Monday April 21, ’14


Step Stool, finis!

April 21, ‘14

The Easter, Ishtar, End of Winter celebration is now over.  Planting Season is a GO!

The sun has been shining bright since dawn here in NW CT and the air is only slightly tinged with ice.  According to the 5-day, we’re on a warming trend.  The temp at dawn was 34; my Kale and Lettuce weren’t frosted and are standing strong in the sun as we close in on Noon.  I’ve just ordered my tomato plants for Summer ’14, as well as some seeds.

If all goes well, I should be eating baby kale and lettuce within 7-10 days.  This news brings happiness to my frugal heart.  I firmly believe that growing one’s own food is akin to printing one’s own money and am looking forward to saving $$’s and food fresh from my dooryard.


I’ve finished the Step Stool except for another coat or 2 of polyurethane.  I’m relatively pleased with the final result.  I hadn’t intended making the border outlines as strong as they appear, which is somewhat on my mind.  The only way to correct the border is to sand it off, repaint and do it over.  I think I won’t do that.


I’ve picked up a few more furniture decorating jobs & a possible wall mural for this summer and am happy about these projects as well as the possible income.  More on that soon….


I had a splendid meal with my mother, 2 sisters, bro-in-law and nephew yesterday.  We ate in mom’s dining room and used the good china and table service  — a rare treat – the dining room has gone unused and the good china etc have been put away for many a year.  The dining room has seen decades of lively family parties and yesterday’s meal was one more in the long list of memorable family occasions celebrated there. 

One sister picked and cooked Nettles.  Nettles sounds like something a martyr might eat but that’s entirely not the case in my experience from yesterday.  The leaves were young and tender.  After they were steamed for a few minutes and became limp, they were surprisingly tender and tasty —  similar to Asparagus.  Another sister brought shredded Celeriac in a tasty sauce, which was also quite good.   I’ve never eaten Nettles or Celeriac before and would eat them again.   I brought Kale Slaw with pickled beets and yogurt sauce and there were 3 more veggies plus wonderful scalloped potatoes and Lamb. 

The  company was in fine form and the stories were going around.  I had something to add to a story a sister was telling – after I came back from the kitchen where I was going to start brewing coffee.  Since I was going into the kitchen, I loaded up with plates and silverware for the dishwasher, took a step toward the door and instantly fell over my mom’s dog who I hadn’t realized, was semi-under the table to be close to her master.  I crashed 3 feet across the room, hitting the left side of my head against the door frame.  My eyeglasses felt as if they’d been embedded into the left side of my left eye and into the bridge of my nose and my right knee was hurting from twisting as I fell.   

Certainly an unusual event and now another story to add to all the other stories from that room. 

I don’t have a shiner but I do have a fat nose, a medium dark bruise on the left side of my nose and a lump on my head over my left eyebrow.  My knee is still hurting but isn’t swollen, my neck and left shoulder are stiff and sore.  I’m grateful beyond words that it wasn’t worse.  I didn’t break a tooth or a bone, my glasses survived unbroken, there wasn’t even an blood….  The dog is fine and only one plate was broken.




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4 Responses to Monday April 21, ’14

  1. beetleypete says:

    That step stool looks too good to step on Gretchen!
    Thanks for a rare insight into your family life. I have never eaten nettles, though they are popular here, with vegetarians. On the other hand, celeriac is popular, and widely eaten and enjoyed. I was glad to hear that there were no lasting problems, after your fall, save your swollen nose, and painful knee. Hopefully, they will stop hurting soon..
    Best wishes from England, Pete.

    • Thanks, Pete. It was interesting to me that after a family fest I occasionally feel as battered emotionally as I felt physically after I fell and all day today with the aches and bruises. Emotionally, I feel great; I haven’t had such a good time with my family in many years. Cosmic joke?

      I made an attempt to respond to a recent post of yours, the one where you took the reader on a road trip to a town 20 or so miles from where you live. For some reason, I wasn’t able to post my comment. I wanted you to know I enjoyed it very much and tried to make pictures in my mind from my hours of watching English movies, sit-coms, things on Public TV…. While driving to my mother’s yesterday I was thinking about how I’d write about the route I take to someone who’d never seen it. And of course, saw the entire trip differently than I have before. The roads are so familiar I think I just take everything for granted. I enjoy your descriptions of things you may think mundane, makes me see my mundane existence with new eyes. Thanks!.

      The weather is getting better and better every day. When it’s warm and things are starting to grow, I’m very happy.

      Best, GG

  2. beetleypete says:

    Thanks for your kind words Gretchen. One of the things I have discovered from Blogging is that it makes you think differently about ordinary things. When I walk the dog, or drive to somewhere different, I find myself viewing the whole experience with fresh eyes too. The fact that my articles about country life, dog-walking, and local places are all the most popular posts on my blog is very pleasing to me. It suggests that my descriptive powers in writing are improving.

    Mundane is too harsh a word for what you do. It is just an ordinary life, lived to the best of your ability, and in your case, completed by artistic talent, and love of animals. It is just life, the same one we all try to live in, and get by in. I am glad that the improving weather is lifting your mood, and look forward to your blog posts about sunny days, and summer adventures.

    Best wishes as always, from one ‘ordinary’ person to another! Pete. X

  3. Oh, what a fall! I’m glad it wasn’t worse. The step stool looks wonderful, no doubt it is going to bring more jobs like that! I am still looking at snow covering much of my garden, but am beginning to see signs of hope…I’ll be able to plant soon. Happy Spring!

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