Saturday, February 13, 2016

I'd Like a Tropical Vortex, Please

Aunt B said her weatherman said that we've got a Polar Vortex up in these parts.  I'd like to order a Tropical Vortex, please.  Even a drive-by, glancing blow of Tropical Vortex would be appreciated.  I just went out to fill up the bird feeders.  Thankfully it's not as windy as it was yesterday but (this is the good part) it's colder.  Seven degrees for a high instead of fourteen and the "feels like" temp is said to be minus four.  No wonder there's only a tiny bit of the birdbath that's not a glacier.  It's pretty and sunny out there, blue sky and bright sunlight, but it's bitter, bitter cold.  I suspect that I looked like an animated pile of knitwear when I went out in my sweater, cowl, hat, socks, and gloves--with my big, heavy coat over the top, of course.

I  have a link over there on the left sidebar to Free Knitting-Pattern-a-day.  I check it most days.  I don't often pin or save the pattern but a couple weeks ago they had one for an earbud pouch.  I don't know why stuff like that piques my interest so much but it does (there was a knitted first aid kit on there last week that's nagging at me), so I dug out some sock yarn leftovers and some tiny needles and cast one on at knitting last night.  I used the yarn doubled, mostly because my US2 needles are half a size too big, but while I love how it turned out I think it's too big all over, so I'll make another one using only one strand of yarn.  But isn't it cute?  I especially like that while the yarns are pretty much the same they aren't twins so the colors overlapped and mixed.  I like that.

This morning Durwood hollered that the hawk was on the retaining wall so I hurried into the dinette to grab the camera and snap a few shots.  It looked pretty cold and sorry for itself, and it kept hopping and walking down the wall as if it was too cold to fly, but soon enough it must have spotted something because it flew away.  My favorite picture is this one where it's staring at me as if to say, "Whatchoo looking at?"

I've worn my red wool sweater in this cold (it's very warm) and still the collar is driving me nuts.  It's supposed to be like a shawl collar but it doesn't stay doubled over.  I got tired of it crawling up the back of my head so I dug out what's left of the last skein and this morning I sewed the collar edge to the neckline almost all the way around.  Maybe now I won't feel like my collar's trying to turn into a cowl.

February 13--The tree rose out of the swamp like a hand from the underworld.  Spanish moss hung from the branches in dripping tatters.  A fish rose making the water's surface shiver in the pale light.  Amanda leaned against the tree's trunk hating the damp that seeped through her thin jacket but glad for the rest and support.

I worked on my lesson handout yesterday afternoon and think I'm inching toward saying what I want to say in a way that the knitters will be able to understand when they're at home and don't have me to explain.  More work on it today, it's too cold to play outside.
--Barbara

Friday, February 12, 2016

Holy Moses, It's Cold Out There

It's about 14 degrees, which isn't too bad, but it's windy too.  Really windy.  I went to the store around noon and stopped for gas on my way home.  I was very glad to have the hood on my big coat, extra gloves in the car, and my 2015 Design-a-thon-entry cowl wrapped around my neck to pull up over my face while I jiggled from foot to foot to stay warm in the sharp wind.  I am happy for the sunshine but it sure is cold.

I didn't get to knit all day yesterday like I hoped I would.  The FedEx guy brought a dolly-load of cartons for me to unpack, enter into inventory, price, and put away.  Then there were customers impeding progress AND to top it off I had to run the compressor to refill the bank tanks.  The big bag of earplugs went missing but I had one pair in the bottom of my knitting basket so I was saved.  You wouldn't think it but having that loud racket going on and on (and on and on) for four hours or more is very tiring.  Earplugs help.

I started swatching my Design-a-thon idea last night.  It's brown, it's square, it's knitted on really big needles.  That's all the hints you get.  See my notebook?  I'm keeping good notes because I know that what I'm making is going to be something each and every Guild member is going to want to make immediately.  Or not.  To be honest, I don't expect to ever win a prize with my designs.  I'm not that good a knitter and, really, I like doing the Design-a-thon because it makes me be brave, makes me stretch my imagination, and learn new things.  At my age that's a positive thing.  Plus it's fun to say, "Yes, I designed it; it's an original."

February 12--Terry Donnelly, Harbor Reflections at Dawn.  "Red sky at night, sailor's delight, red sky in the morning, sailor's take warning."  The old weather adage sounded in Marie's head as she backed out of the garage.  The entire sky was ablaze with red orange light and the clouds fled like flames before the wind.  All she needed to do was get to the store for Dan's prescription and get home before the storms hit.  She cursed the fact that Dan had forgotten to tell her he was down to his last pill.  She could have stopped on her way home last night.  Now she was being buffeted by the wind, feeling the car sway into the oncoming lane as she left the shelter of the trees.

That Dan, he's always been unreliable and we all know how men are when they're sick.  I'm excited that tonight's Friday Night Knitting because I skipped last Friday not wanting to share my cold but before knitting I have to knuckle down and make sure my presentation for next Thursday's Guild meeting is tidied up and makes sense.  That last part is usually the trick.
--Barbara

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Felt Great Yesterday

Not so sure about today but I'm forging ahead as if I did feel good.  Maybe being away from home is the secret?  I think I need to stop dwelling on how I'm feeling and just get on with it.

I got a big surprise just as I backed into the lot at work yesterday.  A red pickup truck pulled in with the bed loaded with tanks that needed to be filled, and the biggest ones needed to be filled ASAP.  So I pulled up my big girl panties and got to work.  See these four yellow tanks?  They're nearly as tall as me and each hold 440 cubic feet of compressed air at 4500 psi.  That's a lot.  I fill them directly from the compressor so it's slow, loud work.  Good thing we have earplugs.  Once I had those done and the guy picked them up I got to work on the other 34 smaller tanks he delivered.  Thirty-four!  Egad.  But I got them all filled and ready to be picked up this morning, and only worked five extra minutes.  I'll be running the compressor most of the day to refill our storage bank tanks.






Since tank filling is something I set and leave alone, that left plenty of time for knitting on the Hello Baby Barley hat in between waiting on customers.  I got about six rounds from the finish by quitting time and wrapped it up while watching TV after supper.  Then I worked a bit on Sudoku Berry #7 but it doesn't look very different.  I confess that I put yarn and needles into my basket for two new projects today.  Gotta get to work on my Knitting Guild Design-a-thon design.  Thinking time is over, knitting time is here.

February 11--Tim Crosby, Old Growth, Olympic, NP, WA V&H.  There were fairies here, Lucy was sure of it.  The trees were old with ragged bark that looked like doorways to places where fairies live.  Nearly everything was covered with soft green moss which everyone knows is fairy carpeting.  She and her cousin, Sybie, spent the day collecting acorn caps and pine cones to build furniture that they planed to leave at the base of the trees for any passing pixie to take.

It's one below zero.  Guess I'm wearing all the layers again today.  I'll be the one looking like the Michelin Man with the earplugs and knitting sitting in the cacophony.
--Barbara

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I Am Sick & Tired...

... of being sick and tired.  I thought I was on the mend but got such a wave of nausea yesterday morning on my way to run errands that I turned right around, came home, and went to bed with a bucket next to me.  Arrrgh.  (and not the fun, pirate-y "arrrgh" either)  My cold symptoms have abated.  I haven't taken cold medicine or cough medicine in 24 hours, but I have been on a steady diet of yogurt, dry toast, and "the pink stuff" for the last day.  This isn't fair.  This is my 10th day of feeling like crap.  I had a sore throat on Feb. 1st, sounded like a Muppet on the 2nd and 3rd, had a full-blown cold until Sunday, felt a bit better on Sunday, a lot better on Monday, and BOOM! nausea on Tuesday.  I quit.  I'd like to sign off this virus train, please.  Can somebody punch my ticket and slow down this juggernaut so I can disembark?  I'm hungry, my muscles hurt, and I'd like to sleep with my husband.  Please?

I thought this morning's squirrel diners were looking particularly fluffy, understandable since it's about 6 degrees with a wind chill we won't discuss.  I am layering up to the ears because I have to work which means I have to go outside at least twice today.  At least it's sunny.  That's something.

I didn't knit a stitch yesterday.  I just lay around with my iPod plugged into my ears and listened to a book, and not an uplifting, edifying book either, a whodunit in a series set in the woods of northern Minnesota and Canada.  It's folksy and small town, and I like it.  Perfect sick day listening.  Sick days, blech, I've had enough of sick days to last the rest of the year, at least.

February 10--Desert Sunset.  Sarah sat on a stone bench feeling the day's heat radiate off into the cooling night.  The sun had slipped below the far horizon leaving the sky tinged with pink and purple light.  The first star appeared with an almost audible pop and hung twinkling like a fairy in an enchanted garden.

Time to drag in the emptied garbage bin, finish my coffee, and pile on my final layers.  Talk to you later.
--Barbara

Monday, February 8, 2016

I Just Realized How Boring I Am

Since I got this stupid cold I haven't been doing chores or running errands and haven't sewn or knitted much so I've had nothing to put on here.  I reread the last few posts and want to apologize if this blog has been the sedative you used to put yourself to sleep on those nights when nothing short of knock-out drops will do.  I must confess that nothing will probably change, I'll still prattle on about errands and the weather and what we had for supper, and I won't be discussing great literature, grand ideas, religion, or politics... like I said, nothing will change but it was kind of a wake-up call to read how pedestrian my life is and how I inflict it on you.

Speaking of books, I just finished listening to The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah and I highly recommend it.  It's about French sisters going through WWII in two very different ways.

I think I've turned the corner on the "cold" front, my eyelids are more likely to stay open when I sit down than they were over the weekend.  I got exactly half of Sudoku Berry #7 knitted last night, it's all downhill (decreasing) from here.

And it's snowing today.  Yippee.

February 8--H. Mark Weidman.  Sgt. Lindsey Davis leaned over the body sprawled on its back in the Japanese garden.  Someone, the murderer presumably, had taken the time to rake the gravel around the body, carrying the ripples out to the path.  Her eyes were drawn to the left hand that cupped a tiny bonsai tree in a small mound of soil covered with moss as if the man's hand was the plant's pot.

I think I'll put a star by this prompt writing.  I kind of like the idea of that tiny tree cupped in the dead hand.  Don't know why.  Hey, do you watch Downton Abbey?  I can't believe they're just going to write "the end" at the end of this season and go on like they never created that world and those characters.  *sigh*  Oh, my BIL, RJ, must be celebrating because his beloved Broncos won the Super Bowl.  Did you watch?  Durwood did and kept me posted.  I'm glad Peyton Manning can retire on such a high note, he seems like a nice guy, in his insurance company commercials anyway.
--Barbara

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The View From The Couch

Remember I said I have a cold and that I feel like fried poo?  Well, both of those things are still pretty much true.  A combo of one Tylenol Sinus caplet twice a day and some odd Rx cough medicine gelcaps has beaten back most of the worst of it but I'm still droopy so I spent most of yesterday on the couch.

I watched this icicle grow.  It's a good thing I took its picture yesterday because it got up to 39 degrees today and it's gone now.


This was my lunch--homemade chicken veg soup with a few little ring noodles, 5 Ritz crackers, ang a side of Scotties tissues with aloe.  I made a spaghetti pie for our supper and then felt too queasy to eat it.  (don't you love sinus drainage?)  I did manage to do a couple loads of wash but I didn't take a picture.  I'll do a couple more today.  I'm running out of socks.


February 7--Jack McConnell, Stone Wall and Fall Foliage.  The field on the other side of the wall rose and dipped like ocean waves all the way to the edge of the woods.  The autumn sunshine poured golden light on the stubble left after the harvest.  Jane watched birds pecking for fallen grains.  They flew a few feet, up and over each other like a game of leap frog, systematically gleaning what the reapers missed.

Okay, I've reached my limit.  Time to go toss some dirty clothes in the washer.  I think I'll doze through the game.
--Barbara

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Taking the Weekend Off

This cold has got me in its clutches.  Yesterday I mostly laid around and coughed.  Durwood was afraid that I had more than a cold so I did go see the PA who said, "you have a cold."  You know how poorly I was feeling when I came home and didn't say "told you so" just "I have a cold."  I stopped at the grocery for a half-gallon of orange juice, the expensive kind with pulp (it's hard to find it with pulp, how come people don't like that part? to me that makes it taste real) and drank about half of it before I went to bed last night.

The only thing I did beside sit staring at the TV was knit a few rounds on the Hello Baby Barley hat.  I'm making the smallest size but I still think it looks too big for a new baby.  I'll keep going though because it'll fit some baby somewhere.

February 6--Scott T. Smith, Maple Leaf.  The stalks of dried grass leaned to the east, blown by the wind that brought the bite of winter on its back.  Tangled in the stalks were red, orange, and yellow leaves from the row of trees at the end of the block.  I took a picture knowing it wouldn't show what I wanted it to.  Until I saw an exhibit of Ansel Adams' photos and learned that he had manipulated them as he printed them I thought that my camera was at fault.  Then I thought he cheated by using filters and time in the developer but soon realized that it was a gift to know which shots to fiddle with and then print.

That's kind of lame but I plead diminished capacity since my brain's been consumed by snot.  Ugh.  I'm off, my eyelids keep slamming shut so I think I'll go lie down and let them have their way.
--Barbara