January 30-February 3--
Beautiful sun today which was absent except for very brief and infrequent interludes over the past weekend. We got about two inches of light, fluffy snow which was very easy to sweep off the car and patio. It is cold but we keep reminding ourselves that it is still mid-winter after all--only a couple of days away from Groundhog Day.
Had a nice quiet and productive weekend. Finished one project (a large shawl to replace the one I took apart last year because some of the yarn had worn through and I had some unintended holes in it) and made progress on the doily that had frustrated me almost to the point of ripping the whole thing out. Fourth try was the charm, so far, as the first three didn't work at all. I still don't know how I messed it up the same way three damned times. Ah, well it is going well now and I am almost back to where I was when I first discovered I had gone wrong with it.
A mixed day today. I baked a loaf of bread using a new recipe. It smells good and we hope it tastes as good as it smells but I don't think I will do it again. It is a kind of quick bread and I didn't really like working with it. Next time I will find a regular quick bread recipe to work with.
I frogged the doily. I got past the problem I described yesterday but got to another section I simply couldn't figure out. I think the pattern might have had a misprint because the directions made no sense at all--at least to me. By that time I simply gave up. I will find another project soon.
I am not exactly ignoring politics but letting the issues simmer in the back of my mind a bit. I have thought for some time we needed change but I really didn't see anyone who I thought could change things for the better. Obama promised "hope and change" but I saw his policies as more of the Democratic usual than real change and some of the changes (like changing from the Bush "No Child Left Behind" to "Common Core") simply made things worse. I think we are still sleepwalking toward an ecological and energy cliff which none of our so-called leaders want to recognize much less address. Even if they did I have to wonder if we as a society would follow them. Perhaps not.
Ah, technology is wonderful--until it bites us in the ass. I had stayed in a couple of hotels/motels in the past that had key cards and never gave a thought to what would happen if the electronic locks went haywire. The blogger who linked to the story questioned whether guests were actually locked in their rooms. Usually you don't need the key card to get out only to get in but I don't know how the programming worked.
We tried the new bread and it is pretty good but I think I will stick to regular quick breads.
I have a table scarf to finish the embroidery on and a small embroidered doily that has been waiting for hemming and trim about forever. Those are next on my list.
We are only half way through winter and it feels like early spring. We are waiting for wintery weather to slam us to remind us of what time of year it really is. Planning for the outside gardens is in full swing and the starting trays are ready upstairs. Every now and then we add something for inside. We just ordered Meyer lemon, and dwarf key lime and orange trees to keep inside as potted plants. I guess I will be learning a good bit more about pruning and tree care.
On the theme of gardening here is an interesting piece from Grist. I have seen more of this both in the blogs I read and here at home. Several years ago I noticed a patch of the land owned by the nearby Lutheran church had been converted into a community garden. How many of the plots are planted and tended varies from year to year but there is always someone gardening in the area. About that same time the city started a community garden which it has expanded at least once. A church near the downtown area created their own raised gardens about three years ago. I have been content to use my little patio space though I have thought about getting a plot in the Lutheran garden or the city gardens. But the Lutheran space doesn't have a water source so I would have to haul water to it. And there is no shade which means, at my age, some of our scorching summer days would be dangerous. The city gardens is simply too far away. Driving would use gas which would eat up all of the savings the produce would provide.
On the matter of "alternative facts" check out Ursula Le Guin's letter to the editor. She puts the matter succinctly. The current administration doesn't have "alternative facts"--they have lies.
I baked again today. I don't know what happened to the wheat bread I made but it never tasted as good as it smelled coming out of the oven. Substandard in every way. The rye I made today is from a recipe I have used before and knew what to expect. Two very pretty loaves are cooling now. I will freeze one for later. Generally, when I get three in the freezer I go back and start on the earliest of them continuing until all three are gone and it is time to begin the cycle again.
Root Simple has a movement I can get behind. Actually we have been part of that movement for sometime. Needed new phones we went with "dumb" phones. We have computers so we don't need phones that double as computers or play movies. We still have a whole lot of features we don't use. We got the simplest we could. I bake bread the old fashioned way--mixing the dough and kneading it by hand (you know, those things on the end of my arms. "Fewer Features" sounds good to me.