Thursday, April 26, 2007

Earth Day

We went up to the Berkshires for some good old country fun last weekend. The weather was absolutely breathtaking and warm.

On the way up we visited my grandmother, who lives in Chappaqua, NY. She sold a lot of her land to the Audobon Society, so her yard connects with a nice amount of woods that will never be developed. While we were visiting, we sat in her dining room which has a large picture window on the back yard. Lindsay had fun putting out peanuts and birdseed, and we had fun watching the chipmunks, blue jays, titmouses (titmice??), red bellied woodpeckers, and chickadees diving in to eat. The highlight of the nature parade was a coyote sauntering across her backyard.

On Earth Day we went for a bike ride to Mill River, which is the next small town from Hartsville. We noticed people on the side of the road picking up litter and we decided that it was a great idea for celebrating Earth Day. After Lindsay's nap we went out onto Neil's parent's road with their little wagon. I was shocked at the amount of garbage we picked up. In less than 2/10ths of a mile we picked up over a case-worth of beer cans and bottles.

We also bought some compact fluorescent lights for our closets. Naomi Dagen Bloom of A Little Red Hen was the catalyst for my finally buying them. So what with the litter collection, the bike riding and the cfls, I felt pretty good about celebrating the planet.

The next day we went for a hike up Monument Mountain. This is a hike that Neil's family has done for years. It's a nice moderately steep hike with a lovely view at the top. They laugh because Canyon Ranch takes their clientele up there now. So the Beckermans get a nice spa treatment for free every time they do that hike. Lindsay did well on the trail and fancies herself a mountain climber now. She insisted on carrying my backpack on some of the stretches.

Friday, April 13, 2007

aran lace scarf

I just completed a bulky-weight lace scarf for a fundraiser at my daughter's school. The money will go to the scholarship fund. I also donated private knitting lessons. Both of which I'm hoping someone will think are nifty and bid on.

Anyway the specs for the scarf are:
Takhi Lana yarn
size 15 addi needles
Barbara Walker lace insertion pattern called Dayflower. The pattern gently undulates on the sides, which adds a bit of grace to the lace.

I had knit my daughter a scarf with a worsted weight yarn in the same pattern. Time was limited to make this one for the auction, so I pulled yarn out of my stash that was quite bulky. The yarn looks a lot like aran fisherman sweaters even in the lace. Several non-knitters who saw it mentioned that.

Monday, April 9, 2007


After spending Passover in the city, we drove up to the Berkshires to stay with Neil's parents. Lindsay is on Spring Break until the 12th. Rather than stay in Brooklyn and get caught in a rut, we decided to go to the country.

We visited friends who moved up there from Brooklyn. They have a daughter Ruby, who is one of Lindsay's good friends. We all had a nice time catching up with them. After leaving their home in Ashley Falls, MA, we drove for a minute or so out of town and saw a bobcat flying across the road. It was an amazing animal, running full speed a la National Geographic special. It did stop a second to glare at our car heading right towards it. Absolutely majestic animal. Although it was incredible to see such a beautiful animal, it was out of place where it was, which was a sad reminder of how all of the houses being built up there are displacing its habitat. I hope it finds a good new home. I think it was eating a chicken before we so rudely interrupted it.

I was talking about unusual animals with the owner of a pet store here in Brooklyn. He mentioned that there are colonies of wild parrots in Brooklyn. I can't wait to look for those guys. There's a colony at Greenwood cemetery, which is a gorgeous park-like place that I have never gone to.