Saturday, May 24, 2008

here we are

Late spring, verging on summer, except that it has not been disgustingly hot or too boringly cloudy or sticky-cold-humid lately. We need rain, in fact. But given that it feels too hot at 70 F I think I am acclimatized to winter.

The tadpoles are not in sight. I hope they are hiding under the leaves and not dead. We have a single green frog, but I haven't seen the newt lately.

The shrubs over-pruned by deer are coming back. The metasequoia looks like a furry green pole, poor dear.

The violas I planted the first year here apparently found the winter too much, which is surprising; I thought they were indestructible.

The hummingbird has returned. So far I am pretty sure I have only seen one male, but he may have been seeing someone off; I couldn't tell if I saw another hummingbird of had a hallucination. Some of those hallucinations are pretty quick.

But the goldfinches and the evening grosbeaks and the rose-breasted grosbeaks are back and today we had a visit from the indigo bunting, which is pretty darn cool. This year he was in full sun instead of backlit and there was no doubt.

As to crafts, the quilt for the daughter was not far along, but that is okay because she does not like Laurel Burch and I do. Instead of giving her that quilt, I had the far greater pleasure of seeing the daughter zone out in a quilt store surrounded by fat quarters. She likes colors.

I wish I had a picture of that, but here's one of me taken by Sarah.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Two out of two



ANd none the worse for our adventures, which continue.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Annapolis was excellent

This will be exceedingly short, as I should go to work. The weather was condign, the flying was interminable (at least the part in terminals), the quilt was liked. The BA, the main thing, was obtained by the Only Beloved Son. More photos sometime soon, I hope.

Son and Son's LifePartner

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Yarn Harlot, pray for us

Though I had no speaking engagement (in fact the knowledge that it was Friday and this week's graduation is not till Sunday), this flying gig is not for the faint-hearted. I was supposed to leave Manchester at 3:30. I had thought it was 5:30, and planned a quick trip for some sock yarn (could not find my current unfinished project. Maybe it is time to Do Something about the condition of my house). Instead, left work either a half hour early (I usually leave at 2 ish) or half an hour late (I stayed to finish one of Boss's egregious demands that I should do work now and again) and rocketted off following the signs to the airport. This meant, as usual, a turn into unmarked suburbs and a harried U-turn with map, etc. Found airport, eventually found Lot D and walked to terminal. Checked in.

Plane delayed till at least 4:30. Then six. They decided to get rid of us after the plane, stuck in Philly, was scheduled to arrive around nine. Sent us to La Guardia, where I was one of four passengers and a very thoughtful air hostess. We arrived in NY around five. Connection scheduled for five, next connection at six. The six was delayed until at least 8. Decided to check status of alleged 5, now delayed until six. Then seven. Then eight. Around ten of eight, they got us onto a working airplane, and I reached Baltimore at 10:30, where my ex (who drove down from Boston) met me and took us to to the hotel, which had beds. So far, so good.

Manchester has free wireless. La Guardia claims it does, but they wouldn't actually work, though the $7.95 for 24 hrs. worked fine. I did not indulge. I ate an allegedly 'Healthy Vegetable' burrito, containing very tasty fried potatoes, iceberg lettuce, sour cream, and one of the hottest peppers I have ever eaten in public. Succeeded in getting my not-an-iPod to play me Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. It is a sad pity he is married. Embroidered a tiny project that was intended to alleviate boredom from knitting sock or reading book (no book, either). The only good thing was that I did have food and chocolate and not too much to carry. I had to check my bag because of The Quilt, which might have fit the middle-sized bag hoarded by my daughter, but was certainly not going to fit in little bag. Big bag is huge and will be going home with ex.

Monday, May 05, 2008


Sunlight on new leaves
After three days' rain (with frost)
But now it's Monday.

On the plus side, the enormous quilt is nearly done, largely because of heroic support (including more than a few knots) by Sarah. The only problem with working on a quilt essentially solidly for two days is that it left me exhausted and unable to talk except about what to do next (mostly put seven ties in each of 56 squares). The quilt is about a solid C (with a B+ for ambition). Definitely warm, not at all unattractive (picture next week), one major, visible fudge (I know it seemed like the only thing to do at the time) and after all is said and nearly all done, one upside down square. That I have noticed so far. Nor have I really plumbed the mystery of stitching in the ditch. But it won't fall apart. I hope Favorite Son likes it. It has little kinship with the magnificent actually quilt-stitched objects of Too Much Wool . But I never signed on to the intricacies of hand-quilting; this is a 20th century confection with big pieces of purpose-bought cloth. Something like the difference between this and this
. Both of them are perfectly valid embroidery but you you would never mistake one for the other.

I know the kitty would be faster to make.

So I have a small other quilt literally on the table (all over it, under the black and red scraps. There was some kind of dissonance when Sarah handed me a plate of steaming, bean-enhanced chips 'n'cheese'n'salsa and I hurried away from the dining table, away from handicrafts, to eat it sitting on the couch) that I hope to make before the second graduation on May 18, but I need to keep in mind that next weekend is totalled by the first graduation and I have less time than I think. It is essential not to decide it should be a double-bed size rather than a small charming wall-hanging. ESSENTIAL.

Sarah, as well as making food, tying at least twelve squares, and pointing out that I was Nearly Done when I began to faint by the trail, finished piecing her Rail Fence top, the project that began this terrible episode in our mutually-enabling craft lives. She also took studio-quality portraits of Marten and Willow for Catbook. Marten and Willow, who were bored with the weather, helped as much as I would let them and sometimes more than I wanted. Strips of cloth are a threat and they were determined to protect me. Pieced sheets hanging from ironing boards and pinned above doorways were obviously intended for them and they were very pleased. I am so glad Sam will get a cat that _comes with_ cat hair, which will save him a lot of time.

I have bought a few things at the plant nursery (there's one near the quilt shop), mostly scented geraniums I will have in the sunny windows where I work. I put violas and snapdragons in the sterile institutional planting (don't get me started about whoever put pachysandra into full sun) where I work and they make me happy every single time I park. I also planted two peony roots and a miserable couple of daylily roots from Home Depot there. We shall see if they make it. At home, my asparagus got frostbit (it tasted interesting; I think the tips I ate were fermenting) and the tadpoles are coming along. A newt has been around in the puddle. It's freakin' cold.

We actually have goldfinches again. The raccoons are letting up on the feeder depredation. No deer have been sighted lately.