Tuesday, May 31, 2016

I Got A Cow

No, silly, not a real cow, a ceramic cow dish to soak my partial in.  My friend, Lala, said something about the dish her mom soaked hers in and I was horrified to realize that I was using the boring plastic box that came with the Polident fizzies so when I was at Goodwill last Friday I looked on the doodad shelves and found a cow.  I need to be more careful about the amount of water I put in or it'll foam over but I like it a lot.

Yesterday I went to TJ Maxx looking for another set of cotton sheets for our bed so I don't wear out the one set we have washing it.  I had looked on Walmart.com for sheets and was kind of put off by the high prices--up to $100 for a king size set--so I thought I'd check out TJ Maxx before braving the wilds of Walmart, also I figured I'd get better quality sheets there--and I was right.  I had two to choose from in my price range.  The ones with the tiny red anchors on them are sateen (meaning softer) and were $35; the ones with the big polka dots weren't quite as soft but they were $30.  I bought the softer ones with the anchors on but can't get the polka dots out of my mind.  I might have to go back up there to get them today.


Mr. and Mrs. Goldfinch stopped by for a spot of seed this morning and posed real nicely for a portrait.  Those males are flighty and zoom off at the slightest thing.

I finished the second Frustration Anklet last night.  Hooray!  I'm sorry that the toe of it isn't all white but since the whole thing is so much paler than the first one I can't really complain, and there is a bit of white sneaking in at the toe area.  They need a little bath in wool wash and a pat dry before wearing but I like them.  I think next time I'll make the sides a few rows shorter so they're more snug.  I may give them a tiny tumble in the dryer to tighten them up just a tad.

May 31--Richard Pasley

The tunnel swallows cars
like a voracious sea monster
swallows unwary fish.
Taillights glow red
on the steel ribs
of her gullet
on the way to being
shat into the city.

Today is cleaning lady day.  Hoooray!  I plan to hide out downstairs doing a little sewing to stay out of her way.  Toodle-oo.

Monday, May 30, 2016

To The Toe

I knitted along on the Frustration Anklet foot last night (with my broken ankle elevated like a good girl) and just before I went to bed (at 10 o'clock; I'm such a night owl) I got to the toe decreases and remembered to dig out the little stitch markers that remind me what I'm supposed to do where.  They make it so much easier to not screw up the toes of socks.

Last night we shared an avocado on our salad so we had a pit left.  What else do you do with an avocado pit but poke toothpicks into it and suspend it in water in a jelly jar hoping to grow a tree?  Oh, I did a little web surfing to glean any sage info about avocado pit sprouting and came across a used book called Don't Throw It, Grow It on Amazon.com for a penny ($3.99 shipping) so I ordered it.  I am absolutely certain that I could find all of the info it contains in a handful of web searches but I like having a book instead of a list of online bookmarks.  

Look who visited the nectar feeder this morning.  It's one of the mama hummingbirds that stops by.  We can easily tell them apart because this one never lands and stays long enough for us to get the camera out and take a few pix, the other one lands but she only stays for a few seconds and then she's away.  Seeing one of these never gets old.  They're so small, they seem like bugs instead of birds.

The ferns looked especially... fern-y this morning.  This lily of the valley peeked out at me from behind the birdseed cans, and the chives are blooming.  LC picked a flower, took a bite, and decided she didn't like it.  Not a surprise since the flowers have a much stronger flavor than the chives themselves.  I promised her I'd find a chocolate mint plant because she loves to pick and eat mint leaves.  Maybe I'll do that later.  I need to get out of the house today, even if I only drive around the block a few times.

May 30--Richard Pasley

Sagebrush and cactus
line the endless straight highway
like sentries
ushering martyrs
to the altar mountain
on the horizon

Happy Memorial Day.  If you served in any of the armed forces in war or peace time, thank you for keeping me and mine safe.  I appreciate it more than I can express.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

I Told You Not To Go Camping

It's raining again.  It rained last night, with thunder even.  Memorial Day weekend is not a weekend to go sleeping and cooking and sitting around outside.  You get wet.

Yesterday afternoon I did what I said I was going to do.  I went downstairs, threw the sheets in the wash, and then sorted through the sock yarn bin and made sure it was all photographed and correctly entered into my Ravelry Stash.  I was certain that I had most, if not all, of the sock yarn already listed but my smug satisfaction with myself was grossly misplaced.  It took all afternoon, but at least the sheets got washed and dried too.

On Friday night at knitting MW showed us pictures of the buckwheat pancakes he made and ate with cream cheese and strawberries tucked between them.  It looked wonderful.  Then one of the email recipes I opened yesterday (I have a tendency to let a few days' emails like that pile up) was one for Tender & Easy Buttermilk Waffles.  I took it as a sign.  I got the Belgian waffle iron out, whipped the stuff up while the iron was heating, served Durwood the first one, made four to put in the freezer (packaged in halves because they're quite large), and I ate the last one.  They lived up to their name.  I used regular 2% milk with a couple tablespoons of white vinegar to sour it and followed the recipe exactly.  Yum.  Durwood's a big fan of toaster waffles so I thought I'd make some "real" ones for him instead of the store brand ones that taste quite a bit like the box they come in... but then I'm prejudiced against most pre-made foods.  Ack, is the word that comes to mind.

After breakfast and reading the paper I potted the second pineapple top, the one that spent a week drying in the dark, and gave each of them a little drink of water.  I'm a firm believer in watering in things when you pot them.  The water washes soil into any air pockets around the roots.  Air pockets kill roots and can make plants die.

I also managed to put on a pair of my own shoes today, even on my left foot with my Fisher-Price air cast on it.  I realized that I'm putting my foot down flat in Durwood's big shoe so my Achilles tendon isn't flexing the way it should.  Most of my shoes have the rocker soles that were all the rage years ago so it encourages that natural heel-to-toe stride and one pair is Mary Jane-like which opens more so it allows for the extra bulk of the cast, sock, and slightly swollen foot.  I can tell it's working because after wearing the shoes for 2 hours I'm on the couch with an ice pack wrapped around my ankle.  This is good, that means I'm flexing it more.  Still using the walker to carry most of my weight when I step with my left foot, never fear, but I don't want that tendon to stiffen up any more than it already has after eight weeks (EIGHT!) of immobilizing casts and boots.

After my sock bin adventure I sat on the couch last night and knitted a third of the foot rounds on Frustration Anklet #2.  I'm determined to finish it by the end of the day on Tuesday so I'll have made a pair of (short) foot coverings in just under two weeks in Mason Dixon's #OneSockKAL.

May 29--Truckshots, RRT-15.

Ground fog
swallows the tracks
twin ribbons
of steel
spiced with creosote ties
Freight cars
plunge heedless
into obscurity
eager to disappear

I hope you're making the most of the first long weekend of the season, even if it is drizzling where you are, like it is where I am.  I plan to knit.  What're you going to do today?

Saturday, May 28, 2016

A Ho-Hum Day

That's yesterday in a nutshell and today doesn't look like much more than that.  We're still negotiating about a cheese store jaunt but right now Durwood's sleeping, it's getting dim and looks like more rain.  I am so glad that we learned our lesson years ago and stopped thinking that Memorial Day weekend was one to go camping on.  It almost always rains at least one of the days and wet sleeping bags in a wet tent get old real fast.

The one bright spot yesterday was a visit by a Goldfinch and his harem.

In the afternoon I cast on Frustration Anklet #2 and knitted on it through the afternoon rainstorm (and two episodes of Longmire and one of Firefly on Netflix) and Friday Night Knitting, and once I got home I stayed up to finish cleverknits' sole-and-sides-joining modifications.  The mods were clearly described and after reading the place where the original instructions and her changes come together a few times, I made it through with minimal hiccups.  I was hoping to get to the white yarn by the toe of Anklet #2 but I'm thinking I won't.  *sigh*  Ah well, such is life.

Durwood turned around, noticed Longmire on my TV, and said "what are you watching?"  (It's set in Wyoming and I'm seriously addicted to novels set in Wyoming so it looked like I was watching a western... well, I kind of was but a western sheriff not a cowboy) I told him I've listened to a couple Longmire audiobooks and was curious if I'd like the series.  It's okay, the characters don't look like the ones in my imagination (do they ever? well, except for Clark Gable as Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind) I have to confess that I don't listen to much uplifting literature while I knit, I mostly listen to mysteries and thrillers, and on TV I usually watch either nature shows or a home or yard rehab show, but sometimes they're on PBS so that counts as uplifting, right?  I'm getting into Aerial America on the Smithsonian Channel (that counts as uplifting too, doesn't it?) lately although it's so danged visual that it's hard to knit and watch at the same time.  I need some truly mindless knitting for shows like that.

Last night on my way out of Goodwill I spied some fabric storage cubes on an end display.  When I got there I saw one round one that looked like it was made out of ticking.  I like ticking.  I pulled it down only to discover that it was a nest of three of them, individually priced of course, so I tugged out the middle-sized one and bought it.  It's the perfect size to corral all the yarn that has invaded my nest and it was only six bucks.  I am seriously tempted to hop in the car and go ransom the other two if they're still there.  I don't need them but I like them and I want them.  I'll think about it.

May 28--Truckshots, CTW-35.

Sunlight glints off
the shiny silver trailer
Four tires blur
beside my window
Semi vs. Sedan
a mismatch
if ever there was one

That's it for today.  I got the sheets in the washer already and want to get more laundry done today too.  I want to go downstairs and play with my yarn stash, getting more of it located on Ravelry, while the wash washes and dries.  I plan exciting weekends, don't I?  Maybe we'll cheese later.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Having a (Bird) Bath

Durwood told me the other day that one of the local robins has decided to bathe in the little dishes of the fountain rather than in the capacious birdbath that's more its size.  First it tried to bathe in the big base but it's too deep so it decided that the little saucers are the place to be.  Last night when we were eating he saw it and I got some pictures.  In the first one it has fluttered and splashed out all the water and is waiting for it to fill up again so it can have another go, as we see in the second picture.  

I had an odd day at work yesterday.  You could have heard a pin drop most of the day, the phone hardly even rang, but some alarm must have rung at 3:45 because between then and 5:05 I had a steady stream of customers and the phone barely stopped ringing. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't unhappy with either part of the day, it just amuses me how quickly and completely things change.

The quiet let me finish up the first Frustration Anklet, well, except for Kitchener-ing the toe because I didn't have a tapestry needle and a scissors.  I did that 10 minute job once I got home.  I'll cast on Anklet #2 later and see how the colors change by the time I get to the toe.  With any luck it'll be nearly white.  Remember the yarn ball?  See?

This morning when I went out to take the anklet's picture on the patio a bunny quietly hopped up for a little fallen birdseed breakfast.  The Bleeding Heart is still blooming away although the stalks are so top-heavy the thing's laying on the ground.  Maybe next year I'll remember to put some short fencing around it.  More Lilies of the Valley are blooming too making it smell oh so sweet when I open the patio door.

May 27--Truckshots, HNS-647.

Parabolic highway
stained red by the setting sun
slingshots freight
between black hills
to crumbling
flat-land cities

So are you packing up your camper and marshmallow toasting forks for the first weekend of the Summer?  Or are you like me, convinced it's going to rain so you're spending the weekend doing stuff around home?  I'm going to try to convince Durwood that we need to at least take a drive--maybe to Lena for some parmesan or to Kewaunee for some gouda.  Wish me luck.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Yes, the Colored Saran Wrap is Still From Mom's Stash

Aunt B commented on yesterday's post that the green Saran Wrap makes the burritos look like space food.  I agree but it also makes it easy for Durwood to find them in the jumble of stuff in the freezer, especially when the supply begins to dwindle.  (dwindle--isn't that a nice word?)  I think there's one more box, one more color of the crazy stuff down there; it may be pink.  Urgh.  To be honest, until I started making and freezing breakfast burritos for Durwood I just couldn't bring myself to use the colored wrap because it makes food look wrong, just wrong.  I don't like wasting things so I couldn't bring myself to just toss it out so using it this way salves my conscience and gets rid of the ugly stuff.

I knew as soon as I flung up my hands and just forged ahead with the Autumn Cumulus sock I'd get an email from the designer--and I got one last night.  She has a very interesting and particular way of picking up stitches that I wish she'd have detailed in the instructions (which she might have so I'll go back and reread the pattern).  That means I'll be doing a little backtracking later and, since shoving what's done onto my foot this morning, I suspect it's too big.  I'll wait until I've finished the next side scallop and then pick up stitches for the "between" one to see if that one pulls the sides and toe into something resembling my size.  Or I'll frog the whole darned thing and start over one size down.

At work I knitted on the Frustration Anklet so I'll have one sock finished before the end of the Mason Dixon Knitting One-Sock-KnitALong.  The purpose of the KAL was to encourage people to dig out their UnFinished Object sock projects to finish up this month.  I didn't have a UFO so I thought I'd plunge into the Cumulus sock.  When that flagged for wont of more precise stitch-picking-up directions, I grabbed onto a pattern suggestion by the Nashville half of Mason Dixon Knitting to make a Turkish Bed Sock which will make a great summer footie in tennis shoes.  I can't bring myself to wear shoes sockless, I just can't, so footies it is.  I need about an inch more foot and then I start the toe decreases.  I will totally have this done by the 31st, which is next Tuesday.  Totally.


It's foggy this morning.  Maybe misty would be a better term.  Anyway the light is flat and there are raindrops beaded on the lily of the valley leaves out back.  Lovely.

I have a new food addiction.  Aldi carries Simply Nature foods and I've been craving something crunchy like potato chips but potato chips are WAY too salty for me, but I checked the sodium content of these fancy veggie chips and it's only 4% so I bought some.  Oh my goodness, they're delicious.  I can eat a small handful, be satisfied, and it says on the label that 14 chips equals one vegetable serving.  Score!  And they're $2.79 a bag.  I can afford that.  The sweet potato ones are delish too, they've only got 3% sodium, and they're just under $2 a bag.  Score again!  I'm beginning to really like Aldi for more than their on-sale produce.

May 26--Douglas Peebles, Olympic Peninsula, WA.

Day's break
washes my face
in soft pink light.
My steps leave footprints
in the dewy grass.

This morning I decided that in June I'll only allow myself a maximum of 25 words to convey the essence of the photo I use for the prompt.  I'm going to keep poem-ing for a while.  It amuses me and seems like the right thing to do at this time in my mental development--or decay, as the case may be.  Hey, a new Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors opened up on the corner just down from the dive shop.  I'll probably have to make a stop soon to determine that their ice cream hasn't suffered any quality loss since the previous one closed about 10 years ago.  Market research is a good thing.  Off to find some Cheerios for breakfast, I think, or maybe an English muffin.  I need to leave for work in a hour.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Oh, What the Hell

After waiting a few days to hear from the Cumulus sock designer about how she picks up stitches so I can try it her way, I flung my hands in the air, knitted my stitches onto a bamboo circular needle and decided that I'd make my own way.  It's only knitting.


Yesterday morning I whipped up some egg salad for this week's lunches and then made a batch of breakfast burritos for Durwood.  He'd brought home white corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas so the first couple cracked when I rolled them up, but I shoved them back into the microwave for another round of heating and for the most part they behaved for the rest of the assembling.

By then I was pretty exhausted so I spent some time outside on the patio with my knitting, got a few rounds of the footie foot done, and watched a very determined chipmunk try to eat its weight in fallen birdseed and cracked corn.  All the while I was out there the wren was calling and calling but he hid in the leaves so I couldn't take his picture.  I sure hope he attracts a mate soon.  He's exhausting himself with all his nest making and singing.


Look what I picked this morning.  The lilies of the valley are starting to bloom.  Mm, they smell so good.

I didn't write a prompt last night and I sure didn't this morning since I woke up to go to the bathroom at 5-ish and couldn't go back to sleep.  NOW I feel like I could sleep again but it's nearly time to leave for work.  *sigh*  To add insult to injury some of my writer friends are at The Clearing right now--and I'm not.  Not that I'd be able to get around with my walker on the sawdust paths or climb the stone steps to the Lodge for meals but... they're there and I'm NOT.  Wah!  I'm signing off before I send myself into a complete decline.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

What Is This?

Does anyone know what this rack thing is?  It was on a high shelf at the cafe where we had lunch on Saturday and none of the employees knew what it was.  It's not a wine rack.  It has pieces of metal that look like they'd jam into the ground.  I thought it might be a portable manger but no one agreed with me.  Any clue?

I got outside before 7 o'clock this morning (yes, I was wearing pants and no, it wasn't icy) so I could take a picture of the early sky for us to admire.  Then look at what was peeking at me between the birdseed storage cans.  Lily of the valley!  I looked over at the bed of them and a few are bloomed.  More to come.  Also the chive blossoms are about ready to pop open.  You know you can eat the flowers, right?  They're very strong flavored so I pick just one and deconstruct it and put the tiny purple florets on salads and in dishes.  Yum.

I got finished with the heel & sole part of the first Frustration Anklet yesterday.  Next comes knitting the foot and toe.  I have to sew the sides to the bottom and heartily wish I'd found cleverknits' modifications sooner because she's worked out a way to keep those side stitches live and knit them together as you go thereby eliminating the annoying sewing and ensuing mini-ridge.  I am having interior sock-ridge issues, aren't I?  

May 24--Douglas Peebles, Capitol Building, Washington, DC.

Reflection of a mounted soldier
on his plinth
Upside down upon the still surface
of the pool
Memories of old battles,
old, dead men,
horses long gone
remind us of...
Past triumphs?
Past glory?
A past to ignore
in our race to tomorrow?

As soon as I push "publish" up there in the right corner I'm going to put on shoes and take myself into the kitchen to make egg salad for work lunches this week because Mrs. Boss made me some yummy egg salad for lunch when I went back to work and I want more, and then I'm going to make breakfast burritos because I've been meaning to make them for WEEKS and haven't.  Those two things are going to be my activities for the day and then I intend to sit in the shade on the patio and knit.  Yes.  Yes, I am. *nods confidently*

Monday, May 23, 2016

More Words That Turn Off My Brain & Open My Wallet

"Store Closing--Everything Must GO!"  I woke up this morning afraid that Hancock Fabrics had closed while I was trapped on the couch, so I was determined to go there after my other stops.  They're less than a month from locking the doors and they still had a few things I wanted so I got stuff, probably not at the lowest price ever, but I'm happy.  I found a pattern for me, one for a long-sleeved t-shirt to make someone small a swim shirt, two lengths of unisex lycra swimsuit fabric, a couple skeins of Lion Fisherman's Wool, two skeins of the acrylic yarn I use to make preemie hats, four skeins of sparkle yarn (because I suddenly want ALL of the sparkle yarn), one skein of dishcloth cotton, and a clutch of novelty & regular buttons.  I'm sorry that they're closing.  For years I've tried to buy my making things there instead of at Joann's, mostly because a couple of the people that work there have waited on me at a fabric cutting table since before I had children--and that's a not-inconsiderable number of years.  I swear I (probably) won't go back there before they lock the door for the last time.

All day yesterday I could hear a House Wren out back advertising the excellent nest he'd made for a prospective mate so Durwood and I worked together and got the fountain out and up and running.  It was tricky trying to thread the extension cord for the fountain pump behind the Bleeding Hearts with a walker so I ended up just looping over the end of a shelf so it's not laying on the ground when it rains. We got the patio umbrella too.

I have blueberry flowers!  I also have thriving weeds around them which means I should ask Durwood to get out the garden stool and sit there pulling weeds one of these days.  Good thing next weekend's a holiday.  I'd do it tomorrow but it's supposed to rain besides I've been zooming around a lot lately which makes Durwood tell me to sit down and put my feet up A LOT so I'm trying to sit still-er.  (I'm not very good at all at sitting still, even with a walker to shove in front of me.)  In front of the house the allium are blooming.  They're a variety of onion.  I don't think you should eat them, though.

I ran into a snag knitting on my Cumulus sock so I emailed the designer and in the meantime cast on a Turkish Bed Sock that I intend to wear as a "ped" if you know what that is.  (if you don't, a "ped" is a 1950s and 60s version of that throw-away sock you get in a shoe store that women wore in the summer because they were of the opinion that you NEVER wore shoes without socks)  And I plan to make two.  Look at the yarn; don't worry, they won't match.

May 23--Douglas Peebles, Space Needle, Seattle, WA.

Who knew where to build
the base?
Did they expect the UFO
to land?
Were they getting messages from deep space
on their molars?
And how did they convince the aliens to let them turn their ship
into a tourist trap?

Today's the last day I'm taking painkillers.  I am so over them, you have no idea.  They did a great job early in this adventure but I sure wish I'd known the instant when they weren't absolutely necessary so I could have quit them as soon as possible.  I'm not cut out to be a junkie... or maybe it's that I'm not cut out to endure the getting clean part more than once.  It's no picnic.  From now on I'm sticking to one Aleve a day if I have "discomfort."  *dusts off hands*

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Look Out, Dole

See what we saw yesterday?  Those are tiny roots protruding from the pineapple top so I scrubbed the pot we want to use, got the cactus mix bag opened, and this morning our very first pineapple plant is in the ground.  In four more days we'll find another pot and plant the one drying in the dark.  It'll be interesting to see which one makes a new leaf first.  One of my jobs today is to dig up a little notebook so Durwood can chronicle the triumphs and tragedies of our kitchen-based planting adventures.  Ages and ages ago I had a little paperback book about planting seeds and pits and crowns and such from your food.  I wonder if it's in the bookcase downstairs with all the gardening books.  I'll look when I'm getting a notebook later.  We have plans for lemon and lime trees, an avocado, and a sweet potato vine.  We were bemoaning the dearth of windowsills in modern houses.  Where do they expect you to put little pots of things you're sprouting anyway?

Yesterday's gift certificate spending yarn jaunt was very successful.  KW, DVB, and I tooled on down Hwy. 41 to Yarns By Design in Neenah to spend their gift certificates.  I, of course, had to spend a bit there too.  Hey, they're going out of business (which is why we went right away) so everything's on sale.  On Sale--those are magic words that turn off your brain and open your wallet.  I rationalized buying the cables book because my idea for next year's Design-a-thon involves cables and the yarn was 50% off (it's from the bargain bin).  We had lunch across the street in a little cafe, then turned our wheels toward Iris Fine Yarns in Appleton where I spent my gift certificate on three bamboo circular needles in small sizes I didn't have and a couple skeins of 100% alpaca from their sale baskets.  Okay, so I overspent my certificate but a person can't just leave alpaca to languish in a basket like some low-rent acrylic.

Here's what I saw outside this morning.  The apple blossoms are snowing down on the yard.  The Bleeding Hearts are in their glory.  The ferns are unfurling and the Lilies of the Valley are just starting to bloom.  Soon I'll leave the patio door open just so their fragrance can permeate the house.

This little mama bunny (sorry she's blurry) was collecting straw and grass for her nest when I cripped out to pick an asparagus spear and the gray Catbird came for a snack.  There's a House Wren out there making a racket but he doesn't hold still long enough to get his picture taken.  We need to get the fountain out and running because I read someplace that wrens like to nest by running water.


May 22--Mark Duran, AV-1001H.

Sky on fire
black tree skeletons
claw at the sun
jet like a condor
flies into the billowing clouds

I promised Durwood that I'd spend most of today on the couch with my feet up so I'd better get moving and get downstairs while he's asleep.  Oh, I'm so bad but I feel like a non-person piled up here on the couch all the time.  I can not wait for the doc to tell me I'm all better and I can go back to being a normal, active person.