Friday, April 30, 2021


 It's tulip days!  The pale pink ones in the front of the house are just about ready to open...

... and the red ones on top of the retaining wall opened today.  I should go get some for DIL1, they're her favorite flowers.

In the afternoon I mowed the lawn.  Most of the dandelions weren't tall enough to get mowed down and many of the violets ducked under the blade too.  I made sure that I didn't mow down these little purple violets.  Aren't they sweet?


My hands are aching from knitting with these big needles and big, not very stretchy yarn.  I've got one more round to knit before closing the top and then I need to make a big pompom for it.  I'm not sure I'll make another one of these hats since my hands hurt.  Knitting's supposed to be fun, not hurty.


This female Robin figured out how to wedge herself onto the tiny perch on the side of the suet cake feeder.  She gets up there and flaps her outside wing to keep her balance while she pecks at the suet.  She can't stay up there for long but she's determined.

Today's toss was a too long pair of workout pants.  I thought about shortening them but tried them on and they're also pretty loose in the waist so into the donate box they went.

The prompt today asked you to think about people you dislike, then asked what made you dislike them.  Sheesh, what kind of question is that?  I can't really think of a person I dislike, seriously.  I dislike people who are emotionally needy so that's my answer.


Thursday, April 29, 2021

I'm Not Quick

 I'm not a quick knitter, not even with big yarn and big needles.  One of the guild members has been knitting the Perky Little Hat pattern and I liked the way it looked so I bought the pattern and cast on this evening.  I'm about halfway in the time it takes her to make one from start to finish.  My fingers just don't go that fast, I guess.

After doing my morning stuff I went downstairs to start sewing the next Shirt no.1.  This one is linen too but it's orange and white print.  I could have sworn in the store that it was red but in natural light it's orange, red-orange, but orange.  I don't mind.  I like orange.  All that's left to do is hem the sleeves and the bottom.  I had my sewing machine in for service and got it back last week so it was good that I sewed on it except that there's something wrong with the tension (maybe) because every once in a while there are loops of thread on the bobbin side which means that it's pulling the thread from the spool wrong.  Arrgh!  So I'm back sewing on my old faithful Necchi which I have had for 50 years (I just realized) and have very little trouble with it.  I don't want to have to take my newer machine back in but I probably should.  Putting it in time out won't fix the problem.

The tulips back on top of the retaining wall are starting to bloom.  I didn't plant them, maybe DS did when he lived here, but I'm glad to see them.

I didn't toss or write anything today.  Instead I spent the afternoon with LC.


Wednesday, April 28, 2021

The Last Daffodil

I think this is the last daffodil.  The rest are all fading and scrunched up but this one is still out there looking beautiful and springy, nodding in the breeze.  

You know how bulbs are supposed to increase?  Make more so that you end up with many of the same color in the same place?  Well, the pink tulip has done that.  I'm not a big pink fan.  The orange tulip has not.  I could have a whole bed of these orange tulips.  Life just isn't fair and, no, it didn't take me over 69 years to learn that fact.  I just thought I'd remind us all and I do like to complain.

The Robin was back at the birdbath today and more than once.  Evidently this was a very dirty bird.


I made a shirt.  I went downstairs this afternoon and sewed up the red linen Shirt no.1 that I cut out yesterday.  I went down two sizes in the pattern and it fits just right.  Two more are cut out and ready to be sewn.  One of these days it'll be warm enough to wear it.

I finished the latest cast sock.  I like this yarn.

Today's toss was some old jars of spaghetti sauce.  One of them had discolored so there was no saving them.  Down the garbage disposal they went and I recycled the jars.

The prompt today said to think about a book I've read more than once.  What makes me reread it?  I reread the Longmire books by Craig Johnson because I like the characters, scenery, and the voice of the narrator.  I've reread The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse at least once a week since I got it and get something different from it each time.  It makes me feel.

I went to Zambaldi today to watch DS brewing and cleaning.  I took a nice picture of him at the brewing vat and tried emailing it to myself but for some reason it never came.  It'll probably be in my inbox tomorrow.  I dislike when things that used to happen don't and I don't know why.


Tuesday, April 27, 2021

One Robin, Maybe Two

I had a hell of a time falling asleep last night.  I hate that.  I spent the evening yawning, feeling like I could fall asleep at the drop of an eyelid, then when I climbed under the covers, my eyes slammed open, and I lay there.  I shifted from one side to the other, guaranteed sleep positions, no luck.  Thought about getting up, decided to power through.  I got into bed just before 10:30 and didn't hear the clock chime 12:30.  *sigh* Probably explains why I slept until 9 o'clock this morning.

One of the robins had a luxurious bath this afternoon.  It flapped and splashed, enjoying the heck out of the experience.

Then when it was dry (I think it was the same bird) it attacked the suet cakes.  At one point it managed to cling to the perch on the side of the feeder but most of the time it flew up and tried to hover while it pecked at the edge of the cake.

I spent time this afternoon cutting out the three shirts I bought fabric for last week but didn't manage to take a picture.  Imagine me crawling around on the floor, pinning pattern pieces to fabric, and cutting them out.  Maybe I'll get one sewed up tomorrow.  It hasn't been warm enough to wear them so I haven't been in a hurry to get them done.  It was supposed to be in the 70s today but it barely got into the 50s.  Rats.

Today's toss was a few more dresses.  I told you that I made a lot of them and I still have a few more to get rid of.

The prompt today said that an alien spaceship landed in your yard.  You go onboard to see that its destination is Utopia.  Do you go along or stay on Earth?  I'm staying.  I've read 1984 and Brave New World.  What was supposed to be Utopia didn't turn out to be.  I'll take my chances with the flawed and familiar Earthlings.


Monday, April 26, 2021

A Couple Birds

Today wasn't a great day, weather-wise.  It was cold and windy and drizzly.  Yuk.  In the morning my neighbor called to say that he would be servicing lawnmowers today rather than tomorrow (not golfing today, he said) so would I please roll mine up there.  I did that and stood chatting for a few minutes.  It's so great to be vaccinated talking to another vaccinated person and not having to eye-measure six feet.

I looked up to see the Downy Woodpecker on the birdbath getting a drink so I hurried carefully to get the camera up, only to see him fly away.  Dang it.  But then he came back to the suet cakes for a little peck.

Late in the day a Chickadee came to get a drink and stayed long enough for a photo.  One of these days I'm going to be patient enough to sit out there with a cup of birdseed and see if I can't get one to come eat from my hand.  I saw in a magazine that you can buy a mannequin with an outstretched hand so that you don't have to do all the waiting yourself.  Talk about lazy!  I see that my tenant has put up a crook with a few feeders on it so I"ve got competition right next door.  Guess I'll have to up my birdseed game.

The other day I got an email from the Knitting Guild prez forwarding a message from a local yarn shop.  A lady wanted to donate her library of knitting books and, since I'm the guild librarian, it got passed on to me.  So I called the lady and she said she had "some books."  I arranged to pick them up this morning.  "Some" is an understatement.  There have to be at least 40 of them.  Look at all these bags!  They'll stay shoved into the corner of my guest room until we can get access to the library cart whenever the Lutheran church will let us back into the building, hopefully in the fall.

I didn't toss anything today.

The prompt today said that you're accused of a crime you didn't commit.  How do you convince the police?  I figure that I'm doomed.  I'm retired so I don't have coworkers.  I live alone so I don't have a spouse or housemate to alibi me.  And my mom is deceased so she can't vouch for me.  My only hope is that there's security video of the scene of the crime and I can prove that isn't me.  If the criminal isn't wearing a red coat or red shoes, it isn't me.

I got to pick LC up from school today and spend a couple hours playing with her.  Sheer heaven!


Sunday, April 25, 2021

Spring Flowers

It was sunny today with a sharp chilly wind so I didn't spend much time outside.  I did go out to document the newest spring tulip.  The pink one opened today.  One of the pink ones, I should say.  I don't know how I managed to get pink tulips as pink is not one of my favorite colors but there it is.

I got a good look down into the orange tulip while I bent over to snap the pink one's picture and thought it was an interesting angle.

Tucked into a bush is one of the last blooming daffodils.  I like this one with the short center trumpet and the orange and white colors.



This Mourning Dove spent some time perched on the edge of the birdbath this morning cooing away all by itself.  Usually there are two or three of them together but today this one made a solo visit.


I spent most of the afternoon cutting and pasting the scenes of the Better Than Mom's manuscript pages.  I got the scenes shifted on the computer and then cut and pasted them in hard copy so that now the manuscript is in order.  Or at least it makes more sense.  Now I can put my creativity toward filling in the gaps and fluffing up the story.  The last part is thin and needs more meat.  I don't have a deadline so I can take my time and do a decent job.

Today's toss was some yukky yarn.  I tried knitting toe socks with that yarn but it just doesn't feel nice no matter what I do to it so off with it.

The prompt today asked what a dog would say if it could talk.  Since I don't have the pet gene that was a bit of a challenge.  Woof, for starters.  Then pet me!  Feed me!  Walk me!  Do you like dogs?  Ooh, look a squirrel.  Pet me!  You smell good.  That's all I could think of.  My imaginary dog isn't very cerebral.


Saturday, April 24, 2021


The day started out partly sunny but soon the clouds rolled in and then--drizzle.  Naturally I went out to take the tosses to Goodwill and stop at ALDI for grapes and a few other things just as the drizzle decided to become rain.  I noticed that as soon as I got home it stopped.  Evidently I attract rain.  So tiresome.

I spent the afternoon reading the manuscript I printed out yesterday.  I didn't get through it all, of course, but I got to the places where the scenes are out of place and I think I figured out where to move some of them.  I'm thinking I might cut up the pages to shift things around.  Maybe.

I wasn't in the mood to knit today but I started another cast sock and knitted a few, very few, rounds before watching some TV.  I don't know why I'm not in the mood to knit much lately but I won't stop altogether.  I promise.

Today's toss was a short stack of workout pants.  I pulled them all out and tried them all on and the too baggy ones went into the box for Goodwill.  Part of me thinks I could go back to the Y, schedule times with Tim the Trainer (if he's still there), and spend some time on the machines but the deepest part of me thinks that's a bad idea even though I'm all vaccinated.  Guess I'll wait until the numbers start slowing down before I rejoin the Y.

The prompt today said to think of your favorite piece of music and how it makes you feel.  My favorite is Rhapsody in Blue and it makes me feel dreamy and calm.  It also evokes an old memory of being in the living room of one of Mom's friends, sitting by her baby grand piano, and listening to the Rhapsody for the first time.  I had to be less than 10 years old but I remember it like it was yesterday, that snapshot of a room and the sound of the piano.


Friday, April 23, 2021

A Beautiful Day

Today was a beautiful day.  It was sunny and got up into the low 60s with not a lot of wind.  This morning I went out and swapped the snowblower and lawnmower.  Next Tuesday my neighbor will give the mower a once-over to make sure it's in top shape for summer mowing.  After that I guess I'll have to mow, the grass is getting a little shaggy.


But I don't want to mow too soon because a lot of the grape hyacinths are in the edge of the lawn and I don't want to mow them down, they're too pretty.  Maybe I'll mow around that part.


Right next to the grape hyacinths this orange tulip opened up.  I love that there's a blush of purple on the outside of the petals and then there's purple inside too.  So pretty.



I finished, well, almost finished the April Cast Sock tonight at knitting.  All that's left to do is run an end through the stitches on the needle and then weave in the ends.  This is terrible scratchy yarn with no give at all.  Knitting it made my hands ache.  Not fun.  I like the colors though.


I had enough printer ink to print out my manuscript so now I have a hard copy to shift scenes around on.  I hope this makes it easier to organize it otherwise it's a huge waste of ink and paper.

Today's toss was a few sweatshirts that haven't been worn in a year or more.

The prompt today said that you're sitting on a cloud.  Where would you go?  Well, first I'd go to Lexington, KY to see DD and her family.  I haven't seen them since Christmas 2019 and I miss them.  Next I'd float on down to Fort Myers, FL to visit Aunt B without having to spend a day in airports and airplanes.  Guess I don't want to go to places, I want to go to people.


Thursday, April 22, 2021

I Went To A Store

 And not a grocery store, I met a friend at Joann Fabrics.  I know!  I felt like a rebel but we wore our masks, the store wasn't crowded, and we're both vaccinated so it wasn't that much of a rebellion but it felt like it.  I bought a few pieces of fabric.  I want to make some tops for summer but I have to say that it's a whole lot less expensive to buy ready-made clothes than to make them anymore.  It used to be cheaper but now it isn't.  Not by a long shot.  I wanted to get some denim to make a pair of pants but the fabric was $30 a yard.  Can you believe it?  Plain old denim.  I nearly fainted.  I found one bolt of fabric in the sale aisle and two others I paid full price for and since I'd pay that much for a top in a nice store I'm not too fussed about it but still have a bit of sticker shock.

This Sparrow decided to try out the suet cakes this afternoon and, if you look carefully, you can see the tail of a Downy Woodpecker sticking out from the bottom of the feeder.  Do you think the bird would move around so that I could take a good picture of it?  Of course not, so all we get is the tail.

This pair of Chickadees were having a nice bath.  I was surprised to have the time to take a couple shots of them because Chickadees don't hold still for long.  Maybe being wet slowed them down.



I spent another afternoon reading the rest of Better Than Mom's and correcting and editing.  I still don't have things in the right order so I might be forced to print out the whole thing because I find it easier to deal with that sort of thing in hard copy.  I hope I have enough printer ink.

I watched the third episode of Ken Burns' Hemingway this evening.  What a tortured soul the man was.  While watching I cast on a toe sock and knitted a little bit of it.  I'll save it for tomorrow when I have to amuse myself for three hours at Friday Night Knitting.

Today's toss was three turtlenecks that I haven't worn in a few years and now they don't fit.  Whoosh, out they go.

The prompt today asked what five things you'd save if your house was on fire.  Hm, well, me first, my laptop, my knitting, my purse, and I was stuck for number five.  Red shoes?  My Kindle?  Oh, my car.  Can't leave that behind.


Wednesday, April 21, 2021

And Snow

 I was not pleased when I opened the curtains this morning to find snow on the ground.  Not a lot and it didn't stick around long, but it was snow.  Ack.  It was sunny most of the day, not warm, but sunny.

Then around 3 o'clock I looked up from my knitting to find that it was snowing to beat the band.  Again it didn't stick and melted on contact but it was a vigorous snow flurry for about fifteen minutes, then it went back to being sunny.  I hear it's supposed to warm up over the next few days.  Can't happen soon enough.  A little consistency would be appreciated.

The House Finches were the only birds at the feeders this morning.  I caught the male when he had his breast in the sun so his raspberry color shows off well.


One of the squirrels spent some time hanging from the suet pellets.  I keep watching for woodpeckers but only see starlings and squirrels.



I spent the afternoon and evening knitting the heel flap, heel turn, and gusset of the Purples Sock.  Now I'm up to the endless round and round of knitting the foot.  Maybe I'll cast on a toe sock as a breather from knitting with this skinny yarn.

Today's toss was the last of the denim capris.  They were never my favorites.

I had a forgetting day.  I forgot all about writing the prompts and I forgot to link up with friends on Zoom.  Mostly because I kept thinking that today was Tuesday instead of Wednesday.  *grinds teeth*

My tenant texted me that she had run into the garage door and bent it.  She said that her husband would try to fix it and it looks like he'll be able to, but I spent a few hours dreading having to replace the garage door.  That's the part of landlady-ing I don't like, that I'm the responsible one as far as the house goes.  This is why I threatened to sell the duplex and live in an apartment when Durwood was gone, but here I still am.


Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Back to Chilly

Two weeks ago it was 75 degrees.  Today I don't think it got up to 40 degrees.  I wore a fleece jacket when I went out and should have worn my winter coat.  At least it didn't rain--or snow.

This Robin spent a long time sitting on the Adirondack chair today staring at the suet cake feeder.  This is the bird that flies up to peck at the suet and sometimes perches on the side of the feeder to have a better reach.  The feeder was empty so I took its behavior as a hint to get out there and fill it up.

I spent most of the afternoon reading the Better Than Mom's manuscript on the Kindle, again.  I like to email my manuscripts to the Kindle because then it's more like reading a "real" book and it's easier to edit it.  Now that I slotted in all of the scenes I had been writing to extend the story it needs another read-through and the pad started filling up with more notes.  I'm hoping to find more places to put more scenes.  I have some backstory I'd like to slide in there.  Maybe I'll find a place for that too.

Today's toss was another pair of denim capris.

The prompt today said to write a poem to your first love.  Blue eyes meeting brown eyes, sparks flew, love grew.  Very sappy.

Today OJ turned five years old.  I can't fathom where the time has gone.  That means that it's been five years since I broke my ankle, it's been two and a half years since Durwood died, and it has been fourteen months since the family sat down for a meal together.  Pizza and chocolate cake.  The perfect birthday meal.


Monday, April 19, 2021

Got It

The Red-Bellied Woodpecker came back to the suet pellets today and I missed it again.  But then it came a second time and I got it.  I wish that it had its back to me so you could see the black and white stripes but I was just happy to get its picture at all.


Then shortly after the Red-Bellied flew away a Downy Woodpecker came to check out the suet cakes and then when that feeder proved to be empty, it went up to the suet pellets and I got a picture of it.  Gotcha!


I wasn't very inspired when I sat down to write this afternoon as you can see by the blank page in front of me.  It took a long time to figure out what to write and fill this page.  Blank pages can be intimidating.  I spent most of the morning working at the Better Than Mom's manuscript again, rearranging the scenes that I put in yesterday so they made sense.  Chronological order is hard to maintain when you just write scenes and then slap them on at the end.  I kind of wish I had a paper copy of the manuscript because it'd be easier to rearrange things but I don't think I want to spend all that ink.

I went out in the cold wind this afternoon to look at what's sprouting.  The day lilies are coming up in a bunch of places...


... and the iris and poppies on the west side of the house are up too.  I'm trying to remember if iris spreads.  I think it does.  I'll have to note where it is this year and check next year to see if there's more.  I don't think I'd have planted that poppy in with the iris so I'm guessing that the iris has spread.  

Tonight was guild Zoom social knitting.  I knitted on the sock and got to the heel flap.  I decided to put it aside and work on the flap when I'm not on Zoom.



Today's toss was a pair of khaki capris that are too baggy.

The prompt today said to write an ad for a mundane item.  I chose a pencil.  It was an entertaining exercise.  There's a lot to say about an old fashioned wood and graphite pencil.



Sunday, April 18, 2021

Missed It

I was making my lunch when I looked out the window and saw a Red-Bellied Woodpecker at the suet pellets.  I crept over to the camera, not making any fast movements, and slowly lifted it--only to have the danged bird fly off.  Man.  I'll see if I can find a picture from another day to put on here.

I went out to look at the poppies, to see if any buds are popping up yet.  They're not but I need to go out this week when the weather cooperates and cut down last year's stalks so that this year's flowers can shine.

The forsythia is still blooming.  I remembered how to use the manual focus on my camera so I could zoom into a single flower.  I like the green twigs and the little buds too.

I spent the afternoon working on Better Than Mom's, adding in the scenes that I wrote before and writing a new one to slot in.  I'm up to 60k words, only 20k more to go.  Sheesh.  I hope I can find that much more to say about this story.


In the evening I knitted on the Purples Sock getting through the next color change.  This yarn is so thin that it takes forever to get anywhere.  I lose hope after about an inch and have to stop for a while.  I like the yarn colors though.

Today's toss was another few Dress no. 1s.  I didn't realize that I had made so many of them.  Guess I went a little overboard because there are still some left to toss but I'm rationing them.

The prompt today asked what would have happened if you'd changed a key decision in your life.  Would you be happier?  More successful?  I tried to imagine my life if I'd listened to Mom and dumped Durwood when we were dating.  First I wouldn't have my wonderful children and grandchildren.  That wouldn't make me happier.  I probably wouldn't have learned to SCUBA dive or traveled all over the world.  That wouldn't make me happier.  I'd probably have married a millwright or an insurance salesman or a realtor and still been working instead of being happily retired.  Nope, don't regret that decision at all.

I went out for a walk this afternoon and it was cold and windy.  I didn't have on enough coat so I just walked around the little block and came home to get out of the wind.  And it's supposed to get colder and maybe rain or snow this week.  Oh goodie.