Sunday, October 31, 2021

Happy Halloween

There, I got to say it to someone.  No trick-or-treaters came to the door today.  I'm not surprised since there aren't any kids in our neighborhood but still it would have been nice to see kids in costumes.

Here is the last geranium.  I went out and uprooted them today because the temperature is supposed to drop into the 20s tonight and they wouldn't have survived so onto the compost pile they went.  Goodbye, pretty red flowers.

But my little maple tree's leaves are all still green.  You can see behind it that the rest of the neighborhood trees are changing color but my new-ish little tree is still hanging on to its chlorophyll.

The sun has moved to the south with the changing of the seasons so it isn't setting in the space where I can see it.  The only way I notice sunset is by the pink reflection on the clouds behind the house.

The drawing lesson today was lettering in two-point perspective.  I had an easier time understanding that than the buildings of yesterday's lesson.  I found myself wishing that my first name had fewer letters though.

Today's toss was a small bag of foreign money.  Maybe I'll take it to the local card and coin store instead of Goodwill.

The prompt today said that a plane had crashed on an island without food and water and everyone survived but it would take a few days for rescue.  How do you cope?  How cheerful.  Well, I guess I'd hope that someone had snacks in their carry-on and that everyone had smuggled on a bottle of water.  With any luck there'd be food in the plane that didn't get served, beverages too.  Wasn't there a TV show about a crashed airliner that went on for a few seasons?

My hornet sting is itchy today.  Dandy.


Saturday, October 30, 2021


I realized after the landscapers left on Tuesday that I forgot to ask them to clear out the corner by the patio where the ferns and peonies are so I went out to do it this morning while it was sunny.  I got my tarp, gloves, and clippers and got to it.  What I hadn't planned to do was disturb a small nest of hornets.  They were right by that upside down pot.  I didn't notice them until one of them flew up, landed on the back of my head, and stung me.  Ouch!  It's a good thing I'm not allergic but it's kind of hurt all day long.  Once I got stung I moved around away from the hornets and got the job done.

Here's my new Zambaldi Beer hoodie.  I took a selfie with my phone and tried to email it to myself.  The email went through but the picture didn't.  So I just hung the hoodie up and took a picture.  I got it a size too big so it's nice and roomy and snuggly.

I was not inspired by today's drafting lesson.  It's supposed to be a city but it looks to me like a bunch of blocks.  Maybe if I'd taken the time to add windows and doors or little guys or something but it just isn't a fun picture.


The lessons in the kids' drawing book are much more fun.  I drew through three lessons this afternoon.  (it beats folding laundry) This one was my favorite.

I spent some time going through seven recipes to make a shopping list for next week's bout of Investment Cooking.  I was thinking I'd go to the grocery tomorrow but then I realized that tomorrow is Sunday and I don't want to be in the grocery on a weekend so I'll wait and go after lunch on Monday.

Today's toss was a Bend-ominoes game that LC and OJ never warmed up to.

The prompt today said to write a review of a restaurant you've never been to.  So I did, with a lot of qualifiers.  Seemed silly.


Friday, October 29, 2021

*Face, Palm*

I have been so frustrated with my new phone since Tuesday when I stopped being able to hear callers, except on speaker, so I dialed 611 this morning and talked to a nice man named Jose who did his best to help me.  We did a system reset, then he had me hang up while he did something on his end that would have fried my SIM card if the phone had been turned on when he did it.  He admitted defeat, said he was afraid the phone was defective, and advised me to go to the AT&T store for help.  So I did.  The same nice man who helped me over the weekend was there and I explained my problem.  Corbin called my phone and agreed that it was nearly impossible to hear callers.  I told him that it had stopped working on Tuesday when I installed the case and screen protector.  He examined the phone and said, "Who installed the screen protector?"  "I did."  "It's on upside down.  See the cutout where the upper speaker and the camera lens are supposed to be?  That goes on top."  *face, palm*  I took it off, turned it around, and reinstalled it.  Phone works perfectly.  Jeez.

Look!  It's a male Red-bellied Woodpecker!  I just happened to look up at the right time and there he was on the suet pellet feeder just pecking away.  He stayed long enough for me to take several shots.  Cool.

The drawing lessons in the 30 Days book have switched from drawing to drafting.  Here's today's castle picture.  It was all ruler, vanishing points, and angles to draw the building and then I added the trees, birds, and mountains.

Once that was done I dug into a couple lessons in the Draw Squad book.  This is the last lesson that I did.  Like I said, I enjoy the cartoon drawing more than the ruler drafting.  And I realized when I was drawing the cash register that I've gotten much faster and more confident.  It's working!

I finished Bib #3 tonight at Friday Night Knitting.  I'm glad I found this pattern again.  It's fun and a good project for knit night.

The gold mums are still going strong.  I'm so glad that I didn't have the landscapers cut them down.

Today's toss was a sandwich bag of old pins and earrings.

The prompt today said... well, evidently I didn't write the prompt today, not out of the blue book anyway.  I wrote with a bunch of women friends on Zoom and we wrote about "an ethical place."  I wrote about trying to be an ethical place in myself.


Thursday, October 28, 2021

The Last of the Backyard Flower Pictures for 2021

Even though the landscapers cut down all of the flowers the other day I still have a couple pictures that I haven't put on here.  So here they are.  First are Black-eyed Susans.  I love their staying power, once they bloom they're in for the long haul.

Then there's the bronze sedum.  It was a late bloomer, much later than the pink sedum.  It too got cut down and carted away.

I caught sight of a Downy Woodpecker getting a drink at the birdbath today and was swift enough to get the camera up and on and snapped before it flew away.

This morning I got brave and took my sketchbook into the bathroom to try drawing a fish and kelp that's on the shower curtain.  I did it!  Then I colored it, just for fun.  I guess if you draw every day for three weeks you get better at it.  So far all I've been drawing are the lessons in the two drawing books I have but I need to start branching out into drawing things around me.  I'm reluctant to start

Maybe the best idea is to draw things more in the cartoon-y manner of the Draw Squad book.  I have more fun drawing them over the ruler-driven perspective drawings in the You Can Draw in 30 Days book that I started with.


I realized last night that the Eagle Eye Beanie is turning out huge.  I don't know if it's the yarn, the needle size, or the hat size I chose but every time I caught sight of it today I thought about pulling it all out and starting over.  Or not starting over.  Instead I added four rounds while watching TV this evening.  It'll fit someone.

Today's toss was a cheap men's watch that Durwood got from Gillette years ago and never wore.  I know that DS doesn't want it so into the donate box it goes.

The prompt today said to write a story about making lemonade when life hands you lemons.  Instead I wrote a rant about not liking lemonade (I do) and why can't I make lemon bars or a lemon meringue pie.  Not exactly the spirit of the prompt but still it's writing.


Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Tech Frustration

 I have a new (to me; it's refurbished) phone.  I ordered a case and screen protector for it.  They came yesterday.  On Sunday when the phone came I spent the day getting it set up but I managed with a little help from the AT&T guy.  I even dealt with the Tech Services department trying to get them to lengthen the ring time (to no avail).  My frustration is that since putting the phone in the case I can barely hear callers.  On Sunday night when DD called it worked just fine but was out of the case.  On Tuesday when I talked to Tech Services it worked just fine. (I don't remember if it was in the case or not.)  Later on Tuesday when Tech Services called back I could barely hear her.  Gah!  Is it the case?  I don't want to use the phone without a case on it and I don't want to use it with the speaker which is the only way I can hear a caller.  I am frustrated and don't know what to do.  Yet.  I'll figure it out.  I hope.

Before the landsdcapers came yesterday I went out to take some pictures of the flowers that were due to be chopped down that morning.  Here's the last Stella d'Oro lily of 2021.


And the last Black-eyed Susans.  I noticed that there are little things poking up in the centers of some of the flowers.  I wonder what they are.


The drawing lesson today was a city street in one-point perspective.  I used a ruler to draw the lines and it was boring.  Then I pulled out the cartoon-y kids' drawing book and filled up a page with little drawings.  Much more fun.

Today's toss was an old powder compact that was my mother-in-law's.  Someone will love it, I'm sure.  I don't know why I kept it.

The prompt today said to write the story of an animated show with characters that aren't human.  So, a sloth and a hedgehog make friends in school but the sloth lives in trees and the hedgehog is earthbound.  That's where my idea ran dry.  How do they play together if one is in a tree and the other in the grass?

I sneaked down to the brewery this afternoon to buy myself a Zambaldi Beer hoodie.  I knew that if I went there when DS was there he wouldn't let me pay for it and I didn't want to argue with him.  Luckily I knew that he'd be out of the building this afternoon so the coast was clear.  Mothers can be sneaky.


Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Before & After

I was lolling around in my pjs this morning when the phone rang.  It was the landscaper that I called yesterday to come do a "fall cleanup" of the retaining wall and trim a few shrubs.  He called to say that they'd be here within the hour.  Yikes!  No time for shilly-shallying, just get dressed and take a few last of the season pictures.  Here's the Before picture.  One-hundred-ten feet of greenery with a few yellow flowers in the middle.

And then the After.  It didn't take them long, barely an hour, and they'd cut down all of the plants all the way across the yard and trimmed everything that held still long enough.  I did remember to tell them to leave the mums so that the front of the house isn't denuded like the back is.  One wants a hint of color.

The trees across the street are shedding their leaves like mad.  Last week there were a few colored leaves and now they're falling like rain.  It was windy yesterday and Sunday so lots of leaves came down then, but there are lots of trees that are still green.  They do that on purpose so that you rake and rake and rake and then a whole tree's worth slams down just when you think you're getting a handle on it.  I hate raking.

The drawing lesson of the day was a room in one-point perspective.  That involved a ruler and I was happy to have a transparent ruler to use.  Not much room for creativity.

Once I had drawn the room twice (the first time was better, go figure), I pulled out the kids' drawing book to tackle a couple of those lessons.  Lots of room for creativity in those.  Fun!

I got a text from a friend that she had bins of yarn to get rid of so I tootled over and picked out a shopping bag full (not that I needed more yarn), but I found skeins of my preferred preemie hat yarn so I'm very glad to get that.

Watching TV tonight I added four rounds to the Eagle Eye Beanie.  It's getting there.

Today's toss was a toddler matching game I got at Goodwill that never intrigued LC and OJ.  Off with it!

The prompt today said to list words relating to stars.  Well, let's see, twinkle, night, light, sky, Polaris, constellation, Milky Way, telescope, Big Dipper, red dwarf.  That's about all I thought of.

I was very impressed that the landscaper came today when I'd just called him yesterday.  I think I'm going to have him come in the spring and take out the garden and seed it in grass.  I mostly gardened for Durwood and I can go to the Farmer's Market two blocks away to get fresh produce every week.  That will make lawn mowing so much easier.


Monday, October 25, 2021


We definitely had frost last night.  The bedraggled coleus looks positively dead today but the geraniums in back are still alive...

and the Stella d'Oro lilies are still blooming.  I called the landscaper today and he'll be over later this week to do the winter cleanup of the plants on top of the retaining wall so this week is the last of the flowers.  I'm going to make sure he leaves the mums in front so that the yard isn't totally denuded.

A Downy Woodpecker made good use of all of the suet feeders.  I got the best shot of it on the suet cakes.  I was hoping that it was a male so it would have the red swoop across the back of its head, but it's either a female or this year's hatch.

I was lucky enough to catch a Chickadee on one of its lightning stops at the feeder.  They're so quick the only way I got this shot was that I was taking the woodpecker picture and just had to move the camera lens a couple inches and snap it.

Trees was the drawing lesson today.  I think I made the trunk too long to balance the top of the tree but I'm happy with the way it looks.  I'll draw another one tomorrow and maybe get the proportions better.

Today's toss was a ceramic pot with a lid that I made at Mom's ceramics class in 1967.

The prompt today asked how risk averse you are.  I said that I'm very risk averse.  I used to be adventurous and impulsive but now I'm not.  COVID cured me of that.  Dammit.


Sunday, October 24, 2021

The Best Laid Plans

Well, my day didn't go the way I planned.  Not entirely.  About mid-morning the doorbell rang and I opened it to find a small package on the porch from AT&T.  My new phone had arrived so I got right to work setting it up and getting everything transferred from the old phone to the new one.  That took hours and only two trips to the AT&T store on the corner a few blocks away.  I had the guy install the SIM cards because I didn't want to do it wrong.  Then I had to get on Amazon to order a case and screen protector for it because, of course, the phone is an older, refurbished model and they don't have cases for it in the store.  The other thing I found out from the store guy was that this isn't a 5G phone, it's a 4G phone but they're not going to turn off the 4G anytime soon so I won't be in the same fix again for a while.  Whew.

One of the Stella d'Oro plants had three flowers blooming at the same time.  It's probably near the end of the blooming because there was frost last night.  I know that because my coleus are all black and dead.  Sniff.

The drawing lesson today was volcanoes and craters.  I wish I could say that this is my original drawing but it's a copy of what was in the book.  I had hoped to find something to draw that isn't in the book today but that didn't happen.  Today was all about the phone.


There was a home football game today at noon which meant there was a flyover.  Hooray!  Oh, they won.

Today's toss was a second camping lantern.  That's the end of those.

I didn't write the prompt today, I was busy with the phone stuff and drawing.  I'll get on it tomorrow.


Saturday, October 23, 2021

All I Did Was Draw

 For most of the day all I did was draw, all afternoon anyway.  I realized yesterday that I'm good at copying the pictures in the instruction book but not so good at extemporaneous drawing so I unearthed an old, kids drawing book called "Draw Squad" by the same author and started drawing those pictures.  It was fun.  I figure just drawing will help me get more comfortable and confident so maybe I can be brave enough to draw something not in the book.  I seem to be better at drawing the more cartoon-y pictures.  I don't mind.  And I discovered the other evening that now I can sit and draw with LC and OJ and not be worse at it than a 5 year old.

The lesson today in the "You Can Draw in 30 Days" book was pyramids so I filled a page or two with those.  I even went to Office Max this afternoon and found the exact mechanical pencil that he recommends because I'm nerdy that way.  Now I have the pencil, eraser, and shading stomp (a rolled paper thing for smudging shading) that he talked about in the beginning of the lessons.  I'm set now!

We had a sunny day today and the Stella d'Oro lilies were happily blooming.



I went out to take flower pictures and filled the bird feeders while I was out there.  When I took down the hummingbird feeder last week I moved the peanut wreath back down to the near crooks and a pair of Bluejays spent the afternoon competing with the squirrels for the peanuts.

After filling four pages of my sketchbook with drawings from the Draw Squad book, I sat down on the couch to knit a few rounds on the Eagle Eye Beanie.  Even though both of these yarns are classified as the same weight the black is thinner than the rainbow one so it gets crowded out.  I still like the way it's turning out

Today's toss was the first of a pair of battery powered camping lanterns that Durwood got from someone.  I know he kept one by the side of his bed so that he could turn it on when he got up in the night.  Why he needed an extra lantern when he had a perfectly good bedside light, I do not know, but he did.  I don't need them.

The prompt today said that a dangerous animal escaped and is in your neighborhood.  What do you do?  I'd stay inside and keep an eye on the feeders.  Since they attract squirrels, chipmunks, and birds (food for predators) I figure they'd make a beeline for the prey buffet in my backyard.

I had such a fun time just drawing and drawing today that I might just do it again tomorrow.  There's a football game in town so I'm planning a sojourn to the grocery after the kickoff to stock up on apples and a few other things but then I can just write and draw the day away.


Friday, October 22, 2021

Mums the Word

I got up close and personal with the mums this morning.  They're still blooming like crazy and looking beautiful.  My favorite is still the gold ones.  They just have a glow about them.

The coppery ones have faded over the last week or so.  They're not as vivid as they once were, but I like their green centers.



And the old purple ones are still going strong.  These are nestled against the brick facade of the front of the house.

A Cardinal paid a short visit to the platform feeder today.  I'm tempted to refill the feeder with safflower seeds but the chipmunk will just climb up and over the course of a couple hours empty the feeder almost entirely.

The suet pellets were popular with a Downy Woodpecker today.  It came and went a bunch of times, once fighting with a Sparrow that dared to land on the pellets feeder too.


The drawing lesson today was scrolls.  I drew them a couple ways.  It's amazing the difference a little shading makes.


Today's toss was a slide converter.  I don't know if this will talk to my computer and I've got too many slides to convert.  This was another of Durwood's winter tasks that never got started.  Not complaining, just explaining.  I've got a litany of things that I mean to do when winter comes that never get done.

The prompt today said to write a story about a person whose memory is wiped clean at the end of every day so I wrote a dialogue between a caregiver and a dementia patient.  Predictable.

Once again it didn't get up to 50 degrees today and it was overcast all day.  They're talking about frost tonight.  Ugh.