Friday, July 20, 2012

Five Things for Friday: Catching Up

Work has been unbelievably hectic these past weeks, as we head into our long-awaited project implementation (tomorrow! are we excited? yes! are we nervous? yes!). When I haven't been working, I've either been vegging out, or collapsing in a nervous ball of worry, or pulling myself together sufficiently to do a bit of laundry or pay a few bills. But now, in the calm before the storm, I'll use Heather's Five Things for Friday tradition to do a bit of catching up.

- 1 -

Look! I finally finished one of my knitting projects:

This is my pine forest baby blanket, knit with Jelli Beenz yarn. I love the way it felt on my lap - substantial, but not too heavy. I threw it in the washer & dryer when I'd finished, and it handled that well. The finished blanket is 29" x 29". (I am desperately trying to come up with a way to bring Prime Numbers into this blanket discussion, but inspiration is lacking...)

People are always asking me how long it takes to knit something. That's hard to say, because I knit in small bits of time, scattered over weeks or months (this blanket was started April 15 and finished July 18). But during one of our trips, I tried to measure how long it took to knit a row, and it seemed to be 20-30 minutes per row.

This blanket has 43 repeats of the 4-row pattern, plus 36 rows of knitting at the top and bottom. Going with the more conservative 20 minutes, and applying some knitting math:

((43 repeats x 4 rows) + 36 rows) * 20 minutes / 60 minutes per hour = 
(approx) 69 hours

So, if I could give up my 8-5 job, I could make another blanket like this in a couple of weeks. But for now, I have to settle for the slow-and-steady pace, and remember that, while I enjoy the finished product, I also enjoy the process.

- 2 -

On Wednesday, Bonnie wanted to go out, so I opened the kitchen door to let her out back. I was stunned to discover this in our driveway:

As seen from inside the garage

A black cherry tree, growing in the park next to our home, simply snapped, about 15 feet up, and toppled into our yard. It didn't hit or damage anything, but completely blocked the garage. Jim usually parks his car right where the tree landed, so if he'd been home, it would have been another story.

We called the city (since it's a city park), and a crew came that afternoon. They quickly and neatly took care of the tree and cleaned things up. We're very appreciative of that!

The pictures also show how dry our lawn is. We water some - not enough to keep the grass golf-course-green, but hopefully enough to keep it from completely dying. Wednesday night and Thursday we finally got some rain, which everyone celebrated (except Bonnie, since there was lightning involved).

- 3 -

Today, when I opened the kitchen door to let Bonnie out, I was again surprised - not by a tree this time (thank goodness):

My friend Jess left a supply of my favorite snack, to help me survive the weekend!

- 4 -

Looking west; our home is behind those trees at the left

Since I've not been out regularly walking Bonnie, I didn't realize there had been a fire in our park.

On the Fourth of July, we worried, along with our neighbors, about the risk of fire. For years, there's been a family that provided a fireworks show. Those fireworks were probably purchased across the border in Indiana, since they were illegal (for home use) in Michigan - until this year.

The state legislature decided that it was wrong to let all that money cross the border into Indiana, so they legalized the purchase of fireworks here. (To heck with safety concerns!) And this year, in spite of the near-drought conditions, there were at least four or five groups shooting fireworks in the park. Happily, we survived that unscathed.

But last week, some kids were lighting fireworks, and the wind was blowing, and.... well, it happens. Luckily, our neighbor was home, and he and his grandson went after the fire with shovels and put it out.

I wish people would leave fireworks to professionals, people with the proper know-how (and insurance), who take the appropriate precautions and use a little common sense. But fireworks will always have that lure and appeal, I suppose. I'm glad that nothing was harmed in this case beyond a bit of grass.

- 5 -

I mentioned in my last post that Bonnie had hurt her back. I'm happy to report that she's been slowly improving. We continued with the medication a few days longer than the vet had suggested, because she still seemed stressed a bit. She had a couple short walks last weekend (just around one end of the park), and then we curtailed the walks again. This past Monday and Tuesday, she slept The Entire Day - no pestering me for snacks, no leisurely stretching at lunchtime - just snoozing!

We couldn't decide if that snoozefest was due to back pain, or because she ate something she shouldn't (we caught her hopping in and out of the window well, and rooting around in there). But she seems to be her normal self now, and I think we're ready to don the leash and head out again. That will make her a happy beagle.


  1. Wow, the fire was super close to your house! Thank goodness it only burnt a little grass.

    I wish I could send you some of our rain -- we have PLENTY to go around....

  2. Cool baby blanket. Amazing how long one piece takes, and amazing that you share your time in that way.

  3. I love seeing your knitting projects. It always gets me excited to keep working on mine. Mine take significantly longer than yours-- mostly because I always mess up and have to pull stitches. And crazy about that tree. How luck it didn't fall on anything!