Monday, September 30, 2013

Sorry I'm Late

But today's the last Monday of my "30 for 30" yoga deal so I was up and zooming to make lunches, take a shower, and get to the studio by 8:15.  Now I'm at work where things are quiet so now I have time to blog.

I finished bagging up the car snacks and took their picture so you can see them.  Cool, huh?  There's pretzel twists, low fat Cheez-Its, raw almonds, roasted and salted almonds, tropical trail mix, shelled pistachios, wasabi peas, and chocolate Chex with craisins.  Yum.  I unearthed the suitcases yesterday and got them upstairs, then I counted out socks and undies and t-shirts, one per day away plus an extra for emergencies (yes, I know there are laundry facilities at various spots along the way), folded them neatly and piled them on the bed.  I tossed in jeans/capris and a skirt and nicer shirt just in case we need to look nicer than everyday, and some jammies for room lolling and a pair of black crocs-ish shoes for lounging that can double as nicer shoes because I am not taking an extra pair of shoes for just in case.  Not.  I gathered up the car pillows and blankie that I use to cover the crate of Durwood's tanks, the travel diary, and my stash/travel money (don't want to forget that!) and made a small pile of the "stuff" I want to take, little giftie-type items.  I got out the picnic tote, took out most of the stuff, keeping paper plates, cereal bowls, spoons, paring knife, can opener, and napkins, then tucked in the box of cereal we bought for non-free-breakfast lodgings.  I do understand that there'll be a Walmart or Target or KMart on nearly every corner all the way there and back and we can buy whatever we forget but I HATE to forget things.  ("forgot" and "lost" are two crazy-making concepts but only for myself, everyone else I can easily excuse *shrugs*)  After supper I got online and arranged to have the newspaper and mail held.  I slept better last night and feel calmer today.  I even made myself sit on the sofa from 8-10 PM and knit in front of the TV.  (very good, Barbara, way to unlax)

One of the reasons for my weekend of craziness is that I stopped for a flu shot on Friday and flu shots always make me achy for a few days--and it took me until yesterday afternoon to remember that, so I spent Friday and Saturday half-convinced that I was developing MS or had some galloping paralysis. (god, I am turning into Mom, somebody whap me, please.  family, be glad I don't let it out)  The older I get the more I am a trial to myself.

September 30--Everett Shinn, Spanish Music Hall.  The dancers were on stage but half of the audience wasn't watching them.  The two men from the aisle seats of the second row were half-standing and they had their backs turned to the stage.  Juliana danced down toward state left, surprising the follow spot operator and dancing in the dark for a moment.  Rodolpho stopped strumming the guitar to watch her.  No one seemed to notice that the music continued.  Juliana caught sight of two people wrestling in the fourth row.  Had a fight broken out?  Where was the usher?  The spotlight found her and blinded her just as the screaming started.

And now I have to unravel arrangements for a couple's pool training and dives this weekend.  Work work work.  Seeyabye!
--Barbara

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Another Perfect Autumn Day

It's gorgeous today and it can stay this way for the next, oh, three weeks so that every day of our vacation is just like it and the driving's easy.  Arrange that, will you?

Well, I got less done yesterday than I meant to but I ended the day feeling like I'd been at a trot all day anyway.  I did get our itinerary all typed onto one page with motel addresses, phone numbers, and confirmation numbers all recorded so it'll be easy to find them when we're driving.  I got the laundry folded but didn't sort out what needs packing... but it's done and folded, it's a step, right?  The other day I made a few doodads for hostess gifts along the way.  I figure we'll take them out for a meal but a "something" is nice too, don't you think?  I got fresh sheets on the bed and I even put the wool electric blanket (ugh) on the bed and plugged in Durwood's side.  (god, it's just too nice and tooooooo early to be thinking of woolen blankets much less electric ones, but he gets cold in the night.  I like to sleep with the window open until snowflakes fly in.  It's a good thing he's got another bed to retire to when it's too cold in here for him.)  I got a better handle on what knitting I want to take and even found what I think might be the right bag for it.  (don't roll your eyes, that's important)  And I borrowed a half-dozen audiobook library books and slammed them into my iPod (oh, that's what took up my day *head, slap*) so I'll have stories to listen to although if this year's anything like last year I'll only listen while I'm driving and Durwood's napping so I'll be scrambling to finish listening before they need returning, but I'll have my laptop along so I can get more.  *nods confidently*

September 29--Everett Shinn, Spanish Music Hall.  The audience was never quiet during their act.  Rodolpho looked at Juliana with such blatant lust even the most obtuse audience member felt it.  As she danced his hands lingered, sliding across her hip or down his own thigh, audience women sighed.  When she paused with her back to him, not touching him, the men shuffled their feet as if to inch nearer to her sensuous charms.  They danced the oldest story of love and loss and rediscovery.  When Rodolpho strummed his guitar more than one woman felt every note deep in her center.  No one but their manager knew that their names were Oscar and Mabel, that he couldn't dance or play guitar.  His only talent was his haughty look and that narrow-hipped strut, but Mabel could dance like an angel.  She carried the act. 

And now I really am going to go dig up a suitcase, or maybe I'll pick out what I want to pack, fold it onto the bed, and then get a suitcase so it'll fit.  Yeah, that's a good idea, I'll do that.  Talk to you tomorrow.
--Barbara

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Glorious, Warm Day

On days like today I want to roll up the sides of the house and let the outside in.  I want to blow all the cobwebs out of the corners and let the fresh air permeate the fibers.  I know that's not really practical, especially living up here where the winters are fierce and unforgiving, but I'd sure like to invite today in.  Look at the autumn leaves, the mums, the morning glory, the apples, and the bluejay announcing to the whole neighborhood that it was going in for a peanut.

I've reached the stage in pre-trip anticipation where I feel like it'd just be easier to stay home.  Oh, I won't, don't worry, but usually about 3 or 4 days before we leave I face what needs to be done and think it isn't worth the hassle.  I'll get over it.  I usually do.  Sometimes the feeling hangs on a bit after we drive away but once those apron strings snap due to stretching too far I'm happy to be gone and seeing new things.  Today and tomorrow I'll be packing clothes, ironing the button bands and pocket flaps of Durwood's shirts so he doesn't look like a foundling, gathering up and prioritizing my knitting projects (lots of plastic zip-top bags are involved) and generally getting the final trip organization rolling.  It'd probably be a good idea to type up a list of destinations, motel reservations, and that sort of stuff too.  So much easier than trying to consult a raft of pages while driving.  And I should hook up the TomTom and make sure it's updated.  Yeah, I'll do that.  All that.  Today and tomorrow.  I'm already working to load a bunch of audiobooks even as we speak.  Multitasking, babies, it's a watchword.  I'm saving lawn mowing and getting a manicure until Tuesday.


September 28--Armand Guillaumin, The Bouchardon Mill, Crozant.  It had been years since the creak of the mill wheel had sounded down the valley but Brendon and Luisa were determined to change that.  They had come upon the abandoned mill on a country drive six years before and it had never been far from their thoughts since.  Luisa dreamt of baking rustic loaves with flour ground there and Brendon loved working with his hands so they saves and planned and now it was theirs.  They had spent nearly a year driving down for weekends working to make a home in part of the building and getting the mill up and running.  Now that the stream had thawed Brendon stood in the water with a pry bar and a pike pole clearing rocks so that the mill wheel could turn freely on its straightened and greased axle.  His legs were numb with cold but he kept working, sure that the next rock he moved would be the one that freed the wheel.  The sun had touched the horizon bathing the world in a red-gold glow when with a great heave he moved a stone and the wheel began to turn.  The gears crunched and squealed but the running water turned the wheel.  Brendon was just about to call Luisa out when he saw the skeleton hand on the wheel silhouetted in the glowing sunset light.

And that's the end of that notebook.  I wrote the last word on the second to last line of the last page so I think I can safely say "finito" and dig out the next one.  One more composition book for the pile.  I wonder if anyone will ever read through these?  I wonder if I even will... probably when I'm old and gray and feeble.  I'll sit in my rocker or wheelchair and wonder who wrote all these bits of stories.  It'll be endlessly entertaining, I'm sure.  Now it's time to wrap this up and get on with my day.  Yoga at 11.
-Barbara

Friday, September 27, 2013

'Nudder Widdle Sockie Done

And now I have a pair of widdle sockies.  They're fast to knit and so darned cute.  I'll be making more.








And I might have done a little needle shopping, um, ordering the other day.  See, I was putting together yarn and needles and pattern for a few of the baby things I'd like to knit in the next 3 months and I don't, well, didn't have the size needles that I needed and when I was ready to order I had about $48 worth in my shopping cart and if you order $50 you get free shipping so I threw in a single circular needle since I've wanted to try Harmony circs.  (All aboard the justification train.)
 

When I was downstairs working on a sewing project and doing the laundry this afternoon I was thinking about what knitting I wanted to take along on our trip.  I've been itching to cast on an asymmetrical cardi but then I caught sight of the TWO sweaters I have OTN and decided that I should probably finish those before I start another one.  (What a mature and grownup thought!)  So I hauled out the Red Marl Sweater and the Khaki Cardi to see what needs to be done.  The Khaki Cardi needs a sleeve and a half and the Red Marl needs the front finished and both sleeves knitted so of course I took the Red Marl to Friday Night Knitting to figure out where I left off.  (I'm not that mature and grownup.)   Both of them will be riding along and I hope I'll be making a lot of progress on them.  We shall see.  Naturally there'll be other things that need knitting along too.  And I realized tonight that I need to research yarn shops and fabric stores along the way.  Why else am I saving money?

Friday Today!


Woohoo!  Pretty soon I'll be picking up Porter for our walk along the river trail then I get to come back and tackle the laundry.  Woohoo.  This weekend we need to start planning and packing.  I checked the looong range weather in various places we'll visit and all they had were averages but that at least gives me something to aim at.  Looks like I should plan for the 70s in the day and 50s at night but I'll toss in a hoodie and a couple tank tops just to be safe.  It occurred to me yesterday that Aunt B lives by the ocean.  The Atlantic OCEAN.  I love oceans.  I love waves and the salty smell and the sand and all the little critters.  I wonder if I should pack a swimsuit and my snorkel gear.  I wonder...  hmm, maybe I'll contact a dive shop in her area to ask about water temps and conditions.  (What a good idea, Barbara.)  I'm not hauling all my dive gear on the off chance I could do one dive but I'd flop in the ocean for a snorkel if I had the chance.  That gear wouldn't take up much room.

The maple tree in the front yard is changing colors--fast.  There were a few orange and yellow leaves last week and now there are red ones mixed in with the green, orange and yellow.  Durwood says our tree is changing faster than all the rest but I think there are a lot of them doing the same thing.  I guess it makes sense since it's the last weekend of September.  IT'S THE LAST WEEKEND OF SEPTEMBER, you guys.  Holy sh*t.  (heh, that means that in only 3 more months we'll have a grandbaby, which means that DS & DIL1 will truly be grownups *sigh*)

I also need to plan what knitting I'm taking along.  I was thinking about packing the 2 sweaters for me that have been hibernating forever to see if I can't finish them.  Of course I'll be taking smaller, grandbaby-type things to knit along the way too.  Good thing Durwood's van has lots of room for stuff.

September 27--American, The Souper Dress.  Who would ever imagine a soup can label as a cultural icon?  But there it was, that ubiquitous red and white label as pop art, even as clothing, for god's sake.  That paper dress was good for a single wearing, and what if it rained or someone spilled a drink on the girl?  Even looking at it now so far removed from its day it evokes straight hair with a center part, pale lipstick almost white, and white plastic, knee high, go-go boots.  All that nostalgia from a can label.

Andy Warhol really started something, didn't he?  Okay, time to grab some yogurt for breakfast, dress, and go get the dog.  Time to walk.  Enjoy your Friday, and anyone willing is more than welcome to come here and do laundry.  Anytime.
--Barbara

Thursday, September 26, 2013

One Widdle Sockie Done...


And another one OTN.  Oh my god, I keep having to take the widdle sockie out of my bag to croon over it.  I can't wait to kiss little toes while trying to cram a squirmy foot into one of these tiny socks.





You want to see how tiny?  Here it is lying on top of the last ankle sock I made for myself.  Now, granted I wear a ladies' size 10 but wook how widdle.


Oh, I'm dying from the cute.

Fog



In my head and outside too.  There's so little action out there, weather wise, that they had one of the weather guys on with fancy graphics telling how fog develops with dew points and no wind stirring, and how it's "a cloud sitting on the ground."  Well, duh, what'd you think that white flossy stuff was?  It's a good thing it wasn't this foggy yesterday morning when the tallest bridge over the river developed a nasty sag when one of the support pilings sunk a few feet into the marshy ground under it.  The roadbed didn't break, only sagged a few feet, but they closed the bridge indefinitely just the same.  The governor and the DOT showed up for a press conference in the afternoon and I'm sure a few inspector and engineer type folks were on the scene much sooner after there were 9-1-1 calls starting at 5 AM saying essentially that "there used to be a hump and now there's a dip."  No one was hurt and no vehicles damaged which is a relief but it sure is going to snarl things up for the foreseeable future.  See, they've already torn up Hwy. 41 on the west side of the city, no, I mean miles and miles of it with closed on- and off-ramps for months at a time, so that bridge which carries I-43 across the river from the lake shore and then up toward the Upper Peninsula of MI has been busier than normal.  Now all the surface streets and the remaining bridges will be picking up the slack for the next, oh, YEAR or so.  Fun times.  At least nobody was hurt.

Yesterday morning I had customers come in to pick up their drysuits.  I had to fit the daughter in hers and then install the inflator hoses on their regulators.  In the course of all that I had a ballpoint pen in my hand and managed to swipe the tip of it, the tip which had a huge ink booger on it, over my right boob.  Of course I was wearing a white cotton t-shirt that sucked up the ink like a sponge.  Oogh.  Yeah, no one would notice a Nike swoosh of ink on my boob.  Good thing I had a sweater with me.

Yoga was a ball last night.  Mardi put in a Prince CD instead of a new-agey, touchy feely, chanting one so class rocked.  We went fast and did things that were way out of what we'd done before and sweated like hogs--and laughed and had a great time.  I couldn't tip the balance to get my feet over my head to do the Plow but it wasn't for lack of trying.  I'll get there someday.  It would have felt good to stretch my back that way too, but I kept trying and didn't feel bad when I didn't quite make it.  Fun.

We've been eating supper around 8 PM lately since I get home late due to yoga.  That's not doing anything for my weight, well, except for making it go up a tad.  Bah.  Soon we'll be back to (semi)normal.  I did get most of the rest of the car snacks assembled, and I let Durwood try a wasabi pea.  He didn't like it, too hot, so I get to have them all to myself.  Tee hee.  I need to go see what other kinds of dried fruits I have in the larder since I've got Chocolate Chex but ran out of craisins.  I know I have some kinds downstairs because Walgreen's had little boxes of dried stuff for $1 a box a while back and I got some.  I don't think they have to be dried cranberries, do you?

September 26--James-Jacques-Joseph Tissot, In The Conservatory.  It was a place to relax, to have a cup of tea, to flirt among the ferns.  Louise and Emilie both wore blue dressed covered in ruffles and pleats with bustles do big they could barely sit upright.  Glorie was in white.  With her dark hair, white was her color and her dark eyes were riveting when seen over a lace fan.

Once again the Sandman beat me to the punch.  I'm off.  Toodle-oo.
--Barbara

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hump Day!

I love that camel commercial, don't you?  Hump Day!  I love how the camel looks walking through that office and I love when he says, "Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike..."  I also like the sound of the mandolin and the look of its player, but it's the camel that has stolen my heart.  Hump Day!

There was a new teacher at yoga last night.  Well, I don't think she's a  new teacher, she was a different teacher.  She was okay, soft spoken, and very helpful with props and adjustments, although she did try to push me into a deeper pose at one point (I hate that; adjust me, fine, push me, no) but I asked her politely not to push so she stopped.  Tell me what to do and I'll do it, but don't lay hands on and push me.  There were 6 of us in class, all women, and she was amazed to find that there had been a full dozen of us the week before.  I think all the classes reaped the benefit of the 30 days for 30 bucks sale and now that the month's almost over people are dropping off.  I know I'm feeling yoga-whelmed but a week from today will be my last 30 for 30 class day so I'm pushing on to the bitter end.  (Stubborn much?)  There was a lot of  sky out when I left the studio last night and the little puffs of clouds were tinted pale pinkish orange so of course I had to take a raft of photos.  The sky was even better when I was crossing the bridge but, once again, my camera was in the back seat so I was saved from trying to snap photos while driving a car.  Whew.

I got all but 2 jars of the soup and the canning kettle moved downstairs yesterday and this morning.  Now the kitchen can recover it's pre-factory organization and Durwood can focus on getting ready for our trip.  Did I mention that we're going on a trip?  (Only every day for the last month, right?)  Sorry, I get excited.  I'm excited to see DD & DIL2 for a few days (I'm having coffee in my "blue horse" mug today), to see more mountains (older shorter ones), RJ & K, and Aunt B.  Oh, I have to call Uncle Walt to make sure they'll be home and available the night we're staying in Indy so we can have supper with them.  I'll do that this weekend.  Better make a note.

I glanced out at the garden yesterday afternoon and noticed that a squirrel evidently thought I was hiding the best nuts inside the hanging pepper planter.  It's... it's ventilated.  Do you think if I left it hanging there a walnut tree will grow out of it?  Sheesh.  Maybe a squirrel fell in through the hole in the top and fought its way out.  Whatever happened I don't think it's fixable.  (That's okay, I think they're kind of lame anyway.  I don't know why, it's a clever idea and I like those.)

Can anyone remind me what these pink flowers are?  I have one little stalk and damned if I remember what it is.  Thanks.

September 25--Dubois et Couturier, Cor Solo.  All that was left was the horn.  Everything else burned.  Nan stood on the sidewalk with the coil of belled brass in her hand glaring at the few remaining two-by-fours poking at the sky like black fingers.  The smell was overpowering--wet and rotten and burnt.  She didn't think she'd ever get it out of her nose.  She had been asleep when a stranger beating on the door yelling "Fire! woke her.  The smoke was choking and her room seemed to have rearranged itself, but she found clothes and shoes, grabbed the horn, and tumbled out the window into the forsythia.

Okay, kidlets, it's time for breakfast and a shower so I can go off and save the world from SCUBA diving.  Mr. Boss called yesterday asking for help on the cash register.  I can stand there and do it 100 times without thought but do you think I could tell him how to do it over the phone?  No, of course I couldn't.  Gah.
--Barbara

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Soup Factory Closed For Season

Last night after supper Durwood cooked up the last batch of tomato soup, we got it canned, then he washed up all the pots and dishes and bowls and whisks and spoons and... and... everything.  Now I get to ferry it all back down into the basement over the next few days, and he'll have to make do with 34 quarts and 8 pints of tomato soup in the coming winter.  I'm sure he'd have liked to cook up another half-bushel and we have plenty of jars but it's a lot of work and we need to start focusing our energies on prepping for our 2 week jaunt to the southeast.

In that regard I've begun assembling the "car snacks."  Last summer before our Yellowstone trip I found a list of DIY 100 calorie packs that I made up for the trip.  It saved us a boatload of money when we stopped for gas or wanted an "I'm bored" snack so I portioned out a bag of pretzel twists (15/bag) and reduced fat Cheez-Its (22/bag) and some raw almonds I had on hand (14/bag) the other day.  At the grocery today I splurged on a bag of shelled pistachios and some tropical trail mix, got some Chocolate Chex to mix with craisins and 2 cases of bottled water.  At Fleet Farm I got some roasted and salted almonds for Durwood (they're cheaper there and they were on sale) and some wasabi peas for me.  That should be enough.  I'll stop at the dollar store on my way to the chiro for more snack bags so while we're watching the season premiers of NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles tonight I can be bagging snacks.  I'll invite Durwood to help.  (Oh, we got a box of Honey Almond Clusters or some such cereal for days when we stay places without free breakfast.  We'll buy bananas and milk on the way.)  This weekend I'll do laundry and focus on packing.  Last year we each took a smaller, overnight-size, bag along that we tucked  our toiletries, lounge wear, slippers and a couple days' worth of clean clothes into so, even though Durwood insisted that we bring all the cases into the room, we only had to open the small ones.  Then I need to plan my take-along knitting and Lala reminded me that I'll need to pile on the audiobooks on the iPod and Kindle Fire.  Lots to do.

It was gorgeous walking along the trail this morning.  I went a bit earlier because I had to pick Durwood up from the auto fixit shop so we could do the shopping and it was just lovely, cool and sunny and quiet.  Porter's getting really good at heeling and she almost listens to me some of the time.  At least she doesn't lunge at people in her eagerness to make friends anymore.  I consider that a win.  All season long I've seen what looked like grape vines growing up some of the trees and today I saw grapes.  No, I didn't try one, I did before and they're tart.  Really tart.  Along the way I saw a woman that I met in college and then worked with at the library downtown.  I found out last week that she goes to the same yoga studio I go to, not the same classes but still...  Small world.

September 24--Walker Evans, Girl in Fulton Street, New York.  Leigh stood with her back to the shop's plate glass window.  She had a good view up and down Harrison Street and she could see down Dayton for several blocks, so she could see if they were coming.  They weren't far behind, she could feel the chill of their proximity on the back of her neck.


Sorry, that's all I got.  I was really tired.  I'm, I'm, I think I'm going to go knit.
--Barbara

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sock Days

I finished last summer's Pporange (pink, purple, orange) ankle sock on Saturday.  I like it.  I wish that I'd managed to make 2 ankle socks this summer so that I could have worn it today.


And I cast on a baby sock in Cascade Fixation which is cotton yarn with elastic in it.  I love the self-striping and the colors make me smile.  I suspect I'll be casting on another ankle sock when the baby socks are done.  I'm sure there'll be enough yarn.

Proof That My Right Knee is Way Older Than the Rest of Me

I don't know what the theme of yoga class was today but for me it was "make Barbara kneel until her wrists ache and her knees are screaming."  (Aleve to the rescue, as soon as it kicks in anyway.) Yeah, not my favorite way to start a Monday... but it'll get better because I'll be going to yoga again tomorrow and Wednesday and Saturday, probably doing the same routines tomorrow and Saturday.  So I should get better at it, right?  I suspected that class would be like that because my right knee started complaining and feeling stiff when I got up.  Bah.  I'm the boss of my knee, not the other way around.

As soon as I got here to work, even before I ate my breakfast, I got out a Swiffer duster and went out to remove the curtain of spiderwebs covering my windshield.  It's very sunny this morning and I was driving east so it was glinting off the strands as I drove.  Pretty but kind of creepy and distracting.  I don't begrudge the spider(s) a place to live, I just want to be able to see out the windshield.  Safety first.


Durwood got 2 more batches of soup made yesterday for a total of 31 quarts and 7 pints so far.  He's got a few more tomatoes to cook up today and then he says he's done since it's time to start getting ready to run away from home for a couple weeks.  In 10 days.  Yikes.

Did you know that lilies of the valley make berries?  I didn't either but look.  This is the bed of lilies of the valley right outside the patio door with the sedum blooming away and the ferns dying back.  See the pretty orange berries?  Those are from lily of the valley.  You learn something every day.  If you're lucky.

September 23--Thomas Eakins, The Dancing Lesson.  Braying laughter echoed down the hall from the front room.  Uncle Leo was so loud that whenever he was in the house Teeney was sure that the paint would blister right off the walls.  No amount of Mama shushing him made him be quiet.  "My lands, Leo," she would say, "the cows in the south forty can hear you and I'm certain you've rattled Mrs. Stein's china across the lane."  Uncle Leo just laughed harder.  "Oh, Lil, you'd think I was sick if I turned up quiet one day."  He'd give her a rough, one-armed hug around her shoulders that shook a couple hairpins loose, turn the radio up loud, and then danced her around the room until she squealed.

I have to work.  Or at least do enough to get the notes that Mrs. & Mr. Boss left on the desk for me out of the way.  Hasta la vista, babies.
--Barbara

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Bright First Day of Fall

Wasn't it just the first day of summer, like, last week?  Guess not.  I'm happy that it's cooler and slightly less humid so I can sleep with the windows open.  I did bring in the bay leaf plant though; it's getting down into the 30s at night and I don't want it to freeze.  All day yesterday it looked like rain but none fell.  Today the sun's out and it looks gorgeous out there.  I get to mow the lawn today and maybe throw some laundry around, although my stack of underpants is pretty tall yet so maybe I can procrastinate for a few more days.  

This is the week that Mrs. Boss is in Cayman Brac on a dive trip and I'm supposed to work Monday - Friday but if Mr. Boss isn't called back to work at the nuke plant I think he'll work her days so I'll only have to work my regular three instead of five.  I'd like that.  Although I did make a pot of WW potato soup and a big bowl of fruit so I'll have 5 lunches if it comes to that.

I just called DD and she and DIL2 are in line to get into Paul Brown Stadium to see the Packer game today.  I'd forgotten that they splurged on tickets for birthday/anniversary/Christmas gifts for each other.  Neither of them have seen a game in person before.  She said she's wearing Mom's helmet earrings for luck.  Hopefully that'll work.  I won't cheer or watch any of the game so they'll have a chance of winning while the girls are there.  I knew there couldn't be a home game because Durwood called on Friday to order another half-bushel of tomatoes for pick up today and the spot to pick them up is across the street from the stadium.  That means more soup making today.  So far he's got 20 quarts and 8 pints.

September 22--Thomas Eakins, The Dancing Lesson.  Marshall's feet wouldn't stay still.  His mama scolded him over what she called his "nervous feet" and his teacher, Mrs. Watson accused him of distracting the lesson.  It wasn't either of those things.  Marshall had to dance.  He heard music in his head.  It flowed through his veins to his feet and set them moving.  His brother Eli played the banjo at barn dances on Saturday nights and Marshall danced.  He picked out the rhythm of running feet and ticking clocks and danced them.  He danced to learn the multiplications tables.  He had dancing feet that wouldn't stay still

And I have no idea where that's going or why so I'm leaving it there.  You do with it what you will.  I'm going to go pick up the tomatoes and grab some more celery.  Somebody used it all--again.  Seeyabye.
--Barbara

Saturday, September 21, 2013

I Think Summer Might Be Done



It was 37 degrees again this morning when I woke up at 8:30 (I feel like such a slug-a-bed when I sleep that late but it was after 11:30 when I turned out my light so I'm intellectually okay with it) and it's only supposed to hit 61 for a high.  Durwood says that today's the solstice so I guess summer really is over, officially and all.

When I glanced out the patio door this morning I saw that we were right about those heart-shaped leaves that appeared under the apple tree a couple weeks ago.  They're Morning Glories.  I saw a dead bloom on the wall when I filled the hummingbird feeders yesterday and this morning there's a big purple bloom sitting there just as happy as can be.  So I went out to take its picture and decided to take all the flowers' pictures for you to see.  There's that lone Morning Glory, our single Hummingbird Vine bloom, Dad's rose blooming on this year's canes, and the mums just firing up.  Watch, they'll be at their peak when we're gone next month but that's okay, I still like them.


I'm off to yoga in a few minutes and then I'm going to shop at the east side Walmart because I'll be closer to it and Durwood wants another pair of socks and the west side one's out of stock.  Plus I'm buy the ingredients to make a creamy crockpot potato soup that's a Weight Watchers recipe for next week's lunches.  It looks easy and like it'll taste great.  I'll report.  (I hope Durwood will give me a square of counter top in the soup factory so I can make it.)

September 21--Rembrandt, Man in Oriental Costume.  All of the fabric made him look big.  Not that he was a small man, he was not small, but the voluminous robes and miles of turban fabric wrapped over and around his head made him cast a large and distorted shadow.  Jane put down her breakfast and stared at him.  What was he thinking when he put on that get up this morning?  It was obvious that he was pleased with himself, so pleased that he was humming.

I had absolutely no clue where I would or could go with that, plus it was late and I was tired, so I quit.  I think it was for the best.  Time for me to rustle up my grocery list, some grocery $$, and my yoga mat and hit the road.  Enjoy your Saturday.  (heh, I just almost typed Sunday, don't want to type the weekend away early!)
--Barbara

Friday, September 20, 2013

Autumn Sky But Humid

And just warm enough to be sticky.  It's probably 70 degrees and the humidity has to be at least 80% which makes for a sticky walk, and my lower back didn't like walking for some reason today so I turned around after about three-quarters of a mile.  Porter didn't seem to mind.  The trail was nearly deserted because the sky looked like it was ready to rain any minute.  This time I remembered to carry my umbrella so it didn't rain a drop.

DIL1 hadn't gone to work yet when I picked Porter up for our walk so I got to bask in her pregnant-ness for a few minutes.  She looks like most expectant women do--gorgeous and tired, but then I think she always looks gorgeous and I didn't have the heart to tell her that the tiredness will be her companion for the next, oh, ten or twelve years.  I got an invitation to a baby shower for her and AZ in Shawano the first week in November so I've got to marshal all my nebulous "ooh, I want to make that baby hat/blanket/sweater/booties/softie" and get cracking.  I spent yesterday perusing patterns, sorting out yarns, winding the hanks into balls, and picking out needles.  That reminds me, I need to order a few pairs of smaller size needles.  I could buy them from Michaels or Joann but I like the Harmony ones from Knit Picks the best (they're pointier) so I should have them, right?  Right.  I should probably make a needle roll with bigger pockets too.  I was just a beginning knitter when I made the one I use and foolishly thought that I only needed one pair of each size.  You don't want to know how many I have--and I even gave DS some when I taught him to knit.

Durwood's got the tomato soup factory up and running again this week.  He made a batch (5 qts. + 1 pt.) yesterday and plans another one for today and a half-batch for tomorrow.    It sure makes the house smell good when he's simmering a pot of tomatoes, celery, and onions.  Mmm. Yesterday someone was on the other side of the privacy fence harvesting the apples and I see that the ones on our side are getting rosy and the branches are hanging low.  I keep getting beaned when I'm mowing and filling birdfeeders.

September 20--Egypt and Sudan, Ram's-Head Amulet.  The ram-headed god Amun with the cobra on his head glared up from the bottom of the stairs.  It lay there looking up as if placed there on purpose to keep intruders away.  Anita's light wavered as she climbed down the uneven stone steps and it made the cobra seem to sway.  She rubbed away goose bumps on her arm and kept a tight grip on the rope threaded through eye bolts screwed into the timbers shoring up the shaft.  The dispassionate voice in her head droned on like a robot "gilded ram's head Amun amulet, looks Nubian, possibly Kushite period of the 25th Dynasty."  She paused when she realized that her inner voice had a British accent, that it said din-asty instead of dine-asty.  A stone the size of a tennis ball ricocheted off the wall behind her and a shower of pebbles pattered like rain on the steps.  "For God's sake, Norb, watch your step," she said, "you nearly knocked me out."  She turned to see that the stone had broken the lens of her flashlight.  "Do you have a spare light?" she called out. "Mine's broken."  There was no reply and the small shower of sand and stones became an avalanche.

Uh-oh.  Is Norb buried too or did he start the rockfall?  Dun-dun-dunnnnn.  Hey, have a good day.  I'm off to take a shower, play with yarn, make a Walmart run, and go to knitting night later.  Oh, and can today's batch when I get home after 9.
--Barbara

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Living At Breakneck Speed

Maybe that should be the title of this blog, since I skidded into yoga last night with mere seconds to spare AND I didn't get a speeding ticket on the way.  Although there was a moment there when I saw the Allouez cop sitting crouched in his prowl car in an empty mall driveway waiting for unsuspecting speeders (me).  I was nearly at the turnoff for the yoga studio, I held my breath and he didn't catch me.  Heh, I was only doing 40 in a 25 zone.  Past a playground.  (What?  There weren't any kids around, it was 5:30 PM and all the little darlings were in having their suppers.)

I am so glad that I've bought music CDs from Amazon all these years.  Wanna know why?  I just went into my Kindle Fire Music Cloud and EVERY SINGLE CD I've ever bought from them over the years is now available on my Kindle.  Hot damn!  All those jazz CDs and the Caribbean ones, stuff I've bought as gifts, classical and opera, a little folk and very little rock, all of it right there at my fingertips.  There will be playlist making going on today.  In fact, I just made a Caribbean & Cuban one and it's playing right now.  Ahhh.  There may be head-bobbing going on even as we speak.  (NOT head-banging, how old do you think I am???)

Where was I?  Oh, yeah.  It was 4:55 PM, I had changed into my yoga duds and was just preparing to count out the till when ES and his student came into the store.  Turns out she didn't like the fins she chose after all, they felt too big, and wanted to try on other ones.  Grrr.  (she couldn't have decided that the day before???)  Did I mention that she is 21 and nearly incapable of making a decision?  Double Grrrr.  Of course the next smaller size of the same fins she had were too small (that would have been too easy, am I right?) so I grabbed one of the next price point up (she's a poor college student, we were all there once) and crammed it on her foot.  Luckily ES came over and "sold" her on the fin and fit so I could put them aside with a note that she'll deal with the exchange tomorrow, count the money, and beat it out of there.  Naturally TD had come in not 15 minutes earlier with an envelope of cash from UWGB students buying books so I had nearly $400 of 20s, 10s, and 5s to count.  Arrgh.  (Hey, it's "Talk Like A Pirate" Day.  Anybody got an eyepatch?  I've got a bandanna so I'm good there.)  As I flung the money into the safe and grabbed up my bags to tear out of the store ES said, "Namaste," and I retorted, "yeah, Om to you too."  But I don't think I used my Buddha voice, in fact I can guarantee I didn't.  But dear Mardi waited to start class until I skidded in at the last second (thank you so much!) so I bent and stretched and sweated and smart-assed (just a little) for an hour and came home feeling very bendy and much more relaxed.  Durwood didn't make soup after all yesterday so I got to watch this awesome program about plants and animals on NatGeoWild with him and knit a tiny bit.  The day was saved. 

Today Mrs. Boss is back from Idaho helping her mom pack to move but she's leaving tomorrow for a week's diving vacation in Cayman Brac with E&JS and I think one other person.  (sucks to be her, huh?)  I've still got my fingers crossed that Mr. Boss doesn't get called back to the nuke plant until the week after next so he can work her days next week and I can go back to normal-ish (there're still 2 more yoga-intense weeks to live through but it'll be easier with fewer work days, less pay too it's true, but I can deal, I'm starting Social Security, remember?  I'm so excited!  sorry I'm a dork.).

September 19--Niccolo di Pietro, Saint Ursula and her Maidens.  There were thirteen of them.  Thirteen young women all bawling their eyes out over the shooting and Charlie had to interview every one.  His first thought was to wonder why women traveled in packs.  He remembered trying to get a certain redhead away from her twittering friends to ask her out.  One date, that's all they'd had before he realized that beauty had nothing to do with being able to make conversation.  "Wilson," Detective Samms said, "before we're senile..." nodding in the direction of the huddled women.  Charlie shook his head and went to cut one of the weeping women out of the herd.  Should he go tallest to shortest?  Prettiest to plainest?  Maybe the one only pretending to cry should be first.

Thunder woke me up around 8:30 and a storm rolled in.  We had about an hour of rain and now the sun's out.  Bet it's hot and humid out there--and I told Durwood I'd go out and pick his raspberries.  Oh well, I like to sweat, right?  Yeah, sorta.  More maple leaves are turning too.  Can't they stay green a bit longer?  Please?  Anyway, enough for one day, I'm off.
--Barbara

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Baby Steps

The other night after supper I took the Cables & Arans Harmony Guide book and a pad of narrow Post-its into the kitchen and flipped through looking for likely cables for my BLKG design contest entry.  D'you think I might have found a few?  I printed off one pattern of a cabled fingerless mitt from Ravelry and charts from a sock pattern on Knitty to see how it's done.  I'm not copying ideas but I am using them as research as to how many stitches to cast on, etc.  I want to winnow down my cable choices and then I'll start knitting some swatches to see how the cables I choose look in the wild.  This has to be all done and knitted by the April 2014 meeting, I need to get cracking.

I picked up the Flakey Baby Sock last night to knit the foot part after putting in waste yarn for an "afterthought" heel.  I've never done one of those.  Can you see the row of beige stitches near the needles?  That yarn gets taken out, the stitches picked up, and the heel knit.  That's the theory anyway, we'll see how reality matches up.  Oh, and when I got to the end of row 1 of the chart for the second snowflake I was a stitch short.  I don't know where it went.  I looked all over for a dropped one, even turned the tube inside out to see if one was running down toward the cuff, and I didn't find it so I just made one.  It's times like that when I'm glad I'm not that much of a perfectionist as to rip it back and start again.

Not wanting to bollocks up the baby sock (anymore than I evidently have already) I carried the Pporange (Pink purple orange) Ankle sock back and forth to work this week.  I didn't have the opportunity to knit on it at work but I did slap on a few rounds after supper on Monday (Monday night wasn't a good one for thinking about charts) and while waiting for the cardiologist to come see Durwood yesterday and tell him/us to go away until we have some interesting symptoms to share.  Maybe I'll get this sock done before it snows.

Now It's Raining

Not a stormy rain, a gentle, water the garden rain.  Aaaand it sounds like it's slacked off.  It can rain all day if it wants to, I only have to be out to go into and out of work and into and out of yoga after work then into the house to can Durwood's soup batch of the day... so maybe it can stop at those times.

I'm feeling a little beleaguered with my plan to go to as many yoga classes this month as I can coupled with Mrs. Boss being in Idaho helping her mom pack to move this week and in Cayman Brac diving next week.  I feel like I'm always at a trot, which isn't so out of normal but it feels more busy right now.  I've got my fingers crossed that Mr. Boss doesn't get called back to work at the nuke plant next week so he can work her days and I can go back to my normal schedule which will still be yoga-busy but I've only got 2 more weeks of 3 days in a row plus Saturday and then my "30 days for 30 bucks" card will be invalid and we'll drive away to visit DD & DIL2, RJ & K, and Aunt B & Paul (if he's in town).  There'll be all those car hours and that's sitting, right?  I can knit when I'm not driving and talk to Durwood for hours on end, it'll be lovely.  I've got tomorrow and Friday off, plus Saturday and Sunday too and I'll only go to yoga on Saturday so that should give me a break.  I think I'm feeling harried because I worked Wed., Thurs, Fri, Mon, Tues, Wed and even though I had Sat and Sun off I didn't just loll around (as if I ever really do), there was Saturday yoga and laundry folding and lawn mowing and...  I'll get better at it, eventually.  Or not.  I do seem to keep jumping up whenever I sit down.

It was another non-knitting day at work.  Mr. Boss was there the whole time dealing with an AT&T tech guy trying to remotely resuscitate the backroom laptop.  They set it to defrag overnight so hopefully they'll have more luck clearing it off today.  But I had my own work (yes, actual WORK at work.  I know!) to do.  I organized a couple students and sold & ordered a couple drysuits (at a grand apiece), priced and finalized a bunch of repairs and called the owners, and I made great strides reformatting and making the course fees list understandable, plus I schmoozed a couple of the instructors to keep them happy.  What?  It's a real job, they're independent contractors and we need them so I joke and flatter (sincerely, of course) so they want to keep working for us.  Besides I like them, I kind of have a little crush on them, all above board of course

Hey, did you see that they winched that half-sunk Italian cruise liner upright?  Looks kind of creepy, if you see one side, the side that was up, it looks pretty much the same, the other side looks like a horror movie.  I hope they can find the last of the missing now.  I also hope that the captain got keel hauled for being a dick and a show-off.

September 18--Guatemala or Mexico, Mayan, Plate with Trumpeter.  The hot sun beat down and flies buzzed around the flesh and bone scattered over the weedy gravel lot.  Carlos and Dina stood at the edge of the track leading off the paved road waiting until the detectives finished their survey of the scene.  "One of them is sure to step on something the way they're tramping all around," Carlos said.  Dina nodded.  "You are so right.  Ten bucks says it's Morales."  Carlos shook his head.  "No way.  Morales is too careful.  My money's on O'Hara."  "Oh sure," Dina said, "pick on the little white guy."  They both laughed because O'Hara was a six-foot three-inch, dark-skinned African-American.  As crime scene techs they knew they'd be there until long after the sun went down and the story they had to piece together was certain to be as sad one so they took their laughs where and when they could.

And it's time for a shower and quick breakfast so I can go to the chiro before work and don't forget my yoga duds because there's class after work.  *pant, pant*  I'm my own worst enemy.  Ta-ta!
--Barbara

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I Thought 45 Degrees Was Cold Yesterday...

...this morning it was 37 degrees when we left for Durwood's cardiologist appointment at 7:30.  (Before you ask, all is well.  The doc basically said "go away and don't come back."  I think this was an appointment to eliminate possible problems caused by his COPD and there really aren't any heart-related problems.  Yay!)  Thirty-seven degrees!  Can you believe it?  I dug out my wool shrug to wear.  Of course when we went outside an hour later the sweater was too warm (for me anyway, Durwood was just fine in his car coat) and it's supposed to be 68 later.  On Thursday it's supposed to be 85 and humid.  *head, slap* It's a roller coaster of weather, one of everything all in the same week.
 
The Mason St. Bridge was up when we were coming home and we were stopped close enough to the gap that I got pictures of the coal freighter going through the drawbridge.  In the top picture you can see the ship's bridge next to the drawbridge and in the bottom picture lower left just above the roadway is the big crane that shoots the coal out of the hold.  Seeing those ships in the middle of town never gets old.  And that's why I keep a dishcloth in progress in my car door pocket. 

I'm going to yoga again after work.  Yesterday we did an hour of yoga mostly sitting in a folding chair.  It was kind of odd but interesting, and I'm sure I'll get to do chair yoga tonight and then again on Saturday.  Tomorrow night's session is called Community yoga, it's one of the free (donation) 4-week sessions that teach the basics so you're not too much of a klutz in the regular classes that I only go to when my friend Mardi teaches them.  I like her classes better than the boss/owner's classes because our personalities match better, more yoga and less inner-weirdness, plus Mardi knits too so you know she's a much better person all around.  Although the boss/owner did leave a bag of ripe pears from her tree on the bench yesterday; I had one with my lunch and it was very good.  I'll have to thank her for that.

I didn't have any knitting time at work yesterday but I can't tell you what I did that filled up my day, and it WAS full.  I only had 2 customers and one was a new student so most of what she paid was class fees, I don't remember the other one.  I'm redoing the "course fees" sheet we refer to when we quote prices because there are more ways to earn certifications and the way it is now is a bit confusing, so I made calls to PADI Training for requirements and consulted with our sales rep for materials prices... however it happened I made 8 hours go away and I'll get paid for it.  That's a good thing, right?

September 16--Louis Comfort Tiffany, Garden Landscape.  Beauty lay around his feet in colorful shards.  He still held the bat in his hand but now the tip of it rested on the floor and he held the end loosely.  There were a few tiny drops of blood from cuts on his face and hands made by flying glass.  Jacob could still feel the impact of wood against glass and metal.  The crashing sounds rang in the room and the hot summer wind swept the air-conditioned cool out into the garden.  He was glad to have broken the old window, glad to feel it ground to dust under his boots.

Angry much?  Did you ever just want to destroy something?  To swing a bat or a stick or a sledgehammer and just smash it?  It seems like it might be something very cathartic.  Not that I've ever done anything like that.  Nope.  Not me.  And now I need to gather up my doodads and get myself off to work.  Mr. Boss is working for me so I didn't have to hurry through Durwood's doc visit.  Anyway, I'm outta here.
--Barbara

Monday, September 16, 2013

Here It Is Monday Again

I know this because there was 8:15 AM yin yoga this morning and there was a paycheck with my name on it when I got to work after yoga.  And it's the middle of September already too.  Holy bejeebers, time sure flies when you're having... life.

I think we need a new mattress.  I keep waking up with a backache and I'm not a fan, not a fan at all.  King mattresses aren't cheap.  I wonder if Verlo's having a sale.  Yeah, they probably are, they do most of the time.

Let's see... what else? I got the lawn mowed in between the rain yesterday.  When it stopped I waited a couple hours to give the grass time to dry out a bit before I got out the combine and baler, and I was a good wife and neighbor and waited until the Packer game was over too so I didn't drown out any good footballing with my lawn mowing.  I noticed as I went out that dark clouds were massing on the horizon to the north and west so I picked up the pace and got done just before it started to sprinkle.  AGAIN.  I even managed to light the charcoal and grill out the little steaks before the skies opened up and the wind started whipping.  Yay, me!  And there's leftover steak for another meal.  Double yay!

It was 45 degrees when I poked my nose out for the newspaper this morning.  Forty. Five. Degrees, people, I could almost see my breath.  When I got dressed to go to yoga I put on a hoodie and a wool shawlette.  Gah.  By Thursday it's supposed to be in the high 70s/low 80s so I'm not freaking out yet.  Close, but not yet.

September 16--Belbello da Pavia, Benedictine Antiphonary.  Gayle stared at the illuminated manuscript.  The ornate first letters on some of the pages made her itch to pull out her embroidery silks.  The bright blue, red, and green outlined in black and with gilt accents made her wonder if she could stitch what she saw.  She pulled a pad of paper and a pencil out of her purse and began to sketch.  She made notes and took pictures, careful not to use a flash to damage the page.  There had to be a shop where she could buy tracing paper and linen the color of the ancient parchment.  She would most likely have to wait until the tour got to a bigger city to find what she wanted and there were certain be many more illuminated manuscripts for her to copy.  Perhaps Lucia, the tour guide, could help her.

Meh.  Kinda blah but I'm always just happy to write something, to have the germ of a micron of an idea left in my deflating brain by the time I hit the sack.  And now it's time for me to really work instead of just pretending.  Harpy Monday!
--Barbara

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Nudder Sleeb!

Thursday and Friday were not knitting days at work last week so I hadn't gotten much further on Sleeve-the-Second by the time I got to Friday Night Knitting so that's what I worked on for the measly hour I had there.  I didn't keep track of the rounds of Sleeve-the-First so I had to guesstimate on the Second and called it wrong, about 4 rows too soon.  That meant that I picked out the last stitch, frogged the last 4 rows, picked up the stitches and knitted more stockinette rows, then the garter cuff.  Next I need to block it, then find some buttons to sew on, and it'll be done.  I like it although it's bigger than it was meant to be but that only means that it'll fit the baby for a longer time.


At the Bay Lakes Knitting Guild meeting on Thursday evening a design contest was launched.  Happily there will be a category for those who design and sell patterns and sell their knitting, and then another for the rest of us beginners.  I've never considered designing a pattern but I did buy those Harmony Guides this summer and practicing cables is on my "to do" list for 2013, so I'm thinking I'll be picking out a cable or two and making up a pattern for fingerless mitts.  I love fingerless mitts.  Once I got to work on Friday I did a little Ravelry pattern searching for a cabled one that I can use to figure out how many stitches to cast on since cables suck in stitches.  This might be fun.  Did you ever design anything?

A Rainy Sunday

And I didn't mow de lawn yesterday after all.  Oops.  I just didn't feel like it so I didn't.  Now I'm sorry but it's supposed to stop and clear up later so I should be able to trot around with the mower later.  Don't you hate when you do stuff like that?  Mostly I didn't because I was listening to an audiobook and wanted to keep listening so I could hear whodunit and be finished listening to the terrible narrator (Ellen Travolta--John's mom?--anyway she had pronunciation and pacing problems but I liked the story so I stuck it out to The End).

I managed to snap a photo of a hummingbird at the feeder this morning.  I can't understand why the raindrops don't knock them right out of the air but they ignore the rain.  Maybe they fly between the drops?



I did go to give the chickens the peels and floor grapes which they loved.  (floor grapes are the ones that fall when I'm taking them all off the stems so that we can just grab and eat)  It seemed like the chickens are more of a flock than two pairs, at least they seemed that way yesterday.  I'm glad, I don't like it when they fight.  But first I give Porter her supper, waited while she ate it (that took some convincing, she's used to me taking her walking), and then we went outside to play.  We played ball for a while (she's kinda learned to give it back, at least she lies down and lets it go so I can walk over, pick it up, and throw it again), then I sat and knitted on my car door dishcloth (the project that lives in the pocket of the door for times like that) until she was done with her business so I could lock her back up before coming home to a supper of chicken spaghetti and fresh green beans.  Yum.  Tonight I plan to grill a couple small ribeyes so it better stop raining or I'll be peeved and no one likes me peeved.


September 15--Belbello da Pavia, Benedictine Antiphonary.  The soft echoing chant drew Azalea down the cool marble hall toward the monastery chapel.  She had thought that the building was empty but the sound of men's voices with their ringing notes in a minor key attracted her to investigate.  As she neared the end of the hall the smells of incense and beeswax reminded her of going to her grandmother's country parish for Sunday Mass.  The brown robed monks filled only a couple pews in the small chapel but their voices made the place seem like the vestibule of Heaven.

Today is the Packers' home opener.  I hear the announcer and a little music.  I'm glad I'm not there in the rain and wet, but then I never want to be there no matter what the weather.  I know, I shouldn't live here in football mecca but I can't help it, it's where Dad got a job in 1962 and I've just stayed.  Maybe someday I'll live someplace else.  But not today.
--Barbara