Saturday, May 31, 2014

I'm No Good At Doing Nothing

I managed for part of the day, past lunch anyway, but when I finished paging through a magazine I lost my "doing nothing" mojo and went out to play with plants and dirt.  See, I had, oh, maybe a dozen plants yet to be put in the soil and I needed to move the flower kettles to their summer home across the front.  I did that first, then I looked at the bedding plants and realized that they really needed to be planted because they were thirsty and baking where I had them out of the reach of devouring bunnies.  So I got one of the box planters, troweled it up, and planted my buttercrunch lettuces.  Then I had to dig out a suitable length of chicken wire fencing to wrap the planter so that bunnies don't eat it all before we even get a taste.  I did that.  Then I dug along the edge of the garden and planted the extra basil and thyme, and found gaps in the plants behind the house and along the privacy screen for the astilbes so that butterflies come.  Once I watered all the pots I set the sprinkler to water the garden and I was done for the day.  Sweaty and done.  By then it was time to do a little prep work for the cook so I could go to Friday Night Knitting, where it was mostly just the old guard with a single newbie so it was quieter and a bit more subdued.  It was a nice night.  I worked on May Men's Chemo Hat #2 all evening.  There's no way I'm going to meet my goal of three hats this month but I'm not quitting either.  There's always June!

I just got a call that my car is ready (yay! hooray! yippee!) so I'm going to dash off the writing prompt portion of this blog entry so I can zoom away to meet Lala for a day of hiking and gabbing.

May 31--Mesopotamia, Headdress.  Gaia was braiding a necklace of amber beads and gold leaves into her hair.  She watched her hands move in the mirror but her mind strayed to how Ronald had shut her out of the conversation with the lawyers today.  He forgot that all their money was really her money and Galen Warren hadn't raised any dummies.  He had taken both Gaia and Rory in to the office with him almost daily.  They did their homework at desks in his office where he met with engineers, lawyers, and accountants.  He took them to board and shareholders meetings.  They had absorbed business acumen as they did fractions worksheets and wrote book reports.  She used Gran's antique tortoiseshell hairpins to secure her braid and stood up to put on her evening dress.  Maybe Ronald needed a bit of an attitude adjustment.  Why couldn't he play golf or dally with a mistress like other men?

Okay, here I go.  Zoom!

Friday, May 30, 2014


I'm peeved and disappointed.  My car was supposed to be ready at the body shop today and when I called earlier John told me that there was a Lincoln in the paint booth yesterday that wouldn't start so he didn't get a chance to paint mine, he's painting it today, which means I won't be able to pick up my car until tomorrow morning around 10.  Grrr.  I can use Durwood's aircraft carrier of a van today, no problem, but I miss my little red HHR.  And John TOLD me it'd be ready on Friday and this is Friday and I want my own car back.  *sniff, waaaah*  (would you like cheese with your whine?)

Last week I said I'd buy a scooter trike for LC from the Ambassador of Mennen Ct. so I walked up with the cash yesterday and brought it home.  It's so cute--and it has a bell and streamers.  I can't wait until she's big enough to ride it... no, wait, yes, I can because when she's big enough to scoot around on it she won't be content to snuggle in my arms for hours and I'll miss that.  There's a tiny little bike where the scooter came from too that I might have to buy.  The Ambassador said he'd store it for me if I wanted it.  I probably do.  (I call him the Ambassador because he's always the first one to welcome new neighbors and he carries news from one house to another.  He's a great guy.)

We have a chickadee nest in the little ratty birdhouse just out the patio doors.  He was flying back and forth when I went out to snap a picture of the trike and snapped one of the chickadee waiting on the back of the chair to fly into the birdhouse.  Something or someone was in there rapping on the wall and the house was waving on its post but he was too fast for me to get a picture of him/her in the opening.  But they're in there, I heard 'em.  He wasn't impressed with me sitting on the step either.  Look at the look on his face.

I got the flower pacifier clip sewed together yesterday.  The flower's heavy but I like the way it turned out.  Now I just need to buy another pacifier like LC likes to thread it onto and it's ready for duty.  Once that was done I worked on the Packers with a Hint of Vikings Bib.  Maybe I'll get that done this weekend... if I don't get distracted by some other "ooh, I wanna make that" project.  I make no promises.  I got the lawn mowed after work yesterday so I've got all weekend to plant those few herbs and then do whatever I want to do.  I'm meeting Lala at Wade House between Sheboygan and Fond du Lac tomorrow so that's Saturday but today and Sunday I'm free as a bird.  Free!  Do you hear?  Free!

May 30--Egon Shiele, Portrait of a Woman.  Juliette had the red hair of a fox and a temper to match her hair color.  When she got angry or  frustrated tendrils of hair would escape from her chignon to curl around her flushed cheeks and her fingers would curl into claws.  People who knew her well knew enough to stay out of her way.  Marshall only saw her red hair and gray-green eyes and he was too entranced by the way she looked to be aware of the power of the frustration building in her.

Okay.  I'm off to... to... I don't know.  Maybe I'll plant that basil and thyme and rig up a planting box on the patio for my lettuce.  Maybe I'll plonk myself in front of the TV with some knitting and watch stuff I've DVR'd.  Maybe I'll get dressed in "real" clothes and go look at patterns at Hancock and JoAnn Fabrics.  (I've been thinking of whipping up a jacket for myself)  Whatever.  I'll make sure to waste most of the day.  You do that too.  It's too nice outside to be all dedicated.

Thursday, May 29, 2014


I try not to be one of "those" bloggers.  You know the ones, they take a picture of their meal even if it's something that's on everyone's plate, but last night I had to.  HAD to.  Because we had 2# of fresh mussels that needed to be eaten and no one else was here to do it.  I cobbled together parts of 2 recipes, adding thinly sliced carrots, finely sliced green onions, chopped onion, and garlic, oh thyme too, to the wine, butter, and olive oil.  We had a bit of homegrown asparagus to share on the side and a loaf of French bread warmed in the oven to dip into the liquid in the bowl.  Mmmm.  I meant to toss in some diced red bell pepper but forgot.  I'll add it next time--and there will be a next time, all that was left was the extra liquid and some floating veggie bits.  All for less than 8 bucks.  Can't go wrong.

In between phone calls and customers yesterday I got the flower for the pacifier clip sewed together and started knitting the strap & stem.  I like it.  I forgot to bring a little fiberfill to stuff the center so I just used all the tail ends from weaving in the petals and it worked just fine.  This is a cute, quick and fairly simple baby gift, and the flower pacifier clip pattern is free online.  All you need is one of those commercial pacifier clips to cut the strap off of and you're set.  I'm hoping to finish it today, if those pesky customers will leave me alone.

May 29--Spain, Chalice.  The priest lifted the silver chalice up into the shaft of light coming from the rose window high at the back of the nave.  Rays of reflected light shot into the eyes of the congregation as the organ paused.  The priest's voice rolled the Latin words of consecration into the sudden silence.  As he completed the phrase and began to lower the cup a dark spot appeared between his eyes, breaking his glasses and sending him to the floor.  It took a moment for the metallic ringing of silver striking marble to reverberate through the cavernous church and another moment for the people in the first pews to realize that Father Loeffler wasn't getting up.

Aldi has chicken thighs for a good price today and pineapples too so I'll be stopping there before I leave for work to give Durwood something to play with during the day.  He's so good about keeping us stocked up so meals are simple.  He's a treasure.  Happy Thursday!  (It is Thursday, isn't it?  Yeah, it is.  Having Monday be a holiday has bollixed up my internal calendar even more than it usually is.)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bleeding Hearts & Apple Blossoms

Just a couple of the glorious blooming things in our backyard.  The Lilies of the Valley are doing their best to overcome the long, fierce winter that was so reluctant to release its grip on us and the Lilacs are perfuming the whole place (although I need to coax the wind to shift a teensy bit so that the fragrance wafts into the house instead of alongside it).  I love this time of year when everything's coming to life and celebrating it in the most showy way.  Summer is good too when all the annuals and tomato plants are out baking in the sun but the Spring blooms are just such a CELEBRATION.  The only lilies that survived away from the house are the daylilies; the Stargazers and Lipstick lilies didn't come back.  *sigh*  At least the ones across the front of the house where they're most protected made it.  *whew*

Doctor Day yesterday wasn't any fun (and we didn't expect it to be), it was long and boring and the news wasn't great, not awful, but not of the "you're healed, go away" variety either, but then we kind of knew that going in.  See, Durwood's got COPD and that never gets better so you just try to slow it down.  Plus there was a giant (and I mean GIGANTIC) crane building something near or over the main entrance so we ended up criss-crossing the hospital multiple times and they wouldn't let us play with the crane, not even for one minute.  Spoilsports.

We delivered my car to the body shop to get her dents pounded out so Durwood gets to take me to work and pick me up today and tomorrow.  I don't know why that makes me feel as if I've been sentenced to prison, I never go anyplace during work and he'd be perfectly happy to take me someplace (or even someplacES) before or after work--so what's the deal, Barbara, you spoiled brat?  It's supposed to be done on Friday, which is just around the corner, right?  That'll be good and then I won't have those ugly dents in the passenger side fenders.

May 28--Jean-Baptiste-Claude Sene, Armchair (Beregere).  It was "the queen chair" to the kids in the family.  Granny sat in it every night after supper and they thought she looked like a queen with her silver and gold hair piled up on her head like a crown.  The chair was made of gilded wood and upholstered in white silk with gold flowers embroidered all over it.  Once Dina pretended the back of the chair was a big connect-the-dots puzzle and wrote all over it with a crayon.  We thought she'd get into big trouble but Granny said "the child is bored" and ordered a bunch of art supplies and puzzle books from some store in the city for all of us to share.

It's not sunny today and not too warm either.  I kind of like it.  I don't think it's supposed to rain but it looks like it might decide to later.  Off to seek breakfast before my ride takes me to work.  And to get my paycheck!  Suddenly the day looks a little brighter, the moths in my wallet are getting hungry.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Maple Leaves!

All of a sudden there are tiny leaves on the maple trees.  My pal Mardi noticed it yesterday and wondered why it doesn't make noise when they all pop out at once.  I totally agree.  The other day all we had were bare twigs and now little leaves have popped out.  See?  I think the long cold winter stressed the trees so they didn't make those yellow flowers that turn into helicopters (seeds) this spring, they only had enough energy left to make leaves.  I am very glad to see leaves on the trees but, like Mardi, wonder why they don't sound like popcorn or whooshing wind when they unfurl.  Maybe we just can't hear it because we're not evolved enough.

Durwood and I went across town (all the way across the river [all of 5 miles]) to Lindsley's greenhouse to see if they had basil and thyme plants.  They did, and they also had Buttercrunch lettuce which I have always wanted to grow, so I got some of that too.  I spent all of ten bucks and got lots of plants.  Now I get to build a cage to put around the box planter I'll be putting the lettuce in to keep the bunnies, etc. from eating it before I get the chance.

We stopped to play with LC on the way and Grandpa taught her to blow raspberries (pthththbt!) since she's starting to get food in addition to milk.  She did really well, but she also learned how to make the snort/puff sound that his oxygen system makes when he inhales.  The kid's a genius!  I worked on the petals for the flower pacifier clip.  I like 'em.  Maybe I'll get them sewed together later today.

This is my 5th day off work in a row and I could get used to this.  Of course I'd run out of "play" money really fast without that weekly paycheck but every once in a while this long string of days is just lovely.  Today's a doctor day for Durwood and I get to drop my car, Beverly, off to get her dents removed.  Man, it's going to be a pain to be without a car for a few days.  Not that I'll be housebound, there's always Durwood's aircraft carrier of a vehicle, but I'll miss Beverly although I'll be very glad to get those dents out.  Stupid slick snowy street and parked Post Office truck, also the schmuck that scraped a different fender up in Door County a few years back.

May 27--China, Mirror Case with Pattern of Rock, Chrysanthemum, and Pomegranate.  Susie sewed late into the night sitting in a pool of light.  Her needle flashed silver in and out of the red silk fabric of the purse she was making.

It wasn't a writing night.  I was tired, and today promises to be tiring too.  Joy.  Remember, today's really Tuesday even though it feels like Monday.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Woke Up To Rain

Okay now, that's more like it.  It's always rainy on Memorial Day weekend, if it isn't going to turn chilly (and it isn't going to) then it can at least rain.  I looked at the radar on TV, there was a narrow band of showers with a bit of thunder and it slid right across us.  I'll bet that it didn't rain a drop five miles north or south of us, but since I got my tomatoes and flowers (well, most of those anyway) planted yesterday I am just as happy to have help watering.  I moved my broken park bench out from under the honeysuckle this year and put it next to the shed.  This morning I saw that I can't rely on Mother Nature to water those flower pots, they're nestled against the house under the eaves, so it'll be hose water for them.  Three of the four kettle pots will get moved to their summer home in front today and I want to drag Durwood to another nursery today to see about getting more herb plants because I do want to plant some by the tomatoes to see if basil enhances the tomato flavor.  I might have to resort to seeding some but I can do that, no problem.  The place I want to go today (darned if I can remember the name) is tucked off a main street behind an auto parts store.  It's so fleeting (only there until the plants are gone) that it doesn't even have a phone number but they've been around a long time and have fabulous plants.

DIL1 and I were talking about planting gardens the other day she said that her dad had planted a whole packet of zucchini seeds when he was first gardening and of course had a blue million of 'em.  He took a bowl of 6 of them to work one day to share with his staff and patients, and by the end of the day there were 11 zucchini in the bowl!  See that?  They multiplied on their own without vines!  I tell Durwood that he can plant zucchini if he can figure out how to buy half a plant.

May 26--Carleton E. Watkins, View from the Sentinel Dome, Yosemite.  Gabe used the branches of pines and handfuls of brush to pull himself to the top of the ridge.  His heart fell as he saw what lay before him.  Mountains stretched as far as he could see.  Snow lay in the folds and creases of the slopes, and pines lined up like sentinels patrolling a border.  The wind cut through him here above the treeline.  As much as he liked the long view from this height he knew he'd be warmer down slope in the shelter of the trees.  His snowshoes were a big help now, they had saved him from falling many times on the climb up but they'd be a hindrance lower down the mountain, catching on brush and tripping him every few steps.

Are you grilling out today?  I think I will, we've got some pork chops thawing and I love pork on the grill, don't you?  I know it's not "traditional" Memorial Day fare but it's what was oldest in the freezer so it's the pork chops' turn to fry.  In between cookouts and concerts today, remember to thank a Vet for your freedom and stop a moment to say a prayer for those who never made it home.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Yep, It's Going to be Summer After All.

Usually Memorial Day weekend's a bait-and-switch kind of weekend.  You know what I mean, it seems like it's going to be warm and dry for the holiday weekend so people plan cookouts and camping trips and when the weekend rolls around it's cool and wet.  Not this weekend.  Not so far anyway.  Yesterday and today look like they could be poster children for "perfect spring weekend."  They'd get my vote anyway.

The apple tree out back is blooming!  Yay!  The Lilies of the Valley are starting to bloom too!  Double Yay!

Yesterday I got to go play with LC while her parents did yard work.  (did I get the best part of that deal or what?)  Don't worry, I got my lawn mowed before I went and played with the baby, who is doing all sorts of amazing things like rolling over and scooching along when she's on her tummy using her feet to push.  Durwood and I noticed last week that she wants to go places, she'll stiffen up and try to slide off your lap already.  She wants to GO and SEE.  I'm not sure what it meant but she kept her right foot in the air while she played on her mat.  ???  Now I understand my parents coming over and just staring at DS when he was her age.  I find I can't tear my eyes away.  Riveting.

As soon as I hit "Publish" up there in the right corner of this window I'll be getting the pitchfork and shovel, then going out to weed the big weeds out of the garden and put in the tomato plants and green pepper plant.  Maybe I'll even get all the flowers planted in pots today too.  Or I could save that for tomorrow, don't want to cram all the fun all into one day.

In knitting news I'm learning a new technique making another pacifier keeper for LC--double knitting.  If you look at the petal on the right (the one still on the needle [OTN]) , it looks like it's all garter stitch, right?  In fact it's "knit 1, slip 1 purlwise" across for 12 rows, then you take the needle out, thread the tail through a tapestry needle, squeeze the sides of the little square so the stitches pop apart, and you thread the yarn tail through them, then you turn it inside out and draw up the yarn through the stitches to make petals like the other 2 in the picture.  Brilliant.  I'm not sure I want to admit it but I totally didn't get it until I cruised the Project Pages in Ravelry looking for errata, reading other people's notes and found a short YouTube video by the pattern designer showing and explaining how to do it.  It's like a magic trick. I only got a few rows of Fiddlehead sock foot, Oriole Wings Wrap, and Packers with a Touch of Vikings Bib in this week because there was WORK to be done at WORK.  All that work cut into my knitting time.  I guess that's the real sign that the weather is changing and the Summer SCUBA diving season is approaching.

May 25--Italy, Gradual.  "This is not in English," Mia said.  She flicked the page in the ancient book as if it had offended her.  "No, it isn't," said Jacob. "Most 14th Century Italians didn't speak English and the Church used Latin as its ritual language.  She seemed taken aback that the world didn't revolve around her.

And that's when the day caught up to me, my handwriting degenerated into illegibility, and I slid seamlessly into dreamland.  Now it's time to go play in the dirt.  Woohoo!  I love my red pitchfork, it's great for digging out big nasty weeds.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Doomed to Failure

Mrs. Robin is attempting to build a nest on top of the front light.  She's not going to be able to, partly because it's just not a good place for a nest and partly because I'll be out there removing her attempts at least once a day.  That just isn't flat enough for a bird's nest plus there's no other way for us to go out to the cars so we'd only end up getting dive-bombed by an irate mama robin and nobody wants that.

Here's one more picture (it's the last one this year, I promise) of the red & yellow tulips blooming in the garden.  I could stare at them for hours studying the jagged margin of red into yellow and yellow into red.  The bleeding heart has bloomed, one little spray of blooms but there are many ready to bloom, so you can count on seeing them a few more times before it's only leaves.  I got the herbs planted yesterday afternoon (clockwise from the left--parsley, basil, thyme) and wondered at the pitifulness of the thyme plants, but that was all there was.  I got four of the last 5 thyme plants at Stein's, they'll perk up now that they're happily in a nice roomy pot, you just watch.  The allium's blooming in front.  I'm a big fan of the fuzzy purple globes standing so proud on their long stems.  While taking the allium photo I noticed that Dad's rose bush is putting out some leaves but only from the base, no leaves sprouting from last year's canes, and the little shrub rose I've been babying along for years in back is stone cold dead.  The stupid, long, extra-cold winter is just lucky it didn't kill Dad's rose; I'd have something to say about that, I'm telling you.

May 24--Italy, Gradual.  Grace thought the Mass would never end.  The priest kept bowing this way and that, and kissing his prayer book.  The altar boys rang the bells at what seemed like random intervals, the choir sang in Latin and had a song for each priestly bow and bell jangle.  Incense smoke seemed to have replaced all the breathable air in the cavernous space.  She was beginning to regret agreeing to come to church with her friend and neighbor Maxine and was thinking of slipping out but then a shaft of sunlight shot through the stained glass window next to her and splashed a rainbow over her.  Very sneaky, God, she thought, just when I was feeling sorry to be here You light up the fireworks.  Okay, I'll stay.

A Gradual is a chant or hymn in a liturgy or rite, I looked it up.  I get to mow de lawn this morning.  Don't you wish you were here to do that instead?  But first I'll be reading the paper and soaking up the quiet before I blast it into smithereens with the mower.  Oh, but I have to zoom off for gas for the mower first.  Did you know that you're not supposed to put Regular gas in your mower?  Mowers don't like ethanol, so mowers (and snowblowers, too, I know we've spoken of this before) get Premium since Premium doesn't have ethanol.  Picky eaters.  Hmph.  Enjoy your holiday weekend.  Doesn't it seem like Memorial Day's early this year?  Anyway...

Friday, May 23, 2014


The birds, not the baseball players.  Finally, after at least 4 years of trying, we're attracting orioles.  (knock wood)  I moved the feeder out into the middle of the yard away from the fence, retaining wall, and apple tree so maybe they like a bit of space around their food.  Durwood sees them most because he's home at midday when they come visiting and he's good about taking their pictures.  One of them, the yellower one with the black chin is an Orchard Oriole, I'm excited that it keeps coming back, and one day a pair of females came to check out the orange.  Maybe they'll bring their nestlings when they learn to fly.  That'd be cool.

We went to the garden center this morning after the energy guy left and bought 6 tomato plants (Durwood's limit), parsley, thyme, basil, and a bunch of flowers.  I'll get the herbs planted later today and then slowly get the rest of it into pots and the garden over the weekend.  This means that summer's really going to come, right?

We did some grocery shopping too and swung by Arby's for one of their market fresh turkey sandwiches to share and we ate on the patio in the sun and warm.  It was so nice to sit out there with a steady stream of hummingbirds at the feeders, feeling the warm air and talking, just like real people.

May 23--Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Albert (Rene) Grenier.  His eyes look so sad, Gail thought.  The painting leaned against the back wall of the resale shop.  Only part of it was lit but she couldn't seem to look away.  Her eyes were drawn to it so she gave in and sidled past tables piled with hats and dusty baskets until she could pull it out and look at it in the light.  It was a portrait of a young man from about the turn of the last century and he had the saddest eyes.  She didn't need an oil painting of a long dead young man but she couldn't bear to leave it behind.

I think it's time for me to go get some dirt under my nails and get those herbs planted.  Talk to you tomorrow.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Left-Side Hummingbirds or Right-Side Hummingbirds?

That's how Durwood told me he IDs the hummingbirds that come to our feeders.  Some come from over the house to the right and go back the same way, others fly in from the left and leave that way.  But this morning, when I was having coffee and reading the paper on the patio around 7:30, a pair of hummingbirds flew out of the apple tree (straight out the patio doors), had drinks, and flew away back into the apple tree and beyond.  Does that mean that we have West-Side Hummingbirds (Left), East-Side Hummingbirds(Right), and North-Side Hummingbirds (Back)?  I'm suspicious of the idea that each bird has a route to the feeders that doesn't vary but then I don't get to sit and watch them and learn their markings like Durwood does.  I am tickled that they make a sound and I recognize it so I can look up to see them when I hear it.  They make a kind of squeak, it's a very small sound but it's distinctive.  Pretty cool, huh?

I couldn't control myself last night and cast on another bib in Cascade Fixation.  I'm calling it Packer (with a touch of Vikings) Bib.  I like the three colors and I'm no Packer fan (not really a football fan at all) but living here you can't see green and yellow (or gold) together without thinking Packers and even a non-fan like me knows that the Vikings color is purple.

All kinds of stuff's starting to flower and make buds and leaves out there.  The Bleeding Heart will be blooming soon.  The volunteer violets are like little galaxies in a green sky.  Those red and yellow garden tulips are still going strong.  One of my blueberry bushes is covered with blossoms.  I think I should have pruned the largest bush because it's only got leaves on a few branches; I'll check the handouts from the blueberry growing seminar I took last spring.  It's time to fertilize them anyway. 

Tomorrow after the Energy Efficiency Survey guy goes away (we'll get some free CFLs and some free LEDs and he'll adjust the too-high heat of our water heater for us) we're going to Stein's for garden plants.  We want to get tomatoes and lots of herbs.  Well, not lots of varieties of herbs but lots of plants of certain ones--basil, parsley, and thyme--those are the ones we use a lot and we read an article that said they make good companion plants for vegetables for deterring pests or enhancing flavor, for instance, planting basil by your tomatoes is supposed to make the tomatoes taste better.  We're going to test the theory.

May 22--Sophilos, Volute-Krater of Chalcidian Shape.  "Mama, there are pigs kissing on that flower pot."  The little girl's voice echoed through the display hall.  The nearest patron, an older man with white hair and a stoop, frowned and grunted at the child's naivete.  The rest of those in earshot smiled and a few giggles were stifled.  The low light and general air of self-importance in the Sarah Welton Museum of Classical History made most visitors feel that they had to be quiet, if not silent, and reverent.  The child's clear voice and her mother's confident response, "they must be good friends then, don't you think?" seemed to give the rest of the visitors tacit approval to talk in normal tones.  People found themselves slowing their steps so as to remain close to the mother and child.  The security guard was concerned that there was something amiss when he realized that people leaving the museum were smiling and talking among themselves, not solemn and as silent as if leaving a funeral like they usually did.

Okay, back at work, have to go do work things.  Only one more day until I get my laptop back.  I can't wait.  I know it, I'm addicted to the thing.  *sigh*  I'm wearing a linen cardi today and it has a little embroidered blue horse on it which makes me think of a visit to Lexington and time spent with DD & DIL2.  I miss those girls.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I Missed You. Did You Miss Me?

I feel like I've had one of my arms chopped off since I took my laptop, my beloved Kumquat, to the fixit shop to get all the malware and hacker tracks removed.  I tried to use Durwood's dinosaur of a desktop computer yesterday but couldn't endure the ages (and ages and ages) of time it took to boot up and then drag itself over to a website, so I didn't compute yesterday.  But, and this is a very good but, I heard from Mr. Fixit that I should be able to pick it back up on Friday, and I am at work today and tomorrow so I'll have a zippy, modern computer to blog on.  *whew*

Yesterday morning the sunrise was moody and beautiful.  Seeing it made me glad I got up early.  I had a raft of errands to do yesterday on my day off and then I dragged out my garden kneeler and went across the front of the house, both sides of the house, pulling up baby maple trees.  As prolific as they are I don't see any danger of maple trees going extinct anytime soon.  Late in the day a guy came to inspect and tune up the air conditioners for the cooling season.  Naturally they're of an age when things are starting to break down and need replacing (sounds familiar) so we'll be having another visit so they can put in new conductors or constrictors or some such electronic gadgets and cleaning out the blower wheels (??? --  that doesn't sound like a real thing to me) for a princely sum.  It irked me until I remembered that we got the air conditioners for free when we put in new furnaces about 10 years ago, so we're still ahead, expense-wise.  We want to be cool and we want to filter out a lot of the particulates, molds, and things so it's easier for Durwood to breathe so we're getting the work done soon.

I stopped to talk to some of our neighbors and ended up promising to buy a little scooter tricycle for LC for next summer.  It doesn't have pedals which I guess is the new trend for kids' transportation toys.  Whatever, it's red and white, and nearly brand new so I'm getting it.  I passed on the Cadillac of strollers and a little tiny two-wheeler.  I barely have room to store our junk much less a bunch of baby and kid things.  (oh, that statement's going to come back to bite me in the butt, I just know it)

I did manage to finish the bib for LC I cast on the other day.  I'd hoped to finish it at work on Monday but when I got here Mrs. Boss had a whole pile of things for me to do so I had to work all day at work and not knit a stitch.  (can you believe it?  the nerve...)  I like the bib, though, and think I'm going to try knitting one in Cascade Fixation which is cotton yarn with a little elastic in it (I have a few partial skeins that'll do just fine) so it'll fit around her little neck more neatly and the ribbing won't stretch out and sag.

May 21--Paul Poiret & Raoul Dufy, "La Perse" Coat.  She could have hidden in a Rousseau painting in that coat.  Enormous leaves and obscenely large flowers swirled and glowered on the silk, making the fur collar and cuffs a good place for the eyes to rest.  Detective Williams wondered for a moment how she felt wearing the coat, and wondering if the blood would ever come out.  Probably not.  The way she sprawled on the cold white marble floor of the gallery convinced Williams that death had surprised her.  She had turned away from the spears of plate glass that flew when the explosion blew in the windows.  She never stood a chance.  Others in the crowd had been injured, she was the unlucky one who had died.

And now I have to face the fact that I'm at work and should probably quit blogging and do some work-y work before the day is over.  Toodle-oo.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Tulips & Ferns

My favorite tulips are blooming, the orange pink ones, and since the grape hyacinths are still blooming too I've got that one little patch of purple and orange pink that makes me smile every time I see it, and I see it a lot since it's right next to the front stoop.  All of the yellow and red garden tulips are blooming and in the bed right behind the house the ferns are sprouting higher and I see a few flower stalks peeking out of the lilies of the valley.  Oh, and I watched a chickadee inspecting the birdhouse there too.  We've seen hummingbirds at least a couple times a day on both the near and far feeders, no orioles lately but they're kind of skittish and only come at certain times of the day.  I should go out and see how the orange half is doing, they hollowed out the first one I put out.  I'll go right now, hold on... well, the orange looks unpecked.  Dang it.  Wonder what we have to do to keep them coming back.

I sort of managed to follow Durwood's suggestion and relax yesterday, only it wasn't relaxing just doing nothing, it made me nervous and jittery to just sit and do nothing.  I didn't like it.  We went to walk around Costco in the afternoon, that helped a little.  We got new electric toothbrushes and had lots of quality snacks from the tasters but we agreed that it's not worth the $55 annual membership fee to us.  Granted they have lots of goodies and their meats and deli and bakery items are primo but they don't have a lot of the items we regularly buy at Sam's so that $55 is fifty-five dollars that we can apply to other things like vacation stuff.

I knitted a bit on the bib.  It goes fast and I think I like it.  I didn't like the hole I saw at the edge of the bib and collar, and I really didn't like the dropped stitch that made the hole, but my trusty crochet hook and I managed to corral it and hook it back to line up with its pals on the needle, sneaky little thing thought it could slip away.  Not in my knitting.

I made a pan of cornbread sausage stuffing and grilled the Cornish hen, both were delicious and made enough for tonight. In reality there's stuffing for quite a few more nights; it makes a big batch and I don't know how to cut it down since it uses a can of cream of what you have on hand soup and I don't think I could cut that in half.  Although I suppose I could dump it into a measuring cup, whisk it so it's smooth and well mixed, and then only use half, tossing the rest.  I think it's a sign of getting old that a single Cornish hen makes 2 nights' suppers for us, but it's good too because now all we'll need tonight is a veg.

May 19--Mesopotamia, Mastiff.  The dog was on her, all hot breath and sharp teeth right in her face.  Beth held herself as still as her jangling nerves let her, trying not to cry out or run.  "Down, Baby, get down," Rita said with a giggle, "Beth doesn't like kissy."  Oh great, Beth thought, she thinks the hell hound is playing with me.  Beth gathered up all her wits and patted the dog on its broad head.  "Nice doggie."  When Rita told her that she had a dog named Baby, Beth had pictured a lap dog, not a behemoth that had a part-time gig as a pony.

I'm taking my laptop in for its annual clean up appointment so posting this week will be catch as catch can, especially tomorrow when I'm not at work.  I'll try though because I know you miss me when I'm gone.  (Yeah, right.)  Anyway, it's a gorgeous day so enjoy it.  That's an order.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Tulips In The Garden

A whole cluster of 'em!  Yay for tulips!  That must mean that actual warm weather, not this pseudo-Spring we've been having where the calendar says "Spring" but the weather says "late Autumn," is on the way.  We've had a day here or there that promised better times but I'd really like to string a few together, like a season's worth.  I am wearing capris and a short sleeved t-shirt so I must think that something positive's supposed to come out of today.  Maybe I'll even eat my lunch on the patio.  Durwood proposed that I grill our little Cornish hen out there.  Mmm.  I've got a pan of cornbread cooling because he also requested stuffing (even if it isn't stuffed into a bird we call it that because dressing's what you put on a salad--in our narrow little world anyway).

I've been meaning to remember to ask DS or DIL1 for a bib so that when I feed LC when she's visiting I can use one to sop up the drools, then it occurred to me yesterday that I can knit one, and out of things I already own.  *head, slap*  I have two milk crates full of skeins of cotton yarn.  I have needles in every size known to knitters.  I even had a pattern for a bib queued up on Ravelry for making "someday."  Well, someday was last night after supper.  It's a very clever pattern, you make a ribbed neck (just like making a mitten cuff), bind off some of the stitches and then continue on making the bib part, then when you want to put the bib on the baby you just slip it over their head, no ties or buttons to futz with, and baby can't pull it off.  Brilliant!

I'm chugging along on the Fiddlehead sock foot so now you can see the "new" Strong heel (not strong as in muscles, Strong as in the inventor's last name) framed by sock leg and foot.  I think it looks like a heel that'll work in a sock-like manner.

And the other night I caved in, wound up the skein of Baltimore Oriole sock yarn I bought in Goshen, IN in 2011, and cast on the Different Lines shawl I'm calling Oriole Wings Wrap.  I can't wait to get through the dark dark dark brown beginning (very hard to find those stitches at night) and get into the orange.  It's going to be gorgeous, I can just tell.

How fast does grass seed grow?  Would it sprout faster if it was warmer?  I'm watering for half an hour every morning but don't see any little green shoots yet.  Dagnabit.  D'you think I could get away with using a case of green spray paint to cover the bare spots?

May 18--Meissen Manufactory, Table Snuffbox.  There was too much to look at in the narrow shop.  The walls were lined with glass front cupboards and open shelves stuffed with little boxes and bottles, tea sets and glassware, vases, and figurines.  In short, every kind of shiny breakable known to mankind.  Margaret wasn't sure what she was looking for but she knew she would know it when she saw it.

I spent all afternoon in the basement going through all my yarn (didn't find as much to jettison as I'd hoped, better go through again) and doing laundry and I was tired.  Plus I fired up the stationary bike in the corner there only to discover that whatever controls the pedal resistance is set on "overkill" because I could barely pedal.  It was so hard I got thigh cramps for an hour afterward.  Methinks there's something wrong.  It's ancient, maybe its time has come.  I think I have the manual, maybe I'll look at the "Troubleshoot" section.  Wish me luck.  I need to do something, my knees are killing me. Maybe a walk around the block...