Friday, November 30, 2012

Lime Puff-ed

I finished the Lime Striped Shower Puff very slowly yesterday.  After having killed my left arm last week I wasn't about to power through and make it hurt so much again quickly.  Look at me being smart.  This one took a little more than one 2.5 oz. skein of Sugar and Cream.  Doesn't it look refreshing?  Just the way you want to feel in the shower.

I'm slowly working on the Winter Warmer too, although I think I'm going to tink (k-n-i-t backwards) back a couple rows because there's a big hole in the tan row.  I'm also going out this afternoon to see if I can't find some better US19 needles.  These are working but they're plastic, not very pointy, and they're just not comfy to knit with.  Bamboo or wood would be better.  I've got coupons.

A Sister In Boredom

If you read Aunt B's comment on yesterday's post you'll see that the museum in NC where she volunteers is no busier than the dive shop.  (I had a grand total of 1 customer who spent less than $30 yesterday *sigh*)  I hope that you can take a book or a bit of embroidery or SOMETHING to while away the idle hours, Aunt B, you can only tidy the shelves so many times.  I'd die without my audiobooks and projects.  Hmm, I think I'll take a cutting board and bale of fabrics to cut out all of the things I want to sew for Christmas with me next week.  (How smart you are, Barbara Sue)  It's much easier to sew a pile of things if you've got them all cut out and waiting.  I have all of the Project #1 parts cut & pinned and the notions gathered in a little bowl for making--zip, zip, zoom--on this freezing drizzly day.  I also went online yesterday and signed up to ring the bell for a Salvation Army kettle next Friday.  You can sign up for an hour at a time, and this kettle's in a grocery store foyer so it should be pretty busy and not too cold.  Better dig out the Christmas Tree hat Mom gave me, I'll wear my red jacket, it'll be great fun.  I read that the donations, like, quintuple if there's someone ringing the bell.  I can be cheerful and Merry Christmas-y for an hour, I know I can.  I also submitted an application to volunteer at the NEW Zoo.  They need people to do the grunt work but also to lead tours, observe and record animal behaviors, and man the GIRAFFE stand selling crackers or browse for people to feed them.  That's right, I could get to be the giraffe's BFF.  I might have to work my way up to that but you know that's my goal.  I already could spend all of my allowance out there feeding them, and I wouldn't be afraid to elbow kids and grannies out of my way.  No sirree.  (Hmm, Christmas gift idea--a Zoo membership [they're kind of expensive @ $45, I think]... nah, forget it, that's too expensive and not homemade which is what I always hope for; besides, I'd rather spend a day or two or five with my kids and their spouses than have ten store-bought gifts.  I just had a brainstorm--if I get a cash holiday gift from Mr & Mrs Boss I'll use it for a membership. Brilliant!)  I said on my application that I'd like to work outside the best and I have to wait to take the next volunteer orientation, probably in January, then I'll know more.  Thanks for the idea, DS.  Hey, today's Photo a Day theme is "on the wall" (told you I was trying to get back on track) so I snapped a view of the wall behind the front door where I've hung the watercolors I painted at a weekend class I took up at The Clearing when I was doing a bit of novel research.  They're not great so behind the door's the perfect place for them.  I'm too Germanic and rules oriented for watercolors, plus I don't really have any artistic talent.  My talents lie in other directions.

November 30--Jacometto, A Woman, Possibly a Nun of San Secondo.  That is so not a nun.  Her hair shows at her temple and her dress is off her shoulder.  There are no nuns with off-the-shoulder habits.  No way.  And who is San Secondo?  The Second Saint?  Second on whose list?  I think they made that up.

Wow, talk about not inspired.  I'm glad that's all I wrote and I'll bet you are too.  I'm staying indoors today sewing on presents, it's just too crappy to go out.  Happy last day of November.  Good grief.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Sun Moved

I know this because it comes up in the front yard now instead of the back.  All summer long and into autumn I could stand on the step out the patio doors and snap a sunrise picture.  Now all I get is blank sky with the sun off to the right (south).  If I go out the front door there's not enough sky, there're too many houses in the way.  I know the earth didn't move because I didn't feel it.  The sun must have shifted.  Who ordered that?  Surely not me.  When I got home from work last night there was a the giant full moon (Tree Moon) shining through the clouds.  I could see Venus off to the side but it didn't show up in the picture, although you can see a tree if you look closely.  And when I opened the shade this morning there that same moon was on its way to setting.  Man, if I had sky and ocean to watch I'd never get anything done.  I was a good girl last night and hopped on the stationary bike after supper for a 30 minute ride.  It felt great.  However this morning I have a raging case of bicycle butt.  Ow.  Perhaps I should have built up to it?  Nah.  Although, I hopped on the scale this morning (well, the Wii "scale" thing) and by not really changing what I ate but pedaling that 6 miles, my weight changed.  Now I know that it's not a true indicator from day to day, I have to record it once a week and then compare, but it reinforces getting up and DOING something instead of sitting around with a brutz on (pouting).  But I feel better about myself today.  Thanks for your support.  I had two actual customers yesterday, paying ones, and they didn't come in together.  One even paid cash.  I hardly remembered how to deal with it, but I managed.  One of my Cyber Monday buys arrived yesterday already and I didn't even pay extra for it.  That's fast!  Durwood says we didn't win one penny in the big Powerball drawing last night.  Did you?  Did you play?  We had 5 tickets, so that's ten bucks down the chute.  Oh well, can't win if you don't play and it was just too big a jackpot to resist.  I assured Mr. Boss yesterday that I wouldn't quit my job if I won.  Now that's off the table.  Maybe next time.

November 29--Nigeria, Court of Benin, Edo Peoples, Hip Ornament, Portuguese Face.  Gaia reached to pick up the brass face.  She ran her fingers over the straight nose and coiled braids appreciating the craftsmanship and the smooth feel of the metal where so many fingers had rubbed before her.  She loved searching the dim corners of junk shops and antique stores.  She dreamed of finding a treasure, some undiscovered masterpiece or a piece of diamond and platinum jewelry in a box of costume.  She had a pretty good eye and she liked this Nigerian ornament.  It's probably not worth much, she thought, but it'll look good on my wall.  Then her fingers felt something crusty on the edge and she saw the blood pooled on the floor.

That's not good.  Can you say "murder weapon"?  Time for breakfast and dressing for work.  The sun's shining and making me feel good.  I'm smiling.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Not Much Yarn Stuff Gets Done When Your Wrist's Hurting

See, the week before last I crocheted and knitted almost non-stop through an unexpectedly long stretch of days off.  My left wrist doesn't like that and it's not shy about letting me know it.  I've been trying to avoid knitting the last few days.  It's hard.  I keep finding new things I want to make and keep looking at the Works In Progress (WIPs) that lay there calling my name.  I decided on Monday that garter stitch (all knitting, all the time) would be easier on my wrist that a project needing both knitting & purling or a crochet project (that's the real offender, that crocheting action) so I took my Maple Tree Scarf to work with me to catch up.  Everything was going well until it occurred to me that we had snow on Saturday night and I didn't have any snow colored yarn with me.  Dang.  I unearthed a smidgeon of white yarn when I got home and caught up, and I knitted yesterday's rows before bed last night.  Look how big the roll of scarf is.  I don't think any of us is ready for this but... 5 weeks from yesterday is New Year's Day when the scarf will be done.  Holy Jeebus.  That also means that 4 weeks from yesterday is Christmas Day.  (i need to lie down)

Monday afternoon was very long at work with no knitting and only an audiobook to keep me awake and not even my Kindle to play games on.  I'm ready today.  I've got the Kindle, my mp3 player with 2 audiobook novels and 3 projects in my bag.  Easy ones, cross my heart.  Okay, maybe one is a crochet project but I promise not to bear down on it trying to finish it today; I don't need it to be finished for 2 weeks.  Cross my heart. 

I gave in and cast on a scarf last night.  Hey, it's with super bulky yarn on size US19 needles; it won't take long, and... look how pretty!


Ha!  You thought I was talking about the cold, didn't you?  Well, I mostly am but also I decided to wrench my attention back to the Photo a Day theme and today's is "vehicle."  I thought that a head-on shot of Beverly would be interesting and I was right.  See?  You can also see the remnants of last weekend's snowfall and if you look closely you can see the frost on the windshield.  (that's the "brrr" part of the heading)  I have to wrassle myself back to caring about myself, I've kind of sloughed off lately.  Actually there's no "kind of" about it, I've flung my diet and exercise regimens in the dumper and been sitting around like a slug and eating everything that slowed down in my vicinity.  Tsk.  What possesses a rational, mature woman to basically stomp all over good habits that she's struggled to develop and embrace bad ones that only make her feel like crap and make her so frustrated with herself that she eats more?  Perhaps that "rational" part's an illusion.  Perhaps I'm not mature.  (yeah, that's almost a given)  Okay.  I just erased a whole sorry-for-myself part of this; time to put on my big girl pants, pull myself up by my bra straps, and just get on with working to feel better both physically and emotionally.  Even if I have to make myself a schedule, I need to stop flopping around, make a plan, and stick to it.  That does it; I'm drawing a line in the sand (snow?).  Saturday's December 1, that's a good day to begin.  I can ease into it the next couple days, get my ducks in a row, take a little walk or pedal the bike (yeah, that's a great idea & I've got a bunch of new audiobooks to listen to while I pedal), and dispose of the snacks at work (bad, bad Barbara) and not down my gullet.  (pretzels are better than potato chips for snacks anyway, to hell with the buy-one-get-one deals at Walgreen's, I like Aldi pretzels the best anyway and they're cheap)  I was excited to see that the new Harry Dresden novel by Jim Butcher was available on yesterday so I used my one credit (you get one a month) on it, downloaded it, and took my Kindle Fire downstairs to read to me while I got started on the Christmas sewing.  I was doubly excited that James Marsters is back reading it.  He was busy when the last one came out (at least that's what they said) so some other guy read that one and it's just not the same Harry. (the Harry in my imagination doesn't look like the one on the book covers either, don't know why)  I didn't think I'd like Audible since I'm trying to borrow library books and not buy them, especially not just buy a book that I don't know if I'll like, but with Audible I can amass a library of books that I love in audible form so I can sew or knit while I listen.  I reread my favorite books all the time so now I can have them and not have to build more shelves or haul them around when I go places.  I love my Kindle Fire, my iPod, and my Sony Walkman mp3 player that I've resurrected since one of the ways to borrow audiobooks from the library likes that better.  I'm truly wired.  Bring on the technology!  As long as I have the "contact us" numbers or DS to call when I get stuck.  I don't have a smart phone though, I just can't justify spending all that money a month on a phone.

November 28-Amadeo Modigliani, Jeanne Hebuterne.  Cleo always wanted a dark brown pleated skirt like that one.  She stood with the toes of her brown leather school shoes almost touching the skirt.  She was careful not to get any of the blood on her shoes but she got as close as she could to the woman's body sprawled on the courtyard.  Cleo wasn't unsympathetic about the woman's end but the breeze tugged at the hem of that pleated skirt; she liked the way it moved in the air.  It rippled around her knees making Cleo determined to ask her mom for one for her birthday next month.

Odd.  That's all I can say, odd.  My wrist was achy, maybe that's why I wrote something so odd.  Time for yogurt, pineapple & granola with a banana on the side.  See?  I don't always eat Cheerios.  You thought I was in a rut, didn't you?  Tsk, silly.
--Barbara Sue

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Holy Moses It's Cold

It's a nice round 12 degrees out there right now.  Twelve degrees!  And it isn't the crack of dawn.  I forget how the cold seeps inside even though we have new-ish siding and windows and roof.  I lay in bed this morning feeling it radiate off the wall and window and yes, I did check to make sure that the window is closed tight.  It is.  It's just damned cold out there.  Cold and sunny.  I do love the sunny, all things are bearable when it's sunny.  Did you Cyber Monday?  I did a little.  I really hate the whole Black Friday Small Business Saturday Cyber Monday thing (it seems like retail manipulation to me) but there were deals and it was dead quiet (emphasis on the dead, my sole customer was a staff member who came in to fill his tank, not a dime into the till *sigh* how they keep the doors open and keep paying me I do not know) at the dive shop so I surfed--and fell into the Cyber hole.  I do feel good that I now have only one more thing to think about buying (maybe) for one of my immediate family.  I say maybe because I might just sew up an extra gift for that person.  I was flipping some pattern books I have and saw something that's been scratching at the back of my mind and it'd be just right for that person. (nope, no hints for you)  Three other things are winging their way to me even as we speak, well okay, they're on trucks.  (sheesh, you guys can be so picky about word choice; i'm a writer, i'm flamboyant, i exaggerate)  I'm still on the fence about whether to put Fifi the flamingo out there, I'd like her to be there, I'm just not sure I want to put her there, all that work of getting out the sawhorses, clearing Durwood's van out of the garage, plugging Fifi in to see how her lights are lighting, maybe having to remove a string (or 3), take out those staples one by one (don't drop any), staple new lights on, secure the prop, drive tie-downs into the ground, tie Fifi to the tie-downs, drape all the weightbelts on her base to keep her from falling or flying away... *pant, pant, pant*... makes me tired just typing it all.  But I'll probably end up doing it.  I usually put her out around our anniversary (Dec. 4) so I've got a bit of time to guts up.  At least until the weekend, especially if it's going to be rainy and crappy, you know that's when I'll decide to go out and do it all.  The more miserable I can make myself the better it seems sometimes.  I'm evidently trying to prove how hardy I am, to whom I don't know, but I always till the garden when it has rained so my shoes and the tiller become anvils with caked on mud.  I used to go out in thunderstorms with the ladder to clean the overflowing and clogged gutters (now we have leaf guard things on them) nearly killing myself in the process.  I've told you before, I need a keeper.

November 27--China, Pipa.  The notes of the song interlocked like the hexagon cells of honeycomb carved on the ivory back of the lute.  Jin played the wood and ivory instrument every afternoon seated on a stool before the fountain.  She played the colors of the flowers in the garden, the songs of the birds and bees, and the sun in the sky.

Time to sew.  But first a little breakfast.  Enjoy your day.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Ach Du Leiber... Sauerkraut!

Once again I remember why I let my basement, and eventually the whole house, smell like a science experiment gone bad.  Homemade sauerkraut is light years better than store bought.  Trust me, if you've never had homemade sauerkraut you really haven't had sauerkraut.  When we're out Durwood buys sauerkraut to put into his Reuben meatloaves and he'll eat it plain, but I try to avoid it.  It's too vinegary and it doesn't taste like cabbage, not even a little, but homemade kraut, now that's so totally different and better that it shouldn't even be considered the same thing.  Maybe similar would be a better word because this stuff isn't remotely the same.  (homemade's salty instead of vinegary so you have to rinse it well before you use it)  They put their share into bags for their freezer.  I wanted to can mine in pints for ease of storage and to conserve freezer space so they crammed it into the jars and I wiped the rims then put on lids and rings.  I got the hot water boiling and got the jars processed.  There were 19 jars plus a bit for supper but the bottom popped off one jar when I put it into the boiling water.  Oops.  No big deal.  I sauteed a bit of onion and some green pepper, then chunked up some turkey sausage and simmered it with a double handful of kraut for supper.  Mmm, it was yummy with a mound of steamed Brussels sprouts and a slice of DS's experimental 5 minutes a day onion bread.  The bread was delish too, needs a pinch more salt which may up the onion flavor.  It seemed less oniony than the original but the texture was right and it sure tasted good, just not quite as oniony.  Great job, DS!

November 26--Henri Fantin-Latour, Summer Flowers.  The scent of old roses filled the room like a lover's caress.  It teased her senses and made Gail restless.  She had picked the bouquet the morning before David left for his meeting with the estate managers and each time she looked at them she wished she had gone with him.  True, he'd be in meetings all day every day but she could have a late supper sent to the room when he returned.  They would change into their robes and sit side by side eating savory soups and comforting stews.  Do they even have such foods at places like that, she wondered.  How foolish of her to think that they would.  David would go for drinks with them and they have a gourmet meal with the managers.  His unsophisticated wife would be a hindrance, she was sure of that.

I see a dalliance with the gardener in her future, don't know why.  Ah well, it's time for me to plunge back into the workaday world after my week of mostly not working.  I've got my soup all portioned out (urk, fruit, I forgot the fruit) and now it's time to hit the starting blocks.  On your mark, get set, GO!
--Barbara Sue

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Look What We Got

That's right, snow, or rather SNOW.  Covering the ground and it's not melting either.  Did I go out yesterday and rake away the leaf drift so we're not hosting the neighborhood rodents--Chester Chipmunk, Raoul Vole, and Herbie Mouse? No, I did not, I went to the Attic to knit and yak with my friend Skully.  I'll get those leaves moved one of these days, really I will.  (lemme 'splain how I know their names, Chester is what Mom called all the chipmunks, Raoul is what DIL1 named the voles, and Grandpa Stephan had a mouse pet named Herbie in his workshop. there, now you know their names too, they're all named the same, just like all chickens are Henny & Penny who, btw, provided our excellent breakfast today, see?)  I just whipped up a cauldron of chicken & random veggies soup for work lunches and any other time soup is called for in the next week or so. (hey, you never know when you'll need soup)  I had a quarter of a head of red cabbage that I chopped up and put in there so I warned Durwood that there'll be blue-green chunks in there.  Red cabbage doesn't stay red, you know, it turns a very odd shade of bluish green.  Last time I used some he called me at work to check because he was afraid the soup had gone bad.  Nope, just weird cabbage.  DS & DIL1 are coming over later to help me deal with our crock full of sauerkraut.  I assume it's done.  For a while there the house smelled, well, like old locker rooms and bad feet; then it got colder in the basement so it stopped smelling so I figured that it's done.  (mmm, I love grapes, they're a good snack)  I have to look up the "recipe" again to see if we'll need to make more brine for the canning.  They want to bag and freeze theirs, they read somewhere that freezing preserves more nutrition.  I'm going to can ours so I can give some to DIL2 who loves it and have it not take up too much freezer room.  Oh, earlier I was thinking I'd thaw out a kielbasa or something and we could have sausage & kraut for supper but I just got chicken breasts out.  Maybe they're not too thawed out to change plans.  Back in a mo... the switch has been made.

November 25--Henri Fantin-Latour, Summer Flowers.  A petal fell onto the polished tabletop.  One thumbprint of rosy pink lay there cupped and trembling in the breeze from the open French doors.  Gail let her book lay in her lap.  She heard the metallic snick of the yard man's clippers as he shaped the boxwood.  Far back in the kitchen, a world away from where Gail sat, Cook clattered pans and laughed with Jake the houseman.  David had been gone for three days and she had exhausted all her planned entertainments.  She had written letters, played tennis, taken walks and volunteered in the charity kitchen at the Catholic church.  She was tempted to drive into the city for lunch with Skyler but she was afraid that Matty would be there and that would only lead to more trouble.  She should have gone with David.  Days spent bored in a conference hotel would have been safer than a week here alone.  It was too easy to get into mischief alone.

Time to go gather canning jars and count lids.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

On A Crocheting Jag

I need to stop or at least take a break.  My left hand's kind of tingly and achy and that only happens when I crochet too much or for too long.  *sigh*  I don't want to stop because I'm enjoying it.  I will stop knitting and crocheting with cotton yarn; that's the worst on my hands I assume because it's inflexible, but I'll just cut back using regular yarn.  It'll be okay, I'm sure.  And I'll wear a brace like a good girl, that'll help too.

I made another crocheted chemo hat from a new pattern I found.  I really like the golden brown with the dark brown stripes.

The knitted black Boystown Beanie is coming along.  I realized that I wasn't going to make it to the end on what I had so on my way home from knitting with Skully this afternoon at Michaels for another skein of Red Heart Soft yarn so it'll be all black with just that narrow gray stripe.  I like it.


Last night at Friday Night Knitting I finished the Double Thick Dishcloth.  I really like it; it's thick and squooshy.  Can't wait to try it out.  And the stitch to make it double thick was easy.  I'll be using it again.

I stopped at Monterey Yarn on my Small Business Saturday rounds today.  Two skeins of super bulky Universal Yarn's Big Time in the Sapphires colorway.  I've already found a "shoulder warmer" pattern and am itching to cast on.  Now, do I have size 19 needles?

At Thanksgiving dinner DIL1 asked if I'd stop at their house to see if "the ladies" had laid any eggs and to take them home with me.  They did!  Guess who'll be having fresh eggs and bacon for Sunday breakfast?

The Wind Blew Away

And left blue sky.  Well, some blue sky.  More blue sky than we've had, anyway. (that means the sun's shining too, ahhhh, sunshine)  The wind also gathered up the leaves that escaped my final lawn mowing/bagging a couple weeks ago and made a nice drift of them against the back of the house.  There's a solid mass of leaves under the step that I should probably rake out to keep it from becoming a mouse/vole/chipmunk winter home.  I'll get to that later today since it's SUPPOSED TO SNOW tonight and tomorrow.  Real stick to the ground SNOW, with ACCUMULATION even.  I saw on the TV news just now that a ski hill in Slinger's making SNOW and will open next weekend.  Eek.  (can you tell how excited I am about it? [here's a hint--"excited" may be a euphemism])  I might just dig out my snowshoes and poles so I'm ready when the time comes to get out and tromp around.  I'm ready for a few laps around the house or a fun hour chasing Porter in her yard.  I need to get off my duff and start training or I'll keel right over the first time I go out there.  Snowshoeing's hard work but it's fun.  I might need to gather up ingredients for a cauldron of soup later today.  I'll need lunch soup next week and there's really nothing like the aroma of simmering soup on a chilly day.  There's no "might" about it, I've got 1/4 of a head of red cabbage and the remains of the giant bag of frozen green beans from making the casserole in the fridge & freezer just waiting to be awesome.  Now all I need is a rotisserie chicken and a some broth and I'm good.  Hmm, there may be some broth in the freezer... just a minute, I'll go see... yep, now it's upstairs thawing.  Score! (and don't forget to cross it off the master list, miss i'm-so-proud-of-myself smartiepants)  Don't you love having food or ingredients stashed away for later?  I think people must be going back to canning since Walmart's canning supplies department is still up and running and it used to be all sold out and put away by now.  (it's pathetic that I use Walmart as some sort of societal barometer; forgive me, I'm weak & shallow)  God, I hope people are relearning how to can food because there's nothing quite like those rows of gleaming jars all lined up in the larder waiting to feed your family.  Speaking of canned goodies,  I carried up a couple pints of Durwood's delicious and beautiful tomato soup for his lunch.  Maybe I can cadge a little for me too.  That might even be why I brought up two.

November 24--Southern Mesopotamia, Fragment of a Bowl with a Frieze of Bulls in Relief.  Elladee crouched behind the sandstone ruins.  She was glad to be in the shade.  She reached into her backpack and drew out her water bottle making sure not to make any noise.  Nassir wasn't far behind her and he was much better at moving through the desert than she was.  He could walk along on the sandy stones and not make a sound.  She thought that her feet must weigh ten pounds each because try as she might her steps could be heard.  And she needed to get away.  If she could get to the highway she could flag down a ride into town, find a phone... and then what?  Who would she call?  Who would have the kind of clout to get her out of this crazy hot place?

Too hot, too cold, neither is good.  I like it mild and sunny but then, who doesn't?  I'm off to play a little Small Business Saturday, but only a little.  Toodles.
--Barbara Sue

Friday, November 23, 2012

Did You Brave The Madness?

Do you Black Friday?  I don't.  I did one time when Durwood wanted to "see what it's like" and that was quite enough, thank you very much.  There is nothing, no thing that I want badly enough to either line up in the cold, windy, and dark or wrestle a bunch of mad women with elbows flying to get.  I will admit that as soon as this is posted I'm going to get dressed and go to the fabric store(s) because I've found a pattern for something that I want to make for everybody and need a notion or eight and, according to the teacher, I bought the wrong kind of quilt batting for my Block of the Month class and they're 50% off until noon.  See?  This is purposeful shopping, not the wild free-for-all that is Black Friday.  I'm convinced that all the electronics and giant TVs, etc. are promotional or off brands, not the reliable, long lived ones you want to spend your money on.  We've been researching microwaves, seeking out reviews of the models we've looked at and the ones that are the most promoted this time of year have the worst or most variable reviews.  I'm thinking that "on sale" may not always be the best way to buy things, especially things that beep or light up.  Tomorrow is Local Shopping day so I'm thinking I'll corral Durwood and seek out the local shops to find a few gifties.  Did you eat your weight yesterday?  I don't think I did but it was a close thing.  DIL1 said that you should serve pickled things before a big meal, then people don't gorge on appetizers, which worked.  They set out dishes of lovely pickled beets (yum), giardiniera (hot), baby carrots (hot-ish), standard pickles (good but not a standout), and green beans (hot-ish and my fave).  There was also a baked brie with currant jam that was tasty and a good companion for all the pickled things.  DS, WZ & JZ were in charge of deep-frying the turkey, which was fantabulous, WZ made homemade wheat rolls (from this book; you need to try it), DIL1 made corn pudding and standard stuffing, Aunt Sally made her famous mac & cheese, KZ made tiny pecan pies, I made Mom's green beans (turned out great) and sausage cornbread stuffing (meh, it was too dry this time)... let's see, what else?  Oh, Brussels sprouts with onions and bacon (like Mom's "glazed" carrots), steamed diced sweet potatoes in a pecan brandy glaze, pumpkin & apple pies plus the pumpkin bread pudding (with toffee rum sauce--OMG), 2 kinds of cranberry sauce, and the Z family's traditional green jello ring.  All very good, all... GAH! IT'S SNOWING!... I'm willing to eat more of, soon.  We have beans and stuffing leftovers to accompany the leftover bbq ribs we have for supper.  I love leftovers.  Durwood wishes we had the turkey carcass though, I don't care about it.  I'm kind of glad we don't have a bock of leftover turkey.  We've got a turkey breast in the freezer and I think he's planning to get turkey legs when he's in the grocery later, so I'm predicting more turkey in our future.  I'm also predicting that I won't be dashing out to fill the birdbath in my cami and underpants in the early morning anymore, at least not until it warms up quite a bit.  Last night after we got home the wind picked up and blew arctic air down upon us.  We broke a high temp record yesterday hitting 61 degrees and today we might make it to 35.  Might.  And that'll be optimistic for the rest of the weekend.  I think all my complaining about unseasonal weather has paid off.  That's okay, I'm tough.  For today's picture here's the sunset yesterday.  We drove about 40 miles to Shawano to DIL1's parents' house for Thanksgiving supper and it was gorgeous.  Gorge. Us.  And the secondary picture is the newly formed ice floe in the birdbath.  See the shape of the heater?  The birdies thank us for it all winter.  Time to shop.

November 23--Paul Cezanne, Still Life with a Ginger Jar and Eggplants.  It looked like there had been a fight in the dining room.  The blue and white tablecloth was rumpled up and folded back on itself.  The bowls and plates were stacked with a fork trapped between plates, and a plate of ripe pears was ready to fall at the slightest nudge.  The stems of tree small eggplants were tied together with string and hung on the sconce above the dresser.  Paula stood in the doorway with her hands on her hips, not looking forward to clearing the mess.  She cocked her head.  The composition of the mess was somehow pleasing and the colors made her smile.  It wouldn't take long to make a sketch.  If she was quick she'd even have time for a watercolor.

Well, that pleased me last night and it still does today.  Did I tell you that I get to go collect eggs today?  DS & DIL1 & Porter are staying out at her folks' because her brother and SIL are there for the weekend and she asked me to go check for eggs; I get to keep them too.  Mm, fresh eggs.  I smell bacon in my future.  Now for shopping.
--Barbara Sue


Thursday, November 22, 2012

"A Turkey Sat On The Backyard Fence...

...and he sang this sad sad tuuuuune, Thanksgiving day is coming, gobble gobble gobble gobble, and I know I'll be eaten soooooone.  Gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble, I would like to run awayyyy. Gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble, I don't like Thanksgiving Day."

Okay, now it's officially Thanksgiving.  Mom used to call to sing in the morning when she was up cooking whatever she was bringing to the feast and watching the Macy's parade.  Her mom used to do it too.  I'd better call my kids and sing... I wonder if they're awake...  Dang it, I wanted to call Mom last night to ask her a question when I was putting her green bean casserole together but, no, she had to up and kick the bucket last year so I couldn't.  Now I don't even remember the question but, dang it, I miss her.  Sometimes more than others.  I'll be whipping up my famous sausage cornbread stuffing in a while and Durwood's got his crusty bread cubes all day-old dried to make pumpkin bread pudding.  I can't wait to try that; it's new this year.  I predict it'll be a favorite.  Don't you love bread pudding?  I do.  I also made a little bit of toffee sauce from a different pumpkin pudding recipe I found online and I substituted dark rum for the vanilla it calls for and, oh my, a bit extra splashed into the pot.  Oh dear, what to do?  Yeah, we'll force ourselves to eat it anyway.  It's just to drizzle over the pudding.  It smelled so yummy, licking the spoon was delicious.  Dark rum smells so good.  We watched a story on How They Do It about how they make rum the other day, we wished we were there in Trinidad to see it in person but we weren't, we were in the kitchen.  I've always wanted to go to Trinidad for the steel pan competition, ever since I saw a story on NatGeo a bazillion years ago.  The music makes me want to dance.  Okay, now I can barely concentrate because I'm listening to steel pan music and bopping in my seat... moving on.  Are you hosting the feast?  Going to a feast with something warm and yummy riding in the back?  It's going to be a record warm day today here.  I wish you good weather too.

November 22--India, Sankh.  "If you put it up by your ear you can hear the ocean," Anna said.  "You're trying to trick me," said Trudy, her little face screwed up in a frown.  Like all big sisters Anna regularly played tricks on her younger sister.  "No I'm not, Trudy, really.  Hold it up and listen; it sounds like the ocean."  She lifted Trudy's hands in hers and fitted the opening of the Queen Conch shell to her ear.  Trudy turned to look into the shell as if waiting for something to jump out at her.  Reassured she finally bent her head to put her hear to the shell.  Her eyes grew wide and her breathing slowed.  "Anna, it is the ocean.  It is."  She turned to look at the shell.  "How did you get it in there?"  Just then Anna dumped a pail of water over Trudy's head.  Trudy dropped the shell and stood still for a breath, then she took off running to the house.  "I'm telling Mom," she said.

Oh, the big sister days.  I don't miss them and I was the big sister.  I'm glad to be as old as I am and in the place I am in life.  Except some days I'd rather be my age in a warmer beachy place.  Happy Thanksgiving to all!
--Barbara Sue

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Turns Out I'm Off All Week

Mrs. Boss called yesterday asking if I wanted Mr. Boss to work for me today, and I said yes, for two hours.  She said no, all day.  So I said okay since I don't want to miss Durwood's appointment.  That means I worked 6 hours on Monday and that's all for the entire week.  Will I even get a paycheck next Monday or will it all be sucked up by taxes, etc.?  I'll get something, some small pittance (I know that's redundant but it'll be that little, I know it); good thing this week's check was so massive, I can save some for next week.  Otherwise we'll starve!  See, my pay is the grocery money and prices are going up up up as it is but Durwood's a good shopper, he squeaks every penny of that money.  It seems outrageous that two middle aged people need $70 for a week's groceries but we eat a lot of fresh veggies and they're pricier than frozen or canned, I think, I don't really know since I don't shop anymore.  I used to feed all of us for $70 for 2 weeks but that was long ago, wasn't it?  Good god, it was nearly 20 years ago when I started working and started making a 2 week menu and shopping list that I filled, then left a pack of recipes in the recipe clip DS made in Cub Scouts for DS & DD to make on their nights to cook.  DS was 14 and DD was 12 so it was time for them to learn to cook anyway and that's when I started working so I was getting home too late to make meals.  DS cooked on Monday, DD on Wednesday, and Durwood on Friday and he always made something spaghetti-y.  He'd pack up plates and silverware and all the food into a special cardboard box he'd fixed up with towels and he and the kids would come down to the dive shop so we'd have supper together.  I worked until 9 PM then so it made sense, plus we enjoyed it.  I'm sure the kids didn't like it as much as they pretended to but Durwood & I liked it and it was a family thing, and therefore good.  DS practiced juggling using lead shot pockets; I'm guessing that bulked him up a bit.  I found some of the menus when we moved.  I started out with Bisquick and Campbell's Soup recipes since they're so easy to make.  We had lots of casseroles and skillet one-pan-type dishes but we always had lots of veggies and a good variety so I feel like they were able to feed themselves when they were grown up and moved out on their own.  Both of them are creative and enthusiastic cooks now, DS even married a real chef (lucky him, lucky ALL of us), so I think we made a good job of it.

I stayed up so late last night, midnight (gasp), that I just fell into bed and didn't write.  I've also kind of lost enthusiasm for following Photo a Day too.  Actually I'm not as thrilled with this month's themes so I decided to just give you a picture that I took yesterday.  I saw a bright, red-orange reflection in the neighbor's windows yesterday late afternoon and went out to see the sun blazing its way toward the horizon.  Who could resist? 

 Be safe if you're driving "over the river and through the woods" today.  It's really foggy here; I'm glad we don't drive to Shawano until tomorrow afternoon.  Making Mom's green bean casserole, the cornbread for the dressing, and pumpkin bread pudding with sauce today.   Time to cook!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It Kinda Looks Like Spring Out There

But it's not, is it?  No, it is not.  There are no buds on trees, there are ragged leftover leaves just waiting for the next blow to wrench them off.  But the light this morning (what's left of it) looks warm and yellow, it's making fog which, combined with the light, looks like spring to me.  I need to check online to see if there's a way to tell if the kraut's done.  I'm ready to can it and have the basement only smell like mildew, not feet and bad feet at that.  I'm debating whether to put the flamingo and palm tree out this year.  They're so big and probably need new lights, and they're a real pain to keep upright in the wind, but they're so fun looking, I should just do it.  Is it supposed to be nice over the weekend?  I'll have to check.  If it is and DS & DIL1 can help can the kraut, maybe I can get them all ready and DS can help me get them up.  I'll think about it.  Maybe just the bird.  I wonder if they've got pink LED lights, those would work much better than the old filament lights that tend to go bad after a season or two.  I don't have to work today, I'm so excited, then I work tomorrow and I'm off for the next 4 days.  Woohoo!  Of course I won't get paid for any of those days so next week's paycheck will be particularly anemic but I can take it.  I'm cashing my extra large paycheck today so I can spread that money around next week too.  Balance, it's all about balance.  I need to think about what I want to make for people for Christmas gifts.  Family-type people, so that's 5 women and 3 men, 8 somethings to sew or knit in the next 5 weeks.  Hmm... sewing's faster but knitting's warmer... I'll have to study on it.  Got any ideas?  I'm hoping to work out of my stash (which is not small in either yarn or fabric) and just have to obtain small parts like Velcro or snaps or interfacing.  I mostly just want to be with the people I love a few extra times around the holidays.  As much as I like the weather the way it is right now, I want it to be snowy in December so that when Lala and I go to the Festival of Lights at the botanical garden the lights will reflect on the snow and look magical and I want there to be snow for DIL2 who is a Kentucky girl who didn't grow up with drifts of Christmas snow.  So that's what I want for Christmas, I can't believe I've said that I want snow for Christmas, but I guess I do.  I can't forget to scout out a Charlie Brown-type tree on Christmas Eve for us all to make into the birdie tree once DD & DIL2 arrive on the 28th.  We need to figure out a way to outsmart those pesky squirrels so they leave the pine cones of peanut butter on the tree.  Oh, hey, I just had a brainstorm, I can keep some of the corncobs they empty and we can spread the pb on them... now, how to attach them?  I'll study on it, maybe we can drill holes in them but how to keep them on the tree... suggestions?

November 20--Claude Monet, Regatta at Sainte-Adresse.  The wind was just right for the race, not too strong so that the weaker sailors were in danger and not too light so that everyone sat becalmed and broiling.  Reggie and Jack were certain that La Sylphe was the fastest boat in the regatta.  They spent the day before checking her lines so that none showed any fraying.  They polished her brightwork and made sure she looked her best.  They had spent their entire lives sailing up and back in this very bay.  They knew where the bottom rose up and where weeds lurked under the surface to tangle a keel and slow them down.

Gah, all set-up and no action.  Sorry, I was distracted.  We're doing the Thanksgiving shopping today.  I'm making Mom's green bean casserole (not to be confused with the Campbell's Soup one, not even related) and my delicious sausage cornbread dressing and Durwood found a recipe for pumpkin bread pudding that we're taking to JZ & HZ's for supper.  She said that there'll be 3 pies but "bring the bread pudding anyway, someone will eat it."  Yeah, that'll be me, partly anyway, because I found a recipe online that has a toffee sauce to put on top of the pumpkin bread pudding.  I love bread pudding and with pumpkin and toffee sauce?  Be still my heart...  Later, dudes & dudettes.

Monday, November 19, 2012

I Give Up

Four times now I've tried to crochet the Zac Brown Band beanie--and failed miserably.  They've either been coneheaded or flat.  Grrr.  Now I can crochet the bejeebers out of my old standby hat pattern which is very like the Zac Brown beanie... I DON'T GET IT.  Sorry, I'm that frustrated by the whole thing.  I sat down on the couch around 4 PM yesterday, frogged my latest ZBB attempt, wound the yarn up willy-nilly, and got a standby hat started.  And finished before 10:30 PM., with a break for supper and an orange and kitchen cleanup (sometimes Durwood lets me if there's football on).

On Saturday I sat watching TV with Durwood after supper and finished the Hyperbolic Pseudosphere.  I love it.  I made it around what I'd decided would be the last round (I did 4-5 rnds single crochet, one half-double crochet, and wanted to end with one double-crochet) with only 18" of yarn left over.  Whew.  It was a good thing I stuck a marker in the first stitch of that last round because I would have given up in exhaustion halfway around just because it was so FAR around once that last time.  I had read notes of a few of the people who made it before saying that they hesitated to use it as a shower puff because it was sooooo thick it'd never dry so that's when I decided to single crochet my way out from the center a bit and then put progressively taller and not as dense stitches on.  This is really a pattern you can use as a jumping off point.  I'm tempted to use it as my Bay Lakes Knitting Guild washcloth exchange, or one like it.  It amuses me and takes no time to make.  Crochet's kind of like knitting, I think it'd pass muster.  Besides look how cool-looking it is.  People will fight over it.  I'm doing it.  (do you think that'll be okay? god, i'm such a weenie.)

Something Awesome

That's today's Photo a Day theme and I'm a little stumped.  I thought about using one of the sunrise or sunset photos I've taken lately or maybe one of Durwood (who is among the world's top ten awesome husbands), or one of my awesome kids, but I think I'm going to go with this "hasn't been raining" rainbow from a couple weeks ago.  (It's too early in the day for something awesome to have happened yet and besides I don't think "awesome" just pops up hither and thither.  Do you?  No, you don't think so either, I can tell.)  I chose this one because I was having a crap day, came home from work, looked out the patio doors at the nearly sunset sky, and saw this rainbow.  Not a pale, wimpy one either but a vivid, strong one that stuck around long enough for me to take a bunch of pictures and for DS to see when he left work to ride his bike home.  I kind of wish that I lived where I could ride my bike to work when it's nice outside.  Since I have to cross the river I'd have to detour to a different, more bike-hospitable bridge and to be honest I'm just not enough of a morning person to adjust my leaving time.  I think I'd like to bike to work but I know that I'd do it once, maybe twice, and then go back to driving.  I have excellent sweat glands so I'd be dripping by the time I got there and then be self-conscious the rest of the day that I smelled.  (Not that I have customers, not right now, but in the summer when it'd be nice enough to bike, I do.)  Maybe if I lived closer to work.  Maybe if my city wasn't hacked up by random rivers that make all the traffic funnel onto a few bridges, some of them not bike-friendly, namely the main one between my house and my job.   Ah well, I guess it isn't to be.  (saved!)  Today Mr. & Mrs. Boss come back from the trade show and today I get to cash my big, fat paycheck from last week.  Squee!  This is when all that boredom-suffering pays off.  Pays, get it?  He he he.  Except that this week's Thanksgiving week so I work one fewer day so next week's paycheck will be smaller.  (see? it all balances out, remember that when things seem hopeless, okay?)  Ah well.

November 19--Raphael, Madonna and Child with the Infant John the Baptist.  John was never quite right.  He ranted about salvation and being washed of sin from the time he first talked.  He had no fear and no reticence about talking to anyone.  He would stop random people to quiz them about their sins and demand that they repent.  His mother prayed about him and his dad tried to beat him into silence.  Neither approach had the slightest effect.  Only Isaac could shut him up, could tease him into having a bit of perspective about other people and their behavior.

Let me just say I'm glad I'm done with that particular piece of art.  Okay.  Time for showering and eating and all that other morning busy-ness.  See you.  Or not.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

I'm Free!

I'm out from under the onus of having to work 5 entire, nearly customer-free days in the last week.  Let me just say that I do not understand at all how they manage to keep the doors open and the lights on.  Don't get me wrong, I'm glad they do since I couldn't ask for a better job, I just don't see how they do it.  It's sunny and warmish (50s) outside today so I plan to revel in filling the birdfeeders and I might just go take a walk along the river.  Or go shopping.  One or the other.  See, I've got a gift card from Barnes & Noble that's kind of burning a hole in my pocket so I might have to go spend it on... on... something.  I told you that I'm not much of a shopper but sometimes I just want to go do it.  Not that I have a lot of spare money for it, but I felt very confined sitting in that empty and echoing dive shop all week so I'm kind of restless.  I was disappointed that it was foggy when I was driving to work yesterday morning because I was hoping to snap a picture of big helium balloons towering over the downtown trees before the holiday parade.  I didn't see one so I slipped off the Mason St. bridge, cruised down Monroe to see what I could see, doubled back, and took a picture of a marching band assembling in St. James Park.  It's not much parade but it's better than no parade at all, I think.  BTW, "happened this weekend" is today's Photo a Day theme so I'm counting the pre-parade photo.  Next year I'm going to the parade.  *stamps foot*  In today's paper they published the dates for the Festival of Lights in the Botanical Garden this year; it's Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays from November 23 - December 29, so Lala, check your calendar and figure out when you can come up for an overnight so we can go.  We'll keep our fingers crossed so that there's snow and I'll pop for wagon ride tickets.  You can buy the hot chocolate.  We'll make Durwood cook us food.  D'you like chicken cacciatore?  We can make him make that and it's really good.  Speaking of really good, the sauerkraut is really stinking up the basement, the rest of the house too.  That means it's just about ready so there'll be preserving going on next weekend I think.  It doesn't make much sense that something that smells so bad tastes really good but it does.  Yay for homemade kraut!  Yay for not having the stinkiest basement in three states anymore.

November 18--Rafael, Madonna and Child with the Infant Saint John the Baptist.  The boys grew up more like brothers than cousins.  Where one was the other was sure to be.  Since they lived on either end of the town everyone knew them because they roamed freely from John's house to Isaac's house and back.  If John swam naked in the creek, Isaac did too.  When Isaac didn't pay for his ice cream cone by snatching away his nickel and running, so did John.  Their mothers doted on them and their fathers wondered if they'd end up in jail or get themselves killed with their antics.

I didn't make up those pranks either.  Those are things that Durwood and his brothers did when they were growing up in suburban Chicago.  See?  All of life is fodder for fiction.  Crank it up and spit it out.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Too Much Fun

I was surfing the Ravelry pattern files of dish/washcloths seeing if there was one I wanted to make for the Bay Lakes Knitting Guild holiday exchange next month when I came across this one.  It slapped me upside the head and made me hunch over the keyboard looking at projects made with it and other possibilities.  Doesn't it look like coral?  It does, if you've never seen it in person, trust me, it really does.  This morning I've gotten back onto Ravelry and found many more patterns, many of them free.  This could become quite an obsession. Look at darymaid's coral reef!  Totally amazing.

As soon as I got home I went down into the stash, picked out an F hook and a partial skein of non-pastels and just plunged in.  Here's what I have so far.  Pretty cool, huh?

Sentenced on Saturday

Today is the last day of my "sentence,"
 aka working most of the week while Mr. & Mrs. Boss are at a trade show in Vegas.  They're flying home on Monday so then she'll work Tuesday and all will be back to normal--or what passes for normal around here.  One good and bad thing has been the near perfect lack of customers all week.  I'm sure no one was inconvenienced when I was closed on Wednesday because the only message on the machine was from a business, not a person, and yesterday was sooooo long.  I worked 9 straight hours with one paying customer (JJ) and the other a guy in for "where to snorkel in Cozumel" info.  I found him a back issue of a dive mag with a big article on Coz in it and also gave him info about getting him and his family certified to dive.  The kicker was that they were there AT THE SAME TIME.  In that whole long day you'd think that they could spread themselves out a bit but, no, there they were, shoulder to shoulder, plus that was when Durwood called to tell me that the hawk was hunting in the backyard too.  Gah.  Some days customers seem to be lured in by the aroma of my lunch soup but this week they were not--in spades.  I'm glad I went to knitting too.  It was good to sit and knit with people around me.  PEOPLE, people, actual live humans talking and moving around, interacting with me, I barely knew how to act.  But I managed.  I haven't been inspired by the last couple days' Photo a Day themes.  Friday's was "the view from your window" and not only was I busy early and didn't have time to take one, this blah scene is what I see lately.  It's a far cry from the vivid pinks and dark grays of the sunrises at the end of October, don't you think?  Just endless blah, misty gray and brown.  Ugh.  Today's theme is one I always have trouble with, "the last thing you bought."  I don't buy things, don't really shop, not as an entertainment, and I don't need or want new clothes.  I'm perfectly happy with my broken-in jeans, long-sleeved tees, and solid-color pullover sweaters.  (I have a very hyphenated wardrobe.)  So I was standing in the kitchen just now stymied as to what to snap when I saw the bags of birdseed I bought the other day and haven't taken out to the bins yet.  Birdseed.  I bought that last weekend.  It's the last thing I bought.  God, I'm boring, but there you are.  Now I'm caught up.  Whew.

November 17--France, Theatrical Armor.  "Well, it looks like armor," Lincoln said, "it looks like it would work."  Macklin shook his head.  "It's papier mache, even a stage sword would hack right through it."  Lincoln turned this way and that, admiring himself in the mirror.  "But it looks good.  Don't you think it looks good?"  "Yes, like the real thing.  From the third row back no one will be able to tell the difference.  It's lightweight and it won't clank.  You'd hate it if it clanked.  Now hold still."  While he spoke Macklin sewed a rip in Lincoln's tights while he wore them.  The actor crouched with his hands on his knees and his rear thrust back while Macklin sat on a low stool, his glasses perched on the end of his nose, and a needle and thread flashing in the light of the goose neck lamp.  The door opened and Sheila the stage manager poked her head in.  "Five minutes, Linc.  Oh sorry, I didn't know you were..."  She shut the door.  Macklin started to sputter and his hand began to shake.  Finally he was laughing so hard he could barely see to sew.  "Just don't sew the tights to my bits," Lincoln said, which sent Macklin to his knees.

You think I made that up, don't you?  Well, I worked costumes on a St. Norbert College summer production once long ago and had to sew up the ripped ass-end of a pair of tights with the ass-hat still in them.  Naturally he was one of those middle-aged men who makes every interaction into a sexual one.  Was I tempted to sew the tights to his hairy bits?  You'd better believe I was.  But I didn't.  One of us had to be mature.

Friday, November 16, 2012

That's Better

On my way to work today I made a quick stop at St. V's Hospital to drop off the first five chemo caps for men.  I wheedled my way past the greeter and 2 receptionists to put them in the box where there were only 2 ball caps.

Here's how it looked when I first saw it:

Here's how it looked this morning after my delivery:

I like photo #2 better.  Don't you?  More hats are in the works. 

Friday Imprisonment

Well, that's what it feels like to be here working today.  I don't work on Friday.  Or Saturday, for that matter, but this week I'm doing both.  *sigh*  (big paycheck, big paycheck)  That means it'll be after 7 o'clock when I get to knitting but I'm still going.  I was thinking I'd skip it, just go on home once I close the store, but when Durwood asked this morning if I'm going I decided to do it.  What the heck, I can go home after knitting, right?  Right.  I've been thinking that it's too early to be needing chemical heat packs in my shoes, making sure I have a shawl with me, and too early to be wearing my winter jacket, but it isn't.  The dive shop's a cement block building on a cement slab with industrial carpeting on it, plus I swear that there's a tiny gap where the floor and walls meet so the furnace sucks in cold air right over my feet. I wear wool socks, and thick boots once it's icy and snowy, but I still need those little heating pads in there. I love them; they keep my tootsies warm.  Tomorrow's the start of deer hunting and hunters usually like to have snow, "tracking snow," on the ground plus they've gotta roast in their bulky orange clothes when it's in the 40s out there.  I suppose if they're sitting still they don't get too hot but walking around would make them sweat.  And another thing, tomorrow morning's the Christmas parade downtown.  I was thinking I'd call DS & DIL1 to see if they'd like to go, you know, get bundled up and go watch the floats, balloons and marching bands, drink a little hot cocoa--but, no, I have to work at the same time the parade starts.  (poor pitiful me)  I know I should be glad I have a job and a fun one at that and I am, I really am, but I love complaining and feeling just a little sorry for myself too so you get to listen to me, you lucky ducks.

November 16--George Bellows, The Red Vine, Matinicus Island, Maine.  Nora was grateful that the sun shone as she hung the sheets on the line.  It had been a long winter with many gray days so it was a treat to stand in the soft spring air feeling the sun warm her fingers.  She caught a whiff of Mae's bread baking next door and smiled.  Her own loaves were still rising in the corner of the kitchen out of the draft from the open door.  A sudden squabble of gulls out over the harbor made her look up.  It was too early for the boats to be coming in but there was movement out near the breakwater.  She shaded her eyes with her hand.  Her heart nearly stopped when she recognized the yellow trim on the wheelhouse.  It was her George's boat, the Nora Dell.  She dropped the end of the sheet and clothespin she was holding and started to run.

Okay, now I feel better about myself.  I'd had a few blah nights of writing but this one gives me my faith back.  How come a night or two of no inspiration makes me feel that I've lost it and won't ever get it back?  I'd like to think I have a little more faith in myself than that.  Ooh, phone, maybe it's a customer.
--Barbara Sue
P.S. nope, telemarketer, dang it.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

What I Did On My Day Off

I finally finished the first men's chemo hat I cast on, that's what I did.  I'm not a very fast knitter and I'm not a very project monogamous knitter either. 

The crocheted one which was the third one was slightly problematic.  I started it, frogged it, restarted it using a different pattern, refrogged that one, re-restarted it using yet another pattern, re-refrogged that one, finally started it again with my old-standby pattern and a one size smaller hook and finished that one at work on Tuesday, which took up quite a bit of my time as you can imagine. That's it below in all its chamo-y glory.

So last night after supper I reloaded my 2 chemo hap project bags (one crochet & one knit) with new man-approved yarns (I ran them by Durwood) and plunged in again.  I'm determined to crochet a Zac Brown Band-style beanie, even though that's one of the patterns I tried before and ripped out, but I think I figured out what I was doing wrong.  It's the brown blob on the left.  So far, so good.

I found a similar rib-knit hat pattern to the original one that calls for a bigger needle (I'm really a big yarn/big needle girl) and cast that one on in the black.  When I was digging for yarns for the hats I found a tiny scrap of a black, white & gray yarn that I slapped in after the first few rows just so it isn't solid black.  I know, I know guys like solid black (boring) hats but this is just a little bit of interest I don't think they'll mind, do you?  I promise I'll do an all-black one next.  Men need to get with color, all this blue, brown, gray, forest green, and black is just plain dull.  Dull, dull, dull.  Perk it up, guys, walk on the wild side.  How about a nice rust?

I got my teeth cleaned in the afternoon too but there are no photos of that.  You're welcome.