Wednesday, February 28, 2018

I Tried To Sit Still

Really, I did... actually, no I didn't.  I happily wrote down a 6-stop list of errands and got going around mid-morning.  It was sunny but not as warm as yesterday (the patio glacier is still melting) but that didn't matter.  I was out and about, footloose and fancy free.  My first stop was Office Depot for printer ink.  Boring but necessary.

Next I zoomed into Goodwill for some ankle socks for Durwood who complained that his feet get cold at night.  I nabbed a 6-pack of them and went back to the front to check out.  On the way I walked past the racks of clearance coats and this one reached out and grabbed me.  It's a brown maxi coat with a winter lining that is removable--and it was marked $5.99.  I tried it on, it fit, it fell to my shoe tops, and I had to have it.  I'm going to check with the neighborhood dry cleaners to see if they still have Senior Citizen Discount day (I'm not too proud) and get it cleaned.  I have a fantasy of me striding along with my coat tails flying but in my fantasy I'm about 4" taller.  Oh well, it's how I feel, right?

Then I went to Home Depot for a new sink stopper, some chair slider feet, and a new floor vent for the dinette.  See the top of the old one has broken away from the part that goes in the floor and I'm just waiting for OJ to discover that's a place to drop things so a new one had to be gotten and installed.  Done and done--and I didn't buy any spring bulbs or new tools.  *pats self on back*

I dodged into the local library to return a book, a DVD, and a book on CDs and didn't check out anything else.

My next stop was the most dangerous--JoAnn Fabrics.  It was Senior Citizen day which meant 20% off your entire purchase if you're over 55 years old.  I'm more than 10 years over that limit so I was good.  First I looked at the linen and linen-look fabrics but all the ones I liked I already have.  In fact, I was wearing a dress made out of one of them so I cruised the "discount dot" shelves and found 4 that I liked.  There wasn't enough of the lycra or the pretty cotton print to make leggings or a dress or even a shirt, the Air Force blue cotton with the lime green and lilac bugs on it (it's cuter than it sounds) attracts me but I just can't see what I'd make with it.  The last bolt was a shiny polyester print that had enough for a Dress no. 1 so that's the only one I bought.  I got out of there for under $20.  Whew.

My final stop was Fresh Thyme market which had wild caught ocean perch fillets and wild caught tuna for very reasonable prices.  Then I searched out the dried fruits and finally found a bag of mission figs, the black kind that DS used to love as a boy.  I gave OJ a prune a couple weeks ago and then spent the rest of the day changing poopy diapers.  Not being a slow learner I figured that he could have a fig instead if I could only find them.  Today I did.

Tonight we had cauliflower "mashed potatoes", fresh asparagus (thanks for the tip, MW!), and Chicken Breast Pierre from last weekend's cooking frenzy.  An excellent repast.  Tomorrow I'll fix one of the packages of ocean perch.  I love Lent because fish is on sale all the time and I can buy the good stuff on my budget.

February 28--Odilon Redon, Wildflowers in a Long Neck Vase.  Jane heard the buzz and looked around to see a bumble bee tangled in the spray of baby's breath that Marta had stuck into the bouquet on the table.  The front doors of the study were open and sunlight flooded in.  It puddled on the dark oak floor like molten gold.

Tomorrow's March 1 already.  I mean, I see that it's staying light longer and the sun is stronger, melting the snow and ice but, geez, March already.  I finished the last February Preemie hat tonight before coming in here so my March Preemie hat knitting starts clean.  Silly of me but it seemed necessary to finish this little hat made from scraps.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

But Stop I Did

No cooking today.  Barely any heating up.  Whew.

I happened to be outside when the sun peeked up between the trees.  It was so warm today--nearly 50--that I had windows open to clear some of the stale winter air from the house's corners.  Ahh, it was lovely to have "real" air coming in for a change instead of the recycled, dry, and heated air from the furnace.

This mourning dove posed very nicely on the top of the crook for me this morning.  It came all by itself, usually they come in groups of four or five, but this was a lone dove.  It peered in at me when I took its picture as if to say, "it's too early for that foolishness."  I ignored it as you can see.

Today was newsletter finishing day.  I spent most of the morning converting the Print Shop pages to jpgs, turning them into a Word document that I then saved as a pdf so the members can open it.  *pant, pant*  That sounds like a lot of fuss but it isn't too bad, now that I visited with Blake at Cyberworks and made notes on the quick and easy way to do all of that.  Plus it's way cheaper than buying another program.  Now it's all ready to be sent out on Thursday.  Unless, of course, I reread it tomorrow and find a boo-boo...

This evening I finished the Crazy Z Reds Campfire sock.  Ta-da!  I've probably got enough yarn left to knit another one but I think the world might stop turning if I knitted a PAIR of socks.  *gasp*

And I cast on another preemie hat.  I'm using all the tiny, walnut-sized, end of the skein balls I've been collecting for a while, just tying them together and knitting around.  It'll look just fine on some baby.

February 27--Jaipur, India, Bracelet.  The street was dirt, mud when it rained, and it rained nearly every day.  Few motor vehicles came down the street, few people in the village had cars.  Most people walked, a lucky few had bicycles, and the shopkeeper, Arlen, had a motor scooter.  Arlen's scooter was the mint green color of a 1950s stove and fridge pair.  The rain bogged down bicycles and Arlen's scooter, and mixed in droppings from all the dogs and cattle and oxen that roamed the neighborhood.  All of the feet, paws, and hooves churned the mud making a reeking clay that stuck to anything it touched.

If I'd been able to stay awake longer last night that bracelet would have surfaced but time ran out, my eyelids slammed shut one last time, and I was a goner.  There is nothing, not one thing, on my calendar for tomorrow.  I'm so glad.

Monday, February 26, 2018

I Can't Seem To Stop

Cooking, that is.  It was a gorgeous day but did I spend part of the day outside?  No, I did
not.  I spent it in and around the kitchen making meatballs and turning a bag of frozen chicken breasts into cooked chicken and chicken broth.  I did go outside to Sam's for the bag o'chicken and later, after an appointment, to Woodman's for 89 cents a pound fresh asparagus but the most fresh air I got was because when I broiled the baked meatballs to get them a bit crispy on the outside the smoke alarm sounded--twice, so I opened the kitchen window and the patio door to let the smoke out and the fresh air in.  I swear I'm going to stop cooking.  Cross my heart.  It's time to start eating some of it, don't you think?  We had jarred spaghetti sauce with 3 meatballs each on whole wheat linguine for supper to make sure the meatballs were good.  They are.

I assembled the meatball mixture before I left for my afternoon appointment and realized when I sat down in the waiting room that I smelled like a frying pan.  See, I cook the minced onion, bell pepper, and garlic before cooling it and adding it to the turkey, eggs, Italian bread crumbs, Italian herbs, S&P.  I got it all put together before leaving so the flavors would meld before I scooped out the (54) meatballs and baked then broiled them, before lining them up on a cookie sheet to freeze and bag for later.

February 26--Charles Willson Peale, James Peale (The Lamplight Portrait)  The old man sat in the pool of light cast by the copper lamp with the milky glass shade.  He held the portrait of a woman in his shaky hand as tears rolled down his cheeks.  Martha had been gone for over twenty years but sometimes, like that night, the loss was so raw that it might have happened that very day.

That was my day--went to the chiropractor, to Sam's, to Cyberworks to have Blake remind me how to convert the Guild newsletter pages, then home for lunch, fong the bag o'chicken breasts into the big crockpot to spend the afternoon getting all tender and yummy (do you use those crockpot liner bags? you should, they save you from having to scrub out the pot, I love them), mix up the meatballs, go to my afternoon appointment, swing through Woodman's for asparagus, then home to make spaghetti for supper, and get all the balls and chicken plus the broth packaged and into the freezer before sitting here to commune with you for a few minutes.  Yeah, that was my day.  Retirement is so relaxing.  I swear to God that I'm only going to reheat things tomorrow except for cooking some of the asparagus I bought today for supper.  That's it.  Really.  I'm kind of out of raw materials and freezer room.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Words & Food

Words, words, words.  I doubled down on the newsletter writing, gently nudging the people I needed things from and just now got it put together.  I'll give it a day to steep, talk to the kid at the computer place to remind me how to turn it into jpgs, then to a Word doc, and then to a pdf, and have it all ready to zoom over the ether to the Guild members on Thursday.  Ta-da!

As for food, this morning once CBS Sunday Morning was over, I got right to work making Chicken Breasts Pierre, the third recipe I'd picked out for this session of Investment Cooking and not a WW recipe so I can link to it.  The hardest part of this recipe is whacking the two big boneless, skinless chicken breasts into 6 reasonably equal pieces, then it's a snap to dredge them in a bit of flour, brown them in a little butter, then make the tomato/mustard/Worcestershire sauce for the chicken to simmer in.  I made a Walmart run once that was done, portioned out, and cooling in the fridge for some fresh veggies (we were flat out of 'em) and a roll of ground turkey for meatball making, probably not tomorrow but soon.  It'll be good to have a bunch of suppers stashed in the freezer.  More eating, less thinking.

My knitting friend, MW, came over after lunch with his impact drill to tackle the patio glacier.  It's supposed to get up to 40 degrees a couple days this week so I was glad he had the time.  I tried to convince him to move into the other side of the duplex because I know he's unhappy where he is now but the rent's too high and it might be a little too close for comfort.  It'd be nice to have a renter I know would take good care of the place, though.

For supper I made steamed mussels in a tomato, wine, onions, thyme, and parsley sauce.  Do you know that two little old-ish people can demolish 3 lbs. of mussels and a small mound of broccoli for supper with very little effort?  I salve my conscience that most of that weight is shells.  Yum.  I have a recipe I use for guidance but I don't think I've ever made the recipe exactly.  I sure do love mussels though.  I'm absolutely certain that they are very good for me.

February 25--Eadweard Muybridge, Jockey on a Galloping Horse.  From the stands they look like a single entity, man and horse joined in mind and body.  The horse's long thin legs look too fragile to propel his muscular body at the breakneck speed and the jockey looks too small to have a ghost of a chance controlling his mount.  Despite appearances man and horse move as one, communicating telepathically it seems, both straining toward the winning post, united in mind and body.

I do love horse racing but can't get over the oddball name of the guy who took the series of photographs the above grew out of.  "Eadweard" what kind of name is that?  February's almost over, can you believe it?  It'll be March on Thursday already.  Amazing.  How time flies when you're making suppers for the freezer.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Today's Post Is About Food--Mostly

I just thought I'd be up front about the fact that there is no yarn discussed or photographed for today's blog post.  So if you're not interested in food, you may be excused.  (ha!  who doesn't like food?)

One evening this week Durwood said he had something he wanted to say to me.  I'll bet at least three-quarters of you just got the same sick feeling in the pit of your stomach that I got when I heard that.  Putting up a good front, I pasted a smile on my face (at least I hope it looked like that) and sat down.  "What did you want to say?" I said, all cool and calm, all the while wracking my brain wondering if I'd done something thoughtless or stupid or just plain wrong.  He let a little silence go by while he muted the TV.  Uh oh, I thought.  Then he said, "You know I've always felt that pizza isn't real food.  I'm getting tired of having it two nights a week."  I tried not to let my huge sigh of relief blow the papers off the table.  "Of course," I said, "why didn't you mention it sooner?"  So after supper (not pizza) I paged through the binder of proven Weight Watchers recipes, picked out 2 slow cooker ones and 1 skillet one, all of which we had all the ingredients for on hand, to make this weekend.  The Slow-Cooker Chicken Mushroom Brown Rice Casserole makes 8 servings or 4 meals' worth.  The Slow-Cooker Honey-Garlic Chicken Thighs makes 4 servings or 2 meals' worth.  The skillet-made Chicken Pierre makes 6 servings or 3 meals' worth.  I cranked up both slow cookers today so, once I make the skillet meal tomorrow, we'll have 9 nights' worth of suppers in readiness--well, 8 nights' worth actually because we had 2 servings of the Chicken Mushroom etc. stuff tonight.  We're planning to have steamed mussels for supper tomorrow because we try to have some sort of fish or seafood once a week (I suck at remembering that) so the freezer will be loaded with yummy stuff to eat.  I'm thinking I'll whip up a double batch of meatballs too so we can make quick spaghetti suppers.  Besides OJ and LC love meatballs.

While the slow cookers were cooking I sat here hunched over the computer working on the March newsletter for the knitting guild.  I'm sure that soon it'll start to go faster as I'm better at it but I got it pretty much laid out and sent out emails for the things I'm missing so maybe, if I'm lucky, the info will come before I send it out to the membership on Thursday.  Fingers crossed.  Oh, one stupid thing.  I started working by getting the photos I'd taken photoshopped and cropped, looked for the 80-some pictures that MW had taken and lent me his SD card so I could download them and do you think I could find them?  Of course not.  I looked everywhere I thought they could be on this benighted machine but didn't find a trace of them. So I called him and the dear man drove over and handed me the SD card which I had returned to him last night.  He visited with us for a few minutes and then left, promising to come back tomorrow with his impact drill to break up the patio glacier and help me make the outdoors safe for birdfeeder filling again.  As soon as he drove away I put in the USB drive that I've designated for the guild files and guess what's on it.  You're right, the folder with his pictures in it.  Oh, he's going to laugh and laugh tomorrow when I tell him.  I love it when I can make my friends laugh.

February 24--Felix Edouard Vallotton, Martiniquaise.  Her hair framed her face in coal black waves that sprang from the center part like ripples on a midnight sea.  Her dress was the pale yellow of dawn in the spring.  Her dark brown eyes held warmth and compassion.  I watched the sunlight glint off her jet and iridescent shell jewelry as she made her way up from the harbor.  People called out to her, she inclined her regal head toward them but didn't smile or linger to speak.  Every day I had watched her come into town and every day she had walked past the cafe where I sat reading the newspaper.  That morning she stopped when she reached my table, smiled, and said, "May I sit?"

I just looked outside and I think it's raining again.  Good thing tomorrow's Sunday so there won't be droves of school kids and people going to work on once-again icy streets.  This whole freezing rain thing has got to stop.  It's dangerous.  I'm bushed.  Over and out.

Friday, February 23, 2018


This post is going to be all about yarn so if you're not interested in yarn, you may be excused.

I called MW to say that I'd be late to Friday Night Knitting because, well, because I was busy this afternoon with this and that and the other thing and he said that DD (not our daughter) wasn't able to make it but he had the yarn.  I vaguely remembered him saying that she'd become more and more allergic to wool so she was bringing a bunch of her stash to give away to the knitters and then what we didn't want to donate.  So I made sure to tuck a reusable shopping bag into my knitting basket when I went into Goodwill.  (we knit in their Community Room, it's free and well lit)

Well, I told myself that I was going to exercise restraint and I did, to a point.  I couldn't resist the lure of those six twisted skeins in the bottom row, they are bulky weight (wool, alpaca, & acrylic) and I think they'll make something lovely.  Maybe two or three somethings.  Three multicolored balls in the upper left are the same color even though the red one looks like it's adopted, the fourth one is a different color of the same yarn, and the wound over skein of yellow and orange is some kind of cotton--I think, I'll light a scrap of it on fire to see how it burns to see what fibers are in it.  The white ones on the right are Wool Ease which is great for kid mittens and Seaman's cowls, MW made me (MADE me, really) take the creamy white one on the left because it didn't go with any of the other skeins in the bags and I took the Wool Ease.

In other yarn news, I finished knitting my sweater fitting class swatch.  I used size 9 needles for half of the swatch and size 10 for the other half.  I'm going to wash and block the swatch before I make the final decision but I think the 10s will win, I like the feel of that fabric.

And after the swatch was finished I added a few rows, measured, will add about two more rounds, and then it'll be time to put the toe on that Crazy Z Reds Campfire sock.  I can't believe how long I've been futzing around with that sock.  Knitting on it a bit, putting it aside, knitting, ignoring... pitiful.  Today I decided that it's time that sock was finished.  I should try it on before committing to the toe, just in case my measuring is faulty.  For some reason I didn't make note of how long to make the foot when I use this particular heel and I don't want to make it too short.  That would be bad.

February 23--Francois Nicolas Martinet, Parrot.  If it wasn't for the red feathers on its belly and its bright yellow eye, the green parrot...

And that's how much my new med was kicking my butt the last few nights.  I couldn't even stay awake to write an entire sentence.  I took a half-dose for 3 days, felt queasy, jittery, teary, and utterly dreadful for those three days, decided not to take a pill on Thursday, and finally started to feel good about midday today.  Not the medicine for me.  I've an appointment on Monday to go in to discuss alternatives.  May I just say that it totally sucks to be as sensitive to meds as I am.  Good night.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Patio Glacier

We have a patio glacier.  I realized it this morning as I finished up my yoga practice.  The snow on the patio has thawed and frozen and been walked on enough that it's compressed into a very thin but very sturdy glacier.  Breaking it up come spring will be hard work.  No patio yoga for the foreseeable future.

This afternoon I crocheted the "idiot cord" on OJ's Wool-ish Mittens.  I'm thinking he might need a matching hat.

After supper (turkey stir fry with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and sugar snap peas) I worked
on my swatch for the March Sweater Fitting class at knitting guild.  You can barely see in the upper left of the swatch but I put in a row of 9 garter bumps so I remember that I used a size 9 needle to knit this part.  Its a tip that LB read in an old knitting book and I shared in the last guild newsletter.  I'm thinking I might knit a few rows of garter stitch and then switch to a size 10 needle to see if I like that fabric better.  If I'm going to make myself a cardigan I want the fabric to be a little drapey so it makes sense to try things out, right?  Right.

February 21--James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Harmony in Flesh Colour and Red.  They looked like bridesmaids clustered there near the railing.  They all wore gowns of the same shade of red that were similar in design but each girl had made the dress her own.  They sounded like a flock of birds, sparrows because, like sparrows they traveled in a flock.  None of them ventured anywhere alone.  If they only knew how being together all of the time and their obvious exclusivity kept young men at bay.

Sorry my day was so unexciting.  I'll try to pep tomorrow up.  No, I won't, this is a tired time of year and I'm enjoying doing less.  Sleep well.  I'm hoping to.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Icy Slinkys

It rained last night and this morning.  When I went out to get the newspaper (which never
arrived today) around 7 o'clock I was surprised to hear water cascading in the downspout but I could also hear the sound of ice ticking on the frozen snowy ground.  As the sun lightened the gray we saw that each little turn of the Slinkys on the birdfeeder crooks was ice coated.  The squirrels had a field day clambering up to nab peanuts and making the ice crack and fall.

Schools started a couple hours late and I waited until late afternoon to go to the polls to cast my ballot.  It was tempting not to go since the only race on the ballot was a run-off for Wisconsin Supreme Court judge but I've always said that voting's something that can be taken away if you don't use it every chance you get so how could I bail on primary day?  I couldn't, so I went to a new polling place (no voting in schools anymore for security reasons) and cast my ballot--all by myself, no other voters in sight.  I felt sorry for the poll workers, none of them were knitting.  I wonder what they did all day.  I was there right around 5 o'clock and was #129.  Long day if you don't knit or crochet or something to keep from going stark raving cuckoo.

While waiting for the temperature to rise and melt the ice on the streets I finished OJ's Wool-ish Mittens.  Tomorrow I'll crochet a string to loop through his coat sleeves so they don't get lost.  Look how long I made the cuffs, those will tuck very nicely into his sleeves so his wrists aren't hanging out.

Then I cast on the swatch I'll need for the March knitting guild program.  A Master Knitter is coming to teach us how to knit a sweater that fits and she asked us to bring a swatch.  Like I said before I have a cardigan pattern that I've wanted to knit for years but it isn't my size so I need help figuring out how to make one in my size.  I have the yarn too so that's what I'm making my swatch from.  

February 20--William De Morgan, Charles Passenger, Charger.  The blue and white ceramic plate lay shattered on the floor.  Sheila saw that each bird had its own shard.  Three beady eyes glared up at the clumsy girl who had wrought their destruction.  She knew she should have dried her hands before picking up the big plate but she had been in a hurry, the plate slipped, and now it was broken.  How could she tell Mrs. Galvin?

It was nice to have nothing more to do today than sit on the couch and knit.  I could have done some dishes but it was nice to just sit.  I thought about taking a nap but I'm not very good at napping.  Speaking of napping, I'm getting sleepy.  I should probably wind this up and head off to bed.

Monday, February 19, 2018

It Fits!

My new, thrifted Irish wool sweater fits.  I didn't try it on in the store, I held it up to myself, thought that it would fit, and I was right.  This morning I slipped it on over my new red fitness top and it fit like it was made for me.  It's a little scratchy so I'll be wearing a long-sleeved shirt with a collar or turtleneck under it but I will be wearing it.  Maybe tomorrow when I promised to go downstairs, where it's chilly and damp, and make a new sash for Durwood's ancient Pendleton bathrobe.  Now, don't misunderstand, I don't have any Pendleton wool in the stash but I think I've got some suiting and, really, any old sash will do.  It's a bathrobe, not a coronation robe.  A beautiful bathrobe but a bathrobe nonetheless.

Ahead of the predicted ice/snow storm headed our way I spent the early afternoon running around doing errands, me and fifty thousand other idiots.  The streets were just wet, especially the main roads, and it was only as the afternoon wore on that things started to ice up.  I heard on TV that schools in the area will have a 2-hour delay tomorrow.  I'm sure there are thousands of "snow day" prayers going unanswered even as we speak.

After supper I finally got around to OJ's mitten thumb gussets.  See the mint green safety pin on the cuff of the left one?  That's my end of the round marker for both mittens.  I'm knitting them side by side so I did the right one's gusset, counting the rounds, reset the counter, and then knit the same number of rounds on the left one.  That's what I did on the cuffs and that's what I'll do on the hands.  It's working well and I'll get both mittens done at the same time.  No second-mitten syndrome for this girl.  (which means that you get the first one done and then lose steam getting the second one started and finished)

February 19--Edward Savage, The Washington Family.  You can see him in the shadows.  He's a richly dressed black man, in the painting but somehow not.  He has no face, it blends into the darkness in the upper right corner of the canvas.  Was he a servant?  A slave?  I'd like to think that his presence there, nebulous as it is, represents his importance in the household.  I'd like to think that the men who founded our country were above thinking of people of color as less human than white people.

This morning before my errand run I went out and filled all the feeders, spilling a bit of cracked corn and sunflower seeds by the cans.  Look who came out in the sleet to dine.  The rat.  It's huge.  I don't hate it but I sure wish it lived someplace else.  And speaking of living someplace else, did I tell you that our renters gave notice and they'll be moving out by March 15?  So if anyone needs a nice 2-bedroom/1 bath duplex to live in, let me know.  The bad news is that I live next door but I'm very quiet and throw very few wild parties.  Call me.  (ooh, maybe I shouldn't mention the rat...)

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Fun in the Snow


After my triumphant thrift store shopping experience, we went to lunch and then I went up to The Clearing grounds to snowshoe in the woods.  May I say that leaves under the snow don't support a snowshoe like all snow does.  It was kind of windy but less so in the woods and I kept stopping to uncover my fingers so I could take pictures.  My right hand got pretty darned cold but it sure was pretty.  Just as I was approaching the van to leave I had to dodge the branches of a bush and noticed that on the end of each twig was a swollen bud.  The hope of Spring in mid-winter.

In the evening I finished February Preemie Hat #5 and then worked on OJ's Wool-ish Mittens.  I'd have gotten both thumb gussets knitted except I decided I didn't like the way the first one turned out so I ripped it back and started that part over.  I like it better now.  I'll get to the second one tomorrow, I'm tired tonight from waking up too early and then packing and coming home because they're predicting an ice storm for late Monday into Tuesday and I just couldn't face driving home on icy roads.  Better come home early and be safe.  That's what happens when you get old.

February 18--Edgar Degas, Repetition d'un Ballet.  Margery and Doug settled into their seats just as the house lights dimmed.  Doug said, "You took so long getting ready that I don't have time to read the program."  Margery leaned over toward him.  "Did you want me to come to the ballet in my slip?"  "No," he said, "I want you to start getting ready earlier so we can get here on time."  "We are on time, they just started the overture.  You mean so we can get here half an hour early to stand around being pretentious with people you consider beneath you."  Doug opened his mouth to reply but the woman in front of him turned around with an angry look on her face and hissed, "Quiet."  He contented himself with kicking Margery in the ankle.  "Ouch."  "Shhhh."

I'm glad to be home and safe but sorry I didn't have a day of lolling and knitting.  Maybe I'll manage that tomorrow.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Shopping & Getaway


Yesterday I went to Meijer for some last minute getaway food and had to cross the store to pick up a toothbrush.  I had to walk past all the "Clearance" racks (tsk, tsk, what a pity) and look at what I found.  Leggings.  On sale.  None of them were more than $5 a pair, the tan pair has a gold sheen, and the lizard print pair was $2.50  I am especially in love with the pair I'm wearing; they're fleecy and soft and warm.  The best thing aside from the prices is that each pair is a size smaller than I'd have had to buy last fall.  Ahh.  So satisfying.  Makes all the planning and cooking and counting worthwhile.

We stayed at the restaurant visiting with our friends until 7:30 and didn't arrive here, 55 miles later, until nearly 9 o'clock last night and it took me a good hour to get all of our stuff into the room and all of the food put away.  I was too pooped to blog last night but I did manage to do a prompt write before turning off the light.  Here's the view from our tiny porch this morning.  It's cold and windy so I won't be sitting out there with my coffee.  However I did find a nice spot to do my morning yoga.  One of my favorite features of the place is the gas fireplace that's on a timer like a motel bathroom heat lamp.  It makes it so cozy.


I unwrapped my Blind Date library book last night and it's a collection of Mary Higgins Clark's short stories.  I like short stories; I don't read them often enough.  Kurt Vonnegut's are my favorites but these are good, like popcorn for a lazy weekend read.

This morning I met a friend at the resale shop up the road a couple miles and Hit. The. Jackpot.  Everything in the store was 20% off, all jewelry was 50% off, as was anything with a pink tag.  I found some plastic plates that LC and OJ will like eating from, some remnants of fabric I like the colors and weight of, some earrings, a red and gray "fitness" shirt that's a great layer for snowshoeing, and (the big score) an Irish wool sweater in my size marked $15 so I paid $12.  The woman who bagged my purchases held up the sweater and said, "You're not going to make mittens out of this, are you?"  Some people buy wool sweaters at thrift shops, felt them in the washer, and then cut them up to make super-warm mittens.  Also some people buy nice wool sweaters and unravel them to reuse the yarn.  I assured her that I had no intention of doing anything other than wear the sweater and love it just a it is.

February 17--Gianni Versace, Micro Minidress.  Glenna watched the young woman approach.  Part of her wanted to let out a laugh at the girl's outrageous outfit and part of her wanted to be the one wearing it.  The breastplates (there was on other word for them) were heavily stiffened pentagonal cones of red silk taffeta embroidered with beaded rays out from the center peak.  The rest of the bodice was made of rows of beads around a center medallion of more beads.  The skirt, what there was of  it, was ruched and swagged velvet printed with checks, plaids, and other geometrics.  The dress made a statement.  It said, "Look at me."  It said, "I'm young and thin and I have great legs."  It also said, "I have confidence to burn."  Glenna did not.

My plan for tomorrow is not to get dressed much or to go anywhere.  I just want to sit here and knit and watch the Olympics.  We'll see how that works.  You know how antsy I get.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Gray & Melty

That was today in a nutshell.  Oh, the sun poked its head out every once in a while but for the most part it was overcast, warm (it got up into the 40s), but not a cheerful day.

I nearly forgot to make the hummus and clean the veggies to take to Knitting Guild tonight.  It's been on my to-do list since the weekend and got shoved over to the next day, day after day, and at about 2:00 this afternoon I suddenly realized that I hadn't done it after all.  Good thing it's one of those 15 minutes from start to finish kind of recipes and I'd bought a big, family-size bag of cauliflower, broccoli, and baby carrots so all I had to do was rinse it, trim off the stem ends, and cut it into bite-size pieces.  It was a hit, no one could believe that it's a Weight Watchers recipe and costs 0 points.  I got requests for the recipe so I'll be putting it into the next newsletter.  (Part of one page filled--yippee!)

I stopped at the library to pick up a couple things I had on hold and as I was leaving saw a bookshelf right by the door that stopped me in my tracks.  All of the books were wrapped in plain paper with a "Blind Date with a Book" sticker on it and a very short description of what was inside written in red.  There was "Historical Fiction" and "Funny and Sad" and lots of others that didn't really draw me but the one marked "Mystery Short Stories" with a heart drawn underneath looked right up my alley so I checked it out.  I haven't unwrapped it yet.  I put it right into my suitcase when I got home and won't open it until we get into our room in Door Co. tomorrow evening.  What a great idea!  If I was the librarian, I'd chose books that I knew were good that didn't get circulated much and get them out and about in a "plain brown wrapper."

As for knitting, while I loaded the book on CDs that I got from the library (on KW's recommendation) I worked on OJ's mitten cuffs.  Both are done and it's time to start the hand.  The mitten in the picture is one knitted to the pattern's specifications but I'm going to make these a little bigger by adding a few rows before starting the thumb gusset and in the hand.  Slightly too big mittens aren't bad, too short mittens are awful.  He'll grow, not shrink.

For mindless knitting at tonight's Guild meeting I took February Preemie Hat #5 and got a couple inches added.  I'll have to check the pattern to see how much more I need to knit before starting the crown decreases.  One thing about knitting preemie hats, you get almost instant gratification because they're so darned small.

Next month's program at Knitting Guild is how to knit a sweater that fits.  Basically we'll measure each other and learn how to calculate gauge to make a sweater that fits like your favorite sweater.  I have a pattern for an asymmetrical cardigan I've wanted to knit for years but it doesn't go up to my size and I want to knit it in thicker yarn than the pattern specifies so I've got some figuring to do.  The March program should help.  I hope.  We need to knit a 5" square swatch before the March meeting so I wound up the yarn I want to knit that sweater with, grabbed the recommended needles, and plan to get that swatch knitted while watching the Olympics over the weekend.

Once again I didn't write before bed last night.  I probably won't write tonight either.  I have to get up early tomorrow and will be busy getting Durwood and I packed and ready to zoom out of here around 5:00 to meet friends for supper in Dykesville about 20 miles up the road before heading another 50 miles north to our weekend getaway.  Ahh, getaway.  Doesn't that sound just lovely?  We won't be so far away that we'll be away from the internet so do not despair, there will be blogging.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A Little Better

It's exactly 10:00 PM so I have the potential for getting to bed earlier than nearly midnight.  I gotta say that I am so tired right now that I can hardly wriggle but I'm determined to blog before calling it a night.

Durwood gave me a sweet card for Valentine's Day (I gave him one too) and I planned a special supper for us.  I made Roasted Shrimp Scampi, Braised Artichokes, and steamed fresh asparagus, the first two Weight Watchers recipes and the last WW approved.  I'd never had artichokes without lashings of hollandaise sauce until a few weeks ago and, guess what, they're really tasty when you braise them in broth, wine, onions, and garlic.  Yum.  The shrimp get dotted with wine-herb butter (yes, real butter) and then sizzled in an iron skillet in the oven just until they're done.  Divine.  And what can you say about the first fresh asparagus of the season?  It too was luscious.

The only other thing I have to report is starting a pair of mittens with longer cuffs for OJ.  One of my knitting friends knits hats and mittens in kindergartner size for a charity and she remarked once that she always makes the cuffs longer so they have a chance to stay tucked into their jacket sleeves.  I've noticed that being a problem when OJ and I are out playing in the snow.  He's pretty good about keeping his mittens on but the acrylic ones get caked with snow quickly and the short cuffs leave his tiny little wrists exposed.  Not that he whines to come inside, quite the opposite, I think he'd stay outside all day if I'd bring snacks out to him regularly.  I envisioned knitting these two-at-a-time on Magic Loop and ended up with such a tangle that I fished out a second circular needle of the correct size and plan to alternate them so I get both done simultaneously and make them the same size and length.  They're red because when I asked him if he wanted Meemaw to knit him a Packer hat he said, "No, red."  So he's getting red mittens.  He'll get a Packer hat anyway; I already have the yarn and have picked out a pattern but that'll be for next fall.

I didn't write last night and the only cooking I did today was our supper.  Tomorrow we'll pack for our weekend escape and make sure we've got all the food we'll need because few restaurants are open in the winter up in Door Co. and when it's cold it's hard for Durwood to breathe so we just haul all our food and hole up for the weekend where we can't do chores and we're someplace else.  Oh, that reminds me, I need to have them hold the mail and newspaper.  I found out that it's better to leave a note for the postman because it takes too long for the message to get to him if I do it online.  

Anyway, I'm tired.  I'm going to post this and turn into a bed.