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The Once-A-Year Diary
8:38 p.m. - 2019-06-29

Lots going on here this year. We are doing lots of house fixes like roof patches, main drain redone, house painted, new fence, new paving, etc. I find all this pretty stressful but usually like the end result. I have been in a sewing mood for about a year now though I did get the knitting machine going and made a few sweaters. I had drafted some patterns for myself using the SureFit Design system (which I love) and started making myself lots of shirts and blouses. Right now I have drafted a placket-front version with several different collar variations and have two or three of those cut out and ready to sew.

We had a long and cool rainy spring so getting the garden started was very late. My poor plant starts were getting spindly and yellow, but the weather finally warmed up and the garden got dug. The poor sickly plants have turned green and vigorous and so far I have harvested some cucumbers, raspberries, apricots, and blackberries. It is almost time for the plums to be ripe and there should be enough to make jam and take pounds and pounds to the Food Bank. After that will be the apples and applesauce making. I've already made the pickle relish for next year.

A few weeks ago our clothesline decided to collapse, and it was really hard to find a new one to buy. I didn't really want to buy one online because you never can tell if the quality will be good and they are pretty pricey. Since the very next week our geriatric dryer decided to stop working, we were desperate to get some way to dry the clothes. We decided to try some more rural stores and drove upstate to Paradise. We took lots of books to donate to a library near there and found a hardware store in town that had survived the fire. And lo, they had some clotheslines. Back at home, we discovered that the new clothesline fit right on the post we already had cemented into the ground, so all the spouse had to do was hacksaw about two feet off the center section of the new one and slide it onto the ground post. The spouse was pretty happy about not having to dig up the old post with its clump of cement, dig out a hole, put in the new post and mix new cement.

The neighbors in back of us decided to move their enormous above-ground pool very near the back fence, and since the fence is only a cyclone fence, we can see and hear them splashing and playing in the pool. This is very nice, since the sound of happy children playing in the pool is so cheerful. I was a little worried about the dad draining the pool and its chemicals into the yard and contaminating my vegetables and fruits, so I got up my nerve and asked him about it, but he attaches a hose to the pool and runs it out to his front yard and drains it into the street, so that's all good. Their repulsive dog who used to hurl himself at the fence trying to kill us seems to have calmed down some, or they have learned to keep him mostly in the house, so things are better on that front too.

So I seem to spend my days waiting for the new dryer to arrive, sewing, gardening, putting up food, and watching youtube.

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