Monday, April 30, 2018

It's A Bluejay Day

Warm!  It got warm today--over 70 degrees.  It was sunny too.  This is more like it.

This bluejay and his/her partner came back to the peanut wreath at least a dozen times this morning performing many feats of acrobatics to get the perfect peanut out.

It was so nice out today that I carried up my summer socks and put my winter socks in the bags to take downstairs until next fall.  Don't worry, I didn't jinx us, I left a couple pairs of warm-ish socks in the dresser to keep the cold at bay.  Tomorrow I think I'll carry up a few short sleeved shirts.

This afternoon I dragged the patio table and chairs out of the shed and got them set up on the patio.  (I'd have taken a picture but the table's white and pretty dirty, I didn't want to get out the 409 and the hose so you'll have to imagine it.)  Then I got the extra-faded umbrella out of the garage.  I wasn't brave enough to open it up because I suspect that the canvas has reached it's breaking point and if I stretch it out it will tear along the folds.  Durwood keeps insisting that he's going to buy a new one but he's seeing market umbrellas that are about $30-$40 and I suspect that isn't what we need.  I'll have to take a tour of the Walmart patio department one of these days.

Tomorrow we have the last appointment on our Estate Planning quest.  Not that we're putting out the welcome mat for the Grim Reaper or anything, but when he eventually stops by we'll be ready.  The only thing I have to do after tomorrow's appointment is pick up an accordion file or two at the office store so that I can have all of the pertinent info in one convenient place.  I think I'll get a flashy file, something with bright colors and maybe flowers, so it won't get lost in the shuffle.

I'm not accustomed to knitting hats on size 6 needles so this Two-Row Stripe Packer hat is going slowly.  Of course if I knitted on it more it'd go faster.

April 30--Jan Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring.  

He called her name
as she walked away.
She turned,
a look of sad apprehension
tugged at her lower lip.
The light glistened
on the pearl earring
heavy on her small ear.

Well, that's it, the last of the 2018 April Poetry Month poems and I have to say that I'm relieved.  I didn't feel like the fire of inspiration struck very often over the last 30 days but, as always, I'm glad I played along.  It also came to me today that I need to have the May issue of the Bay Lakes Knitting Guild newsletter put together and ready to email to the members on Thursday, this Thursday.  Eek.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Stakes--check. Bales--check.

I meant to go yesterday but got caught in the kitchen so this morning I went to Menard's to spend our rebate from stuff for fixing up the rental side on some 8 ft. tall stakes to use on either end of the bales this year.  I brought them home, then went to Stein's for bales.  I am so glad that our side yard is wide enough that I can drive around back to unload heavy or bulky things.  I'll get them set up probably Tuesday or Wednesday then I can start conditioning the bales in preparation for planting after the middle of May.

The rhubarb's getting bigger.  Soon there will be pie.  Or bread.  Or crisp.

While we had lunch Durwood spotted this Downy Woodpecker on the suet.  I've been wondering when we'd see a woodpecker and today was the day.

After lunch I went downstairs and sewed up this Tunic.  This cow fabric came from my friend BD's late mom's stash.  I couldn't resist making something with it.  I mean, cow fabric, what's not to love?  I got 2 more dresses started but had to stop to make supper and didn't get back there until too late to finish them tonight.  I'll get back down there soon and get them done.

April 29--Charles Conder, A Holiday at Mentone.  

A little square of painting
perforated all around,
meant to speed
letters from me to you.
Chosen for the story
the picture tells,
a bonus message,
a hidden compliment
of what you mean
to me.

I always try to make the stamp I put on notes and cards kind of go with the recipient.  Don't you?  Have you looked at stamps?  They're really pretty and I love the variety.  Durwood always wants flags.  Boring.  I get one sheet of a whole bunch of them, each one different, and enjoy doling them out.  Do you realize that tomorrow's the last day of April already?  I am amazed.  Especially since we had frost last night again.  *sigh*

Saturday, April 28, 2018

You Are So Sorry You Didn't Have Supper Here

Durwood got the latest issue of Food Network Magazine the other day and put a blizzard of post-its on recipes.  Only one of them demanded to be made at once--Lemon-Basil Chicken with Zucchini Noodles.  Oh. My. God.  So good.  It's a pain in the keester to spiralize three zucchinis but spending less than $2 for 1 1/4# of them at Aldi is far preferable to spending $10 for pre-spiralized ones at Pick 'N Save.  So I spiralized.  I also got smart and only cooked half of the zoodles and bagged the other half to cook on Monday when we have the second half of the recipe.  I also made rhubarb-strawberry sauce from the same magazine to serve over angel food cake with whipped cream but that disappeared so fast there are no pictures.

This morning I realized that today was 2 weeks since I'd made the Italian Semolina bread dough and 2 weeks is its fridge shelf life so I had to bake bread today.  (what a pity)  It gave me a chance to try out my new baking stone (it worked great) and now we have 2 loaves of yummy bread all sliced and ready to devour.  One loaf, the smaller one, is in the freezer so we don't just sit at the table with a pound of butter and two knives and eat it all.  Actually Durwood would be standing at the toaster with his butter knife because, well, because toast is important.  Once we scoured every store in Bonaire for a toaster when our efficiency didn't have one.  We found one for $17 at the Eastern Store and there was much rejoicing especially from the Bearded One.  Let's be serious, what do you do with a jar of guava jelly if you don't have toast?  I rest my case.

I really meant to spend the day knitting and not accomplishing much but we all know how incapable I am of performing that feat.  I made it almost until 11:00 sitting and knitting on the couch while watching mindless DIY network TV when I remembered about the bread dough so I had to leap up to form the loaves, make the cornstarch wash so the sesame seeds stick to the crust, and preheat the oven while the dough rose for an hour.  In that hour I finished Montparnasse sleeve #1, took it downstairs and set it to soaking.  After supper I squeezed out the water and patted and pinned it into shape.  Now I have to wind the next color I plan to use for the next part.  I think I'll make one of the fronts, just for variety.  Maybe tomorrow I'll get all the rest of the colors of yarn wound into balls so I don't have to pause between parts.  Maybe if I do that I'll actually get this sweater done before it turns cold enough to wear a wool sweater again.  (oh, I probably shouldn't have written that; it'll probably make it snow again)

A goldfinch slammed into the patio door this morning and spent some time lying on his back on top of the charcoal hob on the patio.  We could see it breathing so we left it alone just in case it was only stunned.  It must have been because within an hour it was gone.  This cardinal came for its daily ration of seed.  I swear it poses in the sunshine on purpose.  (the other day I wondered whether the bird was named after the Catholic Cardinals or the priest was named for the bird.  I looked it up, the Catholic Cardinals have been around since the 1400s and the cardinal bird is native to North America so it's named for the Cardinals in Rome due to its color. Who says you don't learn things on my blog?)

April 28--Felix Edouard Vallotton, At the Market.  

Matrons jostle,
squeeze melons,
sniff tomatoes,
pinch peaches,
debate a chicken's merits with the butcher.
Baguette under one arm,
string bag over the other--
familiar ritual
essential part of the day--
part adventure, part drudgery,
dreaded but enjoyed.

I'm not going to make any rash promises or predictions about how I'm going to spend tomorrow.  I'll take it as it comes and try, no, work at taking it slow-er.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Nuthin' But Spring

I had a very busy day but did spend some time outside picking up blown-in trash and sticks, dragging the birdie tree to the curb, taking out last year's straw bale stakes, and raking the bale remnants into a pile.  Oh yeah, and picking up the dead RAT corpse (not bare-handed) and throwing it into the trash.  No, I didn't put out poison and no, I never managed to entice it into a trap.  I looked out this morning to see it lying dead between the patio step and the birdseed cans.  *shrugs*  Evidently someone did put out poison, the RAT ate it, and chose to kick the bucket on my patio.  I was happy to dispose of the remains so that none of the hawks or owls that hunt around here ate it and died from eating poisoned meat.  (I took its picture but won't put it onto the blog. Instagram maybe, but not the blog.  You're welcome.)  Instead here's a picture of the first dandelion with its resident ant.

Picking up all of the little and not so little pieces of trash that have blown into the yard the last few days led me to seeing all sorts of sprouts and flowers.  In front of the house I don't know how I missed them but these two daffodils are in the same clump as the early hyacinth and I first noticed them today.  I just love how they look with their short orange throats and semi-ruffled petals.

This is the first grape hyacinth to bloom.  There are a whole whack of them getting ready to bloom but this is the first.


In the garden I pulled up a plant tag that was right next to the edge timber and saw these little chocolate mint sprouts poking out.  I put the tag right back in so I remember what's what.

I know this doesn't look like much but it's all that remains of last year's straw bales raked into a pile.  My plan is to plant at least one potato in there.  One of this weekend's to-dos is to read up on growing potatoes in straw bales.  I'm so glad I bought that book.  I'll probably head over to Menard's for taller stakes (I have a rebate to spend) so I can fasten 2x4s between them so they stay upright and hold the trellis wires more securely.  I plan to learn from last year's rookie mistakes.  Maybe I'll even go to Stein's for bales and get started conditioning them.  I'll have to see how much fertilizer I have left for that.  

The mild, low-snow winter let the bunnies munch off almost all of the blueberry bushes' branches.  I didn't get the chance today to get down and check for sure but I'll be surprised if I get many berries this year.  Dammit.

I didn't write last night.  It was too late, I was too tired and crabby, and knew that today would be a busy one.  You'll just have to be content with the pictures.

Oh, this isn't the greatest picture but I managed to capture a photo of one of the robins flying up to nab a bit of apple/raisin/suet cake before falling down to eat what it managed to get.  There are two robins that have figured this out.  Another one lands on top of the feeder and tries to lean over to eat while fluttering like crazy to keep its balance.  Very entertaining watching how they work it out.

Thursday, April 26, 2018


When I went out this morning I looked to see how the rhubarb was doing and to my delight the pink knuckles poking out of the ground have turned into leaves.  Pretty soon, in a few weeks, the leaves will be bigger, the stalks will be longer, and we'll be able to have rhubarb sauce or pie or crisp or bread.  Yum, rhubarb.

This group of goldfinches came for a snack today.  I don't know if you noticed but the goldfinch on the top left isn't as far into getting his summer dating coloration as the one on the lower left is.  It makes me feel smart to notice them changing colors.  It also means spring is really going to come and maybe summer too.

Today was a making day.  I melted a bunch of oils together to make a batch of lotion bars.  The tubes are like big lip balm tubes.  I used just a hint of clementine essential oil because I'm addicted to the clean scent of citrus these days.

After lotion crafting I fired up the sewing machine and sewed up a shirt from reclaimed Caribbean fabric.  I kept the neck and sleeve hems as-is and just cut the sides and bottom using the Shirt No. 1 pattern from 100 Acts of Sewing.  I'm going to get a lot more wear out of this than I ever would have if it stayed in caftan form.  I have two more reclaimed Caribbean garments cut to resew and one more to figure out how to re-purpose.  Not tossing them into the donate bag makes me feel virtuous.


Tonight I finished the ribbing and started the one-row stripes of the next Packer hat.  I like it.

April 26--Claude Monet, The Cliff of Aval, Etretat.  

Waves batter the cliff,
water forces the rock to part,
makes fissures,
pushes its way into small gaps.
Stone is no match
for the soft, malleable,
water of the sea.

Now I see that I've stayed up too late--again.  Arrgh.  And I feel like I'm getting a sore throat although I'm trying to convince myself that it's allergies.  I'm not convinced.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

I Made Writing!

After lunch I met a friend at The Attic Cafe & Books.  We did a prompt write and then each worked on our separate projects.  I worked at injecting some more conflict into Chapter 28 of The Seaview.  Iggy invites Rose to his house for the weekend (oo-o-o-o-oh!) and the neighborhood widows (and wives, for that matter) give her a hearty dose of the cold shoulder--and we all know how women can be when they feel their turf has been usurped.  I took my trusty Alphasmart and wrote a good 3/4 of a page that I can tuck into the scene at the neighborhood Saturday night beach party and have a bit more to write to tuck into another spot before moving on to the next chapter.  Writering, I likes it.

The first clump of mini-daffodils that I planted years ago in front of the rental side has bloomed.  It's always the first daffodils to bloom and just because they're tiny doesn't mean they aren't appreciated for their bright yellowness.

The grackles are having a lovely time pecking at and eating the apple/raisin/suet cake and the robins are taking full advantage of the pieces that fall to the ground.  This robin chased away a grackle that landed nearby thinking it'd get some of that fallen goodness.  When the grackles aren't there a robin will land on top of the suet cage, lean over and start to fall/fly, grabbing a beakful on the way past.  It's pretty entertaining.  Of course, Durwood wants the grackles to leave the suet alone so the robins can eat it all but I don't know, the grackles are kind of pretty and they have to eat too.  I assured him that I'm not making any more special cakes since seeing that robin tug a couple worms out of the ground yesterday so once that fruit and suet cake is gone the grackles will be mostly gone too.  Oh, and speaking of gone, it's probably been a month since I've seen THE RAT.  This is a good thing.  I'll be spending some time this spring clearing out the stuff around the shed and blocking off access so we don't have another unwelcome guest living there next winter.

After supper tonight I cast on another Packer hat.  The first one I made using the dreaded, scratchy Red Heart yarn isn't what I'd hoped it would be so I broke down and bought some wool/acrylic blend yarn in a better forest green and a more mellow gold, then I found a pattern for a one row stripe hat and I like one row stripes.

April 25--Riviere Briton, Sympathy.  

Time outs are hard.
Sitting there,
out of the fun,
when good ol' Rex
leans his scratchy muzzle
on my shoulder,
sighs in sympathy
at my plight.
With his support I think
I'll make it.

I'm planning to take a walk tomorrow.  Since the snowstorm I haven't walked, haven't listened to The Walk podcast because a whole lot of driveways got plowed but I noticed that there were bulwarks of snow across the sidewalks next to those driveways.  It's been warm enough the last few days that I figure most of the snow is gone.  Just think, a week and a day ago I was standing in my snowshoes on top of the drift in front of the living room window with my eyes nearly on a level with the eaves.  Man, I love living here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

We've Got Worms

I've been keeping a close-ish eye on the apple/raisin/suet cake I hung out for the robins.  Naturally the rapacious grackles found it first.  They stopped by to gorge on suet pellets in the feeder back by the retaining wall and one of them moseyed on over to the suet cake and spread the word.  I figured some critter, bird or squirrel, would find it then knock little bits of it onto the ground for the robins because as a rule they don't eat from feeders.  There were a couple robins hopping around under there, pecking up any suet and apple crumbs, yesterday and today.  This morning I spied a robin tugging a reluctant earthworm out of the ground.  Hooray, we've got worms!

I got tired of watching squirrels empty the cracked corn feeder having gnawed the plastic below the feeding port so that the seeds and corn just cascade out onto the ground so I blew the budget and bought a new feeder with a spring-loaded tube that shuts the ports and the edges of the ports are metal.  Ha!  Take that, squirrels.

I haven't done much knitting, only added a few rows to the first Montparnasse sleeve, and I've done no sewing the last few days.  Since spring has finally sprung around here I've been feverishly purging unworn clothes and unloved possessions (you're welcome, Salvation Army) and digging into the haphazard pile of junk that made it to the bottom of the basement stairs and no further.  There are no pictures of me sorting through and bagging donations, sorry.  I haven't cooked much either since we met friends for cheeseburgers and Tater Tots (well, that's what I had, Durwood had a deluxe hamburger [with lettuce & tomato] and onion rings) at a cafe in a gas station for supper last night.  Now don't turn up your nose at the sound of gas station cafe burgers, these are real burgers made with real meat by real college kids, made fresh when you order.  WW has taken a bit of a beating the last couple days but it was so worth it.

April 24--Daniel Ridgway Knight, Fishing on a Spring Day.  

A minnow was bait.
The fish I caught
was barely bigger.
The pair of them
could be earrings.

Today was cleaning lady day so the carpets look manicured and my shoes don't stick to the kitchen floor.  I love a clean house and hate to make it so.  Thank you, MB, you're deeply appreciated.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

The Best Cheeseburgers...


It was gorgeous, blue sky with lots of sun, this morning when I went out to fill up the birdbath and all the feeders.  I popped my frozen apple/raisin/suet cake out of its tray, slid it into the suet feeder I dug out of the basement last night, and hung it on the crook.  Now all I need is for a robin or two to get the message that it's there.

Despite the thick blanket of snow that covered everything up last weekend the rhubarb is continuing to poke its pink knuckles out of the ground.  Pretty soon that big one will unfurl leaves and then, zoom, it'll shoot up like rockets.

Durwood and I met TWA and his wife, ARA, for lunch at Joe Rouer's Bar in Duval (a crossroads in rural Kewaunee Co. about 20 mile north of Green Bay).  I started going to Joe Rouer's for burgers when I was in college back in the Dark Ages when Joe and Mrs. Joe were still alive and raising their own beef cattle and having the whole cow ground into hamburger.  She'd fry them up in an ancient-even-then skillet.  They were divine--and they're still pretty darned good.  T and A were on their way home from church a little further north so it was a good place to meet to eat and catch up.  We haven't seen them in quite a while, we enjoyed visiting and reconnecting after a couple of challenging years for all of us.

On our way back into town I stopped to take a look at Wequiok Cascades which is a little waterfall just off the highway.  With last weekend's 24 inches of snow and temperatures over 50 degrees for the last couple days there's a lot of water hurrying down the escarpment toward the bay.  Have I told you that the limestone escarpment that runs up the west side of the bay of Green Bay is the western edge of the same limestone that forms Niagara Falls?  Yep, it's like a big rim of stone that juts up and around from Wisconsin to New York.  Pretty cool, huh?

The other day I stopped in at DIL1's office to drop something off and I snapped pictures of the cool plant towers that line the entrance of the student cafeteria.  There are herbs and greens planted in these white plastic towers ringed in grow lights with a nutrient solution pumped through.  DIL1 said that they harvest the plants for use in the food they serve.  They're too big for home use but I'm intrigued.  Wouldn't it be great to be able to pick part of your food every day?  Come on, summer!

April 22--Patrick Henry Bruce, Forms.  

Three shades of blue,
red, brown, black,
one shock of chartreuse.
Blocky and sinuous,
perspective askew,
cubist modern
not representing anything
merely forms
for form's sake.

DS and I went to listen to Christopher Moore speak this evening.  He was funny, giving a fake commencement address, complete with mortarboard, because he said he'd never get asked to do a real one and he was pretty funny.  There was time for people to ask questions and then he signed books.  We each have a signed book of his that DD got for us when he did a book signing in Lexington years ago so we didn't stay for that.  It was nice to sit and talk about book with my son.  I should do that more.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Crazy Bird Lady

I suspect that I'm in the running for that title.  There was an article in Wednesday's
newspaper about the robins coming north looking for worms which are now residing under 2' of snow, that they don't eat seeds and the purple martins are on their way, they eat insects and won't be finding any of those since it's been too cold for any bugs to hatch so the naturalist at the Wildlife Sanctuary recommended putting out mealworms (dried or live), berries, and suet.  I thought about stopping at the birdseed store down the street for some mealworms today but didn't get around to it.  A followup article in today's paper let me know that I'd saved myself a fruitless trip because no one in town has mealworms in stock, people have bought them all and are lining up for expected shipments.  What really got me was the quote in
today's article that people have brought about 40 starving and dehydrated robins to the Sanctuary since the storm.  Now we always have water for birds (and squirrels, let's be honest) and in the summer a few robins figure out how to flap and balance on the suet feeder perch or to fly up from the ground to nab a beakful of suet to eat when they land so I had a brainstorm.  I went out and pulled the suet cakes out of the feeder, put in new ones, chopped up some raisins pretty small, chopped up half an apple really small, and stirred the raisins and apples in with the mashed up suet cake.  Then I pressed the mixture into the plastic tray that the suet cakes come in, slipped it into a sandwich bag, and put the whole thing into the freezer overnight.  I figured it might not stick together well so freezing it would give it some rigidity so I can shove the cake into a suet cage I unearthed from downstairs.  Tomorrow I'll pop it out of the tray, put it into the cage, and hang the cage on an empty crook out back.  Robins are mostly ground feeders but I figure some birds (or squirrels more likely) will start investigating the stuff on the crook and pieces of it will fall to the ground and maybe a robin will find it and tell its friends.  In the meantime I chopped up the other half of the apple, piled it into a old oriole feeder cup, and put it out on the crook just in case a hungry robin or purple martin comes by.

Last weekend's snow is melting.  This morning I noticed that the hyacinth in the corner by the porch is uncovered and still gamely blooming.  It got bent over by the weight of all that snow but it's still blooming away and the other bulbs are shrugging off the snow and coming on strong too.

I thought this morning's sunrise was moody and dramatic, not as welcome as yesterday's blue sky and bright sun, but nice just the same.  The sun came out during the day and the temperature got up high enough that even Durwood, who is always cold, suggested that we open a window and even crack the patio door open a bit in the afternoon.  Woohoo!  Real air.

After my last caregivers class this afternoon I went to Joann Fabrics for some green and gold yarn because the Packer hat I knitted for OJ is way too big and the yarn is too scratchy.  I found some sage green cotton yarn I liked too and then there was that stretch denim for 40% off...  I don't feel bad, I could have done so much more damage.  I didn't even get out my charge card.

April 21--Paul Gauguin, The Swineherd.  

Pyramid hills of green and rust
shelter the village from north winds.
Cypress tree exclamation points
punctuate the farms.
Claude ambles up the path,
his porcine companions snuffle
along behind,
explore for delicacies in the verge.
Claude keeps up a running commentary.
The pigs don't respond.

Tomorrow we're meeting my brother and sister-in-law, TWA and ARA, for lunch at Joe Rouer's Bar in Duval, about 20 miles north of here.  I can't decide if I'm more excited about seeing them or eating one of the world's best hamburgers.  Maybe a little of both.   And then in the early evening DS and I are going to an author talk by Christopher Moore, one of our favorite authors.  This weekend there have been seminars and author talks and all manner of writer and reader things going on around town but going to listen to Christopher Moore is the only thing I'll manage to get to.  Maybe next year I'll have myself better organized...  

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Stone, Sprouts & Birds

Last weekend during the blizzard I stirred up a half-batch of Italian Semolina bread dough
from the book, Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, only to remember after it was rising that my baking stone had cracked and been thrown away.  I suppose I could have formed the bread in a pan and baked it that way but I like the freeform loaves, sliding the risen dough off a cornmeal covered pizza peel onto the hot baking stone, flinging a cup of hot water in on the floor of the oven (to make crispy crust), and... well, I just like it.  So I surfed the web to see if Walmart or Target have baking stones in stock.  Walmart doesn't, Target does but those got awful reviews that they cracked after only a few uses.  That led me to the commercial kitchen store up Military Ave. today.  They had one, a nice one on the shelf for SEVENTY-FIVE DOLLARS.  Once I recovered my equilibrium I went over to look at the scoops and was paying for the one I decided on when I asked if there was any other place that sold them for not that much money.  The guy behind the counter said, "Did you look at the clearance racks?  We had some there."  Over we went and there were three of them for $15, much more my price range.  I bought one. This afternoon I slowly heated the stone per the directions until it spent an hour at 500 degrees and should be sufficiently dry to start baking stuff on it.  I think it'll have to live in the oven because it's heavy and I don't want to haul it around and I don't want it to break.  Early next week it'll get it's first chance to bake some bread.  I'll report.

I got a rotisserie chicken, boned it, chopped up the meat for the freezer, and tossed the bones and the dark parts of the skin into a pot of water with a carrot, a celery rib, and part of an onion with salt and pepper for homemade chicken broth.  It's so much tastier than the store-bought stuff and making it makes me feel virtuous, like I'm not wasting food.  Plus Durwood gets to pick over the bones when I've strained off the broth and he loves that.

The snow is starting to melt--big time.  It got over 50 degrees today and I saw that the daylily sprouts against the north side of the house are shrugging off last weekend's blizzard piles of snow and poking their little heads up again.  I am amazed at the resilience of those little green shoots.  You watch, once the snow in front of the house melts there'll be the hyacinths, daffodils, crocuses, tulips, and squills all perky and ready to bloom like two feet of snow never happened.  Crazy.

Birds!  Today a pair of bluejays rediscovered the peanuts and came and went a dozen times--and it took a dozen times for me to finally get one in-focus picture of one of them.  Mrs. Cardinal spent some time crunching seeds on the platform feeder.  This house finch was happy to find the seeds that the melting snow revealed.


I'm making progress on the Montparnasse sleeve.  I need to calculate how many stitches I need to end up with and figure out if I need to space out the increases so that the sleeve length and stitch count coincide.  All this math.  Who knew that knitting involved so much math?  BTW, our lesson teaching a bunch of the Guild members how to knit with Magic Loop went well and it seems like they all got it and like the new-to-them technique.  *pats self on the back*

April 19--Robert Delaunay, Passage with Disc.  

Bricks of brushstrokes
morph from foreground garden
shuffle to the horizon
spiral into the bright passage
from this dimension
to the next.

Coming home from Guild tonight I saw the crescent moon peering down at me through the tree branches.  I'm a sucker for that shot so here you go.  I need to be up early tomorrow so I have to sleep fast.  Night.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


That's the best way to describe the way I've been eating the last couple weeks.  I've been derailed from my healthy eating plans, gorging on sweet and salty things, too much of them, culminating in take-out lasagna from Olive Garden last night.  We split an order so it actually wasn't the worst derailment but my compulsive snacking is out of hand so I decided that today, just today, I'd stick to the plan.  And I did, for the most part, I had a couple malted milk balls after supper but I was pretty careful about what I ate and worked hard not to eat between meals (my biggest failing).  In the spirit of eating more healthily I cut up a fresh pineapple and three honey mangoes I got at ALDI the other day so I've got a big bowl of fruit for stirring my yogurt into at breakfast and nibbling on when I need something sweet.  Then I de-stemmed a bag of red grapes so that they're available to grab a handful of when I need a snack.  I will renew my pledge to stick to healthy eating tomorrow only.  One day at a time until I've broken the snacking habit--again.

This was today's lunch, a fully on-the-rails meal--lentil soup, baby carrots, wheat crackers, and a bowl of pineapple and mango.  Man, it tasted good and looked good too.  Why I eat fatty or sweet things when food like this makes me feel so good I will never understand.


Last week OJ was very frustrated trying to flip the huge (6" square) & floppy play food waffle with his toy spatula.  I gave him my biggest plastic spatula which worked but looked huge in his little hand so I found a different waffle dishcloth pattern, figured out how to make it smaller, and made one today.  This one's about three and a half inches on a side and should be perfect.  I also crocheted a couple "black & white" cookies to go with the pair of chocolate sandwich cookies and the two "chocolate chip" cookies.  He gets so much fun out of the yarn play food that I want to keep making things for the kitchen.

I have physical proof that it's still winter in Green Bay, WI--aside from the 2' of new snow on the ground.  This is a junco, one of those birds that migrates to Green Bay for the winter from their breeding grounds in the Arctic.  I figure that as long as there's a junco here, it's still winter.

Mr. & Mrs. Cardinal have been courting lately.  I saw them in the apple tree this afternoon and they were both on the platform feeder after supper, just at dusk.  The hawk flew across the parking lot behind the fence a few minutes later but by then all the little birdies had gone to roost for the night.  Whew.

April 18--Egyptian, New Kingdom, Scarab Beetle.  

Ancient Egyptians believed
that a scarab beetle
rolled the sun across the sky.
They watched dung beetles
roll balls of... well, poo
and drew their own comparison.
I wore a carved amber scarab to work
hoping it would make the days go faster.
Sometimes it seemed to help,
it never hurt.

This huge icicle formed today on the edge of the porch roof.  I watched it fall and thought, oh I hope it didn't impale the mailman or anyone but it just shattered on the step and flopped into the snow.  I spent the whole weekend battling the snowstorm but still can't get used to seeing all that snow in the middle of April.  What a crazy world this is.