Thursday, May 31, 2012

And I Got The Lawn Mowed After Work

I love it when I'm in a good mood and feel good about myself and my body.  I get so much done, and I have energy energy energy.  I got up before my alarm and did 30 minutes of Wii Fit Yoga in a silent house lit only by the filtered sunrise.  Ahh.  Can you believe that today's the last day of May already?  I can't either, but sure enough tomorrow's June 1.  That's a portentous day to anyone who was ever a kid in school.  June 1 is the de facto start of summer, when school's out and playing outside all day begins.  How did we ever let that get grownup-ed out of us?  We need to fight back, to get out our bikes (even if they're a no-speed rattletrap [which mine isn't, btw]), clip on a couple of old playing cards to brrrrap in the spokes, tuck our kites or balls & mitts or fishing poles into the basket, and set out for parts adventurous.  Let's put a pb&j or a cheese sandwich on Wonder bread into a brown paper sack with an apple for dessert and a bottle of water (or grape Nehi) in and pedal to the creek to catch polliwogs and fight off marauding pirates, play endless games of tag and hide-and-seek... not it!  And splash each other with cannonballs into the swimmin' hole--last one in's a rotten egg.  We'll race to be home before the streetlights come on, play Kick the Can or Ghost in the Graveyard in the neighborhood front yards after supper, and then catch lightning bugs in Mason jars with nail-pierced lids so we can put them on the nightstand and watch their pale lights twinkle as we fall asleep.  (see what my DD gave me for Christmas a few years back? it lives on my nightstand so I don't forget and get too grownup-py)  My friend Tanya posted about this Photo A Day challenge in June and I'm going to play along.  Hey, it's not like I don't take at least one photo a day so it's not like I'm taking on yet another "thing to do."  Now I'll just have a direction for my photo.  I'll post it on the blog (ooh, maybe I should skip ahead a day so I've got it ready in the early AM when I post...) and maybe Pinterest (if I can figure out how).

May 31--Attributed to Sahib Ram, Head of Krishna.  The sun beat down.  There was no shade and the breeze was so hot and filled with humidity that it was almost too heavy to breathe.  Rima held her hand over her eyes and groaned softly at the relief of even that small respite from the heat and glare.  "I need a drink," she said, turning in a slow circle to find a cafe.  "It's hot enough to melt pearls," said her friend Lala who mopped her face with a wet and crumpled handkerchief.  Lala cringed away from the side of the building they stood in front of feeling the heat doubled by reflection.

Oh, I think they're lost, don't you?  Lost in a hot, crowded, foreign place.  Talk about adventure.  Time to get ready for work.  You?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Tomatoes Are In The Ground

The bell peppers and spaghetti squash are too.  Somehow we managed to bring home 7 tomato plants instead of 6... Durwood denies any knowledge of how that might have happened.  (really, Tomato Boy?)  Miracle Gro Garden Soil was on sale for $3.99 a bag with a $2/bag rebate so instead of spending twenty bucks it was only ten.  I spotted bags of pine bark mulch so I snapped one up to spread around my blueberry bushes.  They're getting too big for their cages so I want to make one big cage around them to give them room to grow and make me more berries.  I had to go back to Steins for tomato fertilizer spikes (while Durwood went to let Porter out) and bamboo stakes for the blueberry fence.  I found one bag of 6 stakes for $3.49 and right behind them was a bag of 24 stakes for $3.99.  Guess which one I picked.  Well, duh, who'd be silly enough not to pay fifty cents more for 18 more stakes?  You know there are those who'd pick the smaller bag just because they don't need the rest right now.  I suppose that's what the manufacturers count on.  While I spread the soil over the garden and raked it in a bit Durwood planted the peppers in a pot, then I put the pot into the garden.  That way it gets the same amount of water as the rest of the plants and the rabbits don't eat my pepper plants like they do if I plant them in the ground.  Smart, eh?  Okay, I can't stand it, I have to talk about the weather.  On Sunday and Monday it was hot, humid, and stormy.  Air conditioner blasting, house closed up.  Yesterday it was partly sunny, windy and in the 70s. Air conditioner off, all windows open.  Today it's barely supposed to ooch up into the 60s.  Air conditioner off, all windows shut.  All in three days.  What is this?  I'm confused.  And I'm wearing long jeans and a sweater, just a cotton one but still... to work today.  I added another pot to the patio garden too.  Mom still gets mail from something called the Cooking Club and some of the mailings had little packets of seeds in them which of course we saved.  I dragged another unplanted pot over to the herbal area and sprinkled on the tiny packet of cilantro seeds and watered them in.  And made a nametag stick so the cook knows what's what.  Last year my best friend, Lala discovered that cilantro grown from seed makes lots of herb to pick for cooking and doesn't bolt in a NY minute like the plants that you buy do, *head slap,* so we're trying it.  Can't hurt.  Tonight after work I'll mow the lawn if it's not raining which it won't be and if it's only sprinkling I'll do it anyway.  I was going to do it yesterday but I have a tendency to wear myself out cramming all sorts of stuff into Tuesdays so for once I got smart and saved something to do on Wednesday.  I was pretty much dragging by supper time but I did manage to rally for our reinstated World Champion Wii Bowling best-of-three tournament.  I kicked Durwood's butt the first game and then totally crapped out the second and third so he's the World Champ--for now.  There may be a rematch tonight.  

May 30--Egypt, Thebes, Game Box--Hounds and Jackals.  "Deal."  Reagan's face was a mask of concentration, not a muscle moved except his eyes which tracked the cards as they slid from the deck to each player.  "You got someplace to be or are you in that big a hurry to lose your money?"  Angelo's bright black eyes snapped with amusement even though he had the smallest pile of chips at the table.  "I'm tire of the rest of you dicking around between hands."  Reagan shifted in his seat as if he couldn't find a comfortable position.  Angelo laughed and kept dealing.  Elf and Merle kept quiet, picking up the cards as they came their way.  "I'll open," Reagan said.  "God, wait until I have my cards in my hand," said Angelo.  Reagan was already throwing chips and money into the pot, his eyes shifting to each man's hand in turn.

Okay, kids, I'm off to keep the world safe from SCUBA diving.  Enjoy your day and stay warm or cool, depending on your local conditions.  Cheers!


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Farmer's In The Dell Today

After my walk with Porter, Skully & Maggie I'm swinging by Stein's for a few bags of soil to use as top dressing and then it'll be home to plant the farm-ette.  (isn't that a dumb-looking word? I retyped it about 4 times.)  We went early yesterday and picked out 6 tomato plants, 2 bell pepper plants, and one spaghetti squash.  We like to find one viney plant that we can train on the fence behind the garden patch, this year we're trying spaghetti squash.  Butternut did well but melons are too heavy and self-pick (that means they fall off before they're ripe) which is frustrating, so it's back to squash-type items.  Cucumbers make too many (Durwood's not a big fan) as do zucchini.  I tell Durwood if he can figure out a way to plant half a zucchini, we'll do it, but I hate loathe and detest those giant baseball bat size ones that aren't good for anything.  Last year's patty pan squash made some but then last year was a bad year for gardens around here.  We're hoping for better this year.  (fingers and hoes crossed)  Our lettuces and spinach are almost big enough to eat., maybe we'll pick some for tonight to make sure, and soon the Farmer's Markets will start and we can buy fresh tomatoes, etc.  Won't that be wonderful?  DD & DIL2's markets in Lexington have already begun, the lucky ducks.  I hate having to relearn good habits over and over.  I've been lax in tracking my WW points and have been uber-frustrated about not losing weight, so after my meltdown 2 weeks ago and then spending at least a week deep in the doldrums, I talked with Durwood about it (god, he's a good listener) and have been back being dedicated about it for the last week.  The outcome is that I've tallied a small but steady weight loss since last Friday when I got back into the tracking saddle.  Keeping track works, I know it does, why do I stop and then imagine I'll remember when I can't even remember what day of the week it is or what I was doing the hour before?  *head, desk*  Did you ever watch The Pioneer Woman on Food TV?  I started reading her blog a year ago or so, she lived in the wilds of Oklahoma, home schools her kids because they live so far away from town, and cooks for her family and the farm workers.  She's been food blogging for years, I remember finding a recipe of hers and sending it to DS and DD a while back, and published a couple cookbooks of her recipes.  All of it looks to die for but holy Moses does she use a lot of butter, cream, and whole milk.  I guess if you're feeding a family that's spent the day on horseback rounding up cattle and doing other strenuous work you can do that but if I did (or rather Durwood did) I'd look like Jabba the Hut in a New York minute.  She's fun to watch, tho.

May 29--Edward Hopper, Office in a Small City.  George sat at his desk in the new office.  It was a corner office so he had two windows.  The desk faced Adams Street and he was up high enough to see behind the facade of the Meyer Theater over there.  It looked like someone had built a hide up there on the theater's roof.  He saw what looked like the fort he and Roy had built out of broken pallets and some scrounged plywood down in the hollow behind the house.  They must have been ten and eleven when they decided to move out there for the summer.  Mom had shrugged and made them sandwiches when they told her their plans.  George's reverie was broken by the sight of a youngish man with dark hear, wearing jeans and an old overcoat slip over the parapet and lift a box of supplies over like he was moving in.  George knew he should call Kiran the theater manager and get the guy evicted but he kind of wanted to watch what happened, kind of wanted to do a little spying.

Now I'd better get a move on, gobble up some Cheerios, and get going.  It's cooled way down and is sunny and breezy; a perfect day for a walk along the river.  Adios, muchachas.

Monday, May 28, 2012

54 Degrees Farenheit

Not yesterday, but my standard look
That was the water temperature at 25 feet yesterday.  Yikes, that was cold, especially on the lips, and my hands got cold fast.  I should have followed my instinct when I was packing my gear and put in my 3-finger mitts, but I didn't.  I did get them out and they're right there on the rack so I can pack them the next time we're going diving--maybe next Sunday.  (fingers crossed)  We saw some wood, like telephone pole pieces, a thick cable that crosses the ship canal, 2 big dead carp (not the invasive Japanese, just regular ones), and a good number of keeper-size bass.  It's funny, seeing those fish made me forget that my hands were frozen and wish I could follow them, but we'd agreed where to go and how long to stay so I stuck with Kevin.  It's a good thing too, I'd  have had to have help taking off my gear if I'd stayed in too much longer.  JJ couldn't make it, something came up at home.  Too bad.  Oh, and we didn't go to the Stone Quarry, it was way too windy and wavy, we went across the shipping canal to Potawatomi Park, paid the daily fee ($7) and dived off the old boat launch there.  It's nice, you walk in only about 6 feet and it drops right off to 25'.  No staggering over tippy and slick rocks for ankle-twisting distances, just a quick stop to put on your fins, mask & gloves and you're off.  We sat on rocks to eat our Subway lunch and then drove home.  It was a good day, and Beverly's first dive trip.  (now she'll have that nice, bay water smell to go with the dog aroma from Porter)  A good day.  Right now Durwood's getting dressed and I'll be doing the same as soon as I'm done here so we can go to Stein's and get our plants for the garden, then to Walmart for a couple ingredients for some coleslaw to have with our BBQ-ed ribs on the smoker for supper.  Mmmm.  You totally wish you were gonna be here.  Maybe I'll whip up a little cornbread to go with it.  I'll figure something out, don't you worry.  Then in the afternoon when it's too hot and muggy I'll be in the basement sewing on my project.  I want to get that done today or tomorrow so it's not hanging over my head--and I'll be able to show it off at knitting on Friday night.  That's the real reason and you know it.  I'm all about the acclaim of my pals.

May 28--Robert Campin, The Annunciation Triptych.  Mary sat in the parlor reading.  It was one of the rare perfect spring days and so she threw open the window.  The soft air brought the scent of fresh earth and the newest of green leaves.  The chickadees squabbled as they built a nest in the birdhouse in the flowerbed under the window and she heard a male cardinal asserting himself from the top of the big maple on the other side of the street.  Mary thought that there was no more comfortable chair than the rocker she sat in.  Her Great-Grandpa Berk had built the chair for Great-Grandma Barbara when she was pregnant with their first son, Oscar.  Mary hoped that Mama would be willing to part with the chair when Mary's first child was on the way.

Not bad.  I was pretty darned tired last night.  It takes it out of you keeping warm-ish in water that cold, not to mention hiking back up the hill to the car wearing all that scuba gear.  Fun though.  I can't tell you how great it was being back underwater, but we shouldn't have spent the drive up talking about diving in Bonaire and then plunged into the cold green water.  That was a shock.  Fun, but a shock.  Durwood just called that he'd ready to go.  I'm not.  See ya.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

It Looks Like Rain But I'm Going Diving Anyway

Me and Kevin, yep, we're meeting JJ at the Stone Quarry in Sturgeon Bay around one o'clock and we're going diving.  Yippee!  I've got my gear all packed and piled in the living room.  Once CBS Sunday Morning's over, I'll dig out a tank and my weight belt, and get it all loaded into Beverly.  I bought some grapes and baby carrots that need to go into zipper bags, and I'll make sure all my water bottles are full to the tippy top and in my little cooler too.  We'll stop at Subway on the way out of town to pick up sandwiches (I already figured out what I'll order to stay closer to my points allowance for the day) and zoom on up.  I got my weeding done just before the rains came yesterday so that's crossed off the "to-do" list, and I transplanted some chives into a pot that fits into the shelf on the privacy screen so Durwood can just go out onto the patio to snip some herbs when he cooks.  I want (NEED) to get another thyme because he uses that a lot, and a bigger basil plant because the seedlings are too small to use yet and then he'll have all sorts of goodies to choose from.  I'm so frustrated (with myself) that I don't seem to be losing much weight even though I think I'm sticking pretty close to the points plan (see, that might be the problem, I think I'm doing it but I'm lax about tracking) so I dug out a tiny notebook and rubber-banded a pencil to it to actually keep track.  What a concept!  If I had a Smart Phone I could do it immediately and online but I'm not willing to have the expense just for that.  I'm more of a pencil & paper kind of girl anyway.  (I like the look of an ampersand, don't you?)  When I went out to weed there were 2 male Goldfinches on the finch feeder and 3 more waiting on the bare branches to the right of it.  By the time I got the camera out only one was left.  They're so bright and cheerful looking, aren't they? Man, Porter sure doesn't like the rain.  I went over and fed her yesterday in the late afternoon, then herded her outside to potty.  Usually we stay out there playing ball and chasing around until she poops, but yesterday she deigned to chase and fetch the pig ball a few times, ran to the back of the yard to pee and that was it.  She trotted by me, dropped the pig ball near me, and just kept on going right through the pet door and into the house.  Wha...?  She kind of gave me a look as she went by too as if to say, "I'm not getting wet, if you want to, that's your business."  I followed her inside.  She wasn't in the sunroom, she was in the living room sitting on her towel, and as soon as I walked into the room she dropped into her tortellini pose, sighed, and dozed off.  Nothing I did made her move.  Not petting her and talking in a lunatic high voice about having fun outside.  Not discussing the merits of treats.  Not even sitting on the floor and putting my legs around her so she'd move into my lap.  I had to tempt her with a Beggin' Strip scrap to get her up and into the sunroom 45 minutes later when I gave up to come home to eat.  Dogs.  I sewed too late into the night last night so I didn't write, I just started the dishwasher and flopped.  Later.  I'll write later.  Cross my heart.  In the meantime, it's nearly time for Charles Osgood and I need to go.  Plus remember I'm going diving later.  !!!!!!
Porter Tortellini in my lap


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Gimme a G! Gimme an R! Gimme an E, E, N!

What's that spell?  Green!  That's the color of the leaves on the maple tree.  It came to me in a flash last week that those leaves are going to be green until October or later.  That would be one long, boring section of Maple Tree scarf, so I gathered up all the green yarns in my arsenal, and I plan to change out one green for another every week or so, slot them in and out to make it interesting.  I want to find another mostly green sock yarn for when the one I'm using runs out too.  I might have to order some online but that's doable.  I've actually dev...  

Wait, I was going to say that I had developed some self-control over yarn & fabric buying but then I went to JoAnn's yesterday after lunch for some buckles for a purse strap and, well, look what happened.  They're having a Memorial Day sale and all the "value" fabric was 50% off.  Damn their eyes.  I couldn't resist some of it.

I'm determined to spend some time making slippers this year and found this upholstery fabric that'll be awesome as slippers.  I bought a yard.

I'm always on the lookout for interesting linen.  I want to find printed linens like she uses in the book Zakka Style but evidently they don't sell them in the States, or this state anyway.  There are wild, Impressionistic florals that I usually love, not what I'm looking for in this case, but I did find this lovely dark brown with embroidered dots on it.  I bought a yard.

And who could resist this?  I was drawn by the round... things and amazed by the rest of it.  I had to buy a yard just to convince myself that someone really did put all this together on one length of fabric.  It's a border print too, both borders the same.  Holy shamoley.

The other day after my shower I realized that the soap sack I kept for myself when I handed them out at Christmas and that I've used at least 3 times a week since then, is all sagged out and still bleeding out color which looks disgusting as it collects on the ridge at the end of the bathtub and dries looking like diluted blood.  Urk.  So I dug out some dishcloth cotton and a one-size smaller hook and made myself a shorter and plainer one.  I like it.  I know it looks small but judging by the previous one, that'll change.

Give A Dog A Squeaky Ball

It's like giving a junkie drugs.  Thinking I'd get Porter to play a bit more when I let her out yesterday, help drain off some of that puppy energy of hers, I took along a squeaky tennis ball.  I threw it, she ran to get it, kind of brought it back, I threw it again.  We did that a few times and then she laid down with it and, well, look.  Doesn't she look like she's "having a moment"?  Too funny.  I finally managed to get a semi-decent picture of Henny2.  See her white earlobe?  Evidently white earlobes=white-shelled eggs.  Penny's lobes are brown, she lays brown eggs.  Never knew that.  I wonder if those chickens that lay pale blue and green eggs have blue-green lobes.  Maybe I'll call Martha Stewart and ask.  Or I could Google it, but calling Martha'd be more fun, and more of an adventure if rumors of her volatile nature are true.  Oh, I made a tactical dietary error yesterday at Olive Garden.  I was seduced by their commercial into ordering the Sausage & Orecchiette (means little ears, we thought they looked like foreskins, not that any of us know what that is or looks like, you understand) in garlic butter sauce with roasted asparagus and Alfredo bruschetta, salad and bread sticks.  It was delicious.  Dee. Lish. Shus.  But, oh mama, did it weigh heavily on my tummy all afternoon.  I was happy that I'd left Beverly to get her oil changed at Dell's a block away so I had to walk to lunch and back--and I detoured to JoAnn Fabrics in the same parking lot as Olive Garden--so that my food had a chance to settle before I set off on my appointed errand rounds.  I'm just not accustomed to eating such rich and fatty foods all at once and I was actually surprised that I managed to digest it without feeling like crap the rest of the night.  I was afraid I'd feel too icky to go to yoga & knitting but I managed--and I chose carrots & celery with a bit of dip for a snack instead of a gigantic chocolate chip cookie.  Go, me!  Once again Mardi's yoga class was exactly what I needed.  It's funny, I like the slow, stretchy, hold-that-pose yin (feminine energy) classes just as much as the fast, strenuous yang (masculine energy) classes.  Both of them drain off the tightness of the week and pull me back into myself.  Doing that one night of yoga a week sets me up on a positive note for the whole week.  Either that or I've got a crush on Mardi.  *shrugs*  No matter which one, I hate to miss it.  Do you do something for yourself that makes you feel great?  And don't tell me running 'cuz there ain't no way I'm getting this body running, not unless I'm being chased by... hmm, what would I run for?  Not a bear, they tell you to crumple up into a ball, besides there's no way you can outrun a bear.  Probably not a lion, either, but I'll bet your first instinct in either case would be to run.  I could outrun a snake but I'm not all that afraid of snakes so I'd probably stop and bend down to see it better.  I wouldn't run away from a shark, okay, okay, sharks don't run but you know what I mean, I wouldn't swim away from a shark, I know this for a fact because we saw a reef shark dart forward and eat some luckless fish when we were in Palau and I swam right toward it but the divemaster grabbed my attention and made me go the other way.  Spoilsport.  I don't run away from bees, wasps or hornets either.  Am I just not smart enough to be self-protective?  Too dumb to know when I'm in danger?  Or too curious about stuff to give it a thought?  Probably the last one.  I would run away from a person with a gun (okay a crazy person with a gun, because my chiropractor is a champion sporting clays shooter and I've seen her with a gun, I've seen Durwood with a gun) pointed at me.  With intent, not just some moron who doesn't know how to be safe.  (God, it just occurred to me that I've gotten into the habit of rambling on and on and on here.  I hope I'm not boring you or scaring you away with my blabbering.  Don't be afraid, I'm relatively harmless, just long-winded.)

May 26--Alexandre Pere & Fils, Accordion.  The music came from all around her.  Celia knew it was an accordion.  She recognized the sound because her Grandpa Paul played a concertina in the Germania Maennerchor band and Aunt Feelie played the accordion for weddings.  When she was small Celia and her cousin Donna Marie would play among the skirts of what Donna Marie called Mama's Wedding Dresses.  They loved the colors and the crinkly crinoline skirts..  The dresses smelled good too, like Tangee lipstick and Chanel No. 5.  The music seemed to be getting closer, wrapping itself around her and not letting her ignore it.

Okay then, that's part playing among Aunt Suzie's formals in Grandma's attic and part wondering what that metal arch over the rutted and overgrown driveway across from the end of Folz Lane where I waited for the school bus meant.  Enjoy your day.  I'm finally going out to lever up weeds in the garden.  It's a lot cooler and cloudy today so it should be a whole lot more comfortable out there.  I'll report.

Friday, May 25, 2012

No tiller for me--

--unless I rent one.  Seems Neighbor Tim did manage to kill his off by leaving it tarped out back for a few summers, and winters and springs and falls too..  "The flywheel's rusted solid," he said on the phone yesterday.  Ah well, I didn't really have a place to keep it anyway.  Thanks for giving it a try, Neighbor Tim, I appreciate the effort.  That's okay, a spot of hard work won't kill me, plus it'll be good for my pores to sweat out a gallon or two of impurities, right?  Diving friend Kev called last night and we got it all arranged to go on Sunday.  Part of me wanted to back out (for reasons I don't understand) but I powered through those feelings and I'll be packing my gear on Saturday night. Better check the air level in my tanks.  We'll stop for subs on the way up (I get a little meat or cheese and a flatbread-load of veggies on mine with a squirt of honey mustard or sweet onion sauce, yum.  And I usually cave and buy a bag of Baked Lays, but hey, it's a diving lunch.  I'll pack some grapes and baby carrots too, and lots of water.  See?  Healthy.)  Today I'm off to walk our rascally grand-dog along the river, then come back to start sewing on that gift, meet Cookie, Skully & maybe Julie for lunch at Olive Garden, then back to sew some more, and then go to yoga & knitting at Harmony Cafe next to Goodwill.  Sounds like a fun day, doesn't it?  I'm excited to get going on it.  Maybe someday I'll have a sewing studio that's above grade and not have to spend sunny spring days in the basement but until then I love my space down there.  I've got lots of storage, plenty of room for my 3 sewing machines & ironing board, and a big open space where that fabulous table I inherited from Mom can be opened out for cutting or assembly or yarn winding or whatever needs doing.  There's a phone and a sink, even a microwave.  The only lack is a potty but i can deal.  It's pure, freaking luxury people.  Luxury with burnt orange carpeting.  Soon I'll have the workshop area around the corner sorted out and tidied too so that Durwood and I can make some quality sawdust down there, and it'll be a studio for two.  Won't that be loverly?  It'll be like Mecca.  Ahhh.  Don't you just love it when it's cool and sunny in the early morning?  The birds are singing, a far-off woodpecker is rapping, the distant traffic is humming, and the rhythmic sounds of the pile-drivers out on Hwy. 41 fill the morning air.  Spring in Green Bay--what's not to love?

May 25--American, The Souper Dress.  I could hide wearing this.  In the soup aisle I'd be invisible, or I would have been then in the 60s when this dress was new.  In those days soup was lined up in ranks on the shelves and 99% of the soup on those shelves was Campbell's.  Were there even other brands of soup then?  I don't remember.  But Andy Warhol recognized how iconic those red and white labels were, lined up like that, ready to feed our untutored palates.  Warhol's painting of a soup can was a revelation and a rebellion.  He pushed at the edges of Art making us look at the commonplace with new eyes.  No one emerged from that decade unscathed.  I certainly didn't.

Ah, the Warhol soup can craze in art... or should I say Art?  It always seemed kind of self-consciously, pushily arty to me.  Still does.  You make the most of today, okay?  I intend to do my damnedest.  Toodle-oo.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Over-Feathering My Wingspan

I finished wedge #8 yesterday.  Looked at the shawlette, and decided it's just too "ette" so it needs another wedge/triangle, at least.  I have plenty of yarn.  Plenty, because I'm not really into skein #3 yet and they're only 137 yds. each.  Okay, so that's 274 yds. casting on 60 sts and using a US9 circ.  I have 392 yds. of the Lana Gatto Acquamarina so I can make the next one bigger.  It's a good thing that I've made this "practice" one. Wow, it's like swatching!  Who knew?

The Dragonscale mitts pattern that I made for DD's wedding mitts has been scratching at me for a while.  I finally gave in and cast on the other night.  This is attempt #2 since I decided halfway into mitt #1 that I was using too big needles.  Did someone say swatch?


In Maple Tree scarf news, I've decided to gather up all my green yarns and then switch them in and out randomly through the summer.  It's going to be a long green summer of green leaves (I'm not complaining) and I'll need some variety.  It's going to be awesome.  Right?  Right.

I thought you might like to see the hole Porter chewed in the new linoleum over at DS & DIL1's last week.  She managed to scratch up a wrinkle and then gnawed away.  Look at that face; she's not even sorry.

One of the Herd

Ever since Beverly the HHR came to live with me I can't help but notice that there are a bazillion of them on the streets.  At one point I came to an intersection and stopped right behind one and another one was waiting in the turn lane going the opposite way.  Three at once!  I can't drive the 5 miles to or from work without seeing at least one, and yesterday I saw one with black from the bottom of the windows down and gray up, two-toned, haven't seen a two-tone car since the 60s.  It looked slick. I'm not sure I like being a part of the herd.  Makes me feel almost normal.  Eesh.  Good thing I love her--and she's bright red, who wouldn't love that?  I was all set to go out after supper and tackle the weeds in the garden in preparation for planting on Saturday, when the doorbell rang.  It was the guy across the street (and his criminally cute granddaughter who was fascinated by my polished fingernails) telling me not to, that he was going to get his old tiller started, put a new belt on it, and "you can have it."  Well, hm, that was very nice of him, so I didn't chase the weeds after all.  I did go out with the loppers and clipped off the "old wood" of the big hummingbird vine on the privacy fence.  Now it looks so much better.  While I was out gathering up my clippings the renter's patio door opened and the littlest girl came out to show me her library books.  She's a little blond 6-year-old with personality to burn, is Miss Oh-livia.  Her big sister, 10 yr. old Angel, is just as blond but a lot more shy.  ("shyer" "shier" ack!)  Immediately after supper there was a young hawk in the back yard trying to catch one of the birds, mostly sparrows and grackles.  It didn't have much luck but it was sure fun to watch.  Mr. Neighbor didn't arrive with the tiller so I was a teensy bit peeved at bedtime because I'd hoped to be half-done with the weeding but I'm hopeful that he'll get the old girl to work again and I won't have to break my back getting the garden up and running anymore.  And it's not as if we won't get any tomatoes if we don't plant until next week either.  And I can always smother the weeds with landscape fabric of which we have a metric crapton (is too a measurement, Samurai Knitter said so awhile back) in the garage that we bought (on sale) during a failed attempt to turn the slopes in the back to rock gardens.

May 24--India, Child Saint Sambandar.  The temple bells sounded like water dancing over smooth pebbles.  Lila stood in the sun squinting into the gloom of the temple wondering what made the sound.  There was a low humming like bees in a wall.  She was sure it was monks chanting.  She hesitated in the doorway, drown by the sounds and aromas in incense and flowers but unsure if she was allowed in.  She had read in a guidebook about the need to respect local customs so she wore a skirt and t-shirt with a scarf to cover her head and shoulders.  She was so used to wearing pants or jeans that a skirt made her feel freed in some intangible way.  The hot Indian breeze blew the hem of her skirt up, she was careful that it not blow up in her face and stepped over the threshold.

And that's it for me today.  This week there's a writing class I'd love to be at and next week's the poetry class; both are at The Clearing.  It's where you'll find me if I ever win the lottery or a long-lost relative leaves me her fortune.  But I get to go for a week in September; that'll be good.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hump Day

And I'm feeling blech about it right now.  I'm so frustrated with Blogger that I could spit--and I would too, if I could, but I'd just end up with spittle on my shirt.  (I can't chew gum either, standing still I mean, not even talking about walking and chewing gum.  I always bite my cheek--OUCH!!)  I've been trying and trying to get Blogger to let me change the primary email account on this blog but it won't because "the email address belongs to someone else."  Yes, you morons, it belongs to ME.  Me, who is trying to get you to delete my "itol" address because I don't have it anymore, so when people to whom the posts are sent directly try to respond their response gets sent to what is essentially a Dead Letter office somewhere in cyberspace.  Gah!  (and, Cookie, I can't remember how to transfer stuff to my Kindle even after you came over and showed me.  I'm so ashamed.  And pathetic.  And old.)  Are you making big plans for the holiday weekend?  I'm not.  Well, maybe medium-sized ones.  I want to dedicate all of Friday, until time for yoga & knitting that is, to sewing since there's a certain person having a birthday one of these days and I thought I'd make her something swell.  And it will be swell if I get off my arse and get it sewn.  (right, Skully?)  I kind of invited myself along diving with friends, on Sunday he said.  Actually it wasn't "kinda" I did invite myself along.  I should call his wife just to make sure that the day's right.  (You know how husband's can be clueless, right?  They're dear things but they're kind of... drifty on the details.)  Saturday I want to get the garden in, unless it's a bazillion degrees out, and then I'll just get up early when it's still cool and lay out landscape fabric to kill off the weeds instead of pulling them.  Hmm, maybe I'll do that tonight after work, after sundown but before dark, and let the little rascals (the weeds, I mean the weeds) cook for a couple days.  That should show 'em who's boss, right?  I really want the garden fairy to come over with a big rototiller and some weed killer and clear it out for me, then I can plant with ease--and a whole lot less sweat and sore muscles.  I asked the neighbor if he still had his tiller and he does but it's beltless and sitting wrapped in a tarp behind his garage.  He said he keeps trying to stake it out like an unwelcome and aging wife (oops, did I say that?) but the thing won't die.  I've convinced Durwood that we need to put some baby back ribs in the smoker on Monday for the holiday.  I think I'll fire up the charcoal grill too and slap a crapload of veggies on to roast.  I can do a lot of them and then we'll have their yumminess all week.  Isn't that brilliant?  I know, sometimes I even impress myself.  Oh, look what DS and I found when we were decrappifying the basement on Mother's Day.  It's my beloved Durwood in his younger, Gillette salesman days.  Isn't he just the handsomest thing?  He always looks fantastic in pictures, not that he doesn't look good in person because he totally does, but even his driver's license picture looks good.  I, on the other hand, usually look like I've just gotten out of Taycheetah (local women's prison) for lighting the couch on fire with my husband napping on it.  (I actually took the PADI Rescue Diver course just to get a new certification [ID] card because my picture looked just like that.)  Oh, hell, look at the time.

May 23--Auguste Renoir, In the Meadow.  The unmown grass was like velvet in the shade.  Marie leaned on her hand and she delighted in the cool dampness.  She was tempted to lie down and let it soak into every molecule but she wasn't eager to get her dress and all her underthings damp.  It had been a hot walk out there from the village.  She might have changed her mind about walking so far on such a hot day but Juliette was not one to change her mind.  If she decided that they were having a picnic on Tuesday then they were having a picnic on Tuesday.  For all her blond softness, Juliette was a force to be reckoned with.

You have a fantabulous day.  I intend to do my damnedest to have one too.  Ta-ta!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Back to Normal

or what passes for normal around here.  This weather just slays me.  Saturday and Sunday were hothothot, up to 90 and pretty humid, so hot that they cancelled the marathon in the middle of it, thereby stirring up one whale of a hornet's nest.  Yesterday and today it's supposed to maybe get to 70, maybe, then pop up into the 80s for a day then back down into the 70s.  Who decides this stuff?  Is someone on drugs?  Do they need them?  I shouldn't complain, it's gorgeous today.  In about an hour I'm going to pick up Porter to meet Skully and Maggie for a walk along the river.  It'll be great, cool and sunny, not smotheringly hot.  After lunch I get to go to the dentist but, hey, the day can't be all beer and skittles.  I'm looking forward to next weekend.  I should have 5 days off--Friday through Tuesday--and yesterday I invited myself along diving with Kevin & Deb.  JJ was there and wants to go too, maybe I'll call him to be my buddy since his regular buddy, Spanky's laid up with foot surgery for 12 weeks.  12 weeks!  Can you imagine?  He tore some tendons in his foot last year and didn't let them heal so they got all stretched out, now he's paying for it.  Durwood got a new fountain pump yesterday so I get to go out and play in the water getting it hooked up and running.  Maybe I'll do it right now.  Yeah, I think I will.  My writing brain was evidently off in Cancun windsurfing last night.  I stared at the picture of a blue glass bottle/vase and got nothing.  Nothing.  Ah well, it happens to the best of us.  See ya. Bye.


Monday, May 21, 2012

More Hot

Yesterday it got up to 90 degrees, another record, and they stopped the Cellcom Marathon in the middle of it to protect the runners. Thank god.  I'm sure there were disappointed runners (nut-jobs) who had counted on their time to qualify for Boston but no race is worth brain damage or heart problems or death.  We went looking for a new fountain pump, were helped by a wonderful pond-owning woman, and then hit the grocery before coming home and hunkering down in the cool.  Skully came over and kept me company (and gave sage advice) while I cut out a project I've been procrastinating on, and then I tried to fix the fountain pump like Cathy from Menards showed me.  It didn't work.  Now that we've taken the housing apart and the filter mesh it doesn't work at all.  Not a peep or a hum when it's plugged in.  Drat.  Durwood said he'd make some calls and see if he couldn't find another one today.  He's a good egg, that Durwood.  There were a few tasters in Woodman's when we were buying more groceries than were on the list (as usual), one was sampling pizza (natch) and I burned my tongue (of course).  It still hurts.  Don't you hate that?  No gardening got done, nor did I trim off the deadwood from the big hummingbird vine, but it was too hot.  It was even too hot for Durwood to be out there and you know how much he loves the heat.  We had an 80% chance of rain last night--and didn't get a drop.  Not a drop.  We need rain, big time.  When it comes I promise not to complain--much.  As long as I have the tomatoes planted before the deluge.  Well, as long as I don't want to do something outside then.  Cross my heart.

May 21--Mesopotamia, Tribute Bearer with an Oryx, a Monkey, and a Leopard Skin.  Cecil kept his hand in his pocket touching his wallet, making sure it stayed put.  His clothes stuck to him in the stuffy heat of the shop crammed in the warren of the bazaar.  He picked up the tiny ushabti with a barely trembling hand and carried it to the small counter where the proprietor stood.  "How much?" Cecil said.  The older man looked at him without speaking for a long moment.  Cecil though he was judging how much to charge.  He hated these places without price tags.  "One hundred twenty five," said the store keeping in perfect, unaccented English.  Cecil wondered if they all spoke American money, if they'd learned from TV.  He shook his head.  "Forty," he said.  The proprietor's eyes gleamed when he realized that Cecil knew how to play the negotiation game.  "One hundred seventeen."  The proprietor let a note of outrage color the words.  Cecil frowned, turned the tiny statue over in his hand as if looking for a clue to its value.  "Forty-three," he said laying the statue down as if it wouldn't stand and wasn't worth it.  Now the game was truly enjoined.  The proprietor's leathery hand stood the figure up on its feet, letting a finger caress the ancient ivory.  "Ninety."  Cecil shook his head and examined his hand to see if any of the "ageing" had rubbed off.  It hadn't.  "Forty-five."  Both men had become calm and focused, stealing glances at each others' eyes and studying body language like a couple of alpha dogs squaring off.

Aha, so our shopper isn't a babe in the woods after all.  Go, Cecil.  I'm off to find some coffee and read the paper.  Hasta la vista, babies.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Record

Yesterday it got up to 89 degrees here in Green Bay.  Can you believe it? 89 degrees!  In Green Bay, WI!!!  In May!!!!  It broke the old record, by only one degree, but still... record breaking.  I put the hummingbird mister up and got it running after a small false start, but then Durwood wondered how much water it'd use if we left it on so that came down.  The fountain pump's outlived its usefulness.  Even on the highest setting it no longer has the oomph to push the water up to the top of the tube so we're off to Menards today for a new one.  I've gotten tired of moving the patio fireplace when I need to mow because there's no good place to put it and we really don't use it.  Durwood's not a sit-around-the-fire-at-night kind of guy, he gets chilled even in the summer so I really haven't used it for years.  I was ready to park it at the curb and see what happened but Durwood suggested that I call DS first.  He was thrilled to have it, the wood pile too, so I loaded it all up in the back of Durwood's van (with the wheelbarrow and gloves to protect my manicure) and hauled it all over to DS's house.  He was assembling a metal garden shed but took a break to help me haul all the wood into his backyard.  (gotta love wheelbarrows)  I stayed to visit for a while but he wasn't at the stage of needing assembly help and all my offers to put parts together were politely refused.  (another kid with the I-can-do-it-myself gene that's so prevalent in my makeup--sorry, you guys & your spouses [spice?])  I'm making a batch of roasted red pepper hummus for work lunches this week so we'll have to stop at Woodman's for Roma tomatoes and a cucumber which I will slice and then use to top my lightly toasted sandwich thin smeared with hummus.  On the side I have a bowl of fruit; this week's offering is fresh pineapple, strawberries, and blueberries, with perhaps a few grapes or an orange, depending on what looks good at the grocery.  And what's not too expensive.  Sometimes I throw in a half-cup of Greek yogurt to stir the fruit into.  I know it sounds like a lot of lunch but it's so quiet at work that I get bored and I'm a boredom eater.  Of course, I'm also a happy eater, a frustrated eater, a sad eater,a celebration eater, an unconscious eater... I can eat for every emotion and every occasion, even when I'm sick I want to eat and usually manage it.  About the only time I can't and don't eat and don't think about eating is when I'm asleep.  (I don't dream about it either, whew.)  Good thing I'm such a champion sleeper, eh?  Sounds like Durwood's almost dressed so I'd better wrap this up so we can go shopping for a pump.

May 20--Mesopotamia, Nimrud, Tribute Bearer with an Oryx, a Monkey, and a Leopard Skin.  His hand settled on the small ivory statue of a man.  He knew it was old, he recognized the age lines in the ivory.  He also knew it was illegal to take back home.  It was small, though.  Small enough to fit in the palm of his hand.  Small enough to be concealed in his bag.  The shop keeper watched him.  Three times today he had nearly sold that small statue but the buyers had changed their minds at the last minute.  Maybe this one would be different.

Not sure where this might go but since I've got the same thing as a prompt tonight I'll slot this into the back of my brain where I imagine stories "cook" when I'm not paying attention and see what emerges later.  Maybe brilliance, maybe dreck, only time will tell.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

I'm Taking The Weekend Off--Mostly

I'm going to do a few things, like yesterday I got the fountain up and (sorta) running, and I'll probably tinker with it again since it's not running as strongly as I'd like it to.  And I'll replace the short, connector hose between the hose caddy and the spigot, and I want to rig the mister up on a crook so that the hummingbirds can take showers.  I had the idea to run it up the house and down the eave to the Menopausal Goddess and hook it to her hand somehow but Durwood said it wouldn't work, so I guess it'll go on the crook. (dammit)  I also need (NEED) to get going on my birthday gift for DIL1.  Sewing's on my mind a lot these days, I just need to get down there and fire up the machines.  (have to vacuum down there first, don't forget, Barbara)  One thing I'm not doing is weeding the garden.  I realized that the weeds aren't going anywhere and I need a break so they'll get their turn next Tuesday (when it's supposed to be cooler--see the brilliance of my plan now?).  My pal Skully wants to do something this weekend too.  I don't know what.  I'd like to DO something too.  Maybe go fly kites? Ride our bikes on the downtown trail?  Not sure what but something.  Yoga last night was interesting and different.  We did stretches, mostly lying on our backs, lifting knees, stretching hamstrings (ooch), twisting, holding--it was lovely.  That Mardi, she's a wonder, every week is my favorite.  Mmm, Durwood sure makes good coffee.  I think I'll keep him.  Poor baby had one of those nights where he couldn't sleep for sh*t.  I guess he tossed and turned, got up, went back to bed in his bed (different from our bed), got up, know how that goes.  And he'd been up and down the stairs all day yesterday doing the laundry too so he should have been good and tired.  Maybe he'll take a nap.  I didn't notice a thing.  No matter how my day has been I sleep the sleep of the just and innocent almost every night.  Maybe once a year I have a night like that for no apparent reason but usually I'm out light a light.  It's a gift.  No, really, it is a gift.

 May 19--Winslow Homer, Fishing Boats, Key West.  The sun cooked the air, the sea added the salt, and Jeremiah stood on the deck watching for fish.  He was so still that only the beads of sweat moved on his skin.  The wind had dropped and the surface chop laid down so that it looked as if the Lizzie B floated on the hot, humid air.  There wasn't even a breeze to set the lines humming and the pennant hung limp at the top of the mast.  Fish, he needed fish.  Fish to sell to the hotels, fish to sell on the docks, and fish to put on the table.  Not bonefish, like the crazy, rich fishermen wanted to fight with on the flats between the Keys, no, he wanted a boat full of grouper or maybe a dorado or two.  He needed to catch a hold full of what his daddy called "meat fish" that fill a man's belly and wallet on the same day.  The Lizzie B's shadow passed over the white sand bottom and another shadow moved in the opposite direction.  There he was.  Mister Grouper all ready to give Jeremiah supper and money in his pocket all in one tasty, slow-moving package.

Oh, I love it when there's a painting to prompt my writing instead of an artifact.  A painting tells a story (right, Robin?) that I can sink my teeth into.  It's a rare artifact that does it for me, but I keep trying, keep plugging away, stacking word upon word, image next to image, to build something that might hang together for more than a paragraph and pulls the reader in.  I'm a poor judge of these newborn words and I hope that they amuse or entertain you, or even make you feel better about what you write because they're so sucktastic.  Whatever, I'm happy to perform the service and spend these few minutes with you every day.  You're welcome, and thanks for showing up.

Friday, May 18, 2012

No More Misspelled Post Titles,

Baby Blueberries
Weedy Garden
cross my heart.  In my not-awake fog yesterday I thought it was clever and funny, now that I'm awake?  Not so much.  Sorry.  Skully couldn't walk today (she's buying a new car or some other lame excuse) so I flaked off walking too in favor of sleeping in and not driving away from home in the early morning.  I'm planning to dress in farmer clothes when I'm done posting, getting out my work gloves & pitchfork (I love my pitchfork, it looks so seriously dangerous), and use it to lever up the bumper crop of weeds in the garden.  I should take a "before" picture... maybe I'll do that right now.  Be right back.  Okay, got it and the baby blueberries too.  Ooh, blueberries, yum.  (hm, my cursor has a ghost, looks weird)  I want to get the fountain out and running too and maybe the hummingbird mister too.  The current issue of Birds & Blooms (I get it on my Kindle) is all about hummingbirds--how to plant for them, how to feed them by hand (!!!), how to take their picture, all kinds of DIY bird stuff.  Tres cool, n'est pas?  (see? I still remember a little French, very little but still...)  I think it's a day to go let Porter out, no, I'm sure of it.  I talked to DS last night and he said that she clawed up a corner of the linoleum in the sunroom yesterday and chewed it.  Hmm, maybe they should have put in tile.  Or granite.  It'll be my first chance to see the new Henny.  I asked Durwood about her the other day and he just shrugged.  He doesn't notice things like that I guess.  I notice everything.  I'm interested in every conversations and every bird and every flower, all the leaves waving at me from trees or bumbling along in the breeze in Autumn, what the bugs and bees are doing... all that stuff.  An inquiring mind or ADD?  You got me.  Did I tell you that I bought a bag of freeze-dried mealworms to put in the platform feeder to see if I can't lure the bluebirds back?  When I put my hand in to get some they felt kind of alive and squirmy.  I can't decide if it grossed me out or if I can't wait to do it again.  I might need a keeper.  I want to get Durwood to help me build a bluebird house to put in the backyard, and a robin nesting shelf too.  I seriously need a keeper, there's no way I can ever do it all.  Look, shiny!  Gah.

May 18--French, Court Train.  Golden silk, beaded and embroidered, dragged at her shoulders, holding her back, keeping her steps slow and deliberate.  Why did she have to do this?  She wasn't meant for court.  She didn't have the subterfuge or the politics to survive the dramas and intrigues.  She cared nothing for fashion or who was descended from whom.  Yet here she stood trussed up in satin, silk and whalebone like a sacrificial lamb pacing down the long hall to be presented to a kind she wouldn't recognize if he came up and slapped her.

Time to get a move on, I'm burning daylight.  Plus it's Friday so I've got yoga & knitting tonight.  And I even remembered to put another Tae Kwon Do belt into Beverly for Lyn to use at yoga.  Go me!  Are you going to play outside today too?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

You've Just Gotta Have the Right Brown... make that bluish-limey green work.  You'd never know there was a lot of blue in that green unless you tried to make it play nice with a very yellow, pear green; that's when its true color shone out.  Clashed out's more like it.  Now that I've replaced the black sock yarn of the "winter" colors on the Maple Tree scarf with the variegated green of the "spring" colors and the ashy brown worsted of the "winter" bark is replaced with the Crayola brown DK of the "spring" palette, that limey Cascade works.  I've been thinking that it'd be fun to sub in all the greens that I've collected, alternating them after a few inches, in and out, in and out, to keep interest up.  I still have that skein, huge skein of brown and white-ish sock yarn that might become bark next but then I think that the trunk color needs a larger presence in the scarf than one measly sock yarn will give.  Time will tell, I've got over 6 more months of scarfing yet to go.  I missed a chance in the early early Spring.  I've got a skein of tan/green/turquoise that would have been absolutely perfect for those early days when there was just a hint of green and lots of sky showing through, but it was buried in the bin and I missed it.  Ah well, that yarn will make an excellent pair of mitts or a hat sometime.  Or something felted the next time a jag comes around.

I'm on triangle #6 of 8 or 9 or even 10 of the Wingspan shawlette.  I'm liking it.  A lot.  What say you?  

Purty Praple Flaars

I need to start "looking" at the west side of the house.  Looking and seeing, not just glancing, because I missed seeing this gorgeous iris when I drove up to the house after work yesterday.  This columbine is blooming too, blooming to beat the band.  And the poppies are coming.  I love their fuzzy little buds, well, they're not little little but they are fuzzy, and unlike other bud coverings (arils--I do crosswords) these fall off and dry up on the grass looking like something alien.  Eesh.  Does anybody know what this flower is?  It's a perennial or at least it's self-seeding.  Mom & Dad planted it/them years ago and neither of them remembered what it's called and now they're both dead so I can't beat the answer out of them.  Anyone got a clue?  Man, it's hard to not eat a candy bar when the day presents only one measly customer and that one's only returning a couple of rental tanks.  I wish Mr. Boss didn't have a stash of Snickers bars in the freezer and I wish he hadn't offered me one last week so it's not like I'd be stealing one either.  (Everyone knows stolen food tastes better.  What?  Didn't you ever raid a neighbor's apple tree when you were a kid?  You haven't lived.)  The phone didn't even ring all that much and most of those were robo-sales calls; I just hang up.  It's either feast or famine.  I did finish a triangle on my shawlette and start the next one, so that was good, and I finished a novel on my Kindle.  Oh, oh, I got a free issue of Birds & Blooms on the Kindle and decided to keep subscribing.  Good thing I did because the new issue is their Annual Hummingbird Issue and it's crammed with ideas about feeders and plantings and (Durwood's fave) how to hand-feed hummingbirds.  And getting a digital mag keeps me from having to give it house room for the rest of forever since we are the yin and yang of stuff--I tend to toss and he saves it all-All-all.  And then some.

May 17--Mary Cassatt, Young Mother Sewing.  It was so warm sitting there with the sun beating on the back of her neck.  She felt beads of perspiration roll down her spine to collect in the small of her back.  "Ethan," she said softly to her son, "don't lean on Mama.  It's too warm."  The sunlight caught her son's red hair and turned strands of it golden.  His tiny voice floated on the motes caught in the shafts of light.  "But, Mama, I need to be here.  You smell so good, and I need a snack."  She put down the handkerchief she was hemming and looked at him.  "You need a snack, do you?"  She smoothed the soft red-gold curls off his forehead.  "Well, I need a cool drink."  She stood and held out her hand.  "Let's go see what we can find."  She managed only a step or two before her vision blurred and she fell, dragging the boy with her.

Hmph.  I didn't expect that last sentence.  Interesting.  Hey, today's DS & DIL1's 4th wedding anniversary, can you believe it?  I sure can't.  Sometimes it seems like they've been married forever and other times it seems like 4 weeks.  But it couldn't be that short because they lived in Missoula, Montana for 2 years and have been back home for 2 years.  Adds right up to 4 years.  See how that works?  Have a day, folks, I'm going to work on having one too.  See ya.