Friday, May 28, 2010

knees and birds and knitting, oh my

Well, it seems I have a high-grade ACL tear in my right knee and may need surgery. The nearest specialist is a 2-hour drive, which distresses me, since it means I'll have to ask someone to drive me two hours, hang around for however long it takes to fix things (it's usually outpatient surgery, I read online), and then drive me two hours home. It seems like a lot to ask of someone who isn't family. I'm also inclined to protest, since my right knee doesn't actually bother me--it's the left knee that hurts when I'm going down stairs or trying to carry anything heavier than a bag of groceries.

I have an appt. with the specialist in a couple of weeks, so I'll talk it over with her.

Meanwhile, after a hot and humid week, it's cooled off considerably, and is much less humid, and sunny, praise be. A lovely day.

I finally got a suet feeder that I hope will be starling and squirrel-proof. It's your basic suet basket suspended inside a kind of cage. The idea is that small birds can go in, and big birds can't, nor can squirrels reach. The small birds don't seem to have figured out the going-in part yet, but I did see my little downy--whom I hadn't seen for a couple of weeks--hanging upside down from the bottom of the cage pecking at the strip of suet-cake I'd laid there to sort of advertise that there are goodies inside. I'm glad to see him again, and still hoping to see little birds inside feasting away.

And some of the finches have discovered the small sunflower-chip feeder I have up by the puppy pen. They sat on the fence while we were out this morning, not sure about using the feeder in the presence of the dogs, then finally took the plunge. That's exactly what I was hoping for, to have birds using the feeder while I sat on the swing when out with the dogs.

At last, my garage is completely painted! The son of one of our instructors did it. He's--let me see, he's a college sophomore, so he must be 19 or 20, and seems like a very sharp, reliable young man, who did a very neat job. Unfortunately the trim color is far more blue than I wanted, but at least it's painted. I'm thinking of nailing tin flashing around the bottom, where the paperboard is rotting out, and then putting clear latex caulking along the top of the strip of flashing to keep out water and critters. I asked him if he might be willing to help me with the windows, and he said yes, so that's a big load off my mind.

The garden looks fabulous this year, very lush and full. I've been taking pictures, just not posting them, since things look a lot like they did last year (except maybe the roses are better), and I haven't planted anything new. The blue spiderwort is particularly lovely this year, lots and lots of those beautiful blue blooms with the starry gold "eyes." I bought a few wave petunias for the driveway planter today, and may go out to the nursery this weekend to look for plants for the containers.

I have socks in process, and a lace scarf, but I wanted something a little less fussy to work on, so I found a handpainted worsted weight wool and have started another Ugly Shawl. This one is garter stitch, with increases worked on either side of the center stitch every other row. I have a solid blue I can work an edging with. This won't be very big because I don't have as much yarn as for the original Ugly Shawl, but it will be warm to throw over my shoulders on cold nights.

I'm reading Virginia Woolf. Lots of Virginia Woolf--I'm reading A Writer's Diary in the living room, Congenial Spirits (an edition of letters) in the bedroom, and Mrs. Dalloway outside with the dogs. I intend to also read To the Lighthouse and Orlando, along with the letters and diaries, and probably Quentin Bell's biography, and possibly The Waves. That is the most amazing book--it took me weeks to read it the first time because I would read a paragraph, or sometimes just a sentence, and have to put the book down to marvel at the writing. At the moment I'm wondering where my brain was the last time I read Mrs. Dalloway, since I'm finding all sorts of meanings and beautiful language that apparently missed all my brain cells last time. There are some books it pays to reread, because you always find something new and wonderful in them.

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