Thursday, June 30, 2016


That's how many nasturtiums have sprouted.  One.  One measly seed survived the chipmunk horde.  This is not the lush excess of nasturtium leaves and flowers I envisioned cascading out of these pots.  Nope, not what I imagined at all.  I'm going to go back to Stein's for another packet of seeds and try again.  I'd say I'll put them up higher but those little buggers can CLIMB.  Nothing is safe from them.  I watched one climb an Asiatic lily stalk up on the retaining wall, nip off a flower bud, hop down, and eat the bud like it had been through the drive-through for a snack.  The nerve.

A few daisy buds have opened so the bee balm looks even prettier popping up in a growing sea of white petals and yellow centers.  I purely love my daisies.

The blueberries are still blueberrying away.  Only one bush has more than one cluster of them but it's doing its best.  This morning I saw that the baby bunny can get in there so I'll be spending time this weekend working to close up that particular loophole in the chicken wire fence around the berries.  I also filled the feeders and did a little weeding--until I grabbed an handful of nettles.  Ouch.  This is why a person wears gardening gloves, and she will wear her gardening gloves when she goes up to weed a little more over the weekend.  

My ankle isn't up to me starting at one end and weeding my way to the other just yet, but I can climb up, weed a little, and then come back down to rest.  It came to me yesterday that I need to stop sitting so much, stand with my weight even on both legs, and do yoga every day even if it makes the sole of my foot and my ankle ache some.  I'm never going to get back to semi-normal sitting on my keester.  *nods firmly*

I finished the second side scallop of the sock last night and picked up the stitches for the leg front one.  That means only 2 more scallops before the cuff.  Then I can start another sock or something else because I can't have just one project on the go, I need to be able to jump from one to the other.  I often have the attention span of a gnat.

June 30--David Lissy, Women Walking.  Women in pastel track suits stride by every morning flickering in and out of the shade of the trees like tropical birds in the jungle.  Bernie watched them, he waited for them, he waved at them.  Once in a while one of them waved back but most of the time they were too engrossed in conversation or zoned out with those little earphone things stuck in their ears.  Some had a pocket on an armband that held their pod player, others carried it in their hands.  Bernie wondered when people stopped being comfortable with their own thoughts.

I wonder that too and I'm guilty of rarely being in the quiet.  Running late because I filled the feeders, watered the "farm", did yoga, ate breakfast, and showered.  Gotta go.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Too Far Away

I have always thought that we live too far away from DD, SIL1, and Aa... but now I know we do.  On Monday DD called to say that their house was on fire.  !!!!!!!!  Seems a cellphone charger overheated, lit their bed on fire, and burned up their bedroom, closets, bathroom, and smoke damaged everything.  Aa got the dogs out and the firemen rescued the kitties so all mammals are safe and accounted for and their insurance company is being wonderful, but they're displaced for months while their house is being repaired and they've lost a lot of "stuff" which we all know costs a lot to replace.  A friend has set up a "go fund me" for incidentals, and this is in no way a plea for donations, but it warms my mom's heart to see that so many people are caring for my beloveds in their hour of need.  If I didn't think I'd be in the way, I'd drive or fly down there RIGHT NOW to make it all better.  As if I could...

I played hide-and-seek with a cardinal and the camera this morning.  I meant to take a picture of a passing crow but it didn't stay long enough to pose.  The cardinal was on the platform feeder but by the time I got the camera out and turned on it had flown to a flower stalk in the garden so I snapped one through the window and screen.  Then I carefully slid open the patio door to get a better picture and it fluttered to the wire fencing behind the bee balm and daisies.  I got it anyway.  Ha!

Last night after the supper and social security talk (that I didn't really get anything from, she talked too fast and didn't seem to have a point [I suspect that's an old person's response *sigh*]) I piled up on the couch with an ice pack (because I volunteered to get us drinks and the bar was as far from the banquet room it could be and still be in the building *pant, pant*) and finished the right ankle scallop of the Autumn Cumulus sock, then I picked up stitches for the left one.  I looked at the pattern this morning and I have only three more scallops (including the one I started) before it's time to knit the cuff.  Hallelujah!  I've enjoyed making this and I love the yarn but I'll be glad to not have to pick up 19 and then 44 stitches every time I turn around, although from now on picking up stitches will be a cake walk.

The last thing I have to show you is the celery.  I'm sorry I keep slapping pictures of it on here but look how much it's grown.  I mean, really, I think I'm going to call it "rocket" celery.  I showed the cleaning lady the "farm" yesterday, gave her chocolate and apple mint leaves and a pineapple sage leaf to taste and then showed off the rocket celery.  She wanted to know where I got the mints and how to grow her own celery and other food stuffs so I gave her a copy of the internet info I'd gathered and sent her off to Stein's for herb plants.  I was tickled that she was so ticked by it all.  It's fun to find someone as silly/wacky as I am.  Makes me feel less alone.  (And before you protest, yes, I know that I have gathered a fine scrum of silly and wacky pals [you know who you are] around me, I'm just excited to find one more.)

June 29--Richard Pasley, Boat on Lake at Sunset.  Jilly wrapped her old corduroy coat tighter and tugged up the collar of her flannel shirt.  A sharp breeze had sprung up from across the marsh as the sun sank below the horizon.  The lake looked like a sheet of hammered copper in the fading light, its surface barely ruffled by the breeze.  The old dock creaked and groaned like an arthritic dog and she felt the lake pull at the pilings when the ripples hissed back from the rocky shore.  Grant had driven off three days ago after a blazing argument over selling the lake property.  He wanted to sell, she didn't and ultimately it was her decision.  Selling this place would feel like selling her family.  All of her best memories took place within sight of where she stood.  Heavy footfalls shook the dock.  "Jilly?  What're you doing out here in the dark?"  She turned, "Grant, I..."  Her voice trailed off.  "Mel, what can I do for you?"  The sheriff stopped beside her, his gun belt creaking.  "Jilly, do you know where Grant is?"  She shook her head.  "No.  We had a big fight on Tuesday and he left.  What do you need him for?"  Mel shifted his weight, making the timbers groan.  "We, uh, we found his truck at the bottom of Damien's Creek, wheels sticking up out of the water."  She felt like the whole world held its breath.  "Deadman's Creek?  Is he dead?"  "We don't know.  He's not in the truck."  He put a hand on her arm.  "Come inside and get warm.  I need to ask you some questions."  She turned and walked past him without meeting his eyes.

Okay, this one definitely gets a star so I remember to write more.  Even I want to know what happens next.  Today's a work day and I need to leave in about 7 minutes so I'd better wrap this up.  At least I'm already dressed, etc.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

If You Want Better Pictures...

... use a better camera.  *head, desk*  I got so frustrated the other day with the (lack of) quality of the photos I took with my point & shoot Nikon that I dug Durwood's Canon DSLR out of the closet and used it today.  The angels sang--and I got good pictures.  I still had to change the brightness of a few and the focus was dodgy on a few others (operator error) but, all in all, the quality was worlds better.



flowers with a bee,


and the summer sky.

Some small milkweeds are growing.  I don't think these are from any of the seeds I planted yet but are ones that MW and I weeded around a couple weeks ago.  I need to go out to overseed grass seed where the sewer pipe fixers seeded in April and then water it in and water the milkweed area well too.  After lunch I'll do that.

Here's a better look at the ankle scallops of my sock (better camera = better photo) and the progress I made on Sudoku Strip #4 while waiting out Durwood's appointment yesterday.

Our green tomato is getting bigger, not red yet, but definitely bigger, and in the pineapple plantation I've convinced myself that there a re a few new leaves poking out in the center.  I may be fooling myself, probably am, but there are definitely baby leaves in there.

June 28--Richard Pasley, Bullfight.  

Only a guy,
a really bored (or drunk) guy,
would invent a sport
involving taunting
a bad-tempered bull
by poking it with spears,
then waving a cape in front of it
while dressed in a shiny suit.
It reminds me of boys
poking at a chained
dog with a stick.
Same level of foolishness,
worse odds of getting out

Today was a cleaning lady day and a chiropractor day too, and we're going to a dinner put on by our broker tonight so it's an activity day.  And then there's that grass seed and water I want to play with.  I should probably change into play clothes for that, shouldn't I?  Yeah, I think I will, after lunch.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Flowers & Bird

Lots of flowers are abloom today.  The lipstick lilies are shining their faces to the sun around one of the sole surviving milkweeds.  The day lilies against the house and along the lot line are out in force.  The orange Asiatic lily by the porch is still opening more buds and around the corner of the house the spiderwort (the part of it that the rabbits haven't eaten) is blooming too.  I have a terrible time taking a decent picture of the spiderwort.  The flowers are a purple blue-ish periwinkle color that refuses to appear on digital pictures.  My small Nikon washed them out so they looked pale green so I dug out Durwood's Canon DSLR camera and got close enough that a bit of brightness and contrast finagling made them look almost right.  I am becoming less and less pleased with the pictures I get from that refurbished Nikon I bought a few months back.  No matter how many times I read the manual I can't make it stop washing out colors and if I turn off the flash then the pictures are blurry.  Arrgh.

I almost caught a robin bathing.  Almost.  He stood on the edge of the birdbath preening and fluffing and I hoped he'd go back in for another dip.  He didn't, the little creep.  Wild birds are so unreliable.

We made the best stuff for supper last night.  I saw a recipe online for grilled chicken sandwiches made with chicken breasts topped with carmelized onions, provolone, and avocado slices.  We didn't want sandwiches so Durwood pounded the enormous chicken breast half (almost a pound and a half--yes, just one breast half, and the tenderloin was removed), then I sprinkled it liberally with Penzeys Mural of Flavor, a salt-free blend of herbs that we like, while the coals heated and I got the onions fried up.  It was delicious and I'm pretty thrilled that there's some left for tonight's supper too.  Yum.

In knitting news, I added a few rows to Sudoku Strip #4 but spent more time working on the Autumn Cumulus sock ankle scallops.  I only have four or five more scallops to knit before I get to make the cuff and be done.  You'd better bet I won't be making another sock like this one for a while, especially since I'm making the medium size and it's a little big for my size 10 foot.

I stayed up late knitting and watching the Women's Gymnastic Championships so I didn't write.  We have some appointments today so I need to get going.  Seeyabye.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Inching Back To Normal

I took another step back to pre-broken ankle days on Friday night.  I bought a braided rug to put inside the patio door to catch grass clippings and other detritus that I track in when I go out to tend the "farm."  Not using a walker anymore, barely using my cane so it's time for the rugs to reemerge.  I decided not to put back the flimsy rag rug that was there before and saw this brand new one at Goodwill for four bucks and thought it was just the thing.

This morning the daylily out the kitchen window is blooming and there was wildlife galore.

A bluejay came to nab the last peanut left after the squirrel acrobats had gotten the lion's share.


A goldfinch, trailed by a begging nestling, came for some nyger seed and a plump bunny rabbit nibbled the cracked corn and other birdseed the sparrows flung out of the feeder.  I swear I'm going to stop buying that kind of seed and quit filling the feeder just so they can shovel it out, but they're so much fun to watch when the whole flock of them gets into the birdbath at once.  Sparrows are enthusiastic bathers, almost as entertaining as the baby robins that come to bathe and end up looking like they've been rubbed with a rough towel because all their feathers stick out all over, even the top of their head.

In the "those damned rodents" department, I learned to my dismay that chipmunks love nasturtium seeds.  Four days ago I planted a whole packet of seeds in this pot.  Guess who excavated each and every one?  They're cute, especially the little ones but... damned rodents.  Where's a hawk when you need one?

All I did yesterday was waste time on the computer, strip the bed, do 3 loads of laundry, read magazines, and knit.  By bedtime I had finished the doublethick dishcloth I cast on Friday night.  It's the second most brainless knitting I had at hand and I wanted to get this done because it's time to toss the last one I made down the chute with the towels today and I want another 6" thick cloth to put in its place.  I hope my old, single thickness dishcloths don't feel abandoned but this is a simple whim to indulge.  I'll work on Sudoku Strip #4 today and finish the next Autumn Cumulus scallop too.  Cross my heart.  Just as soon as I post this and go down to throw the towels in to wash.  Really.

June 26--Richard Pasley, Woman with Boogie Board.  

Not svelte,
there's a bit of a tummy there,
but she's strong,
athletic, friendly,
happy to be

I can't resist another celery picture because, look, it's taller again.  Neither the pineapple tops nor the avocado pits offer anywhere close to the instant gratification this nub of celery gives us.  It's amazing.  Why didn't I ever know about this before?  I knew about putting carrot tops in a shallow dish to grow greens for caged birds but you don't get more carrots.  This thing looks like it's making real celery.  My mind is officially boggled.  Oh, and I have to ask Durwood to put celery on his shopping list because this is the only celery in the house.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Look Look Look!

We have a baby tomato.  It's on the bush tomato plant, one that we've never had before.  It's tiny, hard, green, and probably won't be ripe for a month but we don't care.  We have a tomato.

The mints are loving the hot and sunny with a little rain weather we've been having and even the flat-leaf parsley is putting up a good fight.  I'm afraid the pineapple sage is a bit overpowering planted next to it but I plan to rotate the planter and let this little parsley guy have some more room and light.


There are still green blueberries on my little bushes.  There were two berries on another bush getting blue but some critter chomped them.  Grrr.  This is so much the wrong soil and place to grow blueberries that every one is like a gem; I hate to lose even one of them.  I have them fenced off with chicken wire but it isn't buried and there's nothing to keep birds out so I guess some attrition is to be expected.


The bee balm is starting to bloom.  Right behind them is a huge drift of daisies fixing to burst open soon too and when they're both abloom, well, it's a beautiful sight.  Just you wait.

See what I saw when I went to snap a bee balm photo?  Lipstick lilies are blooming!  I'm so happy to see them after whatever that invasive weed was that overtook their planting bed last year and this spring until MW and I uprooted it.  Soon I need to go over there with my little stool and root out any stragglers or invaders.  And the old daylilies behind the air conditioner are blooming too.  They're a cutting from the plant that Dad brought up to Green Bay from his parents' farm in Evansville, IN, planted in our Liberty St. backyard, and let me dig up some of to plant over here over 30 years ago.  Good lord, do you realize that it's been over 50 years since we moved up here?  I guess Green Bay is really my hometown even if it isn't my birthplace.  For some reason that makes me a little sad.

I worked on finishing the back ankle scallop of the Autumn Cumulus Restart sock last night at Friday Night Knitting (it's the part sticking off to the left), then I picked up stitches and started the front ankle scallop but managed to bollocks it up more than once so I quit knitting on it.  It was close to 9 o'clock by then and quitting time anyway.  When I got home, though, I fell prey to the lure of making another small doublethick dishcloth, cast on, and got an inch knitted while watching an episode of Barnwood Builders.  The men are a bunch of characters that remind me of some of my male relatives (speaking of Evansville) when I was a kid.

June 25--Phil Banks, Golf. 

Swing, thwack
my small white ball
bumbles left into the trees,
nestles beneath Spring's first trillium.
From there it caroms
across the fairway
to the creek swollen with rain,
teeming with tadpoles.
Down the fairway
into the front sand trap
where a baby garter snake embraces it.
Spurred by a plume of sand, I'm finally on the green putting
when an amorous crow
tries to woo my hat,
dive bombing with his raucous song.

Golf--a nice walk spoiled.

I don't golf.  Mom & Dad used to golf.  Durwood golfed every once in a while, and I think DS golfs.  I don't golf, too much boobage to swing a club.  I'm contemplating doing laundry today.  I might cut out and sew a swim shirt for some little girl.  Or maybe I'll sit on the couch and practice staring into space.  Only time will tell.  Wish me luck.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Sunny, Summer & Friday

What could be better?  It's the end of the week, it's a gorgeous sunny day, I'm not at work, and I got a haircut today after which I came home and took a shower so I don't feel like I'm wearing a hair shirt for the rest of the day.  In between the haircut and the shower I spent some time sweltering in the basement of the downtown Lutheran church where the knitting guild meets to add some books I'd cleared out of my personal library to it and to see if I could bring a little, good old Teutonic organization to the cart.  (You, books, will line up there. *points emphatically*  Tallest to shortest.  *flings hands in the air*  I'm the soul of patience--as long as things go my way.)  I found a couple interesting things to borrow for a closer look, one is a magazine with a sock on the cover that I will never in a million years make because it is a riot of color but I want to look at it and pretend I might.

When I went out for the paper I saw that the orange Asiatic lily's first bud had opened.  I don't really understand why the orange one waits until the yellow one's just about done but I guess I should be happy because that way I have pretty flowers longer. 

Yesterday I knitted June Preemie Hat #4 and decided to make the smallest of the four sizes this pattern offers.  It's called "Moe" as in Eenie, Meenie, Minie, Moe.  Remember I couldn't imagine a baby small enough to wear the Minie I made last week?  This one stretches credibility even further.  The pattern says it's for micro preemies and I know there are babies that need hats that tiny.  *sigh*  Every time I look at those teeny little hats I say a prayer.  Here's photographic proof that I've got the four June Preemie hats all done.

The celery's going great guns.  Overnight the leaves are taller and the whole thing is greener.  Amazing.

June 24--David Brooks, Runner.  She ran because she had to.  Her whole life she had felt the hot breath of fate breathing down her neck.  She had started running on the cross-country team in middle school and hadn't stopped yet.  Now that she was an adult, and had been through years of analysis, she ran for pleasure.  She no longer felt the malevolent presence on her heels that had gotten her moving when she entered her teens.  That was why the hand that pulled her off the trail surprised her so much that she didn't cry out.

I think I'm going to go sit on the couch and page through a knitting magazine, the one with the cool sock on the cover.  Adieu, cheries.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Mood Altering Things

I have been in a crappo mood for the last few days.  I want my ankle to get better faster, a lot faster, so I push a little and then weather fronts come chugging through and my ankle aches, a dull, near constant ache the last few days.  I know it's because I did yoga on my feet the other morning and because the weather is changing like a teenager changes clothes but I want to be better NOW.  So I cast around for things that would make me feel better.

I noticed this morning that our celery stub is really sprouting.  Look at that!  We plonked it in there last Saturday and already the center is pushing out new leaves.  Very cool.

Last month I was in Office Depot looking for binders for the Knitting Guild library when I saw the last, lonely owl mouse hanging on a floor display.  I had to have it but hadn't opened it until this morning when I realized that an owl mouse would make me smile.

At work yesterday, in between customers and visitors (why did all 3 visitors arrive at once, huh?  can't they spread themselves out a bit?), I got the second ankle scallop knitted and the stitches picked up for the next scallop on the ankle back.  Still didn't cast on the fourth preemie hat but I have to do that today, there's only a week of June left.  No, really, next Friday is July 1.  Already.

On my way home from work I stopped off and treated myself to some new bras.  No, I'm not showing you, not on me, not draped artfully over a lamp or chair, just trust me I needed them, they were "buy 2, get 2 free" so I went for it.  And may I say, ahhhh.

When I got home there was a little square package waiting for me and in it was a "Weave-It" loom.  I had one of those when I was a teenager, made nearly 60 squares with Mom's yarn scraps that I crocheted edges on and turned into an afghan, and I distinctly remember ditching it when we moved here almost 15 years ago.  Knitting pal, MW, found some older models of them that we bought from Goodwill a couple years ago but I wanted a pin loom.  He found one for 99 cents there a few weeks back, I went on eBay and found one for considerably more money (but not an outrageous amount for a nostalgia item--with all the directions) and "bought it now."

June 23--David Brooks

A posse of pint-size road warriors
skate up the center of the street,
helmets flashing,
sticks slashing.
The asphalt Stanley Cup
plays out
before the streetlights turn on and
everyone's called home.

Wasn't that when everyone had to be home?  That was our deadline, to be home when the streetlights turned on.  Kids these days sure don't have the freedom we did and it's a damned shame.  There wasn't an Aldi ad in our paper the other morning and Durwood needs one so I'll swing by on my way to work and nab one.  Toodle-oo!