Saturday, March 31, 2018


Shortly after opening the curtains this morning I looked out... and it was snowing.  Yes, snowing.  I nearly fainted but held onto the edge of the table, had a sip of coffee, and took a picture.  It snowed like it really meant it for about an hour, maybe a little more, and then spent the rest of the day melting most of it away.

I spent the rest of the morning searching online for owner's manuals for the appliances on the rental side of the duplex.  There used to be ones for the stove, fridge, washer, and dryer but I guess they got moved when tenants moved out so I just found them again using the model numbers, made a copy for our file, and one for the new renter.  That took longer than I anticipated.

Before I got started searching I went down and started the laundry.  I'd like to know who brings over their dirty clothes for me to do since Durwood and I just don't get that dirty... of course, I should probably do laundry more than once very two weeks... but I only do it when I'm low on socks and undies and I evidently have two weeks' worth of each of those and too many clothes.

After lunch I buckled down and got to work on the April knitting guild newsletter and spent at least an hour trying and failing to get the new Print Shop program I bought after I rashly volunteered to do the newsletter to work.  It would take minutes to upload a photograph and then it'd say "not responding" when I wanted to add a headline or move a text box.  The straw that broke this camel's back was its refusal to save my work after a couple pages.  Arrrgh!  And not a fun, pirate-y arrgh either.  I was and am so frustrated with it that I've asked the guild treasurer to email me a copy of my purchase receipt so that I can brandish it (metaphorically) at the company when I contact them next week to demand my money back.  Luckily I have an old Print Shop program that I can use and made notes when the computer kid told me how to turn it into a pdf so the members can open it when I email it to them.

After supper and doing dishes and putting the frozen meat I got yesterday into vacuum
bags, I added an inch or so to O's Packer Barley hat.  It looks way too big for him but I measured it against the hat he likes to wear when he's here and it's only a little bit bigger around and will be taller but he's not shrinking.  He's starting to look more like a kid than a baby.  *sniff*  He'll be two years old in 3 weeks.  Time sure flies when you're having fun.

March 31--Dieric Bouts,  Feast of the Passover.  "I like their shoes," the blond one said.  The brunette settled her chin in her cupped hand.  "Hm, not bad, but look at the floors.  Those tiles would be good in my new kitchen."  She looked around, then pulled her phone out of her purse.  "Keep an eye out while I take a picture to show the decorator."  The guard standing behind the sculpture at the opposite end of the gallery stepped out to clear his throat in their direction.  "Hurry up," the blond hissed, "the guard is watching."  As the women left the gallery one of them said, "Do you think you can afford Chip and Joanna?"

Can you believe that today is the last day of March?  I know I say this too much and it makes me sound old but time sure flies.  Oh, last night was the blue moon.  Did you see it?  It dodged in and out of clouds when I was coming home from knitting.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Thinker, Chipmunk Version

When I opened the curtains this morning Chester Chipmunk was sitting on the top of the patio chair, his tail wrapped around himself, looking pensive.  He didn't flinch when the curtains opened, not even when the camera flash went off.  He did scamper off when I went out to fill the birdbath.

The yellow and burgundy lily that adopted me in Home Depot the other day is really earning its keep.  One flower was open when I bought it and every day since at least three or four buds have opened.  I keep lopping off the pollen-covered anthers so the golden pollen doesn't stain the carpet or me.  These lilies don't have the beautiful aroma of the Stargazers but right now, in dreary old March, I appreciate the mere fact that there are flowers.

Speaking of flowers, I noticed this afternoon that a purple crocus is joining its yellow brethren out front.  It's about time another color showed up.

This morning I finished sewing down the binding, sewed on the pocket, and turned up the hem of LC's flannel jumper.  I dug around in my button box and found a smiley face button in pink and yellow to sew on the top.  It's perfect, the dress fits, and she likes it.  Win, win, win.

This evening I was crossing the river from east to west so I got to enjoy a more unobstructed view of the sunset.  When I grow up I want to live up high so I can see the sun rise and set without all the trees, wires, and signs in the way.

March 29--Claude Monet, Agapanthus.  The purple pink flowers nodded at the breeze and waved their narrow leaves like streamers in a parade.  Sara sat in the grass, her knees drawn up, and her skirt hiked up her thighs so that the sun warmed her winter-pale legs.  It was quiet in this part of the garden.  A pair of frogs discussed the scarcity of dragonflies over by the koi pond and a wren had a lot to say about the state of the nest he'd made to lure the next Mrs. Wren but there were no people sounds.  No cars, no shouts, no crying toddlers with impatient mothers to remind her that she was in the city.  "It's peaceful here, isn't it?"  Sara hadn't heard the man approach.  Her hand slowly tugged her skirt down to cover her thighs and she slid her feet into her shoes.  "I'm sorry to disturb you," he said.  She smiled in his direction as she rose and dusted herself off.  "I have to go back to work."  His hand shot out and grasped her wrist.  "You don't need to go."  She felt her bones grind together with the strength of his grip.  "You're hurting me."  She tried to twist her arm away but his fingers were like a vise.

This afternoon we met with the estate attorney recommended by our retired tax attorney and a quarter of the people who responded to my query asking for recommendations on (kind of like Facebook for your neighborhood).  I am happy to say that it sounds like we should fairly easily be able to set up our accounts and assets to protect against having to go through probate when we finally shuffle off this mortal coil or having to give it all to some nursing home.  This is going to be a whole lot less complicated and much less expensive than either of us thought it'd be.  Looks like we caught another break.  About bloody time.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Done--Except For One Touch-Up & Some Glue


I finished my list of to-do chores to get the rental side ready for its new tenant around 11 o'clock this morning.  She came over after work and we went over every point of the lease agreement, initialed each one, and then she and I did a walk-through.  I need to pull out the touch-up paint for a couple scrapes on the bathroom wall and see if I can't manage to glue down more of the coving in the kitchen.  We handed over keys and garage door openers and she said she plans to bring a load over tomorrow but then no more until after Easter.  I am very relieved to have it all done.  Well, essentially done.  I'll get those two little things taken care of in the morning and then close down that portion of my brain.

Once I had today's chores done I walked around the block listening to chapter 5 of The Walk.  Today we were chased by wolves, one of the group was attacked but not injured by a wolf, and the army sergeant fended it off with a knife.  At the end of the episode I (Walker) had split from the group and was climbing over a mountain, avoiding avalanches triggered by The Burn (the bad guys) and listening to Charlie, my control, start to talk about her sister.

After my walk and before I made too much chicken spaghetti for one night's supper I went downstairs and sewed on LC's flannel jumper.  I initially thought I'd make a placket in the back neck but I think I'll go through my buttons to find a fun one and make that the front.  (the front and back are identical)  I've got a pocket to sew on to indicate the front.  I hope it fits.  I hope she likes it.

Signs of spring are everywhere.  The crocuses are in full bloom, the hyacinth flower stalk is further out of the ground, and the rhubarb on the north side of the house is starting to emerge.  See those pink leaf tops?  Yay, rhubarb!

March 28--Studio of El Greco, Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane.  If an angel appears to you, run.  I'm telling you, just run, because no matter how good a life you lead angels bring trouble.  Oh, they might look all pure and friendly but the news they bring is explosive and what explodes is your life.  Look at this guy in the garden.  His buddies who are supposed to stay awake and keep watch with him are asleep.  So when the angel floats down out of the sky to tell him about the awful things in his immediate future he's all alone.  No back-up.  No witnesses.  Look at the look on his face.  You can tell it's not happy news he's hearing.  Besides that angel has a wine goblet in its hand which means the creature is probably half in the bag.  So if an angel appears with a message for you, run.

I'm tired.  It's after 10 o'clock.  I'm going to bed.  Nighty-night.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Egg Patrol


I love it when DS and his family are gone for the day or an overnight.  That means I get asked to go check for eggs.  The "ladies" don't stop laying because they're away so someone has to go collect them.  Me!  I try to have some peels, etc. for the grand-chickens as a sort of payment for the lovely brown ovals of fresh egg-y goodness.  Even though I bring them goodies, they won't be petted.  I forgive them, they lay excellent eggs.

On Friday night AP, our 93 year old knitting friend, brought in a few patterns that she said belonged to her mother and grandmother to see if anyone wanted them.  I thought DD would like two of them--one is "pin-up" transfers for embroidering on dishtowels and the other is for making stuffed animals.  I kept one for making a cloth dolly and some clothes that I think will fit LC's doll that stays here.  I love those old patterns.

This morning I noticed that some of the Asiatic lilies like the one I bought yesterday are starting to sprout.  Every little green leaf and sprout makes me so happy even though I still have to wear my winter coat most days.

The plumber came today to install the new kitchen faucet, to recaulk the bathroom sink, and to check on a leaky clean-out downstairs.  He worked for nearly 4 hours but got everything done, then the cleaning lady went next door after finishing cleaning here to go over the kitchen and bathroom floors with her mop now that all the workmen are done.  Tomorrow Home Depot should have the eggshell paint base so I can get that and a couple extra things I saw that needed replacing today, get that paint on, and be DONE DONE DONE.  (sorry for the hollering but I'm so over being a landlady right now)  I'll be glad to have that off my mind since I seem to have a limited amount of brain space available lately.

You totally wish you'd come to supper tonight.  I whipped up some Curried Shrimp with Garlic-Basil Coconut Rice with steamed fresh broccoli on the side.  You know, I used to say that I didn't like fruit with meat but I've found 2 shrimp recipes with orange marmalade in them and I confess I could have them each once a week and not get bored.  Chicken spaghetti's on tomorrow's menu.

March 27--Henri-Edmond Cross, Two Women by the Shore, Mediterranean.  The sea sounded like it was chuckling at a private joke as it tumbled the pebbles on the shore.  Marta and Cecile sat in the shade squinting at the sun sparkles on the wavelets.  "The sea is so calm," said Marta.  "There's no wind today," Cecile said, "I would almost be willing to swim but it's too cold."  Marta looked at her friend's profile.  "You can't swim."  Cecile smiled.  "A day like today, sunny with no wind, makes me feel like I could if I only went into the sea."  "You'd drown," Marta said, "and expect me to come save you.  Then when I couldn't you would haunt me for the rest of my life."  She shook her head.  "No swimming."

I have high hopes for having some sewing or knitting to show you tomorrow.  That is, if no more rental chores rear their heads.  Wish me luck..

Monday, March 26, 2018

Birds & Growing Stuff


I caught sight of Spring today.  Out on a feeder there was a goldfinch in mid-color change.  You can see that it's shedding the avocado green winter feathers in favor of summer yellow.  The house finches are looking pinker these days too.

In the front yard micro-climate up against the brick front of the house crocuses are blooming, the hyacinth is getting ready to send up that flower, and more bulbs and lilies are sprouting.

Speaking of lilies, this yellow and burgundy version flung itself into my cart at Home Depot today when I went in to pick up touch-up paint, Frog tape, and a slanted brush for getting the last rental side chores done.


Unfortunately, HD was out of eggshell in their sample/touch-up size jars so I could only get the semi-gloss to paint the 3/4" gap between where the old countertop backsplash ended and the new one ends.  *sigh*  So I wire brushed the place
where the old one ended and the paint began, wiped it clean, let it dry while I tried Mr. Clean Magic Eraser-ing the remaining stain on the living room wall from the previous tenants' couch (didn't work, still need the touch-up paint), screwed in a curtain rod bracket more securely, and then painted the gap.  In between coats, the neighbor loaded up the old countertop, the cutout, the cheap metal bathroom shelf unit they left behind, and the replaced hanging light fixture into his pickup and took it and me to the ReStore... where they declined to take the countertop.  So he drove us to the city bulk waste yard, which was pretty much on the way home, only to find that it closes at 3 PM and it was 3:30.  *sigh*  He said he'll dispose of it tomorrow.  What a nice guy.  I came back to paint on another coat on the wall, put the shades on the hanging light now that the countertop's installed and the glass shades won't get hit and broken, strip off the tape which worked great (no edge bleed through), and spread oil-dry on some garage floor stains on my way home.  Tomorrow the plumber comes to install new kitchen faucet, caulk the bathroom sink, and check on a leak in the main drain cleanout in the basement.  Then on Wednesday HD should have the eggshell paint in so I can get that last bit done, the new renter comes after supper to go over the lease agreement, and I give her the keys.  One HUGE thing off my to-do list.  Whew.

Now that we're talking about eggshells, we ordered some Egglets (as seen on TV) and got around to trying them out today.  I visited the grand-chickens over the weekend and made off with 2 eggs so it was only right that we use them to try out the Egglets.  They worked great.  You just crack the egg(s) into a small dish, pour it into the Pam-ed silicone cup, screw on the cap, and lower it (them) into boiling water for 16 minutes, cool them in icy water, then slip them out with a spoon.  Perfect.  Durwood was so pleased.  He loves hard-boiled egg on toast but we suck at making them that are easy to peel.  This way, no peels!  Perfect.  Well worth the money.

March 26--Girls of the Marion Morgan School of Dance in L.A., Performance in the Snow, Central Park, New York City.  The snow burned their bare feet like hot coals.  The five young women wore only black silk tunics and they were barefoot.  Even getting to the spot from the car had been an adventure.  The closest street to the meadow wasn't cleared so they had to walk three blocks, then find a place to put their coats and boots.  The photographer's assistant was too occupied with keeping the film the correct temperature to be any help at all.  Finally Annalissa got them together and started taking photos.

That was a crazy picture.  After supper I added a couple rounds onto O's Packer Barley hat but, to be honest, I fell asleep on the couch almost immediately--and woke myself up snoring.  Time to write a quick blog post and hit the hay.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Bye, DD

Early this evening I drove DD to the airport, hugged her like I'd never see her again, and drove back home.  It was great having her here for a few days.  We talked and talked, knitted, sewed, did a little rental-readying, laughed, and cried.  Man, I wish she lived closer.

This morning the sunrise did its best to cheer me up.  It was a good attempt but having to send my darling girl back to her husband, job, and life cast a pall on the day.

Yesterday I finally stole an hour and finished the gray linen Dress No. 1 I cut out a month ago.  I'm wearing it right now with my snakeskin printed leggings.  I think I look cool.

DD and I went to Walmart yesterday and look who I met up with.  It was the Easter Bunny wearing a Walmart vest.  Did you know he works at Walmart?  Me neither.  He wasn't handing out treats either, the piker.

Today DD and I went downstairs and whipped up a batch of lotion bars as an experiment.  We made them years ago and someone at knitting guild had one last week which reminded me that I can make my own.  I dug out a couple trays of soap molds and made some small ones, not ready to commit to a big batch of them.  I need to find some solid "butter" that is a little less melty than coconut oil so they hold together better when you touch them.  This is equal parts of coconut oil, beeswax, and cocoa butter and it's pretty quick to melt in your hand--further research is needed.

I looked on Ravelry for a quick, short, simple pattern to put in next month's knitting guild newsletter and ran across this one for Sweet Somethings which is a small, (sort of) heart shaped, cotton cloth or coaster so I whipped up a couple this afternoon.  (see where the variegated yarn ran out on the left one? grrr)  It's nice and squishy and would be a great hostess gift with a bar of special soap.  The sacrifices I make for my public...

March 26--Kazimir Severinovich Malevich, Flower Girl.  She held the small bouquet in a strangle grip.  Her knuckles were white and the petals of the flowers trembled.  Armand fumbled in his pocket for some of the confusing coins and bills he had gotten in exchange for his familiar money when he arrived.  Why couldn't everyone use the same money, his money, American money, and they should all speak the same language too.  He couldn't tell if the girl was selling flowers or herself.  She was so tense he was certain that more than flower-selling was going on.  If only he understood what she was saying.  He leaned toward her as if proximity would help him understand, that's when he felt the tiny pinprick in his arm and the whole scene began to sway and fade.

I missed talking to you the last couple days even though the conversation is mostly one-sided, I still look forward to talking to you every day.  House guests make you busy, even grownup kid house guests.  I'm tired.  Good night.

Thursday, March 22, 2018


This afternoon our DD arrived on a big silver airplane, well, I assume it was a big silver airplane.  They don't let you get anywhere near the airplanes at airports these days, not unless you have a ticket, 16 forms of ID, and no fuses in your shoes.  But I was fascinated to see this mobile hanging in the part of the airport I could get to.  It's made up of paper birds that look like airplanes with feathers and eyes.  There are a zillion of them, each one is different, and I wanted to look and touch each one.  There were "do not touch" signs all around.  *sigh*  Nobody lets me have any fun anymore.

Do you want to know how chilly it was this morning?  When I opened the drapes I saw that the birdbath wasn't icy but the water was steaming.  I know it doesn't show well in this photo but, trust me, there were wisps of steam rising from the pale green water.

I got a call from the city's rat guy.  Seems the city is giving a little money to each neighborhood association to reimburse residents for rat traps they purchase, they're not providing the traps.  He sent me a report from the CDC about rat control and gave me some tips about how to box in the rat so it has to emerge where I've set the trap.  That'll work--once the ground is thawed enough for me to move the plant stakes, etc. that have frozen in place around the sides of the shed.  This may turn into a siege.

The countertop got delivered to the home improvement store today and the handyman picked up the receipt so he can pick the countertop up.  Hopefully it'll get installed tomorrow without too much trouble.  The renter's stopping over tomorrow after work with a nice big check for the first month and security deposit.  On Tuesday the plumber's coming to put in a new kitchen faucet, caulk the bathroom sink, and check on a leaky cleanout on the main water pipe downstairs.  That should be everything.  Today DD helped me put up new window shades and curtain rods in the bedrooms.

I didn't walk until after supper today.  Company, you know, so I was out and about when the sun was setting.  I didn't get the blazing sunset but I enjoyed the soft peachy orange sky.

March 22--George Stubbs, White Poodle in a Punt.  "I don't like dogs," Marjorie said, "except for Max here."  Her fingers combed through the standard poodle's fur.  "Max is the most un-doglike dog on the planet."  She sniffed as if she felt someone within earshot about to disagree.  "He can tell time.  He always knows when it's suppertime and I am absolutely certain he could drive if his paws would reach the pedals."  Lawrence didn't look up from his book.  "Mm-hm."  He had given up trying to convince her that Max was nothing more than a run of the mill specimen of a canine.  Max looked up at Lawrence and growled a little as if he could read the man's mind.

After supper I frogged the 10 rounds of hat I knitted last night and went down a needle size but only managed to knit a round or two before the call of the blog lured me here.  I'll do more tomorrow and let you know if it was a good idea.  Time to turn in, I"m bushed.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

I See The Moon...


Do you have that song in your head now?  I do.  When I reached to pull down the shade over the bed I looked out to see this perfect crescent moon in the black sky so of course I had to go out into the freezing night to take its picture.

My friend, AT, come over this morning with a few of her jewelry tools and worked her magic, taking the colored "pearls" in the box of six pairs of earrings I got (for three bucks) at the Sister Bay thrift shop last month off the wires and added rings so I can thread them onto my favorite hoops so now I can have red and teal and gold and orange and pale green and pink pearl drop earrings in addition to the six "natural" pearl drops that came in the original set.  I have no illusions that any of these are real or cultured pearls but I like the earrings a lot and I used to wear them almost every day back in my working days.  I'm glad to have more colors to choose from.  More colors to mix and match...

This little chipmunk perched on the arm of the only patio chair that lives outside year round working very hard on a kernel of corn.  The chippies are playing chase games, zooming across the retaining wall timbers and scooting from one side of the patio to the other.  Maybe they're not chase games but mating games.  What do you think?  Will we have a bumper crop of chipmunks this year?

I took the day off from working on the rental, I decided to put up the new window shades and bedroom curtain rods tomorrow which meant I had time to sit on the couch to finish March Preemie Hat #3.  This time I just closed the top instead of making a loop or a little stem.  Variety is the spice of life, isn't that how the saying goes?

After supper I added rounds to O's Packer Barley Hat and
decided that it's too big.  Then I got out the hat that he likes to wear when we go out to fill birdfeeders and it's less than an inch smaller so I guess my eyes were playing tricks on me.  I'm thinking maybe I'll take out the 10 rounds above the ribbing and go down a needle size just to make it not so big because it seems like I'm knitting kind of loosely.  Tomorrow DD arrives, we can consult.  Tomorrow!  Hooray!

It wasn't as chilly and not quite as windy this afternoon when I went out to continue my "walk" to Edinburgh.  Today I turned right when I got to the sidewalk and went around the block the opposite way.  My left calf muscle has been achy the last day or so and Durwood suggested that maybe it was because I was always making left turns on my circuit around the big block.  If nothing else I can alternate directions around the block so that both calves ache.

I didn't write the prompt last night, I was just too danged tired and it was too danged late.  I'll write tonight.  Cross my heart.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Another Busy Day

Today I feel like I was in motion from the time I got up until sitting down after a late-ish supper to knit, until I realized that it's after 10 o'clock and I hadn't made a pot of coffee for Durwood or taken out the trash or gotten in here to blog.  *sigh*  Pretty soon I'll have some time to relax, really I will.  (she says hopefully)

As soon as I finished my morning yoga I flung on some clothes (jeans I haven't been comfortable in for years--woohoo!) and zoomed to Walmart for window shades and curtain rods for the rental side, then to Home Depot for a roll of screen and some spline so I could repair the screens in both storm doors.  I had to zoom because the carpet cleaners were scheduled to arrive at 10:15.  They were a little late which was okay.  It only took them 45 minutes to clean and Scotchgard the carpets next door, and Alex even had some magic solvent that removed most of the couch rubbing stain on the living room wall.  He said he thinks another session with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser might finish the job.  I'll try that as soon as the carpet's dry.  Tomorrow.

Yesterday afternoon I came back from an errand to find my knitting friend, HH, here visiting with Durwood.  She lost her mom about 10 days ago and she's just lost.  She's single and has taken care of her mom for as long as I've known her--maybe 6 or 7 years--and to have that abruptly end has to make her feel off balance.  Anyway, she collected the flowers from her mom's funeral last Sunday and stopped by to share a few of the roses with me.  They're huge, beautiful, and they smell great.  She said she hoped I didn't mind "funeral flowers" and I assured her that sadness and death never sticks to something that beautiful.  It was very thoughtful of her, don't you think?

You know that today is the first day of Spring, right?  Well, it might say Spring on the calendar but here's feathered proof that Spring hasn't arrived, no matter what the bulbs in my front yard think.  This is a junco, one of the birds that migrates south from the Arctic to winter here where it's warmer.  Yeah, warmer.  I stubbornly took a walk this afternoon, froze my nose nearly off in the cold wind from the northeast, but I got to listen to the next installment of The Walk.  Exciting things happened in the story which makes me want to walk again tomorrow.  Maybe it won't be so windy.

Last night I cast on and knitted a few rounds on March Preemie Hat #3.  It's a teeny tiny preemie hat which shouldn't take too long to finish.

This evening I was pawing through the bin of yarn etc. I keep in the living room and found myself casting on and knitting the ribbing of O's Packer Barley hat.  This cheap acrylic yarn is pretty scratchy but I'm hoping a bath in creme rinse helps it feel a little softer once the knitting is finished.

March 20--Amadeo Modigliani, Portrait of a Woman.  Paula stared out at the gray day.  Morning mist had thickened into fog that clung to the trees like spiderwebs.  Shapes appeared and were obscured by the shifting fog.  At times it looked like the pine forest was marching toward the house.  Her fingers clutched the fabric of her skirt, pleating and smoothing it in turns.  Her dark eyes flicked up to the treetops.  They followed a flock of crows as the birds squabbled from branch to branch.

The best news of the day is that we have a tenant.  The woman from my caregivers' group stopped by after work today, walked through, asked a few questions, filled out an application, I called her references, and she took it.  She'll bring a check later in the week and I'll hand over keys as soon as the work in the kitchen is done.  Hallelujah!  And whew.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Signs of Spring

Even though the high temperature today equaled the low temperature of the past weekend, signs of Spring were everywhere.

When I opened the curtains this morning the sky was clear and blue with the palest of pink on the clouds and when I went out to pick up the newspaper the dawn pink was reflected on the clouds in the west even though it had disappeared in the east.  For some reason that pink reflection on the clouds in the western sky tickles me no end.

Durwood exclaimed that there was a robin at the birdbath, I turned to look and, by golly, he was right.  It's the first robin either of us has seen this year.

Then he commented that the grass on top of the rise in the backyard right below the retaining wall is turning green.  Look!  Green grass.

Peering deep into the hyacinth leaves you can see the tip of the flower stalk just waiting to grow and make a beautiful purple flower.  

I didn't take a walk today.  It was chilly and windy and by the time I had time to walk I was already cold so I decided to wait for a less windy day.  Cold I can endure, it's the wind that cuts through any coat that keeps me indoors.

Yep, spring is on the way all right.  I've been so busy trying to get the rental side of the duplex ready to be shown later this week that I didn't knit or sew today.  I'd show you a picture of the caulking gun and putty knife I used to glue the kitchen cupboard kick board cove back into place but I was afraid I'd glue my finger to the shutter button of the camera.

March 19--Paul Cezanne, Hamlet at Payannet, near Gardanne.  Tucked into the foothills, the little village baked in the summer sun.  The stucco buildings and houses were all the color of biscuits perfectly baked and ready to be buttered.  The red tile roofs looked like currant jam.  Max and Claire felt baked too.  The countryside had been flat and treeless the whole way and the anemic air conditioner in their rental car was worse than not having it at all.  Max parked under a peeling sign that read "Hotel" in poison green letters.  "I hope that means we can get something to drink here," he said, stretching his arms behind his head.  "It's probably too much to hope for that it will be cool inside."  He got out of the car and stood in the powdery yellow dust of the road.  "Did you know that France would be this hot?"  Claire just shook her head, too hot and thirsty to speak.

Maybe I'll go cast on another preemie hat.  It feels odd not to have some knitting progress to show you every day.  At least I'm not sitting here racing to be done with this post by midnight.  That has to count for something.  Tomorrow the carpet cleaners come and also tomorrow I plan to replace the screen in both front storm doors and go to Walmart for new window shades and some simple curtain rods.  On Thursday the replacement countertop is supposed to be delivered to the home improvement store which means I can schedule the handyman and plumber to come early next week and get this thing ready for new tenants.  Almost...

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Walking The Walk

Today was another glorious sunny, 50 degree day so after I washed the windows in the rental side and went to the funeral of one of my knitting friends' mother, I got my jeans and walking shoes on, made sure The Walk podcast was indeed on my iPod, and strode off.  I turned on the podcast as I stepped out of the patio door and was transported to the train station in Inverness, Scotland where bad people set off an electromagnetic pulse that crashed all of the electric things like trains and cars and phones so I (Walker, the hero of the tale) have to walk to Edinburgh with a package to save the world, being wary of people I meet, not knowing who's a good guy and who's bad.  By the time I was 10 minutes into the 22 minute segment I had stopped twice because I thought someone was following me only to discover that the footsteps were in the story.  By the time I was almost home I was considering going around again so I could listen to the next installment but the sun was going down, I was chilly, and it was time to make supper.  You'd better bet I'll be taking a walk tomorrow.  Funny how caught up in the story I am after only the first chapter.  And it's free.

To extend my time outside I did a little stick picking up so on the off chance the stick truck comes anytime soon the sticks will be ready.  I grabbed the loppers and some leather gloves and trimmed the rose canes.  Not as short as I did last year, forgetting then that the early blossoms come on the "old wood" and the late blossoms are on the "new wood."  I'm not making that mistake again, I live for those deep red and very fragrant blooms to remind me of Dad.  When I trimmed the roses I had to keep this branch of rose hips.  They're a deep mahogany color and too pretty to put on the stick pile so they're in a vase next to me keeping me company while I type.

Next to the rose bush these two little crocuses are poked up, getting ready to unfurl their petals any day now.  Except it's supposed to get chilly again.  Daytime temps in the mid-30s for the rest of the week.  Good thing I have a warm coat, hat, and mittens so I can keep "walking to Edinburgh."

These are the daffodils I planted 40 years ago when we built this house.  They've come up through juniper bushes, survived me digging out the junipers, and keep coming up faithfully like clockwork.  One year when Mom and Dad lived here, a mama Mallard duck nested in the juniper and sat on her eggs in a ring of yellow flowers.  Looks like it might be time to pile on more mulch...

I've been pretty busy trying to get the rental side ready for new tenants so I don't really have a "big" knitting project going but I took my knitting bag to the funeral (what? I sat in the back and sang along, no lightning struck me down) and cast on another preemie hat.  I decided to make the top cord a bit longer, then sew it down to make a loop.  I like it.  P.S. the yarn does that all by itself.

March 18--Winslow Homer, The Four Leaf Clover.  Amelia crouched over the green patch of rounded leaves.  She took her time examining each stem before moving on to the next.  "Three.  Three.  Three," she said as she rejected them all.  Mary had told her that she had seen a four-leaf clover but Amelia was having no luck finding it at all.  And her fingers were getting green.

Most of the time I don't think my weight loss is very evident but when I was washing windows and would reach over my head my jeans slipped down on my hips.  Not wanting to be mistaken for a young black man on my walk I dug out a belt to keep my pants around my waist where they belong.  Hm, maybe it's evident after all... close to 30# gone.