Yes, a frog climbed to the second story deck too. Why? To get to the top. Maybe he was promoting himself? Ok, bad joke. Another picture. I have a similar one from last year. Why not more frogs then? He has since moved on. I hope he got what he wanted.
Ok! I have a container garden. It’s elevated on a second floor deck. Snakes don’t fly. How’d he get up here? Motivated! And Colleen saw him. And, she hates snakes! Really hates them! I persuaded him to leave the deck. (See: Pushed him over the edge. I do that to people sometimes too.) In the garden bed below he was crawling away, none the worse for wear, when he was kind enough to stick out his tongue. Glad he made it. How far can a snake fall without injury?
Ok, it’s not a shout out to Wawa. There is a certain need to build a nest at a certain time. But location, location, location? This is a bit extreme. At least I would not want to be out where everyone can see. Why not a tree? Or, are other predators put off by all the people around?
Ha ha. I was hauling mulch from front to back. There, in the side yard under the trees were a pair of turtles. This was unusual to see. I see ones but ordinarily not a pair. Yes, they were caught in the act. Once they saw me the male moved off rather quickly, especially for a turtle. Yup, they can move if motivated. This leads me to question, in the whole wide world, how does one turtle find another?
It’s clover. Clover’s good. It adds nitrogen. I don’t pay much attention and consider it a weed. Then it flowered in my pot unbidden. It was pretty until the bloom faded. When I went to pull it the root system was extensive and everything else in the container faded soon after. I had to do a new planting and fertilize like crazy. Go figure. I’m still an amateur with plants.
Feather loves mint chip ice cream. How? I don’t know. She was all over me one night as I ate. She proceeded to lick my bowl clean. Now she gets the cold treat before I’m done. I put some on the table and she licks and gobbles it up. None of the other cats have shown any interest in ice cream. Chocolate is bad for cats. I didn’t notice a small chip. Feather was smart enough to leave it behind. Now I have read cats won’t willingly eat chocolate on their own. Maybe it’s like broccoli and peas for me?
Want to make a mess? No problem. Feed a toddler. Noa is old enough to try solid food. She gets new food one at a time to see if she has any allergies. I never heard anyone claim to be allergic to cantaloupe. How nice. How do you prepare it for an infant? Microwave. It softens it. Then you feed it to the kid. Let the mess begin! At least it wasn’t a lemon. You get a real reaction to something sour. I got a nice shot here without torture.
Sometimes pictures just jump into my lap. On our terrace door was a grasshopper clinging. This meant I had a ventral view – belly – not so usual for bugs. I got some shots. I was pleasantly surprised the camera did the exposure and it focused sufficiently through the glass so the eyes were sharp.
They came back. We have had a pair of barn swallows carefully build a nest under the eave of the balcony over my garage. They hatched five baby birds last year. The last one required rescue. It couldn’t fly and was pushed out of the nest to the ground. It was a harrowing rescue for us. This year they hatched five more in the same nest. They all successfully flew off in early summer. Now, it’s midsummer and we see barn swallows swooping about our balcony. Staying close to home? No, it appears there is another batch of babies. This set of parents are way more tolerant of me standing below to take pictures. The last time around the parents would swoop away and dive bomb me each time I approached. It’s nice to see the parents are more mellow especially as the only rental requirement of the nest is that I get a pic of the newborns.
We have water with minerals. Who doesn’t? And, it stains the porcelain in the toilet. The brown ring makes us look like poor housekeepers. As a guy I can ignore small things. We’re clean. Period. But, well, Colleen has been embarrassed. She has tried to clean the stains without success. It took a while but I have finally replaced the bowls. I did it with a little help from Ray. Later on Ray was not so anxious to cooperate. Meanwhile, Colleen has the ground floor toilet fixture she always wanted. …when you gotta go, you gotta go.
What? More. The baby pram? Um? Colleen has admired them. We don’t need one. Right. There are no kids at home. Old Singer sewing machine. Don’t ask. I’ve got too many to count. Don’t laugh. Old typewriter. Ditto. Old writing desk. Curious. Neat. And a harp? That’s something you don’t see often.
I read this book as a kid. I took the course. I was a lifesaver. Um, yup. Reading the book there was a double page with a guy in a lake underwater holding his belly just like this guy. It was an admonition against swimming after eating. The picture scared the shit out of me to this day. I eat. I swim. I swam. I dive. I dove. Nothing happened. Old wives tale? Things you learn or see as a kid stick with you. Like: “Ipledgeofallegiance” was one word when I recited it in grade school. That picture still scares me…
We do antique stores. Shop, browse, pick around. Mostly we see stuff and wonder who it is that would want to take it home. There are some good ideas. There was a wooden ruler to measure height. I had marks on a wall for both my kids. When we moved I couldn’t take the wall. The ruler is a great idea. Old adding machines? And, there are things we have no idea what they are/were for.
We returned to the scene of our wedding day. The group was headed to a local pizza joint for the specials. The place was crowded. But Nantucket was welcoming. We arrived just before the thunderstorm hit. And we finished as the storm ended. We caught a rainbow and the sunset on the bay. I must admit it was indeed a very happy circumstance.
The same weekend: three bake sales and one art craft sale. There were two bake sales in two churches. One church was selling specialty knives in addition to baked goods. We got knives. Why? Don’t know. The second church sold books and baked goods. We got books. Six grandchildren all read. We don’t need books. But who can resist a book sale. The art was Delaware by hand and displayed the wares of craftsman from the area. We looked and admired. As expected, the price of handmade craft was expensive. In between we hit a yard sale. That was priceless. There was junk. Someone sold a Kitchen Aid mixer (not junk). Her neighbor dutifully handed over cash and the sale was done before our eyes. We bought a vintage baby buggy from the very same neighbor. Ok! I got another project to fix up. The last stop was the AARP scholarship show – craft, baked goods, and a farmer’s market with corn straight from Georgia. It was a packed day.
Flags are displayed all around. I was struck by the flag on the construction equipment. Was it a political statement or a symbolic salute to the holiday? Things have changed. I feel suspicious of a statement with which I do not agree. Perhaps I am being too sensitive. Or not. It is a symbol and sign of the times we are in.
We have a lot of strawberry plants among the pots of flowers on the deck. I wait and wait. And often I am too late to catch the strawberries at the peak moment of ripeness. Not always. One can always savor the first bite of the strawberry you grew in your own garden. You don’t ever get enough. In fact it’s more like an accent. There never seem to be enough for dessert.
My cats orbit without touching. They are in the same room – sometimes. Mostly they are never together. Cats don’t romp – generally. So, it was a rare picture indeed, to see them sitting side by side in the curtain at the door. I can stage them. Not really. But sometimes they do surprise me. I’m lucky to have had a camera on hand. They parted moments later.
After you spin, you ply. That is, you combine two single spin fibers into a plied yarn. You can ply more, but two is good. And this looks good to the untrained eye. There are plenty of defects. I’m not sure what we can do with it. That would be for Colleen to decide. But this skein is ready to go. I hope. As in, I hope it will be put into some project and not just sit around looking pretty (not).
After the first, I kept at it, moved on, and tried to improve. It’s mileage. The more you spin, the better you feel the fiber in your hands. Ha ha. It’s a zen thing. And I got better. Of course, the first was worst, so there was only better to go. And indeed, I am. Ha! I am my own worst critic. It’s only that honesty is a necessary trait in order to improve. I’m not prime time yet. But, there is a great promise. No, one cannot achieve what the industrial mechanical machinery can spin. But, I am happy with imperfections of handmade, custom made home spun yarn. I suspect time will tell as I get better. We have a good many spinning wheels both antique and modern. At least they are all in use.
By default I am becoming a spinner. There are spinning wheels and there are spinning wheels. To me they are like rental cars. I’ve never driven a Porsche. But I can drive a car. Aren’t they all alike? Ha ha! But true enough, I eat to live not live to eat. Mostly. Spinning is getting to the product – yarn. When you look at a skein you don’t know what wheel it was spun on. But I suppose you can have a lot of fun getting there. it’s too early for me to be able to appreciate the differences. Now, if we were to discuss cameras… well, right about now, I have more than a few. And they all have a role in different circumstances. I might use one differently depending on the subject or lighting. Perhaps someday I will know spinning wheels too.
We processed fleece. Sheep fleece. It needs to be cleaned and washed. You cannot wash it on the sheep. I wish. And you cannot wash wool in a washing machine. It will felt. That would never do! No, in order to spin and weave you must prepare the fleece. Why? Because it is the beginning of the process, the source. We’d have sheep in our yard but the homeowners association forbids it. Darn! How many fleece and how much? A lot! So much fleece was waiting we were days washing and drying. Hence, the “mess.” With all this fleece ready to be spun, it would be a good long time before you could expect to do much else. So! I have decided to spin. You know, help out. After all it is one very large task. And so I shall/did. And here is the result. I tried drop spindle a good long time ago and was miserable. I didn’t spin good and the wool did not like me. We parted. But now I am spinning. Um, they say your first skein is a piece of work no mother would love. And mine was a work only I could appreciate. Actually, I got the hang of it right away. Don’t be too smug! I was. Looking back it was true. My first effort was laughable. I got a lot of encouragement from Colleen. She’s a truly supportive spouse. And I have to love her dearly for her kind words. We are still laughing…
… the logical conclusion? Eat out. We have a brew pub – Iron Hill. It’s a pain to get in. Crowded! And the desk is not very helpful. Wait or leave? I’d rather not. So off to Applebee’s. It’s got plenty of room. It’s the same level of menu without craft beer. It’s a chain. You knew that. And the subtle difference is that the place is one notch better than McD but no Iron Hill. I can’t put my finger on it. But… it’s not the same. And in the end for my/our trouble, I got stomach poisoning and spent the evening in the BR. I am cured. As in, we will not be in an Applebee’s again.
Reduced to eating outside. We adapted to eating our meals to the last remaining open space. We have a spectacular deck space after all the plantings. I even have lights! It’s really idyllic. The setting is as good as any outdoor restaurant. Until, you add a picker. Don’t ask. It’s a device to comb out wool fiber. And it’s dangerous. And it takes up my last available space. … and so, we gotta eat out. Colleen loves eating out.