Cowlabundance
Sunday August 20th 2017, 10:36 pm
Filed under: Friends,History,Knitting a Gift,Life

1. Felt much better than yesterday.

2. Cowls: the navy merino/silk, the Malabrigo Mechita in Whales Road and in Pegoso, one of the two red/purple merino/cashmere with sparkles. (Hey, Sherry, your cashmere was well loved all over again.) Someone fairly new, whose story I don’t know but whom I don’t think I’d ever seen really smiling, broke out into all kinds of happiness at the latter–and that, I tell you, is what keeps those needles going.

The friend who’d hoped for aqua exclaimed over her Pegoso and when I said the yarn was handpainted, held it out a moment in wonder and asked, How?

I explained that they (or at least some dyers, I shouldn’t speak for all of them) lay the racetrack-shaped hank out and paint sideways.

She was fascinated by the repeats and the way adjacent stitches in different rows held the same color and just wanted to hold still and absorb it a moment.

3. Re the eclipse tomorrow, from an optometrist: https://stellasplace1.com/2017/08/13/caution-the-solar-eclipse/ There won’t be enough sun to hurt your eyes and force you to turn away to warn you that you’re still looking long enough to do permanent damage. She recommends you watch it on TV.

Me, what I find most interesting is watching the effects of an eclipse: how the light changes, how the shadows turn all sharp-angled, how the wildlife reacts. And, come to think of it, how much I’ll need a sweater on.

Also, hopefully, how empty the freeway will be (hey, everyone’s in Oregon, right?) while I go make a peach run to Andy’s.

Although–maybe after 11:37 when it’s over.



Playing musical chicken: BACH, a Bach a Bach a Bach a Bach
Saturday August 19th 2017, 10:43 pm
Filed under: Knit,Knitting a Gift,Life

I woke up with just enough of a cold to have the oomph to quietly sit and knit most of the day. Richard (thank you!) did the grocery shopping; I turned on the music to get my fingers moving. (Richard pitched in on that too at one point, and we compared Joni Mitchell’s Woodstock vs CSNY’s.)

I never play yarn chicken.

Except I did. I was making this navy cowl from leftover dk-weight yarn and there was another small ball of it and I got to where I really kind of wanted to be done with this but I knew I wouldn’t be satisfied if I didn’t get to that seventh repeat–so I was kind of resigned to having to splice balls as it is. Hopefully not three stitches before the end.

It ain’t over till the fat chicken sings.

So I kept going. Got to the end of that seventh repeat that I’d thought the thing couldn’t possibly have in it, eyeballed the squiggles where the bottom of the ball had exploded, and proceeded with the cast off, tighter than usual.

Four and a third inches. That end with the bit of white still tied to it from when I wound the hank? Yeah. But wow. One for the ages. I will have to work the sewing needle through the stitches I want to pull the end through before I even try to thread it, but it will exactly do.

After dinner I picked up another cowl I’d started a few days ago in the exact shade of traffic-cone vivid-orange-red that most makes my balance go nuts. (Head injuries are so weird.) I’d gotten that yarn at an earlier Colourmart clearance, had overdyed most of it as planned, but had left some of it as is because I knew some people love it and I knew it was not something I would ever, ever pick up at a yarn store. Might as well let a bit of it be.

And that is the color skirt a friend was wearing to church last week. Alright, then, she’s next. (I will try *not* to tell her not to wear it near me–and I will also give her others to choose from when I surprise her, just to make sure, y’know, that she likes what she gets. Yeah that’s it.)

I’d found the needle size that that red almost-laceweight needed pretty small for my hands, and after the first diamond yesterday I put it aside and made the navy one today instead. Bigger needles, more comfortable, and if it worked up fast well that was to make up for the guilt from lack of follow-through on the other.

I held it in my hands. I looked at the bigger needle the blue had been on and felt tempted. Well, maybe I could work on this just a little bit after all right now first, y’know, space it out to a little a day, go easy on the hands while still getting stuff done.

Wait. How did that happen.

 



I still have the beaded socks she made me eleven years ago
Thursday August 17th 2017, 10:42 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knit,Life


Finished that one (colors muted by the nighttime photo and the fact that it’s wet) and there will be lots of nice folds on it around the neck. Started another cowl tonight.

But in between I played with the dye pot.

Colorwise, the hanks to the left in both the following pictures are the ones most true to life.

I have a friend (don’t miss that post) whom life has put into a tight spot and it was time to do some stash diving in return for all the good turns she’s done me. She wanted to knit her young daughter a red sweater and it seemed to me I ought to be able to do something about that.

I found two big hand-dyed hanks I’d bought maybe eight years ago at Stitches: 9.17 oz/1300 yards each in super wash merino–not a thick yarn by any means. I’d had plans for them but they’d just never leaped onto the needles, and the plan for the dusty sandy peach one (brightened by the camera here, in real life, not so much) was clearly not going to happen. (It made sense at the time, honest.)

I always thought that weight-wise, if I weren’t making a shawl, they’d be great knitted together–if only the colors were more compatible.

Well now they are. I offered to overdye the multi, too, to obliterate the orange bits, but it was loved just as it is.

The ties around the peach-ish one had been drawn tight enough to mostly resist the original dye. I moved those ties and knew anything I did would come out lighter in those spots, and they were. I like it, though.

That dark red will lighten up a bit once it’s dry.

Somehow, what leaped onto my needles tonight was a small amount of red from another part of my stash. Funny how that happened.



Mathias saves the day
Tuesday August 15th 2017, 10:58 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Knitting a Gift,Life,Lupus,To dye for

The color of the sky, she said. That was her favorite.

I looked over the blues in my stash yesterday, and then again today, willing it to be there. I have some really nice yarns that were close but they just weren’t quite…they were my types of blues, not hers.

I could wind white yarn and haul around dye baths and wait for things to dry and hope I guessed right on amounts or I could go for a little more instant gratification. Besides, I hadn’t seen Kathryn in months and I missed her.

Cottage Yarns in South San Francisco was a hike, but: “Today you can do it–do it today,” I tell myself all the time and I wanted to get started and I wanted to see what Malabrigo had to offer these days (turns out she has a new shipment coming in soon, too) and if anyone in the area had the inventory it would be her. There. Talked myself into it. So off I went.

I wanted superwash for a young mom; she helped me find the most perfect colors of Malabrigo Mechita and I had myself envisioning an entire cowl finished by bedtime.

Yeah as if. But I got to meet her daughter! Too cool that hers is also named Sam–and that it was her birthday.

Came home to a robo-call to pick up my prescription before they returned it to stock. Fudge. That had definitely not been in the plan. Wound a ball of Mechita and headed back out into the early rush hour.

Hit the top of my head, hard, on the car at the pharmacy. Klutz. Had a quiet little freakout to myself over head injuries but seemed to be okay.

Still, it took me a couple of hours to pull myself and my sore head together and actually finally sit down and start knitting, and oh did it ever help. That sweet anticipation as beautifully dyed wool wrapped around wood, again and again and again as I pictured my friend’s face…

My phone buzzed.

Our Sam and her family are in Texas, visiting Mathias’s Great Grandpa. (Where our Alaskan born, on being taken outside into 100 degree heat, was initially stunned: what IS this?! Make it stop!)

After all the news of these past few days–weeks–months–it all comes back to that poster in my obstetrician’s office years ago: “A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.”

Baby giggles, or even just pictures of baby giggles. They make the world whole again.

 



For J and A with love
Monday August 14th 2017, 10:44 pm
Filed under: History,Life,Lupus,Politics

There are times when I really, passionately regret and even resent that my lupus does not allow me to spend time in the sun, not even five minutes in the middle of a summer day.

Because I want to be one of the counter-protesters when they come here. They intend to come this weekend, these evil men who are trying to out-Westboro the Westboro idiots. Maybe they’ll see how many of their peers are being identified and arrested or fired after Charlottesville and do like Westboro does half the time these days: make lots of noise and threats and then stay home.


With so much going on that is so beyond words, I took comfort in reading accounts of good people who took care of others in Virginia, and in finishing this today, one of the softest things I have ever knit. In looking forward to seeing my friend’s face when I get to give it to her.

Knitting it was also my way of conveying to her immigrant husband how glad I am that he is here and that he is married to her: he’s a deeply good man. We are fortunate to have him here.



Mark her words
Sunday August 13th 2017, 10:10 pm
Filed under: Friends,History,Life,Politics

Let me put the knitting down for a moment and show you where to see a photo.

Of first responders.

In Charlottesville. (Washington Post video. Warning: includes that car.)

The one overcome by grief, sunk down on his knee in the grass with a friend’s steadying hand on his shoulder, is the husband of my friend Chan, and that is her blog.

What happened in their town should never happen anywhere. Especially, absolutely, never in America. The actions of these few are a terrorist threat against everything our country aspires towards.

As Orrin Hatch put it, “My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home.”



Knitworthy
Sunday July 30th 2017, 10:21 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knit,Knitting a Gift,Life

Oh, right, the purple cowl. And I went to grab it before church.

Something in me said and grab that pink pearl-yarn one, too.

?? Okay, so, I did, a little surprised. I’d forgotten even making it and here I was looking for it. I grabbed a back-up purple, too, but I didn’t think that one was quite it.

As church was letting out, I found a private moment and gave the friend who’d wanted purple her choice of the three; she picked the one she didn’t know I’d made specifically for her this past week and put it on instantly no matter the thickness in summertime and wore it proudly. Totally made my day.

Then I went looking for another friend. She was wearing a white dress and I was mentally going through my stash of white yarns when I finally caught up to her collecting her children.

“Are you allergic to any fibers?”

A surprised, “Am I what?”

“Are you allergic to anything? What’s your favorite color?” When she still looked like wait, this is completely out of left field, what?! I added, “I’m a knitter.” (Yeah, yeah, she knew that.)

She was startled and laughed and couldn’t believe I was asking her and shook her head no on the allergies thing and pronounced, “Pink!” And then went, “Well…” and tried to describe the kind of pink she really likes.

Reaching into my purse, pulling out just enough for her to see: “Like this shade?”

“YES!” And then she was instantly embarrassed because it wasn’t like she was trying to ask for the thing, while I was marveling at how it had just happened to be there. I told her, I didn’t know who I made it for but I knew I made it for someone and then it just sat there waiting for its moment and then this morning it demanded to come here with me. Well there you go.

It was beyond perfect as far as she was concerned, and I wondered why I hadn’t figured out sooner that she was the person for it.

But after a few hours’ reflection, I think it’s this. She had taught the lesson today and had told some stories on herself that she might have wondered if they would make anyone think less of her. I would be very surprised if anybody did–allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is the greatest act of faith in one’s listener one could ever offer them, and she’s a peach.

Today was the day that young mom needed that vote of confidence. And it was waiting for her before she said a word.



We talked about a lot of weirdnesses in the English language
Saturday July 29th 2017, 11:03 pm
Filed under: Friends,Life

Happy Birthday to our friend Phyllis!

I loved listening to her explain to friends for whom English was not their first language and America was not their original country that Boston cream pie isn’t cream, and it isn’t pie, but it’s really good, though–here, have some! (Let me quietly disagree with Wikipedia and say I’ve never seen it served with anything other than pudding as a filling.)

There was a side conversation about, like, take the word nature, but if something is of nature it’s natch-eral not nature-al and how do you know that unless someone corrects you for doing it wrong. The other immigrants chuckled knowingly.

Phyl added whipped cream on top to make a more honest dessert out of that, um, pie.



Where you least expect it
Friday July 28th 2017, 9:55 pm
Filed under: Food,Life

Andy’s called me yesterday to let me know that if I still wanted a case of Baby Crawfords, they were in.

Hey! Twist my arm! But Richard had a doctor’s appointment and I didn’t have the car, so it had to wait till today.

(That mole on him I didn’t like? After all the times they said it was nothing, they finally tested it. Basal is the kind of cancer you want it to be. It’s gone now. Please get yours checked so you, too, can luck out like that.)

Andy’s let me make off with a case of half Lorings and half Kit Donnells too as long as I was there: I don’t run out of people who wish for his peaches like I don’t run out of people who want me to knit for them. I almost chose all Kit Donnells (seriously, Mom and Dad. If only I could bring you a taste-testing party.) But when there are my childhood’s Lorings one must buy at least a few and they are far from shabby.

The first one went to the guy who was panhandling at the end of a freeway offramp. The light did him the favor of being red (funny how that happens). I reached behind me, having no idea which box was closest, and motioned him over and handed him this enormous peach that was giving way slightly in my fingers from the weight of its own juice, telling him it had just come off a tree in Morgan Hill. (Found out later it was one of the Lorings.)

“Thank you. Thank you,” he said, and turned back to his post and sign and seat, devouring the thing, the pit showing top to bottom inside that beautiful ball in his hands as my light turned green.

And that. That was the best-tasting peach of all.



Up the canyon
Sunday July 23rd 2017, 10:22 pm
Filed under: Family,Food,Life,Lupus

The hats: they knew I loved to knit but they never at all expected me to knit for them.

And I never really expected them to instantly treasure them that hard, but they did, which made me want to jump right in and do that again for someone else. Some people just recharge the knitting batteries by who they are, y’know?

The figs: rolled in melted butter, roasted, then drizzled with a little honey–mostly because they were from the store and picked before they were as ripe as they should have been, and once you pick them off the tree they’re done. Not much to these on their own.

And yet.

The scent didn’t quite pull me in all the way but then that first bite did: instantly I was back at the summer when I was eight and a half and my little sister turned seven. Our grandparents took us on our first plane rides (one dressed up for it in those days) to stay with them for two weeks in Utah.

And part of that stay was at the cabin they owned up near one of the ski resorts high in the mountains. There was no phone service, unless you took a goodly walk down the road to the country store there, and that made it perfect for Grandpa to have an actual vacation: nobody could reach him unless he wanted them to, or unless they were willing to make the long steep drive up that mountain, and if it was that important it would be something they didn’t want discussed on a public phone in front of everybody, in which case we kids were to clear out of the cabin till called back.

My grandmother tells the story in her autobiography of being woken up in the middle of the night by the phone ringing in the next apartment over at their DC place, and as soon as she was awake enough to be glad her freshmen Senator husband wasn’t important enough for reporters to flock to for a quote and started falling back asleep, by their own. The Cuban Missile Crisis had just broken and reporters wanted these two Senators’ reactions to the news. Well, actually, they were sound asleep and oblivious, thanks. Were.

Grandpa very much believed in being of service to his constituents, but those two weeks every summer he wanted his time to hike and think and just be. To have a break. I think they said that just once, someone on staff had made that drive up, but I’m not sure.

There were a few paths through the woods and there were rules: one does not play in the creek. The drinking water is taken straight from it to all the cabins up there as is and one does not contaminate it. Ooh, but look at the fish! And that tiny chipmunk. It’ll take a peanut from your outstretched fingers if you hold very very still. This over here is stinging nettle–if you touch it you’ll find out how it got its name, and you don’t want to. (I did, twice, but not on purpose, and Gram was right. It hurt like mosquito bites itch.)

I remember how very very cold the water in that creek was (I let it run and splash over my hand but I did not put my feet in it. On purpose, anyway.) It curved right below their patio out their back door. The idea that it could be barely melted snow in the middle of summer was a wonder to me.

I pulled lunch out of the oven this afternoon and wondered, what…something…

Something wild that grew at that cabin that my brain could almost, almost pick out from half a century ago, so close, and if the figs had been ripe I think they would have missed it entirely.

I could hear my grandparents’ voices again, from when I thought they were old but had no idea. They would have been 67 and 68, with 96 and 95 still to come.

When they died, there was no way to pass the place down in the family; there were too many of us to divide it up amongst. But a cousin bought it, and she and her husband are generous in sharing the space.

And so, two summers ago, we cousins were nearly all of us there again taking in the familiar old log cabin essence, with maybe an extra couch now as we squeezed in. I didn’t take the hikes through the woods that the others did for old times’ sake, thanks, lupus, and yet the air was crisp and cool as I remembered it, full of unique growing things that do not live where I do, the wildness in the elevation and air and trees.

Those figs. I wonder. Something surrounding that path by the creek. Someday I hope to go back and maybe I’ll find what they were trying so hard to belong to.



The old building
Wednesday July 19th 2017, 10:34 pm
Filed under: Family,Life,Lupus

Hang in there folks, got a long one tonight.

Part One. Written Tuesday after I got home.

 

She held the elevator door for him, and he, turning just inside, saw me coming and held it for me. I scooted to catch up not wanting to delay them but they smiled and didn’t mind at all.

A chance to be a help to someone in that place is something you don’t pass up on.

He turned to her, our having all become friends in the moment, and asked when visitor hours were?

Eleven, she’d been told.

Huh. It was eight when I was in here nine years ago, I offered.

And yet here we were, with the sun heading down, so…

The parking structure that had been new when I was here (nine years ago? Or was it the ’03 time?) is already gone now. So is all the handicapped parking near the building. It’s all undergrounded at the far end of the long block, surrounded by construction, and at a brisk pace it’s a nine minute walk to that wing. They say there’s a shuttle but in Silicon Valley terms it’s a vaporbus as far as I’ve actually seen–not that I could wait out there for it anyway. (Wednesday’s note: I have now seen the shuttle. Maybe it’s only 9-5?)

I cannot do that during the day. Not in summer’s sun.

And so I visit during my kind of hours, and he tried hard to make me feel that that’s okay.

 

Part two. Wednesday.

 

They decided to send him home early: apparently in part because they’d goofed the paperwork (and admitted to it, which was quite good of them) and the insurance suddenly said well then the charges were not their problem, buddy. I imagine they will have fun fighting that fight, and I’m sure they won’t be the only ones.

I dropped him off at the house and trekked over to CVS. It was rush hour. Ten CVS stores couldn’t fill that prescription. But with me standing there going, now what do I do, they checked for me, putting the phone aside for a half hour while the hold music blared: yes, one Walgreens way over yonder could.

Which of course our insurance won’t take, but you do what you have to do. I trekked on over there across the endless stop-and-go.

They had five doses left. Given the possibility, however hopefully remote, of paying ourselves in full for two and a half days at Stanford Hospital, I asked only for two of them, because CVS had promised to order and be ready in the morning with the rest.

Which they did not do. When I called after getting home from Walgreens to double-check, after a half hour on hold with them they said, oh, right, oh well too late, it’ll be Friday.

And so, immediately way back over yonder to get another day’s worth from Walgreen’s while they still had it in stock, again paying full price out of pocket–with, again, an extra 20% surcharge for buying so few. Four and a half hours on the road to get an eighth of a prescription, with a mango smoothie from the drugstore for dinner.

Richard was apologetic. I told him, All those times I was sick and you took care of me? Finally I get to do a little of being the hero. Not a problem. (I wanted to hug the clerk at Walgreens–she is the one who saved the day for me so I could cope.)

There is no worry and he’s fine, he’s just recuperating, is all.

It was one last evening of no-lupus-friendly gardening time. It is skunk o’clock out there and my tomato plants are just going to have to last till tomorrow on their own.

I’ve spent enough time typing. I think I’ll go offer him a glass of juice.



Backup plan
Sunday July 16th 2017, 10:52 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knitting a Gift,Life

Re this cowl: she thought the color was perfect and she loved it.

And then there was the one for Don’s wife.

My husband came home from a meeting recently with a nice and brand new pair of shoes–and quite surprised, I asked, Where did those come from?!

I had been trying to buy him a new pair for some time. Going shopping for shoes, online or in person, is absolutely not his thing. I had tried three times to order him some but he said the fit was wrong and they didn’t work. Back they went, one after another, and it had been kind of bugging me that his feet were beginning to look a bit sad. I was trying.

And then suddenly here was this beautiful pair of black Clark’s. They fit perfectly.

So I cornered Don at church. His wife’s not a Mormon and I don’t see her very often, but I have met her and I remember her wearing a denim skirt. I had some denim-ish colored yarn, and due to the recent Colourmart sales, it was a yarn one could brag about just by saying it.

I thanked him for those beautiful shoes as I fished through my purse and pulled out a cowl in a small ziploc. I asked if she would like the color?

He was slightly unsure at first glance: “Well, she usually wears brighter colors…” But when I said it was cashmere he was gobsmacked. (And like the Fluffball, the yarn had grown fairly thick in the pre-scouring.)

I told him I could overdye it to a darker shade of anything blue-based, or tell me what color to go for and I could knit something else.

But this one was growing on him fast. He couldn’t wait to give it to her.

And he told me, well, they’d bought the shoes in Vacaville. (I almost exclaimed out loud, You drove all the way to Vacaville?! I knew there was a big outlet mall there, but there’s another one in Gilroy and at an hour away it’s a whole lot closer. Although don’t ask me what the shoe stores currently are in either, I have no idea, so, never mind. And maybe it was on their way home from visiting grandkids, who knows.) So. When they really just didn’t fit no matter how much he’d wanted them to, there was no way they were going all the way back there, so he’d been looking for someone to give them to and was glad they’d worked out so well for us, even more so when I told him just why doing that right now was such an extra gift. (Richard told me after church that Don had been very pleased to see those shoes on his feet.)

Cashmere. Oh he was thinking now that that would most definitely do, and he loved that I’d knitted it for his beloved.

I have gray, brown, (thrills chills and excitement), an earthy purple and a dye-able white cashmere on hand in case it doesn’t, but he smiled and kind of waved all that away.



All in a good day
Tuesday July 11th 2017, 11:02 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Life

Done did got my hair did, after putting off the trim for too long. When it pins you in place when you try to look over your shoulder to change lanes and you have to lean forward first to let yourself free, it’s time. At least for me.

Gwyn does amazing work… Besides, it’s fun to see what I look like with straight hair with a little flip at the end, or at least while it lasts. I like it. So different, without having to cut off all my hair to enjoy the effects of the novelty.

Tomorrow morning the fog will roll in, the humidity will rise, and my hair will curl.

Well, so then we got a message from our older son that he was in town for the day on business and could we meet up for dinner? Cool!

I wondered if maybe still… And so we headed over to the restaurant where Sue worked and who had so adored our kids when they were little. The woman in the intro in my book. She’s a good one.

Sue herself welcomed us on back–she was still there!

Our 6’9″ Richard-the-younger arrived not long after.

I loved her laugh as she said, “Oh, he’s not little anymore!”

Meantime, Sam pinged a baby picture or two our way as if on cue, not knowing we were right there with her favorite waitress from her childhood, showing Mathias getting better and better at this smiling thing.

Sue thanked me again for the scarf I knit her, and I had been going to thank her again for the amaryllis she dropped off at Purlescence for me once, so let me do so here.

It still blooms every year. It’s perfect. Thank you!

After we got home, I texted Gwyn what Sue had said at the beginning, taking me in a moment: “You look fabulous!”

Only with help, honey, only with a lot of very talented help, and Gwyn deserved to hear every word of that.

And then I cast on a baby blanket for a friend. As one does.



Glasses
Thursday July 06th 2017, 10:44 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knit,Knitting a Gift,Life,Spinning,Wildlife

Dropped my glasses off the top of my head when I stood up to answer the phone and then I stepped on them.

It was bad. There was just no putting those back on. All I could do was wait for Richard to get home from work to drive me over to For Eyes.

A dozen feet away was close enough not to be too fuzzy when a Cooper’s hawk skidded to a stop on the concrete just on the other side of the glass door. It considered me a split second as a finch on its back flailed away wildly trying to right itself (its hard thwack on that window had snatched my attention) and he grabbed it and was off.

The younger employee went, “Wow, you really stepped on them,” and given their age (I’d reused the same lightweight metal frames through several prescription changes–I bought an extra pair eight years ago so I could) she was afraid she would break them; the more experienced middle-aged guy, the one I took a tumble in front of last week, was sure he could do it and she was sure he could if anybody could and handed them over.

At this point I’ve been in there enough times that they were not surprised to see me pull out the knitting project I started today (after I did indeed add a repeat to yesterday’s.)

He was glad to see me back and looking none the worse for that fall and made a point of getting those exactly right. He totally rescued me, and was very pleased to be able to make such a difference. I can see again. I can do things again. I have my life back.

They both adored the picture of Mathias in shades and even asked to see more pictures of the baby, and I thought, I really like you guys…!

(Yarn: two strands of a dusty purple-plum cashmere laceweight, a gift from Sherry in Idaho, and two strands of a brick red merino with a touch of sparkle to it, plied together on my spinning wheel.)



You gotta hand it to those mannequins
Monday July 03rd 2017, 8:52 pm
Filed under: Life,Politics

Blowing up mannequins on the Mall in DC as the traffic continues on by without a blink. Someone at the Consumer Products Safety Commission has a job that gets to be fun once a year: showing how not to be stupid with fireworks.

That bird (I’m guessing a pigeon) streaking past that blue canopy a split second early enough must have thought it had broken the sound barrier. Take *that*, raptors!

The full version beyond the gifs, here, from 2016. Watching the 2015 and 2017 versions (same demos), it’s amusing to watch the demo kitchen setup go from curtains on the window and potholders to potholders to, this year, oh forget it. Just the paper window.

Budget cuts.

Happy and safe Fourth-ing, everybody!