Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Daily Life

Outside my window the rain drips down, fine and steady. After several weeks of sunny skies and warming temperatures, the earth drinks in the much needed moisture. I sit on the couch, a mug of Yorkshire Gold tea beside me, and am curiously content to listen to the quiet patter of rain on the roof. 

My morning tour of the garden consisted of looking out the window and taking photos from the open door. The vegetable garden is coming along nicely. Those tall stalks of kale will soon be uprooted as they have provided us with greens most of the winter and are going to seed. I'm reluctant to part with them just yet, for the leaves are tender and sweet. 

A kale salad can be a tiresome thing to eat. I find that cutting the leaves finely, after removing the ribs, then adding a glug of olive oil and some coarse salt, followed by a gentle but thorough massage tenderizes the kale and makes it pleasant to eat. I've been adding apple chunks, sliced radishes, sweet red peppers, and sunflower seeds to the greens. The whole is tossed with a squeeze of lemon juice or a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar. For an added flourish, I add some blue cheese crumbles. The leftovers are equally delicious the next day for my solitary lunch. 

Another view of the garden from the house. Still lots of work to do out there. 

This morning I baked granola. Tim eats it for breakfast almost every morning, with yogurt and berries. It's very plain, just large flake oats, sliced almonds, and cinnamon all mixed with honey and melted butter, then baked and stirred every 10 minutes in the oven. The house smells wonderful, and combined with the rainy day, I'm feeling very content. 

Yesterday we had our house treated for carpenter ants so I needed to be away for 6 hours. The school said I could hang out there, so I packed up my stuff and off I went. I worked in a room alone, but managed a face to face chat (at a good distance) with several people during the day. It struck me how much more satisfactory it is to visit in person rather than via digital means. I also managed to finish my student reports. Hooray!

My piece of embroidery is coming along well. I read this article in the Atlantic that relates how many of us are taking up needles of various sorts these days as women have done for centuries. One friend I know (Pondside, who no longer blogs, but is on Instagram) signed a piece of needlework with her initials and "2020 in the time of Covid". A good memento of this time. 

Now I'm off to mark a few assignments that have come in, and prepare for two virtual "Meets" with my classes. What are your plans for the day?


  1. Your garden is coming along nicely. Pretty pots of tulips. The granola looks yummy. And your needlework is very springlike. Love the blue flowers. A great memento of these isolation times.

    I'm working on some blog posts, doing a little bit of rake up of old leaves in the garden, waiting for them to dry before putting into paper bags for composting. Enjoying my potted tulips and daffodils now sitting out in the spring air and sunshine.

    Wishing you a beautiful day...
    Brenda xox

  2. I read that article in The Atlantic earlier and I read somewhere else that repetitive left to right crafts like weaving, latch hook etc.
    actually had a calming effect on the brain. That embroidery is so pretty. I used to love to do embroidery when I was a girl. The rain is perfect. I planted nasturtium seeds in boxes on the balcony railing yesterday. I can't wait for germination. Today is blog writing and laundry day. Do you have free Hoopla from your public library? It is an alternative to Netflix and audio books. We can have 8 borrows in a month. I started watching a Welsh series last night so I might watch a bit of that. Your granola looks tasty. I get a produce delivery today so I'll probably roast vegetables. Enjoy your day!

  3. Nice you have some green and growing things- can't wait until we do!I love to sew and as soon as the new place is in a little better order that is what I will be doing!
    i wondered what happened to Pondside. Glad she is on IG and will look for her now.
    Have a wonderful day- xo Diana

  4. So good to hear about Pondside, I miss her.
    Your garden looks in very good order. I cannot cope with Kale at all so it isnt something I would grow. The rain will be welcome after a dry spell.

  5. Your garden is coming along so well. It is such a satisfying feeling eating things that you have grown. The granola looks so tasty, it is something that I make occasionally but I add dried fruit and coconut to mine. Your embroidery is very pretty, nice to have a project on the go.

  6. Your granola sounds very tasty and I bet the house smells amazing!
    The rain is so calming...the pitter patter is just so soothing.
    Thankful for the rain as our garden is so dry despite daily hand watering...lots going on in our garden too! It is a great time to be a gardener, always something to do out there and when we work with our hands it feels like a form of meditation.

    I am doing some indoor jobs this morning, vacuuming, laundry and baking for the grandchildren.

  7. It is intriguing how many of us are now going back to basic activities: sewing, knitting, etc that were the norm a few years ago. I’m sure much pleasure is being gained and maybe we will all change our habits after lockdown. Hadn’t thought to make there’s a good idea :). B x

  8. Your garden is looking great! I have been doing more baking.

  9. The sound of rain is so refreshing, add to that the fresh smell of rain. We are to get rain over the next couple of days and I welcome that. I have been working outside to get my yard ready for the spring/summer season.

  10. You have such a lovely garden.

    I’m missing my friends so much! I agree that face to face conversation is so much nicer than on tech.

  11. Lorrie - we worked in the garden today, applying fertilizer to the trees and shrubs. We also resurrected our "deer fence" and some other odds and ends. We are due for some rain, maybe even a thunderstorm, in the next couple of days. I think that will really kick start our growing season! My husband also makes home-made granola - it is simple and with only honey as a sweetener - so much healthier than what you buy in a box! Enjoy the rest of your week!

  12. That is a good idea to sign your handwork for historical reasons. How nice that you could use the school for your "school work" and a bonus to see some faces to talk to at a distance. We got your rain here later in the day. Hope the rest of your week goes well.

  13. I was pleased to learn about Pondside, she is missed by many of us.
    The Granola sounds good and readily adaptable to anything that you might care to add, I will give it a try.
    I don't know what Carpenter Ants do in the house, but I suspect that you must be feeling relieved to be able to say 'good riddance' to them.

  14. The granola sure looks good! We seem to make a bigger deal out of all of our meals lately! We don't shop as often so we keep an inventory of our meat in the freezer and decide on our dinner in the mornings to get something out to thaw. It is a different life, not as different for those of us that have been retired for a long time....but still different. I'm glad you got to spend time at the school. That was a nice change! Stay safe!

  15. Dear Lorrie,
    I love your potted flowers. And your garden is already looking wonderful.
    Have you ever made Kale Chips? Tear washed Kale into small chunks, toss with a little olive oil and seasoned salt and bake at 300 degrees for a few minutes until crisp. Makes a very tasty and wholesome snack.

  16. Beautiful embroidery, you have a good hand with a needle.
    Thank you for the granola how to make! It will be a nice change to have oatmeal that way.

  17. I agree with you and there's nothing that quite smells so wonderful as homemade granola baking in the oven. It's worth it just to make some for that reason! My son eats it with his homemade yogurt (made in the instant pot).

  18. Your garden is looking good and I think your embroidery is just beautiful.

    All the best Jan

  19. I've found going back to cross stitching is harder than I thought it would be. I don't remember those squares being so tiny! But I would love to resume some stitching such as you are doing. Meanwhile I crochet. I've hit a sort of lack of energy this week but just heard from our governor's press conference we at risk could be home two more months. So maybe I'll get a new burst of energy.

  20. Isn't it fun to see the garden coming to life again? I've made fresh granola, baked granola cookies, cooked soup, baked breads. I is all about food these days! I've been working on Shutterfly photobooks when I'm not in the kitchen or working in the yard. I like Honora's idea of embroidering her initials and 'Covid 19' on her needlework. A good memento of this historic time.

  21. I'm wondering if one can plant baby kale? I love using that for salads! I grate carrots into it and make a lemon, orange juice, grapeseed oil and honey dressing.
    I think that if I had time (not building a house right now), I'd be working on Shutterfly albums and cooking and baking a lot more. You find so many interesting things to keep you busy.

  22. Your garden is looking great!

    I didn't know you can bake granola (I just assumed you combined all the ingredients).

  23. This is my first time on this post. LOVE your flowers that you are stitching..especially the purple star one on the right side. It looks very thick. What is this stitch called I would love to do it. I am not sure how often I will be able to come back to this I will leave my email as I would love to have you answer the stitch question. My email is I don't use my google account much so posting on the one I gave you will assure me I will be able to hear from you.Thank you Deanna


Thank you for your comment. I read and value each one, cherishing the connections we can make although far apart. Usually, I visit your blog in return, although if you ask a question I try to contact you directly.

Days Not at Home

  Last Wednesday morning we boarded a plane for The Netherlands, landing midday on Thursday, Amsterdam time. After figuring out our e-sims a...