Don’t surround yourself with yourself

move on back two squares.  We watched a documentary about Bobby Fischer last night and it revealed how devastating mental illness can be.  World champion chess player ends up as a raving, psychotic, paranoid anti-semite/american who actually cheered on 9/11.  Horrible.  The soundtrack included this old song by Yes.  I could identify and sing most of the words to the song but couldn’t correctly identify the artist.  I realize this is largely due to my switch to digital media and this is a group whose works I only had on vinyl and then they slipped away.  To repurchase or not?  That is the question.

I am lucky enough to only work one day a week and that day happens to be Monday.  So I  experience the somewhat universal “oh it’s Sunday and I have to get ready for work tomorrow” but by Monday evening it’s Friday and the weekend begins! I think I may be living the theory of relativity, time dilation or the Lorentz-Fitzgerald contraction.  My week’s relative length may change.  Does it pass more quickly or more slowly?  Am I aging more quickly, like the brother who is left on the ground, while his brother circles the earth (or more slowly)?  Or do I just have too much time on my hands?

Move on back two squares.


Everything around me has meaning or memories.  That’s why I keep them.  China in the cabinet is from my aunts, grandparents and parents.  Although I don’t use the pieces often (mostly because I have inadvertently  juggled stemware while washing), I can remember using them when we were younger.  When I became single again as an adult, I chose to use my heirloom silver forks, knives etc., daily, and continue to do so.  Better than keeping them in a box stored away where they have to be polished before use on special occasions.

I have feathers and rocks, which used to be organized by where I collected them.  There were  Pacific and Atlantic collections.  Somehow over the years, and endless moves, they’ve become jumbled together into a couple of baskets but they still remind me of where I was when I found them.  I think I can still tell them apart if I had to.

Most of the handknit items I made for myself have distinct memories.  I have the Pi shawl,  started when I was near death in the Grand Canyon (well I felt like it anyway) and finished while we were living on our sailboat. I can still remember getting anchor mud on it when I went back to knitting it after I acted as a windlass and hauled the anchor off a muddy bottom.  I have at least two pair of socks, knit while caretaking Seguin Island in different seasons.  And a summer top and tee shirt as well.

Deal Island produced a cowl, headband, socks, vest, stuffed penguin and socks. Many of these items were knit from yarn I spun through the generosity of a fellow knitter I met in  Tasmania.

And now I have polished nails.  I traveled south to New York City last weekend for a reunion with some of my dearest friends from medical school.  We were celebrating a significant birthday for one of us and had a spa day.  I had a facial, where at least 20 creams were applied to my face in thirty minutes.  Or perhaps one cream was applied 20 times in thirty minutes.  Who could tell?  Once the first coat was applied, I had to keep my eyes closed.  I also had a manicure, which is a novelty for me.  Now I can look at my polished nails and remember good times with friends.

Hopping along

For those of you who have never needed crutches, I hope you stay that way. Whenever I meet someone who has already used them we are instantly bound by a common ground of resourcefulness. Everyone remembers how hard it is to carry a drink from one place to another. People have devised various bags and even carts to help them along. Ice is treacherous. I grow tired of being dependent so I am trying to do more and more on my own. I even went back to work yesterday for a day.

There’s an advantage to a small kitchen. I can cook by keeping a chair in the middle of the work area to rest ingredients or myself on, while I hop around using the counters on the perimeter as support. Oddly enough, I can’t clean up! So far I have tried two batches of mozzarella cheese, much easier than expected. The night nurse in the hospital shared his fascination with it and I found an easy recipe on the internet. Ingredients are simple: a gallon of milk; two teaspoons of citric acid; and a rennet tablet. You also need a thermometer and the whole process only takes about 90 minutes. Somehow both batches were eaten or used before I took a final picture, but the last step is magical. You heat and knead the lumpy mess a few times and it becomes silky, stretchy delicious mozzarella cheese. One gallon of milk makes about a softball size ball of cheese.

Mozzarella 1

Mozzarella 2

Mozzarella 2

My view from the house has improved because Tim’s project to remove the overhead wires was completed this week. The wires are down, we still have phone service and electricity and all went well. I have a video of a very cool piece of machinery yanking the pole out of the ground and may include it at some point.

Getting ready to take down the pole

Our unobstructed view of Jay Mountain today. I hope the birds don’t mind in the spring.

We continue to eat well and colorfully. A couple of days ago, I made a batch of mashed potatoes from blue potatoes from the farm. They were very an interesting shade of blue but not as creamy as the white ones.

Blue potatoes

Tonight I made a chicken pot pie entirely with farm ingredients. This is the way to eat.

Chicken pot pie

Pot pie minus one

I’m knitting and weaving and plan a big adventure tonight – I’m going to go downstairs for the first time in almost a month to be near the wood stove, my weaving and quilting. The temperature is going to go below 0 degrees F tonight and it should be cozy there. If it wasn’t for the kitchen, I might never come back upstairs.