Saturday, September 26, 2015

Durwood Was Right

The longer I looked at the teapot the more I saw what he saw--a spout that stuck out funny.  So last night at knitting I used a short length of yarn and tacked it up at a better angle with a couple stitches and a good, strong square knot.  I'm definitely going to felt it at least a little.  It's awful floppy and won't be easy for tiny, inept hands to manipulate.  We don't want to frustrate anyone, now do we?

Instead of finishing Sudoku Stone #9 last night I crocheted the first 9-square block together, and I think it looks absolutely great.  This makes me want to knit the remaining 24 squares so I can put all of the blocks together and get busy making the joining strips so I can see how it all looks.  Now I want the physical proof of my long-ago mental picture.

Dad's rose is blooming again.  I love that about this rose, whatever variety it is.  It blooms in the spring and then again in late summer and early fall.  If I turn to the left I see one bud bathed in sunlight with silver spiderwebs twinkling in the light breeze.  One flower always manages to grow tall enough so that I can see it from here.  Thanks, Dad.

Our maple tree is dying.  It's dropping its leaves which have been changing color for weeks, lots of its branches are bare, and it just doesn't look right.  The rest of the trees all up and down the street are as green as can be, like this one in the renters' front yard right next door.  Only our maple is sickly and expiring.  Dammit.

I've just about got everything packed for my week away.  I need to find out what time the moon will rise tomorrow night because it's a Supermoon (closest to Earth or perigee) and there'll be an eclipse.  Can you imagine?  I can't wait.  I packed my "laying in a field to watch the sky" blanket and Durwood's letting me borrow his better camera.  I think I'll practice taking some moon shots tonight.  Maybe I'd better take the camera manual too, yeah, that's a real good idea.  Wonder if I can find a tripod...

September 26--Fox Hollow, Fishing Boat in Fog, Lubec, ME.  Elmer's boat used to be white but it had been faded by the sun and beaten up by years of salt water so it blended into the fog.  The only evidence he left on his way out to sea were the ripples of his wake and the stink of diesel.

I'm so sorry there isn't more.  I meant there to be more but I had to struggle to stay awake for those two sentences.  See, Durwood ran me around to every store in the free world, okay, on the west side of Green Bay, so he'd have all he needs to keep body and soul together while I'm gone and so we didn't miss the "buy one, get one free" cut up chickens deal at Festival which ends today.  Now I'm going to review my packing list (which I can't print out because I already packed the printer), finish my coffee, start the dishwasher, get dressed, go over my list one more time, pack the car, and GO!  I might drag the laptop to a public wi-fi spot during the week but I might just maintain radio silence and have a real run-away.  I'll be thinking about you.  Some.  Off and on.  Okay, probably not much but it's my vacation.

Friday, September 25, 2015

That Was Fast

I finished the teapot at work yesterday, even made the lid with knob.  It was amazingly easy.  I'm not totally thrilled with the angle of the spout, Durwood suggested tacking it up at a better angle.  I might try that.  I'm also thinking of felting it a bit to firm it up so it keeps its shape a bit better.  But isn't it cute?  I'm thinking I should make a couple tea cups to go with it, maybe not saucers or spoons or the sugar bowl and creamer but the cups are a temptation.  I worked on Sudoku Stone #9 too but you don't really want to see yet another partially knitted gray square, do you?  I didn't think so.

Durwood called me about midday to say that there were men in the lot behind the house tearing down the sagging fence.  By the time I got home from work the fence was gone and a few new posts were up.  It looked very odd without that fence blocking our view of the office building behind us, so odd that I closed the curtains way before I usually do since we both felt like we were eating supper in a fish bowl.  This morning the two guys are back drilling post holes and setting the posts, although I suspect they won't get done today.  They might, but I don't think so, it's Friday after all.

Today I'm packing.  Packing my writing things, packing my "camp" clothes, packing enough (more than enough) knitting to keep my fingers busy for a week.  I reread what I have done of the latest manuscript rewrite and think I'm on the right track.  I made a few notes and can't wait to dive back in.  Maybe I'll even jump the gun and do a little writing on Sunday before class even starts.

September 25--Peter French, Slick Rock, AZ.  The hot wind roared down the canyon, barreling through carving its initials in the sandstone.  Grains of sand borne on the wind scoured my knees making me wish I had worn my khakis even though it was hot.  I tied a bandanna over my mouth and nose and pulled the brim of my hat down to shade my eyes.  A few paces on the path went from dry to wet, from yellow-orange to rust-red.  I looked ahead to see if there was a spring but saw the trickle of water building toward me.  Then I knew that the wind was air pushed by moving water higher up in the mountains and I was in real trouble.  Climb! Jake's voice roared in my head.  Climb, dammit, Sheila, climb now!  Without thinking I reached for a gap in the rock and hoisted myself up the wind- and water-carved stone.  Before I was five feet above the canyon floor the grinding sound of the onrushing water reached my ears and the whole canyon began to vibrate.

We've got a few errands to run today and I have to pack, do a little laundry, pack more, and go to Friday Night Knitting.  I'm a busy woman, I don't have time to dilly-dally around, so quit distracting me.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

I Gave In

LC has been into "cooking" with the old pot and plastic spoons from the camping box and she drinks her pretend "hot coffee, Baba" from the metal measuring cup as her coffee cup but last time she was here she kept talking about a teapot.  Durwood and I looked at the inexpensive tea set in Walmart but it says it's for 3+ and it looks as cheap as it costs.  A week or so ago I searched "tea set" on Ravelry and, lo and behold, found a crocheted one.  I favorite-ed it and forgot it.  Until yesterday.  Suddenly I am gripped with start-itis and the teapot reared up and bit me.  Hard.  The teapot begged to be first so I printed out the pattern, then  I searched my stash on Ravelry yesterday at work and thought I knew what yarn I'd use but then when I was pawing through the bin where that yarn lives I found a different, more colorful yarn that I deemed perfect, and last night I made the body of the teapot after supper.  Next comes the spout, handle, and lid.  I love making crazy things like this.

I've also been lured to consider a knit-along with Fringe Association.  She's chosen a Cowichan-style vest knitted on big needles holding 3 or 4 strands of yarn together.  I don't like to do colorwork so I'd knit it plain but I've got five different versions of 100% wool in natural colors from Lion Brand that I think would make an excellent experimental vest. (I hope they still make all the colors, otherwise it's back to begging people on Ravelry to sell me theirs.)  Now I need to swatch and then do a bit of math to make sure I've got enough vest to cover my acreage.  I measured myself at work yesterday and was amazed and slightly dismayed to realize that I've essentially become rectangular.  My bust and hips are the same and my waist is only a few inches narrower--rectangular.  *sigh*  Oh well, rectangular is a shape, just like round or square or hourglass.  My hourglass days are long gone.  If they were ever here.  Maybe I'm tubular; that's a shape too, isn't it?

I knitted some on Sudoku Stone #8 yesterday but you know what that looks like so I'm sparing you having to see another partial gray square.

Finally I was up and about to see the sunrise tint the shreds of clouds this morning and just as I walked back into the house I heard the honking of Canadian geese and managed to get back out and set up in time to take their picture.  No V but a small skein of geese flying south.  It's a start.  Darn it.  But I like that it's cooler at night and not so hot and humid.  It can stay this way until, oh, Christmas Eve, then snow for the holiday, melt by Epiphany, and then start warming back up gradually until Easter.  I like it when it's in the 60s during the day and high 40s at night for good sleeping.  That is my wish.  I wish I could make it a command.  I've been trying for nearly 40 years and it hasn't worked so far.  I'm not ready to give up yet.

September 24--Michael J. Pettypool, Caribbean Sunshine.  She looked like a photo model sitting there, Martha thought, as she watched the woman on the beach chair in front of hers.  Look how aware she is that people watch her, how she poses her legs like Betty Whats-her-name, and pushes her boobs out like every two-bit starlet that ever had her picture in the National Enquirer.  Martha squirmed in her chair tugging her swimsuit down over her butt better and tucking her left breast more securely into its cup.  She drained the dregs of her Planter's Punch and looked around for the cabana boy.  That was one of the things she liked about an all-inclusive resort vacation, all the meals and drinks were included, and the staff was extra nice to single ladies like herself.  Mario, her favorite waiter, came over with a tray of drinks, set a fresh one on the little table next to her chair.  He laid a red hibiscus blossom next to it.  It was a signal.  He would be at her room after his shift.  Mario knew how to earn his tips.  She dismissed Miss Model Poseur in the chair in front, certain everyone knew her for the shallow phony Martha was sure she was.

Well, all I can say about that is YIKES.  I get to have a haircut this morning so I've got to get a move on.  Francis takes his time and I don't want to be late.  Kiss-kiss.  *ack* (Sorry, I couldn't resist.  Martha made me do it.)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Moving Slow This Morning

It's overcast, I'm still kind of tired, and I'm not really moving very fast.  I need to because I get to go to work today but I suspect this'll be one of those days that I slide in just as the clock ticks over to 10 o'clock and, watch, this'll be the day that someone's waiting in the lot for me to open.  Usually if I'm late, there's someone there looking at their watch as I pull in and if I'm early, nobody comes in or calls until about 2 PM.  It's the law of the jungle.  Just like when I pulled into the bank drive-thru yesterday it was empty but two other cars pulled in, one on each side, immediately so the teller got confused as to who was first and in the hubbub forgot to give me the coins necessitating a second stop for my eighty-four cents.  Hey, those eighty-four cents-es add up, I can't be just saying "oh well" and leaving them at the bank.  Nope, can't do that.

As you can see, the big spaghetti squash is slowly turning yellow (which means it's ripening) and it'll stay out there until the vine is shriveled and dried and the stem dries up.  The gourds too.  I learned the hard way not to pick winter squash too early.  Ick.

The sedum blooms have opened fully showing their lavender pink color.  They look very pretty against the gray-green foliage and yellow-green ferns but the flash kind of washed the color out and the no-flash one makes a slightly blurry picture.  I'm going with the slightly blurry one because the colors are truer.

I didn't get much knitting done yesterday as you can see.  Just the barest beginning of Sudoku Stone #8, because I was busy assembling my manuscript, notebooks, 58 pencils (a rough estimate), various manifestations of Post-its, and an old copy of the manuscript from which I hope to mine ideas for expansion scenes, because the last time I read it through a lot of the scenes I had in my head had never made it to the page.  That's what I plan to work on next week, fleshing out the scenes that don't really advance the plot but make the storyline make more sense.  A good goal for the week, don't you think?  Oh, see what looks like a black bracelet?  It's really a USB drive in a strap that says "my novel" on it that you can wear around your wrist.  I ordered it a few years back from NaNoWriMo; it's the perfect place to keep my novel files. Plus it's cool, at least I think so.

September 23--Judah S. Harris, Big Ben.  The clock tower surprises you.  I mean, you know you're riding the train into London.  You've changed from the train to the Tube, and you know you're going to get off the Tube near the Houses of Parliament.  But you're not prepared to walk up the stairs of the Tube station to street level and be right on the banks of the Thames and Big Ben is smack dab across the street.  Smack. Dab.  And even more amazing it's chiming the hour, eleven in the morning, just serenely bonging away like it wasn't a widely-known landmark but just some random bell in a ho-hum town clock in a mediocre square somewhere.  It's really rather shocking.  Someone needs to warn people so they'll be ready for it.

I was thinking of you, DD, when I wrote that remembering being on the phone with you when you climbed those stairs and were so surprised to see Big Ben right there.  I think that was one of my favorite phone conversations ever.  I love you, Squirt, and I hope you're feeling better today.  I'm off, I've dilly-dallied long enough that getting to work on time will now be a race against the clock.  On my mark, get set, GO!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Playing With Grand-Pets

I had a big bag of peels and leaves so I stopped to visit Porter and the chickens.  The "ladies" were big fans of the carrot peels and cauliflower leaves.  Porter just wanted to chase a ball.


I finished Sudoku Stone #7 last night.  Only 26 more squares to go!  Woohoo!

I drove over the Main Street bridge downtown this morning and there's this big sign on the side of the museum.  It says "Extreme Deep," which means that the exhibit all about the deepest part of the ocean is here.  Durwood and I can't wait to go just as soon as I get back from The Clearing.  We might have to go more than once, just to get the full enjoyment.  No one will mind if we pretend we're diving will they?  I promise not to wear my fins and definitely not my wetsuit (I'd melt), maybe just my mask and snorkel.

Just saw a hummingbird flit away from the feeder.  They're still here, still stopping by for a drink, bulking up for their long migration coming up pretty soon.  How those tiny birds fly so far is beyond my comprehension.

September 22--Steve Gottlieb, NYC Skyline.  The full moon hung cold and white over the skyscrapers.  Julia had watched it climb up above the buildings, its color going from orange to white as it rose in the sky.  She thought the disk shrunk the higher it got but she convinced herself that it was an optical illusion.  The moon's size didn't change.  It didn't move farther away from the earth as it rose higher in the night sky, so why did it look like it got smaller.  She stood at her hotel room window wondering and imagined her farmer grandfather who dreamed of being a scientist pulling down the M volume of his prized Encyclopedia Britannica to find an answer for her.

I think I'll make myself a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch.  Doesn't it seem like a grilled cheese day to you?  Adios.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Sleepless Nights Suck

I had one devil of a time falling asleep Saturday night and an even harder time staying asleep.  I switched beds, tried the (too short) couch, and finally dozed off sometime after 3 AM, then I was up a little after 8 o'clock.  I'm too old to be awake in the single-digit hours of the night.

I baked my bread dough on Saturday.  Look how pretty it turned out.  It tastes good too.

I did get Sudoku Stone #6 done on Friday night, didn't knit at all on Saturday (did a raft of laundry, hemming, and t-shirt sleeve restructuring instead), and got #7 begun yesterday afternoon.  When I was talking with DD on the phone yesterday about knitting eight each of the last three colors (which I am dreading, can you tell?), I had a brainstorm.  As I finish one of each, I'll sew up one of the squares of nine which will serve two purposes--it'll pull me through making eight of each of the last three colors and when I get the last one of each done, the nine-squares will be done too, and ready for the separating strips.  It'll be like doing two steps in one.  That means I'll be taking some blocks of each color, plus a skein of the Charcoal for joining and an appropriate crochet hook, along to The Clearing on SATURDAY *ahem* but I have plenty of room in the car.

Look at the cool pattern I found at Goodwill on Friday for only ninety-nine cents.  It's a busy book pattern, each page has an animal with buttons or a zipper, a hook-and-eye, snaps, laces, or some other fastener that little ones need to learn how to work.  Since it has grommets in the extension to tie all the pages together instead of being sewn together, I figure I can start by making a few of them and add on as I get around to more pages which takes an enormous project and makes it into do-able parts.  (how come it took for me to be this old before I got this smart?)

September 21--Lynn Davis, San Francisco Skyline.  The lights in the tall blocks of buildings made them look like the old mainframe computers with their blinking lights outlined in stark black.  Only the glow reflected from the waters of the bay.  It seemed to Sharon that the buildings leaned away from the water to keep their reflections from showing there, to keep the water from capturing their spirits.  Her mother always said she was fanciful and Sister Mary Immaculata had written on her fourth grade report card that she was a dreamer and too imaginative for her own good.  She loved living in the city and she loved her job at Lucinda's Resale on the edge of Chinatown only a block from City Lights Books where Kerouac, Ferlinghetti, and the rest of the Beats had hung out.

I'm at work so I suppose I'd better do some work-y stuff.  Survive Monday.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Getting To The End of The Garden

Even though it's been hot, humid, and sunny the garden has decided that summer, and therefore growing season, is over.  I've got the one pretty big gourd for a birdhouse and one a lot smaller, but then I wished for just one, didn't I?  That's what I got.  There is one good-size spaghetti squash and two smaller ones.  I've picked a few ripe tomatoes but the plants didn't grow much, never got even waist high.  I've got to amend the garden soil or maybe plant soybeans, something because every year the tomatoes don't thrive.  *sigh*  Maybe I'll stop at the County Extension office over the winter for a couple pamphlets, they've got lots of free info.

I started and finished Sudoku Almond #9 between supper and bedtime last night, and even cast on and knit the first row of Sudoku Stone #6.  It's measly because it was late and I was tired but I wanted a start on the next color.  I'll get the four Stone ones done this week, then start on the last three colors, one square of each color in rotation.  I figure that's the best way to keep from losing focus.

It came to me this morning that I had bread dough in the fridge that needs to be baked before I hie off to The Clearing one week from today (in fact, I'll probably be up there or near there by this time next Saturday!!!! but who's excited?) so I formed the loaves, made the cornstarch wash that sticks the sesame seeds to the crust, and they're rising.  See, I can freeze the baked bread but don't think I can freeze the dough, so I'll bake it all and freeze most of it.

I did something very unlike me this morning.  I got up to potty at 6:30 and instead of staying up I laid back down and slept for three more hours.  That is so not like me.  Now I feel as if half my day is gone before I've got my feet on the floor.  I feel well-rested (for once) but it's already after noon and I only had breakfast an hour and a half ago.  Jeez.  I think I'll skip lunch.

September 19--Russ Gutshall, Lighthouse Reef, Belize.  From the air everything about the view was shades of blue, from the palest blue-white at the shoreline to impenetrable midnight blue out at the drop-off.  Ellen always tried to for a window seat on the last leg of the flight to the island.  She wanted to be able to watch the crinkled silk surface of the ocean marked by the foamy white caps of breaking waves.  She hoped to see the spreading vee of ships' wakes as they plied the sea lanes and her pulse quickened when she saw the curls of sandbars in the shallows where the current swept around the island's south coast.  The jungle boasted as many shades of green as the ocean did blue.

Well, nothing's really happening but I think I painted an interesting picture.  I'd like to be in that plane seat on my way to a tropical island, wouldn't you?  Time to go check on my rising dough.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Aren't You Done Yet?

That's what I imagined this trio of sparrows were saying to the male Downy Woodpecker on the peanut feeder this morning.  I watched first one sparrow, then two, and finally three of them land and glare but Mr. Woodpecker just kept on pecking away at his peanuts.  The sparrows ruffled their feathers and looked around at each other until he flew off, then they pecked a bit and flew off themselves.  One of the sparrows flew right into the patio door as they left but it didn't fall, it just flew up into an apple tree and shook it off.  They're tough little buggers for an invasive species.  Which reminds me, I need to get some finch seed today and probably some safflower seed to tide me over until the seed store has their annual fall sale when I can buy a 50# bag of it for a lot less.  See, most nuisance birds (can you say "sparrows & grackles"?) don't like safflower seeds, squirrels don't like them either so that means putting out mostly safflower attracts more of the cardinals, chickadees, and finches that I want and fewer of those other messy and greedy birds.  (It's like serving only animal products so that your fussy, vegan neighbor, Moonflower, doesn't crash your dinner parties.)

I finished the Big Fat Hat at work yesterday, deciding not to make a giant pompom for it or to turn it inside out so that the reverse stockinette stitch side shows.  I know that's the trendy stitch and if you knit cables you surround them with reverse stockinette to make the cables pop but it always looks wrong-sided to me so I avoid it when I can and, on this hat, I can.  (so there)  Last night after supper I finished Sudoku Almond #8.  Later today I'll cast on Almond #9, probably finish it by bedtime and be on to knitting the last four Stone ones next week.  That'll leave only the last three colors to go, each of which needs eight squares knitted.  *sigh*  I keep dreading that but actually these are going pretty fast plus I thought I'd knit one of each color in a rotation so I have a bit of variety, at least in color, to drag me through the last slog before assembling the blocks, then knitting the joining strips, and figuring out how I want to edge the thing.  But I'll tackle that when the time comes.  (quit looking so far ahead, Barbara, enjoy the moment!)

I noticed a spark of red against the bricks when I went out for the paper this morning and look what I found.  One of Dad's roses is blooming.  Thanks, Dad, you sure know how to brighten up a dreary day.

September 18--Bob Krist, DS95-15.  The woman lay on a red and white striped towel in the center of the beach.  There were no other people on the beach and there were no footprints in the sand around her.  Jean stood on top of the dune in the shade of the pine trees trying to figure out how she got there without making prints.  Jean looked closer and noticed that the woman's upturned hand was filled with sand and her feet were splayed like she was asleep.  The longer Jean looked, the more convinced she was that the woman wasn't sleeping.  She was dead.  A gull landed near the towel, waddled over and pecked at the limp hand in the sand.  Jean hollered "hey" to scare away the bird but she didn't move closer.  She heard car doors slam behind her in the parking area.  Maybe they would keep watch while she went for the police.

Cheerful, no?  I was wishing I was lying on a sandy beach on a tropical island instead of lying in bed in the upper Midwest with a thunderstorm outside.  I liked the thunderstorm and the sound the rain made on the window over my head but I sure was wishing I was on an island on vacation--and then I had to go and put a dead body smack dab in the middle of my beach.  Darned imagination.  I have to go find some unscented mousse to take to The Clearing.  So far I'm not having much luck.  Maybe there isn't such an animal.  It's going to be a shopping morning.  Bye!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Nine More Days!

Until I fling my manuscript, laptop, pens & pencils, and a few pairs of socks into a bag so I can run away from home for a week up to The Clearing for a writing workshop.  See, you all think that The Clearing is this earnest, almost religious, retreat-like folk school where people go to pursue the arts and learn things in a non-competitive setting.  What it really is is a hide-out for frazzled middle-aged women who need to run away to a place where the phones are turned off, there's no TV or internet, someone else cooks and cleans up, and all they have to do is take quiet walks in the woods, sit in a classroom with a beautiful view of the Bay and talk about writing with a passel of other women writers.  Ahhh.  I'll be packing a bit of knitting for the evenings but what I won't be packing is any kind of work--house or otherwise.  Nine days, people, nine days.  (nobody can see it but inside I'm doing the running-around-happy-dance that LC does)

Today I caught the sun just peeking over the trees in the park in the next block.  I hoped for a colorful sunrise but this morning there weren't any clouds to catch the reds, only a pale yellow smear on the horizon, so I waited for the sun to just barely rise above the treetops and I snapped it.

I got Sudoku Almond #7 done last night after supper and then I cast on a Big Fat Hat using super bulky yarn and US 17 needles (they're fence posts when I'm not knitting with them--not really, but they kind of feel like it).  I like a big yarn, big needle project as a "palate cleanser" when I'm on a long project like the Sudoku afghan.  It gives me a quick shot of accomplishment, a feeling that I've finished something.

September 17--Rick Poley, Yellowstone NP.  The long line of shaggy brown bison walked down the center of the road.  It was late September and a few snowflakes drifted down to sparkle in their fur before melting.  The line of bison was trailed by a line of SUVs and motor homes.  No one swung out to pass because the oncoming traffic slowed onto the edge of the shoulder to give the bison the right of way and there was no room for passing.  Blake and Marsha were in the first vehicle behind the bison.  Marsha had her camera out and kept up a running commentary as they crept along.  "I wish they'd turn so I could get a side or a head shot.  I don't really think our family and friends want to see endless pictures of buffalo butts."  Blake hummed and shrugged which could mean agreement.  "I don't suppose you'd be willing to try to creep by them so I can take pictures,:  Blake hummed again, this time with a firm shake of his head.

I wouldn't mind seeing a few buffalo butts today but I suspect there won't be any on the Mason Street bridge or anywhere else in the 4.4 miles between here and the dive shop.  Time for showering and other work-related personal tidying up.  But I'll eat my banana first because no one in their right mind eats a banana after they've brushed their teeth; you'd just have to brush them again to get the banana off.  That's sticky stuff.  Toodles.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Marlin Bites

No, we didn't have a marlin biting us, I made marlin for supper.  I took a picture of it before I cooked it and meant to take a picture of the beautifulness of it before we ate it but, once again, my fork was faster than my camera.  *sigh*  You can kind of see how it turned out from these last few bites.  Let me tell you how I fix fish, especially if you have cheap fish that smells like it's been around too long.  (I made up this recipe years ago when all we could afford were those blocks of frozen cod that don't cost very much and taste very fishy if you don't cook them right. This turned out to be the right way to cook them.)  I don't know why or how this works, DIL1 could probably tell me because she's a real, honest to goodness chef, but it works every time.

First thing, thaw the fish, rinse it in cold water and pat it try.  Let it wait on a paper towel, looking pretty, until its turn in the frying pan.  For 1/2# of fish (steaks or fillets, this works for either one) chop enough bell pepper (any color you have) to fill a 4 oz. Pyrex custard cup (everyone has those in their cupboard, right?), wedge-slice (from stem to root end which makes pretty crescents, I'm sure there's an official name for this but I don't know it) an onion to fill another custard cup.  Either open and drain a small can (which would fill another custard cup) or slice enough fresh mushrooms to fill 2 custard cups.  Measure 1 Tablespoon lemon juice and 1 Tablespoon white wine into a little prep dish.  Heat 1 Tablespoon of your chosen oil (I used half toasted sesame and half coconut last night) in a 10" frying pan, saute peppers and onions, when they're about cooked, 5 minutes, add the mushrooms, stir to combine, cook another 2-3 minutes.  Turn heat down to Low.  Spread the sauteed veggies into a bed on the bottom of the frying pan, lay the fish steaks or fillets over the veggies, pour the lemon juice and wine over it, season the fish with a little fresh ground pepper and a dash of Kosher or sea salt.  Clap the lid on the frying pan and simmer for 4 minutes for fillets or 6 minutes for steaks.  Serve fish alongside 1/2 cup brown or white rice with veggies over top of all, and a lemon wedge.  This is good with a simple steamed veggie like broccoli or cauliflower.  **If you have 1 lb. of fish you just double everything but the cooking time.  You can also add any herbs you like when you salt and pepper the fish but it's important to do the seasoning last so the lemon juice and wine don't wash it off the fish.

The sky was pretty again this morning but the maple leaves are still changing color too fast.  I was heartened to notice that there's another tree at the end of the block doing the same thing.  And the apples reaching over the back fence look like they're about ready to be picked and turned into applesauce.

I got all the increase rows of Sudoku Almond #7 knitted last night so it'll be all decrease rows at work today.

September 16--Jagdish Agarwal, Palace of Winds, Jalpur.  The red sunset turned the pale orange sandstone the color of flames and every window was a black void.  Jana stood facing the building imagining it swarmed with workmen--stonemasons laying the blocks so precisely that hundreds of years later the mortar joints were still perfect, carpenters painstakingly sawing the intricate latticework for every window, and the tile men on their knees bent to the task of turning thousands of color tiles no bigger than a postage stamp into art for people to walk on.  She marveled at the architect who designed the palace and the engineer who placed it on the site so that each breeze no matter how soft was caught and used to keep the rooms cool even in the heat of summer.

I've got a chiro appointment on my way to work.  Yay.  I love getting my bones rearranged, it feels so good.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Raspberry Time

On my way to the bank this morning I left a little bowl by the raspberries so I could pick on my way back.  It was a good thing I put this half of them into the fridge before I handed the bowl to Durwood or the only proof of berries would have been a pink smear in the bottom of the bowl.  That man loves his raspberries.

It was especially pretty this morning when I opened the curtains.  It's in the 80s again but the humidity is barely above 50% so it's bearable to be outside.  I'm ready for the cool days and cooler nights to start, especially when I go to The Clearing in ELEVEN DAYS.  *ahem*  Excuse the shouting but I am really looking forward to going.

It was passable quiet at work yesterday so I got Sudoku Almond #6 done but didn't cast on #7.  I might have done some web surfing instead.  *cough*  But I didn't buy anything this time.

September 15--Fotowerks, Ltd., Extensive Washington, DC Stock.  Iris walked up the dimly lit steps, her eyes on the statue of Lincoln spotlit from above.  She felt as if she had been there before because of all the times she had seen the Memorial in movies, on TV, and on her money but this was her first time seeing it in person.  The statue was a lot bigger than she imagined but she thought that President Lincoln looked friendly and caring as he gazed down at her.  It kind of looked like a homeless person had climbed up on his lap or someone had thrown a bundle of rags up there.  She didn't think the guards would allow that so she looked around for someone.  It occurred to her that she was all alone in the dark and something wasn't right.  She started to turn to leave when the solid body came up behind hers, strong hands held her waist, and a deep voice said, "Stay right here and you'll be fine."  She tried to turn out of his grasp but he was too strong.

Eek.  I'll bet you're glad when you see that I didn't have much to say some days.  Sometimes I think I blabber on too long and boringly, wondering if anyone (besides Aunt B) is interested in my ramblings but so far no one has put a bag of flaming dog poo on my porch so I'll keep doing what I've been doing.  'Sokay?  'Sallright..

Monday, September 14, 2015

A Little Sewing

Last week LC picked out a doll when we were shopping and I decided that he needed someplace to lay his head so yesterday afternoon I dug through my fabric stash and sewed up a bed & blanket for him.  (she wanted the blue baby, not the pink one, so we've got Austin Ronan; he's an all rubber, "drinks & wets" newborn Cabbage Patch but I'm not telling her that he'll do that; she'll figure that part out soon enough)  I sewed the pillow to the bed and was going to sew the blanket to it too but left them separate for now.  If I decide it'd be better for a small person like LC to have it all in one piece I can just seam them together down one side or across the bottom.  I think it turned out darned cute.

I had Durwood take my picture wearing the Audrey Virgo Hat but should have turned sideways so you can see more hat and less me but I like the way it sits on the head.  It isn't too tight to crush your hair or too lose to feel like it's sliding down over your eyes.

This is a horrifying sight.  Also a sign that my maple tree isn't long for this world.  It's leaves are turning and dropping like flies.  Not good, not good at all.  All the other trees on the street are nice and green and my tree is sickly yellow--it used to be the last one to turn and the most brilliantly colored, now look at it.  Maybe it spent so much of its energy being fabulous that it burnt out too soon.  I'll miss having a big shady tree there when it goes since it keeps the sun from heating the house too much in summer and lets it shine through the branches in the winter.  *sigh*

I got a few more rows of Sudoku Almond #6 knitted before and after sewing.  If it isn't busy at work today maybe I'll get it done and get #7 started.

September 14--Hi-Shots, World Cup Ski Jump, Oslo, Norway.  "I hope there's an elevator," I said.  Tom snorted.  "Of course there's an elevator.  Did you expect the skiers to climb a couple hundred steps with their skis and poles strapped to their backs?"  He shook his head and I knew he was thinking that I'm a foolish woman.  I resisted the urge to jab him in the ribs.  His jacket was too padded for a jab to have much effect anyway.

I always have to stop to think about whether I want to write "affect" or "effect", do you?  And half the time I think I get it wrong.  Ah well, that's what dictionaries are for.  Do people even have them or use them anymore or are all the rules out the window?  I sound like an old curmudgeon but, dammit, a poor vocabulary makes people sound ignorant.  To me anyway.  I'm going to go shower my curmudgeonly self and go be crabby at work.  Hey, don't knock it, at least I have a goal for the day, and I'm certain Durwood will be relieved.