Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Day Between

Today is the day between Mom's birthday and mine.  In a perfect world we'd be going to Huhot for lunch today, she'd buy mine and I'd buy hers and we'd get dessert too because it's our birthdays.  But it's not a perfect world, she's dead and I'm going to TT's wedding later.  Ah well, can't have everything.

The tenant is all moved out and was back to clean and take out the last few incidentals when I left for knitting yesterday.  She came over to tell Durwood last night that "I didn't realize that the oven was self-cleaning and the fumes are driving me out; I'll be back tomorrow."  Does that mean she didn't clean the oven all 17 months she lived there?!?  Did she toss in some oven cleaner and then turn it on to Clean?!?  Way to poison yourself, Donna.  She really did come from the backwoods of Up Nort'.  She told me when her sink was stopped up a couple weeks ago that she'd never had a garbage disposal, she'd just tossed her food garbage out the back door--and she seldom locked her back door or any door here.  I pleaded with her to lock her doors but she didn't.  Now, we don't live in a ghetto and there aren't roving bands of house breakers (yet) but it isn't smart to invite invasion.  At least lock up when you sleep or leave!  Sheesh.  I need to go over as soon as I've posted this and deal with the paint on the wall behind the stove.  Shouldn't take me long.

Mrs. Boss slid into the store a nanosecond before 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon to take over.  Three or four callers and customers were unpleasantly surprised to hear or see me.  I don't think because they dislike me but they were expecting her and got me.  Evidently not a good trade in their minds.  Honestly, the questions they needed answered could only be answered by her so my feelings weren't hurt.

I was SO glad to have knitting to go to last night.  Most of them read this so I didn't have to trot out my tale of woe, well, not the whole thing anyway and I got a lot of "poor baby's" that made me feel better.

Okay, you guys, you have to watch/listen to this YouTube video.  My writer/knitter pal Rachael Herron linked to it in her blog post the other day, I clicked on it, and can't get this song out of my head.  So much so that I bought the mp3 of the whole album to put on my Kindle.  And I don't buy music.

August 31--Johannes Vermeer, A Maid Asleep.  It was dark in the gallery.  A single light burned at the far end where her favorite painting hung.  Jean felt a kinship with the young woman dozing in the frame.  Most of Jean's days were spent waiting.  Waiting for the mail and then waiting for Doctor Perkins' secretary to sort it and tell her in excruciating detail what to do with each and every scrap of it.  She waited for Security to unlock the door down to the conservation labs because evidently she couldn't be trusted with a key.  She felt invisible, no one looked up to smile or thank her when she came in with the mail and when she walked around with the cart to deliver packages they were always more interested in the boxes than in thanking her for delivering them.  The only thing she was sure of was that she would lose her job if she took a nap like the Dutch girl in the frame in Gallery 7B.  No one paid attention to that little dark painting.  She should take it home.  Just for the weekend.

I slept until 7:45 (yay!) and now I need to grab something to eat, then get my tail moving so I can finish my paint job before time to go to TT's wedding. Exit, stage right.
--Barbara

Friday, August 30, 2013

Quietly Flipping Out

I told Durwood last night that I was bone tired for no good reason and he said, "well, there's lots going on right now that's bugging you" and he's right.  I've been stressing about whether the old tenant will vacate the place so I can make sure it's clean for the new tenant, there's really nothing I can do but worry, so I am.  I suspect (hope) she got all her stuff out yesterday and either cleaned like a crazy woman before I got home from work or will do that today before the carpet cleaners come.  I should probably go check to see where we are because I get to work for a few hours today so I won't have time to later.  And I need the keys, etc. and her new address.  Gah!  I hate this.  Hate.  It.  Okay, I feel a little better.  I just went over and she's got almost everything but her cleaning supplies out of there although she (or someone) unplugged the fridge so I plugged that back in.  Why do people do crap like that?  Anyway, I feel better, at least a bit.

I looked on the calendar at work yesterday and CLOSED is written in Monday's box so I get a 4 day weekend after all.  Mrs. Boss came in to mow (called it!) so I double-checked with her.  Yep, I'm off on Monday.  Whee!  I said that it'd be a 5 day weekend but I was wrong since I have to work a few hours today.  I hope that this month's the last one like this for a loooong time, like forever.  I only like working extra hours when payday rolls around, and even then only fleetingly.

I woke up having to pee at 5 o'clock and couldn't go back to sleep.  That I don't like, not one little bit.  Now I'll be sleepy all day.  Grrr.

August 30--Egypt, Middle Kingdom, Hippopotamus.  Gina's hand moved back and forth almost on its own as she brushed away the sand in the square meter of desert she was assigned to.  She had been in third grade when she found the book on King Tut's tomb in the school library and she fell in love with archaeology.  She was still excited at the prospect of making a great find even though she thought the tedium might kill her.  She had found a few faience beads in her square of sand and a scrap of a woven reed basket.  Tomb robbers' leavings, she thought.  There was a pocket of pot sherds that got her pulse racing but Professor Arlin determined that while it was a clay pot it was nowhere near 100 years old much less thousands of years old.  "What have you found?"  The deep male voice behind her made her jump.  She looked down to see a tiny statue of a blue hippo smiling up at her from the bottom of the hole she had cleared on autopilot.

Today Mom would have been 85 years old.  Stupid death but I have to confess I don't know if I could have coped with Mom and Durwood and tenants and my own general weirdness.  I might have flipped out less quietly--or cried a lot more.  Have a day.
--Barbara

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Not Waking Up Today

Man, I am not waking up.  My eyelids feel like they're made of lead and there's a kink in my neck and my brain's foggy.  Nope, not waking up.  Oh well, I'll be at work so no one will notice.  Except if Mrs. Boss comes to mow the lawn or something.  She's off to do some Eastern Star business again tomorrow so I get to work for a few hours (eee, bigger paycheck!) again.  That means I'll have worked part or all of every Friday in August but one.  I'm not a fan.  The sunrise was very pretty when I dragged my corpse out of bed just after 6:00.  I'm glad I saw it but I'd rather have been sleeping.  I could sleep right now... probably not really, my brain probably wouldn't turn off but I sure feel like it'd be a good idea to flop down again.  But I made the bed... oh well... next time.

This weekend is the kite festival in Two Rivers on the lakeshore and I've convinced Durwood that we should drive over to watch on Sunday.  There's a parking lot right next to a shelter where I could drop him off and that's right by where they fly those big fancy kites to music.  And it's free!  Who doesn't love free?  Let's hope for a bright, sunny, breezy day--but not too breezy so the dive boat trip Mrs. Boss has organized doesn't get blown off again.

August 29--Jean-Leon Gerome, Prayer in the Mosque.  For centuries men had prayed in the mosque.  Thousands and thousands of pairs of feet had worn the stone floor smooth.  The rugs were so threadbare that it looked as though they were dissolving into the stones.  The regulars barely noticed the shabbiness thinking it a comfortable and familiar place to pray.  Generations of families had come to the mosque for prayer and fellowship.  Outside of the cafes in the bazaar the mosque was where deals were struck and contracts sealed.  Tovar felt the slightest breeze as he stood near a pillar.  No one was beside him and still he felt a stirring at his side.

Yeah, I don't know where that came from or where it's going and, to be honest, I don't care.  Today I just don't care.  I'm freaking out because the renter isn't moved out yet which means I'll have about half a day on Saturday to make sure it's all clean and sparkling in there before the new tenants move in on Sunday.  Gah!  I'm freaking out!
--Barbara

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Back To The Grind--Or Is That My Knees?


A bit of both, I think.  It's still dreary and gray and so HUMID the air feels like you could cut it.  I picked another bowl of ripe and nearly ripe tomatoes early this morning.  DS & DIL1 are harvesting their tomatoes too but they cut them into chunks and roast them with wedges of onion, olive oil, salt & pepper and then whirr them in the food processor to freeze for tomato sauce to cook with.  Doesn't that sound good?  I think I might try that this week or next with all the ripening 'maters coming in from the garden.

I got the wedding gift all organized yesterday.  I picked up a couple plain white soup bowls at Cook's Corner and a half-yard of a bright cotton print at Hancock Fabrics (I think I like the fact that they're next to each other now.) and spent an hour downstairs in the sewing studio making a couple bowl potholders to go with them.  On my rounds yesterday I stopped into Target for a gift card to tuck into the package and a nice greeting card too.  Now I just need to find the perfect box, wrap it, and we'll be set for Saturday's party.  What will I wear?  *taps lips with finger*  I'll find something summery and cool in my closet, I'm sure.  (shh, don't tell but I think those potholder things might be the "everyone gets one" gift this year, shh)

On Monday I had to dig out an implement I didn't think I'd be seeing for a few months, at least I hoped I wouldn't need to handle it until then.  Durwood found an ad for a small engine place that offered free pickup and delivery for snowblower service, and ours badly needs fixing since I didn't know I wasn't supposed to feed it ethanol gas (it's tummy's upset), so they came to pick it up on Monday afternoon.  After it stopped raining, of course, I, however, had to get it out of the shed and push it around the house to the driveway during the morning rain storm.  Nice.  Ah well, I needed a shower anyway, and I'd already had to put on a bra and go fetch a gallon of milk since when Durwood poured some in his coffee it poured out in chunks.  Not a good thing.  Isn't life interesting?  You'd think when you get to be our ages (61 [until Sunday] & 74) our lives would be smooth and just kind of coasting, right?  Not even close.  I want to live like the "seniors" on commercials, you know, active and busy and ache-free but I think they're animatronics or CGI (computer generated images).  I'll be wearing my knee support again today.

August 28--Gustav Courbet, View of Ornans.  It felt safe in the village.  The river slowed as it made the bend on the north end of town where Pere Georges' orchard dipped its fruit-heavy branches near to the grass in the fall.  The limestone bluff sat like a battlement atop the green hill protecting it from the cold wind that blew off the higher slopes in winter.  It was a good, church-going village where neighbors helped neighbors and newcomers were welcomed with open arms.  It made no sense when body parts began turning up in the river and the fields.

Okay then, that's creepy.  Durwood just got up so it must be time for me to go find my breakfast and shower so I can pick up a tank from Van's and go off to work.  I wonder if I have to work next Monday... maybe not... that'd be cool, that'd mean I get 5 days off in a row since I don't work on Tuesdays.  Score!
--Barbara

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I'm On A Preemie Hat Jag

I can't seem to stop making Too Early Birthday Preemie hats.  I can't.  I'm addicted to those little hats made with the variegated acrylics.  I'm a slave to the colors and the way they stack up, so much so that I've carried up all of the skeins so that I can make a hat from each before the jag fades.




This one is Red Rocks...


this is Northern Lights...











and this one's Harvest Melon.




This afternoon I took myself down into the sewing studio and whipped up a couple of microwave potholders to give as part of a wedding gift this coming Saturday.  This is one of those patterns that I think is so clever and "why didn't I think of that?" worthy.  I hope the newlyweds like them.  I should probably put a little note in with them so they understand that the whole shebang goes into the microwave so you can carry your hot bowl to the table or the couch without burning your fingers.

Oooh, it's gotten pretty dark and thunder's really rumbling.  Better get this posted and power down the laptop.

A Day Off or An Off Day?

I don't have to work today.  I'm disinclined to do anything today.  It's hot and MUGGY so I cancelled walking with Porter and I really don't want to do much.  I need to seek a little something for a gift since we're going to a wedding on Saturday, and I discovered last night at bedtime that, though the adapter to connect the dishwasher to the new faucet screws into the end of the faucet just fine, water squirts out when I connect the dishwasher to it.  Now this is the very adapter that worked perfectly on the previous faucet so I'm guessing I need to seek a different adapter.  Good thing I have pretty good spatial acuity so I don't have to take the faucet to the store, I can just take the adapter that doesn't work and imagine what one that will work should look like.  I think the threads need to be about a millimeter taller so the adapter doesn't go into the faucet quite as deeply.  I am full of confidence, aren't I?  Let's see how I feel when I get back from the store.  Sounds like I'm doing things after all.  That's okay.  I woke up all on my own at 6:30 (boo!) and couldn't go back to sleep so I sat on the couch watching brainless HGTV and finishing the latest preemie hat I had OTN (on the needles) until 9:30.  That should be enough sloughing off for anyone for one day, although I may sneak in another hour or so later.

All these storms riding through on the various weather fronts are wreaking havoc with my knees.  They're achy today but it could also be because I started playing balance games on the Wii since I've been feeling particularly off balance lately, especially walking across the tippy, slick rocks into and out of the water the other day.  So I thought I should balance up.  Maybe I should stop wearing those rocky, fitness shoes I like so much.

August 27--John H. Belter, Sofa.  The blood looked black on the dark red satin.  It shouldn't have shown but there it was in lively swaths of drops, like a Pollock overlaying a da Vinci.  Levi stood in the middle of the room with the sunlight streaming in through the open French doors touching his shoes and the only sound was the buzzing of the first fly.  He couldn't move, couldn't step in any direction without stepping in blood or some unspeakable gore, and the sirens were getting closer.

Man, I'm kind of sorry I fell asleep when I did.  I hope you are too.  Maybe I can call it "flash" and leave it at that.  Okay, I'm off to... get dressed for one thing, and then I'll see what the rest of the morning brings.  Probably a jaunt to Home Depot and I hear that Durwood has a prescription that needs picking up and I have a package to mail and then there's that wedding gift that needs buying.  Can't forget to cash my (larger this week) paycheck too. Seems like no more day off for me.
-Barbara

Monday, August 26, 2013

Out of Practice But Not Out of Control

Actual
That's how I felt during the first half of the dive yesterday but I kept kicking and by the time the hour underwater was done I felt (mostly) like my old self.  Part of me just felt old, but I ignored that part and kept going.  The algae is in full bloom this time of year so the viz (visibility) is crap--5' max--and the water is bright green, kind of like a watered down algae shake or one of those wheat grass drinks that looks pretty and tastes like lawn clippings.  Actually that was pretty much what it was like when we first got certified 23 years ago (holy crap! that long ago? yep, in 1990... I miss it being 19something, don't you?) and before the zebra mussels arrived to filter a lot of the algae out most of the year.  Happily the water isn't too cold--68 degrees--so the fact that I forgot to pack my hood didn't keep me out of the water, I only got chilled toward the
I wish
end.  Since water levels are down all over Lake Michigan we reached a maximum depth of 16' (big whoop) but there were lots of nice-size bass and one curious carp (I think, it was pretty murky) especially around the wreck and there was only one jet ski and no fishing boats out yesterday so we didn't have to dodge them.  That's a good thing, there're usually a lot of watercraft on Little Sturgeon Bay when we dive there.  I had to stop at the dive shop and borrow a different BCD (Buoyancy Control Device) or BC because mine doesn't fit this year.  I haven't gained any weight but evidently what I have has repositioned itself so, yeah, I had to borrow one.  That contributed to my unease at the beginning of the dive, I'm sure, but I'm a good diver (or I used to be anyway) so I worked through the challenge, and that made me feel better about myself.  Always a good thing.  DM broke a fin buckle when we were going in so she spent the dive wearing only one fin.  She put it on her right foot at first and did just fine but when she changed it to her left foot and told her left leg to kick she said her right leg was flailing away while her left one, the one with the fin, was still.  She had to shift it back to keep going.  What finally worked was when she put the fin on the left again and then wedged her right foot on top of it so that she was kicking both legs like a dolphin.  Aren't brains funny?



After the dive KC drove to an honor market in a farmyard just down the road from the dive site.  They were looking for peas in the shell, not sugarsnap peas, real peas and there were 2 big bags (maybe the last of the season, peas don't like it hot) that they snapped up and I found some peaches.  Everything was priced and there was a little tin for the money and a pad of paper for you to write down what you buy.  They had sweet corn and apricots and tomatoes and a whole hutch of homemade jam, too.  It felt odd but charming to park in the farmyard with no one around but a few chickens, go into an empty room in a block building and buy things with no one around.  I'll stop again.

Ooh, thunder.  It's been dark and darkening since I got up an hour ago and I've been hearing distant thunder (or road construction) for a bit but now it's here.  Rain, too, Durwood says.  I love storms, don't you?

August 26--Giotto di Bondone, The Epiphany.  Mattie never felt old enough to be a mother let alone a grandmother.  She swore up and down that she didn't remember being pregnant with Eldora and she refused to accept that Ellie knew what needed to be done for her to produce a granddaughter.  Mattie had been married once a long time ago to a man who thought he was Ellie's father.  Those days were pretty fuzzy in Mattie's memory so she couldn't say for certain if he was or he wasn't.  Ellie's daughter, Claire, was a fairly interesting kid.  She had a vivid imagination and a good vocabulary.  She seemed to like spending time with Mattie and she asked to be told stories.  Mattie loved telling stories, some of them might even be true.  Mattie insisted that the little girl call her by her given name in public and only call her Grandma when they were alone.

I have absolutely no idea what that has to do with an epiphany but I like it.  (cda, it makes me think of stories you've written about your Mimi.)  I WILL remember to toast 4 sandwich thins and scoop out 4 bowls of fruit and take sliced cukes, cherry tomatoes, and the container of pesto hummus I made for lunches.  I won't be grubbing around for carrot chips and pretzel rods for lunch this week.  *nods confidently*  Time to wrassle the snowblower out of the shed and roll it into the front so the fixit guy can pick it up today.  Naturally I get to do this in the rain.  Natch.  Might as well get it over with.  Good thing I won't melt.
--Barbara

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Avocado Has Left The Building

Well, except for the clothes dryer in the basement and I don't count that because I don't see it fifty times a day.  Spanky came over yesterday and installed the new stainless steel sink (a new [leaky, then returned and replaced] faucet too) and a new white range hood.  The range hood's about 1-1/2" shallower than the old one so I've got a strip of bright yellow to deal with, next door too.  I have to get next door's strip dealt with before September 1 which is next Sunday, one week from today (also someone's birthday *points at self* just in case anyone's lost track) when the new tenants move in.  When I emptied out under the sink so Spanky could work I found that I already have a can of Goof Off so now I just need to make sure the leftover paint hasn't turned into a puck in the can and go over there and do the work.  I figured I'd use the Goof Off to feather the edge of the old paint, let it dry, and then touch it up.  

Lots of tomatoes are ripening and three decided to mold.  Mold???  I suspect that they were nibbled, kept ripening, and the watering and humidity caused mold to form.  Durwood and I have to step up our tomato consumption.  I'll be doing my part in my work lunches this week.  After supper last night I whipped up a batch of pesto hummus (I added 1 cup of basil leaves and about a tablespoon of chopped walnuts [should have toasted the walnuts but I was tired; I'll do it next time] with my regular ingredients) that I'll have on toasted sandwich thin halves with cucumber slices and Roma tomato slices on top, and I'll add cherry tomatoes to my regular carrot chips for a side.  I also snagged a gorgeous, ripe pineapple at Walmart for only $2.50 so I cut that up and tossed in a pint of blueberries for fruit salad for the week.  Oh, we're eating well now.

August 25--Giotto di Bondone, The Epiphany.  Claire sat between Mama and Grandma Mattie at Mass on Sunday and she stared at the stained glass windows in the old church.  At first she had thought that the windows were just pictures but then she learned that they told stories.  She liked stories.  She liked it when Mama read stories to her and she especially liked it when Grandma Mattie told her stories about when Mama was a little girl.  Claire thought that the people in the stained glass windows might be even older than Grandma Mattie and that was really old.

Hmm, I thought I knew where I was going when I wrote that last night but now I'm not so sure.  I'll see what happens tonight.  I just got a call from KC and I get to go diving today.  We're going to Claflin up outside of Brussels which is only about a 30 minute drive so we can meet at Noon, go up, dive, and be home by about 4 PM.  On my way home I think I'll stop by at DS & DIL1's to see and admire the newly laid patio (and pet Porter and play with all the grand-chickens too) and I can still be home in time to grill the chicken for supper.  Happy days!
--Barbara

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Dawn's Early Light

The sunrise was making the clouds in the western sky pale peach when I got up but by the time I went potty and put on a few clothes so I'd be decent-ish outside and powered up the camera the clouds weren't peach anymore.  *sigh*  Oh well, I liked the way it looked with the sun peeking through the tree so... that's what you get today.

I forgot to make a PB&J yesterday morning after all so all I had for lunch was a handful of carrot slices/chips and a few pretzel rods so after I got off work at 2 PM Durwood remarked that he still wanted to try Domino's "new" pizza.  I know it's not new new anymore but we don't order pizza very often so even though it's been quite a while since all their "NEW" recipe hoopla, it was still new to us AND there was a coupon for a $10.99 large pie with up to 10 toppings so we built one and I went to get it.  We got the extra thin crust and it was good, they were a little skimpy with the mushrooms but overall it was worth ordering again, much better than the old, greasy recipe with the blah sauce.

I finished reading J.K. Rowling's new mystery, The Cuckoo's Calling, yesterday before I left for knitting.  She wrote it under a pseudonym, Robert Galbraith, and it sold okay but then someone in her ex-lawyer's office (you notice the ex there, right?) leaked that RG was really JKR and they had to race to print more, but then they've sold a lot more too.  I especially liked the characters in the mystery, they're very well written and I was completely off-track on whodunit.  I borrowed her first non-Harry Potter book audiobook from the library last week and haven't had a chance to download it into my iPod yet, but I'll get to it, probably later today, and let you know how I like it, if I like it.  I borrowed CJ Box's latest novel thinking it was a Joe Pickett book but it isn't, it's a Cody Hoyt book and I made the mistake of reading some reviews on Amazon and now I'm a little reluctant to keep listening because it got an equal number of 5 star reviews and 1 star reviews.  The 1 star people say that it's very grisly and violent, and I'm not sure I want to read/hear that.  I already don't listen to the news much because I just don't want to hear about all the violence and mayhem in the real world, do I really want to put imaginary violence and mayhem into my ear?  Maybe not.  This is why borrowing books from the library is good, I haven't paid for the book so I don't feel like I've wasted my money, I've only wasted the hour it took to download the disks into iTunes and fong them into the iPod.

August 24--Edgar Degas, The Dance Class.  They looked like a roomful of dandelion puffs in their white tutus but they smelled like a herd of bison.  Eleanor was sure that none of them had cleaned their dance clothes for at least a month and they could all use a bath.  She had dreamed of dancing onstage since she was small, twirling and leaping in her Easter dress through the living room.  She began classes at Miss Jan's School of Dance in the garage behind Merten's Feed Store and then tried out for the Academy when she was thirteen.  The panel was scary.  The three women and two men, the head of the Academy and four of the teachers dancers all, sat expressionless while she danced her recital piece.  She was not chosen.  Three years on she sat in the back of the studio lacing up her ballet slippers, making sure the pink ribbons lay flat on her ankles, for one more audition before she was too old to dance.

Time to go snag some breakfast before Spanky comes to install our new sink and range hood, then I get to go to yoga, stopping first to get some tomatoes at the Farmer's Market.  My life is never calm, is it?  Enjoy your Saturday.
--Barbara

Friday, August 23, 2013

Tomato Harvest


I noticed last night that there was a lot of red in the Sweet 100s plant (cherry or grape tomatoes) so I got out a bowl and went out to pick  I got lots!  Lots and lots!  Tomato salads for supper tonight.  Woohoo!  A couple of the full-size tomatoes are slowly ripening too.  Of course while prying the nearly ripe one off the plant (it was wedged against the stake) one that's barely ripening fell off but, have no fear, it'll ripen just fine on the counter top.  Tomato Boy's kinda down in the dumps these days so I'm hoping that a counter full of red, juicy goodness will perk him up.

I couldn't write last night.  I tried, I really tried, but I got nothing.  Sleepy, I got sleepy, but no words came to perch on the blue lines on my page.  *sigh*  I hate when that happens.

I have to schedule the final interview so I can knuckle down and finish that business history I wildly said I'd do.  I should have kept my yap shut and let DJ find someone else.  I don't have the mental energy to do it.  Speaking of funks (were we?) I'm in one.  I suspect that if you look at the Wikipedia page with the definition of funks my picture's on there.  I'm the poster child of funks, writing funks anyway.  I think about writing, about wanting to write, about finishing the final draft of my novel(s) and getting them (and my fairly fragile [these days] ego) out there looking for a publisher, but nothing happens when I get to my desk.  Most of the time I don't even get to my desk.  I have the thought and it fades away, dribbles out my ears and goes to Cancun windsurfing...  I watched a video of an interview with Stephen King from 2001 yesterday and he talked about writing the novel he was promoting in longhand because he couldn't sit at his computer after he'd been hit by that car.  He showed off a big ledger with page after page of gorgeous loopy writing and I nearly wept.  I just dug out my Waterman pen, now I need a book to write in.  Oh, yeah, and an idea, and a cave to retreat to.  For about a hundred years.

Enjoy your Friday.  I have to work until 2, and then there's a home game.  Oh goodie, Packer traffic.  *double sigh*  I'm not in the mood.
--Barbara

Thursday, August 22, 2013

66 Degrees F & 87% Humidity

That's what it's like outside right now.  It was hot and humid yesterday and last night a line of thunderstorms swept through pounding us with rain for a short time.  We were on the southern end of the line so we got a little wind, a little rain, and a little distant thunder and lightning, not the slam-bam-thank you-ma'am storm they were threatening us with, and judging by the mild headlines in today's paper nobody got slammed.  Scratch that, I just did a little surfing through my eCopy of the newspaper (I kind of love getting the newspaper in an email as well as the actual paper--hey, that means I can read the local news when I'm on vacation and keep up with my favorite comics [which we all know is WAY more important that any trifling news stories]) and to the west and north they have some trees and power lines down but no houses destroyed and no injuries.  That's okay then.  I think the humidity's supposed to drop today.  That'd be good.

When I drove up to the corner by the dive shop I saw a huge tree trunk piece sitting there.  Remember last week the gypsy lumberjacks cut down the tree across the street?  Well, they deposited all of the chunks in the yard of the house next to the dive shop.  An old lady was out there picking up scraps of wood and she said that her son did the cutting and that all the wood is sold, including that giant trunk hunk, it just needs picking up.  So I got out my camera to snap a couple pics before it went away so you could see it.  (I know you're fascinated with each and every aspect of my days.)  It's nearly as tall as I am (which admittedly isn't as tall as it used to be, but still it's at least 4 1/2 feet across).  Smells good too.  I love the smell of sawdust, reminds me of Grandpa Stephan's shop.

Dr. Paula, my chiropractor, complimented me on how much less tense my back muscles were when I went for my adjustment on Tuesday and she taught me a better crunch to do to tone my abs without straining my back.  I did about 3 on her adjustment table to make sure I had the technique right.  She said to do 5 in the morning and 5 at night every day, so I flopped down in the back room at the dive shop yesterday and did 5.  No sweat.  OMG! my ribs, which were a bit tetchy from (I thought) digging out the window well, went insane.  By the time evening rolled around I felt like I'd been jabbed up under my ribs a few times with brass knuckles.  I'll be building up to 5 ONCE a day and maybe in a year or so do 5 twice a day.  Eesh.  Can't wait for Saturday morning yoga to get all these aches stretched out.

August 22--Paul Gauguin, Still Life with Teapot and Fruit.  A lone wasp buzzed at the mangoes ripening on the table.  The days had a sameness that made him forget that windows could be closed.  The sun rose, the rain fell, and the sun set but the air stayed the same.  There was no summer and winter, only dry and wet.  He didn't mind sharing his mangoes with a wasp.  There were always more mangoes.  In this climate there was always more of everything.  Plants grew, flowered, and fruited year round.  He thought that maybe the plants that died did so from exhaustion.  In his wildest dreams he saw vast deserts and found them restful.  The profusion of flowers and fruits confused his eye, made him long for the simplicity and starkness, the emptiness of the desert.

I was so happy to see a Gauguin that wasn't bare-breasted native girls.  I'm glad to see that he noticed other things in Tahiti, the perv.  I'm off to work again today.  I'm kind of in a quandary; I have an ebook, an audiobook, and a paper book and I want to read them ALL.  Right now.  What to do, what to do?  I'll figure it out.  Can't forget to make a PB & J for lunch, and get another jar of applesauce up since I have to work through lunchtime tomorrow too.  Lucky me, I'll have a bigger paycheck on the next 2 Mondays because I have to work part of the next 2 Fridays.  Cha-ching!

--Barbara

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Just Like Potato Chips

I can't seem to stop making these tiny preemie hats.  It's the yarn colors... no, it's the hat pattern... okay, it's both of them together, they make me drunk with knitting and accomplishment.  After being monogamous on the grandbaby blankie for the last couple weeks I needed some down-and-dirty, knock 'em out quick projects.  Not that I didn't love knitting that blankie, I did, I really did even with all the angora fuzzies I'm sure I ingested and absorbed into my wardrobe, but after a spell of extended project monogamy I just have to zoom a few things out--and these preemie hats are the perfect things for zooming and they're for a good cause too.

I am in love with this yarn, acrylic though it is.  It's Premier Yarns Deborah Norville Everyday Soft Worsted Prints, and for a variegated, bright color lover like me they're the perfect choice.  (Scroll down  through all the solid colors *yawn* to the variegated colorways.)  I think I want to get Northern Lights and Plum Jam colorways next, those will kind of complete my spectrum on hand because God forbid I should knit a preemie hat in pastels.  I know I have ranted in past blog entries on my feelings about shoving all babies in pastels so I won't trot out that particular rant at this time.


The aqua and lime one is called Happy Baby, it makes me smile every time I look at it.  The other colorway is Beach and for some reason it reminds me of Mom.  I don't know why because her favorite color was green, a nice sage-y green, so I'm clueless but I like thinking about her anyway.  As you can see this is an excellent pattern to knit while reading (and having a little Dove Promise for my lunch dessert) at work.

Signed, Sealed & Delivered

After a very busy day getting the place tidied up and workmen wrangled the new tenants, K&J, arrived (early!) to go over the lease with Durwood, initial each and every little point, sign at the bottom, and hand over a money order for security deposit and first month's rent.  Whew.  They seem like a really nice young couple, eager to move in and have a home, not an apartment.  He was especially enthusiastic about having a side-by-side duplex "which is more like a house than an apartment."  As they walked out to their cars I strolled over and uprooted the "for rent" sign from the yard.  *sigh*  Ah, tenants.

Turns out last night was the "official" full moon night.  I saw it peeking through the trees when I took out the trash but I was just too played out to get out the camera.  I love days like yesterday when I get to do some hard things and I spend the day zooming around but it sure makes me tired.  I slept pretty well.

A thunderstorm blew through just as my alarm went off this morning.  I was just barely aware that it was raining, a clap of thunder boomed, and my alarm sounded.  Almost like the thunder had set off the alarm.  By the time my across-the-room alarm sounded and I was out of bed the storm had past, all the fun was over, but the sky to the east still looked cool with the receding storm clouds and the rising sun behind them.

I had a brainstorm yesterday while I was digging the last of the loose dirt and rocks out of the window well.  I was thinking I could put my knitting bag in the car and drive up to The Clearing to sit in the Lodge and knit with KS while she spends the afternoon waiting for students to arrive, but then I remembered that Spanky's supposed to come to install our range hood and stainless steel sink and Durwood can't really help him if he needs help so I guess I'm not going to get to go.  But I'm also not forgetting the idea.  There'll be other Saturdays; she sits there EVERY Saturday so I can go on a Saturday, or maybe two, up to the end of October.  Good plan, don't you think?  (oh crap, I thought I could go next Saturday but we have a wedding to go to and it's one we can't blow off.  the next week maybe? I'll get there, this is too good an idea to let die.)

August 21--Indonesia, Penji Banner.  Everything was fluid and wavy in her dream.  Anita tossed her arms up and out of the covers and woke herself up.  Her skin felt prickly and crawling with dream lizards with wavy arms and sharp claws that ran up her body tickling her with their toes.  The dream was so real that she had to get out of bed and fling the covers back to make sure there weren't any gold-beaded lizards in her bed.  While she was up she padded into the kitchen to make sure that the fire hadn't gone completely out.  Her cabin in the north woods was halfway around the world from the little Indonesian island where the beaded lizards lived and where Trevor had taken her innocence and left only heartache.

Now the sun is out and I'm sure the humidity is rising.  I'll be glad to be in the nice cool dive shop, although I did promise to run the compressor today... oh well, I can hear things in my next life and it'll cool off eventually.  Gotta check to see if the tank I dropped off is ready at Van's.  Toodle-oo.
--Barbara

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Dig, Dag, Dug



That's how you parse the verb "to dig," right?  Yeah, sure, that's totally right, mmhmm, or close enough.  BB, the handyman came just as I was in the middle of my morning blog (like a morning jog but less sweaty) so I had to quick get him started and then finish up because I got to dig the dirt out of the window well.  All by myself.  It was only two wheelbarrows full of dirt and rocks but it's a bit of a challenge when 1.) you're digging in a hole and B.) someone's on the other side of the wall breaking out cement blocks into the hole as you're making it.  But I managed.  See?  Now I'm all sweaty and dirty and tingly with awakened muscles (or is that throbbing sore muscles?) typing this P.S. blog while BB's off getting mortar and glass blocks to fill in the holes he made.  (I washed up and got most of the dirt off, really I did.)  We'd had one of the basement window wells blocked up (don't do it, it leaked like a sieve) years ago and the other one had the original window in it and it leaked too.  Earlier this year we had him fix our window well in the laundry area and it hasn't leaked once so that's what we're having done over on the rental side.  This afternoon the Best Buy guys will bring the new rental side clothes dryer and take away the broken one, and tonight the new tenants will come to go over the lease with Durwood and pay us security deposit and first month's rent.  Yay, money!

Did you notice the full moon last night?  It followed us home from supper and it was a beauty.  Once again I tried to take its picture and once again I kind of succeeded and kind of failed.  The Cherokee call it the Fruit Moon and the Choctaw call it the Women's Moon.  Whatever you call it it was sure beautiful.


August 20--Mary Cassatt, Margo in Orange Dress.  The dress settled around the little girl like spicy feathers but the lace ruffles of her hat nearly swallowed her head.  It was hard for someone so young to sit still for long enough to have her portrait made but she was promised a visit to the ponies if she behaved.  She loved the ponies, those sleek, spindle-legged thoroughbreds that raced around the oval at Keeneland.  Her hat was right for a day at the horse park, she knew that.  Grown up ladies wore fantastic hats to the races, she would fit right in.

Okay, then.  I've got my Gatorade G2 so I'm rehydrating and I'm on to tidying up so that the new tenants don't think we're slobs.  Better they should find out gradually.  See you.
--Barbara

Not Quite Fast Enough

When I walked from the living room into the kitchen just now to get my coffee and come blog the big Cooper's Hawk was on the birdbath, right there ten feet from the patio door.  Could I get my camera and take its picture?  Of course not.  Then it flew to the fence.  Could I get its picture there?  Don't be silly.  It flew away just as I eased the door open with the camera in my sweaty little hand.  So here's a picture of where the hawk was only a minute before.  Impressed?  I know you are.

We met our friends T&BD at the Hilltop Cafe on Bay Settlement Rd. for burgers last night.  The food was good, real juicy burgers for $1.99, cheese was 25 cents more (I got cheese), with fried onions and pickles.  Catsup and mustard was on the tables.  Durwood ordered fries (a bale of them came) and I ordered tater tots (ditto).  Next time we'll share an order of some sort of fried potatoes so our next meal there will be even less than the $8 I spent last night.  We're not soda people so we just get water but you can pay a little extra for endless refills on soda so T&B shared one  The ambiance was negligible since the cafe's in the gas station.  The coolest thing was that another dive pal was there so he sat with us and we 5 had a high old time telling dive tales (and a few dive lies, I'm sure) until we closed the joint down--at 8 PM.  The other dive pal, SF, has a new acoustic cover band called Tighty Whiteys.  I can't wait to find out where they're playing and go listen.

Hey, I've gotta run.  The handyman's here and I need to go dig out a windowwell.  Hasta la vista, babies.  Maybe I'll come back for a re-post later.
--Barbara

Monday, August 19, 2013

Mmm, Fried Cheese

I had that for lunch yesterday, fried cheese curds.  Oh, they were good.  The cheeseburger was good too but I foolishly tried to "healthy" it up by getting lettuce and tomato on it and that made it "not right."  The big "not right" thing was that they put the pats of butter on top of the lettuce, not on top of the hot burger and cheese, so it sat there on the cold veggies not melting.  I had to deconstruct it on my paper wrapper (no plates at Kroll's unless you get something fancy like a salad, K had a plate) so that the butter was in contact with the heat and melted as God intended butter to do on your Kroll's burger.  (Sheesh, must have been a flatlander in the kitchen yesterday.)  It was great to sit for a couple hours catching up on each others' lives.  We need to do that more.

Before lunch I harvested Durwood's crop of shallots.  They aren't as plump as we'd hoped but he washed them off and I braided the tops so that we could hang them from a little nail over the sink so they can dry and he can snip them off, one by one, to cook with.  Yum.  I see we've got a couple butternut squash coming along too.  I'm a big fan of butternut squash soup.  Big fan.

Tonight Durwood's going to pick me up after work and we're meeting T&BD for more burgers at their favorite cafe out by the university.  We haven't seen them in a while so it'll be good to catch up with them too.  Funny how this stuff all piles up and then there'll be acres of empty weekends ahead.  *shrug*

I got the laundry done and mowed the parts of the yard that were growing.  I didn't mow it all because it doesn't all grow this time of year.  Oh, I'm sure I missed a patch here and there but for the most part I avoided the places where the grass is brown and brittle and mowing across it just kicks up dust.  Besides I had the hose out to water the raspberries (they look quite forlorn) and wasn't in the mood to stop the mower so I didn't chop up the hose every foot and a half.  So sue me.  The parts most visible from the street are mowed, that's good enough.  We're not candidates for "worst house on the block"--yet.
 
It was quite a bit dimmer this morning at 6:30.  The sun wasn't peeping over the horizon yet.  The light's changing, people, you know what that means.  I'm not saying it out loud, but just noticing; I pay attention to such things.  I kind of like seeing the progression even knowing what's ahead.

August 19--Egypt, Apis Bull Statuette.  It wasn't far from the bazaar to his hotel so Morgan started walking that way, thinking he'd hail a taxi when an empty one came by.  He enjoyed being out as the night closed in and the shops were closing up.  Some of the shopkeepers wished him "good evening" as he passed and the aroma of grilled lamb and spices made his stomach growl.  He walked faster, eager to get back for some supper and speeding his steps saved his life.  The blow to his head knocked him out but not for long.  He came to lying on a pile of rotten burlap sacks and broken boxes, his wallet and the box holding the ivory statue gone.

Now we're getting somewhere.  Action, that's what we need, action.  Speaking of action I need to go find something for lunch today.  Needing lunch slipped my mind over the weekend so I may be having a PB & J today, which isn't a bad thing, but I'm afraid I don't have any fruit.  No fruit?  Really??? Me, without fruit?  *shakes head*  How does something like that happen?  I might have to eat (gulp) canned fruit with my lunch today.  I'm so ashamed.  (ooh, I just had a thought--applesauce--I canned applesauce.  I'm saved!)
--Barbara

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Done! *dusts off hands*

And brushes all the angora off her clothing.  All week I've been spitting out angora fibers and finding them caught in my fingernails and everywhere because I've been bearing down to finish the Cloud Soft Grandbaby Blankie--and I did.  I finished it just after bedtime last night.  Ahh.  It looks just like I hoped it would, bright and colorful and oh so soft.  Now on to the next grandbaby thing I want to knit.  Hmm, this coming person is sure taking up my knitting time.  Oh well, I guess I've been selfish-knitting long enough.

Tall Ships On A Summer Afternoon


It was the perfect day to be on the river looking at tall ships at the dock and under sail.  Unfortunately Durwood was having a particularly bad breathing day so I went by myself but that was okay too, not as much fun but okay.  ( I really HATE this disease; it's capricious nature and the strictures it puts on his life are just unbearable.  If you smoke, STOP RIGHT NOW.  I mean it, that nicotine high's just not worth years of breathlessness and the shrinking of a person's world.  As an ex-smoker I know how hard it is to quit but you can do it, it'll make such a difference in your life--and wallet.)  Aaaanyway, there were seven or eight ships tied up on the river, each more beautiful than the next.  The Unicorn is made out of salvaged metal from German subs and has an all female crew.  The Peacemaker is crewed by native people from four or five continents. The Sorlandet is a floating school for junior & senior high school students.  (Don't you wish you'd gone to school there?)  The Niagara was a warship last fighting the War of 1812; it has cannon ports down its sides.  The Hindu was a luxury yacht in New England, sailed to India in the spice trade (where it earned its current name), patrolled the east coast for German subs in WW II, chartered out of Cape Cod and Key West, and was finally saved from the wreckers just a few years ago.  The Windy is Chicago's flagship and offers tours of Chicago from the lake.  Built in a parking lot in Milwaukee, the Denis Sullivan is Wisconsin's flagship and works to preserve the fresh water of the Great Lakes.  The Appledore IV is used for educational programs.  A few of the ships offered a ride from Sturgeon Bay to Green Bay as they arrived.  It was pricey but wouldn't that be fun?  I'd love it.  Heck, I loved the hour-long putter up the river and back to the dock yesterday in the sunshine and breeze.  It was great to be out and about on a boat again.

Today we're going to lunch at Kroll's with my brother AJ and his wife K.  We haven't been to Kroll's in a long time so we're looking forward to juicy burgers with pats of butter melting on them served on hard rolls.  Oh, and I might be ordering fried cheese curds too.  What the hell, it's Sunday.  (isn't it?  yeah, it must be, the newspaper was gigantic today.  Sunday, gotta be.)

August 18--Egypt, Apis Bull Statuette.  Morgan knew he shouldn't buy the little ivory statue of a bull.  He could tell that it was real ivory and he knew that buying and selling ivory was illegal, and that wasn't even considering the question of its antiquity.  He was certain it was old, maybe even B.C.  The statue was small enough to stand in the palm of his hand and he liked the way the ivory warmed as he held it.  The shopkeeper in the bazaar wrapped it in brown paper and tied it with some twine so he could carry it back to his hotel.

To be continued tonight.  I was tireder than I thought I was and I lost control of my pencil.  I'll be sure to go to bed earlier tonight since I had more of an idea than that little bit up there.  Time to get ready for our lunch date.  Toodles.
--Barbara

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Today Will Be A Yoga Day

I'm tired of being sore and achy with a stiff back so I'm going to grow up and lay down a bit of cash for some yin (not strenuous) yoga classes with my friend Mardi.  I'm looking forward to it.  I need the stretching.

We're going on a "ship viewing" cruise on the Foxy Lady riverboat this afternoon to see all the tall ships in town for the weekend.  I happened to see the ad in the Weekend section of the newspaper the other day and Durwood agreed.  Yay!  I'm glad I found a way for both of us to see the ships for not too much moolah.

Durwood and I decided to give the couple (the only couple) to apply for tenancy a chance.  We've called their employers and they have good work records and got a good report from their previous landlord so they're coming over on Tuesday evening with security deposit and first month's rent and we'll go over the lease with them and get signatures all over the place.  Whew.  Next Tuesday BB the handyman comes to fix the window wells on the rental side so they quit leaking and the new clothes dryer is delivered.  Then we just need DH to move out so we can have the carpeting cleaned and make sure it's all back to the way it was and we're set.  Thank. God.  Let the vacation planning recommence.

August 17--Syria, Relief with the Bust of a Man, a Curtain in the Background, and an Inscription.  Job always did Power Point presentations.  He was known for it.  He was kind of the joke of the office about it.  Not that he wasn't good at it, he was.  He could probably teach Power Point at seminars.  He made that program stand up and howl, but he had the habit of slotting every idea, every project into the Power Point model and it got to the point that on matter how good or how revolutionary his ideas were people tuned him out.  He'd get up in a meeting and stride to the head of the table with his clicker in his hand and people's eyes glazed over and they'd start doodling in their notebooks.

Well, that's it for me.  I feel like I'm slacking but I really don't have anything else to tell you.  My yesterday was pretty quiet.  Knitting night was good but quiet and that's pretty much it.  Seeyabye.
--Barbara

Friday, August 16, 2013

Another Tiny Thing

These preemie hats are like potato chips, I can't knit just one.  Once I pick up the pattern and needles again I cast one on, knit it, cast on another, knit that one, and on and on.  It's just so satisfying to cast on a project in the morning and have it done by bedtime even allowing for housekeeping chores or pesky customers in the dive shop.  This colorway's called Parrot.  It makes me giggle.  So does my little bison softie.  It amazes me to recall that we were there exactly a year ago.














I'm nearly done with miter #4 of the Cloud Soft Grandbaby Blankie.  I'm planning to sit down on the couch in a few minutes and finish it.  Then I'll figure out how I want to crochet the border.  Maybe I'll poll the knitters tonight...  I'll keep you posted.

Do Chickens Like Grapes?

Oh, chickens LOVE grapes.  Henny & Penny almost forgot to keep Kiev & General Tso in line they were so busy pecking grapes.  K & TS remembered their places, mostly, and kept to the edge of the grape scatter but they manage to get a goodly share of the fruit.
 
Porter and I had a good walk in the warm sunshine.  The gosling nursery was in the park as we approached and with loud honks the goose tenders herded them into the river.  Porter was a little slow on the uptake and easily distracted by feathers and poop in the grass so the geese weren't in any real danger.  A couple on the most amazing vehicles passed us just before we got to the overpass where we turn around.  They're Trikkes.  They look like two scooters attached to one steering post and you ride them by swaying your hips the opposite way of your shoulders.  It looks like tons of fun and when I said that the lady told me that it's hard work, that it works both upper and lower body.  (I just looked them up; they ain't cheap but you can get a beginner one for under $200, not bad.)

There are wild grapevines twining around the trees and their grapes are ripening.  I can tell you from personal experience that they aren't sweet.  Nope, not sweet at all.

August 16--Paul Klee, Angel Applicant.  It's that damned blue dog again out there baying at the moon.  The dog is really blue, not tinted blue or blue from reflected light or even blue like those pale gray and black spotted hunting dogs that look blue from certain angles, but honest to go blue.  The damned thing barks all the time too, at every leaf and shadow.  Blue dogs are like that; they're nearly untrainable.  This one had the handicap of having the sorriest owners any dog ever had the misfortune of having.  Oh they're not mean to the dog, no, they just don't know how to take care of a special dog like a blue dog.  If I had a blue dog it wouldn't get left outside to bay at the moon or bark at the stars, no sirree.

Kinda lame but I kinda like it.  It totally looked more like a dog than an angel.  No doubt about it.

Well, I'm waiting for the plumber to call and come unplug the rental kitchen sink.  She came over after 8 PM last night to tell me that it'd gotten plugged up the night before.  Grrr.  I could have had all day yesterday, not the day before a weekend, to scare up a plumber.  Why wait until the middle of the night?  When I told her this morning that a plumber would be coming I also told her that a new clothes dryer would be delivered on Tuesday.  She said, "oh, you're doing that too?"  I told her, "Yes, when things break we fix them.  We don't think you're over there breaking things; you need to tell us."  I found out 2 weeks ago that things have been getting caught in the dryer drum since she moved in 1 1/2 years ago and she first told me when Spanky was putting in the new sink.  Arrrgh.  Research and checking is being done on some potential renters as we speak.  Fingers crossed.
--Barbara

Thursday, August 15, 2013

I Learned A Life Lesson Yesterday

"Don't knit angora yarn when you're wearing black pants."  Remember that.  I was sitting in the dead quiet dive shop listening to an audiobook and happily knitting when I put the knitting aside to go potty and realized that my black capris were covered with fuzz.  Cov. Erd.  So covered that when I ran my hands down I made little rolled batts of fiber.  Eesh.  I'll be wearing jeans today.  Jeans don't attract lint like whatever cotton/Lycra fabric those black capris are made of.  I thought they were denim but they're evidently not a smooth-finish denim like the blue jeans ones.  Lesson learned.  But I have to smile thinking of the fuzzies that will be on my future sticky grandbaby when she/he uses that blankie.  That's okay, we can just shave or dunk the little tyke when it gets an angora beard and angora paws.  Babies clean easily.

A couple came to look at the duplex yesterday after work.  I think they liked it.  They seemed to not want to leave, especially the guy.  He liked that there's a basement, washer and dryer, and a yard for his son who comes on weekends.  He was eager to know when he could drop off the tenant applications, so maybe...  I'm not saying it out loud but fingers crossed.  You too.

You know you're getting old when you go to Tony Roma's, order a full rack of ribs plus sides, and make 3 suppers out of them.  We ate our fill there, had half of what we brought home Monday for supper, and finished them last night.  Can you imagine doing that when you were in your thirties or even forties?  I can't.  I'd have scarfed them all down at the first sitting or maybe had a couple left for a snack, but not made 3 meals of them.  With veggies and a starch.  Monday we had Sunnyhill corn and carrots & kohlrabi; last night we had wax beans and (eeeee!) instant mashed potatoes.  OMG, they're so good, and that's so embarrassing to type.  I have to tell you that I could have made a whole pot of those fake, flaked potatoes and just gobbled them up.  It was hard to not just inhale them.  We rarely have them anymore, only when we just don't freakin' care but Durwood says we need a starch, but they sure taste good--and bad.  Maybe that's the attraction, they're baaaad.

August 15--Jacometto, A Woman, Possibly a Nun of San Secondo.  She glides through the vivid landscape, the riot of color of the town, in her black gown and white head scarf.  She could not be more different from the other young women.  Their clothing echoes the colors they live in:  terra cotta of roof tiles, green of olive trees and grape vines, yellow ochre of the parched hillsides, the hundred shades of blue in the sky.  I watch her go about her business, a part of the scene but not.  She speaks to the vendors in the market, they sell her things, answer her questions but I see that their lives do not touch hers.  She holds herself aloof.  Never have I seen her arm in arm with a girlfriend laughing, just enjoying life.  I am intrigued by her aloofness. I'll keep my eye on her.

Hmm, I think that "I" might be kind of creepy, and that can't be a picture of a nun, that woman's neck is exposed, even the nape of it, and her left shoulder is uncovered.  No self-respecting nun would ever be that undressed.  Not ever.  Never.  Ooh, look, I have time to have a relaxed breakfast and dig up a cooler bag to keep my lunch from freezing in the arctic refrigerator at work.  It's turned OFF and the thermometer I put in there says 13 degrees.  I think it's broken.
--Barbara

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Another Gorgeous Morning

If it weren't for the rattle and roar of the passing garbologists it'd be perfect.  I made fresh coffee and Durwood's still asleep so it's blissfully quiet--except for that roaring stick-grinding truck.  Oh, they just drove off.  Ahh, back to the quiet.  It was cool enough when I was out just before 7 o'clock that my tootsies are still chilled.  Maybe I should have on more shoes than fake Crocs... ah, well, they'll warm up in the shower in a bit.  The cherry tomatoes are going gangbusters, the rest of the tomatoes are lagging because it's so cool.  They like it hot when it's time to ripen.  Durwood called to order a 1/2 bushel of tomatoes to begin canning tomato soup but they don't have more than the few handfuls they have in their farmstands around town, so he's reduced to making soup with canned tomatoes mostly, I suspect, to see if he can but also because he's out of canned soup, the homemade kind anyway, and he's getting desperate.

Supper last night was so delicious and pretty I took its picture.  Durwood had a taste for pork chops and Festival conveniently has boneless chops on sale right now, so he found a WW recipe with panko and parm and thyme from the garden for breading.  He pounded them, dredged them in egg white and his crumbs and pan-fried them.  He steamed a small butternut squash in the micro and also steamed a third of the gigantic purple cauliflower I got from MW at last Saturday's Farmer's Market.  The pork recipe called for squeezing a lemon wedge over the meat; he didn't like it, luckily he'd tasted his before I squirted mine so we swapped; I could do without the lemon but I liked it with.  Good trade.  The navel oranges I bought at Aldi last week were so tart that neither of us was enthusiastic about eating them so I quartered the last 6, stripped off the peels, and sprinkled them with Splenda.  Naturally I did that too long after supper for Durwood's liking so they're ready for tonight.  I miss having an orange and he doesn't want to pay the price for a bag of clementines, maybe someone will have them on special soon.  Fingers crossed.

Speaking of fingers crossed, no new inquiries about renting the duplex since an email I got the other day that took me a minute to decipher, "High were do we go for an app."  After a delay for translation I emailed her back our phone number, and did NOT snark about her spelling or the fact that the number's in the ad, she emailed back, "OK ty."  Haven't heard back.  (is that text-speak?  I'm so behind the times.)  Do I want to live next to someone whose brains are in her thumbs?  (if she has $650/month to pay for rent + utilities, yes, yes I do)

August 14--Edward J. Steichen, Cyclamen--Mrs. Philip Lydig.  What big eyes she had, and she knew how to use them to her best advantage.  She would lower her chin and then look up at a man through her long, lush eyelashes and they would race to do her bidding.  And that mouth--a perfect Cupid's bow in crimson so artfully applied that even my strict Baptist maiden aunt though her lips were naturally that red.  Sadie was small but fierce.  I think if she'd have had a high-pitched baby voice we'd have all made fun of her but her voice was deep for a woman and there was always a note of self-deprecating humor in it.  Everyone loved her, which was why no one believed that she hung herself with the bell pull rope in the village church, suicide note or not.  She lived life too eagerly to have ended hers like that.  I just know she wouldn't have left us so bereft.

Last night I was determined to have myself tucked between the sheets at 10 o'clock exactly but when it was 10 minutes before 10 o'clock I was two rows from being finished with a preemie hat I started in the doctor's office waiting room so I stayed up to finish them, not weave in ends to be totally finished but the knitting's done, so I was in bed, teeth brushed and writing to the prompt by 10:16, and the light was out at 10:35.  Not bad.  It was much easier to roll out when my 6:05 alarm shrilled, I only hit snooze once, so I'll aim for 10 o'clock again tonight.  Sleep is good.  Especially when the night is cool.  That's good sleeping weather.  I'm off to keep the world safe from SCUBA diving.  Ta-ta.
--Barbara