We'll start with Veronika's exterior. Her dress is done.
I used this pattern, which is designed for toddlers. I used thinner yarn than called for (fingering weight/4-ply) and the smallest needles I have (2.0mm) to get the gauge/tension down to 9 sts/inch for the bodice and then went up to 2.35mm needles for the skirt. I think it might work for any 18-19.5" doll, because the waist is large and gathered a bit with a ribbon through a row of eyelet holes. It took about 70g of Stroll Tonal from Knit Picks, left over from a previous project. She will be wearing it in a future story.
The exterior of our house has been painted for a new look. Here's a reminder of what it looked like when we bought it.
They pressure-washed on Wednesday of last week, they took down the shutters and started masking off on Friday and started the painting. They worked a bit on Saturday. Here's where we were by Monday.
I'll spare you the in-between photos. To summarize, they worked for the next couple of days, took some time off on Wednesday when we had a big rain storm and finished on Tuesday. We still have the steps and deck rails to do, but we haven't agreed on a color yet, and that's our job.
We had an adventure on Wednesday after the rain stopped, but it turned out well. About 5:30 PM, the rain stopped, so we decided to do our walk. I grabbed my hat and parka, put Dusty's leash on him, while DH got ready. Then I started looking for Rocky to put his leash on. I couldn't find him. I searched in every room, upstairs and down. I went out and searched in every part of the backyard. No Rocky.
We were pretty sure Rocky was there when the painters left, but we wondered if he could have escaped from the yard while the gate was open. We moved the search to the outdoors. DH searched the neighborhood, while I went to the trail to search. I walked the trail with Dusty in tow, then walked to the dog park, then back along the busy street Rocky would have had to cross to get to the dog park. It was still daylight, but the sun was getting low. Working separately, DH and I asked everyone we passed if they had seen Rocky, but no luck. Rocky will be 15 on Saturday, and our time with him grows short, but we didn't want to lose him this way.
I wandered through the wilderness we sometimes walk in, but it's acres and acres. No Rocky. When I asked Dusty if he knew where Rocky was, he just tried to go in the direction of home, where I knew he couldn't be. I searched the house again when I got back from walking. DH called and said some neighbors had suggested putting a notice in Nextdoor.com, but I had already done that. I had also called animal control, the Humane Society and the Sheriff's office.
I was on the phone with the 24-hour Veterinary Hospital when DH came in. The nice lady at the vet emergency room suggested contacting the microchip registry we're signed up with. She was giving me some other suggestions, while DH put his parka away in the front hall closet. When he opened the door, Rocky ambled out as if nothing had happened. As near as we could figure, DH had opened the closet to get his parka, and Rocky walked in, knowing there are a lot of dog toys and tennis balls there. A black dog in the dark closet wasn't visible, and Charlie just closed him in, not realizing he was there. Rocky missed the walk, but the rest of us did more walking than usual. I didn't turn on the Walk for a Dog app, so it didn't count, other than we got some exercise. Dusty must have known he was there. I just didn't believe him! We're so glad Rocky decided to come out of the closet! While we were outside, he was inside.
We're having a birthday party for Rocky on Saturday. I'll bring dog-friendly birthday cake for him and his friends at the dog park.
Most of our meals are meatless, all of them if you don't count fish as "meat," so I put together this "Meatless Loaf."
It was pretty good. It isn't vegan, but the meat was replaced with TVP (texturized vegetable protein). If you're looking for meat alternatives, here's the recipe. (We should be looking for alternatives for beef, especially, because of the negative impact of beef production on our environment.)
• 1 C TVP
• 1 C boiling water
• 1 2-cup bouillon cube
• 1 C bread crumbs
• 1/2 onion, finely chopped
• 1 clove garlic
• 2/3 C chopped mushroom
• 1/4 C ketchup
• 1/4 C Parmesan cheese
• 1 T brewer's (nutritional) yeast
• 1 t Bragg's Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce, and leave out the salt)
• 1 t dried basil leaves
• 1/2 t salt
• 1/2 t ground mustard
• 1/2 t chili powder
• 1/4 t pepper
• 2 eggs
• 1/3 C milk
Measure TVP into a medium bowl. Dissolve bouillon cube in the boiling water. When dissolved, add to TVP and stir. Allow to sit while assembling other ingredients.
Add remaining ingredients to bowl in the order listed and stir well.
Pour into loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350°F for 90 minutes.
Serve plain, or with bbq sauce or mushroom gravy.
Thursday we went to River's Place to listen to Coyote Willow. The weather was nice, so we sat outside. The brewery was surrounded by food carts, so we selected what we wanted from one and had a nice, inexpensive meal.
The music was delightful, and so was the company.
We went back to River's Place last night for the usual Sunday meetup.
Saturday, DH was working in the backyard, when he brought this in to show me.
This baby is 7" across. I looked it up in my mushroom book (given to me by my friend Joanie after Dusty's second attempt to ingest mushrooms from the yard). I found two possibilities:
the Meadow Mushroom is "[e]dible and excellent, raw or cooked," it says. However, it could be the one on the next page:
With a similar description, except that is says, "It is inedible and poisonous." We weren't planning to eat it anyway, but yikes!
Sunday was the last day our choir director, Susan, would be with us. We came up to sing with her during communion. We already have an interim director, but the church is looking for a permanent person. During coffee hour we had a special cake for Susan.
We participated in the 1619 project, marking the arrival of the first known African slaves in what is now the United States. Father Jed explained what it was all about.
At noon, we went out to the street to listen to the bells ringing. Now that I know I'm 2% Senegal African, the beginning of the arrival of slaves in our country has a special significance. I would never have existed without the slave trade. I don't know if this short video will play.
The church bells were ringing all over the US at 3:00 PM Eastern time, 12:00 PM Pacific Time.
You would never know I had African ancestors by looking at my exterior.
What's on my needles: The French Back-to-school Cardigan for Emil.
What's on my sewing machine: Pants for Emil.
What's in my hoop: Still the Whole Cloth Quilt. I actually managed to work on it for a couple of hours this week.
What's in The Doll's Storybook: On the Wing. Charlotte and Jolena question the difference between butterflies and moths.
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Rainbird's Revenge by M. C. Beaton. Included with the Escape Package. I'm trying to get through the short novels by this author. The cost per month is less than it would cost to buy one of these little gems, so I'm making the most of it.
What's in my wine glass: emBRAZEN Revolutionary Red Blend from Treasury Wine Estates Americas Company, Sonoma, California, a new favorite.
What's my tip of the week: Don't eat mushrooms you find in the wild unless you have them identified by a true authority.
Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals or dolls were harmed during the production of this blog post.