Saturday, September 24, 2016

On My Mark, Get Set, GO!

As we speak my suitcase is just about ready to be zipped shut.  I have all my writing stuff, my knitting stuff, my printer, books loaded on my Kindle, tea-making stuff, the case ready to receive this here laptop are all on the bed behind me.  I need to get dressed, grab a carton of yogurt and a banana for tomorrow's breakfast, kiss Durwood goodbye and I'M OFF!  Not that I'm excited or anything.

I realized yesterday how very tired I am of knitting the same things lately so I took my incipient sock project and something out of the "onsies" bag to knitting last night and cast them on.  Getting the Inside-Outside Scarf started took some concentration (and a few rip-out and restarts) so that's well started.  You're supposed to use two of the same color yarn with long color changes and start at one end of the skein with one and the other with the other so the color changes cross but I don't have any suitable yarn like that (and I am not buying any) but I do have these two different colors of the same yarn so I'm putting them together.  The darker one has more dramatic color changes and the lighter one's changes are more subtle.  I think I'll like it--or somebody will.

Casting on the sock took a few tries too, I don't know why, probably too much talking, so there're only 3 rounds of cuff but I'm going to like it even if it is blue because this is my favorite sock pattern.

September 24--H. Mark Weidman, Stunted Tree.  Glenn stood swaying on the sun-blasted rocks.  He'd drunk the last of his water an hour ago.  Maybe it was two hours, maybe a millennium ago.  His tongue felt too big for his mouth and he wasn't sweating.  His clothes rasped his skin.  They were crusted with salt from evaporated perspiration and dirt blown by the never-ending wind.  There was a tree not far away.  He thought it was a movie prop tree, maybe a Tolkien tree.  It had tufts of unconnected branches and cast no shade.  He swayed toward it.  Maybe there was water nearby.  He took a few steps and found himself sprawled across rocks hot enough to burn his already sun baked body.

Things aren't looking good for our hero, but things are looking great for me.  I'm outta here.  Talk to you next week.
--Barbara

Friday, September 23, 2016

Who Could Pass Up Chicken Dishes?

Not me, that's who.  This morning I went back to Joann's looking for the rest of that Asian print fabric so I might have enough to make the jacket for the class I signed up for on Craftsy.  There were about 3 yards left so I figure I'm golden although it is a one-way print so cutting out will have to be very deliberate and well-planned.  I can do it.



On the way from the front of the store back to the "value" fabrics (where I always shop) there was a rack of dishes with a 30% off sign.  I glanced at them and there was a vibrantly colored dessert plate with a rooster on it.  I checked what the price would be after the discount and decided I could afford some, so I sorted through the piles, discarding the butterfly (too frou-frou-y) and dragonfly (mmm, maybe but not today) plates and found one other rooster.  I made them mine.  I love the colors and I love the chickens, uh, roosters to be exact.  They'll make eating smaller portions fun.


Another fabric that caught my eye the other night and wormed its way into my cart today is this linen-ish fabric with cranes and peonies on it.  There's almost too much pink for my taste but the red, black and gold make it bearable.  It's another one-way design but I've got the pattern cut out and it'll be great.  I'll sew it a little oversize so I can wear it over a thin undershirt when it's colder.  At least that's my plan.  (may I say that I miss Hancock Fabrics, I'm very sorry they're closed)



Last night after supper I finished September Preemie Hat #2.  I like the bright bold stripes, don't you?

September 23--Denny Collins, Smiling Couple #2.  People gave them a year, maybe two, before their relationship broke up.  They were too different, some people said.  Others said they were too alike.  Mitch and Vonnie didn't pay any attention to what people said, they just got on with their lives.


And that's when my brain decided to get on with sleeping.  I spent most of today packing for my week up at The Clearing.  I leave tomorrow, hopefully around 9 o'clock, so this is fair warning that I won't have internet for the next week and I might or might not bestir myself to take my laptop off campus into the "real" world so I can blog.  Maybe I'll just closet myself in the peace of the woods and water and be back around October 1.  I'll think of you, I promise.  Oh, almost forgot my raincoat.
--Barbara

Thursday, September 22, 2016

First Day Of Autumn & It Sure Looks Like It


It's rainy and a little chilly (I don't mind the chilly part) but the maple tree in the front yard is undressing way before any other trees are even thinking about turning colors and losing their leaves.  More proof of my theory that it's on its last limbs, I'm afraid.  And it's my favorite tree.







I made some hat and warshrag progress yesterday before the POS computer decided to go haywire and not let the credit card machine work.  I rebooted it and thought it was because of the massive Windows 10 upgrades that ground their way slowly onboard but the POS tech lady says she thinks the PC is on its way out.  Arrgh.  At least I don't have to buy a new one.  I like how the hat and warshrag are turning out, though.






On my way home from work I swung into Joann Fabrics because they sent me a special coupon for 25% off my whole purchase, even sale items, that was only good through today.  I had to spend it,  I really did.  I'm so happy with the way that shirt I made last weekend turned out that I wanted more knits to make more.  I found some, mostly stripes, on the sale tables.  Naturally the one I like best wasn't enough to make a shirt so I had to buy some plain white to do like I did with the first one, parts will be striped and parts will be white.  Kind of goes with my mismatched socks, don't you think?

Last week when I went through Craftsy classes, putting the ones I liked on my wishlist to try to win five of them for free (I didn't win) I came across a couple classes teaching tricks to sew faster using garment industry techniques.  I really was interested and thought about signing up but it was $50 and that's just too much.  Well.  Yesterday I got an email from Craftsy offering three of their classes for $20 and one of them was the sew faster, sew better one.  I nearly broke a nail getting my credit card in there to buy it.  At Joann's I found some fabric that might be perfect for making that jacket but I don't have the pattern yet so I didn't know how much to buy.  I only bought 2 yds.which I know isn't enough for a jacket and I wasn't smart enough to think I should buy all that they had because of that 25% off coupon.  Now I think I'll go back tomorrow, bite the bullet and buy the rest.  It's only $7 a yard and there're probably not 3 yards left... maybe I'll stop on my way home today... just to make sure no one else buys it.



We have an avocado sprout.  Finally.  I noticed this tiny nubbin when I filled the jars this morning.  Woohoo!



September 21--Denny Collins, Smiling Couple #1.  Hack and Babe always said they were meant for each other.  They made eyes at each other in study hall in high school.  She loved the way one lock of wavy brown hair fell over his left eye when he concentrated.  He thought her green eyes sparkled like emeralds in the dusty light that came through the high windows.  They had one dance together at the end-of-the-school-year dance before their respective dates pulled them away.

I'm sure there's a lot more but I fell asleep.  Gotta run to the chiro and get my bones rearranged, especially my left ankle.  It's hurting like a son of a gun today.
--Barbara

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A Foggy Start


No, I mean the sky.  Well, I might have been a little foggy this morning but it passed.







I was happy to see this bluejay come to nab a peanut before the squirrels got them all.




Started September Preemie Hat #2 at work yesterday and cast on another Double Thick Dishcloth with that yarn from the crocheted cloth I frogged last week.  I purely love these cloths.  I'm so glad I found the free pattern.





Speaking of "found," I found Little Free Library #19 in my quest to spread my personal library all over the city.  I had to dodge dump trucks and orange barrels to get to it but I put in three books and took two, one for me and one for the grandkids.  I noticed that there's one in front of the Children's Museum downtown so maybe LC and I will have to check it out next time we visit and I should be sure to have a children's book or two ready to put in there.  It's not too early for her to learn about sharing books.

September 20--Mel Lindstrom, Man with Big Smile.  Carl finished his presentation, let out a breath he didn't know he was holding, and looked out over the audience.  There was polite applause and most of the faces wore polite expressions but about halfway back on the left, one guy was smiling so bit that Carl thought he must be halluncinating.  His talk had been thoroughly researched and Lila had helped him polish it but he had no illusions about his delivery.  He wasn't a dynamic speaker, never had been.  He came from a long line of fairly boring people and, in his case, the apple hadn't fallen far from the tree.

And here it is nearly 9 o'clock at night and I'm just now blogging.  I have no excuse.
--Barbara

Monday, September 19, 2016

Trying To Morning Better

It occurred to me that next week I'll need to get out of bed around 6 o'clock so I can yoga, shower, dress, and be at the breakfast table in the Lodge by 7:30 so I need to start practicing.  This morning I leaped (well, not exactly leaped, more like staggered) out of bed when the alarm went off at 6:30.  Got my lunches for the week organized and was yog-ing by 7:30.  After that, breakfast while Durwood sat groggily holding his coffee mug, skimmed the paper, got my day's clothes out, showered, and now I'm speed-blogging so I can leave for work in about 10 minutes.



There was a pair of bluejays nibbling the suet and getting drinks this morning but bluejays are such hit-and-run birds it's nearly impossible to get their picture if you're not sitting there with the camera in your hand.  I got this one up in the apple tree wiping some suet off his beak just before flying away with a squawk.


Last night Durwood made Chicken with Roasted Red Grape and Wine sauce for supper.  It's so good.  The seasoning is Herbes de Provence.  Have you ever used that?  It has every herb but the kitchen sink in there, even lavender, and it's so good.  I found a recipe for roasted sugar snap peas with fresh chives and a little sea salt.  Yum.  We followed the meal with a clementine each.  Now that's supper.



After supper I went downstairs and zoomed through making that shirt I cut out last week.  All I have left to do is hem the sleeves and bottom and that shouldn't take any time at all.  Cute, eh?  I can see that this pattern's going to get used a lot.  I think I'll buy another copy when they're on sale next so I can draw off the next smaller size because the sizes overlap, especially the neckline, they're not necessarily nested.

September 19--Mel Lindstrom, Sleeping Man.  Nan looked away from her book at Doug asleep beside her.  He was smiling.  Smiling the sweet smile that she hadn't seen in years.  She wondered what he was dreaming about.  Her first thought was of her beagle, Peggy, who used to woof and twitch her paws as she slept.  Dad said she was dreaming about chasing rabbits.  Doug didn't chase rabbits, she knew that for sure, he didn't chase anything.  He hadn't really chased her.  She joked that she'd run slow enough for him to catch her but the truth was she'd kind of chased him, making him think he'd been the aggressor.  She realized she was smiling, too.  She poked her glasses up on her nose and went back to her book.  This late hour was no time for extemporaneous smiling.

Okey-dokey, photos, spellcheck, Publish, and go.  Bye.
--Barbara

Sunday, September 18, 2016

It's Barely Still Morning But Here I Am

Somehow lately mornings have gotten away from me.  I think it's because I've taken to reading the newspaper after doing yoga when I used to blog.  Anyway, here I am with only a little bit to say, a couple pictures of hardly anything, and a long grocery list calling out to me, so I'll try to be quick.


Dad's rose is still a-bloom.  This cluster of three is just about on its last petals.  I'm happy to say that Japanese beetles never arrived to chew them up.  (watch, now they'll come out of the woodwork to make a liar out of me)  One rose cane is aiming for the stars.  See how it's already above the gutter?  Amazing.









Below and behind Dad's rose are the little purple mums.  They really are purple despite how the camera flash bleaches them out.  I used to have a whole row of mums along the house in five or six different colors but the rest of them all died out.  Guess I need to start over.  I really like the dark red ones and the coppery bronze ones.

This morning I busied myself fixing food for this week's three work lunches.  That's right, three.  I get to work tomorrow because Mrs. Boss is off in Florida.  I don't know if she's visiting Mickey or soaking her head on a week's worth of SCUBA dives, all I know is that she's not here so I get to work.  I found a WW recipe for "classic" chicken salad to use up the last of the chicken I roasted on the grill last weekend.  It looks pretty classic to me and it has lots of mustard in it, just like I like.  I made sugar-free orange gelatin with mandarin oranges in it for my serving of fruit.  One of the things I really like about this new Smart Points version of WW is all fruits and all veggies are 0 points per serving.  I'm sure if you ate an entire watermelon you'd accrue some points but in reasonable quantities you can eat veggies and fruit for free.  Yay!

And that's it.  I didn't write last night, just didn't feel like it, so I turned out the light and zonked.  Time to slap on a few photos, change the font to one I like better, press Publish, and head out for the market.  Toodle-oo.
--Barbara

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Not The Way I Imagined Today

I had big plans for big accomplishments today, I really did, but I slept until almost 9 o'clock and didn't really get moving, accomplishing things until after noon.  I did yoga and paged through the paper.  I crocheted loops for these four "training" socks that I'm repurposing for an Advent garland and sorted through the bin of yarnings in the living room.





I sewed the leaf onto September Preemie Hat #1.  Isn't it pretty?  I imagine a tiny sleeping diva wearing it.






I meant to sew on that shirt I cut out at work the other day but ended up finally re-cutting and sewing the swim bottoms for LC.  It's not right.  I'm going to rip out the waist elastic, make a casing, and then thread the elastic through it.  Maybe that'll help.  Maybe someday I can find a pattern for these so they'll turn out and not have to make them up and end up with an unsatisfactory result.

I did get all the laundry done though.  Not carried up, folded, and put away but washed and dried anyway.  I'll carry up the hanging clothes and the basket so Durwood can fold on Monday.  Laundry's a team sport around here.

Oh, and I frogged the yoga sock at Knitting last night.  It wasn't right.  At least I was smart enough to realize that before I'd knitted a whole sock, cut the yarn, and wove in the tails.  Weaving in the tails makes it challenging to rip apart.  I can do it, have done it, but it's an adventure in frustration and cussing.

September 17--Eric L. Klein.  Jacob caught sight of her for only a minute as her car passed him.  He stood waiting for the light to change when she drove by and smiled at him, looked him right in the eye.  Her teeth were the whitest white against her coffee complexion and her hair was in a hundred tiny braids.  He craned his neck to see where she went.  He hoped she wasn't just passing through town.

I'm tired of dragging around, being in a funk, and a bit of a fog.  I have high hopes that my coming week up in the woods will go far toward clearing things out.
--Barbara