Thursday, April 26, 2018

Scrambled eggs

Lately I've been craving (and then making) scrambled eggs, because I watched Doris Day's character order them in My Dream Is Yours while she sat in a nightclubby booth with Jack Carson.  "Just something light," she said, and he asked, "Scrambled eggs?" And that's what they had.   In a nightclub!  Or maybe an after hours club?  It was a pretty fancy place, anyway, to have eggs on the menu.  Ah, it was a different time.

This is something you read about in 1920s English crime novels too, characters coming back to somebody's flat after a long night of crime solving to eat a couple of eggs quickly fried or scrambled or omeleted in a pan on a tiny hob.  Eggs are so simple and tiny and fast to eat, though of course, the cleanup is not always the funnest.

I don't order them in a restaurant (they'd be stiff and cold by the time they hit the table in the places I frequent) and can't imagine them appearing late at night in a really fancy place today, but I love the cosy familiarity of a plate of freshly cooked eggs, don't you?  On toast, preferably, made from really amazing bakery bread.  I could eat that every day for the rest of my life and when it comes the dueling studies about whether or not they raise cholesterol, I always side with the Nope, they don't argument, out of love for them.

More cosy familiar things that I've been up to since the last time we visited:

Socks, of course.  I have three pairs on the go.  They're cast on in pairs, and divided into six little knitting bags, and each one is at some wildly different stage than the other because I find I am clunking down into my chair to watch a bit of something, grab a bag and pull out its contents, and if I'm feeling benevolent toward that yarn/colour/sock stage then I work on it.  And if not, I reach for a different bag.

TV watching.  I caught the British costume drama Tutankhamun recently, which I enjoyed enormously having been of an age to have the whole King Tut thing become wildly important while still in elementary school because the artifacts were touring to the Royal Ontario Museum.  My school, an hour away, bused us all in to see it.  Pete's school, just barely outside the city limits, did not.  Weird, huh?  I don't remember feeling anything about what I doubtless saw.  But I do remember eating the chocolate from a King Tut sarcophagus tin afterward. It was delicious and seemed very golden-shiny.

Also: watching Monty Don's 'Big Dreams Small Spaces' gardening program on Netflix.  Ray is back at our house, finishing off the front porch (and feeling distressed about the fact that we are putting solid stain on CEDAR.  I agree.  It is terrible... but it's the only wood that will stand up to the elements and comes in proper handrails and isn't full of knotholes, and our house style isn't really wood grain friendly.)  When the porch is done he will begin to transform our back yard with a deck and a long narrow pergola, which will give us hard landscaping to work from.  Pete and I are considering various decorative, functional bin sheds for garbage, recycling, and bike storage.  When all that's done: PLANTS! None of which we've chosen yet.  Monty is so knowledgeable, encouraging, and enthusiastic, and our need is great, so I feel sure the sitting time is justified.

Also: reading about how bad sitting is for you - brain function, circulatory system, mood, and so on.

Reminding myself to knit standing up while watching TV.

Standing up at regular intervals between wonderful sitting sessions.

Honestly, I love sitting.  It's what I aspire to whenever I'm doing anything exhausting which is most of the time I spend not sitting or lying down.  I mean, I love walking too, but there is something so wonderful about curling up in a comfy chair!  And you can't eat eggs standing up really.  Not without dropping bits on the floor.

I should wrap this up now but can we just take a moment to think how wonderful Jack Carson was?  He died so young - just 52 - and he was so talented and sweet on screen, I still feel it like a personal loss though we weren't even alive at the same time.  I would definitely order restaurant eggs if I could listen to Jack Carson be charming while I ate them.

Take care and I'll see you again soon!  Might even have a finished pair of chair socks by then.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Easter Socks

Though I'd take a break from cake consumption (I am testing out vanilla versions, with white icing) to show you my new Easter Socks!

Okay, clearly they aren't done yet.  But I did get to spend Easter Weekend knitting away on them and getting purple alpaca fluff on my shirt whenever TCM was running something arresting enough to lure me away from the oven to my beloved armchair.

I can't remember now, even though I just finished them a couple of weeks ago, which socks I was knitting before these - I think they might have been a sort of dusty rose wool/mohair blend striped with another wool/mohair blend to eke them out to a generous length?  but I was SO annoyed with myself for choosing that sock set to knit instead of this one.  I had really wanted to be feeling alpaca in my hands.  I was well onto this second sock (disclaimer: the first one is only just at the heel also - I try to get all the stripey leg bits out of the way so I can enjoy the sprint to the end with the single yarn I use for the rest of the foot) before I realized:


So, really it's good that I saved these ones to knit later, even if Easter has passed and I am still working on them.

I can tell looking outside now, and walking around outside too even if I am still wearing my big parka, that it is well and truly spring.  Clues:

there is some sun most days
there is no snow on the grass
the grass still looks dead and flat, unlike in fall when it is green and shivery
there are tiny buds on some trees
birds are going crazypants with the singing

Actually here is an odd bird thing.  Mostly what we hear at the house is barking, so I was surprised the other day to take the garbage out from the non-dog side and hear a cheery spring birdsong.  I was like, WOW!  I forgot that sound even exists!  At the condo it's mostly birds and churchbells but six months of bark bark bark can override a lot of your memory.

Renovation tip: when your heating and ventilation installers ask where you'd like the ugly air vents on the outside of your house, and reinforce the fact that they are ugly and should probably pop out of your house somewhere that nobody will be looking at them because MAN are they ugly, think past aesthetics all the way down the list to function.  At the condo, birds wake us at 6am and at the house, it's barks, because the sound-magnifying air vents scattered all through the inside of our house lead to one spot on the outside where nobody will be looking at them except some hugely excitable and chatty dogs. 

Anyhoo, that's how I found out spring was here - by taking out the garbage. 

Of course in spring you are not thinking about wearing alpaca socks unless there is yet another freak snowstorm where you live.  And if you are me you are thinking Uh Oh, even at the thought of that snow melting away because hello view of the back yard:

Especially if your contractor is coming back as soon as the weather is warm and dry enough to run a chop saw effectively, the better to build your deck and other back yard landscaping bits.  And hopefully remove the raccoon gate from the broken garage door and fix same and find a home for a stack of old bricks too.

Yep: I am running out of time to figure out how to resolve the mess that is our back yard and add in some good screening structures to block out the less fortunate aspects of our view.  Thank goodness
this week is looking too chilly still for that job to start, so I can sit down with Denial and some more sock!

You know what, and I'm not just saying this because of purple alpaca - I think the answer is lavender plants.  Loads and loads of lavender planted in elevated boxes along the back of a pergola, blocking both the view above the fence line, and also, the mosquitoes. 

What do you think?