Miscellaneous Ramblings & Updates

Today, I thought I would provide some updates to recent topics on which I’ve written.

Celebrating Graduation Week:

Our first mini celebration was a success! At dinner tonight, I presented our soon to graduate son a “swag bag.” He was confused, asking what it was for – I joyfully exclaimed that we were celebrating him! He seemed a little shocked but pleasantly surprised.  Oh, and those 2020 glasses look great on him! It worked out great because he was notified just before dinner of being named the winner of two athletic awards!

Home Fruit Orchard:

Our fruit trees are starting to open their blossoms. The cherry trees and plum trees were gorgeous today with their pink and white flowers against a bright blue sky.  Unfortunately, I was so busy I did not have a chance to take a photo of them. Tomorrow is another day.

Sewing Fabric Masks: 

Today, I passed the milestone of making 100 fabric masks. Over 80% of those have been given away to local families in need of protection. I even tweaked the pattern and started adding a metal pinchable nose piece and interfacing (as a third layer). I delivered masks to two families today and send more in the mail to a third. I am now out of elastic, having gone through 50 yards of 1/4 inch.  A friend is donating some to me when she receives it as a donation if that makes sense. In turn, I will make some masks for the Tech College for which she works.  I still owe my sister her 3rd batch. She just requested more to be sent to her in Buffalo New York where she is an administrator at a College of Nursing and Clinician at a Cancer Hospital.  I am still enjoying the masks but have also started working on a National Parks Quilt.

Making a Cafe Latte at Home:

I continue to play with making my own lattes in my kitchen, mid-morning.  It is serving as my 10 a.m. snack break.  The frother/foamer is quite touchy and the first day I used it, I ended up with about 4 inches of milk foam. BIG yuck!  I’ve gone to just heating the milk in the frother because I haven’t been brave enough yet to try to get “less” foam. It doesn’t matter because I am thoroughly enjoying my milk break (now I sound like I’m in elementary school)! But, it’s true!

Yard Projects:

I picked up my plants from my young greenhouse grower/owner friend on May 9th. I waited until the very last day to get them from him because I do not trust planting until memorial day weekend here in Wisconsin. It is really only then that we can be sure there will not be a frost.  But, I’m tired of moving them out into the sun for the day and into the protection of the garage for nighttime.  They are not in plain sight in either place, and I have forgotten to water them at least once, now. I decided that tomorrow is the day – I will get most of them in the ground!  (We checked the 10-day weather forecast and it is not supposed to be cooler than 55 at night.)  I think it is a very good bet that the plants will be fine.

I also took on another yard project. I wanted to make better use of our patio this year. We have a border of bricks that have been in place for 8-10 years.  They form a nice break between the patio and the grass. The space is filled with river rock and I have white phlox variety ‘David’, a bleeding heart, and Madame de Bouchard Clematis growing in it. Further along, past the patio, are burgundy Coral Bells and hosta, as well as my newer Wild Blue Lupine plants. It’s been tidy but over the years the bricks have heaved from heavy frosts and just need to be reset. So, I am working on removing all the river rock. It’s already been three weeks since I removed the bricks! I just keep plodding along – but it feels great to have my hands in the dirt!

Learning a Language:

When the stay at home orders were issued in March, I started learning Italian. I had a 54-day streak on Duolingo but then I missed a day. Now, I  am back to a six-day streak.  I know I have learned a lot of new words but when asked to spontaneously say something in Italian, I freeze up! If I were really sneaky, I’d just string a few words I know well and make it sound good, even if it is non-sensical. No one else here speaks it – my eldest son has returned to Iowa where he is doing his summer research. He was/is studying it with me. I miss our little daily competitions of who was ”ahead” on their respective leader board.

As you can tell, I’ve been busy. It’s odd but being “forced” to stay at home, I’ve been happier and more grounded than I was before. I have been productive and fell into a routine with the sewing (in the morning) and other hobbies. Now, I wonder why I spent a lot of my time running around. I will work to avoid that when we can move about more freely in public. I like being busy, “at home.”

What have you been up to during the last eight weeks? Let me know in the comments below!


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