I love the Organic Roots Koroneiki olive oil—which is more robust than the other two choices.
I order the Koroneiki in the gallon size—and it usually takes me a year to go through a gallon as I mostly just use it for dressing my salads. However, I have tried it recently on roasted veggies, and it really shines there as well. I am cautious about heating olive oil with high heat though, as it fractures easily, which is not a good thing for the body as fracturing produces tiny, tiny shards. So I never sauté with olive oil, preferring the sturdier meat fats instead.
Covid stopped olive oil competitions in the past few years, so it is really nice to see how well Organic Roots is doing this year with resumed competitions.
Organic Roots is a family-owned organic oil producer in Northern California.
It was a really busy week that included walks alone and with friends, some coffee visits here, and lots and lots of outdoor tasks, to include mowing yesterday to get ahead of the much-needed rain today.
Along the way I got the Churn Dash quilt on and off the longarm—and made and installed its cheerful red binding (also Cotton+Steel from my dwindling stash. This quilt is so cute! And I really like the secondary patterns that form.
Today’s rainy day will be spent sewing the two knit garments I have had cut out for TWO YEARS—a top and a dress. Then I’ll move the serger and set up the Bernina (my first real sewing machine bought in the late 1990s) so my 12-year old granddaughter who will be coming in late June can try it out. This granddaughter is SEWING.
For now I’ve put away all the ”doggie” things in the house, including the big crate in the kitchen. I’ve taken the old chewed dog beds to the dump. And the house seems so quiet, and there are now so suddenly so many empty spaces.
I am working hard to create new daily patterns.
Well, maybe they are the same, just without ”that dog!”
I’ve blown off and swept the back deck—so it is ready to be washed down for the summer season. I just want it to get warmer before I drag out the hose and go to scrubbing. It’s 50’s and 60’s here. And rainy off and on.
I’ve weed whacked, mowed, and done a little weeding OUTSIDE—which felt good.
And somewhere in the past few days I put the Churn Dash quilt on the longarm. And that was a mistake—because the backing wasn’t square and needed trimming. So AFTER I had basted it, I realized it just wasn’t right. So I took the quilt (as yet unnamed) off the long arm and took out all the basting and started over—which included putting on a leader at the top to give me more room at the bottom. Yesterday the quilt went back on, and everything looks good. I got the edge and one pass done before I quit late yesterday.
I finally settled on a medium grey for the quilting—as it worked best with the front AND the back. You can just see a little at the top of the quilt—as all is now set up for another pass.
I have enough of a cheerful Cotton+Steel red blender that I’ll use for the binding—as the goal here is to use up this part of my stash.
Yesterday I made a run to Belfast—and on the way replenished my Dark Harbor coffee at Green Tree in Lincolnville Beach. I needed raw butter blocks from the Co-op. And I got some yarn to make a new red wool scarf to replace the one I’ve had some time—which I washed in early spring, and it felted. You just never know with wool in a washing machine… But, that scarf was way too short anyway. And it curled at the edges. Live and learn…
So I went into Heavenly Yarns and got some very pretty red wool that is a Maine product: Quince & Company, Osprey.
I’m just going to do the same pattern I did with an aqua wool scarf I made because I like it so much. It has seed stitches at the edges so it won’t curl—and is just a simple basket weave pattern.
This improv ”thing” is going to grow into something—a rug maybe. Basically it is using up fabric selvages and cotton yarn I had from other projects. I’ll go around the center with the cotton yarn—and them I’ll start back in some way with fabric selvages. It’s an experiment. It’s funky. I don’t really care… It’s just…something.
That’s my Dew Drop cold diffuser next to the yarn. It could take ”doggie” smells out of the downstairs in nothing flat.
I knitted the center, as I’ve done with selvage placemats—but had to resort to crochet when the piece got bigger. Maybe it will wind up being one block that gets sewn to others. It takes a long time to make the selvage center as it requires…selvages. And I’ve been using up stash fabrics for months now.
Speaking of the Cotton+Steel stash project, I think the big Bear Paw blocks will use up the remaining 3-inch strips that I cut. And I have enough of the ”Dotty” neutral for the sashing.
Today is very foggy and cool.
I’ll get out for a walk—maybe with my ear phones and my Audible book.
OUTSIDE is good, you know.
And then I’ll grill a steak for lunch/dinner and work on the longarm.
Here’s one of my favorite pictures of my sweet boy—who is asking me to ”go,” to play.
I had to put AC down yesterday—and I thought you’d like to know.
In a nutshell, the resident Lyme he had flared badly over the weekend, so I took him to the Camden Animal Hospital first thing Monday morning. They dehydrated him and got him on all the strong Lyme meds, but then his back legs totally went limp on Tuesday afternoon. He couldn’t walk. Or, pee without his back legs. I held him in my arms all Tuesday afternoon and all that night. He wouldn’t eat anything.
So, more x-rays yesterday morning, Wednesday, showed he had something, some injury maybe, in vertebrae on his spine that, together with his Lyme, rendered his legs useless—a possible combo of Lyme nerve damage and possible injury.
An operation in Portland may or may not have helped—meanwhile he was on the heavy-duty Lyme meds. Plus, he already had all the food issues from a reaction to his 1-year rabies booster, so that I cooked his fish and veggie food, which was the only food he could eat without allergic reactions. How would I feed him, assuming he would even eat, while he was in a hospital in Portland? How would I manage a 40-pound dog whose back legs were not working?
I just couldn’t see a clear way that could help him and that I could manage. It just felt like the kindest thing I could do for him to put him down. AC was a hard charging, high-energy dog—even if I could have worked out all the logistics and the meds worked and the operation worked, he would have hated having to be sedentary, quiet, docile for the rest of his life. That just was not, at all, who he was.
I was totally exhausted yesterday. I got a good night’s sleep last night, so feeling less tired this morning. And I am beginning to catch up with things that were on hold for the last 4 days. But I am going gently, too. Everything will wait.
I loved AC so much. He was my forever, forever dog. He brought so much life, and joy, and sweetness into my life—in countless ways. He was the smartest dog I’ve ever had. His vocabulary was huge. He had just turned 4 and up to 4 days ago, seemed healthy and happy.
Now I will take a dog break for some time and regroup. I’ve never been alone for the last 20 years as I’ve always had dog companions. So it will be good to take some time to see how it is to live without a dog when one is alone. Pros and Cons, for sure. But I want some good time to fully grieve a companion who had such a hold on my heart and my time, who brought me such life-giving gifts. AC can never be replaced. Not easily. Maybe not ever.
It all just happened so quickly…
But life is like that some times, isn’t it? Change can come in the bat of an eyelid.
There are lessons to be learned from AC’s life. I will spend some time contemplating those lessons. Some include that it is important to get outside every day, that is is important to be happy, that it is important to play often each day, that it is important to feel joy from the small moments we are given every day where joy can be present if recognized as such.
I’ll start with those.
Water, for AC, was a never ending…joy to be experienced.
On Saturday I made a quick trip to our local Home Depot for a dedicated cord for the leaf blower.
The back deck needs to be blown off and scrubbed. So I also got a stiff, rectangular ”push” broom to help with cleaning off the green ”stuff” that grows in the winter on the shadiest parts of that deck. Clorox is required for that job. And I thought that if we had a harder rain, I’d use the already wet deck to make this job easier.
With those items in the cart, on a whim I decided to see if there were any reasonable geraniums or petunias I could use—which could save me a trip to my favorite nursery, which is 30 minutes away. I saved my hanging basket from last year with the thought I could reuse it.
I walked by a big display of a pink and white-striped petunias called ”Amore,” which were planted in bigger pots.
Hello! Amore was incredibly FRAGRANT.
I LOVE fragrant petunias in a hanging basket.
Amore came home with me—and I planted it right away—and hung it on the upper porch where I like to have a hanging basket.
I saved about $20, and I can see it from where I sit at the dining room table. Win-Win.
So now I’m happy and the very hungry hummingbirds are happy as they like to have a hanging basket near their feeder It makes them feel safer I think.
I still need the geraniums though. And a few other plants as well.
My daffodils have been awesome this year. And some are still blooming strongly. The cool of spring helps. We’ve had a few warm days (low 70s), but we have rain and cooler temps coming in, so maybe the daffs will hang out a bit longer.
The daffodils are the first of the garden plants to come inside each year. Here’s a bouquet on my dining table.
And a bouquet in the kitchen window—alongside some white violets that are blooming all over the place in the garden. Some of my daffs are so ”fluffy” they look like little peonies.
I finished the Cotton+Steel/Ruby Star Society Churn Dash blocks for this very, very scrappy but fun quilt top. I’ve started sewing the rows together. I like the secondary patterns that emerge when one buts up the blocks together. I can re-iron one set of seams (the sides) between blocks, but not another set (top to bottom)—which means I’ll have to snip and bend those seams to get them flatter. This is the 8th quilt from this winter project.
I have a small pile of fabrics that might be big enough for a pieced backing—and a cheerful red I can use for the binding.
This whole project has decimated the C+S stash, but has also produced a lot of cut blocks in various sizes that also need to be made into quilt tops.
It is the nature of quilting, and it is all good.
Until, it isn’t.
One can go crazy with using up all the tiny scraps. I’m doing a better job of setting reasonable boundaries of where the crazy vs. sane boundaries are. For me, anyway.
More than just about anything, AC Slater loves to go to a field where he can chase his ball—which I throw with a Chuck-it thrower. His ball is red and made of rubber—so when it is thrown, it has the most satisfying bounces, which are made even greater and for longer throws when the ground is frozen or the grass has been mowed.
AC Slater also loves water—though he never gets away from the edge of a pond. He feels safe with his back feet firmly grounded. So, his ”swimming” takes the form of sloshing and wallowing.
He loves this little pond on a neighbor’s property. So, when he gets hot from chasing his ball, we go down to the pond so he can take a rest and cool off.
Right now, the big bull frog tadpoles are on the edge of the pond, and when he appears, they run into deeper water—which makes AC hunt for them. He can follow their initial movement, but does not seem to see them when they get into deeper water.
He runs the edges of the pond first, where he often causes the frogs that already exist on the edges to dive away from him.
The other day there were two other visitors to this field. As we talked, AC chased his ball off and on. When I was busy visiting, he took his ball down to the pond and, yes, put it in the water—where it quickly drifted away from the edge.
AC tried everything to get to the ball, including running around to the other side of the pond to see if he could get to it from there.
I thought he might be tempted to swim out to the ball.
We eventually went home, leaving the ball in the middle of the pond.
The next day we went back—with me carrying a long crab net. I thought that maybe the wind had blown the ball to the edges of the pond somewhere where I might be able to reach it.
And while I walked the near side of the pond, AC ran to the other side to chase the big tadpoles. And when I walked over there, the red ball was at the edge of the water. He had already retrieved it from the edge and had dropped it on the ground right at the edge of the water.
So I scooped it up, and that was that!
It was the end to this episode of the red ball getting into water. There have been several such episodes—and to date, no permanently lost ball.
I broke the needle threader on my Janome 8900 months ago. We won’t discuss what stupidity occurred to make that happen.
I lived without the threader until suddenly I had a tiny, tiny little loop on the bobbin side of my seams about every 20 stitches.
A quilty friend here told me she had taken her machine over to Mystic Maine Quilts, where the technician fixed it while she waited. MMQ is an authorized Janome dealer.
So I called last Friday—and was told I could bring the machine in Saturday morning by 10 am and wait with it if I liked.
Off I went Saturday morning.
Kevin McMurray is the technician—and he is awesome. In addition to his fixing the machine, we had a nice visit where I learned a lot about my machine.
Kevin had a whole box of Janome 8900 parts. He had a needle threader. He had a new bobbin case (mine was scarred, which probably happened when I broke the needle threader). He had the widget that sits on the rod where the bobbin is threaded.
He cleaned my machine. He rehooked a tiny, tiny spring that had come loose way down on the inside. AND with the repairs and the cleaning, the bill was under $100.
I came home with a machine that is now quieter and is running so smoothly.
MMQ is in Chelsea, Maine, which sits on route 9 between Augusta and Gardner. From Camden, I go out on 17, turn left on route 9 when 17 ends in a ”T,” and go about a mile or so to the shop, which is on the right.
Kevin works two days a week, and it is my understanding that you can make an appointment with him and wait while he fixes your machine.
And for me, it is cleaning/laundry day. But when that is done, AC doggie and I will definitely get out into the woods. And, there will be late afternoon sewing. There are only 10 more blocks to make for the Churn Dash quilt on the design wall.
When Betsy Maislen was here some weeks back, a journey made to pick up a used sewing machine she purchased from a quilty friend here. She spent a few days with me. And there was some sewing, of course, as she tried out her new machine and began to get familar with it.
While she was here, my Simply Moderne magazine, No 28, arrived.
The cover showed a quilt designed by Wendy Sheppard and Darlene Szabo, ”Love Letters.”
Betsy fell in love with this quilt.
When she went home, she made it—and pretty quickly too.
Here’s Betsy’s ”Love Letters” quilt.
Betsy did an AWESOME job.
The quilt is meant to be a gift, so someone is going to be happy.
She is still in love with her new-to-her sewing machine.
*You can order the pattern if you like it from Simply Moderne magazine.