Wednesday, August 31, 2011


That's how I'm spelling "Wednesday" today. It's gray and still and HUMID out there today so I'm kind of glad I have to go sit in the dive shop. I should be paid to endure a day like today. As long as it straightens out for Saturday's Two Rivers Kite Festival that Skully and Cookie and I are going to. I'm very excited to go and see all the acrobatics and all the beautiful kites flying AND buying a Chinese lantern to launch after dark with all the other attendees. I can't wait!

August 30--Anatolia, Vessel Terminating in the Forepart of a Stag. Raeleyne dreamed of falconers and men in soft shoes with curled toes all week. She was working to get the Hittite artifacts ready for the new exhibit and had been putting in long hours. She wasn't all that familiar with Hittite art and culture so the items had been a revelation. The stag vessel was a good example. As she'd sat with her arsenal of sable brushes and distilled water teasing dust out of the intricate reliefs on the band under the rim she'd thought of the artisans who had worked so many centuries before. The rudimentary tools and how hard it must have been to mine and refine the silver made her appreciate the thing all the more. To think of the many hands, high- and low-born alike, had handled the cup over the last millennia gave her chills.

It took me a few minutes to figure out where on the big item the featured detail was. Turns out it's a drinking cup that looks like a stag, horns and all, and where the hind quarters should be is the handle and rim of a drinking cup. Odd but beautiful. Okey-dokey, I'm off to shower, dress, and go spend the day keeping the world (or at least my corner of it) safe from scuba diving.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I went up to the raspberries the other afternoon and saw some pods growing on the hummingbird vine. They look like pointy, thick green beans but they're pretty dark green with a bit of reddish added. I love the color of the flowers and this summer the hummingbirds have discovered it. Aren't they pretty? I do wish I knew the purpose of the pods.

P.S. We're getting a grand-dog on Friday. Her name's Porter (or it will be once DS & DIL1 get her home). She's a 9-month old mutt and they said she was very ladylike when they met her. Isn't she cute?

Insert CD 4

That got your attention, didn't it? Mine too. There I was immersed in listening to Grave Peril by Jim Butcher (thanks, trek!) that I'd downloaded from my CDs to my iPod so I can drag it around with me and the voice changed from James Marsters quiet honey voice and hollered "Insert CD 4" in my ear, jerking me out of Harry Dresden-land and back to my desk. Not funny. Today's Mom's birthday. She's off playing bridge, as usual, so we're doing our annual HuHot birthday lunch on Friday. That gives me time to get to the nail salon to get my nails done and get a gift certificate for her to get a mani/pedi, since Tom got her a hairdo one. If Andy gets her a gas one that'd be a trifecta of greatness. Maybe I'll mention it when he stops over soon to drop off the family canning gear which I now get to house. Mom was wondering where all those pressure cookers, etc. had gotten to, turns out it was in Andy's basement in Sheboygan. I got the sauerkraut crock, bag, and cabbage cutter from him a few years ago so now I've got it all. Good thing too since I promised to make kraut for the family this year. I suppose it's time to start seeking out organic cabbage and thinking about putting a batch together. It really stinks but it's worth it for the quality of homemade kraut far surpasses the way-too-sour stuff you can buy. Ick.

August 29--Patty Coggeshall, Sampler. It was too hot in the classroom. The sun beat on the windowpanes and so Mrs. Lowell pulled the shades. That helped some but it also cut the breeze and the light. Patty's hands were so sweaty that the silk she was embroidering her sampler with had darkened and picked up some of the dye from the background linen. The bench she sat on was hard wood and it felt like her bones were grinding through the skin on her backside. She was temped to lean forward and rest her forearms on the table in front of her but Mrs. Lowell would never permit such laxity. "A lady must retain erect posture at all times," she said. The middle-aged widow had a thick yardstick that she used to emphasize the rule. Patty had the marks on her shoulder blades to prove it.

All-righty then, I'm off to eat my lunch and then go to the nail salon to get gorgeoused up. Ta-ta.

Monday, August 29, 2011

See Above

See? Right there below the name of the blog? Where it says "the words never stop!"? Well, sometimes they slow to a trickle and they've been like that for me for quite a number of years now. In the word-wrangling world my get-up-and-go got-up-and-went. And it's pi$$ing me off. (Sorry, I don't mean to curse but it makes me that mad.) I'd like to spread a thick layer of blame over all and sundry--the weather, Durwood, menopause, the weather, my weight, Durwood, my tingly fingers, Mom, arthritis, the weather, my sore elbow--I could go on and on reflecting the blame outward but I know in my heart (and in my guts) that it's me. All me. Lazy, whiny, selfish, cranky, moody me. Right now I could lie down and stare at the ceiling for hours and be perfectly content. Or I could cry. Or drive off into the sunset. I fantasize about sweeping everything (and everyone) out of the house into the yard, sorting carefully, and only keeping things that I really want. On days like today I probably wouldn't even let myself back in. Oh, I'm confident that this mood will blow over fairly quickly. One good thing about me is I'm seldom blue for too long. And I'm wearing new earrings too. Sheesh, who can be down in the dumps for long when she's wearing new earrings? I feel better already.

August 27 & 28--Malaysia, Dyak, Iban, Hornbill Figure. Rita didn't remember ordering anything and yet here was a crate from Singapore addressed to her. The crate was wooden and it had stickers and cryptic markings all over it. She had to get a pry bar out of Fred's toolbox to get it open. She was surprised to see old fashioned packing that looked like wood shavings called excelsior instead of those extruded foam packing peanuts. She pulled out handfuls of the stuff, ending up standing in the middle of a drift of it. She uncovered what looked like a wooden purse handle and pulled on it. Up out of the packing came a sculpture of a bird, she thought. At least part of it looked like a bird. On the back side was a pair of lizards standing tail to tail with a hanging string of beads below them. The whole thing was painted in red and gold stripes. Was it a shaman's headdress or an art piece--and who had sent it? She dug right to the bottom of the crate and shook out all the clumps of excelsior but she didn't find a trace of the sender.

We went to Malaysia once a long time ago. I liked their kites. It's the first time we ate satay. Mmm, chicken-sicles with peanut dipping sauce. The squid ones are good too. Yum. I wonder if we could make some Malaysian Weight Watchers food. Or some Caribbean. Somebody needs to get to work on a form of instant transportation. Beam me up, Scotty, I need a vacation.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Walking For Art

Yesterday DS and I walked from Titletown Brewing across the Main St. Bridge to Artstreet, the annual downtown art fair. It was a perfect day for a stroll in the sun and breeze. Lots of people were out, lots of families. A great time was had by all, at least DS and I. I got a pair of souvenir earrings that I'm wearing right now.

Last night I almost finished the Easter Egg Ankle Sock, just one more ribbing round and binding o
ff left to do.

I knitted a row on the Summer Fever Shawl after supper the other night and then realized that I'd done it wrong. Do you know how hard it is to "tink" back a row of lace? It'
s a pain in the needles, that's how hard it is.

I cast on the next Bandwagon Afghan Block. It's #7, which means that I'm on the second half of the afghan. I like the colors of this skein of yarn, even though neither blue nor green are my favorite colors.

And I was finally unable to resist digging out the pattern and US 13 needles and casting on EZ's (Elizabeth Zimmerman, the woman who de-granny-fied knitting in the 50s and is a goddess to many knitters) Ribwarmer out of the UGLY Campsie Wrap I made last winter.

In sewing news, I whipped up a Pocket Monster
the other night from a couple of fat quarters. I think, sadly, that it needs to be made from only one fabric as it is so small. I'll be making more of these once I tweak the pattern to my satisfaction.

Walking back to our cars from Artstreet we passed by some tall vines outside the brewery. They're
hops! See the little pale cones? What else would you grow outside a brewery?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Going to Artstreet with DS, Yeah!

Today's Artstreet. Well, all weekend is really, but today's the day I get to go with my lovely son. He's dropping DIL1 off at the brewery for work in a while, I'll meet him/them there, and he and I will walk to the art fair from there. I wish DIL1 could come too. I asked to tag along if they were going but she has to work so he volunteered to accompany me. He's a good boy, erm, nice man. I've got my walking shoes on and a straw sun hat in the car to keep from getting fried in the gorgeous sunny weather. There're some bottles of water in the car so I'll grab one and be all set. I might not even buy anything but I like to go and look and soak up the artsy atmosphere.

August 26--Hubert de Givenchy, Evening Dress.
Even without the feathers people wouldn't be able to take their eyes off that dress. It's merely a length of silk in a rather ghastly shade of peachy melon but it glides across the woman's form like it's alive. The feathers give it definition and whimsy. They stick out and the ones on the long shafts tremble with every breath and pulse. I can see my mother in this dress. She'd have her hair up in a French twist and be wearing spike heel shoes. Her long gloves would be perfect, each little pearl button at the wrists reflecting that insane color. The fact that it was donated to the museum by Mrs. Klaus von Bulow makes it even more fantastic. Remember he was tried for trying to kill her with insulin and got off? I'm sure she's still in a coma or maybe they've pulled the plug. Drama drama drama. This is the dress for that, I'm telling you.

Okay, that's it for me today. I'm off to meet DS and go art gazing. Toodle-oo!

Friday, August 26, 2011


The day just fritters away sometimes. I will confess that I slept until 8 this morning and then I stripped the bed and threw the sheets in the wash, did the cross puzzle, had breakfast, and paged through 2 WW mags that Cookie gave me. I made a wheatberry salad with chicken, cheese, carrots, leftover broccoli, red bell pepper, and some Dijon vinaigrette dressing. It's a "what's on hand" version of a cookbook recipe and delicious with a few cherry tomatoes halved on top. After Durwood and I remade the bed, I spent 2 hours this afternoon driving around trying to find basil plants and some oat groats. No one had either, not even Stein's had any basil plants left. I finally found some hydroponic ones at Woodman's that I'll try to make live in dirt and a very pricey bag of groats in their natural foods dept. There's a recipe for Three Grain Porridge with maple syrup and dried apricots in one of the WW mags that sounds good. I'm looking for something other than cheerios to have for breakfast. I'm open to suggestions. I like everything but liver and raspberries.

August 25--Japan, Kamakura period, Death of the Historical Buddha. "How can you think of hanging that in the dining room? There are animals, some of them dead, all along the bottom. Look there, a man being killed by a snake. Oh it's just the perfect art to dine to. Make sure you put a light on it because I am certain that our guests will want to feast their eyes on the grieving and the dead while she feast at our table. No, don't interrupt. I can't believe you spent tens of thousands of dollars on a piece of silk with a painting of a funeral on it and expect me to be happy to hang it in the dining room. Maybe we can hire a butcher as entertainment at our next party. Oh, for God's sake, don't cry. You know I hate seeing a man cry."

Someday. Someday I'm just going to disengage the "polite" button and just rant. Not about anything specific but about anydamnthing I want to. Maybe when I'm old and infirm, I'll be a bitch. Nah, prob'ly not, I'm just too nice. Ick.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mow Lawn. Check.

Last nigh after work it was cool and nice so I mowed. Three-quarters of the way through the job the self-propulsion belt slipped off its wheel and I couldn't get it back in place, try as I might. I now appreciate the benefit of having self-propulsion WAY more than I did before. Way. I finished but it was a bit of a slog shoving that uncooperative lump of roaring metal uphill and down dale. Good thing Durwood had yummy grilled chicken, garden veggies, and a big sweet potato for us to have for supper. I've lost 2 lbs. since we started the new WW Points Plus program. Yay! I will say that cheating less is helping too, plus WW has cups of ice cream, chocolate ice cream, and fudge pops that really help me stick to the plan. And the fact that fruit is free as long as it's fresh fruit is a real boon to me too. I love fruit so that's the perfect snack. A bowl of grapes or cherries in the fridge helps me stick to my guns.

August 24--Sevres Manufactory, Lac du Lugano. "I hate doing dishes," said Maureen, up to her elbows in the sink full of hot water and suds. Kate lifted a plate out of the drainer and dried it. "It's not bad, at least these plates have pictures on them." "Yeah," said Amy from her perch atop the avocado step stool, "we could be on latrine duty or laundry." She took the dried dishes from Kate and carefully stacked them in the cupboard. "I'm stacking them by color," she said, "so each family gets the same ones." Maureen shook her ponytail. "No no, you have to mix them up so no one gets the same plate twice. I'd hate to spend the summer eating off the dreary view of Lugano on this one." She held up a beautiful Sevres porcelain plate with a hand-painted scene in the center and red and gilt decorations around the rim. Kate had her hands full of silverware, drying them one by one and sorting them into the cut glass jars that had been on the sideboard since Gran and Gramps had spent their honeymoon at the cottage at the beginning of the last century. "I'm just glad I'm not on latrines."

I must tell you I look especially good today. You watch, I won't have a single customer to appreciate it either. I wore pants to work yesterday and you're right, Lala, skirts are cooler.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Oooh, Spooky

It looks like Halloween out there today. It's waaaay overcast and a bit foggy. I know it isn't chilly, I went out to plug in the fountain (and scoop out the second dead goldfish, bye Manny or Max, there's a thirty-cent experiment that went bad) and it's not anywhere close to chilly out there but it looks like it should be. I delivered Mom's birthday gift last evening in the midst of a storm. Mostly the storm was to our north but the sky looked navy blue with clouds and ominous. The ominous went north of GB so we got all show and no blow. I got Mom a 40# bag of "no waste" birdseed so she won't have as many seed hulls to clean off her balcony and she won't have to keep buying those little bags that run out so fast to keep her birdies fed. And I bought a scoop so she can fill the feeder. I'm a practical gift-giver sometimes but rarely am I predicable. Our foray into the new Weight Watchers Points Plus program is working nicely. No food is off-limits so we're not feeling deprived. We even split a bacon cheese Whopper with small fries yesterday and fit it in! Our visit to the attorney was short and sweet, most decisions were already made, so soon we'll get a sheaf of papers to sign and have a few things to rearrange and then we'll be all set for most every eventuality. Good job, us.

August 23--Diego Rodriquez de Silva y Velasquez, Portrait of a Man. He looks so real. So alive. He looks like he could walk in from the next room and tell me about getting his portrait painted. He looks familiar too. Oh, I know, he looks like Eppy, uh, Brian who was in my writing group. Brain wasn't the greatest at growing chin whiskers either. The Spaniard looks like he's in his early twenties and he isn't thrilled to be painted. There is objection and reluctance radiating from his eyes and the set of his lips under that poor excuse for a mustache. I like the way his hear is kind of messy and uncombed, like he had hurried into Velasquez's studio, whipped off his hat, and perched on a stool for the barest minimum of time. I wonder who commissioned the painting?

I hear the crossword puzzle calling. See ya.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Walked & Sweaty. Check.

Me and Skully walked along the river trail this morning for a while, talking and sweating. We are both what you'd call enthusiastic sweat-ers. We walk and yak and complain and sweat with abandon. Then we pause under the highway for a drink (of water) and then we walk back. I let my poison-tree-frog-kite out of the trunk for a few minutes but the wind was too intermittent for it to really fly well so I put it away. On the 3rd of September we're going to a kite festival in Two Rivers (Cookie's coming too) mostly to watch the pros fly kites and gawk around, but I want to fly mine a bit too. We talked about how the weather's getting more favorable for us to do a little geocaching soon, how we want to bag a few finds before the snow flies again. This afternoon Durwood and I are meeting our attorney to get our wills and powers-of-attorney papers all hammered out. I suggest you be nice to us if you want to be considered for a bequest. Not that we've got a lot to bequeath but you don't want to miss out on the fun once we're worm food. We have some cool stuff, not a lot but some.

August 22--Joseph Mallord William Turner, View of London from Greenwich.

You ever been to London?
It's like a real place,
you know.
Actual English people all over
with accents and everything.
Ann spent a semester near there.
I visited.
We rode the Tube,
a double-decker bus,
saw Big Ben,
the Tower of London,
Shakespeare's Globe Theater.
The British Museum is free.
That week with my daughter was

Time to go to the bank and the birdseed store. Adios!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Stitching Away!

I didn't knit last weekend. I only sewed. And dived on Saturday with Kevin & Deb, but on Friday and Sunday I sewed. I did other stuff too, like pick tomatoes and do a few chores for Mom, use my coupons at Jo-Ann for fabric and rick rack, but mostly I sewed.

On Friday I made the last skirt I had cut out and ready to go. I like it because it's neutral and not really patterened so it'll go with just about anything.

On Saturday I went diving, two dives, up at the end of Door County. It was a gorgeous day. Gorgeous! The sun shone, the water was warm (mostly) and the company was genial. Days like that remind me why I stay in shape and haul all that heavy gear up and down the basement stairs. I had a blast.

Yesterday I finished the bag I'd started at last weekend's Sew-in at Skully's house,

and turned 3 t-shirts from crew necks into v-necks. Thanks for the tip, DD!

But first I zoomed over to Mom's in the morning to do a few chores for her before her afternoon bridge party--delivered watermelon, filled bird feeders, unearthed wine glasses in the garage, and looked for rick rack in the doll room. I did see this chicken pitcher in her cabinet, when I admired it she told me to take it. I love the dopey look on her face!

Then I dropped a bag of shirts I'd culled out of my overstuffed closet at Goodwill, after that I went to Jo-Ann's to spend the 2 expiring coupons I had in my purse. I found more rick rac
k (I have a secret project I need it for--shhhh),

a bunch of remnants,

some yardage for a skirt and other as yet undecided uses,

and this. I absolutely adore the panicked look on her face. She was only 3
9 cents but I couldn't leave her behind. I usually only buy fish stuff, in fact I bought two fish fridge magnets too, but this chicken... well, I'm calling her Penny after my one grand-chicken who is the bigger of the two but also the biggest scaredy cat.

A Gorgeous Day

This past weekend was absolutely gorgeous, and today will be too. I, of course, will be at work. This is how I earn that little paycheck that makes my manias possible. Friday afternoon and Sunday afternoon I spent sewing. On Friday I sewed up the last skirt I had cut out and yesterday I finished the bag I started at last weekend's sew-in. Of course I have more fabric to make into skirts but not until I find a different pattern. Not that I don't like the pattern I've been using, you understand, I just crave a bit of variety. I would have looked for another pattern yesterday when I was at Jo-Ann but there was a crowd. I'll go again on a not-weekend day. I'm really enjoying the instant gratification that sewing affords. I'm making fairly simple things and can zoom through them if I have all the pieces cut out ahead of time. That's another benefit of my job. Mr. & Mrs. Boss don't really care if I use the tables in back to cut fabric or sit and knit at the desk, as long as I answer the phone and wait on customers. I really appreciate that.

August 21--Alexander Roux, Cabinet. Grayson ran his hand over the gouge in the top of the cabinet over and over. Carly had been so angry when he'd dropped the heavy bowling trophy on the thing. You'd have thought it was some priceless family heirloom instead of a piece they got in a resale shop. He had tried to tease her tears away but she'd said, "You don't get it, Gray." She dashed away her tears with trembling fingers. "We bought the cabinet when we didn't have a thing. I always felt like it was a goal for us to strive for, something for us to live up to." She smiled at him. "It's like a lucky thing for me. If we take good care of it, nothing can hurt us." He'd smoothed his hand over her hair and hugged her, reassuring her that a little dent in a cabinet wouldn't change their lives. He'd thought she was foolish to think that way. Three months later Carly saw her doctor about a pain in her side. Six weeks after that the cancer had spread from her head to her toes. Yesterday he had buried her. All he could hear was her quivering voice telling him he'd damaged their luck. His fingers caressed the dent in the cabinet wood. Tears flowed down his face unchecked as his finger moved back and forth.

The moral of the story? Take good care of your wood furniture and don't pooh-pooh your wife's intuition. Love you!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

SCUBA Divers Are Cool, Also Sleepy

This morning I feel my age. My lower back aches and it feels like a blister's growing under the second toe on my left foot. Durwood woke me up at 8 so I could watch CBS Sunday Morning and I felt like I'd just gone to sleep. After cleaning out about a third of the shirts in my closet, I zipped to Mom's to do a few chores before her bridge party and deliver some sliced watermelon for her to serve with her other "picnic" foods, dropped the bag of shirts at Goodwill, then I strolled around JoAnn looking at remnants and rickrack. I spent a bundle but got a bundle. I need to spend a weekend organizing my sewing/knitting area downstairs. Maybe in the winter...

August 20--Alexander Roux, Cabinet. Carly and Grayson bought it when they were furnishing their first house. It was a bit imposing and formal for their current lifestyle but Gray said it would give them something to shoot for. Carly was intimidated by it. She felt like she should apologize to the cabinet for putting polyester and cotton linens and woven raffia placemats into it. She felt some better when Mama came to visit and brought Grandma Babe's sterling flatware. Finally she had something worthy to put on the soft poplar wood shelves.

I like it. It's too short but I like it. Maybe I can add more tonight if I can stay awake past the first 5 minutes after lying down. Toodle-oo.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I Went Diving

My friend Kevin called me last night and invited me to go diving with him and his wife, Deb, today. So I did. I went straight downstairs after I hung up and packed my dive gear, then I wrote myself a note to fix me up a weight belt in the morning since I'd lost one of my weight pockets last weekend. After a stop at the dive shop to pick up a pocket belt to put my soft weights into, I got to their house, loaded my gear and tanks into their SUV and off we went. We first dived at Gill's Rock on the very tippy end of Door County where there's an old Rambler at about 45' that rolled off the car ferry one day more than a few years ago. It's pretty destroyed by now, the rocks from the breakwater are crushing it, and the water and zebra mussels are taking their toll. Water temp was 72 until we got deeper than 50' when the temp dropped to about 45. Brrr. We didn't stay that deep for long. We saw a few smallmouth bass and a dishwasher that has nearly rotted away on the bottom. It's amazing the things you see when you're diving. We saw 2 aluminum lounge chairs down there and one folded lawn chair that's nearly totally buried. I saw some metal contraption that looked kind of like a typewriter but isn't. We dived for nearly an hour, changed out our used tanks for fresh, and drove five miles toward home to Garrett Bay outside of Ellison Bay for our second dive. There's a lovely shipwreck in Garrett Bay that we've visited a zillion times since we got certified in 1990. Today the water was pretty clear--about 25-30' of visibility--and 73 degrees from the surface to our maximum depth of 22'. We spent an hour visiting all the pieces of the wreck of the Fleetwing and were followed by a nice-sized school of smallmouth bass. We also so a pair of suckers looking all shiny and silvery. It was a lovely dive. After we got all our gear off and mostly packed we sat on a sunny rock and (finally!) ate our Subway lunches while we watched the water and some kayakers. It was a fun day with great weather and good friends. Durwood and I microzapped some leftover chicken and mushrooms, shared an orange, and I have to say I'm about ready to conk out. It's tiring hauling all that heavy, wet gear around. I'll sleep good tonight.

August 19--Louis Comfort Tiffany, Bowl. Gisela always loved the bowl that sat on Aunt Sadie's table. It was round and lumpy with grapes and leaves. When she sat at the table eating her breakfast she liked watching the morning light make the colors change. Sometimes it looked gold and sometimes green. When it was rainy the little bowl glowed like it had a light bulb in it. She always picked a flower, a handful of dandelions or Queen Anne's Lace for Aunt Sadie to put in there. Mama said that Aunt Sadie shouldn't put water in it, that the bowl was too valuable, but Sadie just winked at Gisela and arranged the flowers.

And now, precious friends, I'm going to go to bed. I'm pooped.

Friday, August 19, 2011


After not finishing one knitted item in all of July I've finished two in the last two days! Wednesday I wrapped up the foot and toe of Clara Beth's first set of mismatched socks. I could sit and "aw" at them all day. I'm totally impressed with my ability to craft such tiny things--and the cuteness.

Then yesterday it was very quiet at the dive shop so I got all but the last two rows of the last log cabin section of Bandwagon Block #6 finished. I cranked up Netflix after supper last night (I am hooked on watching the entire run of Brothers & Sisters. I know it's nothing but a yuppie soap opera but I'm hoooked. I can't help myself. Will Justin e
ver get a job and get on top of his addictions? Will Kevin ever stop being the most uptight gay man in California? Will Kitty and Robert ever get a baby? It goes on and on, and I am helpless to stop.) and got it finished, even the tails are woven in.

Before I hit the sack I picked up the Summer Fever shawl and knitting a couple rows so I'm all ready to plunge into the next pattern section tonight at FNK
C. I'm sure that it'll be fall by the time I'm done with this but it'll be a lovely autumn accessory and even into winter.

I felt bad that the pictures I posted of the patty pan squash plant the other day looked so bedraggled so I took another one this morning and one of the bl
ossoms too because they look so cheerful. They won't all turn into squashes but that's okay, enough of them will to eat and share with all and sundry.

It's Friday!

I'm determined to keep my "to-do"s at a minimum this weekend. I get to cook tonight so I have to go to the grocery and pick up a few things, then I think I'll sew downstairs while I do the laundry. See? That'll be good, something fun along with something constructive. We'll have clean clothes and I can make some new ones at the same time. I won't get to run up and down the stairs a bajillion times in a day but I'll deal. And I'm sure I'll be up and down plenty anyway. Then I'll go to Friday Night Knitting for the first time in a month to see my friends. It'll be good too. I was happier this morning when the Wii Fit showed I'd lost a little weight. I know I know, I should only check it once a week but I'm weak. Aunt B, as soon as I find a magic weight loss wand I'll let you know. It isn't fair, they can give you a new heart, liver, kidney, and joints but they can't figure out how to rid you of fat. Pbbbblt.

August 18--Egypt, Cairo, Mamluk Period, Pair of Doors. She laid her hand on the door. The cedar wood gave off its aroma from the day's heat but the ivory inlay felt cool under her fingers. Her eyes traced the intricate designs of the panels, no two were alike, the busyness calming her racing mind. No one expected her to be the one to solve the family's financial woes but if she could convince Jacobs that everything was fine, that she knew where the pearls were, maybe he'd call off the herd of lawyers he'd sicced on them. She stared at her fingers against the cedar and ivory. Her hand didn't shake and she smiled at her brave red nail polish. If only people knew that she wore it to hide behind. They all thought she was so brave. Her stomach gave a lurch but she put her shoulders back, opened her eyes wide, and pushed her way into the crowded meeting room.

Everyone wants the pearls, big black Tahitian ones or perfectly matched pale gold ones, I'd like the pearls too. They might be my favorite gems. I like the colored ones best, of course. Happy day!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Looks Like A Perfect Day

All it needs is a bit of a breeze to ruffle the leaves. Right now it's quiet, just the small sounds of Durwood having his second breakfast down the hall in the kitchen. I am getting totally peeved at not losing weight much. I lose a half pound or so, then I gain a pound and a half. I know that it's wrong to weigh myself daily but I've gotten into the habit of hopping on the Wii Fit every morning and setting off on a daily roller coaster ride. I know that it's wrong but still I do it. I need a keeper--but then I resent it when people tell me what to do. I am a trail to myself. I need a magic wand. Anybody?

August 17--Vincent van Gogh, L'Arlesienne: Madame Joseph-Michel Ginoux. All day she sat in her little parlor, a book in her lap, and she kept her eye on who came and went. Madame took her job as concierge of the Hotel Ste. Jerome very seriously. The Hotel was only for young women and no man would be entering while she was on duty. Even when the crazy Dutch artist insisted on painting her picture she made sure to sit where she could see who entered and exited.

Interesting, no long but interesting. Play outside today.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Feeding The Hungry--At Least The Ones At Our Table

August is a lovely month if you have a garden. The tomatoes are ripening, the squash are blooming, and the peppers are plumping up. Our kitchen counter is full of fresh veggies (and a bit of dirt) most days and our suped mowing and turned on the sprinkler yesterday so it's happier now, or at least perkier. (I don't really have a sense of its emotional state.) The patty pan squash up on top of the retaining wall keeps trying to fall off so I'd just shoved the leaves back on. Our suppers are enhanced by all the bounty. Yum. Just, yum. The garden looks a little thirsty here. I'd just finishes back and turned on the soaker hose up there, it's all perked up too. The pale green ones are the patty pans. They're kind of like zucchini but drier and milder. I slice them and saute them with onions. Mmm.

The hummingbird vine's going gangbusters this year, and the hummingbirds have been diligent about checking each and every trumpet for nectar.

Only the foot and toe left to knit of Clara's last mismatched sock. My fingers have been getting numb lately and that's been slowing me down. I'm trying to lay off knitting and mousing a bit. I've been more successful at not knitting.

I ordered this book from Interweave Press. It shows you how to make dresses without a pattern. Naturally they're for people smaller than me but I figure the principles apply to we more generously sized women. A lot of the designs are a bit "over designed" for my taste but I like the simpler silhouettes.

Back To The Grind

I sort of managed to lay off yesterday afternoon but it was hard not to scurry around and accomplish things. After mowing I harvested the garden, there were only 6 blueberries and 1 raspberry, but there was a lot of everything else. I sliced a yellow squash and a patty pan, diced half of the green pepper and half of an onion our renter gave us, minced a garlic clove, and a couple Roma tomatoes that I sauteed in butter and sesame oil (just a tsp. of each) until al dente. I sprinkled on a bit of salt, pepper and just a tiny splash of Worcester sauce. Mmm, it made a skillet full but we made it all go away. Don baked cod with lemon pepper and some pasta. It was pretty on the plate and yummy in the tummy. I should call Mom to see if she'll be passing the dive shop today so I can give her some squash. Our fridge is full to the brim of veggies since our Farmer's market trip on Saturday plus the bounty from the garden. That is not a bad thing. I could eat a skillet full of sauteed veggies every night. Mmm, August.

August 16--Congo, Kongo Power Figure. It made small sounds as the day cooled toward night. The wooden statue stood in the darkest corner of the room and it looked like it had been in a fight with a nail gun. Gina's eyes were drawn to it. The harder she looked at it the more she imagined that she could feel the impact of each and every nail that protruded from the wooden figure. She cringed at the porcupine look of the feet and knees. The sight made her own joints ache. She knew how suggestible she was so she worked to stiffen her mind against feeling empathy for inanimate objects like the little statue. Who would bring such a monstrosity home for a souvenir, she wondered. It must have been quite a few years ago because these days it would never make it through a security search.

And now it looks like rain. Well, it's time for work anyway. Have a ... day.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

This Is The Way We Mow The Lawn...

That's really all I plan to do today, mow the lawn, because I've been trying to cram too darned much into my days and have left myself feeling overwhelmed. Self-inflicted overwhelm is just plain foolish. I need to take control of my impulses and plan a little down time. Today's the day. Just as soon as I've got the grass cut and have stopped sweating like a field hand I'm going to plug my iPod in my ears and sit staring off into space. Yeah, I know, there's only a slim chance that I'll manage that but I can try, can't I? I'd have mowed an hour ago but it's so humid that the grass was soaking wet then so I'm reduced to mowing in the blazing midday sun. I've got my lo-cal Gatorade all ready to keep me from tipping over when I'm mowing, plus it'll be a workout so I can kill two stones with one bird. Way to go, me!

August 15--Georges Seurat, Gray Weather, Grande Jatte. Walt had high hopes for his holiday. He had rented a flat-bottomed boat for two weeks. His plan was to slowly motor a few miles down the river every day fishing, painting, and dozing in a chair on deck. The first few days were perfect, warm and sunny with a few clouds and a little breeze that played in the trees onshore. Then it started to rain and blow.

Then I fell asleep.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hello, Out There! Can Anybody Hear Me?

Lala, you're off the hook because you email me back, and I hear from Aunt B and my favorite psychic on occasion so I'm not talking to you either. It's the rest of you (I assume there's a rest of you) I'm talking to, begging's more like it. Please leave a comment every once in a while. I lose heart thinking that I'm hollering into an abyss even though I know I'm probably not. ClustrMaps tells me that people stop by but I never know if it's readers or spammers. Sorry to be needy but I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed and need a few strokes. I won't be stopping my near-daily posts, never fear.

August 14--Egypt, Predynastic, Bowl with Human Feet. The little red bowl pattered across the table and stopped in front of Leah. It tilted toward her as if inviting her to reach inside. She sat staring, her spoon raised, wondering how much of its contents the bowl was willing to let her take. She glanced down the table to see bowls of other colors bowing to other diners. Some of them were not hesitating at all but digging in and dishing themselves heaping helpings of mashed potatoes. Others waved away the food and Leah smiled to see the rejected bowls slump and stagger back. She slid her spoon into the fluffy mound of spuds in the red bowl. "Thanks," she said, placing more than she wanted on her plate, "these look delicious." The red bowl straightened and strutted away with a jaunty step.

It's Monday and, if not for pneumonia, we'd have been headed west toward Yellowstone as I type this. *sigh*

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Today was the dive shop's annual Corn Roast. We had to dive at an alternate site and it was a little rough. On the way in to shore we got shoved onto the rocks of the breakwater. That's where i think I lost one of my weight pockets. Mrs. Boss and I snorkeled back out but didn't find it. Ah, well. C'est la vie. I'll call the company tomorrow, maybe they'll have a replacement. It was a pretty good dive though; there were a lot of nice-sized white bass following us. We had a newbie dad & son buddy team with us, they did great and had fun. After the dive we all went back to a little park for roasted corn and a picnic. Lots of good eats and good company. It was totally great to have Durwood come along even if he can't dive anymore. Just like the old days.

August 13--Egypt, Bowl with Human Feet. Eve looked at the small red bowl in the exhibit case and decided that she had just found the design for her next line. Someone nearly, um, five centuries ago had a sense of humor. The little red berry bowl had a pair of feet for a base. Eve saw the whole line in a flash, the arm bent at the elbow, fingers spread on a hip for a mug handle, feet posed every which way supporting bowls of all sizes, pursed lips as the spout of a teapot. Everyone would want dishes with a sense of humor, right? She thought she'd be okay as long as she didn't let things get creepy--and no hairy knuckles.

Oh, mercy, I'm tired. Being outside all day is tiring. I made an outstanding farro (wheat berry) salad for us to eat on the way up the peninsula, even Durwood liked it and that's saying something.

Sewing & Swimming

Oh, man, did I have a blast yesterday at a sew-in with a couple friends. Once all the gossip was dispensed with (it didn't take that long) crafting began. Cookie had to go back on her pain meds (stupid knees) so she decided not to run a sewing machine. You know how they always tell you not to operate machinery when you're taking narcotics (Skully said they meant stuff like bulldozers but Cookie said she didn't want to take a chance, hee hee) so she brought some beads and made pretties, then after lunch she knitted more on a blanket she's making for the animal shelter. Skully had cut out a bunch of shopping bags to put in her "gifts" box. She sewed one up and then flipped through books about beading and knitting while kibbitzing. She had sent a picture and supplies list of a bag pattern she'd gotten at a quilt shop and that's what I wanted to make. I cut and cut and cut and cut--and cut. Then I ironed on interfacing and got sewing. I love the way the different fabrics go togehter. I'll finish the lining and pockets next week. More pictrures then.

Today was the dive shop's annual Corn Roast up in Ellison Bay at the end of Door County. I, of course forgot to take pictures. The wind was out of the north so Garrett Bay was out, 4 ft. rollers coming in. We went around the corner to Ellison Bay town beach and went in there. It was shallow and stirred up, not much to see, but we saw a bunch of nice sized white bass. We got pushed by waves into the rocky breakwater. It was pretty shallow on the top so we did a little crawling across the rocks. The bad part was that when I got to shore I realized that I'd lost one of my weight pockets. Not the way I wanted to lose 6 pounds, I'm telling you! The corn was, as usual,
outstanding. We were able to bring home a dozen of the leftover ears. That'll be Durwood's job tomorrow, cutting the kernels off the cobs, some to eat and some to freeze.

I stopped over at Mom's the other day and she had the Irish doll dress nearly finished so I took some photos. She does such gorgeous work. I wish you could see the precise stitches and the care she takes. I tell people that Mom's doll clothes are nicer than most people's wedding dresses.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sewing Day

I've had a busy day. Went to the Farmer's Market with Durwood, then loaded my sewing machine and a bag, a rather big bag, of fabric, etc., picked up Cookie, and we both went to Skully's for a sew-in. Cookie beaded and knitted, me and Skully sewed. Skully made a nice red and black shopping bag and I worked on a fancy lined bag with pockets and elastic and magnetic snaps and Velcro. It was Skully's pattern and I wanted to use it so I cut and cut and cut and cut and cut and cut, and got it about half sewed before packing up. Skully had ham and chicken for sandwiches and baby carrots. I brought fresh pineapple and mango. We feasted. It was a fun day. I need to stop doing too much, I need down time, and there's no way I'm going to get it this weekend. Maybe next weekend. Say it with me, Barbara--No, thank you, I'm busy. See? How hard was that? You can do it. Be strong.

August 12--Paul Gauguin, Tahitian Landscape. The seasons are so different here near the Equator. There is no winter, no dormant season when the flora rests, no time when you can't plant, no time when your land lies fallow. Mary and Joseph here, their land is rich, food springs from it nearly unbidden. They easily acquire the Western methods of growing but Western dress, Western modesty is a much harder sell. See how they're dressed? She looks like a proper matron, hat and all, but she is barefoot. He, however, wears his lava-lava with a bathrobe over it, covered but not properly. The missionaries spend all their time working to convert the natives not only to Christianity but encourage them to abandon their traditional ways of living. I wonder how many neuroses they generated?

That Gauguin, I'm very suspicious of him and his intentions. Always have been. Time to pack my dive gear for the Corn Roast tomorrow.

Friday, August 12, 2011

See, It's Like This...

I should have been at Mom's an hour ago to take out her trash but my friend JJ came around 9-ish to try and adjust our garage door opener. He fiddled and screwed. We up-ed and down-ed enough to overheat the motor so we had to visit for a while to let it cool off. He fiddled and twirled knobs again. No luck. We probably need a new one. That's another $300 bucks or so out the door. Gah. I'm going to pound this out, zip to Mom's, and hurry home to write. I HAVE TO GET THAT WRITING DONE OR ELSE. And I want to go play tomorrow with Skully and Cookie and I want to go to the corn roast on Sunday so I have to put out today. Maybe I'll skip knitting tonight...

August 11--Southern Italy, Plaque. It was old all right, so old that the ivory was yellowed and cracked. You know, you look at it and you're ready to be impressed, to be blown away by the artistry of the work, bu then you get close to this plaque and it looks like a Cub Scout carved it. The cross is gorgeous, carved with precision and attention to detail. The carvings in the four quadrants? Not so much. The cow or bull looks like a Disney reject and the eagle is too scrawny and Barney Fife-looking to be scary or commanding. I think that this is art that looks best from farther away.`

Like me, most days. I figure I'm a "far away" beauty. Stay cool

Thursday, August 11, 2011

It Always Happens...

Last Saturday I sat here at the laptop uploading a book on CD so I could fong it over to the iPod, knitting while I waited. At suppertime I scooped up the yarn and needles and put them into the project bag. I didn't knit after supper. The next morning while making the bed I nearly stepped on one of the needles, so I carried it into the kitchen along with my reading glasses. You understand that I was semi-awake at the time. I was sure that I'd set it on the table but then I couldn't find it. I looked under the Sunday paper, checked the floor and the chair. No needle. I looked around on the coffee table where my knitting is spread out. I looked into the baby sock project bag and the other bags around. No needle. It wasn't down between the cushions. It wasn't anywhere in the hall. I tidied around because DS & DIL1 were coming to supper. Didn't find the needle. All week I was annoyed that I couldn't find it. I took each project to work with me one day at a time carefully removing each one from the bag. No needle. Today after work I stopped at the yarn shop and bought a new set of size 4 DPNs. Tonight I sat on the couch and pulled out the ankle sock I've got on the needles. Glancing into the bag I saw the crochet hook I keep in there--and this. I swear I'd looked in that bag. Had taken out everything and yet there was that needle. I knew that all I needed to do was buy a new set and the missing one would appear. Sheesh.

I finished the heel of the Easter Egg Ankle sock and now I'm going to knit an inch of leg before starting the cuff. I've never knitted an ankle sock toe-up with a short row heel, and of course the pattern's written cuff-down with a heel flap and gusset, so I'm kind of knitting blind. But I like the colors and the way it's turning out.

I got the first of the "mismatched" baby socks finished the other day and cast on sock #4 on Tuesday while waiting for Durwood's doctor to show up. (His pneumonia's getting better
but won't be all better for another 6 weeks. He'll have another CT scan then to make sure all is well. Good news!) For some reason this sock seems to be taking a lot longer. I'd better rev up my knitting or Clara Beth's feet will outgrow the socks before she even gets to wear them!

When DS & DIL1
came for supper last Sunday we made the most delicious pork kabobs and zucchini salad from the Weight Watchers Points Plus cookbook. It sure didn't taste like "diet" food. It had clementine quarters and onions with the pork cubes and the grilled oranges were really good. We made it all disappear. I'm ready to cook my way from cover to cover--and I ordered another plan cookbook from Amazon and that's got scads of yummy looking recipes. They look so good I'm considering asking Durwood if I can cook a night or two a week just to make them.

You have to see my latest skirt. It's gauze but not see-through and so comfy. I wore it on Monday with my green tee shirt and looked nice (if I do say so myself). Of course I dropped a teensy bit of supper on my "shelf" so I had to take it down to the laundry and stain stick it. I buy a
gel stain removing stick at Hancock Fabrics that I just love. You smear it on the stain, let it sit a while, and then wash as usual. It's great at taking out greasy spots. One of these days I'm going to eat a meal and not get it on my. I look good in everything I eat. Har.