Don’t Fool With Fools Who Turn

DIY projects are fantastic,cheap fun until you become obsessed with good gear. Not to worry, though, because no matter how bizarre your interest, someone got there first and figured out how to make a tool you will only use once while your credit card is still smoking. My mother’s grandmother made braided rag rugs that interest me now as artifacts of a time when no one could afford to waste anything. I’ve been pondering that some.

  • People make knitted bathmats out of cut up t-shirts.
  • People make yarn to knit with out of strips of fabric they scavenge from torn or old fabric.
  • To knit with fabric yarn requires the largest needles available, probably size 50.
  • More than 10 fabric stitches fall off size 50 needles.
  • And next thing you know, you’re here.

    It’s the personality crisis your therapist won’t see coming. Or going.

    Believe it or not, I am considering buying those. My brain is full of soda bubbles: this is not thrifty. This is the opposite of thrifty! But this old-fashioned gadget might be a very thrifty tool for turning out cat blankets a whole lot faster.

    And It’s Turning Out All

    This evening, I went out to pick herbs for dinner and found someone had invited himself or herself or deerself to dine. At first, I wasn’t sure what was amiss. The tenant’s giant squash plant looked a little squishy and a lot less giant, though it took a second look to determine why. The long golden flowers were all tucked into the planter but the elephantine leaves that shaded them were all gone. Suddenly, I was suspicious and crept around the outside of the garden fence. The tops of carrot flowers were nibbled off, but most of the garden was fine. Fortunately, I was staring at stems and crab-walking like a refugee from Mumenschantz when my neighbor, hosing down his broccoli, said, “Hey Domy, whatcha doin’?”

    Only Grandpa ever called me Domy, so I stopped crab-walking to stare at him. Teddy, who looks exactly like his dog should introduce himself with a hale, “Peabody here,” is not properly afraid of me. He is fairly sure that I am crazy and will sit and watch his chickens do silly, chickeny things and he is right. He is looking at me now like he is considering his options, but I am not worried.

    Tata: It looks like we’ve had one deer stop by on the way back to the bar. The brussel sprouts are a goner!
    Teddy: I covered my broccoli with mesh – you know that wire mesh – I covered my broccoli with the mesh and I got perfect broccoli.
    Tata: That’s…exciting. Someone looked over the fence here and found miniature cabbage leaves at eye level. But there wasn’t much else to eat.

    I leaned on something Pete and I should remove at our earliest convenience.

    Teddy: What is that, anyway?
    Tata: It was a peach tree.
    Teddy: It was a peach tree?

    I rearranged a dead little branch to lean on another dead little branch.

    Tata: It has gone to Heaven.

    We both stared at the tragic little branches.

    Tata: Well, nice talking with you. I gotta go slice the still-living limbs from defenseless plants. See you!

    You may be trying to outrun a terrible memory. I tried to sew once.

    Somebody Outside the Door

    Another batch of cat blankets just about ready to mail to Georg. If you are not a fan of the postal system, I urge you wrap up something unusual and mail it to someone. Not salami, though. Not that.


    While we’re out on our bikes, I feel like a million bucks. The summer’s a hot one, great news for me. Even so, I’m now and then having a tough time standing and walking, both of which are crucial to helping out at the food pantry. I’m downright glum about it, but this annoying little setback is just temporary. Temporary! For the time being, I’m knitting and swearing. At least I’m goddamn good at one of them.

    Word Was Heard From the People

    A few years ago, I planted some sage bushes in Pete’s backyard, probably right after I moved here. A gardener can expect three productive years from a single bush, so last spring, I planted new ones. I’m up to my neck in fresh sage, so you know what that means: compound butters.

    It’s easy. Take butter out of the fridge to soften. Put the soft butter into the bowl of your mixer. Chop up some herbs into tinytinytiny pieces. Add the herbs to the soft butter. Make your mixer go WHOOOOOSH. Taste the butter. If it needs lemon juice or sherry or more herbs or whatever suits your fancy, add that. Scoop into a bowl and refrigerate. Later, spoon a dollop on a baked potato, sauteed vegetables, broiled meat or fish. You can store your compound butter in the fridge if you’re going to eat it soon or in the freezer if you’re going to need some herby, butter summerosity in January, and who does not?

    I Was Nowhere In Sight When


    The tiny town hosts its annual fireworks display in the park at the end of the street on which Pete and I live. We can sit on our back porch and watch the sky light up without the added drama of actually rubbing elbows with our neighbors, especially exciting during last night, someone nearby was watching a violent movie, so the display’s local soundtrack was a screamy kidnapping and murder. If you know anything at all about how the colonists treated one another, you know that is perfect.

    The fireworks are just a diversion for us, though: the main entertainment is watching the whole town drive across the main drag and around our block dozens of times, waiting for an imaginary parking space to open up because thousands of people trying to park on one street those light trucks everyone simply must have now have not thought this through. We took pictures. We also took pictures of hundreds of people who sensibly took to the street in large numbers on the way down to the park and who appeared on their way back in our lens momentarily, only to melt into darkness beyond the driveway.