Sunday, July 24, 2016

Compensation

Remember I said that I've been crabby lately?  Well, yesterday wasn't any better and I didn't do any knitting or sewing or anything else worth taking a picture of or talking about.  I did a single load of laundry and cut out a pattern for a swimsuit bottom for LC but you don't want to see laundry, especially since it's still in the dryer, and I didn't cut out the lining for the bottoms and don't know her waist and leg measurements for the elastic so that didn't go anywhere either.  I'm blaming the absolutely dreadful hot and HUMID weather we've had lately for my malaise.

Supper was the only thing that made the day bearable.  We had a quarter of that marinated grilled pork tenderloin left so we sliced it and a handful of baby carrots, quartered another handful of sugar snap peas, and sliced up the smallest of the yellow squash, along with a bit of onion to make a stir fry.  Served over rice and sprinkled with a few toasted sesame seeds it was a tour de force of fridge raiding--and Weight Watcher-y as all get out.  (Which reminds me I need to put the sauce I made into a "recipe" so I don't have to keep doing it ingredient by ingredient every time.)


This morning a Downy Woodpecker came for a late breakfast.  I love their black and white coloring.  They look so neat and tidy, and ready for a formal party.


July 24--Michael Kevin Daly, Runner.  The young woman ran up Pecan Street, earbuds in her ears, a faraway look on her face.  Myra watched from the deep shade of her porch.  "Look at her running in the heat of the day," she said.  Her sister-in-law Lydia set her iced tea glass on a coaster on the rattan table between their rockers.  "Mm-hm.  You'd think her brain would be boiling in this heat.  At least she has the sense to stay on the shady side of the street."  Myra nodded.  "And neither Joe MacFarlane nor Fido can pester her over here.  I swear that man feels he can have an opinion about everyone and every thing and that dog has ruined my rose bushes more than once."  "You mean peed on them, don't you?"  Lydia looked across the street at the MacFarlane place.  "What's that lying in Joe's yard?  It looks like a bundle of laundry there next to the mailbox."  Myra glanced over and stood up so fast her chair fell over.  "It's Joe.  Lydia, call 9-1-1.  I'm going over to see what I can do."  Her voice trailed after her as she ran down the steps and started across the lawn.

And that's it.  I haven't knit a stitch since Friday night.  (I know, *gasp*)  I went to Walmart earlier for a new sprinkler.  I got the most expensive cheap one so if it doesn't work next year I won't feel like I'm throwing money away when I buy a new one, and I got the second-cheapest waffle maker so I can make some non-Belgian waffles to freeze for Durwood's breakfast.  He likes toasting them and then spreading jam on them for breakfast or a snack.  Maybe I'll brave the heat and go hook up the new sprinkler...
--Barbara

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Lilies & Yarniness

Two of the three stargazer lily buds have opened.  They're so pretty, aren't they?  It's still beastly hot and muggy.  I tried to fix the lawn sprinkler so I could easily water the grass seed I spread around last weekend but had no luck.  Oh, it came apart all right, it's the putting back together part I'm having trouble with.  I didn't reach the fling-it-at-the-wall level of frustration but I did reach the buy-another-one-for-now stage.  I'll be doing that tomorrow.


The other night I made a couple Christmas stocking hexagons.  I haven't woven in the tails yet and I will do that before I make another one.  Even though there are only 16 of them to make, 16 is too many to sit and weave in the tails if I leave it until the end.



Last night I finished the July Seamen's Cowl.  I really like the rust solid yarn with the green and rust variegated, and I still have plenty of the green variegated left to make a mitten and stocking for the Advent Garland.  Yay!

I've rejoined Weight Watchers and they have, once again, completely re-engineered their program which means that all of the recipes that I'd laboriously typed in last time have gone down the WW drain with the old PointsPlus program.  Grrr.  The most frustrating part was that their hotline person led me to believe if I reactivated my old account instead of opening a new one I'd have access to all of the stuff I'd put in before.  NOT.  They did give me 2 weeks free for my frustration, which is nice, but I'm back at square one nevertheless.  The other annoying thing is there isn't a printed program, it's all online.  Evidently everyone has a Smartphone so they can just put in foods and get the points right on there, no pesky paper book for Durwood to thumb through when he's planning supper.  We did order a couple cookbooks and a points calculator so help is on the way.  I hate being old and crabby about this, but I still like to hold a manual in my hand when I want to look stuff up.  We'll see if I'm happier on Monday (weigh in day) since I've been kind of hitting the program most of the week with a few random tangents.  The cool thing is that things like points for the Hardee's chicken strips I had on the way to Knitting Guild on Thursday are online as is the pizza we get every Tuesday and finish on Friday so that'll make it a lot easier to have a normal eating life.  (I'd like to say that I'm crabby, I've been crabby for about a week, so do not construe this rant as a slam on the WW program, it's me.  I'll adjust.)

July 23--Michael Kevin Daly, Golfer.  The ball disappeared as it rose, the dimpled white cloud behind it hiding it in plain sight like a magic trick.  Jean squinted into the distance watching for her ball to reappear.  She hoped it was somewhere on the fairway, in the middle would be good.  Just not in the rough or the sand trap, she prayed, or the water.  She heard a sound behind her and turned to find her ball rolling to a stop six feet behind where she had teed off.

This is exactly how I imagine things would go if I ever tried to play golf.  I think I'll go fling the laundry around.  Oh, I almost forgot, I got a phone call this morning and the young man on the other end said, "Hi, Grandma, I was in a car accident."  "Really?" I said, "that's funny because our grandson is 3 months old and can't talk much less drive or make phone calls.  You have the wrong number."  Now I'm sorry I didn't play along a bit before I told him to go pound sand.  Missed opportunity.
--Barbara

Friday, July 22, 2016

Hot & Muggy & Muggy & Hot

Did I mention that it's muggy?  And hot?  Also steamy and broiling.  According to my dashboard thermometer this afternoon it was 100 degrees.  I don't think it really was, probably in the mid-90s but seeing that "100" there in green numbers made me think "hey, I got 100% today" like a doofus.  Must have been the heat... or the humidity.

I finished the July Preemie Hat #4 at work yesterday.  It's so tiny, it looks like a Christmas ornament, in fact that's what a couple of the knitters at Guild thought it was.  (it was sprinkling rain so we met in the church basement instead of in the park, thank heavens.)  Today I bagged up all four July hats and dropped them off at the Information Desk at the local hospital with a NICU where one of the Guild members works. 






Speaking of Guild, the clouds looked amazing when I drove home last night so I pulled into the parking lot behind our house where I've got a more unobstructed view.  It looked even cooler than this but I hope you get the idea.



The one surviving nasturtium is thriving, I even remember to water it when I water the tomatoes just about every day.  Fingers crossed that these three lily buds open up soon before any rampaging chipmunk takes it into its head to scale the stalk and nibble the buds.

July 22--Skip Gandy, Fisherman.  Lena sat in the shadow of the sea grape watching the fisherman.  He gathered the net, coiled his body, and then cast the net into the sea.  The weighted edge spread and dropped into the shallow water to trap bait fish.  The sun set while he fished, his bronze body silhouetted against the flaming sky.  Golden droplets flew from his hands as they worked.  Lena wanted to fish, she knew she could throw the net and learn to take fish back to the village.

Lame.  Lame, lame, lame.  I blame the heat.  The humidity too.  You'd think that it wouldn't matter since I'm closed in an air conditioned house but it does.  I think I'll go rifle the downstairs freezer to see what meat I can thaw out to put on the grill tomorrow.  Our favorite parking lot produce grower, Sunny Hill Farms started selling sweet corn the other day and I might have bought a few ears for us to eat tomorrow.  We'll need grilled meat to go with it, don't you think?  Nighty-night.
--Barbara

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Sun is a Powerful Force

At the end of yesterday's post I thought about making sun tea so I nipped downstairs, grabbed a couple wide-mouth quart jars and lids, the decaf tea, and came up to assemble it.  I snapped off some chocolate mint to put into one jar and some apple mint for the other, then I dangled three tea bags in each one, filled it with cool water, screwed on the lids, and put them out on the patio table.  Fifteen minutes later when I came back into the kitchen after dressing this is what I saw.  When I got home after work the tea was mahogany colored and pretty darned good.  I think next time I'll put in another tea bag because it's a little weak when poured over ice but, all in all, I'm happy with the results.  I filled a water bottle halfway with tea before bed last night, laid it on an angle in the freezer, and will top it up with liquid tea before I leave for work.  That way I'll have cold, undiluted tea to drink at Knitting Guild this evening.  (don't worry, I'll figure out a way to keep it semi-frozen through the day)



I was busy enough at work yesterday that this little piddly bit is all I got done of July Preemie Hat #4--and it's the smallest size of all.  After supper I crocheted another stocking hexagon.  I confess that I haven't made one a day since last Friday but I hope to keep making them more frequently from now on.









I am happy to report that not all of the stargazer lilies died or got eaten after all.  One is just opening and has a bud.  The other lily has three buds on it.  Yay and Hooray also Hallelujah.



A few baby milkweeds have sprouted where I sprinkled the seeds from the Wildlife Sanctuary, and one has a pretty copper beetle on it.  Not a Japanese beetle.  Whew.

July 21--Skip Gandy, Regatta.  

like drowned rockets
sailboats chase each other
on the wind
up to the buoy
around
and back
they lean away
to catch the slightest edge
of speed
for bragging rights
and a tarnished
loving cup
~~~~~

We're having a thunderstorm.  It got so dark it looked like night and we just had one whale of a boomer.  Unfortunately the storm is not blowing in cooler weather, it's just pumping up the humidity.  This is why I'm wearing shorts and a tank top to work today.  I'm taking a denim shirt to wear in the well-air-conditioned store but it's just too hot and muggy for denim capris even indoors.  Stay cool.  Drink lots of water, Gatorade, or tea.
--Barbara

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

We Have Sock!


I plonked myself on the couch yesterday and knitted the last rounds of Autumn Cumulus sock cuff, then I wove in the (only) 2 tails and it was done.  Finished.  As in, I don't want to see that sock again for a while.  At least until it gets a lot colder around here.  I tried it on and it fits.  It's a little long in the foot but I suspect that'll even out when it gets its first bath.  This weekend I'll soak it, roll it in a towel to squeeze out the water, and pat it into shape to try.  Then I'll put it away (and out of my mind) until the weather turns frosty.

 All I did yesterday was take my car in for an oil change (and two new tires a couple months before I'd planned to replace them [goodbye, $300]) and then take me and the old guy to the doc for a quick med check and short discussion of our general health.  Which means I rejoined Weight Watchers online last night, downloaded their app to my phone, and will be clambering back onto the straight-and-narrow.  Let's face it, I've been eating anything I damn well pleased since April 1 and not being very active so I knew this day was coming (and I'll confess to cramming in all of the ice cream and chocolate I could stand for the last few weeks).  I made some broccoli slaw with light Marzetti's dressing, a little cheese, and some turkey lunchmeat to stuff into pitas for lunches along with a small dish of fresh fruit.  I don't know why I veer so far off; I love eating the WW way with lots of fruits and even more veggies.  I guess I don't like anyone (even myself) telling me what I can and can't eat.  Let's not forget "should" which is a big negative motivator in my world. 

Last night when I took out the trash I noticed a bright light tangled in the tree branches to the east.  As I crossed the street to put our paltry, half-full bag of garbage in the neighbors' bin (why roll ours out when they had room for another little bit? it's a too smelly time of year to ferment garbage for two weeks.) I saw the full Thunder Moon (or Buck Moon, if you're Native) peeking through a gap in the leaves.


I'm off to the chiro on my way to work so I'd better get a move on.  I didn't write last night, I was tired and just didn't feel like it.  Stay cool, the heat wave's on its way.  Lemonade, anyone?  Ooh, iced tea.  I should get a jar and make some sun tea today.  I could snip some mint leaves to put in too.  Great idea.  See ya.
--Barbara

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Quiet Times

Yesterday was another day that slid by almost without me noticing.  I called to make a couple appointments in the morning, did my yoga, then... what?  Oh, I blogged and then went on a couple errands.  Stopped at Rabideau's to make an oil change appointment for today, at Krider's, the local, non-chain pharmacy, I ordered another ankle wrap like the one I found there last week, went to Kwik Trip for milk, bananas, (the most important) donuts, and what we hope is the winning Powerball ticket tonight, then to Copps for a bag o'prescriptions, and a few items.  They're redoing the grocery store so they've moved things from where they've been for the last, oh, ten years so even some of the staff isn't quite sure where stuff is now.  It takes twice as long to shop and is twice as frustrating as usual.


We watched this robin take a bath.  They're so much fun to watch because they're so intent on getting every molecule of themselves soaking wet and squeaky clean.  It's a wonder they can fly away, they're so wet.


I finished July Preemie Hat #3 but didn't work on anything else.  Maybe I'll take that %$#& sock along when I get my oil changed and finish it once and for all.  That's a good plan.  I have too many projects on the go and it keeps me from getting anything done.  It doesn't help that most of the things I make are not singles so they're never ending which can be daunting.

July 19--Daniel Forster, #7.  

Murky green water hides
fire-scorched decking,
jagged hull ribs
sunk more than a century ago.
On a dark and stormy night,
a confused captain
ran her aground
on the rocky beach.
Cargo was salvaged,
the ship burned.
Populated by bass, rusty crayfish, and gobies,
visited by scuba divers,
she lives on.

Fleetwing.
~~~~~

There, that's my favorite shore dive in Door County.  Sunk in about 25 feet of water at its deepest, it was our go-to dive site when the kids were young and we went up every weekend to dive.  Going diving kept our kids talking to us when they were teens.  It was an underwater miracle.  Time to brush, dress and go get the car lubed.  See ya.
--Barbara

Monday, July 18, 2016

Food, Farming & Critters


Mother Nature sort of cooperated with my plans yesterday.  She whisked away all the clouds before watering my new grass seed so I had to go out with the hose and water it myself but it did stay rain-free for grilling out.  Hallelujah.  See how beautifully my pork tenderloin turned out?  I almost devoured my plate of supper before taking a picture.  The zucchini (yellow squash, in this case) pie was excellent.  I think I might saute the onions next time I make it just to add another layer of flavor but it was deeeelicious just the way it was--and my homemade Bisquick worked just fine.  I think my days of "buying the smallest box and then throwing away most of it when the baking powder goes flat" are over.  I can make about 2 cups of the homemade mix, keep it in the fridge, and use it way before the death date of the ingredients.  Besides I love making things like that if I can, it makes me feel, I don't know, self-satisfied maybe?  Healthier, I suppose, since my homemade stuff's made with fewer preservatives (none if I can manage it) and less salt.



The tomatoes are getting bigger.  No reddening yet, but it's early.




The celery top kind of stalled out when I put it into a pot with soil but I expect it to start growing again soon.



We've got a little action on the avocado pit front.  The second one has split on the bottom and it looks like a root might be working its way out.  Nothing happening on the top yet, and no visible change on the bottom or top of the other one.  I keep changing the water and keeping them out of direct sunlight like the book says.  I put the pineapple tops out on the patio table this morning and opened the umbrella so they won't get blasted with the midday sun but I was thinking that they grow in Hawaii where it's hot and sunny and wet.  Right now it's hot and sunny and humid (which is like wet, right?) so I thought they'd enjoy some time out in nature.  Durwood's afraid that the squirrels and chipmunks will vandalize them.  I'll keep an eye on them.  The plants, I mean.

 


That oriole keeps coming to visit the jelly dish and the goldfinches are enjoying the seed.  










 

A little bunny comes in the evening to nibble on seed that the birds fling out of the feeder.  I have to say that we haven't seen the hawk lately and the chipmunk population's getting large.


July 18--Daniel Forster, #8.  That moment when the vast white canvas sail caught the wind was what Sue lived for.  It was as if sound got turned way down so that all she heard was the hull slicing through the water and the creak of the lines.  Before that moment, canvas flapped and the motor chugged, there were shouts from the helmsman to those manning the sails but as soon as their angle was right it felt like a giant hand smoothed the world into harmony.  She knew this was a slow way to travel but she thought it must be how it felt to be an arrow flying through the air.

I didn't do much but sit around reading yesterday (a Kindle book, I'm working up to the paper one) and ripping a couple books from CDs onto my iPod.  I did knit about an inch onto the latest preemie hat but it's too little to waste a picture on.  I'm running a few errands today but mostly I think I'll loll about again.  I kind of liked having a quiet day.
--Barbara