Friday, December 31, 2021

Happy New Year!

Part of me can't believe that this is the end of 2021 and part of me is glad to see the back of it. I took the Christmas tree down this morning which took less time than I thought it would but then I only hung about half of the ornaments on it this year. One thing that I didn't show you was the Charlie Brown tree that stands on the vanity in the bathroom. I'm not posting a picture of my bathroom so I moved it into the living room before taking that down too.

The male Cardinal was back at the platform feeder this morning. There were a few Sparrows around and a Chickadee or two darting in and out. A pair of squirrels battled over possession of the suet pellets. The fattest squirrel won.

After supper some bunnies were hopping around under the feeders and I managed to get a picture of one of them without the flash. I don't know how that worked but it did. I knew there were bunnies around because I saw some rabbit raisins out there when I went out to fill the birdbath.

Today's drawing in the 3-D book was a canyon. I think it turned out okay but didn't take the time to add any extras. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow.

Tonight at Friday Night Knitting I got through another eyelet section on the DK Shawl. Somehow I've ended up with two extra stitches so I'll only increase on one of the next six rows instead of on three of them. That will get me back to the correct number of stitches without my having to go back and figure out where I went wrong. This variegated yarn is so busy that I think that it hides my booboos well.

I tossed another season of Bones today. Buh-bye!

The prompt today said to list five uses for a paper cup. Let's see, get a drink, make a sand castle, plant a seed, hold a small snack, water a plant.  That's my five.

I've been hearing far-off fireworks this evening but know that I'll be asleep when the midnight fireworks are shot off at the Titletown District. Happy New Year!


Thursday, December 30, 2021


See this empty driveway? There's supposed to be a car with Kentucky plates parked there but because of the stupid pandemic my driveway is empty and will stay that way indefinitely. Dammit.

I spent most of the day moping at the kitchen table looking out the window and this late afternoon squirrel was the only wildlife I spotted. No birds, only this squirrel, not even a random rabbit. Maybe someone put something more appealing out for the birdies?

Drawing was fun today. It's a coral reef. I think I could get into this.

The Christmas cactus blossom is in its full glory these days. It'll be short-lived I'm sure but I am enjoying it while it lasts.

Today's toss was season 2 of Bones.

The prompt today asked what makes you nervous? Stairs. Stairs make me nervous. I always think that I'm going to stumble up or fall down them so I always use the handrail. I'm leery of stairs with no railing.

Another blow came when I got an email from the organizer saying that next weekend's writing retreat was cancelled because it just isn't safe. I understand but I was really looking forward to being with my writing friends for a couple days--and getting to tend the fireplace. I got invited to supper at DS's house tonight even though DD didn't make it. It was great to be with family on such a tough day. We had a nice ham supper and then we went to Lambeau Field to see the short (7 minute), free, laser light and fireworks show that they project on the side of the stadium. It was cold standing outside but it was fun to see and be with the kids.


Wednesday, December 29, 2021


Today I saw both Cardinals. First the female spent quite a bit of time on the platform feeder. She even allowed House Finches and Chickadees to share the space with her. She's much nicer than the male.


The male Cardinal showed up too but only stayed for a second. I got the camera up and was just ready to make the shot when he flew off toward the Adirondack chair. I craned my neck and there he was on the leg of the chair. I was quick enough to catch him there. You can just see the red of his head in this picture.

Last night's snow was the light, powdery kind, easy to shovel and terrible for snowballs and snowmen. The retaining wall looked like it had lines of frosting on the rows of blocks until the sun got strong enough to melt it just enough for the snow to fall away.

Today's drawing was of a cloud cottage. I made it too small for adding many extras but I was happier with my clouds this time.



I've added two more sections onto the DK Shawl. The eyelets and the chain stitches are nearly invisible but, trust me, they're there and they look good. They aren't too hard to make either.

Today's toss was Season 1 of Bones. I don't know why I bought five seasons of that show. I loved it when it was airing but have no desire to rewatch. So I'll be tossing one season a day for the next four days because I only have to toss one thing a day.

The prompt today said to write a short story about a case of mistaken identity. That wasn't hard. "Hey, Harve, how've you been?" "I'm not Harve, I'm Jerry." "Nice try, Harve, but I'd know my old pal anywhere." It went on but nothing original there.

I just got off the phone with DD. She got to Lafayette, IN only to discover that the person who watched her little boy today was exposed to COVID so she's going to turn around and go home. I am in tears. I was so looking forward to this weekend with her. I miss her so much but it's too great a risk. Dammit.


Tuesday, December 28, 2021


Yesterday I filled the peanut wreath late in the afternoon so there were peanuts left when I got up this morning. That gave a couple Bluejays the opportunity to swoop in to nab a nut and swoop off. They're so fast that I was lucky to get this one shot. It's a little blurry but it'll do.

The squirrels made sure that they got the lion's share of the peanuts. I saw this one knock one onto the ground, scamper off with one in its mouth, and then come back for the fallen one that it buried in the snow off to the side.

I'm working my way through the Cs in the 3-D drawing book and drew a cartoonist today. I wasn't very inspired by this image but I stuck to it and drew it.

Then I drew the six figures in the next lesson in the Draw Squad book. Like I said before, practice.

DS called this afternoon that he was going to have to sit at a car fixit place a mile or so from here so he asked if I'd come pick him up so that he could read his book in comfort at my house instead of in a hard molded plastic chair there. Of course, I would. When I was coming home from returning him to his car it started to snow--again. This time it's light and fluffy stuff, not heavy and wet like it was night before last. Much easier to move off the driveway.

I worked on the DK Shawl some this evening but it doesn't look very different from the last time I showed it to you so I didn't take a picture.

Today's toss was another DVD. I sat and went through the DVDs and realized that I have quite a collection of them that I probably won't watch again. Makes for easy tossing decisions.

I forgot about the prompt today but I did run the dust rag and vacuum around the place. I'll clean the bathroom and wash dishes tomorrow then I'll be ready for DD's arrival on Thursday. Yay!


Monday, December 27, 2021

On My Toes

I had an assistant today who kept me on my toes all day.  We drew pictures.  His is better than mine. A school friend wants to be a vet so he made a picture for her. He has such a warm heart.

I drew a cow and a mule out of Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss. Not imaginative at all.

The Christmas cactus is blooming as of today.  I am confident that this will be the only flower to open on it again this year but I am happy with one. Way better than none.

We played outside in the new, wet snow. He discovered the snow pile of the office building behind the house and had a grand time climbing to the top and sliding down. He threatened to fly down but I dissuaded him. People who are 5 are daredevils. We played so hard all day that he fell asleep on the way home. Good thing DS was there to carry him into the house.

I didn't knit or toss (actually he un-tossed a bendy Santa that he spent hours playing with) or write a prompt, I just enjoyed my company. And made cornbread, carrot, cheddar waffles for lunch, by request. An excellent day.


Sunday, December 26, 2021

Not A Darned Thing

I almost stayed in my Fa-La-La-Llama pajamas all day but I managed to get into the shower around noon so the day wasn't a total pj day.

Today's drawing out of the 3-D book was the beginning of the C section so I drew six different versions of the letter C (I added one to round out the page and make it symetrical).

Then I turned to the next lesson in the Draw Squad book and sketched those six little cartoons. After all this time I've finally started to add my own "extras" to the pictures instead of always just copying what's in the book. Maybe my imagination is finally waking up.

At least one of the Christmas cactus buds is starting to bloom. I fear that the smallest one will never get bigger and the next biggest one looks dead. Seems like I'll only have one flower again this year, but that's better than none.

I didn't knit. I didn't write. I didn't toss. I didn't prompt. I went to the grocery (again) because I got the wrong size package of frozen egg noodles and I needed a couple other things and it's supposed to start snowing tonight. Then I spent the evening on the couch watching Call the Midwife reruns. I am endlessly entertained by that show. I also watched Ghosts On Demand. It's a CBS sit-com that one of the Friday knitters recommended about a couple that inherits a haunted mansion. The wife can see the ghosts and the husband can't, hilarity ensues. It's pretty cute and funny.

That was my whole day. Boring, isn't it?


Saturday, December 25, 2021

Elf Shoes

In honor of Christmas, I wore my favorite shoes. They're a pair of Converse All-Star high-tops that I got from a shoe store tent sale over twenty years ago. They're green and red with red and white stripes on the underside of the tongues, red and green plaid shoestrings, and jingle bells hanging from the backs. They used to embarrass my daughter to the max but she's gotten over that, now I bet she wishes she had some.

Today's first drawing from the 3-D book was a bee flying in front of a tree with a hive in it. I liked drawing it. I have to practice drawing it because a B is my initial, so I have an affinity for bees.


The second drawings were from the next lesson in the Draw Squad book. More practice.

This morning the fog had dissipated, it was sunny, and the Cardinal came to call. It kept its head tucked down but I managed to get one shot where you can see more than its back and tail.

Today's toss was another DVD. It feels good to get rid of them.

The prompt today said that you buy a frame in a thrift store and find a secret message written on the back. What does it say? "Meet me at the gazebo at 11." Who wrote it? I have no clue. I tried to get something going but it just fizzled.

I had a good day. I texted a lot of friends to wish them Merry Christmas, I talked to Aunt B and DD, and went over to DS's for gifts and supper and visiting. A good day.


Friday, December 24, 2021

Then One Foggy Christmas Eve

 And, man, is it foggy. It's 41 degrees at 9:30 PM and we had drizzle today so the frozen ground and the warm temperature has made fog. I am so glad that I am snug in my house and all of my loved ones are snug in their houses too. Nobody is driving around in this pea soup. Tomorrow is supposed to be colder, in the mid-30s, but partly sunny. Much better for driving across town to have Christmas supper with DS and family.

The Cardinal visited the platform feeder this morning. It mostly tried to hide behind the posts but then one House Finch got brave and decided to try to land so the Cardinal turned around to drive him off. Not very nice of him but at least I got a better picture.

I sat down to draw with a better attitude today and drew a brain and a pile of books out of the 3-D book. The brain has a pair of eyes on stalks poking out of it. Who thinks of this stuff?

Then after a break for writing group I sat down with the Draw Squad book and redrew the six figures in one of the early lessons. I figure if I draw the new stuff in the 3-D book, then I'll treat myself to the ease of drawing something I have drawn before. We call that practice.

I got the first stockinette section of the DK Shawl done, did the garter ridges that divide the sections, and got through the eyelet section. Next comes more garter ridges before embarking on a new section with a different stitch pattern. It's getting interesting.

Today's toss was another DVD. This one was a movie of Mom's that I never watched and will never watch. Begone!

The prompt today was taken from a YouTube video that a writing friend played. It showed musicians from all over the world playing the same song and in one part it showed three young men in Mali dancing in sand. They were amazing. I can barely walk in sand and they were moving with ease. I wrote about how walking in sand makes me feel dragged down. Not very cheerful but it was a good writing exercise that might turn into a poem.

Merry Christmas to you!


Thursday, December 23, 2021

A Dusting

We got a dusting of snow this morning. Naturally the heaviest was when I was driving to the grocery store to get ingredients for when DD is here. The snow was kind of slushy and made the streets slick which made driving interesting. I realized that I need to think of something for lunches too. Oh wow, I am really out of practice having guests.

For drawing practice I stuck with the old Draw Squad book for the most part. I just sat there and drew little tables with faces on them until I ran out of steam. I'm not giving up.

Tonight while I knitted I watched A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas so now I feel like I'm ready for the big day on Saturday.

Speaking of knitting I got a ways on my DK Shawl. I keep expecting each row to add a stitch but it's only every other row that adds a stitch so I have fourteen more rows before I get to do something different.

Today's toss was another DVD that I never watch.

The prompt today said to write a rhyme about a slug. So I rhymed slug with jug and slime with time. It isn't pretty but it's done.

My brother AJ called me today so I got to have a nice chat with him. I need to talk to him more often. I keep saying that but I never call. I'm a bad sister.


Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Christmas is Creeping Closer

We won't have a white Christmas they say. If I lived farther north, maybe, but not in Green Bay. Oh we might have a flake or two tomorrow but it's supposed to be in the low 40s on Friday so that means rain or freezing rain. Yippee. Just as long as I can make it across town on Saturday afternoon for Christmas supper at DS's house.

I saw a small sign of Spring this morning. See the slight tinge of yellow around the beak of this Goldfinch? In a few months that yellow will have spread all over the bird's body and it will stand out like a canary instead of being all drab in the snow.

I managed to catch one of the Nuthatches at the feeder this morning. At one point there were two of them but, of course, they were on opposite sides of the tube feeder and didn't stay long enough anyway.

I bought another Kindle drawing book today. I read the introduction and the beginning chapter and it doesn't give the steps for the drawings so I returned it. One thing I read was that when you are struggling is when you are learning so I got out the 3-D book and gave it another go. First I drew a few of the little figures in the Draw Squad book and then I drew another of those Bug Eyed Birds.

After that I turned the page to see that I had buildings to draw in perspective and not. There's less direction in this book, I'd like more explanation of what to do next and how to do some things but I guess I can figure it out. I guess.


Today's toss was another DVD that I will never watch again, this one is about Yellowstone.

The prompt today said to write down as many words as you can think of with the letter "X" in them. I thought I would have a long list but I didn't even make it to 20. Pitiful.

I dug out the slow cooker cookbook and found a recipe for chicken and noodles that I think I might make when DD is here for a visit. I want to make something that we can just heat up and not have to think of cooking. Maybe I'll go to the grocery tomorrow to pick up the ingredients so I have them on hand before the holiday.


Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Day of the Cardinals

 Both Cardinals came to the feeder today. Together even. He swooped in first and then she followed. They didn't stay together long. She flew down to the ground to peck around in the fallen seed.

And he stayed in the platform feeder sorting through the hulls looking for the perfect seed. Just as I snapped this picture she flew up to join him so I got ready to take another but first he and then she flew away so all I got was a reddish blur on the edge of the frame. Oh well, I tried.

Today's drawings are a Bat Bean and a Bug Eyed Bird. At least that's what the artist calls them. The further I delve into this 3-D book the less I am attracted to the exercises. Maybe I need to go back to one of the other books to renew my enthusiasm or maybe I just need to perk up.

This afternoon I parked on the couch to watch Call the Midwife reruns and knit on the DK Shawl. It's at least double what it was last night, the rows are getting longer and it's starting to roll up on itself. I hope that it blocks straight when the time comes.

Today's toss was a purple pencil St. Nick. Purple just isn't the right color for a St. Nick.

The prompt today asked if a giant rabbit knocked on your door asking for a drink would you let him in? No, not even if it was Halloween. I'm not letting some stranger into my house. No way.

It snow flurried a bit this afternoon but didn't amount to much. Naturally it was snowing when I left the grocery store so I got pelted with big wet flakes as I walked to the car. I got a haircut today too.


Monday, December 20, 2021

Shawl Number 3

Well, I guess the third time is the charm. I ripped out the latest shawl attempt, rewound the yarn, and lucked into another shawl pattern that is way more my speed. It uses the thin, DK weight yarn but on size US9 needles so it goes faster (Yay!) and makes a softer, drapey fabric. I cast on and got started after supper.

The sun shone for an hour or so this morning and while the sun was shining the Cardinal came to the feeder. It's amazing how different it looks, how much brighter it looks when it perches in the sunlight than when it's here in the drear and overcast. It was just warm enough today that the thin snow coating on the patio evaporated, not melted but evaporated.

B is for blah. That's how I'm feeling lately and I don't know why but I started drawing the B figures today. He starts the chapter with the five different styles of lettering and then segues into drawing crazy cartoon figures. The first one was Banana Boy which was fun to draw. There are more cartoon critters coming up.


Two of the three buds on the Christmas cactus are swelling. The third bud is just sitting there doing nothing. I think it has lost the will to blossom. 

When the sun went away this morning I opened On Demand on the TV and found the Yule Log with holiday music to watch and listen to. It doesn't add any warmth but it sounds nice although I wish there was a crackle that went with the music and flickering flames. Maybe Netflix has a log fire that crackles.

After supper I finished the crown decreases of the Charisma 2 Hour hat, which took me way longer than two hours. I'm a slow knitter and I was using less bulky yarn and smaller needles than the pattern calls for so that's my excuse. I like the way it turned out, I'll probably use the same pattern again but maybe do a ribbed brim instead of the garter ridge brim. Ribbed looks more masculine, I think.

Today's toss was a bendy Santa figure that used to live in the Christmas card basket but now is homeless.

I didn't do the prompt again today (blahs) but I did manage to eke out three pages of novel writing. What was once a spate dwindled to a trickle and is now a dribble but I'm still writing every few days so I'm taking it as a win.