Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Gr-r-r-r-r-ray & Drizzly

 
I thought when the sun came out yesterday that we were done with the gloomies for a while but, nooooo, another Low pressure system slotted itself in right behind the one that left so we're in it again.  *sigh*  Looks like we're in it until Thursday when it's supposed to warm up, but since this coming weekend's Memorial Day weekend I don't have huge hopes for warm and dry days.



This Downy Woodpecker came for a drink before it swooped over to the suet feeder.  I've said it before, I know, but I love their tidy black and white feathers.


Hoping to attract some wrens to the mix I dug the fountain out of the garage this morning, gave it a scrub, then ran cleaning bleach through it for a little while before dumping out the suds and putting in plain water.  I'm thinking I'll duck into Fleet Farm later to get a new birdhouse for them since both of ours crapped out over the winter.  I saw one there for eight bucks a few weeks ago, I hope there's one left.


Helical Sock SOCK #2 is finished so I have two socks knitted from the same pattern.  They don't look the same, that's for danged sure, and I somehow managed to make the leg of #2 a full two inches longer.  Where was my mind?  Better yet, where was my tape measure?  The foot's a little longer because the foot of #1 is a little short.  I'm a big fan of the colors of #2, more than #1 but I like them both and will wear them both.  They're socks, not art.  I'm kind of stumped about what to knit next so I think I'll work on WIPs and charity knitting until inspiration strikes.
 
The lilies of the valley are very slowly blooming.  All this chilly weather's slowing them down, I'm sure of it.  I wonder if the big patch of them is still there under the spruce tree that was in front of Grandma Stephan's house.  I wonder if the tree's even there.

May 23--Delft, Holland, Delft Barber's Bowl imitating Chinese porcelain style.  Earl picked up the brightly decorated bowl with the section scooped out of the rim.  The shopkeeper glanced up.  "It's a barber's bowl," he said.  "That cut out part curves around the neck under the chin when you get a shave."  Earl imagined the bowl with water and shaving foam in it, resting in his hands while a guy scraped off his whiskers with a straight razor.  He didn't think he'd enjoy that.  The mark on the bottom said "Delft" with a blue windmill.  He said, "I thought all Delftware was blue on white."  The shopkeeper shook his head.  "This one imitates Chinese export porcelain but it's earthenware."  He grinned.  "Maybe all those bright colors hid any blood."  Earl put the bowl down and moved on.

Well, poo.  I had a lunch date with an out-of-town friend today that just got cancelled.  I can't be too disappointed because her dad's in rehab here after getting a pacemaker and hurting himself in a fall so it's understandable that he needs her attention first but I even combed my hair and put on a nice scarf.  Oh well, I'll just sashay around Fleet Farm looking good--for once.  And from there I can go someplace for a few more flowers because I want to plant one more pot for the patio.  Don't worry about me, I'll be fine.
--Barbara

Monday, May 22, 2017

Yarn Thing First

After getting all the flowers and seeds planted, getting cleaned up, spending way more time than I wanted to while Durwood checked out the new Meijer store that opened on Tuesday, I sat on the couch, put my feet up, and knitted the rest of the Helical Sock SOCK foot and started the toe.  I'll get that finished today because I have to work today (boo!) so I have to figure out what to knit next.

Speaking of checking out the new Meijer, here's Durwood in his scooter cart analyzing the TV dinner selection.  If him spending 45 minutes in the Meat Dept. doesn't convince you that he loves grocery stores I don't know what will.  I parked myself alongside a display of pistachio nuts and played spider solitaire on my phone until he was finally done.  It didn't help that most of the population of the northern half of the hemisphere AND their crying babies were there too.  Good thing he decided that things are too expensive there so we won't have to do that again.  We agreed to "cherry pick" the specials if it's something we really want.



The patio pots are very happy.  Look how perky everything got overnight.  I don't think I told you that I bought two mint plants--lemon mint and chocolate mint--to plant alongside the timber edge of the garden.  I potted some mints for LC last year and she asked me the other day which leaves were mint so she could pick one and eat it.  Gotta have yummy mint leaves for my girl, ya know.  (BTW, I didn't murder the mousie after all.  By the time we got home from Meijer it had scampered away.)





For birds this gray and chilly morning, we had this male Oriole that was on the crook near the patio--until I pressed the camera shutter but then I "caught" him singing his little heart out in the bare branches at the top of the apple tree.  I thought we had only one female Hummingbird coming around but I think there are two.  This one prefers to sip at the oriole feeder and the other one likes the hummingbird feeder.  It doesn't really matter, the birdie juice is the same in both.  This Bluejay spent some time standing on the edge of the birdbath cracking open a seed and then it turned around to show off its pretty face.  Smile!









May 22--Edgar Degas, Jockeys.  The lithe men looked like butterflies on the backs of the long-legged horses.  They milled around on the grass before sorting themselves into a line to parade across to the track.  The crowd sounded like the surf breaking on a sandy beach.  Leo leaned forward to slap Hector's Holdout's neck and frowned at the pink sleeve covering his arm.  Hector's new owner's colors were olive green and pink, two colors that made him look as if he was in the final stages of liver disease.  "Don't worry, Heck old boy, even if we look sick we can still run circles around the rest of these chumps."  The horse flicked his ears and glanced around as if sizing up his competition.

Like I said, I have to work today.  Yes, I've got my lunches made and in my knitting basket.  Yes, I'm all showered and decently attired for a day at the dive shop.  Now all I have to do is force myself to stand up and toddle off to work. Hey, there's a paycheck waiting for me.  Woohoo, payday!  I'm outta here.
--Barbara

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Eek, A Mouse!

Today was the day to plant all of the flowers in pots.  This grouping on the patio will get one more pot on top of an old birdbath pedestal but I'm sure you see that all of the flowers are red, or mostly anyway, because these are flowers to attract hummingbirds and butterflies.


Speaking of hummingbirds, Durwood was right.  I'd no more than sat down with my mug of coffee this morning than this little lady came by for her morning pick-me-up too.  I guess I've learned my lesson, no more trying out a new feeder that lets us see the hummers no matter which opening they use just because the bird magazine says they like it.  I put the new, $12, full view feeder on a hook up on the retaining wall thinking that maybe one of them will be brave enough to try it sometime this summer.  Sheesh.


This is one of four coleus cauldrons I planted.  This one lives on the patio and the other three are spaced across the front of the house.  One of the front yard pots spent the winter tucked behind a shrub on the corner of the house so I grabbed it to plant along with the other two only to find a little gray mousie in there.  Eek.  No, I didn't say "eek," really I didn't, but I did tip the pot partway to see if it would scamper out but the mouse didn't get the hint so I tried to use my trowel to lift it out.  Well, it didn't understand that either so I might have mortally wounded it in the process.  Sorry, mousie, but that pot's for my coleus not tiny gray rodents.



I also got the buttercrunch lettuce and carrot seeds planted in the rectangles of soil on the ends of the bales, and I used my trowel to make little slits along the fence behind the asparagus to plant sunflower seeds in.  Hopefully a few of the seeds won't be dug up and devoured by other mice or chipmunks before they can sprout and grow into big yellow flowers.  I have never had luck getting sunflowers to grow big enough to make flowers, maybe this is my year.



Someone commented the other day when I was raving about how excited we are about straw bale gardening that she'd forget to water it and it would fail.  Well.  Here's why we won't forget to water and why we won't fail.  It's a hose timer.  It runs on 2 AAA batteries and you set the time, interval, and how long you want to water, put it between the hose and the spigot, and you're good.  Twice a day for half an hour the bales and the blueberries get a nice drippy drink from the soaker hose and I don't have to remember.



Last night it was all I could do to flop on the couch and knit on the foot of Helical Sock SOCK #2.  It's almost time to add the toe.  I really like the brighter, redder color of this sock over the more muted, bluer first one but I'll wear them both, maybe even together, because they for sure don't match.

May 21--Islamic, Fatimid Period, The Game of Stick.  Once all the freeze pops were eaten most of the kids wandered home to peel off their homemade armor, stow their weapons, and get cleaned up for supper.  Will, Alby, and Samuel did not.  They were so into it that none of them was willing to say down arms and retire from the battlefield.  Samuel stalked across the backyard, in and out of patches of shade, eyes peeled for an opening to tag either Alby or Will with his vile concoction.  He caught sight of Will's blond head peeking out from the lilac hedge so he sneaked up behind and let fly.  The reeking purple liquid hit Will square in the back of the head making a long stain down his left side.  Alby got it right in the face.  He heard Will's shout and came running.  Samuel was ready and aimed high.  Alby fell back sputtering.  Samuel whooped his victory yell as he danced out from his hiding place.  The war was over.  Will and Alby headed home to shower but the pokeberry stains and the Evening in Paris stench didn't wash out.  Will's hair was stained purple and Alby had a purple splotch on his right cheek.  Neither mother was sympathetic to the exciting story of the War of Harmon's Road.

I need to get out of these dirt smudged clothes and into something presentable because Durwood and I are going to go check out the new Meijer store that opened last Tuesday.  We have to go, we need stuff for supper and I need more lunch fixings.  Besides the milk's getting a little funky.  Really.
--Barbara

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Oh, My Aching Back


 



This morning Durwood suggested that the hummingbird wasn't going to use the new feeder that I bought.  Disappointed I asked if he thought I should get out the old one and he said yes, so I did.  While the nectar I made was cooling, the hummingbird came, sipped at the oriole feeder, and then went to sit in the honeysuckle to give me time to think about the error of changing feeders on her.  I get it, I get it.  Soon enough I had both oriole and hummingbird feeders filled and hung.  Durwood reported that she was very glad to see the old familiar feeder and came back many times while I was busy elsewhere.





Elsewhere was across the yard in the garden where I tired my back out bending over to thread the soaker hose over the bales.  The first try left me with way too much hose so I stood and stared at the problem for a minute and then realized I could thread it through the blueberries and then to the bales.  Following the directions in the book written by the guy who developed this method of gardening I went to Home Depot for some 14-gauge wire to cut into lengths to bend into what look like giant hairpins to fix the hose in place.

Then I got a call from a pair of writer friends passing through on their way up to a week's writing workshop that they were nearly to the spot where we'd arranged to meet for lunch so I had to change into my dress hoodie and go have lunch.

Naturally it started to sprinkle while I was away but I was undeterred.  I changed back into my gardening hoodie, put my raincoat on over it, and went out to get the plants and herbs planted.  Which I did but the hose work, pinning, and planting involved a lot of bending over and my back is tired.  I didn't get the carrot and lettuce seeds planted in those rectangles of soil on the ends of the bales but I'll get that done tomorrow when I'll also get all the flowers planted in pots around the patio so the hummingbird and butterflies come and hang out with us.  BTW, those are the herbs planted in the side and end of the bales closest to the house.  I had the devil of a time forcing my trowel in to make a space for the plants and much of the soil I shoved in to cover the roots seems to have fallen out.  I'll keep my eye on them until they perk up and I can be fairly sure they're going to like growing there.

May 20--Islamic, Fatimid Period, The Game of Stick.  The war waged all afternoon.  The battlefield was littered with bright splotches of broken latex balloons and defuzzed tennis balls.  Most of the combatants had retired to the shade of the maple trees for a freeze pop ceasefire but Will, Alby, and Samuel were still in the fray.  Will wore a large galvanized cone helmet held on with a frayed yellow bungee and he wielded a cracked light saber from his granny's shed.  Alby had on a yellowed pith helmet and an umpire's chest protector.  His weapon was an old fence picket with one end wrapped in duct tape for a handle and a piece of lath stapled on for a guard.  Samuel was bare-headed and bare-chested.  He wielded an old sun-faded Super Soaker he'd filled with a mixture of crushed berries, Evening in Paris cologne, and water.  No one, not even the girls, wanted to be squirted with it.  He was the Rambo of the battle.

Okay.  I hear the antiquated sounds of The Lawrence Welk Show wafting down the hall and Durwood singing along.  It isn't bad music, except when they tried to sing the popular songs in the 70s, that was just sad.  I'm a fan of big band music so I love the old shows when they play that a lot and I have wonderful memories of watching the show with my grandparents.  If I was lucky they'd roll up the rug and dance.  Time to find an Aleve, I think, and some hand lotion.
--Barbara

Friday, May 19, 2017

We Saw One


We saw a hummingbird today.  More than once.  It seems to prefer the oriole feeder over the new hummingbird feeder but we don't care where it sips just as long as we get to see it or them (but I think it's just an "it," a "she" right now).  Once there was the hummingbird on one side of the feeder and an oriole on the other side, both females.  Squee!











I went to the garden center and spent three months' allowance on veggie, herb, and flower plants.  See?  It's chilly (49 degrees) and very windy today, and supposed to be just as chilly and rainy tomorrow, so I guess I'm planting on Sunday.  I tucked the flats of plants up against one of the nice warm bales so they'll be happy until I get them into the bales and pots.  See all the red flowers?  Hummingbirds like them.



I got some sock foot knitted yesterday and didn't notice until I was an inch past the heel that I missed picking up one of the double wraps as I was increasing the heel but I'm certainly not ripping back, I'll just do better next time.


We had an "I Made It" night at last night's knitting guild meeting.  We brought entries in brown paper bags and the items were numbered so it was a blind voting.  I took my Apres Llama socks which didn't take a prize but after they were awarded we all claimed our projects and I was called out and teased for making matching socks.  Seems I have a reputation.





May 19--Edgar Degas, Ballerina with Bouquet Curtsying on Stage.  It was all an illusion.  Rita and the other dancers floated across the stage like dandelion puffs on a breeze.  In reality they were athletes toughened by rigorous training and hours of practice.  It took real muscles to leap in slow motion and land like a feather.  Rita left the stage and as soon as she was in the wings her spine curved and she limped to a bench.  "Barney, I need ice and bandages.  My damned toe is bleeding again."  She untied the ribbons of her shoes and peeled the sheepskin pad off her toes.  It was soaked with blood.  It was a good thing her toe shoes were black so the blood didn't show.

Well, that's cheerful.  This day has sure gotten away from me.  I slept until 8 o'clock.  Didn't get out and about until 11 o'clock, stopped at the birdseed store, the bank (twice), the grocery, the garden center, and the beauty shop, and here's it's time to heat up the leftover pizza so I can eat and then go to Friday Night Knitting.  Already.  Where did the day go?  Maybe I'll find out once I retire.
--Barbara

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Rain, Rain Go Away

Sometimes it works when you stand on the patio and chant a bit in the morning.  These clouds are on their way east away from me and what's coming next is only partly cloudy so shafts of sunshine are breaking out all over.  Hooray.  (I need to remember to fertilize the bales when I get home [I'm typing this so it's in my brain a bit more solidly])


I knuckled down and knitted the short-row heel on Helical Sock SOCK #2 yesterday and this morning (which is why I'm running late).  It's a fairly easy thing to do--ONCE you read the directions all the way through, then you don't have to tink (k-n-i-t backwards, one stitch at a time) back the last row and figure out how not to lose the wraps that you picked up on the first and last stitch.  One nice thing about using three different yarns, it's really easy to see which is the next stitch to wrap-and-turn and which are the instep stitches to leave alone while you're heeling.  On to the foot!



This female Oriole came to the orange half for a snack the other day and then spent some time grazing around the apple blossoms.  She's not as brightly colored as the male and we probably won't see her now until her eggs are hatched and the babies are fledged but we were glad to see her at all.



The lilies of the valley are this close to being open and the ferns are unfurling their bright green fronds.


May 18--A. Birkenruth, The Promise of Sleep.  Sleep, I need sleep.  Those words scrolled through Vee's mind as she bumped her way down the aisle of the Trailways bus, trying not to knock anyone with her duffel.  The bus was nearly full.  She found an empty seat two rows in front of the bathroom which meant people would be jostling by all night but she didn't care.  She lifted her bag onto the overhead rack, took off her backpack, and started to sit down.  "Do you want the window seat?" came a male voice from under the cowboy hat on the unmoving form in the seat.  She squinted, trying to see him in the dim light.  "Uh, I don't..." she began to say.  "It's all right.  I'm not trying to trap you but I've been asleep for the last two states and you won't get a wink in that aisle seat."  He reached up, removed his hat, and unfolded his long frame to stand stooped before her.  "I'm Henry, Henry Stanton from Buffalo, Wyoming."  He paused, hand out, waiting, when she said nothing he went on, "and you are?"  She looked at him, not sure if she could trust a man in a dark bus barreling down a dark highway.  She made up her mind.  "I'm Vee.  Vee from nowhere.  Just Vee."

Okay then, children, that's all we've got today.  I need to drop a couple tanks off for service on my way to the dive shop so I'd better get moving.  Happy trails!
--Barbara

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Purple Things

The other night I was having an ice cream emergency (we were out and I don't like to be out, it makes me nervous) so I tootled on over to Pick 'N Save for some.  The sun had just dipped below the horizon so the nice big sky over the highway and food store was a gorgeous orange and purple.




Then I finished sewing the orange buttons onto LC's sweater.  Now that it's hot and humid she really needs a wool sweater but it's too big anyway so she'll grow over the summer and it'll still be too big but she can wear it that way because Meemaw made it and it sparkles.






The lilacs are blooming.  I was hot and cranky when I got out of the car yesterday evening until I took a breath and the scent of the lilacs wafted over the house to me and made me stop, inhale, and smile.  They're so beautiful, they smell so good, and they're over before you know it.




This morning I saw that the allium in the front is (are?) blooming.  Every year I'm hoping that they turn into giant balls of red purple flowers and every year they're about the size of tennis balls.  I suppose I could avoid the disappointment by looking up to see if there's a "giant" variety that I didn't plant.


Something not purple--I got a call from the neighborhood association president around 8 o'clock last night telling me that my entry from the brat barn fundraiser a couple Saturdays ago was drawn and could he deliver my prize?  I almost didn't go get us brats that day because I forgot about it until about half an hour before it was done and it was close to supper but we decided we needed brats so I went, besides we needed a beer so I could precook our own brats to do on the grill the next day.  When I said I lived in the neighborhood they told me that I got to fill out an entry for a prize.  I won!  It's a grill set from Matco and a $25 gift card to Festival Foods.  What a happy surprise.


May 17--Vincent van Gogh, Sunflowers.  The yellow paint had probably once been bright but it had darkened, almost like it had tarnished, and Jean couldn't figure out what all the fuss was about.  She stood in the crush from the tour bus, everyone jostling for the best view of the painting worth more than any other.  She let herself be shifted and shuttled to the back of the group until she popped out of the pack like one of the bingo balls at the game in St. Cecilia's basement back home.  A masculine voice to her right said, "It wasn't what I expected.  You?"  She shook her head.  "I thought it would be brighter."  He stuck out his hand.  "I'm Marty, I sit a few rows behind you and the cackling hens."  His face blanched and then reddened.  "I-I didn't mean anything bad.  It just slipped out."  "We are kind of loud and cackley."  She looked around at all the backs in front of them.  "Do you want to find a cafe or something?  It's too nice to spend the day in here."  He smiled.  "I'd love to."  They turned and left the group, blinking in the bright afternoon light.  Marty spotted a sidewalk cafe a block down so that's where they went.


It was 85 and humid yesterday.  Our air conditioner didn't turn on yesterday.  The fan turned on so I thought it was working but it never got cool in the house.  I didn't think to go look at the air conditioner until nearly 10 o'clock and nothing was happening there but I figured it wasn't worth calling the service guy that late since I didn't want anyone coming out until today.  Durwood just called and the guy is there now.  I think it's probably a good thing we decided to join the "comfort club" which gives us discounts on all sorts of services and products.  He'll get it running just in time for the weather to shift--again--back into the 50s and rainy.  Machinery.  Bah.
--Barbara

Monday, May 15, 2017

I Have a Question...

How come when you decide to clean out the bottom of the linen closet in the bathroom at about 10:30 AM while the Champion Sleeper in the house is having his usual 8:00 AM-noon nap and have items strewn all over the bathroom floor, he wakes up more than an hour early with an urgent need to use that room RIGHT NOW?  I know the answer.  The answer is I should have gone in there immediately after he laid down to get the job done before I did the other things that led up to the closet cleaning.

Apropos of nothing, June 29th can't come soon enough for me.  (that's my last day of work but who's keeping track)


These pink tulips have been blooming for at least 10 days.  I'm not a fan of pink, we all know that, but they sure are pretty when I see them early in the morning with the green grass behind them and the early morning sun lightening up the day.


It's time to put in the heel of the second Helical Sock SOCK.  I've been dancing around the idea of learning the Fish Lips Kiss heel.  I bought the pattern, I even took some cardboard and a Sharpie to Friday Night Knitting and stood on the table so LB could draw an outline of my foot and mark the exact center of my ankle.  Last night I cruised the sock pattern books I have and found a less-complex, shorter directions, no need for a foot template, short-row heel pattern in Cookie A's book, Sock Innovation, that I think will do nicely.

May 15--Paul Delaroche, Napoleon at Fontainbleu.  The little man sat slumped in his red velvet chair.  His pants and vest were snow white which did nothing to hide his paunch.  His overcoat gaped open serving only to emphasize his sagging shoulders and his rounded belly.  His black leather boots were impeccably shined and his thin black hair was combed forward to cover his balding pate.  He had flung his sword and scabbard on the table at his elbow.  The lowered brows and down-turned mouth meant his patience with posing was at an end.  "Just a few more moments, mon General." the artist said, trying to capture the subject in an unflattering sketch.  He knew if the General who would declare himself Emperor of France within the month saw this cartoon his head would be separated from his neck before you could say Jacques Robinson.  The artist tucked the scrap of paper into his smock pocket and waved a brush at the canvas upon which was the official approved portrait to Napoleon Bonaparte looking regal and commanding astride his favorite horse.

You'd better bet that Paul Delaroche didn't make that painting until after Napoleon had died. The dates given for the artist and the subject confirmed that.  It wasn't a flattering portrait but I'm guessing it was truer than others I've seen.  It's a gorgeous day.  I think I'll go water the bales and maybe take a walk.
--Barbara

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Chicken on the Grill

I was very excited about cooking a chicken on the Weber rotisserie yesterday because I had this idea to cut up some red potatoes, hack a big Vidalia onion into eighths, and chop up some carrots, then put them all into a pierced grill pan, and nestle the pan under the rotating chicken letting the chicken-y goodness suffuse the veggies instead of just drip into a foil pan to be thrown away.  Look at this.  Doesn't it look delicious?  Well, it was--except even 1 hour and 45 minutes wasn't long enough to cook the potatoes and carrots.  I had to tent the chicken (which you do anyway so that the juices stay in the meat) while I put the veggies into a casserole and finished cooking them in the microwave.  (and to think I thought microwaves were a stupid idea when they came out; what would we do without them?)  This is some very tasty food.







Yesterday I saw that there's a Little Free Library at the driveway of the NeighborWorks parking lot so after the talk and Farmory tour I got a couple books from the box in the back of my car and strolled down to see what there was.  I found a lovely slim volume of Ted Hughes' poetry with watercolor illustrations that came home with me. Those LFLs sure are a good idea.





Once I'd read the paper this morning I got myself dressed and went out to weed the blueberries.  It didn't take long, then I refurbished the fence around it taking off the chicken wire since I noticed that rabbits just duck under it to get in, then I fertilized them with Miracid and mounded pine bark mulch over the soil.  I think I need to start looking for bigger pots for transplanting them into.  See, the soil around here isn't right for them so I took a class at the University Extension where he taught how to make a soil mix that blueberries thrive in and taught how to put them into pots that you sink into the ground.  Last year nothing got done because of my broken ankle so this year I'm extra eager to get the garden going.  Next weekend I get to plant.  Squee!  I think I've got my choices narrowed down to four tomato plants, one bell pepper, carrot seeds, lettuce seeds, basil, parsley, thyme, oregano... but that might not be all since the herbs will get planted on the sides of the bales.



This bluejay had quite a bit to say this morning and didn't let anyone stop him.  He chased away a squirrel and cleared all the doves out of the yard.  But then doves are big chickens anyway, a tumbling leaf can make them scatter.


May 14--Charles Sims, The Kite.  Monica sat on the damp grass to watch Will fly his kite.  She could see his lips moving and knew he was talking to Edward.  Edward and Will had spent hours over the winter building the kite frame then begging an old sheet from her that they could glue to the frame, paint into stiffness, and use the rest for a grand tail.  They had combed the beach to find the perfect piece of wood to wind the string around so that there was room for Will's small hands to hold it.  When Will announced that the wind was right today, that today was the day to fly the kite, she had nearly refused.  The thought of him flying it without his papa threatened to send her to her room.  When Will asked if she thought he had enough string to fly the kite to Heaven "so Papa can see it" she couldn't hold back her tears.  She watcher her son lean on the wind and talk to the sky.  She hoped somehow somewhere Edward could see his son, could hear how much Will missed him.

Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there, also aunts, sisters-in-law, beloved women of all types, relationships, and leanings.  I got lovely cards (*sniff* I didn't cry, nope, I did not... well, not much anyway) and phone calls.  Tonight we'll celebrate with some of our yummy chicken, some fresh asparagus, and boiled baby reds.  Hope your day was all you'd hoped it was.  Mine was.
--Barbara

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Learning Is A Good Thing

After greeting the day with my usual sky view and watering in today's ration of bales fertilizer, I got myself brushed, flushed, and dressed to go to a talk about raised bed and square bale gardening at The Farmory downtown.  The speaker taught at the tech school for years and worked as head of grounds at a local college so he was supremely comfortable in front of an unruly bunch of students.  There were more attendees than chairs but everyone found a spot.  He talked, we asked questions, he had stuff to show us, and a sense of humor.  That last part might be the most important, but it was a very fast two hours filled with tons of useful info.  




Then we got a tour of The Farmory which is an aquaculture start-up in an old armory (hence the name, farm-ory, get it?) downtown.  They have a big tank with perch fingerlings with mushroom logs across the top, then the fish water is pumped to trays where they grow a mix of fancy greens (the grow lights make them purple, they're really green) that they sell to a downtown restaurant every week.  The business is just getting started but it's a great use for an old building and a very "green" way to grow things.  She said eventually they'll have many more fish and be able to sell them too.



After the talk and tour I swung by for yet another bale, this one destined to be mulch around the growing bales and some 10-10-10 fertilizer for next week's conditioning needs.  One more week and it'll be time to plant.  I'm excited.



I rooted around in the button boxes and came up with three old cut glass buttons and three orange ones.  Durwood and all the knitters like the orange ones best; I was the only fan of the clear ones and it came to me that a kid's sweater will be in and out of the washer & dryer, and glass buttons are a bad idea.  I'll sew on the orange ones once it's had a bath and blocking.  *sigh*  (the color in the lower picture with the orange buttons is more true)




 



Apple blossoms are pretty.  And the oriole on his way to have a drink is pretty too.  Oh, and this gray and black bird is a Gray Catbird so called because its song sounds like a cat instead of a bird.  Really.





May 13--Charles Sims, The Kite.  Will's small hand held on tight to the wooden dowel.  There wasn't a lot of string left on it before the knot.  His kite flew very high tugging hard on the string.  He leaned back on the wind to keep the kite from pulling him along.  He wished that Papa could see the kite flying.  They had worked all winter building the frame and gluing an old sheet onto it.  The tail was a satisfying length and it whipped the air like a lash.  Will talked to Papa when he ran into the wind to get the kite up into the air.  "You wait, this will be the best kite ever.  I'm sorry you won't see it fly.  Mama says I don't have enough string to reach Heaven but I think I'll get close."  He stood in the wind and let out every inch of string he had.  "Here's our kite, Papa.  See how well it flies?"


I've got a whole chicken on the rotisserie on the Weber and I had what might be a brilliant idea.  Durwood and I cut up red potatoes, carrots, and Vidalia onions that I put into a pierced grill pan and set under the twirling chicken so that the juices filter through the veggies before they hit the drip pan.  Fingers crossed that it's a new taste sensation.  I'll report and take pictures too.
--Barbara