Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Knitters, hake, and Hercules

Yesterday was hake for lunch, with big capers scattered around, and steamed broccoli with blue cheese crumbles. Hake is a nice friendly whitefish, not too expensive, that you can add sauces, or here capers, without clashing, because it's a neutral flavor. This week's package made three meals. I love cod, but there wasn't any this week, and halibut, which never fits into my budget. 

It got up my brainpower to go to the Tuesday Knitting Group, where lovely things are happening, as you see.

Here M is showing her top down short sleeved cardi, which she dyed using an acid dye which she'll tell me about next week. This color is wonderful. She's very interesting -- a spinner! Using spindle and wheel. And she's done natural dyeing as well as this acid dye.  It's so cool to be in the company of someone who spins. Not many of them around here.

Here's S's baby blanket, which is a lacy pattern. She says she's a beginner, but I think she's far beyond. She's interested in having another project to turn to, so is thinking of trying socks, and took pictures of my simple sock pattern. 

And here are G's amigurumi pug dogs,  which will look puggier when she uses that brown yarn in the background for ears. She'll make the noses from felt.

Good news -- they've extended the group through February. I think they're going a bit at a time, to see if it holds up. It's a friendly group, so if there's a chance of one where you live, I'd really give it a try. Everyone feels timid at first, until they meet.

Once home, Handsome Son visited, polished off the last of those caraway cookies and the walnut chocolate cake, discussed his latest electronic DIY build, full of terms unknown to me, whether Malinowski might run for governor, batteries, car insurance which is going up 28%, shock, horror, and other interesting probably male-oriented subjects.

And my trusty jar opener, without which olives and capers are the impossible dream, finally collapsed and here's its replacement

Complete with a rather clinical set of graphics inscribed into the pad to explain how to use the opener, and what the counter pad does when it's not stored in the blade area.

It's Oxo, which has served me well with other small appliances helpful to my creaky old hands.

Speaking of strength

Happy day everyone, maybe there's an appliance to insert pills into cats?

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

This day two years ago, and a red wheelbarrow

 Two years ago today,  this was the scene

Today, milder, damp, fine for getting out, Tuesday knitting group, visit from Handsome Son, return of Northern Exposure to the library where there are holds, to my surprise.

And here is a poem that isn't in my Book of Pomes but should be, because it's one of the most profound there is.

I won't lay my interpretation on you, but would rather listen to what you might fancy saying about it. 

Happy day, your words, and numbers, are valued here! Looking forward to Handsome Son's words when he visits to eat chocolate cake this afternoon, and before that the convo with my Tuesday knitting group.

Monday, January 29, 2024

A note of thanks, and spring shoots

Soon, this will be here, from a friend who moved away but keeps in touch

in response to my request for advice. C. simply said here's some nice cotton yarn, want it? Look at those colors! Just beautiful.

What I don't knit for myself will go into socks and gloves for the Knitting Ministry. 

Meanwhile, in anticipation, I had bought some very fine cotton/bamboo mix, for the tender bits,

which will go with a heavier yarn for the body, so I cast on, three threads held together, looking promising.  

Thank you for the boost to the Boud Handmade Lingerie Department, dear C.

Meanwhile, speaking of boosts, look at the sudden shoots of the pony palm

It's new and sudden and exciting.  This is after years of growing taller but not showing interest in multiplying. The big stems are the established ones, and here are kittens.

This means the light is increasing though I can't say I've noticed, but the plants have.

Happy day everyone, notice stuff! 

The puzzle answer is


But you smart folks got that right off.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Food shopping and puzzles, cheerful posy

Our recent rationing chat led me to check further, and find this UK information

I think there's some vague sense in other countries that food in rationed amounts was somehow allocated for people to pick up. In fact, these were the maximum you could buy, using coupons from your ration book, if it was available. 

Not unusual for people to wait in long lines at the grocery they were registered at, no shopping around, only to find when they got to the counter that some items were gone for the week. My childhood food landscape.

In contrast to my own luxurious procedure, like this week's misfits order I placed yesterday, where you see why markdowns are in place. 

And it will appear on my doorstep on Thursday.

No wonder I enjoy making dinner, when I can make this chicken stew, all organic, reduced price ingredients

And no wonder it's ingrained, in my generation particularly,  to shun waste, from buying food to rescue it from being plowed under or landfilled, to using every bit of it. It's a huge daily pleasure. 

Are you up for a puzzle, on a lighter note?

Funny clues please! 

And here's an Emma Mitchell posy, designed to calm your mind as you look. 

She's a Neuro researcher as well as a silversmith, Renaissance woman, and she finds this kind of image with the Fibonacci numbers, varying shapes,  and the color range, calms an anxious mind. 

If you've got one, enjoy the moment. If not, just enjoy it anyway, who do you think you are,  anyway? Oh sorry, channeling Dr Fleischman from Northern Exposure, which I'm watching in the evenings.

Happy day everyone. In a world full of Joels, try to be a Marilyn Whirlwind.

photo AC

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Knitters ahoy, needles or not

Yesterday's knitting group yielded this enterprising work -- I- cord knitted without needles, on fingers. R is self taught, his current crochet in the background, needle free knitting in front. 

He was away with friends last weekend,  they wanted to try his crochet hooks, leaving him temporarily without, so he also figured out crochet without a hook.

he's unstoppable!

And here's the cross stitch wall hanging coming along. It's really lovely to see in person.

And Sandy has finished a Valentine's day sweater, intarsia and embroidery

there were other pieces, which you've seen before. Chat ranged over dpns and modern advances on them, Uber and how it's pretty good around here, not long waits, batteries, stopped clocks and County admin (!),  alcohol, courier stories and weather.  Always an interesting time.

One of the courier stories was mine. A courier/livery/errand small business I was consulting with to help get it organized after a successful launch, occasionally had snags where a courier was needed in two directions at once, time-bound legal documents often. That was part of what needed organizing. 

On this occasion, a package  needed to get urgently to a bank on my way home, so I sent the courier on the other delivery, and rescued the dilemma by taking the bank package  myself. 

I announced myself and requested that the bank officer be alerted to come sign and accept the  documents. She came down, looked around the bank floor, then turned to me and said indignantly "I was interrupted to come sign for a couriered package! There's nobody here! Do you see any courier?"  I offered her the package, and the signature sheet, and she still  insisted I couldn't be the courier. Showed her my business card and title, and she conceded. 

I think her fixed notion of a courier was a young male college student, because often they were. Or something.

Happy day everyone, from the lady with two knitting groups and no courier cred.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Misfits, tea rescue, and Snow White

 Yesterday's Misfits arrived early


Which gave me plenty of time to roast the chicken and prep the  broccoli to go with it.

And this is not a very over-roasted chicken, it's a nicely roasted one with tamarind paste and berbere spice spread on it. That, with steamed broccoli, blue cheese crumbles flung about, worked out well. 

Speaking of food, did you know that in WW2 Britain, when rationing was at its most stringent, the prospect of starvation very real in the island nation,  food supply shipping being mined and torpedoed, the Minister of Food (yes) said tea must be supplied, no matter how.

He stated that whatever hardships the national morale could withstand, bombing, family separation, food and fuel shortages,  being deprived of tea might very well break people down.  Yesterday I remembered this when I used the very last spoonful of tea in the breakfast pot. The new order still hadn't arrived, despair lurked.

Then, a thump at the door, and the clouds parted, birds started singing, the supply ship, well, USPS, had arrived to save us all.

that rationing feller knew his onions.

I finished the jigsaw puzzle, and found one piece missing but it didn't really matter.

Ah, the sermons you could wring from puzzles, how one missing piece isn't so bad, how the piece that fits is often nothing like what you expected, all these  insights into life, aren't you glad I grew up in a religion without lay preachers..

And just so we don't get over excited about good things, here's a modern look at the happy ever after fairytale where marriage is the key.

Happy day everyone, knitting group today, where I'll disappoint everyone by knitting a sock rather than exotic underwear. I might be wearing it,  though.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Neighbors, a two way street

I often note the help Gary gives me, and it occurs to me that you may not realize how much this is a two way activity, involving my being roped in to assist with projects, and my stuff traveling next door for various reasons.

Currently at Gary's house:

My outdoor path sweeping brush

My box  cheese grater

My stepladder

My glass container

Another container

All will return eventually.  

Meanwhile, for him I'm Freecycling these

Back in the kitchen, a fast food lunch One can good diced tomatoes, no use using fresh in winter, they're like red plastic, one can cannellini beans, rinsed, egg broken over, baked together 20minutes at 385°f.

Mini naan, soft Indian bread, to make sure all the sauce is accounted for.

Then these cookies, using chickpea flour instead of ap which is why they look golden when baked

caraway seeds on top. This is a Home on the Range old recipe brought up to date. 

I took a few over next door and found myself taking pictures of the free cycle items to organize for him, then pruning the big fig plant that was taking over the living room. Then giving an opinion of possibly framing a painting on canvas.

I brought home a couple of prunings to start in water

and you see them in front of the wash stand, on which is the coleus I brought in in October. I've pruned the top, and I'll propagate for more coleus outdoors this summer.

 Meanwhile, among this headlong rush, The Pant is done, here seen front, tilted to show how it works

and back. A bit of finishing and it's done. It fits a treat, though I'm resisting my local knitting group's pressure to model it -- in a meeting room with glass walls, open to the main library floor, yesh!

Happy day everyone! Raining today, but the bag of freecycled fabric is being picked up anyway this afternoon, probably colliding with the Misfits delivery.