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)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesday Wings - Female Oriole

The female Orioles (right) are less brillant than the males (left), but just as beautiful.

I love the mix of oranges and browns.

To weave their intricate hanging basket nests in the treetops they must be very agile.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pictureless Update

The endodontic surgery went well but turned out to be more complex than expected.

Every day shows improvement, but I'm still having some pain and taking it easy without the urge to create a blog post.

The Metro sweater is almost done. I'm on the last sleeve and then there is only the collar left. It's been a pleasant, simple, quick knit. Pictures soon.

Four Bluebird hatchlings are a week old tomorrow and doing well. Mostly it's been too wet and/or chilly and/or windy to open the nest box.

The Orioles are still coming to the Oriole feeder to eat oranges and grape jelly. They brighten my days and I'm hopeful they'll bring their fledglings in a few weeks.

Thanks to all my blog friends who left good wishes. I'm hoping to regain my blogging mojo and return soon.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Apicoectomy Excuse and Start of Metro

Brandywine is done. To be more specific, the knitting is done. I only need to sew up the side seams, weave in the ends, and block it. Last week I told myself I would do that before casing on Metro.

But I have a jaw ache. Not just a little jaw ache. It's the kind of jaw ache where you occasionally need to remind yourself it's not a good idea to blow your head off. It's the kind of jaw ache that requires simple, soothing, knitting for the moments you can stand to knit.

So, I cast on Metro. It's wonderful, mindless knitting at this point and I have about six inches done.

Tomorrow morning I'm scheduled for an apicoectomy at the endodontist.

If you don't know what an apicoectomy is, consider yourself fortunate. I didn't know either until yesterday morning.

If you do know what an apicoectomy is and have horror stories about you or someone you know who had one, please keep your stories to yourself. I'd love to hear about successes, though.

I do know I've been told to have multiple ice packs on hand and I've been promised post-operative pain, facial swelling, and possibly bruising. And I may not want to talk for a few days.

I'm looking forward to this. Really. My jaw hurts so much now that the promise of improvement is worth the ordeal of getting there. It's very possible the post-operative pain may be less than the pre-operative pain, and if I look swollen and awful I may get extra sympathy and maybe even ice cream.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Chat Back for May 14

Responding to comments left since the last time I did Chat Back.

Dorothy asked . . .
Can't believe it's time for the Louise lunch already. Didn't you just have it?
Louise Lunch happens every year around Mother's Day, so yes it's time. In fact today was the day.

A "sore" topic, because we postponed it for two more weeks. My root canal from mid April is seriously aching and I'm anxiously looking forward to Monday when I can call and try to get it examined and fixed.

Judy S. asked . . .
Looks like you wind your yarn into 2 balls? Care to share any secrets on doing that? Do you use a scale?
Yes, I wind my sock yarn into two balls with a food scale. It's not an exact method, but it works close enough for me.

Kellie asked . . .
I love this sweater pattern ( Metro ) If the City Tweed doesn't work out, have you got alternate yarn in mind?
Shirley knit a beautiful Metro using, in her words, "WEBS Valley Yarns Northampton which was also the perfect gauge. It took less than 4 skeins."

She has pictures on her blog and plenty of good commentary on the pattern. Check it out here.

Judy S. asked . . .
Any idea what caused the virus?
I asked the same question when I picked up my laptop after its cure. Richard, who has years of experience, told me if he knew the answer to that question he'd be rich.

The main virus resided in memory. My virus protection could and did eliminate the running version, but the memory version instantly replaced it. I think this falls in the category "Nasty virus".

I was thankful he didn't have to reformat my hard drive, even though I did have everything backed up.

Dorothy asked . . .
And is that really your roof? That picture is priceless!
The raccoon picture is the roof of an old shed attached to the barn. The raccoons sit on the roof and growl at the dogs and me as we walk by.

The shed needs to be torn down which is going to disappoint the raccoons living in it. Last fall they made a hole in the wall at ground level and proceeded to tear out and carry out much of the insulation.

Having the shed torn down is on my list of things that may or may not get done this summer. I’m afraid every contractor I call is going to want to shoot the the raccoons.

Lynn asked . . .
When you say grape jelly, this is the same grape jelly we put on our bread and biscuits, not some special bird grape jelly, right? I never knew birds liked it!!!! My husband just bought some suet because he heard birds are crazy for this stuff. It has yet to be touched but the black oil bird seed is going fast!

It's cheap grape jelly bought in large jars. I've heard the Orioles like the cheap stuff best because it has the highest sugar content.

Don't ask what this says about feeding healthy food to the birds. Hopefully their nutritional needs are not the same as ours. After all, we do feed sugar water to the Hummingbirds.

Our birds eat suet all winter but I stop putting it out when the weather warms up because it melts and drips.

Black sunflower seeds are the best, all round bird food. If you keep feeding through the nesting season they will bring their fledglings to the feeder for the sunflower seeds.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook for May 10

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 May 10, 2011...

Outside my window...
A male Oriole is eating grape jelly.

I am thinking...
That the photographer who took my portrait for the church directory went a bit overboard editing out blemishes and wrinkles. Bless him. I haven't been this wrinkle free in 50 years. Even then I had a few zits.

I am thankful for...
The warm weather that finally arrived this week.

From the kitchen...
Lemon bars to take to a lunch potluck celebrating the completion of our year long Bible Study Fellowship study of Isaiah.

I am wearing...
Light weight denim slacks and a turquoise cotton V-neck top.

I am creating...
Knitting on the right front of Brandywine. The left front is done and the shoulders sewn together, but I don't like the way the lace looks at the join. I'm wondering if I unsew it and reknit the top few rows of the left back shoulder if I could get it to look better. Or it's possible I could spend alot of time reworking it and have it end up looking worse.

I am going...
To rework it. I know I am. I just haven't admitted it to myself yet.

I am reading...
Listening to The Copper Bracelet while I knit.

Jeffery Deaver wrote the first chapter and then passed it on to 15(?) other authors who wrote a chapter each. The other authors include celebrated thriller writers Lee Child, Joseph Finder, David Hewson, David Liss, and Lisa Scottoline.

Are you wondering how this could possibly work? Well, it doesn't work all that well. Each author feels they need to a) make the plot more complicated and b) kill somebody off.

If I were actually reading this book, it would be going back to the library unfinished. Since I'm listening to it, it may get finished or maybe not.

I am hoping...
The Bluebirds learn to eat from their feeder. So far they've been uninterested in dehydrated mealworms. Maybe I need live, wiggly mealworms?

I am hearing...
The noisy Catbirds who have moved up near the house to be nearer the grape jelly in the Oriole feeder.

The Orioles rule the feeder. When they come to eat, the Catbirds get chased off.

Around the house...
The grass is growing, the weeds are growing, the yardwork is about a month behind because of the cold, wet spring we had. Just today, the 10th of May, some of the large deciduous trees are beginning to look a little green. That normally happens during the last ten days of April.

One of my favorite things...
My new Oriole feeder. Never guessed so many other birds had a sweet beak for grape jelly. This House Finch couple is chowing down.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Wednesday is grocery shopping, library, errand day. Thursday is haircut day. Saturday is Louise Lunch with Mom, daughter Heather, and granddaughter Kimmy. Our annual Mother's Day celebration of four generations with the middle name Louise.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
Time for a new roof?

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Three Pair of Socks Finished

While my laptop was in the repair shop and the weather was too wet and chilly to work outdoors, I made great progress on my spring birthday sock knitting.

Yes, I do seem to be stuck on this pattern for birthday socks this year. It has all the qualities that make it great for gift socks so I used it again.

Daughter Heather's birthday is May 13. Next Saturday we're getting together for Louise Lunch to celebrate her birthday and Mother's Day. She requested gray or black socks, so I made her a pair of each.

Pattern: BFF by Cookie A. 64 stitch size.

Yarn: Slackford Studio Stalwart Sock.

Color: Steelyard Blues.

Needles: Options 2.50mm circulars

Pattern: Simple 8 stitch fancy ribbing pattern.


where O = knit and X = purl.

Lightened up to show stitch detail. . .

Yarn: Knitpicks Stroll.

Color: Black.

Needles: Options 2.50mm circulars.

Mom, birthday June 18, requested green lacy socks with a five inch cuff.

Pattern: Embossed Leaves by Mona Schmidt in Interweave Knits, Winter 2005.

Yarn: Knitpicks Stroll.

Color: Peapod.

Needles: Options 2.50mm circulars.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Nestbox Report

Two of my four nest boxes have been claimed.

I'm always pleased to see the Bluebirds sitting near a nestbox. This male was helping build a nice grass nest inside.

Wednesday there were three eggs. Yesterday four. Still four this morning, so I think they decided quadruplets was enough for the first nesting.

If all goes well, hatching will be May 19.

On the other side of the field, Tree Swallows have finished their nest and are aggressively guarding the box. No eggs yet but probably tomorrow.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

I'm Back and Hope to Stay Back

The first thing I'm going to do is write yesterday's Wednesday Wings post. The male Orioles are back and I have a new Oriole feeder that they're loving.

After that I'll go knit for the rest of the evening, but I'll have more to blog about tomorrow.

Richard, who has years of experience building, repairing, and servicing computers in downtown Paw Paw, Michigan, said getting rid of my virus was difficult. It was one he'd never seen before. I hope to never see it again.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Wednesday Wings - Return of The Male Orioles

When the male Orioles arrived on May 1, I was ready for them with my new Birds Choice Oriole Feeder SNOF, a gift to myself and my beautiful orange and black friends.

It has two spikes for oranges and two dishes for grape jelly. Since I've never had Orioles care to eat my grape jelly, I just plunked the orange halves in the dishes. After they arrived, I put out some grape jelly in one of the cups and surprise! With this perfect new feeder, they gobbled the jelly up.

My Orioles have always stopped coming to the feeder once the nest building started, but I've read they will continue to come for the grape jelly. I'm hoping that's what happens this year.

For a bonus, the Catbirds are coming to the feeder for the grape jelly. I've never had Catbirds at any feeder before and I'm thrilled to be able to get a better look at them. And, of course, take a few pictures.