Thursday, December 31, 2015


Time after time I re-learn that thinking about something before I do it usually means I only have to do it once.  Imagine that.  The pattern I'm using as my jumping off point for the play kitchen has pockets but fabric pockets, I want to make vinyl, see-through pockets for LC to store her play food and dishes in so I had to figure out how to make them not flat since vinyl kind of resists gathering so it won't make a pouchy pocket without some pleats or something.  On my first try I bound the top edge, pleated the bottom, and tried to encase the sides with binding and preserve the pleats.  It wasn't grotesque but also not what I had in mind; it became a side pocket.  (waste not, want not, said my Grandma Frieda [and probably every other grandma on the planet])  While cogitating on the pocket dilemma I sewed the skirt around the front and sides of the seat, but not to the back because I need to study on keeping it able to be removed fairly easily (the chair back gets wider at the top).  Yesterday afternoon pocket inspiration struck.  I measured the pocket placement and pulled one side in almost 2", then I sewed down the sides.  That made a big hump of vinyl in the middle.  I eyeballed the center and then eased the excess out toward the sides, making a small pleat near the bound edge, pinned a strip of flat binding over that and stitched it down.  Voila!  Roomy pockets.  I brought it upstairs to show Durwood and consult about putting on more pockets and where.  I am very happy with the way it's going so far.

My sewing and self-congratulation fest took a break because Durwood had an appointment in the late afternoon and on the way home I drove up Ridge Road and saw this sign.  I had an epiphany.  We could go in there and get a burger and neither of us would have to cook.  Genius!  So we did.  While we waited for our order Durwood read the trivia questions out of the little card on the table.  We sucked at it.  We're old and our memories are shot.  We remember where to get a good hamburger though, thank god.


There was a huge carton on the porch when we got home.  I might have gone a little overboard on the Find it! website when I saw that I could get 25% off if I ordered three games and free shipping if it totaled over $50.  So I got three and it was just barely over $52 before the discounts.  These are fun to play with.  We can rotate them so there's only one--or maybe two (one for each of us, you know)--out at a time.

After attaching the last pocket I had made ahead, I sat on the couch and worked on the L'Arbre hat.  I'd gotten the ribbing done at Durwood's appointment and started the pattern.  It's hard to see in the picture but you leave a 5-stitch long float across the front and 2 rounds later you pick it up and tuck it behind a stitch, making a column of what looks like little trees.  Hence the name--l'arbre is French for tree.  I got two pattern repeats done before calling it a night.  Isn't the yarn pretty?  I got it in Rapid City, SD a couple years ago and it has silk in it but it's not plied so it's a little splitty.  I still like it though and I love the color; it'll look great with my dark brown hair.  Too bad I don't have enough yarn for mitts too.  Oh well.

December 31--Mark Gamba, Jumping Off.  Fourteen year olds are like lemmings, what one does they all do.  Franz and Will were no different.  Too many times one of their mothers asked, "If insert name jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?"  More than half of the time the answer would be a shrug that every adult could interpret as "yeah, so?"  Part of the time the boys' parents were glad that they didn't sit in the basement or a darkened bedroom glued to a video game but as glad as they were that Franz and Will played outside they were also afraid that one day they'd jump off a cliff or into a quarry and not come come home.  It was not an idle fear.

Can you believe that it's New Year's Eve today?  I can't either.  Are you going out to celebrate?  We aren't, we're way past our whooping it up as the new year turns days.  Waaaaay past.  Maybe we'll share some snackies before bed and we'll definitely kiss but it'll probably be around 11 o'clock.  I can't stay up until midnight very often anymore.  If you are a going out to partier, be safe.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Do You Know What's Hard to Find?

These things.  Regular, old-fashioned clothespins.  Not the pinchy, spring-loaded kind, the plain old round knob top, two legs to hold the clothes to the line clothespins.  Walmart didn't have them.  No grocery had them.  I finally got smart, thought "craft store," went to Michael's and there they were.  They're kind of fancied up, not as utilitarian as the old ones we used to use, but they'll do.  See we've got an empty plastic gallon jug so I thought LC might enjoy dropping clothespins in the opening, like a game for hand-eye coordination, so I checked in my clothespin bag and only had one lonely round clothespin.  That's when I began my search.  Found them today.  Fleet Farm probably has them but I wasn't over there so I went with the "fancy" ones at Michael's.

Most of yesterday was spent dealing with the mountain of snow we got but I did manage to do a little sewing.  It might not look like much but I did a lot of thinking about how to make the pockets like I want them so getting the skirt pieces sewed to the seat and the whole thing pinned together so I can figure out the pockets was good progress, I think.  (I'm making this up as I go along.) Her birthday's on Sunday so I've got a couple days to get it finished.

Just before bed I broke down and cast on a hat.  The only knitting I had on the go was the Sudoku squares and I needed something less endless in my basket too.  This hat will do the trick nicely.  It's on US8 needles and in Aran weight yarn (a little thicker than worsted) so it should be a fast knit.  It has an interesting stitch too so I'm looking forward to learning how to knit it without screwing it up (too much) as I knit.

This morning I put on a clean pair of yoga pants when I got up and look what came out of one leg.  It's a remora sock.  That's what I think I'm going to start calling those socks that stubbornly hide in shirts or pants to flop out when they're least expected.  At least it helped me start my day with a smile.

December 30--Spiker Stock, Bike Rider.  All Dan could hear was the crunch of his bike tires on the gravel and his breathing.  The sun had slid behind a strip of clouds at the horizon.  The breeze had dropped and it seemed like the whole world held its breath.  He had ridden over sixty miles that day and for most of it his helmet felt like a convection oven strapped to his head.  It had taken all his determination to keep going, not to concede defeat and ride in the van to their next campsite.  He drank enough water and Gatorade to fill a wading pool and his mouth still felt like the desert floor in July.  As he rode he thought about why this ride was different.  This time he rode for himself, not to impress people or because he shot off his mouth in front of his co-workers.  He rode this time because it made him feel good, inside and out.  That didn't really make much sense given how miserable he had been all day but he knew that riding into camp for a bowl of hot food and a good night's rest would make it all worthwhile.

A-a-a-and it's snowing again.  Tiny flakes drifting down, nothing serious, melting on contact, but still it's snowing.  I have a feeling that Monday's wind and snow craziness was like Winter's dam bursting, letting it all out.  I'm going to go sew on a pocket and see if what I'm thinking should work will actually work.  After I make and eat a sandwich, of course, it's lunchtime.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Snow Came Back--With a Vengance

It started snowing about 2:30 yesterday afternoon, just in time for Durwood's chiro appointment, so I dropped him off and went to the grocery--along with half of the population of the county.  By the time we got home an hour later the roads were like ice and it was blowing like crazy.  It took three tries to build up enough momentum to get the van into the garage and then I had to shovel the driveway and put some salt down to get my car to stick to it.  It snowed and blew all evening and into the night.  This morning it had stopped but we had 13.76" of new, heavy, wet snow to deal with.  It isn't clear on the picture but snow completely squared off the front of my car; it was like a white and red rectangular box.  And look at the overhanging drifts.  I got those knocked down first thing, then spent about an hour snowblowing the driveways.  Our renter came home because they cancelled his work to say that when he'd taken his wife to work he'd barely made it out and back in with his 4-wheel drive engaged.  Guess I'm staying put today.  Besides the plow hasn't been by yet so I'd be sure to get stuck in the street before I even make it to the bottom of the hill.  Staying home for me.  I foresee some hot chocolate in my future.


A cardinal visited the platform feeder this morning.  They really stand out with all the fresh white snow.

Speaking of snow, that's the name of the color of the Sudoku square I'm working on.  I went into a bit of a decline when I realized that the pink one I finished recently was #6 not #7, but I rallied and cast on Snow #6.  So nine more squares, three more blocks, after this one's done.

December 29--Scott Barrow, Inc., DS5-QP:089.  It was a perfect day for a hike--cool, clear, and sunny.  Jean got her small house in order and left for the trail head.  When she'd bought her house nine years ago after her divorce she hadn't known that the small parking areat at the end of the street was the start of the Eagle Mountain Trail.  The entire marked trail covered over twenty miles.  She had never hiked all the way, she usually turned back somewhere between three and five miles.  Maybe today she'd go farther.

What is it about not being able to go out makes a person think of fifteen places she really needs to go?  I think I'm going to go sew, at least until the plow comes through and then I'll be back out there in my fleece pants and Durwood's old giant, Sorrel boots steering the snow blower to clear the plow drift across the base of the driveway.  Yippee.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Snow Came, Snow Melted

The snow that we had when we woke up yesterday melted over the day because the sun came out to chase it off.  Tonight might be a different story.  The wind picked up to madness velocity this morning and a thick blanket of clouds arrived with it.  They're predicting 1-3" this afternoon and 5-8" overnight.  Oh, goodie.  Even if we get the lowest predicted snow, it'll still be 6" worth of shoveling and drifting.  Ack.  Can't we start out with some soft, pretty snow falling like we're in a Christmas movie?  Why do we have to plunge right into ascending-Everest-in-a-storm snow?  Watch, we'll get all this build up and about two dozen flakes, which I would totally be happy with.

I saw a Red-bellied Woodpecker snatch a sunflower seed from the platform feeder this morning but he was too fast for me to take his picture.  I know it's a boy because he came back to the suet feeder so I got a picture of his head but then he turned around to peck at the suet in the back compartment and I saw the little pale rust patch on his belly where they get their name.  It's a boy.

I planned to work on the play kitchen sewing all day yesterday but then Durwood mentioned that he really wanted a wireless printer so he can print out the banking pages so I searched online for wireless printers that work with Windows 10.  Walmart didn't have one but Office Depot did and it was on sale--and I just happened to have a $20 rebate for Office Depot that was expiring 12/31.  So being the good wife that I am I went up, got a printer, and came home to get it all hooked up and set up and downloaded and working.  *fists in the air*  Which took up most of the morning and afternoon so I didn't get nearly as much sewing done as I had hoped.

I did get a little sewing done.  I attached the seat to the front, then sewed on the microwave and a strip of binding to be the shelf it's sitting on.  I have lots more ideas of how to jazz it up but I think I'd be better off just finishing it with the pockets in clear vinyl on the skirt and back like I planned.  I can add embellishments later if I want, right?

December 28--Scott Barrow, Inc., DS5-QP:0082.  Clarice liked it when she spun so fast that the world was a blur.  She would run in a circle pushing the merry-go-round in the playground, then jump on and twirl around with her hair flying.  When it slowed she'd get off and do it again.  It was even better when a big kid pushed because they ran faster and she could just ride.

I just realized why we're having a snowstorm today, our friends KC and DM are coming home from Bonaire tonight and we all know you can't come home from a tropical vacation unless it's snowing to beat the band.  Maybe it could snow just on them?

Sunday, December 27, 2015


I was surprised when I came up out of the basement last night to see snowflakes flying across the light from the office building behind us.  Real, live, winter snow.  In December.  Can you believe it?  My thyme in its patio pot is still green.  Maybe I ought to trim it today, bring it inside, and rescue it from the cold and SNOW.  I suspect that we're in for more since there's a red dot with an exclamation mark in it in the "weather" window of my Windows phone.  That usually means something interesting is going to happen.  Stay tuned.

I spent a lot of time slaving over the cutting table, sewing machine, and ironing board yesterday.  I decided to start with the microwave oven applique for LC's play kitchen which turned out to be a good idea since the placement of it will be easiest if the whole chair cover isn't assembled.  I went to all the fabric and craft stores looking for buttons or beads with numbers on them for the buttons to turn it on but ended up with self-stick ones, which in the long run I think will be better.  First thing today I'm going to cut out the back and seat pieces so that I put the microwave in the right spot, plus I'm going to sew on a piece of wide bias tape for the shelf it will sit on.  I've got about $25 sunk into it and will have parts left for other projects.  Not bad, I think.  I hope she likes it.  Thinking about making it for a couple weeks has definitely made the construction smoother.  Who knew that thinking could be so important?

One of LC's gifts was a kid-size Find It! game which she is enthralled with.  Find It! is a sealed tube filled with multi-colored plastic beads and tiny trinkets to be found.  We used to have one and it got shucked in a move or a clean out so I cruised the 'net to see about ordering one but ended up at The School House (my writer friend, CA, calls it "the teacher store," it's that and so much more) on my unsuccessful button search yesterday and the farm version just happened to be in their Closeout Room  Yay!  Durwood and I spent a good hour playing with it, shaking it to make hidden things rise, when we should have been making supper last night.  It's a whole lot of fun.

December 27--Scott Barrow, Inc., DS5-QP:0107.  Katy held the binoculars steady. The sun was low off to her left casting long shadows of the trees on the opposite slope.  They made it hard to see if anyone was down there.  She knew she was visible up there on the ridge but she needed to make sure Nelson wasn't on her trail.  She thought she had given him the slip in Buffalo but she had seen his stupid turquoise truck in the lot of the Cody Bar-B-Que Pit restaurant.  She hadn't stopped to make sure it was him but how many turquoise pickup trucks could there be in Wyoming?

Hey, the sun's out.  I have a couple errands to run, got a rebate to spend at Office Depot before the 31st.  May as well get out there when the sun's shining.  Hasta la vista, babies.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Live Long & Prosper

My brother, AJ, his wife, and son came over to visit yesterday.  It was great to see them and catch up on their busy lives.  As they were leaving I asked CA to take a picture. In the first one AJ's jacket flashed back looking, we decided, rather Star Trek-ish.  So he took off his jacket and we gave the Vulcan hand sign to express our wish for everyone in the new year.  Lame, but we thought we were funny.

On our way to Christmas dinner we were surprised to be stopped by the bridge up to let a coal freighter go through.  That's a very graphic sign of how not cold it's been so far this winter.  If freighters can still be coming through the St. Lawrence Seaway on Christmas Day something is very different.  I have always loved living in an International seaport so I'm going to challenge myself to knit up some hats and cowls for the Seaman's Church Institute's Christmas at Sea program.  They have a raft of free knit and crochet patterns on their website and I know I have some yarn down in the stash that'll be perfect for it.

When we came home from dinner the full moon was shining down upon us.  I thought it looked pretty swell hanging over the neighbors' lighted decorations.  I had to take Fifi down the other day as she had wriggled out of her supports in the wind and needs more than a quick and dirty fix in the yard.  I have an idea of how to beef her up a bit to make her a little more wind resistant.

A female Downy Woodpecker came for a suet snack this morning while I was doing my yoga and just as I finished a great, big crow came to perch in the top of the apple tree.  Those birds are big, but not as big as the raven that tried to cadge some of our picnic lunch in Yellowstone a couple years back.  That looked like a pterodactyl standing on the hood of the van.

December 26--1995 Noble Stock, 1538-2.  The woman with the blond frizzy hair closed her eyes and pressed her fingertips to her temples.  "I see..." she said.  Norah thought, if she says "a dark man" I'm going to scream.  It was hot and musty-smelling in the fortune teller's tent at the carnival.  Norah didn't believe in ESP or any other that other weird stuff but she kind of wanted to be proved wrong.  The woman went on, " obstacle, nothing you can't overcome but it will slow you down."  She opened her eyes, dropped her hands, and looked at Norah who said, "That's a little vague.  Could you tell me specifics?"  The fortune teller shook her head.  "I call 'em as I see 'em.  If I made this up, don't you think I'd name names and dates?"  That brought Norah up short because that's exactly what she was thinking.

I think I'm going to take a walk and then knuckle down to sewing a dining chair slipcover/play kitchen for someone's birthday in about eight days.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

I wish for you all a peaceful and joyous day/weekend/week/holiday season.  I wish I could have you all around my table where we'd share bowls of soup with crusty homemade bread and mugs of cider or hot buttered rum (depending on your persuasion).  There would be the scent of pine, silly toys and laughter, small children playing, and Nat King Cole in the background.  We had our Christmas last Sunday with all of our children, their spouses, and grand-girl for presents at halftime and soup & wings after the game.  It was lovely.  Look what I got!  A pierced metal bowl for grilling veggies, a gift certificate to Amazon for books, a tiny, titanium scissors, "The Mysteries of Harris Burdick" by Chris van Allsburg to use for writing prompts, and some magnetic toys from Santa.

The black & white drawings in the book are accompanied by a title and a single sentence.  This one is called Under the Rug; the sentence is "Two weeks passed and it happened again."  I'm not going to pretend I'm not creeped out by that and a few others of the fourteen in the book.  This was a thoughtful and much appreciated gift.  Thank you, SIL1 & DD.

We had a few flakes overnight.  I know you can barely see them but they are there so we didn't have a totally brown Christmas.

Yesterday after picking up my car with its Christmas tire I decided to see if I couldn't find the two geocaches between Joe's and home.  I got skunked, but I did gather pinecones, seed pods,a broken branch with a lichen, and some boughs to make an arrangement.  Mostly I did it as a coverup since I was in full view of houses' backyards, but I like it a lot.  It's making the house smell a little piney.  If you don't know what geocaches are it's like playing hide and seek all over the map.  People hide caches in parks and other public places, sometimes on private property but only with permission, publish the coordinates and then others go searching for them.  Some have logs for you to sign, others have trinkets for you to leave one and take one, and others have "travel bugs" that are marked with their point of origin and then are put other places by people traveling.  Follow the link above to investigate.  It's an excuse to explore a town or park and have fun doing it.  Sometimes you even learn things.

December 25--Nita Winter.  Viola and Lucille's hands were wrinkled and gnarled but they were sure and precise when it came to their sewing.  Vi was a quilter. She cut and pieced fabric into designs and then made beautiful quilts for her children, grandchildren, and soon great-grandchildren.  Cele made doll clothes, sewing outfit after outfit for American Girl dolls.  She drew the line at making Barbie clothes.  "I didn't make them when my eyesight was good, I'm not making them now when I can't see for shit," she'd say.  They both worked on their sewing machines at home and saved their hand sewing for their Wednesday morning sewing circle in the parish hall.  The talk around the table kept them laughing and ranged from books and movies to recipes and just the littlest bit of gossip.

It's time for me to shower and get a pot of coffee on because my brother, AJ, his wife and son are coming for a little visit in a hour or so.  I'd better rustle up some snacks too.  Merry merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Some Days Are Like That

Yesterday morning DD & SIL1 drove off toward home and I got ready for work.  I was (of course) running a little late and when I started the car the "check tire pressure" light went on.  Now this indicator has a tendency to light up when the tire pressure falls just a tiny bit so I hopped out to make sure it was okay to drive.  It wasn't.  The right rear tire was flat as a pancake.  So I gingerly backed out of the driveway along the curb, ran into the house, grabbed the keys to Durwood's aircraft carrier of a van, and zoomed up to Joe's to leave my keys.  I told Chad I'd call AAA when I got to work and have them tow the car there.  He told me they had to have keys to tow it so I had to go back home and leave the keys in the dashboard compartment of the car.  *pant, pant*  Once I got to work I called AAA to get a tow truck to come.  The operator was helpful-ish, insisting that someone had to be there to "release" the vehicle to the tow truck driver.  Well, see, Durwood was asleep and he doesn't hear the phone when he's sleeping and probably not the doorbell either so I asked for the phone number of the towing company and was told that they didn't give out that information.  What?????  Anyway, by then I had a couple customers in the store so I tried calling home but got no answer.  I waited on customers and then the phone rang, twice, with AAA calling to verify something.  I told the guy to call back later as I was with customers.  The next phone call was the tow truck driver who said he was there to pick up the Uplander.  Well, I had the Uplander, it was the HHR on the street with the flat he was to pick up.  I told him where the keys were, stayed on the phone until he had said keys, and he said he'd be happy to take the car to Joe's without Durwood releasing the vehicle.  "AAA's like that," he said.  This morning Chad called to say that I'd picked up a lag bolt close to the rim and he wasn't able to fix it so I've got a new tire.  Merry Christmas to me!

It got windy last night.  So windy that when I went out to get the paper Fifi the Flamingo was laying propped on the living room window.  It looks like she wriggled the screw holding the support right out of the back of her.  I'll go out and take her down in later, or maybe I'll just let her lean until the wind dies down and then screw her back together.

Look!  There's hints of blue sky and sunshine out there today.  Not a lot but it's a big relief after endless days of gray and yesterday's all day rain.

I'm knitting on Sudoku Berry #7.  Only two more of these detested pink squares to knit once this one's done.  Maybe I'll just knock the last two out once this one's finished later, just so I can put the pink yarn away forever.  Pink, blech.

December 24--Nita Winter.  Caleb loved football.  He loved watching it on TV and in person, and he loved playing it the most.  Even though he was the littlest kid in the neighborhood if there were kids playing football he was right there too.  At first the older kids tried to send him away but he kept running up and down, tackling people twice his size, and trying to catch passes.  His mom got tired of taking the football out of his arms when she went in to tuck him in and kiss him goodnight.

Now it's time to walk over to Joe's to get my HHR.  Maybe the wind will be at my back and blow me right over there.  I can hope, can't I?  Merry Christmas Eve!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Same Ol', Same Ol'

Gray, overcast, damp--blah, blah, blah.  I need me some sunshine over here.  Puhleeze!  When I was out filling the feeders I took the morning's picture from the opposite side of the backyard so you can see our inviting dinette with the light shining out and, if you look real closely, you can see Durwood and DD having their morning coffee.  I don't think they were having a chat because neither of them had been up as long as I had and neither one of them are loquacious when they first arise.  They're better later in the day.  DD and SIL1 packed up and drove off shortly after I took this picture.  Ours was only their first stop on the Christmas marathon that is their week of "vacation."  I put that in quotes because driving all over the map for Christmas here and there doesn't sound very relaxing to me but then I'm turning into an old crone who'd rather hunch over her needles, yarn and sewing than gallivant all over the place.

We went to feed the geese yesterday out at the Wildlife Sanctuary.  It's a whole lot fancier there than when we took the kids out but the geese are just as greedily hungry for the corn and gobble and squabble as they always have.  There were a few birds of prey out in their enclosures--a golden eagle and a peregrine falcon sat for portraits, the bald eagles and the kestrels were camera shy.

December 23--Alan Kaplan, KAP1005.  Cece and Steve entered the wife-carrying race at the Green County Fair on a whim.  Steve had spent some time at the beer tent after they toured the barns and one of his co-workers had spent the last few weeks going on and on about how many reps he did with heavy free weights at his gym making Steve a little self-conscious, he thought it sounded like a good idea. When the call for entrants came over the PA he turned to Cece and said, "You game?"  She looked at him.  "For what?"  He gestured toward the speaker wired to the pole next to the tent.  "The wife-carrying contest.  Didn't you hear them asking for people to enter?"  She shook her head.  "You can't be serious, Steve, I'm not lightweight and you're no Hercules."  He waved her objections away.  "C'mon, it'll be fun."  That's how they ended up being the lead story on the ten o'clock news and their picture got on the front page of the next day's paper.

I'm off to work.  The last work day, barring any unforeseen emergencies, until January 6.  I am over-the-moon excited about that.  Toodle-oo.

Monday, December 21, 2015

No Snowball Fight

What with the abundance of adults and gifts in our tiny living room, plus a wire tree hung with fragile ornaments, plus the football game there wasn't a snowball fight not even a snowball toss after all.  Oh well, maybe another time.

The football fans in the room (everyone but me) seemed to think that it was a very exciting game and I know the Packers won because they were happy when it was over.  The food was very popular and everyone did their best to make most of it go away.  I didn't take pictures (too busy with gifts and eating it) but, trust me, it was yummy.  Some of it still is.

Today dawned foggy and drizzly.  I hope its halfway decent tomorrow because we want to go to the zoo to see the otters and feed the giraffes.  It has to stay nice on Wednesday too because that's the day that DD & SIL1 drive back to Kentucky.

December 21--Alan Kaplan, KAP2025.  No one said anything about rain.  Gretta spread a blanket on the grass and laid out a picnic spread that had taken her three days and fifty-seven dollars to assemble, not counting the wine.  Hank leaned on his elbow, a small smile playing on his lips, watching her pull things out of her basket.  "You're like a magician the way you're producing stuff.  Does that thing have a false bottom?"  He craned his head to peer into the hamper at her side.  "No," she said, smiling, "it's like a puzzle inside, everything has its place."  She set a plate in front of him and handed him his napkin with the silverware rolled in it.  As she held the plate of sandwiches out to him rain began to fall like the second biblical flood.  Greta shrieked.  Hank picked up the four corners of the blanket with all the food, wine, and dishes inside and hustled the two of them to the shelter by the war memorial.  The raindrops masked her tears and he couldn't stop laughing.

I think I'm going to go goof off the rest of the afternoon now that our Christmas is over and done with.  Man, it feels pretty darned good to write that, good and a bit smug.  Are you getting out your incense and patchouli oil for the Winter Solstice tomorrow?  That means that the light will start to come back in tiny increments every day.  Yay!

Sunday, December 20, 2015


We got some.  More presents too.  Even Beverly the HHR has a pal in the driveway.  DD & SIL1 arrived around 10 o'clock last night, tired and road weary, but safe.  It'll be a very short visit but we're so glad they're here.

I finished up the last of the snowballs last night with about a yard of yarn to spare.  I've got 25 of them and I like them a lot.  Durwood says that an indoor snowball fight, even with yarn snowballs, will mean broken ornaments and he's probably right... but snowballs are made for throwing.  Maybe some snowball tossing?

One of the squirrels discovered the corn in one of the feeders yesterday and was doing his darnedest to get some out of one of the openings.  He nibbled some caught between the feeder and the "squirrel proof" cage (a misnomer if ever there was one; if one kernel gets wedged in there a whole trio of squirrels can dine at their leisure) and flicked some out of the feeder ports.  Durwood wants to shoot it, wants to shoot them all with his BB gun.  He thinks he can train them not to eat what he doesn't want to eat.  I'm taking bets on that working.  I have no faith--and I've hidden his BB gun and ammo.

December 20--Portlock Productions.  The waves felt like warm hands tugging at Lori's feet as she walked on the firm wet sand.  This warm, salty ocean was so different from the cold freshwater she was used to.  She had lived by Lake Michigan all her life and thought that she knew all there was to know about big bodies of water but coming to the ocean was a whole different world.  There were a few sandy beaches on the lake shore but most of the shoreline was rocky.  Discounting the obvious, salt vs. fresh water, the temperature was a shock.  This Atlantic beach wasn't that much farther south than home but the water at home was like melted ice compared to the soft warmth bathing her feet.

We spent most of yesterday making a tidy around here.  You know, I really really like the way the house looks when the piles are gone and the surfaces are clear.  Just saying.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Damn, It's Cold

But look--blue sky and the sun!  It's breezy and cold.  I overfilled the birdbath a bit and look at the nice icicle I made.  When I stopped for gas the wind cut right through my heavy winter coat.  I was smart and had on a wool hat and gloves but I was still cold.

Durwood's in the kitchen chopping veggies for his Italian Wedding Soup.  It'll be tastier if it "ages" overnight.  Once he's done I'll mix up the Japanese Chicken Wings marinade and get those soaking up all that soy goodness.

His sharp eyes spotted a Bluejay up in the bare apple tree, then it came down for a drink, and finally it pecked at a few seeds on the ground before flying off.  We were both really glad to see one again.

I didn't manage any knitting yesterday.  Well, I knitted on the Southwest Cowl at Friday Night Knitting but by the end of the evening I realized that I really, really don't like it and the yarn would probably be happier being something else so I yanked out the needle and I'll wind the yarn back into a ball and start over.  I feel better.

By the time I got to bed my brain felt like it was turned off so there's no prompt writing for today.  Sorry.  Stay warm.