Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Not a Sunny Day

I had hopes that it'd be a sunny day.  It was sunny early in the morning but before long the clouds rolled in from the south blotting it out.  There was even a flock of crows spiraling overhead.  Ominous.  It hasn't rained but it sure looks like it wants to at any minute.

The house cleaner came for the first time today and I think she's going to work out well.  She tackled the bathroom first and I think she may have even washed down the walls. !!!  She made a start on doing the same to the kitchen and then ran the vacuum around the rest of the house.  In a few months when she's got the joint whipped into shape she can run through the whole thing in a couple hours but until then I'll keep de-crapifying, encouraging Durwood to do the same, and keeping the Health Dept. away until her next visit.  Thank god there are people who love to clean.  I'm not one.  I don't especially like it and I suck at it.  I already scheduled another visit in 4 weeks.

In the garden another plant, Celebrity, has a good sized tomato starting.  Yay!  The three cherry tomatoes on the Sweet 100 are still there and still thriving too.  Early Girl and Boxcar Willie haven't entered the race yet.

The Lipstick Lilies are blooming like gangbusters.  I wasn't convinced I'd like them when I planted them a few years back but they were about 90% off so I couldn't leave them behind.  Now they're the ones from that planting year that have survived the best and bloom the most.  So I like them a lot now.

Dad's roses are still going strong.  I was thinking of taking a rose sprig to the Botanical Garden to see if they've got a rose expert who can tell me what variety it might be.

June 30--Nita Winter, Heartbeat.  The steady swish and thud of Jacob's heart had been a constant in Angela's life.  She remembered the first time she rested her head on his broad young chest, how the bounding rhythm had told her more clearly than words how he felt about her.  She savored the slow steady beat when they relaxed on the couch and how it pounded when he was aroused.  Their children had slept well nestled on his chest and many nights she had cried herself to sleep there when money was tight and she was afraid.  Now they were old but Jacob's heart beat just as strongly.  She felt the need to store up the sound of it for the coming winter.

Hey, it's the last day of June already.  And Saturday's July 4th.  Holy crap, where's 2015 off to in such a hurry?  Ooh, I think I just saw a raindrop make a dent in the birdbath water.  Better make sure the car windows are shut.

Monday, June 29, 2015

How Hard Can It Be To Make A Hat?

Evidently too hard for me.  I got all the hat parts cut out, skimmed the directions, and started sewing.  When I got the first crown and sides pieces together I sensed something wrong.  Like, it was flat.  It was supposed to look like a pot--flat top and straight down sides--so I double-checked the pattern piece markings to discover that I'd sewn the hat top to the brim.  Trash.  Re-cut.  Start over.  (see the word "skimmed" up there in the second sentence?  there's your problem, right there)  Once I got going it made more sense.  And with a break for supper I got it done.  Ta-da!  A reversible bucket hat for LC.  Really, it's one hat turned inside out.

After I finished the hat I drilled holes in the tepee poles and got them lashed together.  Earlier I went to Fleet Farm for leather shoelaces, found some, and asked a teenaged clerk if they had leather for lashing in any other department.  She looked at me like I was speaking a foreign tongue, called around, and said they had nothing else.  So I found the rope department and bought a few yards (okay, 15 yards) of starter cord in case the leather wasn't the right stuff.  But it is.  Look!  All I have to is weave in the tails and I'm done.  Although I might go looking for some of those cup things you put on chair legs to keep the poles from slipping and the fabric from slipping off the pole quite so easily.  For now, though, it's operational.

June 29--Gordon E. Smith--Vegetable Food Pyramid.  Ava stood on the sidewalk with her basket on her arm.  She felt like she was on the edge of another world, a world where food was fresh and washed clean but not processed.  She paused in the same spot every Saturday before she plunged into the stream of people moving up and down the stalls at the Farmer's Market.  She had some thoughts about what she hoped hoped to get, asparagus and summer squash for sure, and some spring onions if anyone had them, but she mostly wanted to soak up the atmosphere.  People were happy at the market, they smiled and said hello.  They stopped to chat with friends and they talked to strangers.  Ava loved to soak up that small town feeling, hoping to keep it alive through the week.

I was determined to get this done before leaving for work because the Shift keys on the fancy (and expensive) Mac keyboard rarely work so it takes twice as long to type a blog post and, besides, it's extremely annoying.  Plus I have to stop to pick up a tank on my way across time.  Gotta go!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Got One Sewing Project Done

I ended up running a couple errands, grabbing lunch, and then getting caught by a silly game show before I made it downstairs to sew.  I decided that I should see about covering the support dowels to (almost) finish LC's tepee.  I set up the tepee, took precise measurements of the distance between legs, cut the square dowels to size, then used nearly all of the rest of the bias strips I had cut to make tubes for them.  It came to me to make the tubes a foot longer than each support and use 6" on each end for ties to hold them in place.  It worked just fine.  It was a little tricky sewing across the ends to keep the dowels in (I am familiar with the magical powers of destruction in the common toddler, not that ours is common you understand) but I managed.  They work.  It's not perfectly rigid because I didn't make one for the front side (no tripping hazard), now all I have to do is find some leather shoelaces, drill holes where the dowels cross, and get some nearby Boy Scout to help me lash them together.  Then it'll be done done and someone can set about playing in, around, and through it.  Today the hat gets made (because I realized that I hadn't washed the fabric for that so I did a couple loads of wash while sewing the rod casings, might as well multi-task, I was in the basement already)

I picked some roses.  *gasp*  I know!  I usually don't pick flowers because I hate to see them die before their time but I took a stem of them to knitting Friday to show off to the other gardeners and realized how much I liked having them nearby, so I snipped off some early this morning.  I'm thinking that as soon as I see the first Japanese beetle I'll cut them all to bring in.  They might as well die in vases in the house as die being beetle food.  The buds on the stargazer lilies are getting bigger.  Pretty soon...!

Last night after supper I whipped up a batch of Zesty Chicken soup for the next couple weeks' lunches--except I wanted to use up a piece of cooked turkey breast out of the freezer, then I thought that our homemade stock would be better than water, our can of Rotel tomatoes was way out of date so I substituted a big can of crushed tomatoes for the can of Rotel diced and regular diced and put in the can of chopped green chilies I was going to leave out if I put in the Rotel.  Let's see... what else did I change?  Oh, I used half of the garlic (garlic is mean to Durwood), half of the chili powder, and a bit less cumin.  It looks like tomato soup with veggies in it but I was determined to use what I had on hand; the only thing I had to buy was the zucchini, so it's like the soup recipe, kind of like a Palauan breakfast of eggs, hash browns and sausage is like an American breakfast of the same.  See when we were there years and years ago on a family dive trip Durwood and DD ordered eggs, hash browns, and sausage for breakfast and got eggs, Tater Tots, and fried hot dogs, kind of the same but not.  DS ordered the Asian breakfast which was some kind of vegetable soup-gruel stuff, very unfamiliar, but he loved it.  I ordered pancakes and got three salad-plate-size ones that I couldn't finish, so the next day I ordered one pancake.  The waitress said, "okayyyy" and brought me one gigantic pancake on a platter.  Evidently the cook made one pancake out of enough batter for three.  I'd have loved to see his face when he saw the order and how he flipped the thing.  I love traveling to other countries.  I miss it.

June 28--James Visser, Haircut.  Carla loved getting her hair cut.  Francis always began with a scalp massage, his strong fingers digging into her hair to untie knots in muscles she was unaware of.  The salon didn't smell of permanent wave chemicals or clashing shampoos that made her sneeze.  She thought that the soothing aromas of honey and lavender must be piped in, like Muzak for the nose.  Instead of rows of stations lined up along the walls they were places so that one stylist's clients weren't watching the next person and overhearing all the conversations.  Everyone knows that your stylist functions the same way a counselor does only your insurance doesn't pick up the tab or a bartender without the hangover and you remember what you've done and said.

That right there is what happens when you don't go to bed before 11 o'clock.  Boring writing.  I'll get better.  Really I will.  Promise.  Cross my heart even.  Time to hit Aldi because they've got pineapple, strawberries, and blueberries on sale this week and I need fruit salad.  I need it.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Seems Like A Sewing Day

I found a free (free! free! free!) pattern for a bucket hat for LC that I just happen to have fabric for and I bought a dress pattern for little girls called the Lulu Dress.  I had to buy it because sometimes she's a real lulu, plus it's darned cute and I happen to have fabric to make one of those too.  And I also have to work out encasing the wooden rods to stabilize the tepee, so there's a lot of sewing to be done.  That doesn't even count the pattern for a top for ME that I bought the other day.  *shhh*  I have fabric for that too. I might need to do some stash sewing, and soon.  (ya think????)

My herbs are doing quite well in their patio pots.  I trimmed off all the frost-browned bay leaves (put it out too early) and I'm happy to see all of the terminal buds on the branches sending out new leaves.  That's on the left, then there's sweet basil, Italian parsley, and thyme in the little pot in front.  I put chicken wire around the basil to keep the squirrels from digging in the dirt and probably should have done the same for the parsley.  

One of the day lilies opened right behind the birdhouse out the kitchen window.  I wish they lasted longer than a day.

I told you that I've been working on the scarf and hat but progress isn't very obvious, especially on the Rapid City scarf but then I thought to drape the remaining beads across the scarf and, while I refuse to count them, I'm guessing that's fewer than the 650 or so that I threaded on to start.  When I run out of beads I'll decide if I want to thread on more or just snip off the remaining yarn.  That's probably what I'll do.

I got the second pattern repeat done on the Practice Mosaic hat at knitting last night.  I think it looks like stained glass windows.

June 27--Greg Pease, Container Shipping.  When the yard was full of containers they made a kind of labyrinth.  She watched the Customs and Homeland Security officials thread their way through with their clipboards and she saw workers duck out of sight to grab a smoke or a nap.  One night when she worked late she stood at her window after turning off the office light and saw a stream of people stumble out of a container and knew they were being smuggled into the country.  In the dark she couldn't see the markings on the container to report what she saw.  The next day she was horrified to see a body sprawled in a pool of blood near where she had seen the illegals the previous night.  That time she called the port police.

Okay, I'm putting a star by this one or copying it into another document.  I have more ideas.  Time to grab a shower and then plunge into my fabric hideout.  Hasta la vista, babies.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Veggie Emergency

We were flat out of veggies, except for a couple of whisker-y carrots, 3 scallions, and a partial stalk of celery.  Time to go shopping.  So after indulging ourselves in lunch at Kroll's East (yummy cheeseburger and terrific onion rings) off to Woodman's we went.  Now we have all kinds of veggies so we won't get rickets--or is it scurvy?  (neither, rickets is no calcium so you get bowlegged and scurvy is lack of Vitamin C)  Anyway we won't starve.  Not that there was any danger of that, I just did a new inventory of the freezer and the downstairs larder and we need to eat out of there for a while.

This morning there was a woodpecker line-up for the suet.  One bird was on the fence, the next one was on the stake at the corner of the garden and the third one was on the crook below the feeder looking up as if to say "come on, quit hogging," then a sparrow butted in and they all flew off.  I wanted to lecture them about sharing and remind them that this is a two-sided suet feeder so there's room for at least 2 birds at a time, but every time I open the door they fly away.  They probably know they're in for a talking to.

The orange Asiatic lily planted under the wire frog sculpture started blooming overnight.  Yay!  And Dad's roses are still going gangbusters.  I pinched a plump, pale green worm off of one of the buds (now I know where the chickadee parents shop for baby food) but so far no Japanese beetles.  I figure if I show you enough pictures of these roses you'll eventually be able to smell them.  No?  Well, I'm going to keep trying.

I've been knitting on the Rapid City beaded scarf, at least one repeat a day like I said I would, but it looks pretty much the same, only a bit longer.  I noticed that the number of beads I have to shove further down the yarn is appreciably smaller, so I must be getting somewhere.  I've worked on the Practice Mosaic hat too and I'll show you that when I finish the second repeat so you can see progress.  You should try mosaic knitting, it's a lot of fun and a whole lot less confusing than Fair Isle or intarsia.

June 26--Greg Pease, Container Shipping.  Nina's office window looked down at the docks.  The other managers' offices looked out through the tops of palm trees to the ocean.  She had a view of endless containers being loaded and unloaded from enormous ships.  The men looked like toy people from her vantage point.

That's when I fell asleep but I've still got an interesting picture in my head so I think I'll keep going on this one tonight, and I need to start hitting the sack a little earlier or something.  I'm falling asleep too quickly to really get up a head of steam.  Later.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

New Shoes Make Things Better, Don't They?

When I got home from work yesterday there was a box on the table in my place.  I'd ordered a couple pair of shoes off eBay last week and tracking said one pair would be delivered that day.  Since they don't make the Avia toning shoes anymore (misleading advertising since they didn't really tone your buns like it said in the ads) every once in a while I check eBay to see if someone has found some in a back closet.  I found a pair (not delivered yet) but they showed me a pair of similarly soled Mary Janes for not too much money.  I ordered some--and they came!  I dug out a pair of fish-y socks for the day, pretty darned pleased with myself.  They're pretty comfy too.

This morning the spiderwort was blooming like crazy, with a nice bumblebee filling his pollen sacs.  Years back I planted a shrub rose in a corner of the garden and it's never done very well.  One year I realized that the baby bunnies were nibbling on it so I put a little fence of chicken wire around it but that didn't encourage it to grow bigger or faster.  Every year it makes a few blossoms and right now is the time.  And the Lipstick Lilies are blooming too.  Yay!

I want to show you the view I have when I cross the river in the middle of town.  When I'm up there I love the big, wide sky.  It isn't often that I have my phone in the front seat with me but the other day I did.  Isn't it pretty?

June 25--Jessie Walker, Flowers & Lace.  Great-aunt Mabel's house was like a time machine stuck seventy years back.  Hannah was convinced that everything had been in place since before Great-grandmother Anna Louise, Mabel's mother put it there.  She knew beyond a doubt that the walnut table had always been in the hall below the Currier & Ives prints.  Just as she knew that the table had been covered by the crocheted lace doily with the pineapple motif and the stoneware bowl and pitcher set.  The one with the chipped lip had always held a bouquet of whatever was blooming in the garden.  Hannah vowed that when she was mistress of this house she would strip off the poison green-striped wallpaper in the dining room and find someplace to hide that bowl and pitcher.  She'd replace the table too.  Everything would be different when she was in charge.

It looks like a nice day out there and pretty soon it'll be time to close up shop and I can go out there to see for myself.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Mid-Week & Glad Of It

I'm not real sure what this week did to make me dislike it but I'll be glad when it's over.  Nobody's sick, nobody's in trouble with the law, the Health Department isn't at the door, both vehicles are working, and I still have a job but this week is pissing me off for no apparent reason and I'll be glad to see the back of it.  I count Saturday as the last day of the week so in the middle of the weekend things will start looking up, I am convinced of it.

Dad's roses are giving a virtuoso performance this year.  When I stepped out the door on my way to work today I could smell something so sweet I had to stop and inhale.  I looked over and last week's rosebuds are almost all open and the fragrance is beyond lovely.  No combination of chemicals can come close to the aroma of real old-fashioned roses in full bloom.  And the Asiatic lily plant right next to the stoop is fixing to fling its blossoms open any day now.  Naturally the yellow lilies and the red-orange lilies can't bloom simultaneously, no, that'd make too much logical sense, but I will admit that having one fading while the other one ramps up does extend lily blooming season.  The big stargazer lilies aren't anywhere near ready to bloom so we've got those to look forward to too.  I might have to buy some more of those for across the front of the house.  They're so beautiful and smell so good a person might have to post a guard to keep roving flower thieves away.

In knitting news, I'm endeavoring to work at least one repeat of 6 rows on the Rapid City beaded scarf per day while also letting the changing colors of the Practice Mosaic hat draw me to keep knitting "just one more round."  See, that's the allure of knitting with variegated yarn, you need to keep going to see what color comes next and how it stacks up against the ones that came before.  I just hope I don't run out of the dark yarn because it's all I have of it and I can't get more.  I bought this at Goodwill and it's somebody's handspun so there's no ballband with a dye lot and all that other official stuff that lets you seek additional yarn from others if you have a knitting emergency.  What?  You've never had a knitting emergency?  Just wait, everyone has one at one time or another, and if it isn't a knitting emergency it's a watercolor emergency or a woodshop emergency or a fabric/sewing machine emergency.  I'll be even stamp collectors have philatelic emergencies.  But that's just my opinion.  (I got a million of 'em, opinions that is.)

I was so tired when I got into bed last night that the few words I managed to write trail off into other lines or the letters are askew, not worth replicating here, so you're spared that at least.  I'm at work so I should probably fire up my audiobook and get out my knitting.  Slide bead, knit 4, slide bead, knit 5...  Getting to a complicated knitting row or the gripping part of a book's guaranteed to bring in the customers.  It's like heating up my lunch usually does, but I managed to sneak it by today.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I Got To The Interesting Part

Remember that I cast on and started knitting the ribbing of a mosaic hat on Friday night?  Well, I had the wrong size needles but went ahead anyway.  By the time I got to The Clearing on Saturday I knew I was going to rip that out and start over.  I did, and last night I got to the place where I got to add the colorful yarn and do the mosaic part.  I do like Mosaic knitting, you get two (or more) colors in your project but you're not carrying the yarns across, you only knit with one yarn at a time and slip the other color stitches on that row.  This is so much better than Fair Isle.

Dad's roses are blooming like crazy.  If they didn't have thorns I'd hug them.

June 23--Catherine Gehm, Endless Road.  The state highway was straight as a ruler.  Straight as a surveyor with a perfectly calibrated transit could make it.  Amy felt like the white center lines were pulling her Camry along a moving road, like the pavement moved while she was still.  Far in the distance a line of white clouds floated over black and gray mountains that bent down to scoop the highway onto their shoulders.  She knew she would never reach the mountains.  She had been driving toward them for hours and they were no nearer.  One dessicated town had rolled past on the right side of the road.  Six bleached buildings huddled under cottonwoods, sightless eyes of windowpanes seared foggy by years of sunlight stared as she passed.  Far in the distance a glint of sunlight on chrome meant something was coming and she felt irrational fear grip her stomach.  She told herself she would be glad to see another vehicle, to see concrete proof that the distant mountains were more than a stage set or a mirage.

Hm, not bad for someone with only one eye open.  I was tired last night.  I'm kind of tired right now.  Arrgh, it's the dreaded 2 o'clock slump.  Maybe a piece of fruit...

Monday, June 22, 2015

Final Deposit

In the latest round of Investment Cooking.  I made French Onion Salisbury Steaks for supper; we split one serving and I froze the other three.  I know it sounds like it's not enough to eat but it's so tasty and so rich that half a "steak" with the cheese toast under it and a scoop of the luscious onion sauce over it is plenty.  I'd like to eat a whole one just because it tastes so good but know I'd feel bloated and overfull.  Better to leave my taste buds clamoring for more than spend the rest of the evening feeling slightly ooky, right?

I got the front flower bed of the renter's side weeded (only took about 20 minutes), then I pounded in the stakes for the 4 tomato plants.  When I was tying them up I noticed the first 2 tiny tomatoes on the Sweet 100 plant. They're tiny, green, and hard as rocks but one day in the not too distant future they'll be edible tomatoes.  Yippee!  I'll probably be a nice person and let Durwood eat the first ones but after that all bets are off.

Dad's roses are blooming like crazy and there are lots of lily buds getting ready to pop, but I noticed when I took the picture that the mum against the house right behind the roses thinks it's time for it to bloom.  Not so fast, chrysanthemum.  I'll be lopping off the top half of it, flowers and all, so it thickens up and waits until the proper time to bloom.  Tsk.  What is it thinking of, blooming in June?  Mums bloom in the autumn, not the first day of summer.  Tsk.

The other day I took a big bag of peelings over for the chickens.  Here's my thanks.  I am inordinately eager to go over to visit them and collect a couple eggs.  Chickens aren't really friendly, pet-type animals and they sure as heck aren't clean and tidy but I like 'em.  I do.  Don't know why.

June 22--Portlock Productions, 529.  Louie sat up as straight as he could.  The inner tube that kept him afloat heated up in the sun so he touched it as little as possible.  He had tried hanging by his arms with his legs dangling but he got too cold and small fish nibbled at his leg hairs which drove him nuts.  He was glad to be shipwrecked in the Great Lakes instead of the ocean.  At least he didn't have to worry about sharks.  By now he should have seen a boat but he hadn't.  Lake Michigan was long and narrow with Chicago at the south end so he'd always imagined a steady stream of freighters sailing up and down the lake.  Where were the big ships?  For that matter, where were the fishing boats and pleasure craft?  It was getting dark and the wind was picking up.  He was losing his sense of adventure and was more than ready to be rescued.

Whoa, it's darkening up outside like it's puckering up to rain.  Maybe I'll dig out my umbrella before I go into work.  I might even carry it in with me.  And I remembered to pack my lunch so I won't be making an emergency Jimmy John's call today.  Whew.  I'm off... and not only that, I'm leaving.  Bwa-ha-ha-ha!

Sunday, June 21, 2015


Yesterday I toddled off around 9 o'clock in the cloudy and drizzle to wend my way to The Clearing for an afternoon visit with my friend KS who was on "greeter" duty there.  My first stop was at Renard's Cheese just south of Sturgeon Bay for a bag of fresh cheese curds.  "Yes, I want you to cut the tape holding the bag closed for me, thanks."  I didn't want to faint from hunger and there's nothing like a bag of squeaky baby cheese to hold famishment at bay while you're dodging tourists and listening to Odd Thomas on the Kindle.

Next I popped into Spin in downtown Sturgeon Bay to see what there was in the 40% off baskets and to see if my friend TS was working.  She wasn't, but I did find 4 skeins of this gorgeous Debbie Bliss Fez yarn in a pretty shade of brown.  The yarn is 85% merino wool and 15% camel.  I showed it to Durwood when I got home and he said, "I didn't know camels gave yarn."  It makes sense, though, after all where do you think camel coats come from?

My third stop was a pit stop at the public restroom in Baileys Harbor, but then in a few miles I pulled into Bargains Unlimited in Sister Bay.  I have a system there.  First, I flip through the silverware bins to see if there are any silver pieces, yesterday there weren't.  Then I head into the clothing room to check out the purses and flip the racks, didn't find a thing.  I slow down walking through the center, appliance shelves to see if anyone's ditched a good food processor (nope), then it's over to the fabric & yarn section.  I found a knitting book that I've looked at a few times in Joann's but never bought for a buck and a bag with a skein and a half of Dazzle Aire, a 60's era acrylic yarn for a buck.  My Friday Night Knitting friend, FW, knits the most wonderful slippers and likes to carry a strand of Dazzle Aire with whatever else she's using because the stuff wears like iron, so I picked it up for her.

By then it was closing in on 12:30-ish so I pulled into the Jensen Center, the office and bookstore of The Clearing.  I cruised the tiny store and found a fleece jacket in my size for 25% off plus I'd get my 10% Friends discount on top of it.  It isn't my favorite color (dark teal) but it for sure wouldn't be there when I go up for my class at the end of September so I bought it.  Couldn't pass it up.  By then KS was packing up to go over to the Lodge so we drove over and settled in to chat and knit the afternoon away.  You know how you can jinx your day when you assume it'll be quiet and say so out loud?  Yeah, that's what happened.  Only a few people were slated to check in yesterday so she crowed a bit that we'd have tons of time to visit.  Hold your horses, KS!  The cleaner hadn't been in there yet so we were treated to a 45 minute vacuum concerto and then a fairly steady stream of visitors popped in needing the nickel tour of the building and a short talk about TC's mission and history.  I got to knit a bunch but our chatting was sporadic.  We'll try again, soon.

I picked up a Papa Murphy's pizza on my way home but after supper I made another deposit in my Investment Cooking weekend.  This recipe is called "Oh-So-Good Chicken Casserole" but I call it Salsa Chicken & Rice.  I figured out how to make it low-fat (if I buy the right cheese and change the sour cream to fat free Greek yogurt) and it's kind of naturally low-salt (if I buy the right cheese) and it freezes well.  Plus it's yummy.

June 21--George White, Hands Reaching Out.  Grabbing, grasping hands.  Lina dreamed of them every night, twisting herself in her sheets trying to get away from them.  Hot and dry or cold and clammy, they all reached out to her.  All laid their fingers on her skin.  Some of the curled like claws, digging their nails into her forearms tugging her their way.  She hated the hands and feared the places they pulled her toward.  The dream was so vivid and came so often that she researched the meaning of dreams on the Internet.  That was a mistake.  Talk about falling down the rabbit hole.

Happy Father's Day!  Happy First Day of Summer!  I'm done.

Friday, June 19, 2015

An Odd Feeling Day

I woke up at 9 o'clock feeling like I slept away most of the day and I never really got caught up.  I didn't blog in the morning because it was just too late (????).  I had breakfast around 10 which meant lunch at 12:30 wasn't right.  I went to the grocery for ingredients for my investment cooking plans for today and Sunday, came home and still felt wrong-footed.  Oh, and while talking to Durwood's brother on the phone while sitting on the patio this morning I weeded some flower pots and one of the weeds was a stinging nettle so my right hand has been burning and tingling most of the day.  You'd think after all the years of gardening I'd recognize the darned stuff.

This afternoon I made Bruschetta-Chicken Skillet, a Taste of Home recipe that I added a few things (like onions, garlic, bell peppers, and mushrooms) to.  We ate half of it for supper and I froze the other half for a day when nobody wants to cook.  (This is the frozen stuff. I forgot to snap a photo when it was warm and appetizing looking.)  Sunday I'm making a salsa chicken and rice casserole and French Onion Salisbury Steak.  That last one is the best thing I think I've made in forever.  It's one of those fussy recipes with lots of things going on here and there but the results are worth it, and if I do it right we'll have 4 suppers out of it.  Four meals, not servings; we can split the burger/steak patties because they're so rich and filling with the onion gravy and the cheese toasts they're on.  I'd love to eat a whole serving just for the taste but I know I'd feel bloated and too full if I did.

In knitting news, I've gotten kind of tired of my beaded scarf project so I roped Durwood into playing yarn swift last night and got some balls wound up to make a mosaic patterned hat.  Of course, I realized today that one of the yarns we wound was bulky and the other worsted so they wouldn't really go together.  (they aren't the same thickness)  That meant I had to dig out a different yarn, and wind it up but this time I used my mechanical swift instead of victimizing the napping Durwood.  I took the pattern, needles and yarn to Friday Night Knitting tonight and only had to cast on three times to get it right.  I got this much of the ribbing band done.  One more inch and I get to add in the pretty rainbow colored yarn.  I can't wait.

June 19--Jim Caldwell, Man with Binoculars.  There was a flash on the hill facing the house.  Lynn almost missed it but she walked past the window at the right moment.  She stood off to the side behind the curtain and watched.  There.  There it was again.  No one was supposed to be up there on the hill.  She hadn't given anyone permission and there was good fence around her whole place.  She backed away and went into the kitchen to call Rory the head wrangler to ride up and chase away whoever was spying on the house.  She had just put down the phone when the window across the room shattered and a hole the size of a dime appeared in the wall right where her head had been a minute earlier.  She dropped to the slate floor and huddled behind the kitchen island.

Don't ask me what happens next, I haven't got a clue.  Probably nothing good, at least not for a while.  Now it's time to hit the hay because I'm going to run away from home for the day tomorrow to spend time with my friend KS sitting in a very quiet, out of the way place and knit and chat.  G'night.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

How Random Can You Get?

I don't have photographic proof (for those in the "if you can't see it, it didn't happen" category) but I came home from work last night, grabbed the trash bin from the curb to roll it into the garage, and it wasn't emptied.  I left it on the curb.  I noticed that the renter's bin was still out, checked, and it wasn't emptied either.  I called the neighbor on the other side whose bins were still out, theirs' weren't emptied either.  I called the Sanitation Dept. (by then they were closed for the day, of course) and left a message that we got missed, that all the rest of the houses on the street had gotten picked up, but we got missed.  I noticed when I drove back downtown to the City Band concert that there were a few random bins still on curbs in other parts of the neighborhood.  This morning I was all set to call the city to talk to a real person about this when I heard the garbage truck come down our street, dump the bins, and speed off.  I haven't got a clue what happened but I'm glad it's gone, trash smells bad fast when it's warm outside.

The City Band concert was enjoyable.  It was the first of the season and was very well attended.  And no bugs!  (I probably shouldn't have said that; I'll jinx it for next time)  I even found a parking place within easy walking distance.  I love having a smaller vehicle than Durwood's aircraft carrier of a van, although the van has its positives too.  I got to chat with an old high school pal who plays in the band for a few minutes.  It was good to visit and catch up a bit.  See the lady in turquoise in the lower left of the second picture?  She's a grandma walking a grandbaby to sleep.  That's how Norman Rockwell the concerts are.  I love them.

The sky was gorgeous on the drive home.  Naturally my camera and phone were both in the back seat when I drove across the bridge so no dramatic panoramic sunset shots, only this peek at the pretty sky through the neighbor's trees.

Lots of buds on Dad's rose.  Now if only they all bloom before the Japanese beetles come to munch them up.

Last month there was a big article in the paper that a local company had asked another local company to make a big nut for them to mount outside their new business.  The business is called Packer Fastener and I looked down from a red light the other morning and there it was.  So here's proof that there's at least one big nut in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

June 18--Earl Ripling, ER105 Map.  Hannah loved maps.  She scoured the dusty corners of used book stores and went to estate sales in search of them.  Her first ambition was to be a cartographer, a maker of maps.  For some reason she never pursued it but she never lost her love of those pieces of paper with their thin blue and red lines and dots of cities.  She liked the topographical maps with their elevation lines, imagining hiking up the hills.  The wall map she unrolled had oceans of blue water and the continents shaded from red through golden yellow to dark green but over the colors lay an intriguing band of engraving almost like that on money.  As she turned it this way and that and squinted at it she realized that the engraving led her eye from place to place, leading her to spots on the land.  She took out a blank Mercator projection map and began to trace the path.

The lawn mowing guy came this morning.  I'm beginning to love seeing him come and I'm losing my guilt at not doing the mowing myself.  In a couple weeks I can start losing my guilt over hiring someone to clean the house.  I'm looking forward to that.