Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Have you ever tried to take a good picture of your own hand? Yeah - that's what friends are for. But seeing as it is 9am on a very busy day and I haven't got any friend sitting by, we'll make do.

I've finished one zip mitt of a pair. (I just like to say, "zip mitt") The other will likely get done in the car tomorrow on my way to the Williamsburg outlets with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. Have I said already that I just love this yarn. The color way is dahlia and I couldn't help but revel in the one precious dahlia my garden produced this year. Perfection.

Reading? No time for reading - but maybe I'll put something on audio. OK, that's done. A Land More Kind Than Home for the road.

Are you reading and stitching? Show and tell with us at Yarn Along.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

33 in pictures

A new tea set (isn't it beautiful?), some math jokes, a new birdhouse, a candle-lit cold house, a hot pie - it was a good day.

We have an interesting habit of building a new birdhouse on my birthday. It is a lovely project but also a nice way to spend the day together working on a project that is not a chore. We have several houses now made for tiny birds. This is a big house made for big birds. Woodpeckers, actually. Northern flickers, specifically.

Flickers are unique woodpeckers that feed on ants on the ground instead of pecking on dead trees to excavate bugs. This habit makes them relatively weak construction workers and we tidy humans like to cut down the unsightly rotten trees in which these birds are capable of making their homes. Flicker populations are declining across the country partly because of this habitat shortage, but also because we tidy humans like to kill ants. This birdhouse will be filled up with wood chips to simulate a rotten tree that the flickers can excavate themselves and feel quite homey. Now, for keeping the squirrels and the starlings out - that will be a worry for another day.

The birdhouse project took most of our afternoon, but we did make it to a local junk shop where I had been eyeing this Williamsburg Pottery candleholder. The roast cooked in the oven while we worked on the house and gave us a delightfully low-key dinner and delicious leftovers - just what I needed.

Because it's just not an occasion without some mathematics jokes to celebrate it, I eight sum pi. These past few years I've made a tradition of baking myself an apple pie. I used to cut out fancy decorations for the top crust but in the past few years I have become a fan of a crumb topping that I use on almost everything. It is so easy peasy to put on top of muffins, crumb cakes, pies, cobblers, etc. Here... make some for yourself and you'll be amazed by all you find to do with it.

Easy Peasy Crumb Topping To Top All Scrummy Things

1 c. all purpose flour (white wheat is fine, too)
1/2 c. dark brown sugar
1 stk. semi-softened butter
1/4 tsp apple pie spice or just cinnamon

Whiz it all in a food processor until just crumbly. Not too long or it will become a dough. Alternately, be old fashioned and cut it all together with a pastry blender. You can make a double batch and store it in the freezer to use it whenever you want.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


buffalo creek, already high :: feeder improv :: gauge @ 3 inches

I used to follow a blog before she got famous. Once someone gets famous, a TV show, a book deal, a not-to-be-missed giveaway, I don't really want to read about her life anymore. Anyhow - the point - she once said that she tried not to talk about the weather on the blog because she had an aunt who said that one who discussed the weather was a bore with nothing better to talk about.

But really. This weather.

From "my spot" inside the house I can see all the bird feeder activity just outside the window. Three days ago I looked out and realized the raindrops were coming off the un-guttered porch roof and into the supposedly sheltered seed like so many Swedes at the height of ski season. I ran out, readjusted the feeder, got drenched, saved the day.

Two days later, I hadn't seen a single bird all day. I looked out and the feeder is swarming... with fruit flies. Fruit flies? The bird seed had sprouted, and fermented, and made a boozy, moldy mess. I dumped it out. The mourning doves acted like it was a special treat. The sandy, saturated ground might as well have been silver serveware for them.

So here we are; making do and hunkering down. Five to ten inches is what we expect to see from Hurricane Joaquin. I've improvised the feeder with a plastic plant tray. Mom and Dad are at the State Fair and sent word that they are shutting down early. My birthday camping trip to Chippokes has been postponed until next weekend. The rain gauge has been emptied and is ready for more. Julian will make good use of the weekend spent in grading the midterm exams he is giving today.

Come rain, we are ready if we must be.