Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I Love Our Micro-climates!

Both the brick facade on the front of the house and the retaining wall at the back of the lot face South so they reflect the sun's heat back onto the ground in front of them and make things grow early.  Most years that little hint of early green goes a long way toward saving my sanity.  This year is no exception.  Durwood called me yesterday to say that the grass in back is greening up.  See?  In front there are a couple of crocuses ready to bloom, a hyacinth bud peeking out, and the daffodils have popped their leaves up and will be sending buds up soon.  Not in time for Easter, no, but soon.  I'm watching another sign of Spring right now.  There's a chipmunk trolling the peanut shells the squirrels drop for any leftovers, his cheek pouches already bulging with goodies.  The presence of the chippie means either the feral black cat has moved on or someone adopted it.

Mrs. Boss did have the rest of the inventory finished when I got to work yesterday.  Hooray!  All that's left is a milk crate of odds and ends that we put aside rather than stop counting to do research or part things out.  After stocking some masks and snorkels that arrived, I dove in and got maybe a third of it done yesterday.  I'll keep at it.  I like the challenge of finding things, figuring out what price, then marking it and putting it on the shelf.

What with new stock and old inventory I didn't knit a stitch at work yesterday, but I managed to finish Play Day Mitten #1 last night before bed.  I thought it looked awfully big but compared to one she wears now it looks okay.  Now if I can only get the other one done before it's shorts and tank top weather.  *snort*

March 31--Ron Kimball, FRG-01615.  There was a frog in the room.  There was a frog in her dream and when Amy woke up she could still hear it.  She lay in the dark listening hard, trying to pick out where it was.  It had better be on the floor, she thought.  If it's on the wall or the ceiling it could land on her.  An image of little sticky frog feet on her face got her hand moving to tug the sheet over her head.  She'd rather suffocate than have a frog on her.

Yeah, me too.  It's a nice sunny day, I think I'll stir together some bread dough to bake this weekend.  Maybe I'll go out and take a walk too.  Of course it's at least 10 degrees cooler than it was yesterday but maybe it'll change its mind and warm up?  I'm hopeful, but it's still better than below freezing.  Anything is.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Warming Tiny Fingers

I am a failure as a Knitting Grandma.  I realized that there are 10 tiny fingers that don't have any knitted mittens.  I'm changing that.  I dug out some acrylic yarn (acrylic weathers frequent washing well) in a variegated color I like, found a pattern, and got to knitting.  The yarn color is Red Rocks and I bought it in Rapid City, SD a few years ago.  I'll get the mittens done today (provided the inventory is done at work) and hope there'll be enough yarn left to eke out a matching hat, but these are to go with a play coat (that's really too thick and too bulky to safely be worn in a car seat [man, you have to think of so much stuff with kids these days, no more rolling around in the back of a station wagon like when I was a kid]) so if the hat doesn't match, who's going to notice?  Squirrels?

Last Thursday I ordered a car seat from Walmart so that DS & DIL1 don't have to keep remembering to swap theirs out and into my car.  I thought that it would be delivered today or maybe tomorrow.  Instead it came on Saturday afternoon--when we were out of town for the weekend.  Since when does FedEx deliver on Saturday?  Our renter noticed it, called me, and took it in out of the rain yesterday.  (Thank you, J & K, you're good people.)  Now I just have to figure out how to secure it in my backseat.  I've asked DS to help.  He's big and strong and very smart.  (Thanks, I made him myself--with a little help from Durwood.)

On our way home yesterday we veered off the highway onto County X just outside of Dykesville to have lunch at Joe Rouer's in Duval.  Mmm, a cheeseburger with fried onions and onion petals on the side.  Durwood opted for a hamburger and cup of chili.  Oh my goodness, it was delicious, not quite as good as in my college days when Joe and Helen were still alive and running it, but worth the 2 mile detour.  We skipped supper.

March 30--John Warden, Orangutan.  It looked back through the bars and Lena felt a jolt at how human the ape's gaze was.  The luxuriant red hair and soulful black eyes of the orangutan made her want to unlatch the cage and take it home.  Not to her, Lena's human home, no.  Her apartment was almost too cramped for just herself.  Lena wanted to take the orangutan to its original home.  Lena dreamed of flying to Sumatra or Borneo dressed in khaki bush clothes, a little stained and rumpled but impeccably fitted, an enigmatic smile playing her her lips while the orange-haired ape rode in a crate in the cargo hold.  Maybe they'd write an article about her in National Geographic.  She'd have to learn to like animals first and probably insects and humidity.  Didn't orangutans live in the jungle?

I'm glad I'm not the only one with a rich fantasy life.  Time for showering, breakfasting and going off to work.  (Payday!)  I've already made the week's lunches and gotten my knitting together.  Important things first. Later.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Couch Potato

That was me yesterday.  All I did was sit on the couch in my jammies across from the burning fireplace and knit.  Oh, I did talk to Durwood now and then, but mostly I either knitted or read my Kindle book.  This was the entire purpose of the weekend, me relaxing and spending quiet time with Durwood.  See, at home there's all that cleaning and laundry and "stuff" to do but here there is only what I brought with me to do, and that was reading, crossword puzzles, and knitting.  The only thing I brought that I didn't get to is writing out my Design-a-Thon pattern but I'll get to that later today at home, cross my heart.  It's been a good weekend.

Like I said, I knitted on the second Sari Silk Purse dickey and finished it.  Now all I need to do is sew in muslin lining pieces and it's a finished item, and much more usable.  Woohoo!

March 29--Lynn M. Stone, Sea Otter Mother and Pup.  It didn't seem right for salt water to be cold or cold water to be salty.  Either way it was just wrong.  They were used to diving in the cold, fresh waters of the Great Lakes or the warm, salt water of the Caribbean Sea.  It was a shock to do a backroll off the dive boat into cold, green water like at home but have the taste of salt.  The kelp forest was beautiful with its slanted shafts of sunlight piercing the dimness with gold.  Streams of silver fish wove around the kelp, and purple and blue many-armed starfish carpeted the sea floor.

And that's all I've got for today.  Not much but I was quiet yesterday.  Fingers crossed that Mrs. Boss got the inventory done this weekend and life at the dive shop can go back to its sleepy normal rhythm.  Not that I minded the work, really, but it was a shock to keep being tired from working for all those days.  Usually work is relaxing and for the past couple weeks it's been all... work-y, and I'm not used to that.  I just noticed that the sun is rising a few feet to the north over the roof of the building to the east, that must mean that spring is really inching its way north.  Yay!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

No Scenery, Just Shopping

We didn't do anything yesterday.  I didn't even get dressed until about 2 PM when I went out to get lottery tickets.  While I was out I stopped at Bargains Unlimited, the private-run thrift shop in Sister Bay that earns funds to support a senior living complex nearby.  A few years back my friend KS, who lives up here, took me there and we had a blast.  Now I try to stop in whenever I'm up this way.  As with all thrift stores, some days it's a gold mine and other days it's a wasteland.  Yesterday it was a gold mine.  I didn't really have anything in mind although I always check for ladies' hankie and yarn.  Found a skein of acrylic yarn I can make something for LC from but no hankies.  I found a single vintage dish towel and a batik panel that will look excellent as the center of a quilt or on a tote of some sort.  For some unknown reason I sorted through the flatware, finding a single silver fork for a buck.  I flipped through the purses hung on the wall but nothing caught my eye, then I looked at a pole with the big-ticket purses and EUREKA!  There it was.  One of those Miche purses with the "shells" that stick on the basic purse with magnets.  There was one shell on the purse and three more sticking out of the top.  The sticker was $65 and I almost put it back but decided to carry it around while I kept looking. I could always put it back.  I didn't put it back.  I looked at the shells and they're all animal prints, some completely and others partially.  Animal prints are big this year, plus one is red patent and giraffe print.  I love red and I love giraffes.  Sold!  The rest of my items added up to $5 so I only spent $70.  When I got back to the room I searched for the purse on the web.  (They evidently have parties like Tupperware.  Who knew?)  Because all of the shells are from 2008-2010 (all but one have a name and issue date printed on the lining) the exact ones weren't there but the least expensive ones were $25 and the purse, still available, is $25.  That means I got at least $125 worth of purse for $65.  The only drawback is that it doesn't have a shoulder strap but I can live with the handles, that's not a deal breaker.  I think that was a good day's shopping.  AND the inside of the bag looks like it has never been used.  No pen marks, no dirt, the elastic pockets aren't stretched out, it's pristine.  Like I said it was a lucky day.  This morning I unloaded my current red purse and loaded up the Miche bag, all my stuff fits perfectly, and I slapped on the giraffe shell.  I'm good.  And kind of in style, an odd occurrance for me.

I worked on Sari Purse Dickey #2 yesterday.  I got about halfway before I realized that I had gone overboard the other way and this fill-in was too narrow, so I frogged it until it spread back out and I'll take another run at it today.  The sooner I get done knitting with this silk yarn, the better my fingers will feel.  Reclaimed sari silk has absolutely no give so it makes my hands hurt, the same with all-cotton yarn.  But I'm sure liking the way this is looking.  Hmm, I must be in a purse mood these days.  I feel sewing coming on too, garment and tepee sewing.

March 28--Jim Barber, Sextant, Compass and Chart.  Chloe needed to find out where she was.  The dark was absolute except for the pulse of heat lightning far in the distance.  She was afraid to move, afraid she would fall into one of the little canyons carved by the spring snowmelt from the mountains.  Falling was a sure way to break something and be unable to find her way back home.  Searchers wouldn't find her in one of those dusty draws filled with sagebrush, tumbleweeds, and broken fence.  There were searchers looking for her, she had to believe that.  She had left her car at the trailhead and you had to say where you were going when you picked up a hiking permit.  What day was it, Thursday?  Probably.  She had planned to be back by late Tuesday, they had to be searching.  When would this night end?  In daylight she would at least know what direction to travel.

Okay, I have big plans for more doing nothing today, nothing except knitting, that is, so I'd better get right on it.  Breakfast first, Honey Bunches of Oats instead of Cheerios because I'm on vacation.  Toodles.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Change of Scene

I worked my little fingers to the bone counting yesterday but didn't get finished.  I almost got finished but it's a much bigger job than either Mrs. Boss or I thought it was.  I got submerged in counting adapters and burst discs and other tiny things that 18 of them will fit into a little compartment in a plastic drawer the size of 2 postage stamps.  And the scanner wouldn't scan when I was counting the things in the safe (lead lining, anyone?) so that had to be emptied shelf by shelf and then returned.  I wasn't a huge fan of counting while standing on the ladder, either.  Naturally at least a third of the items in each cabinet had to be carried to a table to be sorted by size or color and then scanned.  Happily Mrs. Boss came in after lunch so I graciously gave her the job of finding names for and tagging the orphans I found but we've still got a crate of items that will need to be researched and tagged but they can wait until next week when the "big" counting is done and the rented scanner is returned.  One day this seemingly endless task will be done. Or not.

After I got home from work yesterday Durwood and I set out for a little change of scene.  We drove away toward the north, stopped for gas at Red Rocket, and I turned right out of the gas station to follow the frontage road to get back on the highway.  We were discussing where to have supper when we passed a tiny tavern and I thought I recognized a friend's truck.  "Want to eat there?  I think that's JJ/s truck."  "Sure," says Durwood.  So I dropped it into reverse, backed up a bit and, sure enough, there was JJ's truck at Knuckleheads Bar.  I parked in the lot and called him.  Just as he answered the phone he walked out the other door.  "How's the food in this place?" I asked, looking at his back.  "Where... what place?"  "Turn around," I told him.  By then Durwood had rolled his window down and was waving.  So even though they were leaving, they stayed to keep us company while we ate.  It was kind of like old times with the dive guys.  Their 17-year-old son (SEVENTEEN??? Yes) was there too so it really was a bit like the old days when there were kids and adults and all like a family.  Good bar food too.

This morning we're up here where there are no chores and phone service is iffy.  (text if you need us)  But don't think we've left our home unprotected, our mixed breed pet Pitbull/Rotweiler/Komodo Dragon, Tiny, and her handler, Hildegarde are patrolling the estate until we get back.  Also the alarm is set and the crocs in the moat haven't been fed in a month.

I finished the Yellow & Black Beanie last night.  Black is such a lovely color to knit with after dark--not.  I love the pair of hats even though the Black & Yellow one is kind of too big and the Yellow & Black one is kind of too small.  I'll have to look at the pattern to see if I can make a few adjustments to make a hat somewhere in the middle.  Maybe a change of hook size will do it.

March 27--Chris A. Crumley, Coral Reef with Moorish Idols.  This was the moment she craved, when her buoyancy was just right in a slight surge so that she felt rocked by the sea.  With almost no effort on her part the water movement pushed her a few feet, paused, and then pulled her back a little.  Up and back, up and back.  She was so relaxed she might doze off, but she wouldn't, there was too much to see.  By becoming a part of the ocean like that even the rhythmic gurgle of her exhalations didn't spook the fish.  The tiny fish, shrimp, and other critters that called the reef home went about their daily business as if she wasn't there.  Bi-color Damselfish tended their algae gardens and fended off the wrasse that came to eat their crop.  Sergeant Majors hovered before patches of dark navy eggs.  Arrow crabs stood on tiptoe, frown in place and purple boxing glove pincers at the ready.  Pederson's Cleaner Shrimp advertised their services, waving their thin white antennae from the tops of the anemones where they lived.  She wished she had another pair of eyes to take it all in.  Every day that she wasn't rocked in the warm, salty cradle of the sea she missed it.

I do miss warm water diving but maybe not quite that much.  I usually shy away from that level of maudlin.  Enjoy your Friday.  I'm going to love mine.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

But Most of It Melted

Seeing all that slushy snow yesterday morning was a real downer but by the time I got to work (on the wet, but not slippery roads) the sun was blazing and melting had commenced.  The clouds rolled in late in the afternoon and the temps dropped below 32 degrees so we've got a little snow left.  I ended up only having the "brushed off the car" piles of snow to shovel off  the driveway when I got home.  Not too bad.  Today it's gray and supposed to maybe get to 30 degrees but the sun is getting warmer so things have to be looking up.  Right?  Right.  When I step out the front door and look down, this is what I see--GREEN!  Bulbs are symbols of hope in my mind.  All winter long it's been brown and dead out there and as soon as the sun warms up a little bit those hopeful little green shoots start popping.  I'm hoping to always live in a south-facing house with a little brick or stone on it so my bulbs show themselves early.  I need that green.

I was so excited to have only one customer and only a tiny box of stock to price and put away yesterday because that let me finish the inventory in the front of the store.  Today I tackle the back room and I may be able to do it all if it stays quiet in there.  It would make my weekend to not have inventory hanging over my head for Monday.  Fingers crossed.

After supper last night I crocheted a few rounds on the Yellow & Black Beanie, getting to the place where I drop the yellow and continue the last few rounds with black.  It's a good thing I made a smaller hat because there isn't enough yellow left for another round.  Whew.  I'll get that hat done tout suite and then tackle the second purse dickey.  Maybe I can bear down on that and finish it over the weekend.  Then I'll need something else to knit.  Oh, I have to work on writing my Design-a-Thon pattern so someone else could knit it.  That'll have me growling and frowning and erasing for a few hours, of that I'm certain.

March 26--Chris A. Crumley, Egret.  The white bird with the long legs and crooked neck peered into the shallow water, cocking its head this way and that.  It hunted this stretch of the shore every morning but this was the first time it had seen this.  Little silver fish, its usual breakfast, darted around and through the long dark hair that flowed with the mild current.  One of the tiny creatures hovered in the cup of an upturned hand as if it found safety there.  Leopold staggered down the path calling her name, "Rowan!" scaring the egret into slow startled flight.

Alrighty then.  Time to get ready to tackle the inventory one more time and maybe for the last time.  That'd be good.  But first, Cheerios.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

They Didn't Lie

We got snow.  Gobs of it.  Great wet flakes of it that have piled up on every limb, branch, and twig.  It's heaped on the birdfeeders and draped over cars.  I'm not shoveling it, no, I'm not.  Because it's supposed to warm up to near 50 later today.  That should take care of the snow, but then it's supposed to dip back into the 30s for the weekend, but no more snow.  I'll take it.  It's only March.  I shouldn't think I could leave my boots in the closet until next winter in March.  That's just crazy thinking.  I live in Wisconsin, in North Central Wisconsin, and it snows here.  It's cold here too.  Our weather is why they invented long johns and fur-lined boots.  We didn't get a lot of snow this past winter so I guess I can deal with this stuff.  Not without complaining, though, I love to complain.

Durwood and I went to Woodman's Market yesterday and loaded up on veggies.  I hadn't realized how long it had been since we really stocked up until I was unpacking the bags and I wanted to cook it all right then.  We got asparagus, green beans, broccoli, green peppers, brussels sprouts, zucchini, and a few tomatoes for Durwood.  I'm sensing a theme; are you sensing a theme?  Would that theme be GREEN?  I guess if we can't find any chlorophyll outside, we'll pile it on inside, with a little red thrown in for an accent.

I have been craving chocolate chip cookies for weeks, and not the bagged from the grocery kind either, real homemade, butter and nuts and semi-sweet chocolate chips cookies, so I bought the chips at the store yesterday and after supper I made them.  Mmm, and I probably only ate about eight of them before bed.  I'd better hide most of them or they won't survive 'til the weekend.

Oh, if any of you got a whack-a-doodle email supposedly from me within the last week, I'm sorry.  I changed my email account password last night so things should be safe-ish again.  Nothing on the interwebs is ever safe, you know that, don't you?  Putting anything on the web is like jumping up and down, waving your shirt and hollering, "Here I am!  Come, poke around in my business."  That's why all you get here is weather and knitting, with a side of weak complaints about work and a few other random comments.

March 25--Lior Rubin, Eagle, the Moment Before the Catch.  Lily paddled her canoe down the river that ran through the pines.  The river formed the western and part of the southern borders of her land, in her mind it was her river, all of it, not just the part of the riverbank she actually owned.  She took the canoe out every day or so just to keep tabs on things.  She had seen deer and foxes drinking and once she saw a beaver swimming up a narrow tributary into the marsh with a sapling in its teeth.

I was going to get to the eagle, really I was, but I was sleepy and it was late so I gave up.  It's stopped snowing and it looks like it's warming up, judging by the rate that the snow is sliding off the SUV parked across the street. Aaaand the sun just broke through the clouds.  Warming up, definitely warming up.  I think I'll be wearing my boots today, it ought to be good and sloppy out there.  Hasta la vista, babies.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Nothin' Much

All I did at work yesterday was work, work, work, count, count, count.  Not that I mind, you understand, after all they're paying me to work but that means I don't knit so I don't have any project progress to take pictures of and then post on the blog.  Speaking of the inventory Mrs. Boss got as far as the end of the masks, reels, and safety sausages over the weekend.  Next was the wall behind the display cases.  It's a slat wall jam-packed with a bloc of tiny drawers and hooks holding all manner of small items.  It took me all of my counting time to go about 8' and that didn't include the things on the shelves below the slat wall.  I did get smart and made a pile of the odd items that the scanner didn't recognize instead of breaking stride to go fix them in the POS, then when I was done with the section I got them all either re-tagged or entered, tagged, and scanned.  This has turned out to be a monumental job; I can't imagine how long it takes to inventory a big store.

It has gotten cold again.  Cold enough that there's frost on the roofs in the morning, windshields too.  I'm not a fan of scraping windshields.  And there's a winter weather advisory for tonight into tomorrow for snow and sleet.  Yippee.  March is such a confused month; first it's cold and snowy, then warm and sunny, now cold and maybe sleety.  Uck.  Evidently winter's not done with us, I just noticed that a junco's still here.  They summer in the Arctic so they don't leave until winter is truly over.  *sigh*  But I did see a robin.  That's a good sign.  Look, there's one getting a drink right now!

March 24--Renee Lynn, King Penguins.  They look so sleek and elegant, not like birds at all.  Their feathers look more like fur and their wings are paddle shaped without trailing flight feathers.  Naomi had always loved the little birds with their tick-tock way of walking...

And that was it for me last night.  I went to bed at 10 o'clock, got those three sentences written, and that was the end of that.  One of these days I'm just going to sleep and not have to set an alarm.  One of these days.  Maybe Friday.

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Blah Gray Day

Too blah to even take a sunrise picture, not that there were any pretty colors out there, just a gradual lightening of the pervasive grayness.  In fact, it looks like it might just pucker up and drizzle.

Durwood was glad to see me and I was glad to be back to my familiar place, although being away alone, not needing to consider anyone else's schedule or plan is restful.  The two of us are making an escape this coming weekend for a few nights in Door County, so there's that to look forward to.  Who doesn't want a break in the late winter/early spring gray?

I have to show you some more Kohler Arts Center bathroom pix.  As amazing as the art was, those bathrooms just blew me away.  Here's some more of the main ladies' room in all its pink and pretty, mix and match glory, and the ceramic evening purse, lace gloves, and hand towel in the other small ladies' room.  Amazing what they can do with the stuff they make toilets out of, isn't it?

All I did when I got home yesterday was unpack, read through the newspaper, and crochet a bit on the Yellow & Black Beanie.  I'm making it smaller so I don't run out of yarn, but I still like the colors together. Both of the beanies will need a bath before I donate them, they've got that "back of the closet" smell stuff stored a long time has.  The sheets on the bed I slept in at Grandma A's smelled like that, not dirty, just unused, I guess.  I'm hoping a bath will soften them up too, they're acrylic yarn and it's a bit scratchy.

March 23--Rob McDonald, Hundreds of Other Food Shots.  Nola stood with both hands pressed to the glass.  The fruit looked so perfect it had to be fake.  It had been so long since she'd had fruit that wasn't in a can.  Real food, she thought, food like the old days when you bought raw ingredients from the store and then combined them into a meal.  A perfect baked chicken could make the house smell good for hours.  The bright green of a bowl of steamed asparagus was the epitome of Spring.  Maybe she had enough money in her pocket to go in and get an apple.  One crisp and juicy apple, she could almost taste it tart and sweet on her tongue, then something poked the small of her back.  "Move on," said a man's voice, "there's nothing in there for the likes of you."  She wanted to protest that she had every right to be there but she didn't, not really, not anymore.

See, boring, what'd I tell you?  Shorter too.  You're welcome.  Off to breakfast, shower, and go to work.  I've got my fingers crossed that Mrs, & Mr. Boss got the inventory done but I'm not holding my breath.  There's a lot of stuff in that store.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday Sunrise

We thought we were gonna walk down to the lake to watch the sun come up but I had my clock set for 6:30 instead of 6:00, and my phone's set on "quiet hours" from 10 PM to 8 AM.  Oops.  So I missed Lala's 6:10 phone call, besides it's overcast.  I threw on my yoga pants and a hoodie and went out to see what I could see of the sunrise from here.  I think it's pretty good, don't you?

We went to breakfast at Paradigm yesterday (coffee and a homemade muffin), then to the John Michael Kohler Arts Center to see the fiber and vitreous ceramic exhibits.  Also, they have the best bathrooms in the Midwest, maybe in the whole USA.  This was our second visit and we hadn't used the restroom last time but Lala did yesterday, came out and said, "you gotta go check this out."  The main women's one is decorated with painted or raised design tiles that seem to be all about being dressed (or not in a few cases) and the toilets are amazing.  The main men's room is all about power and success with inspirational mottoes all around, even in the sinks.  There are 3 other, smaller bathrooms on the other side of the galleries, the family one has small decorated tiles with children's names on them and stuff like "Barbara likes to dance in her socks."  The women's room is sedate with charcoal gray monograms on white tiles but there are ceramic towels, brushes, mirrors, and an evening purse and pair of gloves in niches around the room.  The men's room over there is a tribute to Delft pottery and celebrates water in all its uses; there's a car wash and waterfalls, even a bouquet of water guns over the urinal.  Guess it's meant for inspiration for bashful kidneys.  *snort*

The main fiber exhibit had some pretty amazing stuff.  We liked this "bubble" made with steel fiber and glass beads, and the oversize Catholic priest's vestment crocheted and knitted.  There were busy colorful pieces with sequins and jewelry and knitted flowers applied all over.  Some of the stuff was crazy, but the one we both wanted to handle was a book/stack of felted wool pages with machine embroidered quotes on each page.  Instead of getting to draw in the Glass Gallery like we did last time there was a piece of muslin in a stretcher and lengths of red yarn with big tapestry needles knotted to the ends that you could pick up and sew a little with.  We did.

I think the creepiest was this greyhound head lying on the floor staring into a projector and as you looked at it, the eyes blinked every once in a while.  Uber creepy.  

In another gallery there is a display of embroidery that reminded me of botanical prints but they were large and fantastic.  DD likes to embroider, I wish she could have seen them.  That gallery is in what used to be JMKohler's house, a Victorian Italianate mansion, and I glanced through the locked door into what had been the dining room to be surprised to see a life-size horse sculpture in there.  Hey, there's a horse in here!  It looks like they use it as a meeting room.  I think the horse would be a distraction.

We went to the Charcoal Inn for a burger (for Lala) and brat burger (for me) and fries for lunch.  We split up to write (Lala) and knit (me) for a while then we met in the motel's breakfast room to play with art supplies.  I brought some stuff to do--what's called Zentangles
(semi-regimented doodling) and a One Drawing a Day book I got at Goodwill for a few bucks with pens, markers, oil crayons, colored pencils, and a whole lot of other stuff, and we spent an hour or so making a little art.  It was fun and looks pretty cool, I think.

For supper we went to Harry's Prohibition Bistro for wood-fired pizza, marinated roasted vegetables, and caramel gelato. It was yummy--and packed.  You should go.

After supper I knitted and Lala read me the story she's been working on.  I finished the first "purse dickey" side and I think it's just what I hoped.  It was a grand day all around.

March 21--Ralph Krubner, Also Larger Earth.  Pete came to and looked out the porthole next to where he lay.  A big blue marble swirled with white floated in the black void.  Marble.  Black sky.  Twinkling stars.  Space, he was in space.  He rubbed the lump on the back of his head.  Damn that Persuasion Squad.  he had done his time on a flatship ferrying cargo to a base on the dark side of the moon but down one--or six--too many brewskis and here he was back in space with a headache he didn't deserve.

Sorry this ran on so long but I had so much to show you and tell you I couldn't hold it all in.  Talk to you again tomorrow when I'm sure I'll be a lot more boring.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

I Ran Away From Home

While we were on the errand run yesterday morning I decided that I'd rather drive down to Sheboygan after knitting last night than get up at the crack of dawn this morning to drive an hour to meet Lala at 8 o'clock for breakfast.  So I did.  I talked it over with Durwood and he didn't mind, in fact, he thought it was a brilliant idea (this is just one reason why I made the right choice all those years ago).  I flung a few things into an overnight bag, grabbed a few coats (not sure what the lakeshore weather will bring) and after knitting, talking, and laughing for a couple hours, I zoomed off down the highway.

It was spitting rain a bit when I came into the city but by the time I'd unpacked and got my laptop up and running the rain was gone.  That let me put on my hoodie, grab my camera, and take a little walk down the riverwalk around 10 o'clock.  It was still 50 degrees and not at all windy, a great time and place to stretch my legs.

Right now it looks a little iffy, weather-wise, but it's early and it looks like it's clearing in the West.  No matter what weather happens today it'll be fun because we're planning to go to the museum, walk to the lake if it's not pouring rain (I only brought one pair of shoes), and go out for wood-fired pizza for supper.  What's not to love?

March 21--Duotone, Keyhole in the Sky.  Dale lay on the grass looking at cloud shapes.  She had found a hippo and Grammy's chair.  The rising sun painted the clouds pink, then yellow, and then white.  She liked the feeling of floating that she felt as she lay there, almost as if the rising sun and strengthening light were lifting her.  Soon Mom would call her from the back porch or she'd send Bernie or Mae out to get her.  Grammy's funeral was at 10 o'clock and Dale knew she would have to get washed up and dress in her church clothes, even though she didn't think Grammy would recognize her out of jeans and t-shirts.  Grammy had been a doing-stuff grandmother, not one of those dress up, tea party ones.

Pretty soon Lala will be here so I'd better get this spellchecked, slap on a couple photos, and get moving.  At least I'm dressed with teeth brushed and hair combed.  Later, dudes and dudettes.

Friday, March 20, 2015

My Oh My, Crab Pie

You are so sorry you weren't at our house for supper last night.  Durwood found a recipe for Crab Pie in a Penzeys catalog, kind of a quiche-like thing made with cheese, mayo, and real or fake crab.  We had fake crab made-to-look-like-lobster in the freezer and a single frozen Pillsbury pie crust so all we needed was cheese.  I zoomed to Aldi and back before work (not top shelf cheese but adequate for baking in a pie) so by the time I got home it was in the oven.  Oh my, it was gorgeous when it came out of the oven and it tasted as good as it looked.  AND there's half left for tonight's supper.  Yay!  That's a keeper, for sure.

Remember last fall when I was angrily searching all over for the notebooks I had put aside to keep when we decrapified before getting new carpet?  I finally conceded that I must have hauled them to Goodwill along with all the other stuff so I bought more at the dollar store when I ran out of notebook for my nighttime writing.  Well, I ran out of printer paper last night so I went down to get a ream from the box in the basement--where I had to move the 2 shoe boxes full of saved notebooks.  I was sure I had kept them and I had, I just forgot what boxes I put them in.  I'm happy to find out that I'm not quite as clueless as I had feared.

Mrs. Boss came in for a couple hours yesterday and we made a giant leap in inventory progress.  I kept going after she left but it was a lot slower going without her.  I came home so exhausted I was falling asleep at the dinner table and it was easy to go to bed at 10 o'clock, but we got a lot done and I was glad for the help.  It's a huge job, I suspect it's bigger than she thought, but we'll get done especially if both of us work at it.  My old muscles are sore today but it kinda feels good to work hard.

March 20--WSI, Water Drop.   Alissa thought she would scream if someone didn't stop that water from dripping.  It had been going on for hours or maybe it had been weeks.  It seemed like a century.  The bloop sound each drop made into the water echoed in her head and set her nerves jangling.  If she could get up she would use all her might to turn the knob on the tap that vital one-eighth turn that stopped the dripping.  Couldn't they hear it?  Was it only in her ears that the sound ricocheted down the hall like a runaway train?  She tried to claw her way to consciousness.  She was certain her eyes had moved and she might have even made a sound.

Time to get cars moved so Durwood and I can go erranding.  Woohoo, errands.  Doesn't everyone love them?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

In The Pink

I was awake before the sun came up (&^%#$ alarm clock) and had one eye open when I pulled the drapes to see the barely-pink sunrise beginning.  After I got the paper and shoved coffee in the microwave I looked out and it had gotten a lot pinker.  Almost makes getting up in the dark worth it.  Almost.

I discovered the other day that the Fuzzy Little Shapka hat fits but it's not long enough to cover those tiny ears.  Drat.  I was glaring at it the other night and just as the idea flitted into my head Durwood said, "Can't you add onto the bottom, knit down instead of up?"  I looked at him in surprise saying, "I just thought of that.  I was trying to avoid having to undo the top and make that part longer.  Great minds..."  So that's what I did last night.  Luckily I had enough yarn left to pickup stitches in the original cast on and add on about 10 rounds so it's double the length on the ear-covering part.  That should keep the cold wind out of tiny ears.  Funny how we both came up with the same idea simultaneously.  That's what comes from being married almost 39 years, I guess.

March 19--Fred Kenner, Coffee Black Two Sugars.  It was the most civilized part of Vera's day.  She used a white porcelain coffee cup and saucer, very plain, no ornamentation, a silver spoon in a pattern just barely over the line from unadorned, and the best coffee she could afford.  She was very strict about carving that one hour out of days that easily devolved into madness.  She sat at the dinette table bathed in morning light and let the serene ritual of a cup of coffee set the tone for her day.  Some days that hour was the only calm in the storm.

I want that.  I want that one peaceful hour with no talking, no TV blaring, not even any rattling of newspaper, just the sun shining on me and the birdies singing.  Right now a mourning dove is outside my window calling for its mate.  I do have coffee but it's lukewarm and I really need to wrap this up because I have to stop at Aldi for cheeses.  Durwood's making a crab pie for supper that calls for cubed cheddar and Swiss, we don't have any so I need to buy some.  Because I definitely want crab pie.  Definitely.  Off to procure cheese and then to work to count.  (Did you hear my Count from Sesame Street impression there?  One, ah, ah, ah!)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sorry I Missed Posting

But my laptop cursor was acting funny so I was afraid I had a virus in the machine.  I took it to the fixit place on Monday so the only computer I had access to yesterday was Durwood's dinosaur of a desktop that I don't have the patience to use.  It's sooooo s-l-o-w it makes me want to bash it with a 2 X 4.  So I didn't post.  But Aaron called last night to say that the problem is my mouse so I can go get a new one, that my laptop is clean as a whistle so he didn't even charge me for anything.  Free computer reassurance.  I like that ISP company; they're local and they know me and my little Kumquat here, but we'd have to have an AT&T land line in order to get Internet through them and we bundle with Time Warner.  *sigh*  Maybe one day I'll ditch cable and get direct TV then I can get back to the people and service I like.  I like that the service people speak English as their native tongue.  It's hard to be polite to most computer and phone service people as English isn't their first language and usually I'm pretty frustrated and impatient already without having to struggle to understand technical commands given by someone with an accent.  Not prejudice, just frustrated.  Plus I like to "buy local" when I can.

When I got home from work on Monday Durwood told me to look at the tomato on the cutting board.  I glanced at it and immediately grabbed the camera.  The seeds inside were sprouting!  He said he was tempted to get a planter and some potting soil and start his garden but I nixed that in a big hurry.  The only complaint I have about our house is there are no window sills and no place convenient to have plants by a window.  Besides there's that whole "we should do ___" thing, I had enough of that from Mom growing up, I know that means "you should whatever" and "I" won't get dirty.  Mom was great at cleaning the basement from the second step from the bottom, bossing Dad, me, and the twins around.  I'm not falling for that anymore.

I was lucky enough to be crossing the bridge yesterday when the sun was coming up.  It's not often I have a high vantage point, and I didn't even drive out of my lane or into the guardrail when I took this picture. 

March 18--Clifton, State Park, ME.  The boulders lay in the still lake looking like sleeping beasts.  Great mounds of gray clouds piled up over the hills in the distance shoving the blue sky aside and sending the sunshine into hiding.  The bright yellow aspen leaves shivered in a wind send down from the clouds.  The wind skimmed the water, ruffling it, and for a moment Gala was certain she saw one of the boulder beasts begin to stir.  She had been awake since the first thin rays crept over the horizon.  The last of the night's chill clung to her but was quickly chased by the sun's warmth.  She hurried to pack up her tent and put out her fire before the storm slid down over the hills and drenched her.

I'm so happy to have my laptop back but now I need to go count things.  We have an inventory scanner thing for me to play with this week.  Yippee.