Two Pictures For A Friend

I ran across these two pictures in a blog post by Twisted Sifter, which were entries in the 2017 Nat Geo Nature Photographer of the Year contest. These are for Shore Acres, because she’s into wildlife photography.  They’re also beautifully abstract images.

Photo © Cole Frechou National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest

This alligator is lurking in a pond covered with duckweed.

Photo © Jerry am Ende National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest

Here’s a Rorschach test for you.  (It’s a heron preening.)

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Adventures in Dentistry and a Short Trip to Atlantis

“The land that lies between ‘Factual’ and ‘True’ is the undiscovered country wherein tales are found. One of the most delightful discoveries one can make in this uncharted land is that a story does not have to be factual to be true.” thus sayeth WOL.

I need a sign that says, “Let Sleeping Dust Lie.”

OK.  So off to this morning’s adventure in dentistry wherein I had to get up at ridiculous o’clock because I had forgotten to get any Ensure or acetaminophen 500 mg tablets, because instead of grocery shopping Sunday morning as I had planned, instead, I drove my mom to the ER because she got waylaid by the norovirus du jour currently making the rounds, had had most of the usual symptoms for four days (mercifully no vomiting), and she and I were both concerned that she was getting dehydrated.  Four Cotton-Picking Hours Later we had a brief glimpse of a doctor who told us these “stomach bugs” are usually self limiting, that for electrolyte replacement, she should have been drinking Pedialyte instead of Gatorade (which is loaded with sugar and only aggravates the diarrhea — which I could have told her without making her wait for four hours).  Totally derailed both our plans for Sunday.  I ended up not going shopping until Monday morning and had to wade through large crowds (including screaming preschool age children) to do so.

Anyway, I had to stop off at Walmart to get Ensure and acetaminophen on my way to my 9 o’clock dentist appointment, and then on my way home had to stop off at Walgreen’s to get $23 worth of antibiotics.

As I mentioned in other posts, after I got that lower molar ‘extracted’, the hole it left was bone grafted.  The graft “took,” and this morning I had the post for the tooth implant put in, which required that the gum be incised so that he could get to the bone, and then stitched back up afterward.  I’m supposed to baby the area and watch what I eat.  Naturally, since I can’t have them, I’m craving these really crunchy crackers I like.  This time, unlike when he “extracted” the tooth (read: drill out the root canal part of the tooth to get it out), his nitrous oxide dohickey was working, so I wandered off to the ozone listening to Kevin Kendle’s “Journey to Atlantis” and didn’t much mind that he was drilling a peg into my jawbone.

Of course, immediately I got home, I popped an antibiotic capsule and two 500 mg acetaminophen, and knocked back an Ensure high protein formula, and did what anybody would do — I took a nap.  The key to pain control is to take pain meds before you need them, so by the time the numbing wore off I had enough acetaminophen on board that when I laid me down to nap, I was comfortable enough to sleep for four hours.

In the meantime, the knitting fairie struck and I had two little outfits to give to the dentist’ s receptionist, who is due in November.  There were a couple of minor blips in that process, however;  one was that I had to rewrite the hat pattern to be knitted in the round.

There are some people who hate knitting on double pointed needles so much that they will knit a hat flat and then sew it up.  And then there are people like me who are unfazed by double pointed needles, but hate to sew knitting.

It seems that there is this whole school of thought that approaches knitting from a sewing standpoint.  In sewing you cut out pieces of cloth and then sew them together to make a garment, so they write knitting patterns like sewing patterns.  You knit the garment in pieces and then sew the pieces together.  No, thank you. I would much rather work out a way to knit the garment as a single seamless piece.

The other blip was that I made a boo-boo in the little pink sweater and didn’t catch it until I was about three inches beyond it.  For about 20 stitches on this one row, I purled where I should have knitted.  Even though this little sweater was knitted flat, I was using double pointed circular needles.  That made it easier to fix.

Allow me to digress into technicalities.  Some people would have ripped the whole thing out back to the mistake and reknitted everything, which would have entailed a lot of time, work, pejoratives and scatological language.  I just ripped out the bit that needed fixing and reknitted just those stitches.

Let me show you what I mean.  Recently I made a booboo in a hat I was working on, and k1, p1, when i should have p1, k1.  it was only 8 stitches, but I had knitted about 4 inches beyond the mistake before I caught it.  Rather than rip out all that work,

I just ripped out those stitches that I messed up — ALL the way back to the mistake. You can see how far I would have had to rip out, if I had ripped the whole thing back to where I flubbed up.  Instead, this way, I just had to reknit 8 stitches for four inches rather than 90 stitches for four inches.

I got out my trusty straight double pointed needles in the same size as the 16-inch circular double pointed needles I was using to knit the hat.  (I have a set of double pointed needles in each size that I have 16-inch circular needles, for doing the decrease to close up the top of the hat.)

I picked up the stitches on a double pointed needle.  Ripping out just those stitches leaves a “ladder” of threads, one thread per row.  I then use a second double pointed needle to  knit each “ladder rung” of thread across the 8 stitches I need to fix, being careful to take the rungs in order working my way back up, rung by rung.

Because the needles have a point at each end, when I got to the end of one row, I just went back to the right end of the needle and started on the next row. And with a little bit of patience and attention, there’s the goof all fixed!  This is one of my Toboggans with the internal ribbing on the hem.  The white bit at the bottom is the cotton yarn I used for the provisional cast on.  This whole little episode speaks to something I do not always do, which is stop frequently and check over the work to catch any errors before I get too far past them. If I hadn’t caught that error before I’d turned the hem, I would have had to rip out clear past the hem, and it would truly have been a big, loud PITA.

In other knitting news, I finished the twisted cable hat. I like the way it turned out.  I need to post it and the rewritten baby hat pattern on my knitting blog.  But not today.  I think I hear some chicken noodle soup calling my name. . . and I need to take my antibiotic dose and a couple of acetaminophen with something in my tum.

 

Seven Quick Finches

Seven quick finches go teasel threading
Carding their quivers at the weavers wedding
Widdershins working before loom-ward tending
Seven quick finches come teasel threading.

Artwork ©2017 by Jackie Morris, poem © 2017 Chris Jelley

Give your brain and your heart a treat.  Check out Jackie’s beautiful books. They are full of wonderful things.

Aftermaths, Dentistry, and a Baby

Please, donate to the Red Cross.  Nobody is immune to natural disasters, and what goes around, comes around, folks.

Heard from my friend JT who lives in Key West.  They evacuated Thursday afternoon and were holed up in a hotel in Orlando for the duration.  I don’t think they thought Irma was going to track as far east as it did, and Orlando did take a hit, but not a direct hit like the Keys did.  They have the hotel room booked until Saturday.  They should be able to get back by then.  Hopefully, they will have something left to go back to.  I’ve seen footage of the damage in Key West, and it’s pretty bad.  The main thing, though, is that they’re alive and unharmed.

I got a CT of my jaw done this past Monday to see if the bone graft took where I had that lower molar pulled, and the graft has taken.  That means that on the 21st, a large gob of money will be given to my dentist to implant a peg into my jawbone.  Three months after that, he will be given an even bigger gob to put a tooth onto that peg.  I also learned that the dentist’s receptionist/clerk is pregnant with a little girl due possibly at around the first of the year by the look of her, so there will be baby things in the knitting news.

However, currently in the knitting news is that I have finished three hats and a shawl.  The shawl pattern is Malguri Morning, one of two I’m doing for friends in Washington State.  It’s done in Loops & Threads Charisma yarn, “Northern Lights” and “Electric Blue” colorways.  The other one has about a ball and a half of yarn left to go and has been bumped back in the queue again due to the fact that their kitchen is in the process of being remodeled, and BABY STUFF KNITTING!

I finished two ribbed toboggans and a Simple Pleasures hat, and I am working on a new pattern I’m calling a Little Twisted Hat (at right).  I’ll post that pattern when I’ve figured out how many cable crosses are needed before the decreases can start.

 

 

 

 

The toboggans are the ones above (camo chemo!) and the Simple Pleasures one is to the right.  I’ve got five other hats started, but two are stalled, one has to be half ripped out and rethought, and the remaining two just have to be finished.  They will be on hold, however, until I get baby stuff out of the way.  I’m going to see how many baby things I can knit between now and the 21st. They already know it’s going to be a little girl, and I have pink yarn and lavender yarn, and yellow yarn . . . I’ve also got a ChiaoGoo size US 11 (8.o mm) 60-inch circular needle on order and two big balls of a nice yellow yarn, so there may be a baby afghan at some point.  We’ll see.

Another Friend in Harm’s Way

Please, donate to the Red Cross.  Nobody is immune to natural disasters, and what goes around, comes around, folks.

I was watching the Weather Channel on TV (again), and watching a hurricane (Irma) barrel down on the US (again), with South Florida in its sights.  It seems like after Irma side-swiped Cuba, that caused it to veer to the west.  I have a dear friend, JT, in Key West, which is now pretty much dead center in the storm track.  They’re talking 10-15 foot (3.o-4.5 m) storm surges along Florida’s west coast.

According to the Weather Underground website, “. . . Late Saturday, Irma was aimed toward the west of Key West, which would put the the city on the storm’s more dangerous right-hand side. However, Irma is beginning to angle rightward, and this will most likely bring its core somewhere near or just east of Key West between around 2 and 8 am Sunday. Winds of 120 mph (193 kph) or more can be expected just east of the eye, and storm surge is predicted to range from 5 to 10 feet (1.5-3.0 m).”

I don’t know his status.  I’ve refrained from trying to contact him because I don’t want to tie up his phone or deplete his phone battery when he has few if any opportunities to recharge it.  My main hope is that they were able to get out to someplace safe where they can ride this thing out, but I’m also hoping there will be something left for them to come back to once they can.  Knowing him, though, where ever he is, he will be helping others.

 

A Rough Night and An Early Morning

To begin with, I had a hard time getting to sleep last night, and then about 4 a.m. I was rudely awakened by my tum having a ferocious argument with my supper, which supper shortly thereafter got the bum’s rush (Get out!).  I mean, I barely had time to get to the appropriate location before I was calling Huey!  I was just drifting off to sleep again at about 6 a.m when I had to get up precipitously again. (And stay out!).  I finally got to sleep again, only to be awakened at a quarter past 8 by the loud growl of a chain saw beside the house.

I had arranged for a tree trimming guy to come out at around 9:30 this morning to cut a half broken limb from B’s pecan tree that was dangling astride my cable wire.  I had noticed it the day before when I had a cable guy come out to try to find out why every 15-20 minutes, my TV picture would freeze and “pixelate” for a second or two, and why when I was streaming music, it would stop abruptly for a second or two. It was a sizeable branch, and if it had finished breaking it would have fallen on the cable wire from the pole to the house and knocked the wire down.  If that had happened, I would have had to pay for having it restrung — and you can bet it wouldn’t be cheap!

Yesterday afternoon, after the cable guy had left, I was able to sweet talk my landlady, who is really a very nice lady anyway, into springing for the cost ($350) of having the tree trimming guy come out to not just trim the dangling pecan branch, but remove the 6-foot stub of locust trunk at the side of the house that had riotously resprouted, remove the Siberian elm saplings from and trim what the landlady says is a yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria) growing between my garage and B’s, but which I think is a Japanese holly (ilex crenata).  (Yaupons have red berries and this thing doesn’t.)

The tree trimming guy was supposed to come out at about 9:30 or 10 this morning, but he was out at 8:20 (!) sawing away on the other side of my bedroom wall, taking down the locust trunk.  He had this little chainsaw on a pole contraption that made short work, not only of removing the Branch of Damocles,  but of trimming all the branches on both B’s pecan (her yard is “squirrel heaven”) and my (#$*&%! beans which nothing eats!) locust tree that could hit against the cable wire in a wind and cause problems. (In the flatlands, “wind” is air moving in excess of 20 mph.  Air that’s moving slower than that is classified as “light breeze.”)

He located and stumpified the Siberian elm saplings in the mystery bush between the garages and winkled them out, then trimmed the thing back into submission so it looks very nice now.  Not as boxy as it should, but a lot better than it did.  And that decapitated trunk by the side of the house that had resprouted these wild wavy branches all over the place was cut down, cut up, and removed.  He made short work of it, and also “neatened” up the adjacent tree beside the fence.

The tree trimming guy was a very nice, and quite large, Black man who sounded like he might have come from Jamaica.  Now, my mom, even on such brief acquaintance, would have found out his wife’s name, what she did, the names and ages of all his children and grandchildren (he was in his late 50’s), and would have gotten the skinny on how a Jamaican had ended up on the flatlands of Texas, inside of about 10 minutes.  (I often think my mom missed her calling.  She would have made a crackerjack investigative reporter, or private investigator.)

Oh, and yesterday afternoon, after I had advised B that she might discover a large Black man with a little chainsaw on a pole in her back yard tomorrow (I didn’t know where he’d have to go to reach that pesky branch), we were standing on her porch talking about things and stuff, when a hummingbird came up and started in on her Turk’s Cap shrubs (Malvaviscus arboreus ) which is a species of hybiscus. I think it was a female/juvenile rufous hummer (Selasphorus rufus) but I wouldn’t swear to it.  Could have been a female or juvenile ruby-throated (Archilochus colubris).  Seeing a hummingbird never ceases to thrill and delight yrs trly.

So, the tumult and the shouting having died, the tree guy and the trimmings having departed, and the experience having been duly blogged about, I think I’m going to take my quarrelsome tum back to bed and see if both of us can catch up on some sleep.