5 October 2022 – Today I learned:

Again, that I like to putz around without a plan. I had the house and all my time to myself today (husband off on an overnight fishing trip), and here’s what I did:

  • Slept late — the cat didn’t even try to wake me up for his 9 a.m. feeding, and I woke up at 9:37 all on my own (went to bed around 12:15 a.m.). Of course, I fed him right away.
  • From 10:30 to 1 or so, I responded to a dozen or more emails, wrote some emails, read about 10 online newsletters, checked Instagram, added a story to Instagram, updated some financial and banking info, did several online surveys I’d been saving, looked at things on eBay (bought one when I got a “special offer”), sent out emailed links to my monthly nature photo albums, listened to an NPR show on Long Covid, did a New Yorker crossword puzzle online, started today’s NYT Spelling Bee puzzle, cleaned the cat’s litter box, fed the cat again, ate something (dried apricots and GrapeNuts), cleaned up in the kitchen a bit, started the dishwasher, looked up a good simple recipe for leek-potato soup, and made lists for the grocery and farm stand.
  • From 1-2:30, I took a nice long walk in town. It was about 60F, cloudy, and very pleasant. I took a couple of photos and used Merlin to listen to a few birds. The town is looking quite autumnal suddenly. I picked up five leeks and a cauliflower at the local farm stand. Watched a monarch butterfly on the ‘Bluebird’ asters in the yard when I got home.
  • And a bonus TODAY I LEARNED: finally, after walking by it dozens of times and wondering, what this annual planted in a town garden is: Princess-flower (Tibouchina urvilleana). It is gorgeous, the flower, the foliage, the whole shebang. (per PlantNet, 85% certainty)
  • From 2:30-3:15, I got in the car and went to the grocery, liquor store, and back to the farm stand, all within a mile from me; I would have bought from these places while walking but I needed quite a few heavy things, including red wine (some excellent Brotte 2019 Esprit Red Côtes du Rhône, which turns out to be a Wine Enthusiast favourite , on sale now for $12/bottle), chicken broth and vegetable broth, 4# of potatoes, 16 oz of heavy cream, a couple of blocks of cheddar cheese, blueberries, Pillsbury orange rolls (which the grocery neeeeeever has, not in 13 years, but they had today!), a big mum, and some decorative white pumpkins.
  • From 3:30 to 5, I made leek-potato soup for a friend with late-stage cancer (and her husband), using thyme and chives (the chives are an optional topping) from the garden. (I wish we had bay leaves growing in the garden!) That was fun and made the kitchen smell delectable. While I cooked, I listed to a Fresh Air programme about Loretta Lynn.
  • From 5 to 5:30, I walked the soup and chives down to our friends’ home, briefly saying hi to both when I dropped it off.
  • From 5:30-6:30, I worked out. I know a lot of people prefer to work out in the morning, but my natural rhythm makes between 3 and 6 p.m. the best time for me. I did take a few breaks to set the Merlin app to listen to birds through the screened window on this mild fall day: myrtle warbler! ruby-crowned kinglet, which I also saw in the crabapple tree! And wild turkeys, crows, nuthatches, downy and hairy woodpeckers, Canada geese, titmouse, robins, jays, chickadees, cardinals, white-throated sparrows, chipping sparrows,
  • And now, after unloading the dishwasher, I am eating dinner — leftover broccoli pasta (with an ungodly amount of half-and-half, butter, and cheese) plus fresh sautéed spinach (health food!) and some of that Côtes du Rhône — and writing this blog post. The cat has been having a very solid snooze this afternoon in the sunroom, which isn’t especially warm but curled up on a pile of blankets he seems content.
  • Not sure what Ill do after this, maybe a movie and popcorn, maybe reading one of the books I got from the library yesterday: Hatchet Island by Paul Doiron, Ruth Ware’s The Death of Mrs. Westaway, The New Wild: Why Invasive Species Will Be Nature’s Salvation by Fred Pearce, or The Shepherd’s Life: Modern Dispatches from An Ancient Landscape by James Rebanks. My evening definitely will include reading the section we’ve chosen for this week’s permaculture discussion tomorrow from Margaret Roach’s The Backyard Parables. Nice to have a surfeit of reading material (the books, not to mention over 200 newsletters stacked up in email to at least scan).

A few more photos from today:

Featured image: You-know-who in the sunroom this afternoon, before he climbed up on blankets


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