Monday, November 30, 2015

How Come When The DVD Player's Busted...

...all you want to do is watch movies?  The player isn't exactly busted, there's pictures and they move about, there's just no sound.  I thought I could tolerate watching the oceans without a soundtrack, turned out I couldn't.  The kicker is that it made sounds for the first few seconds, then it quit.  I looked at all the connections and found one audio one unplugged but plugging it back in didn't help.  I was frustrated all out of proportion with the problem and thought about going straight to Walmart to get a new one but I had laundry going, was making chicken rigatoni for supper, and wanted to knit, dammit.

I knitted a few rounds, six to be exact, but mostly I pouted in front of the computer playing games, listening to The Green Mile, and eating M&Ms.  So much for maturity.

I suspect that this tiny patch of blue sky and lone white cloud will be today's bright spot.  Right now it looks like about 3 PM out there.  The full-spectrum lights are going to get a workout today.

November 30--Noel Schwab.  Nina stood at the edge of the field.  The sun was setting behind her and the moon rode high in the east.  Scattered across the field were pumpkins tinted brilliant red-orange by the last of the sun's rays.  She thought of Linus from the Peanuts comic strip, how he waited for The Great Pumpkin, hoping his was the most sincere pumpkin patch and therefore worthy of gifts.  This seemed like a sincere patch to her and she hoped she could get across it in the dark without breaking an ankle.

That's it.  I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving weekend, if not a great one, then a peaceful one.  Here it is, Monday again, and I'm off to get my paycheck-lite (I should get used to it since that's the way it'll be come January) and keep the world safe from SCUBA diving.  Adios.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

An Antidote To Frustration...

...or maybe two.  I realized yesterday that I take every opportunity NOT to knit on the Knoxville Seathwaite hat and that had to stop.  Once I had the stepstool assembled (god, I love furniture-in-a-box; "some assembly required" are three of my favorite words.  no, really) I resolved to sit my butt down on the couch and knit on that hat exclusively for the rest of the day and evening.  I did just that, and I thought about what was annoying the crap out of me about it as I did.  First, it was the DPNs, switching needles every 20 stitches was making me crazy so I got the circulars back out with a few stitch markers to separate the repeats (why I didn't think of that in the beginning I do not know), knitted the hat onto them, and that helped.  Then I penciled in "back" or "front" by to the cable crossing symbols next to the chart so I didn't have to keep looking at the descriptions below the fold AND (this is a big one) suddenly the chart symbols started to make logical sense to me.  I could see which stitch(es) would go behind and which direction the cable needle needed to go.  Eureka!  I got through the first chart repeat (20 rounds) before I called it a night.  Once I'm done here I'll be back knitting on it until my fingers give out or it's bedtime, whichever comes first.

Oh!  I almost forgot the most frustrating part of yesterday's knitting.  I got up to row 13 on the chart and it is moved over to start two stitches to the left of the ones above and below, and it juts out two stitches on the other end too.  See?  For the life of me I couldn't figure out what that meant and there wasn't one word about it anywhere in the directions.  I texted a knitting friend and she was just as befuddled as I was (thank god) so I slipped the "missing" stitches to the previous needle, knitted across, and realized that what happened was that the designer slapped a cable cross over the repeat begin/end line.  A warning or hint about it would have been nice.  (watch, I'll go back and read the pattern closely and there it'll be, then I'll wham my head on the coffee table a few times before picking up the needles again)

This morning while doing yoga in the living room (Durwood was breakfasting and I didn't think he wanted to watch my contortions) I caught sight of our stack of underwater DVDs.  See, this cable hat is hard to knit and watch TV with and, worse, friends of ours are leaving soon for 2 weeks in Bonaire (our all-time favorite island) and we are...not, so I'm dreaming of warm, clear saltwater and pretty colored fish.  In addition, in our small house it's hard to watch two different TV shows since the TVs are so close together and neither TV has a headphone jack.  So I usually end up knitting at the kitchen table while watching/listening to whatever Durwood's watching or sitting on the couch with an audiobook plugged into one ear, but right now I don't have a book that's consuming my interest and my attention needs to be on how and where I'm cabling so that stack of the DVD version of instrumental music is perfect.  Most of them have no talking, just pretty fish and underwater sounds, like having the world's best aquarium to keep me company while I knit.  Ahhh.

November 29--Nancy Moran.  Her hand was so small she held only his first two fingers.  Dolly skipped beside Daddy as they crossed the parking lot.  They were going to the beach.  Dolly liked to play in the sand, using her bucket to carry water from the lake to pour in the sand so she could build things with it.  This was the beach with the squeaky sand too.  She liked to watch grownups when they first stepped on it.  They would look around to see if anyone had noticed, almost embarrassed like they had farted.

I keep thinking if I keep corn cobs in the feeders by the fence the squirrels will stay out of the peanuts long enough for the birds to get some.  That's wrong thinking, no self-respecting squirrel is going to stay away from the peanuts but I like watching their acrobatics, especially hanging from their hind feet while nibbling on a corn kernel.  Time to go knit and watch fishies--after a cheese sandwich and some carrots for lunch.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Morning Moon

I like seeing the almost-full moon peeking through the branches of the maple tree on cold, clear mornings like today.  I'd like seeing the almost-full moon peeking through the fronds of a palm tree better but I don't live in palm tree-land so this is what is.  I even put on pants and zipped up my hoodie to go out to take the picture.  (aren't I getting mature and responsible? yes, I am, besides it was 27 degrees, I'm not going pantsless at that temperature, no sirree bob.)

I had a great lunch and an excellent visit at Pasquale's International Cafe in DePere with my friend, AT.  The special was pulled pork sliders with one side; I got sweet potato fries without salt.  I brought one slider and a few fries home for today's lunch.  Yum.

After lunch I went downtown to the Attic Books & Cafe to write for the afternoon.  I got one scene that's been bugging me beefed up and I tidied up the scuba dive scene.  I didn't get quite as much work done as I might have because the brother of an old friend was there so we had a lively and wide-ranging discussion.  That was okay, I need to talk about something other than yarn and LC every once in a while to keep my brain cells ticking over for another day or two.

I meant to crochet Sudoku Block #5 together at Friday Night Knitting but forgot to check the angle of the squares in the blocks above and beside it so that it doesn't pull out of whack so I worked on my Maze Dishcloth.  It's a bit too much counting for that kind of group knitting but I managed to only have to tink back part of one row.  The other project I had along requires even more concentration so this was the best choice.

It was supposed to be a knit-in-your-pajamas day but KW told me that ShopKo had a stepstool like I want for the kitchen on sale so I togged up and zoomed over there.  Isn't this cool?  They call it "retro" but I think when you've got a good design going why change it.  One of my grandmas had a gray one exactly like it that I remember sitting on as a child.  I'm sure LC will like the perch as well and the little pull-out steps will facilitate hand washing and other kitchen adventures.  Besides, it's red.

November 28--Jill Reger.  Grandpa Bob was always smiling.  Rain or shine, summer or winter, windy or so humid you felt like you could wring out the air, he smiled through it all.  Everybody in the neighborhood called him Grandpa Bob and they always smiled when they said his name.  "That Grandpa Bob, he's the happiest fella you ever saw," Charlie Rinker down at Davis Feed would say after Grandpa Bob had been in for fifty pounds of birdseed.  The organizers of the grade school carnival were always grateful when Grandpa Bob volunteered to sell tickets and man the popcorn booth.  He was what you call a mainstay of the community which is why it was such a shock when human bones turned up when a new power line needed to be laid across the back of his property.  Lots of bones.

Can you say creepy?  Can you tell I just finished listening to Stephen King's On Writing?  Time to go knit.

Friday, November 27, 2015

A Beached Whale

That's kind of how I felt on the drive home in the pouring rain yesterday.  A small whale, however, because I did exercise a modicum of restraint--until dessert, that is.  In my defense I did ask for a smidgen of pumpkin bread pudding and a sliver of the Four Roses-drenched pecan pie separated by a small scoop of ice cream but evidently the kitchen staff has a different definition of those terms than I do.  I didn't leave any on my plate, don't get me wrong, but I did feel a bit overstuffed on the way home.  I had chips and hummus for "supper" quite a bit later and managed not to dive back into the bread pudding and toffee sauce after that.  I do have some sense, not a lot, but some.

The drive out was overcast and a bit drizzly but it's such a beautiful drive.  When we got to the Wolf River mist was rising from the water and I managed to snap a quick photo.  I could have stood there taking shot after shot but the turkey and family fun was calling so we kept going.

In December the knitting guild members exchange dishcloths at a potluck supper party/meeting and since I just taught a lesson in mosaic knitting I thought I'd find a mosaic pattern to make into a dishcloth.  I was surfing the patterns in Ravelry yesterday and found a maze generating program so I set the number of stitches I wanted and, poof! a maze chart appeared.  Pretty cool, huh?  I'm not sure it's going to be as square as a pattern that has a symmetrical design but I think it'll be fun and interesting and different.

Look at my car.  That's what I saw when I went out to get the paper this morning.  Yesterday afternoon's rain turned into... well, it turned into the s-word.  Not a lot but some.  They did say that we'd probably have "a wintry mix" around 10 o'clock; I don't know what time this stuff arrived but we evidently got it.  When I dashed out to Office Depot around 7 o'clock last night to see if they had any of their limited-quantity Doorbuster laptops left (they didn't) it was still raining.  I heard something ticking against the window over my head when I went to bed around 11 o'clock but I didn't look.  It could have been s-s-s-s-s-snow, I suppose.

The reason we came home and immediately started looking for a new laptop is that Durwood, JZ and I were talking about internet security and JZ said he heard a speaker who said that none of the for sale or free for download virus protection programs or installed firewalls are any damned good at keeping people out of your computer.  JZ said he's got a Chromebook that he uses exclusively for banking and brokering on, doesn't do emails, doesn't play games, doesn't web surf on it, only money stuff.  That sounded really smart to us and this is a good time of the shopping year to find a low-price, off-brand laptop and I found one at Walmart online that I can pick up on Thursday.  It's twenty bucks more expensive than the Office Depot one but it got great reviews so we bought it.  I already have a web-exclusive credit card so when that one gets hacked, I can just contact the credit card company, tell them the last purchase I made, and file a fraud report on the disputed charges.  Easy peasy.  The last time that happened there were charges coming from Beijing.  (I knew they were fraudulent because I always use cash when I'm in Beijing.  yeah, right, I go there soooo often)  We're trying to stay one jump ahead of the hackers and phishers.  This concludes our Public Service Announcements for today.

November 27--Steve Brinkman, DS95-006.  "My grandma says if you stick our your tongue a bird will come and poop on it."  Caleb kept his tongue out for a second while he thought about what Tally said, then he pulled it back in.  He couldn't keep himself from looking up to make sure there wasn't a bird right there ready to poop.  "How would she know?"  They walked across the lawn and ducked under the chain out into the field where there used to be cows.  "I don't know, do I?" Tally said, pulling apart a foxtail she had picked.  "Maybe her grandma told her.  Maybe Uncle Len got pooped on."  She flushed because she didn't have an answer and wasn't used to it.  "Do you ask your grandma how she knows stuff?"  She stopped to face him, fists on her hips.  Caleb looked down and all around.  He shook his head.  "No.  I don't have a grandma anymore."

And now it's time for me to get dressed because I'm meeting a friend for lunch.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

A Turkey Sat On The Backyard Fence...

...and he sang this sad, sad tune,
Thanksgiving Day is coming,
Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble,
And I know I'll be eaten soon!

Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble,
I would like to run away,
Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble,
I don't like Thanksgiving Day! 

There, I've done my duty to Mom and Grandma Babe and sung "the turkey song" to all of you.  I hope you have a happy and relatively uneventful Thanksgiving with well-behaved relatives and lots of pie.  (I found those mums in a store this week and couldn't resist the colors.  Aren't they gorgeous?)

My second contribution to the Thanksgiving feast is a pan of pumpkin bread pudding with toffee sauce to drizzle on top.  I was going to put a little rum in but then remembered that there will be small people at the feast so I substituted rum extract.  It smells the same and anyone who's ever suffered a cold knows that food aroma is half the taste.  I'm tempted to eat dessert first but will be polite, I promise.

I took the 1899 Indian Head penny I got in change from a store in Door County a couple months back to the coin shop the other day.  I was convinced that it'd be only worth face value but I still wanted a "keeper" for it so I don't lose or spend it.  You could have knocked me over with a feather when the guy said he'd give me fifty cents for it.  Amazing!  So I spent ninety cents on a snazzy plastic case for it, plus I found some pierced foreign coins I think will look good dangling from a felted purse so I spent way more than the worth of my coin--almost two bucks.

Last month I rashly said I'd help teach the beginners how to knit socks at Guild in January.  Happily another knitter said she'd help too so we're getting together next week to make a plan.  I dug out some yarn and those square DPNs I bought last year and have never tried and made a training sock.  It doesn't have a heel flap like a regular sock pattern does so I made another one cobbling together parts of two patterns.  I honestly can't tell them apart, except that I knitted one too many toe rows on the heel flap one so it's a bit pointy.  They'll make cute booties, though, once I make a mate for each one.  Or maybe Christmas tree or package decorations if I crochet on a little hanging loop.

November 26--Earl Kogler.  Chase wished this day would never end.  He and Papaw had gotten up real early to have bacon and eggs for breakfast, then they got their poles and tackle boxes and walked down to the creek to fish.  Papaw helped Chase tie on a lure.  "Let's catch us some pan fish," Papaw said.  "Mama will fry them up for us for supper."  "Okay," said Chase, even though he wasn't sure he wanted to eat a real fish.  He liked fish sticks and fillet o'fish sandwiches but he wasn't sure they were real fish.  He didn't want to disappoint Papaw so he smiled and nodded, and hoped he got skunked.

And now it's time to wander off toward our turkey dinner since the Packers are rude enough to have a home game tonight at 7:30.  Can you imagine the traffic in Green Bay today?  Not only is it Thanksgiving Day but it's the last weekend of gun deer season, there's all that Christmas shopping bursting out, and then the Packer game tonight.  Makes a person want to hunker down and hide.  But we're not going to miss being with family and friends, no we are not.  You have an enjoyable day and, if you're driving someplace, stay safe.
Love, Barbara

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Peachy Morning

In the sky, anyway.  I went out to top up the birdbath (so the heater doesn't get high and dry and burn out--they're too expensive to replace) and the sky was a festival of that indescribable peachy orange of sunrise.  While I was out there I filled all the feeders (yes, I had pants on) and basked in the pretty sky colors.  It's a darned good thing Mother Nature makes it so beautiful when the sun comes up or goes down because both the end of night (and sleep) and the end of the light can be kind of depressing.

We have a new temporary tenant.  The end of the warm weather is when all kinds of outdoor creatures hunt for a warm place to overwinter.  I discovered that a Daddy Longlegs has decided that our bathtub and a leg of Durwood's shower chair is the perfect winter lodging.  I'll be disabusing him/her of that decision momentarily.

We stopped in at the broker's office in the afternoon, had a piece of pie with a cup of coffee and a nice visit with other clients, the broker and met the new receptionist.  It was a pleasant little time and we came home with our own pumpkin pie.  This is just one of the things I dearly love about living in a city that's not too big to be friendly and a little bit folksy.

In knitting news, I went to knit yesterday evening with my first knitting friends after a couple year hiatus.  See, they switched to Tuesday night and that's been my day off so I couldn't just go straight from work like I used to be able to do when it was on Thursday night and it's ALL the way across town.  Maybe five whole miles.  But I was determined to go yesterday so I did, and I really enjoyed it, although KD and JD weren't there so I have to go back, probably next week.  I started and worked on Sudoku Violet #6 there even though I haven't assembled Sudoku Block #5 yet, that I'll do at Friday Night Knitting.  (Isn't it convenient to have so many knitting opportunities?)  Then after supper I started knitting a cuff-down training sock because I volunteered to teach the Guild sock knitting newbies in January, besides I wanted to try out the square needles I bought a while back.  Happily PH will be teaching it with me so we're getting together next week to plan our attack.  This pattern is the one DD used to teach me to knit socks so I say if it's good enough for me, it's good enough for the Guild.  Plus it makes a cute widdle sockie.  If I make two, I'll have a pair of booties.  Hmm, that's not a bad idea.

November 25--David Katzenstein, DS95-10.  His piercing brown eyes looked out at her from the poster.  She'd recognize those eyes anywhere.  The last time she had seen them was when he had his left hand around her throat pinning her to the brick wall in the alley behind the shut down Woolworth's while his right had fumbled at her clothes.  She had tried begging and pleading to be let go to no avail.  Finally she closed her eyes to try to remove herself from what was happening.  She felt his hot, dry hand on her bare flesh.  "Look at me," he said through gritted teeth, "look at me, I want to see you."  Now here were those same eyes staring at her from a poster in the church vestibule.  He would be the featured speaker at the youth conference next week.

Oh, look at the time.  I've gotta stop at Kwik Trip on my way to work.  Hasta la vista, babies.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Onion Bread--Done!

This morning I got the dough mixed together and got the onion bread for Thanksgiving baked.  And may I say that this house smells absolutely scrumptious.  It's going to be hard not to cut a little taste but we're going to be strong.  Tomorrow night after work I'll make the pumpkin bread pudding with toffee sauce.  (there might be rum involved--be still, my heart)

I can't decide if these were vapor trails or just really oddball looking clouds in this morning's sky but look at that blue.  Isn't it gorgeous?

Yesterday I knitted on Sudoku Snow #5 and got 10 (decreasing) rows from being done when the yarn ran out.  $%#&^!  But I had another skein of the white in my knitting basket so I could just join on more and keep going, with two more tails to weave in but such is knitting.

Then I turned to the Knoxville Seathwaite hat.  I got halfway through the first chart repeat and I have to say it's making a bit more sense so maybe I'll finish this thing before spring after all.  On Sunday I wound up three skein of bulky yarn into balls when I put together the hat kits and am sorely tempted to cast on the shawl it's for but I swear I won't until the hat is done.  Cross my heart.

Last night I decided to crochet a snowball or two while watching TV and got frustrated that I still don't seem to be doing it right so I got out three of six different colored markers and marked each and every "leg" of the darned thing and think I might be onto something.  I feel like a rank beginner needing to put in so many markers but it makes it so much easier and I hook the right places.  I will swallow my pride and stick with the rainbow of markers so I make snowballs that aren't "artistic."

November 24--Phil Cantor.  Everybody hated Mr. Peterson's Geography class.  Everyone, without exception.  Even people who were crazy about maps and learning about topography and contour lines found their steps lagging on their way to his classroom.  Mr. Peterson had a gift.  He made every word he said boring.  He droned on in a monotone, sounding a bit like the robo-voice on lazy people's answering machines.  Plus he had the world's worst breath.  It had to be some condition because I know he brushed his teeth, he carried an orange toothbrush in his shirt pocket with his pens.

It kind of annoys me when the photographs I use as nightly writing prompts don't have names to aim my thoughts.  Oh well, I manage, don't I?  It's time for me and Durwood to go to our broker's office for pie.  They give away pies at Thanksgiving.  Pretty good deal, don't you think?  Bye.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday, Monday, Can't Trust That Day...

I've got the Mamas & Papas stuck in my head for some reason.   Not the worst earworm, at least I know the words.  Decent harmony too.

I went to see Mockingjay Part 2 yesterday and it was pretty good.  I did buy Milk Duds which I am sure elevated the entertainment quotient a bit and the theater wasn't crowded even though I didn't catch that the football game start time moved from noon to 3:25 (why do they do that?) so I was home long before kickoff.  At least it wasn't a home game.

I tried to knit on Sudoku Snow #5 in the theater thinking that it'd be easy because the yarn is white but the movie was pretty dark so it was hard to see the knit-2-togethers plus the movie was exciting so I had to watch the screen instead of my knitting.  I pounded out a few rows after supper but didn't finish the square which I had hoped to do.  Oh well, I'll get it done sometime today.  What I did accomplish was putting together three "hat kits."  Karen over at Fringe Association instituted a Hat-along early this year, each one introducing a new, more complex technique.  I knitted the first one in September (way to jump in late, Barbara) and I have the fifth one On The Needles but for some reason I'm not enjoying #5 right now, so I thought it'd be a good idea to print off the three in-between patterns and dig out the yarn I had earmarked for them and maybe that will motivate me to finish #5 so I can do #s 2-4.  Maybe--or maybe not.  Who can tell?

Speaking of supper, I fired up the grill and made a NY Strip steak for us to split.  It was delicious and didn't survive to have its picture taken.  But look at what I saw when I went out to roll the grill back against the house--snowflakes.  Not very many but it's going to be cold enough today that they won't be melting anytime soon.

I really liked this morning's clouds.  I liked the peek of blue sky between rolls of clouds, they kind of reminded me of the wool they call roving when it's ready to be spun into yarn.

I'm at work and left my notebook at home so there'll be no little paragraph of prompt writing today.  Don't worry, that smidgen of random words will be back tomorrow.  Probably.  Ciao, babies!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

In Which I Have a Fun Day

Yesterday I didn't blog.  I didn't do much beyond go places with friends and have fun.  An excellent day.

First I went downtown to the Holiday Parade.  My knitting pal, KW, drove her company's float so I had to go down to shout and wave.  That's what friends do.  It was fun to see the high school bands and the dancing school kids.  Lots of candy (probably leftover from Halloween) got tossed to the kids in the crowd and there was a kettle corn stand not too far away. Yeah, it was cold but I bundled up and toted Durwood's old plaid wool stadium blanket from his high school days to sit upon and I was fine.  I was a bit bummed that there wasn't a hot chocolate seller near where I was sitting but the parade was a blast.  Next year I'm taking a bag o'chair because getting up from sitting on the curb for over an hour was a trick.

After that I hurried home to warm up a bit before picking up another knitting pal, MW (no relation to KW), to go to a sale and open house at a knitting mill in Valders.  It's about an hour away so we chatted and laughed all the way down and back.  He bought a giant skein of some gorgeous yarn grown right there.  I bought two skeins of a more restrained size (and price) and a whole mitt full of buttons.  It was pretty much a button day.  I got polymer clay buttons, wood buttons, and (best of all) ceramic clay buttons with Native American symbols on them from a potter just up the road in Oneida.  And I didn't spend all of my mad money.  I even got home in time to snap a photo of the sunset.

After supper I went over to the theater and bought myself a ticket to see Mockingjay 2 during the Packer game.  I figure I won't be in a huge crowd then and I'll get to see the last Hunger Games movie.  I'd rather go with a friend but with all of the snow predictions for this weekend (and we didn't get a flake) plus her car's been unreliable we decided to cancel getting together and just go see the movie separately.  *sigh*  Once I had my ticket I slipped into Hancock Fabrics to nab a couple skeins of Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool in colors I didn't have.  I am determined to knit a vest using that yarn so I need all the colors to plan how I'm going to do it.  (you notice how I used "need" to justify that little yarn purchase?)

November 22--Susan Lapides, DS-9.  Old Mrs. Feeny sat out on her porch most of every day.  She had her green-painted rocker situated so she didn't miss a thing in the neighborhood.  She saw the kids catch the school bus, saw the teens get picked up by friends, watched most of the adults go off to work.  For a while there wasn't much going on, that's when she'd read the paper and then write letters.

And now it's time to slap some photos on here and zoom off to see the movie.  Maybe I'll treat myself to some Milk Duds.  It's not really a movie without Milk Duds.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Paula Says I Have Muscle Tone!

Muscle tone.  I haven't had that in years.  See?  I knew doing that bit of yoga every day was a good idea.  And I have such a lovely view out the patio doors.  The sky is blue with puffy white clouds this morning and would be perfect except for the ice on the birdbath.  The wind hasn't diminished much but it looks like the street sweeper came by yesterday so maybe I don't have to wash the broken glass off the street this morning, but I'll still make sure.  I do not need to buy new tires.

I finished Hoot Hat #2 yesterday--but I think I might need to change the eye buttons.  I think it looks a little creepy and "owl of the damned" with the green ones.  I've got black, navy, and orange buttons already but Michaels has the little plastic bottles of buttons on sale for fifty cents and I think they've got some turquoise ones, those might be best, so I'll swing by today and nab some.

I worked on Sudoku Snow #5 last night.  If I get it finished today, I can crochet together Block #5 and be more than halfway through.  I have got to quit getting distracted by other shiny things and finish this.  I should probably tack the word "eventually" to the end of that sentence because I have no power to resist other shiny things.

And speaking of "shiny" I've been watching episodes of the late, lamented, cancelled sci-fi series, Firefly on Netflix.  It was a show before it's time.  Every time I'm flipping channels and run across an episode of Castle I think, "that's Captain Reynolds, not Castle", and keep flipping.

November 20--Eric Futran.  Isiah told stories.  From the time he could make sounds he'd sit on the stoop and tell stories.  At first they were more inflection than vocabulary  You know, like watching a foreign film without subtitles, you kind of get the gist of the story by the tone of the voices and the body language.  When Isiah had more words at his disposal he was unstoppable.  Everything he saw he would incorporate into his tales weaving fact and fiction, fantasy and reality.

Time to make a grocery run but first check for broken glass.  Toodles.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Still Windy & Now Cold Too

The wind blew like mad all day yesterday, didn't slack off much overnight, and it's still roaring out there this morning, only instead of being warm wind from the southeast, now it's chilly wind from the southwest.  I got home late last night to see that the recycling bin had blown over and a glass bottle had broken into shards on the street and in the gutter--where I park when we want to take Durwood's van.  So I was not thrilled to be out in the dark and windy night sweeping up broken glass and leaves (since it was too dark to separate them on the spot).  I think I'm going to take the hose out there later and blast all of the dirt, leaves, and any glass I missed down toward the end of the lot so I don't puncture a tire.  I don't need that since I got a call from the mechanic to say that while my oil change was done, the serpentine belt was cracked and ready to break and my front brakes were pretty much shot.  "Fix it," I said without hesitation, so that meant I got to amble down to Joe's after I got the glass swept up to fetch it.  It was still over 50 degrees so the wind, that was at my back, didn't make me cold.  I walked past the park and the trees were making odd squeaking and groaning sounds in the wind.  It should have been Halloween for all the creepy noises coming from that direction.

Being so windy and rainy it was pretty quiet at work yesterday.  I had a few customers come in and had to talk one lady through how to work the keeper on her new snorkel on the phone.  When I suggested she stop in so I could show her she said she would except she was in Chicago waiting to board her plane.  Okaaaay.  I grabbed a snorkel like hers and talked her through the button pushing, keeper twisting, and keeper pulling necessary to leave half on the snorkel and half on the mask strap.  I was quite proud of myself that I managed to tell her what to do clearly enough that she did it.  I also had time to crochet almost all of Hoot Hat #2.  Just one more earflap, two eyes, a nose, button eyes, braided ties, and I'll be done.  This is a very fun pattern and it comes in adult sizes too.  Hmm...  Just in time for the season's first snowfall which they're predicting for tomorrow night.  Ugh.  I know, I know, it's the middle of November and a week before Thanksgiving so it's supposed to be cold and snowy here in the Frozen Tundra but we're spoiled by the warm weather we've had.  I know the deer hunters aren't thrilled that there's no snow for opening weekend this weekend but those of us who aren't hunters or skiers or snowmobilers are darned glad it's been warm and dry.

November 19--Tom Arma, Elf Available.  It wasn't even Christmas time but there was the card on the notice board in the Red Owl.  "Elf Available" it read.  That's it.  Just two words and a phone number.  I stood there staring at the small green rectangle with its tidy printing and mysterious message.  Before I could write down the number I got nudged aside by the cart boy coming through with a string of rattling carts.  I took the end one when he stepped away, pulled out my list, and went down the first aisle.  I couldn't get those enigmatic words out of my head.  Elf Available.  What kind of elf?  A Santa's elf?  A Lord of the Rings elf?  A Harry Potter house elf?  There were a lot of things around my house that could use the attention of an elf who was good with tools, so as I walked through Produce I hoped it was a Santa's elf.  When I rounded the corner into the Meat department I thought maybe an elegant Tolkien elf would be good, someone to have a conversation about art, music, and literature with.  In the Dairy department I dropped a quart of milk that splattered across the floor.  That cinched it, I would call the number and hope a Harry Potter house elf would answer and help this muggle get her house in order.

Oh my, that was fun to write and it came screaming out the end of my pencil so fast I could barely keep up.  I love when that happens.  It should happen more often.  Time to shower and find an extra layer and maybe some warmer socks to wear to work today--in my car with its new belt and brakes.  Stay warm and don't blow away.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Still A Little Life

It's terribly windy today but it isn't cold--yet.  That's supposed to arrive on Saturday.  Today we might hit 60 degrees but we'll probably have rain as a bonus.  Speaking of rain, my car needs an oil change so after running a late-afternoon errand my plan was to drop Beverly, the HHR, at Joe's Autos a couple blocks away and just walk home.  It isn't far, I can see the bank from both Joe's and my patio door so you know it isn't more than a block farther, a long block, but a block.  If I cut through the parking lots of the buildings behind us it's just a hop, skip, and a jump home.  Except when it's raining.  It had been pouring rain but when I stopped at Joe's it was barely sprinkling, more raindrops riding the wind than active rain.  Naturally Joe had people looking at a street rod-looking vehicle in the showroom so I couldn't get a ride home, so I walked.  I didn't get too wet but my hair was all curly and wavy.  Why isn't it all curly and cute all the time?!?

When I went out to try to take a picture of the wind (and didn't do too badly, if I do say so myself) I also saw this little honeysuckle blossom cluster hanging on.  We've only had a frost a few nights and it's in the middle 50s right now.  I also noticed that volunteer tree/shrub thing growing between the retaining wall and fence still has most of its leaves.  What's up with that?

LC loved her birdfeeder mittens when I showed them to her.  I'm making her an owl hat to coordinate.  I thought I was making the top of the hat in a honey toast solid color yarn but then I found this deep, dark purple that almost matches the purple in the variegated perfectly. Who says owls can't be purple?

November 18--Tom Arma.  Marcy stepped back to look at Edwin.  This was his second Halloween but the first time he'd been old enough to dress up.  Last year she zipped him into a puppy sleeper with ears on the hood.  This year she went all out with a costume perfect for his personality.  He was a baby rhino, horn and all.  Not that Edwin was an aggressive child... well, he did kind of roar when he didn't get his way.

Now it's time to go get my skeleton rearranged.  Out into the wind!  But no rain, at least not yet.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Girl Needs Birdfeeder Mittens

The last time LC was here she tried to put on the old gloves I keep by the patio doors so my hands don't freeze in the winter but they're way too big for her.  So I decided she needed birdfeeder mittens.  Since her hands are teeny-tiny the knitting was fast.  And there might be enough yarn for a matching owl hat.

On the Fringe Association blog there's been a knit-along involving a Cowichan-style vest but I don't think I want to do all that colorwork.  Since the pattern calls for bulky yarn I was thinking I'd knit it using a dark-to-light selection of Lion Brand Fisherman's wool.  For some reason I've always been a big fan of this yarn and the colors.  Now I just have to do some swatching and figure out how many stitches I need to make my size and I'm off--once I finish the Sudoku afghan, of course.  Maybe it'll be ready for next winter.  Although I did find a skein of the darkest one with the white in it called Maple Tweed at Goodwill for three bucks last week so I won't have to buy as much yarn even though they're 8 oz. skeins.  That's a lot of yarn for a good price.

It's a gray and rain-ish and darned windy today so there will be no pictures.

November 17--Kathleen Francour, 15-X22.  Lara knew she would never fall asleep.  She felt like there were ants in her bed because tomorrow was Christmas and she was excited to see what Santa brought.  Mom had said that maybe Santa would have to skip them this year but Lara had gone to see Santa at the mall with Katie and Katie's mom and she had a long talk with Santa.  One of the elves had even written things down so he wouldn't forget.  Santa was kind of old.

It's dreary and rainy.  I think I'm going to go snuggle up on the couch and pout.