Friday, November 18, 2016

What I Do When There's Nothing To Do

As you know, most of what I post here involves getting outside -- birds, sketching, gardening, dog walks.  Well, it's cold out there now, and often gray and rainy and just downright uninviting.  To top it off, my favorite birding patch, the Montlake Fill, is a mess from the construction/restoration project and I don't find it enticing.  So, what to do?

This past week I've mostly been dealing with home maintenance issues (don't ask).  That's not been much fun but things are improving bit by bit.  Of course, it's not conducive to fun photos for posting here.  Otherwise, I've been taking short walks with Truman, reading, doing needlepoint, and spying on the new neighbors (two guys who can't be more than 25 just bought the half-million dollar home next door!).

I've also been watching the birds in my front yard, and yesterday I got photos -- yay!  Nothing exciting, but hey, it's something to post here.   I put the feeder up for the fall/winter season, mostly for my and Truman's entertainment.

Here's a goldfinch:

The juncos mostly scrounge around below the feeder or study it from the fence.  They're not terribly adept at actually landing on it.

The chickadees zip in and out so fast it's hard to get a photo.

I also had a Bewick's Wren visit the feeder but didn't have the camera handy.  Dang.

You may have noticed that I wrote about doing needlepoint, and perhaps you said, "She does needlepoint?"  Or maybe you didn't.  But hey, I do needlepoint!

At least, I used to do it, many decades ago.  Here is a picture I did way back in the 1980s, using an old chart that my mother saved after she did her needlepoint picture of it.  It's 18" x  24" and contains over 44,000 stitches.  It's been sitting in a closet all these years, needing to be blocked and framed (or turned into a pillow) and really, I do have that on my List of Things to Spend Money On When I Have Extra On Hand.

After decades of not doing needlepoint, I decided after retirement to take it up again, as something I could do during the gloomy fall/winter months.  So I've been working away on a lighthouse needlepoint -- it's a bit smaller at 16" x 20".  After one month of maybe 1-2 hours a day, I'm about halfway through.

Stitch detail:

It's not challenging, as it's just one simple stitch.  I do find it to be a relaxing way to while away the evening, and I enjoy seeing the progress made.  I've got a few more lined up when this one is done (and framed! or turned into a pillow....maybe 10 or 20 years from now).

So that's what I've been doing in the gray gloomy days of Fall.  All I can say is, it sure beats working!

And Truman agrees.


  1. Well, gee, maybe I DON"T have the patience for needlepoint - ha! I was thinking it could be fun to do while watching baseball games, but now I'm not so sure. Guess I should head over to my local craft store and see what they have. Perhaps start with a very small one. Sorry about the crummy weather.

    1. You can usually find little 5" x 5" ones that don't take too long to do.