All is well
Tuesday June 15th 2021, 10:07 pm
Filed under: Life

They were waiting. I was waiting. I’d gotten there first. They had nothing to do and were trying not to look like they were watching me knit but they were watching me knit because those needle tips and the yarn periodically jerking upwards were the only things in the room that were moving.

Finally, they said, How long have you been waiting?

I held up the nearly finished hat on my needles and took the stitches about an inch above the ribbing between left thumb and forefinger: “That’s where I was when I got here.” (While thinking, it’s not *that* bad, at least this is thick Mecha we’re talking about even if I’m knitting it on 7s.)

Almost immediately my wait was over and I shoved the stitches back away from the tips and stood to go, wishing them the best.

With cherries on top
Monday June 14th 2021, 10:34 pm
Filed under: Food,Garden

Suddenly there are so many. This is pretty much just one branch and after I picked a bowlful of the ripest.

I quickly squished the seeds out without fussing with any pitting gadgets; they were small and soft and gave way quickly. Sprinkled some sugar on, zapped for two minutes, threw it in the blender, all very quick. A tart sauce made just sweet enough, put on diced mangoes.


Orange and fig
Sunday June 13th 2021, 10:09 pm
Filed under: Garden,Knit

June sunlight hours and a hot day today and one of my two spring breba figs that I’ve been watching and watching and waiting and watching is suddenly rapidly browning up from its prior green. (The summer-crop ones on the tree have a long way to go still.)

It’s been protected by lengths of stabby citrus thorns but now we’re getting serious. I pulled some bird netting around the limb and hooked it onto them top and bottom like a malicious-looking velcro: can’t land on it, can’t reach to peck through it, can’t climb to it without those thorns in the way.

Can’t even leap at the fruit from the fence, because the neighbor’s raspberry overgrew the top and there’s an old rose bush below so we’ve pretty much got that covered. Go ahead. Take a stab at it. No wait, don’t.

Tomorrow’s post could be titled The Thorn Birds, but I don’t think so. I think that fig is mine.

Meantime, I spent three days this past week organizing yarn and trying constantly not to grab the nearest and prettiest and just start something on the spot because that’s way more fun than deciding whether to group by color, brand, or how much I adore it: the very act of having it in my hand made my needles crave dancing. Good.

Now I have to narrow my choices down to a single ball to start–and then go and start.

All the things
Saturday June 12th 2021, 10:31 pm
Filed under: Life

And of course the hair was back to its curly self the next morning, and then some, with the weight of the length gone. That’s the silly stuff.

The sliding door repair guy is coming. The termite guy came. The tree guy is coming (can’t tent the house with branches hanging over it, and they are again. There has to be a foot clearance.) I need to call the guy to do the dry-rot repairs. Just a cascade of long-delayed home improvement triggered by the termites now that we’re fully vaccinated.

There is a holly bush that was trained by the previous owners to be flat and tall and spread wide at the top as if it had been espaliered. The trunk cannot do that 12″ clearance. There are multiple bird nests in it every spring, it makes a very protective habitat for smaller species, and I cannot fathom losing it.

It’s also a potential termite highway all by itself. It will not survive the process from inside the tent and it doesn’t sound like they can keep it outside it.

Still gotta call the shed demo guy, too. Got to leave some excitement for Monday, right?

Meantime, just because, a piano graveyard with cows. Where frogs got under the keyboard of one and jumped up and down and had fun, because how often do they get to create sound like that?

Friday June 11th 2021, 10:32 pm
Filed under: Family,Life

I was going to joke about okay, now you’ve seen me so you’ve pretty much seen his face, too.

But the car didn’t.

My big brother whose face I compared mine to yesterday was riding a bike today on a beautiful day after work and a car came speeding without looking. Morgan shouted and the driver matched his frantic yanking of the wheels to avoid the hit.

And just just just avoided a strike from the car but not the one with the pavement from that momentum mismatch.

As he lay in the road people came to his rescue–except the driver, who hesitated and then took off.

Three broken ribs, and another one cracked, along with his shoulder.

But he’s alive and himself and will heal and yay for helmets and as he dryly noted, his bike is okay.

Praise be.

Oh hi big brother
Thursday June 10th 2021, 10:01 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Life

September 2019, Kimber gave me a nice haircut and we agreed on the next March for me to come back in for a trim. But March 2020 didn’t quite turn out as expected. She is fully vaccinated now and I am, too.

She combed it out and held it up for me to marvel in the mirror with her: Look how long it is!

Yeah, I told her, I pulled the two halves to the front and snipped a few times over the pandemic, otherwise there would have been about ten individual strands down to my waist. I lost a fair amount when I was sick and it got pretty sparse at the bottom.

Do you want this much? (About two inches.) Or this much? (About four, maybe even five.)

I held up my hand to motion the four/five.

My self-snipped edges fell gently away to the floor, finally, after all this time, curling into circles on impact after she’d conditioned it straight. The straggly ends by my face got evened out and morphed into done on purpose. It looks great.

I took a picture when I got home, and of course it didn’t come through, but I have to say I was dumbfounded to see my older brother’s face looking back at me from that photo. Twins.

Except with hair.

And I know exactly who would tell me, with a grin, not to complain over not being able to get a haircut.

Kimber waved me off at the end with, See you in two years!

I laughed/winced, Not that long!

Falcons on defense
Wednesday June 09th 2021, 10:38 pm
Filed under: Wildlife

Two of the three San Jose peregrines hatched and it is amazing to see them next to that remaining inert egg: they were that small, a week or two ago, and now they’re scooting around the box on their butts with those enormous feet.

That 18th floor ledge with a nest box with shade has become a valuable spot. Today, Hopper2 (they’re named after Grace Hopper) was finishing off a meal where the kids couldn’t see him when he heard something and jumped up on the ledge his mate was on. A third falcon swooped at her  (about a minute in on that video), feet out ready to fight for it, but thought better of it on seeing Grace in immediate maternal defense mode and that there were two of them right there.

It looks like just a swoop and away in the video, with the dad chasing after (“And STAY out!”) –but the still the cam operator got captures the moment. That is an amazing shot. 

A little rough around the edges
Tuesday June 08th 2021, 10:28 pm
Filed under: Life

Two more days and counting till the haircut appointment.

I had a six months’ trim appointment that never happened because Covid did.

It’s been a long time coming.

How about you all?

DIY house
Monday June 07th 2021, 11:16 pm
Filed under: Life

I mean, I always wanted to live in a repurposed pickle vat, didn’t you? I gotta say, though, they take the aluminum siding thing to a whole new level.

I actually like the kitchen, even if everything’s standing on its tippy toes.

(Oh, and, the cowl is cast off and almost dry.)

June birthdays
Sunday June 06th 2021, 9:53 pm
Filed under: Family,Knit

Happy Birthday to my son Richard! Who did not quite make it in time for Dad’s birthday but by waiting a day did make it so I got the obstetrician I wanted, so Dad laughed when we called to say it was a boy and told me it was okay.

One of my sisters had a daughter on his birthday two years later.

One of my sisters had a son the day before (edit, with her help: three days after) his birthday I think two years after that. All three had part of his name in theirs.

The cowl picture doesn’t have anything to do with any of that other than hey, cast that off and finish it already, willya? I was always the late one.

Dad would be glad
Saturday June 05th 2021, 10:29 pm
Filed under: Family,Food,Life

Today would have been my dad’s 95th and even though he was allergic to chocolate, he loved it and we love it, so it seemed a good day to celebrate, and, yeah. We got in the car to head to Mutari in Santa Cruz. Richard pulled up Waze on his phone just to be sure everything was cool road-wise.

Nope nopity nope. Bad accident. (Turned out later that friends of ours were stuck for three hours in that mess, and one can only pray for the people who were hit.)

Michelle turned and headed north. Dandelion here we come!

We even scored a jar of their dairy-free fresh chocolate/freshly roasted hazelnut spread that was sold out online. For that, she forgave my asking about Imagiknit a few blocks away, and so we came home with four unexpected skeins of Malabrigo Mecha, too. Make more art! Yay!

And then after we got home.

Richard’s glasses came in and he needed to go to Costco to pick them up; did I want to come?

Not overly, and I dragged my feet a little; Costco on a Saturday?

It turns out it wasn’t too bad, actually, but as I started in the door their guy called out after me.

“I’m with him,” pointing at Richard.

“No, you can’t come in without a mask.”

“Wha…Ohmygoodness, I’m sorry, I forgot, here let me grab mine” (fishing it out of my purse while the guy was offering one from the store.)

He was apologizing, saying they make him say that–and then added, “Some people, you know, they think it’s mostly a hoax.”

The way he said it made it clear he was one of those who thought they were probably right.

I found myself telling it with a keen sense of love for this good man I’d seen working there for years, so that it came out almost joyfully, “I had Covid. I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. There was one day there where my oxygen was so low that I knew if I moved a single muscle I’d be out–there was just none to spare. I’m so glad I survived! I had long-hauler syndrome, and after they gave me the vaccine it was gone just like that!” snapping my fingers. (It took about a week, but a week is nothing after a year of that.)

His face was a mixture of wonderment and relief as he took all this in. Somehow the incoming crowd had thinned just then so that he had that moment to have that conversation and to consider what I’d said. On a Saturday, no less.

“It’s real?”

I nodded, answering, “I am SO glad for the vaccines!”

As I walked off I was smiling and he was really smiling, like he was finally at peace. He finally knew what to do and it was clear he’d made the decision. He was going to get his, too.

Friday June 04th 2021, 10:43 pm
Filed under: Amaryllis,Garden

Finally got the pictures to come through!

The amaryllises suddenly all decided at once that it was spring. Today there were more.

The Anya seedling from 2020 with the late one that sprouted not quite six weeks ago: actual apricots are going to be awhile yet, but they’re doing their part.

The peaches all somehow still seem to be on the August Pride tree, entirely untouched by critters. Maybe the sweet cherries deflected them? I don’t think I have ever yet actually tasted a peach from that young tree and I’m trying not to get my hopes too high, but I think this is the year.

Over on the knitting front, I’ve been keeping a small project by the bed for when a certain someone is taking his time getting ready to call it a day so that it’s peachy fine with me if he dawdles. Size six needles, a fair number of stitches–it was just something to keep randomly plugging away at.

But a row or two slowly does add up and last night to my surprise I realized that hey–I need to cast this thing off. It’s quite done.

I forgot to take its picture…



When the sun doesn’t go down
Thursday June 03rd 2021, 10:54 pm
Filed under: Wildlife

My photos, again, so while I wait for them to come through I’ll riff on the moose that a photographer posted to The Last Frontier on Facebook.

Alaska. The Kenai Peninsula. I don’t know that I have permission to share his work here, so you’ll just have to picture it yourself.

There’s a McDonald’s, the siding of the building rough-hewn wood fitting into its surroundings, while otherwise the place is unmistakeably the golden arches.

The pick up window at the drive-in is open and the moose is leaning as far in as its broad, blocking shoulders will allow it to reach. The view is from its side and away back a bit (the photographer’s not dumb.)

Summertime, says I, post-weaning.

One coffee, de-calf-inated. To go.

Heated subject
Wednesday June 02nd 2021, 10:35 pm
Filed under: Life

A little context on yesterday’s post: years ago I asked someone for a quote on redoing our heating system. Our house was built with radiant heating under the floors that had failed before we’d bought the place, and the previous owners had put in the cheapest possible substitute system, knowing they were about to sell. It caused us much grief.

He told me $60,000. He said he would build a new ductwork system on the inside.

I was staggered.

It took me awhile to call someone else because I was afraid of having that number reinforced, so I mentioned it to the contractor who took the small job of building our then-new awning.

I got an entirely different reaction: he did a startled double take and then laughed really, really hard. YES that number was outrageous! NO, I absolutely should not pay it!

He then explained that sometimes when a contractor really doesn’t want a job he’ll bid it stratospherically high like that, sure that you’ll walk away. But if you don’t–then hey, he’ll have to do a job he dislikes but he’ll get paid really really well for it so why not.

The new ductwork across the roof along with a new top-brand HVAC unit? Thirteen grand.

P.S. On the falcons: another “I meant to do that” moment. All four San Francisco eyases have fledged successfully and the one that disappeared from camera view for a week and was feared lost showed up again yesterday as if he’d been there all along. Which surely he had.

Still, there are moments like this. The one named after Rachel Carson of “Silent Spring” fame was reported flying and fine afterwards.

Don’t let them (de)bug you
Tuesday June 01st 2021, 10:00 pm
Filed under: Life

Second day, second quote.

Richard told yesterday’s guy just before he left that we had someone coming to look at it today, too, and he instantly crossed out the number he had just written on the paper he was about to hand us and replaced it with one that was 10% less.

I mentioned to contractor #2 today that there were pink chalk marks on the ceiling from yesterday’s guy marking the spots.

Instantly we had a discount on the job.

Our daughter’s reaction afterwards: Oh, so they crossed out the stupidity tax. You DID know to get more than one quote.