Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Walking & Biking Route

I'm sparing you a photo of me pedaling on the trail, mostly because I feel like I look cool but a photo would prove that I look like a middle-aged, overweight woman on a bike wearing a red and black helmet and a goofy grin. I keep meaning to take the camera when I walk or ride but always forget. Julie has a camera phone and took a few pics for me yesterday. Yay!

This is from the boat launch up toward the Hwy. 172 overpass a mile away (it's the blue line through the sky). We walk a mile past the bridge and back on our morning walks.

Here's what it looks like when we're almost back to the start, and beyond the boat launch parking the trail continues on through DePere and down the river to Denmark. (No, Denmark, WI, not Europe.)

This is a part of the trail that we especially like because the trees arch over. Can't wait until more leaves turn colors.
I rode my bike the way we walk and am convinced that it's uphill both ways--or it could be mostly flat but my legs are in crap shape. It's pretty along the river and behind fancy houses. When I grow up I want to live by the Trail so I can play on it every day.

Window Washee

This morning instead of working out I took my Windex and a roll of paper towels next door to 1508 and washed all the windows inside and out. You can flip the windows down or in from the top so that you can do both sides from indoors. It makes it soooo much easier to wash them. I only had to go outside to do the patio doors and the front windows. Naturally I was up on the stepstool in the front yard in my jammies when the garbage men came by. Hi, guys! Now all I have to do is chase the spiderwebs in the basement and sweep down there. I think maybe I'll carry the shop vac over to do that. Durwood's charged with cleaning the stove top and outside. Then we'll be able to see if the self-cleaning still works. Fingers crossed. We really don't want to have to buy a new stove for over there, although it is 32 years old and avocado green, as is the range hood and sink. We have a new stove but avocado hood and sink too. One of these days we'll catapult ourselves nearer to the new millennium. We'll take out the kitchen carpeting too.

I worked myself to a frazzle yesterday starting with a 4 mile walk with Dusty and Julie, errands with Durwood, and then a full afternoon of cupboard washing, cobweb chasing, light fixture washing, and lawn mowing. *pant, pant* I was surprised that I had any energy left at all when it came time to write last night.

September 28--Slea Head, Ireland. Gail could admire the geology of the peninsula as she walked along the road beside the fields. The slope of the hillside where the small farms clung was so even that it had to owe its existence to a tectonic shift. In her mind she head the creak and groan of the mantle and crust of the planet as pressure grew below or maybe the screech as one plate subducted below another. She didn't want to be in an earthquake, not really, but she did wish she could rewind and then fast forward to watch the land thrust up out of the sea. She wondered if the sheep would stop grazing, they didn't seem to stop for much of anything.

Not long, but an interesting twist. Think I'll take an Aleve and see if I can convince my knees to stop aching. I have great plans for taking them for a walk at The Clearing when I'm up there all next week so they'd better stop hurting me.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Welcome, Roi!

I disbanded the writing group this week. Don't be sad, it was time. My writing has taken a different tangent and for right now a group didn't seem to fit my needs. I've really loved it, it's been a fixture of my week for, oh lord, over ten years. I was the sole remaining original member.

My friend, Roi, who kept me going through NaNoWriMo last November (I did the same for her) asked to be on the blog and posted for the first time today. I'm thrilled! Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!

I had a very busy day still working hard in the rental unit cleaning, and I mowed the lawns too, finishing just in time before the sunlight went away. No headlight on the lawnmower. (That's my excuse for not having posted until now.) Look, writing!

September 27--Mentawai Islands. "This must be what the beginning looked like," Derek said. The reverent look on his face and the hushed tone of voice might make a listening think he was having a religious experience. He was, in a way, just not in a church. He stood in the line of palms thick on the white sand beach staring out at the waves marching toward him in never-ending ranks. The air was filled with salt mist blown in on the onshore wind and the weight of the crashing waves made the ground tremble. Word of the surfing in the Mentawai Islands near Sumatra had raced around the globe drawing board fanatics from all over. Derek had used nearly every penny of his graduation money tom get to that spot. Now he was ready to ride the ultimate break with the best. He kicked off his sandals and waded in.

Man, oh man, I could sure use a swim right now. That's one thing I miss not having a pool. It was the perfect place to plunge into when you were hot and sweaty and tired. Ahhhh. Guess I'll take a shower. I stink.

Fall - Love it!

Fall has got to be my favorite time of the year. Yesterday was a perfect day -- blue sky, warm sun and nip in the air that makes you feel alive. Horseback riding weather, I always say. When I was a kid my friend Laurie and I use to ride all day. The horses, Sugarfoot and Ginger, would be snorty and frisky. Starting out early in the morning the world was ours to explore. Once, when we were down by Reelfoot lake a small girl, about five or six years old,  ran out of a camp yard toward our horses, her mother right behind her yelling for her to stop. I offered to give her a ride and once the girl was settled in my lap slowly walked Ginger around the campsite. The mother thanked me -- first in her language, and then in English. It was my first meeting with Gypsies. 

Barbara, thank for letting me join your blog writing. Here's to good, no great writing at The Clearing and abundant writing in November NANO. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Startitis Isn't A Disease It's A Condition

I'm weak. I think we've established that here, here, here and here. The wanton expenditure of my "mad" money until all I've got left is a little "out of sorts" money has happened time and time again, but it makes me feel so good that I don't try to stop. I just refuse to use a credit card or check for any of it. If the green's not in my wallet then there's no buying happening. Works for me.

I was very intrigued by Karla's scarf the other day. She used Debbie Mumm's Traditions yarn which JoAnn's has discontinued. (boo!) I found a skein of green and one of brown at JoAnn's the other day but no others. I did find a few people on Ravelry who have single skeins that they're willing to sell so I've got messages out to them, and have heard back from one of them so I'll get that $$ Paypal-ed off tonight. Back to Karla's scarf. She has a stitch-a-day calendar (I think she said) and picked out the Purse Stitch, cast on 24 stitches on US 10 needles and knit, well, purled actually, away until it was as long as she wanted it to be. I loved the shiny greenness of it. I cast on one with US10 3/4 needles (because that's what I grabbed) and Patons SWS (because I was drawn in by the russet). First I cast on 24 stitches and knit about 6" worth but it was too wide, so I frogged it. Then I cast on 12 stitiches, but that was too narrow, back to the frog pond. Now I've got 16 stitches and it's ju-u-ust right. (You can call me Goldilocks. Teehee.)

Well, That Didn't Happen

There were no lazy days around here last weekend. None. Oh, there were lazy minutes, and even a lazy hour on Saturday (I took a little bike ride in the afternoon), but all in all, I was moving and doing all weekend. *sigh* Guess I've lost the knack. We aren't done sprucing up the other half of the duplex. There was a lot more cleaning that needed to be done (the stove and oven was, and still partially is, a nightmare) and a bunch that still needs to be done (wiping down all the kitchen cupboards). Anyone got a pair of rubber gloves, a bottle of Murphy's Oil Soap, one of Dawn Power Dissolver, a bucket, a sponge, and a free day? We could use a break. We're old-ish and sometimes creaky. DS and DIL came over and helped haul the old recliner and a desk chair to Goodwill, and a desk and bookshelf to our storage, and an exer-cycle to our bedroom for winter pedaling. We really appreciated their help and the chance to spend an hour with them on their only day off together this week. Thanks a heap, you guys! We love you lots.

September 26--Vieques. "If you are looking for someone, go to the Malecon on Sunday afternoon," said Arturo. The old man winked one walnut-colored eyelid and smacked his toothless gums. The Malecon is the promenade along the shore of the only town on this tiny island and it is lined with restaurants and bars. Everyone goes there, young men cruise in tricked out cars and trucks hooting and whistling at the clusters of young women there to be noticed. Couples stroll arm in arm and young marrieds show off their newborns, the proud papas swaggering a bit, as if they were the first man to procreate. Celine did not go to the Malecon to get noticed, she was looking for the man who cheated her out of her inheritance and broke her heart.

Time for breakfast and a shower. Make this week count.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I Shouldn't Be Allowed Out Alone

I ran errands yesterday. I had a list. A firm list. But it was a cool and sunny day (my favorite) and I foolishly thought that we were in the home stretch getting the rental unit ready for a new tenant. I went to Stein to get a bag of crocuses for $6.99 because my current crocuses have the seasons confused. They're up now, just the leaves, no flowers, and nothing happens in early spring when I really really need them, so they're going out and new ones are going in. You can see them in the center of all those shiny packages with the pretty colored pictures of flowers on them. If you look closely you can see the small neon orange sale stickers on each one. (Danger! Danger, Will Robinson!) I'm a total sucker for flowers on sale. I don't mind digging in the dirt and getting all messy either. I used some of my stash of mad money buying them.

My next stop was at Jo-Ann. I wanted to pick up one skein of yarn, ONE!, to knit a narrow fashion scarf like my knitting friend Karla was wearing when I saw her last week. I had a bunch of coupons in my purse. Big mistake. I walked up and down the aisles, up and down, sinc
e they'd rearranged all the yarn I needed to look at it all. Every. Last. Skein. I consulted with a stranger who is making a lap robe for her dad and was conflicted about colors. I fondled the needles a bit. Skeins kept jumping in my cart. Turns out they're discontinuing the yarn I wanted to buy one of each color of, so I had to look at all the rest to find others that would be adequate to my needs. I picked out a bunch of good single skeins for scarves. I bought a copy of 60 Quick Knits too because all the books were 25% off but forgot to take a picture of it. I've already cast on, knit a dozen rows, and frogged the first scarf. I'm starting again with half as many stitches. See? That's it at the lower edge of the photo. And that's what happened to the other half of my mad money.

Late in the afternoon yesterday I loaded up my bike (I need to name it) and rode the northern end of the Trail through downtown. The trail goes under the bridges over the river and the middle one, the Walnut Street Bridge, has a lovely steep chute-like tunnel to ride through. I pedaled like a madwoman to zoom down and shoot back up; it was lovely. One of these days I'll remember the camera so I can show you where I ride. I guess I rode about a mile and a half, one way. It was nice. I meant to go again today but scrubbing the stove at 1508 kept me at home. Grr.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

One Lazy Day, Please

I realized that I've been cramming my days off with "things that need doing," like painting and cleaning and planting and recycling and canning and biking and mowing and bailing out window wells. Back and forth to the other side of the duplex, up and down various basement stairs, my knees are killing me today, maybe I should make today a lazy day. I have some things to return to the library and need to stop to see Mom (with a jar of pepper jelly in hand) but other than clearing out the painting supplies next door I think I can take a day to put my feet up. I'm not very good at lolling around anymore but I'll take a stab at it. Wish me luck!

September 24--Nariva Swamp, Trinidad. The water lay like glass between the reed beds and the hot tropical sun played peekaboo behind puffy white clouds. Shay paddled her canoe along as quietly as she could so she didn't spook the birds or attract any gators that might be lurking in the swamp. Why had she let Jeff talk her into this? She could have been on a dive or kayaking off the resort or even sleeping in. But no, she had to come canoeing with him and not on a serene and picturesque river with orchids handing off the trees, they had to be on a sun-blasted swamp with no breeze surrounded by grass so sharp it really earned the term blades. It was pretty and quiet, she'd give Jeff that, but it was far from something she'd expected to do on a vacation much less her honeymoon.

Jeff is not going to be a happy groom, I suspect, at least for one day. And that fills up the notebook, time to crack open a new one. Enjoy your day!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Post #500!!!

In some ways I'm surprised that I've posted that many times, but in others I'm surprised that it's only 500. It's a nice round number and I've got just a few more dives racked up in a much longer time, but then posts don't last at least an hour each and they're not weather-governed here in the frozen tundra of WI, home of cheeseheads and most of the nation's toilet paper.

I have knitting to show you. It was very slow at the dive shop this week so I got lots of sock knitted. See? I finished the heel flap, turned the heel, picked up, knit and decreased the gusset stitches, so now I'm ready to knit down the foot toward the toe. I'm very pleased both with the pattern and the yarn.

Last night I picked up the 198 yds. of Mochi shawl again. I need to tell you that th
e blue doesn't stick out like that in real life, it's much more on the same level as the other colors. I love the soft feel of this yarn. Thanks, Dusty, for letting me yoink it out of your stash and give it a new home where its vivid colors are appreciated.

I was going to knit more rows on the Red Marl Sweater front but I left the gray marl yarn in my other bag so I couldn't. Drat. Maybe tomorrow, if I don't have to paint more next door.

Blowin' In The Wind

Not the song, everything has been blowing today. We've had strong gusty winds all day and it's been lovely. Leaves and branches are flying and there's a constant whooshing sound. It made for an interesting walk along the river this morning; Dusty and I were grinning like fools with our hair flying and shirts flapping. This afternoon I painted the dinette in the rental side and the front door, and Durwood cleaned the range hood with Simple Green, an excellent product.

September 23--Northumbria, England.
The beach was make of cobblestones too big to be easily walked on. Leanna walked with her eyes down and her arms outstretched to keep her balance. Every once in a while she would pause to look around at the calm sea off to the right and the looming granite headland up ahead topped with the ruins of the 14th-century Dunstanburgh Castle. She was glad that she had been smart enough to wear her hiking boots when she set off that morning. She would surely have twisted an ankle on the rounded beach stones in regular shoes. As she neared the ruins she noticed what looked like there was a flag or a sail hanging from the crenelations. Whatever it was fluttered in the wind that swept onshore. The closer she got the more curious she was until she stood below the tower staring up at the body of a man tangled in ropes hanging very still.

Creepy, eh? I hope you've enjoyed your day.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Which Is Better To Wake Up To?

An alarm clock or a thunderstorm? I vote thunderstorm, that makes me want to get up and watch, and the alarm makes me want to smash it and roll over back to sleep. I was contemplating taking a short bike ride around the neighborhood when I got up this morning but not in the pouring rain. I'm hoping for nicer days over the weekend so I can pedal around a bit.

Another question--how deluded do you have to be to think the scale numbers will go down if you eat all the wrong stuff? Pretty darned deluded, I'm thinking. I wish I had a reset button to push in my brain sometimes. I'd also like to know where the motivation for change comes from, where it goes, and why. Motivation seems to come screaming up, grab on, and ride for a while, then it jumps off and goes haring off to Outer Mongolia or someplace far away. I limp along pretending and looking out for its return. That's where I am right now, limping along. The numbers on the scale are inching up and no matter how many mental lectures I give myself some demon inside me derails my good intentions. Bah. It's a rainy day, I'm taking a break from recrimination, at least for today.

September 22--Waikiki Beach. All her life Beth had dreamed of being on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. She had tried to talk Arlen into going to Hawaii on their honeymoon but he said he couldn't be away from the herd for that long so she settled for two nights in the Downtowner Motel on the seedy end of downtown Green Bay. Pretty soon she was popping out babies at the rate of one every twenty months or so. Arlen told her he could always use the help, he didn't mind, as he held her as she cried when she told him that she was pregnant for the sixth time. They were good Catholics and both of them bought the line of reproductive bull crap the Church was handing out at the time. Beth knew they'd change their tune if men were the ones who carried the babies. All it would have taken was for just one Pope or even a priest to get knocked up while practicing the rhythm method. Hell, the only thing rhythmic about it was the regular rate the babies came. It was after Lisa, their number seven, that Beth saw a different doctor, a woman doctor, for a prescription for the Pill. She told Arlen that they were special "female" vitamins and he never questioned her.

Well, that veered away from the beach pretty darned fast, didn't it? I'm intrigued by Beth. I'll put a star by this one in the notebook. Stay dry!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

More Birthday!

I love it when special days stretch out so they're more than one day. Like yesterday I went to lunch with DS and then to the zoo to feed the giraffe which was my Mother's Day gift from him and his wife. She had to work so I'm hoping that we can do lunch someday too. I miss seeing her. I could stand there all day feeding the giraffe. It was great to go after school started because I had Hodari all to myself. It was also good that I left my purse in the car because I'd have kept buying "browse" for him to eat just so he'd stay there by me and let me touch him.

Today a knitting friend popped into the dive shop and gave me this absolutely fantabulous bag that she had made. It's got fish! I. Love. It.

And when I got home there was a package from DD with a
card with Mr. Rogers on it (his mom knit all his TV sweaters for him, did you know that?) and 2 skeins of Lorna's Laces sock yarn. It's gorgeous and totally yummy. It might be going to become Fred and George socks. Or something else but it gets to be next, I'll tell you that. Thanks again, DD! I love you.

I Need Elves

or maybe minions, although I don't intend to use them for any evil schemes, so I guess elves is right. Elves seem friendlier, don't they? I mean, Santa has elves so they've got to be nice if they're the jolly old elf's helpers. See? Clement Moore is the one who told us that Santa is an elf, a biggish one, but an elf nevertheless. A-a-anyway, the reason I need elves is to get 1508 totally ready for new renters, which I have been working at all month since Jenny left, without having to give up any of my regular activities like walking or biking or knitting or...or...or whatever I really want to do instead of chores, like goofing off on the computer--yeah, that's a good one too. If all my plans come together I should finish up this weekend, then the carpet cleaners can come, and it'll be ready. It's a big job.

September 21--Oma Island, Norway. The water that lapped at the house's stone foundation felt like it flowed directly from the glacier. Andrea shook the water off her reddened fingers and licked off the barely salty droplets that clung to her skin. Oma Island where Grandma Kari's house stood precariously on the edge was nearly a hundred miles from the sea. When Andrea was small, Grandma Kari had told her that the great orcas that swam up the fjord dragged streams of salty seawater with them to mix with the melt from Palme glacier just a few miles to the east. She had believed the fanciful tale because of the speed and power of the orcas as they sliced their way through the water like juggernauts.

I'm thinking Grandma Kari has passed and Andrea is there to sort through the house and get it up for sale. Maybe. Tree trimmers are playing chainsaw melodies right outside my window. Not very conducive to thought.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It's Mother's Day!

Oh, I know it's not really but today DS is picking me up to take me to lunch and out to the zoo to feed the giraffes. It was the plan for DIL to come too but he's been crazy-busy at his new job and now she's got a crazy-busy new job and they seldom if ever have the same day off. To be honest I'd be reluctant to usurp any of their scarce alone-time anyway, so I'm going to be happy with lunch today with him and figure out another day to have lunch with her. Oh no, she's not getting out of having lunch with me that easy!

September 20--Rarotonga, Cooks Islands. It seemed a shame to make footprints in the smooth sand. Dana swam in until she was in three feet of water and then stood up. The gentle surge made her sway a bit before she vented her buoyancy vest and settled firmly on the bottom. Her dive buddy Bob swam up and stood nest to her. They both pulled their masks down to hang around their necks and supported each other while they slid their fins off. The sand made it easy to walk to shore, much easier than some of the rocky exits at home in the Great Lakes. "Can you see our stuff?" she asked. He laughed and tugged on her hand. "You're always so hungry after a dive. You cost me more in food than airfills." She scooped up a handful of water and flung it at him laughing. "Just be grateful you can keep me happy with a sandwich and a tank of air. I could be one of those women who craves jewelry and five-hundred dollar shoes." She grabbed his free hand and tugged him onto the beach behind her. "Come on, let's eat and then do a second dive." Bob followed her willingly. He was glad that she was the way she was. She was a whole lot less complicated than a lot of the women he knew.

Ah, diving. I'd like to be diving today but I'll gladly settle for getting my hands full of giraffe spit out at the zoo.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Too Much Energy

I was seriously uninspired to write Saturday night so I bagged it, and I felt too zippy and energetic to sit and write last night but I did it anyway. I mowed both lawns, found some alien mushrooms growing over the roots of an old, cut down tree, and took a bike ride. Why wasn't it cool-ish all summer so I could have been riding all season? It was just too hot and humid, humid, oh man, was it humid, too humid for bike riding and breathing at the same time. I sweat like a field hand anyway even when it's 60 degrees and partly sunny so you can imagine what I'm like when it's hot. I had to put on dry undies and socks twice yesterday so I didn't get chafed. (Sorry for that image.) As a punishment for all that energetic movement, I had one devil of a time falling asleep. Bah. Somebody said that her "SAD" light peps her up too much to let her fall asleep; I use mine for extra knitting light, maybe I should stop. Ah well, such is life. I'll sleep extra good at work today. *snort*

September 19--Margitsziget, Budapest. The trees on the island in the Danube were all that remained of the picture in Sonya's memory. Forty years ago when she and Robert had met in the Magyar Cafe the city had not spread all along the river side. Now outside the old city's edges the new buildings stood square and white looking like giant's teeth. No curves, no domes, no majesty separated them, nothing about them spoke of the history and culture of the people in them. Sonya was certain that the people who worked in there were as colorless and bland as their workplaces. A breeze carried the rich fragrance of the trees on Margaret Island and she hurried to the shore to catch a water taxi to cross over to immerse herself in memory now that Robert was gone.

Poignant. I like the images. Thanks for the kick in the slats, Roi, you're right. Have a good week, all. Talk to you tomorrow.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

High "Ew" Factor

I mowed the lawns today, making sure to be outside for the flyover before the Packer game. Four fighter jets screamed over in a V formation. A neighbor stopped by to chat for a minute and I looked down at the grass when he walked on before restarting the mower. At first I thought a dog had pooped on the lawn, but when I looked closer (yeah, I know, I'm not right) I realized that what I was looking at was some sort of growth like a mushroom. They're growing over the remains of a maple tree that was cut down more than 5 years ago. I picked some and took them inside to show Durwood.

On my way to take a bike ride, I stopped at Barnes & Noble to get a shipwreck book and looked in a Mushroom ID book to discover that they are called Deadman's Fingers. Cool, huh?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Jelly Day

Today was the day Mom and DS and I made pepper jelly. Mom provided the sugar and washed the jars--and it's her recipe. I provided the peppers, vinegar, Certo, jars, and the venue. DS chopped, stirred, lidded & ringed, and provided lunch. It was great. We laughed and teased and talked the morning away.

While we made jelly, Durwood picked his raspberries. It has been a good year--if you like raspberries and he loves 'em.

We got a pizza from Papa Murphy's and while it baked Mom helped DS figure out how to knit on a Knitting Nancy to make a cord to hold up his kilt hose. I forgot to take a picture, darn it.

But I did take a picture of one of the little bread boules we made. I bought this book last year and tried making bread but didn't have enough white flour and was too lazy to go get so
me so I substituted quite a bit of rye flour. Not the same thing at all. DS and DIL borrowed the book a while back and have become bread making fools so I found the basic recipe online, copied it off, and whipped up some dough. Today while DS was over I asked him to show me how they make it. We made two half-boules and I sent one home with Mom. There's nothing like fresh-made bread.


Today I picked up DS so we could take his broken TV and the 2 computer monitors that some jerk left on my curb on Wednesday. See, the garbageman won't take them, they have to be recycled at the Hazardous Waste place and you have to pay twenty cents a pound for the privilege. Naturally I have no way of knowing who left them and I'm not pulling the same stunt so I stifled my irritation and got rid of them. After dropping that stuff off we picked up Mom so that the three of us could come here and make a batch of pepper jelly. Mom washed the jars, DS chopped and ground the peppers, I dissolved a huge amount of sugar in a little vinegar. It boiled together, we added Certo and a few drops of green food color so it didn't look like jellied vomit (hey, think about it. You grind green and red peppers together with yellow ones; what do you expect it to look like?) and got it jarred up. While we waited for a Papa Murphy's pizza to bake DS learned to knit with one of those spool things so he can make flashes for his kilt hose. Durwood picked a boatload of raspberries and kibbitzed. It was fun. After driving DS and Mom home I came back, loaded up my bike (I need to name her), and took a 4 mile ride on the Fox River Trail. I had a great day.

September 17--Rebun Island, Japan. She waited all year for that one week when the Queen Anne's Lace and the Purple Lupines were in bloom. That week on the low hills that formed the arms of Cape Gorota the cinquefoil that grew low to the ground hiding its distinctive shaped leaves in the confusion that was late summer was ready to be picked. Old Lee An made her way slowly up from her house at the edge of the village with her sectioned collecting basket over one arm, her carved lion-headed stick in the other. For most of her seventy-seven years Lee An had made potions and teas, had read the leaves and the clouds for serious believers and silly girls. She was getting to be too old to climb the hills and stoop and bend to pick her herbs. She needed a student, an apprentice.

This is not great writing, but it's writing and that's all that counts.

Friday, September 17, 2010


That's the sound I hear when I look at the stitches swaying back and forth on the leg of this Underwater sock. It was darned quiet at work this week so I got to the heel flap. It's a bit different than previous flaps; you slip 1, k1 on the first heel row, purl back, then k1 slip1 next time. I'm not very far but I'm anxious to see how it looks. Bet it'll look cool.

Now it's time to grab some supper so I can go to Friday Night Knitting Circle to see my gang.

Back To The Notebooks

Peggy and I met at The Attic last night and did a little scribbling in our notebooks. Neither of us was brilliant but we hadn't forgotten everything. Next week Nancy will be back too and we'll plan out our writing year. Brandon was happy to see us again.

Jenny, how are you? What's happening? We're all on pins and needles. Report, please!

September 16--Dominican Republic. See how high tides have undercut the sand where the line of palm trees is? The roots are exposed and the trees all lean higglety-pigglety as if strong winds could topple them. I feel like one of those trees living here in this tourist culture. How do people manage to stay sane with all of the lobster red and peeling visitors everywhere? They're in the market frowning at the unfamiliar money in their hands and poking at foods they're not used to in restaurants. They've left home to get out of their rut and yet their lips curl and they turn up their noses at anything new.

And now I get to shower, dress, and take Durwood to the clinic for some tests. No need to worry, they're just regular but he'll be out for them and needs a driver. That's me. I'm taking my knitting.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dark At Day

It's so dark right now that it looks like after sundown. It's not raining that hard, only a bit, but the clouds sure are thick. What a cheerful start to the day!

Speaking of cheerful, my writing group is resuming today, two members shorter than when we took a break, but Peggy and I will be there and next week Nancy will rejoin us and we'll scribble our way into the future. I'm looking forward to digging back in since I'm going to The Clearing for a week's worth of writing workshop on October 2nd and I need to unlimber my fiction chops. I've been mostly writing non-fiction this summer so I need to shift gears, or learn to shift back and forth since it looks like those 2 non-fiction gigs, TC's newsletter, Siftings, and the dive club's newsletter, Neptune's Trident, are ongoing. Kind of grownup, don't you think? Yeah, I do too and it sort of feels odd, but I guess when you hit 59 you have to face the fact that at least part of the time you have to pretend to be a grownup.

Hey, did you know that you can borrow books on cd from the library--for free??? Yep, you really can and not just boring old stuff either. You can listen to them while you knit or walk or workout or drive. It's the coolest thing. I learned how to put them on my little mp3 player so I can carry them easily and then when I'm done listening I erase them from the laptop and they go right away from the player too. Isn't that amazing? Technology is amazing. I suppose it's not totally legal but I figure if I don't keep them, just change their format for ease of use, it's okay. I mean, are there squads out there looking into that sort of thing? Is the Joe Friday of the digital world going to ring my doorbell anytime soon? I hope not. I don't think I'd fare well in the joint.

September 15--Bled Island, Slovenia. "The Church of the Assumption dates from the 15th century..." The voice of the tour guide was barely audible over the crackle of static in Vera's earphones and the accented English didn't help. Vera found her attention drifting as she gazed at the tiny island off the port bow of the tour boat. The whitewashed stone church and the rectory were perched at the top of a wide, stone staircase that rose right out of the still lake. She imagined open boats rowed by dark men ferrying the pious to mass five centuries ago as the rich full sound of the steeple bells called them to prayer. Just as she had the thought their tour boat rounded the island and the bells tolled the Angelus, the clear notes echoed off the surrounding hills and the found of her grandmother sounded in her memory, "The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary: And she conceived of the Holy Ghost..." Goosebumps shivered up her spine and tears sprang to her eyes. It had been nearly forty years since her grandmother had died and she suddenly missed her as if it had been a single day.

*sigh* I miss my grandma. Does anyone pray the Angelus anymore? I'll have to Google it. Stay dry today--and write something.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Gorgeous Days

I love this time of year with cooler temps and golden sunlight. Makes me want to go outside and just walk and walk. Instead I get to go to work and sit in the stuffy dive shop dozing in the wasteland of time between customers. Maybe someone will come in today and want something. Wouldn't that be lovely? I could fill a tank or sell something. SELL something!!!! Now that'd be a real treat.

September 14--Manitoulin Island, Ontario. Hannah and Jeffrey were glad that they had decided to turn left out of the B&B's driveway that morning. They stood at the top of a long, gently curving hill straddling their bikes and catching their breath. Riding down would be exhilarating, riding up would have been torture. Jeffrey took a long drink from his water bottle and then snapped it back into its holder. Hannah reached into her saddlebag and pulled out a package of two granola and fruit bars, handing one to him. The pale light under the newly leafed trees made it look as if they were pedaling through pale green water.

And that's when I fell asleep. I assume I put my notebook on the nightstand and turned out the light. Either that or Durwood did when he came to bed at midnight. Ah, well, such is life in the fast lane.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

And The Early Junkpicker...

...gets the broken vacuum! We own, and live in half of, a duplex. Jenny, my writing friend and our renter, got a promotion and moved to NYC last week. I told her I didn't mind carrying all her remaining trash and recycling out to the curb this week, and I added a few of my own goodies to the mix. This morning I decided to empty the garage of trash & recycling and sweep it out in lieu of working out. (Hey, sweat's sweat.) Our vacuum broke the other day so that went out there, along with an ancient and cheap patio umbrella, a 10-gallon aquarium, and the glass turntable from a long-gone microwave. It's been about an hour since I came in--and already some enterprising junkpicker has scooped up those items. St. Vinnies is coming for the furniture and bags o'clothes sometime today, then we'll be able to have the carpet cleaned, paint the walls that need it, and get the joint rented. Good times.

September 13--Cayo Sombrero, Venezuela. "It's not right," Sheila said as she slid the carbon fiber pole through the loops of the tent. Julian frowned. "What's not right?" he said looking around their campsite. "This whole palm trees and sandy beach camping thing," she said. "You go camping in the northwoods, you know, pine trees and campfires on chilly nights." She flung out her arm and swept it around in a circle. "This isn't camping." "Well," he said as he strung a line between two palm tree trunks so they could hang up their towels to dry, "sleeping in a tent and cooking over a fire counts as camping whether it's hot or cold at night and no matter what kind of trees there are, pine or palm." She stood with her fists on her generous hips and frowned when he came up to nuzzle her neck. "Someone might see," she said even as she leaned into his touch. "Let them look and be jealous, you're mine." His hands slid up under her shirt to cup her full breasts. She groaned and turned in his embrace, her hands pulling his lips down to hers.

Oh. Well, enjoy your day.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Not Lost

Hi. I'm not lost or away from home or broken. I just took a couple days off from writing. No real reason. I just took a little break, but I got back into the saddle last night and I have writing for you. Sorry to abandon you so abruptly but you're grownups, I figure you'll survive.

September 9--Magdalene Islands, Quebec. Bonnie questioned the wisdom of staying in the little cottage perched near the edge of the sandstone cliff. A storm had blown ashore at sunset and the sea crashed into the soft rock, eroding deeper and deeper into it. The vibrations shook the whole cliff top. She flinched as a thick mug fell of the shelf and shattered in the sink. She was too jittery to read so she got into bed. Even there she felt the power of the wind and waves shake the island's foundations. She lay awake far into the night wondering if she would wake to find the cottage adrift on a raft of sandstone cliff-top floating out to sea.

September 12--Curacao. Dierdre thought the town looked like a children's toy as the ship sailed into Willemstad. The navy blue of the deep water harbor made an excellent contrast to the pastel facades and bright orange tile roofs of the buildings. They wore the distinct Dutch architecture of the island's colonial roots but the things they sold behind the quaint faces couldn't have been more modern--or pricey. It must have cost a bundle to keep up those old places and ship the goods to the island because the prices made her eyes pop. Her relatives were going to have to be content with a postcard because even the price of a t-shirt was way out of line. Good thing she could eat on board.

See? Two in one! What a treat, right? Um, you do like this, don't you? I mean, nobody ever "comments." Sometimes I feel like I'm all by myself in here. Fine. If you're going to be like that, I'll just write to amuse myself and you can, er, read it if you want. Or not. Whatever. It's Monday. Need I say more?

Sunday, September 12, 2010


I finished the back of my Red Marl sweater the other night. It's gorgeous and I love it. I'll cast on the front later and get to work on more two-color knitting which is more intriguing than I ever thought it'd be. DS asked me to teach him to knit a ski hat with a snowflake on it this winter. Cool, huh? I'm tickled.

I'm through one repeat on the first Underwater Sock and I like it. It's still hard to get used to knitting on these short and skinny size 2s, but I'm managing. I like seeing the colors blend and swirl until they look like the ocean in the Caribbean which makes me glad I searched and searched until I found the right pattern that looks a bit like waves.

I finished one of the sock things from the internet pattern. I think I'm going to like them.

This morning we were having breakfast and reading the paper and I glanced at the hummingbird feeder to see a hummer on one side and a monarch butterfly on the other. Naturally the bird left before I got the camera out but the butterfly let me take its picture.

Then DS came over to help me haul all the going-to-charity stuff our renter had left into one room for pickup next week and all of the empty boxes left under the stairs from when DS left for California 3 years (!!!) ago, and he said he'd come back Tuesday night to help me drag it all out to the curb for trash day. Durwood treated us to 2/$1 brats from the new Kwik Trip for lunch. That was nice.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Perfect Looking Day...

...and I'll be trapped in the dive shop for most of it. Arrgh. It's sunny and still and cool out there, the perfect day for a walk or a bike ride and most, if not all, of us will be stuck indoors slogging away at our jobs. Our spirits could be out there soaring with the eagles but instead we'll be inside dealing with turkeys. I can safely say that because--I work alone. I'll be the only turkey in the room for most of the day unless a flock of customers invades, making up for last Thursday when I had a grand total of ZERO customers, not even non-buying lookie-loos, none. Zip. Zero. Nada. The only air breathing mammal to darken the door (besides me) was the mail carrier, and she was only there for about a minute, just long enough to walk down to the counter, drop the mail, turn around and walk out. It was a looooong day. Let's hope today's better.

September 8--Phi Phi, Thailand. The narrow isthmus that connected the two halves of the island was where most of the people lived. Leah couldn't figure out why they all chose to cram themselves on that narrow strip of land instead of spreading out. She decided that having elbow room must be an American peculiarity (one of many) not suffered by the Thai people. Just like in every other small town, there was really no privacy. People pretended not to hear a hand hitting a cheek or harsh words exchanged between a husband and a wife. They could avoid knowing what went on jumbled together on that narrow strip of land with the sea on both sides. Leah was counting the remaining months of her Peace Corp commitment and intended to get herself out into the middle of the biggest tract of totally human-less land and sit there in the silence for a month as soon as she got home. Even if it was in the middle of a blizzard. That wouldn't actually be too bad, she would like to be cold and alone right now.

That's an interesting idea, isn't it? To be part of a population crammed so closely together that actual privacy is impossible and have to develop selective hearing to preserve a bit of psychic privacy. An island would be an excellent place to play that out. Write on!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Posting Slacker

Sorry about that. I've been busy doing stuff and not posting it. Admittedly most of the stuff I'm doing isn't yarn-related so I don't connect it with posting, but hey, I don't want you to think I'm just sitting around and I know everyone is avidly interested in what I'm doing day in and day out. Hmm, let's see... over the holiday weekend when I had 5 days off in a row (I just love holidays that fall on Monday), what did I do? On Friday, I met Mom at HuHot for our traditional birthday lunches; we eat and she pays my tab and I pay hers because our birthdays are only 2 days apart. This year DS was able to come along which was great. I ate so much at lunch that I didn't have supper!

After non-supper I went up to Harmony Cafe next to Goodwill for Friday Night Knitting Circle where I received 2 bir
thday gifts. Telaine gave me some yummy Touch Hand Painted yarn from New Zealand that looks and feels like chenille but its all merino, a cinnamon scented pencil (I love cinnamon!), and a little baggie of totally delicious and totally gobbled up homemade chocolate chip and walnut cookies. Thanks a heap, sweetie!

From Zoe, the Yarn Whisperer, I got a blind choice between 2 different yarns, one a little scratchy but very interesting feeling and the other soft and obviously finer. Naturally I chose the interesting, wormy feeling one. It's Dacotah Woolen Mills American Landscape 100% wool grown in the USA. She gave me 3 skeins--558 yds! And look at the color! It's called Sunflare. I don't know what I'll make with it but it has sparkles in it too and it's awesome. ThankyouThankyouThankyou, Zoe!

I worked on that slipper I'm playing with, added a few rows to the red sweater back, and cast on a new sock at FNKC.

On Saturday I scraped the garage doors and the trim around them and primed the raw wood. My brother came up with an antique bed and cherry gate leg table that Grandpa built to stash in our storage space.

On Sunday Durwood and I drove up to Duvall in Door Co. for a burger lunch at Joe Rouer's, a country crossroads bar that has made the best burgers for years and years. After we got home I painted the doors and trim. It looks nice, amazing what a coat of paint will do, isn't it?

On Monday the weather cooperated for just an hour to give me time to take my bike and pedal 4 miles on the Fox River Trail, before the sky opened up when I was at Titletown Brewery having a root beer with DS, who is a brewer there, and poured rain for most of the rest of the day, especially when I was grilling our little steak and sliced squash for supper. After supper I finished the ribbing of the sock cuff and started on the leg chart a bit.

Yesterday, Tuesday I met Dusty and Julie at the mall for an hour's walk, went to the
doc to make sure I'm responding well to the new anti-depressant (yes!), and got my nails done. After that I came home and mowed the lawn in the strong gusty winds. It was chilly but nice to get blown around instead of drowning in sweat and humidity. And I worked more on the sock. I'm calling them Underwater Socks for the colors and the pattern. It's Sockbug's River Rapid Socks made with Cascade Handpainted Sock. I'm liking it.

Not Turning Into An Axe Murderer

Got the all-clear from my doc yesterday after a month on the new anti-depressants. I hate to say it but the chemicals are working much better than "natural" methods did, so I get to keep the pills for at least a year. Another bonus is that I'm on a much lower dose than the last one so I don't feel grayed-out or too blah like I did, I feel things, high and low, just not as deeply, paralyzingly low as before. Whew. I'm back to being my happy, enthusiastic, energetic self, thank god. Still not having a lot of writing inspiration but I can deal with that as long as I still write a little bit every day. And speaking of writing, here's some.

September 7--Cayo Levantado, Dominican Republic. The veranda of the hotel was a festival of Victorian Caribbean gingerbread architecture, all painted white. The spindles and the posts were lathe-turned and the lattice soffits dripped wooden lace like a petticoat peeking out from under a summer dress. Tea was laid every afternoon and guests would sit in the breeze generated by the slow-moving ceiling fans sipping fresh squeezed lemonade and iced tea steeped with mangoes, both of them were offered straight or improved by the spirits of the guests' choice. Most of the afternoon tea drinkers were women whose husbands were off golfing or fishing. By mid-week the women had agreed that afternoon tea was a civilized tradition they should probably institute at home.

Okay, then I'm off to get ready for work, but first I want to post on my knitting blog.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bring On The Wind

A cool and windy day, hooray! I have to mow de lawn later and will really enjoy my walk out there in all the wind. It's overcast too and I'd rather have sunny and windy but this'll do. Wow, I just noticed that the road building a block away is very noisy today. Sounds like they're pounding or shaking something really big. I'm glad I've got that block between me and the source, it'd be unbearable to be right next to it. Looks like they're getting close to being finished, maybe another month. It'll be a relief to have it over and have Military Ave. get back to normal. I can't imagine how the businesses along it have managed to stay open these last few months because people have avoided the street like the plague because it was such a mess.

September 6--Sveti Stefan, Montenegro. From the causeway that linked the island to the mainland it looked like there wasn't a square foot without a house on it. "Funny looking resort, isn't it?" said Hi! I'm Warren out of the corner of his mouth. "I'm a wait-and-see kind of person," I told him. "I'll reserve judgment until we get there." The robin's egg blue colored bus we'd been riding in for the last week lurched and coughed its way across the narrow causeway nearly scraping the stones as it passed. I was glad when it shuddered to a stop at the city wall and Gregori the driver with the big black mustache opened the door. Cool air scented with cedar and lake water flooded the stuffy bus. I was first on my feet to get out into the watery sun of the ancient town.

Well, that's not bad. I wish it were longer but I'm satisfied with it. Is anybody else writing or am I the only one?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Beyond Explanation

Well, Jenny, that more than anything I could ever tell myself convinces me that getting something accepted has very little to do with whether what I write is good or crap, it has more to do with whether the person in charge of accepting is a moron. You obviously got a rejection meant for some other poor schlub and they're still waiting to hear. In. Sane. Congrats on your acceptance, tho. Is it print or online?

I'm feeling very smug this morning because I scraped, primed, and painted the trim and both garage doors over the past 2 days all by myself. I enjoyed it, which was a surprise, and I didn't get tired or sore, which proves that I really am benefiting from working out, also a surprise. (I know I shouldn't be surprised, but I'm a slow learner.) I didn't replace any of the fuzzy, driveway-salt-eaten wood or fix the places that Mom drove into and busted the (fake) wood, but at least it's all one color and looks good from a distance. Yesterday before I painted Durwood and I drove up the peninsula to Duvall and had some of the best burgers in captivity. Joe Rouer's is a little corner bar with legendary burgers, has been for decades, before and after a fire, even after Joe and Mrs. Joe are gone, so we moseyed up and got us a couple. It was worth every mile. Yum.

This hasn't been a very write-y weekend (I've been busy painting) so what's below is all you get. Sorry.

September 5--Andaman Islands, India. The beach went on forever. It was the soft powdery kind of sand that felt so good on your feet. Dale sat with her knees tucked up and her arms wrapped around them watching the dark shadows of sharks patrolling along the beach. No one was swimming. It would have been suicide to plunge splashing and thrashing into the warm salt water. Yes, it was hot but it was infinitely better to be hot than to be chewed up into bits and end up as a shark's lunch.

See? Not anywhere near my best. Try to forgive me.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

What the heck?!?

So you remember a few months ago when I complained about that rejection I got? I was a bit (okay, a lot) peeved because the form rejection told me not to send things blindly and to read their magazine to see what would be a good fit or not, and I thought I had sent a good fit. Well anyway, tonight I checked my email, and that magazine accepted my story. Not a new submission. The old one that they rejected in June. And they accepted it without any mention of that prior rejection. Now what in the heck is going on? I guess it goes to show that you should never lose hope. I'm halfway tempted not to let them have it, since clearly this magazine has a few administrative issues, but beggars can't be choosers, I suppose.

Happy belated birthday, Barbara!


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Good Sleeping Weather

I convinced Durwood to sleep in the other room last night so that I could sleep with the windows open because it got COOL in the night. Yay! Oh, it was excellent lying there under the open window with the cool, 50-ish night air washing over me. Ahhh, that's good sleeping. This morning I've scraped and wire brushed both garage doors and the trim around them. Next I'll wash them down with Murphy's Oil Soap, let them dry, prime the raw wood, let that dry, and then paint the whole shebang. I might get done today but for sure tomorrow, then I'll still have two more days off to goof around. It's a pain not getting paid for holidays but I do like having that long stretch of days off--5!--in a row. I'll work next Saturday and a week from Tuesday because Mrs. Boss is going to be in the Bahamas, so I'll make up the lost wages in a snap. Are you doing anything fun for the weekend?

September 3--Barbados. Waves marched from the deep blue of the horizon to smash themselves to foam on the beach at Britt's feet. She had always dreamed of visiting Barbados since she had read The Witch of Blackbird Pond in grade school. The book made it sound like paradise and it made good fuel for her dreams in the middle of the fierce Wisconsin winters. She remembered picturing the sugar white sand and the towering palm trees under the dome of sky dotted with puffy white clouds, and now she was standing in her dream. The musical voices of the natives made talking sound like singing and the heat of the sun made her feel like she'd never need to leave.

Not the most inspired thing I've ever written but I do remember dreaming big fantasies about Kit and Nat and running away to Barbados.

Friday, September 3, 2010

An Hour to Fall Asleep

I hate that. Hate it. I hate getting all comfy and then your eyes fly open and you have to move. You roll over, make a new nest, get the pillow just right and close your eyes. That lasts for thirty seconds until you have to cough or your leg twitches or something, and you have to move again. It goes on and on, you keep checking the glowing green numerals of the clock across the room, you listen for your partner who is watching the game and then doing something on the computer into the night. And then you don't wake up until 8 AM so even though it's 10:45 you feel like it should be 9:30. Bah.

September 2--Cheju Island, South Korea. The mist was cold and so thick that Kim was sorry that they had come. It was just after sunrise and the light wasn't strong enough to start burning off the swirling mist. She couldn't feel the air moving but the mist twisted and flowed like it was alive. She was glad for Peter's hand warm in hers as they filed down the narrow path between the cultivated fields. Kim's rich imagination saw the scraps of mist as ghosts and she stumbled and shivered wanting to be back in their warm bed in the guest house. Peter led her to a flat boulder all alone on the beach of rough sand and spread a blanket out for them to sit on. "Sit," her said, helping her up, "I brought coffee so we can keep warm waiting for the sun." He pulled a thermos and two mugs from his backpack, poured the steaming brew, and sat beside her. When she thought back to that hour spent with him on that damp lonely beach listening to the gulls cry and waiting for the sun to appear over the horizon, she knew that she had made the right choice.

I'm off to meet Mom to celebrate our two-days-apart-birthdays with lunch at HuHot. There's nothing quite like Mongolian food to say Happy Birthday! Yum.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

It Pays To Knit At Work

After not too long, you have a new sock. I do like the way the bright body of the sock looks with the black cuff, heel, and toe. What a brilliant idea I had!

Here's the pair. I "purled when ready" the red loops of the first sock and I chose yellow for the second sock before I realized that there are at least four different yellows--yellow-green, yellow-orange, school bus yellow, and lemon yellow. I tried to remember to purl the school bus yellow. Most of the time I managed, but it was hard on the gusset and top of the foot so I just purled when I wanted. Hey, it's going to be stuck in my shoe anyway, who's going to notice?


You know you're getting older when you need more sleep. Ha! I kept hitting the snooze button and finally turned the thing off and dozed off again. Good ol' Durwood came in and said, "Honey, it's 7:15." I won't tell you what I said...oh, what the heck, I flung off the covers, vaulted out of bed, and yelled, "Dammit!" Not the most graceful or ladylike awakening but energetic. Now I'll feel wrong-footed all day. I love that. I had a lovely birthday. There were spatulas on my windshield when I went out to go to work (thanks, Dear), Mom came and sang me Happy Birthday, I got a call from DD and we had a nice chat, I had a root beer with DS and got to hold a baby (Emma Thibeault) at the farmer's market, Durwood and I went to Tony Roma's for my free birthday supper and we shared a hot fudge sundae for dessert. An all-around excellent day. I even had customers, paying ones! Even better the press release I need to submit today finally came together in the afternoon and I got the first draft pounded out. I reworked it last night and this morning, and just shipped it off before I started this post. Woohoo!

September 1--Tahiti. The warm water lapped clear and gentle at the edge of the shallows. Beyond it the bottom dropped away fast, the color of the water went from the palest turquoise to navy blue quickly. Eva stood still as a statue, her eyes following the dark gray shadows of the sharks as they patrolled the edge of the reef. Every day she watched them, confident that there was enough of their usual food available that she wasn't in danger but she knew that as soon as she speared a fish those cold black eyes would turn her way. Most days she could wait until they had fed and swam back out beyond the break to the open ocean. But today Malia had sent her out early, told her to hurry back with fish for a special meal. There was no time to wait for the great gray shapes to swim away. She had to be fast, to take her chances, to strike and escape. She raised her spear arm and waited, slowing her breathing. She flung her spear, felt it connect, and the water around her exploded.

Yikes. Enjoy your day, it's supposed to rain here. Just what we need, more moisture in the air. You can already wring it out.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Fun Stuff But Not Yarn-y

There have been fun things happening over the last couple weeks but since none of it has involved yarn I haven't posted about it. I realized this morning that you probably think I've been lying around sipping lemonade and eating snacks lately but I haven't and here's proof.

Two weeks ago I drove up to The Clearing at the tip of Door Co. to have a meeting about helping to resurrect their newsletter, Siftings. I got to stay upstairs in the Jensen Center and walk around campus a bit. I interviewed their Landscape Architecture intern who is laying the groundwork for next year's projects and the weaver who used historic weavings to create an art piece to hang in the Weaving Room of the Schoolhouse so that I can write press releases to go out immediately and longer articles for Siftings in the fall.

That Sunday was the dive shop corn roast so we went back up to Garrett Bay just down the road from the Clearing to dive and eat grill roasted corn. Here's DS and I going diving (we're the two in the center back facing the camera) and coming out. Sorry there aren't any corn pictures, our fingers were too buttery and we were too busy eating.

Last Friday I went to Sturgeon Bay to interview an artist who is repainting a mural that was painted over in the Clearing's Schoolhouse years ago. I took pictures of him but my camera ate them. I'm going to link to TC's website, that has a picture.

One of the women at the corn roast is a champion sporting clays shooter and she organized a day when we could go to a game farm and try our hand at it. Durwood and I decided to go; he's hunted all his life but I'd never shot a gun once. It was a blazing hot day but we had a blast. The more experienced went off to more challenging "games" and us rookies and Durwood stayed with an instructor at the easiest game. I hit a few (more than Durwood, teehee) and I have a lovely bruise on my upper arm from the recoil. There was a lunch afterwards and we all had a great time. It's not too expensive and we'll go back. Soon.

So, you see I haven't been idle, just not knitting as much.

Happy Birthday To Me!

Today I am 59, and I don't feel a day over...58. Just kidding, I actually feel pretty darned good most of the time and I'm amazed at the lofty number of the years I've been around. I'll get a haircut on my way to work, work all day, Mom's stopping at the shop so I get to see her (I lured her there with the promise of fresh tomatoes from the garden and some okra we got at the market), have a celebratory root beer at the farmer's market with our son, then Durwood's taking me out for supper. Should be an excellent day.

August 31--Angra dos Reis, Brazil. She never thought that she would own an island. Granted it wasn't as big as a suburban lot, less than two acres, but Isla dos Anguillas was all hers--dock, shack, and, she looked down into the clear shallow water off the dock, sunken boat. "You can raise she boat and she'll be good as new once you plug the hole," Manuel said, grunting as he carried her bags up the dock toward her new house. Looking at the house in the bright daylight made she shudder. Luisa thought it looked like it was held together by spiderwebs and snake skins. She tightened her grip on her purse, and her nerve, and pushed open the door. "What are you looking for, Senhorita?" said a brown-skinned woman standing in a shaft of sunlight.

I was too sleepy to go on but that woman surprised me too.