Sunday Afternoon in the Park

Two Great Horned Owlets

Yesterday, we walked in Forest Park. Not a long walk, more like an owl prowl. First thing we did was to checkout the owlets, but they weren’t where we had left them last. We asked a guy who was doing some plein air painting if he knew anything about them and he said that when he first got here, a bunch of birders were looking this one tree and he pointed to it. We thanked him and headed off. We found the owlets soon after. They were huddled together so cutely. Afterwards, we heard music and went off to investigate that. A duet of guitar players was performing outside the boathouse. The boathouse has long had outdoor seating, but I guess because of the pandemic they have expanded outside their fenced in section and spread-out across the grass. We sat, socially distanced and listened to the end of the band’s set. Setting off again, we climbed Government Hill, looking at the flowers and doing some people watching too. It was a gorgeous day, but quite windy. We ended up back in the owl zone. This time there was a new guy who had a huge telephoto lens on a tripod. He was nice enough to point out to us that Sophie, the mother, was also sitting in the tree, right above her two owlets. We gawked at the three of them for a while, before heading back home.

Returning home, there was an Amazon package waiting for us on the porch. As it turns out there were supposed to be two. That’s what the photograph taken by the delivery guy showed. We had been porch pirated. Stolen were two SD cards of about $10 value. For some reason they took one package and left the other one. This is the first time that we have ever been pirated. The whole experience leaves me with a sour taste.

Stop the presses! Remember I mentioned how windy it was yesterday? It is not  quite so windy today, but after someone found and returned the package it still blew halfway down our walk. One of those large Amazon plastic envelopes with only two SD cards in it makes for a great kite. All’s well that ends well. 

Hitting a Snag

Hitting a Snag

We’ve been on a bit of a spending spree as of late. You might think that it was stimulus checks derived, but you’d be wrong. It has more to do with the fact that for about a year we haven’t been spending much money and things that we need to get have piled up on us. What money that we have spent has been on groceries and with Amazon, but only for incidentals that the grocery delivery services couldn’t handle. We’ve been leading a pretty monastic life while in quarantine.

Earlier this month, after we got our vaccines, we bought a new desktop PC, because our old one was becoming too addled to work with any longer. Not soon after, our HP inkjet printer began acting up, throwing out the error message, “missing or failed printhead”. At first it was only intermittent and could easily be solve by cycling power on the machine, but all too soon it became a permanent feature. I went on YouTube U to diagnosis the problem and the video offered a number of potential fixes. I downloaded a new driver and firmware, thinking that the new computer was having trouble communicating with our venerable printer. Na-da. Nope. Not the problem. I popped and reseated the four ink cartridges and then popped and reseated the printhead, not once, but three times, as instructed. Still no joy. Exhausting all corrective options, I exercised the video’s final suggestion. I ordered a new printer and not an inkjet, but a color laser printer. I remember my first use of a color printer years ago at work. It was phenomenal, but that printer was also phenomenally expensive, about $10K. Nowadays they are a lot cheaper.

We’ve also ordered and received a new bed. It will replace our current bedding which we plan on moving upstairs for guests. No more air mattress here folks. The new mattress and frame are both very heavy. The delivery guy left it on the front porch and we were barely able to wrestle into the house. The frame was not quite as heavy and between the two of us we got it into the bedroom, where it still sits all boxed up, because first we have to get our current bed and frame out of the bedroom and upstairs. That should be fun. Before we can do that though, Anne has to deflate the air mattress upstairs. Why Anne? Because currently her quilting project is all over it and she wants to finish that project before any of this other stuff can occur. It’s a process, folks, it’s a process.

Finally, Anne is seen “modeling” her new tights that just arrived from Scotland. They are called Snags and while she has been doing phenomenally well while on Weight Watchers, it is my hope that this photo does not convey her ultimate weight goal. She says that they stretch.

Cabin Quilt

Crafty Anne has been very busy, quilting. Now, she has also been doing a lot of knitting too, but this post is all about quilting, in particular her latest quilt. I’m calling it her cabin quilt, because she began making it while up at the cabin. Every summer, over many years, she would pull this project out of a box and work on it while staying at the cabin. At the end of the summer, she would put it back into the box and leave it at the cabin for next year. She didn’t have a sewing machine up there, so all of her work was done by hand. She only worked on the multi-colored blocks up at the cabin. Once when she had them laid out on the bed, her father Harry observed them and commented, “You don’t do subtle, do you?” But she had a plan and Harry could only see a small part of what it would become. Last summer, she brought the quilt back with her from the cabin and has been working on it here ever since.

This quilt incorporates two new techniques that she had to learn first. She has spent hours on YouTube U. Because this quilt is much bigger than her usual fare, she introduced the technique of block quilting or quilt as you go. I think that’s what it is called. Anyway, she first assembles the component blocks, quilts them and then stiches the blocks together. The other new technique that she is using for this project is the making of much more elaborate and fancy quilting patterns. Different blocks have different patterns. The photos show one of her favorite blocks that depicts the exterior of her cabin as seen from the parking lot. Most of the other blocks use more abstract quilting patterns.

Before she would use one of these new quilting patterns, she would first try it out on a practice block. I made the mistake of asking her what this practice block was called, because she has introduced a lot of new jargon to her craft with this project. First, she confirmed that it was just called a practice block, but then she said, “Some people call it Fred, but that’s its government name and it prefers to be called Lucrecia.” Serves me right for asking. It is still a work in progress, but she is almost done and hopes to complete it, before we leave for California. While in quarantine, I have been receiving regular updates on its progress. In a sense though this quilt is only a practice block for her next even bigger project.