Monday, July 31, 2017

Sewing & Gardening...& Getting Scolded by a Robin

I got brave and asked Durwood to take a picture of me in my new dress and leggings so I could put it on Instagram and now I'm being even braver and putting it on here.  I think I look good it in but I think I also look older than I feel.  But I'm a grownup and I want to show you the modeled version of the clothes.  Also to prove that I did indeed sew the leggings, here they are getting hemmed.  All those years of making 2 swimsuits for every family member (back in the days when we had a pool in the backyard) have cured me of any trepidation sewing with knits on the sewing machine or serger.  (If you're ever putting elastic on my best advice is to stretch the garment and elastic pretty strongly in front of and behind the needle so that your stitches don't snap when the garment is stretched.)

The garden's looking very mid-summery, don't you think?  The weeds are flourishing around the edges and poking up through the landscape fabric (I don't know, those sprouts must be like daggers...) and there's tomatoes to be picked.  I like when the tomatoes are on the right side of the plants because that means I have to walk through the mint to get them and it smells great.  (I confess, I ate 2 cherry tomatoes on the walk into the house and I predict one tomato will be appearing in my lunch as soon as this is posted.)

I noticed that a woody vine had attached itself to the vanes of the air conditioner on the side of the house so I went around to pull it off.  As I bent down I heard a robin start chirping and scolding from close above my head.  I turned around and there she was on the wire with the feathers on her head puffed up.  I thought, ah, she's got a nest nearby and when I turned around and glanced into the branches of the forsythia look what I found.  I didn't hear any peeping but I'll be there're eggs in there.

I couldn't resist showing you this Stargazer Lily plant.  Doesn't it look like a coronet of flowers?  I'm really tempted to pick them but I hate picking flowers and making them die.  I'll just loiter around that part of the backyard to enjoy their beauty and fragrance.

I tried to write last night and was singularly uninspired so this is all you get.  It's Monday, what can I say?

Sunday, July 30, 2017

I Might Be on That Road Paved with Good Intentions...

Well, maybe I'm on the on-ramp.  I swore I'd get to blogging in the morning and I see I've got 20 minutes left before the morning is over, but here I am and if I type (and think) fast enough maybe I can hit "publish" before the clock strikes noon.  Maybe.

I was a good wife this morning (for a change) and helped Durwood work out a more understandable and less frustrating way of dealing with all the pills he takes.  We both got tired of him grunting, sighing, and muttering as he filled his pill minder on Sundays so I asked if it would help if I did it, consulting him as I did, of course.  He agreed, so we spent 45 minutes following his list (thank god I made a list a few months back) and rethinking his "time to call for refills" organization system.  It went much smoother and there was a whole lot less muttering.  I won't say that I didn't start over organizing all those little amber plastic bottles a few times but we got it done and no one cried.


Yesterday afternoon I finished the first Dress no. 1 (tunic length) and figured out where to put the pockets.  I kind of like that she didn't put marks where to put them but lets the maker decide whether they should be in front or more to the side.  Durwood and I agreed that more to the side was better, not that they're very visible on this busy print but they're there where the colored zigzags go sideways.

Then after supper I went downstairs again and whipped up a pair of capri-length knit leggings. to wear under the dress. (I love my serger)  I'm a big fan of Sonya's layered style so I'm going to make myself some layers and give it a go.  So far I think I love it.

I promised you birds and flowers today so here goes:  up top is the Bluejay hanging upside down working to get a peanut out, next is a Downy Woodpecker having a suet snack, and last is a very bright House Finch obviously determined to attract the ladies.

Now for the flowers:  the Purple Coneflowers are looking glorious and there's no other word than gorgeous for the Stargazer Lilies.  Fragrant, too.

 July 30--Max Bruckner, Scenery design for Das Reingold by Richard Wagner.  The mountains looked like dark ragged teeth in the distance.  Clouds, shredded by the wind, swept below the peaks.  No trees softened the sharp edges of rock and boulders tumbled down like runaway trains.  "You have got to be kidding."  Sue looked at John.  "Did you even see a picture of this?"  John shifted from foot to foot and didn't meet her eyes.  "Well, uh, I read a log of reviews on TripTalker, you know, that travel website.  A few of them had pictures of the cabins..."  His voice trailed off as a section of rock the size of an office building separated from the mountain with a crack that echoed down the valley toward them.  "Maybe it'd look better if the sun was shining," he said.  She slipped her backpack off her shoulder.  "It will look better from my room at the nearest Holiday Inn," she said as she shoved her pack into the SUV and climbed behind the wheel.  "You coming?"  He tripped over his feet in his haste to put his pack in the back and get into the passenger seat before she drove away.

I would not want to be riding in that vehicle, would you?  Well, I didn't get to hit "publish" by noon but I'm closer than I was yesterday and that's something, right?  A friend invited the Friday Night knitters over this afternoon because she wants to use her mother's lemonade pitcher and glasses.  I think that's an excellent reason for a get-together.  I should probably dress.  Maybe I'll wear my new clothes to show them off.  What a novel idea.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

I Need Organization--Or a Kick in the Slats

Okay.  It has now been four weeks since I retired and while I am definitely inching back into the real world and getting more things done, I still need to be taken in hand. That thought came to me while I was doing my morning yoga--for the first time in four days.  I need to stop sitting at the kitchen table until noon (or later) in my jammies reading the paper and doing the Jumble, Sudoku, and crossword.  My diet is a mess.  I'm not even showering on my "regular" days. I feel like I'm frittering away hours that could be productive and it's pissing me off.  Did you notice what happened yesterday?  I didn't blog, I didn't yog (yoh-g) either and I had no appointments of any sort, except for Friday Night Knitting after supper.  I did manage to get myself down to the sewing machines around 1 o'clock and get my first 100 Acts of Sewing Dress no. 1 assembled except for the pockets and the hem.  Big whoop.  I should have been down there all morning too, getting the dress/tunic done and maybe a pair of pants done too.  This has got to change.

I will be walking to the pool for Monday night water aerobics from now on.  (it's only two blocks, for the love of god) Blogging will be done in the morning (at least today I started in the morning).   I'm thinking about setting my alarm so I can get up and take a quick walk while it's cool out. (that's a real maybe, not setting an alarm was one of the lures of retiring when I debated whether to or not)   Happily August 1 is on Tuesday so I can spend tomorrow and Monday sitting with my Bullet Journal working things out.  I'll be charting a loose schedule, marking things I want to accomplish like starting to scan photos to CDs, so that I don't feel like days are flying away and I'm not getting anything done or even started.  And there will be no more candy or ice cream for a while.  WW meals will be planned and executed.  (I feel so much better when I eat that way, why do I ever go back to eating crap?  To quote OJ, "I no no!")


On my way to FNK I did remember to take the fruit and veggie peels from this week's soup making and fruit bowl filling over to the chickens and was rewarded with two fresh eggs.  Aren't they pretty?


Tomatoes!  I got to harvest more than one tomato today (maybe I'll get to eat one) and there are more Sweet 100s, the cherry tomatoes we like, getting ready to ripen.  I neglected to go out and tie the branches up earlier this week so I had to brace them with a shoulder while corralling them with a tie.  There's sure a lot of plant out there for tomatoes to hide under.  I broke down and bought slug repellent that I'll be applying tonight as per the directions.  Every one of the larger tomatoes has at least one slug bite but Durwood just washes the tomato and cuts them out. That's my Tomato Boy, he's hardcore. 

In other garden news the Butternut squash is making squashes like crazy.  I envision vats of yummy squash soup in my winter future.

Let's see, is that it?  Kick in the slats, whine about laziness, plan schedule, consider setting alarm, show off almost completed dress,, eggs, and garden... yep, that's it.  I'll save the birds and flowers for tomorrow.

July 29--Underwood and Underwood, Five Women in Swim Dresses on Beach Looking out to Sea.  They called themselves "The Fearless Five"--Clara, Amelia, Irene, Rita, and Bess.  They'd gone through school together, graduated high school the same year, and every one of them went on to earn a degree.  After all, they were living in the 20th Century where old ideas were dying and women were stepping up to take their rightful place in the world.  They had jobs, no, more than jobs they had careers.  Legal secretaries, schoolteachers, and one accountant--they were women of substance and no one was going to put them to shame for wearing leg-baring swim dresses that left their arms and shoulders exposed.  They even had their photo taken to celebrate the day. 

Oh, the other day OJ discovered Meemaw's notebook and what the pointy end of that pink tube clipped in it could do.  He was properly amazed at his find.  Now I'm off to finish my dress and sew up some pants.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Thursday Needs a New Press Agent

For some reason I find Thursday to be the quintessential nothing day of the week.  Maybe it's just me, maybe it's just the step-child of the calendar but not much noteworthy happens on my Thursdays lately.  Although Thursday June 29 was a pretty terrific day, being the last day I worked at a paying job.

I didn't get around to cutting out patterns until late yesterday afternoon and last night so I have nothing sewing-y to show you that isn't an oddly shaped piece of fabric.  I have high hopes for sewing things together tomorrow.  A concrete truck came this afternoon and sat there roaring and twirling its tank but no concrete came out the chute. (maybe it was constipated)  Maybe tomorrow.

I spied two Sweet 100s cherry tomatoes turning red.  There are a lot more green ones on the plant so I have high hopes of getting to taste a homegrown tomato in the near future.  (I could eat one of the three I've picked so far but Durwood loves them so much I figure I can wait.)

Two more Stargazer lilies were hiding in the bed along the lot line.  There're day lilies in there and milkweed and some thin-leaved weed that I can't seem to get rid of (not that I've really tried hard) but when I was out looking at the tomato plants I smelled them, looked over, and eureka! there they were.

While sitting in the shade on the patio this morning I saw movement below the birdbath.  This Downy Woodpecker was making its way around probing the fake bark looking for something to eat.  I hope it didn't hurt itself.

July 27--Byzantine, Christ Pantocrator.  Ella backed slowly through the crowd around the tour guide.  She wasn't moving backward so much as she was letting the people behind her get in front of her.  Kind of like a particle passing through a filter, she thought.  In the dead of the Wisconsin winter when the sky was a thick gray blanket of clouds for days on end, a guided bus tour of the Moorish influence on Spanish architecture sounded wonderful.  She imagined sun-drenched days, olive groves, and arched fretwork.  Instead she felt like she was on a forced march through every church or ruin the Moors had passed by in their occupation of the regions.  Her feet were tired and she was tired of the others on the tour.  They complained too much.

See?  I told you Thursdays are boring.  Tomorrow will be better.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

I'm Not The Only Gardener Around Here

I noticed this green sprout up on the retaining wall a week or so ago and didn't give it another thought until last night when I glanced out and thought, hm, that's corn.  Seems the squirrels or chipmunks have been planting the corn kernels they've nibbled off the cob corn we put out to try to keep them out of the birdseed.  It diverts them a bit but I'm amazed that a nibbled off kernel will sprout and make nice sturdy plants.  There are some in the lawn along the wall but those get mowed.  I'm leaving these alone and will watch to see how tall they get and if they make corn.

I was in a food mood yesterday.  See both ALDI and Meijer had fresh fruit on sale so I gathered some up and yesterday made this gigantic bowl of fresh fruit.  It's a pineapple, a quart of (questionable quality) strawberries, a pint of blueberries, 2 kiwis, and 2 mangoes.  Yum.  I buried a cup of it under this morning's yogurt and 1/4 cup of granola and it's worth every minute of peeling and chopping and slicing.

Then I used another pint of blueberries to make blueberry tartlets.  These are what I usually make for Pi Day (March 14, you know, 3.14...) since they're quick, easy and inexpensive, plus yummy, can't forget yummy.  I couldn't wait for mine to cool so I ate it warm but Durwood doesn't like warm or hot desserts so he hasn't had one yet, but he'll get to it.  Or I'll eat them all, one a day, for the next 5 days.

I'm possessed by the idea of making myself some clothes and I had a "20% off your entire purchase" coupon that expires today so I went off to Jo-Ann Fabrics to spend it.  I saw this orange linen/polyester blend fabric last week when I went to spend a different coupon but decided not to buy it.  I regretted it so was glad to see it still there and still 40% off (plus 20% more off at checkout, woohoo).  Then I found some dark denim with a little spandex in it and some cotton and Lycra to make cropped leggings to wear under the dress/tunic I want to cut out today.  There is no logic to my making cool clothes to wear now that I no longer work but it's something I want to do and a way I'd like to dress so now that I have the time I'm going for it.

Today TWO tomatoes were ripe for the picking.  Do you think I'll get a taste of one of these?  Maybe, if I'm fast enough.

July 26--Paul Gauguin, Bonjour, Monsieur Gauguin.  That man in the camel coat was walking his dog past her house again.  Sylvie wondered why he came this way.  Hers was the third last house on the dead end and beyond was a busy rail yard.  Not the place to walk a dog.  Now, in the other direction there was a nice park with flowers in spring and lovely trees where the little dog could chase squirrels and maybe find a child to play with.  Sylvie thought that the camel coat was too nice to wear in a rail yard.  Grease from engines would be hard to remove.  "Bonjour, monsieur," she said as he passed but he grunted and kept walking.  The day was damp and her hands fumbled with the broom.  The autumn leaves stuck to the walkway refusing to budge as she swept her way to her gate.  The neighbors would gossip if she didn't keep up with keeping the place presentable.  Giles always had kept it so nice.  She was surprised at how much work it was.

Congratulations, Monsieur Gauguin, for painting something besides bare-breasted Tahitian girls who look like they'd rather be anywhere else but where they are.  Nice colors, too.  Time to limber up Mom's good shears and cut some fabric.  My plan is to cut out a few things so I will be able to sew and sew without having to cut in between projects.  Ooh, the other lily bud opened.  Adios.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

It Tastes Better Than It Looks

My dearest Aunt B (for whom I really write this blog every day although the rest of you are more than welcome to read it too) commented on yesterday's post that she thinks my Chicken & Greens soup looks suspect, kind of swampy.  I agree that it isn't the prettiest soup on the steam table, but it's made of rotisserie chicken bones steeped in chicken broth to extract all of the flavor, a pound of greens (mustard greens this time), the biggest bag of spinach Dole sells (about 9 cups), a dozen chopped baby carrots, 2 giant onions diced and caramelized, a little bit of rice for body, salt, pepper, cayenne (just a pinch).  Once it's at this point you/I whir the daylights out of it with the stick blender until it's all pureed (you can use a regular blender to puree it in batches but that just makes more dishes to wash).  Then you tip in all of the chicken meat from the bird and add a tablespoon of lemon juice at the finish to bring all the flavors to life.  The recipe says you can use any greens, even broccoli, but I've gotta tell you this is the soup I want in the middle of the gray and frigid winter as it tastes like an infusion of chlorophyll right into your bloodstream.  It's pretty darned good as a quick summer lunch too with some nice fresh fruit on the side.  Further proof that you can't judge a book/soup by its cover.  (defensive?  who me?)

Our street has been alive with jackhammers, diggers, and dump trucks today.  The construction company is getting ready to fix all the broken curbs and gutters.  We seem to have the biggest incursion into the lawn because we are the proud possessors of what may possibly be the only manhole in the city that's in someone's lawn instead of in the street.  Gah!

I added a few rounds to Pink Rebel Girl Hat #3 last night.  I know it doesn't look much bigger than the last time I showed it to you but after supper KW and I went over to Colburn Pool (a block from here) for a free water aerobics class.  It was a blast.  There were over 100 people there and we spent 45 minutes jogging and punching and lunging and jumping and flailing.  So. Much. Fun.  It'll be every Monday evening until the end of August and it's FREE.  (no pictures were taken; you're welcome)  They're having free Tai Chi in an east side park on Thursday nights and I'm sorely tempted to go and try it.  Depends on the weather.  

Look at these lilies.  Aren't they gorgeous?  And they smell even better than they look, if you can believe it.  (I totally need to get out there to hack the mums down so they bloom again in fall)

July 25--Francesco Botticini, Tobias and the Angel.  He had on skin-tight black leather pants, a flowing black shirt, and red shoes.  Not red sneakers, red evening slippers in soft calfskin with gold embroidery on the foot.  He was gorgeous.  He was also dead.  "No one that good-looking should be dead," Gino said.  His partner, Wilson, stood staring down at the contorted body, his hands in his pockets.  "What the hell difference does that make?  Every day ugly people and pretty people die.  Young people die and old people die."  Wilson rocked back on his heels.  "You, Gino, have the weirdest ideas I've ever heard."  Gino folded his arms across his muscular chest.  "I don't say that pretty people are always nice, you won't hear me say that.  I just think murder is no way to deal with a person's issues about another person's appearance."  "And what makes you think this guy's looks are a factor in why someone killed him?"  Gino pointed with his elbow.  "Just look at him, he's gorgeous and I don't even play on his team..."  Wilson flung up his hands.  "You think you can tell his orientation just by looking at him?"  He shook his head and turned away.  "I need a drink."

Ooh, I like that.  I hope Gino and Wilson come back to visit again.  And now I'm going to get dressed (what?? I'm retired) and go spend a coupon on some black knit fabric to make some leggings.  Maybe JoAnn's has some cotton and lycra, that's what I'm hoping for.  See ya.

Monday, July 24, 2017


The Stargazer lily is opening.  Hooray!  Look how gorgeous it is--and I don't even like pink.

Speaking of pink the Pink Rebel Girl Hat #3 is getting knitted on.  I was tired enough last night--again--that I only managed a half-dozen rounds but every one counts.  Later today I have to search online for a charted alphabet so once the hat is done I can get to work putting the DIL1-invented Rebel Girl mantra on.  She and LC say that Rebel Girls are: Strong, Smart, Kind, and Brave.  Good words to have on a hat, I think.

The sole surviving hosta up on the retaining wall in back is in bloom.  Hosta leaves are so pretty I forget that they blossom until the first little lavender trumpet opens.

I learned why half of the butternut squash blossoms fall off without making a squash; it's because they're the male ones.  The female ones, like this one, start growing a squash under their blossom.  Pretty cool info, huh?

While admiring the squash blossom I saw a hint of red-orange in the Celebrity tomato plant.  Durwood's excited and I am too, I might get a bite of this one.

Yesterday afternoon I made a batch of Chicken Soup with Mustard Greens and Spinach.  It's my adaptation of a Green Soup recipe I cut out of Reader's Digest a few years back and the Fast Chicken Soup recipe I've used for years.  I found that not having any protein in the soup didn't help it "stick to my ribs" through a workday so I kind of combined the recipes.  It's especially good in the winter when there's nothing green and fresh to eat, but a cup of it makes a great summertime lunch too.

July 24--Katsushika Hokusai, South Wind, Clear Sky or "Red Fuji"  When the wind blew from the south all of the clouds blanketing Mt. Fuji blew away in tatters before it leaving the mountain out for all to see.  Wan Li watched the way the light changed the mood of the mountain.  His field was far enough away that he saw Fuji-san, as he liked to think of it, from top to bottom.  He liked to see the way the shifting light cast shadows that revealed valleys and ridges, then disappeared as the sun changed position.  He told no one but he had always thought that the mountain knew him too.  It visited him in his dreams and it spoke to him with rumbled and sent smoke from its peak when it had important things to say.

I'm off to meet a new writer friend to see if we want to start up a little, two-person writing group.  I'm excited.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

No, I Haven't Fallen Down a Hole

I've been very very busy.  Very busy.  On Friday I had to gather up, edit, and print out the poems I was thinking of reading that night and on Saturday.  (god forbid I'd have gotten that done ahead of THE day)  Then Durwood had to patiently listen to them and say that I'm a genius and that I should read them all. (there was only one that he didn't like, not exactly helpful in thinning them out)  Since I had 45 minutes of total reading time in the three sessions, I read each one, timed it, and put them all in a folder in sort of an order.  When it came time to read I opened the folder and started at the top.  It worked out, I only had to repeat three poems from Friday night to fill the last 15 minutes.  The audiences weren't large, poetry doesn't really draw a crowd, but people laughed when I hoped they would and applauded.  I enjoyed it and will volunteer if asked again next year.

I picked the first tomato on Friday.  Duwood made it go away in the blink of an eye.  I'll get a bite of the next one.

Also on Friday the barricade barrel showed up by the pink painted part of our curb and gutter.  The contractors plan to start on fixing them on Monday.  I'm just happy that our fix isn't the end of our driveway because then the cars would spend a week on the street and it'd be extra hard for Durwood to go anyplace.

The poetry readings weren't the only things keeping me busy.  Durwood's brother and sister-in-law came for a visit (stayed at the Holiday Inn so we didn't have to fling things down the basement stairs so they could get in the door) so all of yesterday was taken up with marathon visiting.  The guys stayed at the motel and she came with me to my readings.  We had a bit of time to wander through some shops between readings and then got back in time for them to go to Mass, then we took them to a good old Wisconsin supper club.  They left early for their long drive home so today is a day of rest.  Sorta.  Well, we all know that I'm not good at sitting still.  I went to Aldi for fruit and to Meijer for greens to make a cauldron of chicken soup and take advantage of their "10 for $10" specials on yogurt and Durwood's favorite canned soup.  I might have also gotten the makings of blueberry tartlets.  (hey, blueberries were 3 pints for 5 bucks, I couldn't leave them there and those tiny pie shells aren't very expensive)

How hot and humid is it?  This is how the patio door looked when I opened the drapes this morning so it was still hot enough and humid enough to fog up the cool glass.  I guess there was a storm last night and it just rained for about 10 minutes like it didn't intend to stop.  Thank god for air conditioning.

Look, there are buds on the sole surviving stargazer lily.  I can't wait until they open.  Won't be long now.

I didn't write the prompt Friday night or last night, I was just too bushed so I'm putting on one of the poems I read.

July 23--Barbara Malcolm, Expensive Pie

April evening chill filled the house where
furnace heat was meant to be.
A tap on the thermostat brought
sound but no fury.  Without a pilot light
nothing to be done but call Mr. Fix-it.

He came, his "after hours" clock
ticking, wiping his interrupted dinner
on his sleeve.  Explaining I had a meeting,
I urged him to hurry--and went upstairs.
Called back almost immediately
my hope soared, only to be squashed
by a lecture on frequent filter changing.
"Is that the problem?"  "No."  "Then keep working."

Too soon he trudged upstairs
sorry that no broken doodad or
fizzled thingamajig was found.
"I have to check the pipes."
Before his heels disappeared
outside, his voice floated back,
"Come out here.  You're not gonna believe this."

When I heard his words, I knew.
A humongous bright green leaf
of the rhubarb plant transplanted from
my Indiana grandmother's garden
had grown tall and suffocated the furnace.

Would you like a piece
of $165 rhubarb pie?

Before I go to make the soup, here are some daisies to brighten your day.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Lookee Here!

Every morning when I wake up I go out to check on the garden first thing.  I tuck my camera in my pocket so I can capture anything I want to share with you or Durwood.  Look what I saw this morning.  It's an Early Girl tomato getting red.  I am absolutely sure that it's reddening because LC gave it a hefty drink the last time she was here.  I showed Durwood the picture and I think he's already making toast for his first garden-grown tomato sandwich.

The daisies and bee balm are going great guns.  I just love that happy sea of white petals and yellow centers with the pops of red bee balm.  The purple coneflower (aka echinacea) is kind of lost on the side but I like it too.  (don't want it to give up the ghost because it feels unloved)  I need to dig up some daisies and plant them around the yard because they're
encroaching on the asparagus and we can't have that now,
can we?  No, we can't.

I caught the butternut squash vine making a break for it, heading toward the tomatoes but I caught it and threaded it back into the fence.  You've gotta watch 'em every minute.  They're sneaky and fast.

The first item on yesterday's to-do list was to get the new traverse rod unboxed and put up.  I had a moment of panic when I took it out of the box because it was a center-draw rod and I need a single draw one.  But before I went into total panic mode I read the instructions (don't be shocked, I'm an inveterate instructions reader) and there were the steps to turn a center-draw rod into one that draws from either end.  I was very pleased that the holes in the new, white brackets were spaced the same as the old brown ones and I was extra pleased to remember that I have a battery powered screwdriver.  (Durwood was less pleased as he was trying to listen to a TV show at the time but he got over it when he saw how hard I was working.)  It took a while but I got it up and working.  Hooray me!

Durwood's youngest brother's wife (sister-in-law in the spirit of brevity) called yesterday morning to say that none of the weekend dates I'd sent them worked for them but they'll be in Chicago for a funeral this Friday so they thought they'd just drive up for the weekend after that, okay?  Hm, well, considering I have three poetry readings to give this weekend in a new arts festival (Artour) I was a little hesitant to say okay but when I mentioned it she said they'd be in later on Friday night so we could meet them after my 6:15 reading, then we'll leave Durwood with BE at the motel on Saturday afternoon and she can come with me for my 12:45 and 2:45 readings.  That'll work.  Then DS and DIL1 are coming to the motel with LC and OJ for a short visit after naptime which will probably coincide with our return from poem-ing.  The the kids'll leave because they have lives too and we'll go some place yet to be determined for supper.  On Sunday they'll drive away.  *pant, pant*  Should be interesting.
I can't do a blog post without a sky picture.  This was last night's sunset.  I love it when I look out and the whole world has turned a golden peach color.  That's when I grab my little cheap digital camera and head out into the middle of our (un-busy) street to capture this.  Ahhh.

After supper I sat on the couch to cast on and knit the brim of Pink Rebel Girl Hat #3.  It's the smallest one so it went fast.  Next I have to chart or find a chart of letters so I can buckle down to duplicate stitching the words onto the hats before the snow flies.

July 20--Vincent van Gogh, Landscape at Dusk.  The couple walked through the orchard.  The sky ahead of them was a deepening blue while behind them the horizon blazed with the last orange light of sunset.  The daytime hum of bees in the fruit trees was replaced by the songs of frogs and the sawing of crickets.  As it got darker their pace increased and he began to wish he had a flashlight.  The village lights were behind them and the rising room was so slim it cast no light on their path.  The sound of a barking dog echoed down the valley, somehow making it seem even darker.

While doing yoga this morning my focus was distracted by this pair of cavorting chickadees and after they left a monarch butterfly sat on a Slinky coil opening and closing its wings.  The butterfly was a much better yoga focus than those zippy chickadees, I'll tell ya.  I will confess that I interrupted the flow of my practice to snap these photos but since I've been not doing yoga for about a week I thought doing it with an interruption or two was way better than not doing it at all.  Rationalize much, Barbara?  And I just found out in an email from our neighborhood assn. chairman that there's free water aerobics in the pool a block away on Monday nights.  There's Tai Chi in a park tonight too.  I might do that instead of going to knit... I need to get off my duff and get moving to slough off the last of my funk.  *nods confidently*