Thursday, October 31, 2013

'Tis A Dark And Rainy Day

Perfect for Halloween, don't you think?  Also if you look closely at the photo beside these words you can see that the squirrels are already gnawing on the power cord of the birdbath heater.  I need to tape some wire mesh over that before they get beyond the sleeve.  Demon rodents.

God, it's already the end of October, can you believe it?  I'm sure DIL1 is praying that the days fly until the end of the year so that the baby comes sooner rather than later especially since her cousin, K&GZ's little guy, Owen, arrived on Tuesday.  I'm pretty anxious to see our little guy/gal too so... fly, days, FLY!  This Saturday's the baby shower in Shawano so I went to the card store and found some cute wrapping paper and some cards, then I got all the knitted stuff washed and patted into shape so it's drying downstairs on the foam pads.  DIL1's SIL, AZ, is expecting too and due about the same time so it's a joint shower.  Ooh, knitting for two babies at once.  Tonight after supper (Durwood's making Chinese Chicken Meatballs on sauteed bok choy, I can't wait) I'll get out the tissue paper and get it all boxed up and wrapped, that way I'll be all done and ready more than a day before the party.  (I'm impressed with myself, aren't you?)  I just have one little thing left on the needles and I'll have that finished by quitting time today, unless I'm inundated by pesky customers, that is.  I can deal, I'm nothing if not flexible.  (also a bit self-deluded, if truth be told, but I will be ready in time *firm nod* I will)

Porter and I had a nice walk yesterday along the trail.  We got a bit of a late start so that might explain the lack of other people on there but it was nice being almost the only creatures there.  My low back was aching something fierce during the walk and I suspected that it was due to sitting in the van for 2 weeks and nearly 2700 miles, which Dr. Paula confirmed at my visit later.  She also admonished me to "keep walking," finger shake and all.  I will.  Cross my heart.  Porter depends on me.

Durwood had a nice bag of peels and squash entrails for the chickens.  They were huge fans of the squash seeds, even forgoing the pecking order to eat them, although they seem to be more of a flock than us vs.them lately.  DS says they're all laying again too, that's good.

October 31--Paul Gauguin, Tahitian Women Bathing.  He stood int he shadows at the edge of the jungle and watched the three women.  He had heard their soft voices as he walked the path wondering if he was hearing things.  Most of the time he felt superior to the natives and their superstitions but the longer he lived on the island the more he believed that spirits lived there too.  That morning he had packed a notebook and a few pencils in a pouch and set off for a sacred place they talked about.  He meant to make observations that would debunk their superstitions with reason and science but now he wasn't so sure.  The three women seemed to be performing a ritual, burning leaves wafting fragrant smoke across the clearing,

And that's where inspiration crapped out.  I have so much trouble writing about Gauguin's Tahiti paintings.  My first and strongest instinct is to rant about how much of a perv he had to be.  I mean really, you can see it on the women's faces how uncomfortable they are in his presence.  *throws up hands*  I give up.  I have to work today, what'll I dress up as?  *taps lips with finger*  I know, a knitter.  Done and dusted.  Talk to you tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Hump Day-y-y-y!

Can you hear the camel?  I love that commercial and it seems they've stopped running it. (maybe I don't watch enough TV)  Bring back the camel!  Hump day!

And I have the day off so there'll be no working but a lot of doing.  First there's grand-dog walking, then nails getting done, then a chiro appointment, after that I'm sure I'll find things to occupy my day.  I have to give all the baby gifts a wash and pat them into shape, buy some wrapping paper and maybe some official boxes, oh, and greeting cards too.  Gotta get cards.

Hey, this weekend Daylight Savings Time ends so we... fall back, yeah... which  means it'll be light earlier and dark sooner.  Light earlier I'm in favor of but dark sooner?  Not so much.  But don't worry, I can complain for every occasion and happenstance.  Complaining's one of my best things.

Yesterday morning DS called while he drove to work to say that DIL1 and HZ had bought fabric for nursery curtains and lining fabric so they'll be room-darkening.  They don't sew; he can but his job really has him hopping.  He chatted his way around to asking if I'd be willing to make them up and I said yes.  Of course.  I can't wait to see what they've picked out since the nursery's got an undersea theme.  Did you know that the sides of cribs don't lower anymore?  I guess kids' fingers got pinched so now they're fixed, and the slats are a lot closer together too.  No more buying baby furniture at rummage sales, there's all these rules now, it's confusing.  What ever happened to putting the baby in a dresser drawer or laundry basket?  Everybody's got those.  What about letting them sleep where they fall?  I've heard that in some circles bedtimes have gone out of style.  Heck, when our kids were little bedtime was what saved my sanity when Durwood was out of town.  Bedtime's good for everyone and it gives parents a much-needed breather.  I'm not a fan of co-sleeping either.  Those little demons often sleep like galloping horses and it seemed like I always got the hoof end.  There's a reason everyone has a bed of their own.

October 30--Cypriot, Hellenistic Period, Vase in the form of a sleeping African boy.  He was tired, so tired that he couldn't go another step.  He was deep in the woods and night had fallen so moving wasn't safe, that made stopping easier.  He was afraid that he would walk off a cliff or stumble into a wild animal in the dark.  In the last of the light he chose a pine tree with branches low enough to the ground that he could burrow under.  He wrapped his arms around the base of the trunk to anchor himself in the dark.

And that's when I realized that I was going nowhere fast and had no clue where to turn, so I turned off the light and went to sleep.  Now that it's lightening up a bit I'm going off to begin my day.  Toodles, kids.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Still Dark, Dark, Dark

I know, whine whine whine, but I feel whiny so you're just going to have to deal.  I intend to go to yoga after work today so maybe that'll perk things up in the mood department here at 1510, something has to.

Have you read the Hunger Games trilogy?  Yeah, yeah, I know they're young adult books but they're very well written and have interesting characters and... and... and... they're a thought-provoking allegory of today's "blame everyone else" culture.  I re-watched the first movie on my Kindle Fire yesterday at work because Lala told me last week that the second movie, Catching Fire, is coming the end of next month and we saw the first one together so we need to do that with the second one too.  She's the one that told me about the books in the first place so it's only fitting that we watch the films together.  What?  How many of you are Harry Potter fans?  *raises hand*  Those are kids' books and adults still read them.  There's a raft of books with patterns to knit approximating sweaters, etc. from the movies too, and they're in adult sizes so I can't be the only adult wanting to dress up like Harry or Hermione or Dobby.  See, in one of the HP books Hermione learns to knit and makes hats to free the house elves but they don't want to be free so Dobby, the house elf that Harry freed from the Malfoys and who now works at Hogwarts, takes them all and wears them in a stack on his head, so some genius worked up a pattern to knit a hat that looks like a stack of hats.  Brilliant.  I want to knit one.

I'll be glad when Mrs. Boss gets done with her month of flitting from pillar to post, from Idaho to Colorado, home for a few days to do laundry and repack, then she's off to Orlando for a trade show, then she's escaping to the Keys for a few days' diving.  I'm ready to be back to my boring rut, thank you very much, there's too much thinking for me to do when she's away.

I'm in one of those moods when I'd like to scrape everything out of the house and start over from bare walls.  Oh, I'd scrape it all into the backyard first so I could pick through and let back in the things I really want (and most days Durwood would be first back through the door, most days, but then I'm certain that there are days when I'm not his first choice either), then I'd have an "I'm Sick of This Crap, You Want It?" sale before donating the remains to Goodwill or the Salvation Army.  But I never will, so...

October 29--Johannes Vermeer, Young Woman with a Water Pitcher.  This was the first day at the end of winter when the air was warm enough for Mariette to open the window.  The rush of cool clean air swept around her and she imagined that she heard the winter-weary house sigh.  She did her best to keep the house clean but in winter the air got trapped inside.  By the end of March the house smelled of cooking, coal fires, and feet.  She lived for today, for the sound of the window latch grating open and the bicycle and canal boat sounds that floated in on the breeze.

Don't you love that first day that carries a hint of Spring?  How you open the house and sigh?  Yeah, I'm pretty much hating having all the windows shut and will for the next, what, six months?  Arrgh.  Okay, on that happy thought it's time for me to toddle down the hall, read the paper, eat breakfast, and go off to keep the world safe from SCUBA diving once more.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Damn Dark Mornings

I don't like waking up in the dark.  I really don't, can you tell?  I don't mind the cold but I am not a fan of the dark.  This too shall pass, just not fast enough for my tastes.  (I had to wait until nearly 8 o'clock to take that, 2 hours after I rolled out of bed *sigh*)

It pained me no end but I mowed over the leaf carpet in the front yard yesterday and turned it into mulch so that the lawn sprayers can find the grass today.  I wasn't sure that the lawnmower had the moxie to turn such a thick blanket of leaves into little leaf chips but it did.  Now our lawn looks like all the others--and the leaves of the biggest maple tree in the neighborhood (that lives right next door) are barely starting to change color so that means that there's another leaf carpet on the way.  Maybe I'll just let the wind deal with that one... no, I probably won't, I'll go out there and either blow or mow them away.  At least they won't be as pretty colors as the last ones were, that tree's leaves never are so it'll be easier to destroy them.  I think it spends so much energy keeping green as long as it does that once the chlorophyll goes there's nothing left, only brown.

Then I worked on finishing the baby sweaters and booties for next Saturday's Z-Baby shower.  Got the sweaters all done and one booty sewed up with one to go.  I'm hoping to finish one more little item before then but won't cry if I don't make it.  I can give baby presents any old time, I'm going to be one of the grannies.  No pictures until after Saturday, though, don't want to spoil the surprise.

October 28--Winslow Homer, Snap the Whip.  Shoes were hard to come by that year.  Eli and Lev wore shoes on Sunday but only in church and only when it was dry outside.  Eli's shoes had belonged to Uncle Pruitt before he joined the army.  Since Uncle Pruitt didn't seem to be coming home Mam thought it would be a sin to waste perfectly good shoes.  Eli hoped his feet stopped growing soon as the shoes were getting tight.  Lev's shoes came from the poor box in the back of the church.  He hated them because he knew that they had belonged to someone in the parish and that made him feel ashamed.  Mam told him to get over it, that being poor gave rich folks a leg-up into Heaven because they had so few chances for grace in their lives.  She said it isn't good for a person's soul to have it too good.  Lev grumbled that he'd like to give it a try one day.

Not only is it dark out there, it's cold too.  Must be a set.  Maybe I'll have some oatmeal for breakfast... yeah, that's it, I'll have oatmeal with dried cherries.  That'll keep me warm out there.  I'm off.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

There Was This Yarn, You See,

... and it was 40% off and there were 8 skeins of it (eight!) and I just happened to have enough cash in my pocket so it came away with me out into the fresh air and sunshine.

It's eight skeins of Classic Elite Lush which is wool and angora in a lovely green.  How could I pass it up?

While I was sitting in the Lodge at The Clearing yesterday afternoon soaking up the peace of the place I finished the second Cloud 9 bootie.  Now all I need to do is weave in ends and sew them together, probably later today.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

I Ran Away From Home Today

Not for long, only overnight.  I told you I was going to do it in yesterday's blog post and I did.  First I left home at O-dark-thirty (oh, okay, it was 6:45 AM but it seemed like night) to meet the dive guys for breakfast and then take the university students' money while the guys doled out the bags of gear I'd organized yesterday at work.  It was much easier that Mrs. Boss talked me through all the discount calculating, etc. earlier in the week so I made "running tabs" for all of them so I just had to poink their name and take their money.  Easy peasy.

It was about 8:45 by the time they all left so I zoomed home, packed my toothbrush, some clean underwear, the laptop, my tea, and a banana and fled town by 10:00 after stopping for birdseed and a muffin for tomorrow morning.  No, not in the same store.  Tsk.

It was windy, really windy, partly sunny, and chilly today,  but I didn't care as long as it wasn't raining or snowing.  I got to Sister Bay just after noon (okay, okay, I stopped at Spin, the yarn shoppe in Sturgeon Bay), checked into room 7 at the Edge of Town Motel, and tooled on up the road to The Clearing where my pal KS was spending the afternoon as the greeter and tour guide in the Lodge.  We talked about my vacation and her knitting class, shared cold pizza, and knitted.  Then I got to help her lock all the room doors because today was the last day of the summer residential season.  I felt important. By then it was after 5 o'clock and she had other duties elsewhere so she drove off, I took a spin around the labyrinth, and then came to the room where I've read and listened and just generally goofed off all by myself.  It's relaxing, you should try it.

October 25--Circle of Antonio Lombardo, Eurydice.  She stepped on the snake.  Just like that, she stepped down on the serpent.  It coiled around her ankle and its tail thrashed the ground making the dried grass rattle.  She looked down and crooned to it, lifting it, telling it she was sorry.  It lay passive in her hands, not limp, not lashing her, not biting her.  I was frozen in place, my eyes looked at her calf expecting to see two trails of blood ooze from a snakebite but there wasn't one.

That's it for me.  Talk to you tomorrow.  Maybe.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Widdle Sockies #2

I bought that ball of Cascade Fixation in South Carolina and immediately cast on a second pair of sockies.  I freaking love the colors, they're so bright and cheerful.  I'll be knitting my very own anklet out of the remains of the ball.

The other night I cast on a pair of garter stitch booties out of the Cloud 9 left from the blanket, got one done and the second one cast on pretty quickly.  I'll finish the next bootie today and then sew them up this weekend.  Then I have to finish a few other baby things because the shower's a week from Saturday and I refuse to be scrambling at the eleventh hour, as has been my habit.  I need to remember to go buy some wrapping paper before then too.

Next I'll be finishing the Khaki Cardi.  Yes, I will.  *nods firmly*  It's getting chilly out there. 

There's No Denying That It's Autumn

First, our front yard's a carpet of gorgeous red and orange leaves.  There was a message on the answering machine saying that the lawn guys are coming on Monday for the last spray of the season and they'd appreciate it if the leaves were raked up.  (What if I'm not ready to rake the leaves, huh?  What if I like the way it looks like an expensive Persian carpet?  What about my leaf needs?)  I'm glad I've convinced Durwood not to have them come next year because all that weed killer leaves holes in the lawn where the weeds used to be and now there's just dirt, and we didn't have many butterflies this year, and his raspberries looked like they got sprayed with something, so I'm not a fan, not a fan at all.

Second, the mums across the front of the house are blooming like mad.  I just love their colors, especially the gold and dark red ones that cozy up to each other right by the front door.  The white ones and the yellow ones didn't survive (are pale colors less hardy?) so there are gaps but perhaps I can buy some at an end of season sale at some discount plant place to fill in.  I'd also like to plant a witch hazel bush if I can figure out where to plant one, maybe I'll get to that next Wednesday instead of this weekend because...

Third, I took the bull by the horns yesterday afternoon just before I left work and reserved a motel room in Door County for Saturday night.  I plan to go up to The Clearing and pester my friend, KS while she's working, take a walk in the fall woods and along the bay, take lots of pictures, then get myself a little supper and tuck into my room for the night.  Not that I haven't just been away from home for 2 weeks but for a loner like me that's a lot of intense togetherness so I saved a bit of moolah for a teeny-tiny getaway all by myself.  I figure since I have to get up before the crack of dawn tomorrow to help get the university students geared up for their dives this weekend I might as well throw a bag in my car and zoom away for a breather.  In case you're wondering, when I told Durwood about it when I got home from work he said, "good."  He's a good man. 

October 25--Gustav Klimt, Textile Sample.  The water was clear and almost still.  Her hair floated like kelp with the small movements of the lake as it breathed in the last slanting light of the day.  Julie Jacobsen stood in the sunset light shading her eyes against the glare.  She was waiting for the crime scene crew, trying to note every detail before they arrived.  Dan Wellner had flagged her down out on the road that passed his place.  The usually taciturn man was stuttering and wild-eyed.  "Felicia," he said, "she's... she's..."  Words failed him so he tugged her out of the her Bronco and nearly dragged her to the edge of the bay.  Now she was afraid that they had trampled clues, signs in the long grass as to how young Felicia Martens had come to be weighted down in the shallows behind Dan's boat shed.

And that's all she wrote.  It was too tired last night to go any further, I wanted to keep on but the Sandman clubbed me over the head and dragged me away.  C'est la vie.  I have to work today.  *sigh*  Only until 4:30 and then we're going to the Barbershoppers concert and supper so no knitting night for me today, but Durwood gets out of cooking so that's something, right?  You have a good day.  I'm outta here.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

I'm Glad Dogs Can't Talk

It's very restful being the only verbal one on my walks with Porter because I am certain she loses patience with me.  I stop for no reason, making her sit when I do, she sits at her own angle (the better to see oncoming threats, I'm sure), and take pictures of random things.  I talk to her about whether she's going to go potty, when and where, and then I gather it up and carry it along.  I chastise her for eating goose poo (it must taste great, she's a fan) and shorten her leash when we cross the park full of the stuff.  I don't run like other people do; she wants to run too.  I think I'm a frustrating walk partner but better than nothing.  I do tell her how good a girl she is and I pet her ears.  We make it work.

It was beautiful on the trail yesterday morning, the leaves have fallen enough that I see the river more and the berries and grapes are plentiful, also the milkweed pods have opened and bright white fluff's pouring out.
Durwood had a bag of leaves for me to take to the chickens when I went walking and I wish I could show you how those birds behave when I come into the yard.  Yesterday Kiev and General Tso were out in the coop so they rushed to the side by the door.  Henny and Penny were in the chicken house and collided in the doorway, shoving each other to be the first out.  All four of them were in a clump then, crooning and softly clucking, as if they could lure me closer.  When I open the door they scatter and then race from leaf to leaf when I toss them.  Even though I make sure to spread whatever I bring out, at least once Penny, the top chicken, will chase General Tso, the low chicken on the totem pole, just to exert her superiority, I guess.  They're entertaining, and they lay eggs.  It's an excellent trade off.

In the afternoon Durwood and I explored Costco and got our membership cards straightened out.  It's very Sam's-like and the prices seem comparable.  They did have lots of samplers which Durwood's a big fan of but by the time we'd gone up most of the aisles my back hurt from walking on the concrete floor and I was ready to be done.  After Costco we zoomed to the oxygen place's new digs and swapped his empty tanks for full ones, then we swung by the dive shop where the customer was waiting so he could hand me a full-face mask that needs service.  He was appropriately grateful that I came.  That was nice.  Then we drove to Woodman's for lemon yogurt (I'm a big fan) and some more boxes of some discontinued crackers he bought one box of and liked a lot.  Naturally the discontinued crackers that I liked were all gone.  Natch.  Oh, and then we hit Aldi for a fresh pineapple (I'm a big fan of that too), a drum of pretzel rods for work, and some silicone spatulas because they were irresistibly inexpensive, then we went home.  Whew.  We're like the whirlwind.  Now all that's left to do is get rid of the solid carpet of fallen leaves on the front lawn before more snow flies.  It was drizzling when we were just finishing up our errands and a few of those drizzles had MASS, white mass.  Eesh, I'm so not ready for snow.

October 24--Joseph T. Keiley, A Sioux Chief.  He was suspicious of new things, foreign things, so he kept his mouth shut and let others prattle on about bits and bytes, apertures and f-stops.  He had too much pride to let on that he didn't know so he was silent.  He felt the new world laying on him like a weight, compressing his lungs.  No one tried to understand his world, they thrust him into the new one without asking.  Having children saved him, they showed him what they learned and that way he crept into the future.

Sometimes I feel the exact same way, things change so quickly these days.  Gad, I sound old.  I'm off to shower and make myself presentable for the day.  Sayonara.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I Get To Walk Porter This Morning

Yay!  I'm looking forward to scuffing through the leaves on the trail and talking to the dog as we walk along.  It might be a short walk because my left knee's already complaining--maybe it just needs a bit of exercise, yeah, I'm sure that's it.  Then this afternoon Durwood and I are going over to check out the new Costco and get our membership cards straightened out.  See, a couple guys stopped into the dive shop around the end of September selling memberships so I signed us up and I got a $10 gift card for doing it.  (score!)  A week or so later I got a hand-addressed  envelope from Costco with the insert sheet (you know, with those little corner slits for the card to rest in) but NO card.  I tried calling them to get it straightened out but got caught in a robo-answering whirlpool and hung up in frustration.  We'll get it straightened out later today.  RJ & K took us, separately, to Costcos in South Carolina and I think they're very Sam's-y but DS tells me that they fly in fresh seafood on the weekends; that alone makes the membership worthwhile.  I could go for some fresh salmon baked in honey-soy marinade right now.  Well, not RIGHT now, it's 7 o'clock in the dark morning, but you know what I mean?

DS didn't have a lucky evening last night.  His job is very busy and keeps him hopping, and after work he had a 13 year old young man to hurry through the pool skills so he can join the UWGB students' certification dives this coming weekend.  When the kid got to the dive shop (a bit late) turned out he hadn't quite finished the final exam online, which meant that he couldn't take the quick quiz which he needs to do before being able to be certified.  I suggested that he log on right then and finish the last 3 questions which he did.  I fit the Dad for a wetsuit and went home.  DS called me at about 7 PM to say that he didn't have his store key on his work keys keyring and was there another key around he could use?  I said yes, it's in the safe--but do you think I could remember the combination?--no, of course not.  So I told him to not set the alarm, lock the front door, and go out the back because there isn't a knob on the outside of that door, and I'd drive to the store, fetch the key, and deliver it to him at the YM.  Durwood put the brakes on the spaghetti and I took off.  All the way to the store I kept trying to remember the combination so by the time I got there I had no chance.  I poked at the numbers a couple times but I knew if I goofed up 3 times I'd be locked out so I had to call Mrs. Boss in Idaho (for god's sake), she giggled and told me.  I got the key, set the alarm, and drove to the YM where I spied Divemaster KC just climbing the stairs to go in to do DS's student's dad's refresher, so I handed over the key, explained, and drove home.  Around 9:30 the phone rang and it was DS again, calling to thank me for charging to his rescue but also to say that he'd gone out to his company van after the pool session to discover he had a flat tire that he had to change before he could put the dive gear away and go home.  Not his night.  I told him that I knew why his evening had been so bollixed up--it was 2 years ago yesterday, the 22nd, that Mom died.  Colored my whole day and evidently screwed his up royally.  Thanks a lot, Mom.  I'll pick up the key when I go get Porter for
our walk and put it back in the safe later when I have to go in on my day off to meet a guy coming through town to drop off some stuff that needs service.  Oh well, Costco's pretty close to the dive shop so we'll go there and be done in time for me to meet the guy.  *throws hands in the air*  I can see right now that this is not going to be a relaxing, lay around day off.  NOT.

October 23--France, Paris, Suit.  The fabric of the jacket was stiff with floral embroidery.  William stood in front of the mirror imagining the soft pink hands of the seamstresses caressing the silk stretched across their laps.  He ran his hand down the jacket feeling the cool silk glide under his fingers.  The music from downstairs drifted through the door carrying laughter and voices.  It should have lured him down but he was too pleased with the way he looked to go just yet.  "I thought I'd find you here admiring yourself instead of greeting your guests."  Davis closed the door behind him and pressed the muzzle of a pistol to the back of William's head.  "That isn't necessary, " said William.  "Oh, I think it is.  It's a shame to ruin that beautiful silk but it can't be helped."  The shot was so muffled by distance that there was no gap in the conversations and it was nearly midnight before anyone went to see why William had never come to his own party.

Eesh.  I didn't see that coming.  Durwood just called out that the birdbath is steaming.  Gotta be damned cold for that to happen.  Better check to make sure there's enough water in it.  I'm off... and not only that, I'm leaving.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Geez, It's Dark Out There

It seems to me that the dark took a giant leap forward in the last couple weeks, maybe because we were in the Eastern time zone?  Anyway, it's shockingly inky out there when I roll out of the sack around 6 o'clock of the AM.  (you know, I dearly love "o'clock" I don't know why... maybe it's the apostrophe)  And I think the dark's making my nose run, it doesn't run in the daylight, only at night.  Crazy, huh?
I tried to take pictures of the barely lit horizon but the camera insisted on gathering light and making it brighter--and blurry because I couldn't hold it still enough.  Bah.  I had to wait a whole hour to get this shot of the brightening sky without extra light or blur, and this red leaf was evidently trying to come indoors because I caught it on the step and brushed it away.  Sneaky devil.  There's bound to be a setting on that camera to make it do what I want it to but I don't know what it is and can't find it, not even in the manual.  Makes me frustrated.  I should probably sit down with my knitting pal Mitch and have him give me tips, he takes awesome pictures with his digital camera that looks almost exactly like mine, it's even red.  Yeah, I'll do that one of these days.
I spent most of yesterday "putting out fires" at work-- fixing boo boos that were made by Mr. Boss and gathering intel to smooth over a glitch with an irate customer's mask when he returns from a vacation--that I didn't have time to knit one stitch.  What's up with that?!?  October's supposed to be a dead zone at the Aqua Center, but there I was working away, earning an honest wage.  Tsk.  I have things to knit, people, and a business history to write, I don't have time to sit at work and WORK.  *shakes head*

I know I've said it a hundred times but I dearly love borrowing audiobooks from the library.  Lala emailed me yesterday to offer to come up for an overnight so we can go see Catching Fire, the second of the Hunger Games movies, so I cruised over to Overdrive and borrowed all three audiobooks to re-listen to them.  Snap, just like that, two of them were ready for me to download when I got home, and I had an email this morning that the third one was mine--for 2 weeks anyway, so I slurped them onto the laptop here and then fonged them into my iPod or Kindle depending on the format I chose.  I kind of go back and forth liking one over the other, I like the iPod for its size and more books are formatted for the iPod but I love the Kindle Fire for all that it can do like play games and track trip expenditures and hold a calender so I'm where I need to be when, for the Overdrive app that reads me stories in the car and at work, and for the Cloud that stores all my books and songs.  Just lately I realized that Amazon put all the CDs I've ever bought from them into my Cloud so that they're now at my fingertips.  How cool is that?  Very, I'm telling you, very cool.  Now I kinda want one of the new Kindle Fires that is the X one that you don't need a wi-fi connection to be on the 'net but I suspect there's a monthly charge for that.  I can live with my "old school" Kindle Fire, no problem.  I"m good.

October 22--Alexandre Cabanel, The Birth of Venus.  I dreamed of flying babies.  Babies with little pearl wings sprouting from their shoulders.  Red-haired, blond, and brunette curls tousled by the wind of their flight, they buzzed around, naked and plump, in the summer sunshine.  I lay under the linden tree, the cool shade perfumed and enveloping, lying on a quilt made of soft cotton patches in bright colors, like a bed of flowers to wrap myself in.

Well, that's fanciful, isn't it?  Those cherubs were irresistible the way they hovered over the reclined Venus.  What is it with artists and naked ladies anyway?  Yeah, yeah, I hear you, it's the purity of the human form not the naked-idity.  Blah, blah, blah.  Right.  I'll believe that when pigs fly.  It was just an excuse to have a nude woman lying around the studio.  Okay, dudes and dudettes, I'm outta here.  Time to read the paper and make a few Cheerios go away.  Then maybe it'll be quiet at the dive shop and I can get some things done around there.  Ciao.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Long Pants *sigh*

I had to wear long jeans yesterday--all day--and a sweatshirt too, a hoodie.  It was that cold, barely made it to 50 degrees all day and was drizzly and rainy after 4 PM or so.  *sigh*  And it's not supposed to get much warmer all week.  *sigh*  While the wash was flopping around I got out my long-sleeved shirts and put them onto the hanging bar and as the clean short-sleeved shirts came out of the dryer I hung them into my basement "clothes closet" (it's one of those rubbermaid-type enclosed hanging storage things from walmart) that stands opposite the washer and dryer.  Handy but kind of sad too.  Once the clean laundry's folded and put away later this week I'll fill the basket with shorts and tank tops for the trip back into the basement, then refill the basket with sweaters (maybe more than one trip too) and woolly socks to complete the transformation from summer to winter.  *sigh*  I like my winter clothes, I do, but I guess I'm just not ready to cozy up to them again, not quite yet.  But it's cold enough, also dark.  I've been up for an hour and the sky is barely lightening.  Dark days ahead, for almost 2 months, before the sunrise and sunset start moving away from each other again.  *sigh*  Good thing we've filled the house with full-spectrum lamps so we don't just fade away.

You're totally sorry you missed breakfast at our house yesterday.  Totally.  I had to duck the apple tree branches when I filled the feeders on Saturday and was struck (literally) by the ripe apples weighing them down.  Now I hadn't planned to make any sauce this year because we've got a bunch of jars from the last few years, but I just can't leave them all out there to rot, so I decided that we needed apple pancakes for breakfast.  I picked one apple (ONE! not really making a dent in the bounty) and grated it into the light griddle cakes recipe in the Settlement cookbook (my fave for basic cooking) adding a quarter-teaspoon of cinnamon.  Mmmm, good.  (hmm, *taps finger on lips* our pal JJ loves applesauce, his kids do too, maybe I should make them a batch, it'd be a sin to let those apples go to waste.  It was a great year for apples too, there're a zillion of 'em.  I'll call the neighbors too.)

I also realized that I'm going to have to replace my nearly 20 year old jeans this year since two of my four pairs of beloved everyday jeans needed patches on their rears and that just doesn't look good--even though I patched them on the inside you can still see the torn part on the ass.  Not a good look for an overweight 62 year old.  Not at all.  Guess I know where I'm going later this week--Walmart for new mom-jeans.

October 21--Egypt, Late Period, Genet Amulet.  "There's something in her hand," Rico said.  He was bent over looking at the body splayed on the warehouse floor.  Kids playing had found her and they had been racing down the cracked asphalt when the patrol car rolled up.  Wilson and Pickett had listened to their panicked words and asked the kids to show them what they'd found.  The smallest kid, a boy no older than nine, had marched Pickett back toward the deserted warehouse while Wilson collected names and addresses of the others.  "What's your name?" Pickett asked the boy as they walked along.  "Joseph," he said keeping his eyes on his shoes.  "Do you play down here often, Joseph?"  "Naw, Mama don't like it when I do.  She says that bad things live in blank places like this.  I guess she's right 'cause here we found a stiff."  They walked in silence for a few minutes.  "She's my first dead body," Joseph continued, "except for Great-aunt Parthenia laid out at Kramers last year."

Sorry about the Wilson and Pickett thing, I was too tired to resist and sleepily pleased with my cleverness.  Time to get all the soup and fruit containers into a tote and out into the car to take to work, and I promised DS that I'd drop off the stake pounder on my way across town AND I just remembered that Mrs. Boss told me there's a tank at Van's and would I pick up her dive bag from the shoe repair guy on my way in too.  Good thing I remembered all that crap... AND the furnace guy's coming between 8 and 10 to give the furnaces a going-over before the dead of winter.  Guess I'm signing off.  Toodle-oo.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Soup & Laundry

That's what I need to accomplish today, do the bags of trip laundry and make a vat of soup for work lunches for the next couple weeks.  It won't be too hot for soup because it's cold outside, so cold that there's frost on the grass and the birdbath's a skating rink.  Oops, guess I wasn't fast enough getting the heater in there.  I'm not so much of a fan of the new heater I bought, it's just barely thin enough to be underwater when it's full so I have to be vigilant.  The old one was flat like a mat, not as good at keeping all the water thawed, but easier to keep underwater.  Oh well, this one works just fine and it won't kill me to keep topping up the birdbath of a morning.  (I can be such a whiner)

Yesterday I went to the dive shop to confer with Mrs. Boss about my work schedule for the next month.  All I can say is it's a good thing I hopped on Amazon and downloaded a decent calendar app for my Kindle before I went there because for the next 4 weeks I have Wednesday off instead of Tuesday and Friday, I work on Fridays but Mr. Boss will come in around 4:30, before 7 o'clock anyway, which means I won't be late for knitting for all of the next month like I thought I'd be, I'm still not working weekends (whew), except I'll go in reallyreally early next Saturday to help Mr. Boss get the UWGB students geared up and paid into the till.  I don't put that on my time card, it's more of a public service to help Mr. Boss and JJ get the students going.  Those college students are awfully young and amazingly dense sometimes.  I understand that it's early but, geez, they make me fear for MY future since they're going to be in charge when I'm ancient.

Aunt B had made this luscious snack mix out of oyster crackers that we had at her house and she emailed me the recipe so I got the ingredients at the store yesterday and made it.  Yup, it's delicious, also I may have to hide it so it doesn't disappear in an instant, plus it's crying easy to make.  Thanks, Aunt B.  (comment if you'd like the recipe to make some for yourself)

October 20--Edgar Degas, Young Woman with Ibis.  The birds crowded around her as if she were the source of life.  Maybe she was to them as she was the one who fed them.  Miriam had always had a way with birds.  As a small child the chickadees ate seed from her outstretched hand and even today bluebirds met at her window.  She dreamed of being able to understand the songbirds and was convinced that the crows and bluejays knew only profanity and that birds of prey barely spoke at all.

Fanciful and mercifully short, that's all I can say about that.  I bought a pre-trimmed pineapple at Copps yesterday but I'm hoping that Aldi has some other fruit that I can cut with it to make lunch fruit salad.  Maybe I'll swing by later.  When I raised the shade this morning the moon was setting in the west and when I opened the curtain in the kitchen there was the sunrise.  I decided that you get both today.  Lucky you!  Time to fire up the washeteria and soup kitchen.  Stay cool.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

How Much Did I Knit On Vacation?

Not as much as I thought I'd do, it's true, but I did some and it counts.  I even un-knit some, I frogged that white baby sweater I started before we left.  The white yarn I was using is called Soft Yarn but it wasn't particularly soft, not once I got it knitted, so out came the needles and I made the knitting turn back into a ball of yarn.  I'm thinking of starting over with a part wool/part acrylic yarn in a creamy white color, that little bit of wool makes it feel so much nicer than all acrylic.  

Not that I need to knit another sweater, I finished the green 5-Hour Cardi on the trip.  All I have to do is weave in the tails, then wash and block it, and put on a pretty button and it'll be ready to keep any random grandbaby that comes around warm.

I bought another ball of Cascade Fixation, that cotton/elastic yarn that I made the first pair of Widdle Sockies out of and cast on a second pair right away.  I finished sockie #1 in North Carolina and completed the leg of sockie #2 in the car yesterday.  Intelligently I declined to embark on knitting the heel flap, etc. while on the highway.

I also worked on the first sleeve of the Khaki Cardi that I've had on the needles (OTN) since June 2009 (holy moly! that long?), adding about 6" over the 2 weeks we were away.  At Friday Night Knitting last night I decided to cut the khaki 2" sooner than originally planned and make the white and black stripes wider because I'm afraid I'll run out of the khaki yarn before I get to 9" like sleeve #1.  The whole thing looks short and very wide to me but when I put it on it sorta fits.  Guess that means I too am short and wide.  *sigh*


We got here around 5 last night after a quick stop at the grocery for a gallon of milk, a hand of bananas, a rotisserie chicken, and a bag of frozen broccoli.  I unloaded the van while Durwood got some fake potatoes stirred together and micro-ed the broccoli.  We had a quick supper then I went off to Friday Night Knitting which might have been a mistake since I was quickly tired, but I stuck it out until the bitter end, although I might have been a little vague and out of it toward the end.

I realized while I was unloading the van last night that we hadn't bought any souvenirs, well, not much more than yarn and a bit of fabric.  In Wilmington I got a fish ornament for the Xmas tree and an ashtray with a harness racer on it.  Aunt B gave me a darning egg that Grandpa Stephan turned on his lathe and a couple linen dishtowels I admired.  That's it.  I'm just not much of a "thing" person; I take pictures and store up memories, those don't cost much and they're priceless.  Plus my kids won't have to dispose of them when I go tits up one of these days.

We had a great time at supper on Thursday evening with my aunt and uncle in Indy.  They took us 10 miles out of town to Gray's Cafeteria which was Mom's favorite when she visited them.  I had fried chicken with hush puppies, green beans, broccoli & cauliflower with cheese, coleslaw, with a garlic and cheese muffin I saved for later.  Durwood had the roast beef, a tossed salad, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy.  I told you about Aunt G's homemade apple pie yesterday so I won't torture you with it again.  (it was delicious--just sayin')

I guess we drove away from the motel around 9 30-ish, Durwood taking the first turn driving.  We'd missed rush hour in Indy and made good time.  Once again we drove through the wind farm in central Indiana.  I am fascinated by the vast rows of giant windmills lazily turning in the wind.  (on the drive down we passed a semi hauling one of the blades for a windmill, it was like seeing a whale on a trailer, huge and foreign and very interesting) We stopped for lunch about 90 miles south of Chicago and switched drivers.  Durwood said he'd nap and then drive through the Windy City but he was still sawing them off when I made the big turn toward Gary, IN so I kept on driving.  There really isn't a safe place to pull over to switch drivers once you get there so I just drove.  The speed limit says 55 but I figure they just had no place to store those signs so they stuck them up along the road because NOBODY drives 55 unless they're having car trouble.  Someone driving 55 would probably get a ticket for impeding the flow anyway.  I mostly did 70 and people left me behind right and left.  I didn't mind, traffic was flowing smoothly and the only place I had to stop was at tollbooths.  By the time we reached the Lake Forest Oasis, the last one before the WI state line, I had to pee so I pulled off and we switched drivers.  I was proud of myself and Durwood was a little impressed, I think.  I drove way more than my 100 mile share and only started to feel tired toward the end.  Maybe I'm getting better at this long distance driving thing.

Today I have to stop at the dive shop to discuss my schedule the next few weeks because Mrs. Boss is flying off tomorrow until Nov. 1 to help her mom move from Idaho to Colorado, then she's tootling off to Orlando for a diving manufacturer's show and then spending a few days diving in the Keys.  Sucks to be her, huh?  I have to say I wouldn't want to be there for the mom-move or really even the dive gear show but I would like to be in the Keys diving... all I need to do is rinse out some socks and I could be packed in an hour, I even have a little money left.  Then I have held books to pick up at the Library and some prescriptions at the pharmacy, and I also need ingredients to make a vat of work lunch soup.  Fruit too, I need fruits to cut up for lunch fruit.  Better make a list.

I didn't write last night so there's no bit of story for you today.  Now that the sun's up I think I'll go out and rescue more tomatoes and fill the birdfeeders.  See you later.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Our Weather Mojo Failed Us

Before we drove away from the motel in Roanoke a couple days ago I ducked into the lot next to the parking lot and found an old old old African American cemetery on a knoll next to the interstate.  It was amazingly peaceful and I was struck to notice that each and every stone had an artificial flower in front of it.  I wasn't the only visitor either, there was a groundhog munching on the grass off to the side.

Our drive to Huntington, WV was an adventure.  We told Robert, the GPS, that we wanted to avoid toll roads so he dumped us off the interstate onto state highways, still four lanes, that led us twisting and turning through the mountains.  The adventurous part was when we got close to the first toll booth.  Robert sent us off the highway onto a ONE LANE, barely paved road that took us parrallel-ish along the highway but through a "holler" with little houses and trucks up on blocks.  It was pretty but slow and a little gut clenching when we met an oncoming vehicle.  Once we climbed back onto the real highway I reprogrammed Robert so that we didn't have any more "adventurous" roads like that.  Eesh.  All of that to skip a $2 toll.  But the scenery got prettier and prettier as we got deeper into West Virginia and when we passed Charleston there was the capitol building about a block from the highway.  It was pretty and fun to see.

The weather also let us down.  As we neared Huntington the clouds lowered and started snagging on the mountaintops and a little drizzle wet the windshield.  On Thursday morning it was actively raining when we left the motel only to discover that a semi had rolled on the interstate so the nearest on-ramp was closed and the police were dumping all west-bound traffic onto the surface roads with us.  Because it wasn't a real detour there weren't any signs telling us where to go, so we cracked open a map (retro, right?) and followed the crowd.  Before long we had skipped a couple on-ramps and chanced getting on and succeeded.  It was very cloudy and rainy all the way through Kentucky, where we were within 100 miles of DD (Durwood called her to say hi but we couldn't stop *sigh*), and into Indiana.  Once we got into Cincinnati it was only cloudy and the city was pretty to drive into.

Robert brought us right to our motel, I called Aunt G, and we went only 2 miles to their house.  They took us to supper at Gray's which is a cafeteria that Mom was a big fan of, then we went back to their place for homemade apple pie with ice cream.  You're jealous, trust me.

This is our last vacation day.  We're going down for a waffle in the lobby then we'll motor off home.  It's been fun but it's time to go home.  I'm out of socks.