Thursday, June 22, 2017

Just Plain Birds

As my last day of work draws nearer I find it increasingly difficult to get myself going in the morning.  I read the paper with a lot more thoroughness.  I spend extra time working the Jumble and Sudoku and less time staring out the window looking at what's happening out there.  This morning I saw a Downy Woodpecker for a fleeting moment but mostly there were just plain birds.  The House Finches (the males have rosy pink heads, I think they're an invasive species brought over as cage birds a century ago that escaped) have taken over the Oriole feeder.  They've always been the birds that pecked away at the orange half and grape jelly when the Orioles aren't around but this year they've extended themselves to the nectar feeder.  I guess I don't mind.  The Orioles only come early and late in the year, when they're nesting they need "real" food for the babies so the House finches are welcome to the nectar.

Then there are the Mourning Doves, the little old ladies of the bird world.  These are not bright birds in fact they're the ones that bash into the windows so I'm thinking they've got the same problem as people with concussions do.  Plus I love the whistling sound they make when they get startled and fly away, like little old ladies when you tell them a dirty joke.  (except for my Grandma Babe who never understood a clean joke in her life)


Yesterday afternoon I stole a few minutes to set up a table in the back room and cut out another pair of seersucker practice pants from the remains of the fabric.  There wasn't enough to cut out the whole length of the legs but I think they're about even.  And I have enough scraps so that I can sew "cuffs" on the leg bottoms with the stripes going horizontal if they're just too short or an awkward length.  In fact, I might just do that anyway as a "design element."



After supper I cast on another anklet with yarn that reminds me of Easter eggs.  We all know how much I dislike pastels but for some reason I like this yarn.  Maybe it's the lime green...  BTW, that bracelet is a row counter, kind of an abacus you wear on your wrist.  (one of these days I'm going to get me an abacus and learn how to use it, and not a counting frame either, a real abacus)


And I printed off a couple patterns, dug out needles and brought some pink yarn with me today to cast on the first Pink Pussy Hat.  Better late than never.  LC and DIL1 told me the other night that I'm a "rebel girl" like they are.  LC has a book "Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls" that is full of one page biographies of women like Harriet Tubman, Frieda Kahlo, Grace Fitzgerald (she was a pirate), so little girls grow up knowing that they can be and do whatever they want.  LC told me that rebel girls are "strong, smart, kind, and brave."  I was very touched to be included.  Makes me want to be all those things every day.  (I see I need to stop for some printer ink on my way home)


June 22--Diego Velasquez, Prince Baltazar Carlos.  Boys and horses have almost as much affinity for each other as boys and dogs.  Balt would have slept with Maestro if Mama had not made such a fuss about rats and fleas in the barn.  Balt thought it was cleaner in the barn and it smelled better than the house and most people did.  He and the groom sponged off Maestro every day after Balt came back from riding.  Despite Mama's contention that it wasn't his place to brush his horse, Balt insisted that caring for his animal was part of being a horseman.  Papa agreed.

Okay, now this is almost ready to post so then I can cast on for a hat.  Can you believe that I've had to work at work most of the day?  I mean, really.  Good thing I'm retiring ONE WEEK FROM TODAY.  *ahem*  Sorry for shouting.
--Barbara

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

One Long Day

Today is the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, so I hope you've got some sun-worshiping on your calendar.  Today is the day we celebrate the light because it's the day we have the most of it all year long.  Technically speaking, the summer solstice occurs when the sun is directly overhead the Tropic of Cancer, or 23.5° north latitude.   That was at 11:24 p.m. last night, not the perfect time to celebrate light, so I say we celebrate today.
  



As promised I finished the Calypso Anklet last night and got the tails woven in.  Now I have to knit another one out of the same kind of yarn (but not the same color way, what, are you nuts? who'd wear matching socks?) so I have a pair (but not a pair) to see if I like how they wear in shoes.






Oh, I almost forgot, I visited a new yarn shop yesterday.  It's The Lost Sheep Yarn Shop in downtown Sheboygan and it's very nice.  It's only been open since January and it looks like they're already expanding.  Lots of lovely yarn, samples to drool over, they even offer a blocking service.  I exhibited what I consider to be the ultimate in self-control because I only bought one skein of yarn and a tape measure.  Admittedly it's a very fancy and pricey skein of Crazy Zauberball sock yarn but it's the first red skein I've ever seen of that yarn.  You know I love red; I couldn't leave it behind, besides that's what "mad" money is for.





Then I spent an hour at the Rawr-West Museum in Manitowoc soaking up the glorious Chagall prints from his book "Le Cirque."  Chagall has always been one of my favorite artists so it was lovely to be able to see them.  I'd love to see even one of his paintings but this might be the next best thing.


Then I drove home and back to reality.  It was a lovely little run-away.  Now I'll be saner for the next few months until September when it'll be time to go back to The Clearing for a writing workshop.

June 21--August Macke, Tightrope Walker.  She has to be blinded by the lights, Theo thinks.  The lights make the spangles of her costume wink and flash but the lights must shine in her eyes too.  The tightrope is so narrow, so dark, so unstable that he thinks every step will be her last.  Behind the pasted-on smile he can see her fierce concentration.  He watches the way her fingers flex and grip the pole she uses for balance.  Isn't the music distracting?  He wants to call out for quiet, to shush the chattering children.  In his imagination she begins to fall and he leaps down the stands and out into the center ring to catch her.  Sometimes he keeps his feet, sometimes he falls with her in his arms.  She always puts her arms around his neck and kisses him right there in the middle of the whole circus.

It seemed oddly coincidental that the art for last night's writing prompt was a circus scene when I'd spent part of the day looking at Chagall's circus prints.  I keep getting interrupted by customers and haven't even had time to eat lunch.  I think I'll do that now.  Cheers!
--Barbara

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Make A Wish

Are you supposed to make a wish on a rainbow?  We had a rain squall come through with a fair amount of thunder and lightning so when the storm cleared and the sun came out to make this rainbow I wished that it would avoid where Lala was camping so she could sleep in a dry sleeping bag.  Anyway it was pretty.






There must have been some windy wind a few days ago because when I took a walk along the river I saw this big branch had fallen over the side.  I saw this mama duck perched on the thick branch and then noticed her half-grown ducklings huddled and hiding in the leaves barely poking out of the water.





I've been thinking a lot lately about how women "of a certain age" seem to disappear, both to society and, to some extent, themselves.  An employee at the food store the other day teased me about wearing mismatched socks and I told her that women our age start to disappear and mismatched socks are my way of fighting that.  She said her daughter had bought her a frilly black bra that she wouldn't wear because "bras are white."  I asked why not wear it and suggested that she wear her black bra to prove to herself that she's not disappearing.  Two days later I was back in the store and she stopped me, then tugged the collar of her uniform shirt aside to reveal a black bra strap.  Score one for us old-ish broads.  I was just chatting to the woman taking my money yesterday at a boutique and she mentioned that she feels like she's fading away.  I told her about my socks and Pam's bra and her whole face lit up; I think I've found a new "cause."  Good thing I'm retiring, I've got a lot of writing about being un-invisible to do.


Last night I watched Hidden Figures on DVD.  Good movie.  Almost as good as the book, not as in-depth, but good nevertheless.  While I watched I knitted on the Calypso anklet.  I got to the toe but was too tired to finish.  I'll get that done today.

June 20--Anonymous, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen by Rudolph Erich Raspe.  He had hitched his fortunes and himself to the crescent moon.  The Moon was not pleased.  He glared down his hooked nose at the puny human who dared presume on the strength of his moonlight.  Most of the stars paid no attention to the man who had lassoed the Moon at his lowest point and swung there peering down from that great height, but one star saw the way the Moon felt trapped by the man.  The star pulsed a warning and turned her light aside, luring a cloud to hide behind.

I have no idea what that means, it's what came out of the end of my pencil.  Now I'm going to gather up all my stuff, stop at the local yarn shop (of course), then visit the museum in Manitowoc to see the Chagall exhibit before heading on home.  Later, dudes and dudettes.
--Barbara

Monday, June 19, 2017

Where Do You Go to Unwind?



If you're me, you go look at water, that's what you do.  Yesterday afternoon I loaded up my lemon-lime-orangeade, my laptop, a little knitting, and a few clean clothes and tootled down I-43 to Kohler-Andrae State Park, just south of Sheboygan to visit a camping friend, sit and look at the lake until I was cross-eyed, then go back to her campsite for supper cooked on the fire.  We did weenies on long forks and she made foil packets of red bell pepper and broccoli, some curried ramen noodles, and a packet of mushrooms on the fire.  All was delicious and filling.  Then we sat and talked, watching the fire, until we got tired and I, too old to sleep on the ground, went to my motel for the night.  Ahh.



 
What do you do when you wake up out of town and are too cheap and too lazy to go out and find a newspaper?  Why, you copy the Jumble and the Sudoku off the online version of the paper into your Bullet Journal, that's what you do.   I hope they never do away with paper newspapers.  I really enjoy my time sitting with my mug of coffee, slowly turning the big pages, reading news local, national, and international, seeing pictures of exotic places and around the corner, reading the comics and the advice columns, then hunkering down with a pencil and tackling the Jumble, Sudoku, and crossword puzzles.  See?  I've been practicing retirement.  I like it.


As I was leaving the house yesterday I noticed that the first blossoms on Dad's Rose have opened.  Hooray!  Just in time for Father's Day.  Hmm, funny how that worked out.



I didn't knit at the campfire.  I didn't want my yarn/project to smell like wood smoke--like my clothes do and my hair did until I showered.  I promise I'll knit today so I'll have something to show you tomorrow.  Promise.

June 19--Claude Monet, Lilies in a Pond.  The tall thin leaves were thick at the edge of the pond.  Grandma used to say that some of her favorite flowers like to live with wet feet.  I love lilies and  these lilies are like that.  I was glad to see the bright, yellow-green shoots muscle their way through last year's brown and crumpled stalks full of wind-blown leaves.  Soon stems would appear with buds ready to open in a blaze of pink, lavender, and orange.

I was tired last night.  I'm not used to scaling sand dunes or walking along woodland paths with tree roots ready to trip a person up at every step.  Speaking of walking, I think I'll go for one.  
--Barbara

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Hawk! Hawk! Hawk! And One Bluejay

The Red-tailed Hawk has been hanging around our backyard lately.  We don't mind.  I was fixing supper last night (heating up leftovers) when Durwood said, "The hawk's in the grass.  I think it caught something."  Well, it hadn't but it sure gave a good hard look to that spot.  Then it hop-flew up onto the retaining wall and I was amazed at how a brown and white bird could be camoflaged against green plants (aka weeds).  This morning it did its vulture impression from the top of the fence.  Still didn't catch anything.







The only bird that isn't fussed by the arrival of the hawk is the bluejay.  It metaphorically thumbs its nose at the predator and goes about its business wriggling a peanut out of the wreath.  Evidently the local squirrels are either on vacation or they're too wary of the hawk because my assistant and I filled that wreath on Friday and there are still nuts left.






I made the lemon-lime-orangeade to take to my campfire supper with Lala today.  It looks very yummy.  I tasted it right after I made it, it was a little tart but I'm sure the flavor has improved with age.  I think it's very pretty.




Last night (after an afternoon nap and after supper) I went downstairs to sew up the pants I cut out last week.  While cutting them out I questioned why I had traced off a one-size-smaller pants pattern than the top and dress patterns I did the same day.  I measured myself, honest I did, but my fears came true and the pants, while I can get them on, I suspect that there's not much chance of successfully sitting down in them--more than once.  I might have enough of the striped seersucker left to cut out another pair, especially since I'm thinking I'd crop them, so that will be my project at work next Wednesday (Retirement Day #-4).  I want to make a "practice" pair that I like the fit of before I cut into any of the "real" pants fabric I have waiting downstairs.

In the "Better Late Than Never" Department: I have been gifted with quite a bit of pink wool so after checking with DIL1 to make sure she and LC will wear them, I'm going to knit 3 Pussy Hats.  I didn't knit any last fall because I didn't have any pink yarn and, honestly, there wasn't much to be found even if I wanted to buy any.  I've been working diligently to knit solely from my stash so I didn't knit any hats.  Now I have pink yarn, now I'll knit us some hats.  I figure that bandwagon has a wide and welcoming tailgate just waiting for us latecomers to clamber aboard.  (and if I hold 2 or 3 strands together I can use big needles and be done knitting pink [ugh] yarn faster, sorry, my prejudice is showing)

June 18--John Gay, A Father and Daughter Sail a Model Yacht in the Sea, Blackpool.  He has his trousers rolled up to the very tops of his thighs and is still in a white shirt and sport coat, yet there he stands, knee-deep in the sea, helping his daughter sail her toy boat.  He's not the only person wading in street clothes either, there's a whole gaggle of them.  The water can't be very warm, only one swimmer is visible, and the air must be cool too because people are in sweaters.  What were they thinking?  First to go into the sea when it's too cold and then to go in clothes.

And now I'm going to make sure I have enough clean underwear and socks and my toothbrush packed so I can drive away from home for a couple nights.  Not too far, just far enough to clear my head and pretend I've run away.  Durwood's looking forward to not having me here too, I am sure.  Don't worry, I'm taking the laptop so I'll keep blogging.
--Barbara

Saturday, June 17, 2017

A Few Poppies Remain

I was surprised to see that there are still a couple poppies just opening in the sea of poppies dropping their petals.  Ahh, poppies.  (add your own soundtrack, can you say "Wizard of Oz"?)


Too early to be out of bed this morning (thanks for dropping your flashlight onto the plastic office mat under this chair at 5:15, Durwood), the last of last night's storm clouds were headed east.  I was out around 10 o'clock last night and the sky was alight with lightning and rumbled with thunder.  And there was rain, of course, but it very considerately slacked off just as I pulled into the driveway and waited until I got into the house before it started up again.  Thanks, Mother Nature.


The Red-tailed Hawk was hunting from the top of the office building behind us this morning but looking the other way so I didn't see if he was successful.


I think we might be having home-grown lettuce for supper tonight.  I know we're having home-grown asparagus.  Yum.







When you get married the more affluent of your parents' friends give advanced technology gifts.  Mom and Dad got this juicer as a wedding gift in September of 1950 and I rescued it from her last rummage sale in about 1980.  I love the thing, it works great and it never breaks down.  My friend Lala is going camping and she invited me to drive down for supper tomorrow night.  I said I'd bring the lemonade, then found this recipe for Aunt Frances' Lemonade on Taste of Home.  It sounds so good, I'm making it.  I plan to freeze some of it to use as non-diluting ice cubes.  (aren't I just the cleverest thing?)  I had to break down and go to Meijer for the citrus, I went to Pick 'N Save (used to be Copps) where the walnut-size lemons were 99 cents each.  Each!  And they didn't have Valencia (juice) oranges, navel oranges just don't squeeze like the Valencias.  I mean, you can squeeze them but the juice isn't as tasty.  Don't know why, old wives' lore.  Before I make it I need to zoom over to the Dollar Tree to find a gallon plastic jug to take it in, one that I can leave with Lala so she won't go thirsty.  The store's only a block away, it isn't much of a trip.

June 17--Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Japanese Warloard Minamoto no Yoritomo.  He is resplendent in his regalia.  The Japanese warlord's armor is layer upon layer of embroidered silk under leather panels painted and gilded.  He bristles with a sheathed sword, knives in ornate sheaths, and a trio of throwing stars on his breastplate.  He must have clanked and clattered as he paraded in to see the emperor.  Gloria stood admiring the panel, leaning forward to see the tiny lines of his hair and the small smile on his face.  Her son, Lewis, leaned on her hip as she studied the painting.  She felt him shift from foot to foot, his tennis shoe squeaking on the polished floor.  "Mom?" he said.  "Yeah?"  He shifted again working up to ask his question.  "How did he go to the bathroom in all that stuff?"  Gloria didn't laugh.  "Well," she said, "he probably went just before he left home, same as you do."  She turned to move to the next exhibit, her hand on her son's shoulder.  "Yeah, probably," he said.

All of a sudden I'm tired. My eyes are burning and I could lay down.  It couldn't be because I was rudely, although accidentally, awakened at 5:15 and couldn't get back to sleep, could it?  Maybe I'll take a nap...
--Barbara

Friday, June 16, 2017

Plumping Up

The blueberries are, that is.  Well, I'm always plumping up and then trying to de-plump a bit, it's a yo-yo thing.  I can't tell you how thrilled I am that two of my three blueberry bush-lets are just filled with berries this year.  It's probably been 5 years since I planted them and 3 years since I made their special soil and sunk their pots into the ground, and this year's the first one where I have the potential to get more than a handful of berries.






The tomatoes have gotten the message too.  There are now 2 tomatoes visible on the Early Girl and one on the Celebrity.  I need to check to see if I'm supposed to be fertilizing my bales weekly or something.  Back to the book.












I was happy to see that the spiderwort in the garden is blooming. It's a bright lilac purple which washes out to this flabby color in a digital camera.  Trust me, it fills the eye.  The bees like it too.



I got about a third of the foot rounds done on the Calypso Anklet yesterday.  I switched to doing Magic Loop on a single circular needle to see if that would help me pick up the pace.  It might have but for some reason I could barely keep my eyes open in the late afternoon so it's hard to tell.



I've been slowly bringing my things home from the dive shop in preparation for June 29, my last work day.  This week my beanie baby-type toys that lived in a fishnet decoration and the "flu bug" we kept by the desk to ward off the flu (in case our flu shots didn't do the job) came home.  This is very weird, I'm totally looking forward to retiring but at the same time I have a sort of upset tummy thinking about it.  Change is hard. 


That's it for today.  I hope the lawn mowers come today, it's looking kind of shaggy out there.  Adios!
--Barbara

Thursday, June 15, 2017

More Drama From the Sky

A line of storms blew in yesterday afternoon to change the sunshine to rain and wind.  It was a lot stormier on the east side where I was than the west side where Durwood was.  He called me in the stormiest part of the storm yesterday when the wind was so strong it was sucking the store door open slightly, just enough to make the door chime ring, but he said it was barely raining.  I could hear the torrent of rain pouring off the little awning over the back door of the store and wondered if the rain would be strong enough to make its way around the door and seep inside.  It didn't but it was sure windy and rainy there for a while.  It knocked out power to the part of the east side where Aldi is.  I know this because I stopped there on my way home for on-sale strawberries (the Aldi closest to home is closed for remodeling) but all the stores along there were dark and the stoplights weren't working so I just drove on home sans strawberries.  I'll get some tomorrow.  I know parts of the west side lost power because a FB friend posted that they were in the dark.  Good thing we didn't lose power since Durwood's oxygen machine doesn't run if the power's out.  Although we weren't without frustration last night.  I was making spaghetti for supper and turned the meat sauce to simmer while the noodles cooked and the stove quit.  I went downstairs, got the ladder, and reset the breaker, only to have it blow again when a burner got turned on.  Gah!  One more trip downstairs, reset the breaker once more, and all was well.  There will be a call to an appliance fixer for a visit in the not too distant future.  In the meantime we won't be using the "simmer select" button because I think pushing it tripped the breaker.  The spaghetti got finished, the pasta wasn't overcooked, and it was good.  Maybe spaghetti tastes better with a helping of frustration...


Once the storm hit there were no more shoppers at the dive shop so I hauled out my anklet project and got the rest of the side stitches knitted onto the sole and then picked up stitches to join the sides for the run down the foot to the toe.  I was getting dressed this morning, in hand-knit ankle socks, and realized that the yarn for the anklet looks so familiar because I have an ankle sock knitted from the same yarn, different pattern though so there's no danger I'll wear a pair.


Not much has changed in the garden.  The day lilies have sent up stalks with buds on the tops out of the ferns so pretty soon there'll be bright orange flowers to offset the different greens.  I'm glad I read in an article about attracting butterflies and hummingbirds that zinnias are a good flower for them.  I'd forgotten how pretty and easy to grow they are.  The hummers must have nestlings, we haven't seen them much in the last week, but soon they'll bring the fledglings to drink at the nectar so we'll have lots of entertainment until they migrate.


June 15--Edward Hopper, Room in Brooklyn.  Emily's world was rooftops and chimneys and satellite dishes all facing in the same direction like sunflowers.  She hadn't been outside for years and even going downstairs felt like too much too far.  She watched her knuckles resting on the windowsill turn white at the thought.


Okey-dokey.  I had to wake up twice to get that pittance on the page.  Guess I was tired.  Tonight is the knitting guild's annual picnic so I have to remember to take the little crockpot, a serving spoon, the bowl of bbq pulled chicken I made on Tuesday, and the bags of dinner rolls I plan to use for buns along.  I'll plug in the crockpot this afternoon at the dive shop so it'll be warmish when I get there to plug it in again.  Hope I'll be strong enough not to dip into it before the afternoon's over.
--Barbara

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A Dramatic Sky

Well, it's more dramatic than the solid gray or endless blue skies we've had lately.  This one's half and half and I liked the way the sun illuminated the trailing edges of the clouds.  It was more dramatic from the front yard when that big tree wasn't right in the middle of my view but it was 6:30, I didn't have the camera, and didn't want to trudge back into the house for it.

 
Maybe I did have the camera because I took this picture of the yellow Asiatic lilies which are the last of those kind of lilies in the front.  I should probably go buy more lilies when the parking lot greenhouses start to clearance them out.  I love lilies, they're beautiful, some of them smell great, and they don't need a lot of tending.  My kind of flower, and I'll bet there are varieties that bloom from spring into fall.  I should look that up.  Maybe if I plant enough of them the rabbits couldn't eat them ALL.

 
In bales news, the nasturtium is very happy living in the end of the bale below the lettuce.  See?  It's making flowers and did you know that you can eat nasturtium flowers?  Yep, if there's one blooming when I pick some lettuce I'll nab a flower and share it with Durwood. 

 
On the other bale, a grove of mushrooms has sprouted through the soil the carrots are planted in.  I'm sure they came from the bale because there are the same kind popping up here and there on all of the bales.  I like them, they're cute. 




June 14--Winslow Homer, Long Branch.  The sand was warm under Lydia's feet.  She slid down the steep side of the dune toward the water.  There wasn't much wind so the waves were small, barely licking the sand instead of rushing in to gobble chunks of the dunes.  Last week a storm had blown in, had churned up the water, sending it sweeping across to undermine the supports of a line of beach shacks, sending them tumbling into a pile of planks and canvas furniture.  Lydia walked up the beach toward them.  She saw a pair of red and white Chuck Taylor's poking out of the rubble.  When she tried to pull one out it didn't budge.  She wrapped both hands around one shoe and pulled again.  That's when she realized that there was still a foot in the shoe.

Done.  Gotta run.  I've got a chiro appointment in 15 minutes.  Toodles.
--Barbara

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

We Have a Tomato!

It's only as big as the end joint of my pinkie but there it is on the Early Girl plant just as plain as day, all perky and green with lots more flowers ready to turn into tomatoes too.  Yay!






The blueberries are very happy with the care they're getting this year.  There are more berries on the plants than ever before.  Hooray!





The Oriental poppies are fading.  They bloom for such a short time, then they're gone.  Boo.  But I just looked up the difference between Oriental poppies and opium poppies and it seems that their leaves are very different, Oriental poppies are perennials, opium poppies are annuals, and the Orientals hold their petals longer than the opium, although opium poppy seeds are "perfectly safe to eat."  Yeah, pull the other one.


I decided to try knitting an anklet like those black and white ones I did over the winter, out of the cotton/elastic yarn I use to make ankle socks, so I cast on yesterday and look how far I got.  I hope the elastic in the yarn keeps the sock from sagging in my shoe.


The medical supply place brought Durwood a new oxygen concentrator with a bonus machine on top that you use to fill tanks.  A guy's supposed to come this morning to show me how to do it.  Good thing I've spent the last 20+ years filling SCUBA tanks or I'd probably be nervous about the whole thing.  I'm not sure what brought all this on but evidently it's some Medicare rule having to do with being on oxygen for 5 years meaning that it's a permanent thing so we have to have different equipment.  *throws up hands*  I don't know.  I try to stay as far away from the government as humanly possible.

June 13--Odilon Redon, Vase with Red Poppies.  The poppies looked like those wild girls in high school whose skirts were too short and who wore red lipstick when everyone else had on blush pink.  The poppies made the daisies look sweet and innocent, like your goody-two-shoes cousin who always got E's in Deportment on her report card and was usually picked May Queen in school even though you knew you would have looked better in the Madonna-blue cape and imitation pearl tiara.  It wasn't the flowers' fault that the poppies were top heavy so they lolled and drooped over the edge of the vase while the daisies stood up straight and clustered in the center.  A few of them leaned to the side but most of the daisies just stood there staring up at the ceiling.  Mae tried over and over to get the flowers to work together but she finally gave them each their own vase and put them both in the center of the table.

We had a whale of a rainstorm last night with far off thunder and lightning and it's kind of clouding up right now.  At least it's a little cooler today, probably no less humid but I can't have everything.  And I'm not sure why not.
--Barbara

Monday, June 12, 2017

Birds Bathing

We've had a run of birds bathing today and at least one turf war.  First up we have Mrs. Cardinal or This-Year's-Fledgling Cardinal trying to contort itself into the fountain's tiny pools.  Of course it kept poking its head behind that Adirondack chair arm poking into the frame on the right but I managed to catch it once.

Then the catbird came for its morning splash.  I like the way catbirds look; they're a dark charcoal gray with a darker gray head, they cock their tails like wrens do, and, though you have to watch for it, their rump is a rusty red.  Pretty snazzy for a drab bird.


Just as the catbird got all wet and started really splashing this bluejay came over from its perch on the chair and chased the catbird to the top of a crook to finish preening and dart scowls back at the bluejay.  It's rare to see a bluejay bathing so I didn't feel too bad for the catbird, they come a few times a day.


I took these poems with me yesterday and after I'd read the first one, the guy organizing the event said, "You're in."  Wow.  I asked if I could read all I'd brought and he was enthusiastic to listen. It's a three day festival and they plan for me to read each day so I thought I'd work up three different 15-minute readings and said so.  He said he liked the ones I'd read but that's just the tip of the iceberg so I'm going to see what other poems I really like and that aren't too sappy or audience-specific.  This is pretty cool, kind of makes me feel like a real person again--although I didn't realize until yesterday that I'd stopped feeling like one sometime in the past.



I cut out the seersucker pants yesterday afternoon and in the evening I finished knitting the Fast Hat, even dug around after supper for a couple of Mother Malcolm's old buttons to sew on the brim.  I know the hat looks small but it fits me just fine and I've got a pretty big head.  I like this pattern, I'm thinking it'd be good for Seamen's Church hats.
 



June 12--Egypt 18th Dynasty, The Gold Mask of Tutankhamun.  Even in the dim and dusty halls of the old Egyptian Museum the gold mask drew the eye.  Victoria stood looking into the almond eyes of the boy Pharaoh thinking how it must have been to find his tomb.  Carter had to have been at his wits' end knowing that his career was over unless he found something and something big.  She thought how his heart must have leaped when he thrust his arm into the anteroom and his candle lit up the grave goods piled there.

It's still hot and beastly humid.  I went out this morning and hosed the cottonwood fluff off the vanes of both air conditioner units.  We sure don't want those crapping out this week.  I get to work today.  I'm less than thrilled but it's the very last Monday I'll ever work and I am thrilled about that.  Off to keep the world safe from SCUBA diving for 6 more days--after today.  Woohoo!
--Barbara