Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I Feel It Coming On

A raging bout of startitis. I finished my Muted Stripes Ankle Sock last night...

and I'm seriously disenchanted with the Sea Foam Scarf...

the Sun Visor cap looks waaaay too big...

the Khaki Cardi's in timeout (just because it's too hot to sit with it on my lap while I knit the endless sleeves)...

I haul the Sudoku Afghan squares bag back and forth to work in my backpack and never take it out (I'm on the Stone color squares, the middle one--so boooring!)...

I've been buying yarn and stealing it (okay, not really, I yoinked [rescued might be a better word] a bag of 3 skeins of Mini Mochi that Dusty doesn't like from her stash box but I paid her for it) and mooning over a hoodie pattern and shawl patterns (that's Dusty's fault there but I'm not resisting) and I'm itching to cast on a bazillion different things. I have lots of sets of needles in all kinds of sizes and varieties and materials. I could just cast on and cast on until I'm blue in the face or pass out. Heh, if I do that I'll go even further nuts than I already am, agreed?

Okay, so I have to decide on a reasonable number of things to cast on. Let's see... I definitely am going to cast on the second Cartoons sock because I like to have a sock OTN, I'm going to cast on that red hoodie so I can maybe have it in October when I go to The Clearing for my writing workshop (notice that it's not too hot to knit a RED sweater in the summer, only a khaki one), and I'm going to cast on a shawl on Friday night or Saturday because Dusty and I are going to do a knit-along (Ravelry link) to try and learn to make sort of lacy shawls.
What else? That should do me for starters.

Holy Crap, Was I Tired Last Night

It took all my remaining energy to drag myself to bed and start writing. I finished this morning, after I did a half hour of yoga to placate protesting muscles from my overdoing it yesterday and smoothing on a bit of BioFreeze on my knees. Ahhh. I do intend to take a short (the operative word here is short) bike ride to test drive my new helmet and bell (ching! ching!) after work, but I'm not (no, I'm NOT) going to ride my bike across town to the city band concert. Nope, not gonna do that. At least not until I build up my biking muscles, besides I don't think Durwood would like me riding around over the bridge and in the dark. Ooh, maybe I can buy a light. Settle down, Barbara, time to post writing and go to work. Overboard much?

June 29--Ilha Grande Bay, Brazil. One island for every day, well, except for Leap Year day, but there were 365 islands in the bay. At least that's what it said on the website and we all know everything on the Internet is true. Carla didn't really care of the island count was correct as long as one of them had a place where she could kick off her shoes, unsnap her bra, and lie down. It had been a very long day of flying and waiting and flying again. She had lost count of how many times she had taken her shoes off to send them through yet-another x-ray machine. The babble of rapid fire Portuguese was somehow soothing as she made her way from the baggage claim with her small suitcase. She kept a tight hold on it so that none of the taxi drivers and resort touts could pull it away and force her to follow them. This was not her first trip out of the States, not by a long shot, and she was wise to the ways of these opportunistic men. By the time she had settled into the back seat of the gleaming white van from Ilha Grande Bay Resorts with a cup of chilled pineapple juice in her hand she was sure that this had been the right choice for a much-needed getaway.

Only got time to spellchek and fly. See ya!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

An Excellent Day--So Far

I walked 3 miles with my friends, had my bones rearranged at the chiropractor (I totally love when he cracks my neck back into place), stopped at my walking friend's house and tried out a bike which I brought home with me, and went to a yarn shop one last time before they close. I have plenty of yarn, plenty!, but who can resist 40% off? Not this chicken. For lunch I made myself a batch of olive hummus. I'd been craving hummus and happen to have a quart jar of mixed olive salad that is perfect for tossing in there. My all-time fave is roasted red pepper (water pack) hummus, but the olive is good too. I toast a pita half and slather it on. Perfect with a handful of baby carrots and a piece of fruit. Yum. I'm excited about borrowing a bike and riding around. I need a helmet and a lock and then I'm set to pedal my a$$ around town. Later I'll mow. I feel great today, can you tell?

June 28--Isla Bustimentos, Panama. "What do you mean, there're no roads?" Sheila's voice rang out over the terminal. They were standing near the double row of car rental counters. Drake stood silent, wishing a convenient sinkhole would open at his feet and swallow him up. "I told you. I've told you a dozen times, Isla Bustimentos has this exclusive resort with little bungalows right on the sand and each one has its own dock with a thatched hut, uh, pergola with hammocks for relaxing." Sheila shook her head harder with every word. "And I suppose you expect me to stay in some primitive bungalow filled with lizards and probably," she shuddered, "snakes in the thatched roof? Not a chance, bucko, not this girl." She tapped her gold sandal-shod foot. "I need concierge service, a spa, and shopping, not a hammock, a kayak, and lizards in the ceiling." Drake stared at her for a long moment, then he sorted through the papers in his hand. He gave her a ticket and her blue cardboard-covered passport. "Have a safe trip home," he said as he picked up his suitcase and walked out of the small terminal to find the driver holding the clipboard with "Shelton" printed on it. He had a wonderful week and didn't miss his high-maintenance girlfriend once.

I'm amazed that he endured her that long! I'm going to go dust my new bike. Maybe I'll take a spin around the block.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sorry For The Silence

We were off visiting friends in Goshen, IN for a long weekend and wi-fi at the Super 8 was spotty, to say the least. I'm not going to subject you to endless pictures, I'll just post a few that encapsulate our experiences.

There was a yarn shop. I bought 2 skeins of Fixation for ankle socks and a shawl pattern.

We saw the most amazing trees, Copper Beech, at the cemetary where Ad works. Their bark looks like elephant skin.

Lots of Amish live around Goshen so I was endlessly entertained seeing buggies. Next time Durwood said he'd take me on the buggy tour. When we were driving to our motel, passing a Walmart, a horse and buggy came zipping out of the Wally World parking lot and crossed the highway. I'm convinced that the driver was a young guy who had just "floored it."

We stopped at a cheese factory where they give lots of samples. After a trip to the bakery, no lunch was needed.

We visited a quilt store that had a street rod car show in its parking lot. I could have taken any number of those beauties home. Oh, and the quilts were pretty too.

I drove through Chicago, in the rain, on the way home, mostly
because I was feeling afraid of doing it, so having my darling Durwood beside me to help me stay calm and brave made it the perfect time to stiffen my spine. I hate being afraid of things. I drove us to the outlet mall in Pleasant Prairie before giving up the driver's seat. After a fruitful shop and gyros for lunch Durwood drove the rest of the way through Milwaukee and home by late afternoon.

The lilies are still blooming like crazy, new ones are opening every day.

And I did knit a little on my latest sock, mostly in the van on the drives but a tiny bit sitting by the pool. I cast on a Sun Visor hat a couple weeks ago. I'm not sure I'll keep going. I need to consult with The Yarn Whisperer at Friday Night Knitting Circle before I decide to forge ahead or frog it and use the yarn for something else. I'm thinking I'll cast on a sweater tomorrow too. I've got enough yarn to knit a red hoodie that I might be able to finish before my week at The Clearing in October if I get it on the needles soon. Besides I'm bored with my scarf and not sure I like it anymore anyway. Would it be so wrong to frog it--for the fourth time?

We're Home!

Got home yesterday afternoon. Sorry about not posting all weekend but wi-fi at the Super 8 was spotty at best. I think they need to unplug their router and plug it back it just to clear it and restore the service, kind of a reboot like you do with your computer if it's running slowly and has been on a long time. You all knew that, right? If your computer's slow and you've left it on all day, or for several days, turning it off will clear most of the fog and restore your settings. My computer guy also recommends downloading SpyBot and Ad-Aware (the free ones are fine) and running them weekly to clear out cookies and malware. There, that's your computer tip of the day. If you already knew all that, nevermind!

It was great to just get away and spend the weekend visiting friends. I got the biggest charge out of the Amish horse and buggy's all over (there's a huge Amish population around Goshen). I'll post a couple of pictures once I suck them off the camera and do a little dusting and flushing. We sat around the pool talking and laughing. We did a little sightseeing but mostly we just talked--and ate, of course. Ahh, so good. We took an unintended tour of the Loop when I sent us down the wrong fork in the road on the way down and into Chinatown on the way home (maybe Santa will bring us a GPS?) but the new/used Uplander performed well (except for dropping its rear view mirror on Thursday night [but we got it fixed at the Chevy dealer] and the gas gauge bouncing around for a day when we filled it up) and got us there and back safely. All in all, a good weekend. But now we're home and back on our eating & exercise plan (fit & healthy, that's my motto), and I'm off to work so I'd better get last night's writing posted and get going.

June27--Kampen, Sylt, Germany. The walk down the boardwalk over the dunes that time of the year was a study in neutrals. Kim lived for the early autumn days when the tourists went back to their office jobs and classrooms and left the island to the residents again. She could hear the wind swish through the long golden grass that held the dunes in place and the soft sound that the sea makes as it slides up on the sandy beach was the perfect counterpoint to the raucous calls of the gulls as they wheeled over the empty beaches. So many feet had trod the soft gray boards before her and many would come after her but today it was all hers. She reached the end of the path and started down the stairs to the sand. She looked up and down the nearly mile long stretch, shading her eyes with her hand. She spotted her neighbor's black dog worrying a pile of rags and turned toward him. "Luca," she called, "Luca, come." The shaggy head raised, woofed, and kept tugging on whatever it was. As she got closer Kim could see that it wasn't merely rags, there was a limp pink hand in the sleeve that the dog was pulling on, and the rest of the body was there to go with it. Kim reached out and curled her fingers under Luca's collar and pulled him away. "No, Luca, no," she said, afraid to look at the face. She turned back to find help, pulling the unwilling dog along the suddenly ominously quiet beach.

Yeah, yeah, I know, adverbs are bad, but this is my shitty, first draft prompt wiritng and I can do what I want. Enjoy your day!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

sting me once...

Ok, while my hubby was out doing yard work, he got stung by a wasp. Ten minutes later I was out grilling pork chops with my eyes warily scanning the horizon for more of these pests. I had one more step to go before entering the house with my smokey chops when one got me right on the ankle. Enough. His frequent flyer miles are being revoked and I'm headed for the land of "Bee be Gone" toxic bombs. Please inhale slowly when your air masks fall from the compartment above your head.

Friday, June 25, 2010

I'm in!

After watching a reality show about the next great artist to be discovered where the competitors had to design a book cover for a classic novel, I'm caught up in the dream world of what my cover will look like. I can't wait to see who wins the battle regarding illustration rights for my works! One artist was focused on partial nudes, I hope she doesn't win.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I Changed Time Zones

We drove to Goshen, IN today to visit friends. Our uneventful drive was interrupted in Chicago by a little sightseeing jaunt. See, we were in the express lanes driving into the city and an exit was coming up and I directed us into the wrong lane. So we had a little trip through the Loop. We went downtown, turned south on Michigan Ave. and after a bazillion stoplights joined back up to I-90. Whew. Durwood steered us wrong in Goshen from the motel to our friends' house but it wasn't nearly as scenic a detour as downtown Chicago.

June 23--Tsushima, Japan. The vegetation on the island trees covered the land right down to the water and the vines covered the trees like a tarp, whole civilizations could thrive there and no one would know. Ichi followed a trail over the spine of the biggest Tsushima, walking up into the clouds where the air was mostly water, and then down into the valley. He wished that the sun's rays would cut through the chilly mist and bring a little warmth. His feet felt like they were melting in the old boots that had to last at least another generation. The damp penetrated every fiber of his being, his skin felt loose on his frame. He dreamed of sunlight and dry wind that blew the mists of his islands to shreds.

And now, since it's an hour later in this time zone, it's time for bed. G'night.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


...I suppose I should give you the info! It's The Glass Woman Prize (, and they accept both fiction and nonfiction.

Free Women's Writing Contest

Check it out. This woman is very generous. She funds the prize herself, and the only criteria to submit are that you are a woman and that your story is relevant to women. I sent one in today, but there's still plenty of time before the deadline. Check it out -- it can't hurt!

I Need To Go To Bed Earlier

Once again I stayed up until 11 (gasp) last night and fell asleep in mid-write. I'm such a lightweight in the staying up races these days. And it's not as if I work my tail off during the day so I'm tired at night. I just conk off, maybe I need a tonic. Maybe I need to run away from home and join the circus or become a pirate or do something out of the ordinary. Humph.

June 22--New Caledonia. The patchy reefs in the clear shallow water were home to a whole world of life. (dozed off here) Carson made sure to have her camera whenever she went anywhere close to the water. She had made images of many of the small fish and the juvenile (another little nap here) eels that lived in the thickets of staghorn coral in the shallows. She had learned to be very careful with her breathing so that she stayed neutrally buoyant, that way she didn't scare away (a struggle to finish the sentence) the small fish. (aaand she's done for the night)

Well, that's fairly repetitive and dreadful, at least it's short. Stay dry today, looks like rain.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What A Show!

Just as I was falling asleep last night a thunderstorm blew in and shook everything up with long, rolling rumbles of thunder and a few cracks of lightning. The rain was coming down hard enough that Durwood asked if the window was open but since no rain was falling on me, I said no. Okay, I mumbled no. Hey, I was more than half asleep, I thought a mumbled no was a pretty good answer. It must have rained for a while because the rug on the step outside the patio door was totally soaked and spongy (eww!) when I went out to plug in the fountain this morning and the birdbath was full up. Nice that we don't have to water the garden, the flowers, and the raspberries today.

Durwood's deep into researching the places that they lived when they were kids. He's emailing furiously to his brothers, sharing memories, and gathering info. I unearthed a tote for him filled with photos, etc. that his mom kept and I know there's an envelope of letters his dad wrote home with bedtime stories for the boys in there too. What a fabulous fount of memories for them, don't you think? I miss getting a letter from a friend, a real letter with a pretty stamp and real handwriting inside. Emails are nice and immediate, but there's really nothing like having your loved one's words on paper that you can keep and read over and over. Maybe I'll send someone a letter today. Maybe DD, she's far away and I miss her every day.

June 21--Maldives. The barrier reef draws a line in the Indian Ocean separating the calm and bath-water warm inside from the raging deep blue outside. Without man's help, the reef grows in a graceful arc embracing the little bay, leaving a gap just wide enough for two canoes or a well-helmed sailboat to slip through. "You know I hate to jump off into this so-hot water," Sylvie said as Andre pointed the bow of the little schooner at the white sand beach. "Oh, you'll manage, I think," Andre said. "You've been complaining about wanting solid ground under your feet and here I found you some." He shaded his eyes with his hand. "Look down the beach, there's a bar with a hammock. That's where I'm headed." He felt the saliva rise in his mouth. "I could sure go for a beer and maybe a plate of grilled pork and plantains." He was already tasting the food as he dropped anchor in the calm bay, not realizing that it was the last time he'd see both Sylvie and his boat.

Dun-dun-dunnnn. What will happen? Does she sail away once he's onshore? Is he killed? Does someone kidnap her and steal the boat? Beats me. What do you think?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Ankle Socks, Anyone?

I think I'm on a jag, an ankle sock jag. I combed all the local yarn shops and got a ball of each color I remotely liked. Lots of variegateds with pink out there, lots of pink. DD tells me most women like pink. I don't see the attraction myself. I don't feel bad buying a bunch of it because I can knit a pair of ankle socks from one of the little balls of yarn that cost just over $5 bucks each. It's economical! Patti's has lots of solid colors too, but I only bought one, a red one, of course, along with the 4 variegateds.

And here's the next one I cast on, on Thursday I think, maybe Wednesday night, yeah, Wednesday night. I call it Muted Stripes. The colors are medium gray, sage green, and beige. I like it. I'm quite surprised since I usually gravitate toward the brights.

This is going to be excellent car knitting. I'm taking an extra ball in case I finish this one so I can cast on the next one. I didn't knit one stitch at work today. I find that disturbing. I wonder if there's a yarn shop in Goshen, IN. I feel a google coming on.


Did you ever have one of those days? You know the ones. You try to accomplish things, try to do things you've been meaning to or forgot to do only to have it turn to crap? Yeah? Then you're familiar with the kind of day Durwood and I shared yesterday. It was Father's Day so it started out fairly well. DD called to wish her Dad a happy day and he got to toddle off to shop for a console organizer for his new van all by himself, no wifely help makes for a better experience sometimes. (I'm a little bossy and opinionated, shhh, don't tell) I went to get some ant killer at Stein's, because the lawn's full of growing anthills, and an inexpensive pH meter so I can make sure my blueberries are happy. On my way home I stopped at a new salon to get my nails done (I forgot on Saturday until it was too late.) That was the day-breaker. The nail tech was nice enough, quiet but nice, and it wasn't any more expensive than my usual place, but on my way out to the car and into the house I smudged three (3!!!) of my just-polished nails. The polish was very sticky even after sitting for 10 minutes under the light and fan thingy and I was royally peeved, so peeved I didn't go back to have it fixed. I tried to slough it off but carried it around and even shared it a bit with Durwood (not very nice on Dad's day, I did do the laundry though, at least that was a good thing). He got online and reserved a room for when we go next weekend to visit friends, and then we took the new (to us) van out to make sure we knew how to set the cruise etc. for our trip to IN. That went okay, and supper went well, but after supper I turned the oven on to clean, sending acrid fumes into the house. I didn't even think how that would affect Durwood's already iffy breathing. Not good. Then he called the motel to confirm our reservation and was told they didn't have it. Now he's thinking his credit card # was floating out there in the ether and he couldn't get another reservation for the same price for the same room. By 11 o'clock he was driving off to get a malt at Sonic so that he could breathe fresh air and I was trying to air the house out. Yeah, it doesn't sound tense but let me tell you it was. I felt bad (for very little reason), he was in a mood, not good all around. Everyone feels better today, thank heavens. And I get to go to work. I think the day apart will do us good. Ain't love grand?

June 19--Bjorko, Sweden. It looked like Viking raiders had landed. The little narrow double-ended boat nestled in the reeds on the shore nearest Aunt Inge's cottage. My brother, Karl and I were there for the summer to help Aunt Inge do her chores since she'd broken her wrist in three places falling off a ladder in the rain. She was Mama's older sister who had never married and she lived all by herself on an old farm on the north end of the island near the ruins. What ruins, you ask? Well, Bronze Age ruins, a log fortification and three houses or quarters, at least that's what the professor from the university told Aunt Inge when he came for supper last time.

Not much for two night's writing but I was too sleepy to be long-winded. Once again I'm just happy to have written.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Nothing to See Here, Move Along

I haven't done much knitting this week. Sorry.

But I do
have some yard and garden photos to share, and also a couple of Durwood with his new ride. His old van was just about kaput so he found a Chevy Uplander (sounds like a scifi show, doesn't it?) in our budget and picked it up yesterday. He's pretty happy with it as you can see.

The garden's growing nicely. I've got incipient blueberries on my three little bushes.

And a teeny-tiny green pepper on one of the plants. I have an unholy lust for bell p
eppers lately and am counting on these plants to slake my need. Maybe I should have planted more.

Durwood's hand-me-up raspberries from DS are making raspberries like crazy and the canes are spreading.

In fact they're crowding out a lily I planted near them last year, so once it's done blooming I'll transplant it to a more welcoming spot.

He's also keeping an eye on his tomato plants. This one is Early Girl and she's living up to her name. He can't wait. He bought tomatoes at the Farmer's Market today and is showing one to the Early Girl so she knows what's expected of her. He is truly Tomato Boy.

The dearth of knitting is due to the fact that 2 high school friends were in town yesterday so we did lunch and then David and Abby came over and made Durwood supper for Father's Day. Mmm, pork chops with a bit of mustard pan sauce, baked potatoes with chives, grated cheddar, and sour cream, fresh asparagus, and coffee chocolate chip ice cream for dessert. Delicious! After supper we played Oh Hell!, a favorite card game of Durwood's family and laughed and talked. It was great fun. Thanks for the lovely evening, kids.

An Acceptance

I don't remember if I told you all last Thursday at writer's but, since the letter came today (a real typed letter!) I'm telling you either now or again, my essay Mooning Escanaba was accepted by The Clearing Speaks: Inspirations from The Clearing for display until next summer in celebration of the 75th anniversary of their founding. Ninety-two poems and short stories were submitted and twenty-one were selected. I'm thrilled that my essay is among them. It's up on their website, check it out. (All the others are serious, mine's the only one with a sense of humor. Of course.)


Up And Out Early

We just got back from the Farmer's Market where we ate our favorite $3 FM breakfast: a pork egg roll for Durwood (he likes lots of duck sauce) and 3 crab rangoons for me (with just a little squirt of sauce), nutritionally rounded out by all the samplers in the booths--a bit of cheese here, a strawberry there... Jenny, her mom, and her grandma were there, DS & DIL too. One of the Army herb ladies has been in Iraq and I was glad to see her home safely, but just on leave it turns out, she'll be home for good in August she said. I think of her and hope she's safe when I run my hand through the chocolate mint I bought from them a few years ago. We bought a bag o'tomatoes for Durwood's breakfasts, kohlrabi, zucchini for the grill (too yummy for words), some Sugar Ann peas (their pods are thinner than the regular Sugar Snap ones), and a 1# bag of crimini mushrooms for only four bucks. It would have been easy to buy something from each and every booth, good thing Durwood comes along to keep a lid on my buying. I love the Farmer's Market. Do you go? What's your favorite thing to buy?

June 18--Palau. The blue water races along the wall that juts straight up from the seafloor. We ride that oceanic freight train, keeping our bodies trimmed so that we feel the primal push on our fins. I watch the fish, big and small, move easily across and against the rushing water. I'm amazed because I've give up trying to take pictures on this dive. I tried to stay in place to snap a frame our two of snoozing nurse sharks under a ledge but even kicking as hard as I could didn't prevent me from being driven along. I study the fish, the silver disks of them flash in the sunlight that filters through the clear water. They defy physics and I can't see how. Guess I keep riding the currents and take only memories instead of pictures.

Happy Saturday! I'm off to find some red, tubular annuals to plant in the pots by the honeysuckle to keep the hummingbirds happy.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Busy Day

Sorry I'm posting so late but today the fun never stopped. Durwood had a doctor's appt. at 10, then we bought a new/used van for him, I met a pair of old high school chums for lunch and an afternoon of visiting, then DS & DIL came over to make supper and play cards for Father's Day. We had fun and ate well. They were predicting thunderstorms but it looks like we dodged that bullet. We do not need more rain, the skeeters are big enough, thanks.

June 17--Cyprus. At first there was just a pinprick of light, a glimmer that Selma doubted was really there. She had been wet and in the dark for so long it had become normal but she always held out hope of light and air and open space ahead. A hint of salt tang hung in the air and lured them across the damp slippery rocks toward the twinkle of light far away and high over their heads. She stumbled on, her empty water bottle clutched in her hand. Thank god they hadn't had to resort to drinking from the pools in the recesses of the caves or eating the blind cave fish and the white crickets. She kept the wrapper from her last granola bar just to be able to smell the honey and almonds it was made of and to be able to lick the paper. As she stumbled the last few feet into the heat and light of the open air tears began to flow down her cheeks. "Oh for god's sake, Selma, it was an hour," said her husband Jim. "Next time maybe you should stay on the bus."

I know just how she felt, I hate being in the dark and underground. Bite me, Jim.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


I threw my "normal" schedule out this morning and met Dusty and Julie (and Aragon) for a 2 1/2 mile walk along the Fox River Trail. It's such a nice place to walk, much nicer than in a mall going round and round and seeing the same people and breathing the same air over and over. I'm torn, I love to loll around reading the paper and doing the crossword but I also love getting out and walking too. What to do? What to do? The only problem with walking before work is that I get all sweaty when I walk. I did bring a clean shirt to wear but, still, I'm sweaty and possibly smelly. Not the best way to be at work all day, but I wasn't able to walk on Tuesday and won't be able to tomorrow so today was my only opportunity this week. If I have people or a person to meet, I go, if it's up to just me, I loll. So I went and now I'm sweaty but I feel great.

June 16--Bonaventure Island, Quebec. "Three-hundred-thousand birds," Lew grumbled as he climbed the slick rocks, "and every last one of them shitting with abandon. I bet there isn't one square meter untouched by this stuff." His foot slipped and if he hadn't had a good grip on his handholds he'd have been cartwheeling down, bouncing his bones to powder on the red granite cliffs. It had sounded like a good career being a wildlife biologist, working out in the fresh air, studying animals and keeping them safe. He had been lucky to get a fellowship to study the declining population of the Eastern Gannet, a seabird that nested on the cliffs of Bonaventure Island. He just hadn't bargained for it rooming with a few hundred thousand of its closest friends. "I should have been an accountant," he said as a gull, a Laughing Gull he thought, dive bombed him for getting too close to its nest, as if he wouldn't go somewhere else if he had the chance. A glob of sticky wetness slid down his cheek and he wiped it off. "Damn birds." The job just didn't pay well enough to endure getting pecked and shat upon.

Poor Lew. Some people are just not cut out for field work. Go for a walk today!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fast Sock

I finished the first Coral Ankle Sock last night. See? And it only took half of one of those tiny balls of Cascade Fixation. I'm going to cast on the next sock in a different color so that I'll have four socks, one pair and two mismatched. We're driving to visit friends in northern Indiana next week so an ankle sock will be a good car project.

One of the new-late-last-summer lilies is blooming. I think it's called Lipstick, but isn't
it pretty? I've discovered that I really like lilies. Can't wait until the Stargazers bloom. They are big and showy with a very strong fragrance. They're under the living room windows so if I can have them open the whole house smells wonderful.

And last Sunday I went to the World Wide Knit in Public event downtown in Jackson Square Park. When I arrived there were only a few people there, but eventually we swelled to 17.
Next year I'll call the newspaper and TV stations and maybe we'll get some coverage to draw out even more knitters.

One Thing That's Good About The Rain...

I haven't had to water the garden, top up the birdbath, or fill the fountain in over a week. Okay, that's three things, but still it's good that Mother Nature's doing the watering. Of course, I haven't been able to plant flowers either but I'll get there. I don't have that many pots to plant, maybe half a dozen, so I could do that in an hour, and I've got a gift card to Stein's. Let's just hope they've got some red tubular flowers left when I get there this weekend.

I'm the leader at writer's this week and I'm kind of freaking out about a lesson. I've got a couple of ideas, I think I'll spend some time today surfing the web and maybe inspiration will strike. Gotta finish my critique of Sean's chapter too. Procrastination, anyone?

June 15--Molokai, Hawaii. "It must have been one hell of an earthquake to lop the end of the island off like that," Mac said, staring straight up from the deck of the tour boat. "You can say that again," his friend Joe said. "Those are the tallest cliffs I believe I've ever seen." Two couples standing near the two old men leaning on the ship's rain and each other in about equal measure just stared. Neither of the couples appreciated the effort it took for the two old men to keep moving, to get up and dressed every day, much less to get themselves to Hawaii to revisit places they had last seen when they were barely out of their teens. Under the soft wind and the lap of waves against the hull Mac and Joe heard the echoes of incoming rounds and the whiny buzz of Japanese Zeros. It seems incomprehensible that war had ever raged in this peaceful place.

I don't know why I needed the 2 couples but evidently I did. Hey, at least it's writing.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Will The Drear Never End?

Okay, I don't know about you but I'm ready for a few days of sunshine to balance out the drear and rain. The feeling came to a head this morning when I noticed that there's algae growing on the patio--because it's been damp for so freakin' long. *sorry for the outburst* It's been so chilly that I'm back in long jeans, for god's sake. I can't take much more of this. All I want is to be able to take a walk outside along the river without an umbrella and sit on the patio in the morning with my coffee, the newspaper, and do the crossword puzzle. Is that asking too much? Apparently.

BTW, turns out that earwigs had moved into some switch on the air conditioner and shorted it out to the tune of $300 smackers. Thanks a lot, earwigs. Stupid bugs.

June 14--Ko Hong Island, Thailand. The little spit of sand was the perfect place to eat the box lunches that the dive boat people provided. Mariah caught on fairly quickly that the Asian lunch was dramatically better than the Western lunch. The Western lunch was dried out lunchmeat of an undetermined sort with a slice of that processed cheese wrapped in plastic on soft white bread with a smear of mustard, a limp lettuce leaf, a bag of chips, and a mealy apple. Not very appealing. On the other hand the Asian lunch had a teriyaki marinated chicken part like a thigh or drumstick, some barbecued pork, pickled vegetables, and rice, with the cutest little bottle of soy sauce and a mint. It even came with chopsticks. Mariah would sit on the bow of the boat or on the sand in the shade of the sea grapes eating lunch and getting better with the chopsticks every day. She'd talk with the other divers about the fish they'd seen and what they hoped to see on the afternoon dive.

And that's when I fell dead asleep. Durwood had to take away my notebook, pencil, and my glasses when he came to bed. Survive your day. Pray for sun.

Monday, June 14, 2010

One Of These Days...

life will run smoothly for more than one day in a row. Somehow in my "just woke up" state this morning I realized that the fan was running but no cool air was coming out of the vents. (We keep the a/c on to keep the humidity and mold down so Durwood's allergies stay at a manageable level.) That means the a/c fixit guy gets to come visit today. Oh goodie, a service call bill. Good thing I noticed before it heats up later in the week, huh? And my right shoulder blade isn't feeling better as quickly as I think it should, and sometimes I have tingles down my arm and in my hand. That's not right. I'll have Durwood rub some Sports Creme on it, that'll help, or maybe I should just shut up and quit expecting everything to be better fast and things to always go my way. Nah, can't do that. You know what I'd like? A reset button or one big do-over.

June 13--Eysturoy, Faroe Islands, Scotland. Alexander was glad that it had rained through the night. The rain meant plenty of water to gush down the mountain streams and cascade down the near-vertical slope. The rushing water covered any sounds he made climbing up and away but it also masked the sounds of his pursuers, if he hadn't given them the slip. Doyle had driven him as far up into the hills as he could without calling attention to himself and since then Alexander had been on his own, living by his wits and good luck. The clouds moved and a shaft of sunlight glinted off the crystal of his watch. Alex whistled for his dog, Pen, and the great white shepherd bounded up to him from behind a boulder. It was time for school and his make-believe life as a spy ended.

Well, that didn't go the way I thought it would.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Things Are Not Going As Planned

I had every intention of spending the bulk of yesterday at my desk writing, but as we all know the road to Hell is paved with good intentions--and I never made it. I didn't goof off, no, I didn't. I sewed a curtain for the kids' new apartment door, went to the Farmer's Market with Durwood, and went to Mom's to plant chives in her little balcony garden and take out her trash. I also went and spent some...okay, most of my saved-up extra pay from working when Mrs. Boss was on vacation at the yarn shop. By the time evening rolled around and supper was finished it was almost 8 PM and I was tired. It's an excuse, I know, but it's all I've got. There's no chance that I'll be writing this afternoon because I'm meeting my knitting pals in a downtown park for a World Wide Knit in Public event. It's mostly just an excuse to get together and knit, but it's also a way to show the muggles that not only grannies knit. And I confess, I didn't write Friday night, but I did last night and here it is.

June 12--Vava'a, Tonga. Some days as you sail toward an island you hope that there's on one there. That you can lay on the beach enjoying being in a place that's holding still. That has fresh water and a little fruit and maybe a little meat but not many people. Other times you want to sail into a party with loud music, rum drinks flowing like water, and people dancing in the street. Grayson steered toward the thin line of green on the unrelenting blue horizon hoping there was a party, just so he could hear his own voice as it touched someone else's ears.

Oh, I like that, it's short but I really like it. Enjoy your Sunday.

Jenny, I suspect that you and (most of the time) I are among the few submitters who do a little research before we send in a story, so I wouldn't take it too personally. I agree though, acceptance is better than rejection. Smokelong's getting Harbinger today.


Remember in the previous post I said I was at the yarn store on Tuesday "looking" at some cotton and elastic sock yarn for ankle socks? Well, "looking" might be a euphemism for buying. Almost certainly is, actually. I even had my DIL along as a monitor so that I didn't fall down with my credit card in my hand and walk out with a bale of yarn. Besides, I had to keep enough money in my wallet so I could take the girl out to lunch. It was the day after her birthday after all, plus a girl's got to eat. Right?

Okay. In the interest of full disclosure, here's pictures of what I bought and my lameass reas
ons why.

I got one each of each of the colors of Cascade Fixation that Shana had in stock. She
didn't have much selection left and I can make a pair (two socks, a whole PAIR, people, ) of ankle socks out of each tiny ball. Plus they were 20% off.

I almost made it out with just the 5 skeins of Fixation but then Shana showed me the Happy Feet DK and I was sunk. There were only 2 colors that I liked (whew) and they too were 20% off. What's not to love?

Here's the progress I've made on the first Coral Ankle Sock. Two more inches and I'm at the toe. Woohoo! Maybe I'll even get to the toe at the WWKIP event today. These go fast.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Okay, I Admit It, I Went (More Than) A Little Nuts

Last night at Friday Night Knitting, Donna brought in a couple of Knitting Calendars that she was going to throw away because she's moving (boo). Instead of tossing them, she told us to go through and pick out any patterns we wanted (she already had taken out the ones she wanted), so we did. Here's what I picked out--mostly bags, hats and socks, with a few scarves/shawls for good measure. One of the hats, a cotton wide-visor hat, really intrigued me so I toodled on over to Loops after lunch (and after my chores were done) to see if I could find some yarn to make one--or three. I did. In spades.

I found Plymouth
Fantasy Naturale (they're the variegated ones), Berroco Weekend (acrylic & cotton in buttery yellow), and Tahki Stacy Charles Cotton Classic (that's the khaki one, just in case I want to blend in). There was enough of the Cotton Classic and the red & yellow Fantasy Naturale to make a hat but not enough of the autumn color Fantasy Naturale so I thought I'd pair it with the Weekend, I'll decide later which one gets to be the hat and which the visor/brim.

Before I went to Loops and Links, I counted the money I had stashed after working a couple of full weeks and had a tidy sum to play with, so I anticipated going a little nuts in the yarn shop. After all, Loops is closing soon (but I found out today she's going to put a shopping cart on her website and still be able to sell yarn--yay!) and as of Friday all stock is 25% off. Who can resist that? Turns out I can't, but then no one's really surprised are they?

Last Tuesday when I was in there looking at (and buying) one of each color of Cascade Fixation to knit some ankle socks, I saw a skein (just one) of Dream In Color Smooshy sock yarn in the Lipstick Lava colorway. Lo and behold, it was still there. It's mine now.

The other yarn I couldn't forget was a chunky red (of course) Berroco 50/50 alpaca and wool called Cuzco. It felt so soft and squishy I fell in lust with it. It was still there too, all 10 skeins of it. 10! Enough to make me a sweater, maybe even a hoodie. I so need a chunky red alpaca hoodie. (Ravelry link) Who doesn't?

I've been wanting to try Magic Loop so I figured now was the time to invest in an Addi Turbo needle. Zoe, the Yarn Whisperer, said she'll help me figure out how to knit a cap with Magic Loop so then I can be like the cool knitter girls.

Tomorrow our local knitting guild is sponsoring a World Wide Knit In Public event in a downtown park so I plan to take along my Addis and cotton yarn and cast on a hat, with Zoe's help. Should be fun. I'll take pictures.