Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Pinnacle!

We had to double back on I-90 to get to the state highway into Gardiner, Montana and Yellowstone National Park (YNP) but we didn't mind.  The scenery is so gorgeous and this time Durwood was awake for the drive through the mountains so he got to enjoy it too.  You know I'm a big fan of the sky and there was a lot of sky to like on this trip.  We were driving south on the state highway toward Gardiner, clouds and storms were scooting by, topping the mountains and sagging into the valleys.  It was a challenge to get decent pix from the moving van but I think I didn't do too badly.  Then in just a couple hours we rounded a big bend and there in the distance was Gardiner with YNP's Roosevelt Arch just to the right of town. (it's the very tiny brown thing to the right of the town in the 3rd picture)  We were there!  We stopped in a market in Gardiner for gin for Durwood (we'd forgotten it--again) and a cookie for me and then we were in the park.  Just after we passed under the arch and even before we got to the entrance sign there was a trio of male pronghorn antelopes grazing right by the road.  Score!  They're skittish and shy so it was a real coup to see them so near and so calm.  We drove in spitting rain up over Dunraven Pass (8862 ft.) to Canyon Village where we checked in and went to our cabin.  As soon as we got there and got settled we knew we couldn't stay.  Durwood could barely catch his breath even with his continuous oxygen machine going full blast.  We agreed to stay the night since it had been a challenge for him to get into the cabin but I went back to the office right away to say that we needed to move to a lower altitude tout suite.  I lucked out and the lodging manager was the person free to help the next person and that was me.  She was very sympathetic and offered immediate assistance and no penalty for leaving.  When I got back to the cabin Don realized that we'd forgotten to pack our usually travel games, didn't even have a deck of cards, so I showed him how to play Angry Birds on my iPod.  He was immediately hooked.  The rest of the night I kept answering questions--"the red ones just fly, the blue ones explode into three, the yellow ones fly harder and faster"--but he didn't think about his difficulty breathing quite as much.  That was just fine with me.  We both survived the night.  When I checked with her in the morning there wasn't a place for us at Mammoth Hot Springs (5600 ft.) so we retired to the Super 8 motel in Gardiner for one night  before we moved on to lower altitude Cody, WY.  We were both brokenhearted that we had to cut our YNP stay so short but we decided that it's better to live through your vacation.  After packing up from the cabin we dawdled our way down to Gardiner, stopping whenever and wherever we wanted to snap pictures.  Don stayed in the van and I hopped out to stroll a few feet and take the pictures he wanted but couldn't get, and I took a half hour walk at Norris Geyser Basin while he stayed in the van in the shade and took a snooze.  We took a one way road to a cascades and after taking scads of pictures we stopped for lunch at a picnic area.  It was drizzling so we stayed in the van but we had
an interested bystander to our meal.  A raven fluttered up onto the hood and clomped around peering in to see what we had and if there was anything for him.  We were greatly entertained.  At Mammoth Hot Springs we came upon some crazily tumbled boulders that we could drive through.  We loved the angles and the juxtaposition of them to the earth.  Of course, each time we came over a hill or rounded a curve and then had a wide valley open up below us was always a treat.

We checked into our motel in Gardiner, then I called my cousin and arranged to meet him and his daughters for supper.  Good food and good company that night, and on the way to the restaurant a herd of about a dozen elk stopped traffic crossing the highway.  The next morning we drove through YNP again to catch the highway to Cody, WY and finally saw a couple buffalo.  One was pooping and DD said that counted for two, but the coolest thing we saw was what we at first thought was a far off bison in Hayden Valley but turned out to be two grizzly bears feeding on a bison carcass (a ranger said it had been hit by a car and dragged itself into the meadow).  I managed to get a parking place in the next pullout, draped myself in cameras, and climbed up to the ridge where it was safe to view the bears.  I was not the only person up there, not by a long shot.  The bears were at least 200 and probably more like 300 yards away and none of my cameras pulled them in really well but I got some adequate shots.  There were people up on the ridge with spotting scopes that were gracious enough to allow people to peek through as long as you didn't touch the scope.  It brought them right up to you, very cool.  I sat down, zoomed as far as I could, braced my arms on my knees, and took a video that's terribly shaky but if you don't get seasick it isn't bad for seconds at a time.  After I got back to the van we had our car picnic there looking out over the river valley and then turned toward Cody.  It took us a long time to get out of the park because we kept having to stop to take pictures but we weren't in any hurry, it was only a couple hours' drive.  On one of the last downhill spots before leaving the park I spotted a porcupine on the side of the road.  More wildlife!

Seeing the grizzly bears almost made up for having to leave YNP so quickly.

Today I got the chicken vegetable soup made so the house smells good again, and I've got some chicken breasts and vegetables marinating in Mrs. Conder's teriyaki marinade for grilling for supper.  I'm a big fan of grilled veggies, and I ran across a recipe when I was looking for a particular chicken soup recipe for Mu Shu Pork wraps to make with the leftovers and a bag of broccoli slaw.  (pork's like chicken or chicken's like pork, right?) They should be outstanding.  I'll report.

Enjoy your day.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Big Bones & Yarn

In yesterday's post I forgot to tell you the funniest thing that happened at Little Bighorn.  As we were leaving the tour buses were parked end to end along the drive and the first one said "Lamers" on the back (which is a local bus company headquartered less than 5 miles from our door) so I stopped, rolled down the window, and said to the driver who was standing in the bus' shade, "You from Green Bay?"  "Yep," he said, "you?"  "Green Bay."  We both laughed.  He said most of his passengers were too but some were from all over.  We wished each other safe travels and I drove away.  Earlier when I was off snapping some pix and Durwood was sheltering from the 90 degree heat and blazing sun in the air-conditioned van, a woman rapped on the window and when he rolled it down said, "We're from Sauk City (down near Madison in the south central part of the state), where're you from?"  Wisconsinites are so friendly and eager to greet their co-Badgers on the roads.  We gave and got a lot of "hey, Wisconsin"s with waves and smiles along the way.

We drove from Hardin, Montana (at the gas station on our way out of town the car at the pump ahead of us was 2 guys from Richland Center, WI on their way to Eugene, Oregon--can't get away from Wisconsinites) to Bozeman, Montana the next day, a bit over 3 hours' drive.  We stopped in Big Timber, Montana for lunch at a gas station/restaurant/convenience store/casino. ?????  Seems to be a Montana thing.  We drove straight up I-90 between the Beartooth and Absaroka Mountains which were breathtakingly beautiful and had snow patches on their tops.  Eek.  I enjoyed the mountains much more driving by them than going on that crazy Beartooth Highway which is about as wide as a pencil line that snakes up, way up past 10,000 ft., and then plunges back down, switchbacking all the way.  

We went straight to the Museum of the Rockies when we hit Bozeman.  They say they have the world's largest collection of fossils and we enjoyed seeing a bunch of them.  I thought the coolest were the bones still in the plaster "jackets" they encase them in to get them from the field to the lab.  In one exhibit a pair of women were painstakingly scraping away everything in the jacket that wasn't bone.  One of them had come out to explain what they were doing to the group ahead of us but went back into her little booth as we came up.  Drat.  We spent a few hours looking at triceratops skulls and skeletons of all sorts of prehistoric lizards and bird ancestors, then went to our motel to stretch our car and museum-tired bones.

The next morning we didn't rush to check out because I found a yarn shop in Bozeman called Stix.  Durwood's a good sport and let me park him on Main St. (in the shade) while I dashed across the street to fondle the yarn.  I got 3 patterns for a buck each, a skein of locally-dyed sock yarn in a color called "choco rainbow" and 5 skeins of Sun City, a cotton and acrylic yarn that was on sale.  On Sale!  Two of my favorite words, especially when it comes to yarn.  Then we stopped back at the Museum of the Rockies to get a pair of earrings I liked for my birthday (which is 2 days from today, if you're interested), had soup for lunch in a granola crunchy cafe across the street, great soup.  Durwood had clam chowder with a slice of gorgeous multigrain bread and I had bacon & ham chili with a corn muffin.  After that we beat feet for Gardiner, Montana and Yellowstone National Park.  Eeeee!

This afternoon I had to zip to the grocery for a few things I need to make soup this weekend (2 kinds!) and as I was coming back I came around a corner and there was a pair of fawns tiptoeing across the road.  Deer!  Again!  But I was driving slowly anyway and screeched to a halt as they went by too quickly for me to dig out my camera but, seriously?  More deer?  I wasn't even driving Durwood's van.  Tsk.

Speaking of Durwood's van, we took it to the dealership collision department yesterday for an estimate and the guy said it looks like most of the damage is cosmetic so he thinks that there's a good chance that the insurance company will fix it rather than total it.  I hope for his sake they say "fix it."

The first batch of soup is done.  It's Pappy's Corn and Tomato Soup.  Durwood's dad used to make it so it's a sentimental favorite with him.  I found some bone-in beef shanks for a reasonable price at the grocery yesterday (why are bones so expensive???) so I used them as my base, adding homegrown Roma tomatoes, parsley, thyme, and bay leaves from the patio pots, and Sunnyhill Farms corn from the freezer.  You totally wish you were here, it smells terrific.  I just dipped out a tiny bowl for Durwood and he approves.  Whew.  Chicken soup with yellow squash, spinach, and green beans is on the agenda for tomorrow.

August 30--Willem de Kooning, Untitled.  Fiona's dreams were chaotic.  Red faces jutted at her, turning into clenched fists with white knuckles where there had been teeth.  She tossed and moaned, winding herself in the sheet.  Her dreams were loud and brash, keeping her cornered, denying her rest.  "Green," she said as she turned in her sleep.  Carlo stopped, his left foot held up for a moment, startled she had spoken.  He thought of summer games of "Red Light, Green Light" played in the neighborhood after supper.  Some nights there would be a dozen kids or more trying to move up to whoever was "it" with their back to the players, listening for movement, ready to turn shouting "red light," ready to stop being "it," to get back into the game.  It was hard not to giggle as he undressed and slid between the sheets, stretching out his hand to touch Fiona and softly say "I love you" before falling asleep himself.

Today would have been Mom's 86th birthday.  I miss her.  I miss her daily bridge game rehash calls and I really miss her getting to enjoy LC.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Where Custer Got His Comeuppance

The first two days of our trip were all drive, drive, drive--from Green Bay, WI to Fargo, ND to Dickinson, ND (North Dakota is one big state!).  We had an excellent lunch in CJ's Kitchen in Fargo; a cup of knoephla (German potato & dumpling with ham [evidently purists leave out the ham]) soup with half a Cuban sandwich (in NORTH Dakota? yeah, so it wasn't a real Cuban sandwich but it had pork and ham and cheese and was toasted, so they called it Cuban, plus it was really tasty, get over it) for me and half a meatball sub for Durwood (which had very little sauce and tasted like mostly filler and very little meat in the balls, sorry, honey) with his cup of soup.  The soup was awesome-ly delicious.

Couldn't get online in our motel even though it was available, they said.  Too far from the office, I guess. Grr.

In Dickinson, ND we stayed at the NoDak Motel again (just barely on the right side of the tracks but you can see, and hear, them from there).  About 10 miles east of town we crossed into the Mountain Time Zone and were, as the NoDak's owner says, an hour younger than we were that morning.  *shrugs*  Dork. 

Still unable to connect.  Not even sitting in the office next to the router.  Withdrawl mounting.

I knitted on my Oriole Wings Wrap as we went.

From Dickinson we boogied down I-94 (at 75 mph you can really boogie), through the badlands of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in ND, into Montana and down I-90 to the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, where Lt. Col. (not General) Custer fulfilled his destiny of being very last in his West Point graduating class, by getting himself and all his men and most of their horses killed by a force of between 900 and 2500 Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapahos.  This time our next motel was only 15 miles away so we could spend as much time as we wished on the 5 mile drive through the battlefield.  Looking at the land it's easy to see how the Americans got slaughtered, there's lots of hiding places even if there aren't many trees, etc.  I love the sculpture dedicated to the Native Americans in the battle, I could look at it all day watching the sky and clouds and beautiful spare landscape behind it.

In Hardin, Montana we stayed at the Lariat Motel, a cement block building inside and out (and inside only the mortar joints were painted so it looked like a cell) whose owner Charlotte is a rabid Packers fan.  Unfortunately she wasn't there that night but I left her a pair of GB Packers gloves I took along for the purpose and got a nice email back the other day.  That night we dined elegantly (what?  we used plates, paper ones but they're plates) on McDonalds take-out in our cell.

Still no 'net.  I had a headache and my hands trembled.

Just got a call from the car insurance company claims adjustor so we're cleared to take it to the dealer to get an estimate and pictures.  I'm just afraid they're going to total it (it's a 2007 with 170,000 miles on it) and Durwood loves that thing.  We shall see.  Time to go start laundry and unpack more and put more away.  See ya!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Not Exactly The Day We'd Planned

Today was the last day of our vacation.  We spent last night in LaCrosse, WI, got an earlier start
so I could go down to the Mississippi River and take its picture while I was standing still, not zooming over a bridge from state to state.  It looked very... river-ish.  I liked it.  There were some nice sculptures and a beautiful Japanese garden by the Visitor Center.  I walked along for a while then we stopped at McDonalds for a bite of breakfast, then hit the interstate.

And within 10 miles I hit a deer.  Arrrgh.  It just appeared right in front of the van and I couldn't stop.  It happened to fast that Durwood didn't even know what happened.  I pulled off on the left shoulder, the deer far behind, to see the damage.  The hood was crumpled but not in danger of flying up over the windshield, the left headlight hung like a zombie's eyeball, but the radiator wasn't leaking, there wasn't any oil dripping out anywhere, and the bumper wasn't shoved against the tire.  Neither of us could get cell service and the traffic was zooming by alarmingly near and very very fast so I wedged the headlight back into a hole, we crossed our fingers, turned on the hazards, waited for a long break, and I pulled back onto the road.  I stayed in the right lane, flashers going, and eased up to 50, old-lady-ing along.  Everything seemed to be working, even the air-conditioner, and the gauges and dials stayed where they were supposed to.  Okay, so it'd take us longer to get home.  I won't say I shrugged off the experience but my beloved Durwood kept telling me that I couldn't have avoided it, that it wasn't my fault, and mile by mile, click by click of the flashers, I got to feeling calmer.  I cried a few tears because I killed a deer but then I stopped when I realized that I hadn't killed Durwood, myself or the van.  About 15 more miles up the road a State cop pulled alongside, faded back, slotted himself behind me, and after a pause for him to check the license, etc. turned on his bubble lights.  I pulled over in the wide part of an off ramp and waited.  He got out (he looked like a middle-schooler on dress-up day) came up to the window and said, "I've been looking all over for you!"  I told him that we'd been trying to call, couldn't get a signal, and weren't safe on the shoulder.  He told me that someone had called it in, then he looked over the front end, winced, and said, "D'you want an accident report?"  "Yes, please."  So he took my license, came back with the report in about 5 minutes, and (this is the best part) gave me directions to get home NOT on the interstate but on a 55 mph road.  We stopped at the Kwiktrip in Omro for a hot dog and the 2 teenaged boys behind the counter (Bill & Ted) said that the van looked "cooler" like that and why didn't I shoot the deer instead of hitting it with the van.  I told them that the shotgun got stuck in the rack so I just rammed the sucker.  I love teenaged boys.  Plus the BS-ing was the last positive thing I needed to feel semi-human again.  Tomorrow we'll be going to the dealership to make sure it's safe to drive and on Tuesday the adjustor will look at it.  Don't hit a deer, I don't recommend it.  Start with something smaller if you feel you must run over something.

Tomorrow I'll start telling you about our trip.  It was a good one with lots of pretty scenery, wild animals (many of them alive), mountains, museums, and government installations.  Here's a peek--

Stay tuned!

Sunday, August 24, 2014


I've been exclusively knitting on the Oriole Wings Wrap for the last week and finished the orange stripes this evening with a mere 7 yards of yarn left.  Now it's a 6-inch slog of the "fedora" brown to finish the shawl.

Here's tonight's sunset sky over the Absaroka Mountains.

Friday, August 15, 2014

On Our Marks, Get Set...

Today is a list-crossing off-day.  He has a list.  I have a list.  Hopefully at some point in the day our lists will converge and we'll be ready-ish to drive away tomorrow.  I don't think you're ever ALL ready and I take comfort in the fact that there are Walmarts all over the place so we can pop in and nab whatever it is we realize we've forgotten when we pass through a town.

Early this morning I picked all the ripe tomatoes and the ripening tomatoes and the tomatoes thinking about ripening.  We'll put them into a square Tupperware canister that fits perfectly in a spot in the back seat by the cooler so that we can have picnics of cheese, pretzels, almonds, and fresh tomatoes while on our trip.  Last time the tomatoes lasted until about the middle of South Dakota on the way home so I have high hopes for many picnics.  I'm a big fan of eating outside, Durwood not so much and usually he wins but on vacation when we want to be outside anyway, I win.  Yay!

The sun was far up in the sky when I was out there but I caught it peeking through the leaves of L&SJ's big maple tree and here's a shot of the other planter of coleus.  I love the colors, that lime green and magenta together especially.  Coleus isn't a plant you have to baby either, I've been lax watering this summer (shame) but they're lush and full and beautiful anyway.  

Durwood pointed out last night that the dinette light fixture spider has attached its web to one of the stars of my Icarus mobile.  It isn't in focus but you can see that the star on the left is pulled out at an angle and there's no breeze blowing it that way.  I remove that web nearly every day and every night the spider puts it back.

All of these pictures were taken with my new pawn shop camera.  I stopped at Camera Corner after work last night and got a card reader so that I can suck the photos off into the laptop since the laptop doesn't seem to want to recognize the camera when I use a USB cable and the Canon website thinks it has no drivers for me.  I'm guessing there was a CD with the driver in the original box.  I'll do a web search when we get back, but for now the reader works just fine.  The guy at CC told me that while it is an old camera, it's a good one, and it was $800 when it was new, so Yay, me.  Now I just need to learn how to use it.  Owner's manual in the suitcase?  Check.

August 15--Italy, Medallion.  The lovers gazed into each others' eyes unblinking.  Of course they were carved on a silver medal so naturally there was no blinking.  Sarah turned the medallion over in her hands.  It was about the size of a half-dollar and the chased rim was gilt.  She could tell it was old because the carvings were worn down where thumbs had smoothed it over the years.

And that's when I zonked off.  I'm on the fence about whether I'll do any prompt writing while we're gone or just concentrate on writing in the travel diary at night.  We shall see.  I'm going to try to post here every few days too.  That'll depend on finding wi-fi in the Wild West.  Time to get packing.  So, talk to you soon-ish.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Two More Days...

... to live through and then we're off on Adventures Unknown.  Oh, okay, Adventures Semi-Planned because we've got motel reservations out and back and we've got maps and guidebooks up the yingyang with Post-its poking out in all directions and packing lists galore but once we get to the places we have no plans.  Exactly.  There are places we want to see and things we want to do, like spend more time at Little Bighorn, get away from the lights and see the stars in Yellowstone, go to the rodeo in Cody, WY, and visit the US Geological Service installation in Sioux Falls, SD, but other than that we're free as birds.  I just learned yesterday that I can download a AAA Yellowstone tourbook onto my Kindle (I just spent 20 minutes figuring out how to do that) so we can have the wilderness at our fingertips.  Pretty cool.

This morning the verbena and coleus were looking especially pretty and there was a big, bright, day moon over the house when I went out to fill the feeders.  I love nature.  Like my brother TW used to say when he was really little, Outside (big and breathy), he loved outside.  I do too.

Can you believe Robin Williams took his own life?  I am stunned.  I suffer with mild depression, especially in February and March when there's so little sunlight, but I've never, ever been so depressed that I contemplated ending my life.  God, I feel so sorry for him and his family.  O, Captain, my Captain, rest easy.

And then Lauren Bacall died of a stroke the very next day.  Sheesh.

August 14--Charles K. Wilkinson, Queen Nefertari being led by Isis.  The women walked hand in hand down the long hallway.  Their bare feet were silent on the cool marble floor.  Neither spoke, their breaths whispered like a sigh of wind in the trees.  "Oh, that's just crap."  Gayle threw down her pen.  She read what she had written, the words squirming in her mouth like worms.  She reached out, tore off the page, crumpled it up, and tossed it toward the recycling bin.  It missed.  "Great, now I can't even throw things away right."  This was not going well.  The words that came didn't play well together and her deadline was looming.  She missed the days when her hand wasn't fast enough to keep up with her ideas.

I know how she feels.  Yeah, yeah, I know I write all the time but I miss being swept along on a wave of inspiration and not being able to write fast enough to get it all down.  Maybe that's a fleeting thing until you get the skills to make the words behave?  Maybe I keep missing the crest and get Maytag-ged in the surf.  Whatever, I'm not giving up anytime soon.  Time to shower and all that work-y stuff.  Have a... day.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


After heating up my coffee I grabbed my camera to come in here and blog.  That's when I saw that a hummingbird had come for a morning sip or three.  I got it.  I managed to get my camera turned on, take one flash photo, disable the flash, and take 2 more before it zoomed off.  I gotcha!

The clouds this morning were especially interesting, I thought, all layered, gray, and peachy.  Yesterday's rain simmered down in the morning so we had a mostly cloudy day, cloudy and cool, I don't think it got much above 70 degrees.  I'm thinking I might just pack a pair of long jeans and a sweatshirt.  It might be that cool up in the mountains next week.

After a lot of thought, frogging, and reworking I finished the Linen Hankie Washcloth last night.  I used Knit Picks CotLin DK weight cotton and linen yarn, and spent an hour crocheting the edging and then when I was halfway through deciding I didn't like the way it looked so I frogged it and did it my way.  It's almost like the pattern, I just did all of the *2dc, ch2, 2dc* in the same stitch instead of in 2 stitches side by side, I like the way it looks better.  I even did a cloth side alternating the pattern way and my way just to see which one I liked.  That's not like me, or it's not the way I used to be before the BLKG Design-a-Thon earlier this year.  That little challenge gave me permission to KNIT THE WAY I WANTED TO and the pattern be damned.  That's powerful stuff.  Anyway, I really like the washcloth and I'm sorting through my cottons in my head to see how I can make the next one.  It'll be colorful, not so neutral, although the neutrals are soothing rather than jarring.  I like 'em both.

August 13--United States, Coat.  "That's what we're supposed to be wearing?" Andi gawped at the dark green linen tail coat hanging from the closet door.  "Number one, it's butt-ugly and second there's no room for my boobs."  Rita crossed her arms over her own ample set.  "What was she thinking?  I've heard of brides deliberately picking ugly bridesmaids dressed but this takes the cake.  I'm not wearing it."  "Well, do you love it?"  Andi and Rita turned to see a smiling Sue in the doorway.  "I just know the two of you are going to look incredible."  "Love it," they said, "can't wait for the wedding."  Rita leaned over to whisper in Andi's ear.  "If we don't go to Hell for lying first."

What are friends for?  I just downloaded the new Cormoran Strike novel by Robert Galbraith who is really J.K. Rowling in disguise.  (I still think of that agent or lawyer who blabbed when the first Cormoran Strike book wasn't doing so well.  I know he lost his job but wonder if he was a scapegoat to get the book new life.)  I'm anxious to get in the car so I can start listening.  Time to yog, dress, and get off to work.  Gotta keep the world safe from SCUBA diving, you know.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

We Got Rain!!!!

Last night around 9 o'clock I heard rain and not just any wimpy sprinkles either, rain like it really meant it, and when I went to bed I heard raindrops pecking at the window over my head.  This morning when I opened the curtains here's what I saw--a wet patio and raindrops in the birdbath.  Woohoo!  (mercifully no one saw me, not even Durwood, but I did a little dance)

Yesterday afternoon it was quiet-ish at work after a pretty darned busy morning so I got almost through the first part of the Linen Hankie Washcloth, then I got part of the first edging done last night.  I'll be picking up the hook (because now it's shifted from knitting to crochet) as soon as I hit "publish" so I can maybe finish today.  I think it's easy and I like the way it looks.  Can't wait to see it done.

I got the rest of the camera doodads yesterday so I charged up the batteries and can start learning how the camera works.  Of course, the cable I ordered isn't the one I really wanted (my mistake) but I have extra batteries and a charger so one can charge while I use another.  Now I just need to figure out how to get the pictures from the camera to the laptop.  

August 12--Iran, Plaque with Horned Lion-Griffins.  Wings and fangs and horns--the creatures looked like some fantasy geek's ideal.  The gold was too gold, too yellow gold, cheap looking.  Abe pulled the object out of the crate shoved in the corner of the junk shop.  He used his shirt to rub off some of the dust.  He turned it over and tilted it in the weak light that penetrated the murk.  There were marks, they looked like Arabic and the gold was soft, soft like it was nearly pure.  He glanced around and then dug his thumbnail into the back of the plaque.  He gouged out a little crescent and was amazed.  He looked for a sticker, hesitant to ask the price, afraid he'd betray his eagerness and interest.

Okey-dokey, that's it for me.  I'm going to go crochet and watch the rain.  Ahhh.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Can't Buy Rain

Even though it looks like it might rain I'll bet you we won't see a drop.  It hasn't rained, not really rained, not even rained enough to wet the whole street, for weeks.  I think it's been 2 and maybe 3 weeks since I mowed.  That's not right, not in July, in August maybe but not in July and yet I'll be mowing one night this week because there are scattered weeds growing up nice and tall.  They're so thin that I can only see them when I sit in the car looking across the lawn.

This morning I was taking a picture of the red petunias when a pair of woodpeckers fluttered onto the chair.  I got one of them but they were gone too quickly for a second shot.

I finally gave in to startitis temptation and cast on a linen hankie washcloth last night.  I'm excited to see how it turns out but it's a pain getting things like this started, the first couple rounds it seems like the needles are in charge the way they tangle and twist.

I was a bad person and did the laundry yesterday.  One of the intake pipes that brings lake water into the city for us to drink, etc. broke last week so there's only one bringing in water so they said we needed to conserve water.  It isn't rationed they just asked us not to water gardens and such but I figure that no one wants us to be out of clean undies.  Right?  It's kind of a public service.  Plus we only have 3 loads so it wasn't too bad.

Durwood and I spent an hour in the afternoon counting and weighing out a whole bock of 100-calorie snack packs for our cross-country jaunt.  I did this a couple years back when we went to Yellowstone and it saved us from buying munchies in gas stations.  We'll pick up a case of bottled water and some Gatorade to take along too.  Hey, we've got tons of room in Durwood's big van so why not use it.

August 11-James-Jacques-Joseph Tissot, Spring Morning.  The sun shown so brightly in the garden that morning it made Jeanne glad she had gotten the umbrella out of the garage over the weekend.  She had her mug of coffee and the newspaper, everything needed to ease into the day.  She had barely read past the headlines when the phone started ringing.  Tempted to stay where she was and let the machine pick up, she was on her feet before the thought faded.  What if one of the kids needed her?  The phone was on the narrow shelf just inside the door so she reached in for it before the third ring.  "Hello?"  That was all she said before the voice in her ear drove her to sit on the step.  It was her mother-in-law fifteen miles from the doorstep and expecting to stay with her "a while."  Jeanne didn't know how long "a while" was but it was already too long.

I hope DIL1 and DIL2 don't feel that way about me.  They probably do, a little bit anyway, mothers can be so mother-y in a take-charge kind of way.  I try to know my place.  Anyway, look, it's Monday again.  Told you they roll around faster than any other day of the week, didn't I?  Oh, and I see the sun.  No rain for us.  Dammit.  Auf wiedersehen, kids.