Friday, May 25, 2018

The Blessed Event

Back in the winter, a friend was given a luna moth cocoon as a gift. This might sound like a slightly strange present, but she texted me excitedly, and I got excited, too. She called me the other day, yelled, "It's happening!", and I got there in time for much of the blessed event. It was so interesting to watch that I didn't get a lot of pictures, but here are the few I did remember to take.

I've seen a few luna moths before, but never one emerging from its cocoon. We looked up lots of information during eclosion (the technical term for coming out of the cocoon) and read that the new moth's wrinkled wings would get pumped full of hemolymph (what invertebrates have instead of blood), and then its wings would dry and harden. At that point, the moth can fly. My friend kept it overnight because she thought it would be safer from predators, but let it go the next morning. We had also read that adult moths only live for about a week, and because they don't have any mouth parts, they don't eat, and really just mate and lay eggs during their brief life. She didn't want this poor moth missing out on anything!

We think this one is female because its antennae aren't very large. Males have much larger and more feathery antennae, the better to "smell" the pheromones released by the females. So fly free and lay eggs, Lady Luna. I'm going to be keeping an eye out for luna moth caterpillars and cocoons this summer and fall. This is something I'd love to see again!

Here's hoping you get to experience some lovely natural blessings during this long weekend!
Just to let you know: Blogger has stopped emailing me when people comment. This seems to be the case for everyone on the platform, and I really hope that this is fixed soon, but it doesn't seem to be anything that I can remedy myself. Please know that I do read, value, and appreciate all of your comments. I hope this issue is short-lived and I hope to be able to reply to you very soon!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Three on Thursday

Joining Kat and Carole for Three on Thursday, and today it's with three things I learned this week.

This is the back of a chair in a library I recently visited. It doesn't have anything to do with the post, but I needed a photo.
  I think it's really interesting and reminds me of Peter Max posters I had in the 60s and 70s.

1.  I learned that TIL is an acronym for "today I learned" (thanks to my kids).

2.  The Dunning-Kruger effect can explain so much! Simply put, it says that sometimes we are just too ignorant to even be able to assess or understand how ignorant we really are. We don't know what we don't know, and this can lead people (and I include myself) to overestimate their capabilities. I've had a week full of examples of the Dunning-Kruger cognitive bias!

3.  "Illusory Superiority" is another interesting term I learned while reading about Dunning-Kruger. It's just what it says, a tendency to overestimate our positive qualities and abilities and underestimate our negative qualities relative to others. Think Lake Wobegon, where “all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average." John and I have had fun this week, calling each other on our own illusory superiorities. It turns out that he may not know as much about knitting as he thinks he does (when he picked up my Match & Move and tried a few stitches), and I don't know as much about running an air compressor as I thought I did. Luckily neither one of us ruined anything with our illusions of superior knowledge, but it was a distinct possibility!

Head on over here to read more Three on Thursday posts.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Unraveled Wednesday

Joining Kat and friends for Unraveled Wednesday.

We had some really big thunderstorms last night, so everything outdoors is still soaking wet. The best way I could think of to show my current Match & Move progress is with Justin's rattlesnake from TX that I had previously "blocked" and hung.

After ripping out too many rows and sections, something finally clicked in my brain, and now I seem to be able to consistently remember the ssk and kfbs. I will soon switch to Body Pattern II, and that will be something new to remember, but I think I'm up to the challenge.

Reading has slowed down a bit, but that is mostly my own doing. I was ready to jump right into Winter after I read Autumn, but decided to "save" it for Summer Book Bingo. I finished The Crow Trap, the first in the Vera Stanhope series, but am waiting to start the next one, Telling Tales, until SBB officially begins. The Vera series could possibly work for three squares on my card, so hopefully I'll fill at least four squares - three with Vera and "with a cover that matches a current wip". I'm quite excited about that last square!

I am currently listening to Michael Pollan's How to Change Your Mind. I've read many of his other books and had decided to skip this one, but then I heard Terry Gross interview him on Fresh Air and I was hooked. He has a wonderful voice for narration, an intense curiosity, and is an excellent researcher and writer, all of which work together to make a pretty good book so far. 

What are you making and reading this week?

Monday, May 21, 2018

Bits and Pieces from the Weekend

This weekend was nice, normal, and best of all, spent at home and not house-hunting in DE. We've looked at pretty much everything in our price range that is worth looking at, so we took this time to regroup, plan our next visit, and recover a bit from the disheartening and disappointing search. Instead of traipsing around looking at houses with termites and septic drain field problems, buckled hardwood flooring because of a roof leak, or ungrounded two-prong electrical sockets throughout, I watched it rain for most of Saturday.

I've often wished for a water feature, but I wasn't thinking of a small pond in the middle of the garden. 

I forgot about the royal wedding, and by the time I remembered, Justin had claimed our only TV to play a video game (on my X Box!). That was okay; I watched plenty of it on line, while I made chocolate chip cookies for Justin who wondered "why we didn't have anything good for breakfast."

Sunday was cloudy but not raining, so I could at least get out and mow the jungle that the yard had become, and take a look at my orchid cactus blooming on the porch.

I also spied the first blossom on my lime tree, and will be hoping for more.

And most importantly, I found time to make Squirrel Stop 2.0™. It's not pretty, but I think screening will work much better than a soggy, damp paper plate. I do hope the squirrels don't get clever enough to chew on the rubber band holding the screen, but for now I'm winning. 

I hope your weekend also had plenty of fine and lovely moments.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Enough/Not Enough

The word I chose for this year is Enough. I mull over enough on most days and have come to discover that there are many different meanings of the word, an almost infinite number of situations in which I could exclaim, "Enough!", and an equal number of situations in which it would be appropriate to quietly whisper, "enough". This week Kym was very kind to share a poem with me entitled Enough by David Whyte. 

Enough. These few words are enough.
If not these words, this breath.
If not this breath, this sitting here.
This opening to the life
we have refused
again and again
until now.
Until now.
~David Whyte, Where Many Rivers Meet

Interestingly enough, while I was searching for more about David Whyte, I came across this from the same volume:
It is Not Enough
It is not enough to know.
It is not enough to follow
the inward road conversing in secret.

It is not enough to see straight ahead,
to gaze at the unborn
thinking the silence belongs to you.

It is not enough to hear
even the tiniest edge of rain.

You must go to the place
where everything waits,
there, when you finally rest,
even one word will do,
one word or the palm of your hand
turning outward
in the gesture of gift.

And now we are truly afraid
to find the great silence
asking so little.

One word, one word only.

~David Whyte, Where Many Rivers Meet


Enough vs. not enough. Here's hoping you find the middle ground that is just right for you. 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Three on Thursday

Joining Kat and Carole for Three on Thursday, and today it's with three interesting little things I saw this week.

The fortunes from our local Chinese place have been going downhill, but so far, the ones from DE don't even make sense (to me, anyway).

John wondered if "Moisted" is a word. It is not. 

This one is my favorite from Justin. My kids know me well; I'm all about protecting the furniture. :-)

Head on over here to read more Three on Thursday posts.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Unraveled Wednesday

Joining Kat and friends for Unraveled Wednesday.

It's the same Match & Move, just in a slightly different location (brighter, more reflective, and with a glimpse of another "interesting" hotel carpet). I've had more KWW (knitting while waiting) time, without any unraveling, so progress continues slowly but surely.

I've also had plenty of driving (thus listening) time, so I finished Autumn, and just started Winter. Autumn was so good that I decided to save Winter for a little while, and listen to the first novel in the Vera Stanhope series, The Crow Trap, on the drive down to Delaware. I'm well over halfway and Vera has only made one almost incognito appearance, but the story is quite good. There is an added bonus; it looks like the books in the Vera series might even fit easily into three squares on my Summer Book Bingo card. 

Because of time constraints this summer, I think my approach to Book Bingo is going to be different than in previous years. I've always pressured myself to achieve a cover-all on my card, but I wonder why? This summer is going to be about reading when I can, looking for interesting books that might fit into squares, but with no stress about how many books I read or squares I cover. Book Bingo will be a fun way to record what I read, with no pressure to read things I don’t want to. 

What are you making and reading this week?