Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Maybe I'm Getting Used to It

Retirement, I mean.  I don't really have anything I have to do today, just fold a basket of wash (and I'll probably pass that chore on to Durwood), and I want to sew up that last tunic that I have cut out and maybe the other long-sleeved tee I cut out last fall and never managed to get put together.  But that's it. And I'm not fussed about it.  Oh, knowing me I'll probably manage to keep moving and doing most of the day but I'm happy not to feel compelled to fill my time.

The ice maker in our fridge/freezer's on the fritz.  I talked to the repair guy yesterday about getting it fixed.  He said that you don't really fix those, you take them out, toss them, and put in a new one.  Well, a new one will cost just under $300 with installation which seems like half as much as we'd have to pay for a whole new refrigerator, and a lot to invest in a 13 year old fridge.  I might bestir myself to make the rounds of appliance stores to see what's what.  Mr. Fixit cautioned me to only buy American-made, saying the foreign-made ones are crap (which I suspect will drive up the price of a replacement) but we're not desperate, after all I did save the recipe for ice cubes and the trays to make them in.


The sky this morning looked pretty.  It occurred to me that it's appreciably closer to sunrise when I get up around 6 o'clock than it has been in the past few months.  Even though it's been hot and humid (oh, man, has it been humid, not Evansville humid, but humid enough to be uncomfortable) I'm not ready for summer to pass.  I like it cooler, I look forward to cooler days but I'm in no way ready for all that the W season brings.  Not ready at all.


I worked on the Hoot Brown Owl head last night and am into the decreases.  Of course I changed the increase half so that the head would be bigger and do you think that I wrote down what I did?  Of course not, that would have been smart, so I'm decreasing evenly according to the pattern directions and stopping to see how it looks every once in a while.  I'm thinking maybe I'll give this one ear tufts.




Since I've started sewing more (a lot more!) I realized that I gave away my basic serging books to DD when she inherited Mom's machine, partly because I'm her mom (and mom's do stuff like that) and mostly because I hadn't used my serger much for years.  Well, now I'm using it more and need something more than the owner's manual if I want to do anything interesting with it (which it can do).  I had a 60% off Joann's coupon that I bought a serging book with last weekend and I found a used serger book and a used fitting book on Amazon.  I think my sewing library is complete--for the time being.  Now all I have to do is find where I put (seems more like "hid") my binder of sewing patterns that I printed off the web and have notes on, and I'll be set.  I see a sewing/yarn area clean up/clean out in my future.  I also need to look around for a place to have it cleaned and adjusted; it's been a while.

August 22--Ming Dynasty, Two Mandarins of the Ming Dynasty Court.  They were like two well-fed bookends.  Both of the men standing at the desk were dressed alike, one in red over blue, the other in blue over red.  They wore matching hats and boots.  The blue one carried a gold-threaded tassel, the red one lead a camel.  A camel, Rachel thought, sitting bolt upright in bed.  "No camels allowed in the hotel," she said, waking herself from the dream.

Not very inspired writing but I was tired.  Time to put on some duds and go downstairs and sew.  Maybe I'll toss some laundry around while I'm down there too.  You never know.  Oh, and Aunt B, my pinhole eclipse viewer wasn't one that fit over my head, I just had to put my eye to a hole in the end of the shoebox to see the sun.
--Barbara

Monday, August 21, 2017

Did You See It?

I built up a moderate level of excitement over today's eclipse.  I was semi-convinced that we'd have thick overcast or rain and not see one scrap of it and this morning's sky seemed to prove me right.  Last night Durwood quizzed me on how I planned to look at the eclipse without burning out my retinas and I explained the pinhole viewer/camera to him.  He didn't get it so I grabbed the shoebox from my new shoes, a piece of computer paper (I almost wrote "typing" paper... am I old or what?), a box cutter, some aluminum foil, Scotch tape, and a nail.  In less than 15 minutes I had this--a pinhole eclipse viewer.  It works on the same principle as early cameras.  You affix a piece of white paper to the inside of one of the short ends of the box, then cut small holes in the bottom corners of the opposite short end.  
Over the left hole you tape your piece of foil and then use the nail (or a piece of spaghetti) to poke a hole in the foil.  To use the viewer you turn your back to the sun (or whatever you want to look at), put your left eye to the open hole and aim the foil hole at the sun.  You have to move yourself and the box around until you can see the image reflected on the white paper.  We practiced last night by looking at the chandelier.  We went out to a pizza buffet for lunch and a little boy came around saying "it's eclipse time" so I went out to the van where I'd stashed my viewer, turned my back, and there it was, the sun with a bite out of it.  When I went back in a couple of the teenagers working there asked if I'd looked at the sun directly.  I told them about the viewer and offered to let them look.  They got permission to go out for a minute and were very impressed with the simple technology of it and boggled when I explained that this was essentially how the first camera worked.  (I suspect they thought that I was the assistant at the first photo experiments too.)  Anyway, we were too busy looking while the eclipse was happening but while Durwood got
his hearing aids adjusted I stayed in the parking lot and took a couple pictures through the eye hole of the viewer just so you can see how it worked.  




I did indeed get the 6 day lilies planted last night and nearly blinded myself with sweat doing it.  I am probably in the Olympic class of sweat-ers so I shouldn't have been surprised but, man, that stings when it gets in your eyes.  I had to do some bushwhacking to trim back volunteer shrubbery and branches growing through the fence from the neighbors which only added to the sweat quotient.  There was such a pile of branches that there was no way I could have gotten them all into Durwood's big van to take them to the yard waste.  I thought about just piling them at the curb and calling the city to send over the stick truck but then I saw that a neighbor with a pickup truck was outside this morning so I asked him and he graciously helped me load it all up and unload it at the other end.  I promised him banana bread as a thank you.  I knew he wouldn't take gas money because even though we probably drove less than 5 miles total, he still gave up an hour of his morning to help me and I appreciate it.


Last night after 6 PM I picked up KW and we went to the fairgrounds to get our entries and our RIBBONS.  She got 3 firsts, a second, and a third but one of her firsts earned Best of Show and that's a real RIBBON of a ribbon.  Very flashy.  I am over the moon with my 9 entries and 9 blue ribbons.  We talked to the woman in charge of making sure no one made off with someone else's entries and I said that I suspected that some of mine were the only entry in that class (there are so many classes it's not surprising) and she said that it was possible but the judge considered how well things were made and didn't just hand out a first.  She said she'd seen the lone entry in a class get a third or fourth so that made me feel like I'd earned my ribbons.  Would you be surprised to learn that we discussed what we'll enter next year on the walk back to my car?  We've got the fever now.  We're going to try to get more of our knitter friends to enter next year.  It's only four bucks to enter as many things as you want, a real bargain.

August 21--Frank Gehry, Bubbles Chaise Longue.  Felix sat in the middle of a sea of cardboard.  "It's the perfect medium," he said. "The possibilities are endless."  As he spoke his hands lifted and manipulated the wide strips of corrugated cardboard which were supple, not rigid like Celine expected.  "What are you doing with it?" she asked.  "Building.  Creating.  Making," he said emphasizing the last word as if making was the ultimate destiny of corrugated cardboard.  She watched him bend it like old-fashioned ribbon candy.  "Making what?"  She cocked her head to one side like a confused spaniel.  "What does it look like?" he said, his face a mask of concentration.  "A track for Matchbox cars?" she guessed.  He turned to look at her from under lowered brows.  She tried a mollifying smile.  "Sorry."
 
The honeysuckle's blooming again, most of the blossoms are on the renters' side of the vine.  I think it's time to chop it way back in the fall and let it start over.  I'll google it.
--Barbara

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Perfect Summer Supper

That's what we had last night, a perfect summer supper.  I'd spent the day in Sturgeon Bay up in Door County meeting a friend for lunch and then we knitted the afternoon away in a park with a view out over the water.  I didn't get home until after suppertime so I just micro-zapped a couple ears of sweet corn and cut up some tomatoes from the garden that we put a bit of salad dressing on and called it supper.  That was the third or fourth time we'd done that and Durwood and I agree that it's the perfect supper of summer.  Who can argue with corn that was picked in the morning and tomatoes still warm from the garden?


You would have been so proud of me, KS too, because we looked all over Spin, the yarn shop in Sturgeon Bay and neither of us bought a thing.  AND most of the yarn was 40% off!  There was some yarn that tempted me but, honestly, I couldn't figure out what I'd make with it and I have so much yarn here that I just couldn't get more.  Besides since I retired my disposable income has shrunk considerably (and I need to save my mad money because I'm going to the WI Sheep & Wool Festival next month with the guild).


It was such a beautiful day that we looked for a place to sit outside in the shade and knit.  I suggested the Old Stone Quarry Park where we've gone diving a zillion times so we drove a few miles out of town and found peace, shade, and a breeze.  This was our view.  Nice, huh?




In case we decided to knit in Spin I put a skein of sock yarn of a type I knew they sold in my bag and cast on the cuff while waiting for KS.  See, it's rude to knit in a yarn shop with yarn you didn't buy there but I wasn't going to dig around and find some I'd actually bought there (because God only knows where I'd have to look) so I figured this would be the next best thing.  Even though we didn't stay to knit indoors I kept going, knitting the cuff and then getting into the leg of the sock.  I think I'm going to love this sock.  It's a tried and true pattern just in different yarn.








 
Thursday night at guild, Friday night at FNK, and this morning I knitted the body of Hoot the Second.  I don't have enough of the feathery yarn to carry along with the browns for the head so I'll have to do a little finagling, make it bigger than the pattern says, so it doesn't look like Hoot the 2nd has a pinhead.  I've got some other novelty yarn to carry along when I make the wings and I thought I'd like the head to be fuzzy but not feathery, if that makes any sense.  I'm sure it won't be rejected by the panel of judges, aka LC & OJ.

 

On my way home from Door Co. I stopped to see the new grand-chickens.  The previous ones had passed their laying days so they retired to a plush farm in the wilds of western Brown Co. and DIL1 and her mom went and got four new, teen-aged hens.  They're not laying yet but will be soon.  Nobody was home but I know the way around to the back yard so I stopped to see the new ladies.  They're all reddish gold with some white on them.  I don't know their names but I'll pass them along once we're formally introduced.  I did take a moment to pet Porter while I was there.  Can't forget her, she's a real sweetheart and likes petting, unlike the chickens who run away clucking and flapping when you get too close.  Birdbrains.



August 20--Emile Bernard, Madeline in the Bois d'Amour on the river Aven.  She lay there as if napping in the dappled shade.  Her blue dress' skirt was smoothed over her legs.  Her left hand rested on her stomach while her cheek rested on her right hand.  She hadn't been there long.  No forest creatures had disturbed her, no leaves had fallen in her red hair.  Jared and Emilia stood a respectful distance away listening to the wind slip through the tree branches and the nearby stream chuckle to itself.  "Does anyone know her?"  Emilia asked.  Jared shrugged and looked past her, past the plastic yellow tape with the black letters that fenced the woman off from the rest of the world.  "Well," he said, "someone somewhere knows her but we haven't found anyone nearby who does."  His eyes swept the orderly rows of the tree plantation.  "Do we even know whose land this is?"  Emilia pulled her notebook from her pocket.  "It belongs to Clarence and Maddy Ferguson but they're both down in Midland at the nursing home."  She shook her head.  "They've both got some kind of dementia and they had no kids."  "That's no help," said Jared.  He walked toward the sunny stream bank, watching where he put his feet.

How did it get to be 4:30 already?  I had big plans to plant those lilies today.  I suppose I can put on some yard work shoes and go do that.  It isn't like it's almost night.  It's cloudier than all get out though; I sure hope it clears up for the eclipse tomorrow.  I am so sure that all the hype almost guarantees a cloudy day.
--Barbara

Friday, August 18, 2017

Birdies

Today is a banner bird day.  First there were four (4!!!!) fledgling Orioles cavorting around the feeders.  They even stuck around while I was out putting an orange half and some grape jelly in the feeder up on the retaining wall.  It was the first time I'd heard their voices.  These two figured out how to drink from the hummingbird feeder even though they're about fifty times bigger than the intended patron.


Later on Durwood spotted this little lady Ruby-throated Hummingbird having lunch.  Sorry that the shot is blurry but they move so fast it's hard to take my time to get a decent shot.





One of the things I've been meaning to do for months (months, I tell
you, months) is to see about fixing the wind chimes that broke their hanging strings last year.  Or was it the year before?  Yeah, probably because last year was Broken Ankle Rehab Year so I wouldn't have even thought about fixing it.  Anyway, I brought them in from the garage yesterday morning and took a look at the problem.  I thought I could pull out the broken strings and thread new ones in their place but they were stuck into the wood somehow so I ended up cutting lengths of nylon twine, tying it onto the existing ones with overhand knots, and then centering them through the hanging ring before tying them all together using some bastardized version of a hitch.  I am absolutely certain that I would not have earned my Boy Scout knot-tying badge but the chimes are back hanging from the eaves where they belong and I'm very glad to see and hear them there.  (my resident Eagle Scout was asleep at the time I tackled the problem so things probably would have been neater and knottier if I'd waited but sometimes I have no patience whatsoever; my fix feels very Hank-like and I kinda like that)


Did I tell you I got some new shoes yesterday in between dropping off the tax files to our new accountant and meeting AT at the Fair?  Well, I did.  I realized that I'm sewing up nice clothes that sometimes might deserve to be worn with shoes that aren't white leather tennis shoes.  So I went to The Heel, a real shoe store with people who measure your feet (both of 'em), find out what you're looking for and not looking for, then go up into the loft and bring down stacks of boxes of shoes which they then help you try on.  It was amazing, just like playing shoe store when I was a kid.  I probably tried on a dozen pairs of shoes and settled on black leather Mary Janes with a thin gray edge on the top and a pewter buckle on the strap.  It's going to take some time to get used to wearing something other than tennis shoes all the time, to not think of them as dress shoes.






I picked a few tomatoes this morning.  And I saw that the WI 55 plant has so many tomatoes on its highest branches that the weight of it splintered the bamboo stake and toppled the whole thing over the fence.  Durwood says he thinks we have a 2 X 4 downstairs that's long enough to shore it up.  Next year I think each tomato plant will get it's own bale and stronger stakes.





Last night at knitting guild I ripped out the tiny bit of owl I began and started again holding a third strand that makes it look more feathery and pleases me no end.  I'm going to make this one a bit shorter than Hoot and maybe make the wings bigger.  The beak will be smaller, no question about that.  Hoot has a real beak of a beak.   There were only seven of us last night and just as we'd settled in to chat and knit it started to rain, a misty rain, so we packed up but then JL and I agreed that we weren't ready to leave so I suggested that we move under the shelter of a nearby Methodist church's porte cochere which we did.  Naturally as we moved into cover it stopped raining but we stayed under the roof and knitted, much to the amusement of the choir members coming for practice.

August 18--Flemish artist, Medici workshop, Nautilus Pitcher.  Wine poured from the dragon's mouth like blood.  The red liquid swirled in the crystal glass releasing a faint scent of earth and cherries.  Gloria's hands lay still in her lap.  It took all of her self-control to keep from examining the pitcher.  That can't be a real shell, she thought.  A real shell would be stained by red wine but the shell glowed white with iridescence.

Well, I've spent most of the afternoon calling around town trying to find some eclipse glasses.  Everyone's out so I watched a couple YouTube videos and will be making a pinhole viewer on Sunday.  I have a shoe box.
--Barbara

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Ribbons!

 









My friend AT and I met for lunch and went to the Fair.  (brace yourself)  Every single thing KW and I entered got a ribbon.  Most of them got 1sts, a couple 2nds, and one 3rd place.  You could have knocked me over with a feather when I looked at the knitting and crocheting shelves and saw a ribbon sticker on every one of my entry cards.  Tonight is the knitting guild meeting and I'm going to tell everyone about it and encourage more people to enter.  Yeah yeah, I know that'll make more people to edge me out of earning a ribbon but this is a great way to show off your knitting and get bragging rights.  The cash prizes are nearly nonexistent but I want ribbons.  And I got 'em.  Hooray!  I'm already planning what to enter next year.






I had a lot of unexpected sewing time yesterday since the humidity kept Durwood housebound instead of going to listen to the speaker at the museum which also put the kibosh on "out to dinner" (which was going to involve a visit to a local family restaurant, nothing fancy) plan.  I resolved to sew up anything I had cut out before cutting into any of the new fabric I've bought in the last couple weeks.  So I sewed together the red & black striped long-sleeved tee shirt I'd cut out last fall, then sewed another swim shirt for the grandkids.  I have one more long-sleeved tee cut out and one more tunic/dress pinned together ready to be sewn, probably this weekend, then I'll be cutting and sewing Tunic No. 1.  That one I have solid fabric for the "dress" part and some flowered linen for sleeves.  I might even figure out how to make a printed yoke with a plain skirt on this sleeveless version.







The Orioles are back in a big way.  This bright orange male started coming a couple weeks back and this week two or three fledglings started visiting.  I get so excited when I see that flash of orange at a feeder.




I was looking for something different to knit and remembered that I had put together yarn to make another soft owl.  LC loves Hoot, the gray black one that lives in the car, and OJ likes it too.  So far they've never both been in my car at the same time but I envision tussles in the future over who gets to hold Hoot so I cast on last night and got a couple rounds done but decided I want to carry an eyelash yarn along with the worsted and fluffy stuff so it looks more bird-y.  I'll be ripping this tiny start out and starting over.

August 17--Achille Tominetti, Downpour in Mountains, Italy with herd of sheep.  The clouds butted up against the mountains and got stuck so they unleashed their frustration on the foothills and plains.  There was very little warning.  One minute it was sunny and mild and the next it was nearly dark with cold rain pounding down.  Eric looked at the herd of sheep around him.  Sheep weren't very smart but they clustered around him as if he could protect them from the thunder and lightning.  His dog, Len, kept the herd together and spent time retrieving strays, too busy to give in to his fear of the thunder's loud crashes and the sizzling lightning bolts.

I promised Durwood that I'd go up to the Farmer's Market in the nearby shopping plaza lot and get him an egg roll, he's got a hankering and since I had lunch at the Fair today (no funnel cake, though, they'd run out of oil [wha-????]) he gets an egg roll.  Because I say so.
--Barbara

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Fingers Crossed

Monday evening my friend KW and I took our entries to the Fairgrounds, got them all tagged, and left them to their fates.  They'll be judged today.  On Thursday AT and I are going to lunch at the Fair (WW will take a beating) and will see if any ribbons are attached to anything.  Our entries looked a bit pitiful against the wool dress knitted from the woman's handspun and the lace shawl she entered but there's always hope.  We each entered a shawl so we're competing against that but neither of us knitted a dress so she's on her own with that one.  I'm excited.  Also nervous.









We've had an Oriole visiting the last couple days.  Durwood caught sight of it on the oriole feeder and then we both saw it on the birdbath.  Then it moved to the suet.  Neither of us knew that Orioles like suet but apparently they do.








It wasn't until after I put all my new fabric in the washer that I
realized I didn't take a group picture so you get them one at a time.  I found the khaki and black linen blend zebra print on the Red Tag rack for 60% off as was the black and white linen blend.  I found this blue w/bugs cotton for 40% off and bought a yard just because.  The other fabric's a gold khaki solid cotton that looks like linen and will make a good skirt for a dress with a print yoke and sleeves.  I want to sew up a black striped t-shirt I cut out last winter before changing the serger thread from black to white so I can sew up the last tunic/dress I cut out last week.  I also cut out another swim shirt for the grandkids so I should sew that up too before I get cutting on this new fabric.  It's kind of ironic that I'm sewing up a nicer wardrobe for my retirement wear than I ever had time for when I was working.  Also what I'm making might not have been very good to wear to work what with unpacking cartons and hauling tanks.  Whatever, I'm really enjoying sewing and wearing these clothes.  Makes me feel good.  I even ordered a used copy of a serger manual today on Amazon so that I can't screw things up too badly.








On Sunday I looked out to see a Downy Woodpecker on the suet and a Ruby-throated Hummingbird on the nectar.  They're far enough apart that neither one's very visible but I like this picture anyway so you get to look at it.


I have been admiring this fern's new fronds emerging from the center.  It's amazing what a weekly watering will do for a plant.







August 16--Egyptian, 19th Dynasty, West Thebes, Detail of a wall painting in the tomb of Queen Nefertari.  The sun blazed overhead throwing no shadows and making the sand feel like it would melt your feet right through your shoes.  Cassie was glad to duck into the cave-like tomb.  It wasn't really cool in there, just not as hot.  It was dry heat which sucked the moisture out of her pores until she felt like a piece of jerky.  The wall paintings were incredible, bright and filled with hieroglyphics which she thought looked like the best kind of code, kind of like ancient emojis elevated to an entire language.

I thought I'd manage to post yesterday but didn't have a moment until almost bedtime so decided that today would do.  I'm determined to get some sewing done before the wills vs. trusts speaker Durwood wants to go listen to this afternoon.  He's bribing me with the promise of supper in a local family restaurant.  I hope they have potato pancakes.
--Barbara

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Only One More To Go

Okay.  In my enthusiasm I cut out three more tunic-length dresses last week.  I sewed up the navy blue with red and white dots one on Monday.  On Thursday I sewed up the orange tropical floral one.  The last one cut out isn't linen-y, it's more rayon-ish so it'll be a departure in texture and drape but the same shape and fit.  (I might have gone to Jo-Ann Fabrics this afternoon to spend a "$10 off when you spend $50" coupon.  I'll probably take a picture of my purchases to show you tomorrow.)  Next I want to cut out and sew up a similar garment but with sleeves.  Probably more than one.  I can't seem to stop.

 
In other creativity news, I finished the Denim Hankie Washcloth after lunch.  I realized that I haven't used the first one I made.  I should probably do that, shouldn't I?  I make things to be used and here I'm guilty of leaving that washcloth off to the side just so I can admire it.  Pfft.



This morning one of the Bluejays hung around on the peanut wreath while I was doing my yoga and actually stayed there when I stood up so I could take its picture.  I scared off a Hummingbird though.


Greater love hath no wife than she'll make a pot roast for her husband in the middle of the summer.  At least I was bright enough to put it all in the crockpot instead of using the oven to heat the kitchen all day.  I have to admit it smells good but pot roast seems like winter food to me.  Do you have seasonal food ideas too?  Durwood and I have had discussions about winter food and summer food.  He doesn't get it.  I say that soup and stew and roasts, all of those rib-sticking, warm you from the inside foods are for winter and salads, grilled meats, and lighter meals are summer food.  When I say that he looks at me like I'm more than half a bubble off level.  I think he's the one a little cracked.  Ain't matrimony grand?

August 13--Edward May, 15th-16th Century Battle Dress.  It had to be very uncomfortable to wear, I thought as I stood before the suits of armor.  The wearer had to be hot in summer and frozen in winter.  He probably couldn't move around much and definitely couldn't dress himself.  I wondered if they rattled and clanked as they tottered into the yard to mount their horses.  The guy on the end had half of a weasel on top of his helmet, not a very scary creature especially looking backwards.  I also thought that an armored man would be like a turtle if he fell off his horse; he wouldn't be able to get up without help.  In the future, I'm sure that some of our technology will seem just as antiquated and ridiculous as armor does today.

I think I'll go take pictures of my new fabric and then toss it into the washer and dryer.  I did only buy sale fabric, so that's something.  I gotta stop spending my savings, there will be no more paychecks to build it up again.  Retirement is... interesting, not as quiet as I'd thought it'd be but I'm doing a bit more goofing off, especially in the mornings, that makes Durwood happy.
--Barbara

Saturday, August 12, 2017

New Blacktop

Yesterday they finally came with their tag-team of dump trucks full of hot asphalt, the paving machine with its pair of drivers, and the hot roller that danced across the newly-laid surface to compact it and make it into a strong, flat street.  It's very nice to drive on, especially after weeks and weeks of barricades, ground down and bumpy streets, and the maze of jutting manholes each with its own orange barrel.  It stinks, though.  Stinks of tar which is only enhanced by the sun beating down on it.  I'll take it, even though our assessment for it will show up on our tax bill for the next couple years.  (the lawn mowers finally came yesterday too; they should have brought a baler because the grass was so long, now it'll dry in windrows and look untidy until the next mowing *sigh*)



Last night at Friday Night Knitting I worked on the Denim Hankie Washcloth #2.  It's a simple pattern that is a two-row repeat, one of which is plain knit, so it's easy to do while chatting with friends.  


August 12--Claude Monet, Impression, Sunrise.  Clay and Marie sat in their skiff fishing at the mouth of the river.  The sun was a glimmer of light in the east, an almost imperceptible glow over the trees on shore.  Marie loved fishing, loved the shiny colorful lures, and the elegant rod that felt almost live in her hands.  She didn't care of they caught fish, she liked the time on the water away from the craziness of life.

The last couple days and the next few are going to be busy around here so don't get worried if I don't manage to blog every day or at all.  Nothing serious, just some demanding guests that consume my attention and prevent me from sewing or knitting or planting.  Not complaining, just stating facts.  Now I need to go glare at the food in the fridge to see if it will turn itself into something worth eating tonight.  I'm fresh outta ideas.
--Barbara

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Thunder, Rain, Sunshne, Repeat

That's been today.  A rumble of thunder woke up my bladder at 5:30 this morning, the rain kept me awake, and it's been cycling through rain and sun all day.  Right now another storm is just wrapping up, the thunder's moved off, and the sun is out.  There's a football game in town tonight, I'm glad I don't have tickets.  Not that I'd ever want to go or even watch the game (not a fan, I know a lot about the sport but I don't care one whit about it; it's a wonder they let me live here) but a lot of people are going to get wet because they never don't go no matter the weather.  I lived here in 1967 when they played the Ice Bowl on New Year's Eve when the temp at the start of the game was -13 and people went to the game.  And stayed there until the end.  No piddly little rainstorm is going to keep people at home.






We had a visit by a male Downy Woodpecker during a lull in the rain this morning.  I just love the way they look.  There's nothing like black and white with a little splash of red to make a being look snazzy.


These Bluejays have been hanging around for weeks.  I suspect that they're young'uns because they act like teenagers--loud and always hungry. 






As I said I might, on the way past Shopko during errands yesterday I drove through the parking lot to see that they still had day lilies for $2.87--so I bought six more (same colors).  I said that I was going to get three but Durwood said, "get as many as you need" which I interpreted as "get as many as you can pay for."  I could afford six so I bought six.  I was planning to plant them today but... rain.



Instead I went downstairs and sewed up another of the tunic dresses I cut out the other day.  This one is an orange linen blend.  I like it, it's cheerful and bright.  I'm getting good at this pattern so it's about time to switch to the one with sleeves.  I'll need sleeves come winter. 




August 10--William Henry Hunt, Wild Rose & Bird's Nest.  There had been a storm in the hours before dawn.  Polly was awakened by a clap of thunder so loud she awoke on a gasp.  She peeked under the shade of the bedroom window and saw the branches of the neighbors' maple tree thrashing in the wind and rain.  It was very dark but lightning flashed almost continuously.  She knew she'd never get back to sleep while it raged so she got up to make coffee before the power went out.  Even though she drank decaf, morning was unbearable without coffee.  While the coffee gurgled and dripped she snagged the newspaper off the front porch before it got completely soaked, then opened the drapes over the patio door to watch the sun rise in the storm.  She heard things fall and tumble outside and knew her day would be busy righting patio chairs, picking up fallen branches, and rehanging birdfeeders blown off their crooks. 

No, I didn't write that today, I wrote it last night when I didn't know what today's weather would be like and today's weather hasn't been anywhere near as violent and dramatic as what I wrote.    It's just been raining off and on with a bit of thunder as counterpoint.  BTW, the sun's gone again, and I hear far-off thunder.  Oh, I'll bet there won't be a flyover before the game because of the storms.  The flyover's the only part of football I like.
--Barbara 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Getting Dirty & Sweaty

This morning I decided it was time for me to get outside and pull all the weeds choking the milkweed and plant those three day lilies I bought last week in their place.  So I did but, of course, I waited until almost 10 o'clock to go out there so the morning cool was gone and the sun was high and blazing on the place where the weeds were.  Doesn't everyone wait until they can fry their brains while doing yard work?  Probably not.  Anyway I didn't take a before picture but, trust me, everywhere you see bare soil and lilies on the left, right, and center of the volunteer tree/shrub was covered with weeds an hour before.  I even went on the neighbors' side of the fence to yank out the stragglers because these weeds travel underground, the sneaky bastards.  I got two yellow lilies, one with an orange throat, and a white one with a yellow-ish throat.  I might also be planning to cruise by the front of Shopko later to see if any $3 lily plants are left...  I've got my allowance in my wallet...





The daisies aren't giving up but the purple coneflowers are working hard to take up the slack.  The daisies are really spreading so my plan is to dig up clumps of them and put some by the lilies I just planted and some along the side of the house, maybe some up on the retaining wall too.  Did I mention that daisies spread?







Last night at the caregivers meeting I cast on Sudoku Long Strip #2, didn't get very far but it's a start.  After the meeting I sat on the couch and crocheted the center Sudoku afghan panel to Sudoku Long Strip #1.  I know it looks the same as the last time I showed it to you but it isn't.  It's a couple hours closer to being completed.  Thank. The. Lord.  Now all I have to do is discipline myself to work on Strip #2, get it attached to the center and right panels, add some kind of edging and be done with this endless project.  Soon.  Ish.


August 9--William Paul Gottlieb, Billie Holiday nee Eleanora Fagin.  She sang as if her life depended on it.  The small girl stood on the splintered stage at the back of the old school gym singing to the bats in the rafters that were joined together by swags of cobwebs.  It was deep winter and almost as cold inside as it was outside.  Her breaths came out in long white streams as she sang.  "Velma," a voice echoed down the hall, "Mama says come home."  It was her little brother, Eldon.  "Mama says there're rats in here."  She heard him walking down the hall toward the gym, his too big boots crunching in the fallen plaster.

And that, my dears, is that.  I've gotta wrap this up tout suite because we have a 3 o'clock appointment to get our skeletons rearranged and we don't want to miss that.  Plus there's a whole string of stops that come after the rearrangements.  Exit, stage right.
--Barbara