Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thursday's Bounty

On Thursday afternoons from 3:30 to 7:30 our Madeira Farmer's Market offers up a "bounty" of wonderful fresh food and deliciously tempting treats such as Belgian Waffles and Gelato. I miss the fellows who had fresh smoothies made with a mixture of berries and soy milk. I would stop and rest on one of the benches near the fountain.

There are people selling herbs, sprouts, grasses, lavender plants and everything that could possibly be made from lavender: soap, tea, essential oils and popouri. Others sell fresh-baked breads, fresh honey and bunches of beautiful flowers.

Families stroll through with their children and dogs. A musician strums his guitar and sings.

Today, I only bought eggs and tomatoes. I had been to Trader Joe's earlier today to buy some chicken, fish and some frozen veggies. I also have been checking through my freezer and cooking "what's already there". I'm going to be going through all my cupboards to see what I have "stashed away" that I can use in my crockpot.

Tonight I will be having some chicken thighs (boneless) cooked with roasted vegetables (from Trader Joe's) in an old crockpot. Took a picture to share with you, too.

The tomatoes are a mixture of various "kinds" that were offered by a farmer who had a scale hanging from the back of his van, bags available for customers to load with tomatoes and a "set" price of $2 a pound. I bought $8 worth!

The eggs are from another farmer that I've become "loyal to". He now remembers that I like to buy eggs from him and that I don't need to sign up with him for him to sell me a couple of dozen.

Tomatoes - 4 pounds!

Two Dozen Brown Organic Eggs - $3.50 a dozen

Chicken and Roasted Vegetables in the Crockpot

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Flowers and Herbs

Sharing more flower pictures today. These were taken while Mama was "still here". I would pick small bouquets or sometimes just a blossom to share with Mama, now "Angel Lois". For a couple of months this summer, I visited Harry (first husband and father of son, Marshall) as he gained strength from health problems. I took flowers to share with him, too.

Also pictured are some herbs which grow in pots along the back of the main house. The Lemon Balm is an abundant, spreading herb. It smells "lemony" and can be used for tea or put into bathwater for a soothing soak.

Black-Eyed Susans


Lemon Balm

Thai Basil


Monday, August 23, 2010

Flower Time

Butterfly on a Butterfly Bush
"Heaven on Earth" = Flower Experience. There are a lot of flowers "around here" that "put on a good show". I'm gradually learning how to share pictures with you via download to upload. Oh my! What fun!
Deep Purple Mornng Glory
Japanese Anenome with a busy bee collecting honey!
Butterfly on Cone Flower
More Purple Morning Glory
Red Begonia
Shasta Daisies
Magnolia Blossom
Red Gladiola

Blue Morning Glory

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Much Better Now

Went out this morning to use the new faucet again. I have attached the hose to the faucet (could tighten it a bit) and turned on the water to fill up the bird baths on the porch. I haven't seen many birds using the bird baths now that I don't feed the birds every day as I did when my mother was here. The birds brought her much happiness and entertainment.

The carpet seems to be nearly dry again. The smell of wet carpet and padding is nearly gone. I still have the air freshener plugged in and blowing it's "Fresh Linen" aroma and added to "the mix" are two other "powder-scented" room fresheners.

I've kept the doors open so that fresh air can continue to blow through "The Cottage".

Yes! It's much better now!


p.s. Thanks to Deon from I figured out how to download pictures from my computer to a disk and then upload them here to my blog! Hooray!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Nice Results

Eric from Master Clean arrived before noon (a bit early) just at the same time Ann Ferguson, my mother's best friend, pulled into the front driveway. I heard voices outside, went to meet Ann and there was Eric, too.
I asked him to go on down to The Cottage and take a look at "the carpet situation" and do whatever needed doing. It was definitely more than a coupon's worth of work!

He pulled several sizes of hoses from his red truck through the breezeway, down the steps and into The Cottage. He sprayed anti-mildew/mold stuff on the padding ("A lot", he said.) He pulled a lot of water out of the padding and carpet, too. I was to stay "out of there" for a couple of hours because the fumes would be very toxic! He seemed confident that the results would be positive. I hoped for a "similar outcome". I was glad to pay him $40 more than what I had anticipated! It looked as thought we saved the carpet, the pad and saved me from dealing with the insurance company - wouldn't have been worth it with my deductible!

I relaxed for a few hours - watching Cold Comfort Farm (see my movie blog: The carpet still stayed damp throughout the day and evening - testing with my bare feet. I kept the sliding glass doors open, kept the small fan and the air conditioner fans blowing and hoped that the air fresheners would keep the odors masked.

This morning, I still could smell a "funny smell", but now at 2:40 p.m. "all is well" and smell has seemed to disappear! I cleaned the Sharper Image Ionizer and set it up to help clean our any residual odors. The carpet looks great!

As a result of this latest "household challenge", I straightened and reorganized more shelves. I feel good about making progress around here. Now it's time to get ready to go down to the studio to enjoy the company of special friends and finish my latest painting of Music Hall.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Still Drying Out

Here it is Monday! I called Master Clean carpet cleaning service this morning. I knew I had a coupon around here "somewhere", too. The scheduler had me in their computer, so that was "to the good". She asked about my having a coupon and I said I thought I had one around here "somewhere". She offered me a deal - and I could have gone to the website and printed one out, too.

Then, "lo & behold" I found one in my ValPac coupon envelope and then the mailman delivered another booklet which had another coupon! It's "Coupon City"! Oh my!

I peeled the carpet back as far as I could, pulling some out from under the small refrigerator - lifting it with one hand and pulling the carpet with the other hand. Then I put two plastic bowls, one dishpan and the "Little Green Machine" under the folded-over section. The spongy pad is still squishy and damp. I found a clap-type fan in the garage closet which I clamped onto the glass table-top and pointed toward the padding.

After washing, drying, folding towels (5 loads at least) then putting them away, I decided I was finished with my "make-do" approach. Didn't use the wet vac - should have used the wet vac! It was dirty and needed cleaning, too.

I went to Walgreen's yesterday afternoon hoping to find a box fan, any fan, to "expedite evaporation". All my fans are down at the studio now (no air conditioning there). No fans were in sight! I did buy a new Glade air freshner (with a fan) and two more Walgreen stick air fresheners. No odor now!

My concerns include mold/mildew, having to get new carpet (what for - might have another leak - who knows when), raising my insurance rate - they do that when claims are made.

Tomorrow should prove to be the end of this nonsense. Lesson learned: remember to disconnect all water hoses before winter, shut off inside valves, cover with winter styrofoam protectors - all faucets!


Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday Faucet Challenge

Broken Pipe Behind Wall (Above)
Split Pipe (Above)
Top View of New Faucet
Drying Out the Carpet (Above)
Side View of Faucet
Fan Attached to Glass Table (Above)
Didn't expect anything to "go wrong" today, but my expectations were quickly banished when I walked into "The Cottage" this morning. I usually come down to "The Cottage" which is also my home office. One room has a kitchenette and living room area combined. It is covered with light-colored, beige/grey Berber carpet. But my bare feet went "Squish, Squish, Squish" with each step I took. OMG (Oh My God)! There was a "big time leak" going on.

I "gathered myself together" and with my recent training from Edgar Gibson, I asked myself, "What are my options" as I moved toward solving the problem. The problem was a big leak from a broken outside faucet which I had neglected to turn off when there was no water running through it and the attached hose yesterday when I was trying to fill the birdbath! I didn't hear water running so I didn't do anything about it.

There is a sprinkler system that runs every other day. It has shut-off valves that I know how to hammer shut. The shut-off valves are in under big several big spruce trees. I learned to shut off the sprinkler system the other day when one of the "spiggets" wouldn't go back down - even when I smaked it with a hammer! So, now when that spigget gets stuck, out I go, under the spruce trees and smack the valve handles to OFF position.

This morning, I went back up to the main house where all the valves are located to the main house and "The Cottage". I shut off one, hammered down the next one, and could still hear something running. There are "tags" with numbers on each valve. I couldn't see the numbers. The flashlight from the kitchen drawer didn't work (dead batteries) but one of the other two that were in the garage did give me enough light to look at the tags. These tags match a framed chart of what each number represents to the plumbing system, except for one - #3 which was the one to "The Cottage" was missing. One faucet had no tag! That's when I went out to under the spruce trees!

Then, I thought I had better shut off all the air conditioning throughout the house - 2 in the main house and 1 for "The Cottage" because air conditioning uses water! (More on that topic in another blog).

I put towels down (at least 20 - all sizes and kinds) to soak up the water while being mindful of my "back situation" that kinks up when I overdo or get stressed out. I stomped on them until they were soaked through and brought them out to the porch railing and porch chairs to drip dry. I had to remove some bird droppings from the railing to keep from staining the towels, too. Later, I will bring the towels in again to sop up some more water. (Yes, I could use a wet/dry vac but that's what triggers the "back situation". Went through that last month and don't need a repeat episode).

So now here I am in a wet bathing suit in a hot office writing this. I figured if I have buckets of water (from the pool) I can flush the toilets. I took ice cubes from the freezer to melt for drinking water and I have a few gallon jugs of drinking water, too.

How to stay cool? I will be swimming several times throughout the day. I kept my cell phone nearby in case the plumber called. Did I say plumber? Yes, I did call a plumber. And, he did call back and say he could come tomorrow! Hooray!  He said that I could turn off that outside faucet and still use the rest of my water throughout the house. I'm not sure about that! I'll try it after I talk to Ed at noon.

I like to think about how well I can do in  "survival mode".  I like to "test" my ability to keep calm now, consider my options and make rational choices. I think I have time for another swim. Then I'll go into the kitchen under the twirling ceiling fan and feel chilly!