Thursday, August 17, 2017



My friend AT and I met for lunch and went to the Fair.  (brace yourself)  Every single thing KW and I entered got a ribbon.  Most of them got 1sts, a couple 2nds, and one 3rd place.  You could have knocked me over with a feather when I looked at the knitting and crocheting shelves and saw a ribbon sticker on every one of my entry cards.  Tonight is the knitting guild meeting and I'm going to tell everyone about it and encourage more people to enter.  Yeah yeah, I know that'll make more people to edge me out of earning a ribbon but this is a great way to show off your knitting and get bragging rights.  The cash prizes are nearly nonexistent but I want ribbons.  And I got 'em.  Hooray!  I'm already planning what to enter next year.

I had a lot of unexpected sewing time yesterday since the humidity kept Durwood housebound instead of going to listen to the speaker at the museum which also put the kibosh on "out to dinner" (which was going to involve a visit to a local family restaurant, nothing fancy) plan.  I resolved to sew up anything I had cut out before cutting into any of the new fabric I've bought in the last couple weeks.  So I sewed together the red & black striped long-sleeved tee shirt I'd cut out last fall, then sewed another swim shirt for the grandkids.  I have one more long-sleeved tee cut out and one more tunic/dress pinned together ready to be sewn, probably this weekend, then I'll be cutting and sewing Tunic No. 1.  That one I have solid fabric for the "dress" part and some flowered linen for sleeves.  I might even figure out how to make a printed yoke with a plain skirt on this sleeveless version.

The Orioles are back in a big way.  This bright orange male started coming a couple weeks back and this week two or three fledglings started visiting.  I get so excited when I see that flash of orange at a feeder.

I was looking for something different to knit and remembered that I had put together yarn to make another soft owl.  LC loves Hoot, the gray black one that lives in the car, and OJ likes it too.  So far they've never both been in my car at the same time but I envision tussles in the future over who gets to hold Hoot so I cast on last night and got a couple rounds done but decided I want to carry an eyelash yarn along with the worsted and fluffy stuff so it looks more bird-y.  I'll be ripping this tiny start out and starting over.

August 17--Achille Tominetti, Downpour in Mountains, Italy with herd of sheep.  The clouds butted up against the mountains and got stuck so they unleashed their frustration on the foothills and plains.  There was very little warning.  One minute it was sunny and mild and the next it was nearly dark with cold rain pounding down.  Eric looked at the herd of sheep around him.  Sheep weren't very smart but they clustered around him as if he could protect them from the thunder and lightning.  His dog, Len, kept the herd together and spent time retrieving strays, too busy to give in to his fear of the thunder's loud crashes and the sizzling lightning bolts.

I promised Durwood that I'd go up to the Farmer's Market in the nearby shopping plaza lot and get him an egg roll, he's got a hankering and since I had lunch at the Fair today (no funnel cake, though, they'd run out of oil [wha-????]) he gets an egg roll.  Because I say so.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Fingers Crossed

Monday evening my friend KW and I took our entries to the Fairgrounds, got them all tagged, and left them to their fates.  They'll be judged today.  On Thursday AT and I are going to lunch at the Fair (WW will take a beating) and will see if any ribbons are attached to anything.  Our entries looked a bit pitiful against the wool dress knitted from the woman's handspun and the lace shawl she entered but there's always hope.  We each entered a shawl so we're competing against that but neither of us knitted a dress so she's on her own with that one.  I'm excited.  Also nervous.

We've had an Oriole visiting the last couple days.  Durwood caught sight of it on the oriole feeder and then we both saw it on the birdbath.  Then it moved to the suet.  Neither of us knew that Orioles like suet but apparently they do.

It wasn't until after I put all my new fabric in the washer that I
realized I didn't take a group picture so you get them one at a time.  I found the khaki and black linen blend zebra print on the Red Tag rack for 60% off as was the black and white linen blend.  I found this blue w/bugs cotton for 40% off and bought a yard just because.  The other fabric's a gold khaki solid cotton that looks like linen and will make a good skirt for a dress with a print yoke and sleeves.  I want to sew up a black striped t-shirt I cut out last winter before changing the serger thread from black to white so I can sew up the last tunic/dress I cut out last week.  I also cut out another swim shirt for the grandkids so I should sew that up too before I get cutting on this new fabric.  It's kind of ironic that I'm sewing up a nicer wardrobe for my retirement wear than I ever had time for when I was working.  Also what I'm making might not have been very good to wear to work what with unpacking cartons and hauling tanks.  Whatever, I'm really enjoying sewing and wearing these clothes.  Makes me feel good.  I even ordered a used copy of a serger manual today on Amazon so that I can't screw things up too badly.

On Sunday I looked out to see a Downy Woodpecker on the suet and a Ruby-throated Hummingbird on the nectar.  They're far enough apart that neither one's very visible but I like this picture anyway so you get to look at it.

I have been admiring this fern's new fronds emerging from the center.  It's amazing what a weekly watering will do for a plant.

August 16--Egyptian, 19th Dynasty, West Thebes, Detail of a wall painting in the tomb of Queen Nefertari.  The sun blazed overhead throwing no shadows and making the sand feel like it would melt your feet right through your shoes.  Cassie was glad to duck into the cave-like tomb.  It wasn't really cool in there, just not as hot.  It was dry heat which sucked the moisture out of her pores until she felt like a piece of jerky.  The wall paintings were incredible, bright and filled with hieroglyphics which she thought looked like the best kind of code, kind of like ancient emojis elevated to an entire language.

I thought I'd manage to post yesterday but didn't have a moment until almost bedtime so decided that today would do.  I'm determined to get some sewing done before the wills vs. trusts speaker Durwood wants to go listen to this afternoon.  He's bribing me with the promise of supper in a local family restaurant.  I hope they have potato pancakes.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Only One More To Go

Okay.  In my enthusiasm I cut out three more tunic-length dresses last week.  I sewed up the navy blue with red and white dots one on Monday.  On Thursday I sewed up the orange tropical floral one.  The last one cut out isn't linen-y, it's more rayon-ish so it'll be a departure in texture and drape but the same shape and fit.  (I might have gone to Jo-Ann Fabrics this afternoon to spend a "$10 off when you spend $50" coupon.  I'll probably take a picture of my purchases to show you tomorrow.)  Next I want to cut out and sew up a similar garment but with sleeves.  Probably more than one.  I can't seem to stop.

In other creativity news, I finished the Denim Hankie Washcloth after lunch.  I realized that I haven't used the first one I made.  I should probably do that, shouldn't I?  I make things to be used and here I'm guilty of leaving that washcloth off to the side just so I can admire it.  Pfft.

This morning one of the Bluejays hung around on the peanut wreath while I was doing my yoga and actually stayed there when I stood up so I could take its picture.  I scared off a Hummingbird though.

Greater love hath no wife than she'll make a pot roast for her husband in the middle of the summer.  At least I was bright enough to put it all in the crockpot instead of using the oven to heat the kitchen all day.  I have to admit it smells good but pot roast seems like winter food to me.  Do you have seasonal food ideas too?  Durwood and I have had discussions about winter food and summer food.  He doesn't get it.  I say that soup and stew and roasts, all of those rib-sticking, warm you from the inside foods are for winter and salads, grilled meats, and lighter meals are summer food.  When I say that he looks at me like I'm more than half a bubble off level.  I think he's the one a little cracked.  Ain't matrimony grand?

August 13--Edward May, 15th-16th Century Battle Dress.  It had to be very uncomfortable to wear, I thought as I stood before the suits of armor.  The wearer had to be hot in summer and frozen in winter.  He probably couldn't move around much and definitely couldn't dress himself.  I wondered if they rattled and clanked as they tottered into the yard to mount their horses.  The guy on the end had half of a weasel on top of his helmet, not a very scary creature especially looking backwards.  I also thought that an armored man would be like a turtle if he fell off his horse; he wouldn't be able to get up without help.  In the future, I'm sure that some of our technology will seem just as antiquated and ridiculous as armor does today.

I think I'll go take pictures of my new fabric and then toss it into the washer and dryer.  I did only buy sale fabric, so that's something.  I gotta stop spending my savings, there will be no more paychecks to build it up again.  Retirement is... interesting, not as quiet as I'd thought it'd be but I'm doing a bit more goofing off, especially in the mornings, that makes Durwood happy.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

New Blacktop

Yesterday they finally came with their tag-team of dump trucks full of hot asphalt, the paving machine with its pair of drivers, and the hot roller that danced across the newly-laid surface to compact it and make it into a strong, flat street.  It's very nice to drive on, especially after weeks and weeks of barricades, ground down and bumpy streets, and the maze of jutting manholes each with its own orange barrel.  It stinks, though.  Stinks of tar which is only enhanced by the sun beating down on it.  I'll take it, even though our assessment for it will show up on our tax bill for the next couple years.  (the lawn mowers finally came yesterday too; they should have brought a baler because the grass was so long, now it'll dry in windrows and look untidy until the next mowing *sigh*)

Last night at Friday Night Knitting I worked on the Denim Hankie Washcloth #2.  It's a simple pattern that is a two-row repeat, one of which is plain knit, so it's easy to do while chatting with friends.  

August 12--Claude Monet, Impression, Sunrise.  Clay and Marie sat in their skiff fishing at the mouth of the river.  The sun was a glimmer of light in the east, an almost imperceptible glow over the trees on shore.  Marie loved fishing, loved the shiny colorful lures, and the elegant rod that felt almost live in her hands.  She didn't care of they caught fish, she liked the time on the water away from the craziness of life.

The last couple days and the next few are going to be busy around here so don't get worried if I don't manage to blog every day or at all.  Nothing serious, just some demanding guests that consume my attention and prevent me from sewing or knitting or planting.  Not complaining, just stating facts.  Now I need to go glare at the food in the fridge to see if it will turn itself into something worth eating tonight.  I'm fresh outta ideas.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Thunder, Rain, Sunshne, Repeat

That's been today.  A rumble of thunder woke up my bladder at 5:30 this morning, the rain kept me awake, and it's been cycling through rain and sun all day.  Right now another storm is just wrapping up, the thunder's moved off, and the sun is out.  There's a football game in town tonight, I'm glad I don't have tickets.  Not that I'd ever want to go or even watch the game (not a fan, I know a lot about the sport but I don't care one whit about it; it's a wonder they let me live here) but a lot of people are going to get wet because they never don't go no matter the weather.  I lived here in 1967 when they played the Ice Bowl on New Year's Eve when the temp at the start of the game was -13 and people went to the game.  And stayed there until the end.  No piddly little rainstorm is going to keep people at home.

We had a visit by a male Downy Woodpecker during a lull in the rain this morning.  I just love the way they look.  There's nothing like black and white with a little splash of red to make a being look snazzy.

These Bluejays have been hanging around for weeks.  I suspect that they're young'uns because they act like teenagers--loud and always hungry. 

As I said I might, on the way past Shopko during errands yesterday I drove through the parking lot to see that they still had day lilies for $2.87--so I bought six more (same colors).  I said that I was going to get three but Durwood said, "get as many as you need" which I interpreted as "get as many as you can pay for."  I could afford six so I bought six.  I was planning to plant them today but... rain.

Instead I went downstairs and sewed up another of the tunic dresses I cut out the other day.  This one is an orange linen blend.  I like it, it's cheerful and bright.  I'm getting good at this pattern so it's about time to switch to the one with sleeves.  I'll need sleeves come winter. 

August 10--William Henry Hunt, Wild Rose & Bird's Nest.  There had been a storm in the hours before dawn.  Polly was awakened by a clap of thunder so loud she awoke on a gasp.  She peeked under the shade of the bedroom window and saw the branches of the neighbors' maple tree thrashing in the wind and rain.  It was very dark but lightning flashed almost continuously.  She knew she'd never get back to sleep while it raged so she got up to make coffee before the power went out.  Even though she drank decaf, morning was unbearable without coffee.  While the coffee gurgled and dripped she snagged the newspaper off the front porch before it got completely soaked, then opened the drapes over the patio door to watch the sun rise in the storm.  She heard things fall and tumble outside and knew her day would be busy righting patio chairs, picking up fallen branches, and rehanging birdfeeders blown off their crooks. 

No, I didn't write that today, I wrote it last night when I didn't know what today's weather would be like and today's weather hasn't been anywhere near as violent and dramatic as what I wrote.    It's just been raining off and on with a bit of thunder as counterpoint.  BTW, the sun's gone again, and I hear far-off thunder.  Oh, I'll bet there won't be a flyover before the game because of the storms.  The flyover's the only part of football I like.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Getting Dirty & Sweaty

This morning I decided it was time for me to get outside and pull all the weeds choking the milkweed and plant those three day lilies I bought last week in their place.  So I did but, of course, I waited until almost 10 o'clock to go out there so the morning cool was gone and the sun was high and blazing on the place where the weeds were.  Doesn't everyone wait until they can fry their brains while doing yard work?  Probably not.  Anyway I didn't take a before picture but, trust me, everywhere you see bare soil and lilies on the left, right, and center of the volunteer tree/shrub was covered with weeds an hour before.  I even went on the neighbors' side of the fence to yank out the stragglers because these weeds travel underground, the sneaky bastards.  I got two yellow lilies, one with an orange throat, and a white one with a yellow-ish throat.  I might also be planning to cruise by the front of Shopko later to see if any $3 lily plants are left...  I've got my allowance in my wallet...

The daisies aren't giving up but the purple coneflowers are working hard to take up the slack.  The daisies are really spreading so my plan is to dig up clumps of them and put some by the lilies I just planted and some along the side of the house, maybe some up on the retaining wall too.  Did I mention that daisies spread?

Last night at the caregivers meeting I cast on Sudoku Long Strip #2, didn't get very far but it's a start.  After the meeting I sat on the couch and crocheted the center Sudoku afghan panel to Sudoku Long Strip #1.  I know it looks the same as the last time I showed it to you but it isn't.  It's a couple hours closer to being completed.  Thank. The. Lord.  Now all I have to do is discipline myself to work on Strip #2, get it attached to the center and right panels, add some kind of edging and be done with this endless project.  Soon.  Ish.

August 9--William Paul Gottlieb, Billie Holiday nee Eleanora Fagin.  She sang as if her life depended on it.  The small girl stood on the splintered stage at the back of the old school gym singing to the bats in the rafters that were joined together by swags of cobwebs.  It was deep winter and almost as cold inside as it was outside.  Her breaths came out in long white streams as she sang.  "Velma," a voice echoed down the hall, "Mama says come home."  It was her little brother, Eldon.  "Mama says there're rats in here."  She heard him walking down the hall toward the gym, his too big boots crunching in the fallen plaster.

And that, my dears, is that.  I've gotta wrap this up tout suite because we have a 3 o'clock appointment to get our skeletons rearranged and we don't want to miss that.  Plus there's a whole string of stops that come after the rearrangements.  Exit, stage right.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

All Sewn Up

After supper instead of watching Antiques Roadshow on PBS (it wasn't on, it's fundraising season) I went back down to the sweatshop, um, sewing area and finished up the navy linen dotted Dress no. 1 so I could wear it today.  I shortened up the shoulder seams a bit and didn't allow for it when installing the pockets so they're a little high but they're still usable and I'll make a note for next time, aka tomorrow.  Ta-da!


 There were tomatoes to pick this morning.  Still
getting slug bites on the Celebrity tomatoes so I've made myself a note to go out to reapply the slug repellent around that plant tonight.  Seems that evening is when the slugs come out to play.

Look! the bell pepper's turning red.  We have never had any luck growing bell peppers so we're both pretty excited about this one.  (pretty pathetic, don't you think?  two adults getting all dreamy-eyed about a vegetable turning from green to red.  sheesh)


The butternut squash are a nice size too.  

I'm surprised that there are still Stargazer lilies blooming.  Glorious, aren't they?

We've been watching a squirrel-planted cornstalk get taller and taller.  Durwood was wondering how many ears of corn would grow on it.  As of noon today the answer is: none.  I took the first picture around 7 a.m. and the second one just before noon.  Damned squirrels.


That's it.  I didn't write a prompt last night.  I stayed up too late sewing and then reading.  *Warning: whine ahead*  I set my alarm for 6:15 because I had a date to meet a high school friend for coffee at 8:00.  My bladder didn't get the memo.  It woke me at 5:30 and I couldn't get back to sleep.  I hate that.  Hate.  It.