Saturday, April 30, 2011


She's home, safe and sound and cleaned out. Ahhhh. We had a great time yesterday driving around eastern WI in the sunshine. Cookie and I went to a bead store, a fabric store, and a yarn shop. We left money in each one. Then we went to a brick oven pizza restaurant for the most delectable prosciutto and arugula pizza. To. Die. For. It was fun to ride around, gabbing away, but we missed our friend Skully who was too sick to come along. We didn't geocache so we'll have an excuse to go back.

April 29--Walker Evans, Abandoned House.

years of life
seeped into the planks
babies cried
children grew
days ended
all within these
now the wind
blows through the cracks
but it can't extinguish
the energy of all those

One more day of April, one more poem (for sure) in honor of Poetry Month. Celebrate life today!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Run-away With a Friend

It was the perfect day weather-wise so my friend Cookie and I saddled up and went off to a bead shop in Cedarburg, (I didn't buy anything there, oh wait, I bought an orange lotion bar in a tin)

a quilt store next door where I bought a couple fat quarters and some sale "tubes" of fabric,

and a llama farm and yarn shop in Cedar Grove where I found 3 skeins of kid merino and 7 skeins of chunky wool.

went to Sheboygan to have a prosciutto pizza for lunch at Il Ritrovo.

I cast on and knitted on another preemie hat. It's a terrific "car" pattern.

At home I found that all 3 surviving primroses are blooming. It was a beautiful day.

Still No Kumquat

My laptop wasn't ready yesterday. Boohoo, boohoo. So I'm still on the desktop dinosaur in the living room. *sigh* It'll be ready later today and Durwood said he'd go pick it up for me since I'm going to run away for a playdate with a friend. We're going to a farm and out for pizza and to find some treasures.

April 28--Mexico, Majolica Bottle.

Holding one stem
one flower
has to do a lot of work
in the blue and white
Mexican vase
with the narrowest neck
A showy yellow dahlia
would make a statement
An arch of sea oats
only a suggestion
The stem with three dailies
seems like an excuse

Well, my friend is here so I'm off to play. Enjoy your day.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


I guess I didn't realize how connected I am to my laptop. It's not like I don't have access to a computer, there's one at work and I'm using it right now, there's also the old dinosaur desktop one that Durwood uses at home, but (whining now) I want mine, my computer, my little Kumquat. I talked to the tech yesterday and he said he hoped it'd be ready today. Fingers crossed. It's rainy again today. It better get nicer tomorrow, I've got plans to be outside tomorrow. I can't get the idea of raking DS & DIL's yard out of my mind. Maybe I'll sneak over there on Saturday if it's nice. D'you think they'd notice?

April 27--Claude Monet, View of Vetheuil.

down the valley
lies the village
houses painted in pastels
around the white church
buzzing bees, rustling leaves
make summer's music
nodding poppies
scarlet ripples
race the breeze into town
black V of a hawk
rides the thermals over the fields
light and soaring yet
forged of steel and feathers
death haunts the sky
over Vetheuil

I'm listening to The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It's a YA book my friend recommended that I borrowed from the library. I'm hooked and just reserved the other 2 books of the trilogy. Thanks, Lala! Have fun this weekend.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

In The Shop

My laptop stopped recognizing me as Administrator last week when I ran Spybot so I decided to take it to the fix-it shop yesterday for a tune-up. This is one of the many advantages to having a local ISP. They do repairs. For forty bucks I get a virus scan, they physically clean it, they download any upgrades, run all sorts of diagnostics, and defrag it. And they tell me whether I can upgrade it to make it faster or more efficient and how much that'd cost. Well worth the money. But that also means that I don't have my computer for a few days. Right now I'm using the old desk top that Durwood uses and I feel like I'm back in the Stone Age. You know that if we'd had this computer ten years ago we'd have been in heaven, now it's like driving a Model T. I'm not saying this too loudly but it stopped raining. Don't want to jinx it by shouting but this is a good thing. We've had enough, the ground is soaked and the farmers are twiddling their thumbs.

April 26--Germany, Chalice, Paten and Straw.

Ancient rite
performed by men
vowed to God
in prayer
Cathedral grand
with a golden cup
or in a hut
with a stone cup
Piety and intention
over pomposity
and pride
Sacred words
the setting

I'm off to shower and dress for work. Tonight's the Titletown Brewery Beer Pairing supper. I'm looking forward to learning more about beer, wine and food. Especially the food.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Sometimes I think I have adult-onset ADD because I can't concentrate on a single project. I was determined to finish one of the myriad (ooh, good word) projects OTN and have been working on my Socks X2, but Friday night I just couldn't knit around those socks one more time, so I cast on the second Mitered Cross/Bandwagon Blanket block. It was the red orange yarn that did me in, I confess. It's so restful sitting knitting row after row of garter stitch. I promise that I am sock knitting at work but at home I'm knitting this.


It has been raining all day and not just a drizzle either. It rained and blew and rained, rained, rained. Needless to say, Dusty and I walked in a mall (ugh) instead of on a trail, then we went to her house so I could troll through her old purses, sort through a box of hand-me-down paperback thrillers, and we could check out a couple of geocaches we'd like to find IF THE WEATHER EVER COOPERATES. Sorry, didn't mean to holler but I'm just the teeniest bit tired of the crap weather this spring.

April 25--Georges Seurat, Aman-Jean.

His concentration is total,
he leans toward his work
crayon in hand.
The room is cold.
He's pulled his collar up,
wrapped a scarf around his neck,
yet his hand is steady.
I bring wine, bread,
Degas brings cheese
and a ballerina.
We wonder which
will keep him warmer.

I heard the timer buzz. I think that means the Honey Soy Salmon is done. Bye!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Monday

Does anybody else remember it being like a holiday? When I was a kid in southern Indiana I thought it was a holiday but maybe it was just a day off. I don't know. I'll ask Mom next time I talk to her. I'm so excited for DS & DIL1; today's the day that the furniture movers come, the cable/Internet gets hooked up and they sleep in their new house for the first time. Cool, huh? We had a nice Easter meal with them and her folks last night of ham, potato fritata, fresh asparagus, and the Zander's traditional lime Jello/cream cheese/pear salad ring with macaroons and cake bunnies for dessert. I could have done without the bunnies, I was stuffed, but I ate mine. Just to be polite, you understand. It was chocolate. I had a little wine too, just a little. I'm trying to be less of a timid drinker. I've been going to Titletown's Beer & ____ pairings to learn to appreciate beer and this time it's comparing beer and wine with food, should be very, um, educational. Also delicious. I can't wait, the next one's on Wednesday. Click the link and read the menu. I wish you could come too.

April 24--Nerius, Initial A with Scenes of Easter.

One steady hand
holding a brush
by candlelight.

The parchment
held in place by
sandbags on corners,
wet painted wrinkles
dry flat.

A stroke of cobalt
for background
red, white, gold
here and there
for the halos of the saintly.

Did he pray
as he painted?
Each stroke a

I hope everyone had a happy Easter and that you didn't eat too many Peeps.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Little Achy

That's how I feel today after hauling load after load from the kids' apartment to their new house. We did three or four double loads, I lost count, but got everything moved that they'd hoped to move yesterday like books, clothes, bathroom stuff, closets emptied, and small furniture. Today they're tackling the kitchen and Monday the furniture movers come and that should be the end except for apartment cleaning. Once they're living in the house it'll be a whole lot easier to do things in their free moments. We're going over there around 6 PM for a bite of ham. Durwood's got 3 lbs. of fresh asparagus to share. Then we promise to leave them alone for a while so that they can concentrate on making their home.

April 23--Nerius, Initial A with Scenes of Easter.

He is dead
they cry from their knees


his body is washed
wrapped in linen
only to rise in 40 days

Would you believe it
if you didn't see it?
I don't know what to believe anymore. I listen to my heart and it's just lying there thumping away not giving any hints. I think I'll take a walk.
Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Isn't that what it does when you're moving? I've signed on to help DS move a few things this afternoon in Durwood's big van so of course it's drizzling this morning. It is supposed to clear up later to be partly cloudy (which I always think should be partly SUNNY) so that should be good. My knee still aches but I'll deal. I like helping, I like hauling stuff, so this should be a fun afternoon. We'll get things done so that they're ready when the furniture movers arrive on Monday that'll be all that's left to do then they'll be moved and can concentrate on making their new house just the way they want it to be. It's exciting. And I'm kind of jealous. I find myself fantasizing about scraping all the crap out of our house and starting over, which I won't do but maybe I can shift things around or something to make it a little fresher. Or maybe I'll just lie down until the feeling passes.

April 22--Edgar Degas, The Dance Lesson.

En pointe
pink satin ballet slippers
ribbons criss-crossing around shapely ankles
dusty violinist
saws away in the corner
keeping time
tapping his worn shoe
as the ballet master puts her through her paces

tour jete
one and two and...
the music swells
swoops in the airless studio
dust motes float through worn out sunbeams

as her prima ballerina dreams
pirouette out of reach

I've always wondered if the Parisian ballerinas in Degas' time really wore their fancy tutus for their lessons. Spend your Saturday with friends.

Friday, April 22, 2011

All Better

So you don't think that we're sitting up here in a tundra between drifts, here's a chronicle of post-snowstorm mornings. By Wednesday morning most of the depth was gone and by this morning the only snow left is in the thickest places. My question is, did we really need this last storm? Huh? You can't answer, can you? No one can because... because there's no excuse for that kind of snow insult in the middle of April.

I added a couple inches of sock leg at work this week. I think it's very cool that I can watch them grow and be making them so different at the same time.

The Red Marl sweater front got some rows added too.


That's what I'm feeling this morning. It's not windy or snowing or raining (yet) and Durwood's taking a nap, so it's quiet. My only "chore" today is to take Mom to get a new microwave since she burnt up her old one last week. We agreed that it's probably not safe to use anymore and Shopko has one on sale so we'll go get it later. It isn't really a chore but it's something I said I'd do so that's the list it falls in. I also have to stop at the library before noon to pick up a book I reserved. I love hearing about a book, checking the library's website, and then having them send it over to my nearest branch. So convenient, so FREE. Our VCR gave up the ghost this week so I looked online and Walmart had what we wanted. Turns out it's really just a recorder, you have to have a cable box, there's no tuner in the housing to pick a channel so you can't tape a program when you're gone. What good is that? I suppose that they (whoever they are) want everyone to get digital cable with DVR or Dish or Tivo but there have to be more techno dinosaurs around than Durwood and me. On the frustrated drive home I remembered that I kept the old old VCR when we got the DVD/VCR player and I actually knew where it was so I dug it out and hooked it up and, presto!, it works. That gives us a reprieve to sneak up on modern technology a bit.

April 21--Mali, Western Sudan, Headdress.

Rows of bodies
dark brown and sweating
circle the fire
puffs of dust rise
rhythmic feet
voices humming
buzzes on nerves
sends quivers up spines
for reasons too old
to remember
masks loom
cast shadows in firelight
rivulets of sweat
streaks in dust
on naked skin
dance faster
flames leap
dancers too
voices rise and fall
pull you in
until you're dizzy
lost in the dark
dust and smoke

Enjoy your day. I have knitting tonight. Hooray!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Melting, melting

As fast as it fell on Tuesday, that's how fast the snow's melting today. Thank. god. How come when I go to the chiropractor for a sore knee the adjustment just shifts the hurt to a different part of my knee before taking it away? The back of my knee stopped hurting with one adjustment but now the side of it hurts. I do not understand. I have another appointment after work, maybe that one'll move it off my knee, off my body altogether. That'd be good, that'd be very good. I wonder what the temperature's supposed to be today. Should I take my winter coat, my spring coat, or a light jacket? It's nice and sunny today but I've been fooled by the sun before, I think I'll take my winter coat just to be safe.

April20--Johannes Vermeer, Young Woman with a Water Pitcher.

She is grateful
for the morning light
streaming through leaded
glass, warming her skin,
painting it golden.
Cool water washes away
night's shades
darting at the edges
of her mind.
Sensuous dreams
drain away as
the day awakens
to responsibility.

Off to work, but first I need to make a sandwich for lunch. Bye!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Enough, Already!

That was the newspaper's headline this morning after getting 10.2 inches of wet, heavy snow yesterday and early today. The snow was so heavy that our power went out around 10 PM last night and didn't come on until 2 AM this morning. Durwood was quite worried that he couldn't crank his electric blanket up to "volcanic" but I snuggled up to him and he stayed warm. I'm a furnace. One cool thing about yesterday's storm was that it thundered and lightning-ed. It's very odd to watch flakes fly with rolling thunder as the background music. Since the power went out I didn't have light to write with so I had to do the prompt this morning. Ah well, writer's adjust.

April 19--Rembrandt van Rijn, The Good Samaritan.

A Sad Commentary

Let me help you,
I say to the gray-haired lady
struggling with a cane,
a cart, and a heavy purse.
Oh, thank you, dear,
she says, but doesn't let go.
Let's do it together!
the tone of her voice sings
like we're playing a game.
Side by side our hands
hoist her burden
up the curb,
into the bank.

It hurts me that our
society is so degraded
that she thinks a Samaritan
will rob her.

True story. It happened yesterday morning when I walked out of the post office at a bank in my neighborhood. Broke my heart. Be nice anyway.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Double Gah!

I am seriously considering climbing into bed and pulling the covers over my head.


I did not order this and I better never find out who did. It has been downright cold the last couple of days but today--today it decided to snow, and not just a little, a lot. It's been snowing since noon and there's probably 3 or 4 inches of wet sloppy stuff. Yuk. And it's cold enough that I had to go down and carry my winter coat upstairs again. It's the middle of April, people, the daffodils are blooming in my front yard, and it's freakin' snowing. Why do we live here? Why???? Oh, yeah, we're too poor to move.

Before it snowed too hard I went out and filled up the birdfeeders and the squirrel corn.

Here's a little fiber content...

last night I added a couple rows onto the front of my first attempt at Fair Isle knitting. It's this sweater but I'm making the sweater red and the designs in a marled gray I got at a fiber fest in Valders. The way the weather's going I might be able to wear it before summer if I knit faster. Sheesh.


I made poeming last night! See? Idn't it purty? Sorry, my inner hillbilly escaped for a moment but I think I've got her back in her jar. I'm just about ready to kick Spring in the slats and get her up and running again. It's so cold I'm thinking of getting my winter coat up again and it's supposed to snow/sleet/rain 4 to 8 inches (depending on who you listen to) on us in the next 24 hours. I need to run out and visit the Easter Bunny today to make sure he's got "the kids" on his list and Durwood will be laying in food for the siege. I don't think I'll be able to wring another snow day out of what's coming so it can just stay away. *stamps foot*

April 18--Edouard Manet, A Matador.


The ring was shabby, the
sun hot. Everything about it was
tired. The horses
sagged under the picadors'
weight. Their blades were
dull as their mounts
shambled after the
bull, a grizzled
veteran of the ring. The taped
trumpets blared
thin and discordant.

The matador strutted out into the
sunlight. His suit of
lights flashing in the
glare. Middle-aged and
dumpy, I thought him
comical, but when he reached the
center, he was
transformed. In the
spotlight he
commanded our
swirled his cape with
authority. With one
imperious look, I was
his for the

Whew, I think I'm having a hot flash. That kind of sneaked up on me. I'm off to see the Bunny!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Not What You're Expecting Today

Yesterday we helped our son and daughter-in-law paint the inside of their new house.

First we delivered house-warming gifts...

then Durwood and DS conferred on a few things...

then we got busy taping what they didn't want painted.

DIL1's mom and dad, H & J, came to help too. H painted the batheroom which I think is the hardest room because it's small and you can't move the "furniture."

J painted the master bedroom. (Maybe because his old scrubs matched the paint???)

DIL1's cousin K and her husband G painted the second bedroom blue.

Aunt S did most of the edging in the entrance, living, and dining rooms.

while DS & DIL1 wielded the Power Roller, an excellent invention.

DIL1's cousin C's girlfriend K is a painting genius. She did the sunroom in no time at all and volunteer to come and paint "anytime."

I got to paint the red accent wall in the living/dining room. I put on two coats but it probably needs another.

Then I helped DS paint the kitchen a bright, sunny yellow.

We cleaned up around 7:30 and all went back to DS & DIL's apartment for a delicious spaghetti supper with salad, homemade sesame bread, and peach upside-down cake with vanilla ice cream for dessert. We were all almost too tired to eat (but we managed) and I was nearly asleep by the time we got home. I tried to write but just couldn't. Maybe these photos will make up for it?

Sunday, April 17, 2011


It's a good thing we'll be painting indoors today because it's blowing outside like it's March 1. (You remember, right? March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Well, not in northeastern WI.) At least the sun's shining. Last night around sundown it snowed. Not much and of course it didn't stick around but it was demoralizing at the end of a rainy day to see snowflakes, sleetflakes, flying horizontally out there. There was a very depressed robin sitting on the back fence for about a half hour. Durwood was thinking it had frozen to the spot but it was just huddled up and eventually flew off. We're a block from a mall so all the litter from there and the surrounding streets blows into our yard in the spring. I went out and picked up trash 3 times on Friday afternoon. There was so much of it that I took a rolling garbage can with a locking lid out there and nearly filled it. I let the rain deal with it yesterday. Yuk.

April 16--Iran, Parthian, Clasp, Eagle and Prey.


Golden bird
encircled by patches of blue

buckled the garb
of a Persian noble.

Handed down the centuries
from warrior,

to nobleman,
to robber baron,

gifted to the museum
as public proof of his

culture and taste.
Can the golden carrion bird

clean the bones of his


Time to go off and paint DS & DIL1's new house! Toodle-oo!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I Been Knittin'

This time of year if it's sunny people come into the dive shop. If it's dreary, chilly, or rainy nobody comes. It was crummy Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday last week so I got a bunch of knitting accomplished. I got a lot of goofing off accomplished too but I don't have pictures of that. (I was tempted to put one of those emoticons at the end of that last sentence but then I realized that I'm not really a fan. Too cutesy, I guess.) I didn't finish anything but...

Look! Heels! I found a pattern that tells how to make short-row heels without all the wrapping and turning and no holes so I followed that and made lovely heels on my Toes Up X2 socks.

I already told you about the mega-save of the Red Marl Sweater front in the last post, so the only other knitting I have to report is another preemie hat got started at FNKC last night.

I did have some adventures yesterday though. Skully and I try to meet to walk twice a week. We walked Tuesday at Baird Creek and we came within 40 ft. of finding a geocache on our way back to
our cars, but it was across the creek and we didn't have time to go around because I was already going to be cutting it close to get to work on time. So yesterday we took a mountain bike trail on the other side of the creek and, dodging fallen trees and logs and skirting brambles, we got to the place, but after long searching didn't find it. I think it got knocked down in the windstorm last week or swept away on the spring snow melt flood. Skully wants to find the planter and sit on him until he shows us where it is. I think we should email. But instead of turning back we kept going, hoping to find a narrow place or footbridge to cross over. We didn't. We found this. It's a logjam about 30 feet across. We crossed it. We were careful, well, after I fell taking the first step we were more careful. I found a good sturdy stick to use to poke where I wanted to step next and we made it, slowly and with lots of laughter. I was just happy that no one came down the trail when we were doing it to witness our lunacy. We need a keeper.


Good thing I decided to keep moving after I got home from our walk yesterday because I got the backyard trash picked up--three times (it was windy)--and I moved the firewood from the renters' side to mine (DS left it behind 3 yrs. ago and Jenny didn't use the patio much). Last night while I was out at knitting it started to rain and it still is. Today I'm baking bread for supper tomorrow night after about 10 people paint the inside of DS & DIL1's new house. Since tomorrow's going to be a busy day with lots of exercise I'm planning to spend today relaxing a bit. I'm getting too old to work myself to the bone for 3 straight days and expect not to be achy on Monday. Getting older sucks but it's better than kicking the bucket!

April 15--Georges Lepape, Hand-colored Pochoir from Les Choses de Paul Poiret.


Upon the cushions she lies
back propped on silk,
velvet white as snow
clings to shoulders, plump and fair,

then falls revealing
more than it hides.

Cupid's bow lips, red as sin,
invite champagne and kisses.
Her cats-green eyes
flutter and gleam

at men too rich
to be young.

She reminded me of the drawings from my Grandma Babe's Girl Graduate, a book written in and drawn in by her friends and classmates when she graduated high school in the 1920s. Stay dry today.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Thanks for Bad Companions...

especially for my playmate today. My friend Skully and I went walking at the same trail we walked on Tuesday except we took a non-paved path along the south side of the creek to see if we couldn't find the geocache we didn't find on Tuesday. We enjoyed following the mountain bike trails through the brush, under and over fallen trees and logs, and around thickets. Skully's geocaching app on her iPhone led us to the spot. We looked and looked but couldn't find it. Foiled again! She wanted to find the person who planted it and sit on him until he told where it was. I think the place it was got blown down in the terrible winds we had last week or it got washed away in the snow melt flood. I was all for backtracking but she was convinced that we could cross the creek farther down so we kept going--until we came to a veritable cliff. She climbed up the steep path to the tippy-top only to find more trail and no way to cross. So we turned back to a logjam that I insisted we could cross. She wasn't so sure but I forged ahead, being the blockhead that I am. I fell after taking one step, but I was not deterred. (blockhead, remember?) I found a good stick and poked ahead to make sure we could step, that's how we crossed the creek. I guess I was the bad companion today, but we had a hilarious and tiring time. Here's the logjam after we crossed. I have a small scrape on my knee from my fall but it didn't even tear my jeans. I'd say that a skinned knee and muddy shoes equals fun! Besides how many playmates or bad companions quote Robert Frost to you when you come to a fork in the trail?

April 14--Johann Wilhelm Oberlander the Elder, Pair of Transverse Flutes.

The Mimic

Notes like raindrops in sunshine
flow out the open panes,

excite the robin
on the apple branch.

Practice scales challenge
him to heights of song.

Red breast puffed he sings
his best to outperform

his fluted rival at
her music stand.

I just remembered that April is Poetry Month. Guess what I'll be writing for you for the next two weeks?