Saturday, February 20, 2010

Unfortunately, life is back to boring routine leaving little to blog about. The girls went blackberrying again this AM but the berries had passed their peak in the rain and we left with little to show for our efforts (and I fell once). The rain totalled 130mm in my rain gauge. I have lots of pumpkins and the lima beans are climbing vigorously. I had to mow the lawn for the first time in months due to the downpour.

The Imp had her annual vet check and has been put on a diet. I thought she looked a bit chubby and her weight has grown too far. No more "Fussy cat" food for her. Maybe I need to play with her some more.

I have been enjoying the figure skating at the Olympics. I am not officially in any knitting Olympics groups, but I have been charging along on the lime green socks because I can knit on them without thinking. I adore figure skating and we hardly ever see it here in Oz. To make up for that, I am watching all of the cable broadcast stuff, from Estonia to China, seeing all the skaters, not just the top ones which you'd see in the USA. Therefore, I have seen many pairs and men (so far) fall on the ice, which was practically unheard of in the 80's when I was seriously into skating. I have never skated myself, having discovered early on that ice is very hard. With my balance issues (I can't even use crutches) skating would be one big bruise.

I finished Nine Dragons and it was one of Michael Connelly's best. Where Harry goes from here will be very interesting and new territory. I have turned at last to the next S.M. Stirling, The Scourge of God, in his series of The Change. I find them really engrossing and full of detail. The initial trilogy was top notch and I hope he can maintain the momentum. For my BBBB, I have also finished American Colonies and have turned for a change to Eleanor and Franklin, since I realized when visiting Hyde Park how little I really knew. To read in the first page that the Roosevelt ancestor started out in Dutchess County by buying Beekman Swamp, and my great-great-grandfather was born in Beekman, I felt a tie already.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I'll skip the grovelling abut how I haven't posted. The only valid excuse I have is that I am trying to stay away from the computer for physiological reasons: I have edema in my legs that gets so bad I can barely walk sometimes and sitting for long periods doesn't help. I have to do it at work, but I don't at home. And there are other tasks at hand that involve standing up. We went blackberrying in the mountains a couple of weeks ago and I therefore made blackberry jam. It is the season for zucchinis of blimp proportions and while my own plant hasn't produced any, I have another source. Thus I make zucchini pickle relish, which has some rather addicted fans. Lots of standing.

The photo at left is to demonstrate that both residents of the house are birdwatchers. There are a lot of baby birds around and The Imp appreciates large noisy birds on her front lawn.

The only news I have is that I have a date for my right knee replacement: March 24. So in a little over a month I'll be back in hospital for about 10 days and home for a month. The X-ray showed up a strange growth looking like a second knee cap above the real one. My surgeon said (obviously) that he couldn't tell what it was till he looked at it but now that I know it's there, I can feel it. Oh, and I fell on my right knee again, tripping over a garden hose. but it's mostly a scrape of the sort we got as children and has left no lingering aches.

We have had very unusual weather for Canberra. While I say this, I have been looking at all the photos of Washington in a blizzard, since I have several close friends there, one of who I talk to daily. I actually miss snow. I grew up in New York and remember lots of snowy days, wearing snowsuits to school and rubber boots, sledding down the modest hill near my house. Even 12 years in Ohio didn't dampen
my enthusiasm, especially with a fireplace to make things toasty. I don't like driving in snow, especially when so few people know how to drive safely in it, and I don't like that feeling when you put your foot on the brake pedal and the car continues on its original course. Here, however, all we've had is rain. After so long without it, you forget what it's like to be damp. Last night it rained all night, and we had 40mm in the rain gauge this morning and now it's raining again. My tomatoes and pumpkins will certainly appreciate it. Too bad it's too late for the beans. We officially had one of the hottest Januaries on record.

I mentioned a few posts back about an attack of buying spinning fibre on Etsy and here are some of the results of that late night splurge. The batt to the left top is called "Cashmere Camping" from, the bottom pouf is alpaca from Alpaca meadows, the two spirals are Rambouillet from cj
delights, the purple hank is merino & tussah silk from Birds Nest Yarns and the far right is merino and Tencel from Woolgatherings. My fingers itch to spin. However, finances will not be tempted this way again. I will not succumb to insomniac shopping again even when the Aussie dollar is so strong. Besides, I have 2 bobbins of the long brown alpaca spun and I'm dieing to see what it looks like as yarn. In the meantime I am knitting my lime green cotton socks.

Book report: I finished Alistair Reynolds' The Prefect and really liked it. A very far future mystery and a real page turner. I've read most of his work and he is one of the best of the new breed of what seems to be called space opera, but I would just call hard science fiction. With so much of the sci-fi sections in bookstores taken over by fantasy, it's sometimes hard to find good stuff. Another advantage of letting Amazon suggest things, but I rarely buy a new author without being able to read the front and back matter. I'm not as bad as the Bear was, since he read the end of novel before the beginning. Heresy! I understand Reynolds has a new novel out but I will attempt to stay away from bookstores for a while. I've started Michael Connolly's latest Harry Bosch novel, Nine Dragons. I expect to race through it like I do most of the series.