I really enjoyed this movie (Stranger Than Fiction). It has literature, music, baking, romance, heroism, math, and the following deathless exchange:

“I’m going to my needlepoint and revolutionary overthrow group. Wanna come?”
“I left my thimble and my socialist reading material at home.”

I probably have that wrong,  but it was clever.

I watched the movie with my boys and it beguiled the time while I took out all the lovely topstitching at the bottom of my jacket.

When I frog knitting — that is, pull out the stitches, rip-it, rip-it — I usually don’t feel too bad about it. I know that I can do it again.

But my having been able to do that topstitching was a bit of a surprise to me. So it was not easy to take it out. However, once I had taken out the topstitching, it didn’t feel too bad to take out the seam. And once I had taken 31207 007out the seam, I was surprised to discover that the lining was about an inch shorter than the outer fabric.

I have no explanation for why this should be the case, but it does explain the problem.

I now have a very nice jacket again, albeit one with unfinished edges. I will return to the pattern and see whether that facing piece (I thought it was to do with the trim I left off) maybe was of some importance after all.

And I am actually pretty confident that I can do that topstitching again.

Long before that, I skipped the gym in favor of a neighborhood walk to search for signs of spring.31207 006

Actually, it was still cold and dreary. Since I chose to cross the road and go to a neighborhood of undistinguished architecture, there was nothing much to look at besides bare trees and dormant lawns.

I also managed to choose one of those roads where all the dogs have a barking pact, where one of them begins it and they all join in as though the passerby were a basketball game, so that I walked down the road to an ever-growing chorus of maddened barking.

Possibly not the best route for a peaceful morning walk.

31207 003I could hear the woodpeckers over the dogs, though, and there were many other birds doing that aimless tweeting they do.

Here is a dogwood with little buds.

Dogwoods like to wait and bloom all at once, all together, so that we leave our houses one morning with skeletal trees and come home that afternoon to a great cloud of blossom all along the road.

It is one of the best plant tricks around.

There were also, I am sure, snakes moving around.

Once, when my kids were younger and we were homeschooling, we went to the Nature Center at the lake to do31207 004 a signs of spring scavenger hunt. One of the signs is that the snakes start moving around again. Sure enough, as we kicked through the leafmold in the forest, a snake crossed our path.  My daughters squealed but I was very happy. It isn’t every time that nature cooperates with one’s lesson plans.

I saw no snakes yesterday morning. I did see the neighbor’s horses frolicking around, but I think they are too far away for you to see them.

And I did see some lamb’s ears. This sort of lettuce-shaped stuff is so fuzzy and soft that you want to pet it, and you can, too, since it is a plant and cannot run away from you.

31207 005It is a nice sign of spring.

Another early sign of spring was the lines of bags of yard waste out waiting for pickup.

We have a public mulching/composting program here for people who don’t care to do it themselves. And yet folks will fill up paper bags with yard waste every time they clean up their yards.

It irritates me, though I haven’t even cleaned up my yard, so I probably shouldn’t be judging my neighbors.

I got home chilled enough to be inspired to put beef stew in the crockpot, thus setting the stage for a peaceful evening watching a movie with my kids. I must do that more often.