Sunday, February 28, 2021

A Day of Rest

That's what today turned out to be.  I just couldn't muster up enough gumption to do much.  It's what Sundays used to be like when I was a kid, a day of rest.  People didn't work on Sundays, stores weren't open, businesses were closed, it was a simpler time.  Man, I'm old.


 One thing I managed to do today was to write the prompts.  I got out the Art Gallery Page-a-day calendar a few weeks back and started writing one at bedtime but I'm not as comfortable lying on my stomach in bed writing so I've been writing at the kitchen table.  It's more comfy but may not be as inspiring as that end of the day time.  The picture for this weekend was a Currier & Ives print of Noah's Ark.  That was fun to write about.

This squirrel came back to the suet pellet feeder today and didn't turn its back on me.  I'm fascinated to watch it hang there and nibble away at the underside of the feeder.  It makes headway because the level of pellets is going down.

I finished the latest art assignment.  We were to find something to complain about.  I decided I couldn't complain about things that can't be changed, like the coronavirus or the fact that chocolate ice cream has calories, so I chose my latest Amazon shipment which came days late so I didn't get to use the new containers for the Investment Cooking.  I wrote out the complaint and then used a container to illustrate my displeasure, cutting the Amazon logo apart so it isn't smiling, it's frowning.  I'll show them.  But is it Art?  I'm confused.

Today's toss was my last pair of jeans that are too big.  Part of me thinks I should keep them, just in case, but the rest of me wants them outta here.  They're folded up with the too big shirts from yesterday's toss.

The prompt was to convince someone to your opinion about something.  I'm not very good at that kind of arguing so I wrote a dialogue extolling the virtues of dark chocolate over milk chocolate.  I can be persuasive where chocolate is concerned.


Saturday, February 27, 2021


 I took the bath mat out the front door to shake it out, looked down, and saw little green shoots coming through the mulch.  Green!  This is on the south side of the house and next to the brick facade so there's a little micro-climate which grows things early.  It helps that we've had temps in the 40s during the daytime this week too.  It gets down to freezing at night but it's nice in the daytime.

A pair of Starlings came to the birdbath this morning...

...and then a Cardinal landed on the platform feeder for a few seeds.  He tolerated the House Finches for a minute and then ran them off.

This afternoon I went over to DS's house to see him, LC, and OJ (DIL1 was at work).  We talked about school and Girl Scouts and Legos.  OJ is learning to read and writing little phrases.  I almost got to bring some home with me but he decided he wanted to keep them.  Pretty soon I'll get my second vaccine shot and will be able to hug them.  I can't wait.

Also this afternoon I gathered up all the tax papers and got them in order.  I get a worksheet from my tax preparer so all I have to do is fill in the blanks and find the info and forms she'll need to get the job done.  Now I can call on Monday and get her to email me the contact form so I can print it off, fill it out, and drop it all off.

I finished the Greenie Beanie this evening.  For a while there I thought I might not have enough yarn but I made it with a bit to spare.  Not enough to do anything with of course, but too much to throw away.  I'll wind it into a little ball and stick it in the bag with the other little leftover balls of yarn.

Today's toss was two too big shirts.  It makes me feel good to put on a shirt and have it be baggy but I'm also running out of shirts.  Well, not really, I have plenty of shirts that fit since I ordered some awhile back but my closet looks kind of empty lately.

The prompt today asked you to describe your perfect death.  Really.  Prompts like that tempt me to stop using the book.  I said I want to die in my sleep in my 90s.  Who thinks of that stuff?


Friday, February 26, 2021


The squirrel was shy today.  Every time it climbed up to the suet pellets it turned its back to me.  No way could I get a squirrel face picture, only a squirrel back--and bushy tail, of course.

It was sunny and 40 degrees today so I decided to take a walk.  It was a good thing I decided to put on a hat and scarf (figuring I could take them off if I was too warm) because there was a chilly wind blowing in my face half the way around.  Brr.  The sunshine was nice, though.

I knitted on the Greenie Beanie tonight at Friday Night Knitting.  There's less green on this hat than I thought there'd be looking at the skein but I'm not changing the name at this stage of the game.

I spent an hour this afternoon portioning out a bag of M&Ms, one of pretzel twists, and one of animal crackers.  I know it seems like pointless work but having the precounted portions of snacks keeps me from plunging a hand into the bag and hauling out a mitt-ful of goodies.  Keeps me closer to the straight and narrow.

Today's toss was a stack of plates that were lurking behind some paper napkins in the basement.  I was surprised to see them since I had gotten rid of the rest of that set of dishes years ago.

The prompt today was surprisingly difficult.  If you had to live your life in a movie, which one would you choose?  I went way back and chose High Society an old Grace Kelly and Bing Crosby movie with a lot of singing and no violence.  I don't want to live in a violent place.  No more violent that the place and times I live in already.  If I get to choose, I choose a fantasy.


Thursday, February 25, 2021

A Sock

I finished the Limes sock this evening.  I'm always glad when I remember how to do the Kitchener stitch to close the toe without having to look it up again (knit off purl on, purl off knit on--that's the mantra I chant to do the job).  Being able to create a sock with its complex architecture is very satisfying, and it doesn't take too long.

Then I added a few green rounds to the Greenie Beanie but I'm saving it for Friday Night Knitting tomorrow so I have something I don't need to think about to knit for that three hours.

This squirrel nabbed the last peanut this morning.  It was sunny today and warmish, in the 30s.  I should have taken a walk.

Three pairs of House Finches came to the platform feeder today.  I tried to snap a picture of all six of them but two flew off just as I raised the camera.  I can tell they're thinking of spring and nesting because the pink of the males is more vivid and they're sticking close to their female companion.  And there's a lot more birdsong outside these days.

Aunt B sent me a book--The boy, the mole,the fox, and the horse.  It's a sweet little story with lovely watercolor illustrations.  I read it as soon as I got it out of the package and will read it over and over.  Thanks, Aunt B!


Sunset tonight was a nice glow on the horizon.  There were no clouds to splash color across the sky just the pastel light.

Today's toss was a painted bowl and a glass tray that was hiding on my closet shelf.

The prompt today said to write a letter to someone who hurt your feelings.  I was stumped because no one has hurt my feelings, so I made something up.


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Done Cooking

Yesterday's recipe was the last for this bout of Investment Cooking and today I brought up one each of the seven recipes so they can thaw out to be ready to be devoured over the next seven days.  Although I did buy turkey bacon last time I shopped so maybe I'll have bacon and eggs for supper one night this weekend.  Who doesn't like breakfast for supper?

Today was a dreary replacement for out glorious yesterday.  It started out gray and with snow flurries and then segued into intermittent sunshine, more flurries, and temps in the high thirties.  Balmy for this time of year but it couldn't hold a candle to yesterday.  I know you can't tell in this picture but it was snowing and blowing when I took this.  By the end of the day all of the snow on the slope below the retaining wall had melted.  Good thing I snowshoed on Monday, there's not enough snow left.

I went over to Zambaldi to visit DS to find him assembling cases in preparation for a bottling run tomorrow and cleaning tanks for more brewing next week.  I'd hate to pay their water bill.  He uses a lot of it.  The salesman for his local distributor stopped while I was there and said that their beer will be in Kwik Trip this spring.  Kwik Trip is a gas station convenience store chain here in WI.  Being in there will be a good thing, I think.

I cast on another hat with bulky yarn and fat needles.  I'm calling it the Greenie Beanie.  It's not as green as it will be yet but the skein shows lots of green and I'm going with it.  It's such a change from knitting with sock yarn and those skinny sock needles.  I can't decide which I like better.

Today I took all the latest tosses to Goodwill instead of tossing something else.  That counts, right?

The prompt today asked for ten adjectives to describe a tree to someone who has never seen one.  Um, tall, spreading, brown, green... and six more words.  It wasn't as easy as it seemed.


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Squirrel Antics

It was a gorgeous day.  Sunny and up to 45 degrees.  In Wisconsin!  In February!  It was warm enough that I could scrape the glacier off the bottom of the driveway and a lot of the street snow/ice melted away.  The squirrel was having a great day.

First it visited the cob corn and sat on the crook nibbling kernel after kernel...

... it spent a long time lying on top of the fence basking in the unfamiliar sunshine, loading up on Vitamin D...



... and finally it perched on top of the crook and ate peanut after peanut from the wreath.  There was only the one squirrel today so it didn't have to drive off any others looking to nab peanuts.  A Bluejay came twice for a peanut but didn't stay long enough for a picture.

The last recipe of this bout of Investment Cooking was Chicken Tikka Masala.  It gets finished with a dab of plain yogurt but I left it out because I don't think yogurt freezes and thaws very well.  I'll stir in a little when it's heated up right before I eat it.  These containers were in the box from Amazon but weren't the ones I was waiting for.

This is the one I wanted three days ago.  This one would have been perfect for Chicken Cacciatore or Salisbury Steak, or Hoisin-glazed Chicken.  I'll be using them in six weeks when it's time to Investment Cook again.  Because I have fifty of them.  (it's the only quantity available)


We had social Guild knitting this evening and I got lots of sock foot knitted.  I need to get to seven inches of foot before starting the toe decreases

Today's toss was a handful of old, outdated herbs and spices and a couple empty spice jars that I don't know why I had them.  Durwood was great at saving things like that "just in case."

Aw man, I forgot to do today's prompt.  I'll do two tomorrow.  Cross my heart.


Monday, February 22, 2021


 I don't have a picture but after I cleared last night's three inches of snow off the driveway, I went out back and filled the bird feeders, including the peanut wreath.  It took awhile, but one squirrel discovered that there were peanuts and had a field day.  It was so eager to eat them that it first brought the nuts to the patio step then it perched on top of the crook and just gobbled them there.  

The recipe today was Hoisin-glazed Chicken.  It smells good when it's cooking but then you finish the sauce with toasted sesame oil and it really smells great.  I had to go out to snowblow the plow drift after I portioned out the chicken to discover that the Amazon package had come.  Hooray!  But not in time for me to use the containers for the recipe today.  Boo.  Tomorrow is the last recipe in this bout of Investment Cooking so I'll use new containers then.

It was so nice outside, sunny and 34 degrees, that I dug out my snowshoes and took a spin around the yard a couple times.  I'm hoping to do it again tomorrow.  If it doesn't rain.  Can you believe that we might get rain?  In February?  Sheesh.

I knitted some more on the sock foot this afternoon.  I realized that I can't knit on it and watch TV.  I keep watching the screen and not knitting.  Listening to an audiobook is better for knitting.  For me and my current attention problems anyway.

Today's toss was a handful of old bag clips that were taking up room in a drawer.  They weren't the spring clothespin type, they folded over and clamped and tended to come undone if the bag was folded too thick.  Gone.

The prompt today asked you to write a real estate ad for your current house.  I did it,  all the while grousing that it wasn't exactly a creative prompt.


Sunday, February 21, 2021

It's Snowing

They promised that it would snow today and it is.  It started at about sunset and seems to be rather enthusiastic about making a showing.  It's supposed to stop around midnight and total between one and three inches.  With the warmer temperature it'll be wet, heavy snow so I guess I'll be out with the snowblower tomorrow morning.  *sigh*

It was sunny this morning for a little while and a Downy Woodpecker came to the suet feeder.  It was the only bird I saw today, nothing like the flood of them that came yesterday.

I decided to cook today even though the Amazon package didn't come.  I've got raw chicken in the fridge and don't want it to be in there too long.  Today's recipe was Chickpea Curry, not chicken but a very aromatic skillet full of yumminess.  I'll tackle the chicken tomorrow.  I've got containers I can use, they just won't be the fancy new ones I ordered.

This afternoon and evening I spent watching TV and knitting on the Limes sock.  I got the leg done, knitted the heel flap, turned the heel, picked up the gusset stitches, and decreased down to the foot.  Now I'll knit around and around (and around) for seven inches until it's time to decrease for the toe.

Today's toss was a box of fish bouillon cubes.  I did not buy them, Durwood did.  Ew.

The prompt asked about a time you were very nervous and what you would tell someone to help them not be nervous in the same situation.  I remembered being crazy nervous before our first Open Water dives and Durwood teasing me trying to jolly me out of being nervous which only made it worse.  Knowing how nervous I was makes me surprised that I came to love diving as much as I did.  I wonder if I'll ever go diving again.

Thanks for the call today, Aunt B!  It was great to talk to you.  You made my day.


Saturday, February 20, 2021


Today was a real bird day.  It was sunny and a bunch of different birds came to the feeders.  I managed to take pictures of most of them.  I only missed the big Red-bellied Woodpecker that landed on the cracked corn feeder for a second and then flew away. 

There was a Cardinal.  I haven't seen one of those in a long while.

Right behind him came a Chickadee that landed on the platform feeder, the cracked corn feeder, and the birdbath in quick succession.

Then a single Junco landed under the feeders to see what had fallen...


... and a Downy Woodpecker came to the suet cakes for a snack.




Once the Downy was gone one of the squirrels came to the suet cakes for its snack too. 

You can see that it was sunny for most of the day.  I like it when it's sunny.  I went out to try to move some of the compacted snow off the driveway but didn't have much luck.


In the afternoon I finished the February Cast Sock #3.  If we'd stayed on Zoom for a half hour more last night I'd have finished it then.



Then I got back to work on the Limes sock.  In another couple inches it'll be time for the heel.  This color yarn is very much out of my usual color choice.  I like darker colors but for some reason this one appeals to me, maybe because it looks so spring-y.


I didn't cook anything today because I was waiting for an Amazon delivery that never came.  I ordered a new digital scale (mine is broken) and some different containers that I think will be better for some of the dishes and they were supposed to be delivered today but when I went to track the package I found the message that it had been "misrouted" and will be coming under a different tracking number.  Which means I can't track it.  And it'll come  in its own sweet time.  Grrr.  I guess I put the Investment Cooking on hold for a day or two to see if the package arrives.

Today's toss was a pottery bowl that you're supposed to bake bread in.  I never had any luck getting the bread to not stick to the bowl.  Frustrating.

I enjoyed the prompt today (finally).  It asked what animal you'd like to be reincarnated as and what your first day would be like.  My favorite animal is a giraffe but I'm afraid of heights which would be a problem.  Writing that little page made me smile as I thought about the challenge of a giraffe with that fear.


Friday, February 19, 2021

It Sparkles

I'm disappointed that the sparkles don't show up in this picture but I promise that there's a mylar thread in this yarn.  Cross my heart.  It sparkles.  I was going to knit on my sock at Friday Night Knitting but about mid-afternoon I realized that wasn't such a great idea.  I could knit on it last night at Guild because everyone was concentrating to learn a new technique and wasn't talking.  I knew there'd be lots of talking tonight so I cast on a toe cap cast sock which is simple ribbing.  That I can manage to do while talking, listening, and laughing.


The recipe today was Chicken Breasts Pierre.  You flour and brown chicken breasts, then take them out of the pan.  Then you make the sauce with stewed tomatoes, water, brown sugar, Worcestershire, vinegar, celery seed, and ground mustard, oh, and a little hot sauce.  Once it boils, you put the chicken back in, turn it down, and simmer until the meat is cooked through.  That tomato-Worcestershire-mustard combo is the essence of Mom's Sloppy Joe recipe, which is my favorite, so I'm a big fan of this recipe.  A third of a cup of brown rice in each container and I've got six more suppers in the freezer this week.  That makes twenty-four suppers in the freezer, eighteen more to go, well, it'll be twenty more because one recipe serves eight.

This House Finch came all by himself to peck through the seeds in the platform feeder.  He stayed on the edge the whole time and was just about to fly away when I caught him.  Not much sunshine today but it isn't so cold. It got up into the twenties.

Today's toss was a small Dutch oven that's too small for any of my recipes.  I could never figure out what would fit in there.  A can of soup?  I'd start in that pan and end up moving the food to a bigger one and then have double the dishes to wash.

The prompt today was to write a brutally honest personal ad for your partner or a good friend.  Sheesh, seems kind of mean.


Thursday, February 18, 2021


Today I made Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls which is a kind of deconstructed old recipe.  It's turkey stew with tomatoes, mushrooms, and a bale of chopped cabbage simmered together into an aromatic pot of yumminess.  I decided to spice it up a little with a pinch of red pepper flakes.  I've discovered that just a few flakes really elevates the taste of a recipe, brightens things up.


You can't really tell in this picture but the sun was shining and it was snowing.  Not a lot, only flurries, but it always amuses me when that happens.  The clouds were thin and high so the light was filtered and, like I said, there were only flurries but it made me smile.

This evening was the monthly meeting of the Bay Lakes Knitting Guild.  The program was learning how to knit socks two-at-a-time.  I thought about trying to learn and then realized that I didn't want to have a yarn tangle to deal with so I sat and knitted on my new Limes (that's the yarn's color name) sock while just about everyone else struggled to control their yarn and needles.  I felt very relaxed with my single sock and Double Pointed Needles.  Besides I'm a slow knitter.  I only managed to add about two inches in two hours.

Today's toss was a couple saucepans that lived in the back of the cupboard.  Never used them, not keeping them.

The prompt today asked what beauty means to me.  So I wrote about inner beauty shining through, overshadowing external beauty.  Semi-profound.


Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Smelled So Good

Today's recipe was Chicken Cacciatore in the slow cooker, which meant that all day the house smelled of tomato, onion, and bell pepper.  Tantalizing.  I also cooked up another batch of brown rice to put a scoop into each portion before stacking them in the freezer.

This House Finch perched on top of the crook before landing on the platform feeder.  He waited up there until the female came and then he joined her.  It was sunny for most of the day.  I like it when it's sunny.


One of the squirrels took advantage of the warmer temperature today (It got up to 23 degrees!) to hang from the suet cake feeder nibbling away and then dropping down onto the snow to clean up any bits that fell.



I stopped at Zambaldi to visit with DS this morning and saw that the beer cooler is all filled with six-packs of their beer ready for purchase.  I'm so proud of them for chasing their dream.

This isn't a beautiful sunset picture, it's a picture of how light it was at ten minutes before six o'clock tonight.  Proof positive that it's staying light later every day.

I finished the February Cast Sock #3 while the cacciatore was cooking...

... and then started another sock.  Socks are knit with skinny needles and skinny yarn which takes a long time to pile up.  I need to dig out some bulky yarn and take big needles to start a hat or something so I have another project to work on when I lose patience with the sock pace.

Today's toss was a pair of skillets that I've had for forty years and I think I've used them once each.

The prompt today was to write a haiku about a frog.  Haiku might be only seventeen syllables but getting them organized is a challenge.  I managed two but they're both pathetic.  I'm not sharing them.