will again...

Friday, March 27, 2020

chitty-chitty-snow-peas

in which our plucky heroine impersonates a gardener...


So three days ago I started "chitting" snow peas, which as far as I can tell is sort of like making sprouts, but you plant them once the root has barely begun to grow, before it is longer than the seed itself, as a way to give the growing a boost. (note: I am not much of a gardener, but I know how to use Google).

The seeds are soaked in the water only for the first 6 to eight hours, according to my instructions, then they get treated like sprouts, ie, drained, rinsed twice a day and drained each time, until the roots sprout... I used to grow sprouts pretty successfully back in my hippie days
three days after their initial soaking, the now sprouting pea seeds are ready to be planted...

I have three medium size pots that I am planting, they are supposedly a super early snow pea that reaches maturity in 30 days. All I need to do now is cover the seeds with a layer of soil, and cover the pots with bird netting to foil the dastardly squirrels.
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March SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 candied pomelo peel back corner fenceyard waste bin
2 blood orange marmaladepantry reorganisedrecycle bin
3 cara cara marmaladecorned beef in freezer -
4 three drawings
repair dainty bag -
5 new ricebag casesfruit tree pruning x
6 x peas planted
x
7 x x
x
8 x x x
9 x
x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - I managed to purchase snow pea seeds earlier this year, pre-pamndemic, in the simple hope of having some of a favorite vegetable. Now I'm doubly grateful, since with only a cabbage in the fridge (thank you Gersvinda) and a few packages of frozen spinach, am running low on green veg, and am looking forward with hope to the pea seeds and shoots this spring


Thursday, March 26, 2020

a picture is worth a thousand words...

In which our plucky heroine returns to the computer keyboard...

I decided it was time for a virtual consultation with my dentist, and thought that it would be useful to send him a picture as well. Since the clinic is closed for the foreseeable future, I sent him a text message instead...

Prior to that, it seemed sensible to me to include a picture of the part of my gum that can be accessed without assistants... Turns out it is devilishly difficult to take a photo of the inside of your own mouth! Imagine our plucky heroine standing in front of a mirror, holding a pocket flashlight in one hand, and a phone camera in the other, while simultaneously trying to hold my mouth open with the hand holding the flashlight, point the flashlight at the relevant area, encourage the phone to actually focus on the surgical site, and poke the take a photo button...

... after a number of back and forth messages, so far as can be determined all is reasonably well with my surgical site. I am now allowed to eat food that is somewhat more normal as long as it is not crunchy, sharp, or excessively hard. I am quite tired of a diet that consists entirely of yoghurt, broth, rice noodles, scrambled eggs, and mooshy tuna salad sans veg.
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"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has it's beaches, it's homeland and thoughts of it's own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
But the heart has it's seasons, it's evenings and songs of it's own"

from Eyes of the World, J. Garcia / Robert C. Hunter

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March SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 candied pomelo peel back corner fenceyard waste bin
2 blood orange marmaladepantry reorganisedrecycle bin
3 cara cara marmaladecorned beef in freezer -
4 three drawings
repair dainty bag -
5 new ricebag casesfruit tree pruning x
6 x peas planted
x
7 x x
x
8 x x x
9 x
x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x


Today's gratitude - I am getting a tiny bit better each day at coping, my body is doing it's best to heal from the periodontal surgery, and this week I have been managing to get at least one thing done each day beyond basic maintenance of self and house.