Friday, October 15, 2021

Harbinger Of Winter

I looked out this morning and saw a single Dark-Eyed Junco pecking at the fallen seeds.  Yikes!  This is a bird that comes down from the Arctic to winter here.  Then this afternoon there was a whole flock of them under the feeders.  They're cute little birds but I'm not happy to see them because that means that winter is on the way, tout suite.  Arrgh.



I noticed that the sedum on the far side of the retaining wall is much darker than the sedum on my side.  It's a kind of bronze-y burgundy.  Pretty.


 

And here's the daily Stella d'Oro.  It was cool enough this morning that I turned on the furnace so it won't be too long before all of the flowers will be done for the season so I need to appreciate them while they last.



The drawing lesson today was to draw a little house.  I'm happy with parts of it but didn't feel especially inspired by it.  The mailbox is a little better I think.

 

 

Tonight at Friday Night Knitting I finished the body of the bib, one of the ties, and got almost done with the second tie.  I'm counting it done because there's only about 2 inches of tie left to knit and the tails to weave in.  I was surprised at the way the yarn color pooled in the middle section of the body of the bib and how the ties are coming out almost identical.  I didn't plan that.


Today's toss was a paperback, coffee table book of maps.

The prompt today was to write about forbidden love.  I got started writing about a teenager who fell in love with a college student in the neighborhood.  She even made friends with his dog to get closer to him but then I realized that I was writing about unrequited love instead and stopped.

The sun shone for part of the day and it drizzled for part of the day too.  I have high hopes that tomorrow it'll be mostly sunny and I can finally get out and mow the lawn.  The grass is getting so long that pretty soon I'll have to use a baler.

--Barbara

Thursday, October 14, 2021

All I've Got Is A Squirrel

Since I showed you most of the yard's flowers yesterday all I have to show you today is this squirrel dangling from the suet cakes eating like a furry pig.  It kept looking around like it was waiting to be chased away but it managed to eat quite a bit before dropping to the ground and then leaping up for a drink from the birdbath.



The Stella d'Oro lily was the only new flower in the yard today.  I have to show you the daily Stella, don't I?




The drawing lesson today was Advanced-Level Cylinders.  It was fun to draw even if the results turned out a little cartoon-y.  And then the bonus challenge was the holes.  With eyes peeking out of some of them.  Weird but I'm playing along.  There must be a point to this that will become clear in a later lesson.



I got invited to a baby shower so I dug out some cotton yarn and an old pattern to make some bibs for the babe.  I cast on the first one tonight and worked on it while watching TV.


Today's toss was an index card binder and some thumbtacks.  I don't use index cards and don't have much of a bulletin board.

The prompt today said to write these words on pieces of paper:  soldier, mother, lover, overcoat, sail, and danger.  Fold up the papers, put them in a bowl, and pick one to write a piece about.  I picked my least favorite--danger.  So I wrote about almost falling down a cellar stairs when the light bulb had burned out and the replacement bulbs were in the cellar.  It could happen.

The sun came out today!  For the first day in about a week.  It's supposed to come out over the weekend too.  Yippee!

--Barbara

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Flowers Today

 It doesn't feel much like fall lately but the mums are loving this weather.  I don't know if it's the temps in the 60s and 70s or the damp and drizzly days but they are in bountiful bloom.  The gold ones are the brightest.  They glow even on an overcast day.



The copper ones are the biggest mound of flowers,




and the purple ones are working to surround Dad's roses with purple flowers.



Speaking of Dad's roses, they're still blooming too.  It's crazy to see a rose blooming in the middle of October.




The geraniums in the backyard are still putting on a show too.


 

 


The drawing assignment today was cylinders.  We drew a trio of nondescript cylinders that I think look like oil tanks, but then he had us grab three identical cans to draw a still life.  I didn't have three soup cans, I didn't have three of any kind of cans, so I drew two soup cans and one tomato paste can.  Now that I think of it I have at least three cans of beans downstairs but it's too late now.  I'm very pleased with what I did.



This evening I finally finished the toe cap I started in August.  It's been lying in timeout since I started knitting two pairs of fingerless mitts and then finished the baby blanket.


Today's toss was a paperback book and a couple of toddler puzzles.

The prompt today said to write down three statements about yourself that are false.  Easy.  I love heights.  I like riding roller coasters.  I am not afraid of falling down stairs.  There, now you know my deepest fears and they're all sort of related.

All day I kept thinking it was Sunday but I had to know it was Wednesday because it was trash day and the mailman came.  How can I not know what day it is?

--Barbara

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Another Damp Day

It didn't rain but it was overcast and the lawn never really dried out so I was once again saved from mowing.  I suspect that this weekend the sun will come out a little and it'll be mowing time.  All of the flowers were rain speckled when I took their pictures.  You can see it the best on today's Stella d'Oro lily.



I like the way the Black-eyed Susan flowers seem to burst out of the little clump of leaves at the base.  Every plant is like that but I've never noticed it before.


In bird news, a Nuthatch flew in and spent some time pecking at the suet pellets.  It's hard to get a clear shot of it because I think the camera wants to focus on the crooks between me and the suet feeder but I try.



Today's drawing didn't amuse and please me the way yesterday's koalas did.  I confess that I just did the lesson and skipped the bonus challenge to draw a bouquet of these they-don't-really-look-like-roses roses.  To me it looks like a piece of paper wrapped around a stem.  Maybe I'll be happier with tomorrow's lesson.


 

This afternoon and evening I sat myself on the sofa and finished knitting the brim of the Eagle Eye Beanie for the knitting guild program on the 21st.  I was hoping to wait to knit this charcoal yarn on a sunny day but it's been cloudy and dreary for days. It's very tempting to forge ahead and jump into the fun part which is adding another color but I'm holding off until the meeting.



I saw a white spot in the grass and thought it was a piece of trash but when I got to it I discovered a little white flower.  I don't know what sort of weed it is but the flower is pretty.



Today's toss was some ballpoint pens.  I have too many pens, now I have fewer.

The prompt today said to write the first paragraph of the novel you've always wanted to write and then turn it into a play.  Yikes!  I've already written the novel I've always wanted to write.  It's called The Seaview, so I made an attempt to turn the beginning of it into a play.  Not very successfully, I suspect.

It was so damp today that I got chilled and had trouble getting warm so I put on a big, thick hoodie and warmed up after a while.  It seems too early to need the thick hoodie.

--Barbara

Monday, October 11, 2021

A Squirrel-y Day

Not much was happening in the bird world today.  Just this little Chickadee poking around looking for a sunflower seed.



 

The squirrels were all over the suets today.  First this one clung to the pellets and nibbled away for quite awhile.


 

 

Then this one spent some time breaking chunks off the suet cakes, dropping to the ground, and then sitting on its haunches eating the chunks.  Everything is gearing up for the coming winter.



Today's drawing lesson was a "cool koala."  I like the three circles with the three different textures on the top of the page.  It amazed me how different they look depending on the shape of the pencil strokes.  The little square of koalas entertained me for a long time.  I know I spent part of the time with my tongue sticking out of the side of my mouth, trying to get the ears just right.



Tonight's supper was the first of the giant chicken breasts and roasted cauliflower.  I went to ALDI this afternoon for a couple butternut squash that I cooked in the microwave so I'd have something "potato-y" with my meal.  Actual potatoes would cost points but butternut squash is zero points.  Score!  All of these foods are zero points foods but I charged myself a point because I put a little olive oil on the cauliflower to roast it and in the marinade for the chicken breasts.  It's only fair.  That left me plenty of points to have a scoop of chocolate ice cream too.  Now that's just good planning.


Today's toss was a digital weather station that eats batteries and I never look at.

The prompt today said to write the plot of a romantic comedy set in a war zone.  I couldn't do it.  There's nothing funny about war and no matter how I looked at it, it just didn't make sense.  So I skipped this one.

I was debating going out to mow the lawn but was saved by drizzle and then a little rain.  The grass isn't that long, especially in the front.  It can wait a few more days.

--Barbara

Sunday, October 10, 2021

And It Only Took Seven Years

I finished the Comfort Baby Blanket today and it only took seven years to make.  Of course, over six of those years it sat in a basket in the basement in time out.  I've been working on it semi-steadily since last month's knitting guild meeting and now it's done.  I even got the tails all woven in today so it's done done.  Whew.



There were pairs of lilies blooming today.  High up on top of the retaining wall there were two orange tiger lilies blooming side by side.  I just realized that these day lilies are the colors of that baby afghan.


Down at eye level two Stella d'Oro lilies bloomed side by side too.



The male Downy Woodpecker spent some time on the suet pellets again and a squirrel spent quite a bit of time on the suet cakes.  I took a picture of the bird but not the squirrel.



Instead I took a picture of the Dolly Parton-esque chicken breasts that I marinated and cooked on the grill this afternoon.  That's five and a half pounds of meat in four breasts.  Big!  Once they were cooked, I thickly sliced them and put the slices into a bag so I can have them for supper this next week.  I roasted a head of cauliflower to have with my chicken.  It was tempting to eat all of the cauliflower tonight but I bagged it up and just ate a small amount with my supper.



This little autumn leaf blew onto the patio while I was out getting the grill fired up.  It sure didn't feel like fall today.  It got into the mid-70s with a warm breeze from the southwest.  Nice day for a walk.



Today's toss was a paperback book of short stories.

The prompt today said that you discovered that your life was a science experiment.  Do you stay where you are or go live in the "real" world?  I had a long think about it and decided to stay in where I am.  My kids and grandkids are here and my life is pretty comfortable.  I'd wish away the virus if I could but I can't so I won't.  Otherwise life is good.

--Barbara

Saturday, October 9, 2021

I'm Not a Fan of Pink

The color, not the singer, but I can't help but be charmed by this little tuft of pink sedum that persists.  It's a last vestige of summer in autumn.



The Downy Woodpecker came to the suet pellets today but the coolest woodpecker was too zippy for a picture.  I came home from ALDI and was talking to my neighbors when they said that they'd seen a Pileated Woodpecker in the neighborhood and then one flew by!  Too cool!  A Pileated is a big bird that looks like Woody Woodpecker dressed in black and white (Woody was in blue) but it has Woody's big red cockade.  I hope I see it again.


As soon as I filled the feeders this morning a pair of Bluejays came to snatch peanuts from the wreath.  They perched on top of the fence and waited their turn as two squirrels got peanuts too.



One Stella d'Oro bloomed today.  No orange day lilies but this one bright yellow spot on a mostly cloudy day.


It wasn't very sunny but I did manage to knit an inch of the Eagle Eye Beanie brim.  I turned on all of the lights and knitted until the light started to fade.  I'll add more tomorrow.  I don't have to have the brim finished until the 21st so I don't have to hurry.



I snipped the last burnt orange yarn and added the second variegated green to the Comfort Baby Blanket.  Now all I have to do it knit row after row, decreasing one stitch each row, until I'm down to five stitches.  Then I'll weave in the ends and be done, and it's only taken seven years.



I didn't toss anything today.  I didn't look for anything.  I just didn't.  I didn't draw today either.

The prompt today said that everyone in your short story has been reincarnated so I wrote a tiny story about a colony of ants that is really starting at the bottom of the evolutionary ladder.  The narrator ant is grateful he didn't come back as a slug.

--Barbara