Thursday, April 22, 2021


Another beautiful day. Thank you for bearing with yesterday’s rant  -- I feared you’d kick me downstairs.


I got around the garden alone today – 2565 steps. Yesterday, with Arehie, slightly fewer. If only dandelions weren’t so – so what? so deep-rooted? – we’d treasure them along with the daffodils for their cheerful springtime faces. And their leaves are good in salads, which is more than can you say for daffodils..


Wee Hamish’s Calcutta Cup vest is advancing. Slowly. It’s time I took a picture for you. I’m aiming for an effect somewhat on the lines of the dust jacket of McGregor’s “Fair Isle Knitting”. I’m using a simple all-over pattern from within. Aiming doesn’t mean hitting and I remain fully prepared to stop and start again. I think I’m beginning to get hold of the pattern, mentally. Once upon a time, it didn’t take me so long.




Having looked up that passage for you yesterday, I went ahead and finished “My Life and Hard Times”, laughing aloud at the passage where Thurber can’t think of “Perth Amboy” and wakes up his father in the middle of the night asking him to name cities in New Jersey. The racism is more than a bit breath-taking, by modern standards, and it is good to be reminded of how fresh the history is: one of the Thurbers’ domestic servants had been a slave. That’s my parents’ generation.


I’m a bit further forward with “I Vicere”, too. It’s going slowly, like the Calcutta Cup vest, but I think I am pushing beyond the furthest point reached on former attempts. Cholera is still raging.


  1. Glad you appreciate the dandelions. We have noticed this year that all the flowers have noticeably shorter stems than normal, and wonder if they knew that the weather would be so windy.

  2. Have you started reading May Sarton? I bought Mrs Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing for my Kindle. I have only read half a chapter, (after a very long forward/review) and am totally taken by the way she can set a scene. I hope you enjoy her books as much as I am.

  3. Dandelions are one of the few early sources of pollen for pollinators, so they are a very important plant - even if many people don't seem to think so.

  4. I spotted my first dandelions today. Perhaps I'll try the greens, I never have.
    My mother said when she was a little girl in the 20's in South Jersey, they had a neighbor who would pay them to dig dandelions, which he used to make wine. I think I'll skip that part!

  5. Anonymous2:08 AM

    I am still thinking of the 1980s knitting books ...
    BBC World Service has a program this week discussing the "history of knitting"
    One of the experts, Sandy Black, was featured in the Wild Knitting book. My mother knit her armadillo wrap, as I had mentioned the other day. She still has it!
    We took some photos today and posted at Ravelry.

    Lisa RR
    p.s. I like the thin long dandelion leaves used in Italian or Greek cooking, sautéed with onion, garlic and maybe a pinch of chili flakes.

  6. Yes, when I was a little girl in Saskatchewan in the 50s my friend’s grandma used to pay her for dandelions for wine but somehow I thought she just picked the blossoms, rather than digging them up.

  7. =Tamar8:03 AM

    I suspect that the digging was to attempt to get rid of them, and the wine was a bonus. I've never made it, but I once read that to make the wine at all palatable, you use only the yellow part of the petals, snipping it off with scissors. It would take days of work to get a gallon of petals, but maybe a smaller amount was used to flavor wine made with a different base.