Monday, February 28, 2011

Peeks of Sunshine

I can't tell you how much happier and more alert I feel when the sun's out, even a little bit, and it's doing its damnedest to be out this morning. Ahhhh. I promised Lala that I'd put some Clearing photos on here from when I visited last week and I haven't gotten around to it yet, so here goes. One of my favorite views is from the student parking up to room #1. It's the first sighting of the campus and always means "you've arrived" to me.

This one was taken standing at the top of the Council Ring path looking down toward the bay. When there's leaves on the trees and bushes you can never see the bay, now you can.

And this is just a look into the woods. It was so peaceful there that day, although I did walk down and gave the dinner bell a few clangs just to do it.

February 27--Germany, Lower Saxony, Aquamanile, in the Form of a Mounted Knight. Jakob pumped the bellows of the furnace that kept his master's forge blazing. He was small to be a blacksmith's apprentice but Goren was a good master. He understood that Jakob needed to eat to grow so he gave him meat, potatoes, and good bread twice a day. He gave the boy a warm corner of the forge to sleep in with a woolen blanket with hardly any holes in it. Jakob wore shoes that nearly fit and had a warm cloak to wear outdoors in winter.

The golden man
on the copper horse
his caged face
a mystery.
Garbed for the joust
spearless over eight centuries

I fell asleep. Not dozed off, asleep so Durwood had to take my pencil, notebook, and glasses when he came to bed. I didn't think I was that tired. Maybe I'll work on that poem today.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Grown-Up Day

I accomplished things today. Just like a big girl. I worked out and then read the paper while nibbling on a few slices of homemade Italian Sesame bread I whipped up last night. It was so good that I formed and baked the rest of the dough. It made the house smell wonderful.

Last night I stayed up late to finish the Chemo Beanie #2. I do like the colors; I might have to make something for myself with them. I hope some guy who needs a hat likes it.

I cast on the last (for this month) preemie hat last night too. The color of the yarn is Toasted Marshmallow and I think I'm going to make a little pompom to top it with. I admit that it's an unusual color choice for a baby hat but I can see it looking great on a bambino with a darker complexion.

I got a haircut this morning. Ahhhh. Carla my stylist got a new job, a social worker job a few weeks ago so she's only doing hair a couple Sunday's a month. She called just before my appointment this month to say that we needed to reschedule. I agreed to the first date she offered. It was 11 days longer between haircuts. I felt like a shaggy dog. I can't say when I've enjoyed a haircut more.

I finished up Tiny Hat #4 yesterday afternoon at work. The name of the color is Cotton Candy. I wasn't sure I'd like the mix of pink and orange but it kind of grew on me.

And I added a couple rectangles onto the Entrelac Scarf. It takes some real thinking to get back into the rhythm of it, and I believe I'm doing it right. I checked out the "reversed knitting" videos on YouTube last night. That's something I'm going to have to practice.

I also did some grocery shopping for Mom and cleaned the bathroom. DS and DIL1 came for cocktails and a visit after she got off from work. That was nice, she's been so busy at work we haven't seen her since just after Christmas. It was a full, busy, enjoyable day.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday is Workday?

Not usually, but Mrs. Boss is off skiing in Colorado with family so I'm working. Fortunately Mr. Boss will work tomorrow or we'll be closed, working on Sunday would be just too much. Maybe some vacationers will be in to cut the boredom. There's always knitting and catching up on TV watching on the computer. I didn't turn the TV on once in the motel so I missed some of "my shows." I hate that I've gotten caught up in shows, I think it somehow indicates weakness of mind or a lack of interest in things. But I arrange my nights around them so I'm evidently not too bothered by it.

I was happy to be at The Clearing in winter for a few hours. It's so different from the verdant look of it in summer (well, duh) with the leafless undergrowth that lets you see through the grounds and down to the water from the breezeway and it's even quieter. I do confess that I rang the bell...more than once. Just to hear it before July. But now I'm home and back to reality. Speaking of which, I need a shower if I want not to offend any stray customer that comes in.

February 26--Paul Gauguin, The Siesta. The children hated nap time. They'd play with their food. They'd resist washing their hands and faces. They'd drag their feet and pleas for one more story, but I was firm. Even when they swore they were way too old to nap, I allowed that they could stretch out in a breeze from the window and read, most days they slept. there would be a bit of whispering and giggling but soon all would be quiet. I made a glass of tea or lemonade and rested myself on the screened porch. There was a squeaky old ceiling fan out there that chopped the still and humid air into manageable chunks and I'd read or write a poem. Those afternoons were the epitome of civilization, an oasis in the clamor of the summer that kept me sane. All up and down the block quiet descended as, one by one, children disappeared into their homes to rest and mothers emerged with a paperback and a cold drink to court sanity for another day.

Ah, naps. What a lovely invention, don't you think? I'm off.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Home With Money to Spare & Lots of Pictures

Well, not a lot of money, not enough for another night in the motel, but my wallet was not quite a home for moths. We had a great time. Wednesday afternoon we visited Red Sock Yarns in Fish Creek to pick out yarn for our entrelac class the next morning. I wasn't certain I wanted to learn it so I only bought 2 skeins of variegated yarn. This is one time that variegated is your friend. You are drawn to keep knitting because the color keeps changing. I bought these two yarns, both wool, both a bit over 100 yds. Plenty of yarn to learn with.

I went with Lyn, Dusty, and Jennifer to Izora's bead shop whose owner opened just for them. I bought a few beads, mostly ocean related. (what a surprise!) Now I just have to figure out what to do with them. The three little yellow and red ones are for the bookmark I'm knitting, but the rest? They'll find homes, I'm certain. Eventually.

Thursday morning was our entrelac class. The directions were very clear and much to my surprise I enjoy it. It took a lot of concentration and I am definitely going to teach myself to knit backwards soon so I don't have to keep turning my work around. I ended up using the gold and purple yarn--and bought the remaining 3 skeins.

After lunch at a nearby cafe Skully, Cookie & I (Karla and Lyn weren't thrilled with the idea of wandering around in a snowy forest) drove up to The Clearing so I could show it to Cookie. We saw Mike the director and visited the office (and gift shop).

We made a quick stop at Curt's Oilerie in Fish Creek to stock up. I bought a bottle of Toasted Sesame Oil and a quart of olive salad. Yum.

Then (this might be the best part) we drove into Peninsula State Park to find a geocache. And we found it! We were beside ourselves with our own cleverness. My DD and DIL2 advised me that geocaching is to be carried out in a stealthy manner. There's just no way we're ever going to master that part. There's too much wandering around, hollering back and forth--and picking up bags of frozen dog poop thinking it might be the cache--for use to ever go about this in a sedate manner.

After a bar supper (Lyn and I split a chef's salad) we put on our jammies and sat in Karla's room knitting and talking. This morning we packed and reluctantly left Fish Creek. We stopped at Spin in Sturgeon Bay for a last bit of yarn buying and had lunch at an Irish pub down the hill. An excellent way to say goodbye to Door Co. Spin was having its end of winter sale so many of their yarns were on sale. On sale are two excellent words when looking at expensive yarn. I did troll the clearance baskets and found the red wool & camel that should make an excellent pair of gloves, and fell prey to the bulky baby alpaca and pattern for a scarf and two more skeins to make another purse stitch scarf.

Cookie bought me some presents which was very surprising. She got me a yarn c
utter medalion (which I'd been looking for and she wouldn't let me pay for) and a skein of sock yarn that's partly made with shrimp and crab shells. I've never heard of such a thing, have you?

Back Home

It seems to take no time at all to get home from Door Co. Maybe because it's downhill? It was hard for us to leave our dream world without jobs or responsibilities up there on the peninsula and reenter the real world, but I'm pretty proud that I brought home a little money. Not a lot, but a little. I also brought yarn and patterns, a split of red wine (compliments of the motel), and a few beads. Well, not beads in the "round and clear" sense of the word, more beads in the "chunks of coral with a hole drilled in them, piece of bone with a hole, and a little fossil nautilus with a hole" sense of the word. Now I just have to figure out what to do with them.

February 24--Oltos, Terracotta Psykter (vase for cooling wine). Aurora plunged into the sea swimming out on the rays of the just-risen sun as they played on the bone white sand. She giggled to see the purple tube sponges with their brittle star tenants swaying in the gentle surge. The ungainly lobsters lumbered back into their hiding places to wait out the daylight. The day shift of groupers and grunts rose out of their coral beds to begin foraging in the algae patches tended by the sergeant majors who guard their patches of purple eggs. Aurora watched each morning to see the octopus come back from her night of hunting. Her lair in the reef was marked by a row of green glass bottles that the octopus rearranged every day in a new order.

There's no place like home. Gotta go find my ruby slippers.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wolf Moon

Last Wednesday I was out when the full moon was rising. It was such a wonderful surprise as I drove down the street. I came up to the corner of Ridge and Liberty and there was the moon looking enormous and near. It made me smile and erased all my tired feelings. Last night I was tired and didn't really feel anything for the art prompt of the day so I wrote a little poem.

February 23--February Full Moon, Wolf Moon.

Pale orange orb
of the Wolf Moon
rising behind
winter-bare trees
lifts my spirits
from mundane
to sublime.


We're having an excellent time on our midwinter run-away to Door Co. I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I'm Outta Here

My knitting is packed, and a few clothes, a book, and my laptop. I'm off for a 2 night runaway in Fish Creek with some knitting friends. We're taking an entrelac class tomorrow and hope to go to at least one bookstore, the Oilerie, Beach People in Ephraim, and maybe do a little geocaching in Peninsula State Park. The middle of winter is the perfect time to do this, even if we're going north. Just changing scene for a few days is a salvation.

February 22--Paul Cezanne, Entree du Jardin. "I liked it better before," Tilly grumbled as she walked up the path to the garden door. "Why, Miss Tilly," said Gina, "don't you think it looks pretty all cleaned up?" Her sparkling blue eyes shone with light reflected from the whitewashed wall. The old woman on her arm grumbled and swatted the air with her cane. "That durned fool gardener, Rafe, has made it look like every other bland house on the road." She waved her cane to one side and then the other. She was right, most of the houses looked remarkably alike with their terra cotta tile roofs and sunbleached paint. "I liked it when the garden wall was covered with vines. There were flowers and bees, birds made nests, there was life." She shook her cane hand at the girl. "Life!" she said again, but all her talking and complaining brought on a coughing spell and it was more than a week before Miss Tilly and her young nurse Gina were outside again.

A word to the wise, having cabbage stew two nights in a row is very "cleansing," if you know what I mean. I don't recommend it especially if you're planning a two hour drive on the third morning. Gotta run.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Plumbing Adventures

How come our renter waited until 9 PM last night to tell us that the water main shutoff was leaking and had been all day? Why didn't they let us know during the day so we could have called a plumber during regular business hours? Granted, they just turned off the water and the plumber came at 7:30 this morning but wouldn't it have made sense to get it fixed when it first broke instead of the thought of it keeping me awake? It's not like it was going to fix itself. Gah. Whatever was wrong was evidently easily fixed because the plumber wasn't even there for half an hour, but he didn't come and tell me what was wrong or ask for money. Maybe they'll bill us. It sure as hell wasn't free.

I have a sword hanging over my head today. I have 3 interviews to finish writing up and get in by tomorrow. I've got all the info gathered, I just need to hammer it into shape. Two are already in a shape, maybe not the best shape, but not bad shape, but the third one is just a jumble. Ask me if I've got an idea of its final shape. Go on, ask me. Maybe you'd better not, I don't want to stain your brain this early in the morning. Perhaps inspiration is waiting at the dive shop. Yeah, I'm sure it is. It better be. All I really want to do is go back to sleep. Maybe next week.

February 21--Hiram Powers, Andrew Jackson. He doesn't look happy, this marble president, armless and balanced on a pedestal. It's not a very tall pedestal, maybe he thinks he deserves more. He's not wearing a suit and tie either, he's just draped with some sort of cloth. That cloth amazes me. I mean, it's marble but it looks as though a breeze could move it. Anyway, Old Hickory does not look happy. His mouth is turned down and his brows look frowny. Maybe he's mad because of the mess the inauguration guests made in the White House. I hear it was trashed by the time the last drunk staggered out. I'll bet his wife had a lot to say about that. He looks to me like he's supposed to wear glasses but is too vain. And why did they call him Old Hickory? I need to look that up.

Well, that wasn't very story-ish, was it? I'm totally amazed at the skill of sculptors who can make marble look like fabric. It must take forever to get it that smooth and flowing looking. Oh, our final snow total from snowstorm Dana was 13.9 inches. Plenty for a February snowstorm. Drive safely today.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Snowstorm Dana Blows

Blows the snow all over, especially on my car. See? Cool, huh? It's still blowing hard and snowing off and on so I don't expect I'll be busy at work today, but I'll go in a while. Because I promised I would. And it's payday so I want my paycheck. Besides I have all the stuff I want to play with today packed up and ready to take along so I'll just go. I'm sure Durwood needs a break from me, although how anyone could get tired of my sparkling wit (and neverending complaining about things no one can change) I'll never understand. Just kidding, he's a very patient and understanding man and I'm lucky to have run just slow enough so he could catch me. Plus he's an excellent cook. Tonight we're having ham and cabbage stew chock full of mushrooms and carrots... yum. The house will smell great when I get home and I won't have done a thing. I told him when I came in from playing with the snow that menu planning, grocery shopping, meal prep, and clean up are more than an even trade for snow removal and lawn care. Geez, after doing it for 30-some years, I'm happy to do the bull work and let him play with our food. He loves to cook and he's good at it. What's not to love? (I told you he was a catch, didn't I? You're jealous now, aren't you?)

Yesterday I worked on my writing and got one first draft down, reworked an
d submitted a finished article, listened to an interview again and made notes, and worked out a way to redo a press release into an article, and...

I worked on Chemo beanie #2. I love the colors
and I nearly successfully followed the directions for traveling jogless stripes. I forgot to slip the first red stitch on the second stripe but overall it looks pretty darned good.

Z-dawg gave me a tiny skein of sock yarn last week and I found this Mermaid bookmark pattern that I think will be just perfect for it. Quick and easy

Dana, You Sure Blow

They named this snowstorm Dana and it's a real corker. We got a foot of snow--12"!!!--and the wind blew like crazy. Our house faces south so the snow blows over the roof and just drops. You think I'm kidding? Look at my car. It's still snowing off and on and blowing like there's no tomorrow. I'm not hurrying to get showered and off to work because I suspect that the parking lot snowplow guy is running a little behind. I'll get there around 10-ish, but I'm not going to rush. Bet the postal carriers are glad they've got the day off; I'd hate to be walking around in these drifts, it's hard enough to drive in them.

February 20--Iran, Isfandiyar's Third Course: He Slays a Dragon.
The book was a wonder. Page after page illustrated with vivid watercolors, the blackest ink, silver and gold. The old stories of The Book of Kings by a Persian poet in the 1500s played out in pictures and the script that looks like music written on the page. Flowing lines and arabesques dance in columns, tell of the triumphs and trials of Persia's Shahs. Leslie wore white cotton gloves as she turned each page under the lens of the document camera. The light did not damage the ancient inks and paper but let her make copies that she could use in her research and not risk hurting the priceless volumes. She smoothed her hand over the page and felt something snag her glove. Oh no, she thought, pleasepleaseplease let me not have damaged it. It had been hard enough to get Professor Lehigh to let her copy the pages, he'd kill her if she ruined anything. She looked closely at the page and saw that one corner of the text was lifting as if a part of it had been covered up. These pages were purported to be in pristine and original condition. She picked up a thin metal spatula from the tray of tools beside her and bent to begin to tease it under the edge of the patch.

As I was typing this I imagined Nicholas Cage lurking behind her. You know, like in those National Treasure movies Mom likes so much. You know the ones, he's saving the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution by stealing it, you know... Well, anyway, that's what I thought. I hope you can shovel out today. Ooh, it's payday. Yippee!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ooh, Baby, Is It Snowing!

For a long time today it wasn't and now (it actually started at noon when they said it would) it's coming down. Snow, snow, snow, snow, snow! Winter has not left the building, no matter how much it seemed like it had last week. That means there'll be snow for me to tromp in up at The Clearing on Wednesday morning and snow for us to dig through when we're geocaching in Fish Creek. Hooray!

I finished the first Chemo Beanie Friday afternoon and really like the way it turned out. I can't say enough about the pattern, it's simple and straightforward, but it makes a very snug hat perfect for chemo caps for the guys or for your beloved teen-age dudes and dudettes (my nephew has been wearing knitted hats 24/7 for years).

I like #1 so much I immediately cast on #2. I splurged (I had a 40% off coupon) on a $12.99 Susan Bates Velocity circular needle to knit it using Magic Loop instead of DPNs. I love DPNs, they're my faves, but I hate the ladders I inevitably get in the ribbing so I'm willing to sacrifice to get a better outcome. I could very happily trade off knitting these chemo beanies and preemie hats for the rest of this month but...

I also used my coupons to build an impressive collection of fat quarters and some Peltex to make more fabric boxes. *sigh* I do not
need another hobby. Do. Not.

And I have some interviews and articles I need to finalize and get turned in by midweek next week. *double sigh* I need to quit screwing around with my toys and get writing. Bye.

Flakes A-Flyin'

Winter has re-appeared out my windows. Right now it's snowing to beat the band out there and isn't supposed to stop until sometime tomorrow. The big snow-colored blob crept up the Weather Channel's map and gobbled us up about an hour ago. We're supposed to get about a foot of snow before it's all over. Now I'm sure to have snowshoeing snow up in Ellison Bay on Wednesday. Yay! Before the snow began I made sure to fill all the bird feeders and top off the birdbath so that Durwood's feathered friends weather the storm well. I'm back to writing up artist interviews for The Clearing's newsletter, Siftings, so the weekend has been devoted to listening to the tapes of said interviews (thank God for tiny tape recorders!) and waking up my brain cells to get first drafts down on paper. I'd really rather sit and knit and maybe doze but I need to poke myself awake, maybe take a spin on the stationary bike, and come back to life. Damned mid-winter blahs.

February 19--Iran, Isfandiyar's Third Course: He Slays a Dragon. "Shah Tahmasp is great," the men cry as he draws his bow. Kemal holds his horse and lays a calming hand on its neck. Shoot the beast, he thinks. He can see the Shah's hand shake as he tries to notch the arrow and smoothly draw it back. The singing and chanting is enough to make anyone nervous and Kemal knows his master is not an enthusiastic hunter. If Kemal could step up and fire alongside the Shah his arrow would fly straight and true, and the Shah could take credit for killing the beast. The Shah's horse shied away from the dragon's roars and Kemal calms him. Even this horse is too much animal for Tahmasp. He is a studious man more at ease with astronomers and philosophers but he needed to go out with the hunters and soldiers from time to time to keep their respect. Kemal worked very hard to teach the Shah enough horsemanship and weaponry so he did not embarrass himself. Kemal buried his face in the horse's side as the Shah's arrow fell far short of its mark and the other men began to stir.

Poor guy. Just looking at him you can see he's a lover, not a fighter. I'm hoping for a snow day tomorrow. Blow, wind, blow! Snow, snow, snow! (Just be gone by Tuesday so I can clean up and leave for a short escape to Fish Creek on Wednesday. Thanks.)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sunny and Cold, but It's Not Snowing--Yet

Now that a bunch of the snow has melted during last week's thaw, more is on a way. A lot more. A foot more. It's supposed to arrive tomorrow morning and muscle its way through the day into Sunday night and peter off Monday morning. I sure wish I had President's Day off like the mailmen (and women) do. I keep reminding myself that it is February and there's more than a month of official winter left plus the hangover wintering we get here in the uppah U.S. I am safe and warm inside with a cauldron of soup made and bread dough chilling in the fridge. We bought 8# of navel oranges this morning so scurvy won't be a problem and I think someone (maybe me) mentioned stirring up a pan of brownies later today. We'll be just fine when the snow comes and covers the earth. At least I'll have new snow to snowshoe through on Wednesday when I'm in Door County running away from home for a few nights with my knitting posse.

February 18--Egyptian, New Kingdom, Amarna Period, Fragment of the Face of a Queen. You could tell she was beautiful even from the fragment that was no larger than two hands that remained. Her lips and chin and part of one cheek carved from yellow jasper as warm as honey. She was young, you could tell, and smiled easily. Even though the corners of her mouth curved down eve4r so slightly you could see that they wanted to lift. I hope she lived to be old, to see her children and grandchildren grow, to drink deep from the sweetness of life. I wonder who broke her statue. Who raised his hand to her beauty and struck it down. It must have taken a lot of anger to muster the strength to destroy her like that. Is an archaeologist or curator looking at her eyes or her headless torso and wondering where the rest of her went?

Make the most of your day.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Wind's Blowing the Cold Back In

Overnight a strong northwesterly wind blew in and shooed the warm eastward. That's okay. It's just February so we've got at least a month more winter to deal with. I got the raspberries cut down, still not early enough, many of the canes were green and sprouting but I'm sure Durwood will have a bumper crop to pick, make jam with, and cackle over.

I'm a little disappointed with the Dems in our state government fleeing the state yesterday to avoid a fight about the budget bill. I'm not saying which side I'm on but I am saying that was a pretty chicken way to conduct themselves. Aren't mature adults supposed to fight for what they believe in, not run away? It's a thorny question.

February 17--Claude Monet, Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies. Water lilies again? The summer was in full force, the garden drowning in green and dragonflies stitched the lily pads together like a quilt. Old Money dragged himself down the path wearing his big brimmed hat and carrying his paints and brushes. His grandson, Luc carried his easel and canvas. Some days the first place Monet chose was satisfactory and Luc could set out the easel, fetch a chair from the garden shed, and go about his business until lunchtime. On other days they would traipse here and there, the old man finding fault with the light or the vista or even the angle that the breeze blew the reeds along the edge of the pond. Luc held his tongue and moved the easel from spot to spot, never once losing his patience and suggesting that his grandfather paint something, anything other than water lilies.

Oh, I do love Monet's water lilies paintings. They remind me of summer and bees buzzing and lazy afternoons. A nice mental picture on a chilly, windy day.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

And yet another storm

Rain, rain, rain -- third storm rolled in during the night. Soft, moderate rain now, but expected to get very heavy later this afternoon when we're out and about lunching with a friend in Los Gatos. We're having Vietnamese food at the Green Papaya -- oh, yum -- we'll eat ourselves silly and laugh while we're doing it.

 Los Lumbres, CA

In the orchard, rows of trees stood like gnarled old men struggling to stay upright. Acres of antiquity -- French Plums from 1860’s, next to Blenheim apricots, persimmons and apple trees filled the vast orchard that at one time was the mainstay of the estate. Now, it was in need of restoration.
Lauren slowed the car, checked to make no one was around. She got out and walked among the trees closeest to the drive. The ground was soft from a recent rain.  A doe at the end of the rows watched warily, ready to bolt, while another stretched, front feet lifted off the ground, to reach the apples left on the trees.
Old memories rose abruptly like old film images – four years old playing hide and seek between the trees, while migrant workers harvested the fruit; eight years old, taking afternoon strolls with Nana, listening to her stories of the Lady of Fire; twenty-two, Smiley’s blood, the German Shepard taking the bullet meant for her.  Running -- scared and desperate, packing what she could. Disappearing.  
A mourning dove perched on a persimmon tree called to her mate.  Lauren zipped up her jacket against the breeze. No one was going to run her off again. She’d stay put until whoever was trying to kill her was arrested or he was successful in his mission.

I've been watching the protest in Madison. I am so proud of the people of WI and am sorry to have missed it. I would have been there. I've been protesting social injustice since the 70's when I marched for childcare at  Nixon's summer White House in San Clemente, CA -- and the last one in DC last year. Making our voices heard is vital to protecting our freedom to speak out. 

Heads & Hands

Those are the two (three?) body parts I'm concerned with these days.

It's still chilly enough in the dive shop to appreciate a nice pair of wool fingerless mitts when I'm sitting still for a long time. I got to the thumb gusset and beyond on the second Fjord wrister yesterday while watching Firefly (Wikipedia calls it a space western, I don't usually like space or westerns but I sure like Firefly) and Bones episodes on Netflix yesterday afternoon in between customers and phone calls. I tried knitting wearing the WI Morning Mitts but my DPN tips kept getting caught so I had to knit barehanded. Tsk.

I added the third stripe to Chemo beanie #1 last night and am into the last 10 rows before I begin the crown shaping. I like the way it's looking.

and I cast on Tiny Hat #4 just before bed. The color's called Cotton Candy; I like the juxtaposition of pinks a
nd orange. It's the same yarn as the first two just with different colors as will be the last one, but I'm a sucker for self-striping and variegated yarns so I make no apologies. Fewer ends to weave in too.

Birdseed Soup

That's what it looks like we're making on the patio with the snow melt and seed flung by a winter's worth of birds. Kind of gross. No sunshine today but it's still in the high 30s or low 40s so the melt is racing down the gutter and puddling any place low. The ground's still frozen so very little is seeping into the ground but the heat from the trees is pushing the snow back making circles around every trunk and there's a row of snow boulders poking up along the curb looking a bit like my own personal Stonehenge. I'm on my way out back to cut down last year's raspberry canes so this year's ones grow up big and strong and make lots of raspberries for Durwood. I told him that I was going to cut this year's down after the first frost instead of waiting when it's goopy with melting snow on the slope where I have to stand. Jeans, boots, a mist-repellent jacket, and leather gloves are the dress code of the day, I think.

You know how people always say "it's a small world" when you meet someone who knows someone you know? Well, DS & DIL1 started house hunting yesterday cramming in a lot of houses so they'd have a better idea of what they like and don't like. DS came and had lunch with me at the dive shop before he had to work to tell me about what they saw. The first house they saw was Krehbiel's old house on Reed St. (this is for DD, since the rest of you don't know the Krehbiels[old neighbors]), the next house was Pete & Laurie's old house over by O'Connell's old house (dive people) and that one, Pete & Laurie's, they revisited today, went over it with a fine-toothed comb, and made an offer on it. !!!!!!! Of course it's Thursday and the house is in foreclosure, which means they're dealing with a bank and have to wait until early next week for a response, so they'll spend the weekend on pins and needles, but isn't that exciting? Since DS is a vet, they're financing it through the VA. Their realtor told them that the VA inspectors are super-picky about condition but they're good with that since, as DS said, he wants the inspector to act "as if his/her daughter is moving in." I offered to help paint, etc. since I'm better with manual labor than decorating stuff.

Oh, yeah, writing...

February 16--Bill Blass, Suit, late 1960s. Ellen sat on the sofa in the den, her granddaughter Cara by her side. "Oh, Grandma," Cara said, "let's look at pictures," so Ellen reached an album down from the shelf next to the fireplace. She sat back down and Cara scooched closer to her side. The ten-year-old pulled the album onto her lap and smoothed her hands over the cover. "This time," she said with a serious look on her face, "you have to tell me something about all the people, every one." Ellen nodded. "A story about every picture, I can do that." Of all her grandchildren Cara was the one most willing to listen to her memories, the one who insisted on it. They looked at the photographs and Ellen tried to remember something funny about each one. How that dog, Roger, had loved to catch bees with a clap of his jaws. That Uncle Walt had driven that Model A ford up Pike's Peak after World War II. Near the middle of the album they came to a photo of a handsome, dark-haired young man in a suit like no other. Ellen's breath caught in her chest at the smooth skin and confident grin on his face. "Look at that suit, Grandma," Cara said, "doesn't he look silly?" Ellen swallowed the lump in her throat. "I thought he was the handsomest man I'd ever seen," she said. She was swept back to a day in the late 1960s when her Ray came home from college with her oldest brother Oscar, and captured her heart.

Memories, light the corners of my mind... Sorry if I just gave you an ear worm.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

More Hats!

I did a little pattern surfing on Ravelry and found a pattern for one of those square baby/preemie hats with pom poms on the corners so I dug around in the way-back stash and whipped it up in baby chenille. The crazy thing is that the yarn pooled the same on both sides. Cute, huh?

In the chemo beanie world, I haven't found another pattern I like as much as this one. I got up to the stripes of beanie #1 last night while watching TV with Durwood (we like NCI
S and NCIS Los Angeles on Tuesday nights). I like the way it's looking and I found some yarn to make beanie #2 from in the way-back stash. I'm sticking to soft cottons and acrylics because they're washable and dryable, and I think they'd feel better on a newly bald head. Plus I'm determined not to buy much yarn until I've finished a bunch of UFOs and knitted up a lot of the stash. Except for next week when I'm up in Door Co. with my knitting friends. I make no promises.

I finished the first Fjord mitt at work yesterday but I don't have a photo of it. You'll just have to imagine a blocky tube (with a thumb) of that pretty Sable yarn.

It Might Be Wednesday To You, But It's Friday To Me

Woohoo! I'm doing the happy dance here. One of the things I like about winter is that Mrs. Boss goes on a ski bus on Tuesdays most weeks so I get to work Monday through Wednesday and have a 4-day weekend. It comes around fast and it makes me soooo happy. I go for three days and do my work like a good girl answering the phone and waiting on customers and then, ta da!, Thursday comes and I get to stay home and sleep in and do whatever I want to do for four whole days. The trade off is that Mrs. Boss goes away quite a bit, at least she is this year, so when she's gone I work five days, one of them Saturday. I know, horrors! But then I get nice fat paychecks and my deep stash gets an infusion of pictures of Ulysses Grant. Don't you worry about me, I keep up my strength with homemade soup for lunch and I keep lots of knitting projects handy so I don't run out of things to do. There's always Netflix videos to watch on the computer, too, or books on CD that I borrow from the library. I keep myself busy.

February 15--Thomas Cole, The Titan's Goblet. Jacob stood on the landing in Great-aunt Mattie's big old house staring up at the painting hanging opposite the window. He wished he could get a ladder and climb up to get a closer look. Danvers, Great-aunt Mattie's houseman caught him with one foot on the banister working his way up to the sill and pulled him down. Danvers informed Jacob in his stiff British accent that "young gentlemen are discouraged from clamoring up walls." When Jacob protested that he was trying to get a better look at the painting, the houseman bent forward ever so slightly and said "use your imagination, that's what it's for" and then he stalked off making no sound. The painting, called The Titan's Goblet, showed an enormous chalice perched on a cliff surrounded by barren mountains and glassy seas. Inside the massive bowl was a great expanse of water with sailboats dotted over it. Arrayed on the wide curved lip were trees and villages and country homes with veils of waterfalls seeping over the lip between them. Jacob spent many hours imagining a boy sailing on that goblet lake, climbing over the wide lip, and sliding down a rope to explore where no one else had gone. That afternoon Danvers caught him at the top of the grand staircase getting ready to launch himself over the railing on a rope made of every bathrobe belt and necktie he could find. The next day a young man arrived from the nearby college to accept the position of companion to Jacob, to keep him alive and out of mischief for the rest of his visit.

Oh, I like an inventive and determined child, don't you?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

February Thaw

It has been so cold for so long that it feels kind of odd that the air is close to 40 degrees. Above zero. The snow is melting and making ice slicks on the streets and walks at night when it dips back below freezing. This is by no means the end of winter here in the frozen tundra but it is a signal that it will end, eventually. It's primary day so I've got to stop at the polling place on my way to work and cast my vote. I have a stack of info gleaned from the newspaper to go over one more time so I can make informed choices, not that they stick to their promises once they get into office, but when has it ever been different? Voting is what's important anyway.

February 14--Riza Abbasi, Two Lovers. Javan's hands were hesitant as he moved them over her shoulder. He was glad that it was dark under the jasmine at the edge of the garden light. He was not experienced at the dance of love and preferred not to see his ineptness reflected in her eyes. For her part, Cilla was happy for the dark too. She felt her heart beat faster as Javan's fingers trailed over her shoulder and moved to cup her breast. Her breath caught as his warm hand slid under her loose robe to touch her bare flesh. It had been a long day of fancy dress, a procession, ceremonies, and altogether too much family. The young couple had escaped the stifling bedchamber to walk out into the darkened garden where cool fountains played and sweet breezes cooled their heated bodies but nothing could cool their ardor.

Enjoy your day.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Remember your sweetie today. I know you will. I have to work today so we made our Valentine supper last night. Durwood made the baked potato and steamed asparagus and I grilled the steak out in the (melting) snow. Well, on the grill, really but the patio's still snow covered. It was a rare winter treat to have a charcoal grilled steak in the middle of the winter. Yummmm. This morning we exchanged cards and Durwood gave me a bracelet that says "love you more" on it. It reminds me of when we were courting. *sniff* Very romantic.

February 13--Egyptian, Sphinx of Amenhotep III. Clair felt like she was in a George Foreman grill. The sun was a tangible force here, even early in the day. She had gotten up before sunrise in the cool dark and had hired a car and driver to bring her to Giza to watch the sun rise over the pyramids. It was so peaceful in the early dawn, so few cars and trucks were on the roads, no horns blared, no vendors hawked their wares. She was glad she had hired Farouk to take her around Cairo so that she was familiar with him. It would be too scary driving off into the predawn darkness with a stranger. The sunrise was breathtaking, a slow lightening of the eastern sky. As soon as the first rays came over the horizon the temperature started to rise and the sweat literally popped from her pores.

I never got to the little blue faience sphinx, I fell asleep instead. I think I have sleeping sickness, I could fall asleep at the drop of a hat. Crazy.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Help, I've fallen into making hats and I can't get up! At last Thursday's Bay Lakes Knitting Guild meeting a couple of the members brought tiny baby hats for an ongoing charity project. They were cute, really cute and really tiny, but they were all in pastels. Now I know that most people think pastels are for babies but as a mom who gave birth to two dark-haired children who looked washed out in pastels I've always liked to see bright colors on babies. Besides they say that babies can see bight colors and strong contrasts better, so I dug out a few skeins of soft acrylic yarn and cast on. I intend to make four hats before next month's meeting. Two are done.

The guild prez got a letter from a young woman working on a project for her GSA Gold Award asking for chemo hats. I had started researching patterns but hadn't decided on one when Terri mentioned that they get very few hats suitable for men. Aha! A way that I can play along but not in the same way as all the others. You've probably noticed that I tend to go in the
opposite direction as the masses. (Oh don't pretend to be surprised, if you've been reading this blog for any time you know that if most people like something I don't and vice versa. This is why I don't make up orders for the dive shop. I give recommendations and let people with more traditional taste prevail.) I thought that Cotton Ease might make a very soft hat for a newly bald head so I went down into the stash, found a charcoal skein and a bag of ends of other colors for the narrow stripes and cast on the first of two manly chemo caps I want to finish before the next meeting. I have some Micro Spun or some Berroco Comfort for the other one. Can't make two the same, you know. I will use the same pattern, tho. Well, probably. Okay, maybe.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Too easy to party

My daughter, Taylor, claims I'm the one distracting us from working, but it's really her. Haircuts, nail salons, dinner in San Francisco in the Upper Mission area and opening night at the Slingshot Art gallery.  I like Taylor's artist friends -- I'll upload a photo of Lea Feinstein and me in front of one of Lea's big pieces.
Today tho -- it's back to the computer and get this work written down and out of my head.

Patagonia, Argentina
By late spring the snow on the mountains was melting, but the cold winds still washed down the canyons, through the passes and out across the green pastures.  The horses kept their wooly winter coats and stood nose to tail, braced against the cold. 

Bengie pulled his hat down tighter around his ears. His job was to bring the horses in for the tourists who signed up for the trail ride. He pushed through the bushes of sage, the red flowers promised warm summer days, but Bengie knew it was lie like everything else.

He walked down the slope, hid the bridle behind him, and whistled softly to the first horse. The pinto raised his head, ears twitching as Bengie approached. At the last minute, he broke and ran, taking the other horses with him. Bengie watched them run -- snorting, heels kicking high in protest and wished he could do the same.


Beautiful morning -- going to enjoy it while it's here. Rain on Monday, temps drop to mid-50's. I am NOT complaining, just giving information. Definitely not complaining --

Now Where'd We Put That?

Mom is hosting 3 friends for bridge tomorrow afternoon so she called me last night to ask if I'd come over today and help her hide things. I hate that impulse (although I have it too) because hiding implies that we'll just shove things wherever they fit and probably won't be able to find them again. I suggested that we might put things away so they'd be retrievable but she just hummed. You know that hum, when the person listening to you thinks you're cracked but is too polite to say it? Yeah, that sound. It's nice and sunny today and the sunshine makes me energetic so maybe I'll win this one. I stayed up too late last night (after midnight) and slept too late this morning (9 AM) so I feel like I'm kind of discombobulated. I look at the clock and it seems wrong, too late for the way I feel (groggy), but pretty soon I'll jump (ease) into the shower and start feeling more alert, get dressed, and go over to browbeat Mom into cleaning her room(s). Heh, payback's a bitch. I've been waiting for this for nearly 50 years! Mwa-ha-ha-ha.

February 11--Germany, The Bishop of Assisi Giving a Palm to Saint Clare. Tomlinson dragged his feet behind his class as they toured the museum galleries. He thought there was nothing interesting in the place. Why couldn't they have gone to a science or natural history museum instead of this stupid art museum? He wasn't interested in art, he didn't care about art. His mom had been all excited that he was going to see art. She said it like it was all in capital letters, ART, like it was a famous person or something. The things that he'd seen so far weren't art as far as he could tell--some German helmet made of steel that was cool looking but he didn't think art when he looked at it and a red silk dress that had all the girls oohing and aahing over it. A dress, for god's sake. Who decided this stuff? He thought art was paintings and sculptures and stuff. He lagged farther and farther behind until a shaft of light gleaming on gold caught his eye. It was a panel of a (he leaned closer to read the card) a bishop giving a plant to a little girl saint. Whoever painted it needed a few more lessons, Tomlinson thought, because none of their eyes were lined up right, they were cockeyed. Cock eyed, he snorted. The bishop and his monk assistant had big sores on their hands. What had Sister Joseph Therese called that? Oh, yeah, stigmata. Kind of cool, but the coolest parts were the faint designs in the gold background. He supposed they were supposed to be peacock feathers but they looked like some wild-haired creatures drawn by Dr. Seuss. All over there were wild eyes and reaching, grasping hands. It creeped him out. He leaned forward to study it with a big grin on his face. Turned out he liked art after all.

Well, that was a surprise so late last night. My pencil kind of ran away with my hand there for a minute or ten. Have a Saturday and, clean your room!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Crafty Day

For once I stuck with my plan for the day. I haven't gotten dressed in outside clothes and I haven't done any chores. I finished the charity baby hat I cast on last night when I got home from the knitting guild meeting this morning. I'm using a different pattern than the guild sent out because I like to use worsted yarn and bigger needles, but the hat's so tiny and cute. Look at it! It's lying on a standard 8.5" X 11" piece of paper.

In the afternoon I made a fabric box from a tutorial I linked to through Mooncalf's post. I saw it a couple days ago and it grew roots in my brain. I
talked about it with Dusty the Sewing Guru yesterday and she gave me a bit of interfacing to start with and then I went to JoAnn. (dun-dun-duuuun) That was a huge mistake. They have lots of fabric there. Lots. Lots and lots. Still in the clearance aisle was a lap quilt kit with 13 fat quarters that I'd seen a couple weeks ago. Then I found the bundles of fat quarters, and then the clerk showed me the rows and racks of individual ones. I was there a long time, a very long time, and I left a bunch of my mad money behind, but now I have lots of lovely fabrics to choose from. Dusty said there are easier and different boxes to sew, maybe she'll tell me about them tonight at knitting so I can surf and find other ones to make.

I did pull out the front of the Red Marl sweater the other evening and I knitted 3 rows while I watched TV with Durwood. I should have had it done long ago so that I could wear it this last week or so when the temps were in the sub-basement, but I don't. The cold is motivating me to work on it more. But the cold is also motivating me to cast on a bazillion other things...

like another pair of Maine Morning Mitts which I am calling the Fjord Mitts because the yarn is called Fjord. Gorgeous colors, don't you think?

and I tried (3 times) to do the first cable round of a pair of gloves from this book but I kept losing my place whether the held stitches should be in front or back. I think I need to not be watching TV when I start those.

The Guild is also collecting chemo caps for a young lady doing her Girl Scout Gold Award project (the Girl Scout equivalent of Eagle Scout) so
I want to knit one of those this month. Prez Terri said last night that they get few caps for men so I'm looking for a good pattern for a manly hat. I've got some charcoal colored Cotton Ease downstairs that would be soft on a newly bald head, I think, now I just need to find a pattern. Ideas?

Crafty Day

I made up my mind yesterday that I was not going to get dressed until I had to today and spend the day making things. So I have. I knitted a tiny baby hat because the Knitting Guild is collecting them and I sewed a fabric box because I was intrigued when I saw them on Mooncalf's blog the other day. I don't know what I'm going to do with it, or them because I'm sure I'll make more, but it was fun to make, kind of fabric origami. Unfortunately I neglected to eat lunch so got to feeling a bit shaky when I came upstairs at 3, but a couple pb & Ritz and a banana helped. It's supposed to get warm this weekend. Above freezing even! Woohoo, I'll be the one outside in shorts. Okay, maybe not, just fewer layers and a lighter jacket. It's nice to break out of the deep freeze.

February 10--Valentina, Evening Dress. The red silk slid over her skin like a whisper. the high neck and long sleeves were unusual for an evening dress, especially one so expensive. She smoothed her hands down her ribs and over her hips. The silk was perfectly smooth, perfectly cut, perfectly red. The simplicity of it made her form beneath it that much more alluring and the glimpse of her flesh through the laced slit over her midriff made people shiver. She had an athlete's body, long, lean, and muscular, and the dress was perfect on her.

Oh, I struggled with that one last night. The new notebook has narrow-ruled lines so it feels different from the ones I've been using for years, but the picture of the perfectly red dress silenced me. So I thought about how the woman wearing it would feel and how people would perceive her and managed to eke out a bit. Stubborn is sometimes better than skilled.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Oh, Excellent!

Roi, I'm glad I'm not the only one using this forum to post those so-important warmups. I'm convinced that doing a bit of freewriting every day keeps our writing muscles supple and ready to leap into a story whenever an alluring idea saunters by. I'm enjoying your posts tremendously.

As for me, I'm having a 4 day weekend and I couldn't be happier about it. I have things to do most of the evenings but it still feels as if I have a vast expanse of days before me. (Gah! I just averted a catastrophic delete of most of what I'd written here. Does your computer do that? If I leave the mouse arrow up in the text sometimes it highlights it all and if I don't notice it, just deletes it. This time I managed to save it just in time. Why does it do that????)

February 9--Edward Steichen, Melpomene-Landon Rives. Ella hated the doorway. Tucked down an alley from the street it was in shadow even on the sunniest days. The alley collected windblown trash and bums slept behind the bins. Sometimes cats mated there, their yowling sounding like lost souls. The door itself was forbidding. The green paint was cracked and peeling, the iron knob felt scabrous in the hand, and the knocker made gargoyles look friendly, but Ella needed the job and Lefkowitz paid well for her silence. He detailed one of the men to escort her to the bus stop in the evenings. She wished for one in the morning too. She stood at the line where the dark of the alley began peering at the door wondering what she'd see or smell before she got there. Some days it took all her determination to take the first step from the light into the dark.

And that fills up the notebook I started in late September. It's so nice to get to the end of the pages and feel the weight of a few months' work.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Cold, and colder -

Wisconsin cold burns your eyes, freezes your breath from inhale all the way down to the bottom of your lungs and out again as a steamy exhale. Bay area cold covers you and seeps through your skin like a heavy mist and before it soaks into your bones, and stays there until you find a fireplace or heater. Either way it's COLD -- but, here I can run out to the studio without a coat.

Yesterday I reconnected with my friend Nena St. Louis Lewis -- sculptor, performance artist, videographer,  and just a fun, fun gal. We met in Jim Frey's writing group in SF years ago. Tomorrow, Taylor and I going to the Mission district in the city to see another artist friend Lea Feinstein's opening -- art & performance art. Sometime in between I've got to get more writing done.

Wednesday February 9th - Dodecanese, Greece
From the air Symi's harbor town looked like a movie set in miniature -- blue sea, white sails of tiny boats, steep mountains, green and fertile, red tile roofs over white stucco houses  that are perched on the hillsides and connected with narrow winding streets..

"You know you'll be on your own." the pilot said with his thick Greek accent.  The plane banked and we circled for another pass. "No airport here. You'll have to ferry across from the big island."

"That's when you'll be most vulnerable," said the man behind me tapped me on the shoulder. He told me his name was Harry. He was blonde, English, and smelly.

"I can do it, I'll be fine." I said, but my bravado was fading. leaving a sour taste in my mouth, along with the bottle of wine I consumed a few hours ago.

Thanks Barbara for letting me use the Crazy Writing Blog. I'm using the 1,000 places to see before you Die calendar from last year. Got the idea from you -- thanks again.

Deep Freeze

But at least it's sunny. That's the only salvation when it's this cold, the kind of cold that freezes your nose and hurts to breathe. It makes people hunch their shoulders and try to curl in on themselves even when they're indoors. The sun's out there shining, tempting people to come out to bathe in the warming rays, and you open the door and it's like hitting a brick wall of cold and the rays are not warm, they're just bright. It's supposed to be in the mid-30s early next week too. What's up with that?!? It's February, people, make up your mind. I have a black wool pullover that's really too big for me but it's warm. I wore it to work yesterday and I'm wearing it again today. I don't care how dorky I look, I'll be warm, and I'm considering casting on another pair of mitts just because my hands are cold right now. I think I will, you can never have too many pairs of wool mitts, and these I'll make more colorful because I'm a colorful person, aren't I?

February 8--Clara Louise Roscoe, Crazy Quilt. Sophie loved to cuddle up in her Nana's big bed under the silk quilt and listen to a story. It was easy to get Nana to climb the stairs with her after lunch. They would kick off their shoes. Sophie slid out of her jeans and play-stained tee shirt while Nana took off her house dress. Then Sophie in her underpants and undershirt and Nana in her slip would slide under the quilt, pile the plump pillows behind their backs, and settle down in the bed to rest. That's what Nana called it, resting. She kept the story they were reading on her bedside table so they could pick up where they left off the day before. Sophie got lost in the story while her fingers stroked the silk of the crazy quilt and traced the embroidered places. Rainy days were the best. Nana either read longer or she'd let the book fall onto her lap while she told Sophie about the way it had been in the house when she was a girl. Sometimes Nana cried but Sophie pretended not to notice, too busy moving her fingers over the soft quilt blocks.

Oh, that was nice. I could just feel the closeness and hear the comforting rhythm of the woman's voice reading a story to her granddaughter. Stay warm today. You too, Roi, out there in California-land.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Igloo Days

Oh, man, it's cold today and not supposed to warm up for days. The high temperature today, the HIGH, is supposed to be 7 degrees and the low around -11 tonight. The sun is shining like it's been doing it for weeks and even the dirty snow looks cheerful, but I'm not fooled into thinking the sun would warm me if I went outside although the FedEx guy didn't look too cold. I'm not chancing it. I have my new warm wristers to wear and toe warmers in my stinky boots.

I picked up the Winter Sock the other day and rediscovered the ease of the pattern. That is, until I royally screwed it up on a "twisted stitch" round and had to frog back some until I could pick up the stitches and get back on track. I'm still not sure I like this sock in this yarn, the pattern's kind of lost in the yarn colors, I almost frogged the whole thing the other night but I like the colors and the feel of the fabric I'm making so I'm leaving it.

I'm into the feet of my Toes Up X2 socks. I do love variegated yarns. The colors amuse me no end with the way they emerge from the ball and how they stack up in rows.

This weekend I swear I'm going to pick up the Red Marl sweater front.

I made us a lovely Super Bowl feast on Sunday that stuck pretty close to the way we like to eat these days. DD reminded me of Sesame Chicken Nuggets so I defrosted some chicken breasts and made those. I roasted a cauliflower, made some sweet potato fries, and a small bowl of broccoli slaw. Durwood made DIL1's family BBQ sauce recipe and simmered little smokies all afternoon. Let's see, what else? Oh, he wanted some spinach dip, so I made that too. It was time consuming making it all but it was fun to fill our plates with finger foods and munch away. We had chocolate cake for dessert. Hey, we had to splurge somehow, it was the Super Bowl! Go, Pack!

(Here's the Nuggets recipe. It's a lot simpler and Weight Watcher-y than any I found online. It's an oldie, probably from WW but I don't know when. Thanks for putting it on FB so I could copy it, DD.)

Sesame Chicken Nuggets

1 Tblsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tblsp water
2 Tblsp. sesame seeds
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. chili powder

1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes

Mix sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. Arrange on single layer on broiler pan and broil 10 minutes, turning once, until chicken is browned. Can be served with BBQ sauce for dipping or tucked in a pita half with shredded lettuce. Enjoy!