Back Forty, coffee pot posts

Saturday morning coffee pot post

Ah, I am happy that it is the weekend. I woke up this morning after way too much sleep, blearily wondering what to wear to work today.

This week was a mixed bag for me. I felt a lot better on Tuesday, so I walked a lot and generally behaved like a normal person through Wednesday night, and woke up on Thursday barely able to walk. By Friday, I was fine again. I fell asleep very early last night and slept for 12, count ‘em TWELVE, hours! Sheesh! I made a doctor’s appointment for Monday. And found out that the new doctor who I liked so much has moved to Indiana. I hope that the woman who I will see on Monday was the one that Sandy saw for his gall bladder, because I liked her too.

I started seeds last Sunday, and I have a tray with many baby seedlings coming up now. That is such a kick for me! Here’s the list (tomatoes and peppers will be started soon):

Broccoli de Ciccio
Broccoli mystery mix
Mild mustard mix
Tuscan (black) kale
Red Sails lettuce
Black seeded Simpson lettuce
Red Oak lettuce
Rough d’Hiver lettuce
Buttercrunch bibb lettuce
Ruby chard
Golden chard

The only ones that I don’t see any action on is the parsley, spinach, and red oak lettuce. Parsley takes longer to germinate. The old saying is that you must curse the parsley. Spinach, for some reason, is one of those iffy vegetables for me, but the seed is old. Most of this seed is old, for that matter. I didn’t order any new seed this year!

I find myself with no fresh parsley in the garden this winter, a real bummer. Once you get used to popping out the back door whenever you like to snip some for a soup or sauce, you never want to go back to having to buy it. I think that a combination of a colder than usual January and the new bunny got it. This year I’ll freeze some in cubes like I do for basil as a back-up.

Gardening will be difficult this year if I can’t get this hip healed up. This blog may end up being about gardening for the disabled! Maybe if I can avoid squatting…

On the art front, I carved my first woodcut this week. Next week (or maybe this weekend in my studio if I can’t wait) I’ll print my first proofs. It turned out that I didn’t use any of the photos that I posted here – instead it is from a color study painting that I did of a turnip a few years ago. I’m very pleased with it and enjoyed doing it immensely.

At the used bookstore, I bought a wonderful book about art journals by Lynne Perella. Oh, how I love Ed McKay’s. Wednesday night was a particularly good night for the free shelf too. One score was an 1895 book on musical forms that was in excellent shape. My idea is to use it as an altered book, but it will be difficult to make myself cut into it and paint it. Also a good book on weaving baskets from several different Native American traditions, and a couple of novels. I am often surprised at the good stuff I can pick up for free. There are some nights when it’s all old computer books and church stuff and uninteresting old paperbacks, but when you look at it as fodder for collage, a whole world opens up.

Another place that I mine regularly for copyright free images is Ebay. I don’t buy, but I look at the books for sale and save images of interesting illustrations and pages to my hard drive. Sometimes if there are many images of a book’s pages I’ll set up a folder in my “Virtual Library” and save them to that. I did that recently with an old copy of Peter Pan and Wendy, but usually I look at woodcuts, maps, prints, and books from the 16th-19th centuries. I’m learning a lot about the history of bookbinding and illustration from just looking at Ebay!

Rule number one: no BUYING from Ebay. That would be a slippery slope indeed.

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