Monday, April 15, 2024

Walking, weaving and new discoveries

Sunday was much warmer so the wind was easier to manage, and I walked. When I can't get a walk, it shows up right away, stiff, and this that and the other thing hurts.  But a walk unkinks everything. 

I've been taking the same route for months now, thinking maybe I should go to the Preserve for a chance. But the change is happening here anyway. It's coming to me, so I don't need to go to it. 

I had a naturalist friend who encouraged repeated walks on the same route, to learn more about it with familiarity, observe the small changes that add up.

Much to see, blossoms 

A bee demonstrating why we need to leave dandelions the heck alone 

And miniature worlds underfoot right there for the finding 

And that carpet of wildflowers is back again.

Back home I weave squares while I'm thinking of other things to do, or listening to books 

I don't have any particular product in mind, though eventually it will be something. Right now its just the pleasure of developing the skill.

And I have a great YouTube find for you, Marion, from County Durham, near where I grew up, with that lovely northeastern accent and a great teacher. 

Her philosophy of just go for it, in stitching, sewing, textile arts and skills is so right. It was like home to me, and I instantly wanted to share with you. The top picture includes a skirt I've been wanting to make for ages, and will as soon as I find fabric. It's an eighteenth century design, still works. From there I went to her stitching practice.

Even if you're not a textile sort of person, just listen to her a bit and see if she isn't a calming, lovely, anything is possible kind of person. ASMR. 

Happy day, everyone and of course you got the puzzle


and that's my last word on the eclipse!

Enjoy whatever your stitching is.

Don't hold your breath, but word is that Speaker J may bring the Ukraine $$ to a floor vote this week.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Spice bush, cabbarole, wire art

Saturday was icy winds blowing all over, so walking didn't happen. Things like recycling did, which includes walking to the end of the block, the wind blowing me and my flattened cardboard around like helpless prawns, I expect that's some kind of resistance exercise. 

And weight training came in handy when I found some **** person had slung a huge pile of cardboard on top of, not in,  one container so that it also weighed down the lid of the next container, the one I needed to get into. Entailing forcing up the lid, plus the many pounds of cardboard resting on it, holding it with one hand while wrangling my recycle bucket with the other.  Yes, that, and the breathing exercise from cursing throughout,  was some strenuous time.

However, the patio gave me two nice things: the spice bush blooming away and scenting the wind, great experience, here's a professional view, top left, viburnum carlesii aka Korean spice bush

And the honesty, which declined to grow again where it had done well, in the strawberry pot or in the ground, where I'd next flung seeds defiantly, decided it would do this instead

As you see, happily growing in the sage pot. Well, if it's happy who am I to argue? This means I'll get at least a few more silver disk seedpods to add to my collection.

Indoors I did a bit more on the wire and yarn work

I'm going to leave it alone for a day or two then see what should happen next. Add? Subtract? Rearrange? We'll see. Meanwhile I wove a couple more plain yarn squares just to get skillz.

But the main event was the cabbage casserole, heretofore to be known as a cabbarole, which sounds like an antique carriage but never mind.

What it amounts to is salted chopped cabbage, with an egg and yogurt sauce with flour, I used chickpea, baking powder and cornstarch, big pinch of pepper. Then grated cheese on top.  Baked 50 minutes at 350°f.

Here's a serving with fresh picked chives, very oniony because the first picking of the year.  It was good and I now have a reason to buy cabbage. 

Next time I make it, which I can, with the other half-cabbage chopped and frozen, I'll use a smaller baking dish so there's more interior and less exposed top. 

I used this one because I could mix in it and put it straight in the oven, saving dishes. And I think a pinch of nutmeg would be good.  Overall though, it was worth doing, nice texture, bit of crunch on top, nicely blended inside. 

So there's several lunches. This would go nicely with sausage or chicken or something like that, too, but it worked as a main for me today. Also welcome on a drafty cold day.

Yes, this doesn't refer to the kind I cooked, but it's all good.

And creatively speaking, this is possibly me in a previous existence

Happy day everyone, make stuff and decide its fate! 

And let's hope for the best for Ukraine's fate.

Weaving, Haggard Hawks puzzle, knitting

Considering all the friendship I find at both my libraries, no wonder 

Knitting Group today was small but nice, speaking of libraries

I worked on gloves, seen here back home again 

Later while I listened to my friends in the Spoutible pod, I worked on this wire and yarn shape for the growing sculpture or habitat.

And here's a fun thing to try. Please post your answers 

I'm the Guardian of Radical Truth. Sounds a bit 1984.

And for people who are in the mood for a puzzle, this one fits the general theme at the moment

Happy day everyone, today is the Cabbarole Caper, look out.

Enjoy your day, shoes and ships and sealing wax, and c------s and kings!

As a kid I thought it was ceiling wax and wondered what that was about.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Misfits, cabbages, kings, no, queen

 Misfits arrived 

with one small hiccup, one egg broken, which resulted in a refund of the dozen. There doesn't seem to be a way to refund just the damaged one.

The unboxing setup isn't on the counter, which was occupied by the makings of spaghetti, but crowded onto the little island.

Lunch was in the works  on the counter 

Simple sauce, diced tomatoes, fresh basil, chili powder, grated Parmesan 

Two meals' worth of this radiator-shaped pasta.

And the cabbage, some of it, even a small head is a lot, will become a cabbage casserole, a new venture for me,  worth a try.

This is only half of it; you see the other half draining, to be chopped and frozen.

And the current artwork is moving along. I switched to 26 gauge steel wire for this piece, not wanting it to be too conspicuous.

I threaded it around the edges with a couple of extra threads in the body of it, to support the shape.

I like very much how the yarn can take on new shapes, and sit up unsupported.

So here's a trial of related pieces.

This changed several times before I took the photo, and will probably change more before it's done. The pieces are still all separated. More playtime will happen.

I'm thinking of another copper wire piece to add. We'll see.

Speaking of seeing, remember these daffodils in bud a couple of days ago 

Here they are this morning 

Sweet smelling, just lovely. My neighbor came running over to admire them and catch up.  She and Gary want to help me separate iris. 

Lots of luck. We'll need a chainsaw to get through them! They got ahead of me and haven't flowered in years. They don't when they get crowded and the pachysandra covers the rhizomes. They like to be exposed to light and air. 

Happy day everyone, it's good to know when roots should be preserved and when you have to cut em off.

And here's a gift to give yourself. Go here 

Brunello Creatini's YouTube channel, to hear this star operatic soprano  still performing, wonderfully, at 96. 

It's not "good, considering"! It's good at any age. Such breath control, range, strength, beautiful tone and passion. Just go there.  Squillo in action. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

The hearing journey, and art will save us all

This is the entrance of the building where the ENT has his offices, and where I had my preliminary appointment this afternoon.

 Just a lovely covered walkway with plants in the earth and in pots, ficus, fiddle leaf figs, crotons, draecena, shrubs, very calming. I wouldn't mind going there just to sit and weave. Anyway all the way down there, his suite door is among the greenery 

He took a history, a lot I had sent online ahead of time, looked in my ears and mouth and wrote it all up.  

Then he set me up with a hearing test followed immediately by another visit with him with results and recommendations. Late May. 

Scheduling both him and an audiologist together is the trick, and this is the earliest. I guess I can wait a bit longer, now that I've got my nerve up.

Then I left by the nearest exit. This turned out to be the entirely wrong side of the complex, of course, my usual leaving a building performance,  and entailed a lovely brisk walk until I finally found my car. I rationalized it was exercise, anyway.

So art definitely had a place in the day, here a new square, yarn and wire together, manipulated into a shape.

And set with the earlier parts. And that square I made with pins in cardboard I wove wire into, then shaped it to add to the group.

There's another, larger square in this turquoise yarn, which I plan to thread with wire tomorrow, as another, bigger, component. Then we'll see.

Right now this is all unconnected pieces until I decide how and if they'll work. Then I'll see how to join them, and what more is needed. 

There's a lot yet to think about. I might make plain unrelated yarn squares while I think.  Mouse blankets.

In other vital news, I find the earthquake may have jolted a couple of things, such as the water pipes,  outside faucet suddenly running. 

It's always open all winter, the pipes emptied and the shutoff valve shut. But the valve may have been jolted open a bit. It's in an upstairs closet, but it's bone dry, no leaking. So I retightened it, checked the outside faucet,  still dripping a bit, so I shut it off, no freezing concern now. 

And my clothes dryer, situated close to the shut-off valve I'd tughtened,  has lost the sensor function, though I was still able to get it going on the manual timer. 

I'd run about checking the circuit breaker, check, the upstairs plugs, switching out to check the plug worked, check, concluded it was the dryer.

I wonder if the shaking could do that. I have a feeling that's an expensive repair which I may opt not to worry about. 

Always something! But that green walkway at the ENT office just lifted my nervous spirits a lot.

Happy day everyone, weave on and keep your pipes working..