Monday, March 23, 2009

Crows & Worms; must be Spring

So while it continues to be cold here, it must not be *that* cold, as everything's finally budding out, although more than a month late. The weather's settled into its usual Spring pattern of stratocumulus (big puffy clouds usually obscuring the whole sky) with cumulonimbus moving through, dumping rain or hail for 5 minutes, then the next one lines up to come through (I picked up The Cloudspotter's Guide on a whim in the sale items at Powell's, and it's great. But I like knowing the names and behaviors of things). No lightning though, ah well.

The other night when I was walking home from the gym (ok, so 45F is really not that cold. It's all relative, though), it was a worm-basking night. It hasn't really been raining THAT hard, and the ground can't be saturated, so it's not all drowned worms. I don't know why, but on these nights the worms come out of the grass & dirt and moonbathe on the sidewalks. Seriously, these enormous nightcrawlers will be extended 5 or 6 inches onto the sidewalk from the lawn. If you startle them by stepping too near, they immediately pull back into their holes.

Every night I see this it reminds me of this time I went collecting nightcrawlers for fishing with my Grandma. She lived in Utah and their yard was watered once a week via an irrigation ditch system -- it would flood the whole yard. The night after this happened we went down to the ditch (maybe 2 feet deep?) into the mud with a flashlight. The key was to shine the flashlight on the muddy sides and snatch the worms out before they could retract into their holes.

Also, the crows are building nests. I know this because every Spring they go looking for nest-building sticks, and we have this big dogwood out front which is a Prime Target in Crowdom. They'll fly into the tree, perch on a branch, and then latch their beaks onto a branch and work at it until they've ripped it off. Then they fly away who knows where. Nature's Pruning is what K the love monkey calls it. I would be less annoyed if it didn't leave small branches littered all over the lawn. Actually, I'd be less annoyed if I didn't have a lawn, really, but I haven't remedied that yet.

Who needs a big hibiscus blossom? I certainly do.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The weather in Wales

Yesterday it was cold, raining, and the wind was shaking the trees. It was the kind of day that I always pictured would be what the weather in Wales was like all the time (I perhaps read too much British-isles based fiction when I was a kid. Or at least there were some memorable ones). A far cry from this:

Yes, proof that I did actually go to Hawaii.

We stayed at a bed & breakfast on Maui, a real lovely place, just my speed. Plus, um, gorgeous?

I actually relaxed and enjoyed myself a whole lot more when skinny women in bikinis weren't walking around everywhere. I don't do resorts well. I know, need to just get over myself. Well bleh!

Black sand beach (well, more like black rock) on the east side of Maui. There were tiny black crabs crawling around those rocks

Look, I lived in Southern California for a bit so I'm not one to ogle palm trees, but this was a particularly nice specimen.

I came back with a spotty sunburn (stupid rubbed-off sunscreen), a bunch of mosquito bites (bleh), and the wish I could have spent a few more days swimming in the ocean. It was fantastic.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

All today's chocolate is medicinal

Almost a month, but not quite. Sorry, every time I go to write, it just sounds stupid.

Spring has been pretty cold (for here) so far but things are stubbornly budding out anyway. I'm on the tail end of a cold (7 days! Thanks immune system!) and just trying to sleep through the night without waking myself coughing. Maybe tonight's the lucky one. At 3 am the other day I discovered that possibly dark chocolate is a cough suppressant. Since neither the diphenhydramine or the dextromethorphan seem to be doing a thing, I figured, why not try? Tastes better too.

The crocuses (crocii?) say: screw the cold

The hellebore's on board for that.

I've been reading too much news. And then something happened last weekend that kind of slashed my already very small stash of self-esteem. Later, coming home, I flipped on the radio and it was the Dies Irae from Mozart's Requiem, and that just about summed up my mood. But hey, doing better! Everyone looks better when they're not uncontrollably coughing, is my motto.

And look, I actually finished something!

Tthe pattern and yarn from Twisted's (LYS) 2009 one-skein club: a special pattern and skein of yarn every other month. My mother-in-law sneakily signed me up for my birthday. It was a lovely present.

The yarn is Malabrigo Silky Merino. It's gorgeous stuff and a pleasure to knit with, although I believe it's already been established that I have a difficult time refusing anything involving silk. These took less than a skein, and I did an extra repeat on the arms. AND I FINISHED THEM IN FEBRUARY. LESS THAN A MONTH FROM OBTAINING THE YARN. I might just croak from the novelty of it (my voice is now an octave higher today. Win!) I needed some kind of success, OK? Also, sometimes it's just really nice to follow someone else's pattern, exactly as written, and just knit and have something turn out beautiful.

P.S. Saw this on Metafilter and it makes me giggle every time I look at it: Urban Camouflage, or how to blend in at Ikea.