Sunday, June 30, 2013

I'm Going Diving...

and you're not (can you hear the sing-song, nyah-nyah 9 year old? I know you can), unless you are, then I hope you have fun.  I got my gear packed and hauled upstairs yesterday afternoon.  I even remembered to put my regulator on my tanks to double check that they're full (of course they're full, I filled them).  I have to rinse the grapes I got and clip them into serving size bunches.  And I put a couple G2 Gatorades in the fridge so I'll have something to drink in addition to the water that lives in the car.  I'm meeting Mrs. Boss at Gill's Rock for a couple dives in the afternoon.  I don't know if anyone's coming to join us but we decided that we're going even if no one else signs up.  Better make sure I have a $5 bill to give her for my share of the snacks.

I spent the afternoon making a valance for DS & DIL1's kitchen window.  It was nice to be down in the sewing studio, measuring and cutting and sewing.  I also divied up the thread I got from Mom when I took her doll room apart.  DD's sewing costumes this summer for DIL2's musical and can always use more colors.  I got out a box that wasn't big enough.  Oh, it held all the thread but it was full to the tippy-top and I need to be able to close it to mail it.  *d'oh*  I was astonished again at the great volume of thread Mom had, and there's more in a different place, serger cones not spools of thread, but still it's a lot.

June 30 (it's the last day of June--already!)--American, Needlework Picture.  It took Gemma most of two winters to embroider the picture.  Once her day's chores were done she sat on a stool by the fire with her sewing basket at her side.  She was very proud of her sewing basket.  Mrs. Linney had made the basket and Mama had lined it with calico from an old dress so that none of the threads snagged on the willow splats.  Her grandmother had left Gemma two needles in a silk packet and her silver thimble.  For her twelfth birthday Uncle Abraham had given her a pair of small silver scissors shaped like swans.

Well, I need to wrench myself away from endlessly describing a setting and get to the ACTION one of these days, although I don't know what action can happen to a young lady sitting embroidering by the fire.  I'll think of something for tonight.  Time to go get some breakfast and watch CBS Sunday Morning in about 3 minutes.  Going diving!
--Barbara

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Just a Little Achy

Ice really works.  Amazing how they tell you that all the time, in all those first aid classes you take (every 2 years to keep my certification up), the mnemonic (R.I.C.E.=Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) for sprains that gets drilled into your head, and then you discover that putting ice on your owie really helps the hurt be much less.  Amazing.

Man, is it dreary today, gray and drizzly, but it's nowhere near as hot as it was earlier in the week so I guess this is an adequate trade-off.  We're skipping the Farmer's Market today (boo!) because we're out of almost all the veggies so Durwood's planning a jaunt to Woodman's later to stock up and he's willing to forgo $1 each hydroponic tomatoes for thrift.  I'm planning to closet myself in the sewing studio to divy out the barrel of thread I have from Mom with DD because she's sewing costumes for the Lexington Children's Theater summer musical and can use it, and then whip up a valance for DS & DIL1's kitchen window.  I need to do it all today because I'm packing up my dive gear later and going off diving with Mrs. Boss tomorrow, come hell or high water.  We were talking when she was in the store the other day and discovered we both really want to go diving so we are, even if nobody else signs up to go, we're going and we're doing 2 dives.  She's bringing subs to share and I've got grapes.  We'll be fine.  And we're meeting at the dive site so I'll have a nice long drive up all by myself and then drive home with all the windows open and the radio blaring so I stay awake.  Good plan.

June 29--Iran, Spouted Jar.  It must have taken a steady hand to paint lines that clean.  Leah turned the ancient jar in the light.  The red ocher paint hadn't faded much over the nearly three thousand years since it was made.  The door of the lab was flung open, crashing into the file cabinet.  She jumped and bobbled the jar, nearly dropping it.  "Dammit, Jacob," she said without turning around, "do you have to come in like devils are on your tail?"  "I'm sorry, the knob seemed to squirt out of my hand."  At the sound of the unfamiliar voice she set the jar down and turned to face him.  "You're not Jacob," she said.  He stepped forward, hand outstretched.  "No, I'm not Jacob, I'm Dr. Grey Weatherly, the new assistant director and I'm your..."  "New boss," Leah finished for him.

Well, that's awkward.  But there's already sexual tension in the room, feel it?  No?  Well, trust me, there is.  I'm off to have some yogurt and granola for breakfast and then go play with fabric and thread.  Then pack my dive gear.  Yippee!

--Barbara

Friday, June 28, 2013

Nothing's Broken

After my walk with Porter this morning (during which she only balked a few times, still irritates the bejeebers outta me) Durwood and I took off to do errands.  First to Home Depot to get replacement exterior door knobs for the rental side (the front lock won't open with the key) and look at range hoods and sinks to price getting rid of the last vestiges of avocado.  They also have 2-packs of 20# Kingston Charcoal for a great price so we went to get some.  Durwood held the cart while I hoisted the first package, caught my foot on the ^%&$# sign and fell, charcoal and all.  I clonked my elbow and knee on the cement but didn't break anything.  Naturally some tattletale woman alerted the nearest employee that "someone fell" so I was the center of a scrum of people in orange pinnies.  I know they were concerned that I was hurt but it was only my pride that got damaged, I didn't really even bleed.  Stupid sign.  (Of course, as time goes by I feel all the muscles that got wrenched trying to save myself begin to ache, but I've got 2 ice packs, one for my knee and one for my elbow, like a good girl.)  Next we hit Sam's and really made inroads.  You know those times when either you've run out of everything or when things you usually buy are all on sale?  This was one of those times.  Good thing Durwood's got a big van so I could load it all up with ease.  I was smart and backed into the garage so unloading was a breeze, then we shared the leftover pizza from last night, and now I'm blogging and he's snoring in the kitchen, having a little nap before time to heat up supper so I can go knitting.

June 28--China, Watercolor of Musician Playing a Drum.  Tin could make his drum sound like her heartbeat.  The steady rhythm traveled through the timbers of the house and up through her bones.  Leong kept her eyes...

After that there's only a scribble.  I was tired last night.  Maybe because I had 8 customers yesterday.  Eight!  And not all at once either.  It was like having a real job.  Time to refreeze the ice packs.
-Barbara

Thursday, June 27, 2013

I'd Like a Slice of Air, Please


Well, that's how it felt when I went outside this morning.  It's 70 degrees but the humidity's 80%.  Does that make any sense at all?  No.  No, it doesn't.  We had late winter/early spring weather into the beginning of June and then, whammo, the dog days of summer arrived and they've stayed.  And stayed.  I must admit that the weather has been good for the tomatoes and (LOOK!) blueberries.  I was certain I had destroyed any chance of getting berries this season when I transplanted them while they were blooming (Vijay said that was a no-no, or at least his handout did) but two of the three (the two oldest ones) are making berries.  They must be grateful for all the sunshine and yummy fertilizer I gave them, also the water they're getting since it's raining this year which it didn't do last year.  Oh, I still long-water the garden at least once a week but
this year Mother Nature's doing her part too.  Whew.  I noticed when I went out to tie up the tomatoes after supper last night that the spiderwort is blooming along with some volunteer Queen Anne's Lace and the shrub rose is adding its small splashes of red.  One of these days I'm going to weed out all the violets in that little garden patch and thin out the daisies, but not today.  Dad's roses are blooming too, and the lilies at the frog's feet are beginning to bloom.  I love this blooming time of year, don't you?


I'm off to work again today.  Mrs. Boss was in yesterday to pay some bills and mow the lawn so she won't be in today.  That means no one will interrupt my knitting and audiobook listening unless, of course, some customer wanders in.  That'd be good, and I just remembered (I miss my memory) that she told me that we should be getting a shipment of wetsuits so that'll give me something work-y to do too.  I feel better about my day when I've got a bit of work to do and work makes the day go faster.  I'm a big fan.  Did you know that I wear an amber scarab necklace every work day?  I do, because the ancient Egyptians believed that the scarab beetle rolled the sun across the sky so I want to honor that just in case they were right, but I only wear it on work days.  I don't want days off to go fast.  Nope, don't want that.

June 27--Louis Comfort Tiffany, Mosaic Panel.  It was a relief to step onto the cool mosaic tile floor.  Gina kicked off her shoes as soon as she walked in and sighed as the cool floor eased her hot feet.  She had walked into town from the villa.  It had been cool and breezy when she started out but as she had shopped her way through the candy-colored stores in the tiny business district the breeze died and the sun burned away the clouds.  She had been disappointed at not finding much to buy but on her walk back in the midday heat she was glad to have only one bag to carry.  She was tempted to lie down on the cool tile floor but she could hear the housekeeper in the kitchen.  Gina was sure that Marisa already thought she was one of "those crazy Americans" and she wasn't eager to confirm it by getting caught lying spreadeagled on the entryway floor.


Well, that's dull.  No blood, no dead body, just hot feet.  Meh.  Okay, it's time for a shower and Cheerios.  Yay, Cheerios!  Stay cool.
--Barbara

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Man, It Was Hot


I realized after supper last night that I could no longer procrastinate mowing the lawn.  It had to be done.  So I did it and, man, did I sweat.  Sweat stings when it gets into your eyes, did you know that?  Well, it really does, and I was wearing a sweat band.  Good thing I had some Gatorade in the fridge.  Good thing we've got a shower in the bathroom because I stripped off and just stood under the lukewarm water, letting it run over my head until I cooled off enough to dry off.  Then I polished off my Gatorade AND made inroads into the remaining lemonade.  (BTW, can someone please develop lawn grass that only grows 2" tall so it doesn't have to be mowed??  PLEASE???)  I barely had enough energy to cut up the pineapple and strawberries to make a fruit salad but I managed.  I can't leave fruit in the store when it's so reasonably priced and in season.  I can eat it every meal, on my cereal, on my yogurt, just out of a bowl.  Yum.

I just realized that if I want to keep getting my antidepressant and reflux meds I'm going to have to find another doctor.  Well, crap.  After last winter's thyroid meds fiasco I'm not going back to my old doc.  Guess I'll call the clinic and take potluck. But first I'll check to see how many refills I have left on each of them so I can procrastinate if possible.  Don't want to rush into things, you know.

The interview went well yesterday although I did have to call her because she'd forgotten.  Oops.  When she arrived (we met at Panerra) she looked at me like I was about to pull a rattlesnake out of my purse.  Turns out her son hadn't really told her what he wanted or why, so I did and that was better.  Then we just talked.  And talked and talked.  I got a very different perspective on the start of the business and the way it grew.  Interesting.

June 26--Cindy Sherman, Still from an Untitled Film.  Cindy was a good girl.  You could tell by her sensible suit, the jacket fully buttoned, and her little straw hat.  No one at Grant, Foley, and Chatham could figure out how she managed in the city.  Chicago regularly chewed up and spit out good girls like Cindy, who grew up in a little Mayberry town in rural Wisconsin and watched too many Rock Hudson and Doris Day movies on late night TV.  The senior secretaries at the law firm tried to keep the more predatory of the lawyers away from her.  They were a little envious of her fresh innocence and wanted to preserve it, at least for a little while.  Cindy kept trying to flirt with those same junior partners but they avoided her like she had a disease.

I don't know what comes next.  She looked like such a victim that I had to close the notebook and put my pencil away.  Time to read the paper and eat some of that luscious fruit salad I made last night.  Hasta la vista, babies.
--Barbara

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Not My Day

If my Grandma Angermeier were still alive she'd say I have a brutz on, and she'd be right.  I feel like I'm walking around with a scowl on my face and I have no patience.  My walk with Porter was frustrating.  Every time there was a noise like a garbage truck or a slow boat going by on the river Porter would startle and stick herself to the trail.  After about half a mile I got tired of her jerking me to a stop, gave up, and turned around.  It didn't get any better but at least we were going toward the car (and the end of the walk) and we didn't get rained on, although it looks like it will and feels like it will any minute.  My errands went well, though, thank heavens.  I swung by the hospital to drop off a bag of preemie hats from the Guild, went to Aldi for strawberries and blueberries, Walmart for pineapple (fruit salad!), spinach, bananas, tomatoes on the vine for Durwood's breakfasts, (I splurged on a box of Weight Watchers fudgesicles too), and a few new t-shirts since some of mine look a little overloved, at Sam's I got a couple containers of Fage Total 0% Greek yogurt (oh, it's so good), then I came home.  I have an interview this afternoon so I'd better paste a better outlook on myself.  Don't worry, I'll make a good showing, I always do.  I'm a professional.  A professional what I don't know but I will rise to the occasion, never fear.

June 25--Claude Monet, Ile aux Fleurs near Vetheuil.  Dew drops quivered on the petals of the wildflowers.  The freshening breeze sent a wave through the field and the drops made rainbows as they flew.  The sun's rays heated the air and brought out the bees to hum their way from blossom to blossom.  Down the lane a brown dog barked and sent the last laggard rabbit scuttling into its warren.  The farmer fired up his tractor in a series of asthmatic wheezes and then pulled out into the lane with a crunch of gravel and grinding of gears.

Okay, I'd better go find some lunch and get ready to be charming.  It'll be a stretch but I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

--Barbara

Monday, June 24, 2013

I Forgot An FO

I was updating my 2013 Finished Objects list over there in the left hand column and I forgot about a Too Early Birthday Hat I made at Friday Night Knitting week before last.  The yarn's called Happy Baby and I really like the colors, don't you?  I need to rework this pattern so I can also make it for full-term babies because I really like the design and I love the colors of this yarn, which is... Premier Yarns Everyday Soft Worsted Prints.  They have lovely bright variegated colors, and they're machine washable and dryable.  What's not to love?

One Finished, One Begun & Finished

Let's get to that last bit first.  Don't think I've suddenly become a whirlwind knitter because I haven't.  The urge to cast on a few things has been nearly irresistible, nearly but not completely (I'm still fighting to finish what I've got going first), so when I was downstairs looking to see how much I have left of a yarn someone on Ravelry asked me about  (not enough to share) I ran across the BIG skein of Sugar 'n Cream dishcloth cotton in the Toasted Marshmallow colorway (sadly discontinued) with an afghan hook stuck in it.  It struck me that I could make a dishcloth in an evening and maybe bleed off some of that startitis.  So I did.  Make one, I mean.  I nearly finished it in one evening but the sandman came calling and I was powerless to resist.  I like having a couple dishcloths on hand just in case I'm in the mood to give someone something and I was down to one so I needed to make it, plus I really like the yarn colors.  So sedate and restful, unlike my usual knitting/crocheting choices.


Thursday at work I focused solely on binding off the everlasting ruffle of the Wildflowers Shawlette.  Thanks to Bay Lakes Knitting Guild Founding Mother, TS, I used a crocheted castoff which is miles less annoying to do than a standard one for that long, long, long row of stitches.  Thanks again, TS!  The wool was very scratchy to knit with so I'm hoping that a good long soak in wool wash will help.  Fingers crossed, because I love the way it turned out.  Now I have a sedate one and a wild one, one to suit my mood (sometimes in the same day). 
 

Hot & Sweaty & Buggy & A Blast




Those adjectives perfectly describe my morning yesterday.  I drove down to Maribel to meet Lala and hike the trails at Cherney Maribel Caves County Park.  We met at 10 AM, arriving simultaneously by chance, and set off, after I sprayed myself liberally with Deep Woods Off!, my new favorite perfume.  It promised to be hot and humid and didn't disappoint but we kept moving and talking and it was fine.  The previous night's rain made the trail muddy and slick in places but we were careful and just enjoyed the place.  Lots of ferns and rocks and tiny springs or streams that crossed the trails, and tree parts that looked like animals.  The caves are mostly just narrow fissures and the ones that do have space for exploring are gated shut and locked tight (whew!), they're only opened by the pros who lead tours a couple times a week, not that I'd ever be so foolhardy as to go into a dark, dank hole in the ground, no sir, not this chicken.  *bok, bok*  There aren't many signs telling you how to get back to the parking lot so we hiked a lot further along the river trail until we realized that we had gone quite a bit longer that way so we turned around, found a spot on the riverbank to sit on mossy tree roots to have our snack (lemonade and scones), talk a bit, and sit enjoying the quiet and the sweet smell of summer.  It was hot and humid, yes, and mosquitoes whined around our ears, yes, but it was a great escape to be sweaty and muddy and away from the everyday in a new place for a couple hours.  At the north end of the park, on private property sits the ruins of the Maribel Caves Hotel, aka Hotel Hell, which is the subject of many lurid tales of fire and Al Capone and bones and ghosts, none of them true (they say).  In the bright light of day the place looks benign but I'm sure it looks like everybody's nightmare on a dark and stormy night.  The property's bordered by a split rail fence posted "no trespassing" every few feet so you can't get close to it but it's fun to see.  After a couple hours or so we drove back to GB where I turned off toward home and Lala continued on to Waupaca to Judy Rebird's for an overnight in her writing shed.  I imagined that I'd come home and mow the lawn.  I didn't.  The temperature soared through the afternoon and I'll admit that I was dead tired so I talked on the phone to DD and CH, finished crocheting a dishcloth, and
goofed off on the computer.  A fine Sunday.


I thought I'd share the recipe for Three-Citrus Lemonade with you.  It was in the latest issue of Our Wisconsin magazine and was an excellent thirst quencher on yesterday's hike.


Three-Citrus Lemonade
5 lemons
5+ limes
5 oranges
1 ½ pints water
1 cup sugar

Squeeze juice from 4 of the lemons, limes, and oranges; pour into 2 quart pitcher.  Add sugar to juices; stir to combine until sugar is dissolved; add water.  Taste and add more fruit juice or slice the remaining fruit for garnish.  Serve immediately or refrigerate. 6-8 servings.

The original recipe called for twice the sugar and twice the water but when I used half of everything it tasted like sweet citrus water to us so I ramped up the juice and it was absolutely perfect for a hot summer day.  Enjoy!

June 24--Turkmenistan, Coat.  That red coat meant the world to Lissy.  She'd bought it with her first paycheck when she'd started working after graduation.  It was a rich red wool with silk embroidery on the cuffs and over the shoulders, and now it was covered with blood, Dale's blood.  She lay on the lobby floor with the smell of gunpowder souring the air, broken glass glittering like diamonds on the marble floor, and Dale bleeding there beside her.  Was she bleeding too?  She didn't know.  She lay there, her eyes locked on Dale's as she watched the light fade from his dark brown eyes.  She felt his last breath ruffle her hair and all sound came rushing back.  She heard the shouts of people on their cellphones on every side of the huge space; their voices echoed and jangled.  Out on the street were car horns and sirens, but in her quiet space there in the cooling pool of her husband's blood her heartbeat was the only sound.

Well, that's gruesome.  Hey, have a good day.  It's Monday, it's summer, make the most of it.
--Barbara

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Well, That Didn't Work

Something came up and Lala didn't come after all but we are going to meet at Maribel Caves later this morning to do some exploring before she goes off to Judy Redbird's for an overnight.  One good thing yesterday is I got the house all cleaned.  I don't know why I avoid it, cleaning I mean, because I purely love having cleaned, everything looks so nice and tidy and the house smells fresh even when it's been closed up, like now because the mold and pollen counts are through the roof.  Durwood's had a hard allergy season and it doesn't look like it'll let up anytime soon.  One thing I didn't do yesterday was mow the lawn, which I should have done because the super-humidity and heat is supposed to arrive today and stay for a few days and it's time to mow but I just didn't want to mow, I wanted to pout (and overeat) because my plans collapsed.  So I did.  Durwood made a yummy supper for us.  (too bad you missed it, Lala)  He broiled some chicken breasts with a little garlic powder, salt & pepper, and sauteed shallots, garlic, mushrooms, Roma tomatoes, and a zucchini in a bit of balsamic vinegar, with fresh green beans on the side.  There was just over one serving of bow tie pasta leftover that I quick heated up to put the veggies over but we really didn't need that.  It was delicious.  Dee. Licious.

A bunch of my perennials are blooming so I thought I'd show them to you (since I didn't take a picture of the yummy supper).

June 23--Turkmenistan, Coat.  The silk embroidery on the red wool coat made Gracie feel like royalty.  She ran her fingers over the small stitches that made up the floral motifs that covered the fabric like wallpaper designs.  She'd been up in the attic one fall day looking for a small table to put in the family room and stubbed her toe on a cedar chest.  Meemaw's monogram, KMA, had been on a plaque on its lid and she couldn't resist opening it to see what was inside.

Aaand that's when I conked out.  All that cleaning, all those fumes, all that disappointment and frustration laid me right out.  Now it's time to go read the paper and have some breakfast before I drive away to meet Lala and play outside.  Happy Sunday.
--Barbara

Saturday, June 22, 2013

I Bet It's Gonna Rain On Me Again

I'm meeting my friend, Lala, at Maribel Caves County Park about a half hour south of here to do a little exploring and then she's coming up to spend the night.  It looks like rain.  The weather guy is saying we're getting rain.  Well, 50% of us are and I'm betting I'll be standing smack dab in the middle of that 50% at around 1:30 this afternoon when we're supposed to meet.  I got out my rain jacket but it's too damn hot to even think about wearing the rain pants, so it's probably wet socks for Barbara again today.  But I am not wearing my nice tennis shoes today, I'm wearing the walked out ones I should have been wearing yesterday when I got soaked.  I might even resurrect my old, solid plastic orthotics so that my newer, very expensive ones don't get soaked again.  What's a little neverending backache compared to wet feet?  I think I'm cursed.


I made the Three-Citrus Lemonade yesterday but it took twice as many fruits as the recipe said for it to taste like something other than citrus-y sugar water.  That was okay, I had enough fruit but it was a good thing I was only making half a recipe because I didn't have enough fruit to make a full one. (maybe I had substandard citrus fruits)  I did get momentarily smart though.  I bought a pair of medium-sized water bottles with pop tops at walmart and filled them halfway with the lemonade.  Then I propped them in the icebox of the freezer so they'd freeze on a slant.  When I'm ready to leave later I'll top them up with the chilled lemonade so they'll stay cold but not get watered down.  See?  Smart.  Lala's bringing some gorp or granola so we'll be just fine if we get marooned.

D'you ever wish you had a flamethrower when you're faced with clearing out the accumulated crap in your house?  I do.  Craftsman should be making a home model, then you could just use your leaf blower to blow the ashes out the door or suck them into your shop vac and use them as mulch.  I am damn sick of dust and cobwebs and clutter but when I get right down to throwing my sh*t away I back down.  What if I need it? I think, knowing in my heart of hearts that I won't ever need it, didn't need it in the first place in most cases, but still I can't get rid of it.  I despair of ever leading an uncluttered and civilized existence.  I'm doomed to being crap-rich and style-poor.  I'm not even considering "elegance" as a lifestyle possibility.

June 22--Paul Gauguin, Two Tahitian Women.  Nia and Ola were tired of everyone treating them like little girls.  They were thirteen, no longer children to be sent out of the room while the adults talked or made to eat supper with the babies at a separate table.  "We need people to treat us like grownups," said Nia as they washed clothes behind the house.  Ola agreed.  "Maybe we can get jobs, maybe work for that painter up the road."

Gah!  I just can't write looking at Gauguin's paintings.  Those aren't women, they're girls and he's a dirty old man, or maybe a dirty young man but I can see what he was looking at and he just wasn't nice.  Not nice at all.  Perv.  Well, it's puckering up darker and darker and my barometer knees are really complaining about it.  I'd better go swamp out the bathroom one last time and find some breakfast, oh and change the sheets.  Gotta do that.  Gotta scoot.
--Barbara

Friday, June 21, 2013

It's Gonna Rain On Me


I know it is but I'm still going to get Porter to take a walk.  I won't melt and neither will Porter although she's a real princess when it comes to rain.  I don't know if I've ever seen a more sorry dog when she gets rained on.  Not a water dog at all...

(three hours later)  When I typed the above it was getting darker and darker so I threw on some clothes, grabbed a baseball cap, and went to get Porter.  We had a great walk, a great walk, the only problem was it started raining when we were one mile into our two mile walk.  We waited out the first shower under the overpass.  Big, brave dog didn't like either the thunder or the semis rumbling overhead so she stood leaning on my legs while I patted her and told her what a good dog she is.  Then there was a lull so we started back.  We hadn't gone 50 yards before the rain came back and stayed (but I did see a mama doe and her fawn cross the trail a ways ahead of us, that made getting soaked worthwhile).  Did I take the nice big umbrella I keep in the car along?  Of course not.  By the time we got back to the car we were both soaked, I was having a blast, Porter was not.  She didn't even make a move toward the backyard when we got to her house, she just waited while I unlocked the back door and scooted right in.  I got out her towel and reached down to dry her off and she kept rubbing herself dry.  I didn't have to move, she kept walking under the towel as I held it and then doubling back like she couldn't get dry enough fast enough.  Too funny. 

Since I was on the east side and already soaked to the skin I stopped at the dive shop to pick up the grapes I didn't mean to leave there.  I parked in a puddle at Lindsley's greenhouse to see if they had any sweet basil.  They did!  I got a 6 pack for a buck fifty but they won't get planted until the rain stops.  Then I went to Aldi for blueberries, strawberries, a cantaloupe, and pretzels.  (have I told you that Aldi has the best pretzels?  they're Clancy's and I highly recommend them)  When I got home I changed into dry clothes and discovered that even the orthotics in my shoes were soaking wet.  Wish I had a heat lamp to dry them with.  Maybe I've got an old hair dryer kicking around in a bathroom cupboard since I don't relish wearing another pair of damp socks.  The rest of it I don't mind so much, in fact I kind of enjoy being out getting all wet, but I don't like wet socks.

June 21--Baselyos Ethiopia, Prayer Book: Arganona Weddase.  Gavin looked down at Ellie's still form.  She lay in a pool of blood.  Her skin was the blue-white of spoiled milk and her eyes weren't quite closed.  It made him uncomfortable to see the glitter of her eyes so he leaned over and used two fingers to slide her eyelids closed.  As he straightened up he was that she held something in her hand.  It looked like a page from an old book.  He carefully teased it out of her stiffening fingers and held it up to the light.  There was an orange and brown design like a quilt block on the page with a grid of symbols below it and rows of some sort of writing alongside it.  It looked like a code or maybe an ancient language.  Ellie had called him wanting to meet to show him something she was excited about.  He had arrived only to find her murdered and her place ransacked.  He heard faint sirens in the distance and his heart began to race.

Dun-dun-dunnnn.  Will he turn the page over to the cops or try to decipher it himself?  Beats the heck out of me.  Durwood and I are off to find that new office chair for him and then hit Walmart for a few things.  I'll be the one trying to stay dry. Toodle-oo.
--Barbara

Thursday, June 20, 2013

I Forgot To Tell You!!!

When we were driving back to the highway from Piggly Wiggly last night the line of cars we were in slowed way down.  Durwood began to grumble about inattentive drivers and people driving under the speed limit, then we passed what had slowed everybody down.  It was a fawn in the long grass of the shoulder.  A little fawn.  Not a newborn but still with white spots, maybe knee high at the back.  Of course there were cars behind us so there was no slowing down to take its picture, but a little fawn.  A baby deer kinda like this one.  Aw.

I Stayed Up Too Late...

last night and didn't write in my notebook.  I know, my bad, but I was determined to finish my shawlette row.  I'm this close to finishing that endless ruffle so I just had to stay up. I'll be using a crochet hook to bind off at work today.  The pattern calls for another increase row first but I don't think I have another one in me at this time.

Durwood's plans for yesterday were thwarted when the a/c service guy (they had a tune-up special) took hours longer than we anticipated to service both of the a/c units.  He arrived at 1 o'clock and left around 5:15.  Holy chit!  Either he's very thorough or he has concentration problems.  Maybe he napped when he was next door.  Whatever the reason Durwood didn't get his shopping done so we skipped eating our leftover supper and going to look at a new office chair, went to Barley's Deerfield Diner in Suamico (don't bother, they have an uninspired menu and blah food) before hitting Piggly Wiggly for the things on his list (fruits, veggies, 99cent Rinaldi spaghetti sauce, milk, and a TV dinner).  We'll go to Office Max tomorrow.  I'm convinced that part of his constant backache is due to the old, butt-sprung office chair he sits in most of the time so I'm going to throw away (yes, I am!) the ancient chair at his computer (I think Moses used it), move his eating-watching TV-dozing chair to the computer, and put the new one at the table.  I'd rather use the "real" chair but it's not a battle that's worth fighting.  There are so many other issues to get pissy about, I can leave this one alone.

The reason he bought a TV dinner is that I'm going to have Subway supper with a couple of women I was in Tae Kwon Do with about 20 years ago.  Turns out LL moved to Washington (I don't even know if it's state or DC, I'm thinking state) to be nearer their daughter and grandson, and BT is moving to Savannah, GA on July 4th so JC suggested we meet one last time for subs at her place.  I can get behind that idea and tonight's the night.

I had a couple customers yesterday (sold an airfill card, it's like a frequent shopper card--pay for 8 tank fills, get 2 free) and just didn't feel like knitting so I read a book on my Kindle Fire.  Ooh, I do love it.  My ardor for it is rekindled (heh) now that I figured out how to borrow library ebooks and fong them onto the Kindle via USB.  (It's free, you know, borrowing library books.)  The only problem is that they only let you borrow 10 Overdrive books at a time and you can't return them early so if I'm not enamored of a choice I'm stuck with it until the time runs out and that's usually 2 weeks.  I've got most of them on the iPod in audiobook form but now that I've figured out how to download ebooks onto the Kindle I'd like a double helping, please.

Oh man, I nearly just had a heart attack.  The clock started chiming the hour and I didn't start counting at the first one.  I only noticed it in the middle of the bonging and thought for a minute there that it's 9 o'clock but it's 8 o'clock.  Whew.  Plenty of time to have breakfast on the patio before getting ready for work.  And I can't forget to drop yet another tank off at Van's for a Hydro, which is an every-5-years pressure test air tanks need to have to be certified safe to fill with pressurized air for divers to breath and NO, I do NOT put oxygen in those tanks.  It's just regular old room/earth air, filtered and dried.  Oxygen is toxic under pressure.  After a certain, pretty shallow depth the diver would have convulsions and die.  An autopsy is not the optimum apres-dive activity, so for most divers it's air all the way.  There are some enriched gas mixes (Nitrox and Trimix [also called HeliOx mostly by old-school, hardhat divers]) that more technical divers use to go deeper and stay longer but they've got a whole different set of tables to figure out the mix and safe operating depth so I'm sticking with air.  I'm willing to be tired and hungry after a dive (I like snacks and naps) and stick with the air tables to not have to learn new math or think very much about what I'm doing anymore.

I'm outta here.
--Barbara

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

One Thing At A Time

Lately that's my speed.  I finished the Summer Anklet sock Friday evening.  I was confident that I would run out of the festive stripe Cascade Fixation I was using and have to make the toe with the pale yellow I had in the stash.  In fact, I was kind of counting on it. Guess what?  I ended up having enough to make it all in the variegated with a few yards leftover.  I feel kind of cheated, like I should have put that yellow on there anyway and had a bit more left, but I finished it, took its picture, and it's done.  Done, do you hear me?  Done.  Finished.  Finito.  *dusts off hands*  (don't tell anybody but I went into the stash yesterday and got another skein of Fixation to cast on another one, shhhh)



I finished the left front of the Bean's Kimono Thursday night at the Guild's Knit in the Park night.  I did have to tink (knit backwards) the last 6 rows because I forgot that I'd done a garter stitch edge on the back.  *head, slap*  I'll be plunging in to make the right front, maybe today, plus I saw a booties pattern that just might work with this.  (one thing at a time, Barbara)




I'm working on the ruffle edging of the Wildflowers Shawlette.  It's kind of a slog.  You increase a lot making a ruffle so I'm working on hundreds of stitches and it's slow going but I'm determined, although for some reason I'm not as enthusiastic as I was before.  Must be the warmer weather because I sure like the way it's looking.







I have to finish the above two projects before I embark on any others.  Have.  To.  No new socks, no matter how pretty the yarn is (but it's only an anklet, my inner 9-year-old whines).  No unearthing the leftovers of a few boot socks to start the next one of those, winter's far away.  *fingers crossed*  No casting on the back of this sweater I'm enamored with.  Before I cast it on I have to do some figuring because the pattern doesn't go up to my size.  It's not a huge deal but something that merits some calm consideration and a little math before I dive into the deep end. 


It's too bad because I'm kind of in an "everybody into the pool" mood today.  I could do some damage with all the pairs of needles and yarn I have at my disposal but I learned the hard way that I can't get something half done and then put it away for a year.  That way leads to frustration and frogging.

Not A Cloud In The Sky


That's today's motto--or at least its motto right now.  It isn't 7:30 AM yet so that could change and probably will but for right now, right this minute the sky is a clear blue and the sun is blazing its way up the eastern half of the overhead dome.  It's currently about 50 degrees but I think I heard last night that by tomorrow that will all change and not for the better, the rest of the week's supposed to be hot, humid, and stormy.  Yee. Haw.  Good thing I spent most of yesterday doing yard chores, eh?  I got out the special fertilizer and gave my blueberries and Durwood's shallots just the kind of food they need to grow big and strong.  Then I moved 3 of the 4 flower cauldrons to their intended homes in the front.  After that I got out the loppers and cut back the hummingbird vines and a huge nettle patch (eesh, makes me itch and burn just to write that).  While I was chopping things that had to go to the yard waste I toppled a huge shrub thing that was deaddeaddead.  I piled it all onto a tarp, dragged it around the house, and shoved and tugged it into the back of Durwood's van.  As I pulled out of the garage I caught the sideview mirror on the door jamb and it popped apart.  Didn't break because it's one of those you can adjust remotely but grrrrr.  No, GRRRRR.  The branches were too long so I had to drive to the yard waste with the back hatch open, plus the highway guys have broken the highway overpass I usually use to get there so I had to turn around and go a couple miles out of my way to go 100 yards further.  But on my way home inspiration struck so I stopped up on the corner at Rabideau Auto Mart where we buy our cars and Joe was able to pop the mirror back together.  It's not a fix, only a stopgap, but WHEW.  When I got home (after cleaning the twigs and leaves out of the back of the van) I pounded in the stakes we'll use to tie up the tomato plants so I could cross off each and every to-do on my list.  Yay, me!

This morning I went out to see what I could see, added a handful of peanuts to this feeder, and there came Mr. Bluejay to see what there was to eat.  I like how they give their raucous call when they arrive to let everyone know they're here but they're so skittish, like big scaredy cats.

Porter was all gung-ho to walk yesterday.  We went left into DePere, walked around the path through Voyageur Park, but she drew the line at walking out to the new viewing deck.  She's not a bridge girl, nosiree.  There were lots of fishermen of all ages wetting their lines from the path along the river.  By the looks of it fishing is very serious business.

 June 19--American, Congressional Presentation Sword of Major-General John E. Wool.  My granddad clanked when he walked.  He was in "The War."  That's how he said it, you could hear the quotes and the capital letters.  I'm not sure what he did in "The War" or exactly which war he meant but, whatever he did, he wore a sword while he did it.  By the time Mam and Pap got around to having me, Granddad had forgotten anything to do with modern times.  He spent his days living in his past.  He wore his cavalry uniform and his sword day after day.  Mam had Pap and Uncle Shorty fix Granddad a bedroom in the front room since he wasn't good with stairs anymore but he seemed pretty lively as he led the charge down the hall when the enemy had invaded the sun porch.  "Now, Major-General," Mam would say, "you've got them on the run.  How about some milk and cookies?"  He'd be happy to park his sword on the back of the chair so he could have a snack.  As I was his dedicated subaltern I got cookies and milk too, but my sword was a wooden slat with a blunt tip.  It was a long and tiring fight from the front of the house to the sun porch in back for men of war like Granddad and me.  "An army travels on its stomach," Grandad said when Mam set down the plate filled with cookies still warm from the oven.  She patted his shoulder and smiled.

That was nice to write.  I'm going to eat outside again this morning so I'd better get cracking since I also have to shower and comb and dress and go to work.  Actually work will be a rest after my busy day yesterday.  Get outside if you can, the world feels great today.
--Barbara

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Remember That Monday Sky?

I intended to eat my breakfast out on the patio once I'd blogged.  By the time I was pouring the Cheerios it was spitting rain.  Those puffy white clouds had been pushed aside by their dark brethren.  Gah.  But I forged ahead, slicing fresh mango to top my cereal, and by that time the drops had stopped falling and I was able to eat outdoors.  I plan to try that again today.  

I sold a tank!  A priest (yes, priests can dive if they want to and know how) stopped in to pick up his serviced regulator (the breathy thing) and drop off his tank for service but didn't want to have to wait the week it'll take.  Also he doesn't live in town so 2 tanks will give him more chances to dive before he needs airfills.  Don't worry, I'm absolutely certain he didn't pay me out of the collection plate (since he didn't pay with a bag full of dimes, pennies, and wrinkled dollar bills).

OMG you guys, I got a letter yesterday.  A real letter.  An actual, handwritten letter on stationery.  See, I read this blog, Yarnagogo, and the blogger is a writer and a knitter like me, and she asked for letters to motivate her to go to the post office to mail some things she needed to mail.  I like letters and I like writing so I pulled out some fish stationary and wrote her a letter.  She wrote me back.  Now I'll wait a suitable time until I have something to say back and then write again, then she'll write again... that's how this letter thing works.  You gotta write 'em to get 'em.  One of the ladies up at The Clearing when I was there last time said she writes letters all the time.  In fact, she said she wrote and mailed 8 of them that week.  EIGHT!  Gives me hand cramps just thinking about it.  But I wrote one to my Aunt Ginny and my Darling Daughter too.  Let's see if I get some back from them.  Ooh, this is exciting!

June 18--Charles Courtney Curran, Betty Newell.  Betty was too young for the tennis party.  She knew how to play but she didn't always understand the conversations and jokes, and she was too young to drink anything stronger than lemonade.  Her brother, William, was home from college with a threesome of friends who were staying the week.  They stayed up late at beach bonfires and out in cars, then they slept until nearly noon, played cut-throat tennis, swam, had supper with the family (neckties required), and were off again.  One of William's friends wasn't quite the wildman as the others.  Morton read in the mornings out on the lawn while the others slept and actually made it a point to talk to Betty.  She had a bit of a crush on him.  She knew she was too young but he sought her out and made sure to sit by her at the dinner table.  Yesterday they were out on the lawn sitting under the willow by the lake talking about books when William and Dodd called Morton to come in to play billiards.  Morton stood up to go and then he leaned over and kissed her cheek.  Just like that, he kissed her.  She must have sat there stunned for ten minutes before she raised her hand to touch the place his lips had brushed.

I'm off to walk Porter, or let Porter walk me, and I've got a big bag of peels and stems for Henny & Penny. It's a pretty, cool day with lots of sunshine so it's a great day for a walk.  I'll be stopping by the bank to cash my paycheck too. Toodles.
--Barbara