Wednesday, March 31, 2021


The first daffodil opened today.  I can peek out my bedroom window and see if anything has bloomed and here's what I saw today.  This is one of the bulbs that I planted 42 years ago when we first built this duplex and I was pregnant with DS.

The hyacinths are starting to open but they're not as old as the daffodils.  The hyacinths are about 20 years old.  I froze when I went out to take these pictures.  It was only in the 30s today.  Yesterday I walked to the bank in jeans and a cotton sweater.  Today I ran errands in my winter coat, zipped up, and wool mittens.  It's supposed to be 40 tomorrow and into the low 60s by the weekend.  I wish that the weather would pick a season and stick with it.

I finished the third March Preemie hat this afternoon.  I like this yarn, it's soft and squishy.  It'll feel nice on some baby's head.

Today's toss was a shoebox of old pillowcases that don't fit any of the pillows I have.

The prompt today was to write a comedy routine on the theme of death.  No.  Just no.


Tuesday, March 30, 2021

A New Day

I'm practicing getting up early this week because I have to be someplace at 8 o'clock on Thursday morning so I saw the sun coming up today for the first time in I can't remember when.  I usually get to bed around eleven and wake up around eight so things have to change this week.  I love being retired.

I was lucky enough to glance at the feeder this morning to see this male Cardinal all bright red in the sunshine.  It was a gorgeous warm day but windy.  It's been windy lately and I don't know why.  I'm sure the weather guys have some reason that it's been windy but I haven't watched the weather reports.    I missed the news tonight too.

And the reason I missed the news is that tonight was the knitting guild Zoom social knitting at 6 o'clock.  I worked on another preemie hat and knitted up to the crown decreases.  I'll finish it up tomorrow and probably start another one.


I visited DS at the brewery today and he was kegging off the blueberry and black current beer I got to taste a couple weeks ago.  It's the most amazing cranberry color.  Today I got to taste the Locals Only beer he's brewing for the local breweries to share, this year it's his turn.  It's a pale beer flavored with lime and coconut.  Pretty tasty.

Today's toss was a trio of WW pamphlet cookbooks.  I paged through and only found one recipe that I wanted to keep out of the four so three of them went into the bag.

The prompt today said that you're living in a post-apocalyptic world.  How do you fare?  I figure I'd do alright since I know how to knit and sew, how to garden and cook, and how to build a fire.  I've been camping a bunch so I'm pretty good at that too.  I decided that I'd do okay.


Monday, March 29, 2021


I very nearly had a writing catastrophe today.  I put in a USB drive that suddenly wouldn't load up and realized that I had written seven scenes (7!!!) for Better Than Mom's that I had only saved on the USB drive, not on the hard drive.  Arrgh!  How can a pretty red USB drive do that to me?  I was contemplating having to retype them all in from the hard copies I had printed when I realized that maybe they were on the Alphasmart (which has room for eight files) and I could just re-download them.  They were there.  Whew.  I couldn't believe my luck.  So I spent an hour downloading them from the Alphasmart to the computer and saving them to the C drive.  Then I got out a brand new, never used USB drive and copied all of the files of that novel onto it.  Never again will I neglect to save writing in two places (and I knew it was wrong when I did it).  Kind of like wearing a belt and suspenders.

The robin was back having a very enthusiastic bath.  Robins are almost as much fun to watch bathe as a flock of sparrows.  There's a lot of flapping and splashing and then a good deal of fluffing and preening to get his feathers just right.  A very dapper bird.

I spent the afternoon finishing a read-through of The Seaview, looking for a place that jarred me when I was putting it on here.  I found it, fixed it (I think), and only a single page of other edits that I noticed.  Maybe it really is ready to be published.  Man, I don't know if I'm brave enough to go through all of the publishing stuff and self-promotion and editing to someone else's opinion of how it should be.  I have to think about it.

In preparation for tomorrow night's knitting guild social knitting I started a preemie hat which is the most no-thought-required knitting--all knit, all the time.  This gray yarn might not be the best for a baby but it's very soft so I'm going with it.

Today's toss was another WW cookbook.  I paged through and nothing grabbed me and told me to keep the book.

The prompt today said that you've been asked to give a presentation to a large group of people on a subject you know nothing about.  How do you manage to convince people you know what you're talking about?  Well.  I hope that I'd have a day to prepare and I'd preface my presentation with the admission that I wasn't terribly familiar with the subject, deliver my talk, and then open the floor for discussion hoping that someone in the audience could bail me out.  I don't know why I feel compelled to do these prompts every day.  They're not especially inspirational or writer-y, they're more like some weird sociological test, but still I pull the book out every day and scribble down my response.


Sunday, March 28, 2021

Feathers & Fur

The birds and squirrels were back today or maybe I was just watching for them.  When I woke up it was snowing (eek!) but it didn't last long.  Most of the day was partly sunny but windy.  I stayed indoors.

There was a pair of Downy Woodpeckers at the suet cakes today.  I only got a picture of the
male but, trust me, the female was there too for part of the time.  I think that's the first time I've seen a pair of them, usually it's one or the other, not both together.  Pretty cool.


This squirrel was falling off the feeder and made a last minute grab to save itself from hitting the ground.  I was impressed.



The Christmas/Easter cactus flower is done.  I noticed it had fallen off overnight.  It sure didn't last long, did it?  About three or four days, less than a week for sure.


I finished the Fire Sock toe this afternoon.  Every time I knit a sock I say that I'm going to stop decreasing the toe sooner so that it isn't pointy and every time I forget.  Oh well, that part is in my shoe.  Besides the sock fits just fine.



Today's toss was an old microwave cookbook.  I'm winnowing down my cookbook collection to the ones that I actually use.  It's a process.

The prompt today said that you hate your best friend's new love.  Do you pretend to like them or come clean?  Oh, that's a hard one.  I don't like hurting people's feelings but I'm also terrible at hiding my feelings.  I'd try to like them at first, hoping to be wrong about them, and then risk the truth if I can't avoid it.  What a question.


Saturday, March 27, 2021

No Birds, No Squirrels

I wasn't able to take any bird or squirrel pictures today.  The birds that did show up only stayed for an instant and the squirrels nosed around in the grass and didn't climb up to the suet or even the birdbath.  So no birds, no squirrels tonight.  It was a bleak and drizzly day today, I don't blame the wildlife for staying home.

I got to go visit DS's family today.  Everyone was home so I got to see them all.  It was great.

In knitting news, I started working on the toe decreases of the Fire Sock.  It entertains me that I can shape the sock so neatly with just a couple stitches.  I thought I might finish the toe but I got interested in watching The Zoo on Animal Planet and found my hands resting in my lap holding the sock.  Not much gets done when your hands aren't moving.

But first I finished the March Preemie Hat that I began last night at Friday Night Knitting.  I love this little hat with its i-cord topknot.

Today's toss was the Reader's Digest Diet book.  I tried it but it requires a lot of specialized cooking, much different from the WW recipes which are more like regular food now.

The prompt today said you are a fish in the ocean.  How do you find food and safety?  That was an easy one for an old ocean lover like me.  I couldn't decide what kind of fish I'd be, probably a Stoplight Parrotfish, because they're so flamboyantly colored, so I'd munch coral, poop sand, and hide in the reef away from predators to sleep at night.


Friday, March 26, 2021

It Might Be Spring

According to the calendar it's Spring and we've been having very Spring-y weather, but here's one indicator that winter isn't done with us.  I've been noticing the last couple days that there are still Juncos around.  Juncos summer in the Arctic and winter here so if they haven't left yet I figure that it really isn't spring.  We all agreed at knitting tonight that we could very easily get slammed by at least one more snowstorm.  I hope we're wrong.

Another harbinger of Spring is my daffodils.  These are the ones I planted 42 Novembers ago and they're still coming up happily and making pretty yellow flowers.  See the one on the left that's going to be the first to open?  Can't wait.

Before the Junco perched on the birdbath this little Downy Woodpecker perched in almost the exact same place.  It's rare to see a woodpecker getting a drink, they usually head straight for the suet feeder which this one skipped today.

To save myself from having to think too much at knitting tonight I started a Preemie hat this afternoon.  This yarn, while not as colorful, is worlds softer than the bright yarns I used to make the last couple cast socks.  It'll be much more comfy on a baby's head that the scratchy colorful yarn. I've only got about three more rounds to finish this hat but I didn't want to keep knitting and be up blogging too late.  I'll finish tomorrow.  Besides my hands were tired.


Today's toss was an old Weber cookbook.  I have one that I refer to a lot and then there's this one with fancy recipes in that never get made.  I just like to grill meat and veg, not make all fancy dishes on the grill.  Someone will love it, I'm  sure.

The prompt today was someone asks how you are today.  How do you reply?  The standard answer is "I'm fine."  Sometimes it's "I'm okay" when I'm not so great.  Today, I'm fine.


Thursday, March 25, 2021

Cactus Bloom!

I am happy to report that the Christmas/Easter cactus bud has bloomed.  I don't know what provokes one of the little nubbins to swell and blossom but I'm glad it does.  Maybe some day I'll figure out how to make more than one bloom at a time.

I finished the latest art assignment the other day and shared it with Lala so I can share it with you.  The name of the assignment was Psychological Landscape and I thought of how I've been chasing my writing mojo for the last... oh, at least a year.  So I tapped into my artistic side and did a little tracing and a little drawing to make this.  I thought of Chagall and Dali when I was putting it together, not that I have any claim to either of those artist's genius, but let's just say I was thinking of them.

This little chipmunk was diligently hoovering up spilled seed this morning.  It would fill its cheeks with seed and then scamper off to store it in its burrow, then be back for more.  I caught one of the squirrels that had leaped onto the platform feeder the other day and in jumping off spilled a bunch of seeds on the ground.  I don't know why the squirrel jumped over there, squirrels don't like safflower seeds, that's why I put them in that feeder.  At least  they're not supposed to like them.

Tonight was knitting guild Zoom social knitting and I was the host.  There were seven of us and we had a lively conversation about needles and nursing and rule breaking.  I knitting on the Fire Sock and got to the toe decreases so I'll have to get it set up before knitting tomorrow night so I won't have to think too much.  Or maybe I'll cast on a preemie hat just to make it simple.  Yeah, that's what I'll do.

Today's toss was The Joy of Cooking.  I've never liked it and seldom used it so out it goes.  I've used the Settlement Cookbook as my favorite basic cookbook for years.  Decades, even.

The prompt today asked which sense you'd be willing to lose.  Arrgh.  I talked through all five of them and decided that I'd lose smell.  Or maybe touch.  No, smell.  But then taste would go too.  I can't settle on one.  I can't do it.  Each one is too precious.


Wednesday, March 24, 2021


One of the squirrels has gotten him or her self reacquainted with the suet pellets.  It's a real love affair between squirrel and food.  He (or she) spent most of the afternoon dangling from his (or her) hind feet nibbling away at the suet pellets.  I need to go to the birdseed store for more pellets since the Starlings discovered them yesterday too.

Once again the Starling and the Sparrow bathed together.  Maybe they're pals.  I don't think it's an awkward romance since the Sparrow is half the size of the Starling and is a male.  I think the Starling is a male too.  I think.  They're one of those hard to tell the difference birds.

We had a gray and drizzly day today.  It wasn't very chilly but it wasn't sunny either.

I spent the afternoon finishing the cast sock.  I love the colors of the yarn but it sure doesn't feel nice.  I'm going to put it in to soak tomorrow hoping that a bath will help it feel softer.  I need to find some nicer yarn to knit a preemie hat out of.  This stuff is just too scratchy.

Today's toss was another old WW cookbook.  I haven't made any of the recipes in it in years.

The prompt today asked what superpower you'd like to have.  I said flying.  I love flying in airplanes so I think that I'd like just plain flying.  I could go to KY to see DD and her family and fly to see friends and other relatives.  It'd be fun.  So much better than x-ray vision.


Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Bird Bath

Today was bath day in the birdbath.  A flock of eight Sparrows started it out, splashing and flapping like mad.  A Mourning Dove landed in the bath and very delicately dipped her breast into the water and wriggled her tail.  A group of four Starlings were taking turns at the suet pellets when one of them evidently felt dirty and flew down for a bath with the last Sparrow in the pool.

I didn't get a picture because he moved so fast but I saw a Goldfinch that has started to change from his drab winter avocado plumage to his bright yellow gold of summer plumage.

The hyacinths closest to the front porch have started blooming.  It must be time to dig up the bulbs and separate them because the flowers are a little thin on the stalks.

The crocuses are still showing off.  I love the waxy golden yellow of them.

And the squills are blooming more every day.  I want to lie down on the dirt and put my face right up to them to see them better but I don't want to give the neighbors anything to talk about.

This afternoon after I wrote a bit (just prompts, no novel scenes, dang it) I started another cast sock.  This pattern is the perfect no-brainer knitting, just knit 2, purl 2 around and around until it gets to four inches whereupon a bit of decreasing happens to close the toe.

Today's toss was an old WW cookbook.  I paged through it and it's the program I started with ages ago and the method of cooking and counting has changed dramatically.

The prompt today asked what your favorite personality trait is.  Kindness, it's kindness.  I try to be kind and appreciate kindness in others.

Rain rolled in this evening and is supposed to hang around all day tomorrow.  I guess it's better than snow.  This afternoon I decided to paint my nails.  I don't know why and I'm terrible at it.  I think seven-year-old LC is better at it than I am.


Monday, March 22, 2021


I went out looking for greenery and found this tuft of poppy leaves hidden under last year's maple leaves.  Now we have to hope for no more freezing temps so that the leaves survive and we've got the rest of March and all of April to get through before we're safe from that.

As for the indoor greenery, the Christmas/Easter cactus flower bud is growing.  It looks like it's about to open too.

I went to visit DS at Zambaldi this morning where he was brewing a batch of IPA so it smelled roasty and citrusy in there today.  I got to sample a bunch of beers today too, three of them, and I liked them all.  The Hazy IPA had a real grapefruit aroma and flavor that I liked a lot and the, uh, I forget the style but it was Key Lime with Vanilla, kind of like dessert in a glass.  We're all anxious for everyone to get their second shots and for the waiting time to be over so that we can exchange hugs when we meet.  It was hard not to leave my mask in the car and just go into the brewery with my face hanging out but it's no time to let down our guards, as tempting as that is.

Today's toss was a Great British Bake-Off cookbook that I paged through and know that I won't be making anything out of.  I'd love to but, since I'm cooking for one, making a cake or a big batch of breadsticks or a pan of brownies is nothing but a bad idea.  I'll keep my eye out for a single cookie at Pick 'n Save again.

The prompt today said that fall is here with its cooler temps, shorter days, and colored leaves.  Are you looking forward to the coming season or longing for summer?  For me winter is a series of gray days and gray moods.  I like the cooler temps of autumn but the sunlight of summer.


Sunday, March 21, 2021

Sunday In The Yard

Now that the squirrels have eaten all of the peanuts they've turned to the cob corn in the feeders back by the retaining wall.  They hang from their back feet and nibble off a kernel or two and then either perch on top of the crook or drop to the ground to eat.  Not as many squirrels battle for the kernels as for the peanuts.  No one is paying attention to the suet pellets--yet.


This robin sat in the birdbath all plumped up for a while and then went crazy taking a bath.  He spent a long time after his bath preening his feathers and shaking off the water.  I'm surprised that the birds bathe in the cold water.  It was a warm day today--61 degrees--but it was windy which makes it feel colder.


Another purple striped crocus bloomed next to the first one.  I'm so tempted to pick them but they're very short in the stem and I fear they'd wilt in a second if I brought them inside.  I'll just have to enjoy them in their natural habitat.


I saw the first chipmunk of the season today.  It's small and thin and darted out from under the step to where the birdseed falls under the round feeder.  You can see that it filled its cheek pouches with cracked corn before racing back to the safety of its burrow.



Today's toss was a couple turtlenecks.  I tried them on and they're way too big.

The prompt today said that it's your last day on Earth.  Who do you spend it with and what do you do?  Cheerful.


Saturday, March 20, 2021

It's Spring!

At least, I think it is.  Or maybe it's tomorrow.  Whatever, we had a gorgeous day.  It was sunny and 57 degrees, great for a walk.  I wore a little knitted fleece vest and was just right.  You're right, Aunt B, 57 is warm for us up here in the frozen tundra.  This little purple striped crocus opened today.

And the tiny squills are opening in the lawn.  Well, it should be lawn but it got shaded out by the big shrub that overshadows this part.  Each flower is about the size of my pinkie nail and is white with a faint blue stripe.

Mr. Cardinal came to the feeder more than once this morning.  He visited the birdbath too but I wasn't fast enough to get a picture of him there.  This is good but that would have been better.


After my walk I worked on the Fire Sock.  I'm through the heel and gusset and into the foot.  Now I knit around and around and around until the bottom of the foot is seven inches from the heel cup before I start the toe.

I forgot to toss something today.  *sigh*  You'd think I'd remember since I've been doing it every day for so long.  Maybe I'll count the bag of trash I collected in the yard again today.

The prompt today said that you're watching a B movie in which sea creatures evolved to rule the world but the film breaks when there's 5 minutes left.  Write the last scene.  In my movie, an octopus is the ruler and is menacing the heroine with his slimy tentacle when the hero comes in, chops off the tentacle, and tips burning oil onto the octopus.  Lame but it was a B movie, after all.


Friday, March 19, 2021

Spring's Coming

 I went out to pick up all of the litter blown into the yard by yesterday's wind and found this purple crocus crouched under the leaves in the front of the house.

Another clump of golden crocuses bloomed under the snow.  It amazes me that those little flowers don't pack it in when the snow covers them but wait until the snow melts and go right on blooming.

After I picked up the litter I filled the birdfeeders and the peanut wreath.  It didn't take long for all of the squirrels to find the peanuts and take turns climbing up for a nut.  I tried to figure out how many different squirrels there were and I think there were three.  Or maybe four.

The Downy Woodpecker came to the suet cakes.  It has to be so much easier to peck at the cakes now that it isn't below freezing in the daytime.  It still gets down below 32 degrees at night but it got up to 50 degrees today.  I took a walk.

It's kind of blurry but I was happy to see the daylily sprouts in the bed behind the house. There's still a little snow back there but now there's green too.  The mint in the garden is sprouting under the leaves too.

Today's toss was a bag of severely freezer burned whole tomatoes that I had every intention of making tomato sauce with but they're ruined.

The prompt today was to think about someone who makes you feel good.  What about their personality makes you feel that way?  I thought of my granddaughter and how good it makes me feel when she talks about missing having Meemaw days.


Thursday, March 18, 2021

A Birdie With A Yellow Bill

A robin hopped onto the birdbath this afternoon and sat there looking around and getting all windblown.  It was sunny but really windy and chilly today so I didn't walk.  I have hopes for tomorrow.

I went to Zambaldi to visit DS.  He was making a batch of Good Dog Porter so it smelled good and roasty in the brewery like a bakery with notes of chocolate.  Very nice.  I didn't try to take a picture of the mash because I was afraid I'd drop my phone into the mash tun and because it was so steamy.

Then I went to the grocery at Meijer (big box store) and treated myself to another pair of jeans because I'm loving wearing my smaller jeans and I'm having to launder the daylights out of them so I decided I needed a third pair.  I wore my original jeans until I'd lost almost 50 lbs. so I think these'll fit for a while.  Besides, I wanted them.

Tonight was the Bay Lakes Knitting Guild meeting and the program was the second half of knitting socks two at a time.  I didn't play along so I sat and finished my latest cast sock.  This yarn is a little thicker than usual so the sock turned out a bit bigger which is okay since feet come in all sizes.

Today's toss was an old ring I bought at an estate sale thinking it might be an amethyst but it's just lilac glass.  It never fit me anyway.

Speaking of rings I had to take off my wedding ring.  It's gotten too big and it came off in the dishwater the other day.  That scared me into thinking I might lose it so I put it on the chain with Durwood's and I'll wear them both around my neck until I feel ready to either put them away or have mine sized.

The prompt today asked me to write an advertisement for a glue stick.  Let's see... dries clear, non-toxic, safe for kids.  What more is there to say?  Oh yeah, vegan. Silly.