• Lisa Millraney

I'm a bee. I guess.

WELL. Hello all. Anybody wondering why ‘may you live in interesting times’ was a CURSE, by the Chinese, back in the day? Last blog, I said I hoped you had enough to keep you busy and not bored; this time, I’m going to right off the bat say, I hope you are making time to relax and perform self-care! LOL.

Nashville is gradually opening, but cases of COVID are inching back up, and I have no desire to be a carrier, much less get sick myself, so I’m playing it safe. You may have heard recently that the coronavirus affects, among many other things (have y’all seen pictures of people’s lungs after it? GROSS) one’s bloodstream and can cause majorly disordered clotting. Well, I have a family history of deep vein thrombosis, so all the more reason to take no chances. I’m still happily holed up in the Ivy Encrusted Cottage, and enjoying making myself cute face masks to wear when I have to go out. (Admittedly, I’m lucky I have a nice big yard to get outside and do stuff in, of which more in a minute) Having a small wardrobe of masks means I can toss one in the washing machine in the garage when I come back from errands and still have a choice of clean ones. I’m too lazy to get my sewing machine back out and relearn how to use it so I sewed them by hand, but they work well. Fun masks make wearing them less onerous, I’ve found. (I may have fall, Christmas, and football-related fabric tucked away, in case we still need them by then. Lord, I hope not, but I will do what I must.)

Speaking of the outdoors AND masks, the swallow eggs hatched! A couple opened one day, and the rest the next.

They were so ugly when they first came out that they were cute, red and wiggly with just a little grey fluff. Within a couple of days, they were covered in fluff. They were usually sleeping in the mornings when I went out to check. I watered the basket very carefully every day, to keep their cover growing. One thing I noticed was an unpleasant smell. Who knew baby birds stink? LOL. My face masks came in handy there—I wore them whenever I went out to gently take the basket down from its hanging chain and cautiously use my small watering can with the long curved snoot to water the petunias.

The babies grew so fast! Here they are one late afternoon, awake and peeping and opening their mouths ready for parents to come feed them. I love the mohawk look on this one.

Twelve days after they all hatched, I went out to water, last Wednesday, and they were gone! All that was left in the nest was some fluff.

In gardening news, my sunflowers got eaten by something. I planted a couple more seeds, but either nothing has come up, or they too got munched. I have a couple of tomatoes on the vine, waiting for them to turn red.

As you can see, I also have beans! And zucchini blooms! Here’s hoping they don’t get et (well, by something else other than me).

I’ve been crafting too, as usual. I pledged a couple of my crochet dolls for charity auctions; one is going on right now, for the Random Acts charity that helps with disasters around the world, and the other is upcoming, for BLM. I may not have a lot of money to support causes I value, but I have hands and I can make things. You know how the Bible says, in any endeavor, everybody can’t be an eye or an ear. I may just be the fourth toe on the left foot, but I’m doing what I can. LOL.

A fellow member of a cross-stitch group I belong to needed somebody to do a test piece of a pattern she had designed, and when I heard it was a dragon I volunteered immediately. I’m so predictable. Hehe.

Isn’t it precious? It’s inspired by a story making the rounds online, about a tiny dragon whose entire hoard consists of a single gold coin. I just love it, and the designer was so pleased she asked if I would do another test piece for her. This one is going slower, but she said that wasn’t a problem. It’s another dragon, this one more cartoon-style, toasting marshmallows over a fire. Hopefully it’ll be done before my next blog!

Oh, and the shawl I knitted for Aunt Peg finally made its way to her, so I can post the picture now. I’m pretty proud of it. This was taken while it was pinned out and blocking.

The pattern is called Close To You. I’m knitting myself one, in a yarn called Girl On Fire, inspired by the Hunger Games. It’s black with sparkles and shot through with red and yellow.

In the charitable-endeavor department, I played in an online scavenger hunt a couple of weeks ago. The entry fee also benefited Random Acts, and I joined a friend and some friends of hers in their team. Since people still aren’t getting out much, all the items were things you could find, build or do at home. One item I took was to take a newspaper or magazine article, and use the 'blackout' technique to turn it into a poem. Here's mine:

Another item was, since folks aren’t traveling, build a model of a popular tourist destination.

I chose the Washington Monument, partly because I’d been reading a Washington DC guidebook (I went there once with my parents when I was tiny, and would love to go back someday and see all the things I missed), and partly because I’m lazy and it seemed easy to build. (snort) So there it is, complete with array of flags and reflecting pool!

Remember last time, I said my professional organization is offering free continuing education through the end of this month? I took full and shameless advantage of it and now I don’t need any more class time until I’m 60! LOL

I’m still playing around in the kitchen. My most recent experiments involved gummy bears! A friend was making them, and they sounded so easy, I splurged on some silicone molds that came with a big eye dropper to fill them, and dove in. Right now, I have bags in my fridge containing gummy bears flavored orange creamsicle, café latte, fresh blueberry, and two kinds of hard cider, blackberry port and prickly pear rose‘.

I put this pic on my Instagram and tagged the local cidery whose juice I used, and they were suitably amused. I’m rereading my hot chicken cookbook, and considering trying to make my own Nashville hot chicken, so watch out. I’m also about to start experimenting on recipes for my food truck fantasy. Hey, how would I know what I would serve if I don’t try making some, huh? I’ll report back next blog, and I will try not to get so occupied that I wait another 4 weeks before I post again!

Happy summer y’all. Stay safe, speak up, and be well! Talk to you soon.

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