Silly Crows

The crows that we’ve been feeding for years stopped coming to the feeder place in late summer. I continued to put food out for a while, but they just didn’t come.

I still saw them around the street near the house, collecting sticks, looking for food, so I knew they were still around (adult pairs of crows are territorial and stick to their territories).

Last week, I saw one of the crows had landed on the roof of the garage, where I always scatter bird food. (I try to keep the birds feeding as high up as possible, since there are cats around. )

The crow was apparently picking the peanut halves from the bird seed. I went out and put a boiled egg out (I always just cut them in half, shell and all) and the egg halves were soon gone.

I repeated this on a daily basis, and now the crows check back throughout the day to see if anything new has been put out for them.

Did they just forget about their feeding place last year? Found enough food on their own? Gotten scared off by something?

Seriously odd. But I’m glad they’re back. And I know for a fact that they’re nesting in the chestnut alley in front of the property. Maybe there will be young to see in a month or so.

Being Defiant

But then, what else is new.

I am pretty sure that I am not supposed to be knitting. I purposely avoided asking, as then technically speaking, I’ve not been told not to.

Either way, especially with our weather being the way it is (wintery), I have vowed to finish my two works in progress, both of which are cardigans, one of which I finished yesterday.

cardi1
Half-sleeved cotton cardigan.
cardi2
For some reason, this picture is more accurate in terms of color than the other. The sleeves were knitted in one piece in conjunction with the back and both fronts, the “edging” added later.

I’m almost to just having to knit the other (full-length) sleeves for the other cardigan, so it should be finished soon as well.

And then I’ll give my wrist a rest. Promise.

A Viewing Tip

This is unusual, I think, having been broadcast in Europe before being broadcast in the US – the other way around, also.

There is a mini-series called “The Night Manager” which is currently available via Amazon Prime Video here. The series is based on a novel by the master of all spy novels, John LeCarré.

Now, IMHO, there is a lot of trash out there these days as well as a lot of series that can be summed up as having a ho-hum quality at best. However, this 8-episode series is quality television at its best, breathtakingly filmed, brilliantly acted, and tells a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat with suspense.

Be on the lookout for it, it’s brilliant.

Scenes from the Garden

What a glorious day it is. Spring is having a hard time really breaking through, but we’re getting a couple of days of sunshine and mild temperatures.

I never thought I’d be thrilled to receive a confirmed diagnosis of carpal tunnel, meaning my cervical spine isn’t the problem and I having the first pain free night in at least four months thanks to a brilliant neurologist and a simple brace which I wore on my arm in the night. It’s been a bit of an odyssey to get here but I’ve arrived at last.

Red Daisies
Red Daisies
Tulips and Hyacinths
Tulips and Hyacinths
More Tulips
More Tulips

A Bad Way to Ruin a Good Day

First, the pizza pictures. This is the before picture:

pizza1
The ingredients: tomatoes, anchovies, smoked ham, onion, mushrooms, garlic and black olives. Thereafter sprinkled generously with dried thyme and oregano (cheese not pictured).

 

pizza2
Finished. (Yes, someone in the family always insists on those icky green things)

The pizza was fabulous, though I had to make it in a rush.
(The dough is easy, btw: 300g of flour, 150 ml of water, some salt, some yeast and 3 tbsp of olive oil – stir together, cover and let rest for a few hours before kneading just a bit and rolling it out. It’s no fuss, really)

I got off to a very productive start yesterday morning, having done a lot outside. At 10 a.m., I went into the house, and noticed that one of my external aquarium filters was apparently no longer working on full speed. Having noticed lately that the head gasket of said filter appeared to be aging (this manifests itself in that the filter begins to leak water the moment you unplug it) I decided to clean the filter, and give the head gasket a good greasing, which often helps a bit.

Reconnected the filter. It was now leaking water even when plugged in. Spent a few hours trying to fix it somehow, soaking 5 different towels to soak up water in the old oven pan that the filter stands in (to pick up excess water in an emergency). Somewhere near noon, extremely exasperated, I disconnected it and placed it out on the porch in a very non-gentle way, meaning to run over it with the car later on in the day.

I was talked into sense by another fellow human being, tried an old head gasket I still had lying around, and reconnected the filter. It was still leaky. So, after lunch, I drove 15 miles  to the same pet store I had been to on Friday for something completely different and purchased a new head gasket. Installed it, connected the filter, and it was still leaky. By now, it was four in the afternoon and I had enough. Didn’t care. Was thinking of putting the pump in a huge bucket to empty regularly. Couldn’t be bothered. My back screaming at me from heaving the 8 kg monster in and out of the cabinet all day.

Common sense, of course, won me over eventually. I disconnected it and emptied it and examined it. Apparently, when I slammed it onto the porch in a heave of anger, I caused it to get a crack on the bottom of the canister, which was now causing the leak.

Thankfully, there are inventive and helpful fellow humans with sodering irons and magic pasty stuff who can seal such cracks.

At 7.30 p.m. the filter was reconnected and is now running without leaks.

What a way to waste a perfectly good Saturday.

But, the pizza was good.

April Showers

…bring May flowers, they say, and I suppose it’s true. May is truly the most glorious month in terms of vegetation and usually weather too.

Our April showers took a break today long enough to allow me to mow the lawn for a third time this year. We have a family member who is fanatic about fertilizing the lawn at specific times, and we indeed have a thick and dense lawn. Which grows like crazy, but I’m not complaining. It’s nice.

I even got out the very cheap edge trimmer (the kind where the thick filament breaks off every time you get near a solid object other than a blade of grass) and did the edges. I’m actually growing quite fond of having a well-manicured lawn. I wonder if it’s an age thing – i.e., the kind of stuff you just wouldn’t give bollocks about when you are younger.

I also hooked up the garden hose for the first time this year in order to properly clean Kuni’s aviary, which needed it after the long winter months.

Now, I’m off to go rotate the laundry and then knead the dough for the homemade pizza. Pictures may follow.

Typical Saturday here.

That’s all.

In The Pipe, So to Speak

I feel lucky having gotten to my current age without having had to undergo an MRI for any reason up until now.

Late yesterday evening, I got gently shoved into the “pipe” so that my ortho guy gets to see nice pictures of my cervical spine.

It was an interesting experience, to say the least. As I was laying in there, wearing hearing protection, now and then opening my eyes to see only the fuzz floating around on the outer parts of my eyeballs, it occurred to me that having an MRI might actually have the potential to become quite a transcendental experience, provided you’ve smoked the right stuff before hand and had the right music on the head phones.

More Treasures

Sometimes, it’s not the old knitting pattern one finds, some of them in magazines. Sometimes it’s the reverse side of the knitting pattern, such as this ad for an insecticide, some 28 years old now.

roaches

I mean, maybe I’m wrong here but wouldn’t you seriously question your household habits if you had roaches in your ice cubes?

Plus, I think I’d notice if there was a roach in an ice cube that I was putting into a glass.

Little Treasures

Grandma C. was the person who inspired me in many things and taught me many valuable lessons for life. She also became  my crocheting and knitting inspiration when I was 12 years old.

I recently came across these two index cards, upon which she had noted down a knitting pattern (each iteration = 12 stitches):

pattern1

The more I looked at the pattern, the more my curiousity grew. So, I decided to have a knit at it and see what the pattern looks like when its knit.

Though the pattern is pretty much self-explanatory, I had some trouble with rows 9/11/13, as I had never encountered a “wrap 2” before and had to google it. There were several different descriptions of what “wrap” was, but basically, you wrap the yarn around two stitches (by moving the yarn forward/back and the stitches  from one needle to the other). I do think, however, that on the following rows, I may have messed up the “K1P1 in wrap”, as it was hard for me to figure out which of the loops actually was the wrap.

Either way, it is a pretty pattern and easy to knit (except for said rows, which I think turned out a bit goofy and would require more practice on my part).

pattern2