of bitters and meandering mosaics

Bitter meandering?

I’ve been searching the World for the sweater knitting pattern with a Greek motif along the hem that I KNOW I saw somewhere — the picture is in my head and I doubt I made it up. But I searched all of Ravelry, my knitting stash and the knitting books I have and the pattern never revealed itself. Where did the idea come from then?

So in my meandering search through all my files as well as all of Google’s Wide World of Web, I finally stumbled upon the NAME of the pattern in my head. It’s called Mosaic knitting. The specific pattern is a meander. And, there are tutorials. So, I made a swatch. This was quite satisfying, since I’d spent the better part of the rainy (supposed to, but didn’t rain) day. So, now I know how to do that meandering mosaic pattern.

Meanwhile, I have a fridge full of fruit and have wanted to try making more iterations of Bitters. You know, as in Angostura. Last year I made Blueberry from the organic blueberries from Bashaw Valley. This time I wanted to try several flavors, so I spent ANOTHER few hours combing Google for techniques and recipes.

Blueberry Bitters from 2020.

Stumbling Upon is the funnest part of Google and I finally tripped over High Desert Botanicals, which sells some of the weird roots and barks that make bitters bitter. Voila! I have some barks and botanicals on order. High Desert also generously supplied a pdf booklet of recipes, which I promptly downloaded.

Just plain cherries (with pits) from the grocery store. I cut them in half or thirds to better extract the juice and flavor

So today I made Cherry Bitters, Rhubarb Bitters, Blackberry Bitters and Ginger Bitters using 190 Proof Vodka. They’re in the cabinet (a dark place) steeping as we speak. Now I have to remember to Shake A Day for a couple of weeks.

bitters
A herd of bitters bottles in the process of steeping.

Diamond Delights

There I was, trying to take an afternoon nap to shed the persistent headache that’s been muffling my brain for a week. I’d just made the muscle-jerk that portends a fine session of afternoon power sleep when my mind drifted back to the Cubs inning that had just ended.

I started to laugh. And laugh. And laugh. So hard that the cat, who can smell a nap the minute it becomes an idea in my mind, jumped off the bed. I gave up. It’s physically impossible to nap and laugh at the same time.

Javy Baez IS magic and here’s why: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThwJiusfcNs

The part that makes me laugh uproariously is when Javy takes a minute to give the safe sign (he’s not an ump, remember) before he sprints back to first.

don’t believe everything you think

So, I’ve been enjoying the company of this fawn and his mom since late May. I first saw them when the babe was no taller than my cat and wobbling through the woods on his newly-birthed little legs. What a sight that was.

Yesterday at dusk, he was alone on the lawn, but I knew his mom wasn’t far behind. Sure enough, a minute later she stepped from the woods. Imagine my surprise when I saw that she’d grown antlers. Blink. Blink. Really? Get the binoculars (though the couple was quite close). Sure enough. A couple of genuine antlers, complete with forks.

Apparently Mom was off shopping while big brother babysat? I mean, earlier in the summer, I did see the fawn nursing several times. And the dude with the antlers doesn’t have the right equipment for that particular activity.

even during COVID . . .

. . . friends drop by. And sometimes they hang around for a bit.

This dude hung out with me for about three days last week. I would have zoomed in and cropped the photo, but I wanted to remember his littleness. He was mighty minute.

always go

When the water looks like this

there’s no reason not to take a slow, easy trip down the lake. So I packed a cocktail along with a few edibles and jumped on the pontoon. I met only one other boat on my two-hour cruise. Nice having the lake to myself, except for a few fishermen working quietly in the bays.

best boat on the water

OK. Let’s catch up my many thousands of readers with what’s happening with the pontoon project.

With the first coat of thinned-out spar varnish happily lapped up by the bare pristine marine plywood, I applied the required coat of marine wood primer.

I had to tape off the fence and helm. Would have been easier to do the painting without the fence, but I wanted to fish during June and somehow driving the boat around without the rail was very disconcerting. So I opted for the extra work of painting the deck in two stages.

I was finally able to put my roller into some blue paint and get started on the real color of the boat deck.

Yikes. I ended up with this splotchy mess. 🙁 Do I need to resort to carpeting? I added grit (actually pumice) to the paint to prevent it being slippery.

Here’s hoping subsequent coats don’t look like finger painting by a toddler.

It actually turned out pretty good. Hard to get a detailed look because of the sheen, and since it’s not perfect, you don’t really want a detailed look anyway. But, you know what? When I’m boating on Trego Lake? I don’t spend a lot of time looking at the boat deck.

I took a little break in here because of some strange weather — a lot of wind. It’s hard to paint with the boat moving around and also tons of rain, which wreaks havoc with 24-hour-dry-time marine paint. But finally I removed the fence again, parked the boat against the shallow, sandy shore and began painting the sides and back. Five full coats of stuff again.

Finally, with the entire deck painted, I was able to replace the fence and for the first time attach the front part with the gate.

I didn’t have enough of the teal for the front skin, so I improvised. Both sides of the fabric are exposed when the skin is finished and since I had nothing in my stash suitable to show both sides, I sewed together this patterned teal and an off-white.

I cut the patterned vinyl 1/2″ larger than the off-white, spray-glued them together, then top-stitched around the perimeter. This, I hope, will prevent moisture and mold from accumulating between the layers.

Because of its fragile state, and the fact that it takes octopus arms, I waited for Kent and Brenda to be here before I attempted putting on the bimini. I plan to buy a heartier bimini next year. The vinyl on the floor is not attached, so I can easily remove it and hose it off.

I still want to build some unique furniture, which is hard to describe and the helm needs a door on the driver’s side. That should have been done this past week, but it rained. A lot.

No project is ever completely done. That would spoil all the fun. But the boat is very comfortable for now and the motor always starts. Yay.