|Thunder at Dawn (and other stuff)
||[Apr. 30th, 2011|08:43 am]
I was lying there contemplating getting out of bed--not eager at all, as the loud blustery wind woke me at intervals during the night--when a clap of thunder completed the wake-up process. After that, no use to stay in the soft and comfort, and besides, I remembered that R- had left a garden cart with several bales of hay in it in the front yard when I insisted that supper was NOW, not a half hour from now. (We'd been waiting awhile anyway, M- and I.) So he came in, leaving the cart. Only--when I'd put on slippers and zipped out to the back door--he'd evidently remembered after supper to take it around to the barn. No more thunder, no rain (yet, we hope, not "as usual.")
Dry thunderstorms were a feature of the '50s drought, along with interminable stretches between clouds in which the sun simply glared down on us. Clouds would boil up, promising rain, and then--with thunder and lightning and wind that raised clouds of dust that put grit between your teeth--they would blow away somewhere else.
Aside from the one bit of thunder, we now have some clouds that don't show much "structure" (at least to the NW and S) and a peculiar quality to the light outside. It feels damp. The wind is fitful--it was almost still for a few moments, then a gust from this way and then from that...outflow from something, rather than a settled direction. Definitely nothing like yesterday when it blew strongly (very strongly) from the south. And it just (past couple of minutes--got darker, which means a taller, denser cloud has shown up to party.
Meanwhile, with new tires on the car, I can venture down to a big supermarket to get things not available here--I'm past due to make chicken stock, but if we're going to have hail today, I'll stay home and leave it under the carport. The question with stock-making is always whether to go on and make a really BIG batch (the 20 quart pot) or the far more manageable and easier SMALL batch (12 quart pot.) The question with T-storms maybe in the offing is whether to risk a trip or not (having been almost blown off the road, pounded with hail, and blinded with torrential rains in the past...)
Yesterday--when today's forecast didn't include that clap of thunder--I planned to do laundry that should hang on the line. Maybe delaying it improved the chance of rain--if so, it's worth it. Meanwhile, there's tending to my knitting. The knitting project is growing, and no longer looks like a "What on EARTH are you trying to do?" mess on the circular needle. The variegated yarn (and the very forgiving garter stitch) is covering many of the little (!!) errors and less-than-skillful fixes to those errors in the first half-inch to inch of knitting. I'm pleased to see that the errors are diminishing in frequency as my fingers remember more and more of what this is about. Tension (which was pretty dismally uneven on the original practice patches I did with old wool and old needles) has really evened out (though again, the first few rows--not great.)
One of the problems I had to start with is that the size difference between the needle tips and the cable mean that the work had a strong tendency to slither back off the needle tips and onto the smaller diameter cable, where the stitches moved effortlessly. As the work grew, the weight of it also contributed to this backward pull. Last night, late, I thought of the obvious solution, and with a piece of 3x5 card and scissors I made a movable "stop" to put behind the work--sort of like the end on a straight needle. Holding the work closer to the end of the left-hand (feeding) needle made the periodic adjustments much easier and faster. I may go back to straight needles for narrower projects, though.
Then of course there's the writing. The writing progresses, even though it's hit a sluggish area where I need to do as much thinking and note-taking as writing-in-flow. The first three books of Paladin's Legacy--Oath of Fealty, Kings of the North, and Echoes of Betrayal (now in production, not on shelves) all covered less calendar ground than I'd hoped, and finishing the long story arc in two volumes means pushing those two to cover more calendar ground than the first. Figuring out how to do that--when the story wants to come out in a very dense linear string--is taking some time. I know the end point, but which chunks of time can be skimmed over without seeming rushed? If I had world enough and time, I'd write it as it wants to be written and then cut and snip and shape to fit the allowable length. But the way it wants to be written would involve lots more words than I can write before this book has to be turned in. (Hands have issued an ultimatum on words per day.)
And back to weather...looking at the radar, I see nothing likely to dump hail or whirling nasties on us for some hours, so I'm going to make a run to the store while I can. Then home to cook, work on tomorrow's music, the book, and the knitting project.