Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dreary Tuesday

What a gloomy day! I hate days like this, I feel like I want to take a nap most of the day.

I got my chapbook manuscript mailed in this afternoon. Maybe I'll be a published poet one of these days.

Since tomorrow's July 1, yes, July 1 if you can believe it, I'm going to work to post every day and work out on Wii Fit every day so I'll be giving Wii reports with my art prompt posts. Sorry to dump this on you but I need someone to be accountable to and you're it.

June 30--Antonio Zucchi, Cupola. Beatrice lay on the landing bench watching the clouds and birds as they passed overhead. She had loved the cupola since the day they moved in. Mama hated it. She said the sunlight faded the carpets and bleached the woodwork, but they lived in London. That was one city where you could rely on clouds and rainy days. London was the place to have a glass and iron cupola on your house. Papa said it saved on electricity by bringing light in to the center. Beatrice liked it because God could look down and see how much she needed a brother or sister to play with--or maybe a puppy.

I'm outta here.

Monday, June 29, 2009

How Are Things...

...in the land of Pain, Jennifer? Can you drive or will you need a ride on Thursday? Vicodin might be just the thing to jump-start your writing. I just killed a bug with my wireless mouse. Mice eat bugs, right?

Hey, Jenny, I just joined Facebook and found Navik and Eppy! I friended them both and have been accepted from Navik so far. I feel kind of foolish getting on Facebook with all the kids but I tell myself that it's new technology and I don't want to be left behind. Plus I so need more things to waste time on. Uh-huh.

June 29--Giovanni di Paolo di Grazia, The Last Judgement. A line can be democratic, a long line even more so. The rich and poor, black and white, each have their space, each feel a kinship to the next. Those at the head of the line are envied for being in front, proximity to the goal is their cachet. Relationships are formed by the proximity of one to another. Less attention is paid to differences, the equality of the wait forges acquaintance. Children dash up and down the line entertaining and being entertained. Common experience and acquaintances forge bonds that last at least as long as the line does. Even if all separate and never come back together, that fleeting time of common purpose binds them into one.

Not bad. An interesting idea.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

No Lie

Whoever named this baby sweater pattern "Quickie" wasn't fooling around. It's also called the "5 Hour Baby Sweater" which I think is a bit of an exageration, but I cast this on (a few times) Friday night, worked on it quite a bit on Saturday, and finished it early Sunday afternoon. Next I'll make booties and a hat to match and I'll be ready for the baby shower. Oh, and decide whether I'll make a ribbon tie or put buttons on it. I'm leaning toward little pearl buttons.


Now this is weather for humans.

Jennifer, you are having a week. You poor thing, enjoy your time in Vicodin-land. I hear it's lovely there. I've never been there, I have an Rx for it but never filled it. I stayed in Oxycodone-ville; I was comfortable there.

Here's a little writing--very little.

June 26--Hans Holbein the Younger, Portrait of Desiderius Erasmus. He wants to look serious and official. You can tell by the way he is posed and by the things he chose to pose with. He's dressed in sober black with his burgher's hat. His hands are busy writing a letter so you can see the gold rings he is so proud of. Behind him is the drapery of heavy tapestry that his wife likes to boast about. Such a serious, well-to-do man, you are meant to think, but look at his face. You can see his mildness, his humor lurking there, as if he and the painter were just laughing together. You can see the tenderness that he wears when he looks as his beloved daughter and the pride in his son. More of this man lives on this canvas than you would imagine.

June 27 & 28--Franz Marc, Two Cats. They wind around each other, these two cats, one submissive, the other dominant, soundlessly working out the age-old questions. They are matched in size but the yellow one imagines himself bigger and has somehow convinced the calico that it is true. What vibration, what pheromone do we emit that puts us in our place just like these two cats?


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Progress Report--week #26

Okay, this is it, the middle of the year. 2009 is half over. Don't fall down in amazement, I'm not making this up. Since there are 52 weeks in a year, 26 must be the middle; it's a mathematical fact. So I must have half of the things I had OTN at the beginning of this quest finished, right? Maaaybeee. Let's run the list... Accidental socks? Check. The Converts mittens? Check. Silk Road Purse? Check. Socks X2? Check. Fish Afghan? Check. Sudoku Afghan? No, but work on it every time I'm at work. Cardigan for Durwood? Haven't gotten that into the queue yet, but I haven't forgotten it.

Those are al
l the projects I had started when 2009 rolled around. I've started and finished a bunch of other ones in between (see list at left side of blog), and I'm still determined to finish any thing that was started on New Year's Day by New Year's Eve. Okay, right away I'm going to hedge that statement and give myself a pass on having the Sudoku Afghan all done by then, but if I get everything, but that, finished in 2009 I will consider myself a success. Imagine, I will have actually made a resolution and kept it. Amazing.

Now. Here's what I worked on this week. 1 1/2 Sudoku squares got made at work. I intend to finish the half this weekend so I can start Monday with a new color.

I logged a few rows on the Khaki cardi; it keeps getting bigger. I still love it. Purling still makes my left thumb ache.

Finished the first Mardi Gras Ankle Sock and knit the cuff on sock #2.

Crocheted a few rows on the Ripple Shawl. I can tell I've been a crocheter longer than a knitter. I can really zone out when I'm hooking along.

And, finally, because a week can't pass without me casting on something new. I got an invite to DD's high school friend Kelly's baby shower next month, so I found a pattern for a Quickie (5 hour) Baby Sweater and some pretty variegated Encore Colorspun in Color 7065 (they need better color names) to make it and dove right in. I'll admit right up front that I cast on and knit a couple rows more than once, so many times that I checked to see if just the cast on was supposed to take 5 hours. Sometimes things that are supposed to be easy are hard.

The Joys of this Week...the fun continues

I'm having the most challenging week and last evening didn't help. I head to BB&B for a new set of sheets and as I attempt to avoid a careless driver from pegging me off in the parking lot, I manage to snap out my knee, yes the bad knee.

My new level of 10 in the pain scale has now grown so at 4 am I drive down the street to the Emergency Room, get an xray, a knee imobilizer and some Vicodin. Later that day my parents take me to fill the prescription and get some crutches.

Monday I get to call my Ortho Surgeon...hopefully my out of pocket will be met soon.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Not a breath of air is moving outside my window. No leaves are fluttering, all is still. For once I'm glad I'm not at The Clearing; they don't have a/c in the rooms. Muggy. I love my air conditioning. Love it.

June 25--Vincent van Gogh, Starry Night. It was so bright for night. The lights in the houses across the bay shone gold like gilded stepping stones on the water. In the sky their warm light was echoed by the stars twinkling a pale yellow gold in the vast indigo expanse. Vincent stood outside the bayside cafe watching the light dance on the water, outlining the silent sailboats, gilding the drying nets, and his fingers itched to paint. Two colors, he thought, he only needed two colors to paint the whole of the world. He would think of an incantation to keep the indigo blue and yellow gold from joining to sour his vision into green. He would paint this and sell it and maybe the voices would stop.

It's only a guess, but I bet Vincent did hear voices. Why else cut off his ear? No prostitute's worth that.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

One Sock & Shawlishness

Last night I finished the first of the Mardi Gras Ankle Sox. I like it. Haven't worn it in a shoe yet, but I like the way it feels on my foot.

My crochet hook is busy making stitches and adding rows to the Ripple Shawl. This is the first time I've used Lion Microspun. I like it, it's silky and easy to work with. I also like the rich contrast between the Ebony and the Sterling colors, and the way the fabric drapes. I'm going to love this shawl.

I've decided that I don't know my own psychic strength. Last week I was complaining (on the writing group blog) that summer was too long in coming, that it was too rainy and dreary and chilly to be summer, and that we needed a little heat and sunshine to get the garden growing. Well, I evidently was wishing too hard for warmer weather, because this week it's sunny, 90, and humid. In short, unbearable. I'm going to have to be more careful about how I wield this until now unrealized power.


In this weather, one thought is about all there's room for in a person's brain. Whenever I'm outdoors that thought is, hot! Congrats on your new status, Jennifer. Excellent image of the pigs sprawled on their lettuce. Makes me giggle.

June 24--Philips Wouwermans, Gentleman on a Horse Watching a Falconer. Gray dawn crept across the sky as Willem sat on top of the hill behind his house. His cool gray eyes watched the wheeling black shape of a falcon as it shifted into position and shot like an arrow to catch the pigeon Franz had released. The early hour kept voices low and the dew made the grass hang with its weight. Fleet shook his head, jangling his bridle, and went back to cropping the grass. Willem tugged the reins and turned the horse to keep his eyes on the stooping predator in the sky. Franz extended his left arm encased in its thick leather glove. Vector, the falcon, landed and released the pigeon in exchange for a scrap of raw meat. Franz twisted the pigeon's head, heard the spine snap, and put the carcass into his game bag, thinking of the pigeon pie Cook would make for lunch.

A tad gruesome, but I wrote


Well my life officially as a single woman has been challenging to say the least. Monday's day in court went well, thanks to the dramatic couple ahead of us. At least I can say, my ex and I acted as adults and simply wanted to move onto the next phase in our lives.

Weather as Barbara stated is Stifling.....late 60's a week ago to over 90? Gimme a break Mamma Nature ....you aren't nice!

One of the pigs (Oreo) is laying low and is slowing returning to his old self. I think he blames the heat on me. So my little family of four live with the air cranked up, the shades drawn from the sun.

But it's a nice life and one that I have waited for a long time!

I enjoyed Whooping Crane Barbara...the last part about Caleb felt comforting. I may not be in the Bayou (but the weather sure helps with the image), but I'm right where I want to be for now.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I want someone to bring me a glass of homemade lemonade and then sit down in the shade and tell me a story. Even though I'm holed up indoors with the a/c keeping out the heat and humidity, I still feel the oppression of the weather and want old time relief. What did we ever do when nothing was air conditioned? Suffered, that's what.

June 23--John James Audubon, Whooping Crane. Hot and still. The only sounds were made by the insects, bees and flies going about their business, and the swish-plop of frogs fleeing the tall, white crane that patiently worked the edge of the slough. Caleb drifted in his canoe, paddle laid across the gunwales for use as an armrest, pouring water from his canteen over his sweaty face, allowing a few drops to moisten his tongue. He wiped his face with his faded bandanna, then retied it to keep the back of his neck from getting sunburned. This time of day the bayou was the quietest, just past midday when the air was the most still and storm clouds began to pile up on the horizon before racing across the sky just before sunset. This was the time when Caleb knew that he was where he belonged. That he was meant to live here in this land that was half water, half air, and all wild.


Monday, June 22, 2009

First Monday of Summer

I'm not even going to complain about the weather. You know.

Not a good writing weekend. I just couldn't settle down to it. Maybe I need a brain transplant.

June 22-Amadeo Modigliani, Woman with a Fan. When Jean remembered her Aunt Lunia she always pictured her sitting in her chair in front of the mantle with a folding fan in her hand. Lunia moved her fan back and forth so slowly that Jean was certain that it barely moved the air. She knew that her mother's sister lived with them from before Jean was born and she knew that Lunia must have moved around the house helping Mama with the cleaning and cooking, but she had no memories of the tall, slender woman seated at meals with them or standing in the kitchen, dish towel in hand, laughing with Mama and drying dishes. What made Jean think of her still and silent Aunt Lunia were the boxes and piles of Aunt Lunia's belongings that she came upon in the far end of the attic. Mama had died six months ago and Jean was working her way through the old house. She had put off the attic as long as possible, but now she sat there in the cold blue light of midwinter with the pieces of her aunt's life around her.

Time for work. Have a good day.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I Can't Leave Well Enough Alone

You'd think I would learn. I had gotten down to 3 active projects OnTheNeedles--the Sudoku squares knitted at work between customers, the Mardi Gras Ankle Sox that I work on at Patti's Yarn Shop on Thursday nights, and the Khaki Cardi that I cast on last weekend and can't put down. It seemed like barely anything going on, almost as if I had large gaps in my knitting time. I realize that I am making great strides in the cardi, I mean I'm almost through the first 240 yd. skein and I'm 32 rows from putting the sleeve stitches on waste yarn and moving down the body of the sweater.

And yet I couldn't keep from casting around for yet another som
ething to knit or crochet, for one more project to fill those empty nanoseconds. There I was in JoAnn's yesterday afternoon, the needles I wanted were already on sale so my 2-50% off coupons wouldn't work on those. I spotted 4 skeins of Lion Microspun in Sterling on sale for only $1.97 each so the coupons wouldn't work on those either. Then I looked at the pretty ripple shawl on the label and thought I might like to crochet it, but it called for 6 skeins and there were only 4 on sale. Aha! I could buy 1 skein of Ebony Microspun for either end of the stole/shawl; it wasn't on sale so the coupons would work on it, one for each. Huzzah! Naturally, I couldn't resist digging out a crochet hook and starting it last night. *sigh*

Friday, June 19, 2009

So much for this nice summer

I cannot believe how humid it is...I'm sweating like crazy and even the guinea pigs are warm.

So warm they are laying on their cold lettuce from the fridge...poor little guys.

Where are my days of 60's and good sleeping weather....this is Wisconsin after all.


This isn't what I had in mind, weather-wise, either. Sunny, breezy, and warm, please. Not humid, overcast, and still. Sheesh.

Thanks for your great comments and suggestions on my poems, ladies. They'll be a great help at editing time.

June 19--Eugene Delacroix, The Shipwreck of Don Juan. What is it about certain people that draws others to them? Look at the people in this painting. See in the right corner of the stern of the lifeboat? That's the captain. You'd think that the survivors would cluster around him for security and comfort but they're not. They're clustered around that guy in the middle holding his hat in his lap. The others are looking to him, crowded around him, reading out to him. What power does he hold? What do they see in him? How will he save them on that featureless green sea?

Eh. I'm blaming the dreary day.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Back to Cool & Drizzly

I do not understand the weather. It's nice for a day or two and then, wham, it cools right off and turns to crap. What's the deal? I'm still wearing long jeans, a cardigan, socks, and shoes to work to stay warm in the breeze of the fans. Shouldn't I be in shorts and a t-shirt by now? The mailman, Pat, and Kevin, the Assistant Instructor, are wearing shorts, have been for a couple weeks. How come I'm still cold?

June 17--Sandro Botticelli, The Birth of Venus. Venus hated dancing naked this time of year. It was bad enough in summer when it was suffocatingly hot on stage under the lights, but it was the worst in winter. The crowd was thinner in the winter because of the seasonal layoffs so tips were low but even worse was the cold. Venus had pale pale skin that looked transparent and her red gold hair was long, so long it hung down below her bottom. But her mantle of hair couldn't protect her from the icy drafts that blew from everywhere in the old theater. Some days she felt like her goosebumps were bigger than her nipples. Even the heat of the lights and her dancing weren't enough to keep her warm. She stationed her friend Edna in the wings with a blanket to wrap herself in when she went offstage. She needed to talk to Harry about getting some heat backstage, blue-lipped and shivering women just weren't sexy.

A militant stripper. My kind of woman.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


You get two art-prompt postings today because I was just too lazy to knuckle down last night and write. So I took my notebook and the two little squares of art out to the patio this morning and wrote in the shade of my new patio umbrella. Sitting out there to write is a surefire way to inspiration: the soft early morning air, a cup of fragrant coffee, the warming sun, and the "hurry up, hurry up, hurry up!" of the wren parents feeding their chicks all combine to put me in the mood to be creative. I love it.

June 15--Fra Angelico, The Thebaid. It was like a carnival of hermits. The mountainside outside of Thebes was littered, almost choked, with the huts and caves of holy men willing to tell a person's future or interpret their fate for a few pennies or a scrap of food. My favorite was the one in the center about halfway up. His name was Joachim and he never spoke, just handed you your fortune on a narrow strip of paper. When I knew that I would be climbing up his way I tucked a handbill or some other piece of used paper into my pocket to give to him. He was happy to use the blank back and I enjoyed seeing what part of an ad or public notice decorated the back of my fortune. Joachim was also cleaner than other hermits. Many of the others seemed to believe that cleanliness was sinful but Joachim evidently understood that being clean brought more visitors and , therefore, more food and paper. I think the Pope should have made Joachim the patron saint of marketing.

Silly, but interesting.

June 16--Edouard Manet, Autumn (Mery Laurent). She looks padded, Ed thought when he picked Mery up for their date. Not padded like a padded bra, but thick like she was wearing two or even three sets of clothing. Sweaters over sweaters and skirts over skirts over skirts. Her head with its coppery hair and porcelain skin looked small perched on top of a too generous body. Don't misjudge Ed, he liked a woman with a generous body. He had never been attracted to those skin-covered skeletons with their nonexistent boobs and their blades of hips. He wanted a woman he could sink into, one he could fill his arms and hands and mouth with. Mery was beautiful, yes, but was she trying to fool him with a lush appearance? Trying to lure him into loving her? Mery looked across the table at Ed frowning and wondered what had upset him. "Is your fish bad?" she asked. "It's fine." He pulled out his pocket watch. "We need to go. Waiter, the check." Shocked Mery put her fork down on her unfinished supper and picked up her purse.

Ed, you wacko.

Not bad for a morning's scribbles.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sunny Monday

What a gorgeous day it is! I wish I could close the store and play hooky but someone's bound to notice and then I'd get in trouble. I wish I wasn't such a yellow-bellied, panty-waisted chicken. I want to be at home making Durwood show me how to build a birdhouse, then I'd paint it in bright colors and hang it on the fence for the little birdies to come and live in.

I sent off the synopsis and first 3 chapters of Horizon Friday morning. She said I'd hear from her in 8-12 weeks. Wouldn't it be great if she wanted to read it all? I know even that won't mean she definitely wants to represent it, but it's a baby step toward publication and I'm excited. I did start to read through the Agent listings in Writer's Market and did a little Internet research on a couple I thought might be interested in Horizon. I get frustrated that I'm not sure if its category is mainstream or women's; I suppose that's pretty subjective but my innerHitler wants everything to be exact and precise. Jawohl!

June 13 & 14--Henry Ryland, Bell Ringers. Caitlin stood in the vestibule of the church before Mass removing her gloves and brushing the misty rain off her black wool coat. She glanced to her right where she could see by the bright light flooding through the stained glass window that the sun had come out. Gathered under the window were five men in their shirtsleeves. Each man held a rope that hung down from the belfry and the bronze bells that rang out over the city. Two of the men were relaxed, holding their ropes loosely, but it was obvious that the other three were deeply serious about the business of ringing the bells. Caitlin stifled a giggle when she noticed that one had been pulled off his feet by the swinging of his bell so far above. She stood watching the dance of the bell-ringing men, imagining that the clear notes emanated from the bodies of the men themselves. Somehow watching them made Mass seem all the more personal and uplifting.

I like this painting and I like the idea of a woman standing and letting her imagination run free in such a mundane place. Enjoy your day.

Ooh, Nice

I had promised myself that I wouldn't cast on a cardigan I had the yarn and needles all organized for until I had finished the Poetry Camp sock and the Thuja socks. I had both finished by Friday night, so yesterday afternoon when it was raining and I couldn't sit outside I cast on the sweater and it was very hard to stop knitting. I love the way it looks and feels. It's the Neck Down V Neck Cardigan from Knitting Pure & Simple. It's my first worsted sweater and the first I'm knitting in one piece from the top. I'm only 13 rows into it and already I love it even though it's stockinette and I'm not a huge fan of purling.

We decided that the wren house was too bland painted all one color so we went back and got some barn red and I repainted the roof and perch. Now it has pizzazz, to quote DS.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Progress Report--Week #24

Before I get to the yarn-y stuff I want to show you the latest garden photos. Durwood took a picture of his lush raspberry bushes and sends a heartfelt "thank you" to DS for bequeathing them to him. Durwood and I collaborated on a wren house; he built it, I painted it. While we're waiting for someone to move in, I'm encouraging him to build more houses to brighten up that gray fence. The poppies in the corner of the garden are opening. I thought all poppies were the same but an ex-hippie customer of the dive shop said the red-orange ones aren't the "interesting" ones, so we won't be starting a side business this year.

Last night Telaine and I took a walk through Goodwill during Friday Night Knitting and hit the jackpot. They had a stack of these but only one of these. She's a loom knitter so she let me have the sole copy. Wasn't that nice of her? Can you believe there's a pattern for a knitted bikini in there?!? Holy cats.

I also found this when we trolled back through Domestics. It's 20 oz. of laceweight in whoknowswhat fiber in a soft silvery gray. I thought that for $.99 (that's ninety-nine cents, folks) I could give lace knitting a try.

I finished 2 socks this week: the single Poetry Camp Sock was done early in the week (see previous post) and I finished the second Thuja last night after FNKC. I decided not to Kitchener the toe in the poor lighting and lively conversation there.

I knitted 2 1/2 Sudoku squares at work while watching documentaries on Netflix. One of these days we have to start getting more customers. I feel a little bad for having nothing to do there. A little.

Not being able to resist casting on new things for long, I started a Fixation Ankle Sock in green, purple, and yellow. They remind me of Mardi Gras so that's what I'm calling them. The jury is still out on the Fixation yarn.

This IS so exciting!

I am so excited for you Barbara! My fingers and toes are crossed with best wishes that your work will be viewed, appreciated and accepted carrying you on your way to a world-wind book tour and an interview with Matt Lauer on the Today Show (or whatever morning show trips your trigger)....even if you have to share the spot with Jenny on "Mornings with Amy."

And you got a sparkly bandage to boot! Of course it doesn't beat those cute little bandages you get for a mammogram with the guiding nubs!

Love the piece about Luc - how relaxing and peaceful that sounds. Tuck that gem away for a later time as I think it's brilliant.

Write About A Spoon Inside a Dishwasher

The hum and rumble of the dishwasher coming to life awakened the spoon from its crusty sleep. Inside the machine, the occupants shuddered as the heater brought the water to a temperature and pressure necessary to remove the remains of the food particles and bacteria that coated its stainless surface. It was always with a mixture of loathing and anticipation waiting inside the dishwasher amongst other pieces of silverware and dishes, sometimes often for days, until the capacity had reached a level when it was acceptable for the appliance to be run. The spoon resented sitting in its own filth, crusted over with anything from oatmeal, to dried ice cream to the remains of peanut butter. Mixed with the company of others, the smell within the dishwasher was oppressive, especially in the summer. But once the first jets of water hit its surface, the spoon felt it could relax and savor the thirty minutes to make herself clean again. Of course there were times when another spoon, often that of a male variety, nestled against her back, creating a sickly mix of knowing her backside was unclean and realizing his dirty front was pressed up against her. This would result in being returned to the dishwasher for another go or hopefully dropped into a sink of hot soapy water for a full massage and rinsing. It was tough being a spoon, but at least she told herself, it was better than being a spork.

OK...this is what happens when cats wake you up at 4:00 am to demand supper and you feel compelled to write.....bleh

Friday, June 12, 2009

Back From the Lab

Got my blood test over--I hate needle pokes, but I got a sparkly bandage--and now I can get on with my day. As soon as this is posted I'm getting into my email and sending off the synopsis and first three chapters of Horizon to the first literary agent with the good taste to ask to see it. Even if she decides that it's not for her, this is very exciting.

June 12--Camille Pissarro, The Little Bridge, Pontoise. How many greens are there? Luc sat on the bank of the slow-moving river in the green light of the late afternoon. No one else was in sight, he had the little glade all to himself. The nearly silent water hummed to itself as it slid past, floating leaves the only sign of movement. Birds murmured in the late day heat and the cicadas began their buzz saw song as the sunlight slid lower, the slanting rays painting the moss-covered bridge gold.

Nice meeting last night, ladies. It's always good to just write.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

It's Exercises Night

I love Exercises Night at Writer's. Everyone brings an exercise and we write, a lot. We write crazy or silly or serious, whatever flows out of our pencils, we just write. And it feels great. I love hearing what Jenny and Jennifer write; it inspires me to explore my voice and stretch my comfort zone. Ooh, exercises night, it's a good thing.

June 11--Lucas Cranach the Elder, Three Princesses of Saxony. It's an unlucky house that has three daughters, all about the same age. That's what everyone on the block thought about the Saxony family in the big house on the corner. Their three girls, Sibylla, Emilia, and Sidonia, were less than a year apart in age, but galaxies apart in personality. Sibylla, the oldest at fifteen, pushed every boundary and every button, saying "I owe it to my sisters to blaze the trail for them." Her trail blazed, all right. Emilia, fourteen and the quintessential middle child, was the peacemaker. She spoke softly to everyone and did her best to keep things calm between her parents and older sister. The youngest, Sidonia, at thirteen was just exploring herself, but if the look in her eyes was any hint, she was going to be every bit as much of a handful as her oldest sister. Poor Hank and Marge Saxony, everyone in town said. Their next ten years are going to be hell.

See you later, pencil in hand and blank page ready.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I'm Trying To Be Calm About This...

...but I got an email from one of the agents I queried--and she wants to read more. She'd like a detailed synopsis and 3 chapters. I know this doesn't mean she'll take it, but it sure feels like I've taken another baby step toward being a published novelist. Good thing there aren't any customers right now because I'm jumping around like a fool.

The Sun Is Out

Yippee! I feel so much better, even if it's not supposed to get much above 60 degrees today, at least the sun is shining. Ahh.

June 10--French School, The Departure for Jerusalem. Five men in a little boat, Emmaline thought as she sat snug in the church pew. It was raining cats and dogs and she watched the rain streak down the stained glass window. She had been walking from the British Museum toward a tube stop when the sky was split by a huge thunderclap and the rain came down with such force that she considered building an ark. Ducking her head, she followed a pair of black men's dress shoes up a flight of steps, through heavy caved doors, and into this church. She had no idea which church this was but she knew it wasn't a cathedral, it was too small and cozy. The rain on the blue glass made it look as if the little boat was sailing in the storm too. the flicker of votive candles and the faint smell of incense gave the place the feel of a sanctuary so she pulled her knitting from her bag and settled in to while away the storm in comfort.

Everybody having a good week?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Poetry Camp Sock Done!

Ta-da! I got the Poetry Camp Sock done this evening.


See how cool it looks with one of the Accidental socks?

I tried to get it done this afternoon but a nap overtook me and I was helpless. I am grateful to Durwood that he didn't take this head-on so everyone could see me in all my slack-jawed glory.

My Day Off

I love Tuesdays. I have the day off after working only one day. Ah, this is perfect. Today I'll change the sheets, get some rock garden plants to plant in Dad's old work boots on the front porch, and goof off the rest of the day. It's not raining, it's not sunny but it isn't raining and isn't supposed to rain. Whoever turned off the faucet, thank you.

June 9--Pierre Bonnard, Dining Room on the Garden. There wasn't a bad seat at Aunt Mame's dining table, but my favorite one was across from the tall windows that overlooked the slope down to the lake. The colorful food was replaced by the colorful flowers, then the greens of the trees and shrubs, then the dark blue green of the water. None of the chairs around the table matched and none of the people did either. There were rich brown people and poor white ones, middle class black business owners and brilliant ivory ones. When I spent summers at Aunt Mame's I met them all. Aunt Mame taught high school English in the school year but she and her life-long companion, Miss Lutz, lived the Bohemian life in the summer at their home by the lake. Everything and everyone there was colorful and fascinating. I learned a lot about life at that table and never wanted summers to end.

Sounds great, doesn't it? I want to go there right now.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pouring Rain

That's all I have to say about that. Except to say that my last customer was wearing his winter coat and now I'm wearing wool mitts to keep my hands warm. June, people, June.

June 8--Jean Baptiste Greuze, Standing Young Girl. "See my new shoes," she says pointing her toe. If she leans forward any more, her breasts will pop free and spill out into view. Clothing was uncomfortable and voluminous in those days, and I'll bet there was no such thing as a comfortable pair of shoes. See the look on her face? She's proud of her new shoes but she looks a little sad. Why? Probably because those new shoes she's so proud of are killing her. Look how her foot swells over, just like her breasts over her bodice. The quest for beauty is ever painful.


Wasn't Summer Grand?

Sure, it was summer. Last Friday. Remember? It was warm and sunny, and now it's autumn again and we didn't harvest any tomatoes. Living here above the Arctic Circle, the growing season is so short it's almost not worth the expense of planting a garden, but hope springs eternal. I am wearing a t-shirt and a sweater (and I wore a windbreaker too), with long jeans, socks and shoes. And I'm chilly. Chilly! Not from the air conditioning set too low, no, from the damp, cold air that has camped over us and won't go away. Tsk.

Poor Jennifer, working so hard with her glue stick. Sounds like you had a fun weekend. And such lovely weather too. I like what you wrote "in the frame."

June 6 & 7--Fra Angelico, The Last Judgement. Nobody likes a bossy angel. See that one in the lower right? The one in the red gown that is pointing off to the side? It's obvious that she's telling someone where to go or how to stand. Do you see that no one is looking at her? No one's paying attention. They're all getting on with their day, moving toward their assigned spot, not needing to be directed. She has made herself the subject of the whispered conversations, I imagine, as I see the two saints behind her walk away. I need to remember her when the impulse to make things right strikes. No one likes a too bossy women, not even saints and angels.

I was just too depressed by the chilly weather to post this over the weekend. I'm freakin' freezing and it's June. June, people, when we're supposed to be eating outside and swatting mosquitoes, not huddled inside in 3 layers of clothing and risking frostbite when we sit on the patio. Honestly.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Weekends are Exhausting!!!!

It's hard work to have fun on the weekends, but at least I get another day off tomorrow. I spent the day scrapbooking and I am EXHAUSTED, but it was a fun day!

Write A Frame's Worth of Words
Small words carefully chosen
to fit within the borders of the frame.
There is barely enough room
for the author to sign her name.


Progress Report--Week #23

With all the camp-going and coming home from, my progress reports have been absent, but here I am back in the saddle, turning over a new leaf...you get the picture. This was a sock week. I've got 2 OTN and I alternated between them because I was at the same place on both, turning the heel and knitting the gusset. On the pink and purple Poetry Camp sock, things will be more mindless for a few inches as it's a plain old sock with nothing interesting going on but the dyed in stripes and dots. On Thuja the wide rib pattern continues down the top of the foot so I still need to keep track of which row's odd (k3, p1) and which is even (k).

At work I made Sudoku afghan squares in maize.

My DD sent my Mother's Day package and--Look!--a beautiful hankie with a crocheted edge. I love it. Isn't it pretty? There's a thread of sparkly in the white edging.
Thanks, honey, it's so pretty. Your note made me tear up. I love you too.

The little plush bug is a travel bug she found while geocaching, so I need to buy or borrow a GPS to find a cache around here to put it in.

Will it ever be summer? Or even spring? It's back down in the 40s right now and supposed to rocket to the mid-50s today. Maybe late next week the temps will creep up to 70 for a day, maybe two, but maybe not. I love my sweaters but I'm getting tired of wearing them to work, and my hoodies are getting a real workout around the house. I'm not asking for it to be 80 every day, I like it in the 70s with some sunshine and puffy clouds. Really, that's not asking too much, is it?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Loving My Weekends

I took Friday off and Monday off for a well deserved break from the madness of day to day life. There is nothing like having a few days to do what you want, when you want, how you want with no demands on yourself.

So I've created some greeting cards, booked an entire of cropping (scrapbooking) to get my nephew's birthday presents underway and of course get some writing done. This is my new 21 days to form a habit since I have the vegetarian thing down.

Loved the violin piece Barbara....Leo struck me as a passionate man toward music until the very end, then he became a perv...nicely done!

I found a new website for writing prompts as the Writer's Book of Days just isn't doing it for me lately.... www.writingfix.com/classroom_tools/dailypromptgenerator.htm

today's prompt is

Who Gave You a Bad Piece of Advice....Write About it

My father is a very smart man, at least that's what he thinks. Once he opens his mouth; not so much. His voice booms loudly through a room full of people, but he mostly talks out of his ass. They say a parent will always guide their child through life, but they never tell you that sometimes the advice you receive teaches you how to undo the damage the advice has caused. I've learned that lesson well.

My father is an expert in law, politics, business, race relations, religious conflicts, golf, history, finances, recyling and any other topic de jour that strikes his fancy. I've learned to craft the art of listening to him ramble, nodding my head, uttering "oh really" at just the right moment. Most of the time, I'm thinking about whether I turned off the iron before I left the house.

There are topics we don't discuss in order to keep the peace. He has come to realize that his daughter is a fighter and won't back down to him. Feeling torn between respect and frustration toward me, my father retreats to his den where he is Master of his Domain.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Sunny Days...

We've had two in a row, but the weather-guessers say cloudy, 50s, and maybe rain for the weekend. Maybe next month it'll be summer. I planted more beets, another basil plant since the first one got frost nipped last month, and a yellow pear tomato plant today. I helped Mom plant some geraniums, marigolds, and herbs in pots on her balcony. I love playing in the dirt.

June 5--Man Ray, Le Violon d'Ingres. Leo loved his violin, the sensuous curves, the warm amber varnish, the tight scroll above the tuning keys, all gave him pleasure. He had played the violin since he was almost too small to old the instrument. His first (everyone remembers their first) was an old, beat up fiddle that his grandpa had bought off a riverboat on the Ohio. She was scratched and scarred from years of use but she had a passable sound. The bow was adequate but Leo had thought it was elegant because of the tiny disk of abalone on its tip. She had served him well though school until he entered the conservatory when a patron had bought him his one true love. She was Italian, of course, from Amati. He loved her with a burning passion. In the morning his hands trembled as he lifted her from her bed. He wore a cup for concerts so that his ecstasy was evident only to him.

Leo, you perv.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Will Summer Ever Come?

Anybody got a clue when it'll be summer for more than a day at a time? When's the next full moon? Maybe we need a dance, with a few virgins sacrificed at the end. Okay, okay, we won't use real virgins, we'll get some Goodwill dolls. Sheesh, everybody gets all het up over a little joke.

Bob, I'm glad you're still writing. I'll be posting my poetry a couple times a week on my new poetry blog at http://poemsandpix.blogspot.com. Stop on over.

Jennifer, I've got my one altered book all packed and ready to take to writer's tonight. I'm glad you like it. It was a blast to make.

June 4--Pierre-Auguste Renoir, The Luncheon of the Boating Party. The wine was having an affect on Cecile and Andre. Her hat, her new hat bought especially for today, was dented and cocked at an odd angle where Perro had brushed it when he lurched over. Perro leaned on her back. She felt the heat of him through her thin summer dress. Andre was feeling the day's heat too. He had removed his jacket and cravat earlier when they were on the boat. Once they had arrived for lunch he took off his shirt and ate his meal in only his singlet and straw boater hat. Cecile liked the strong look of Andre's arms and shoulders and the way his sandy brown hair curled at the base of his head, but she liked the ropey muscles of Perro's arm across her back too. What to do, what to do? Have more wine.

Enjoy your day and I'll see some of you tonight.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Yes, it's Me...

I have been writing, actually. Mainly poetry and that mainly on the weekends. Just last evening a friend explained that he gets up a few hours before work so he can get some writing in, and I'm thinking (seriously) about doing the same thing. So that's how my life is currently. It's interesting that you should mention The Clearing. I found their web page and went though the writing classes. Some of the one-day groups look like just the thing. I'd love to read some of your new poetry.

Bob ;-)

Oh Wow! Someone found a new craft Ms. Barbara!

I absolutely LOVE the poetry books you created at the retreat...I had no idea what would come out of those $1 books and the result is amazing!

I cannot help but think that those books that had been sitting so lonely on the shelf begging for someone to take pity on them are now boasting and smiling at the beauty they now possess.

Please bring them to Writer's tomorrow so I can take a closer look..maybe we can walk them past the other books so they can say, "Baby, look at me now!"

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Flowers & Yarn

Durwood decided that the bouquet of lilies of the valley I picked this morning needed to have its portrait taken this evening and he asked me to post them for DD "because she loves them." I think if he could, he'd deliver the bouquet to her. So here you are, honey, Dad's sent you flowers.

I've been knitting on each sock in turn after supper while listening to a book on cd. Have you read/listened to any of James Patterson's Women's Murder Club series? I'm liking them, they're entertaining with interesting characters and situations. I'm also finding that I have to concentrate when working on the Evenstar Gloves. Lots of cabling and counting but, look, pretty. I'm halfway through the heel flap of the purple and pink striped Poetry Camp sock and not quite to the flap on Thuja, but I'm chugging along.


Hey, it's great to know you're still lurking around. I'm doing my own version of Weight Watchers and found a recipe for hummus in an old WW cookbook. I added the roasted red pepper and it is the most luxurious lunch on a toasted pita half with sliced cucumbers and tomatoes. Mmm, decadent.

I'm glad you liked my Mont St. Victoire piece. It has possibilities, doesn't it? I just got back from The Clearing so I plan to inflict poetry on the Jennifers this week. Have you been writing?


Roasted Red Pepper Hummus?

Barbara, have you been making hummus for a while now, or is it something new?

The piece you wrote around St. Victoire really sings. The detail you chose to include speaks volumes. I could have read an entire page of it. I wanted to know more about Marcel and Liesel and how they fit in the larger story - if there is a larger story. Later.

Bob ;-)

Mow, Mow, Mow the Lawn...

That's what I'll be doing as soon as I post this or I'll spend all day here putzing around on the internets, downloading sock patterns and generally wasting time. And it's such a gorgeous day. Plus I want to make a batch of roasted red pepper hummus and mail a bunch of things. Oh, and line DIL's birthday gift purse and get it mailed ASAP. I need a list, and a keeper.

June 2--Alexander Tischler, Girl with Still Life. Marsha hated the table that Charles brought home the Saturday before the party. He said it was "avant garde" in a tone of voice that said he was more in tune with style than she was. He said, in that maddeningly superior voice, that the table was modeled after "a Tischler painting hanging in the Pushkin in Moscow" like he expected her to nod familiarly. In the Pushkin what, she wanted to ask, but she was too intimidated to open her mouth. The table was the oddest thing she had ever seen. Painted a pale cream all over, the base was in the shape of a girl's profile, her hair cascading down her back in curlicues. The maker (an artist?) had slashed on red, green, and blue paint and rubbed it into the crevices, like antiquing. The table top was balanced on her head like an African bearer woman. Marsha thought she looked alive--and pissed off. She had no intention of putting it in her living room, much less putting anything on top of it. She was sure that the base girl would dump it right off.

Good lord, I can't believe the time! I'm outta here. Later, dudes.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Oh, Man...

It's hard to be going to work today. I've had a week of being on a different schedule, one I chose rather than one that is imposed upon me, and I just don't wanna. I will go, however, since there is a paycheck waiting there for me and only a total fool would abandon a paycheck. I sat on the patio to do my prompt writing this morning and I could easily have stayed right there throughout the day, writing and knitting and reading--with breaks for lunch and a nap, of course.

June 1--Paul Cezanne, Mont Sainte Victoire. Julia couldn't believe her eyes when she got up and went out onto the terrace with her coffee. They had arrived late the night before and only saw what their headlights touched. That was unreal enough but this view was a showstopper. Marcel and Liesl had raved for years about the little village where they met but Julia had always thought that their words were colored by infatuation. But standing there gazing down the valley in the morning light she had to concede that they were right. The purple mountain in the distance wore vineyards up to its shoulders, with a gray-green olive grove on one side like a brooch. The houses, painted in the colors of the sun, were sprinkled across the valley floor amid flower gardens and vegetable patches. Even the air smelled of baking bread, herbs, and lavender. She heard Tom's footfall as he came out of the villa. "I think I might like it here," she said, not turning from the view. He grunted.

Hey, it's June! Holy carp.