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June 2010
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Yap Yap Yap. Maybe I should post more often

Blog pix 1594 A couple of before and after pictures of the back yard taken........well, I think the top one was right before we redid it but the snow picture was the day of Dad's burial back in December. The last time it snowed here was in the 1970's.

And I had this in draft before I saw Yarnerina's post today with the link to How Not To Act Old.

Ha. If I didn't take pictures of my flowers or my cat, I'd have nothing for the blog. Well, I could show you Elizabeth I but there's been negative progress. (Fine.  I couldn't stand it and I'd managed to knit the center motif off center so it had to be frogged. I am still not to where I was. Annoyingly.) (I am also currently resisting the urge to cast on for a pair of kilt hose.)

Just so you're all on notice, I'll act anyway I want to. I'm old enough. And there are too many good people who have been denied that privilege. 

The first picture before the re-model highlights the winter-neglected old beds (which is going to happen every winter) and the barbeque collection on the old patio. The birdbath is barely visible right over one of the barbeques and the rock wall retainer to the left. (That was heck of fun. It used to circle the doughboy pool and one summer I took a sledgehammer to it. It was supposed to be for a flagstone pathway but plans and all that).

Blog pix 1483 I might've taken the second  picture for the snow but I also took it for the darling GINORMOUS lab that lives above us. See the "pony" at their glass door? And the broken plank in the fence? That was the pathway 

for the cats between the yards and every once in awhile, the dog would put his head through the hold and say hi.They don't like the new fence. At all.


Is there a good show I'm missing on TV? I missed the first episode of Mad Men Sunday night but I do have it taped. I did watch Leverage though. Yes, it's sad but true. Leverage is more my cerebral style. And Burn Notice.

The Closer is back - I can't imagine Brenda as Chief of Police - what will Pope do? But it was fun seeing President Laura Roslin, er, I mean, Capt Raydor vet her.

I tried to watch Rizzoli and Isles but it was too derivative of Criminal Minds and Bones.Why are all the dysfunctional social women such fashion plates?  You'd think they'd care even less than I do. 

Blog pix 1633Warehouse 13 on Tuesdays, not that I've watched a full episode yet. Last ep I was busy making sure Hez didn't jump and than fall off of anything - she went to the vet and had to get a tooth pulled -the vet said she fought the medication and she was really, really woozy when she got home. As in falling down woozy. Do you think she would curl up and sleep it off?  Of course not. 

Eureka is back on Fridays but my taped first episode had no sound!! Grrr!

And that's the after the remodel and right as we planted the beds - look how small everything but the herb bed is! Big difference now. I love the curved walkway.

I might have to watch Burn Notice and finish up the latest *Harry Dresden book all by myself tonight-it's possible Hezekiah is so disgusted by the visit to the vet and the subsequent antibiotics that she's going to look for a nicer home.

 Bet they won't have flowers like that there. The bush of flowers are sonatas - I think they're supposed to be thinned but I was afraid they wouldn't grow.....the piles on the walkway is the oregano harvest.  I'm saving the pictures of the melons and the eggplant so you'll have something exciting to look forward to.

Blog pix 1637

No picture of Hez - the latest one looks utterly adorable with her big drugged eyes but she was SO! MAD! at me that I don't want her to find out I snapped a picture while she was under the influence. She has a reputation to maintain, y know. 

*Either Harry is on his last adventure or Jim Butcher is rebooting the series. (That is not a spoiler, it's speculation. I did kind of read the ending - it was late! and I had to know! but darn it, skipping around like that meant that it made no sense. It's probably a cliffhanger. [said sneeringly. I loathe cliffhangers] [but for Harry........anything.]

Mousie Meat

Blog pix 1624 Isn't it entrancing how the same numbers can come up with different sums each of the six times you add it up? 

Did I say entrancing? I meant maddening.

(pictured: 1. Stunted Lemon Tree Freed from Pot. 2. Crabapple Llama & Fiber Wool Basking in The Sun, 3. Raccoon Contemplating Future Foraging Expectations)

Blog pix 1623

A Tale of the Cats

The lucky cats in Stratton Street
Had seven mice apiece to eat.
The rest made do
With only two:
The total score
Being twenty-four.
How many cats ate mousie meat?

Don't ask me.

See what my darling brother brought me from his foray into Sheep & Wool Festival land - wool from Crabapple Llamas and Fibers! They don't seem to have a website or I'd link them. Very nice! Neutral color too, just like I like. Now I just need to find the perfect project for them. Isn't he the sweetest? A yarn bowl came separately - once I figured out what it was, it was very cool! (I was expecting a wool bowl so the ceramic-ness of it threw me off.

Hezekiah was not amused by the appearance of the well fed raccoon at the back door last night. [She went to her food in the kitchen and hoovered all of it. Just in case]. I banged on the window and pulled out Dad's old police whistle because while it's hard to discourage raccoons, they really prefer a more peaceful environment. Cross your fingers he hangs out in Linda's garden across the street instead. Except, no. Her cat Dusty is an outside cat. Fine. The raccoon can go back into the hills).

Blog pix 1627 Ten On Tuesday (well, it WAS Tuesday)

” Ten things you love about where you live.”

1. I can drive to the ocean, the San Francisco Bay, Tomales Bay or the Delta in a little more than an hour.

2. Or I can go to the mountains.

3. My county has a fabulous intra-library lending system and a great selection of books and audio. (Check out the new library opening in Walnut Creek tomorrow.)

4. Quirky independent bookstores - Serendipity is the one that I think of most as quirky. That bookstore as to be seen to be believed. The owner has pancreatic cancer and the last time I was in (end of June) they weren't sure they'd be open the next Monday. Lafayette Bookstore is closing its doors and taking it to the streets.

Bay Books always has what I want (except for the Mary Stewart books. I'm a little bitter I can't find them. Mickey Spillane, sure. Scratch that, I could find most of them except Nine Coaches Waiting and Gabriel Hounds. Good thing I have that nice intra-library loan thing.) (As it happens, I'm on a Harry Dresden bender now two more to go before I get to his latest adventure! The exciting thing about reading them in random order is finding out - wait. Spoiler stuff. Never mind.)

OH NOES! They're closing! In a month. This is getting scary.

5. Tourists. They're always amusing and sometimes a lot of fun.

6. The ferry at Jack London Square - maybe cruising around the Bay Bridge and Angel Island and Alcatraz help but the ferry itself is fun.

7. Free concerts in the park all summer.

8. Mt Diablo. There is nothing better than driving to the summit and surveying the Golden Gate Bridge, the Delta and the environs [provided it's not cloudy, on fire or raining]. 

9. The weather. Micro climates mean that it's perfect somewhere close.

10. The plays. I'm partial to the California Shakespeare Festival [CalShakes].

Blog pix 1603 Speech Alone

by Jean Follian, translated by W. S. Merwin

It happens that one pronounces

A few words just for oneself

Alone on this strange earth

then the small white flower

the pebble like all those that went before

the sprig of stubble

find themselves re-united

at the foot of the gate

which one opens slowly

to enter the house of clay

while chairs, table, cupboard

blaze in a sun of glory.

I write like
Arthur C. Clarke

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Hmm. I wouldn't have guessed that. Found on Book-a-Rama.

Uffish Thoughts

According to Carrol the term uffish suggested to him "a state of mind when the voice is gruffish, the manner roughish, and the temper huffish."

Huffish, eh? I like that. 


Lewis Carroll

(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
  The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
  The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
  Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
  And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
  The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
  And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
  The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
  He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
  Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
  He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,

  And the mome raths outgrabe.

Somehow, I suspect my knitting WIP's are outgrabe.

Blog pix 1596 

Here's Elizabeth I to date. Hmm. Black and white is not kind to my two gauges - one knit and one purl. I did try using two different sized needles but that's where the difference shows the most. Oh well. it'll either block out or not. It's pretty. 

I've got an insane intarsia project going - I figured no sense in knitting up a gauge swatch (which is possibly my usual supposition) since it's basically a big rectangle. I'd forgotten to take into account that patterns for cross stitch don't necessarily translate into patterns for knitting. I've reworked it a bit so that the sword point doesn't look like a giant blob (which you're not going to be able to judge for yourselves because my camera (read: iPhone) decided to die and I ripped & fixed it rather than wait and snap a pic for posterity.)

Other than that, all other projects are ongoing, the stash busting cardi, the tailored jacket, the scarves, the Veronica Lake shell, the keyhole shell, Lillian........huh. No wonder my WIP area looks like this:

Blog pix 1600

There's actually more, but it's too embarrassing.

I don't think I've done a book update in ages. I managed to read 59 library books last year and.......32 so far this year. It helps being broke.

Best books so far: The Emperor of Ocean Park by Stephen L Carter. The novel is told from the point of view of the son of a judge who at one time, was a nominee to the Supreme Court, and at his father's death, become embroiled in what derailed his father and now threatens him.  More or less. Great suspense book and if you like politics, you should love this. 

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis. So that's how the economy collapsed.

Mary Stewart novels, Nine Coaches Waiting, The Ivy Tree, Madam Will You Talk? Moon-Spinners, The Gabriel Hounds. I hadn't read these in decades. The Moon Spinners title is based on an island myth about the phases of the moon - as a wannabe spinner, it was fun to read that the full moon glow was twirled onto a drop spindle causing it to wane then the spindle was plunged into the ocean where it  unraveled and filled the moon again. 

One thing that struck me is how dumbed down our vocabulary has gotten since these were published. 

And in the spirit of dumbing down everywhere, a few of my favorite summer shows: Too Hot In Cleveland (Wednesday night at 10pm on TV Land) with Betty White, Jane Leeves, Valerie Bertinelli and Wendy Malick. Fun. 

Warehouse 13 starts tonight at......9? 10? on Syfy. (Ridiculous name for a channel. And oddly enough, most of the shows I watched used to be on SciFi. This (and Eureka starting Friday) are the only two shows I watch on SyFy.).

Burn Notice on USA 9pm on Thursdays. I really like the addition of Coby Bell, I've missed him since Third Watch. Jason Wiles, aka Bosco of Third Watch is on Persons Unknown on Mondays NBC at 8pm now (and soon to be Saturdays) but that show is so convoluted and dull that if it wasn't for the cast, I wouldn't bother.

& then afterward

Blog pix 1557 POEM (From the Poetry Foundation):

& then afterward by Nate Pritts  

    I woke to early sun:
    burning of fire, & then afterward.
    We kept reaching
    through the long night.
the small deceptions
we allow ourselves:
a sickness, unchecked.
Like this:
Blog pix 1511     (iii)
     & first sunlight.
     Snow continues.
     I could never close my eyes to light.
     But there was no light
     & you looked like night.
     There must be a pattern,
s   now slow-dropping in wet clusters
     through the wooden arms
     of empty trees.
    Sun fingering its way
    through branches
    I’d hung my life on.
    We don’t matter a bit; realization
    forces our eyes closed—
A sickness, unchecked, like this.
I’d hung my life on
burning of fire, & then afterward.
Our arms together
we searched for patterns
& sunlight.
Our arms laced together,
pointing together
over wind-tossed grasses.
Us: waist deep in night blue.
There was no light.
You pointed.
Sun overhead,
you pointed
to the wind-tossed grasses.
This is a memory now.
Blog pix 1365    (xi)
    Together in that first sun,
    so vivid:
    there must be a pattern
    I’d hung my life on.
S   now dropped in clusters,
    staggered & jagged.
    We don’t matter a bit.
    Reflected in lake water:
    all these things I’ll forget.
(   xiv)
     Our arms together
     but we keep reaching
 over the wind-tossed grasses.
Black smoke curling:
the importance
of night-blue field grass,
the importance of.
The stars are close; we try to hold together.
All this ends
but until then:
burning of fire, & then afterward.
The stars are close; we try to hold.
Such distance between the fallen!
Blog pix 1478    (xviii)
    Burning of fire, & then afterward.
    You pointed.
(   xix)
    Grasses silently fold,
a   sickness, unchecked, reaching. Like this.
     Wooden arms of trees
     long since emptied.
    This ends in darkness,
&  all the stars within reach,
&  other constellations.