Saturday, September 30, 2017


When I stepped outside to look at this morning's sky it was bright blue and there was a glowing white line of clouds right above the trees in the distance so I stood on tiptoe and held the camera high so it'd show up on the picture.  As you can see, it doesn't, dagnabbit.  It was a might chilly out there too.  I stalled until 8:30 before going out to do yoga on the patio and the temp had only risen to 48.  It was a bit nippy but I so enjoy doing my yoga outside I'm willing to be a little cold to be out in the fresh air and birdsong--although I did get a stern lecture from a chipmunk while out there.  Evidently I had invaded his space.  Sorry, dude, I moved as quickly as I could without hurting myself.

I got the homegrown homemade tomato sauce ladled out into 1 cup portions (5 cups exactly) and into the freezer so Durwood can use the vacuum sealer to keep it fresh.  It's much easier to store sealed bags of food popped out of these not-very-durable Glad keepers.  The Glad things aren't meant to be permanent storage so if they get dropped, they crack and shatter which isn't good for the contents.  Not good at all.  I'm very proud of my little batch of sauce.  Durwood offered to order a half-bushel more tomatoes so I can make a lot more.  I thanked him but declined.

An inexpensive, Walmart-purchased, all-plastic Cabbage Patch baby lives here and LC informed me that "Austin needs new diapers, Meemaw. This one's broken."  She's right, the one that came with him is made from some cheap fabric that isn't enduring the on and off of its Velcro closure.  Happily when I was paging through the 101 Little One Yard Wonders book/patterns I have, there was a doll layette with a pattern for a diaper and it might have one for the shirt too, although I can draw off a shirt pattern (no elastic to contend with) much more successfully than when I tried to trace the diaper for a pattern.  I thought I'd make two diapers, one from each pattern of fabric, lined with the white flannel for durability, and make a shirt to match each.  So, would that be a present for LC or for Austin, the doll?

Bluejays prefer the peanuts but when the squirrels had made off with all of the nuts one bluejay got resourceful and commandeered the squirrel's corn.  It flies in, does some acrobatics moves to get a kernel, drops down to eat it, flies up for another, then flies away, only to return for a repeat performance over and over.  I'm glad it's found the corn and I'm glad the squirrels seem to be leaving it alone.  Right behind the squirrel corn is the cornstalk with the two ears that are getting plump.  I suspect that it's too late for it to really mature but Durwood and I are enjoying watching it grow.

September 30--Emile Bernard, Breton Women with Parasols.  The sun was like a blade that cut through her right down to the bone.  Cecilia could feel the sun's rays pounding on her head and back.  Sweat rolled down her spine and soaked her clothing.  She didn't know when she had been so uncomfortable.  She heard her mother's voice in her head that morning reminding her to take her parasol.  She hadn't paid attention and now she was sorry.

Okay, well, that's pathetic but in my defense I don't think I've ever seen such a quartet of sourpusses in one painting.  Wherever those women were that day or how they felt was not happy, no sirree, not happy at all.  Just looking at them demoralized me and put me right to sleep.  Today I'm going to see if I can find some fabric to use to make LC's bag with all it's beads and bobs as promised.  Wish me luck.

Friday, September 29, 2017

A Quick One

I was too distracted and busy to post yesterday and today promises to be the same but I thought I'd try to hit the high spots.

We've got wildlife on our doorstep, as usual.  

I finally managed to capture the bluejay swooping in to cadge a peanut.  They're so fast--zoom, in and away--so I have lots of shots of a peanut wreath with nary a bird.  I delete those.

I try to put a little pile of cracked corn on the patio for my small distraction and really enjoy seeing them stuff their cheek pouches beyond all imagining.  How do they do it?  Once I saw one shove an entire peanut in the shell in there.  Boggles my mind.

Chipmunks are high on OJ's list of fascinating animals and I was thrilled to find a stuffed one at Beach People last week.  He liked it, once he figured out that it wasn't a real "munk munk."

All of the little birds and chipmunks cleared out in a quick hurry when this bruiser arrived at the top of the apple tree to check for snacks.  It stayed a few minutes and flew off after some hapless prey, chased from the tree top by a territorial squirrel.

In boring yarn news, I've been exclusively knitting on Sudoku Long Strip #2 and figure I'm about halfway.  It's really true that if you knit on something it gets done.  Imagine that.  I promise that I'll keep being monogamous and not start another thing until it's done.  Cross my heart (and no, my fingers weren't crossed).

Although I will confess that I spent some time with the tape dispenser last night and put together the pdf version of 100 Acts of Sewing's Shirt No. 1.  She has her first Creativebug class online about making variations to this pattern and I'm banking on those techniques being applicable to the Tunic and Dress patterns I already own.  I will watch the class videos over the weekend, I will.  But I promise not to get too deeply into sewing up a Shirt No. 1 until the Sudoku strip and LC's fancy purse are both done.  Really.

September 29--Andrea del Sarto, Head of a Child Laughing.  It was a musical laugh.  Infectious too.  Thea couldn't help but smile when she first heard it but after a while the laughter took on a shrill tone that made the hairs on the back of her neck stand up.  She wanted to find the child and make it stop.  The sound came from the stairwell.  Up or down, she wasn't sure, and she didn't know any of the people in the building so she couldn't discuss it with a neighbor or find out where it was coming from and how long it had been going on.  She stepped into the stairwell and immediately wished she'd brought a flashlight.

Okay, time to get a move on if I want to get my lo-o-o-o-ong list of chores accomplished today.  Toodle-oo.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017


You guys, I just got an email from Ann Shayne of Mason-Dixon Knitting telling me that I won Kay's Stash in their Great Stash Giveaway contest!  Eeeeeeeee!  Since I was away last week without internet I had a blue-million emails to sort through.  By Monday I had weeded out the chaff and had only the good stuff to read.  About mid-afternoon I opened the one referencing the contest, clicked over to the site, saw the yummy prizes, and proceeded to enter.  My entry was #1500-something.  I figured I had a snowball's chance in you-know-where to win but win I did.  I cut and pasted the pictures of the stash I won so I could take its picture and put it on here--also so I can moon over it when I'm away from the computer.  (I know, I'm a dork)  I've been being so good about not buying yarn, I didn't stop at Spin, the yarn shop in Door County on my way up to The Clearing or on my way home.  This is my reward.

On Sunday I went to Joann Fabrics to find some fleece and fur because OJ is a huge fan of the Muppet, Animal, singing "Mahna Mahna" so I'm making him an approximation of an Animal puppet for Christmas.  I snapped some screen shots of the YouTube video that are very blurry but I think I've seen it enough I can figure it out.  I've got a puppet pattern that I used last Easter so I'll just use that even though the mouth won't open.  I'm especially excited about the fur I found for his hair.  Animal has floating orange feather hair; Joann didn't have anything like that but they did have a bolt of some long fake fur in a peachy color.  I nearly had a stroke when I saw that it's $44.99/yard but I could buy just an inch.  Whew.  So have a strip of it 1" wide and about 45" long. I figure I'll piece it if I need to.  Animal has light purple skin and is wearing a lime green shirt in the video and he has a big pink nose.  I've got some pompoms that will work for the nose.  Now all I need to figure out is the sunglasses.  This is going to be fun.

I've noticed the last few times I've seen OJ that he likes to put bag handles over his arm so this morning while the laundry flopped around I dug out some things and whipped up this little bag for him.  It's about 8" square and the handles are long enough that he can put them on his shoulder or carry it as is.  I hope he likes it.  LC and I discussed what she'd like in a bag.  Since we'd just read Fancy Nancy she wants beads and flowers and butterflies and feathers and maybe jewels so I found all kinds of interesting things on the sale racks at Joann.  I'll be seeing what fabric I have on hand and work up a bag a bit bigger than OJ's man bag (murse?) because it's going to have all kinds of embellishments.  Which are going to need to be sewn on by hand but I'm looking forward to it anyway.  This weekend, I'll make a start.


I slept until 6:30 this morning (hallelujah!) so I wasn't mad which means that I got out to do yoga on the patio just as the sun started rising.  And just as I finished this long strand of Canadian Geese came honking by.  Today the humidity and heat are gone and it feels right for late September in Wisconsin, finally.

September 27--Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida, The Port of Valencia.  The sun rose like a flaming ball bathing the harbor and all the boats in fiery red light.  "Red sky at night/sailor's delight..." Cinta said under her breath.  "Red sky at morning/sailors take warning," she finished with a sigh.  Not the happiest thought when you are on your way to board a tour boat.  She consoled herself that they weren't going far, just up the coast to see an old fortress from the sea, then back into port for a lecture and lunch.  It wasn't going to be a long sail; the brochure said three hours.  As the thought crossed her mind the Gilligan's Island theme song began running though her head.  Maybe she should decide right now whether she wanted to be Ginger or Mary Ann.

It's time to go do something with the salmon marinating in the fridge.  I see boiled baby reds in our future too.  And I need to go down to fling the last load of wash into the dryer.  Bye.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Enough is Enough

Remember how I waxed rhapsodic about waking up at 6 o'clock without an alarm so I could greet the dawn doing yoga on the patio?  Yeah, I got over that real fast when my bladder woke me up at 5 o'clock this morning and my brain said, "no more sleep for you!"  I tried, people, I really tried to sink back into the Land of Nod but it was no dice.  I was so peeved that I didn't take a picture of the morning sky and I didn't do yoga until after 8:30.  Wake me up an hour early, I'll show you who's boss.

The other day I disassembled the fountain because it's leaky.  I figure that a toddler's tender handling plus all the wildlife that bathes in and drinks from that top saucer warrants an extra rubber washer.  Do you think I could find a similar washer at Home Depot?  I could not.  So I bought some o-rings with the same inside diameter and stacked them on when I reassembled the thing.  No good.  Do you see the steady stream of water drops?  Somehow the o-rings make it leak worse.  Maybe if I go to the fountain department at a place like Menards (*sigh* I hate Menards) they'll have the kind of flat rubber washer I need.  Maybe this weekend I'll park my dislike of the place and go.  Maybe.

On the plus side of things, look at this bowl of gorgeous tomato sauce.  I cooked up a bit of onion, some bell pepper, celery, carrot, and a handful of parsley to toss in too.  After tonight's supper pizza bakes I'll lower the oven temp and let the sauce reduce in there (so it doesn't scorch on the bottom of the pan on the stove).  Later or tomorrow I'll portion it out and freeze it so we'll have yummy homegrown tomato sauce to brighten our winter meals.

The biggest plus of all is that after I got my hair cut I took myself and my writing stuff over to The Attic Books & Coffee, parked myself at a table in front of the window, and worked on the next chapter of The Seaview.  I didn't take my laptop so I still have to retype it but my aim today was to rewrite the beginning of the chapter because I changed the lead up to the big romantic scene which is where I'm at.  Awkward.

September 26--Ottoman, Helmet (Shishak)  The man's face was obscured by the visor but his eyes gleamed amber from the copper and steel helmet.  He wore the heavy thing like a crown.  His horse was the same copper color and stamped its hooves as if eager to leap into action.  I knew that this was a show, an act, but something about it felt real.  Maybe it was the smell of horses and sweat.  Maybe it was the wine drunk from footed metal cups, the armor, and fair maidens corseted and dressed in satin and velvet.  I waited for a cellphone to ring or some other piece of technology to break the spell but it didn't happen.

Can you believe that this is the last week of September already?  Me neither.  It's been hotter than the hinges of Hades for the last week but it looks like it's puckering up to rain soon so maybe that'll push that hot and humid off to the east and leave us with more seasonal weather.  Fingers crossed.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Birds & Tomatoes

This morning I did my yoga on the patio again *pats self on back* because in the not-too-distant future it's going to be too cold or too wet to be out there saluting the sunrise.  I am glad (really, I am) that I set my alarm for 6 o'clock every morning last week so I could get up and yog plus have time for my roomie, cda, and I to not have to tussle over whose turn it is in the bathroom because I've been awakening (with a little help from my bladder; God bless middle-aged plumbing) just before six the last two mornings without the assistance of a buzzing alarm.  It's so civilized to get up before sunup, put on some yoga pants and a camisole, grab my mat, go out, plug in the fountain, unroll my mat and start my practice just as the first rays spread across the sky.  Then I come in, make coffee, write in my Bullet Journal, and read the paper like a grown-up.  I am very much enjoying not having to zip off to work anymore.  Still miss the paycheck but we can't all be like congressmen and get paid in perpetuity.  (not bitter, no, not me)

Birds!  I was thrilled to see this little female hummingbird at the feeder after I'd gone inside.  She had a nice long drink and then flew around so I got some action shots.


Then I noticed this gray bird that kind of blended into the drying grass pecking around over by the garden.  I was amazed when I cropped the photos to see that it's some kind of woodpecker.  It never came over to the feeders so I'll have to dig out a bird book to see exactly what kind of woodpecker it is.  Maybe it's a flicker but I'll check to be sure.

Yesterday was tomato harvest day.  In the morning I picked an ice cream pail full of WI 55 heirloom tomatoes.  In the evening while the charcoal got going I picked a big bowl of Sweet 100s cherry tomatoes.  This morning I cut up all of last week's leftover tomatoes on the counter and most of the WI 55s to put into the microwave to cook, then this afternoon I'll put them through the sieve and cook it down to thicken it a bit.  I'm thinking I should cook some onions, celery, parsley, and bell pepper to put through the sieve too and make some tomato sauce to brighten our winter cooking.  What a good idea.  Do that, Barbara.

When I walked down to the bluff to write last week I was amazed to see a pretty big tree that had been growing over a limestone slab had fallen in a storm.  I could see the underside of the tree and its roots and was amazed that it had grown to the size it was basically sitting on a rock with only a few roots snaking down into the soil.  Isn't nature amazing?  Of course the fallen tree let in more light so there's a little fir tree growing up right where I didn't want it to be but I figure you get the idea.

September 25--Hans Thomas, Summer in the Black Forest, Germany.  The four men in the field worked like a machine.  Three of them swung their scythes and the fourth raked and bundled the cuttings.  Greta thought what they cut was some kind of grain but she didn't know if it was people food or animal food.  She supposed that it didn't really matter, they probably treated the cut stalks the same way.  One of the men shouted and she looked up ready to rebuke him for calling out to her but then she saw the slash of red across his white shirt and watched as his knees buckled as he fell.  One of the other men stood stock still, face pale and blood glistening on the blade of his scythe.  For a moment Greta thought that it was his own blood draining from his face and dripping from the blade.  That made no sense.

Here's the view from the bluff.  Wouldn't you find this an inspiring place to write?  Twelve women sure did last week.  Stay cool.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Hoo-Boy, What A Week!

Yesterday I loaded all my dirty clothes, my writing stuff that had been gone through and worked on, and a few new items (earrings and soap for me, presents for the little people of my heart), then drove straight home to see what Durwood was up to (sleeping, of course).  I was happy to be coming home--mostly because there's air conditioning in my car and the weather decided to turn up the humidity and temperature until it was stifling up there on the bluff and there's no a/c in the dining room or the cabins.  There wasn't even a breeze and there's always a breeze up on the bluff.  It was so hot and humid that cda and I even slept with the door open Friday night.  We had the screen door locked, of course--not that the bogeyman can't get through a screen door but that little click made us both feel safer.  (tsk, girls)

The coolest thing that happened was that I got to the point in my rewrite where I ran out of rewritten manuscript sent to my Kindle Fire which means that there's about a third of it (maybe only a quarter) that needs re-typing (not cutting and pasting which doesn't do anything to improve the writing) then that will get sent to the Kindle for rereading and rewriting and fleshing out.  See, if I read it on the computer or on a printout I don't have the objectivity that I have when I read it on the Kindle because on that little screen it reads like a "real" book.  Hey, whatever gets you through, right?

Another cool thing was that I took my yoga mat out onto the little porch outside our cabin and did my morning yoga out in the fresh air, listening to the birds and trees.  I enjoyed it so much that I did yoga out on the patio this morning.  Why didn't I think of doing that when it got warm in the spring?  I have no idea but you can bet that I'll be out there until it's too cold or too wet from now on.

I took my Alphasmart (which I don't think they make anymore) down to the council ring right on the edge of the bluff one afternoon to write a new scene and found my usual writing rock occupied--by a cute little (well, not that little) ribbon garter snake.  I respected his right to the spot and sat on the stone ring to write.  I still had that glorious view of the bay so it was all good.

I wore all my handmade tops and shirts and felt very proud of myself all week.  What was even better was that the tunic-length Dresses No. 1 are sleeveless so I could wear them without a shirt underneath and be reasonably comfortable.  Okay, not cool but not quite ready to die from the heat.  Thank god for the crushed ice machine in the Root Cellar to fill water bottles with quickly melting ice to drink.  (I don't think I've ever gotten up to pee so many times a night, not since my last pregnancy anyway, but keeping icy cold water at hand helped me stay a little cooler)  I wore the mesh overshirt over a sleeveless tee one day and was amazed at how much warmer it made me.  Who'd a thunk it?

 September 24--Camille Pissarro, Apple Harvest at Eragny-sur-Epte.  Jean looked at the branches of the apple tree than hung over her fence.  Her neighbor Randy never sprayed or pruned his tree so it grew wormy, misshapen apples that dropped into her yard, rotted, and drew hornets, wasps, and bees.  She didn't really mind the autumn influx of pollinators but she hated getting stung.  Before the fruit all fell and rotted she went out with a five-gallon  pail and a leaf rake that she used to pick apples from the higher branches.  Even though the apples weren't great for eating, they made excellent applesauce.  She never peeled the apples so her sauce was a lovely deep pink color.  She also made sure to share a few jars with Randy in payment for his apples, which would have gone to waste if she didn't use them.

This morning Durwood and I were sitting at the kitchen table when he said, "Hawk."  I turned to see the sharp-shinned hawk sitting on the birdbath looking around for a snack.  It only stayed long enough for me to take a few pictures and start the video function.  In only a few seconds it flew off but I've got it as takes off.  There's been a continuing discussion on our neighborhood NextDoor page about hawks.  Someone started it a few weeks ago saying she wanted to get rid of them because they were eating all "her" chipmunks and bunnies.  A veritable flood of people responded that hawks were necessary and she should get over herself.  Even I chimed in and I'm usually a lurker not a poster.  We love seeing the hawks even if they do make off with a bird now and again.  Everyone's gotta eat.  It's hotter than the hinges of Hades today but I've got some drumsticks I plan on grilling so I should probably go start the grill.  Stay cool.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Slim Pickings

This head cold has really pushed any thoughts or productivity out of my week.  I did manage
to stir up a few bottles of fragrance-free lotion to take with me to The Clearing tomorrow because our instructor has a debilitating fragrance allergy.  I gotta confess that having to start using fragrance-free detergent and health & beauty aids for a couple weeks before going to TC has motivated me to stick with the non-smelly products as much as possible.  I don't understand the current mania for all things scented, especially those plug-in things and the ones that puff smelly stuff out every once in a while.  I like when a place smells like supper or brewing coffee or whatever is wafting through the windows, I don't feel compelled to mask any "body" odors (of course, I shower regularly and use unscented deodorant, I haven't gone round the bend) or other natural things with chemicals.  Most of them remind me of the nasty jasmine AirWick thing my country grandma had in her bathroom.  Okay, end of rant.

P.S. I'm feeling worlds better today.  I can mostly hear and sorta taste so I figure I'm on the road to recovery.

Seriously, people, this is all there is.  I added a few rows to Sudoku Long Strip #2 but nothing appreciable.  I felt so rotten that I haven't done yoga or taken a walk or done Wii Fit step aerobics since Monday.  I've barely managed to rub together a couple of brain cells to tackle the newspaper crossword, Jumble, and Sudoku.  I have done the Healing Meditation I found on the Insight Timer app every day.  I really think it helped (even though I usually don't have much patience for that kind of "woo woo" stuff).  I took a look at the guy leading it and he looks very much like a hippie draft dodger I went to college with but it probably isn't the same guy.  I don't think so, anyway.  The guy I went to school with was named Robbie Matthews and this guy's named David Ji but he could be meditating under an assumed name, don't you think?  I refuse to stress out about it but I seem to remember that Robbie still owes me $5 from a poker game...  Probably not the recommended mindset for meditation...

September 15--Robert Derlaunay, Landscape with Cows.  "This guy had incurable hiccups," said Rae, bringing her right hand up to cup her chin. "But if you squint at it, you can make sense of what he's getting at."  Sofia poked Rae in the ribs with her elbow.  "Don't say that kind of thing.  It isn't polite."  Rae waved off the remark.  "Polite schmo-lite.  The guy either had the hiccups or he painted with a stutter."  She pointed at the painting in front of them.  "Look at it, he used a flat brush and didn't blend it.  It looks like a bunch of pieces of colored tape."  Around them people were snickering and Sofia heard someone say, "she has a point."

Okey-dokey.  I'm sitting here writing this in the middle of the night because I procrastinated packing until after supper and then Durwood was watching old movies and I got sucked into watching the end of Close Encounters of the Third Kind and The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3--a couple hours apart.  Both good movies with gripping finales.  Oh well, I can sleep in on Sunday because I leave tomorrow for a week at The Clearing.  Yippee!!!  Hooray!!!  I'll have to set an alarm so I'm up in time to do yoga before breakfast but this is that one precious week in a year that I don't have to think about anyone but myself.  Ahh.  What luxury.  Also there's no internet there unless you drive off to some wi-fi place and I probably won't do that so you'll hear from me next Saturday or Sunday.  Be good and don't talk to strangers.  I'll try to do the same.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Not Much to Report

When I have a cold, and now that I don't have to go to work and pretend to be nice to people, nothing happens.  In fact, I got up around 7 o'clock this morning, took some medicine, and went right back to bed to sleep until noon.  I don't sleep until noon.  I must have needed it.

Yesterday this fat little robin had a grand bath.  You can tell that it was born this summer because the parent robins look thin and worn out by this time of year, only the fledglings look so fat and happy and fluffy--because they're masters at getting any adult robin to feed them with a few flutters of their wings and pitiful peeps.  Kids sure know how to manipulate their parents, don't they?

I put on the neck band and hemmed the sleeves and bottom of the mesh overshirt.  I haven't had the energy to put on one of the outfits I'm thinking of wearing it with so I guess I'll just wait and see.  It's not like I've got a lot of time and money invested in it.  I already had the pattern and fabric and I'm still sewing up thread from Mom, so it's only really time that I spent on it.  If nothing else, I have an easy Halloween costume because if you look very closely at it, it isn't mesh, it's spiderwebs.

The only "no brain required" knitting project I have is Sudoku Long Strip #2 so when I've had enough oomph left in the evening that's what I've knitted on.  There's a crochet pattern nagging at the back of my mind but I'm for sure not going to jump into something like that when my brain's being consumed by snot.  It can wait.

September 13--Gustav Klimt, Amalie Zucherkandl.  The woman lay unmoving and pale beneath the orange sheet.  Her black hair fell over her forehead and spread out like raven's wings.  Clint stood in the train passageway looking through the window into what he thought was supposed to be his compartment.  He looked at his ticket, it said 27A, that's what the brass plaque on the door said.  He looked up and down the passage hoping to spot a conductor.  He didn't want to just barge in and startle her.

I gotta tell you, I was a bit surprised that what came out of my pencil last night was even coherent.  I hate head colds, they make me feel so stupid and sleepy all the time.  My eyelids are drooping, it must be time for more nasal spray.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Oh, That's Why

I couldn't figure out why I was so blah and lacked energy on Saturday.  At 3:00 AM on Sunday I awoke with my throat on fire and my sinuses full to the brim.  That explained a lot.  Now I am on a regimen of Zycam, Hall's honey-lemon drops, Afrin, and a healing meditation I found on Insight Timer on my phone.  After I post this I'll take a shower (trust me, I need a shower) and then go to the store for a vat of orange juice and some Sprite to start slamming Vitamin C and fluids because I have to have my stuff all packed and organized because I leave for The Clearing this coming Saturday.  I'd like to go without a stuffy head.  I've got the last of the chicken and spinach soup thawing too.  Soup and orange juice, that'll fix me right up.  Yesterday afternoon I managed to cut and partially sew up a mesh overshirt I've had in mind for a few months.  All that's left to do is add the neck binding and then hem the sleeves and bottom but I quit when I started to cry because I was having trouble threading my serger.  When you cry over thread, it's time to quit.

There was a home football game yesterday which means we had a flyover.  I missed it.  It was really loud but I don't know what kind of planes they were because Durwood didn't look up until too late. But the sky was pretty, wasn't it?

This is the sight that greeted me when I went out for the paper this morning.  My poor sick and dying maple tree's sparse leaves are almost all turned color and they're dropping like flies.  What am I going to do when the tree dies?  I wonder if the city will come and plant another tree for me.  They'll probably make me pay for it. 

September 11--Bernhard Fiedler, Ruins of the Temple of the Sun in Egypt.  The first rays of sunlight turned the ochre sandstone wall of the Sun Temple pink.  Leah sat with her back to a fallen block, her hands wrapped around a mug of strong coffee as she watched the ruins come alive with the light of a new day.  The night's chill fled as soon as the edge of the sun disc made it above the horizon.  She hadn't believed the people why told her that Egyptian nights were chilly but they were.  She was glad she had stuffed a thin hoodie into the corner of her bag.

I'm happy to report that Aunt B in Ft. Myers weathered the storm at home.  They have an inner room with no windows that they set up with water and TP and other goodies.  She said the only damage they had were some of the screens on the lanai.  Whew.  That is good news.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Not A Very Productive Saturday

I didn't do much yesterday, in fact, I did hardly anything at all.  I did meditate and do my yoga but then I sat at the table catching up on three days' worth of Sudoku, Jumble, and crossword puzzles in the newspapers I had let pile up.  Doing puzzles, in pencil yet, isn't very photogenic although I'm relying on them to keep the neural pathways in my feebling brain well-paved and open for business.  

Since scanning in photos is one of my retirement goals, I have to share one that DD asked me to scan and send her (which I haven't done yet, but I'll do it today, cross my heart).  The seated young ladies are my great-aunt Irene (Girly) Gerst Brandau, Dorothy "whose last name I don't know but who was Uncle Oscar's third wife", and my grandmother Anna Louise (Babe) Gerst Stephan, who was Mom's mom.  Grandma said that they attracted the largest crowds to their games because they were the only team that played in shorts instead of bloomers.  Scandalous!  According to the newspaper clipping taped to the back, the Eckler Girls were crowned the city champs by beating the First Baptist sextet 19-16 on the YWCA floor.  Aunt Irene and Grandma Babe starred for the winners.  Evidently I come from a long line of Rebel Girls.  I'll have to tell DIL1 and LC.

While I sat here zoned out in front of the computer yesterday it never occurred to me to improve the time by also scanning in this stack of photos from our 1992 dive vacation on the island of Anguilla.  (I'm doing it now.  *stand up, change picture, press OK, sit down*, repeat between ** a couple hundred times--it's like aerobics)  Anguilla is one of the Caribbean islands that got scoured by Hurricane Irma a couple days ago.  I am glad to look at these shots again and supremely confident that nothing in them remains standing.  *sigh*  Makes me glad I live in the land of cold and snow and ice storms.  None of which invade my house with water too deep to stand in or blow the roof off our house or fling trees and billboards at me.  

While Durwood got his weekly Lawrence Welk fix I went downstairs and whipped up a travel tray for my TC roomie.  I try to take a little handmade "something" for my roommate(s), either something sewn or something lotion-y, seldom something yarn-ish as knitting things takes the longest and I usually leave this nicety til the last minute.

After supper I took a walk around the block and then sat on the couch adding an inch or so to Sudoku Long Strip #2.  I am determined to get the Sudoku Afghan done in 2017 so that the project doesn't carry over into its 10th year.  This may be the last afghan I make until I hit my dotage, which the way my brain has been slacking off lately should be showing up any day now.

September 10--James Abbott McNeill Whistler, At the Piano.  Janine ran her hand over the upright piano in the back of the Salvation Army store and thought about Mom at the piano when she, Janine, had been a little girl.  Mom would play in the afternoons when Janine and Christian laid down to rest.  They were too grown up to nap, they told her, but she said they needed a rest after lunch.  She would see that their curtains were drawn, that they had a book to read, and they knew they were not allowed to go downstairs until 2 o'clock, which motivated them both to learn to tell time.  Janine was glad that her room was closest to the stairs because Mom's music floated up to her, quiet at first like tiptoeing kittens, but soon the notes raced up the stairs like stampeding horses.  She knew that Mom had gone to music college and dreamed of playing her piano on the stage but Grandfather said that no daughter of his would appear on the stage like some floozie.  Mom got married to Daddy instead and had Janine and Christian but Janine could tell that sometimes Mom thought about what might have been.  That's when the notes spiraled upstairs, notes so slow and sad that Janine could feel Mom's tears wetting her own cheeks.

There's a home Packer game today.  I have high hopes that some loud fancy airplanes will fly over.  It's really the only part of football I like.  Stay dry, Aunt B.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

I Don't Think We'll Get a Harvest Out of It

We've been watching a single corn plant growing under the dried corn we put out for the squirrels. I'm thinking one of the furry little demons or maybe a chipmunk buried one of the kernels, then the summer's rain and sunshine helped it grow.  I noticed the other day that it had tasseled out and had two small ears with lots of pretty pink silk poufing out the top.  I have no confidence that the ears will mature but really like watching it grow.

The other day I picked up the O2 carrier from the shoe repair guy and managed to squeeze it over the free arm of my sewing machine to attach the handle pieces so the new carrier is all ready.  It has D rings on it if Durwood decides to attach a shoulder strap.  I've got a softer model cut out that will get sewn up when I'm not scrambling to sew the rest of the things I want to take to The Clearing next weekend.  (More on that later.)

On Thursday I took an old ice cream pail out to the garden and picked and picked and picked tomatoes.  (I have to agree with Durwood, tomato slices on toast make an excellent breakfast.)  We're getting more tomatoes this year than we've had in years, certainly many many more than last year's dismal output from the patio pots.  I foresee more straw bale gardening in my future, not an increased crop but I'll do four bales again next year and next year each tomato plant will have its own bale.  They're too crowded this year, plus the peppers, carrots, and lettuce haven't produced up to snuff.  I think I'm doomed never to have bell pepper growing success, and I had such high hopes this spring.  We've picked one measly pepper.

Only one of the sunflower seeds I planted in April managed not to get eaten by rabbits or chipmunks and grow tall enough to make a flower bud.  I'm hoping it blooms before the first frost or some marauding rodent gnaws it off.  There's a house around the corner with a cluster of gorgeous yellow sunflowers all abloom right now.  I wonder if they planted seeds or plants.  If there's ever anyone out when I walk by I'll ask.  I think I'll try sunflowers again next year.  One of these days I'm bound to get lucky. 

I can tell that summer is drawing to a close because the sedum up on the retaining wall is blooming.  I forget how pretty the flowers are and how much the bees like them, although I wish they were any color other than pink.


Most of the time the Downy Woodpeckers swoop in for a snack on the suet that's closest to the house but this little one discovered the orange flavored suet pellets in the feeder by the back fence.  He had a high old time pecking and nibbling. 

September 9--Jean Fouquet, St. Michael Slaying the Dragon.  "The dragon has seven heads," Marina said in a low voice.  "I see that," said Dana. "Do you think that's one for each Deadly Sin?"  Marina turned to her friend.  "What a lovely thought." She smiled. "Look at the damned souls down in Hell.  Not a great spot to spend eternity."  "I imagine old Saint Michael looking over his shoulder at the row of angels behind him.  I can hear him say, 'a little help here' and all he gets is a flutter of wings and some giggling."  Both of them laughed, then shushed each other.  The illuminated manuscript pages they were looking at were in an ancient manor house only open to tourists every other Thursday and it had all the charm and warmth of a cloistered convent.  Not rooms accustomed to laughter, they thought.

Okey-dokey.  Now that I have frittered away most of today I think I'll go downstairs and whip up some fragrance-free lotion to take to The Clearing and maybe cut out another Dress No. 1 and an experimental knit shirt I've been mulling over.  Later, dudes and dudettes.