Friday, February 10, 2012

Just in Case You Missed it (Knitting Humor)

I imagine by the time the sun comes up tomorrow this will have been 'round the web six times, but just in case YOU did not see it:

An Instance of Customer Service

I was just over at Kmkat and Her Needles reading about her customer service experience with Signature needles and I have to say that I was impressed. I have seen the needles in person and was impressed with their quality. I did not realize that they are an American made product. It's good to hear that their customer service standards are high, because like everything else, with these needles you pay for what you get ;-). Anyone who likes a metal needle with a really good point should consider these.

We're battening down the hatches for a storm on the Cape tomorrow. At midday we are expected to have a rapid drop in temperatures, followed by a bit of snow. We were expecting 2-3 inches the last time we got snow and received a foot. This time I am ready for anything. I can't say the same for Roxy. She used to be interested in snow, but these days the thrill is gone. I have to chase her off the porch and stand over her until her "business" is done. I would feel the same if I had to step outside barefoot with snow up to my naked stomach!

I've got a knitting project started, and the idea of turning one of my cranberry bog pictures into a watercolor (yeah, I don't know what I'm doing and will surely end up blowing up a photo instead but I want to experiment) plus a stack of books and a new Vanity Fair magazine. Even without the Internet I could stay home all weekend with no fear of boredom and without resorting to chores for amusement.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Maybe Bottled Water is a Bad Idea

I've been getting away from bottled water lately, partly because in general it seems that eating and drinking from plastics may be a little unsafe, partly because I don't like to buy things which I will immediately have to take to the dump, and partly because I'm just too cheap to buy what I can get so much cheaper at home. (this is my motivation for loads of things. I quit smoking because I was too cheap to buy cigarettes)  I have a nice steel water bottle I picked up on vacation in Arizona a few years ago and I just fill it up when I leave the house. In case this makes me seem like a crank to you, this video might put it into perspective:
  If you don't like to use public drinking fountains or you'd like to have a drink with you to avoid having to stop somewhere and pay for one, there are lots of reusable bottles you can take with you. Plastic bottles of all kinds are available at every possible price point, and there are plenty of metal or glass bottles around too. You can even refill a commercial water bottle you have already used!. And yes, I do know I actually am a crank ;-)

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

The Beach Time Never Ends

Menahaunt Yacht Club in winter
Windy Winter Day on Menahaunt Beach
One of the things I discovered about myself late in life was that I love the beach. I came to this realization late because I have the kind of skin that burns to a crisp instantly and I grew up south of Cleveland Ohio. I never saw the sea until I was twenty (and that was on the ferry to Prince Edward Island in late winter). The things I love about the sea are not the things you find out on a ferry crossing or from pictures or books. I love the smell of the sea, and the sound of it. The sound of waves is deeply relaxing, as is the scent of salt air. I can sit happily on the beach all day reading and listening to podcasts as long as I have an umbrella and industrial strength sun protection. Heat is no bar to enjoyment. Oddly, I am not a swimmer. I dislike swimming at the best of times and I do not fish. I do like to snorkel and kayak, but it is mainly just being near the sea that I love.

One of the great luxuries to living on Cape Cod is that you cannot be more than seven miles from the sea.

Roxy and Mitzi on the beach
What that means to me is that I don't have to plan a beach day to get a little fix of seashore. Especially in the winter, I can zip out to any one of the many beaches within a half hour drive and take Roxy for a little walk any time I want. It's not too much trouble to just go there on a whim. Whenever I am in Falmouth  for the day I take Roxy and Mitzi to Menahaunt Beach. If an afternoon is especially warm and lovely I drive up to Sandwich to enjoy the town beach and its beautiful marsh. The State Park beach and Mashpee town beach are narrow strips with some really nice walks through the marshes and dunes, especially pleasant if the wind is light. Those are the three I visit most often, but every one of the beaches has its own special appeal. Shana is fascinated by the beaches in Chatham because of the possibility of a shark sighting (Jaws!). I think the most beautiful beach is Nauset Beach, but it's farther from home so it's not my impulse beach of choice.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Foretelling the Future

In knitting news,  I have finished another scarf. This one is in Fiesta Yarns Insignia La Boheme. it's a two strand combination of a rayon boucle with a mohair that is as close to looking like a metallic as a yarn without any metallic component can be. Sparkly, pretty and soft, it's the sort of scarf that takes the place of a necklace. Once I got it out the skein and into a ball (tricky) it knitted up quickly in garter stitch on #9 straight needles. I think it will be a lot of fun to wear. The yarn has been marinating in my stash for several months after a trip to the wonderful Eva's Yarn Shop in Fairhaven. I am blowing through my stash these days. I will soon have a reasonable excuse for yarn shopping.

Here's the gratuitous picture of The Amazing Roxanne that some people ( Richard) require.

Any time I think I've heard of every possible means of divination along comes another surprise. Jemima Packington tells the future by means of asparagus. You can see her in person April 23 at the British Asparagus Festival. 

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Picture Wall

I've been planning a picture wall for my living room for a while. The ideal would be to zip out the the zillions of wonderful galleries here on the Cape and buy small original works of art which would magically combine into a beautiful whole. I ran into a couple of roadblocks. The most obvious is my current lack of small works of art that are not already living on my walls. Due to the size and layout of my last couple of homes the general size of art here is large. We do have a fair number of family pictures that were not currently in rotation. I laid them out on a bed with about the same amount of space I had to work with in the living room but comparing the layout with the space intended showed me one important detail: I have so much  in my living room now that I really need that one restful wall. It's going to have to be one larger piece or nothing. So. Into the hall it went. I had one picture hanging in that space that seemed a little underwhelming. It's a really nice pen and ink but just did not have the "punch" I wanted. As small as our house is I don't have room for a lazy wall. With a little juggling I worked it into an assortment of pictures that brings the hall to life. This may not be the final product, of course but I think it's going the right way.

This is the toy we bought last weekend.  I really like it and think it works well here, between the kitchen and the living room. The theme and colors are perfect and we just love whimsical and amusing art.

I saw several beautiful paintings of cranberry bogs in the galleries last weekend that I would be happy to have in our home. They were not in the crazy high price range that would make them impossible to ever own, but they still cost more than I want to spend. Given the number of romantic and lovely bogs nearby I think I might consider hanging one of my personal photographs instead, at least until a little money comes our way.