Thursday, February 28, 2013

This is even more exciting!

I found a way to upload pictures directly from my computer without using Pisca; much easier to use the computer keyboard than the iPad. (Sadly, I am not sure that you can enlarge the pictures at this point. ETA: You can!!!!)
This is the pheasant feeder we got from some friends that weren't using it any more (they got it from a pheasant organization). It turns out to be a pretty basic thing and we could easily make more if we decide we want/need another one/several. There is a bit of a flaw in the size of the holes for the corn to come out in terms of how quickly the corn flows out, it slows the deer down in their feeding, but they were still able to consume a lot of corn. However, the biggest flaw in the hole size turned out to be that they weren't small enough to keep squirrels from crawling inside the bucket to get stuff to eat.
Our solution was to put some hardware cloth on the inside of the bucket, which made a big difference in how fast the corn flowed out and how easy climbing inside was. However, either the deer or the squirrles, or both, figured out how to push the wire mesh up enough to render it only partly useful, so Hubband judiciously used staples to keep it in place. The deer and squirrels still eat the corn, but the pheasant is also seems to be getting plenty to eat whenever he comes to eat (maybe even two different ones). Night before last I looked out the window and noticed that the deer had kicked the lid off of the bucket and were eating out of the top, so Hubband took some screws and the electric screwdriver out to fix that problem. So far it seems to be holding well, though it is about time to add more corn. Just in case anyone is interested, a five gallon bucket holds about forty pounds of whole kernel corn.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

It is nice to know

the picture posting thing works, it makes this more interesting for me, and probably to the audience out there (no matter how small it may be).  Though it would be nice if I can figure out a way to re-size the pictures; that shall be another day's project.
The first picture up yesterday of Oribel was when she was contemplating going outside into the eight inches of snow; the second was how far out into it she went, which wasn't very. It was kind of funny watching her trying to figure out how to turn around and get back inside, all while doing her best to step back into the footwells she had already made in the snow.  
Today I shall give you a picture of the most recently finished knitting project that I have been going on about. A highly modified two-color color cowl, that for the most p[art I am pretty happy with how it turned out. The two-color part could still use a wee bit of tweaking, but I think I know what it needs if I ever decide to do it again.

The second picture is from this afternoon, just for entertainments sake.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Test, test

Did it post a picture? Or several?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Well, that challenge didn't go well.

Or perhaps it is better put that I lost the challenge, or something. Also known as a shiny new idea ran around and around in my head and the only way to get it to stop was to bring it to life.  So on Saturday I got some yarn out, scrounged around to find a needle compatible with the yarn, cast on a bunch of stitches, and knit them for awhile to see how it would turn out.  Of course I was also telling myself that this new idea would be a lot easier to take out in public on Sunday since it was only one color and I wouldn't need to look at charts and other "pay attention stuff" that could be distracting to the people around me.
The only thing was, after working on it for several hours yesterday, I decided I wasn't crazy about the gauge and how long it was taking me to knit each row.  So today I ripped it all out, added a second strand of yarn and with bigger needles cast on fifty less stitches than I had before, and now have something that I am a lot happier with.  That said, I did work on my "two-color-at-home" project tonight and now have it back to just one color on the final ribbing, so it will quite likely get bound tomorrow.  (If it is any help, think of it as kind of like the difference between N and HO scale.)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Snow came here overnight.

Eight inches worth, or there abouts, at least that is what I measured with a ruler on a flat, clean last night, part of the deck. It was seven inches on the sidewalk out front, but in that case I might have had the ruler at a bit of angle, since I was trying to avoid stepping off the porch.  This is probably our deepest snowfall of the season, not that we have really had very many decent snowstorms so far.  Unless something changes radically, we might be headed for another drought year. (I am still working on figuring out the whole picture thing, both with the computer/Picasa/camera interface and with the iPad/Blogger interface.)
I wound up shoveling the length of our driveway but only the width of two garage doors up closer to the house. It is a lot easier to do it that way than shovel the whole two-car width for the whole length; it's not like we would ever drive two cars down at the same time, even in the middle of the summer.
I still couldn't leave well enough alone with my knitting project and just keep knitting. I decided it needed to be two colors instead of just one, so ripped back about seventeen rows of the pattern, reknit   Four rows plus two pattern repeats of the fifth row in the two colors when I realized I had messed up the second color on the third row, so ripped back again. Seriously, if I can just settle down with it and just knit, it will be done in no time! Well, ok maybe in a little bit of time, like two or three days of intermittent knitting, but that isn't very long. Of course, once I am done improvising the pattern to my preference, have it figured out, and the challenge is gone, I will be busy thinking about/wanting to start a new project. I am challenging myself with finishing it before starting the next shiny thing. Depending on what new shiny thing runs past when this is done, I am hoping to repeat that challenge. We shall see how well that works out.
The weekend around here is going to involve grocery shopping, cooking, baking, some more snow shoveling, and clearly some sorting out of a knitting challenge. I imagine other stuff will come along as well; anyone out there have exciting weekend plans?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Today wasn't nearly as exciting

as yesterday, which is just as well. I don't need that kind of excitement again in the near future, if at all. Today pretty much consisted of staying home except for a brief outing to walk a friend's dog, and then I was back home again. Being at home consisted of exciting things like emptying the dishwasher, feeding the birds, looking for/through stuff, making dinner, deciding that the thing I had started knitting wasn't working out on the size needles I was using so I pulled it all out and put the yarn to work on a totally different item. I know, really low key stuff, pretty much the way I prefer for things to be. I am really happy with the new/improved knitting project, I think it will only take me a couple of days to finish.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

It is warmer today

than it was yesterday. As in, it is 11°F (-12°C) with a windchill still above zero at almost 10 PM, compared to yesterday's reported in at 2 PM conditions. Today's heat wave turned out to be a good thing, considering I got locked out of the house this morning at a bit after ten. I went out into the garage to grab something out of the car and then this transpired. .   
Go back to door into house to get rest of self ready to leave. Discover the garage door has locked itself (it used to do this a lot, hasn’t for awhile). Go to grab spare house key we keep in the garage and discover it is gone. Search around for a bit and decide to just call Hubband. Go to grab cell from car to realize/remember it was in the house charging. Look a bit more for key, give up, and decide I am going to have to walk up to the corner house to see if they are home (since their daughter has a key she has used to feed animals). Walk to corner, get two possible keys from them (we don’t know which one it is for certain and said daughter is now in CA). They also loan me a coat to walk back home in. Get home, neither key works. Think about it for a moment and decide to walk to a neighbor who might be able to help me find Hubband’s office number in the work directory. Those neighbors aren’t home, but I hear music coming from the house in between the one I am at and our house, so go over there (hadn’t expected them to be home). Call a friend who is able to give me the number of someone who can connect me to Hubband’s office number, he doesn’t answer but she can look at his calender and tell that he is in a meeting for another ten minutes, and can send him an email letting him know the neighbor is driving me over to get the key.
Neighbor drives me to Hubband’s office (and is willing to wait to drive me back home), I go up to the third floor in hopes of finding H back in his office. No luck, so I ask someone three doors down if they know where he is. Turns out they don’t even know who he is, so go in search of someone who knows him. Find someone who does, she looks up his calender and we head off to the room he is supposed to be meeting in. Turns out he isn’t there, so we go back to look it up again and she realizes she was off by an hour, so we head to another room and find him. He asks why I am there and I explain I need the key to the house, he wonders, “What is this you are wearing?” and I tell him it is the neighbor’s coat. We walk back to his office so he can get the keys from his coat, with me listening him giggle the whole way. The neighbor drives me back home and waits to make sure I can get in the house. An hour plus after going to check on my yarn supply I am back inside the house, but my regular gig is two-thirds over, and if I left then, there would only be about fifteen minutes of it left. The spare key is now back where it belongs in the garage. 
Some excitement just isn't needed in life, but it all turned out fine, so no complaining here. (Plus I got to visit with the neighbor  about his newish job and make my husband laugh.)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

On days like today,

I am really thankful for Polar Fleece lined jeans when I go walk my friend's dog. Oh, and hand-knits too, of course.

 Current conditions:
    Blowing Snow and Breezy
    5°F (-15°C)
   Wind SpeedNW 24 G 30 mph
   Wind Chill-17°F (-27°C)


blue jays can be rather picky eaters. I know they prefer peanuts, and definitely in the shell is the best in their opinion. I have watched them toss aside sunflower seeds, dried fruit, and other stuff in their pursuit of finding peanuts in the bird seed mix. Saturday Hubband and I went to the feed store to get some corn for the poor starving peasant that lives in the woods. He comes into our yard pretty much every day and we are doing our part to turn him back into a pheasant. While we were getting corn (and water softener salt, since they sell that too) I decided to get a bag of peanuts in the shell as well. Yesterday I filled garden pot with some and put it on the same pole that holds one of our bird feeders. This morning Hubband got to watch a blue jay pick through (and toss aside onto the deck below) several peanuts in the pursuit of the perfect breakfast. Later on the rejected peanuts seemed to be perfectly acceptable to a couple of jays that didn't even fight over them. (With any luck, I will be able to figure out the problem I seem to be having getting photos, my computer, and blogger to all play well together.)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The other day

 I finished an excellent book, The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman.  It is primarily the stories of four different women, how they came to be at Masada around 70 CE,  and their lives there. The writing is excellent and well researched, so it is enjoyable from that standpoint alone, but there were some extra connecting points for me. In the spring of 1997 there was an exhibit at the BYU Museum of Art about Masada (which of course I went to!), with artifacts that
represent both the life and death of a group of Jews who rebelled against Roman rule, leading to the Roman's destruction of Jerusalem.
One of several other connecting points was Hoffman's descriptions of women gathering in the evenings to weave, and one of the characters designing a "new to them" pattern from a scrap of fabric she had.
I hadn't read this book before now, but had suggested it to our book group based on the recommend of several friends. I am very glad I have read it and would strongly endorse it to others to read. Now I just need to come up with a few discussion topics (in addition to the questions in the included "reader's guide").

Friday, February 15, 2013


"You know, for something labeled 'Cardinal Blend' I haven't seen very many many eating it this week."
 "They heard they were needed in Rome. They will be back sometime in March or April after they release the white smoke."

Thursday, February 14, 2013


is often found best in the little things. Things like having the tire pressure checked for you, coffee brought to you every morning, being picked up at the door so you don't have to walk across the icy parking lot, having the one you love take your car out to fill the gas tank so you don't have to worry about it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


The scree of "our" Red-tailed Hawks calling to each other, hooting of owls late at night into early mornings, calls of coyotes across the fields, a season of reflection, all lead to spring and the journey of cycles in all our lives.