Thursday, January 01, 2015


Normally, this is considered a Bad Thing.  I don't see it as such, though, as what is unraveled can be put to better later, when one finds the time / talent to do so.

Have a good start to the New Year.  Am seriously trying to do so, myself.

Maybe you can, maybe you can't see the fault in the design that caused me to tear this difficult yarn  apart and start over again.  (Will show pictures after the completed project's been blocked.)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Tannenbaeume Take Many Forms.

Mine's my mother's ceramic tree with a few accessories from friends.

Enjoy your day, however you may be spending it.  Am wishing everyone a good, peaceful and happy move into 2015.

Thursday, September 04, 2014


Since the north paw* is still on the mend, I'm doing my best to take it easy.  Occasionally I'll whack my hand, or touch something on the keyboard just right to make me cringe.  Happily, though, I'm not being woken up by the pain anymore.

Tried knitting some swatches recently, but that bothered me, so laid off.   The moratorium isn't too bad as it's causing me to look for other things to work on, like messing with watercolors, taking pictures or playing with the sewing machine.  I do miss knitting, though.

* As lefties are called "southpaws," I'm assuming that a rightie is a "northpaw."  I've never heard that term used before, though.

Monday, September 01, 2014


Birds and bats don't buzz humans like the cicadas do, especially during daylight. It's unnerving, but nothing that one can't get used to.
Tonight, after dinner, had a little one buzz its way behind a screen on the back porch. I worked for a bit to get the poor confused, and probably immature thing dislodged. Finally just left it where it was, with enough room for it to figure out how to exit.
"I'd never be able to do that," housemate marveled.

"Do what?""Touch that insect like you did.""Oh, Pshaw. It's not venomous, so what's there to be afraid of? Besides, you do understand that I have a background in etymology."

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Easy to Overcome Obstacles.

Ooch - had a weird accident that broke my right pinky and sprained the same-hand ring finger. 
As I’m left-handed, generally just pooh-pooh the right hand. This is a humbling experience, in that I’m learning just how useful my right hand is.  The vast majority of piano music favors the right hand.  Knitting's possible, but difficult if one's working on a large project, even for the minor hand.  Opening Jars Kills.  Then, there's typing.  Ooch.   (Hurts to stop sentences, for example. Don’t even get me started on how many words end in P or L or M … gritting teeth.)  As stuff heals, I remember that there are folks who've lost so much more than I have, and permanently.

Since I couldn't knit very well, dyed stuff.  Didn't think that I was too pleased with the results until I started turning the hanks into balls.

Have also found that the new colors (tea dyed natural aran wool over dyed with various food colorings) play incredibly well with navy blue or brown.  
Food wise, it's been tough, as I'm the main shopper / cook.  We've been eating a lot of chops and steaks with broiled onions, as this stuff's low - prep.  
Have you ever tried a whole broiled onion?  Easy to fix:  just cut the ends off, peel the top layer of skin,  place on a piece of foil (or better yet - parchment - ran out of foil tonight, so tried the paper.  Wow.  Stuff caramelizes, as opposed to steams), then give a dollop of butter or bacon grease.  Seal and put in oven to broil.  When it's soft, it's ready.  Wicked good stuff.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Did a number on my back yesterday while tackling the task of taking care of the grounds of the Spring Hill Grange.  Last night's hot bath helped, as did the Icy Hot treatment.  Sleep was still disturbed, though, since moving wrong in bed would wake me up.

Today, mostly confined myself to Indoors.  Dyed some wool, did a lot of laundry, cleaned.  Stretched.  Did what passes for me as meditation.

Hate feeling so tired.  Hopefully tomorrow will be better.  (Just heard some thunder; thought I saw lightning.  Maybe that will help things.  We really need rain.)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Dynamic Stationery.

Am getting back to my old habit of actually writing letters.  Am ashamed to not have responded to a long one (30 pages) from a long-standing friend who I hope to meet one day in real life.  Anyway - letter-writing paper's in short supply and can cost a fortune for a large letter-writer. 

Decided to tinker with some printer paper and an old set of watercolors to start towards getting to speed with my girlfriend from Away.  I think that I have packed away in the boxes down below, both a paper cutter and some better quality than the copier stuff that we run through the printer.

Kind of like my results.

Jams and Jellies, ii

For the inexpensive fruits at market that I just can't resist buying in quantity, I use this basic recipe:

3/4 cup of sugar to 1 cup of either fruit or juice.

For each six cups of fruit/sugar mix, I add either two tablespoons of lemon juice, or 1/2 a squeezed lemon, peel and all into the pot (the fruit makes a nice treat after being fished from the recipe and cooled for a bit).

Wash fruit, pit and peel.  Slice up and pack into measuring cups.  Mix with the proper ratio of sugar and lemon juice.

Stir constantly until mixture comes to a boil.  Turn heat down.  If foam's a problem, skim it (have found it a huge problem with berries; not so much with stone fruits or apple juice).

When the mixture starts to gel (my best gauge is seeing how it runs off the spoon - if it doesn't drip like water, but rather sits for a couple seconds, then drips slowly from two sides of the spoon. You can feel it.  There are references for this stuff online, too.  Google "Soft Gel Stage," for example.), usually after 25-40 min, turn heat off, fish out lemon peels (if you used a whole lemon), spoon into sterilized jars and seal.

Part of this year's peach batch