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Wednesday, I sorted and made piles and culled and organized, and ended up with a big plastic bag full of mostly clothes but some stuff to take to Catholic Family Services.  I take my “culls” to them rather than to the “big name” charities as their efforts benefit people right here in our local community and the money stays here.  I got the office closet organized as well as the one in the hall. I still have some stuff in the office that needs to go in one of the bins in the floor of the hall closet, though.  It’s stuff I needed to find a place for, and that one bin has room for it.  Then I vacuumed the whole house and emptied the cabinet under the kitchen sink and the sink cabinet in my en suite half bath, as requested.

Bright and early Thursday morning, I wandered over to collect my mail (the mail boxes are opposite the leasing office, which opens at 8:30) and one of the maintenance guys was standing in front of the office smoking a cigarette.  I told him I was ready whenever he was.  He said he had to fill out some paperwork and would be by directly to install my new dishwasher and sink faucet.

As I was walking back to my building, I looked up and there were three barn swallow chicks ((Hirundo rustica erythrogaster) sitting up above the breezeway opening.  They had their full adult plumage, but they still had remnants of chick fuzz sticking out here and there, giving them a slightly scruffy appearance. (Naturally, I didn’t have my camera with me.) They looked a bit disgruntled sitting there in a huddle, which made me smile.  The parents were swooping about in the green space between the buildings.  Because they are such swift and agile flyers, they have little fear of humans; it was just breathtaking to watch them.   (I hope they were feeding.  They eat, among other things, mosquitoes, and anything that eats mosquitoes is my friend.)  Every time the parents flew near them, the chicks would clamor to be fed.  However, the chicks were flying, as they flew when I walked under them to go back to my apartment.  They build nests of mud so I was not surprised to see them back (There is a playa lake quite nearby as the swallow flies where they could readily find nesting material).

I asked the maintenance guy about whether they knocked down the swallow nests, and he said that the swallows are protected and they are not allowed to knock down nests that are occupied.  They have to wait until after the chicks have left and the nests are no longer in use before they can take the power washer to hose down the nests and clean the droppings off the building.  I was very glad to know this.  They are such beautiful birds, and they perform a very useful function, eating mosquitoes. Apart from the fact that mosquitoes are nasty little blood sucking bugs in their own right, they also carry some pretty noxious diseases,  Unfortunately, we have had cases of West Nile virus here in town in the past, and the mosquito is the vector.  With all the rain we’ve been having, we are just about knee deep in mosquitoes.  I was happy to wish the lovely swallows, “Bon appétit!”

2015_06_12-02Friday morning, I finished dusting the front two rooms and my bedroom.  Friday afternoon, my mom and the neighbor lady who is such a good neighbor to her came over to help me move my bed 90 degrees so that the head is on the south wall rather than the east wall of my bedroom.  According to my kua number, east is my best direction, feng shui-wise, but with the configuration of my bedroom, having my bed on the east wall was not working for me.  The next best option was to have the head of the bed on the south wall, so that’s where I wanted it. Having my bed here works better with where the door is.   However, because it is a queen size bed, in order to move the bed, you have to take the mattresses off.  Between me and J, it was a simple matter to lift the mattresses off and rotate the bed.  We had it all done inside 20 minutes.  Above is the new configuration.

Mom said my cousin JP called and wanted to know when we were coming over to NM to visit.  He mentioned that there is some kind of little rodeo associated with the 4th of July celebration there in the town near where he lives.  The 4th of July is on a Saturday this year.  I was thinking we could drive over on Friday, and drive back Monday. It’s only a little less than a 5-hour drive, with plenty of time to drop — I keep saying the black one, but I just have the one now so — the kitty off at the pet hotel Monday on the way to pick her up, and pick him up on Monday on the way home from dropping her off at her house.  It will be a new experience for both of us. I think he will do well since he pretty much never meets a stranger.

I have a lattice screen that I normally just keep folded up out of the way, but Thursday when the maintenance guy came, I set the screen up in such a way that it closed off the hallway so the black kitty could not go into the bedroom, but still had access to his box and food.  This was so that the maintenance guy could come and go as he needed to without my having to ride heard on the kitty.  This worked very well, and I used the same technique Friday to keep him out of the middle of us while we were moving my bed.

2015_06_13-01After I got everything back together in my bedroom, I washed a load of clothes, cleaned my air purifier, took a shower and washed my hair.  I did a second load of clothes, and while I was waiting for that to happen, I cooked some elbow macaroni and made a pasta salad with chopped celery, chopped green onions, 2015_06_12-01chopped white onions,  cherry tomatoes cut into quarters, sliced black olives, diced chicken breasts, and mayonnaise.  Good timing.  While it was chilling, I made my bed with fresh clean sheets, and folded clothes and put them away.  By then it was almost 10 o’clock.  Finally, I could sit down to a bowl of pasta salad.  It is colorful and crunchy, and it hit the spot.  I had another bowl for lunch today.   When my dad would get hungry for a particular dish — say, chili, ground beef and elbow macaroni, etc., —  he’d make a big pot of it and eat it for three meals a day until it was gone.  Evidently, this is a heritable trait . . . .

I still have one room to go:  my office/library.  I need to dust and to reassort my books.  I might do it tomorrow.  Then again, it might be next week before I decide to tackle it. . . .

I’m about five rows from finishing this baby dress.  I’ll have it finished by this evening.  (There will be booties and a bonnet for it, too.) I should probably try to finish the little purple cardigan too.  All that’s left to do is to knit the sleeves.  I also started booties for the meadowsweet dress at knitting group last Tuesday.  I’m doing them two-at-a-time using this pattern.   Hopefully, I’ll have them finished by next Tuesday.   I will write up the pattern for the ruffle on the cuff, which will be based on the stitch pattern of the skirt.  I need to do a bonnet for it, too, based off the pattern for the hat.  The pattern is written to start from the bottom up, ending at the crown.  I’ll probably have to do it from the crown down.  In each case, I’ll post the pattern for the bootie cuffs and the bonnet on my knitting blog, appending them to the pattern for the dress.

Yesterday, I tuned my internet radio to the Illinois Street Lounge channel of SomaFM and listened while I dusted in the living room and then later while I sat and knitted waiting for my mom to call to say they were coming to help me move my bed.  This channel always makes me smile.  It reminds me of summers when I was a child when we would have to lie down for an hour after lunch and the lady who kept us would let us listen to the radio.  Late 1950’s lounge music.   So funny.

Last evening, we had a little thundershower, and mom called to say that there was a severe weather alert.  I stood in the doorway and looked out to see what I could see and the swallows were vrooming back and forth in the little breezeway between my apartment door and the door of the apartment across the way carrying on something fierce.  I stood for a moment in the doorway and watched them until the wind kicked up, and I came back inside.  I think here in a minute, I’ll go finish that one little dress, and then maybe watch TV a while.