Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Last Post of 2014

I know I sound like a broken record but don't you think this year has zoomed by?  Parts of it I'm glad to see go but otherwise all I see is a blur with 2014 stamped on it.  Granted, I'm probably slowing down and that's why time seems to fly but I feel like I'm missing good stuff at this speed.  *shrugs* Whatcha gonna do?

I saved a couple more eggs from freezing when I went over to give the chickens some strawberry tops (that's the line I use to convince DS & DIL1 when I've "stolen" a couple eggs).  The chickens especially like fruit, they're not such big fans of broccoli stems and Brussels sprouts bottoms but I figure, hey it's winter, you get what fresh foods you can, so buck up, chickens.

I whipped up another easy-clean bib last night since the first one I made Santa put in LC's stocking.  I've got flannel receiving blanket remnants from making burp cloths so I'm using those for the backing, diaper cover fabric for the front, and soft Velcro (did you know that the "cro" in Velcro is for crochet?  me neither, I just learned it on Jeopardy!) for the closure.  This is one easy, fast thing to make.  It might become a go-to shower/new baby gift.

How cold it is this morning?  It's so cold that there's a rime of frost around the heated birdbath water. Brrr.

December 31--House of Worth, Evening Dress.  Miss Ellen's shoulders were covered.  Gabriel was disappointed.  He had spent all day dreaming of the creamy white skin that curved from her slender neck to the soft roll of her shoulders.  He imagined planting a row of kisses along that curve and feeling her shiver with delicious sensation, but when she came down the staircase he saw that, while it didn't have a high neck, her evening dress covered her shoulders.  Perhaps he could nudge her sleeves a bit during a spirited polka later in the evening.

Are you going out celebrating tonight?  We're going to stay home and stay warm, maybe have a drink or glass of wine.  Happy New Year's Eve, everybody!  Stay warm and stay safe.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Well, That Didn't Work

Remember I was so excited that it looked like putting hot sauce on the peanuts kept the squirrels away?  Remember that I hot-sauced a lot of them and filled the peanut wreath with them?  Well, Durwood called me at work yesterday to say that one of the squirrels was on his third peanut.  Grrr.  My only hope is that it eats enough that elimination is as hot as ingestion and that deters them/it.  Squirrels are mammals, right?  That means they should have taste buds, right?  Maybe this one likes hot stuff.  I just asked on Bing, some people say hot stuff deters them and others say it doesn't.  I'm not buying any hotter stuff but I was so sure I had them tricked.  A male cardinal posed on the platform feeder this morning for Durwood.

I was busy at work yesterday so I didn't have time to knit and after supper I did crossword puzzles so there're no pretty yarn pictures to show you.  I've been doing errands all day so I didn't do any knitting or sewing today either, at least not so far.  I did find out that we are not welcome to move our Friday night knitting to the hospital lobby where there are comfy couches and a fireplace.  Not only are the main doors locked at 8 PM but their liability insurance won't allow it.  I get so frustrated that people sue so easily so everyone has to cover their butts against it.  People need to assume responsibility for their actions and not look for someone to blame.  I haz spoken.  *nods firmly*

December 30--Childe Hassam, Surf, Isle of Shoals.  The water in the little cove swirled around the small rocks, making the seaweed dance.  White foam hissed on the beach pebbles and chilled Elaine's toes as she stood watching for Dave to round the point.  The water seemed to mock her with chuckled and gurgles as it drew back only to surge in again, each time advancing another inch or two up her calves.  Dave was overdue and he was usually the most punctual of men.  He had left around one o'clock for a paddle around the point and up the coast to Minnie's for a beer with the fishermen.  He said he'd be back by four and it was long past.  They'd had a stupid argument this morning about whether to buy a new or used car.  Was he staying away to punish her?  She should call Minnie's to see if he'd left.  No, maybe she should wait until closer to sundown.  He'd never let her forget it if his cronies ribbed him about his wife checking up on him.

Man, it's cold today.  We got spoiled with temps getting up toward 40 for the last few weeks and today the thermometer in the van told me that it was 9 degrees.  Nine!  Degrees!  Brrrr.  Is it any wonder that I bought another 3-pack of wool hiking socks when I was in Sam's earlier?  It's not like I don't have a drawerful of them, it's my feet, they're freezing.  More socks is a good thing.  Later, dudes & dudettes.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Back to Reality

Christmas is over, the gifts are unwrapped, the boxes and stockings are carried downstairs for another year.  I've left the tree and decorations up until next weekend but didn't even turn on the tree yesterday.  Since we don't really New Year's Eve anymore, for us the holidays are over.  I got a call from Mrs. Boss the other day that Mr. Boss has to work Wednesday after all so I get to work from 10-2 on Wednesday.  Not a full day but not a day off either.  Oh well.  The first paycheck of 2015 won't be quite as anemic as today's which will have only one day's pay on it.  Oh well.  Good thing we're not destitute or starving.

I finished the soup cozies for me and Durwood, got his gift picture hung up, doctored up the peanuts in my efforts to train the squirrels that the peanuts aren't meant for them, and got out thank-you notes to be written and mailed today.  That means that all the to-dos on my list got crossed off yesterday.  Hooray, me!  Oh, and here's a picture of the fabrics I bought on sale (no, that should be ON SALE because they were both such bargains), the green with the rings is a remnant I paid $5 for and the tan with the stripes was on the "markdown" rack and I had a 20% off coupon.  Score!  I have a few more things I want to make before I plunge in but the temptation is great and I might not be able to wait.

The pork roast I made for Christmas dinner was very dry the next day, even swimming for a while in a pan of gravy didn't really help.  Durwood had the idea to grind up the meat and put it in gravy with veggies and potatoes but I had what I thought was a better idea (I'm not much of a gravy fan).  I treated it like the ground meat for bolognese sauce but used a jar of Rinaldi Chunky Garden sauce and a can of diced tomatoes with basil and garlic, sauteed some onions, a handful of diced baby carrots, and bell peppers, added a half-pound of sauteed mushrooms, and some Italian herbs.  It's not bad, it's not simmered 7 hours and full of wine (although I could have tipped in a shlook, and might do when I reheat the remains) like a true bolognese but it sure saved that extra dry pork.  Next we'll see if we can make a passable potpie with the rest of the ground pork and remaining gravy for later in the week.  I'll report, and I'll take a picture of the first attempt at dry-roast-salvation tonight when we have some of the leftovers.

After supper I set myself down to work on mitten #3 but when it came time to add the thumb gusset I had way too many stitches.  It took me a few minutes to realize that I'd misread the first row after the cuff and added waaaaay too many stitches but I managed to frog back those rows and pick up the cuff stitches and get them back in order, then I had the right number of stitches and could carry on.  *sigh* And there I was so proud of how far I'd gotten in a short time the night before.  *sigh*  Three steps forward, two steps back--that's the story of my life, especially when I get to feeling smug.

December 29--Miskin & Amir Khusrau Dihlavi, Bahram Gur Sees a Herd of Deer Mesmerized by Dilaram's Music.  The light was playing tricks on my eyes, I was sure of it.  It had been a long day on the road and the radio had erupted with static a few hours ago.  My scattered thoughts and the hot wind that blew through the cracked window were all I had to keep me entertained.  Wyoming is beautiful in a stark, rocky way and I'd enjoyed the drive.  When the sun started to set behind me the light changed and made weird shapes appear on the mountainsides ahead of me.

Durwood said it was snow flurrying during the game yesterday. He saw it on TV but there's no snow on the ground today, only much colder wind blowing around like winter's back.  Goodie.  Longies, wool socks and boots today.  Yippee.  Time for breakfast and zooming off.  Seeyabye.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sunny With Crafting

That's my plan for today.  Mother Nature's cooperating with abundant sunshine and I've got big plans to do more sewing and knitting today.  I got some sewing and knitting done yesterday while DD was off visiting a friend (I hated to share her but it would have been mean not to) but there's more to be done.  There's always more sewing and I'd need to grow 16 more pairs of hands to tackle all the knitting projects I want to make.  I made another set of coasters with some squares I got at the quilt store last week (I like 'em) and another pair of soup cozies for DD & SIL1 since they said at Thanksgiving that they use theirs a lot and could use more.  So I made more.  I'm nice like that, plus I had fabric on hand to do it.  I'll be sewing up more for Durwood and me later today because we use ours just about every day.  They're so handy!

We had a huge bag of chicken scraps in the fridge so when I was out and about yesterday I went over to feed them.  It was warm enough that they all zoomed right out of the coop to see what goodies I had.  They were glad to see me.  Sorry about the fencing (chicken wire, hee) but it was too muddy in there for me to go in and get pictures, I wasn't wearing boots.

Durwood got tired of the demon squirrels hogging the peanuts and chasing away the bluejays and woodpeckers so he asked me to dribble the few peanuts left in the wreath with hot sauce.  I did and it's working!  I plan to put a bunch more peanuts on a baking tray lined with waxed paper and doctor up a bunch more.  Maybe we can train the persistent buggers that peanuts = hot mouth so they'll be content with their corn and leave the peanuts alone.  Don't worry, birds don't have tastebuds but squirrels do so you can safely "treat" the bird seeds to fend off squirrels without harming any birdies.  Pretty cool, eh?  I just looked out and the squirrels have pulled out and run off with the cobs of corn I loaded into their feeder yesterday.  I think I've started a war.  I think I'll win.

After supper I got up all that brown & red yarn I made the Two-needle Mittens out of, got Durwood's help to wind it all into yarn cakes (center pull balls made on the yarn winder are flat and look like those big round cakes of hay you see in farm fields) so I could choose one that might make a third mitten that'll go better with one of the ones I have already made.  I got a start and it's looking pretty good, acceptable anyway.

December 28--Enea Vico, Three Friezes with Ornamental Foliage.  Luke crouched in the gap between the hedges.  It was cool and dark there, and smelled of mint and rich earth.  Tom was "It" and the rest of the kids had scattered as Tom leaned against the cottonwood with his hands over his eyes to count to thirty.  Usually "It" counted to twenty but Benny was playing today and he couldn't run very fast and was bad and hiding so Luke helped him find a good hiding place before he went to hide himself.

DD drove away a couple hours ago.  Already I don't like it.  It was great having her here, even for just a few days, and it was fun to have the "original Malcolms" at supper Friday night.  There was the original amount of teasing and trash talking too so it really did feel like old times.  I hear those football men are in town and will clog up all the west-side traffic later so I think I'm going to jump on my steed and gallop around my shopping list while the galloping is good, although I'll probably wait to pick up my Rx until after kickoff since I'd have to cross the stadium traffic to get anywhere near the place.  Wallow in your Sunday.  Football for everyone!  Except me.  Toodle-oo!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Fraternal Twins

Well.  I finished Two-Needle Mittens pair #1 last night and, while they're the same size (and I'm so impressed that I managed that feat), they don't match, although they came from the same skein.  Seems like I'll be knitting Mitten #3 to see which of these first two it matches better.  I have no illusions that I'll be making an identical twin but it'll surely at least look like it came from the same mother.

No one at Friday Night Knitting really talked a lot about it being the last night we'll meet at Harmony Cafe.  I was surprised.  I also thought that "old" members would come, one did, but not even all the regulars came.  Guess the holidays got in the way.  Understandable.  Next Friday night we'll be in the classroom of Joann Fabrics & Crafts on Oneida St.  It's in the back left corner of the store, if you want to join us.  All are welcome.

December 27--Enea Vico, Three Friezes with Ornamental Foliage.  He dreamed while he carved and fanciful things grew from the end of his chisel.  A dragon was born from a lily and a flower's leaves became a man.  Gio stood, feet spread and covered in dust, letting a fantasy world flow from his fingers.

Today, this rainy foggy day, I will be playing in the sewing cave, making some more coasters and a few soup cozies.  What're you up to?


Friday, December 26, 2014

Boxing Day

I always thought that meant the day when you boxed up all the mess from Christmas and got the house back in order.  Turns out it's when the nobility gave gift boxes to their servants.  Noblesse oblige on the hoof.

Today DD and I are heading to Goodwill to score some wrapping paper.  See, someone's grandma volunteered to make her a play tepee and she needs big paper to make the pattern pieces.  I, uh, she has a book with the pattern in it but the book doesn't come with the paper pieces, only the directions, and since there're lots of fabric sales right now and coupons right, left, and center it might be the perfect time to get the canvas and cotton needed for the making.  I'm sure I can whip it up for way less than the hundred bucks they are in stores.  Plus I can make it extra cool.

I got the best gifts.  DS, DIL1 & LC got me a gift certificate to my favorite yarn website, Durwood got me a tiny porcelain teapot that looks knitted, and DD & SIL1 gave me a pretty necklace and had a yard of fabric printed with handwritten Beatles song lyrics for me.  I'm going to hate to cut it, but I will, at least a bit of it.  DD & SIL1 made the best gift for LC; it's a busy board made with things they got in Home Depot and repurposed.  She loved it, came back to it again and again.  What a great idea.  Oh, and Santa didn't forget to put a spatula in my stocking.

Durwood was blown away when he opened the gift from me.  I found an enlargement of a picture he took nearly 40 years ago and framed it.  As soon as I go downstairs for the picture wire it'll assume pride of place in the dinette where we can both bask in its glory every day.

December 26--Roger Vivier, House of Dior, Evening Boot.  Cinderella would be proud to wear the blue satin and lace slipper.  The foot that had worn the slipper lay a few feet away.  It was stark white and very still.  Gable and Wayne stood looking at the young woman sprawled on the sidewalk as if she had run out of her shoe, fallen, and forgot to get up.  As far as they could see she had no injuries.  Doc Jenner would tell them the cause of death as soon as she could.  "D'you see another shoe?" Gable asked his partner.  Wayne shook his head.  He hadn't been on the force long enough to get used to dead bodies, especially ones like this.

Sunrise this morning wasn't colorful but I liked it. 
I think it's time to toast a bagel.  I don't often buy them and I want to eat my share while they're here.  Happy bargain hunting, if that's your plan today.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Christmas, Everyone!

Hey, did you know that today is Christmas Day?  It is, er, it was, well, it still is for a few hours but we're in recovery mode now.  All of the presents were opened and exclaimed over, drifts of tissue paper and empty boxes amused the smallest of the celebrants, and the pork roast only took AN HOUR longer to cook than the recipe said it would, but we snacked on party mix and English toffee and Gouda cheese until the meat was cooked so it was all good.  There might have been small amounts of beer, liquor, and wine involved in the coping until serving time.  (no, not all for each, a small serving of whatever's to your taste, geez, we're not lushes)  To go along with the pork roast we had roasted cauliflower, a glorious salad, and baked sweet or white potatoes (which I almost forgot to serve, thanks, Durwood for noticing the big blank space on the plates).  For dessert we had pumpkin pudding with crushed gingersnaps and Reddi Whip on top.  And I didn't take a picture of any of it. 

Oh, and last night around sundown the lights on the top third of the Christmas tree went out and I can't figure out how to make them go on again but the tree wasn't the focus of today, spending the day with our family was.  It was great to have everyone (except SIL1, we missed you) here for the day, to talk and laugh and tease.  The crocheted animals were a big hit as were the coasters I sewed for each family.  They're a snap to make with charm squares or 5" squares you cut yourself, 6 for each coaster.  You lay them atop each other in a certain way, sew around the edges with a 1/4" seam, and then turn them right side out and press.  Voila! coasters.

Last night before bed and this evening after things quieted down I worked on Two-needle Mitten #2.  This is an excellent old pattern that goes quickly and makes a darned nice mitten.  My knitting friend, HH, picked it up at her church where they have a mitten tree.  Thanks, HH!

December 25--Turkey, Four Gospels in Armenian.  In the dream she lay wrapped in a purple cocoon half on the sand, half on the water.  On the water, not in the water.  Below her the Magi paddled along holding their gifts above their heads.  They had far to go and the star wasn't moving.  An imp with sharp fingers hunched at her feet, ready to poke her if she moved and over her head a comet-tailed man sailed across a river of fire.  In the cool night sky four angels hovered ready to catch the Child while the Magi's camels looked in the window.  Clarice awoke with the covers wound tightly around her and a sour taste in her mouth.  Tacos at midnight were a very bad idea when you were in your forties.

I hope your day was filled with joy and laughter and that the dishes are done.  Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

I Am Officially Cowed

I got the cow down last night after supper--and my fingers are sooooo glad.  It's no picnic crocheting with cotton, let alone making all those oddball pieces and tiny tubes, but I got it all done and sat hunched over the making quite a bit of the day but I'm so happy with it I don't mind.

I had a couple last minute errands to do today (Office Depot had 32 gb jump drives for eighteen bucks) and I was surprised that I wasn't in the middle of a mob scene.  Now if I'd gone to Walmart or the Dollar Store I might have been but where I went civilization still reigned.  In fact I noticed when I was in Walmart yesterday that people were smiling and polite to the other shoppers (you'd think Santa was watching) for a minute I wasn't sure I was in the right place but there were all those blue signs and blue-pinny-wearing people so Walmart it was.

I got the wrapping done earlier.  We don't have so many presents this year but we'll (almost) all be together for the day and that's gift enough for me.  Durwood's got a pot of Ike's Potato Soup simmering in the kitchen and we're waiting for DD to arrive from Lexington before we fry up the Nueske's bacon for garnish.  I hope she comes soon.

December 24--Joos van Cleve, The Annunciation.  "You're going to have a baby," the angel said to her.  She stared at the sturdy man with a different air about him, a kind of electric fizz, and thought that she believed him even though there was no reason she should.  "Whose baby?"  "God's."  He said it like it was the most normal thing.  "How?"  She wasn't ignorant, she had seen dogs and cattle mating and had seen kittens born.  She also wasn't about to go behind the barn with some man with an itch who tried to convince her he was God's proxy.  What would Joe think?  They had barely gotten to the hand-holding stage, hadn't kissed, and now she was supposed to tell him that she was pregnant with God's baby?  That whould go over well.

I hope you are enjoying being with your family, too busy to be surfing the web, reading this blog, or Facebook-ing or Tweet-ing.  If you're doing any of those things, stop immediately, and go find someone you love (or can tolerate) to share a drink and a Merry Christmas with.  Thanks for reading my blog.  Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa, Good Solstice to all, and to all a good night.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

I Live in the Capitol of Drear and Drizzle

It's warm here.  Warm is nice, but warm also means thick cloud cover and today it also includes complimentary periods of drizzle.  *sigh*

Yesterday I got most of the Old MacDonald's Cow parts crocheted at work, finished up the last few this morning, and started putting parts together.  I'd be farther along if I hadn't sewed the first spot and ear onto the mouth end of the head instead of the head end.  *double sigh*

Once I snipped the ear and spot off the cow's mouth (how would she chew her cud???) and started sewing it in the right place I put it down (time out) and made the English Toffee.  Man, that smokes up the house.  I had the range hood fan on as fast as it'd go, the ceiling fan on zoom, and the patio door open, and managed to get it made without setting off the smoke alarm.  I consider that a triumph.

It's time to gather up my grocery and errand list and forge into the wide world of last-minute shoppers.  I just have a few items to get so I think I'll be okay.  I'll stay on the fringes of the mob and weasel my way to the front for what I need.  Like I said, it isn't much so I think I can get in and get out safely.

December 23--Paul Klee, Temple Gardens.  The setting sun cast orange-gold shadows on the buildings around the plaza.  Gillian knew it was 6 o'clock because the bells in the old stone church were tolling the Angelus.  Old women in black with scarves tied on their heads shuffled up the church steps in shoes broken down at the heels. Gillian refused to feel guilty for sitting with her glass of cold, crisp wine.  She ignored the looks of disapproval she got as the old women hobbled by.  Her skin tingled from the hours she had spent on the beach but a cool shower had taken away the salt and sting.

So, it's in two days.  Are you ready?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Into The Light

There may only be a few seconds more light today but we are on the upswing.  Yesterday was the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year, so today it's officially winter (and we're supposed to get rain).  Now we get to become one with our boots and hats and scarves and mittens and heavy coats for three or four (or five in a bad year) months but it'll be getting lighter longer every day.  Ahh.  Right now, at 7:50 AM, it's barely light enough to cross the room but it'll get better.  Soon it'll be all bright this time of the day.

I spent most of the afternoon down in the cave sewing the Christmas sewing, I even cut out and sewed a bib for LC since the knitted ones, while cute, don't really do the job, not enough coverage and not snug up under the chin.  I got this cute fabric a couple weeks ago (it's what they make diaper covers out of) and I had some flannel that I'd cut up and hemmed part of for burp cloths so I cut them out and sewed them up.  Easy peasy.  Naturally I couldn't find any Velcro for a closure so I had to go to Hancock (with my coupons) to get some.  And didn't I find a couple pieces of fabric I needed?  Of course I did.  I always check the drapery/upholstery flat fold area because I love making bags, etc. out of it and darned if there weren't these two that had to come home with me.  I also found a nice, sturdy, wire & webbing storage bin for someone small's toys but I didn't take its picture.

I made a bit of Old MacDonald's Cow progress but it's only seven more rows bigger than this so I didn't take its picture.  The next rows are the decrease rows then I get to make her spots, then her legs, then sew her all together.  I've already made her ears and horns.  I hope she has a tail.

December 22--P.H. Holmes, Violin.  "I hate having that little girl looking at me," Katherine said.  Mr. Stravinska shook his head.  "She is not looking at you, Katerina, she's just listening to you make your music."  He picked up his baton and tapped the measure where she should begin.  "Now, go on."  Katherine drew in a deep breath and began to play.  She tried not to look at the girl's face carved where most violins had a scroll but then her fingering was off and her notes were sour.  She was convinced she saw the wooden upper lip curl as if the carved girl sneered at Katherine's distress.  There was no way Mama and Papa could ever afford to buy her a different fiddle.  Maybe she could tie a ribbon over that stoic, staring face.

At Friday Night Knitting LB brought each of us a little wire creation she calls a Wire Whimsy. She and her daughter used to make them to sell at craft fairs.  Mine is a card of buttons and a thimble.  Isn't it cute?  I'm taking it down and pinning it to the bulletin board over my sewing machine so I can see it all year instead of just on the Christmas tree.  Off to work I go, my sole day to work this week.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

We're Treed!

As I said I would in yesterday's post, after I hit "publish" I dug out the tree, unpacked the ornaments, and we got to decorating.  We even punched in the "sounds of the season" cable music channel so we could sing, or mumble along when we didn't remember the words.  (we should have had a maiden aunt tickling the yellowed ivories of a tinny sounding upright piano, but made do with Johnny Mathis, Rosemary Clooney, and Nat King Cole)  It didn't take very long and it was fun with the two of us working on it.  I don't know why I drag my feet over putting it up every year.  Nostalgia blindsided me when I picked up a little golden bell to hang.  It was the only ornament I could touch when I was a tiny girl (and the only one I kept) and it was always hung low so it'd be in reach.  I picked it up and burst into tears.  Poor Durwood, he had no idea what the deal was but I think he might have been a little jealous that he doesn't have an ornament from when he was a kid.  Hmm, I might just have a box of a few of his mom's ornaments downstairs, I should go look.

After a spot of recovery we got dressed, made a list, and went to the grocery.  A few weeks back I went to Festival around 5 o'clock on a Saturday and I almost had the store to myself.  Not this time.  This time we split up so that Durwood could get a couple secret things and I took the list.  I got waylaid in the entry to the liquor department and ended up with a bottle of red wine in my cart but in my defense it's the first red wine I really liked.  Someone will help me drink it, I'm sure.  I filled the list and we met in the soup aisle to look at some broth that was on sale (did you ever hear of aseptic broth?  we hadn't either, turns out it's low fat and no MSG.  I have no idea how that makes it aseptic, unless it's specially pasteurized or something, maybe it was a typo, we didn't buy it).

On the way home I drove us past that house at Dousman & Platten Streets to get more pictures.  This time I parked the van and walked to get a few pictures.  There were a good number of people there, a lot with kids.  The one that touched me the most was an adult sister with her older, developmentally challenged sister.  They were having so much fun seeing all the displays and finding the funny ones, the pig on skis and the hippo on skates were two that made them dissolve into giggles.  A few flakes were falling too, kinda made it seem like a whole different world for a minute.

I got the window over our bed plastic-ed since it won't close right so I can lock it and keep out the breeze.  I can't find the folder from when we had them installed, I suppose I could go to Home Depot to inquire but plastic is cheaper and less annoying right now.  It's a quick and easy fix, plus I got to stand on the bed, a big no-no when I was a kid.

December 21--Cypriot, Water Spout.  His elfin ears stuck out of his hair and looked they would wiggle when he laughed.  Faye couldn't take her eyes off their pointed pinkness even though she knew it as rude to stare.  His white hair blew wispy in the wind but the hair never covered his ears.  The old man stood on the boardwalk near a geyser waving his arms and going on about how the volcano was thirty-thousand years overdue to erupt.  "There goes Doomsayer, off on one of his rants," a park ranger said, as he passed leading a tour group. "If only his argument wasn't so logical I'd feel better about shutting him up."  Faye walked faster.

The rest of today's going to be all about sewing, and maybe gift wrapping since I got the laundry done.  Mrs. Boss called yesterday to say that I only have to work Monday this week and Monday the following week.  I love the time off but won't it be silly to get two one-day paychecks in a row?  Maybe she'll combine them to conserve paper.  Pardon me while I descend into the sewing cave.  I decided "studio" is just too fancy a word for a Masonite-walled room in the basement.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Day Away

Yesterday morning I drove out of the Green Bay sunshine into the gray skies of Sheboygan to meet my friend Lala to see the newest Hunger Games movie, Mockingjay, Part 1 (we loved it) and to spend the day together.  We had a great time.  We sat in our favorite Weather Center Cafe for a cup of coffee then we went for a walk.  It wasn't too cold and it wasn't windy at all so our walk along the riverwalk, while slick in spots, didn't freeze us to the core.  It's been warm enough that the ice isn't solid yet although it is thick enough to support geese.  We went to the Charcoal Inn South for a cheeseburger and a brat for a late lunch and then we parted ways.

I swung through Sheboygan Falls on my way home but Magpie's Cottage closes at 3 o'clock on Friday.  What's up with that????  Anyway, that probably saved me at least fifty bucks so I just swung into Shopko to see if they still had the kind of wool and Thinsulate gloves I want (nope, they don't), I got a suede and Thinsulate pair instead.  Let's see how they do filling birdfeeders.  It never occurred to me that last night was the Friday before Christmas and that everyone on EARTH would be out shopping.  I barely made it out of there alive.  I need to pay closer attention to the world around me.  Also the calendar.

I hauled up the box of decorations and ornaments this morning, and I put the palm frond Rudolph that Dad made ages ago and the jingle wreath up at the door into the garage and I put the Bah Humbug plaque Mom made up in the living room.  Last week I got up one of the Santa prints that Mom's cousin did and hung it up so gradually Christmas is coming to 1510.  I figure by the time I get it all up it'll be time to take it all down.  *shrugs*  Oh well.

Lala gave me a bag of random yarn she found when she was clearing out a closet and Durwood and I got it all rolled into nice tidy yarn cakes this morning.  It's going to make excellent hats or mittens to take to the local elementary school kids.  You remember how kids lose hats and mittens, right?  Well, I'm working to fix it so that there's some in reserve at the school our kids went to.  It's not a lot but it's something.  If one kid stays warm and feels special in a new hat, then all the work's worth it.

December 20--Cypriot, Water Spout.  Water poured out of an opening in the rock wall like a fully open hose.  Centuries ago someone had carved a face into the rock.  It was the face of a man-lion, mane and all.  You could see where the fangs had broken off and where thousands of hands had smoothed his brow.  It was a powerful face and Brett wondered about the man who had carved it.  Brett was a sculptor himself but he doubted he could have stood in the gout of icy water to carve such an intricate design in the living rock.

Last night at knitting I got Old MacDonald's cow started.  I made the head and put on the eyes, tied tight inside with good firm knots, not grannies either, so they're not coming out.  Later after I get the tree up and decorated (next on the agenda) I'll get to work on her body.  Right now it looks a bit like a caplet with eyes, doesn't it?  Happy Saturday!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Stick a Fork in Old MacDonald's Pig...

she's done.  I finished her last night while the party mix was baking.  Attaching those four pig legs was just as putzy as crocheting them but I did it, and I made sure to use a long tail woven in and around, back and forth so someone who is nearly 1 year old can play with her and not pull anything off.  Grandpa was most concerned about that, he was kinda cute (and kinda annoying) about it.

Speaking of party mix, mmmmmmm.  It makes the kitchen, the whole house, smell heavenly of Worcestershire sauce and toasting cereal and it's so tempting to dip a Dixie cup in for a taste before it's even cool.  (now who would do that?  guilty.)  Durwood was very casual about mentioning that he'd finished his bag of Cheetos yesterday so I kind of HAD to make the party mix last night or be a Scrooge, right?  I'm enough of a Scrooge lately so it was an easy fix, besides I had to sit at the table sewing on pig legs and the curly tail so I might as well pop up every 20 minutes for 2 hours to stir the party mix.  Multitasking at its best.

I only had a couple customers at work yesterday but Mrs. Boss came in to take up the slack with Christmas decorating and data entry tasks and fact-finding phone calling, I even stayed late to finish the data entry so all is ready for when the NEW new POS system is installed.  We can't keep the old one, it's just too buggy.

The sky was breathtaking this morning when I nipped out to fill up the birdbath, or it could have been the bitter cold that took my breath away.  Whatever the cause, look how pretty the dawn was, and in only four more days the dark will start shrinking and the light will begin expanding.  We made it!  The solstice will come and life, and light, will be on the upswing.  Woohoo!

December 19--Joyce Growing Thunder Fogarty, Tobacco Bag.  The beaded deerskin bag hung next to Uncle Len's cabin door as long as I remember.  When I was real small he let me put my doll in the bag to carry her around the one-room house.  I liked to play house up in the loft where he kept his trunk from his Navy days and a few other things from what he called "the olden times" before he came to live in the cabin by Clark's Lake.  The only time Uncle Len got really mad at me was when I braided the fringe that hung from the bottom of the deerskin bag.  It took him hours to untangle it and he scolded me the whole time.

Okay, then.  Now it's time for me to gobble a bowl of Cheerios and then I'm off to meet Lala and go to the movies.  It's a sunny day and I'm excited.  Cheerio!