Monday, June 27, 2011

Another Weather Report

There is practically no knitting progress.  Even with air conditioning, wool just looks too hot when outside temps are like this.  Today, however, we have cool.  The high is supposed to be “only” 98, with the possibility of scattered thundershowers.  Those will not necessarily be a blessing even if we are in a drought because thundershowers in this heat often mean very violent weather in this area of the country.  The other reason they might not be a blessing is because the precipitation is estimated at 0.1 to 0.25 inches.  Yes, for those of you who live in other places, the average person here, particularly those in agriculture, measure these tiny quantities on their own. (I think there’s something wrong with subject-verb-pronoun agreement in that sentence, but I’m too hot and dry to care.)

Normal conversation:

“How much rain d’get last night?”

“On that section north a town, I got a tenth, but that half south just got 3 hunerts.”

And I feel bad even complaining about the heat and drought when I see the damage done by the tornadoes and floods in other parts of the US.  God bless you all!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Weather Report

Unlike much of the rest of the country, we are experiencing a several months’ long drought.  The temperature outside right now is 108 degrees, and one of the local television stations is posting this as the weather forecast for the weekend.  It is 109 degrees in Amarillo right now—the hottest day on record.  We noticed on the way home that jackrabbits are sitting in the shade of telephone poles to try to stay cool.  Trees are in short supply in our part of the country.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

On Father’s Day

For Daddy, with love. . . .





Saturday, June 18, 2011

An Anniversary and a Review

Today is the anniversary of our engagement—34 years ago.  That day we went prairie dog hunting; today we dismissed that idea—it now requires an expensive hunting license; we now use bifocals and trifocals; and it is over 100 degrees outside. 

I just finished listening to the audio book of Moon over Manifest.  I posted my review on my Goodreads shelf, but I wanted to give it a special mention.  Here’s the review:

The blurb on OverDrive did not do this book justice.  This is a lovely, well-written historical novel which manages to be historical in two eras--World War I and the Great Depression/Dustbowl era--through the use of an interesting narrative technique.  The technique uses first-person narration, letters, stories, and newspaper articles to weave a complex story of a community and its survival in challenging times.  I am not sure if this book is meant to be a Young Adult novel; it would certainly be suitable for that, but it is an interesting read.  I used the audio version, and the readers do an excellent job.  The historical notes at the end are interesting as well.

I should note that the 12-year-old narrator of the book seems overly adult in some of her observations, much like Huck Finn, but she has also had a very untypical childhood. 

Knitting progress—one more square added to the blanket.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Knitting Progress and a Review

Knitting progress on the mitered blanket has been steady. It is now 5/21 completed.

I have been knitting and watching a British television series on Netflix. The series is George Gently, based on mystery novels written by Alex Hunter. The series is set in the 1960s, but unlike campy takes on the 60s, this series is much more realistic. As a background for the murders that are being solved, social strengths and ills of the period are portrayed realistically. During the course of the series, you can notice the death penalty disappear, the struggles to deal with racial bias, the change in attitude toward other groups. I found the mysteries themselves to be complicated enough to be engaging. For a former teacher of British literature, the mention of places like Jarrow and Lindisfarne in a context other than Anglo Saxon history adds interest as well. The acting is well-done; the costuming is wonderful.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Security Blanket

Today was it—we signed the papers, accepted the check, and turned over the keys to our retail business.  One chapter of our lives is over—another is beginning.  While we do have some sentimental feelings about the past, and while we probably saved entirely too many mementos—and tools—it actually feels pretty good.  The local economy is a worry, and while we both feel that we could have regrouped and readjusted and continued, we both lacked the desire to do that at our age. 

I had not knitted much for a couple of weeks because I strained my back doing some of the moving out, and I was pretty much just wallowing in my misery.  I suspect that much of the soreness was also due to tension since it seems to have disappeared after leaving the title company this morning.  However, in the last few days, I picked up the blanket again.  It is sometimes easy to forget how the rhythmic flow of knitting can soothe a tense and injured spirit.  A couple of squares a day got me through this experience.  I calculate that I am now 4/21 done with the blanket, if you don’t count the single crochet edging, but it is satisfying knitting that shows the progress that you are making square by square—perfect, in fact, for the remainder of the changes that we have ahead.  I won’t have much knitting time for awhile, but I can easily manage the couple of squares a day that seem to soothe my spirit.

Please excuse the slightly blurry quality of the picture.  I was too lazy to get out a tripod, and I had turned off an automatic setting to adjust for the fluorescent lighting.  The picture does give a fairly good idea of the texture and the colors.