Monday, June 27, 2016

Flowers & Bird

Lots of flowers are abloom today.  The lipstick lilies are shining their faces to the sun around one of the sole surviving milkweeds.  The day lilies against the house and along the lot line are out in force.  The orange Asiatic lily by the porch is still opening more buds and around the corner of the house the spiderwort (the part of it that the rabbits haven't eaten) is blooming too.  I have a terrible time taking a decent picture of the spiderwort.  The flowers are a purple blue-ish periwinkle color that refuses to appear on digital pictures.  My small Nikon washed them out so they looked pale green so I dug out Durwood's Canon DSLR camera and got close enough that a bit of brightness and contrast finagling made them look almost right.  I am becoming less and less pleased with the pictures I get from that refurbished Nikon I bought a few months back.  No matter how many times I read the manual I can't make it stop washing out colors and if I turn off the flash then the pictures are blurry.  Arrgh.















I almost caught a robin bathing.  Almost.  He stood on the edge of the birdbath preening and fluffing and I hoped he'd go back in for another dip.  He didn't, the little creep.  Wild birds are so unreliable.



We made the best stuff for supper last night.  I saw a recipe online for grilled chicken sandwiches made with chicken breasts topped with carmelized onions, provolone, and avocado slices.  We didn't want sandwiches so Durwood pounded the enormous chicken breast half (almost a pound and a half--yes, just one breast half, and the tenderloin was removed), then I sprinkled it liberally with Penzeys Mural of Flavor, a salt-free blend of herbs that we like, while the coals heated and I got the onions fried up.  It was delicious and I'm pretty thrilled that there's some left for tonight's supper too.  Yum.



In knitting news, I added a few rows to Sudoku Strip #4 but spent more time working on the Autumn Cumulus sock ankle scallops.  I only have four or five more scallops to knit before I get to make the cuff and be done.  You'd better bet I won't be making another sock like this one for a while, especially since I'm making the medium size and it's a little big for my size 10 foot.

I stayed up late knitting and watching the Women's Gymnastic Championships so I didn't write.  We have some appointments today so I need to get going.  Seeyabye.
--Barbara





Sunday, June 26, 2016

Inching Back To Normal

I took another step back to pre-broken ankle days on Friday night.  I bought a braided rug to put inside the patio door to catch grass clippings and other detritus that I track in when I go out to tend the "farm."  Not using a walker anymore, barely using my cane so it's time for the rugs to reemerge.  I decided not to put back the flimsy rag rug that was there before and saw this brand new one at Goodwill for four bucks and thought it was just the thing.




This morning the daylily out the kitchen window is blooming and there was wildlife galore.









A bluejay came to nab the last peanut left after the squirrel acrobats had gotten the lion's share.




 




A goldfinch, trailed by a begging nestling, came for some nyger seed and a plump bunny rabbit nibbled the cracked corn and other birdseed the sparrows flung out of the feeder.  I swear I'm going to stop buying that kind of seed and quit filling the feeder just so they can shovel it out, but they're so much fun to watch when the whole flock of them gets into the birdbath at once.  Sparrows are enthusiastic bathers, almost as entertaining as the baby robins that come to bathe and end up looking like they've been rubbed with a rough towel because all their feathers stick out all over, even the top of their head.





In the "those damned rodents" department, I learned to my dismay that chipmunks love nasturtium seeds.  Four days ago I planted a whole packet of seeds in this pot.  Guess who excavated each and every one?  They're cute, especially the little ones but... damned rodents.  Where's a hawk when you need one?



All I did yesterday was waste time on the computer, strip the bed, do 3 loads of laundry, read magazines, and knit.  By bedtime I had finished the doublethick dishcloth I cast on Friday night.  It's the second most brainless knitting I had at hand and I wanted to get this done because it's time to toss the last one I made down the chute with the towels today and I want another 6" thick cloth to put in its place.  I hope my old, single thickness dishcloths don't feel abandoned but this is a simple whim to indulge.  I'll work on Sudoku Strip #4 today and finish the next Autumn Cumulus scallop too.  Cross my heart.  Just as soon as I post this and go down to throw the towels in to wash.  Really.

June 26--Richard Pasley, Woman with Boogie Board.  

Not svelte,
there's a bit of a tummy there,
but she's strong,
athletic, friendly,
funny,
happy to be
herself.
~~~~~

I can't resist another celery picture because, look, it's taller again.  Neither the pineapple tops nor the avocado pits offer anywhere close to the instant gratification this nub of celery gives us.  It's amazing.  Why didn't I ever know about this before?  I knew about putting carrot tops in a shallow dish to grow greens for caged birds but you don't get more carrots.  This thing looks like it's making real celery.  My mind is officially boggled.  Oh, and I have to ask Durwood to put celery on his shopping list because this is the only celery in the house.
--Barbara

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Look Look Look!

We have a baby tomato.  It's on the bush tomato plant, one that we've never had before.  It's tiny, hard, green, and probably won't be ripe for a month but we don't care.  We have a tomato.

The mints are loving the hot and sunny with a little rain weather we've been having and even the flat-leaf parsley is putting up a good fight.  I'm afraid the pineapple sage is a bit overpowering planted next to it but I plan to rotate the planter and let this little parsley guy have some more room and light.

 






There are still green blueberries on my little bushes.  There were two berries on another bush getting blue but some critter chomped them.  Grrr.  This is so much the wrong soil and place to grow blueberries that every one is like a gem; I hate to lose even one of them.  I have them fenced off with chicken wire but it isn't buried and there's nothing to keep birds out so I guess some attrition is to be expected.


 


The bee balm is starting to bloom.  Right behind them is a huge drift of daisies fixing to burst open soon too and when they're both abloom, well, it's a beautiful sight.  Just you wait.





See what I saw when I went to snap a bee balm photo?  Lipstick lilies are blooming!  I'm so happy to see them after whatever that invasive weed was that overtook their planting bed last year and this spring until MW and I uprooted it.  Soon I need to go over there with my little stool and root out any stragglers or invaders.  And the old daylilies behind the air conditioner are blooming too.  They're a cutting from the plant that Dad brought up to Green Bay from his parents' farm in Evansville, IN, planted in our Liberty St. backyard, and let me dig up some of to plant over here over 30 years ago.  Good lord, do you realize that it's been over 50 years since we moved up here?  I guess Green Bay is really my hometown even if it isn't my birthplace.  For some reason that makes me a little sad.






I worked on finishing the back ankle scallop of the Autumn Cumulus Restart sock last night at Friday Night Knitting (it's the part sticking off to the left), then I picked up stitches and started the front ankle scallop but managed to bollocks it up more than once so I quit knitting on it.  It was close to 9 o'clock by then and quitting time anyway.  When I got home, though, I fell prey to the lure of making another small doublethick dishcloth, cast on, and got an inch knitted while watching an episode of Barnwood Builders.  The men are a bunch of characters that remind me of some of my male relatives (speaking of Evansville) when I was a kid.

June 25--Phil Banks, Golf. 

Swing, thwack
my small white ball
bumbles left into the trees,
nestles beneath Spring's first trillium.
From there it caroms
across the fairway
to the creek swollen with rain,
teeming with tadpoles.
Down the fairway
into the front sand trap
where a baby garter snake embraces it.
Spurred by a plume of sand, I'm finally on the green putting
when an amorous crow
tries to woo my hat,
dive bombing with his raucous song.

Golf--a nice walk spoiled.
~~~~~

I don't golf.  Mom & Dad used to golf.  Durwood golfed every once in a while, and I think DS golfs.  I don't golf, too much boobage to swing a club.  I'm contemplating doing laundry today.  I might cut out and sew a swim shirt for some little girl.  Or maybe I'll sit on the couch and practice staring into space.  Only time will tell.  Wish me luck.
--Barbara

Friday, June 24, 2016

Sunny, Summer & Friday

What could be better?  It's the end of the week, it's a gorgeous sunny day, I'm not at work, and I got a haircut today after which I came home and took a shower so I don't feel like I'm wearing a hair shirt for the rest of the day.  In between the haircut and the shower I spent some time sweltering in the basement of the downtown Lutheran church where the knitting guild meets to add some books I'd cleared out of my personal library to it and to see if I could bring a little, good old Teutonic organization to the cart.  (You, books, will line up there. *points emphatically*  Tallest to shortest.  *flings hands in the air*  I'm the soul of patience--as long as things go my way.)  I found a couple interesting things to borrow for a closer look, one is a magazine with a sock on the cover that I will never in a million years make because it is a riot of color but I want to look at it and pretend I might.


 
When I went out for the paper I saw that the orange Asiatic lily's first bud had opened.  I don't really understand why the orange one waits until the yellow one's just about done but I guess I should be happy because that way I have pretty flowers longer. 






Yesterday I knitted June Preemie Hat #4 and decided to make the smallest of the four sizes this pattern offers.  It's called "Moe" as in Eenie, Meenie, Minie, Moe.  Remember I couldn't imagine a baby small enough to wear the Minie I made last week?  This one stretches credibility even further.  The pattern says it's for micro preemies and I know there are babies that need hats that tiny.  *sigh*  Every time I look at those teeny little hats I say a prayer.  Here's photographic proof that I've got the four June Preemie hats all done.






The celery's going great guns.  Overnight the leaves are taller and the whole thing is greener.  Amazing.




June 24--David Brooks, Runner.  She ran because she had to.  Her whole life she had felt the hot breath of fate breathing down her neck.  She had started running on the cross-country team in middle school and hadn't stopped yet.  Now that she was an adult, and had been through years of analysis, she ran for pleasure.  She no longer felt the malevolent presence on her heels that had gotten her moving when she entered her teens.  That was why the hand that pulled her off the trail surprised her so much that she didn't cry out.

I think I'm going to go sit on the couch and page through a knitting magazine, the one with the cool sock on the cover.  Adieu, cheries.
--Barbara

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Mood Altering Things

I have been in a crappo mood for the last few days.  I want my ankle to get better faster, a lot faster, so I push a little and then weather fronts come chugging through and my ankle aches, a dull, near constant ache the last few days.  I know it's because I did yoga on my feet the other morning and because the weather is changing like a teenager changes clothes but I want to be better NOW.  So I cast around for things that would make me feel better.

I noticed this morning that our celery stub is really sprouting.  Look at that!  We plonked it in there last Saturday and already the center is pushing out new leaves.  Very cool.





Last month I was in Office Depot looking for binders for the Knitting Guild library when I saw the last, lonely owl mouse hanging on a floor display.  I had to have it but hadn't opened it until this morning when I realized that an owl mouse would make me smile.





At work yesterday, in between customers and visitors (why did all 3 visitors arrive at once, huh?  can't they spread themselves out a bit?), I got the second ankle scallop knitted and the stitches picked up for the next scallop on the ankle back.  Still didn't cast on the fourth preemie hat but I have to do that today, there's only a week of June left.  No, really, next Friday is July 1.  Already.

On my way home from work I stopped off and treated myself to some new bras.  No, I'm not showing you, not on me, not draped artfully over a lamp or chair, just trust me I needed them, they were "buy 2, get 2 free" so I went for it.  And may I say, ahhhh.

When I got home there was a little square package waiting for me and in it was a "Weave-It" loom.  I had one of those when I was a teenager, made nearly 60 squares with Mom's yarn scraps that I crocheted edges on and turned into an afghan, and I distinctly remember ditching it when we moved here almost 15 years ago.  Knitting pal, MW, found some older models of them that we bought from Goodwill a couple years ago but I wanted a pin loom.  He found one for 99 cents there a few weeks back, I went on eBay and found one for considerably more money (but not an outrageous amount for a nostalgia item--with all the directions) and "bought it now."

June 23--David Brooks

A posse of pint-size road warriors
skate up the center of the street,
helmets flashing,
sticks slashing.
The asphalt Stanley Cup
plays out
before the streetlights turn on and
everyone's called home.
~~~~~

Wasn't that when everyone had to be home?  That was our deadline, to be home when the streetlights turned on.  Kids these days sure don't have the freedom we did and it's a damned shame.  There wasn't an Aldi ad in our paper the other morning and Durwood needs one so I'll swing by on my way to work and nab one.  Toodle-oo!
--Barbara

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

I Like That Idea But Doubt I Could Do It

Aunt B commented on yesterday's post that she liked the idea of "No" Day, likening it to an "S&S" (sit & stare) Day.  She says she has those every once in a while.  I try but rarely if ever get there.  I thought I'd make yesterday a "not much" day and ended up going to the Social Security office (which to my great amazement was a quick and easy stop), to the yard waste to dump a basket of weeds, to Wal-Mart for a couple items that turned into more than that (of course), to Copps grocery for Rxs and a couple of Friday Freebies that were expiring, and finally to Papa Murphy's for a pizza for supper.  In between Wal-Mart and Copps I did sit on the couch but while sitting I trimmed a pattern to make LC a swim shirt.  See?  I'm no good at "not much" days, how could I ever just "sit & stare"?  I plan to give it a try on Saturday (I already have plans for a haircut and to work on the knitting guild library on Friday).  Maybe if I gather enthralling books and knitting around me I'll make it, at least part of the day.  Time will tell.

In Wal-Mart they had a bunch of fishing lures in the Clearance aisle.  I know this grandson who likes to fish so I picked out these cute ones.  They didn't say anywhere on the package what kind of fish they were intended to lure (they expect you to just know that stuff?!?) but I figure these are small, maybe for panfish, and if they're not right he can turn them into earrings or hang them on the Christmas tree (after snipping off the hooks, of course).

Speaking of knitting, I wove in the tails on Sudoku Strip #3 (didn't cast on #4 yet) and after supper I finished June Preemie Hat #3, weaving in its tails too (didn't cast on hat #4 yet either), but I did sit with my feet up and an ice pack on my left ankle.

Seems like a yoga practice plus all the errands and house stuff I did yesterday was too much.  There's a line of storms headed our way later and my barometer of a left ankle is broadcasting.  Don't break your ankle when you're 64, don't do it at any age really, but I feel like it's been forever (although it's not fully 3 months recovery yet) so I'm kind of in a perpetual, low-grade pout about it.  Not a happy camper although I did find some denim capris and a couple cute summer tops on the sale rack at Wal-Mart, that helped.  I'm wearing them right now and look very nice, if I do say so myself.  I think I'll stop in at Lane Bryant and see about getting a decent bra on my way home tonight.  I put on my last "real" bra this morning and my shoulders and upper back are thanking me.  I guess I'm too old and too busty to wear sports bras for the rest of my life.  (TMI?  sorry.)

Look what I found at the dollar store last week.  They were just stocking them and I grabbed a 2-pack.  They're called Grab Bags and they're "as seen on TV" reusable shopping bags that clamp onto the sides of a shopping cart so they stay open as you load them, then you grab the handles, lift, and walk away.  Two for a buck, can you believe it?  What a deal.  (Oh god, that's such an old lady thing... I'm old *sniff*)

June 22--Karl Weatherly, Cowboy on Horse.  

Yellow aspen leaves blur
behind the red horse
Man and horse move as one,
centaur of the Plains,
race ahead of winter
through Autumn's last glow
~~~~~

A-a-and that's it for me today.  I need to drop off the organics recycling on my way to the dive shop so I'd better wrap this up, slap on a few pix, and head out.  Later.
--Barbara

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

I Opened All The Windows

The weather changed last night and the humidity and heat went east so as soon as I rolled out of bed I opened any window I walked by so the fresh summer air is flowing through our house.  Ahhh.  It's like a magical tonic, isn't it?  The sheer curtains at the bedroom windows are billowing at the slightest puff of air.  I love it.



Last Saturday when we were making potato salad we used the last of the celery but saved the bottom inch to plunk into a little dish of water and, LOOK!, the center is sprouting already.  We are having a lot of fun planting pits and such.  I'm thinking I'll put the pineapple tops out on the patio table so they get the benefit of the summer sunshine.  I'll discuss it with my co-farmer later.




Waiting rooms are excellent places to knit on mindless things like Sukoku Strip #3 which I finished yesterday afternoon.  I'll weave in the tails later today and cast on Strip #4 right away.  It's the perfect thing to knit at Friday Night Knitting too because there's very little thinking needed and I'm very busy talking and laughing on Friday nights.  Very busy.  I also pontificate a lot too, which takes lots of energy and focus.




June Preemie Hat #3 is ready for the crown decreases.  I'll get that accomplished today and then Hat #4 will get started immediately too.






June 21--Robert Malcolm, No Day.







~~~~~

My brother-in-law, RJ, calls us when he's driving home from work after 9 o'clock (our time) so he stays safely awake and I answered last night.  He said his son had sent him something about this week's "commemorative" days, for instance, I just googled it and today is International Yoga Day.  (Woohoo!  Good thing I did my yoga this morning so my celebrating is done.)  (it's also Skateboard Day and Peaches & Cream Day)  Anyway, he suggested that we celebrate "No" Day, a day where the answer to everything is "no."  I wasn't especially a fan of the idea but when he suggested that I write a poem about it and leave the lines blank my (weird) funny bone was tickled.  So this one's for you, RJ.  Enjoy your day off and I hope the fixit guy gets your upstairs a/c working so your kids and grandkids don't melt when they come visit.
--Barbara