Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Last Day

Well, not the last day of everything but it's my last day to work.  I did some (old) math, i.e. arithmetic, and figured out that I've worked at the dive shop for nearly 25 years.  Holy crap, that's a long time.  That's a lot of tank filling and compressor running and wetsuit fitting.  I'll miss it but I'm glad I'm done.  I'm tired and want to do some things that have fallen by the wayside as Durwood's doctor appointments have increased and my share of the chores has multiplied.  All I have to say is thank god for the lawn guys and the cleaning lady.  They are well worth the expense.

This morning I made the tzatziki (cucumber & yogurt) sauce for this weekend's gyro tasting.  Last night I cut the cooled meat into three 3"-wide bricks which will get cut across in 1/8-1/4" slices to be crisped in a frying pan before getting slapped in a pita with some of my tzatziki sauce, tomato slices, and onions.  The recipe for the sauce said to peel the English cucumber but I elected not to, I wanted those little flecks of green in there.  It tasted pretty good when I got it all stirred together so I'm guessing it'll be even better after the flavors meld for a day or two.  Also next time I make the meat I'll dice the onions in the food processor, I don't think I got them diced small enough this time but it'll be fine, I'm certain of it.

We have a couple bell peppers starting to grow!  Hooray!  In all the years we've gardened we've probably harvest three or four peppers.  Either the chipmunks gnaw off the plants or blossoms or some blight or slugs attack, something conspires to keep us from getting any except from the grocery.  This year I think we might just have a chance.

Look how big the tomatoes on the Early Girl are getting.  That plant is making leaves and branches like it's in the Olympics and I'm trying to keep it contained but as long as it's making tomatoes I'm willing to keep up the battle of the leaves.  (Yes, Grandma Angermeier up in Heaven, I'm suckering the tomato plants.  Grandma was a firm believer in pinching off the shoots [suckers] that grow where leaves come off the stem so that the plant focuses on making fruit not foliage and I believe her.)

After supper I sewed the top of Pink Rebel Girl Hat #2 closed and wove in the tails.  I used the tail to practice duplicate stitching when I was weaving it in and I think I've got the technique.  Now all I have to do is sit down (once I'm retired) and chart out the letters so I can embroider the words onto the hats.  Only have one more hat to make but I want LC to try this one on so I can calculate how many fewer stitches to cast on for her hat.

And I added a few rows to the Easter Egg sock.  It's quite a change from the size 15 needles and three strands of yarn I use to make the pink hats to the size 3 needles and single yarn to make the sock.  It's actually a good idea to have two different projects on the go like that, it gives my fingers and hands a break switching from one to the other.

June 29--Samuil Adlivankin, Overfulfilment of the Plan Bonus.  Rose sat in the sidecar holding little Simon close.  The boy laughed as the wind made the ends of his scarf flap like mad things around his face.  Oscar drove the motorcycle fast but not too fast delighting in his son's laughter.  It was a perfect day, sunny after a week of cool rain, just right for a picnic in the country.  Rose had packed a hamper with bread and cheese, a little butter, the last apples, and lemon water in a bottle.  She could only afford a single lemon but after squeezing out all the juice she could, she cut up the peels and floated them in the water.  A tiny spoon of honey cut the tart lemon and made it seem like the old days when there was meat and fruit in the market and they could afford sugar and coffee.  She missed coffee.  The roasted grain they tried to pass off as coffee these days fooled no one's taste buds.

All-righty then, children, the sun's out and I am going to go to my last day of work.  Hot diggity dog.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Second Last Day

I only have to work today and tomorrow and then I'll be retired.  I'm excited--and kind of nervous.  I'll miss the staff, some of the customers, and the weekly paycheck.  I never got rich from those paychecks but for the last almost 25 years they've paid for the family dive gear, our groceries, my week at The Clearing, and for most of the Christmas presents.  Plus it was my walking-around, buying books and yarn money.  I wonder if they'll want their key back?

Last night I finished knitting the second Pink Rebel Girls Hat.  Now all I have to do is sew the top shut, weave in the ends, then I can start on Hat #3 but first I want to knit on that anklet I cast on last week before having this pink hat mania come upon me.

While I was knitting I finished listening to "A Man Called Ove" (oo-vah).  I enjoyed the story but it was a bit depressing as it's about a man who loses his wife and is having a hard time living without her but his neighbors and events around him keep forcing him to be interested in life again.  Almost without him (and the reader) noticing... well, no spoilers but I think you might like it.

I found a recipe on Chef John's Food for American Gyros, which he also calls Mystery Meat.  It's equal parts of ground beef and ground lamb with onions, garlic, fresh rosemary, dried oregano, and some other spices all squooshed together, then patted into a flat pan and baked.  Now it has to cool before being cut into three strips that will then be thinly sliced and crisped in a frying pan before being devoured.  But first I have to make the tzatziki sauce, you know, the yogurt and cucumber sauce that makes a gyro a gyro.  That'll happen tonight, then this weekend we can do some taste testing to see if we need to tweak anything for our tastes.  DD is coming up for a few days over the 4th so we'll have another gyro enthusiast's input.

Durwood noticed this pair of Downy Woodpeckers on the suet this morning.  They don't usually come together.  I wonder if they were on a date...

June 28--Tibet, The Supreme Buddha seated on a Lotus Throne.  It was hard to see the idol in the dim and smoky temple.  Grace squinted against the incense smoke swirling around the worshipers, trying to see the gold Buddha that the guidebook said was there.  She felt so out of place.  She knew what to do in Western churches and cathedrals, she'd grown up in them, after all, but things seemed completely foreign here.  Oh, no less devout, don't get the wrong idea.  She's moved by how the people integrate their religious practice into their daily routine.  Down the street from her hotel is a small temple where businessmen, store clerks, office girls, and school kids drop in to light some incense, bow in prayer for a couple minutes, and then get on with their day.  It seemed to Grace to be a less formal, more personal way to have religion in your life.  She thinks it's a friendlier way to worship than the regimented rites she grew up with and she kind of wished she were Buddhist.

And it just started to rain.  Do you think these leggings attract rain?  After all, they're the ones I was wearing when I stood in the rain for shrimp the other afternoon.  (yes, I washed them in between wearings)  I was working on today's 2-star Sudoku and got it so bollixed up that I had to erase all my work and I was so frustrated by it that I erased a big tear in the paper.  Good thing there's tape to put on the back so I can have another go.  That time I took my time and solved it.  I think I'll grab a raincoat on my way out the door...  Toodle-oo!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Standing In Rain Makes Your Shoes Wet

It makes everything you're wearing wet, down to your skin.  Yesterday we decided to try the "shrimp truck" that comes from Galveston, TX every 4 weeks.  It's come for 40 years, it seems, and both Durwood and I have noticed it but thought how good/safe could roadside shrimp be?  Well, there was a front page article about them a couple weeks ago so I went on their website and signed us up to get their email notice.  Yesterday was the day.  There was a $1 off coupon in yesterday's paper and you got 30 cents off per pound if you're on their list, so we tootled over after the chiropractor.  Here's what the line looked like when I got there.  Long and slow-moving.  All day long storms had been moving through and when it started to darken up I got an umbrella out of the van.  When I was about halfway to the front the rain began so I put up my umbrella.  I shared it with a much taller guy in front of me because I'm such a nice person which meant from my shoulders to the soles of my feet I was soaked.  I even had puddles in my shoes because, of course, I was wearing canvas shoes.  But it wasn't cold and I knew I wouldn't melt so I stayed the course.  We decided we'd get 3# of the XL shrimp, the medium size/medium price choice.  

When we got home I divvied it out into three 1# bags, froze two, and boiled the rest for supper.  Our shrimp sauce was so ancient (4 years past its "best by" date) that I made a quick trip to the store for fresh stuff but the shrimp was worth the gas.  Oh my, the shrimp you get in stores up here can't hold a candle to the shrimp we ate last night.  Too tasty for words.

In yard/garden news, the day lilies have started blooming.  I wish each flower lasted more than one day but I guess if they did they'd be called a couple days lilies.

In the garden, the herbs are quite happy planted along the timber and it's been rainy enough (see above) that I haven't had to drag the hose over for a couple weeks.

I knitted some on the latest hat while doing laundry last night but I was so tired (probably from standing around in the rain) that I didn't write before I turned out the light and crashed.  Sorry.

Monday, June 26, 2017

I Had A Brainstorm...

... and I don't think it was just a light shower.  Last week LC and DIL1 told me that we're all Rebel Girls and that's when I decided that I needed to knit pink Pussycat Hats for us.  They said that Rebel Girls are: strong, smart, kind, and brave.  I was looking at Hat #2 as I was transitioning from ribbing to stockinette (the flat part that makes up the crown) last night and I thought "what if I could embroider those words on the hats?"  I know I have at least two friends who can teach me how to duplicate stitch and it'll take an evening's concentration and a pad of graph paper to work out the letters.  Don't you think that'd be cool?  Pussy Hats are so last November, but Pink Rebel Girl Hats are forever.  I'm doing it--once I get all three hats knitted.  I'll report.

The patio flower pots are doing well.  This one has red nicotiana, red salvia, and orange zinnias.  The butterflies love them.  I'm so glad I kept the pedestal from a broken-dish birdbath, it's the perfect base for this pot of geraniums and vines.

This morning a male Downy Woodpecker came for a snack and stayed long enough for me to nab a picture.  Lately there's been a pair of Downies hanging around but they're too fast for me--or I'm too slow, which is totally possible.

Also this morning I heard a truck stop outside and when I investigated I found these two guys pumping "mud" under the end of the driveway. It's not mud mud, it's a cement-ish mud that they use to level out slumping slabs and since they're repaving our street this summer I guess this is part of the prep.  The guys tearing up Seventh St. (the sole access street to our little court) the last few weeks got the storm sewer pipes dug up and replaced, then disappeared as all construction crews do in mid-job.  I expected them to turn the corner and keep on a-coming but, no, they're gone.  They left a street cleaner machine and a lot of bumpy asphalt patches but they skedaddled.  I'm sure they'll be back at the most inconvenient time.

 June 26--John William Waterhouse, I Am Half Sick of Shadows.  Gwen sat at her weaving next to the round window that gave little light.  She felt like the room absorbed what sunlight came in, meaning she always had lights on which made the wool colors had to see.  What looked green in the loom turned out to be blue in the daylight.  She didn't have anything against green, in fact she liked green more than she liked blue, but it was being wrong about what color she was using that put her on edge.

I'm meeting a friend for lunch in about an hour and want to stop at the dollar store and the birdseed store to get some birdseed and cob corn on the way so I think I'm going to hop onto my horse and gallop away.  See ya!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Some Things Have to be Done

I had plans to go downstairs and sew those pants I cut out at work the other day--and I might get to them yet--but it was alluringly cool outside so I went out just to weed around the raspberries.  Yeah, try to stop weeding when all along the top of the retaining wall a sea of weeds are waving at you.  I got about a quarter done, then pulled and cut the maple trees that had seeded themselves in the rock wall alongside the house, and weeded on the renters' side of the back of the house.  Evidently I wasn't clear that they need to take care of that but they don't and they haven't and now they've got a little baby so I guess it's my job after all.  By then I was one giant sweat so I dumped the weeds from my tarp in the back corner of the property and came in for lunch.  But the rest of the weeds were out there thumbing their noses at me so I girded my loins and went back into battle.  It probably took a little over two hours to get the whole thing done.  There are some plants that aren't weeds on our half of the wall and there's one plant I have no idea what it is but there's a bunch of it at the opposite end from the raspberries.  It has tiny red violet flowers and nice leaves so, since the definition of a weed is a plant growing where you don't want it to, I declared this not-a-weed and left it.  Less weeding, more greenery; it's a good thing.  I even avoided getting stung by any of the nettles I pulled out.  Yay, me!

All of the tomato plants have tomatoes on them and the butternut squash is starting to vine.  I am so pleased with how the garden is growing and how it looks.  I'm so glad I decided to jump in and try this gardening method.  Next year'll be even better.  Plus, no weeds!

I'm impatient for the blueberries to start ripening.  Every day they're a little less green, a little more pink and blue.  I hope I wrote down the varieties I planted (I probably did, I should check my old gardening notebook) because two of the bushes have big berries and one has little ones.  I don't care, I just want them to ripen so I can eat them.  All.  Myself.

I cast on Pink Pussycat Hat #2 last night, this time using 2 circular needles.  I'd forgotten about that method of knitting in the round until the Bay Lakes Knitting Guild picnic 10 days ago where one of the members was knitting a sock that way.  It took me a couple tries to remember to drop one needle and pick up the other one but now I think I've got it.  Three strands of yarn and size 15 needles goes fast.


Dad's roses are blooming away and the coleus is happy too.  I just love the different colored leaves, don't you?  They're so pretty they don't need flowers and, to be honest, coleus flowers are nothing to write home about.

June 25--Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret, A Wedding Portrait at the Photographer's Studio.  The 'til death do you part' part wasn't supposed to happen on the wedding day.  Mark woke up, turned to watch Courtney sleep only to find her dead eyes staring at him through a milky film.  "Yaaaah," he said as he backed out of the bed.  He fumbled with the bedside phone unable to tear his eyes away from his late bride to look at the keys.  He managed to press the "0" somehow.  A calm voice said, "Front desk.  How can I help you?"  He stammered, "Wife. Dead. Help," before dropping the receiver and backing to the door into the hall.  He fumbled the security latch open and tried to yank the door open three times before remembering to turn the bolt.  Just before the door closed behind him he realized that he was naked and snaked an arm through to grab a robe to cover himself.  By then he heard the elevator ding and footsteps pounding down the hall toward him.  He slid down the wall beside the door thinking that this had to be the shortest marriage in history.

I think that makes up for not having the energy to write the night before, don't you?  Oh, want to have an instant headache?  Six months from today is Christmas Day.  I know, right?

Now I have to go figure out what to do with a marinated chicken breast.  I'm trying to decide if I want to fire up the grill for a pound of chicken or just slice it and cook it in a skillet.  Hm, I just thought of dicing up a bit of onion and defrosting a half pound of sauteed mushrooms, then cooking the chicken slices in there and adding the marinade.  There, decision made.  Durwood's peeling and cutting up a cho-cho squash (aka chayote) and some carrots so supper is solved.  Peace, out.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Maybe I'm Not An Idiot After All

I spent the morning reading the newspaper and doing all the puzzles.  I even managed to solve the 5-star Sudoku today.  I did the 4-star one yesterday too, and it was even correct.  I have to wait until Monday to make sure I did the 5-star one right but I checked all the rows and columns and there was 1-9 in each one, no repeats.  Maybe I have a logical brain after all.  Maybe I'm paving new neural pathways in my rapidly aging brain so I'll hold onto the few flickering brain cells I have left.  Whatever, I was so proud of myself I forgot to blog this morning so I'm doing it tonight which means I'll probably have next to nothing to say tomorrow but them's the breaks.

The other thing I did instead of blogging was first to contact Spectrum for help getting my Wii hooked up to the wi-fi again so I can stream videos from the comfort of my sofa.  Turns out I'd changed the login password when we switched from our modem to Spectrum's.  *head, smack*  There's a whole list of "slow TV" shows out of Norway that are nothing more than a camera recording mundane things in real time.  I'm watching a group of spinners and knitters try to break an Australian record for shearing a sheep, spinning the (unwashed & uncarded) fleece into yarn, and then knitting an adult-size sweater in under 5 hours.  Of course they're speaking Norwegian (go figure) so there are subtitles but it's still pretty riveting... well, maybe not for a non-knitter but I myself am fascinated.  I'm looking forward to watching the train ride from Bergen to Oslo and the three different firewood chopping and burning shows.  I know it sounds about as interesting as watching paint dry but for some reason I find it soothing.  After I got the Netflix going I finished Pink Pussycat Hat #1.  It's a bit tall but I found that by folding the freakishly wide ribbing in half it fit the way I wanted it to.  

When I was out in the garden checking to see how many slugs were lured into the custard cups of beer I put out last night (only one, dang it) this catbird sat on top of the fence giving me holy hell.  For some reason I am enjoying the daylights out of seeing them this year.  I really like their sedate gray and black coloring.  Very elegant plumage which is in direct contrast to their cat-like caterwauling call.

I was so tired when I got to bed last night I only managed to scribble a single line before my pencil wandered off to draw hieroglyphics in the margin so I think I'm going to have another stab at it tonight hoping for a better outcome.

Friday, June 23, 2017

I... Am An Idiot.

This morning I glanced out to check on the garden and saw the back of a bird sitting on one of the fence posts.  It looked smaller than the Cooper's Hawk and a lot smaller than the Red-tailed Hawk but I thought it was a hawk.  I got out the bird book and decided from the size and tail configuration that it was a  Sharp-shinned Hawk.  I was puzzled why there seemed to be quite a few smaller birds unfazed by the unmoving predator.  Then it turned around and flew down to the ground.  It was a Mourning Dove.  A Mourning Dove! the least hawk-like of any birds on the planet.  As I said above, I. Am. An. Idiot.

Speaking of the garden, I cut some lettuce for salads for supper last night.  No nasturtiums because the blooms were fading so I didn't know if I wanted to eat a dying flower.  It's leaf-ish lettuce so it doesn't have the backbone or crunch of romaine or iceberg but it was lettuce I grew with my own two hands.  I was proud.  Also it's yummy.  Durwood said so.

Here's a bird I'm confident I know what it is.  This is a female or juvenile Downy Woodpecker.  Males have a red stripe across the back of their heads and this year's fledglings don't have it no matter which sex they are.

I cast on the first Pink Pussycat Hat yesterday.  You know how much I love big needles and big yarn projects, well this is one, uh, three.  This yarn is so old, it says it was made in Wisconsin by Badger Mills in Grafton.  I'm going to have to look that up.  Wonder if they're still in business?  It's 100% wool and it's very nice to knit.  I'm using three strands to make it go faster.  Thanks, whoever donated it.

June 23--Thomas Moran, The Great Blue Spring of the Lower Geyser Basin Yellowstone.  The smell told Myra she was getting closer.  She slowed her steps and stopped.  The thought of falling into boiling acid water kept her rooted to the spot.  There had to be a boardwalk around somewhere, she had walked the lower geyser basin earlier that day but somehow she had lost her way in the dark.  Off to her left there was the sound of munching.  She hoped it was a bison having a midnight snack and not a grizzly bear on the prowl.  She really wished she hadn't dropped her flashlight into that bubbling mud pot.

And that's that.  It's a gorgeous day so I think I'll go outside and play.  Toodle-oo.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Just Plain Birds

As my last day of work draws nearer I find it increasingly difficult to get myself going in the morning.  I read the paper with a lot more thoroughness.  I spend extra time working the Jumble and Sudoku and less time staring out the window looking at what's happening out there.  This morning I saw a Downy Woodpecker for a fleeting moment but mostly there were just plain birds.  The House Finches (the males have rosy pink heads, I think they're an invasive species brought over as cage birds a century ago that escaped) have taken over the Oriole feeder.  They've always been the birds that pecked away at the orange half and grape jelly when the Orioles aren't around but this year they've extended themselves to the nectar feeder.  I guess I don't mind.  The Orioles only come early and late in the year, when they're nesting they need "real" food for the babies so the House finches are welcome to the nectar.

Then there are the Mourning Doves, the little old ladies of the bird world.  These are not bright birds in fact they're the ones that bash into the windows so I'm thinking they've got the same problem as people with concussions do.  Plus I love the whistling sound they make when they get startled and fly away, like little old ladies when you tell them a dirty joke.  (except for my Grandma Babe who never understood a clean joke in her life)

Yesterday afternoon I stole a few minutes to set up a table in the back room and cut out another pair of seersucker practice pants from the remains of the fabric.  There wasn't enough to cut out the whole length of the legs but I think they're about even.  And I have enough scraps so that I can sew "cuffs" on the leg bottoms with the stripes going horizontal if they're just too short or an awkward length.  In fact, I might just do that anyway as a "design element."

After supper I cast on another anklet with yarn that reminds me of Easter eggs.  We all know how much I dislike pastels but for some reason I like this yarn.  Maybe it's the lime green...  BTW, that bracelet is a row counter, kind of an abacus you wear on your wrist.  (one of these days I'm going to get me an abacus and learn how to use it, and not a counting frame either, a real abacus)

And I printed off a couple patterns, dug out needles and brought some pink yarn with me today to cast on the first Pink Pussy Hat.  Better late than never.  LC and DIL1 told me the other night that I'm a "rebel girl" like they are.  LC has a book "Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls" that is full of one page biographies of women like Harriet Tubman, Frieda Kahlo, Grace Fitzgerald (she was a pirate), so little girls grow up knowing that they can be and do whatever they want.  LC told me that rebel girls are "strong, smart, kind, and brave."  I was very touched to be included.  Makes me want to be all those things every day.  (I see I need to stop for some printer ink on my way home)

June 22--Diego Velasquez, Prince Baltazar Carlos.  Boys and horses have almost as much affinity for each other as boys and dogs.  Balt would have slept with Maestro if Mama had not made such a fuss about rats and fleas in the barn.  Balt thought it was cleaner in the barn and it smelled better than the house and most people did.  He and the groom sponged off Maestro every day after Balt came back from riding.  Despite Mama's contention that it wasn't his place to brush his horse, Balt insisted that caring for his animal was part of being a horseman.  Papa agreed.

Okay, now this is almost ready to post so then I can cast on for a hat.  Can you believe that I've had to work at work most of the day?  I mean, really.  Good thing I'm retiring ONE WEEK FROM TODAY.  *ahem*  Sorry for shouting.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

One Long Day

Today is the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, so I hope you've got some sun-worshiping on your calendar.  Today is the day we celebrate the light because it's the day we have the most of it all year long.  Technically speaking, the summer solstice occurs when the sun is directly overhead the Tropic of Cancer, or 23.5° north latitude.   That was at 11:24 p.m. last night, not the perfect time to celebrate light, so I say we celebrate today.

As promised I finished the Calypso Anklet last night and got the tails woven in.  Now I have to knit another one out of the same kind of yarn (but not the same color way, what, are you nuts? who'd wear matching socks?) so I have a pair (but not a pair) to see if I like how they wear in shoes.

Oh, I almost forgot, I visited a new yarn shop yesterday.  It's The Lost Sheep Yarn Shop in downtown Sheboygan and it's very nice.  It's only been open since January and it looks like they're already expanding.  Lots of lovely yarn, samples to drool over, they even offer a blocking service.  I exhibited what I consider to be the ultimate in self-control because I only bought one skein of yarn and a tape measure.  Admittedly it's a very fancy and pricey skein of Crazy Zauberball sock yarn but it's the first red skein I've ever seen of that yarn.  You know I love red; I couldn't leave it behind, besides that's what "mad" money is for.

Then I spent an hour at the Rawr-West Museum in Manitowoc soaking up the glorious Chagall prints from his book "Le Cirque."  Chagall has always been one of my favorite artists so it was lovely to be able to see them.  I'd love to see even one of his paintings but this might be the next best thing.

Then I drove home and back to reality.  It was a lovely little run-away.  Now I'll be saner for the next few months until September when it'll be time to go back to The Clearing for a writing workshop.

June 21--August Macke, Tightrope Walker.  She has to be blinded by the lights, Theo thinks.  The lights make the spangles of her costume wink and flash but the lights must shine in her eyes too.  The tightrope is so narrow, so dark, so unstable that he thinks every step will be her last.  Behind the pasted-on smile he can see her fierce concentration.  He watches the way her fingers flex and grip the pole she uses for balance.  Isn't the music distracting?  He wants to call out for quiet, to shush the chattering children.  In his imagination she begins to fall and he leaps down the stands and out into the center ring to catch her.  Sometimes he keeps his feet, sometimes he falls with her in his arms.  She always puts her arms around his neck and kisses him right there in the middle of the whole circus.

It seemed oddly coincidental that the art for last night's writing prompt was a circus scene when I'd spent part of the day looking at Chagall's circus prints.  I keep getting interrupted by customers and haven't even had time to eat lunch.  I think I'll do that now.  Cheers!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Make A Wish

Are you supposed to make a wish on a rainbow?  We had a rain squall come through with a fair amount of thunder and lightning so when the storm cleared and the sun came out to make this rainbow I wished that it would avoid where Lala was camping so she could sleep in a dry sleeping bag.  Anyway it was pretty.

There must have been some windy wind a few days ago because when I took a walk along the river I saw this big branch had fallen over the side.  I saw this mama duck perched on the thick branch and then noticed her half-grown ducklings huddled and hiding in the leaves barely poking out of the water.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how women "of a certain age" seem to disappear, both to society and, to some extent, themselves.  An employee at the food store the other day teased me about wearing mismatched socks and I told her that women our age start to disappear and mismatched socks are my way of fighting that.  She said her daughter had bought her a frilly black bra that she wouldn't wear because "bras are white."  I asked why not wear it and suggested that she wear her black bra to prove to herself that she's not disappearing.  Two days later I was back in the store and she stopped me, then tugged the collar of her uniform shirt aside to reveal a black bra strap.  Score one for us old-ish broads.  I was just chatting to the woman taking my money yesterday at a boutique and she mentioned that she feels like she's fading away.  I told her about my socks and Pam's bra and her whole face lit up; I think I've found a new "cause."  Good thing I'm retiring, I've got a lot of writing about being un-invisible to do.

Last night I watched Hidden Figures on DVD.  Good movie.  Almost as good as the book, not as in-depth, but good nevertheless.  While I watched I knitted on the Calypso anklet.  I got to the toe but was too tired to finish.  I'll get that done today.

June 20--Anonymous, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen by Rudolph Erich Raspe.  He had hitched his fortunes and himself to the crescent moon.  The Moon was not pleased.  He glared down his hooked nose at the puny human who dared presume on the strength of his moonlight.  Most of the stars paid no attention to the man who had lassoed the Moon at his lowest point and swung there peering down from that great height, but one star saw the way the Moon felt trapped by the man.  The star pulsed a warning and turned her light aside, luring a cloud to hide behind.

I have no idea what that means, it's what came out of the end of my pencil.  Now I'm going to gather up all my stuff, stop at the local yarn shop (of course), then visit the museum in Manitowoc to see the Chagall exhibit before heading on home.  Later, dudes and dudettes.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Where Do You Go to Unwind?

If you're me, you go look at water, that's what you do.  Yesterday afternoon I loaded up my lemon-lime-orangeade, my laptop, a little knitting, and a few clean clothes and tootled down I-43 to Kohler-Andrae State Park, just south of Sheboygan to visit a camping friend, sit and look at the lake until I was cross-eyed, then go back to her campsite for supper cooked on the fire.  We did weenies on long forks and she made foil packets of red bell pepper and broccoli, some curried ramen noodles, and a packet of mushrooms on the fire.  All was delicious and filling.  Then we sat and talked, watching the fire, until we got tired and I, too old to sleep on the ground, went to my motel for the night.  Ahh.

What do you do when you wake up out of town and are too cheap and too lazy to go out and find a newspaper?  Why, you copy the Jumble and the Sudoku off the online version of the paper into your Bullet Journal, that's what you do.   I hope they never do away with paper newspapers.  I really enjoy my time sitting with my mug of coffee, slowly turning the big pages, reading news local, national, and international, seeing pictures of exotic places and around the corner, reading the comics and the advice columns, then hunkering down with a pencil and tackling the Jumble, Sudoku, and crossword puzzles.  See?  I've been practicing retirement.  I like it.

As I was leaving the house yesterday I noticed that the first blossoms on Dad's Rose have opened.  Hooray!  Just in time for Father's Day.  Hmm, funny how that worked out.

I didn't knit at the campfire.  I didn't want my yarn/project to smell like wood smoke--like my clothes do and my hair did until I showered.  I promise I'll knit today so I'll have something to show you tomorrow.  Promise.

June 19--Claude Monet, Lilies in a Pond.  The tall thin leaves were thick at the edge of the pond.  Grandma used to say that some of her favorite flowers like to live with wet feet.  I love lilies and  these lilies are like that.  I was glad to see the bright, yellow-green shoots muscle their way through last year's brown and crumpled stalks full of wind-blown leaves.  Soon stems would appear with buds ready to open in a blaze of pink, lavender, and orange.

I was tired last night.  I'm not used to scaling sand dunes or walking along woodland paths with tree roots ready to trip a person up at every step.  Speaking of walking, I think I'll go for one.