Friday, February 21, 2014

Winter at Loop Beach

We had a few hours of sun yesterday and my work shift was cancelled so I ran out to get in a little walk on the beach before the clouds rolled back in. I chose Loop Beach because it is very close to me and I had never been there. In season you are expected to have the correct sticker but out of season you can suit yourself. Loop is a tiny little beach with very little parking, bounded by private beaches on either side. One side allows walkers to continue on across the private beach, so that's the way I went.

Cape Cod has a lot of beaches, and all are a little different. Obviously the view is slightly different from each. The water temperature differs from one to another: the Vineyard Sound beaches and the northern beaches that face to Bay are warmer and the Atlantic Beaches are cooler, sometimes much cooler. Some beaches are rocky, some have deep sand. What washes ashore varies as well. Some have beach glass, some mainly slipper shells, some have a lot of scallops and scallop shells.  At the Mashpee Town Beach and South Shore Beach I seldom see shells and only a little beach glass. Town Neck Beach in Sandwich (right now pictured at the top of my blog) is rocky and I often pick up a little driftwood there. Many of the Mid and Upper Cape beaches are near beautiful marshes which attract a lot of wildlife. The Atlantic beaches are more likely to have seals visiting (and with them, sharks).

 I saw razor clam shells yesterday, which I have not seen on any other beach I have visited. Loop has a lot of slipper shells too. The tide was coming in, and waves came in with an interesting clicking sound made as the shells rolled over each other. Loop does not have a marsh, and has houses above and quite close to the beach.

By the time I left I had lost the light so I went home to pick up my knitting and a little TV. I've started a Clapotis with my beautiful variegated alpaca Christmas yarn. Alpaca is so pleasant to knit with and feels so good in my hands that it doesn't matter whether I finish the item or not. I'm still working on my sweater - just a few rows from starting my sleeves. I have wound the yarn for my Lovebird Mittens but have not cast on yet. I'm still on the first heel of my Zauberball Crazy socks but they are usually a knit in public project, so I don't usually work on them at home.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sunshine (for a Minute)

For the first time in quite a few days we are enjoying sunshine and (relatively) warm temperatures. It sure cheers me up, even though I know that later today we will be back in the grey box. I tend to respond to grey days with grey moods. Like so many things that happen inside my head I tend to assume that what I am thinking refers to a real thing. If I feel put upon, in low spirits, and annoyed I like to think it is coming from outside, but it's usually coming from inside. Science is proving this wrong, or at best incomplete - the biofeedback loop seems to work both ways. If you are happy you get a smile. If you smile you get happy. To that end, here's a music video that should guarantee a smile:

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Extra Knitting Time

Once again we are having snow. Rain was forecast but snow it is, and currently falling at the rate of an inch per hour. My work shift today was canceled because snow will drop customers off the face of the earth & I won't be needed.  I am hoping for a change of precipitation and soon. Last weekend we got about fourteen inches, canceling a trip to town we had planned for Saturday. Driving home in a blizzard was not appealing and a trip to the Museum of Science, while attractive, was not an emergency. We stayed in and messed around with cooking, knitting, reading, and watching the Olympics. Shana had a nice time with the snow blower so we do have the use of the driveway, but the dogs are pretty much confined to a small area outside. Short legs are a disadvantage.

I am finding the Olympics a bit boring, to tell the truth. This is unusual because usually I can watch any kind of outre sport for two weeks. I've been planted in front of the TV for hours at a time because I have a lot of knitting projects in the works, so I feel like I have watched a representative sample. The most exciting thing I have seen is Bob Costa's eyeballs. The new Ice Dancing with the compulsory dances stripped out reads like "Pairs Lite" to me and the tiny number of skaters featured in the prime time coverage does not give you enough background to have any idea what you might be looking for in a medalist. The Johnny Weir/Tara Lipinski daytime live coverage has been the only high point in skating coverage for me. They are so fresh and cute together, especially with their coordinated outfits.

I've fallen back on On Demand for knitting entertainment. I've caught a lot of second rate movies, most of True Detective (good, but odd), and am slogging through Deadwood. In TV shows there are all kinds of things I've never seen before. With every cable network coming up with original content there is no way I will ever see everything. What seems to happen is I have watched 2 episodes of hundreds of shows and don't know what's going on in any of them. No matter. I'm making progress on my pile of projects. My sweater is past the bust increases and headed for the shoulders, the baby blanket is complete, the first sock of my current pair is into the heel flap, and I have started winding yarn for fancy mittens. Yes, I am getting ready to start something else. Clearly I have lost my mind. My only defence is that I generally only knit for myself during the first half of the year. July 1 I change over to gift knitting. I am also making plans for this year's garden, which will take plenty of time, and we will have house guests in June. I had a lot of things I wanted to knit for myself and I feel like I have some serious deadlines if I hope to complete them.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Between the Storms

Yesterday was the first of three snow storms forecast for this week. I got a bit over four inches yesterday which was kind of surreal for me because I went to work at 5:30 a.m. for our yearly physical inventory before the snow started and came out to at least three inches of snow and snow removal equipment in use all up and down the street.

Tonight we will get maybe 6 more inches. Sunday's storm may be a nor'easter and a very substantial storm. It's funny. Last year we had a nor'easter every weekend for a month. This year we are getting weekly storms that come to us across the Southern Plains via the Polar Vortex. Not as rough on us as the coastal storms, but much harder on the Southern Plains and the South Atlantic corridor.

I've been staying inside most of the time and putting the time to good use knitting. Having five (!) current projects has been a motivator. One is a baby blanket with something of a deadline. The others I am knitting for myself and are things I really want to have. There are at least two more projects in the wings I want to start as soon as possible. I have completed the Chivalry Mitts featured in Interweave Knits 2011 Holiday issue and look forward to wearing them.They are my first colorwork project and I think very successful. I did knit the first mitt up to the middle of the thumb gusset before I tore it out to start over, but that was an issue with how I was reading the the thumb gusset chart and not my colorwork. No want of motivation but having only the normal human compliment of arms and eyes limits my production somewhat.  I have also taken some time off to watch TV without distraction and read.

I am still watching Downton Abbey although it has degenerated into a standard soap opera albeit with very little of the sexy romance that keeps an audience tuning in to daytime drama. The costumes are still sumptuous enough to elevate the story lines (a little!). I have just finished Margaret Atwood's MadAddam, the end of a trilogy. Interesting in premise and like much of Ms. Atwood's work, deceptively simple. She was able to keep my attention through a post apocalyptic series without a great deal of graphic sex and violence and with a lot of thought provoking themes. The themes of morality in science and income disparity are topical and fascinating.

I was heartbroken to hear of Philip Seymour Hoffman's death, not his death per se, although he was a fine actor and it's always sad to see a waste of a talented person, but because of the manner of his death. I came of age in the late 60's and would have confidently assumed that heroine would never come back into popularity because no one could possibly be uninformed about its dangers enough to dare try it. Clearly this is not the case. Opiate use in all forms are epidemic in this part of the country and I am sad and discouraged to see  it.