Monday, October 31, 2011


'Member that glove start I showed you yesterday that I was so proud of? I tried it on and it was too small, so I dug out the original needles the pattern calls for, ripped out all my work, and started over. I decided to knit the cuff and palm as the pattern directs and then switch to smaller needles for the fingers. So far, so good. In fact, as the picture shows, it thinks I'm #1. Me too.

Today's the end of Blogtoberfest. I can't say I'll miss the need to post every day. I do think I did rather well considering the nasty surprise I had 9 days ago, don't you? I will still post to my writing blog daily since I'm starting NaNoWriMo tomorrow and intend to write at least 50,000 words in the next 30 days. That's not much, only 1,667 per day, and they don't even have to be all different. You can reuse them all you want. What a deal!

Look What We Found!

You know how some commercials stick in your head long after they've stopped playing them? And the odd critter some ad-man dreamed up decades ago stays there too? Well, we found 2 such icons of the past when we were sorting through Mom's things last week. The first was a bag filled with California Raisins. They were huge in the '80s.

The second discovery was The Noid, which was Domino's way of guaranteeing their pizza would arrive hot so you wouldn't be "a Noid." God, I love puns. Sometimes.

October 30--Robert Nunns and John Clark, Square Piano. I like to lean on the leg of the piano when Chelsea practices. I like the way the notes vibrate through the wood and into me. Most of the time she doesn't know I'm there but this one time she was playing along, kind of talking to herself, and I brushed her leg with my foot. It was an accident. Really it was, but she screamed bloody murder and brought the whole household running into the parlor to see what was the matter. She cried and I got sent to my room and told never to hide under there again. It's not fair. She gets to have music lessons and I don't. I tried to get her to teach me but she won't. She says I don't have an ear. I said that I have two ears just like everyone else but she said that right there proves that I don't have an ear. Maybe I can borrow hers whatever it is.

Well, back to work. It seems like it's been 6 months since I've been there instead of merely a week. Titanic changes in my life in that week.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


New knitting! I dug out a skein of Patons Wool in Mercury and one of Bernat Alpaca in Stone and this pattern that I made too big last year. I'm using smaller needles and am hoping that it makes gloves that fit me, especially in the fingers. I think I might have been smart to make the cuff with the bigger needles and use the smaller ones for the fingers. We'll see.

I found a new knitting book in the Clearance shelves at Barnes & Noble this afternoon. I paid even less than the sticker price with my discount card. Tee hee.

And instead of making a paper list of things I don't want to forget to take along on my retreat on Thursday I'm making a list on my iPod Touch. Very advanced techie of me, don't you think? (You do if you're older than me, if you're younger you just rolled your eyes.)

And I Am Not Going To Mom's Today

I refuse. I've said it before, I feel like I've been living in the middle of a whirlwind, and today I'm stepping out. All next week I'll be stepping out as a matter of fact. I have to work Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. In the evenings I need to cook a bit and get ready to escape for a few nights with Cookie and Skully, and on Thursday morning we drive away to spend three nights at The Clearing. All. By. Ourselves. No class, no other "campers," just us and 128 acres of woodland and bay shore. I'm taking my writing and knitting. Skully and Cookie are bringing sewing, knitting, and probably beading. We're making soup, stew, and roast beef to keep body and soul together. Mom's (posthumously) contributing paper bowls, plates, and napkins. (The woman had a hoarder's worth!) I don't really care what weather we have, as long as it isn't pouring rain. Chilly and breezy, I could deal with, maybe even a bit of snow. No rain. I need to walk the trails and sit looking out over the bay. We'll have nightly fires too. It should be great.

October 29--Robert Nunns and John Clark, Square Piano. It was a good place to hide. In the dim parlor, the shadow beneath the square piano was inky black even on the brightest days. Chelsea practiced in the mornings but for the rest of the day no one when into the parlor. Well, except for the first Thursday of every month when a bunch of pickle-pussed women came for a meeting. Mama was in charge and she took her job very seriously. She'd shoo me out, tell me not to be lurking out on the gallery with my ears lapping up the conversations. I wonder where she got the idea I even care about her dumb meeting. All they talk about is Bible stuff which I get plenty of in Sunday School.

Aunt B, Durwood says to tell you that an oxygen tank lasts really long if you forget to turn it on. He drove all the way down and back with it off. Silly Durwood.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Girl Can Never Have Too Much

jewelry. That's right, Aunt B, I found more. Mom's jewelry box was in the garage (the garage?!?) and it had 2 watches and a bunch of jewelry, including an "M" heart necklace I bought for her for Mother's Dad when I was about seven, in it. I remember because Grandma was helping me and told me that "M" stood for Maralee, I told her no, that was for Mom. Silly Grandma. Durwood and I rejoiced in sitting own at the table, just the two of us, and eating real food like veggies (that skillet's full of all the veggies left from the deli trays) and then we shared an orange. Ah, it was good to get back to eating the way we like too. He said he misses cooking and I miss having good, healthy food. And fruit. I love fruit (I usually have at least 3 and up to 5 servings a day) and have hardly eaten any all week. What does scurvy feel like? I'm having yogurt for dessert tonight too, with 3 Fig Thins cookies on the side. And tomorrow I'm meeting Cookie and Skully at The Attic Cafe & Books to knit in the afternoon. I'm hoping to not step foot in Mom's apartment all day. I need a break.

Sunny & Breezy Saturday

Today will bring more post-funeral busyness but I'm seeing a teensy glimmer of light wa-a-a-a-a-ay far down there, but it's there. My family has been wonderful, all of us grieving together but managing to keep moving. I'm going out to fill the birdfeeders and install the heater in the birdbath because it's been frozen over the last two mornings. Brrr. I hope it's like this next weekend when Skully, Cookie, and I will be escaping to the tippy-top of Door County for a retreat (which is New Age-speak for walking in the fallen leaves, playing with yarn, fabric or beads, eating soup, and making fires--ooh, gotta remember S'mores ingredients) to renew our tattered selves. Hard times have fallen upon all three of us at the changing of the seasons this year--some physical, some emotional. We need time to regroup and put band-aids on the worst of the wounds. Besides, who wouldn't want to crunch through a forest's worth of fallen leaves in a place where the wind in the trees and the waves on the rocks are the sound track? I want to fly my kite and look at the stars, not at the same time. And I'm still planning to do NaNoWriMo in November so I'll be spending time with my Alphasmart piling up a bunch of words. I've been feeling like I'm on the brink of another creative writing period so I'm going to see if I can't court it out into the light next month. Enough ooey-gooey philosophy, I gotta get moving.

October 28--Jacob Marrel, Four Tulips. Like animated candy, the tulips quiver in the spring wind. Nicca watches to see how they are weathering the gusts. The air is warming but tomorrow is the start of Tulip Days and she doesn't want to begin with blower beds of nothing but leaves and stems. If she didn't know it was impossible she'd suspect that her rival Hendrick had somehow arranged for the wind to blow hard and cold to strip away the petals of her flowers.

Eh, not bad as far as it goes but it was pretty tired around here last night and these few words were just happy to have made it out of the pencil before lights out. Go play in the windy sunshine today.

Friday, October 28, 2011

I'd Better Post

because I forgot yesterday. I have to say that my mind is a blur these days so I'm giving myself a bit of a break. Here's some other people's knitting pictures I took at Friday Night Knitting a while back. I promise that I'll have some of my own knitting, new knitting one of these days. Soon.


Durwood drove Aunt B to the Milwaukee airport leaving at the crack of still dark this morning and we delivered DD to the local airport a couple hours ago to catch her flight, so all our company has flown. I meant to take today off and just unlax but I found it impossible not to think about what I need to do, make a phone call or two, shout at TW on the phone (brothers), and shuffle through bags. We did get most of the thank yous written yesterday, I got some stamps today, so I'll drop them in the mail later. Huh, clouds just slid over the sun so instead of a bright fall day it's now a gloomy fall day. Hurrah.

October 27--Jean Bourdichon, The Annunciation, from a Book of Hours. The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary and she conceived of the Holy Ghost. Those words, in my grandma Frieda's voice, pop into my head when I look at today's painting. Mary looks devout but kind of suspicious. The angel has its arms crossed as if it is making a point and tolerating no discussion. I wonder what was said. "Hi, you're Mary, right?" "Who wants to know?" "I'm an angel of the Lord and I'm here..." "An angel... of the Lord. Which Lord is that? Lord Herod? Lord Pontius Pilate? Or are you with one of the tribes out in the desert? Buzz off." "No, no, I'm not from some earthly lord, I'm from the Lord God in Heaven" points up "and He sent me to tell you..." "God? You mean Jahweh? You're trying to tell me that you've come from Heaven with a message for me? Right. You sure are cleaner than anybody around here but I don't believe that you're an angel from Heaven." "Yeah, well get used to it. God said to tell you that He's sending the Holy Spirit to you and you're going to have a baby who will grow up to be the Savior." "A baby? No way. Get away from me, demon. Mom! Dad!"

And what did her parents say when she turned up pregnant? Oh sure they totally believed that their pure little teenager daughter was pregnant with the Holy Spirit. I'd have believed my daughter on the first telling. Totally. Yeah, right.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I missed posting yesterday. Sorry, Blogtoberfesters. We went through Mom's jewelry (Aunt B discovered the diamond earrings. Yay!) and I gotta say she had a crapload of jewelry. Not much of the "good" stuff but an impressive volume of sparkly and beady things. Also watches, the woman evidently had a watch fetish. Then we went to supper at DS & DIL1's where I played with Porter in the backyard while the grownups talked and after supper I sat on the floor with her sleeping in my lap while they talked around the table. I discovered that a dog is a nice companion when you're sad. To top off the day I couldn't find my keys to Mom's when we dropped off Aunt B. I had an outside door key that AJ had given me the other day and ended up waking up Mom's neighbor for her key. Embarrassing. Even more embarrassing when I got home only to discover it in the breast pocket of my sweater. Right there by my left boob all the time. Tsk.

October 25--Workshop of or painted by Giovanni Maria Vasaro, Majolica Bowl with the arms of Pope Julius II and the Manzoli of Bologna surrounded by putti, conucopia, satyrs, dolphins, birds, etc. "You did not put popcorn in that bowl," Terese said. She wasn't yelling or commanding but disbelieving. Jace sat with the bowl of popcorn on his lap, his hand buried to the wrist in fluffy, buttery whiteness. "Uh, yeah, I did," was all he could think to say. Evidently it was the wrong bowl to use for his game day snack. None of the guys could make it today but he didn't think he had to pass up all the pleasures of the day. He had beer and cheese and popcorn. He glanced down at the old ceramic bowl with the ugly design on it. "What's wrong with it? Is it poison?" Her face got pale and then blood flooded up turning it bright red. She reached out, grabbed the bowl, and dumped it onto him. She clutched it to her breast like a battle shield. "This is a priceless Italian antique. Made in the fifteenth century." She fired out sentence fragments like bullets. "Not some Tupperware... plastic... thing... with a snap-on lid." Jace stood up, shedding popcorn. "Then you shouldn't have stored it in the cabinet," he said. He stalked into the kitchen muttering, "good thing it's halftime" while his dog, Ruts, was busy crunching up all the spilled snacks.

Okay, I'm off to take Mom's violin to be appraised and then figure out what to do next. Appreciate the sunshine today. I promise to notice and keep on noticing. Cross my heart.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

This is the Way We Sort Mom's Jewelry

O.M.G. My mother, may she rest in peace, had more damned jewelry than you could shake a stick at, and most of it wasn't worth the powder to blow it to H-E-double toothpicks. Aunt B did find Mom's diamond earrings though so that mystery was solved. I screwed them suckers into my ears so fast my earlobes got pinched.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

No Sunshine Today

Rain, sleet, rain, rain, hail, rain, rain-- with a bit of thunder thrown in for spice. I knit one row on Aunt B's Potato Chip Scarf last night. Anybody made one? I added 30 sts and am adding an extra knit row between increase rows, and thinking of adding at least one more repeat, and I'm still using way less yarn than the pattern says. Plus it looks too skinny. Tips?


Today was Mom's funeral. I feel like I spent the day in the middle of a whirlwind. A lot of people came. A. Lot. Including two of my aunts from Indiana brought by my cousin and her husband, and another cousin and her husband from down near Milwaukee. I was flabbergasted to see them, and it was the only time I was in danger of breaking down. The service was lovely, a lot of warm and funny memories of Mom were shared, mostly the family went to Titletown Brewing afterwards for appetizers and more visiting, and it rained the whole time. It even hailed a bit and thundered too. Crazy. After everyone left the "reception" the family went to Mom's apartment and talked through who wants what. Mom would have been so proud of us, we didn't fight one bit. We noshed on deli trays for supper, looked at pictures, and laughed. It was a warm family time and I'm very proud of us too. We've still got a crapload of work to do to clear out her apartment but we've made a start. I'm sorry I've been such a downer these last four days (FOUR???? It's only been four days since she died??? No wonder I can't wrap my mind around it yet.) but, again, I feel as if I've been living in the middle of a whirlwind since that phone call on Saturday morning. The craziest thing was that the two largest floral arrangements were blocks of oasis in a cage on a wire easel. We had to take the whole things home with us. In order to not have them hulking around in our already crowded living room DD and I pulled out the flowers and filled Mason jars and vases. I kind of felt like I was in the winner's circle at the track when we first got home. Surreal, but then pretty much everything about the last four days has been surreal.

October 24--Winslow Homer, Palm Tree, Nassau. The land was barely higher than the sea. When storms blew ashore Lucy waited for a huge wave to come and wash right over the island. She could imagine it so easily that some nights when storms lurked on the horizon, their lightning illuminating the cloud banks. she lay awake listening to the palm fronds rattling and the thud of falling coconuts. Her house was near enough to the beach that the sounds of the surf were ever present. Some stormy nights the waves didn't pound and she found their silence more frightening than when the breaking waves shook the house.

I'd like to be on a beach tonight listening to the waves instead of here where it's cold and rainy.

Monday, October 24, 2011

At Least the Sun's Shining Today

Well, right now anyway. I have a crapload of things to accomplish today, phone calls to make, errands to run, and I'd really rather pull the covers over my head and hide. Or maybe take Porter to the dog park all day to see what dogs come out to play. I'd take treats. For both of us. I really haven't been knitting so I don't have any knitting to show you, but I can find a
few U.P. pictures to dazzle you with.

Food Cleared Out? Check. Clothes Donated? Check.

My beloved DIL1 offered to conscript DS and clear out Mom's fridge and all her food. I met them there and while they slaved in the kitchen, I emptied all the toiletries, etc. from the bathrooms, changed the sheets, and bagged up her clothes for the Goodwill. Last night (after the game) I met brother TW, his wife, and stepdaughter there to pick out pictures to have at the funeral tomorrow. They volunteered to clean the bathrooms, dust and vacuum because Mom's sister, Aunt B, and her husband, P, will be staying there. I know it might seem like we're emotionless cads for diving right in, but my thought is if we remove all the incidental things we'll have a better chance of finding things that Mom said she wanted each of us to have and seeing what's ahead of us in the next month so we only have to move things once. DD finally arrived shortly after 10 last night bedraggled and exhausted from rattling around Kentucky and Ohio in broken (but not flying) airplanes, cabs, and more airplanes all day. Isn't travel fun? Today I have a list of people to call (attorney, apartment management, etc.) and a few things to organize for tomorrow's funeral. Durwood invited all out-of-towners (there's only 3) over for supper tonight so he's cooking a crockpot pork roast with carrots, onions, and parsnips, baby reds will be roasted later. (Didn't I tell you he's the best? He's been slaving away here while I've been racing around town or staring stunned at the computer screen. He's cooked, laundered, and cleaned--and always been willing to stop to give his lunatic wife a big hug. I love him so much it gives me a cramp.) Oh, I just had a happy thought--maybe I can go over and let Porter out for a potty break when they're at work. She loves to run around the yard. That'd be an excellent thing to do today. I bet I could do it even if they don't really need me to.

October 23--Mesopotamia, Figure of a Tribute Bearer with an Oryx, a Monkey, and a Leopard Skin. I think this monkey has fleas. Ever since I left home with the wretched creature I've been so itchy I can barely stand it. It persists in riding on my shoulder with its fingers clutched in my hair. I think it peed on me a few times too. I'll be glad to hand it over but I can see that the king doesn't really want it. The oryx isn't bad. It kind of got tamed on the trip. At least it stopped trying to spear me with its horns after the first couple of days.

I meant to write more, I really did, but I got too tired and just conked out. Hug someone today for me, even if it's yourself.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


I am employing several coping mechanisms today. One is blogging,

another is cleaning, because DD and Mom's sister are coming, and you know there'll be random people here this week.

Possibly the most ill-advised is a pint of Ben & Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk ice cream for lunch. I've been frustratedly trying to reduce the shadow I cast and not had a lot of luck. Grief eating is not going to help but once Tuesday's over I'm back on the wagon. Really. This is my last pint of bad-girl food for a long time. Cross my heart.

DS and I took Porter to the dog park on Friday. She met and played with a Newfoundland named Morgan. Morgan is as big as a Smart Car. No. Lie. Good thing she's friendly.

In knitting news, at Friday Night Knitting I frogged and restarted Aunt B's scarf. I added 30 stitches and an extra knit row between increase rows--and I may add another repeat to make it wider, but
it's fast knitting and going well.

Going On

We're all staggering forward after yesterday's shocking news. It's amazing, isn't it, how resilient human beings are? We got slammed with the worst possible news yesterday morning and pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps (or bra straps, as the case may be) and trundled forward, dragging or supporting each other as needed. My brothers and I (and one sister-in-law) went to the funeral home and "made the arrangements." That's a euphemism for trying to not spend too much money but to honor Mom as best we can. It was grueling, but not as bad as it could have been. Mom and I went there a couple years ago, looked at the packages, talked about what she wanted, and got an estimate. She couldn't afford to prepay anything but at least we knew what she wanted. We had a folder. Do this for your loved ones, I implore you. It was still long and arduous and felt more like some surreal business deal than a plan to celebrate Mom, but it could have been much worse. Thanks, TW and AJ for being good men.
October 22--Mesopotamia, Nimrud, Figre of a Tribute Bearer with an Oryx, a Monkey, and Leopard Skin. He stands there all proud of himself with the tribute. What does he think I'll do with a monkey? I don't want a monkey. They crap all over and they get into everything. And an oryx, you can't tame an oryx. I'll just have to either build it a pen and hire some kid to take care of it or have it roasted and use the hide to make a purse. Maybe I can use those horns for something useful or at least decorative. There's not a damned thing useful about a monkey though, no matter how positive a spin you put on it. That leopard skin looks pretty good though. Maybe I can get a robe trimmed with it made before winter. It gets darned cold around the palace in winter, especially at night. I see several of my wives eyeing the leopard skin but I'm not so sure I want to share it, not this time. They can have the monkey. It can wreak havoc in the women's quarters; that's fine with me. Perhaps we can keep the oryx with the goats. Hm, I do like its horns. Maybe we can make some sort of scepter with them.

I've got other chores I should be attending to. People start gathering today so I need to chase a little dust and swish around in the bathroom. Thanks for thinking of me.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bye, Mom

I love you lots. I always did.
Barbara Sue

Bye, Mom

This morning just before 8 o'clock my lovely mother breathed her last. She'd had a burst appendix about 10 days ago and was in a rehab center trying to get better so she could get back to her busy schedule of playing bridge with friends, sewing doll clothes, and watching college football games on TV especially the Wisconsin Badgers. That was not the way I wanted to wake up today, I'm telling you, but I'm glad she died this way instead of having to die by inches with cancer or to lose her marbles to Alzheimer's. It's damned hard on those of us left behind but easy on her, she just stopped breathing and slipped away. She was a strong and awesome role model and a super mom. I'm going to miss her daily post-bridge game phone calls. I never understood how to play bridge but she'd tell me every high and low just the same. What am I going to do without her? (That's the photo we're putting in the obit in the paper. Looks just like her, inside and out.)

October 21--Savinien Edme Dubourjal, Anne Charlotte Lynch (Later Mrs. Vincenzo Botta)

So still she sits
with her shining eyes
boring into his soul
Innocence defined
by her closed lips
demure, modest, refined.
The lovely Anne,
comely miss,
seeing Paris in spring
with Papa and Mama.
Off to Italy within the week
where matrimony looms
to the Vincenzo
of her dreams.

If I'm not mistaken someone's smoking weed somewhere in the neighborhood. I can smell the musky smoke every once in a while. How stupid do kids think adults are?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Inspired by Mooncalf

I read her blog daily and I am in awe of her productivity and output, both in knitting and other crafts. I have followed her lead making fabric baskets

and pocket monsters,

but today she blogged about getting a new pattern book. Well, I got a new bo
ok too. It isn't a pattern book, it's a book of essays but the subject is knitting. You can see it has already moved into its rightful place--on the vanity next to the "throne." Where else would you put a new and treasured volume?

Freaky Friday

It is Friday, right? Yeah, it is, I just checked the newspaper. Whew, if it wasn't I'd be late for work. We went to the bank this morning to talk about refinancing our mortgage and talked to the nicest Indian lady (East, not First Nations [I think I like that better than Native American]). We may be able to pay the same and pay it off sooner. Wouldn't that be nice? Now I'm waiting for DS to get off work and come over with our grand-dog, Porter, so we can go to the dog park and let her run. She really wants to run on our walks but my running days are way over. I let her out into her own backyard when we get back and she can run there (it's deep and fenced) but it's not the same as having acres to run in. DS and I will walk along the trails and let her frolic with any available dogs. Good times. It's supposed to be partly sunny today but so far the sun is a no-show. I'm thinking I'll mow this weekend, I wish it'd be the last time but I'm not betting on it. And, of course, I'll visit Mom at least once a day. Tonight's knitting and we've got yummy leftovers--Chicken Mushroom Hash. Don't you wish you were coming over? Durwood makes the best stuff. Last night we had baked swordfish basted with butter and garlic juice and steamed kohlrabi. We've gotten to where we like our veggies steamed with just a bit of butter, salt and pepper, no fancy herbs or sauces, just the fresh, clean taste of the veggies. I could eat a whole plate full right now. What do people who don't like veggies eat?

October 20--Edouard Manet, The Brioche. The house smelled so good, of baking bread and ripe peaches. Michel's mouth watered thinking of the crisp crust of the brioche and the taste of butter, spread and melting, over it. This time of year when all the fruit is ripening in the orchard down behind the shed was his favorite. He'd sit in the shade with the slow buzz of bees and wasps around him and eat. He'd start with peaches; they ripened first. Then came the plums, apples and finally the pears in October when the leaved had already started to turn. The wheat, ground in the mill down by the stream, was grown in the neighborhood and made into brioche by Pascal in his brick oven in the village.

Okay, now I want to bake bread. Too bad I don't have any dough ready in the fridge. Have you even discovered Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day? They have simple recipes for making small boules (round loaves) of bread quickly and easily. DS made wheat cornmeal dough and formed small rolls to go with our soups for last Sunday's supper. I should whip up some dough today so I can bake Sunday. Hasta la vista, babies!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I Am The Sweetest

Durwood says so, I believe him, and I've got the flowers to prove it. See? They were waiting for me when I got home from work last Saturday. It was Sweetest Day, one of those Hallmark holidays, and he gave me a card and the flowers. I think they look perfect in this ugly pitcher I bought years ago at T.J. Maxx. I remember what DD said when I picked it up. "Mom!" she said, as only a 15-year old can. "You're not going to buy that hideous thing, are you?" That clinched it; I had to have it and it has amused and pleased me ever since.

This is the pumpkin cheesecake that DS & DIL1 brought for Sunday supper. It had an absolutely fantabulous graham cracker crust and it was totally delicious.

When Durwood and I ran away from home the other day we went to Appleton and strolled through World Market. I love that place. It's like a vacation without a passport. Everything's a tiny bit exotic and the store smells like foreign places. I bought this sarong to use as a scarf. It was 50% off and I loved the muted colors. I wore it yesterday and felt very swell.

Gales of October

Whoo, it's windy! Naturally it isn't blowing away all the leaves out of our yard. There's also been a bit of drizzley rain to stick them to the grass so they're staying put, darn it. I have to say that the wind livens up the days for me. If they'd just been gray and still I think I'd have been sunk even deeper into a funk, one that even fudge couldn't pull me out of. I am wearing red shoes today to counteract the effects of the weather. I know it seems silly but my red fingernails and red shoes really do perk me up when I'm feeling down. I see them as sort of flipping the world the bird in a semi-ladylike manner. And, of course, my socks never match so there's another "in your face, fashionistas" that I practice every day. I gotta be me. I saw more of the real Mom yesterday and this morning when I stopped at the rehab. She was up and eating a bit of breakfast, refusing pain pills except at bedtime and much more outward looking today. Thank. God. I was so relieved I almost cried. Speaking of red fingernails I need to get them filled and shortened tomorrow. They're so long I'm making even more typos than usual.

October 19--Rene Jules Lalique, Necklace. It was easy to see why the family fought over the swan necklace. It was a breathtaking assemblage of gold, opals, and enamel. Jules had given it to Marceline upon the birth of one of their many children. She wrote to her mother about how the opals flashed their fire and how cold the matal was against her skin. The Art Deco nudes that were a pare to each pendant caused a bit of a scandal. Marceline looked down her nose at the hissing old buffalos, those old ladies with their moth-eaten gowns trailing black lace who gossipped behind their fans, and shut them right up.

I'd love to see that necklace in person, much less be able to wear it. It was breathtaking. And now I think I'll play with glue and stickers for a bit. I love my job.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

False Start & Restart

Last Friday I cast on 90 stitches and got started on Aunt B's Potato Chip Scarf while I was visiting Mom. I worked on it at Friday Night Knitting, but it was going fast and going nowhere. What you see is all but the last row of knit front and back and the bind-off. It's not long enough and I don't think it's wide enough. I'm going to frog it and start over. Some of the ones I saw on Ravelry added stitches and rows; I think that's what I'll do.

I frogged my last attempt to make a Special Olympics scarf and put it aside. The other night I pulled it out and started again with bigger needles. Great big needles. US13s. I do love it when it goes fast.

Oh, you should have had supper with us tonight. We had leftover Peking Chiken so Durwood cut it off the bone, heated it up, put it in whole wh
eat tortillas with hoisin sauce, cucumber spears, and chopped green onions with steamed broccoli on the side. You would have wanted some but we ate it all.

Doo-Dah, Doo-Dah

I feel ready to get back into the race after Durwood bore me off in his chariot last night. Mom left a message while we were gone and sounded a bit more like herself, so I'm encouraged that I haven't lost my sassy Mom just yet. It's dreary and drizzly today so I should have worn red shoes today but I didn't. I'll do better tomorrow. It's funny how off-balance I feel, how distracted I am even though there's nothing tangible I can do to hurry her recovery. Maybe it's just selfishness wanting things to be back to normal, thank you very much. Did I tell you that Skully, Maggie, Porter and I saw a doe on our walk yesterday? We did! She was on a trail across the creek and didn't run away when we first saw each other. I took her picture with my new camera and now I have to figure out how to get it out of there and onto the computer so I can crop it and enlarge it. (That's an image I yoinked off Wikipedia) Porter didn't balk one time on the whole walk and even Henny and Penny pecked at my fingers when I bent down to talk to them when I took Porter home. I must be getting in touch with my pet gene--finally

October18--Callot Soeurs Design House, Dress. You wouldn't expect nuns to make dresses like this but you'd be wrong. This dress is demure and modest and fabulous. Who but a nun would combine an empeccalbe black wool with gold embroidered oranage silk? After all nuns spend most of their time watching a man in a long black robe and rich silk vestments celebrate Mass. Julie smoothed the tunic over her hips enjoying the weight of the fabric and the way it draped. The deep silk cuffs reined in the generous sleeves and the simple neckline was the perfect foil for her new bob. Papa had been scandalized when she came home from having her hair cut but Mama had laughed. "Oh, Georges, a modern girl needs modernn hair, and think of how easy it will be to keep clean." She raised a hand to her own lush auburn hair, a speculative gleam filled her eye, and she removed the pins and let it fall. Papa put an arm around her waist and pulled her into his study. Julie hoped he didn't yell at Mama and hurried to her room so that she wouldn't overhear if he did.

Ah, innocent youth. Gotta work.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Posting In The Dark

I mean to do this in the morning, or at least in the daylight, but my days get away from me more than I care to admit. I hear that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, so I plan to have a very smooth path to perdition one of these days.

I used yarn as decor on Sunday...

but it couldn't compare to the allure of the appetizer platters Durwood and I fixed for our family supper.

His Italian Wedding Soup was delicious and my Creamy Mushroom
Barley Soup was nearly gone. (his recipe makes a lot more than mine does)

In. Sane.

This has not been an easy week for me with Mom having a burst appendix and needing emergency surgery last Tuesday, etc. She was in a lot of pain and also (understandably) down in the dumps about the whole thing. She's good about me having to work 3 days a week, not expecting me to dance constant attendance on her, but she's also (as all we mothers are) excellent at making me feel eleven years old and guilty about not making her better fast. Not on purpose, you understand, but she's sad and hurting and not able to do things, which puts her in "a mood" to snap at those trying to encourage her to, say, walk around more or go to physical therapy so that she won't be "weak as a cat" for long. I think once she's off more of the painkillers and "happy" pills she'll be more herself, at least I hope so. Last night they moved her to the rehab center. So today in the interest of my sanity (and Durwood's too) after walking with Skully and Rainmag (her English Cocker) and Porter the grand-dog, I went for my annual mammo (all's well in the boobage), went to Mom's for clothes to take to the rehab, and when I got home me and the old guy hopped into the Uplander and zoomed off to Appleton to Penzey's spices for curry, thyme & sea salt, then we cruised World Market where I overspent on gifts and a few items for me. We had supper at Outback (cook's night out, Durwood said) where I had a lovely Cobb salad and he a small steak. I even managed to not think about Mom for a few minutes. She'll be better soon,God willin' and the creek don't rise. (Do not ask me where that came from, it just bubbled up from the tar pits of my past.)

October 17--Hubert Robert, The Bathing Pool. The water felt like silk on the skin and wasn't it scandalous to be nude outdoors? Renee had rarely been undressed as far back as she could remember. People just didn't get totally undressed but she couldn't resist the warm water of the bathing pool. It wasn't very deep so the sun warmed it nicely making it just right, not too warm to be refreshing.

I wish you could see my handwriting from last night. It was barely after 10 and I couldn't keep my eyes open. One of these nights I'm gong to get enough sleep.