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Time For My Yearly Diary Entry
6:47 a.m. - 2020-06-10

So far this year has been the weirdest on record but we are hanging in there. My poor MIL is sealed into her independent living facility not allowed to go to the formerly communal meals or have visitors so she is very lonely. We keep close contact with her and talk a lot though. I have been also sealed in at home (doctor's orders) but have found lots to do. I am still on a sewing streak and have made about two dozen shirts and blouses, doing lots of pattern drafting and designing. The daughters are watching over us, not wanting us to catch the plague, so they do the shopping for me. I never thought I would pine for a shopping trip so much but I would love to go to Costco and buy all the things. Stores are starting to be better stocked now but for some time we couldn't get flour or yeast or bread in addition to the much publicized paper products. Luckily, I had large stores of flour and even more luckily, a big bag of yeast, so I cut down the yeast used in a recipe to 1/4 tsp and was making bread every week. Today is the first time we have gotten commercial bread in about 3 months, and it seems extra squishy and delicious.

Trying to make do with what food there was in the pantry and freezer turns out to be rather fun. I have been trying lots of new recipes, some of which turned out to be great and will become regulars. One of these was a good recipe for Pork & Beans which the spouse loved. This one included my substitution of a package of sandwich ham cut into small pieces for whatever the recipe called for and that was totally successful. Also been trying out new bread recipes with Sister Jennie's Potato Bread being the clear winner.

With food supplies dwindling, we put in a large garden this year. The strawberries were moved to the left-hand raised bed next to the cold frame that my daughter built for my Christmas present. In the center raised bed went summer squash and beans, in the center ground garden are beets, tomatoes, cantaloupes, and cucumbers, and in the Back Forty are potatoes, squash, winter squash, onions, more tomatoes, and basil. We took out the other strawberry bed and planted potatoes there instead. There is really nothing better than a freshly dug new potato - the texture is amazing.

I got a weed whacker for Christmas and have been having fun killing those sticker weeds right and left. Those weeds were my enemy, putting pointy stickers in my socks, stickers that can last through many wash cycles and stab you again many months later. Now they never live long enough to produce those stickers since I cut them down in the spring. So two of my favorite Christmas gifts ever are the weed whacker and a big roll of concrete reinforcing wire which I used to make tomato cages and cucumber trellises which have lasted for years.

Not too many exciting events to report when you haven't been anywhere but the backyard for 3 months, so I think I will head back to the sewing machine to work on another shirt.

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