Let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him. (Oswalt Chambers)

Monday, September 27, 2010

New Balcony for the Birds

The balcony where I feed the birds off a large plank needed some paint. Maybe you noticed? Maybe you wondered, "Why doesn't that woman do something with that rusty railing?"

The balcony had numerous other problems - like a rotten floor and rotten support posts.

Last week we had the entire thing torn down and replaced.

The contractor who did it is also a bird lover. He had no problem with our request to make sure the phoebes could get in and out of their nesting spot under the floor and he topped the new railing with a seven inch wide shelf for feeding dozens of cardinals and other birds.

These two Goldfinches were the first to try out the new feeder after the sawing and pounding ended. The one on the left looks like a recent fledgling still developing his wings. The one on the right is molting into his olive winter coloring.

It's always fun to see the frumpy adolescent cardinals. This guy is too young to remember the old board. I've almost forgotten it as well.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Super Surgilator Isn't Surging

4 years ago, September 23, 2006, I wrote this post praising my washing machine . . .

I've owned this Whirlpool washer since we moved here in 1991 and I'm sure I've washed thousands of loads of laundry in it.**

Last week for the very first time I noticed that there are raised letters (they don't show in this picture) on top of the agitator spelling out

Imagine a conference room full of marketing types brainstorming names for their agitator and coming up with that. Hear the laughter?

As evidenced by the fact that Whirlpool washers are still being sold with Super Surgilators today, 15 years later (Yes really. I Googled it.), the name must be a marketing success story.

I give the Super Surgilator an A+. It gets the clothes clean in hard water, has an impressive repair record, and now that I've finally seen the writing on the agitator it's good for a chuckle every time I do a load of wash.

**Doubt the thousands? I thought it sounded a bit much, so I did the math.

15 years X 52 weeks = 780 weeks
780 weeks X 5 loads a week (average) = 3,900 loads of laundry

Fast Forward to September, 2010 . . .

Super Surgilator is broken. Instead of surging, all it does is wobble around a little. Not even enough to make suds.

The repair man is coming tomorrow. I've been pricing new washers and am hoping a service call will take care of the problem. I miss my Surgilator. And I'm running out of clean underwear.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Scarf and Sky Socks

There has been some knitting. Simple, mindless knitting with soothing soft yarn reminding me how knitting can be a pleasure.

First I finished the scarf with the gift yarn from Brother Dave's Karen.

Pattern: One-Row Scarf by the Yarn Harlot.

Yarn: Cherry Hill Alpaca Handspun. DK weight.

Color: Mystic.

Needles: US #8.

The Yarn Harlot designed this scarf for handspun. It's easy. The texture accentuates the softness of the yarn and there's no curling at the edges.

I declare it to be perfect scarf pattern and I'll be using it again and again.

Pattern: Basic cuff down sock on 60 stitches. k5p1 ribbing.

Yarn: Stalwart Sock from Slackford Studio. 75% Superwash Merino, 25% Nylon 4 Ply Fingering Weight Sock Yarn.

Color: Skydive.

Needles: Options 2.50mm circulars.

Gauge: 8 stitches/inch, 10 rows/inch in stockinette.

Meetup with Dorothy and Bill

Dorothy, who blogs at Missouri Star, and I have been online friends for over five years. She and her husband Bill live on Whitby Island in Washington.

All this time we've tossed around the idea of getting together someday, but it never worked out - until today. Dorothy and Bill are doing a cross country motor trip and today we met in Kalamazoo for lunch.

Dorothy is even nicer in person than she is on her blog. Lunch was over way too quick. I hope we can meet again when there's more time to chat.

Doesn't Bill look like he's having fun with his new toy/iPad?

It's the first one I've seen in person and I have to admit I was impressed. It's a very useful, fun toy.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook for September 7

These writing prompts are available from Simple Woman's Daybook where each Tuesday we're invited to join in celebrating the beauty of everyday moments around us.

FOR TODAY September 7, 2010 ...

Outside my window...

The hummingbirds are busy at the feeder. In another week they'll be starting their long trip back South.

I am thankful for...

A package from Brother Dave's SO Karen. It contained kind, encouraging words, a beautiful silk Lantern Moon knitting needle storage roll, and a skein of wonderful soft soothing alpaca. Most of all, it contained love.

From the kitchen...
It's time for some grocery shopping, but we have plenty of the most important thing - dog food.

I am wearing...
Jeans and a Monette Trumpet tee.

I am creating...

It didn't take long for my new alpaca to tell me it wanted to be a soft, caressing scarf.

I am going...
To get more alpaca to knit. I love the way it feels in my hands.

I am reading...
Just finished listening to the new Stone Barrington book, Lucid Intervals by Stuart Woods. Funny and entertaining. My only complaint about these books - they're over too soon.

I am hoping...
For a minimum amount of snow this coming winter.

I am hearing...
Dire predictions about the coming winter.

Around the house...

According to an Old Wives's Tale, if you see acorns falling by Labor Day (that's yesterday in the US - the day this picture was taken) it's an early sign of a long and cold winter ahead.

We have acorns everywhere and they're still falling. This does not bode well for my hopes of a minimum amount of snow this coming winter.

One of my favorite things...

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Aqua Arthritis class, lunch with a friend, getting my exhaust system replaced, getting my washing machine repaired, grocery shopping, lab work for DH Bob, mowing, weeding, housework, buying more alpaca.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Waiting for a ride?

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Chat Back for September 4

Answering questions from comments and email.

Judy S. asked . . .
I wonder where the third bird went? Do the parents tend to such things?

And Lynn asked . . .
So what happens to the birds that don't make it? Do the parents get them out of the nest?

And Jean asked . . .
Did the parent birds remove the little ones who did not survive?

Yes, the parents take the dead chicks far away from the nest and leave them.

Judy S. asked . . .
How long before they fledge?

The chicks are in the nest 17-18 days before fledging.

When they fledge they're strong enough to move themselves with their wings, but not able to flutter more than a few feet at a time. The parents help them out of the nest and herd them into woods. There they finish maturing and learn to find their own food.

Snowbird commented on this post . . .
I love butterflies and I hope you can post some pictures of the Monarchs.

This is the only clear Monarch picture I've been able to get so far. Butterflies are even worse than birds about staying in one place long enough for me to get a good focus.

Judy S. commented on this post . . .
Your pool sounds wonderful; ours is often freezing for water aerobics, and it's hard to go.

My Aqua Arthritis pool is in a large sports medicine and orthopedic surgery rehab building. It's so warm I doubt it would be good for aerobics, lap swimming, or any activity that raises the body temperature.

I used to swim laps at Western Michigan University's pool and it was much colder. Getting in was a shock, but the cooler water was just right once the lap swimming was underway.