Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Bye-Bye, April!

And good riddance.  April has been snowy, cold, wet, and did I mention cold?  It's still not what you'd call warm now but when I went out for the paper it was 45 degrees and felt... spring-ish, like there's warm behind the cold and wet, somewhere waaaaaaay back there but it's gaining on us.  I hope.  Fingers crossed.

The daffodils don't mind the chilly and wet weather and the Asiatic lilies are pushing their way out too.  There's promise right there, people, promise of warm and spring and sunshine.  More fingers crossed.  Toes too.

I'm praying for nice weather this coming Saturday (at least not torrential downpours) because the knitting guild is hosting a Yarn Crawl, which means a dozen or so of us will pile into cars and drive toward Madison where we'll have lunch, stopping at 3 yarn shops along the way for pattern demos, goodie bags (I hope), prize drawings, and the chance to squish and maybe buy yarns not available to us in town since the 2 decent yarn shops closed and the remaining one's rarely open and is disconnected from the internet so is stuck in a time warp.  I have my "mad" money all counted and neatly in its wallet all ready to go to Mad-town.

I got a ways on the May Bug #2 cocoon.  I like the way it's looking and can't wait for the next color to appear later today.  It's supposed to be a dice bag (for role playing games, I think) but thought the shape was perfect for Durwood's idea of a bug cocoon, and I can always use a little knitted bag that looks like a flower, right?  I don't know what I'd put in it but I'll like having it.  Do you have things like that?  Things that you like just because of the way they look?  Is that the idea behind art?  Hmm, maybe.  (man, I can be slow)

April 30--Charles Honore Lannuier, Card Table.  

A tiny scrap of life
rules my Tuesdays.
The benevolent tyrant
in footed romper
and onesie
charms with gummy smiles
and milk-scented snuggles.
I am at her beck and call,
a willing slave,
eager to bend to her whims.

Not about a card table but I like it.  Bye-bye, April and bye-bye, Poetry Month.  Back to story scraps tomorrow.  I get to take my car in for service at a new place today.  It's where we buy our vehicles so we're going to give them a chance to service them too.  It's a local, one sales guy and one mechanic operation, the kind of place where you talk about your family and what's going on in the neighborhood, plus it's 2 blocks from here.  Durwood will take me to work and pick me up.  It's nice to have a chauffeur handy.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

What To Do On A Rainy Day?

We are in the center of an enormous swirl of rain showers here in the Upper Midwest.  It's not pouring rain, it's just raining a bit, enough to be terribly annoying and keep us indoors most of the day, and for the rest of the week as well according to the weather guessers.  I stopped over to see Porter earlier and when put out for a potty stop she just glared up at the door as if to say, "hey, it's raining out here, you know I don't like rain."  I caved and let her in.  I'm such a soft touch.

This would be a perfect day to pile up on the couch with a video and my knitting and just wile away the day letting yarn slip through my fingers turning itself into something interesting.  I finished LC's burp cloth at work yesterday.  It's cotton, it'll wash up well, and it isn't too pretty to urp on.  I tore out the few rounds I had of May Bug #1 and made some headway on an accessory for May Bug #2 in between customers and before bed last night.  This is one of those yarns that I keep knitting on because I want to see what color comes next.  Just a few more rounds and a new color will come, just a few.  Knit faster!  (I just realized that it gives me great satisfaction to number things, i.e. Men's Chemo Hats and now May Bugs--must be my Germanic ancestors rearing up.)

April 29--Jean Baptiste Raphael Urbain Massard, The Burial of Atala.  

So hard to put young beauty
into the grave.
Such pain on all
faces except hers.
Even the Reaper
is sorry for his task
but the piper
must be paid.

Well, that was unsatisfying last night and it's no better today.  Sorry.  Only one more day of poems and then we're back to prose.  Goodbye, April!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Correction: We Went to Duval

We had to go through (well, around really now that the new highway's done) Dykesville.  It was such a dreary day, even starting to rain as we pulled out, but we pressed on up the shore toward our goal.  When we got to downtown Duval we were lucky to get a parking place in the lot (someone was pulling out) and the only reason we got a table was that I let Durwood out at the door and went to troll for a parking spot.  It was jammed, every seat in the place was full and the back room was hosting a birthday party.  We lost both of the spare chairs but we had a table for our food & drinks and a chair each.  Whew.  We splurged and, along with our burgers (with fried onions), got a combo basket to share (we picked out the goodies around the fries and left them pretty much alone, kind of like the "grass" in an Easter basket).  Yum.  On our way back we swung through Dykesville on the off-chance that the Frosty Tip's open... not until next month.  Dang it.  So I drove us directly to a DQ as a consolation prize.  I'm resourceful like that.

On the way home we stopped at the park across from UWGB for a little while.  I needed to get out under a wide sky with a long view over the water.  It was good to hear the soft shush of the wavelets onto the shore and see some ducks.  I especially liked last year's milkweed pods still hanging on their stems and the lone bare tree against the cloudy sky.  That's a good spot for a recharge.

I started trying out a few May Art Challenge ideas, researched a few patterns, and cast them on.  The cocoon/bag looks like it'll be right but the novelty yarn is totally wrong for the other bug idea.  Totally.  It got frogged this morning and other attempts will be made, other ideas explored.  I'm not discouraged, it's not "due" until May 15.  Chill.  One day that novelty yarn will be just right for something, but this ain't it.  Rats.

April 28--Kunz Lochner, Armor of Emperor Ferdinand I.  

Forged from steel
like a clockwork lobster,
the Emperor's armored exoskeleton
stands ready
to be donned.
Charms were wrought
into the metal skin
to carry him safely
through battle, parade or rite.

It's Monday again.  Can you believe it?  It's supposed to creep into the mid-40s today and be rainy all week, and drop to near freezing every night this week.  Sheesh.  Will it ever be warm again?  I promise (cross my heart) not to complain (too much) when (IF) it gets hot this summer.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

That's Better

I went out and raked the front yard yesterday (where were you?  I was all alone the whole time.) and was cheered to see that my daffodils are blooming merrily away.  It tickles me that one of the clumps are from bulbs I planted in, oh, about 1979.  Still blooming, still beautiful, but probably could use digging up and separating.  I'll consider it.  There's a tiny grape hyacinth blooming out there all alone and the irises are coming up on the side of the house.  Yay!

I got all the laundry washed and dried yesterday afternoon and evening (didn't take a picture, I'm confident that you know what doing laundry looks like), and in between I crocheted April Men's Chemo Hat #3 almost all finished before bed.  (I finished it this morning, I was that close.)  See I'd had this idea for #3 when I was having a little trouble falling asleep Friday night so I had to dive right in and work fast to see if it looked as good as I thought it would.  I think it does.  It's kind of patriotic and flag-ish without being too in-your-face about it, don't you think?  It dawned on me on Friday that April was speeding to an end (Thursday's May 1 already) so I needed to finish the month's chemo hats.  Done and done.  (I hope the vets don't get tired of this hat pattern, I really like it and like that I can make one in a day if I focus, plus it fits nicely now that I'm using a smaller hook.)

Last Tuesday LC and I went to the fabric store for some ribbon for her new hat and she picked out this awesome fabric that'll be good for making bags.  Don't you love it?  See the camel and elephant?

April 27--Polycleitos, Statue of the Diadoumenos.  

Soft lips, warm breath
heat the hollow
of a throat.
Strong hands memorize
a body's curves and
Heavy-lidded eyes
in the soft light
of morning
while doves coo
in the orchard
down the lane.

Now it's time to pile into Durwood's van and drive up the Dykesville for Joe Rouer's burgers for lunch.  There will be fried onions and perhaps french fries too or maybe onion rings.  I see a cheeseburger in my near future.  I'm already drooling.  Toodles.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Hope I Didn't Jinx It

(oops, sorry I sent a blank, I hit "enter" by mistake)

Yesterday after erranding I put the snowblower away and got out the lawnmower and patio table.  It isn't warm out there (only warm-ish, as in not freezing, nothing you'd call warm, not snowing though) but I think I'm safe putting the snowblower away.  Fingers crossed.  For a while there I thought it was the only thing standing between us and a snowstorm but now that April's winding down I think maybe it's a safe move.  It might could be.  Maybe.

I stopped and bought a new birdbath at Stein's.  We wanted a deeper one, one without that little platform in the middle (for the short birds, I guess) so that the heater stays submerged in the winter.  This past year I had to top it up more than once most days just to keep it underwater so it didn't burn out (since they don't make the horseshoe shaped flat mat one that the #$%^& squirrel chewed the cord through anymore.  bitter?  me???  nah.).  This new one looks like a flower and it's red, what's not to like?  I'm keeping the old one too.  Maybe someday I'll find a use for it.  I'll put it in the shed for safekeeping.

Hey, if you're not busy this morning you could come over and help me rake the front yard.  That's my big plan for today as soon as I hit "post" or "publish" or whatever that orange button up there says.  It does not look warm out there, no sirree bob, and the wind's kicking up a bit too.  Looks like a sweatshirt day.  *sigh*  Where are the t-shirt days?  Hmmm?  And the laundry chute's full.  Guess that means I do wash this weekend too.  I will admit I like having clean underpants to wear every day, socks too, so I guess I don't really mind.

April 26--Polykleitos, Statue of the Diadoumenos.  

Cold marble carved
to mimic flesh.
Tumbled curls,
flexed muscles,
truth in every line.
Sinew and bone
freed from the marble block
seeming to breathe
in the shifting light.
The sculptor's hammer brings
life from stone.

Okay, raking time, but first breakfast.  Seriously, raking, one hour; be there or be square; bring your own rake... well, I have one extra but I'm hoping for a crowd.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Is That... the Sun?

Yes!  Yes, it is.  Hot damn.  We need a sunny day.  I need a sunny day, big time.

Durwood has some appointments I get to chauffeur him to and I get to take Porter to the kennel for a weekend playdate pretty soon so I'd better type faster.  Less thinking, more typing, please.

I unearthed a novel manuscript last week and am reading through it on the Kindle to see about diving back into it.  Funny, I thought it was perfect a year ago but now I see the flaws.  Time to make a paper copy and get out my red pen.  Good thing I'm going to The Clearing at the end of September for a week's writing workshop.  Maybe I'll get these words out there one day after all.

I had work to do at work yesterday.  Imagine that!  Work at work, what a concept.  I'd rather work at work than sit at work at least a couple days a week.  It's so much less tiring to work than to sit.

Durwood made BBQ ribs in the crockpot yesterday so the house smelled great when I got home, and they tasted good too.  We just steamed a big mess of broccoli to go along with the ribs and had a feast.  Lots of leftovers too.  Yum.

April 25--Luca Carlevaris, The Molo, Venice.  

The music of arches
sings across the piazza--
column, arch, column, arch
--rhythmic architecture
mirroring the beat
of the commerce
embraced by the walls.
Such rigid rows
belie the chaotic drama
of life
on the paving stones.

I've gotta go get out in that sunshine.  It's not particularly warm but it's sunny and I need to bask.  Time to brush, flush, and flee.  Hasta la vista, babies.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

I'm a Faster Crocheter

Really, I am.  There's a reason that I'm filling my resolution to make 3 men's chemo hats a month in 2014 with crocheted beanies, and that's because April Men's Chemo Hat #2 looked like this at 12:30 PM yesterday--

and it looked like this at 10:45 PM yesterday.

Yesterday's dive shop customers came in and called at just the right rate so that I could get up a head of steam, work some, then they'd call or come in when I needed to give my fingers and wrists a break.  It was the perfect confluence of busy and not busy.  I'd have been done with the hat a bit sooner but Mr. & Mrs. Boss came in for a while in the afternoon and they always bring work for me to do or dig it up from things already there.  They're gifted like that.  I don't really mind though, they pay me handsomely for sitting there playing with yarn when it's quiet.  Don't misunderstand, they're hoping all the time that my knitting suffers because I'm so busy at work and, truth be told, I hope that too.  There are days that I'm ecstatic when the UPS or FedEx guy brings in a load of cartons for me to unpack.  I can't complain, it's an awesome place to work.

More pretties are blooming out there along the front of the house.  I saw two tiny hyacinths yesterday when I got home from work--one pink and one white.  No, really that one with the daffodils looming over it is pink.  I don't know why the camera can't see that color, why it washes it out like it does, and why does everything that's purple look blue, huh?  I don't get it.  'Splain me dat, somebody, willya?

Today it's still and gray (graygraygraygraygray) outside and I hear it's supposed to rain later, rain up to an inch.  That'll be nice.  When I tuned in to Local on the 8s last night Saturday was the only day in the 7-day forecast that had a sun icon on it, all the rest had raindrops, which is way better than snowflakes at this late date in April, but I'd like a bit of sun, please.  Puh-leeeeze.  I'm begging.

April 24--Egypt, Statue of Two Men and a Boy that served as a Domestic Icon.  

They are a family,
these three.
The men hold hands,
one has an arm draped
over the boy's shoulders.
The boy has his arm
across one man's back.

There is love and support
in the casual homely
touch of a hand,
"I'm here for you"
it seems to say.
"We're a team"
comes the reply.

These three are
a family,
the truth of it
calls across
the centuries.

Okay, then.  I glanced out the window while talking to RJ for a minute or ten and it's started to drizzle.  Do you have a raincoat?  I don't, I just hunch up and hurry, of course fleece is water repellent since it's made from old milk jugs, so I guess I don't need one since fashion isn't really in my lexicon.  I'm mostly about durability and function.  Time to get a move on.  I'm outta here.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sorry I Missed Posting Yesterday

But I was in the thrall of a tiny tyrant all day and was too busy lapping it up to sit here typing, and by the time I'd returned her to her parents it was yoga-time and suppertime and bedtime.  Yesterday's big hit was "peek-a-boo."  She's putting everything in her mouth, I give her a flannel burp cloth to gnaw on so I flipped it over her eyes, asked "where's LC?" and then flipped it back, "peek-a-boo!"  Big smiles, big O mouth, no laughs yet but she'll get there.  I can't believe that she'll be 4 months old a week from Saturday.  Already.  (peek-a-boo's the new entertainment sensation, pass it around)  I finished her new hat.  I think it makes her look like an Easter egg.  It got a white ribbon bow later but by then I was too far under her spell to snap a picture.

When I opened the patio curtains this morning I was distraught to see that the birdbath was iced over.  *sigh*  I unplugged the birdbath heater the other day because it seemed like we might be done with the below freezing nights.  Evidently not.  *sigh*  I poured hot water over it because lots of birdies come for a drink early and a bath later on but you can still see the ice floating on the surface.  Ice on April 23?  Really?  Get it together, guys.  But I also spotted a male Downy Woodpecker on the peanut wreath.  He looked like he was all dressed up for an evening out with his sharp black and white feathers and little red nape.  Very natty.

Durwood went all by himself to Cook's Corner yesterday to spend a bit of one of his gift cards.  He loves wandering up and down each and every aisle in that cooking gadget mecca, and I'm so glad he felt good enough to go and enjoy himself.  It was a long winter of bad breathing days so the opportunity to just get out and dawdle a bit had to be epic even if it did tucker him out a bit.

I'm excited about MH & DG's May Art Challenge subject--we get to make bugs.  Bugs!  I love bugs.  Should I sew a bug?  I can't draw, so that's out.  Knit or crochet one?  Maybe make one with wood and wire?  Copper and solder?  So many possibilities.

April 23--Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O'Keefe--Hand and Wheel.  

Remember when cars
had V-8 motors?
When those eight
pistons pushed up
in eight cylinders,
driving faster and faster, making
that throaty Detroit purr
that sent shivers up men's spines?
Now car engines might
have six cylinders
but they don't purr,
they clear their throats
apologetically and then
sidle away on their
high MPG--low emission promises.

I had one of those big-engined, gas guzzlers once.  I loved it, it ZOOMed.  It was red too.  Beverly's red but she doesn't ZOOM.  I'm sedate now.  *sigh*  Sucks to get old and be environmentally conscious sometimes.  Time for cheerios and a banana.  Woo, I'm living on the edge.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Spring is Trying

This morning I took a look around in the garden and found evidence that Spring is creeping in.  There are poppies sprouting up their little clusters of fuzzy leaves and I uncovered the blueberries to find pink buds AND the rhubarb's got leaves.  Leaves, people, leaves.  Green ones.

We had a lovely Easter dinner at Nana & Grandpa Doc's house with ham, baby carrots, asparagus, and scalloped potatoes.  The pies were a hit.  LC decided that naps were for sissies if they involved being laid down.  She'd sleep in someone's arms but if you put her down she'd wake up and start squicking, the stubborn little darling.  I personally don't mind sitting still holding her but her parents don't seem to be fans.  (I don't understand why, although I now understand my mother a lot better)

I didn't get the booties done for LC's Easter gift but I will finish them and gift them to her since I looked at the projects on Ravelry and saw a pair the same size looking exactly like the ones I'm making.  Despite my frustration I did manage to start crocheting another bow hat for her, look at the pretty colored yarn that I got at the Sister Bay thrift shop.  Don't you love it?  I do.  I also cast on Car Knitting Warshrag #7 since I finished the last one and it's bridge raising season now that the icebreakers have come down the lake; this is not the time to get caught sitting in my car waiting for the drawbridge to go down without a project in the pocket of my door.  I need to make a couple more men's chemo hats this month too.  I'd better get cracking, there're only 10 days of April left.

April 21--Gerrit Reitveld, Zig Zag Stoel.  

A warm elm plank
sawn, glued, screwed
into a Z
for sitting upon.
All design,
no humanity.
A row of recessed screws
the only ornamentation.
No effort made
for comfort.
It invites the eye
not the posterior.

It's a weirdly foggy day, looks like it might rain, then looks like maybe it won't.  Guess we'll just have to live through it to find out.  Time to go work, keep the world safe from SCUBA diving.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

I hope the bunny came to your house, I was a slacker this year.  Didn't make a basket for anyone and didn't get the booties for LC finished because they're just not turning out the way I'd hoped.  (Don't you hate that?) She's little, she doesn't know that her Grandma's a slacker.  I'll do better next year.  Cross my heart.

I made soup yesterday, Lentil Soup with Ham and Kale.  Of course I forgot to take its picture before I ladled it out into bowls and put it into the fridge for taking to work.  And I made a pecan pie and a coconut macaroon pie too.  Think I took their pictures?  Of course I didn't.  But they'll taste great, that I do know.

I need a tonic, a pepper-upper.  To quote Aunt B, I have the bots.  I think it's a form of the blahs or the gray sickness, whatever it is I'd like it to go away, please.  Right now.  I'm wearing red shoes and a red sweater today, maybe that'll help.
I was happy to see that some of the daffodils are blooming with more to come.  A bunny visited the spilled birdseed this morning, but I don't think it's the real Easter Bunny.  And Mr. Downy Woodpecker came for a suet snack.  See the red on the back of his head?  Girl woodpeckers don't have that.  (and that's the end of the bird I.D. lesson for today)

April 20--Michele da Verona, Madonna and Child with Saints Roch and Sebastian.  

Homemade soup
means taking very good care
of the ones you love.
Sauteed onions and carrots
meld with lentils and broth,
a bay leaf, garlic,
and just enough red pepper flakes
to bring it to life.
Ham for depth of flavor,
kale for greens.
It looks like lunch
but it's really a bowl of love.

It's almost time to saddle up and head out for lunch with family.  I hope it's ham but will be happy with whatever there is.  It's the people I want to spend time with.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Might Be A Laze-ish Day

Or might not.  I need to bake the pie(s) for tomorrow's Easter feast and I need to finish the booties I plan to give LC for Easter, and I still haven't made the lentil soup I've had a hankering for, that might all get done today.  Well, some of it HAS to get done today, the soup can wait but only til tomorrow because then comes Monday which is a work day and I have to have lunch then, and then Durwood told me that Aldi has strawberries and pineapple on special this week so I probably should go there and get that for lunch fruit.  Yeah, I don't see any more of today being laze-ish, do you?

One of these days I'll figure out how to lay around and not do anything.  Maybe.  Probably not.  There are just too many things I want to do, like to do, to waste a day lolling around on the couch or zoned out in front of the TV.  I feel kind of guilty if I only watch TV, if I don't knit or crochet or something while I'm sitting there.  Seems like a waste of time to just sit and let the box entertain me.  Maybe I'll figure out how to do that--one of these days.  Anybody got any tips?

April 19--Michele da Verona--Madonna and Child with Saints Roch and Sebastian.  

Such a serious baby
is this Italian Jesus
with his dark curly hair
and little toga.
He blesses a trussed up
while another sad man
looks on.
Did the baby Jesus
understand who he was?
Does anyone?

And that's it for me today.  The sun's out and the sky's blue, looks like a good day.  Time to pie, yarn, fruit, and soup.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Hand-Me-Ups & Downs

When I stopped at LC's house yesterday DIL1 gave me (back) this apron.  Aunt B had embroidered it for Mom in 1970, I handed it off to DIL1 when Mom passed (because she keeps chickens), and she handed it back to me saying, "it'll just live in a box here, you should have it" so I brought it home.  I'm thinking maybe I'll tack the pretty part on a stretcher and hang it on the kitchen/dinette wall to enjoy it so it doesn't spend its whole life in a box.

Then I was thinking I needed to buy an interesting mat or something fun for LC to have tummy time on when she's here, but inspiration struck on my drive home.  I asked Mom to crochet an afghan for DS in 1979, it's bright and colorful, and has tails and ears and pockets to play with, and (even better) I knew exactly where it was.  See?  I went downstairs this morning and laid my hands right on it.  Voila!  Just as cute as I remember and ready to be spit up on, drooled on, etc.

The darned juncos are still here!  It's April 18, well into Spring, and there they still are, pecking away at the fallen seed under the feeder.  Why don't they fly away north where they belong?  Is it going to stay cold forever?  I'm really getting tired of my winter coat.  A cardinal visited the platform feeder for a second too, a bright spot on a dreary day.

There was enough time between customers yesterday for me to finish crocheting all the parts for the booties I want to finish by Sunday, now all I have to do is sew all the parts together so I can put on the finishing touches.  I've got plenty of time.

April 18--Vivienne Westwood, "Propaganda" Dress.  

Yards and yards
and yards of Barbie pink
silk taffeta,
off the shoulder,
every little girly-girl's
dream of a dress,
swooped and gathered,
boned and crinolined,
a once-in-a-lifetime dress
for a once-in-a-lifetime

It's prom season and all the little girls are playing dress up like crazy even if most of them dress up to look like tarts, not Barbie.  How sad, don't you think?  They seem not to be allowed to be little girls for long these days.  "These days," tsk, I sure sound old.  I'll be gathering up my cane and walker and getting on with my day.  Ha-cha-cha-cha.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

It's Getting Dark Again

And something's falling from the sky, not rain, not snow, something in between and it's windy besides.  Evidently it's snowed or freezing rained a lot Up North because the crawl under the local news-talkers is all filled with schools delayed or closed today.  We are in Winter's grip and she's not letting go.  Send help... send heat... send sunshine!

I don't have anything interesting to say today or to show you pictures of.  I had a few customers yesterday, Mr. & Mrs. Boss came in for a short visit, and I worked on the booties, there's not much different to see because I just finished the first "pelt" and started the second one.  Maybe I'll get them finished by Sunday after all.  (now I probably jinxed myself *shrugs* oh well)

The other day we noticed that a Downy Woodpecker has come back to the suet feeder.  She's little but fierce, not much can scare her off the feeder.  I can tell she's a girl because there's no red patch on her nape.  And there are still a few juncos around, evidently they didn't get the Spring migration memo.  Git along, little birdies, git along!  You've got Winter pinned here, maybe if you fly away Winter will go with you.

April 17--George W. Jamison & William Rose, Brooch.  

Soft white conch shell
carved in profile,
set in gold.
"The Union
It Must
and Shall Be
Hot words,
sentiment in gilt
on black enamel,
History made immediate
by the fingerprint
on the clasp.

Man, it's a dreary day.  Good thing I get to stop to snuggle LC on my way home from work today.  Holding that tiny body's a real tonic on a crappy day, even if it is her fussy time then.  Time to make a run at Thursday.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Sky Was Clear For a Minute There

Clear and blue and sunny but the clouds powered up and shut that right down.  It was clear when the sun was just coming up, see?  Then within 45 minutes--poof!--cloudy sky, dreary day.  Is this the day it's supposed to snow and rain?  Oh no, it's the first of FOUR days when it's supposed to snow and rain.  Good times.

The other day I noticed that the hyacinth closest to the corner of the porch and house facade had sent up a couple flower buds.  This morning I took a look to see how they're doing and found this.  They've drooped over so they're as close to the ground as they can get and still be above it.  Poor things.  When I parked on the street next to the maple tree yesterday I saw that there are sap-cicles on it.  That's right, even in the middle of the day it's not warm enough to keep the dripping sap from freezing.  They're cute (sorta) and worth a photo and mention here but I'd rather see a wet place on the bark.  Really.  Stand-y-up hyacinths too.  Rather see those too.

I made good progress on crocheted bootee #1 yesterday, don't you think?  I figure, if it stays as cold as it is, today I might just finish it at work, then I'd have 3 full days to make bootee #2.  I have hopes. (looks like a rat pelt, though, doesn't it?  I assure you, it isn't, not even close.)

It's trash day but I didn't roll out the new trash bin because we only have about a bag of trash and even the smaller bin is big enough that I could probably rent it out as a studio apartment and I'm not moving the snowblower so I can get it out of the garage for one little bag, no, I am not.  I supposed I'll think differently in the summer when the garbage will have a mind of its own (especially in the aroma department) but right now when it's frozen it can live in the garage for an extra week.  I'll take it out next week when it's recycling week and that bin will be full too.  (I am certain you were just panting to learn that.  Sorry, it's early, I ramble.)

April 16--John Singer Sargent, Mr. & Mrs. I.N. Phelps Stokes.  

Edith and Iggy
were meant for each other,
together from cradle to grave.
Nursery playroom adversaries,
grammar school playground allies,
reluctant partners
at Miss Sylvia's School of the Dance cotillions.
Second cousins
on their fathers' sides
and distant relatives
on their mothers',
Iggy was awkward
and a thinker,
Edith shone like the sun,
a suffragist firebrand,
she kept his bookish life

 I want to meet her, just from seeing her portrait, I'll bet she had interesting things to say.  I feel kind of droopy today like the hyacinths out front.  Maybe a nice bowl of Cheerios and a banana will cheer me up.  We'll see.  Stay warm today, unless it's warm where you are and if it is, then pbbt!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Footsteps In The Night

All over the snowy patio there are critter prints--bunnies, squirrels, birds--but you can see that the grass is greening and the snow is melting.  It's supposed to be chilly all week and Durwood said that another snowstorm's on its way (boo!) but right now the sun's out so it's good.

When I stopped into Copps grocery the other day they'd gotten a special deal on spring bulbs and all they had left were hyacinths, a big pot with 3 big flower stalks for only $7 and they smelled divine.  I got some.  Wouldn't you?  Of course you would.  Besides hyacinths were Dad's favorite spring flower.

Yesterday it was pretty quiet at work for long stretches so I got a bunch of rows knitted on the burp cloth.  Then I thought about my car knitting warshrag that is also made with cotton yarn and has slipped stitches on the front AND that I'd not stopped when I hit dishcloth size meaning to make a hand towel-ish thing--that would make a perfect burp cloth too so I hauled it into the house when I got home, finished the last bit, and bound it off.  Voila!  (which always makes me think of my mother-in-law Viola)  Burp cloth finis.  And because I can't have just a couple WIPs going I started a pair of crocheted booties for LC that should be hilarious.  Can't wait to see them finished.  Not that I have to hurry because it shows no signs of being too warm for booties anytime soon but I want to see if I can't get them done for the weekend.  Crochet faster, Barbara, get hooking!

April 15--Il Riccio, Satyr.  

The goat man
is on the move
senses ablaze
frozen in bronze.
Fully horned,
he travels erect
on cloven hooves,
wine on one hip,
seashell on a shoulder,
food and drink
for his sensual feast.

Okay, then, I'm off to find a day-off kind of breakfast or some cereal, then to the bank to cash my check, to the nail salon for a fill, swap out the old Time Warner modem for a faster one so our bill goes down, then home to crochet away the day watching shows I've DVR'd.  Hasta la vista, babies.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Good Thing I Didn't Put My Boots Away...

because it's snowing.  Yep, right now the snow is falling and piling up out there.  Piling up on every tree branch and twig.  Covering Beverly's cheerful red paint.  Even sticking to my Menopausal Goddess sculpture that I rehung yesterday after getting her a new swivel to hang from (she breaks them at least once a year, this last time at least she didn't bend herself when she fell--whew), I'm happy to see her back out there even if she is covered with snow.

I've been looking all over Hell and half of Georgia to find burp cloths that are gender-neutral to have on hand when LC visits.  Target didn't have them, Walmart either, Kmart didn't, neither did Shopko.  I'll admit that I've been avoiding going to Toys R Us because I knew I'd find something so cute I'd have to buy it even if it wasn't close to what I want.  So I marched up and down the baby aisles in Walmart yesterday determined to find something.  All of the packaged burp cloths were either pink with flowers and hearts or blue with baseballs and dogs.  Now LC will like dogs, I'm sure of it, but still they were just too sporty and boy-ish for me.  They had packs of printed or colored prefolded cloth diapers that I almost bought but they were the gauze kind that never looks soft to me AND they were either boy or girl--no green and yellow, but they did have a raft of flannel receiving blankets, some gender neutral.  It took me a few times going forth and back to realize that in addition to the terry cloth burp cloths they had flannel ones.  *forehead, slap*  I have sewing machines and cutting tools, I could buy the ones I liked (because there was one package I did like), cut them to the size I wanted, and serge the edges together.  So that's what I did, see?

Yesterday I also went down into my lair, uh, studio and put together my interpretation of this month's Art Challenge from MH & DG--When Art Attacks.  I'd found a creepy crocheted clown doll (for $1) in the Sister Bay thrift store last month that was the center of all my ideas.  I dragged out some very cheap watercolor brushes, picked one, and cut its handle in half on the bandsaw.  I shoved the cut end onto the blade a few times so it'd be jagged, then I dipped the cut ends into red paint so it'd look bloody.  Then I wet a piece of watercolor paper, painted multi-colored stripes, dipped other brushes in other colors to artfully fling on the table, wiped some red paint on a paper towel for background.  I cut a triangle of wood to use for a prop, then shoved the cut end of the brush under the clown's arm so that he looks impaled on it.  So When Art Attacks--Clowns Get Hurt.  I like it; not as much as I like the Icarus in the Stars mobile I made last month and it isn't something permanent like the mobile but these challenges are doing just that, challenging my creativity and I really like it.  Really.

And I did make waffles yesterday, I even made the last of the batter at lunchtime, grated some pepper jack cheese onto it and shoved it under the broiler for a couple minutes.  It was a waffle day.  Yum.

April 14--Paul Klee, Oriental Pleasure Garden.  

Light so bright
colors like fireworks
burst on the eyes
a confusion of lines
boxes of people
breathing color in
breathing chaos out
black doors to infinity
follow the path
to the central dome
where voices chant
in fear of the dawn

Like I said, I'm glad I didn't put my boots away.  Time to get a move on.  Oh... hey, the sun's trying to come out, we might be saved.