Looks Who's Landed for Dinner

Can you tell who our "dinner guest" was? Last night, we saw this huge hawk in our back yard, and I tried to snap a picture of it without spooking it to fly away. Although a bit fuzzy and unfocused, you can see Mr. Hawk sitting on the back fence, can't you? I believe it was a red-tailed one, as the tail (which isn't visible in this photo, left), was long and reddish-brown. As majestic as a hawk is, the undeniable fact is that it's looking for its dinner...and it is definitely not a seed-eater. As we have fish in our pond (3 of them...Jaws, Goldie Spawn, and Tiger...doing nicely in their new home, I might add), not 10 feet from where Mr. Hawk is fence-sitting, and as we have a bunny family living under the deck and periodically frolicking in the garden (even though we also have 3 "ferocious" Attack Bassets lounging on the deck, oblivious to the Bunnies...), I wasn't too sad to see Mr. Hawk take flight right after I snapped this photo.

I know that hawks help keep down the mouse population...and that they also are known to attack snakes, one of my least favorite garden tenants. But, truth-be-told, I am happier when I see birds like this Cardinal (left, on blue glass feeder) and House Sparrow (right, on white copper-topped feeder) enjoying the bounty that is our back yard Bird Buffet (photo, right).

Nice quiet week here. Thomas had to hang around on Monday to find out if he would be needed for Jury Duty on Tuesday. Here, in St. Charles County, the system is to call at 5:00 p.m. on the day prior to the day on your Jury Summons to hear a recorded message about your status. He did...and found out that his Jury Group was not needed. That meant that he could close out the month on Tuesday (last business day of the month) as usual. Wednesday (1st day of the month) is typically an office day for finishing up paperwork, etc. And, he'll work in St. Louis on Thursday. Goodness, it's wonderful to have him home all week...not having to share him with the Road. I have almost forgotten how that feels!! I'm hoping that we might do something as gloriously normal as going to the movies tonight...mid-week...like we used to do before he went to work for MFTA, and became a Road Warrior. Don't get me wrong...he and his job are a good fit, and there are many reasons why it's a great job with a great company. But, I'll always wish for more time together...given my druthers...

Looking forward to going to the Paula Deen show this weekend! That should be good for a few laughs, don't you think? Then, Mom and I have tickets to the Cardinals "Stitch 'n Pitch" night on Monday. Wonder what I'll work on at the game? I've got too many projects on the needles right now: my House Scarf, a self-striping sock on two circular US1's, and an afghan that's knit in strips...all of which are great "take along" type projects (see photo to right). But, I have problems with each of them:

  1. The House Scarf is out of Plymouth Yarns Encore Wool blend...and it's 88 degrees and humid outside...plus, I started this project to help me learn how to use two circular needles at the same time (done!) and now I just want to use one circ on this so I can finish it...but, I don't have a US8 that is short enough (16").

  2. The Sock on 2 Circs is coming along fine, but I hate this particular yarn! It's Plymouth's Sockotta Italian Collection bought because I had made my first pair of socks in Sock Class with this yarn, which is 45% cotton, 40% Superwash wool, and 15% nylon, and it had turned out so well (even if too large...off-gauge per the label). But something's wrong/different with this particular ball. It's stiff...and scratchy...and although I love the colors in the stripes (teals, beiges, and greens), I find it difficult to work on this project for very long. That, plus the yarn seems to be drying and cracking my hands more than usual.

  3. The Afghan in Strips is a perennial project for me, and I always have two or more of these going. It's a pattern I've done for years...and years...and years, going back to a Bernat Kit I purchased in the 70's. It's so easy, and it goes fast, if you keep at it. It's worked on US10.5's over a pattern of 6 rows and 16 stitches (with increases up to 32 on one row, decreasing down to 16 stitches over the next 5 rows), using any color combination to make 8 strips to join together and fringe for a beautiful finished afghan. But, it is so mindless that I get b-o-r-e-d with it quickly. I find I have to have a specific deadline looming large for a finished product before I have enough incentive to keep at it.

So, I'm thinking about getting the yarn for a Stitch 'n Pitch project called The Stitch 'n Pitch Sock from Interweave Knits. You can find the pattern at: http://www.interweave.com/knit/interweave_knits/web_projects/baseball_sock.pdf

Yep, that's what I need...another project started! We'll see...


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