Saturday, October 30, 2010

I Knew I Should Have Waited

It only took me a few minutes to finish decreasing the toe and Kitchener-ing it to finish the first Underwater Sock. I like it. It's pretty and ocean-y looking.


We've been advertising the other half of our duplex for rent for a month now and haven't gotten a suitable renter yet. Yesterday I went on to make a change to our ad, only to find that it had been canceled a week ago and even though I made multiple calls to them and to the Press Gazette it's still not there. We're supposed to have 3 months free listing because we've paid for 3 weeks of print ads. I'm flummoxed--and frustrated. It's still on so we have an online presence but I want what's coming to us. Gah.

October 29--Les Andelys, France. "The house across from the church, you know, the one on the tiny island in the Seine." Gilbert flung his hand in the direction of the river, ash from his ever-present cigarette sprinkling the table and my coffee. Good old Gilbert, you could always rely on him to ruin any pleasure you manage to wring out of the day. I had asked him two weeks ago to find me someplace to live outside the city, and he came up with a house on an island in the river. Gilbert leaned across the table to clutch my wrist in his talons. "Amelie, you are lucky to have it. I had to fight off a couple from London who were determined to get it. I flung a handful of Euros at Monsieur Bertrand and frightened them off. You would have been proud." He preened at his own brilliance, looking for all the world like a pigeon in a beret. I shook my head at him. "I am proud, Gilbert, but I will also be wet since I have no boat to reach the island. Do you swim?" My words defeated his swelled head and the smile slid off his face.

Ah, the weekend has arrived. I love the weekend with its opportunities for sleeping later than 6:30.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Making Progress

At work yesterday I finished the third repeat of the pattern on the foot of the Underwater Sock and started the toe. Just a bit more decreasing and it'll be done. I'm really liking the look of the stitch, it looks like a cable but it's a series of yarnovers and either slip slip knits or knit 2 togethers. One of these days I want to play with it using worsted weight yarn to see how it looks life-size.

At home I've been trying to do at least a few inches of wrap each evening. I got the first sleeve done and I'm working my way down the 5 feet of flat between. I love the color blocks, the black
cashmere really makes it look rich. You can see on the one picture the turquoise stitch marker indicating the start of the round. I'm hoping that the second sleeve will be nice and straight. I have a fear that it'll somehow be twisted and look goofy.


Holy moly it was cold walking today. Thirty-four when I drove past the Culver's sign just after 8, but Dusty and I bundled up and braved the cold. It was beautiful walking in the bright sunlight with blue sky and migrating geese honking overhead. Today I need to rake the leaves that didn't blow away (stupid rain), get some birdseed and a new peanut feeder because we don't want the nuthatches and woodpeckers to stop coming by. Guess we'll have to wire-tie it to the crook.

October 28--Ko Phi Phi Le, Phi Phi Archipelago. See that line out there where the pale turquoise water turns navy blue? That's where I want to dive. Right there where the bottom drops out of the sea and plunges deep deep down where the colorful corals stop and the pretty little reef fish aren't. I like to dive in the zone of change where worlds collide in a less than catastrophic way. It's good to dive at sunset too when the day shift fish are all scurrying around claiming the best spot to sleep in the reef or chasing one last piece of plankton before nightfall. The night shift fish emerge then too. They're the red ones with the big eyes. Red to not be seen as well and big eyes to see with. They always have looked just a little "deer in the headlights" to me. The barracuda fades into the shadows at sundown to be replaced by the tarpon. If barracuda are made of silver then tarpon are stainless steel with their large scales and prehistoric sheen. I wan to dive right there where the light gets dark and where the shallow gets deep. I want to be there to watch worlds collide.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

I Am So Over This Wind

When this storm blew in (and I mean BUH-LEW in) I didn't realize that it'd also bring in cold. It went from being chilly in the morning with warmish in the afternoon to being cold, windy, and overcast all day and night. I did see the sun and some blue sky this morning for a minute when I went out into the backyard to see if I could find the feeder with the peanuts in it. I thought the wind knocked it down but evidently a crafty gray squirrel dislodged it and dragged it off it his lair. It was nowhere to be seen and has ignited a vendetta in Durwood's heart. I've been trying to moderate his hatred of the squirrels because realistically he's never going to "train" them to only eat the corn I put out for them and they're funny to watch, but the theft of a bent and gnawed little mesh feeder with about a half cup of peanut pieces has hardened his heart against them. All squirrels foolish enough to wander into the yard are going to be getting a hind end BB shot. He doesn't kill them, he just makes them jump and scurry off. They have learned that the sound of the latch means RUN! though so maybe he'll be satisfied to stand at the door and work the latch once he's got them all conditioned to the consequences. And that's the Wisconsin Squirrel Report for today.

October 27--Mamanuca Islands, Fiji. Elaine settled back into her seat in the plane and enjoyed the rush of takeoff. It was the middle of the night so the plane's lights were low and people were settling down fast. It had been a great vacation at the Maliouhana resort with lots of diving and snorkeling, great food, and plenty of time to loll in a lounge chair in the shade. Her eyes roamed over the other passengers who were talking in low voices. They were everyday Fijians that were different somehow from those who worked at the resort. The realization jolted her sinking eyelids wide open. The resort where she had just spent two weeks was on an uninhabited island with no town, no people not working there. It was a stage set like that movie The Truman Show.

I liked that movie. I should put it on my Netflix queue. Stay warm!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Flapping In The Wind

Holy carp, is it blowing out there! It's garbage day in our neighborhood and I can hear empty trash cans rolling around all over the block. Sounds like thunder. They're finishing up work on rebuilding the major road a block away and I'll bet those guys are just thrilled with the 50 mph gusts we're having, and the wind has ushered in a lot colder wind. Lucky us! Oh, I'll bet I know what that booming noise is... they're tearing down the Ponderosa down on the corner. The big crane with a claw bucket was sitting there all weekend with the last wall of the place looming over the street. Wonder what they'll put there. I hope they do more than expand the car lot next to it. I get to go get a haircut on my way to work so I'd better get a move on.

October 26--Bioko, Cameroon. Emma stood next to the small waterfall marveling at the way the light gleamed on the stream. She laughed at her first thought--that it looked like a screensaver when it had been nearly three months since she'd seen a computer. She was amazed at how quickly she got over missing being always connected. In less than a week her hand stopped reaching for her phone and checking her email was no longer her first thought upon waking. She had rediscovered the tactile joy of putting pen to paper. It was so quiet away from the hum of technology that she could hear the words as she wrote them. The entire rhythm of her life had been altered. She had effectively stepped back in time and she wasn't sure she wanted to step back onto the treadmill of modern life when it was time to go home.

That's it. I'd like to hunker down today and play with my toys but I have to go to work. I think I'll leave a little early and go through town to Carla's instead of over the way high in the sky Tower Drive bridge.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Little Hornet's Nest

Last night the dive club's newsletter was e-published and by 10 AM I had a response from a state marine archaeologist rebutting my interview in it. Turns out she and a couple other divers found a piece of wreckage nearby in 2004 and recorded it as the wreck my subject hopes he found. First thing I did was double check my article to make sure that I had not said that he'd definitely found it. I used lots of "perhaps" and "might," "hopefully" and "if"s, didn't say anywhere that it was the Otter for sure, so we're good. Now I'll be replying to her email asking for more specific info about what she/they found and also how to find the State shipwreck database to prevent any problems in the future. She's a nice lady and a good diver. I'm sure we can work our way through this and probably come to a better understanding and maybe even open up another place for my writing. Wouldn't that be nice? I'm still planning to work on a kids' book about that shipwreck because it's a cracking good story and I've got a cracking good idea how to go about it and still not tread on anyone's toes. I'm crafty, I can figure out my way around almost anything.

October 25 (two months 'til Christmas! Yikes!)--Taha'a, Bora-Bora. "It looks like Gilligan's Island," Sheila said as the launch slowed to follow the gap in the vegetation, "I don't like it." Jake was stunned silent. Sheila had been ragging on him for a whole year bout how her sister Monica's husband had taken her to some swanky resort on a little Caribbean dot of an island. How the only places he'd ever taken her were Vegas and Branson which were good places to go, loud and glittery and all that, but they weren't exotic. So Jake had gotten his work friend and drinking buddy Mitch to help him with the Internet surfing and got them set up with a week at this exclusive resort on Bora-Bora. He thought it was by Hawaii but it was like six time zones past Hawaii way the hell and gone out in the Pacific. They flew for freaking ever into a sunset that lasted for like four hours and into a black so total that he felt like he was in a Twilight Zone episode. They were both groggy when they landed but the boat driver gave them a fruity drink that perked them up on the ride and they were almost there. Now after all the planning and flying and boating, after one minute Sheila decides she doesn't like it? There's no pleasing her, Jake thought, I might as well just roll off the boat and drown. That's when he caught sight of the topless women on the beach. Oh, shit, they were bottomless too.

Sounds like Jake didn't do his homework and I'm guessing Sheila over-packed. Time to get the giant cauliflower roasting for supper. You wish you were eating here tonight. I guarantee it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I Could Go Right Back To Sleep

Easy. I had one of those nights last night. You know the kind. You're tired but you can't fall asleep for an hour and a half, no position is comfortable for long, and every time your partner shifts or gets up you're wide awake until he comes back. Gah. He's sleeping in the other bed tonight, I intend to sleep in the middle and toss off all the too-heavy covers. I predict I'll be having the devil of a time staying awake at work today.

October 24--Alderney, Channel Islands. The dune grass grew lush and green right down to the high tide line. My feet remembered the feel of it even if I could not longer walk down. I used to love to leave the cottage early in the morning, Piper racing ahead to bark at the wheeling gulls, and make my way down to sit in the sand and watch the sun rise over France. Jacob always said that's why the French were so insufferably proud, they thought the sun rose for them. I miss Jacob in his tattered work pants with the salt stains on the cuffs, the shirts with frayed collars that he kept rescuing out of the charity bag, and the olive green cardigan I knitted for him when he was so sick with pneumonia the year he turned forty. We planned to sail into the uncertainty of old age together in our stone cottage behind the dunes but he took a nap in his chair one fine October day nearly twenty years ago now and he forgot to wake up. I buried him on a Saturday and that ungrateful Piper went and got hit by the petrol lorry not a week later leaving me all alone. I was lost in a vacuum of grief for months. Beatrice from down the lane brought meals and Doctor Logan or his nurse Ellen stopped by every few days and by the time spring came around I was nearly myself again. Now I've sold the cottage and I'm going "into care" as they call it. What I wouldn't give for one more walk down the dunes to feel the cool grass and damp sand beneath my bare feet.

Poor old thing. Enjoy your Monday.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

You're Not Going To Believe It...

...but I have two roses on Dad's rosebush out front (it faces south). We've only had one hard frost that killed all the tender annuals, but somehow these two little roses just won't give in. Thanks, Dad, for the little red floral treats.

I hate the thought that I should rake the leaves off the front lawn. It's so pretty when I drive up coming home from work or errands. I wish I could find carpeting that looks like that. And the mums are enjoying the cooler weather. The gold ones tipped over in the rain but they're still pretty. I need to plant the ones from the pots next door in line so they survive the winter. Next weekend, when it's not raining and mucky.

I've been knitting away on the silk & wool scarf but the imperative to keep casting on more and more narrow fashion scarves is abating a bit.

I dug out the 8 skeins of black Lion Brand Cashmere Blend (can't link to it, it's discontinu
ed, but trust me, it's scrumptious even if it's only 15% cashmere) I got for 75% off at Hancock last year that I'm holding with the Dalegarn Ara I bought in Door Co. this fall, to knit the Campsie Wrap from the 2009 Knitting Calendar. I'm very intrigued by the construction of it. You knit a sleeve in the round (that's 9" of sleeve--about half), then knit about 5' flat on the same number of stitches, and then you join them in the round again and knit the other sleeve. To wear it, you put on one sleeve, wrap the flat part around you, and put on the other sleeve. I can see this being fun and warm to wear with either the crisscross in front or back. I have 10 skeins of the Ara, most of them different colors (I have 2 each of the pale blue and green in the pic on the right), so I'm just knitting away pulling the colors out of the bag one by one. I intended to do that blindly but I'm going to put a bit of thought into it so they follow light-ish and dark-ish. That way all the colors will get their due.

Everybody Into The Puddle!

It was pouring rain this morning and our resident flock of juncos were having an enthusiastic bath. Some were in the fountain saucers, some were in the birdbath, and a few were making do with the puddles on the patio. It was fun to watch them flap and splash until one crabby sparrow chased them away so he could bathe in solitary splendor. Spoilsport.

The rain has fixed it so that I don't have to rake or plant today. The orange carpet of maple leaves will continue to protect the front lawns and the grocery sack of bulbs will stay in the kitchen safe from rake tines or cold ground. Maybe next weekend. I have a habit of waiting until it's deadly cold and windy to finish my autumn yard work. God forbid it should be sweatshirt instead of parka weather when I'm out there working.

We had a prospective renter stop the other afternoon and are both praying that he decides to move in. We should hear tomorrow or Tuesday. Keep your fingers crossed.

October 22--Takeshima, Japan. Max and Rae had been in Japan long enough that they no longer trusted their eyes. Too much of the landscape looked like a diorama. All of the gates, "Shinto" Max insisted, that stood out like arbors with nowhere to go annoyed Rae. "I never know if I should go through or around," she said. "Some of 'em frame a view, sorry, a vista and others a statue, but they seem kinda bossy, like they're pointing 'look there,' like we're not smart enough to know where to look." Max wanted to know how the tree trimmers got the big trees to mimic those bonsai trees that their guide tried to tell them were hundreds of years old. Now anyone with a lick of sense knows that a hundred year old tree, even a fifty year old one would be way too big to cram into one of those skinny little pots. In the same mood of frustration their young guide, Yoshi thought the American couple might have been happier visiting the Corn Palace and Wall Drug in their Midwest.

Oh, I like Max and Rae. And now I promised Durwood I'd go buy some red potatoes for tonight's supper of Smoky Po. He forgot and he's taking a nap. It's his new hobby, nap-taking.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Drizzle Any Minute

What a glorious day this should be. It's overcast and drizzly, supposed to rain all weekend. I'm hoping it's going to hold off so I can get the grocery bag of bulbs planted either later today or tomorrow. We'll see. Guess that means I don't get in a bike ride this weekend either, dang it. Riding in the corner of the bedroom's just not the same.

October 22--St. Thomas, USVI. Charlotte Amalie looked like a child's toy from way up on the tram soaring over the harbor, but Jean knew it was an illusion. Somewhere in that placid and bright tableau Gruber perched in the center of his web of influence like a fat white spider waiting to gobble up the inattentive. She had done her best to give him the slip but she was sure she had not. She was certain that he knew where she was, felt his icy blue eyes on her even in the midday heat. It had been a mistake to trap herself of the tram, she saw that now. All he needed to do was wait for her, either at the top where there was no place to run or at the bottom where the slow-moving car would deliver her right into his hands. She considered flinging herself out and ending the torture but at no place was the car more than fifty feet above the ground, less that fifteen feet above the trees. With her luck she would impale herself on a limb and dangle there bleeding and all that damned Gruber would be able to do was watch her die. A smile teased the corners of her mouth. At least that way she'd cheat him out of the pleasure of killing her.

Enjoy your weekend. Stay dry!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Chilly & Cloudy

Wow, today sure looks cold outside my window. I forgot to check the weather so I guess I'll wear a sweater, just in case. Ooh, there's the sun. That's a bit better but I'll bet it didn't warm up much and probably won't. It is late October in Wisconsin, after all. And the sun's gone again. What are you doing today? I'm going to work--again, me and the sock and my Walkman. Thank god for knitting and books on CD from the library! I'd go mad without something to entertain me at work. I have these little bursts of work like when a package comes or someone comes in or the phone rings but in between there's nothing. No ongoing project I can be beavering away on. Just long stretches of silence, so I knit and listen to books. I love having someone tell me a story so it works great to borrow books on CD, rip them to the laptop, and then download them to my Walkman. Then when I'm done listening to them, I erase them from the laptop and they are removed from the Walkman the next time I link them. Hey, I've been looking for a book about the pirate treasure pit on Oak Island, maybe I can find one on CD through the library. That'd be excellent. See? Now I have something to do at work today.

October 20--Bali. Nan felt like she was lost inside an emerald. Everywhere she looked was green. The rice plants in the centuries-old terraces were the Kelly green of leprechauns, matte and rich. The shiny green spears of the palms on the rim made a clattering sound like the cornfields back home, and the surrounding jungle was so thick that its green was nearly black. The air in the valley was thick with humidity protected from the wind as it was. She had a hard time breathing the palpable air and she felt as if swimming might be easier. The relentless sun fell like blades on her unprotected head making her sorry that she had left her hat in the room.

That didn't turn out the way I had hoped and I still have ideas about what to do and say about this. Maybe I'll take another stab at it later. (Not demeaning it, Roi, complaining with a soupcon of frustration.)

Weaning Away

Just a bit, but I'm branching out from the skinny scarves the teensiest fraction. Never fear, I still have the tote bag of potential scarf skeins right beside me when I sit on the couch so if the mood hits me I can cast on immediately. I have an extra pair of US10.75 needles there too, also just in case. I'm making progress on the Silk & Wool scarf. I knew I'd gotten the yarn in the FNKC yarn swap in January but didn't remember who I'd gotten it from. It wasn't Zoe. Tanya's eyes lit up when she saw the yarn and she said she was glad that it had gone to a good home and was making such a pretty project. It's Berger du Nord Charmant and evidently few yarn shops carry it. It's very nice, feels great and knits great. The scarf will be hard to give away, but I'm sure I'll find a good home for it.

I have to say I'm a bit surprised at myself for not putting fringe on these skinny scarves. I usually love fringe and feel that a scarf's not finished without it, but I'm liking these better just square at the narrow ends. See? Even old dogs can learn new tricks.

Yesterday "the sock" got to go to work with me. I try to always have a sock on the go so even though I name them, they're usually just "the sock." Not that I don't love each and every one as an individual, I do, and I appreciate their individual qualities as well, but I'll bet even the most loving mother gets lax when she refers to kid number ten or twelve,
the youngest always gets to be "the baby," so I know that if I grab the red bag on my way out the door, I'll have "the sock" even though it change from sock to sock. Only rarely do I knit sock #2 immediately after I knit sock #1. I always have the intent but I'm just not bound by convention anymore so I am free to wear single socks with others and love them both. I figure I'll knit all the second socks when I'm old. Maybe next year.

I'm loving this sock. It's turning out exactly the way I hoped and it's a simple pattern that looks complex. When I bought the yarn I thought it looked like the ocean so I wanted a pattern that looked like waves or rippling water--and I hoped to find it for free. Eventually I found the River Rapids Sock pattern from Sock Bug. It's a series of yarn overs and knit-2-togethers or slip-slip-knits that make it look like cables without all the cable needle hassle. I'm loving it. Loving. It.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hooray For Hump Day!

It's the middle of the week and I'm so glad. I keep trying to have a picture of next Monday's big paycheck in my mind every morning when the alarm goes off and in the afternoon when I feel tired and want a nap, but it's hard when you're as spoiled with days off as I am. I've gotten a lot of scarf done and audio book listened to so far this week, and I'm taking my sock with me today so that'll get some knitting time. Maybe I'll watch a video instead of listening to the Walkman. It's getting colder at night and dawn comes later and later these days. You know what that means, right? Winter's coming and it's not dawdling. Yeesh. Time sure flies.

October 19--Anguilla. "Dere's a beach for every day of the mont', wit' a few to spare," said the taxi driver as he pulled away from the curb. Well, not curb exactly but the apron of concrete in front of baggage claim sort of petered out, faded into the road where the taxis lined up when flights arrived. "You fly far today?" he said over his shoulder as he swerved around a blind corner in the gathering dark. Our flight had been late so it was really too dark to see much of the island. There were a few pockets of lights, villages I presumed, and then the road dropped out from under us and the cab hurtled downhill and around a sharp corner to coast down a narrow lane between houses and restaurants. A lone streetlight illuminated a featureless cement block building, "the new police station," and a stretch of beach just before the taxi stopped in front of a welcoming arch of orange bougainvillea. "Here you are, missus, Sydan's." We rolled our suitcases down the brick walkway to our studio after the owner, Anne greeted us. She said, "Why don't you wash up and take a walk on the beach? We can do the paperwork and payments tomorrow. You must be tired, morning is soon enough." Don smiled at me after she left. "We've gone to paradise." I was so tired all I could do was nod.

It was a lovely vacation. I wish we were there right now, or even just me. Have a day.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Autumn Days and Fresh Coffee

Two of my favorite smells. I always buy a little Hazelnut to mix into the regular so I've got a lot of aroma and not much flavor. I know, kinda goofy but that's the way I like it. The newspaper was late this morning so both Durwood and I are a bit discombobulated. Most days by now we've read the paper and are toiling over our copies of the crossword (he gets the Xerox and I get the newsprint) but it just arrived so things are a bit up in the air chez Malcolm. Will the whole day be cock-eyed? God, I hope not.

October 18--Kujuku, Japan. Chan stood among the cherry blossoms on Grandfather's hillside overlooking the bay with its tiny islands. No one lived on those islands. They were without fresh water but Chan thought she should be allowed to go out there to explore. She was good in the boat, she could navigate and she had learned how to read the water. Grandfather said that she could not go because she was a girl and girls rode in boats, they didn't sail them. Besides, he said, there were shoals and sandbars that appeared and disappeared. Even experienced sailors fell prey to them, he told her. So she sat in the orchard looking at the islands making up stories about a brave girl who sailed to an island that came and went in the magical mist.

Here's how I feel about writers. I can't really tell one just by looking, you know, but if I mention writing to them their eyes lite up and there's a giggle in their voice. Sometime there's the warm satisfaction of finding a kindred spirit or desperation wreathes their face to tell me how the writing's been going for them lately. I have met poets and fictionalists, memoirists and freelancers, all are willing to share their latest "secret" and publishing resource. It's like if we build good karma by helping others, good things will come to us too. I love writers.

And that's the last of the daily prompt writings from The Clearing. Now I really am home, I guess. Darn it.


Sunday was a gorgeous day. The sun was shining, the breeze was cool, and fighter jets flew over. I love them. Love. Them. Once they had passed I loaded up my bike (still haven't named her, maybe I'll call her The Zipper although I ride pretty slowly) and headed off to the trail for my longest ride to date. I parked behind Eve's Supper Club and rode 4 miles south through the next town and back. It probably doesn't seem very far to those of you who ride a lot but I'm pretty pleased with myself--and my butt bones are a little sore. I don't ride fast and the trail's pretty flat so I don't get to coast but I keep going and enjoy the sights along the way. Like the dozen or so Navy guys having a run. Very nice.

It's pretty quiet at the dive shop these days so I made a lot of progress on the brown silk & bamboo scarf. So much progress that I finished it off last night with seashell fringe on crocheted loops on both ends. The shells add a nice weight and I like the way it looks kind of nautical-ish.

The peach and gold silk and wool one's next. I couldn't keep on knitting both at once; it was just too fiddly.

The only people that interrupt me at work this week are UWGB students coming in to ge
t fitted for their Open Water dives this weekend. Hey, I don't mind, at least it puts a bit into the till and keeps me from having long naps, I just get catnaps. Hee.


And a Downy Woodpecker came to have a drink and a snack this morning so I snapped her picture. I love the trim size of them and the tidy colors of their stripes.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Dang It

I've been so sleepy lately I've been in bed just after 10 with the lights out by 10:30 and still I'm oversleeping my alarm by an hour. I like getting up early and having lots of time to do stuff before I have to go to work and it just ain't happening. Maybe I'm getting too much sleep?

I think my bike seat's too low but I did pedal from Eve's parking lot to the boat launch in DePere and back, about 8 miles total. It's the longest I've gone so far. I have a slight case of "bicycle butt" but it'll go away fast I'm sure. It was a gorgeous day with a cool breeze and bright sunshine. I went during the Packer game and there were a lot more people on the trail than I thought there'd be, even a bunch of Navy guys doing a run. I thought squids only swam. Cammo BDUs look odd in blue.

October 17--Ireland. Blood was making my fingers slick. They were beginning to slip off the narrow edge of stone. My shivering wasn't helping. The wind swirled around the limestone stack and it cut through my wet clothes like knives. The day had begun so well. We walked out of the village from our B&B down to the little harbor in Mayo where we rented a sailboat for the afternoon. Cam is a good sailor, experiences in single masters, so we headed out. The day was fine with a good wind. We were having a lovely time until Cam turned us back toward port. We got caught broadside by a wave just as a strong gust slapped our sails and over we went. Just like that we were in the drink and the stupid boat gave up and sank immediately. It never even tried to float and we were left to swim home. We made it to this stack and Cam encouraged me to climb up out of the freezing sea but I'm still so cold and I can't see him or hear him. "Cam? Where are you?" I call, but only gulls answer.

Write about something you can only find one of. "Damn it," said Gina as she peered under the bed. "Where is it?" Her small hand thrust into the dark and dusty space shifting storage totes and sending dust buffaloes tumbling away. She found a partly chewed rawhide that Barkley was evidently storing for later and the green blouse she thought her old roomie had moved out with. "I need that shoe." She crawled to the nightstand and pulled out one of those halogen flashlights they sell all over, flopped on her belly and scootched around to look again. How did the universe expect her to lock in the Warrington contract wearing only one of her lucky pumps?

Have an awesome Monday, folks!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday of Sunshine

It's a gorgeous autumn day and I intend to make the most of it. Once the flyover is done (the only part of football I like) I plan to load up my bike and ride on the trail, maybe from Eve's to DePere (about 4 miles) and back. It's cool and sunny today, why not? There won't be too many more days like this so I'm going to take advantage of it. I have to work all week (did I mention that dreadful fact?) so I won't be able to ride if it's nice on Tuesday or Friday. Writing didn't go so well last night. I kept falling asleep so after, let's see... three sentences I called it a night. Maybe I'll have better luck tonight.

October 16--Ireland. The cold sea swirled around the towering sea stack a hundred yards offshore. Sean stood leaning into the strong wind and watching the currents swirl the water far below. The rock of the stack and the cliff below him were obviously made from sediment, the layers changed color quickly... ZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Sounds of someone you love. Usually when you're diving all you can hear is the Darth Vader whoosh-click of your breathing but on that crab dive in Lake Metonga I heard something else. I was diving with my children and they'd left me holding the bag. I carried the mesh collecting bag while they turned over logs and snuck around weed beds to catch rusty crayfish for the crab boil the dive club would host that evening. I swam slowly enjoying seeing David and Ann dart and lunge, coming back toward me with struggling crayfish waving at me from their gloved hands. My children's eyes were smiling with the sheer fun of it and I had heard Ann's delighted giggle when she turned over a log to see six crayfish dart out at her. As our gauges showed that our air supply was getting low and the catch bag got heavier we turned toward shore. That's when I heard Ann singing You Are My Sunshine. She sang all the way back.

I miss the crab dive weekend in Crandon. Now I'm off to put on biking clothes because the fly over will be in about 20 mins and I want to be ready. See ya!

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I'm at work. I don't want to be. I have to work all next week. I don't want to do that either. I know that most of the world works every day and I'm a big fat baby for whining about it, but I'm whining anyway because I want to. So there. Think there are enough "I"s in there? It is, after all, all about me. Everyone knows that, right? (Heads are nodding all over the globe and into the solar system.) If I missed anyone send them this link, 'k?

October 15--Zanzibar. Pamela felt like she was living in a dream. Once she had slept her way through the jet lag of flying from Chicago she thought about exploring but she lay in bed. The beach outside her thatched bungalow was narrow but it was just right, with the dark gray coral stone wall, the pale pink sand, and the light turquoise water. It'd go great with the swimsuits she'd brought. She even liked the pair of bright green lizards that seemed to live, love and hunt up in the thatch. A footstep on the tile patio outside her door roused her from her doze and a chambermaid in a colorful uniform came in with a tray laden with coffee, fruit, and rolls with jam. She smelled the rich coffee and felt her mouth begin to water. She could also taste how badly she needed to brush her teeth after her long sleep.

"and then I heard Father opening the front door." Sister Joseph Therese had sent me to the rectory to get a stack of hymnals for Confirmation class. When I knocked at the back door there was no answer. Sister had told me that Father Loefler and his housekeeper, Rose might be out so I should go right in. It felt wrong, like a sin, to go in but I was pretty sure Sister Joseph Therese wouldn't stand for any excuses and I could always go to Confession on Saturday, pray a Hail Mary or two, and wipe it off my soul. The rectory smelled kinda holy, like incense and lemons with flowers too, and the wood was all dark and shiny with thick rugs down the halls. I had to push my feet to get through the kitchen.

Time! Again I didn't get to the "main idea" I had for the prompt when it was time to quit. I think it's a symptom of my tendency to write a bit too much set up before I get to the juicy bits. My intention was for the kid to be there when Father and Rose came back and to witness them embrace in the back hall. Gasp! A priest and his housekeeper? Horrors.

I hope you're not working today. Someone needs to be off. Gird your loins for a week's worth of whining to come. Just a friendly warning.

Friday, October 15, 2010


We may have renters next week... if we can get a phone number to check their recent job and rental history. Things are a little vague on the application. It's a bit of a red flag. But we've got others coming this morning to look too, and the ad will be in the paper for another week, so we're not in despair--yet. Tired of cleaning and fixing up, though.

October 14--The Thousand Islands. Bruce drove the minivan out onto the bridge. Thank god the kids had finally fallen asleep. It seemed like such a good idea when Marie had it last winter. "Let's pile the kids and dog into the Caravan and drive along the St. Lawrence River for a summer vacation," she had said, her eyes shining. He knew she had a thousand car commercials playing in her head of that happy family driving around the country having a great time. He did too. No one ever showed cranky kids bored with their toys and being trapped in their car seats for hours, or tired parents bickering about where to eat or when to stop. More than once he was tempted to just drive off and leave the three of them at a gas station somewhere remote. He'd keep Ralph the dog. Right now reality pretty much matched the fantasy. Max and Emma were sleeping, looking like angels in the rearview, Marie was knitting a washcloth and humming along with the CD playing low. "This was a good idea, hon," he said. She glanced up at him, probably to see if he was being sarcastic, and her eyes grew wide. "Oh my god, Bruce, look." They watched as the next bridge section half a mile ahead rippled and fell into the river sending cars and semis tumbling. The sections continued to drop in both directions as he stomped on the brakes. He felt the shudder of the bridge as the van slowed and he heard the sickening sound of tearing girders and concrete exploding. Without realizing it they stopped on a segment of the long span that nearly touched the ground on one of the Thousand Islands so they only dropped about eight feet but it felt like a mile. Theirs was the last section of roadway to fall and Bruce had to pry his fingers from the steering wheel before turning to comfort his crying children and cowering dog.

Write about something fishy happening behind a closed door using: cork, mosquito, nag, disguise. What I want to say is it wasn't my fault. There was a mosquito, really there was. It was buzzing and nagging at my ear. I had to leap out of bed, turn on all the lights and swat at it. I used my rolled up term paper. I spotted it up by the ceiling so I climbed up on the chair and took a swing at it but I missed and knocked over the bookcase. It flew across the room after it dive bombed me (I think it was a tsetse fly in disguise) and lit on my cork board. That's why all the thumbtacks are on the floor. Ooh sorry. I finally took a flying leap at it across the bed and mashed it into the window. I think the glass is cracked but the mosquito is dead. See? Here's the corpse on my paper. Sorry about the mess, Mom.

Now that is one creative excuse! Enjoy your day.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thursday -

I watched the rescue of the miners almost all day yesterday. Cried with every one who emerged from the earth! What a miracle -- I also got the slides done for the first presentation of the Spirit of Archetypes to go on the website. Soon, very soon -- they will be on the website.

Sam Gallagher lay on his back, staring at the stars through the hole in the roof, and wondered if he was still alive.

Goodie's body lay heavy against him; the man's blood soaking in to Sam's pants leg. He could hear Jon J's voice blasting over the headset ordering him not to die  - you never disobeyed an order from the captain. Sam wanted to laugh, but his body had forgotten how, instead it began to float toward the night sky.

All For You

I was just about to turn off the computator and go eat my Cheerios when I realized that I'd forgotten to post last night's writing. Heh.

The thing is, I didn't write last night. See, a guy dropped off twelve 466 cubic foot tanks (they're almost as tall as me and probably outweigh me too) at the dive shop yesterday morning that need to be filled to 4500 psi by tomorrow. That meant that I turned on both compressors in the back room and they ran all day. ALL DAY that noise racketed and pounded at me. I had my Walkman to shove in my ears but that only damped it down a bit. By the time I got home around 8:30 after a little knit with friends, I was exhausted. I managed to stay up until almost 10 and then I just crashed. Boom. Don't despair. I have some from a bit earlier so you won't be without. I know how you get.

October 13--La Digue, Seychelles. Renee thought the granite boulders on the beach looked like a giant's discarded toys. The boulders had been eroded by the sea over the millennia until they looked almost like sculpture. She had sat with her sketchbook all afternoon the day before and had gotten herself sunburned in the bargain. No matter how she drew them and how carefully she worked, they looked fake. She turned the page in frustration and began again. Her concentration was so complete that she didn't notice Derek's arrival until he snuggled up behind her molding his legs around hers and sliding his hands up under her top to cup her breasts. "Mmm," she said leaning back into his embrace.

More? Well, just a little...

Prompt from last week. Grandma put her elbows down on the table with a thump. "That's quite enough, miss," she said. I could feel her eyes on my face and I turned cold. I had been teasing Lisa Ann about her new glasses making her look like a bug. Lisa Ann hated bugs. She was afraid of them and had begun to cry. Grandma stood up and shooed Lisa Ann off to the front porch with two extra cookies. Then she looked at me with her blue eyes like ice chips and said, "Veronica, I am disappointed in you. How can you tease your sister when you..."

...and that's when Laurel called time. Again she cut me off in mid-write. Ooh, she's a killer, that Lala. Happy Day after Hump Day!

Help! I've Fallen Into Scarves And I Can't Get Up!

It's become a mania. Wanna know how I know?

See? I had 2 different yarns at work with me yesterday and
only one pair of needles. No prob. I just cast both on the same needles and worked on them at the same time. Not a big deal. These are scarves #3 and #4, and I don't see myself stopping anytime soon. I'm using US 10.75 needles (7 mm), about 120-150 yds. of yarn (whatever's on the skein) and only casting on 12 sts., then knitting until I'm out of yarn. No fringe, no embellishment. Except I'm thinking of figuring out how to make a seashell fringe on the dark brown silk & bamboo one.

I see on the 'Nother Scarf (#2 shown here) that I should probably cast on only 10 or even 8 in the bulkier, woolier yarn to preserve the narrowness that I like and make the scarf long enough to double and then wear looped together like the big kids do these days.

I've got lots more yarn lined
up in the queue.

Help meeeee!

I think I might need an intervention.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I have a complaint. On the Wii Fit Plus program there's a bike ride, Island Cycling, that tells you right up front that it's not a race, that you can enjoy your ride around sightseeing, and I do. Yet it penalizes you in the rankings if you take longer, gives you fewer and fewer stars the longer you pedal. Now I understand that I'm not really riding a bike, I'm standing on what looks like a cafeteria tray with feet pretending to pedal, hopping from foot to foot, and using a controller as my handlebars, but it's kind of like biking and is a good workout on a chilly morning. I did 14 minutes and I get caught up in what I'm seeing in the cartoon world on the TV, I'd just like not to be punished by getting only 2 stars when I exercise longer. That is all.

October 12--Guadeloupe. Maeve was drawn out to the reef that sheltered Caravelle Bay. Inside the reef all was calm. The water was nearly flat and the fish were small and colorful. Out on the reef that rose nearly to the surface the water was tumultuous. The waves were topped with foamy white curls and beyond them the water's color changed from turquoise to navy in the space of a few feet. Maeve felt pulled to the nervous water out there. She craved being in the grip of the surge pitting her will against that of the eternal allure of Poseidon.

Write about a time when you took more than you should have. I ran out of pockets too fast. Mama had baked Lizzie's Hermits, my favorite cookies filled with molasses and currents, and I wanted some now, not after supper or in my lunch pail. She had gone down the hall to see what the twinnies were up to after she heard a crash in the bathroom so me and Peggy made our move. I am a big girl so I don't need to stand on a chair and Peggy is a beagle so she doesn't have pockets. I gave Peggy one right away so she wouldn't bark but her nails clicked on the linoleum every time I reached up and got another cookie. We ran outside as soon as my pockets were crammed with warm cookies and we stopped...

That's when Laurel called time. Sometimes inspirations hits and sometimes it doesn't, that time it did. Have a super day!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday Walk

Dusty and I walked a couple miles along the river this morning past wild grapevines and sleeping ducks. It was lovely, cool and sweaty (at the end). Nice.

October 9--Tortola, BVI. The big hall at the end of Long Bay Beach made it seem secluded. Chris lay on her towel letting the rhythmic sound of the waves wash over her. She was tired. No one ever believed her but being busy energized her. Stillness made her tired and she was determined to practice stillness on this trip. She had brought a stack of mindless reading, nothing deep or mentally challenging. Nothing... (and then I fell asleep)

Another prompt--Tuesday AM maybe? The first time I went on a date with Rick, the guy my Mom picked out for me, I was sure he was an alien. His car was a beat up old Beetle, each part a different color as if it were built of pieces found on the side of the highway. We went hiking which I thought was a fairly harmless activity for a first date but he took us to Peters' swamp out pas the deserted motel on Hwy. 57. The first step I took off the road my foot sank into the muck and when I pulled it out my shoe stuck. Splurt! My foot came out covered in gray brown much that smelled like farts mixed with burnt fireworks.

I'm off to unload my mom's old stove so the landlord can put in a new one. Fun times!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Autumn Splendor

Outside my window is a maple tree that looks like it's in flames and the lawn is partly covered in the most gorgeous leaves--red, yellow, and orange. Breathtaking. I'm spoiled by last week. I have to work today and the only thing keeping me moving is that there's a paycheck (from the week before last) waiting for me there. The moths in my wallet are getting lonely.

October 4--Antigua. It was Yacht Week and Brenda was busy counting up loaves of bread and checking to make sure that she had enough food for the household. There was no way she was going to drive down into the swirling mass of drunks and yachties in town. Not that most of the time drunks and yachties weren't the same people but this week brought what the island residents thought of as "the amateurs" out of the woodwork. Every flight every day for the past week brought more pasty-faced tourists onto the island filling up every available room and, as a group, working to deplete the island's rum supply to nil. She'd rather eat butter bread and dry cereal than risk life and limb on the roads this week.

Last Monday's second prompt. Four Eyes had a secret suitcase which he kept carefully hidden. Four Eyes, that's what that loudmouth Ed North called him. Called him in that raspy singsong that bounced off the back of the tall, red brick, Sacred Heart School. Four Eyes. It echoed around the schoolyard as soon as his foot touched the pavement inside the chain link fence that was supposed to keep the balls inside but never did. Four Eyes only had one friend, Patricia Yellig, a girl who never brushed her teeth, who was called Dragon Breath by Ed and his gang. The stupid thing was Four Eyes called her Dragon and she called him Four like those were their real first names. Four thought it somehow took the sting out of the bullies' taunts. As they grew older Four and Dragon remained friends. They went through First Communion class together (Four kept a few consecrated Hosts in his secret suitcase) and Confirmation too (He had a vial of the blessed oil in his case.).

And that's when Laurel called time. I'm not sure what Four and Dragon had planned but maybe I'll go back and find out one of these days when I'm bored. Happy day!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I'm Home!

Got back from The Clearing yesterday afternoon and I've had a brutz on every since. (A brutz is what Grandma called a pout.) I don't wanna be home. I don't wanna do chores. I wanna be in my chilly little cabin in the woods writing. The Word Fairy didn't come visit me until Friday morning so I want at least four more days, preferably six, up there. It's only fair. One good thing, we met for prompt writing every morning after breakfast in the Lodge so I've got pages of writing to share. I'll give you a bit today, maybe more later, and parcel out the rest in the next few days. No whining now, I know you missed me but it was important that I be away. I'm a much happier camper over all, except for that case of post-Clearing blahs that persists. It'll be gone in a day or two, I'm sure.

October 2--Calangaman Island, Philippines. Clouds piled like spoiled mashed potatoes, purple and bruised, ahead of the wind. An unexpected cool floated on the rising breeze and the calm little bay ruffled with foamy white, making the day-trippers pause and rub sudden goosebumps. "No one said anything about a storm," Nina said to Max. They had been wrapped up in watching the reef fish as they snorkeled around the small protected bay of the uninhabited island, not noticing as one by one the excursion boats fired up and sailed off. Theirs was the last boat bobbing in the once-calm bay, the little blue and white craft bucking on the anchor line like an impatient sled dog. The sky was a uniform gray black and thunder rumbled in the west. Max reached the boat first and held onto the gunwale as he stripped off his fins and tossed them aboard. He held out his hand to Nina and drew her to his side, steadying her while she took off her fins and then boosting her aboard. He rolled over the side after her and made his way to the outboard.

Monday, Oct. 4 morning prompt. Eyes followed her, often. Dogs too. She wore clothes that she chose with her eyes closed, both when she bought them and when she chose them to wear. She had a habit of carrying a salami in her purse that she used to make a point in the heated discussions she held with the gerbil that lived in her pocket. People thought she was deranged talking to herself but once she introduced them to Higby, the gerbil, they were certain of it. She lived in the house her grandpa built after he had fled the Klondike with a chest of gold from the mines. He changed his name and built the biggest house in Pekin, Illinois in 1911. Chester B. Harlow was his name and he set himself up as a retired miner spinning tales of his totally fabricated exploits in the Klondike. By the time she was born the story had been repeated so many times that even the family thought it was the truth. She had been saddled with the name Klondike Xaviera Harlow which was quite enough of a burden that she let reason, sanity, and convention go early in her life.

I make no excuses for this writing. It was fast and furious and I just went where the words led. It was fun.

Drunk With Yarn *Lots of Pictures*

I returned yesterday from a week's writing retreat. I had a great time up in the woods of northern Door County with a group of enthusiastic writing women who lifted my spirits and got me back to the page. Thanks, you Incredible writing women!

On my way up I dawdled. I stopped in Sturgeon Bay at Spin a
nd picked a few skeins out of their 40% off baskets to use to make a narrow fashion scarf. (See it there at the top of the picture? I'll explain in a minute.) I had a difficult time resisting the shelf after shelf of variegated yarn. I have to confess that 2 skeins of Plymouth Happy Feet leaped into my bag too.

After stopping a few times to take pictures of the fall colors and the waves stirred by the wind along the way, I visited Red Sock Yarns in Fish Creek. I was amazed to see that most of her yarn is solid color, except for the sock yarn. I had a devil of a time finding a couple variegated skeins to buy but I managed.

Once I got to The Clearing, moved into my cabin and unpacked, I took the 2 skeins of Gedifra Fiorista cotton and poly yarn I'd bought and went out to sit in the sun and knit. I cast on 12 stitches on my 7.0mm needles and got started. It went fast. I could knit and talk, getting up from time to time to hug an old friend, and got nearly through the first skein before I turned in. On Sunday I took a walk but mostly spent the time in my sunny spot knitting and waiting for the rest of my camp-mates to arrive. The session started officially at 6 PM when we met for supper, but I still managed to wrap up the 2-skein scarf by 11 that night, meaning I had a brand new scarf to wear on the first day of class.

All week long I was glad that it was cool in the morning so I could wear my new scarf and I was very careful not to dribble food on it at meals. (I have a problem with that.) I cast on another scarf with a pretty and bulky variegated wool, but it just isn't as addictive as the cotton one was. By mid-week I was trying to remember if there had been more of that yarn in the basket at Spin. I did NOT waste my Thursday afternoon off driving an hour back to Sturgeon Bay to check but I knew I'd stop on my way home on Saturday.

On our Thursday afternoon off, Laurel and I drove down to Cave Point County Park and walked along the shore/bluff to Whitefish Dunes State Park and spent some time on the beach. It was a glorious sunny day and we really had a blast. The water at Cave Point was shallow and sparkle-y and as waves came in over the white sand bottom it looked warm and Caribbean-y but it was not. About a mile down the trail we were able to clamber down to the water and even in the shallow pools the water was chilly. It only LOOKED warm. The coolest thing was that the sand squeaked. Really! You stepped on it and it squeaked. You could brush your hand across it and it'd squeak too. It wasn't wet either. I'm going to have to do some research online. Maybe call someone at the park. Now wouldn't that have been a good idea, to talk to someone that day when we were there? I'm getting used to being smart too late.

I did stop at Spin on my way home yesterday and there were 3 more skeins of that cotton Gedifra Fiorista yarn, 3 different colors of course, but I still got it. I don't mind if the skeins don't match. There were some skeins of Classic Elite Yarns Montera Llama and Wool too. Also 40% off, so I bought the last 2 Falcon Gray ones and 2 of the Red ones. I already have 2 white/natural ones so now I've got enough of it to actually make something with it. Maybe a purse. And to go along with the Dalegarn Ara skeins I got from the sale baskets the two previous times I was there I just had to get a skein of each of the three new, more vivid colors she had. What can I say? I'm a sucker for variegated in bright colors.

I had a fabulous week. Durwood
showed the duplex twice and I did once after I got home, the ad's in the paper this weekend. We're still fine-tuning it and hoping to have it rented by Nov. 1. Anybody need a place to live? It's at 1508 N. Mennen Ct. in Green Bay, WI and it's on

Friday, October 8, 2010


I have been off on what day it is all week. On Wednesday, I thought was Friday and today feels like Saturday. There is no such thing as time anyway -- at least not this week at my house.
I am curious as to who won the Crazy Sock contest at the Women's Writing Retreat this week. Last year Barbara took it home, even tho I thought my socks were fairly wild and crazy. I'm sure we'll hear about it tomorrow or Sunday --

The flowers arrived in the afternoon. Lauren personally vouched for the florist, and security gave car and driver a brief scan before opening the gate.

The arrangement was two feet wide, three and half feet tall, with purple hydrangeas, red roses, baby's breath and a dense assortment of gold mums and green ferns.  Lauren directed the young man to the foyer and the antique oak table, that shipped from Spain in 1789.

When he left, Lauren stood back and admired the flowers, pleased with the warmth they brought to the house. Happiness swelled to laughter. It was good to be home, back at the Casa where she belonged.

A miniature camera concealed on the stem of a red rose captured her joy.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tuesday - 10/5

I know I have to stop saying "where has this year gone?" Time has sped up, the years feel as though they are evaporating and I seem to be standing on the sidelines with my mouth open asking what happened to the month before or six months before or the year(s) before. Is it just me or are we living at warp-speed? And where has this year gone!?

She took 280 from the San Francisco airport toward Los Lumbres. So much had changed in the five years that she'd been in hiding -- traffic was heavier, more houses dotted the foothills, but the mountains that separating the valley from the ocean remained green and solid. The fog from Half Moon Bay flowed over the top like thick foam.

The closer she got to the turn off to Los Lumbres, the more Lauren questioned if coming alone was a good idea. Maybe she should have called her Uncle Bernie, or hired a body guard, or stayed at a hotel. She could always turn back. She drove on toward the estate -- in for a penny, in for a pound, as her grandmother used to say.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Autumn Arrived Today (picture heavy post)

It's been fall-ish lately, but this morning when I was walking from 1508 after I finished cleaning I looked up at the maple tree in the front yard and it suddenly had red leaves. All the leaves were green yesterday, I swear it. I finally figured out how to make the ad show up on which was a real relief. Maybe we'll have a renter by November. Keep your fingers crossed.

Dusty and I walked on the trail this morning and there were hardly any other people there. We saw a big gray egret in the river, which was a flat as a mirror, lots of wild grapes (some had orange tags tied to them so someone can come and harvest them, we figured),

and we walked down to see the "secret house." It's all by itself at the river end of a tiny street with a lot of growth around it and it looks uninhabited. I could be very happy there, I think, being the creepy lady at the end of Lazarre Ave.

I made a big pot of chicken mushroom soup this afternoon because I'd gotten a couple of deli chickens on sale at the Pig last weekend and a bag of crimini mushrooms at the farmer's market and didn't want any of it to go bad while I'm away. I had a cup of it for supper. It's good.

The other day Mom stopped at the dive shop and admired the scarf I was knitting. She ordered a velour pantsuit that would look great with the colors so I offered to give her the scarf. It wasn't too hard to convince her to take it. I finished it at work yesterday, put on the fringe last night, and delivered it this afternoon. She liked it.

Last year Judy, who teaches the Women's Writing Retreat I'm going to, tau
ght an afternoon lesson about writing that knocks your socks off. She held an extemporaneous wacky sock contest. I won. That was not a surprise since I regularly wear wacky and mismatched socks, no one else really stood a chance. Her husband was up there taking a print class so he made me an award.

This year Judy emailed me and said she was planning to have the sock contest again and, since David's not going to be in an art class, would I make an award. I said sure. One trip to Goodwill and I had a pair of kids' socks with duckies and a frame. I had a pencil that looks like a twig and I got some burlap and sticky foam letters at Jo-Ann. Voila! Hope this is what she had in mind. Durwood and I had fun putting it together today but I burned my fingers on the hot glue--as usual.

I won't be posting for a week, I'm off to The Clearing for a week of writing workshop and peace in the woods. I won't be thinking about you much at all. Sorry.