Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Can I Play Hooky?

It looks like it's going to be a perfect day, warm and sunny. Pretty sure no one really needs dive equipment today. I could just stay home and sit on the patio with my notebook, right? No one would know, right? Right? Oh, all right, I'll go to work. Sheesh, you guys are tough. But first here's what I wrote last night.

March 30--Iles des Saintes, Guadeloupe. Feeling like he had traveled back in time as well as into the tropics, Derek stood on the edge of the road that wound up the hill, and stared at the harbor. Deep blue water filled the generous space ringed by the green hills and punctuated with the white hulls of sailboats. Most of them were fairly small with only one mast but a few of them sported two or even three masts giving them the look of the old ships that carried cargo and passengers. Derek had dreamed since boyhood of leaving his safe life behind to ship out on a ship just like the ones below. His bookcase had been crammed with books about naval battles and explorers, pirates and treasure hunters; tales of adventure on the high seas had filled his dreams. He had learned to sail in college and had crewed in a few races, but graduation and a job had ended those carefree days. He had chose Guadeloupe as a vacation spot because he had read that it was a popular port for sailors and the proof was before him. As soon as he had checked in he'd be off back down the hill prowling the docks and the dockside bars to find where the seafaring men, and women, hung out.

I pulled a muscle in my right thigh or something. It's killing me, and it kept me from working out today. I hate not working out.
--Barbara

You Wish...

you had been at our house for supper last night. I took an eggplant, green and yellow zucchinis, a box of crimini mushrooms, and a big, sweet onion, cut them up and marinated them. I also diced up some chuck steak and marinated it. Walmart had fresh asparagus on sale so we got some of that too. I fired up the grill, charcoal not gas, and grilled it all. We'll skip the eggplant the next time and subsitute a bell pepper, but it was delicious. Hard to weigh the meat per serving, I ended up just guessing, but oh so good.



I've been trying not to knit all the time, to concentrate on my writing more an
d not having a huge amount of success but I've got a new story to work on, the first read-through of my novel done and I started on the first rewrite. More will happen on that this weekend. I have done a little playing with yarn.


I'm slowly working down the foot of Neon Sock #2








and I dug out another pair of washcloths
to turn into a hotpad.











Oh! While I was downstairs to get the washcloths last night, I emptied the dehumidifier and there was a dead mouse or vole (I think it was a vole) either in there or in the deep sink and it got stuck in the drain and I had to fish it out. Uck uck uck. Creeped me right out. Dis. Gusting. And I had so much fun watching a live one forage for spilled birdseed only yesterday afternoon. See? Raul IV is in the yard, DIL. (Leaf in pic for perspective, also I didn't want to scare him off.)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Now It Gets Warm?

It's supposed to hit the 70s by Thursday. It couldn't have done that last week? I'd have been satisfied with a graceful fade from that lofty height, not that I hated the sunny but chilly weather last weekend, but warmer would have made it a bit, well, more comfy walking along the riverwalk. Just sayin'.

It was a rare treat to arise without the assistance of the alarm clock this morning. I'd prefer to get up before 7:00 because then I have more of the day available, but just waking up in my own time is nice too. The street sweeper is making his fourth pass of the morning. Seriously? How dirty can the street be?

March 29--Barbados. The wind was blowing like crazy and the coconuts were falling like bombs. They were so unexpected to someone used the biggest things falling from trees being pine cones. In the Midwest, trees don't grow their own ammo that they toss at you whenever it suits them. Gale lay in the hammock strung between two palms outside her rental villa for all of about a minute. She had climbed aboard with a paperback intending to spend a few hours reading and resting but one look up and her plans changed. She didn't believe for one second that none of the big coconuts clustered way up there under the fronds would not fall. She knew that the wind would blow and the fronds would sway and at least one of those things would come screaming down to land right on her. She lounged on a chaise on the porch and was much more relaxed listening to the irregular plop plop of the gigantic nuts in the sand.

Not exactly what I had in mind, but you get the picture. Have a good day. We're going erranding, Aldi has pineapples for $2. Who can resist?
--Barbara

Monday, March 29, 2010

Back Home

Well, the weekend was short but productive and very relaxing. I think the best part is not having to be concerned about what anyone else wants to do. Lala and I have an agreement; we meet for meals and maybe a walk in the morning, an exercise or two sometime in the day just to oil the skids, but the rest of the day we do what we want--nap, write, walk--whatever we want to do when we want to do it. It's great to have another writer to bounce problems off of at meals. We spent a bunch of time working on a timeline for Lala's story and by yesterday lunchtime she had fixed the problem and finished the story. That made both of us feel great. She helped me let go of a great whack of backstory at the beginning of my novel; getting rid of that let me get started working my way through the second read-through and beginning the first rewrite. I know one thing, Babums and Lala will be back at the Harbor Winds next March for another highly productive weekend.

March 28--Bora-Bora. It had sounded so romantic on the website and it looked perfect. Nell never imagined that the walkway out to the over water bungalows would sway, or that she would be gripped with an almost paralyzing fear when she walked out to their room. The bellman who escorted them was not a small man and Nell's imagination kicked into overdrive. She couldn't erase the mental image of the boards splintering under him and all three of them plunging through the jagged hole. It wasn't even that they were so high above the water of the lagoon; it was six feet at the most. And the sea water under the walkway was crystal clear and less than two feet deep. So her fear couldn't be because of that. It was one of those baseless and unreasonable fears. Naturally she had requested the bungalow furthest from shore. Kent thought she wanted to stay in the room all day to have sex, when really she wanted to keep having sex to avoid having to walk on that rickety walkway. Thank god for room service.

Hmm, isn't that an interesting tangent? Enjoy your day!
--Barbara

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Writing Away

Oh, this is great. It's a whole weekend of Quiet Writing Time. I got all my 2010 prompt writings read through and saved the ones that have possibilities into Word docs, I even found a few that relate to each other making each one better, and I plowed farther into my novel manuscript, getting more scene cards filled out. Even if I do nothing more with the cards, I've found places that need elaboration or expansion, and where new scenes need to be slotted in. I'm already turning last night's writing exercise into a story. We took a nice walk down to the lake this morning after an early breakfast. Then we did another exercise before separating to our rooms for more writing. It's all good.

March 26--Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia. Like a bright green carpet the grass stretched into the distance toward the spikes of fir trees on the horizon. Moira saw the clouds sink to shroud the tops of the distant mountains and hoped they didn't keep coming. Right now it was sunny and a little warm. Just right for hiking. She had unzipped her fleece jacket and pulled off her hat. She was comfortable, not too hot, not too cold, and her hiking boots were perfectly broken in. She did not need any of the famous Pacific Northwest rain to soak into her clothes and turn her day into a sodden mess. The stream winding its way toward her was shallow and narrow, just barely too wide to leap across with her short legs, and tinted royal blue by the sky. The water was flat as if it weren't moving and it was punctuated by small rocks that stuck up looking like notes on a scale playing the tune of nature.

Well, I descended into trite, but I got the idea about the rocks being musical notes on the page anyway. Maybe some other day in some other story that will have matured into something usable. Write on!
--Barbara

Friday, March 26, 2010

Made It!

We are here, checked in, took a walk, ate a late breakfast, and now we're settling down to write. It's a gorgeous chilly day with a few white clouds in the blue blue sky and the wind's whipping over the lake and down the river. Lovely.

March 25--Shoal Bay, Anguilla. It wasn't the same. The years had not been kind to the beach, Diana thought as she stood in the sand. The first time she had stood on the spot there was one condo building to the right and two bamboo, raw 2 X 4, and palm frond thatched beach bars to the left. The water had been the same vivid turquoise and the sea grapes had sighed and clattered in the wind just as they did today. But the building boom had come to the long white stretch of beach and the sounds of vacationers resounded from every side. The fleet of skiffs moored off the beach, all with their bows turned into the wind, reminded her of horses waiting to run, eager to display their speed, to jump over the waves.

I learned something last night when faced with a familiar place's picture; it's hard to make something up about a place you know. Reality gets in the way.
--Barbara

Thursday, March 25, 2010

One...!

Ta-da-la-la, only one more day and then we go, off to make writing for the weekend. Yippee!

And, naturally, it's gotten colder and windy-er today, in fact, the temp is supposed to drop throughout the day, start at 37 and plummet. Plummet is never a good word when it refers to the weather. Never. But after today it's supposed to warm up a bit for the weekend, so it'll be okay for walking to restaurants and just plain walking which we both like to do. I always hope for nice enough weather to be able to write outside but it might be too chilly for that, I'll settle for it just not raining or snowing, it is still March in Wisconsin, after all.

March 24--Vanua Levu, Fiji. Day after day of blazing sun made Jean long for cool gray misty days and soft rainy nights. This was the last place she ever thought she'd live. Growing up she was never the one among her friends who dreamed of backpacking through Europe or sailing around the tropics. She dreamt of home and hearth, cozy firesides, and walks through pine forests. Instead, she married Bob, a chemist, who got a job with a sugar company. For a few years they had lived in the Midwest where they grew sugar beets. Bob had gotten promoted and they went to Florida where sugar cane grows. It wasn't bad there, at least it was in the States. Jamaica was bad, too far from home and too third world. Jean didn't understand the people who complained about Walmart. In Jamaica and even more now that they were in Fiji, she longed for the convenience and selection at Walmart. She was sick and tired of grocery shopping being an all day, six-store crusade, tired of never knowing what would be on the shelves. Why did she continue to crave simple strawberry jam when mango and guava was all there was in the market? And it was just too bright all the time.

How's that for a new twist on living in the tropics? I'm trying to not be predictable. What are you up to?
--Barbara

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I Didn't Want To Say It Too Loudly...*edited*

...but look. I keep waiting for it to get cold again and for snow or sleet or freezing rain to fall and plunge us back into the depths of winter, but it might not happen.










I finished the knitted hot pad I was working on the other day
,



and I couldn't stop thinking about crocheting more dishcloths together to make more hot pads so I took some to work to play with.





I'm working on sleeve #1 of the Khaki Cardi but it looks the same, so I won't be taking more pictures until progress is more apparent.

I picked up the gusset stitches on Neon Sock #2 and started decreas
ing so I can work down the foot and off the toe,

(I keep looking at that variegated section of the sock leg and remembering a variation I learned in this book, where you designate one color of short-repeat variegated yarn and you purl those stitches when they appear on your needle to be worked, now not when that color shows up in the working yarn, when loops of that color are on the needle to be worked next. I am very tempted to frog back to the edge of the orange and do that, but look how far I am. I'm on the gusset. Once I'm done with this sock, I'll find some other variegated yarn [I have tons of variegated yarn; it's my all-time fave] and cast on another sock, one with an afterthought heel which is a technique I haven't tried yet. So, no, won't be frogging all that work today. Whew. I'm glad I made that decision. I feel better now. It's like when the kids were small and wanted to buy something in every store. I taught them to say "someday can we buy this?" and then I could say, "yes, someday we can" and they were happy that someday we could, but not today, and sometimes it was today but I could endure that "someday" much more easily than "buy me this NOW.")



and I added some rounds to the Rolled Brim hat. I love the yarn; it is the height of delicious feeling yarn. I never understood the enthusiasm people have for yarn that's closer to the sheep, but now I do. This is the best yarn I've ever used. I wish I'd bought all the other skeins that day.









I have to tell you something. I spent at least an hour in each of two local yarn shops yesterday, and I didn't buy a thing. Not one skein of yarn, not one needle. I'm not saying I didn't look around, but I didn't feel like I had to buy something just because I was there. I'm not doing too badly not buying yarn this year. Maybe I'll be able to face my stash without blushing by the end of the year.


Two...

Two more days! Hehehehe. I can't wait. Oh, it's going to be a lovely weekend, I just know it.

Last night I had a severe case of "writer interrupted." My grip on my train of thought was not firm to begin with, and when Durwood came to bed it derailed altogether, my train of thought went off the tracks right into a ravine, never to be seen again.

March 23--Panarea. No cars were allowed on the island. That royally pissed Jeremy off. He didn't like to be told he couldn't have something. He wanted what he wanted when he wanted it, and that was that. But he also wouldn't back down or admit that he should have done a bit more research, or listened to his administrative assistant, namely me, before plunking down what amounted to my annual salary to rent a seaside villa on an island in the Tyrrhenian Sea for a month. I had to go online and search to locate the darned island.

Hmm, but reading it now I kind of like this. Maybe it'll get a bit of attention this weekend.
--Barbara

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Three...

I'm not even going to say why I'm counting down. You already know, and I am certain that you're consumed with jealousy, that you wish you were going along. It would be cruel of me to flaunt it. So I won't.

It's another sunny day and the temp's supposed to get up to 50, way above normal. I am really enjoying it, yes I am. Dusty and I decided that this is the last week we're walking in the mall. Next Tuesday we're going back to the boat launch and walking on the Fox River Trail, unless it's pouring rain or something, that is. It's time to get back out into nature and work on our cardio fitness. Or as Grandma Angermeier would say, "go out and get the stink blowed off." She had a way with words, didn't she?

March 22--Aitutaki Lagoon, Cook Islands.
Celia wants to live in that thin place where the sea touches the sand, wants to feel the constant rhythm of the waves lapping on shore. She sits there whenever she gets the chance feeling the thin border of the two worlds pulse and shift. She knows that it's an impossible wish but one she has clung to for years. When she swims in the lagoon she revels in the silky soft caress of the salt water and she feels the nudge toward the beach as an encouragement to return to her intended, no, her destined place. She floats in on the gentle waves feeling the surge lift her into the shallows and she feels the exact moment when she leaves the weightlessness of the ocean for the gravity of the land, and right there at that moment of shift, that's where she wants to stay. A creature of both worlds, she wears clothes the blues of the ocean when she is on land and makes certain that her swim suits are green and brown so that she carries both worlds with her at all times.

I want to be under the warm sea today, looking down at the world down there and feeling the sticky salt and hot sun on my skin. Oh, I do.
--Barbara


Monday, March 22, 2010

Four More Days...

Four more days until Lala and I run away to write for 3 days. We've been talking about it, emailing about it, and counting down to it for months. And now it's nearly here. I'll be packing up my manuscript, my Alphasmart, my laptop, and a few clothes to leave early on Friday so we can wring as much time out of our stolen weekend as possible. Squee!

March 21--Yaku Shima, Japan. Sue sat in the edge of the surf, her back pressed to the rough rock that thrust into the air like the prow of a ship. The salt water lapped over her feet and lets, trying to draw her away from shore. Each time it covered her it stole another degree of heat from her already chilled body. The day had started well. She and Rogers had met at the cafe in the hotel lobby where they drank coffee and discussed how they would divide the spoils of their day. He wanted an even split but she thought that each of them should keep their own profits. It made not difference now. Robers was nothing more than a pink stain at the bottom of a ravine and if Sesukawa had his way, before long she would be shark food. He had her pinned down and he could wait all day for her to move.

Before you even ask, I have absolutely no idea what Sue and Rogers were up to (stealing? a con?) or why Sesukawa was chasing her and who he was (cop? gangster? rival?). It's exciting though, isn't it?
--Barbara

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Mom, could you please...?

One thing I absolutely love is when my adult children ask me to make something for them. I try very hard not to smother them, not insinuate myself into their lives, so it's especially gratifying when I can do something for them. If you haven't already guessed it, we're a family that loves to make things, and yesterday DS asked if I'd make something for them. DIL caters a luncheon for the local Y every once in a while and last week it was her turn. DS went along to help and he said there were no hot pads to protect the tables from hot serving dishes, so he asked if I would please make some that they could donate. Of course! I immediately went online and found a pattern for a nice thick hot pad, then went downstairs to rifle my cotton yarn to find the right one, and cast on right away.


It occurred to me that DS and DIL will be leaving Missoula in a couple of months so I don't have the luxury of unlimited time to complete these. I had a brainstorm. I double-checked my idea with DD this morning and got her input, and she agreed that this was a viable alternative. See, a few years ago I had the idea to try and corner the crocheted dishcloth market, made a blue million of them, and took them to a fall craft fair that Mom and a friend of hers were in. We sat all day
and barely sold anything; I think I sold maybe six of them, mostly to Mom's bridge friends, and I wasn't asking an arm and a leg. Oh well, I thought at the time, there's a good idea gone bad, so I've been gifting them to writing friends, visiting relatives, unsuspecting knitting pals, and anyone else who slows down near me for the last couple years. I'm down to about a dozen, so I thought why not put two together back to back and crochet around them to make a double-thickness. That's what I did this afternoon, and they turned out nicely.

Now all I need to do is finish the knitted one (about 3 more inches to go) and then I want to make one more square one using Tunisian crochet, and then I can send them off to Montana.

I'll say it again, I love it when my kids want me to make something for them. Makes me feel good.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

It's Saturday and I'm Bored

I want to do something today and I don't know what. It's too chilly out for a trip to the zoo or wildlife sanctuary or botanical gardens. I don't have the money to go on a shopping spree. Durwood and I are considering going to the museum (they've got a spider exhibit) but it'll have to be after noon because there's a "tea party" at a park near there. Maybe I'll take a shower and then... clean the bathroom? Knit? Sew a bigger DPN roll? Flop on the couch and pout? Spring fever, anyone?


March 19--Komodo Island, Indonesia.
The sky was white in the midday heat. Asturia as still on the porch; she appreciated the deep shade and wished for a breeze. She felt the humidity gather at the back of her neck and behind her knees. If there had been any air stirring it would have cooled her but as it was she felt breathless in the heat. It was maybe a dozen steps from where she sat into the sea, a step or two off the porch and then across the pale tan sand and into the water. This time of year the shallows were so overheated by the relentless sun that it was like sinking into a large salty bath, not refreshing, not cooling, not worth the effort. Maybe she could get Juan to get up and turn on the ceiling fan. She would endure the rhythmic squeak of it in exchange for moving air.


What are Asturia and Juan doing on that god-forsaken island? Dunno.
--Barbara

Emma's Bear *edited*


I finished and stuffed the bear last night at FNKC. I bought the softest, cooshiest stuffing called Cluster Stuff at Hobby Lobby the other night and it's amazing. I packed a lot of it into the bear and it didn't compact or lose its resilience. The consensus of the knitting crowd last night was that I needed to knit the bear a scarf, and there was a scarf pattern conveniently included with the bear pattern. When I got home I pulled out some smaller needles and cast on, but got to the third row and realized that it wasn't making sense, so I decided to just cast on a bunch of stitches and knit every row (the long way) until it was the size I wanted. I like it. It looks exactly the way I wanted it to. So does the bear.

Anyone got any ideas for a name?

I'm thinking maybe Lucy, a girl bear for a girl baby.



Friday, March 19, 2010

Bear!

I'm having a blast knitting this teddy bear. I got the single piece finished around noon, then I embroidered on the face, and clipped it together. Next I have to sew up the sides, sew across the head corners to make ears, and stuff it. So that it doesn't look like "Lineman Bear" you sew a running stitch around where the head grows off the top of the arms and cinch it in, then you finish stuffing it and sew up the crotch. It's kind of like yarn origami.









While we were
working the crossword puzzle this morning, Durwood said, "Duck!" I looked up, wondering if his mental train had finally derailed since there was nothing flying through the dining area, but he pointed out the patio doors and there were Mr. and Mrs. Mallard having breakfast. They were so cute; first she'd eat and he'd keep watch, then they'd switch. They stayed for about 10 minutes and then flew off. If it's anything like last year, they'll be back for a snack almost daily.









Still Warm-ish

I can see that we're sliding back into late-winter mode today. It's overcast and not nearly as warm, supposed to rain tonight and Saturday night too. That's okay, the farmers need rain because we didn't have enough snow to replenish the ground water. I went out with a shovel and spread out the last patch of snow so it melts faster, and encouraged the daffodils and hyacinths. I'm sure they heard me.

Last night I was the only one at writer's so I spent the time working to make scene cards and to decide what other things I need to write to make the story fuller. I'm glad I went anyway instead of just coming home after work and frittering away those hours. Frittering, that's a good word, and I could eat a fritter (or six) right now. Mm, how about some nice corn fritters? Mom used to make those and they're so good, I could eat a plateful.

March 18--Bermuda. Geneva wouldn't trade her view from Gibbs Hill for anything. She had friends who complained about the long drive up the hill to get to her house. They consoled themselves with comparisons of how short their walk to the beach was and how convenient it was for them to get to the market or the clinic or to church. "Oh you poor thing," one of her lady friends would say, "it must take you forever to get your errands done, Geneva dear. You should sell up and move closer to town." Regularly one of them would call with the news that a cottage on their street or an apartment in their complex had become available. Geneva would thank them for thinking of her and put it right out of her mind. Nothing short of death would pry her out of her hilltop home. In the peak of the summer's heat she always had a breeze, and her view was beyond compare. The blue water, green foliage, and bright white buildings were so perfect-looking from her high perch that it was as if she were the custodian of a model island unsullied by humans. No, she wasn't going to move, not for love nor money.

It was a pretty picture. I'm in a rotten mood. That is all.
--Barbara

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Startitis Season

It's spring. Or, at least, it's spring-ish. And I want to make things. No, that's not right, I want to make EVERYTHING. Right now. All at once.

Yesterday at work I decided that I wanted to make a toy, a teddy, for Baby Emma, Paul and Katie's newborn. Last Friday at FNKC Jill was knitting a 2-piece bear on big needles with 2 strands of worsted. Naturally I didn't know how to contact Jill to find out what pattern she was using so I sent out a call on Facebook, and searched on Knitting Pattern Central where I foun
d this. It's made in one piece, you just start at the front toes, knit one leg, cut the yarn and keep the stitches live, knit the other leg, then knit across both legs and up the body until you cast on for the arms over the next 2 rows, knit the arms, bind off the arms over 2 rows (that's where I am), then you knit the head-front and back, before knitting your way back down the back in reverse order. I didn't cast on until after 9 PM and I knit on it until 11; you can see how far I got so it goes fast. (Maybe I'd better take some fiberfill to work with me so I can stuff it, oh, and I have to dig out a little ball of black so I can embroider its features.) I'm anxious to see how it turns out, I think it'll be very cute and cuddly.

Jackhammer Morning

Usually I don't mind living so close to a major road, but they're redoing that road this spring/summer. I could already hear a jackhammer before 7 AM. Hmm, that might be a problem when it's open window season, and we'll probably get the aroma of tar too. O, happy days.

I got phone calls yesterday evening from my writing group mates saying that neither of them can make it to our meeting tonight. At first I was totally bummed about it, but this morning I think I'm going to take my manuscript and go anyway. I can sit in the cafe and work on my scene cards and preserve those 2 hours as dedicated writing time even if I'm the only one there. So there. I'm sending vibes out into the ether hoping to attract a new member or two; we need some new blood, new energy to perk us up. So if you know a dedicated, enthusiastic writer in or near Green Bay, Wisconsin working to get published and looking for a weekly writing group, let us know. Please.

March 17--Ilnacullin, Ireland. "I feel like frickin' Rapunzel," Fiona said, standing on the balcony. "Oh, for God's sake," her mother said, "don't let Auntie Minerva hear you. And go put on something that isn't torn, we're going to church." Fiona rolled her eyes at the gorgeous view across the lake to the mountains but she went back into the room to change. She hadn't wanted to come, hadn't wanted to leave her friends for two weeks as soon as school was out to ride three different trains, a bus, and a ferry to get to her mother's great-aunt's house which was up on a hill on a tiny island in Ireland. Her mother, the only child of the never-married Minerva's favorite niece, had been insistent that she come "and enjoy yourself, dammit, or else." Fiona nearly burst out laughing at that. She might be fourteen, with all the jumbled emotions that entails, but she still had a well-developed sense of the absurd. Her mother only sniffed when she appeared downstairs in the sitting room in a long gray skirt topped with a darker gray sweater, and glaring orange Converse hi-tops peeking out from the hem. "What?" Fiona said, "none of it is ripped." Her mother shook her head, and Auntie Minerva gave her a wink.

I think we might like Auntie Minerva, don't you? Perhaps mother will go home leaving Fiona behind. A family emergency maybe? We'll put a star by this one. Enjoy what they're saying will be the last warm and sunny day for a while. Tomorrow they're threatening rain and snow by nightfall. Dun-dun-dunnnnn.
--Barbara


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Trouble Getting Started

Have you even had times when you're there at the page, pencil in hand, and nothing happens? That's what happened to me last night; there I was, ready, admiring the pretty picture of the day, and nothing, nada, nil, bupkis. The paper stayed blank and I turned off the light in disgust, despair, and disappointment. No right moment came at work today, so I decided to take advantage of the gorgeous, spring-like sunshine and warmth when I got home and sat on the porch to see if I'd have any luck. Lo and behold, a few words sneaked out the end of the pencil and landed on the page. Whew.

March 16--Santorini.
The hot Greek sun beat down, pounding itself into the dark gray paving stones and reflecting off the whitewashed villa walls. The caretaker had painted the doors and railings a vivid blue that made the white look even whiter. Elaine paused to enjoy the red rose climbing beside the door each time she arrived, whether she had been away an hour, an afternoon, or a season. She measured her success by her ability to keep coming back to the island and this little slice of perfection. No matter how chaotic her life became the picture of this doorway and roses was always ready in her mind to smooth out the rough places and remind her why she worked so hard and put up with all the crap of corporate life.

It's not long and it's not wonderful, but it is writing.
--Barbara

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Still No Sales Resistance

After walking a couple miles in the mall today, Dusty and I went to Loops and Links to check out the Wall O'Savings to see if there was anything we wanted to go back to buy tomorrow when there's 50% off. Neither of us found any sale yarn we wanted to buy, but I did find one little skein of Dream in Color Classy in the In Vino Veritas color. Mmm. I don't really like red wine, but I do like this. Gawdjus!






Then I had this coupon, see, for 40% off something at JoAnn, and I felt like I've let so many coupons expire in my quest to not buy much yarn-y stuff this year that I was really needing to just look around and maybe buy something because that's a big discount, 40%. I found a couple of books and this one looked like the better of the two. Hey, I got nearly ten bucks off! So worth it. There's some cool looking patterns in there, but the best thing is that there are a half dozen different basic sock patterns, different heels and toes, other construction methods. Excellent all-around info.






For the first time making socks, I had to tink the heel turning of Neon Sock #2 four times tonight. Four times! But I finally managed to get it done. It's not the tidiest job but it'll be stuck in my shoe anyway so no one will see it. And now I can pick up the gusset stitches and get on with the foot.



Yesterday I cast on a rolled brim hat in the super-delicious Shetland lamb and merino & the Merino and Alpaca yarns from the fiber sale last fall. I think it's going to be a great hat.

Miles Today

My friend, Dusty, and I walked a couple miles in the mall this morning. It's fun to walk with someone to talk to, but I can't wait until we can walk outdoors again. I suppose we could have walked outside today but we're not sure that the snow has melted off our favorite route along the river and I'm betting that it is appreciably cooler down there with the wind blowing across that cold water. Brrr. For now we can be content with laps around the mall with the headless mannequins in the windows all dressed up with no place to go.


March 15--Orient Beach, St. Martin.
It was an amazing display of precision flying, we all agreed. Few pilots would be skilled enough to accomplish it. We sat on the porch of our beach cottage every morning and watched in awe at his skill and precision. The back porch shower head of the cottage across from our dripped, not a big drip and not constantly, but it dripped regularly and consistently. In that arid place with limited fresh water the local fauna was not about to let the opportunity go to waste. Lizards came, as did the little black and yellow sugar birds that were such accomplished beggars for crumbs whenever we ate outdoors, but the most astonishing drinker at the slowly dripping shower head was a male hummingbird. He flew in, buzzing by like a large bee, stopped and hovered, waiting until the perfect moment when the next drop fell. He'd swoop in and fly straight up, positioning himself so that the drip dropped right in his beak. Perfect every time. We never tired of watching.

And that's a true story.
--Barbara

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sunny Payday

Two things about today make me happy--it's payday and the sun's out. I'd be just as happy if it were cold, the fact that it's warm too is a bonus. Did you have a good weekend? I did. I got a bit of writing work done and worked on my knitting projects. I also went out in the backyard and picked up the trash that Friday and Saturday's wind blew into the yard (no $100 bills this time, tho), and I took out the crowbar and twisted the flamingo tie-downs out, then I got the hand clippers and cut down the rose canes and any other tall stems that survived the winter. It was so great to be out in the sun and soft air for a bit. Durwood wants to hire someone to rake our lawn and the rental side too. Anybody know a kid?

March 14--Maldives. It looks like a tiny white smear on the blue. Malia crosses the room to look at the framed photo. She thinks it has to be computer generated or at least enhanced; no place on Earth is that perfect. The pale clear blue-green of the sea that ripples just a bit as if the viewer has dropped a pebble draws you in, pulls you toward that sugar sand beach. The islet, too small to be called an island, is maybe an acre in size and barely six feet above sea level. Malia is certain that waves wash over it most of the time. The tuft of three palms that spurts from a clump of greenery in the center look fake they're so exactly right, and the wispy white clouds in the dark blue sky are also too perfect to be real. She stands there angry at the picture for its taunting serenity, her arms wrapped around herself, tears coursing down her cheeks. The receptionist clears her throat and says, "Ms. Gallagher, the doctor will see you now."

Hmm, wonder what's got her in a twist? Is she seeing a shrink or an oncologist? Maybe a vet. I don't know, but perhaps I'll look into it later. Enjoy your day.
--Barbara

P.S. Guess I'd better explain about the $100 bill. The first spring we lived back in the duplex I went out after work one evening to pick up the blown-in trash from the office building dumpsters behind our block. In the garden I saw Ben Franklin looking up at me. Thinking I'd find an ad for a carwash or something on the back I picked it up. On the back was Independence Hall just like it's supposed to be. It was a REAL $100 BILL!!! We live a block from a bank so I wondered if it had sprung a leak. There was no way for me to find the owner so I kept it. I resolved not to use it for paying bills or buying groceries, I took it with me to the outlet mall in Oshkosh and bought myself a couple of leather purses that I still use 6 years later. Not a bad haul for a half-hour's stoop labor, eh?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sun's Out!

Yay, the sun came out again. It was a long time foggy, 4 or 5 days with no relief, it's about damn time the sun comes back out. My "full spectrum" lamps got a real workout last week.

Another good thing today is that I was a bit lighter on the scale this morning. I've been kind of stuck again for the last few weeks and was getting tempted to throw in the towel but today's number being a bit smaller than last week's number has me feeling better and resolved to keep going.

Man, I hate Daylight Savings time, don't you? I'm sitting here typing away and it's after noon already. It doesn't feel like afternoon, but it is. It is my opinion that since we're no longer an agrarian society we don't need the morning daylight or the extended light in the evening anymore. Yeah, yeah, I know, you like that it stays light way into the evening in the summer, but is that worth the circadian screw up, that jet lag feeling we get twice a year? Cows won't change their milking schedule just because some nerd in the government has decided the time should change. If cows won't change, why should we? The environmentalists contend that DST saves energy, but it's my contention that we might not use the energy in the morning but we use that hour's worth sometime during the day. It's not as though DST gives us an extra hour of daylight, it just moves it from one end of the day to the other. ...And that's the Wisconsin Soapbox Minute for today.

March 13--Harrismith Beach, Barbados. "Barbados is stuck out there all alone, you know," said Jeremy as he dug out another beer from the cooler. "Out there?" Leah said. "What do you mean?" He waved his hand at the shore in front of them. "Out there, you know, not in the nice, neat arc that the rest of the Caribbean islands lined up in." He tipped his head back and drained his bottle in one long, gulping swallow. "Barbados is hanging out in the Atlantic all alone, currents race by and storms hit here first." He tossed his empty over his right shoulder. It landed with a clink next to three of its mates. "They might as well paint a bullseye on the island and change their motto from 'Pride and Industry' to 'Come and Get Me, I Dare You.'" Leah looked at him as if he had grown another head. "Tell me again," she said, "why we picked Barbados in the middle of hurricane season?" She eyed the cloud mass on the horizon with an unfriendly squint. He spread his arms wide to encompass the nearly deserted stretch of sand. "Privacy, baby. We might as well own this place. No one else is here." She flinched as the building wind blew sand that stung her face. "Yeah," she said under her breath, "they're all smart enough to stay away. I wanted to get tan, not sandblasted."

That Jeremy, always the penny pincher. Enjoy your sunny Sunday, wherever you are.
--Barbara

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Bit of Sleeve and A Bit of Heel



Last night was Friday Night Knitting Circle so progress was made on both projects. I took both Khaki Cardi sleeves (well, their "live" proto-stitches) off the holders and put them onto circular needles so I could try it on and see how it was going. It's a bit shorter than I had thought and a bit roomier, but I can "adjust" that when I block it. Sleeve #1 is moving right along. I'm about 1-1/2" into it and really appreciating the all-knit aspect of knitting it in the round.




Of course, I can't have only one project OTN, so there's Neon Sock #2 which got to the heel flap last night and requires that every other row be purled. I can't get away from purling! I suppose that unless I do all tubular or garter stitch projects that I'll have to just get used to purling and figure out a way to do it that doesn't make my thumb hurt.




According to Never Not Knitting, the Yarn Harlot's Page-a-Day calendar, we're supposed to toss our stashes this weekend. Her idea is that you go through your stash and check it all for any pests, shake each skein, and see what you've got. It's not a bad idea. Maybe I'll hide downstairs tomorrow and see what I can find. Lord knows it's not weather to be outside.


I've been unable to get my mind off some of the yarn I bought at that fiber festival Lyn, Dusty, and I went
to in Valders last fall. Tossing the stash will allow me to justify going downstairs and digging it out. I'm thinking I'll knit a roll-brim hat and matching mittens out of it, using the creamy and oh-so-soft Psalm 23 handspun (it's Shetland lamb & merino) for the brim and cuffs and the marled gray ST Merino & Alpaca for the rest. Then I'll be ready when next winter, or more of this one, rolls around. Yeah, good idea.

Windy

The wind seems to have blown the fog away for the most part, but it still looks like zombies should be walking past out there. And it feels like I'm getting a zit alongside my nose. I'm too old for zits. W-a-a-a-ay too old.

I'm determined to work on my writing today. To do something writer-y, to string a few words together in a new way, or fix a few more scene-cards in my rewrite. I have an appointment to get my nails done and then I have to go to Mom's to carry some O2 tanks from her car to her apartment, but once I'm done with that, I'm sitting right back down here and working, not surfing, not tidying things, working on writing. *gives one firm nod* And no whining.

March 12--Maluku Islands, Indonesia. The road is a narrow one, its surface a fine, gray dust that feels soft as powder when it's dry, and is slick and sticky all at once when it rains. The path it traces through the band of palm trees sways toward the sea in some places and veers inland in others. It seems that there is always a beckoning curve in the distance, a seductive wriggle that lures you onward. And then there's the fragrance, it's a blend of cloves, nutmeg, and mace that tickles your nose, drawing you along with a spicy promise. Sheila and Jack bounced along in the rental jeep that had been old at the turn of the century and
its condition had not improved over the last ten years. The Indian man at the rental counter had assured them that this vehicle with its scabrous white and rust sides and non-existent windshield was "perfectly safe for a jaunt to the spice plantation just down the way." Just down the way, right, Jack thought as he fought to keep the jeep on the road. The lack of power steering and the busted out shocks made his forearms burn and his butt numb. It'd be God's own miracle if they made it to the spice place and back in one piece.

Yet another picture of a road I'd like to travel. What is it about those saucy curves in the distance that pulls you along?
--Barbara

Friday, March 12, 2010

Foggy

Oh, man, is it foggy. Pea soup, can-barely-see-across-the-street foggy for the second or third day in a row. I forget which it is, it's too foggy around here. But it's been surprisingly busy at the dive shop. Maybe people are waking up from their long winter's nap, or maybe the economy is getting a teensy bit better. Either way I'm happy to have actual work to do at work, makes me feel a bit less like I'm stealing my pay.

March 11--Saint Pierre Island, Seychelles. Cheryl lay on her stomach in the warm, clear water. She was riveted to the teeming life that lived on the reef just below the surface of the ocean. It had taken nearly all of her courage to get herself to the little watersports center at the resort's beach and to ask one of the children behind the counter to help her learn to snorkel. Sure that she would be making a fool of herself and that the watersports kids would pass her around like a moldy shoe, she was surprised when one of the blond young men said, "I'll be happy to, ma'am" with what looked like a genuine smile. He introduced himself as Peter, and helped her choose a mask, snorkel, and fins before they went down to the shallow area off the shore and she got her first glimpse of the world beneath the ocean's surface. Peter taught her how to clear water from her mask and snorkel tube, and how to fin slowly along the reef. He showed her where the tiny purple shrimp hid in the pale pink anemones and reassured her that the silver barracuda patrolling above the reef was not interested in her. By the end of an hour she felt at home paddling around and only got out once all afternoon to get a drink of water, go to the restroom, and put on more sunscreen. She spent the evening wondering if she were too old to learn to scuba dive so she could get right down by the fish. She fell asleep planning to ask Peter in the morning.

Ahh, there's nothing like a fantasy dive when it's cold, foggy, and damp.
--Barbara

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Body & A Leg & A New Book

I stayed up later last night to finish binding off the body of the Khaki Cardi. Whew, that was a long knit, but then I do have quite a bit of acreage to cover (not as much as I did before, I know, but still a goodly amount). Today I'll start one of the sleeves, which will go much faster since they're knit in the round, no purling which slows me way down and makes my left thumb hurt. One of these days I need to visit a knitting teacher to see if I can figure out a different way to purl, maybe that'd be better.


On Sunday for zoo knitting I didn't want to haul my big bag o'sweater around so I cast on another Neon Sock. I had enough yarn to do a second o
ne switching the cuff and foot colors so they don't exactly match. Well, I can't have matching socks, now, can I?

And, DS, look what arrived yesterday. A new Ore
gon Files book! I confess I shoved Appetite for Life aside to dive right into the adventures of Juan Cabrillo and his merry band of mercenaries. Just what I needed to stave off the spring fever.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Not So Far

It's supposed to rain today. Rain. It's March. In Green Bay, Wisconsin. And it's supposed to rain. Not even freezing rain. Just plain rain. I want to go out to the edge of town and check the "Welcome to..." sign to make sure I haven't been transported to someplace in the middle of the country (the North-South middle, not the East-West middle) overnight. I have vivid, adult memories of snow on May 2, piling up a few inches, stick to the ground snow, and this year we're barreling into spring like we're on a runaway train. As nice as it is and as much as we all like this, I'm afraid we're headed for a train-wreck of a spring. And that has been the Wisconsin Pessimism Report for today.

March 9--Capri, Italy. It looked to Martina as if she could walk from boat to boat all the way across the harbor. Tied up, gunwale to gunwale, the blue and white hulls rose the calm water like placid horses in narrow stalls. Like any other vacation spot, real estate was scarce on Capri, and that scarcity extended out into the harbor. Martina's eyes flicked over the placid scene watching for movement, for a flicker of green moving away that would reassure her that Carlo was going like he had promised he would. She knew it would take years for her to feel safe again, but knowing that he had gone back to his wife and her father's money would start the healing.

This feels more like an ending to me than a beginning, but, oh well, it was the end of the day when I wrote it. Stay dry!
--Barbara


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Zoo Knitting

Last Sunday it was gorgeous--50 degrees and sunny. That took care of my plans to go snowshoeing with a bunch of knitting friends, but we wanted to do something.



When I hadn't heard from anyone by 11:30 I called and suggested that we meet at the zoo, feed the animals, and then knit in the cafe. So that's what we did. No one else had ever fed the giraffes, I would pay out all my $1s for giraffe crackers but then all the kids would cry and I'd feel bad. But I do love it.




We strolled around the zoo and lots of the animals were out in the spring
sunshine. I finally got to see the red panda; it was out climbing around on the branches in its cage.









We fed the sheep, alpacas, and llamas, but they really didn't want to be petted, so no feeling some of our favorite fibers "on the hoof."








After our walk we found a table in the corner of the new cafe at the zoo, had a bite to eat, and then spent a happy hour knitting and chatting. We all resolved to plan more outings like that. It was a great way to spend the first really fabulous day of the year.

Cruisin' For A Bruisin'?

Is Mother Nature setting us up for a big fall? My guess is Yes. It's been all sunny and warmish, the snow is melting merrily away, and the birdies are singing in the trees. I just cut down last year's raspberry canes for Durwood and they were budding nicely. You know that means that we're in for more snow, more freezing rain, more of everything winter-y and yucky. It's Wisconsin, and we do winter in a big way and for way longer than the 3 months allotted for it on the calendar. This is just a tease before the final smackdown., you mark my words.

Still not much writing mojo around here, but I am still doing prompts, so here goes last night's effort.

March 8--San Blas Islands, Panama. It was like a movie set, right down to the uneven and rickety-looking dock that scribed a straggly T in the shallows at the shoreline. The soaring queen palms grew close enough that hammocks were strung from one trunk to the next and the row of thatched huts reminded Angela of the little molded plastic houses you bought when you played Monopoly. She had read in the cruise brochure that they would spend one day on the "private island" owned by the cruise lines, but riding toward it in one of the launches she was dismayed at how much like a set their destination actually was, how contrived and artificial it looked. She imagined the island teeming with the sudden influx of a few thousand people all determined, frantic to have fun, and then its rapid return to desolation as the sun set and the last launch sailed away.
She watched the loud and colorful tourists spilling out of the boats ahead of hers like grade-schoolers on a field trip destroy the peace of the little islet. "I think I"m getting a headache," she said to the launch driver, "I'll just ride back to the ship with you." He smiled.

Oh, Angela, now you are convinced that the cruise was a mistake. Tsk, tsk.
--Barbara

Monday, March 8, 2010

Squeee!



A bunch of the knitters went to the zoo yesterday. I convinced them that we needed to feed the giraffes--my favorite thing.



Writing this weekend? Not so much. I resolve to do better this week. I fell asleep in mid-prompt last night. Guess a 2 hour stroll around the zoo in the sunshine and spring air is tiring.

March 7--Kagoshima, Kyushu, Japan. She never expected to see palm trees in Japan. In her mind Japan was temperate not tropical, not hot enough to grow luscious crotons and prehistoric cycads in the heat and humidity they needed, but there they were. The hillside about the town was full of the lush green of the palms and the shocking yellow of the crotons' leaves. She had packed the wrong clothes. It was hot, hot and humid. She wanted shorts and all she had were jeans.

And that's when the pencil point went skating along the page making scribbles over the already-written words. I barely remember putting the notebook and pencil on the nightstand and turning out the light. Have a Monday.
--Barbara

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Step Away From the Crochet Hook



I'm fascinated by the Ugly Bunnies, and I need to stop. Yesterday I carried all the solid color wool back downstairs so that if I want to make a fourth bunny I have to go down there and dig some out again. This one went to live with Dusty. She quilts and makes gorgeous fabric purses and so I thought she'd need a pincushion. She didn't want to put pins in him but I suggested that she name him after someone she wouldn't mind sticking pins into, which might make it easier, kind of voodoo doll-ish. That got her thinking.





I'm an inch into the bottom black stripe on my Khaki cardi as of the end of F
riday Night Knitting Circle last night. In half an inch I'll shift from stockinette to an inch of seed stitch and that'll be it for the body. Next I pick up and knit 3 rows around the neck, then do the sleeves, and I'll be done! I can't wait to finally have it finished and blocked.

Hanging On By My Fingernails

It's a good thing they're strong--and fake, because the writing energy is thin these days. I think I have an epidemic-sized case of Spring Fever and very little of anything is getting accomplished around here. I do intend to go straight downstairs once I get this posted to whip up a couple batches of lotion and some lip balm. Stores are low and new product needs to be made. Maybe I can make some smell and taste like spring to set me back on track. Wonder what fragrance I could use? Moist earth? Melting snow? How about snowplow repellent!

March 5--Baunei, Sardinia. Julie liked how the sides of Punta Pedra Longa leaped from the waves. There were no soft sand beaches here, the land came straight out of the water on this side of the island. The exposed rock was dark gray and the angles of the mountain were sharp, not wind softened and weathered by time. She pulled over under some trees and parked her rental Fiat where she could look over the edge of the mountain and watch the waves dash themselves in an explosion of foam and spray on the tumbled rocks far below. The narrow roads that wound up and down Punta Pedra were challenging to her, she was used to the wide American roads. Here on Sardinia she had to pay attention because too many times she rounded a curve only to find a few goats or a gigantic truck in the road. It just made more sense to stop and enjoy the scenery.

Enjoy the taste of spring wherever you are! I'm off to lotion.
--Barbara

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Today Is...

the first of my four days off in a row. Ahhhh. My brother came through his surgery very well yesterday and is already up and in the shower. Fabulous news! And Durwood is packing to go to a local motel for an overnight escape. He'll walk the mall, buy a new pair of shoes or two, troll Sam's for samples, and eat all the wrong things at a buffet tonight. We do this every few months since he's been retired and home all the time; neither of us is used to that yet and this gives us a little "togetherness" breather. I'll say it again: ahhhhhh.

March 3--Taha'a, Tahiti. The crossed palms grow right at the edge where the warm, clear sea laps at the sugar white sand. Ruby loves this place, the spot where all the elements she loves converge into one, where the line between land and sea, between air and water blurs. In this one place on the island she feels the shiver of being part of two worlds. All her life, Ruby has sought a place like this, somewhere where everything is a part of everything else, where worlds overlap and time slips aside and she can just be. Here is where she sings her songs and tells her stories to the wind, where the cold blue stars dance across the sky making peace with the night.

Poetic, and I like it. It feels good. Enjoy your Thursday!
--Barbara

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

It's A-Coming!


Spring! Look what I found nestled in a south-facing corner right by the front door. This is why I planted bulbs a few years back. This right here.



It's daffodils (blue-green) and hyacinths (yellow-green) poking their brave little green noses up into the late winter chill to see what's happening. Yay!

Mid-Week

And my last working day this week. I've got the next 4 days off and I am filled with ideas of how to occupy myself. I bought a gallon (a gallon!!) of aloe juice at Walmart yesterday so I can make some more lotion and I need to make lip balm because I'm flat out. Flat out! There isn't one tube lurking anywhere and so I need to get down there and get melting. I wonder what flavors I'll make...

March 2--Jardin do Mar, Madiera. The white houses with their red tile roofs were notched together down the sloping town to the sea like an old jigsaw puzzle. The clear light from the blue Mediterranean sky cast strong cool shadows of deep black between buildings. Lucy didn't remember why she had chosen to take her first vacation in years in a place so far off the beaten track, at least for Americans, but she was glad she had. Every day she walked down into the center of the town to eat her small lunch of fresh cheese with crusty bread, a handful of olives, with a ripe fig for dessert, all washed down by a glass of the local red wine. Alma, the cafe owner, was the only person she spoke with many days and Alma understood very little English and spoke less. It didn't really matter since Lucy spoke only a few words of Portuguese. Lucy decided that was perfect; she could bare her soul to the older woman with the kind eyes as she worked behind the counter and could imagine the advice Alma would give. Oddly enough Lucy always heard what she wanted to hear.

Well, that started with a lot of promise and then got slightly awkward and confused. I might fix it one day or I'll let it sink into the sea and dissolve. Time to go to work.
--Barbara

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What Grandma's Up To



For the third year in a row the orchid that Holly gave Mom for Mother's Day is going to bloom. I told her that she can't move because obviously the place she has it in is exactly right and makes it very happy.







She was playing bridge a while back in a chilly hotel dining room, one of the women had a little capelet to put around her shoulders. Mom thought it was a good idea, so I found a pattern for her on the Lion Brand website, she picked out some y
arn and needles, and she's been working away at it. I tried to put my order in for one and she just frowned at me.

Shh...It's Still Sunny

Don't say it too loud in case we scare the sun away and it goes back to being dreary. Shhhh.

Mrs. Boss came back from Colorado skiing and she's working today and Thursday so I only have to work 2 days this week. Yay! I know, I know my paycheck next week will be nearly nonexistent especially compared to the last few, but I need the time off. Need. It. I've salted away enough extra money to pay for most of my year's escapes so I can have this time to recharge and get back to a slower paced life.

March 1--Ko Hong, Thailand. Like it had been cleaved millennia ago, the cliffs rose vertically from the beach. The clumps of stunted trees at the base of the cliffs served to preserve the modesty of the place where rock met sand. The almost-pubic looking greenery made it hard for the geologists to gather samples but gave the artists something interesting to paint. It was a challenge for Captain Marcel Durot to steer a course to please the greatest number of his passengers, a shifting mix of amateur scientists and artists. His route was dictated by the winds since his ship, the Flying Cloud, was most of all a sailing ship at the mercy of the whims of the winds. But many passengers failed to understand, wanted him to drive against the wind and the seas so that they could photograph a bird or an island, so they could put another exotic locale on their life list of destinations. The present group of mostly Americans would have had him skating all over the Indian Ocean like a demented water strider if he listened to half their directions.

Well, that certainly took a different tack than I anticipated. Go out and absorb a bit of vitamin D today if you can.
--Barbara

Monday, March 1, 2010

Done *edited to add*



I thought it wasn't busy at work today but it must have been because I only had time to knit six rows and finish Izzy's mitts. I like the way the colors blended; I just hope Izzy likes them.

And I have just begun yet another Ugly Bunny. I can't leave them alone.

*Izzy's dad said she was thrilled with them, saying, "thankyouthankyouthankyou, they're just like Barbara's!" I'm so glad.

I Might Just Survive

Is anyone else surprised that February is over so quickly? Today it looks like Spring might actually happen and it's so sunny with a hint of warmth in the air that I think I might just make it through Winter once more. It was a hard weekend on the writing front. Cabin fever/Spring fever had me firmly in its grip and I was trapped there like a bug under a microscope, my arms and legs waving and not much progress being made. Now that Mrs. Boss is back from her last vacation for a while, my work schedule will go back to normal and I'll have my days off so I might actually have more than two brain cells kicking over and make some actual headway on my novel rewrite and get some new stories off the starting blocks.

Did everyone watch the Olympics like you had a kid in them? I did. I want to Google the curling rules so I can understand a bit about "houses" and "skips" and "stones", and I want to be young and know how to ski so I can try my hand at Ski Cross which looks to me like roller derby on snow. Riveting. I'd like to ride screaming down the bobsled run too, but not as the "brake" person. Their only view was the ass of the "pilot," what fun is that? I want to see where I'm going. Love the cowbells the spectators rang too. A nice cheerful sound.

February 28--Canary Islands. It wasn't something I expected to see on our drive around the island with Antonio. It was a line of camels pacing along the side of the road. The first in line bore a rider as did the last one, the rest of them, maybe a doze were riderless but wearing aluminum frames hanging on either side of their humps. At first I couldn't figure out what they were for, then with a jolt I realized that they were seats for riders. These beasts were meant to give tourists rides. No matter how I tried, I couldn't imagine sitting perched up there on one side of a camel, feet dangling, jerking along the rocky path. Just watching them as they swayed along the roadside made me queasy. I couldn't see myself taking a ride like that without losing my lunch.

Eh. At least it's writing. Anyone else doing daily prompts? Anyone got anything first-drafy I can read?
--Barbara