Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Boo!


Did I scare you?  I'm not very scary, I startle people but usually not scare them even if I think I can be scary at times.  Happy Halloween!  We've got our goodies all ready for today's trick or treaters to come ringing the doorbell.  I think it'll be mostly Durwood answering the door and handing them out because I have to work until 5 o'clock and they're supposed to come between 3 o'clock and 6 o'clock.  I think.  I have to check the hours in the paper to make sure.  The Photo a Day theme today is "whatever you please" so I'm pleased to show you our Halloween treats all ready for the little beggars.  We usually don't get too many so Durwood was careful to get bags of candy that we like.  There's not much candy that I don't like (more's the pity) but he made good choices.  (I didn't put the bag of Almond Joy in the bowl; that's his fave, in fact he's already made inroads)   Here's a good thing--one week from today the elections will be over.  That means that our phone will rarely ring, and the PACs (political action committee) and candidates will go back under their rocks for a year or so.  I am horrified at how much money is spent to get someone elected, or not, the loser spends a ton too, and how much money/influence rich people can exert through the PACs.  You can only donate a little bit, maybe 10 grand, directly to the candidate but if you find a PAC that supports them the sky's the limit.  In what way is that ethical?  Moving on.  Speaking of the sky, lately I've been fixated on watching sunrise and sunset.  The colors are breathtaking and the color of the light is otherworldly.  I go out and take pictures every day; I can't help myself.  The last couple days the full moon's been shining through the big fir tree next door but today it was too cloudy so I didn't get to look at it.  I like looking at the sky, like looking at the clouds and stars and seeing the birds swirl and flap up there.  (And here're the garbologists picking up the trash.  Thanks, guys.)  Maybe I'll be a sky watcher when I retire.  I can sit out there in all kinds of weather and all times of day recording and reporting on the doings up there.  You know, just random observations about light and wind and precipitation and the habits of birds.  Doesn't that sound like an excellent retirement pursuit?  I'd have to talk about the sounds too like rain and thunder and blowing leaves and honking geese and other bird songs.  Did you know that hummingbirds make sounds?  They do, they make a kind of pipping sound when something's in their way.  Anyway, I should wind this up and go make ready for the day.  Maybe I can find something to Halloween myself up for work today, not that anyone will see me, probably, but it'd be the thought, right?  (there go the garbologists up the other side of the street... see you next Wednesday, guys, when you bring the recycling truck too)  Sunday's the next Family Supper, only this time it'll be a brunch during the Packer game, over at DS & DIL1's.  We're tasked with bringing some kind of pastry or breakfast bread.  Durwood's considering making Mother Malcolm's Coffeecake, but he's also found a recipe for Chocolate Almond quick bread that I think should be in the running... then there's the Honey-Moon Crescents made with tubed crescent dough, cream cheese, and honey... or the Bubble Bread that's balls of dough dredged in cinnamon sugar and drenched in maple syrup, raised and baked in a Bundt pan.  (can you tell he got a new Taste of Home cookbook yearbook?)  I voted for them all.  I'll let you know what he chooses.  There'll be photos too.

October 31--Caspar David Freidrich, Two Men Contemplating the Moon.  Silver light drew her up the hill.  She watched the puffs of her breath hesitate in the chilly night before she walked through them on her way to the top of the hill.  I had been at least five years since she'd been out to Uncle Mac and Aunt Nita's old place and she'd missed it.  The house, empty for those years, looked like no one had spent a minute keeping it up.  It took all her nerve to reach into the hollow tree for the key to Uncle Mac's secret hiding place but she had and the lock had finally turned with a rusty squeal of protest.

Sorry, I haven't got a clue what's in the shed or what she's climbing the hill to find or see.  Choose your own adventure today.  Time for the getting ready routine.  Hasta la vista, babies.

--Barbara Sue

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Got That Last Quilt Block Done

After supper last night I trundled downstairs and finished that last damned paper pieced quilt block.  I will not be making any more blocks with that technique.  I'm definitely more of a random, free sewing girl myself, not one to be stitching small, odd-shaped pieces of fabric together--trim, fold, measure, unfold, pin, and finally stitch.  Annoying.  Can you believe that you sew the pieces directly on the paper pattern and then have to tear the paper off before the put the parts together?


One of the other people on the Craftsy Block Of the Month class site used a website to plan her quilt top so I went over there and plonked mine in, then I noticed that their toolbar had appeared on my screen.  I didn't like that so I straightaway uninstalled it.  I saved it but danged if I can find it.  I'll go look again but I'm not hopeful.

Halloween Eve

So, are you going to dress up for Halloween?  I don't think I am.  I'm too old and nobody gives a hoot if I do or don't.  What would I dress up as anyway?  I'm fresh out of good ideas and, looking at my closet, don't have any good raw materials either.  Today's Photo a Day theme is "clothes" (a lame one if ever there was one).  I don't have any interesting clothes and I don't think I look particularly interesting in them.  Look at that nearly unrelenting row of solid colors.  Mostly white too.  I should be ashamed.  I'm not a boring person but you'd never know by looking at my wardrobe--jeans and solid color long-sleeved tees--ho hum.  Now, my socks are another story, but how much do they show in the winter when I'm all bundled up to the eyelids?  Not very much, that's how much.  Huh.  And here I was thinking my vivid personality was shining out there for all to see.  I'm a fraud.  I'm hiding my light under a bushel of drab clothes.  *sigh*  There's always my collection of red shoes (currently 4 pair) but I don't even wear those every day.  Okay, I need to shift my self-perception here, I'm bringing myself down.  Let's see... how about if I gather up all my wacky and shove it... onto the page when I'm writing my NaNoWriMo novel manuscript next month?  Yeah, that's it.  I can... lock my inner-Hitler into a Ball jar and crank down the lid so I can't hear her for the next 30 days.. forget about grammar and punctuation and just let the words flow... be the meanest I've ever been to my characters, no more Mrs. Nice Guy, and fling every bad and bloody and nasty and horrible and icky and just plain mean thing I've ever thought of at her... and enjoy watching her squirm.  Yeah.  I can do that.  Well, I might be able to.  If I really focus.  And keep reminding myself that it's not real.  That no one cares if I'm nice to my characters because they're pretend and not real and won't tell anyone if I'm not nice.  Nice, nice, nice.  I need to get over "nice" and just pucker up and be a bitch.  Let that inner voice that nags and scratches and shrieks OUT.  But confine her to the page.  Because nobody needs to live with the harpy I fear I am inside.  Fear, that's the problem right there.  I'm afraid.  Of success and failure and judgement and myself.  There, I've said it.  I'm a big, fat chicken.  And I don't know if I can overcome it.  *pant, pant*  But I'm going to give it a try.  Again.

October 30--Claude Monet, Jean Monet on His Hobby Horse.  Back and forth, the light swung back and forth making Amy's eyes feel like they were rolling in her head.  "Stop," she said, "stop, stop, stop" but no one came, no one turned the light off, no one reached out to still the swinging bulb.  How long had she been there?  Surely days had passed since rough hands dragged her into the alley on Seventeenth Street.  Someone must have noticed; it was a busy street after all.  Gabe was looking for her.  She knew he was.  He would never rest until he found her and got her safely home again.  She closed her eyes against the swinging light.  Back and forth, back and forth like a bright pendulum it ticked off the minutes in her cell.

Well.  Evidently I decided to start being mean last night.  Good for me, keep it up, Self, you can do it.  Listening to the TV news it sounds like most of us in this upper northeast quarter of the country are getting the stink blowed off (and then some) by Hurricane Sandy which has joined in unholy union with a Nor'easter to beat the crap out of the East Coast, make it snow (snow!) in West Virginia, and even blow the leaves around in our yard which is hundreds of miles from the coast.  Time to hunker down and hold on.  I'm going to Skully's to drink her Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee and knit.  See ya.
--Barbara Sue

Monday, October 29, 2012

So... the Moon

That's today's Photo a Day theme, "moon," I'm assuming because today's the full moon, called the Harvest Moon by nearly everyone even if in this part of the world the harvest's long over.  The moon was still up peeking through the big fir tree next door when I put the shade up so, just for you, I quick got dressed and scooted out in the below freezing dark (28 degrees, brrr) to crunch across the frosty leaves and grass to take some pictures.  I have less luck getting what I want with a digital camera than a film camera but you can't beat a digital camera for the immediacy of seeing what you take so you can try again right away.  I keep changing the "scene" setting trying to make it do what I want it to and sometimes I'm even successful.  We had a football game in town yesterday (the Packers even won) so that meant there was a flyover for me and this time I was ready to snap its picture.  I freakin' love it when those big loud fighter planes come over my house.  Love. It.  Then I spent some time out in the autumn sunshine clearing out the dead flowers, ferns, and tomato plants.  I thought about blowing or raking the leaves too but decided to save that gem of a chore for another day, tomorrow maybe.  I treated us to Mickey D's double cheeseburgers and shared fries for lunch because... well... because I wanted to and because on Friday when we were coming home from Durwood's latest doctor visit it was lunch time and I suggested we stop at Taco Bell and he said McDonald's but we were already past McDonald's so instead of turning around we went to Taco Bell but then the thought of a cheeseburger burrowed into my brain and wouldn't leave me alone.  So I had to go and I strong-armed Durwood into agreeing to eat a cheeseburger if I brought him one without mustard.  (it wasn't really all that hard)  We split a small order of fries.  And I got a mocha frappe.  I know, I'm weak.  I am helpless before Mickey D's frappes.  I didn't share it either.  I'm weak... and bad.  (C'mon, sunshine, rise up and melt the frost... please)  It's a work day and PAY day so I should get a move on so I can eat breakfast, shower, dress and go off to keep the world safe from SCUBA diving.

October 29--Panama, Chiriqui, Double Bat-Head Figure Pendant.  They emerge from the trees like scraps of the night flitting to catch insects drawn to the flickering porch light.  Their little pink tongues plow furrows in the saucer of sugar he leaves out for them.  Our upstairs neighbors hate that he feeds them.  "They have rabies," I hear them say as they hustle indoors to avoid them.  I try to tell them that the bats, they look like flying kittens to me, eat mosquitoes but they just shake their heads and glare.

Aunt B, I hope your hatches are all battened even though it looks like you'll dodge the Hurricane Sandy bullet.  Stay safe!
--Barbara Sue

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Whaddaya Gonna Do Today?

I'm probably going to rake or blow the last of the leaves.  I am definitely going to be hanging around outside waiting for a pair of big, loud, gray fighter planes to come over before the Packer game. (they had a practice run yesterday, hehehehe, I love that, a bonus flyover)  I might cut and uproot all of the dead plants in the yard, pile them on a tarp, and drag them down to the curb.  Or I may just goof off all day and then feel bad about not doing anything constructive.  Right now I'm kinda tired of always being "it" when it comes to doing yard and seasonal stuff.  Oh, I know that Durwood can't do it, I know he wishes he could, feels bad that he can't, and usually I'm just fine with it.  But right now, this weekend, I want it to be someone else's job.  I'll take that magic wand, thank you very much.  Good thing the sun's shining today or I'd be in the sub-basement, mood-wise.  Oh and by the way, I'd like to eat at least an entire loaf of warm, crusty Italian bread too--with butter of course.  Today's Photo a Day theme is "looking back" so I scrolled back through the "assorted stuff" folder of digital photos and found the perfect one.  It's a jar of battery operated fireflies that DD gave me for Christmas years back.  I love it.  It reminds me of those summer nights when I was outside with a quart jar catching fireflies (before DDT and a whole host of other pesticides essentially did away with them) and then sitting the jar on my nightstand and watching them blink as I fell asleep.  I've always felt that I had a charmed childhood and that little jar of blinking lights reminds me of those days.  Thanks again, DD.

October 28--Carleton E. Watkins, Sheer Cliffs, Washington.  Kay felt the drop behind her.  She knew she couldn't back up one more step.  Even in the fog that had been a surprise at sunrise she knew when she got near the top of the cliff.  She couldn't tell why or how she knew, maybe because the tree sounds had disappeared behind her, but she knew she had run as far as she could.  If she was careful she could turn the fog to her advantage.  She listened for Manning's approach, quieting her breathing and trying to slow her pounding heart.  The fog dampened the clatter of the leaves and muted the sounds of the bay on the rocks far below.  She thought she heard a step off to her left so she began edging  to the right.  She felt along the ground with her foot, careful not to snap a twig or crunch leaves that would give away her position.  After a dozen sliding steps she felt his warm breath on her cheek right before his arms circled her like a vise.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

FOs*


*Finished Objects.  I've been a good girl, not only making new things but finishing something that's been hanging around for a while.  Longer than I thought when I checked the project file on Ravelry, seeing that I cast this on in October 2009.  Holy bejeebers!  That's way longer ago than I remembered, but a good thing it is that my knitting skills matured in the intervening time so that the pattern made sense when I picked it up again.  That's a very good thing, since I rediscovered this pattern because I've got more yarn I want to knit it up in.  Anyway, it's warm and soft and (I think) gorgeous.  The pattern says to put on a button and an I-cord loop to use as a closer but I've got a curve of shell that I think I'll use as a shawl pin instead.




Yesterday afternoon I cast on another one of those tiny purse keyrings and I finished it this afternoon.  This one went much easier because of all the snafus in the first one.  It's even tinier than the first one.  It's no picnic knitting with that thin, fingering weight yarn on US1 needles (think long toothpicks).  The darned stitches like to slip off the needles especially when I'm binding off for the straps and inevitably I drop one and have the devil of a time picking it back up.  You might ask why I keep knitting them if they're so frustrating and I don't have an answer, but I do have yarn picked out for the other two styles in the pattern.  If any of you think of a practical use for them, let me know.

I've been almost monogamous (well, about as monogamous as I ever am with this kind of stuff) in my dedication to the Hubbard Baby blanket.  I finished mitered square #2 at work on Thursday and cast on #3 right away.  This is a great, simple pattern, perfect TV, waiting room, and knitting night knitting because it doesn't really require much concentration.  As long as I keep repositioning my turquoise "right side" marker so that it's near where I'm working I'm good.  I really like how this is turning out; I hope the grandmother likes it too.
 

I stopped by the library branch this morning to pick up a couple of books I had reserved and there on the "feature" shelf was this book, Knitmare on Elm Street, sitting there looking at me.  Just looking at the cover made me giggle and when I flipped the pages and saw the pattern for a shrunken head I knew I had to check it out.  There's all kinds of cute Halloween-y patterns in this book.  I may never make any of these things but they sure are fun to look at.

The End *sigh*



Today's the last Farmer's Market of the 2012 summer season.  It's bone-chilling out there too.  I (being the brave and hardy half of this equation) braved the cold to procure one last basketful of veggie goodness for us before the snow flies.  (ugh, the snow's gonna fly one of these days pretty soon, there's no denying it)  Happily every vendor I wanted to be there was there, the Asian booth with the meatballs on the skewer Durwood likes and the crab rangoons I love were there, the tomato people whose wares keep Durwood in tomato toast all summer were there, and I was able to fulfill Durwood's parting plea for the week's veggies.  I bought parsnips (mmm, don't you love parsnips?), Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, carrots, tomatoes, butternut squash, and the snacks all for less than $20.  Now that's a successful trip to the market.  Sadly the crab rangoons didn't make it home... actually they didn't even make it out of the parking place at the market.

I had to pour a gallon of hot water on the birdbath to be able to remove the glacier it became overnight and install the heater so our birdies have water to drink all winter.  Fingers crossed that the heater we've had for at least 5 years still works.  That I'll know tomorrow morning if the birdbath isn't frozen solid again.  I need to go pick up the leaf blower that I lent to the lady that does my nails so I can finish de-leaf-ifying our yard this weekend.  I have to evict all the dead and dying plants from the yard, pots, and garden so that they'll be on the curb the next time the "stick" truck comes.  Here in the city they pick up yard waste and haul it away for you.  It's so much easier than cramming it into the back of the van and taking it to the dump myself.  Our tax dollars at work!  I'd really rather than a yard fairy came and did it all for me but there's no sign of one anywhere nearby so I guess I'm it.  I'm always it.  Sometimes I get tired of it.  Last night was the last yoga night at Harmony Cafe's knit night.  Our teacher has the opportunity to teach at a new studio on Friday nights for real money, not the $5/pp freewill donation from the 2-3 of us who are her knitting class of yogis.  I'm going to miss it but when you teach to support yourself you have to chase the moolah.  Plus that means she won't be knitting with us either, and there's not a lot of us left.  We'll deal.  Today's Photo a Day theme is "morning" which was perfect for my morning.  I planned to take a photo of the market anyway and now it fits.  This is the long line of frozen people waiting to buy coffee.  I was in the egg roll/crab rangoon line at the next booth.

I stayed up late instead of writing last night so that's all I have for you.  Enjoy your Saturday and stop over with your rake if you feel the need...
--Barbara

Friday, October 26, 2012

Looking Up

I have come to realize that although I detest that it's dark when my alarm(s) sound I do love looking at the sky as it changes from dark to light.  Today I spotted a planet, I think, but the sky had gotten too light by the time I went out with my camera.  Do you look at your piece of sky much?  I love to see how the light touches the clouds and how the colors of the light changes as the sun rises above the horizon.  By the time the sun's well and truly up I'm past looking at it.  I like to watch the sun go down too.  Once again the angle of the light makes shapes and colors in the sky at sunset that the midday sun can't compete with; it's just illumination then, not poetry.  (Ugh, I just noticed that the roofs of the houses across the way are all frosted.  It's hard to believe that it was nearly 70 at this time yesterday and today we'll be lucky if it hits 40.  What a crazy place I live in.)  Durwood's wondering if the tomato people will be at the Farmer's Market tomorrow so he can get his bag o'tomatoes "one more time" before Jack Frost comes to cover the land permanently (well, it seems permanent long about February).  That means he'll roust me out to go down there in the early chilly tomorrow.  *sigh*  No sleeping in for this chicken, I guess.  Although I kind of don't like it when I do sleep in because then it feels like half the day's gone before I get both feet on the ground.  (Make up your mind, Barbara Sue, you can't have it both ways.)  (Why not?  Am I not the center of the known world?  Do not all the planets and heavenly bodies revolve around me?  No?  When did that happen?)  Durwood roasted slices of butternut squash sprayed with olive oil and sprinkled with nutmeg for us to have with our meatloaf last night.  It was yummy; you need to make that, you'd love it.  He's on a squash kick right now.  He discovered that according to the new Weight Watchers Points Plus plan winter squash count as a veggie not a starch and therefore have zero points, so we can have something potato-y that doesn't "cost" anything.  I'm hoping for another round of marinara sauce with spaghetti squash under it this coming week.  Perhaps I should mention that to him... yeah, I think I will.  I seldom "order" things, leaving the menu planning to him.  Hey, I did it all alone for nigh onto 30 years, it's his turn.  Today's Photo a Day theme is "listening to."  At first I thought it said "looking at" and that's why I hurried out to take pictures of the morning star but then I reread it and realized that, once again, I was wrong.  Is this dyslexia?  ADD?  Just plain and simple old age?  Anyway, here's my beloved iPod Touch; I listen to it in the car and at work, when I'm knitting and when I'm sewing.  I love it.  I realized yesterday that I don't listen to music on it ever; I only listen to stories so I deleted what music was on there to make room for more stories.  More stories, more stories, hooray!  I spent all of yesterday at work sucking stories off of CDs from the library and zorking them onto my iPod so I can carry them with me.  (I took my laptop along)  I don't keep them, that'd be bad like stealing, I just convert them to a handy portable format and then I delete them when I'm done, kind of like returning a book only I do it digitally.  Besides there's Overdrive which is a totally digital way to borrow things; I use that too.  There's also another way to borrow digital media but I haven't figured that out yet.  I need a tween...

October 26--Roman, Cameo Portrait of the Emperor Augustus.  Jillian turned the brooch over in her hands.  She squinted to see it in the dusty shop crammed so full of things that she was afraid to move.  She'd been looking for a cameo to pin on her blazer, one that reminded her of the one her grandma had worn on her Sunday dress as long as Jillian could remember.  "All those guys have had their noses broken," said a man's voice behind her.  She turned and smiled.  "Oh, Pete, you made me jump."  She held out the brooch to him.  "He didn't get to be emperor by not getting in a few fights.  Besides noses chip easily on these carvings."  She haggled with the owner, getting him to lower the asking price five dollars, and felt like she'd conquered Gaul herself.  Neither she nor Pete noticed the thin, dark-haired man who followed them when they left the shop.

And now it's time for Cheerios, a banana, and a shower to get this day started.  It's yoga day!  Yippee!  I missed it last week when we were away.
--Barbara Sue

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I Called It...

...yesterday morning; I had exactly zero paying customers at work yesterday.  Two guys did come in for info--one for getting certified to dive and one looking for winter trip info--but neither of them bought anything.  The good thing was that they weren't there simultaneously, like my only two Monday customers.  Do they gather in the parking lot just so they can all come in at once?  Sometimes I think so.  I know they wait until I heat up my lunch soup before they come in, even if I wait until 1 o'clock to do it.  It got so warm yesterday and it stayed warm last night, we even slept with the windows open a bit.  That's a major concession for Durwood, he's always cold.  I got home from work and the library yesterday and he was in a flannel shirt.  The house was open, front window and patio door, and the kitchen ceiling fan was on but he was in long-sleeved flannel.  It amazes me that we can tolerate each other, much less live together.  It was 70 degrees last night at 10 PM, crazy weather for October, and it's supposed to go back there this morning, but later in the afternoon it's supposed to start its downward slide and barely make it into the 40s way into next week.  I'd like to have today off to enjoy the last bit of warm weather for the season but, no, I have to go keep the world safe from SCUBA diving.  I'll be taking this laptop along so I can upload the raft of audiobooks I've got and transfer them to my iPod.  I think I'm going to take most, if not all the music off of it since I don't listen to music with it, I only listen to stories on it.  Maybe I can convert the music to mp3 and fong it onto my Kindle Fire; that's really what I listen to music on, when I do which is hardly ever, but there's more storage on the Kindle and I can prop it up and make it tell me stories when I'm sewing in the basement.  I can listen on the iPod but I don't have any speakers (Christmas present hint, hint, hint) so I'm constantly snagging the earbuds on things and jerking it out of my ear.  Today's Photo a Day theme is "people" and I don't have any.  People, I mean.  Well, I do have people; I have Durwood and DS and DD and DILs 1 & 2; those are my immediate people, but none of them are around right now for me to take their picture.  Durwood went back to bed in his bed so I can't even take his picture while he's reading the paper.  I think I'll scroll back in the archives and find a good "people" picture there.  I know it's kind of cheating because the whole idea is to take a new picture every day but today I just can't.  I want to get this blogging done and there're no people handy.  You'll just have to deal, people.  (ha!  there're more of my people, my reader people, but I can't take your picture either *sigh* thwarted at every turn)


October 25--Egon Schiele, Seated Woman, Back View.  She was always such a mess, sitting on the floor half-dressed, with her knickers showing for all to see.  Claudia wasn't a girl any longer.  She was way past the days when anyone thought it was charming and unsophisticated, now she looked frowzy and overblown.  She had taken to dying her hair the most improbable orange color and her clothes... well, her clothes looked like she pulled them out of the rag bag.  I don't know why he'd chose to draw and paint her instead of me; she's a mess.

Aha, I wondered why the narrator had it in for her; she's jealous.  Women!  Avoid them if you can, especially in groups, they're pretty much poison.  I can say this because I am one and I know.  I avoid me like the plague.  See you tomorrow.
--Barbara Sue

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Got A Tiny Bit Of Money?

Then have I got the purse for you.  I found this teeny, tiny purse pattern on Ravelry on Monday and couldn't help myself.  At home that night I found that I do indeed own size US1 straight and DPN needles, and I've got a 2-gallon ziptop bag of Z-Dawg's sock yarn leftovers, so I was toast casting-on-wise.  See, if I'd have had to wait until I bought or borrowed some needles that tiny maybe I'd have come to my senses.  Instead I fished out one of the wee balls of yarn and cast on.  I changed the instructions telling me to make 2 pieces, front & back, and made one piece, not reading ahead to see that I needed to make a couple stitches as shaping.  Next time (and there will be another time; the keyring came in a 20-pack so I have 19 left) I'll be using Double Points so that I can make it without side seams at all and be able to do the shaping stitches between needles instead of trying figure out how to tuck them in the middle and not doing it very well.  Instead of making 6" of 2-stitch I-cord to form into a flower shape, I'm not completely insane (... no comments), I found an old button and put that on it.  I like the way it looks; I don't know what I'll do with more of them but I do like 'em.

I'm also making good progress on the second mitered square of the afghan for AddCinHub's coming grand-baby.  I'm really liking the colors and the knitting.  The yarn's chain-plied so it doesn't split and it's easy to knit with--thanks for giving me such great yarn, Skully, I'm totally buying you lunch next week, no arguments.  None.  I can't hear you.  Lalalalalalala.

It's week #43 of the Maple Tree Scarf and I've taken out the green.  *sigh*  I was tired of green, really I was, but I'm still sad to see it go.  I have some yarn that's variegated brown, gold, and orange--excellent for representing an autumn tree.   Soon I'll be back to merely brown and black with a little lichen-gold mixed in; then there'll be snow to add in.  At least I'm hoping there will be.  Wait!  Don't be mad, I don't want to shovel and snowblow any more than the rest of you but the bay of Green Bay's water level is so low and the farmers need it in the ground, so we need a snowy winter.  Really, we do.

No sewing today, maybe on the weekend.

I'm In A Fog...

... no really, it's foggy today, see?  Today's Photo a Day theme is "weather" and luckily we've got some that shows up on "film."  It isn't very thick but it's pretty good, fog-wise, it's more interesting than just plain see-through air anyway.  If I can't have lightning and driving rain to take pictures of... or a blizzard... or dark, angry, rolling clouds, that is.  Fog is good for me, is it good for you?  (gah, I swallowed wrong, stupid drop of coffee making me cough and my eyes water)  Well, I took my first thyroid pill this morning.  The doc says it'll ramp up my metabolism and give me more energy.  Faster metabolism I can use, more energy? not so much.  Durwood already scolds me for not sitting down much, I don't think I can stand much more busy-ness.  Although I did pretty much sit on my duff yesterday.  I made a few phone calls (so exhausting) and got my mammo (not quite as painful as in years past but still...), got a new set of acrylic nails applied (because the old ones were so loose that I had algae, ALGAE!, growing under one thumbnail--eesh)  (Holy Jesus, I just hit the "backspace" key and everything above here disappeared, even the title.  Good thing I discovered the "undo" arrow up there on the toolbar otherwise I'd be under the desk crying right now. [ho, give me a minute... *hand on chest*]), and sewed together a tiny knitted keyring purse I made Monday night.  It's cute, but what a putzy pain in the needles it is to make.  I'll probably make more just because the only way Michaels sells split-rings the size I needed (1.25") is in a 20-pack, so I have 19 left over, and it's not like I don't have a whole 2-gallon ziptop bag of Z-Dawg's leftover sock yarn as raw materials either.  Okay, I've about talked myself into it; I'll think about it.  I get to work today.  I suspect I'll have few if any customers.  I'm tempted to take some fabric, batting, lots of pins, and my portable sewing machine to put together a linen & flannel blankie.  Not for anyone, just because I have the stuff and I want to.  Oh mercy, I just remembered that I left my newest knitted shawl downstairs soaking in wool wash.  I'd better finish this and go save it.

October 24--Nigeria, Saltcellar.  It looks like some odd type of three-legged race.  Three men not the same heights working to carry a basket of salt on their heads while wearing swords and carrying spears.  I imagine them talking as they move along.  "Step this way, Benin.  No, left."  "I'm trying, Edo.  My left or yours?"  "Bini, move your spear, I nearly stumbled over it."  Six legs and three heads all trying to work together, each one looking in a different direction.  It would be a great feat of balance and cooperation.  Could you do it?  I never could.


They just said on the TV that it's snowing in Yellowstone.  Yuk.  I've been wishing I was there, mostly because we had such a great time out there but also because I'm planning to put my NaNoWriMo novel there next month so I've been reading about the park, and now that it's snowing I'm not.  Simple as that--no snow, yes, snow, now.  Fickle, aren't I?  Have a day, I have to go rescue my shawl.
--Barbara

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I Don't Wanna...

do anything today.  Don't wanna go get my breasts pressed (ow), don't wanna type this, don't wanna go get my nails done (that I can wait on for a couple days, or maybe not, Friday will be too busy), don't wanna go back to the doc for a consult about my thyroid (nothing serious)... don't wanna, don't wanna, don't wanna.  I just want to sit around grazing on whatever holds still long enough for me to eat it, playing with yarn and fabric.  Maybe Durwood will go away for a while so I can have a bit of quiet, not that I want him to be gone forever, I just want a few hours of not-together.  He mostly does his thing and I do mine, it's just that for so many years I had the house and my time to myself, I miss that sometimes.  Here's what the front yard looked like once I'd finished raking away the leaf carpet on Sunday.  *sigh*  I liked it better with the layer(s) of pretty leaves.
 
Today's Photo a Day theme is "the view from here."  I had my camera out when I drove across the Mason St. bridge to work yesterday.  Here's the view to the south; there was too much bridge between me and the more interesting, northward view.

That's it for me.  I didn't write last night and I have nothing else to say that isn't whining and self-pity.  None of us want to see or read or type that.
--Barbara

Monday, October 22, 2012

It's Been A Whole Year Today...


since Mom died, almost exactly in fact.  (yes, I said "died," that is what she did after all)  Some days it seems like a century ago and on others it seems like two minutes have passed.  To quote HZ last Christmas day, "I don't like it one bit."  I keep wanting to drive over to show her stuff or call her to tell her things.  I suspect that won't stop for a while, if it ever does, but the pain isn't a sharp stab anymore, it's more of a dull prick.  (oh, I do like "dull prick," you can use it if you need to)  The Photo a Day theme today is "in your town" so I thought and thought about what makes my town unique (I almost said "special" but that might imply that my town rides the short bus; it totally doesn't, not all the time anyway) and it's the river.  The Fox River runs right down the middle of it.  The only way you get from west to east or east to west is to drive over one of the 5 bridges in town, one of which, the one by DS's work, is closed in the "up" position for some sort of repairs for how long I do not know, but I hear from DS that it's a pain.  Anyway, we have bridges and a river and sometimes an ocean-going freighter comes inching down the river, passing through the drawbridges in the middle of the city and all traffic stops  for a short time.  (I keep a knitting project in the door pocket of my car for just such occasions.)  Once, before they built the high-up Mason St. bridge (the busiest one and the one I mostly use) Mom was two cars back from the front of the line when the ship slipped to one side and knocked a part of the drawbridge into the river, preventing it from closing.  That meant that the cars had to turn around, except that a miles-long freight train was passing, trapping 3 cars, Mom included, between the broken bridge and the endless, slow-moving train.  I can still hear Mom's tale as it grew in scope and embellishment... and I just realized that I'm just like that, so you all have my mom to thank for the flamboyant storytelling I subject you all to on regular occasions.  You're welcome.  Anyway, hug your mom today or give her a call to tell her you love her.  Do it for me since I can't call mine.  Thanks.

October 22--Paul Gauguin, Tahitian Faces.  He left the eyes blank.  Hoe could he leave the eyes blank and empty?  Leah looked at the page town from is pad with its charcoal lines and smudges.  The empty eyes and silent mouths made her shiver.  She should throw it away, just wad it up into a ball and put it in the trash or maybe she should burn it.  Bad spirits had entered those empty sockets, she was sure of it.  She could feel the malevolence pouring off the page and plucking at her skin.  She dropped the paper to the floor and fled.

Eesh, those were creepy eyes, I'm telling you.  I'll bet they really shelled out the bucks for that sketch too.  Somebody needs to rethink their definition of Art.  The sun's shining and it's payday, I'm going to make it a good one, you do it too.
--Barbara Sue

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Calling All Rakes!

It's time to rake away the carpet of fallen leaves on the front lawn so if any of you have the afternoon off and want to do something, come on over, bring your rake.  I also need to dig out the snowblower so I can call the repair shop to come and get it (and the lawnmower too) for a tuneup.  I like to get them both tidied up every other season.  I'm not much for oil and spark plug changing or blade sharpening so I'm willing to pay someone to do it,  plus they come and pick them up and bring them back.  Worth the price for maintenance.  It's also time to knock down the patio table and put it into the shed for the winter with the stacked chairs, and hang the umbrella in the garage.  I have to say it's a lot more fun to get the stuff out than put it away.   I also need to call one of the dive shop customers who is a handyman to replace the window well window over our washer.  Dad replace one of the panes with a piece of Masonite that he plugged the dryer vent through.  It's worked okay for a long time but now one of the corners is broken (chewed?) off allowing unimpeded access to any random rodent passing by.  I don't want to play host to all of the neighborhood voles, mice, and chipmunks.  Nope, don't wanna, so it needs to be fixed.  Durwood asked if he couldn't just attach another piece of wood over the hole but agreed that it needed a professional fix when I said, "it was a Hank repair."  My dad was notorious for his creative home repairs.  (remember the "sock in the toilet tank" story? well, drat, I can't find where I put it on here so here you go in a nutshell--Dad used an orphan sock to redirect a geyser from the fill tube in the toilet tank instead of just putting in new guts)  Today's Photo a Day theme is "calm" and I took the perfect picture quite by accident this morning when I went out to fill the birdbath.  The sun wasn't up over the horizon yet and a jet was flying over way up high so its contrail was bright orange in the dark blue sky.  No noise except the early morning birds and that beautiful sky with an orange streak.  Ahhh.  It's starting to smell a bit funky down in the basement; that means that our sauerkraut is doing its thing.  Funky is going to be a mild term for things a few weeks down the road, but it's so worth it when you have kraut that tastes like something instead of just sour like the canned or bagged stuff from the grocery.

October 21--Greek, Bracelet with Central Medallion.  I like digging around in dark and dusty antique shops.  I rarely have anything in mind, nothing I'm on the hunt for, I just like finding treasures.  Doesn't even have to be valuable in a monetary way but whatever it is that catches my eye has to be interesting.  I like things I can spin stories about.  I like to imagine the past owners, what they were like, and how they lived.  Like this gold bangle bracelet I found in Ralph's last week.  I know it's gold because of the soft yellow color of the metal.  Ralph tried to tell me the stone is a topaz but I bet it's glass.  This bracelet's old, really old, and in the very old days they treasured glass most of all.

Not much drama in that but an interesting start, don't you think?  It's time to scrape the banana fuzz off my teeth (don't you hate that feeling?) and then tog up in tackling yardwork clothes and get to it.  Too bad there won't be a flyover but the football boys are out of town this weekend.  Next weekend for sure and maybe the weekend after some airplanes should come.  Did I ever tell you they come only for me?  The rest of you see it only incidentally.  Just thought you should know.
--Barbara Sue

Saturday, October 20, 2012

New Life Needs Knitted Things

We went down to Racine, south of Milwaukee, to spend a couple days with old friends.  Said friends are going to be grandparents for the first time come January.  You all know what that means, don't you?  That means I get to knit things for AddCinHub's coming grandbaby.  (they say it's going to be girl baby but I never believe it until it arrives and its plumbing confirms it)  I tucked a skein of "baby" colored acrylic yarn into my bag, along with a pattern for a rolled brim hat and the requisite DPNs.  I cast it on Thursday night and finished it Friday afternoon.  It's one of those "worsted weight yarn & big needles" patterns that works up like the wind.  I was so excited to give it to the granny-to-be I forgot to take its picture.  Trust me, it was cute.  (hmm, maybe I have a photo of a preemie hat made of the same yarn... I'll look... not the same pattern, just the same yarn)  It was the first gift too.  *patting myself on the back*


On Wednesday Skully came to knit with me for an hour or so at work.  She was knitting a scarf with a lovely bulky variegated yarn but yanked out the needles and shoved all 3 skeins my way.  I tried to refuse, tried to pay her for the yarn (it wasn't cheap) but she insisted I take it.  I surfed the Pattern pages on Ravelry for something to knit with it and found one for a baby blanket made of mitered squares knit on size 11 needles.  My kind of pattern!  When I got home after work I cast it on and got to work while we drive to Racine.  I worked on it at times over the days we were there and finished the first mitered square on the way home.  I love the colors.  Love them.  I figure I'll say that this is a blankie to stay at Grandma's house.  I'm going to go pick up stitches for the second mitered square right now.

Now The Sun Shines

Now that we're home, the rain stops and the sun comes out.  Sheesh.  Who is in charge of the weather?  Did I use up all my weather-fu on our Western Adventure?  Evidently, because it drizzled all during our drive down to Racine, rained when we drove with AddCinHub to Gurnee for supper on Thursday, drizzled when we went malling and to the Jelly Belly factory on Friday.  It quit when we went to downtown-ish Milwaukee for gyros and ice cream (not together, silly, one after the other), but started up again when we drove into Kenosha to eat supper at The Boathouse on cda's recommendation.  (thanks, cda, we loved it)  This morning it was gray when we were all loading up and by the time we got to Sheboygan (about halfway home) the sun was peeking out.  It went back in for a while and then emerged to bathe most of the afternoon in sunshine.  Not at 4 o'clock, of course, because "4 o'clock" is the Photo a Day theme today.  It would have been too much to ask that it be sunny when I wanted to take a picture.  Just before 4 o'clock I was talking to DS on the phone while watching a bunny rabbit nibble picturesquely on an apple.  Did it stick around to have its portrait made at 4 o'clock?  It did not.  So I was reduced to taking a snap of the nearly leafless maple tree, the leaf carpeted lawn, and the gray sky.  *shrug*  What can you do?  Right now I'm simmering onions, acorn squash, and rosemary in chicken broth, then it'll get whirred with the stick blender, topped with a sprinkle of green onion with cheese toast on the side.  A-a-a-a-a-and there's the timer...  Okay, I'm back.  The soup's good but it's a little thin for a work lunch so I think I'm going to go pick up a rotisserie chicken tomorrow and stir in some of the meat.  We didn't have a baguette in the freezer so I semi-defrosted a veggie loaf that HZ gave us and topped those slices with shredded cheddar and then popped them under the broiler.  Mmm.  Durwood was a bit surprised that supper got made and he didn't help.  (Next time I decide to peel a raw acorn squash I think I'll let him do it.  That is one hard squash to peel with all the ridges; no wonder the recipe called for butternut.)

I didn't write last night, I was too tired and pretty tapped out, so I just turned off the light and zonked.  You understand.
--Barbara

Friday, October 19, 2012

You Can't See Me

because I'm not at home, I'm in Racine with Durwood and AddCinHub.  We got here around 3-ish, in the rain, and chilly, for which neither of us brought the correct clothes.  Guess that means we'll be buying a couple of fleece cardis or sweaters, probably fleeces.  How can we live in Wisconsin where we have 9 months of winter and 3 months of tough sledding and not bring sweaters?  I. Do. Not. Know.  But we'll fix that because after the Jelly Belly stop we'll be at the outlet mall.  I don't think we'll find fleeces at the tool store, no, but I am confident that there're eleventy-seven clothing stores there.  Maybe Eddie Bauer.  Maybe Land's End.  Those are ones I like.  I'm not fashion-y, I'm more need to cover up, get something useful-y.  A classic, yeah, that's it, I'm classic.  The weather isn't really cooperating, it's gray and rainy and cold, not optimum being out of town weather but we're more indoor people these days so we'll deal.  We went to Joe's Crab Shack because Durwood is fascinated by their steampot commercials.  He got one (they're huge!), the rest of us got platters (which are big enough, thanks) and we all made most of it go away.  Oh, the Photo a day theme today is "letters" and I confess I'm took the lazy way out and found one I already had that (sorta) fit.  Hey, it's chilly and rainy out there plus I'm in a motel room with nothing much interesting in it.  You get what you get--and you're gonna like it.  (one of these days I'm going to leave in the words that I auto-type, like "light" for "like" in the last sentence, see what happens)

October 19--Paul Cezanne, Trees and Houses Near the Jas de Bouffan.  Nita was glad that it was autumn.  All of the leaves had fallen from the trees and light flooded the woods.  She loved the lush greens of summer but the cottage sat so close to the woods that the sun barely touched it at midday.  She pulled on a jacket and called to her dog Raclette that it was time for a walk.  The dog was a medium-brown short hair mutt with a sweet personality and a witty gleam in his eye.  He carried his leash in his jaws as he trotted to her side.  She hooked the leash to his collar and they went out the door.

That's when I took a 30 minute nap before turning out the light and officially starting the night.  Time to get dressed for breakfast.  See ya!
--Barbara Sue

Thursday, October 18, 2012

We're Outta Here


Around noon we're zooming off to Racine to meet AddCinHub for a couple days of random goofing off and lots of visiting.  Oh, and we're going to the Jelly Belly factory too.  I don't really care what we're doing, I'm just glad that we're going to be able to get together for a bit with our old travel friends.  No dressy clothes needed either, only jeans.  Ahh.  Maybe I'll throw my pair of bright shiny red Danskos in just in case I need a boost.  Yeah, I think I will.  We met AddCinHub in the Miami airport in about 1985 (good god!), both couples headed to the Holiday Inn in Aruba for a Priority Club Points award trip.  We offered to give them a ride because we had a car reserved.  When we got to the car rental desk we discovered that the reservations service (Sears) we used didn't transfer to international rentals, they only worked on stateside ones so, no car.  NO CAR!  Here were 4 people in Aruba airport in the dark with a mountain of luggage (not ours) and no car.  So we shared a cab.  Remember the beginning frames of The Beverly Hillbillies when they've got all their belonging in and hanging out of a vehicle?  That's what we looked like, people covered with luggage, cases hanging out of the trunk, but no Granny on the roof.  You should have seen the cabbie's eyes when we marched up but, by god, we'd promised them a ride and they were going to get a ride.  We shared a drink in the hotel bar and parted for the night.  The next morning Durwood and AH met for coffee quite accidentally and hatched a plan that we'd share a car rental for the week.  I wasn't sold, turns out CH wasn't either, but we did and had a great time with them, so much that we agreed to vacation together again the next year in Jamaica.  We did that a couple years, then did a Windjammer Barefoot cruise.  By then we'd gone down to visit them in Indiana and they'd come to see us.  For a few years then we just kept in touch by phone but one winter we met in the middle for a weekend and did that for a few years, then phoned when life intervened, and they came up for DS & DIL1's wedding. A couple years ago we had cabin fever and just called them and went down to their place for the weekend, then they came to Lexington for DD & DIL2's wedding, we went to Goshen for BH1's wedding... you get the picture.  We're all retired-ish so we have more time to get together, not more money (less actually, I think) but time, and we're making it a priority to figure out how to get together.  It's a good thing.  

Today's Photo a Day theme is "made you smile today" so I took a picture of our TomTom gps thingy and the pad where the reservations for our motel rooms are written (we're old school, it's paper and pencil for us).  The idea of driving off for a few days really makes me smile.

Did I tell you I got a flu shot on Tuesday?  Well, I did and man, does it hurt.  I always have a big reaction to them, my arm gets swollen, red, sore, and achy, then the aches spread out and the rest of me is marginally achy for a day or two.  I tolerate it because ol' Durwood'd kick the bucket if he ever got the flu or pneumonia and we don't want that.  He's promised to take me to North & South Carolina and the Great Smoky Mountains next fall and he's not getting out if it that easy.  It worked for getting to Yellowstone so I figure if I keep making him promise to take me places he'll have to stick around to keep those promises.  Genius, don't you think?

October 18--Spain, Enthroned Virgin and Child.  "Oh for the love of God, not another church," Ellie said as the tour bus stopped.  The ancient Roman Catholic cathedral darkened the square in front of it with its imposing shadow.  The cobblestones were damp and slick as she followed the tour leader and the rest of the group.  "If I twist an ankle on these damned stones I'm going to be pissed."  She heard that priggish Marian Pigorski who sat behind her on the bus click her tongue and she straightened her shoulders.  "Yes, Marian, I said pissed in a church.  Now I'm for sure going to Hell."  A couple of Marian's gal pals tugged their husbands away from her and Ellie was glad.  She was tired of the shuffling pace and dreary stops on this trip.   Where were the bustling market towns and seaside villages promised in the brochure?  What did a girl have to do to get a drink around here?  Didn't priests have wine?

And that's it for me today.  I have to go pack now.  Toodle-oo.  Oh, I'm taking my laptop so I should be able to blog while we're gone, never fear.  Bye.
--Barbara Sue


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It's Hump Day!

And it feels like it to me.  I feel like I'm at the peak ready to slide down a slope toward the weekend.  The good thing is that we're going to Racine tomorrow to meet AddCinHub for a couple days, to do a little shopping (the Black & Decker outlet!  tools!! and kitchen stuff for Durwood!), and just spend some time with them.  We'll be coming home on Saturday so that we all have Sunday to "do stuff" before the workweek rears its ugly head again.  
 
D'ja ever notice that you can estimate the outside temps by how the light looks?  I know it's not cold out there, not below, say, 40 degrees because it just looks warmish.  The air/light/something out there looks different, more golden maybe, than it'd look if it were in the 20s or 30s, when it'd look more blue perhaps.  Oh, I can't explain it, maybe what I'm really sensing is the air that's coming in the barely open window next to me, or that the house temp never got below 70 overnight even though we set the thermostat at 64.  Whatever, it's supposed to hit 68 degrees today and I'm glad even though I'm also glad that it's time to wear long jeans and a cardi.  I like cool rather than hot.  I get hot too easily, so cool's better for me.

Today's Photo a Day theme is "fruit."  Every evening after supper Durwood and I share an orange and a while back we had some ripe plums and some perfect red grapes, so instead of just carrying the orange wedges over on the cutting board I got a little plate and arranged them so they looked pretty.  I thought it made them all taste even better.  You love fruit?  I love fruit.  I had a fabulous Honey Crisp apple for a bedtime snack last night.  Well, Durwood was eating tomatoes and I wanted something too but not tomatoes and not something salty or bad for me so I got an apple that I sliced up into really thin slices that I munched on while I bound off the last, endless row of my Lava shawl.  I almost made it on 2 skeins but had to tap into another skein just for the bind off.  I hate that.  Luckily the woman I bought the yarn from had made something with it and sent along her leftovers in addition to the untouched skeins.  Whew.  Next comes blocking, then I can show it to you.

I did sew the first of the October quilt blocks which is #19 in the grand scheme of things.  It was a labor intensive, prep intensive pattern, and the next one's no different.  It took me way longer than I thought it would to get that first one done, but then I confess I did change my mind about the fabrics at the last minute so I spent a good amount of time pulling out scraps of fabric and making different piles to see what I liked best. Then there was all that sewing and trimming, then paper pattern removing and assembly.  I like the result but ran out of time for sewing #20... the LAST one.  I'll get to it next week.  Cross my heart.  And then I'll show you all 20 of them laid out in a grid.

October 17--Chitarman, Shah Jahan on Terrace, Holding Pennant Set with his Portrait.  The air was thick with the smell of heat and rot.  It was too hot even for the cicadas to sing their love songs.  Leah prayed for a breeze, any movement of air would be a relief.  Every droplet of sweat that crept down her skin make her afraid that it was a poisonous insect preparing to bite her.

That art did not inspire me.  Can you tell?  Hey, are you liking the paragraph thing or did you like the stream of consciousness all one long babble better?  I can't decide.  The paragraphs make it easier to read but I feel like I lost some of the immediacy of it.  Too many pictures?  Thoughts?
--Barbara Sue

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

One, One October Quilt Block

I know I said I was going to sew them both up today but there was all that cutting and measuring and sewing and sewing and ripping and...  I did my best, really, I did.  It took me longer to pick out the fabrics.  I mean, I thought I had them all picked out but then I changed my mind so I had to lay things out, flop them around this way and that, iron out all the folds, then make sure that the pieces were big enough.  The first triangle (there were 8 in all) took forever and even though I was watching the instructional video (evidently I can't count from three to four reliably), so I got to spend time ripping out the tiniest stitches my machine makes without ripping the foundation paper pattern piece.  *sigh*  Finally I managed to get all 8 of them made, got the paper patterns ripped off the backs, got them back into the correct order, and sewed them together.  Naturally the middle's not exactly right but I love the colors and I love the way it looks.  Once again I imagine a grandchild snuggled under it tracing the lines, liking the disconnects better than the ones that are smooth... but then I have a rich fantasy life.




I have one and one half rows to knit on my Lava shawl, bind it off loosely, and then block it.  I can't wait to finish it and show it to you.

Today I Will Sew

Yes, I will.  *nods confidently*  Once I get home from my annual check-up (are you due for yours? this is not something to neglect, ladies & gents), I'll be going down into my "studio" (aka the basement) to sew up the October quilt blocks for the block of the month class I've been taking all year.  Even if I have to take my laptop down there so I can watch the instructional video over and over, I will get them done so I'm all ready when November rolls around and it's time to join all the blocks into a quilt top, cut backing fabric and batting, and sandwich them together so that basting (ugh, basting) can take place.  I'm excited at the idea of having a quilt that I've made.  I hope I like making the rest of it as much as I've enjoyed making (some of) the blocks.

Today's Photo a Day theme is "something you wrote."  I have written a lot of somethings... see?  That's a bookcase my Grandpa Stephan made for Mom before I was born; the middle shelf is full of my writing books, the pile on the upper right is stories and poems that need work, and the row of binders and expanded files on the bottom shelf are the novel manuscripts.  What did I tell you?  Lots of somethings.  The next photo is of the novel manuscript I'm working to make it ready for publication.  That's something.  And the last photo is what I wrote last night.  That's something too.  I can't decide; take your pick.

I had a grand total of zero customers at work yesterday.  Zip.  Not even lookie-loos, only a little, happy family thinking we sold aquarium fish.  (sorry, dude)  Mr. Boss came in to pick up some parts that'd come in and get ideas about places other than Earl's Canvas to find a nickle plated, not brass, grommet to repair Ev's BCD (buoyancy control device).  I sent him off to an upholsterer (no luck) and then I checked the Yellow Pages (gasp! what a radical idea!) to find that there're two other listings under "Canvas" in the YP, plus there's always boat canvas places.  He said he'll check them out today.  *head slap*  Am I the only one left who uses the actual paper book?  Tell me why he didn't check online.  He's tech smart, not so creative smart, I guess.  It's a long boring eight hours without customers.  I knitted on an afghan block while listening to an audiobook and I surfed the web.  And nibbled.  No customers is bad for my waistline.

(aw, man, I need to get ready for my doc's appointment. I'll be back later.)

I'm back, poked and prodded and gooped and stuck, with a preliminary passing grade that I'll make it another year.  I've got an Rx for the shingles vaccine, since they don't carry it at my little clinic, which is the last independent clinic in the city of Green Bay.  !!!!!  All that's left is that one vaccine (that I want to look up the side effects of before zooming off to get it) and my mammo next week.  Then I'm good for the year.  *dusts hands off*  You're taking care of yourselves too, right?  I don't want to lose any of you.

October 16--Rufus Hathaway, Lady with Her Pets.  I never liked her.  She sat there staring at me, judging me, as far back as I can remember.  I know she insisted on wearing those feathers in her hair.  Hair which looks like a bad wig.  When I was really small I thought she was a man in a dress.  She looked like some of the paintings of George Washington I've seen in books.  Not friendly, that's for sure.  I've always liked her birds, neither of them are in a case, and I wonder why her black cat there behind her isn't stalking them.  She is not an appetizing sight to have to look at while I'm eating.  Maybe Gram will hang a different painting over the mantle.

Well, I'm off to sew those quilt blocks.  You all have a grand day.  I hope the sun's shining where you are.
--Barbara Sue

Monday, October 15, 2012

Seems Like The Rain's Stopped



It's no less dreary but it isn't actively raining anymore.  I think maybe it's not supposed to rain today but if it's done then it should be sunny.  Especially since it's Monday morning.  Monday morning needs to be sunny so that the beautiful shininess of it lures us out of our caves to go to work or school or errands or whatever.  (I'd like to be one of the "whatever" set but I have to go to work; DS is stopping by the dive shop to pick up his watch that he left in the kraut making area downstairs and it's payday, I have to go)

Today's Photo a Day theme is "dinnertime" so here's our fridge.  See that squarish, tall container?  That's our dinner tonight.  It's some tomato-y gravy stuff with onions and peppers and a chicken breast for us to share.  Durwood'll make rice or noodles and some veggies, a lot of veggies, and we'll gobble it right up.  I think it's the height of luxury that I don't have to plan, shop for, prepare, serve, and clean up our meals anymore.  I did my 30-some-odd years, it's his turn, and he's happy that it is.  I'm thrilled.

I was the only knitter able to go to Z-Dawg's yesterday for a bit of a get-together.  (we missed you, Cookie and Skully; next time)  It was a good thing to do on a rainy afternoon.  There were snacks.  My dip was delicious and she made a baked brie in pastry.  We weren't shy and gobbled them up quite enthusiastically.  Not that we ate enough for two more people, no, we didn't do that, but we made our share disappear and maybe a bit more too.  I got down to the last pattern row on my shawl while we sat and knitted and yakked, so I finished that row last night after supper.  Today I can embark on the last 4 rows of edging.  Soon it will be done and I will have a swell knitted shawl to cover my shoulders on chilly days.  Hooray!

Once I got home after knitting I sorted the wash and got it started.  And patched my jeans.  It's a sign that you've kept your jeans too long (is there such a thing?) when your back pockets are wearing holes at the corners.  I don't use the back pockets so I ironed on patches on the inside and sewed around them to keep them in place.  I suppose I could recycle them, cut them apart and make them into something else, but I like my jeans.  I've had them for years and years and years and years.  At least 15 years, probably a lot more.  I do have a couple pairs of new jeans that are all stylish and fitty but I like the old, broken in ones for daily wear.  I choose to believe that it's a triumph that I can still fit into them, not that I'm thin or anything, but my size hasn't changed all that much in all those years.  Granted some years they've been tighter and some years they've been looser but overall, even with losing about 30 lbs. a few years ago, I haven't changed much since the late 1990s.  Physically anyway.  (that's kind of depressing, isn't it?)

I stayed up a bit late (of course I did) listening to the end of a novel I had on my iPod and waiting to put the last load of wash into the dryer.  I hate when I forget a load and the one in the dryer's a "hang up" load so I'm left with a glob of wrinkled shirts in the dryer and mildewy ones in the washer.  Better to stay up until 11 o'clock (again) than have wrinkled and smelly clothes.  Right?  Right.  

Have you read any of the Gabriel Allon novels by Daniel Silva?  You need to check them out.  He's an art restorer who also works for "the Office" in Israeli intelligence as an assassin.  They remind me of Ken Follett or John LeCarre novels but Allon's dealing with terrorists instead of Nazis and he has an interesting cover job.  There's a raft of books (I don't know how many) in the series and they're so good I'm reading (actually, listening to) them out of order and I NEVER do that.  I'm gobbling these up like candy corn. Winter's coming and you'll need a bunch of books to survive the cold; these might be the ones.  (thanks again, Carrie, for the recommendation)

October 15--Edouard Manet, Peonies.  He heard her latch the French doors and hum to herself as she crossed the hall and went into the kitchen.  He has chosen his hiding place well.  He knew that her husband Marcus was out of town because the fool had been broadcasting around in the tavern on the weekend.  "Poor Maya has to stay home while I'll be in Rockland on business."  Marcus had waggled his eyebrows when he had drawled "business" as if he would be cavorting with another woman.  Maya would not eat in the dining room alone so he could be sure she wouldn't notice him crouched next to the buffet.  He imagined how soft her skin would feel, how her eyes were glitter in the night light, how her breathing would deepen as he caressed her, and how it would stop when he held her throat in his hands.  Soon now.  It was getting dark.  Soon.

Yipes, I think maybe I've watched too much Criminal Minds, but I like it.  Have your day.  Hope it's sunny where you are.
--Barbara Sue