Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Poster Day of Dreary

It has been unrelentingly gray and chilly and drizzly today.  It took me until 3 o'clock to even think about getting dressed and it wasn't until 4 o'clock that I went on my mission of mercy and to ALDI for butter on sale.  First, here are the only bright spots of the day.  These few tulips didn't get trampled or dug up when the two stooges replaced the fence along the retaining wall two years ago.  I would swear that those two guys had never heard of a straight line or a measuring tape.  Fortunately they weren't using premade fence sections because not only does the fence waver this way and that along its length, its posts are not regularly spaced, neither are the boards, but it does the job.  I'm just glad a few of the tulips survived.  And a few of Durwood's raspberries made it, but it's too early for them to be out and about.

I was the recipient of a dandelion bouquet the other day.  It's been years since I've had such an enthusiastically picked and generously given gift.  I was informed that butterflies need dandelions because the flowers have nectar and that's what butterflies eat.  Durwood will have to look upon the lowly yellow flowers with more respect now. 

What mission of mercy you ask?  The other afternoon I walked up to the bank to cash a check and noticed a shopping cart from the Dollar Tree store in the nearby shopping plaza in the parking lot behind our house.  I had seen it a couple weeks earlier too.  It was nuzzled up to the dumpsters but hadn't gotten picked up.  I took a look at it and it wasn't broken, just made off with.  If it had been a nicer day my plan was to walk it back to its store but since it's rainy and yukky today, I shifted the stuff out of the back of my car, folded down one side of the back seat, and tucked it in there for the ride home.  I know those things cost a fortune and suspect that some prankish teenagers were to blame for its abandonment so far from home.

For most of the day I nestled on the couch with my broad spectrum lamp turned on and knitted.  I have inches more to add to LC's 3 Sweater.  The pattern says to add 5" from the underarms but I think I'll go until I'm nearly out of the dark purple yarn and then finish off the bottom with what's left of the lighter purple.  Maybe I'll add another narrow orange stripe.  We'll see.

I really am using the same three balls of sock yarn for Helical Sock Sock #2 only in a different order AND (this is the biggest change) I'm pulling from the outside of one of them, that's where the solid orange and red is coming from.  I'm hoping that the speckledy blue yarn I started sock #1 with comes back for the toe of #2.  Time will tell.

April 30--John James Audubon, Roseate Spoonbill.

Feathers the color
of dawn light
lift the spoonbill
over the mangroves.
Snow white egrets preen
in the treetops
while the rosy pink spoonbill
sifts for supper
in the shallows. 

And that, for good or ill, is the end of Poetry Month for another year.  Whew.  We made it through injury free.  Today's crap weather is making my left ankle ache but I suspect that breaking a bone has turned it into a permanent barometer.  I'm not thrilled.  I suppose it's time to go rustle up some grub.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Frogging Without a Net

Remember yesterday I said I was thinking of adding a narrow stripe of orange between the two purples on LC's sweater?  Well, I got to the body part, picked up the orange and knitted four rows, then picked up the dark purple and knitted two rows before the end of the work day.  As I tucked it into my bag to leave I realized that four rows of orange were going to make a STATEMENT in such a small sweater, way more of a statement than I had in mind.  I mulled it over on the drive home and through supper and cleanup, pulled it out of my bag and knew what I had to do.  I turned on all the lights for the best view of my daring yarn trick, tugged out the needle, catching all the stitch markers, then pulled out the dark purple and one of the orange rows.  Then I carefully tugged out the next row of orange while catching the released orange stitches with the needle one at a time.  I didn't bother with whether the stitches were mounted on the needle correctly, I just wanted to catch them before they went anywhere.  Then I picked up the dark purple to carefully knit the first row, adding the stitch markers back in, and making sure with each stitch that the right leg of the stitch came first.  Ah, much better.

This morning I got an inkling of why I was determined to put that orange stripe in the purple sweater.  See these grape hyacinths around the orange tulip?  There's the sweater inspiration right there.

Sometimes you just need cake.  Chocolate cake.  I have been craving chocolate cake.  I almost bought one at ALDI last week but I didn't want to spend the five bucks.  Last night I printed off an old Hershey's Cocoa recipe from 1979 called Wacky Cocoa Cake (made with vinegar, baking soda, and oil instead of eggs and water), dug out my mother-in-law's old fluted cake pan, and this morning I mixed it up.  I'll serve it plain with powdered sugar available for shaking over it.  Yum.  Chocolate cake.  (it's just out of the oven and too hot to cut, dang it)  (one of these days I'll remember to "flour" the pan with cocoa so its outside isn't this weird white)

April 28--Martin Johnson Heade, Portrait of a Young Lady.

Jane in her pleated dress
stood by the window
cloaked in shame and shadow
while sunset spread
its brazen light
across the forbidden sky.

Don't ask me what that means, I haven't got a clue.  Oh hey, the sun's shining.  That'll make running errands later a whole lot nicer.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

A Bird's Gotta Eat

Even on a rainy morning like this one there are still birds at the feeders, especially the platform feeder, favorite of the Cardinals.  He's good at sharing; she's not.  I spied her a few minutes later pecking around on the ground under the feeder giving the cold shoulder to any mourning dove or sparrow that dared come close.  See how rainy it is?  The birdbath surface is all dimpled and I guess I didn't have to hurry out last night to fill it up, Mother Nature did it for me overnight.


Last night's sunset was a symphony of pastel light.  I saw the clouds turning pink and grabbed the camera thinking that the western horizon would be vivid.  It wasn't.  Instead the pale pink suffused the clouds and sky, making the neighborhood look very peaceful.

This is why I spent the extra bucks for the double-sided suet feeder.  Even after all these years Durwood gets a bit snippy when he spies a squirrel or grackle having a snack.  I try to tell him that I buy 12-packs of suet cakes when the birdseed store has their annual sale and usually don't have to resupply until the sale rolls around again.  I can afford to feed the marauders when I'm spending less than $15 a year, besides who doesn't enjoy the sight of an acrobatic squirrel or a frantically flapping grackle?

I did a little sweater yoke knitting yesterday.  See the pink stitch markers?  They measure off the parts that will become the body of the sweater after the 5 or 6 more rows of yoke/cap sleeves are done.  I'll be adding the dark purple yarn for the body but I've got a skein of the same yarn in orange and am sorely tempted to add a tiny stripe of orange where the yoke becomes the body.  After all, orange is LC's favorite color.  I think I'll grab the skein before I leave and give it a whirl.

I also couldn't resist casting on Helical Sock SOCK #2.  I'm starting with the remains of the same three yarns I used on the last one but in a different order and I'll pull from the other end of the ball to introduce a totally different color.  Can't have matching socks now, can I?  I'm going to work a different short-row heel on this one too since I'm less than thrilled about the heel on the first one but, hey, it's a sock.  It'll get shoved into a shoe so who besides me will see it?

April 27--Gentile Bellini, The Miracle of the Cross.

A bridge over a canal
flowing with blue water
the curious line the bridge and street,
gondolas gather,
Cardinals gape and pray,
watch swimming angels
display the Crucifix. 

Okey-dokey.  Today I will wear my new coat and stay dry also warm because last night's low is supposed to be today's high.  All this upping and downing, warming then cooling then warming again is confusing.  I feel like I should have three different outfits per day--one for cool mornings, another for warm evenings, and a third for the hot and sweaty midday.  Crazy.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

"Tulips in the Garden, Tulips in the Park...

...what I like best are two lips in the dark."  That's the racy rhyme I learned in second grade at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Evansville, Indiana from a group of big, sixth grade girls.  When I recited it to Mom she asked where I learned it and then told me not to say it again, which meant that it was engraved in my brain forever.  All of that is to introduce the first tulip ready to bloom in my front yard.  It's the only one of that color--peachy orange with a purple blush on the outside of the petals--and I keep hoping that the bulb will divide and make more.  So far, no luck.

The sky this morning was lovely again but this time there was a vapor trail too.  Whenever I see one of those straight white lines which are airplane tracks I wish that I was on that plane going wherever, I never care where, I just want to GO.  I told Durwood last weekend that I wish that I was footloose and unfettered.  He said I am, that I can go anywhere I want to.  He didn't understand, to me footloose and unfettered means I don't feel tied to responsibility, that I can lock the door and drive away for a day or week or however long I want to go but I guess that's not really my personality.  I tie myself to people and places with nice tight knots, anchoring myself, not being anchored by others.  Maybe I can work on that--once I'm retired.  Did I tell you I gave notice?  I'll work through the end of June and then be a retired person for real.  Yikes.  I need to start making lists of things I want to do, stuff like scan into the computer all of the bajillion photographs lurking in albums around here and learn how to put slides and videos onto cds.  Along with all of the sewing projects I want to tackle... and then there's the knitting, and gardening, and... and...  Hmm, I'm seeing a problem here...
Out back the rhubarb is going great guns and the lilies of the valley have started to spear their way out of the ground.  I need to grab a rake to clear all the leaves etc. out of their way.  Maybe tonight, if it's not raining.

April 26--Alexander the Great, Silver Tetradrachm of Lisimachus of Thrace.

Silver disk of coin
profile carved on the heads side.
Money hasn't changed
in twenty-four hundred years.
Still round, still silvery,
still with a head on it,
only the jingle has changed. 

It might be going to rain today.  It might not.  Do I take my new coat which is water resistant and be too hot or wager that it won't rain and then get wet?  I guess I can carry the coat, can't I?  I never had this problem before I bought the coat and turned myself into a sort of grown-up.  Mrs. Boss called yesterday to ask me to pick up a whole bunch of tanks she took in for service on my way to work so I'd better wrap this up and get a move on.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Here, Birdies Birdies Birdies!

I checked the Hummingbird Migration Map last week to discover that at least one had been seen within fifty miles of here so the other day I got the feeder up, cleaned it up, made a batch of nectar, and got it out there.  Durwood expected a squadron of hummingbirds to pounce on it immediately but I warned him that we don't usually see them until the lilacs, apple tree, and honeysuckle bloom and none of them are close to blooming.  He sighed and went back to napping.

This morning's sky was a winner, I thought.  I love the moodiness of the sun glowing behind that wide band of clouds.  Makes my suburban neighborhood look all mysterious when, in fact, that tree's at the back of an office building parking lot with dumpsters just out of the frame.

I forgot to take a picture of the Spinach & Ham Scrambled Egg Muffins yesterday so you get to see them when they're all frosty and bagged instead of fresh and cooling.  Guess I don't wrap them in plastic wrap after all.  That must be why the ugly colored stuff has lasted so long.

I'm about a dozen rows from stopping the cap sleeve portion of this yoke then changing to a dark almost-navy purple for the body of the sweater but I've been knitting on it fairly steadily and my right hand's a bit achy.  I'll give it a rest today.

April 25--Thomas Sibley Cooper, Landscape and Cattle.

Two lie down,
two stand guard,
the bovine equivalent
of a street gang,
attitude rises off them
like heat haze.
No kaffe klatsch
of dairy cows,
these beef cattle
mean business.

Just five more days to Poetry Month and then it's back to stories or story parts anyway.  Look how tall the day lilies are getting.  It's a beautiful sunny day today.  Maybe I'll snag a grandkid later and go for a walk.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Laying in Supplies

When I made the breakfast burritos on Sunday morning I used the last bit of frozen diced bell peppers so it was imperative that I get myself to ALDI for a 3-pack of the multicolored ones for $2.99, which is a whole lot cheaper than colored peppers in "regular" grocery stores.  Then Durwood sat at the table, cleaned and diced them, spread them out on a waxed paper lined cookie sheet, and froze them.  Once they were little bell pepper ice cubes I gathered them up into a quart Ziploc bag and stashed it in the freezer door.  It's such a handy thing to have on hand.  Like when I was stirring together the scrambled egg muffins that are in the oven right now.  All I had to do was scoop out the amount I needed into the bowl.  Easy-peasy.  And I got another 3-pack for him to do later in the week so we won't run out anytime soon.  (god, I'm getting so old)

Speaking of getting old, I've been being frustrated by not being able to think of words lately so I made the decision to see if I could do the Sudoku and Jumble in the daily paper.  I have a fighting chance of finishing Monday's and Tuesday's puzzles but I'm hoping with practice I'll get better.  I'm going back to doing the daily crossword too.  Gotta keep those brain cells and neural pathways open and greased.

I'm just about done with the yoke of LC's little sweater.  The rows have gotten as long as they'll get and it's easy knitting, a real relief after that shawl.

April 24--Vincent van Gogh, Doctor Paul Gachet.

Velvet collar tucked up,
mis-buttoned navy wool coat,
squashed white hat,
the red-haired doctor
leans on his fist
the picture of delicate

All right.  Got my muffin things out of the oven and cooling on a rack.  I've got a yen for either a Danish or a brownie.  Do I go buy one?  One.  Do I bake and have a crapload of them?  Hmm, decisions decisions.  Oh and yes, Aunt B, that pink Reynolds Wrap is the very last of Mom's stash.  I only use plastic wrap for the breakfast things I make for Durwood so it's lasted a long long time.  I'm sure they don't make the icky colored stuff anymore, at least I hope they don't, and if they do, I'm not buying more.

Sunday, April 23, 2017


It took longer than I thought it would but I managed to get the three errant sock toe stitches caught and reknitted back to where they belonged.  Then I cut a short length of the remainder of the sock yarn, ran it through the remaining stitch and threaded the ends into and out of stitches along the side, top and bottom of the sock so it darned well better stay where I put it this time.  So there.

Today was Breakfast Burrito making day.  It's really a very easy and not too time consuming process, although I did use up all of the frozen diced bell peppers (so I made an emergency run to ALDI for a 3-pack so Durwood will dice and freeze them when he's done reading today's paper).  I think the most time consuming part of the entire operation is hand-shredding the cheddar cheese.  I'm not a fan of pre-shredded cheese; I think it has something on it to keep it from sticking together which makes it less melty and more plasticky, but that could just be me.

It was such a gorgeous day yesterday that I thawed out some chicken, marinated it, and grilled it on the patio.  While waiting for the coals to heat up I raked away all the leaves that had blown onto the patio since last fall.  Once again, for the second day in a row, the breeze managed to blow the smoke from the lighting charcoal exactly where I was so my clothing and I smelled like I'd been bathing in a campfire for the second day in a row.  I was just thinking that I should have moved the grill out onto the grass but I have a feeling that no matter where I put it the smoke will blow on me.  I am a smoke magnet.

I worked some more on the yoke of LC's sweater.  I kept thinking I'd be farther along but the pattern keeps telling me to almost double the stitches every 7th row or so.  That's okay, I'd rather this be something she'll wear for more than a year.

April 23--Henri Manuel, Claude Monet in his Studio.

Light caught on ripples
illuminates lilies
shyly peeking out
from pond grasses.
Paint communicates
the essence of the garden
without being too blunt
about it.

I heard a bluejay out back this morning for the first time in months.  Of course, the squirrels had emptied the peanut wreath so it never got anywhere near a place where I could take its picture but that means more birds are hanging around so maybe we'll see some strangers at the feeders.  I want to see bluebirds but all I get for my mealworms is grackles.  *sadly shakes head*

Saturday, April 22, 2017

An Interesting Question

Last night I was struggling with Row 125 of the Hempathy Brambling Shawl at Friday Night Knitting, tinking back because I forgot to k2tog (knit 2 together) at the end of yarn A and then M1R (Make 1 stitch that leans Right) at the beginning of yarn B.  I was also grumbling because each and every row of this pattern is different so there's no memorizing anything, no carefree "rest" rows, and I'm not even halfway through the increases (meaning halfway) so not even a quarter finished.  AP asked if I wanted the shawl and before my brain kicked in my mouth said, "no, not really." Huh.  I love the "idea" of it but I'm not loving, not even really liking, the making of it.  This is not a relaxing knit.  I have notes and Xes in places, Post-its dangling here and there, and a locking row counter, plus what's a "do this increase" row on one time through a clump of rows isn't necessarily a "do this increase" row on the next time through.  I guess what I'm saying is there all this thinking necessary and I'm not at all convinced that the end result will be worth it.  Since the needles aren't something I'll need for awhile (and I have others that size in case I do) I think I'll put it in time-out for a while.

So then this morning I cast on a little cap-sleeve cardi (wisteria for the yoke and sleeves, purple for the body) for LC that I've had the pattern for a while and the yarn for even longer.  It has a sparkle ply.  I think she'll like it.

I wish the grape hyacinths showed to their best advantage.  No matter which camera I use they fade into the background and lose their beautiful color--but here they are anyway.

Oh!  Here's a near tragedy.  I pulled out a pair of anklets this morning, put them on, and went about my day.  A couple hours ago I decided to put on sneakers to go outside and look!  A couple stitches decided to come unraveled.  I guess I dropped a stitch when I was decreasing for the toe and it ran down, turning into three stitches.  Good thing I caught it before tossing it into the washer, huh?  I'll use a tiny crochet hook to work them back up and do a little darning.  Whew.

April 22--Henri Manuel, Claude Monet in his Studio.

The old man bends over
reaches for a wide brush
to swirl on his palette.
Loaded with paint
it becomes water lilies
floating on blue-green canvas water.
Flowers grown from a shaky hand
bloom forever in the world's eye.

Even though I was a good two months late in my search for a spring coat (which Aunt B says is an archaic thing) I was lucky at my first stop.  Since Burlington used to be Burlington Coat Factory I thought I'd start there.  I asked a lady who turned out to be the manager about a spring coat and she led me to a rack of garish pink/magenta jackets.  "No," I said, "I'd like a coat."  "Oh," she swiped at her ankle, "a long one," and shook her head.  "Not a long coat," I said, "I'm way too round and way too short for a long coat.  I want something that falls between my butt and my knees."  She said they didn't have anything but we went across the store anyway, there were more of those hideous pink jackets.  I thanked her and turned around to leave only to be confronted with a Clearance rack and there it was.  A taupe spring coat, water resistant and washable, with a detachable hood.  Even better, it's one size smaller than I'd have tried on if there'd been a bigger one there.  Woohoo!  She said she had a 15% off coupon I could use.  Score!  Plus I found a couple more things on the Clearance rack.   Since I really don't like to shop I was thrilled to find what I wanted in the first place I went.  I have a spring coat.  I am a grown-up.

Friday, April 21, 2017

A Whole Lotta Lunches

I know I'm feeling better because I have been accomplishing things since I got up.  A couple weeks ago Pick 'N Save offered a box of 30 Oscar Meyer weenies for $5 so I picked it up thinking it'd be good for Durwood to eat with his beloved baked beans as lunches.  (He tends to skip lunch so I'm always on the hunt for temptations to get him to eat.)  He called me yesterday extolling the virtues of Eggo waffles (which was last week's breakfast temptation) and wondering what to have for lunch.  I suggested a hot dog in beans and he said he wasn't such a big fan of hot dogs.  I reminded him that he'd laid waste to a box of 30 a month ago and he said he'd eaten them only to be polite.  Seldom outmaneuvered, I offered to grill some hot dogs so he'd have some in reserve, didn't he like grilled hot dogs?  He loves grilled hot dogs (see? carrot and stick) so this morning I fired up the Weber (while filling birdfeeders with the grill upwind of the birdseed storage cans so now I smell like I spent the morning around a campfire), then tossed about half of the hot dogs on the fire for a few minutes.  Voila!  Instant lunches.  And there are 15 more in the freezer ready for the same treatment when this supply runs low.

Also while the charcoals were getting ready I dragged the birdie tree to the curb and took some pictures of new leaves, sprouts, and buds around the yard.

See the forsythia?  It's going great guns this year...

here's some iris spearing into Spring...

these tiny pink buds will grow up to make leaves, blossoms, and blueberries...

and the honeysuckle's making its leaves so the hummingbirds come back eventually.  (Gotta get up the nectar feeders so we can clean them because next weekend's when they go out.  I'll check the migration map to make sure.)

I didn't get much knitting done yesterday but I did have a pair of the coolest young men stop in the afternoon.  One of them's working as a diver for a treasure salvor in the waters off Jacksonville, FL for a year before going to school to learn to drive cruise ships and the other one's in flight school almost to his Instructor certification with a goal of flying charters in the Bahamas.  Who says young people don't have goals and the drive to achieve them?  Plus they were nice kids, funny and friendly too.  I wish I could tell their parents that, well, I can because one set of parents are divers.  But my faith in the "younger generation" got a booster shot yesterday.

April 21--Paul Cezanne, Still Life: Flowers in a Vase.

She picked peonies, roses,
lilacs, that one lily
tucked in a sunny corner
blooming ahead of the rest.
Pulled out the old blue vase
left by the previous tenants.
On the yellow table
she made grace, symmetry,

I'm off to find myself a spring coat this morning and then meet a friend for lunch. (thank god, I feel better)  But first I need to wash off the smell of campfire.  

Thursday, April 20, 2017

BRAT & Time Does the Trick

I'm feeling (almost) normal this morning.  One of my very first knitting friends recommended the BRAT diet with plain yogurt, so I looked it up and I was halfway there already.  (thanks a million, KD) It's Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast, a diet pediatricians recommend when patients have been throwing up or having the trots.  There was an explanation on the site but essentially all those foods are easy on touchy tummies and digestions and also have "firming" properties.  I added the yogurt to reintroduce healthy bacteria and found a reduced price loaf of honey oatmeal bread on the bakery cart so I'm not reduced to eating soft white bread,  Yuk.  (that's only acceptable in a pimento cheese sandwich--hmmm--no, Barbara, no! not until you're a whole lot better)  Here's a photo of my biggest clump of daffodils to clear your head from all the sick talk lately.

I got knitting on the Hempathy Brambling Shawl again yesterday.  I'd read a hint on The Lounge on Mason-Dixon Knitting about rolling up the dangling part of it so it doesn't snag the yarns quite so enthusiastically.  I had a couple coil-less pin markers in my bag and put them to use which made a world of difference in the annoyance and tangling departments.  This is the wrong side of the piece, look how tidy the line where the colors join is.  I suspect that my shawl will be more of a shawlette because this yarn isn't fluffy like the pattern yarn but I really love the way it's looking.  It'll be a long knit but it holds my interest.

It's extra-gray and drizzly today so the only picture I have for you is the sedum that's in the bed outside the patio doors.  It's one of the first perennials to sprout on the north side of the house.  I really like the gray green of the foliage.

April 20--Sandro Botticelli, La Primavera.

Every thing comes to life,
buds burst into bloom,
love comes to birds, beasts.
Every one shines with new light.
Winter does his best to stay,
his blue hands grasp the warming days
but they slip into Spring
without a backwards glance

I had a quick doc's appointment this morning before work, what they call a med check to make sure I'm taking all my meds correctly, that my BP is good (it's better than good, it's perfect), and to renew any Rxs that need it.  It takes all of 20 minutes and I think the peace of mind is worth leaving home a bit early.  Now I'm at work wondering if anyone will be thinking of diving on such a damp, chilly day.  Time will tell.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Feeling Slightly Better But Still Complaining

I discovered the secret to feeling better in the morning--don't eat supper, then there's nothing to get cramps about when you wake up.  I keep trying cheese for lunch, this morning I had plain Greek yogurt with a little honey, something has got to reestablish normalcy.  I'm tired of having Pepto as a meal chaser and an afternoon snack.  Tomorrow morning I have a doc's appointment (for another reason) so I'll consult on my continuing complaint.

This morning I noticed that the bleeding heart sprouted over the weekend.  Don't you love that bright green?  I also saw leaves on the honeysuckle when I walked next door to deliver some diaper coupons to the new mom so I guess it's time to grab some leather gloves and drag the birdie tree to the curb.

The rhubarb's going great guns.  I will not be eating any of that in the near future as one of my grandmothers called it "the spring tonic" by which she meant it cleans out your pipes when eaten in any quantity.  I'll pass.  *groan*  Sorry for that.

I'm a big fan of this orange centered daffodil.  Its trumpet is very short and ruffly and the petals are a pale creamy color.  I need to study up on other bulbs or plants that I can put across the front of the house so that once these flowers wither and die, which they do fairly quickly, others will come to take their place.

April 19--Paul Signac, The Harbor of St. Tropez

Hundreds, thousands
of brush tip-size dashes
in forty-seven shades of
blue, red, yellow, white
(no, I didn't count)
build the dynamic
action of a working harbor.
Impression of the scene
or the output
of a near-sighted and trembling

I'd like to spend an afternoon looking at that painting in person, but I'd have to go to some museum in Germany or maybe Poland and I'm kinda busy.  I finished the Helical Sock Sock last night.  It's a bit short in the foot but I AM NOT picking out the toe and reattaching three yarns.  It'll be fine.  Gotta run to the chiro to get my bones rearranged before work.  Toodles.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Not Sick Enough to Stay in Bed but Not Really Well

It's really hard to figure out an upbeat blog post when you're on Day 5 of some sort of flu.  Happily I don't have the nausea part, unfortunately I have the other part.  Pepto is my friend.

Focusing on complicated or even varying knitting instructions is beyond me so I've not knitted a stitch on the Hempathy Brambling shawl.  I got the Helical Sock Sock out a couple times over the weekend only to end up sleeping with it in my hands.  Feeling a bit better yesterday I worked on the sock only to discover that I'd dropped a stitch off the end of a needle about 5 rounds back.  Arrrgh.  But I nabbed the errant stitch with a little crochet hook, knitted my way to the spot where it belonged, then unknitted a stitch and hooked both of them back up and into their rightful places.  I wouldn't have noticed it for rounds and rounds but I'd decided that being halfway to the toe I should rearrange the stitches so that I wasn't in danger of putting the toe on sideways or something.  There were 16 stitches on two needles and 15 on one.  Uh-oh.  But glancing down there was a tiny tell-tale loop of yarn about a half-inch down so I sprang into action, and I didn't even swear--out loud.  Rearranging the stitches meant that the yarns were hanging off the middle of the needles instead of at the ends.  Not good.  So I set about knitting one extra stitch at each yarn switch (so that there was only a tiny, one stitch carry behind it) until I got the yarns to where I want them.  I felt pretty clever, still do.

We had birds visiting this morning.  When I first looked up there was a pair of goldfinches on this feeder but the less bright one flew away before I got a shot of the pair.

Then this male Downy Woodpecker came for a snack.  Isn't he handsome?

Oh!  I keep meaning to show you.  I got stopped by the first freighter of the season about a week ago.  That must mean that all of the Great Lakes ports are open.  I do love seeing the big boats even if they do sail right down across the road I want to drive on.

April 18--Anonymous, Officer of the Life Guards Cavalry Regiment.

He looks so aristocratic
in his bicorne hat
with its feathered cockade
beaded and beribboned.
The Double Eagle plaque
on his breastplate
signifies his fealty.
His slight smile,
shining eyes,
firm jaw convey
not hauteur
but pride.

Too bad nobody knows who he is or who painted him.  He's very handsome and heartbreakingly young.  Well, it was sunny and now it's all cloudy and gray.  It's kinda chilly too.  I'll be doing laundry for the rest of the day and sitting knitting.  Bah.  I hate feeling sick and I especially hate feeling sick for more than a day or two.