Saturday, April 19, 2014

Might Be A Laze-ish Day

Or might not.  I need to bake the pie(s) for tomorrow's Easter feast and I need to finish the booties I plan to give LC for Easter, and I still haven't made the lentil soup I've had a hankering for, that might all get done today.  Well, some of it HAS to get done today, the soup can wait but only til tomorrow because then comes Monday which is a work day and I have to have lunch then, and then Durwood told me that Aldi has strawberries and pineapple on special this week so I probably should go there and get that for lunch fruit.  Yeah, I don't see any more of today being laze-ish, do you?

One of these days I'll figure out how to lay around and not do anything.  Maybe.  Probably not.  There are just too many things I want to do, like to do, to waste a day lolling around on the couch or zoned out in front of the TV.  I feel kind of guilty if I only watch TV, if I don't knit or crochet or something while I'm sitting there.  Seems like a waste of time to just sit and let the box entertain me.  Maybe I'll figure out how to do that--one of these days.  Anybody got any tips?

April 19--Michele da Verona--Madonna and Child with Saints Roch and Sebastian.  

Such a serious baby
is this Italian Jesus
with his dark curly hair
and little toga.
He blesses a trussed up
saint
while another sad man
looks on.
Did the baby Jesus
understand who he was?
Does anyone?
~~~~~

And that's it for me today.  The sun's out and the sky's blue, looks like a good day.  Time to pie, yarn, fruit, and soup.
--Barbara

Friday, April 18, 2014

Hand-Me-Ups & Downs

When I stopped at LC's house yesterday DIL1 gave me (back) this apron.  Aunt B had embroidered it for Mom in 1970, I handed it off to DIL1 when Mom passed (because she keeps chickens), and she handed it back to me saying, "it'll just live in a box here, you should have it" so I brought it home.  I'm thinking maybe I'll tack the pretty part on a stretcher and hang it on the kitchen/dinette wall to enjoy it so it doesn't spend its whole life in a box.


Then I was thinking I needed to buy an interesting mat or something fun for LC to have tummy time on when she's here, but inspiration struck on my drive home.  I asked Mom to crochet an afghan for DS in 1979, it's bright and colorful, and has tails and ears and pockets to play with, and (even better) I knew exactly where it was.  See?  I went downstairs this morning and laid my hands right on it.  Voila!  Just as cute as I remember and ready to be spit up on, drooled on, etc.

The darned juncos are still here!  It's April 18, well into Spring, and there they still are, pecking away at the fallen seed under the feeder.  Why don't they fly away north where they belong?  Is it going to stay cold forever?  I'm really getting tired of my winter coat.  A cardinal visited the platform feeder for a second too, a bright spot on a dreary day.

There was enough time between customers yesterday for me to finish crocheting all the parts for the booties I want to finish by Sunday, now all I have to do is sew all the parts together so I can put on the finishing touches.  I've got plenty of time.

April 18--Vivienne Westwood, "Propaganda" Dress.  

Yards and yards
and yards of Barbie pink
silk taffeta,
bell-skirted,
off the shoulder,
every little girly-girl's
dream of a dress,
swooped and gathered,
boned and crinolined,
a once-in-a-lifetime dress
for a once-in-a-lifetime
night.
~~~~~

It's prom season and all the little girls are playing dress up like crazy even if most of them dress up to look like tarts, not Barbie.  How sad, don't you think?  They seem not to be allowed to be little girls for long these days.  "These days," tsk, I sure sound old.  I'll be gathering up my cane and walker and getting on with my day.  Ha-cha-cha-cha.
--Barbara

Thursday, April 17, 2014

It's Getting Dark Again

And something's falling from the sky, not rain, not snow, something in between and it's windy besides.  Evidently it's snowed or freezing rained a lot Up North because the crawl under the local news-talkers is all filled with schools delayed or closed today.  We are in Winter's grip and she's not letting go.  Send help... send heat... send sunshine!

I don't have anything interesting to say today or to show you pictures of.  I had a few customers yesterday, Mr. & Mrs. Boss came in for a short visit, and I worked on the booties, there's not much different to see because I just finished the first "pelt" and started the second one.  Maybe I'll get them finished by Sunday after all.  (now I probably jinxed myself *shrugs* oh well)


The other day we noticed that a Downy Woodpecker has come back to the suet feeder.  She's little but fierce, not much can scare her off the feeder.  I can tell she's a girl because there's no red patch on her nape.  And there are still a few juncos around, evidently they didn't get the Spring migration memo.  Git along, little birdies, git along!  You've got Winter pinned here, maybe if you fly away Winter will go with you.

April 17--George W. Jamison & William Rose, Brooch.  

Soft white conch shell
carved in profile,
set in gold.
"The Union
It Must
and Shall Be
Preserved"
Hot words,
sentiment in gilt
on black enamel,
History made immediate
by the fingerprint
on the clasp.
~~~~~

Man, it's a dreary day.  Good thing I get to stop to snuggle LC on my way home from work today.  Holding that tiny body's a real tonic on a crappy day, even if it is her fussy time then.  Time to make a run at Thursday.
--Barbara

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Sky Was Clear For a Minute There

Clear and blue and sunny but the clouds powered up and shut that right down.  It was clear when the sun was just coming up, see?  Then within 45 minutes--poof!--cloudy sky, dreary day.  Is this the day it's supposed to snow and rain?  Oh no, it's the first of FOUR days when it's supposed to snow and rain.  Good times.

The other day I noticed that the hyacinth closest to the corner of the porch and house facade had sent up a couple flower buds.  This morning I took a look to see how they're doing and found this.  They've drooped over so they're as close to the ground as they can get and still be above it.  Poor things.  When I parked on the street next to the maple tree yesterday I saw that there are sap-cicles on it.  That's right, even in the middle of the day it's not warm enough to keep the dripping sap from freezing.  They're cute (sorta) and worth a photo and mention here but I'd rather see a wet place on the bark.  Really.  Stand-y-up hyacinths too.  Rather see those too.

I made good progress on crocheted bootee #1 yesterday, don't you think?  I figure, if it stays as cold as it is, today I might just finish it at work, then I'd have 3 full days to make bootee #2.  I have hopes. (looks like a rat pelt, though, doesn't it?  I assure you, it isn't, not even close.)

It's trash day but I didn't roll out the new trash bin because we only have about a bag of trash and even the smaller bin is big enough that I could probably rent it out as a studio apartment and I'm not moving the snowblower so I can get it out of the garage for one little bag, no, I am not.  I supposed I'll think differently in the summer when the garbage will have a mind of its own (especially in the aroma department) but right now when it's frozen it can live in the garage for an extra week.  I'll take it out next week when it's recycling week and that bin will be full too.  (I am certain you were just panting to learn that.  Sorry, it's early, I ramble.)

April 16--John Singer Sargent, Mr. & Mrs. I.N. Phelps Stokes.  

Edith and Iggy
were meant for each other,
together from cradle to grave.
Nursery playroom adversaries,
grammar school playground allies,
reluctant partners
at Miss Sylvia's School of the Dance cotillions.
Second cousins
on their fathers' sides
and distant relatives
on their mothers',
Iggy was awkward
and a thinker,
Edith shone like the sun,
a suffragist firebrand,
she kept his bookish life
alive.
~~~~~

 I want to meet her, just from seeing her portrait, I'll bet she had interesting things to say.  I feel kind of droopy today like the hyacinths out front.  Maybe a nice bowl of Cheerios and a banana will cheer me up.  We'll see.  Stay warm today, unless it's warm where you are and if it is, then pbbt!
--Barbara

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Footsteps In The Night

All over the snowy patio there are critter prints--bunnies, squirrels, birds--but you can see that the grass is greening and the snow is melting.  It's supposed to be chilly all week and Durwood said that another snowstorm's on its way (boo!) but right now the sun's out so it's good.

When I stopped into Copps grocery the other day they'd gotten a special deal on spring bulbs and all they had left were hyacinths, a big pot with 3 big flower stalks for only $7 and they smelled divine.  I got some.  Wouldn't you?  Of course you would.  Besides hyacinths were Dad's favorite spring flower.

Yesterday it was pretty quiet at work for long stretches so I got a bunch of rows knitted on the burp cloth.  Then I thought about my car knitting warshrag that is also made with cotton yarn and has slipped stitches on the front AND that I'd not stopped when I hit dishcloth size meaning to make a hand towel-ish thing--that would make a perfect burp cloth too so I hauled it into the house when I got home, finished the last bit, and bound it off.  Voila!  (which always makes me think of my mother-in-law Viola)  Burp cloth finis.  And because I can't have just a couple WIPs going I started a pair of crocheted booties for LC that should be hilarious.  Can't wait to see them finished.  Not that I have to hurry because it shows no signs of being too warm for booties anytime soon but I want to see if I can't get them done for the weekend.  Crochet faster, Barbara, get hooking!

April 15--Il Riccio, Satyr.  

The goat man
is on the move
senses ablaze
frozen in bronze.
Fully horned,
he travels erect
on cloven hooves,
wine on one hip,
seashell on a shoulder,
food and drink
for his sensual feast.
~~~~~

Okay, then, I'm off to find a day-off kind of breakfast or some cereal, then to the bank to cash my check, to the nail salon for a fill, swap out the old Time Warner modem for a faster one so our bill goes down, then home to crochet away the day watching shows I've DVR'd.  Hasta la vista, babies.
--Barbara

Monday, April 14, 2014

Good Thing I Didn't Put My Boots Away...


because it's snowing.  Yep, right now the snow is falling and piling up out there.  Piling up on every tree branch and twig.  Covering Beverly's cheerful red paint.  Even sticking to my Menopausal Goddess sculpture that I rehung yesterday after getting her a new swivel to hang from (she breaks them at least once a year, this last time at least she didn't bend herself when she fell--whew), I'm happy to see her back out there even if she is covered with snow.


I've been looking all over Hell and half of Georgia to find burp cloths that are gender-neutral to have on hand when LC visits.  Target didn't have them, Walmart either, Kmart didn't, neither did Shopko.  I'll admit that I've been avoiding going to Toys R Us because I knew I'd find something so cute I'd have to buy it even if it wasn't close to what I want.  So I marched up and down the baby aisles in Walmart yesterday determined to find something.  All of the packaged burp cloths were either pink with flowers and hearts or blue with baseballs and dogs.  Now LC will like dogs, I'm sure of it, but still they were just too sporty and boy-ish for me.  They had packs of printed or colored prefolded cloth diapers that I almost bought but they were the gauze kind that never looks soft to me AND they were either boy or girl--no green and yellow, but they did have a raft of flannel receiving blankets, some gender neutral.  It took me a few times going forth and back to realize that in addition to the terry cloth burp cloths they had flannel ones.  *forehead, slap*  I have sewing machines and cutting tools, I could buy the ones I liked (because there was one package I did like), cut them to the size I wanted, and serge the edges together.  So that's what I did, see?

Yesterday I also went down into my lair, uh, studio and put together my interpretation of this month's Art Challenge from MH & DG--When Art Attacks.  I'd found a creepy crocheted clown doll (for $1) in the Sister Bay thrift store last month that was the center of all my ideas.  I dragged out some very cheap watercolor brushes, picked one, and cut its handle in half on the bandsaw.  I shoved the cut end onto the blade a few times so it'd be jagged, then I dipped the cut ends into red paint so it'd look bloody.  Then I wet a piece of watercolor paper, painted multi-colored stripes, dipped other brushes in other colors to artfully fling on the table, wiped some red paint on a paper towel for background.  I cut a triangle of wood to use for a prop, then shoved the cut end of the brush under the clown's arm so that he looks impaled on it.  So When Art Attacks--Clowns Get Hurt.  I like it; not as much as I like the Icarus in the Stars mobile I made last month and it isn't something permanent like the mobile but these challenges are doing just that, challenging my creativity and I really like it.  Really.

And I did make waffles yesterday, I even made the last of the batter at lunchtime, grated some pepper jack cheese onto it and shoved it under the broiler for a couple minutes.  It was a waffle day.  Yum.

April 14--Paul Klee, Oriental Pleasure Garden.  

Light so bright
colors like fireworks
burst on the eyes
a confusion of lines
boxes of people
breathing color in
breathing chaos out
black doors to infinity
follow the path
to the central dome
where voices chant
in fear of the dawn
~~~~~

Like I said, I'm glad I didn't put my boots away.  Time to get a move on.  Oh... hey, the sun's trying to come out, we might be saved.
--Barbara

Sunday, April 13, 2014

April Showers Bring May Flowers

What do Mayflowers bring?  Pilgrims!  (sorry, I couldn't resist, I'm a sucker for jokes that were first funny in kindergarten)  We had rain yesterday, quite a bit of it actually, and while it was raining the warm temperatures were skulking away, now it's under 40 degrees, damp, and dreary.  Yeah.  I love Spring with all her mercurial mood swings-- reminds me of me.

To take a break from house tidying and get the smell of Swiffer out of my nose I went to Fleet Farm yesterday (in the rain) to get a bag of safflower seeds for the birdfeeders.  See, squirrels don't like safflower seeds, and I don't think grackles, starlings, or sparrows do either so I thought I'd stop buying the cracked corn with sunflowers seeds that they do like and switch over to a seed that thwarts the squirrels.  We shall see how that works.  I also decided to switch from the finch feed with sunflower bits and niger seed to all niger seed to see if that stops the squirrels from hanging on the finch feeder by their back legs and gnawing the holes bigger to get to the sunflower nuts.  Plus Durwood can always ping them in the heinie with his BB gun which serves two purposes it shoos away the squirrels and gives him a little target practice, er, exercise.

I knitted on the burp cloth after LC took her parents home after supper (which was delicious but didn't get pictured, I was too busy enjoying our guests to take pictures of them or the food) and got a few more inches added on.  I feel like I want to cast on ALL the things today.  Maybe I will and maybe I won't.  I do have to carry out my "When Art Attacks" idea today because Tuesday's the deadline and I've got all the parts assembled so I should do it, now that the Design-A-Thon is over and I have time.  Hmm, maybe that's why I want to cast on a bunch of things...

A couple of the Guild members asked for the recipe of the Carmel Mix I took to the meeting for a snack.  I asked permission of KT who had brought it in December 2012 and shared the recipe, so here it is:

Carmel Mix
In a paper bag put a mixture of Crispix cereal, pretzels, and popcorn, whatever you want, about 17-18 cups of mixture.  Put in less if you want everything coated in carmel.
 
Carmel:
1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
Microwave 2 minutes in large Pyrex mixing cup (at least 4 cup size), stir, microwave 2 minutes more.

Add: 1 teaspoon vanilla
        1 teaspoon baking soda
Stir together well.

Pour carmel over the mixture in the bag and shake it up.  Microwave 90 seconds.  Shake.  Add M&M's. Spread out on wax paper to cool.  Break up to serve.  Store in airtight container.

April 13--France, Plaque with Censing Angels.  

Billowing incense smoke
the rustle of wings
real angels pace
down the aisle
sky blue vestments trailing
like fallen swaths of sky
Devotions wrapped
in fragrant smoke
carried to the rafters
and beyond 
on wings of incense
Halos of light beam
rays of promises
back to the devout
and afraid
~~~~~

Not exactly what I thought about on Friday night but I kind of like it so I'm keeping it.  You enjoy your Sunday.  I think I might go see if Durwood wants waffles.  Doesn't that sound good?
--Barbara