Tuesday, August 31, 2021

The Between Day

Today is the day between Mom's birthday and mine.  When Mom was still around we'd meet at Huhot today and buy each other's lunch, then have to convince the waitress that we both deserved free dessert, usually by having to show our driver's licenses.  It was worth it for cheesecake rangoons with strawberry sauce.

The Downy Woodpecker showed up today.  You can see the squirrels have really dined on the suet cakes lately.  Everything is gearing up for winter.  The chipmunk is back to climbing the crook to perch on the platform feeder and hoover up all of the safflower seeds it can reach.

A couple of the orange tiger lilies are still blooming.

There was a dandelion blooming in the grass of the backyard when I went out to take a lily picture and it just happened to have a bee on it.  Later on I mowed the lawn and mowed down the dandelion.  I thought they only bloomed in spring but I guess there's a summer season to them too.

One of the knitting guild board members, DM, brought along a round watermelon that her son grew.  We didn't cut into it over the weekend so I got to bring it home with me because she has multiple ones at home.  I cut it up today and made a bunch of it go away.  It's delicious and it has seeds so I get to spit.  Bonus!

After I mowed and showered I sat down and knitted on the mitt.  I got through the thumb gusset, put the stitches on a holder, and am working my way up the hand.  Not much farther to go, then it's onto the thumb and mitt #2.

Today's toss was an old tin of my mother-in-law's with reclaimed zippers, a thimble, and a paper packet of straight pins.

The prompt today asked how your friends would describe you.  All I could think of was funny, quiet, and kind.  I hope that's true.


Monday, August 30, 2021

An Average Monday

There wasn't anything too special about today.  Except that it would have been Mom's 93rd birthday.  Today I missed her, missed sending her a goofy card, missed talking to her, so I called Aunt B, the next best thing to Mom.  We had a nice chat until she started breaking up and disappeared just as we were saying goodbye.  Happy Birthday, Mom!

In honor of Mom, I went down and did a little sewing.  First I patched a mask that OJ chewed a hole in the lining and then I whipped up a couple bowl cozies.  These are the handiest things, I use one nearly every day when I heat my bowl of supper in the microwave.  It makes holding a hot bowl easy.

I caught another Hummingbird at the nectar feeder this morning.  I also saw one at the feeder just as the light faded but didn't get a picture.

The sedum blossoms are turning pink and when I went out to take a photo there was a busy not-so-little bee making the rounds so I waited until he landed on the flower before I took the shot.

Also another of the Stella d'Oro lilies bloomed today.  Yay!

The weekend inspired me to knit some on the Flausch Mitt this afternoon.  I switched from Magic Loop to DPNs when I got to the thumb gusset because it just made more sense to me that way.  Guess in some ways I'm old school.

Today's toss was a stack of paper bowls.  I kept a few, just in case, but don't envision needing a stack of 100 or so in the future.

The prompt today asked what is your greatest fear.  Right now it's a large group of people.  I'm okay with a small group but I've never liked a crowd and especially not now.


Sunday, August 29, 2021

Cottage Days

I got back to reality this afternoon.  It was an uneventful reentry but I could have spent a lot more time "working" up at CS's cottage.  "Work" at the cottage is sitting on a lounge chair on the screened porch making sure that the wind doesn't blow the chairs away.  Tough job.  We did have a knitting guild board meeting yesterday morning after our breakfast of steel cut oats and fresh fruit but mostly we sat around knitting and yakking.  This was the view from my "work" spot.  Not too bad, eh?

After the board meeting we boarded CS's pontoon boat for a jaunt around the lake.  It was an overcast day but mercifully the rain held off so we made the circuit undampened.  We had a doozie of a thunderstorm in the wee hours this morning though.

At one point we spotted a Bald Eagle sitting in a tree on an island.  You can see its white head and dark body in the center of the picture.  It's kind of blurry because I took it with my phone.  On another island we were able to see the eagle's nest.  It looked like a section of deck up a tree.  Those things are huge.  We heard eagles a lot but didn't see many and didn't see one fishing.

I took no-thinking knitting with me in the form of a barely started toe cap that I finished last night.  I knew that there would be too much talk and laughter for me to focus on anything more complex than knit2, purl2.

This morning I wove in the ends of the toe cap and cast on another one that I got an inch or so knitted on before it was time to pack up and head for home.  Oh, this morning we had Eggs Benedict for breakfast.  CS made her own Hollandaise sauce and used bacon bacon instead of Canadian bacon.  I showed admirable restraint in saying that I only wanted one English muffin half and poached egg instead of the usual two.  Besides there were fried potatoes to go with it so it wasn't as if I was denying myself.  At first I thought that my breakfast cost 20 WW points (out of a daily allotment of 23) but then I realized that I'd had half a serving so it only cost 10 points.  Whew.  At least I got to eat the rest of the day.  I had another serving of Farro salad for supper.  I'm happy to report that the salad was a big hit for Friday evening's supper.  Another whew.

You can see the Hummingbird feeder that hung outside the screen porch in the top picture.  We all marveled at them as they came to the feeder time and time again.  It's getting to be time for them to start feeding themselves up for their migration so the competition for the nectar is fierce.  When I got home I saw a couple Hummingbirds at my feeder and, though you can't see it, this one is a male.  I saw his red throat when he flew in to land.

Today's toss was an old grocery list pad.  I have an app on my phone where I keep my grocery list so I don't have a use for a retro paper one.

I spent the evening listening to an audiobook and didn't write a prompt.  I'll do two tomorrow.  Maybe.

I had a good weekend.  I was a little nervous to go but am glad that I went.  I'll be glad to be back in my own bed although the futon that I slept on was mighty comfortable and I had a great view of the lake to help me wake up.


Thursday, August 26, 2021

Salad Day

I had an assistant today and we made the Farro salad that I'll take along this weekend.  There was a good amount of chopping, weighing, measuring, shredding, and snitching involved.  It's been years since I made this salad but I'm glad I made it again because it is so good.  The dressing has lemon juice, sesame oil, Dijon mustard, basil and parsley in it  I made extra so that my weekend compatriots can put on more if they desire it but it'll be good for me.  I've got a bag o'salad, just romaine, to put under the farro salad for serving.  Yum.

This Downy Woodpecker contorted itself to reach the suet pellets.  It stayed for a long time pecking away and fending off other birds.


I started another toe cap this evening.  I realized that I was getting to the end of the no-thinking part of the mitt I started the other day and would probably make a hash of it if I tried to knit the thumb gusset this weekend while chatting with others.  So having a 'knit2, purl2' thing to knit on is the best idea for all concerned.  Saves frustration.

When I was in Pick 'n Save yesterday I saw that they had pints of blueberries 2/$5 so I planned to grab some but they also had blackberries for the same price and they were some impressive berries so I bought one blueberries and one blackberries.  I've been snacking on the blackberries, they're pretty wonderful and each one is two bites.  Huge.

Today's toss was the pair of fake Crocs that were here for the kids to wear if they needed to come into the basement with me.  They're way too small for both of them so pffft! out they go.

The prompt today asked who you'd like to trade places with and why.  I picked me about eight years ago when my writing group was going strong and my writing was at the gushing out stage.  Man, I miss those days of words coming so easily.


Wednesday, August 25, 2021

All Flowers, No Birds

Today was kind of a lost day.  I couldn't seem to get my act together to accomplish much.  I did manage to fold that basket of clean laundry AND put it away but then I spent the rest of the day watching Grace and Frankie with knitting in my hands.

I noticed that there were a couple Stella d'Oro lilies blooming on one plant.  Again the only blooming one among eleven.

Walking down the retaining wall I stopped to admire the Black-eyed Susans and take their picture.


And then there's one remaining clump of orange day lilies with a few flowers.

Today's toss was a pair of too-big pants.

I didn't even manage to write the prompts today.  Like I said, a lost day.  I did get my hair cut at the ungodly hour of 8am.  That's when I usually get out of bed.  I used to be a morning person but no more and I don't think staying up until 11pm makes me a night owl.  I guess it just means I'm old.


Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Black-Eyed Susans

The rudbeckia or Black-eyed Susans on the west side of the house are blooming away doing their best to hide the meters over there.  I keep hoping that they'll spread out so that they cover the whole area but it's a slow process.

The daisies are fading.  The bee balm's red petals are gone, only the fuzzy centers are left.

I got a picture of the Downy Woodpecker female at the suet cakes but did not get a picture of the half-again bigger Hairy Woodpecker male on the suet pellets that arrived right after this and only stayed thirty seconds.  Long enough for me to see it but not long enough for me to get the camera up and working.

I haven't been knitting a lot on this mitt.  I'm not used to knitting with yarn this skinny so I'm not used to it taking so long to get anywhere.  Two more rounds and I start the hand.

Tonight's sunset was much more colorful than last night's so I went out into the humidity and skeeters to take its picture.

Today's toss was two knitting books.  I looked at them and realized that I'd never knit anything out of them so into the donate box they went.

The prompt today said to write a standup comedy routine on the theme of extinction.  I mean, really?  So I wrote a page about some hunter shooting the last dodo bird but it isn't very funny.  I think my funnybone is extinct.

I was going to fold a basket of laundry today but I didn't.  It'll wait.  I'm not out of underwear yet.


Monday, August 23, 2021

A New Bird

I was surprised to see a different bird swoop down and land on the birdbath this morning.  First two Bluejays left the suet pellets when I opened the drapes and then this brown bird with a black throat and a red swipe on the back of its head came in for a landing.  It's a Flicker.  A kind of woodpecker that mostly hangs out on the ground and has a white patch where its tail joins the body.  It kind of flickers when it flies.  I'm guessing that's where the name comes from.  I noticed that it has a long thin beak, good for poking around for insects.

Then when I was doing yoga the male Hummingbird flew by and hovered over the nectar feeder but didn't land.  Later on the female Hummingbird came and was nearly scared away by a bee that was on the feeder too but it avoided the bee and landed on the side where I could see it.  Hooray!

I noticed yesterday when I was mowing that there was crab grass growing in the front flower bed so I went out to weed (and feed the skeeters) when I also saw that the purple mum is blooming again.  This time I'm leaving it.  It's close enough to September and they're selling mums at the grocery store so I'm letting it live.  The other mums have buds on them too so I guess it's about time.

I was hoping for a beautiful sunset tonight since there were clouds for the colors to paint but it was kind of a disappointment.  There were shreds of clouds that were pink and peach and they don't show up like they do in the sky but I'm putting it on here anyway.  I think all the bird and flower pictures gets boring.

Today's toss was... oh my god, I know I tossed something because I marked it off on my to-do list but for the life of me I can't remember what it was.

The prompt today said that there was a person in the city park without a memory of who they were, had multiple denominations of money in their pocket, had on a warm coat, and had tattoos.  Where did they come from and who were they?  Oh, that was easy.  The person was a sailor from an oceangoing freighter that had anchored at one of the docks on the river.  One of the things that I've always liked about living here is that ships from all over the world come here so our little city is an ocean port, so it makes sense that a sailor would be wandering around in a city park.

I spent part of yesterday and today bingeing Grace and Frankie on Netflix.  I'm only on Season 2 and wonder why I ever stopped watching it, it's so good.


Sunday, August 22, 2021


This evening at 6 o'clock it was time to go to the Fair to pick up my entries and see if I'd won any ribbons.  I did!  Every one of my eleven entries got a ribbon--5 blue 1st place ribbons, 5 red 2nd place ribbons, and 1 pink 4th place ribbon.  That 4th place ribbon went to the red and gray hat that I thought was some of my best work.  I guess there were much better hats in the category.  If I'm going to enter anything in next year's Fair I need to start knitting something other than preemie hats, dishcloths, and toe caps.

Today was a yard work day.  I mowed the grass and weeded along the retaining wall.  It was about 73 degrees and sunny with a nice breeze, the perfect day for being outside.

Again the mint blossoms were alive with all sizes and shapes of bees.  Luckily they don't mind having their picture taken.  At least none of them stung me.

After I mowed and weeded I filled some of the birdfeeders and tossed a couple handfuls of sunflower seeds on the lawn for the squirrels.  This chipmunk discovered them and made many trips back and forth from its hidey hole to the seeds.


I refilled the nectar feeder and made the Hummingbirds happy.  This one cooperated (finally) and sipped at the port that faced me so that I could take its picture and you can actually see it.

Today's toss was a wooden cigar box that used to have index cards in it.  Now it has nothing but air.

The prompt today said to write a letter to someone you haven't forgiven.  I thought that it said "haven't forgotten" so I wrote to Durwood telling him how much I miss him and wish he'd quit smoking when we learned to dive thirty years ago so maybe he'd still be around.  Some days I haven't forgiven him for leaving me alone.


Saturday, August 21, 2021


Today was a yarny day.  I got tired of myself because I've been knitting dishcloths and toe caps and preemie hats for weeks and months so I dug around, found a ball of pretty yarn, found a pattern, and cast on a fingerless mitt.  This is not much more complicated than the things I've been knitting but it has a thumb and there is a bit of yarny magic that goes with the pattern so I'm feeling pretty good about it.  I didn't get much done, only a few rounds of ribbing, but it's a start.

I stopped knitting on it because I had a few more rounds of toe cap to finish.



Here's another one of Dad's roses that's blooming away out there in the blazing sun and stifling humidity.  Can you tell I avoided going outside today?  Although I did venture out to ALDI for blueberries and grapes.  Can't be out of my two current favorite fruits.

Today's toss was another stack of old workshop folders.  I paged through them and found a first draft of a scene in Seaview that I changed but I kind of like the way it was before the change so I saved that for further review.

The prompt today said to write a wedding speech by a jilted groom.  Well, that's cheerful, isn't it?  So I wrote about a guy talking to the guests saying it would be a shame to waste all the food so they might as well eat and has anyone seen the best man.  Ooh, it seems like the bride ran away with the best man...

We're supposed to have one day, tomorrow, with temps in the mid-70s and low humidity, before the heat and muggy comes back.  Guess I'll be out weeding the retaining wall tomorrow.


Friday, August 20, 2021

The Roses That Bloom

I noticed when I opened the drapes this morning that Dad's rose is blooming again.  Three blossoms on one cane.  One of the roses has been munched on by Japanese Beetles, I think, because the petals are all dark and lacy but the other two are pristine and they smell, well, like roses.

For the third day in a row I managed to snap a shot of a Hummingbird at the feeder.  Sorry for the repetition but I can't resist them.  I'm fascinated by the little things.


Today's toss was a small pile of workshop folders dating from about 14 years ago.  

The prompt today asked what the title of your biography would be.  I decided it would be The Woman in Red and Gray because red is my favorite color and many of my things are that color and gray because I feel like I've gotten dull over the last year and a half.

I've been watching episodes of Grace and Frankie on Netflix the last few days.  I'm seasons behind but I think I'll crank out a little binge of them this weekend.  Finish up a season or two in a couple days.


Thursday, August 19, 2021


I was lucky enough to look out the patio door when two Hummingbirds came to the feeder.  Two!  Neither of them landed.  They flew at each other and then flew off but I managed to capture one of them.  Again, it's blurry but I was lucky to get this because it happened so fast.

I took a shot of a flock of Mourning Doves in the grass and when I looked at it you could barely see the birds.  What are they, stealth doves?  They don't blend into the grass but they sure are nearly impossible to see.  I deleted the picture.

One of the Stella d'Oro lilies had three blooms on it today

and one of the plain old day lilies is still blooming.  I suspect not for much longer.  Such a pretty flower.

Here's an extreme closeup of a sedum flower head.  Pretty soon all those little buds will open and be pink.  One of these days.

The mint in the garden is flowering and is full of bees busily buzzing from flower to flower.  This must be some good nectar or pollen.  I read at the museum that it takes ten bees their whole life to make a teaspoon of honey.  How many bees are in a hive to make all of the honey that comes out of there?  Amazing.


Tonight was knit in the park night for Knitting Guild except we met at Zambaldi Beer inside in the air conditioning.  I worked on August toe cap #1.  It's mindless 'knit2, purl2' knitting for when beer is involved.

Today's toss was a pile of old Clearing catalogs and some old writing conference folders.  Into the recycling they went.

The prompt today asked what you'd like a second chance at.  I said sex.  I'm not explaining, you can draw your own conclusions.


Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Three Little Birds

That's all I've got for you today, three little birds.  Nothing new is blooming in the yard and what is blooming is looking a bit bedraggled so all I've got is a few birds.

I waited until the Downy Woodpecker landed on the suet cakes to take its picture because of the contortions it went through trying to position itself to peck at the pellets.  There were only a few left at the very bottom of the feeder and one of the squirrels took care of those in short order.

This Goldfinch sat at the birdbath only long enough for me to take its picture but at least it didn't have its back turned to me.

And I caught the Hummingbird at the nectar feeder.  None of the shots are very clear because it was moving at the time but I'm sharing one anyway.  I saw a Hummingbird making the rounds of the daisies, Purple Coneflowers, and day lilies but didn't bother trying to hurry out and snap a picture because I knew it'd be gone before I got my eye to the viewfinder.

Today's toss was a dozen plastic hangers.  I have a zillion hangers that are hanging downstairs collecting dust so why not take them to St. Vincent de Paul so someone else can use them.

The prompt today said to finish this sentence:  "I have never..."  I wrote about my struggles with creativity.  I have never been as uncreative as I have been this last couple years.  I blame grief.  I blame lonliness.  And I blame the pan-damn-demic.  In that order.  I'm working on it every day.