Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween!

Guess how many trick or treaters rang my doorbell.  Zero.  My porch light doesn't turn on unless it's dark so none stop even if I have the inside door open and the light on.  *sigh*  So I took my witch hat, my purple skeleton socks, and my chiming spider earrings across town to exchange a few suckers and some Halloween pencils for hugs from LC and OJ.  A good trade.

Yesterday at CS's I finished the last rows of Car Knitting Warshrag #12.  I love the colors but feel that the cloth is just too big.  I knitted the last row of bricks on the bridge the other day when I drove up the ramp only to find the drawbridge open and I was too far back to see the ship or maybe it was the dredge which has a tall aerial they have to open it for.

So for the next one I did some online research and some extemporaneous stitch counting and came up with a 1/3 smaller cloth to cast on and knit the start of.  I've got a teeth cleaning appointment tomorrow morning so I might have some time for waiting room knitting.  I'm ready.

The biggest thing I did today besides hug my grandchildren and their parents was take my serger and one sewing machine in for their million stitch check ups.  Good thing I still have my trusty old Necchi which I have had since I was 19 and won it when the local department store started carrying sewing machines so I won't have withdrawal.  The lady said it'll take about 4 weeks (yikes!) but I'm hoping it'll be less.  See above re: another sewing machine on hand.

The second biggest thing I did was go and vote.  I'm leaving next Tuesday to visit friends and family and next Tuesday is voting day around here so instead of trying to make time to vote before I leave I decided to just go and get it done.  Now if I could only convince all of the robocallers and political committees and interest groups to stop calling since I've already cast my ballot.  I tried to cancel my landline earlier this week but since it's bundled with cable and internet, cancelling would add $2 to my bill.  ?????  So I did the next best thing, I unplugged all but the basement phone so when the robocallers call I have nothing to answer them on.  Oh too bad.  This is fair warning, if you want to talk to me call my cell number.

It was amusing to see a trio of mourning doves taking a bath this morning.  Doves are the short bus riders of the bird world.  They waddle around on the ground looking bemused and then flap off when a leaf blows by.  These three stood in the water for a while, one of them crouched and dipped in the water a bit, and then they all flew away.  When they dip their beaks in for a drink I'm always afraid they'll forget to raise their heads and drown.

31 October--Jean Rousseau, Skull-Shape Watch.  There was something shiny tangled in the dead man's hand.  Larson pulled on gloves and gently teased it out.  A chain wove in and out between the fingers but he was careful.  The chain was broken, the ends dangled free of the stiff and curled fingers.  When the ambulance techs moved the body there was what looked like a silver marble under it.  Larson used a pen to turn it over.  He sucked in his breath.  It wasn't a marble, it was a tiny silver skull with a loop on the top.  He was sure it had been on the chain.

I have developed the habit of falling asleep in the afternoon if I sit on the couch to knit and watch TV.  I don't hate it, I'm surprised by it.  I've never been a napper.  Durwood was the napper here.  Times change.  I guess it's a sign of age. Or maybe I run around too much.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

What Did You Do Today, Barbara?

Well, first I overslept.  Not that a retired person has a wake-up time but I was meeting a knitting acquaintance in mid-morning so I thought it'd be smart to wake up early enough to do yoga, have a relaxed breakfast, take a shower, and get dressed.  Instead I turned off my alarm, lay back down to stay warm and woke up almost an hour and a half later.  That didn't make me late or unable to do yoga, eat, or shower but it did take "relaxed" out of the equation.  CS and I had a nice long chat about knitting and goals, essentially got to know one another a little, and quite a bit of the day flew pleasantly by.

When I got home I had a late afternoon lupper (lunch & supper) because today is $10
Tuesday at Papa Murphy's and I've been hankering after pizza, then I sat myself down and got busy putting the November knitting guild newsletter together.  There are a few things left to find or get from people so I fired off a couple emails.  I'll let it marinate for a couple days, reread it, make corrections, and get it ready to go out to the members this weekend.

This evening I worked on the cuff and beginning of the hand of the first of the Appleseed Mitts.  This yarn is baby alpaca and it is so soft a person could knit underwear out of it and never want to take it off.  Not that I would, you understand, the idea of soft fuzzy undies that shed fibers all over and doesn't hold its shape isn't the kind of undies I want.  I'll settle for having it on my hands so I can smooth it over my cheek now and again.

30 October--Paul Serusier, The Two Washerwomen.  Cleo hated sorting laundry.  The dirty clothes had a life of their own.  They smelled of sweat and dirt and feet.  Shouldn't she be wearing gloves?  She looked around the room.  No one else seemed to mind the smell or touching the soiled garments.  She was convinced that people wore their clothes more often and were less careful with themselves and their hygiene when they knew that someone else washed their clothes.

Man, ain't it the truth?  People who rented wetsuits, etc. from the dive shop would return them filthy and smelly and then be affronted when I'd ask them to rinse them off with the hose on the side of the building.  Tomorrow's Halloween.  Good thing I bought that 500 count bag of suckers, isn't it?  I won't have to buy Halloween candy for a good many years.  Boo!

Monday, October 29, 2018

A Day On Wheels

From 8 o'clock this morning until about 4:30 in the afternoon I was On The Move.  First I had to walk a couple three blocks (mostly downhill) to pick up the HHR which spent the weekend getting the little triangular parts of the rear fenders (just in front of the back tires at the bottom of the part that pooches out) that had been road-spray-blasted to bare metal painted and chip-resistant coated.  I thought I'd solved the dilemma intending to ask JR about having mud flaps installed but they're already there and obviously not doing their job.  He also took care of the rusting bottoms of all the doors and sprayed some anti-rust paint on them too.  He's a good guy.

Then it was off home lickety-split to nab a quick bowl of yogurt and fruit for breakfast, load up my writing bag, my estate papers folder, and the last of Durwood's firearms to take to the dealer this afternoon.  First stop was the broker to correct a form that had the wrong box checked (why can't they make things clearer so I don't screw up the first time?), then I drove back across town to the chiropractor to get my skeleton rearranged, next I hurried home to be jokingly harassed by a pair of neighbor guys out plying their leaf-blowers, and then went in to await the plumber who investigated the puddle on the floor to see if anything he did on Friday might be the root cause.  Nope.  I'm convinced (and have been since Saturday) that the water is from the hose meant to send the condensate from the furnace to the drain.  The drain end of that hose is dry and the furnace runs regularly now so there should be water trickling out.  I called the heating guys and scheduled an appointment for Thursday afternoon which will be No Charge because the furnace is 6 months old.  Sheesh.

After the plumber left I saddled up again and went to meet my writing friend ACJ for a couple hours of writing and discussion of writing.  I asked her to read the scene I wrote at The Clearing about a scuba dive and she had lots of questions.  She asked about things that I don't give a thought to but are confusing to a non-diver.  After talking to her I'll rewrite the scene and it will have much more detail.  Look at the cool earrings she made and gave me.  They're bottle caps with dolphins on them and a red bead and they came in this nice
little tin box.  I love them. Thanks, ACJ!

Then I zoomed over to the gun dealer, hauled in the last of the firearms and bullets and stuff, and sold them.  I am confident that those were the last.  Thank heavens.  I'm glad to have them out of the house.

I staggered home and sat on the couch, ate a bowl of chicken spaghetti, then knitted the last few rows of the orange Appleseed Coaster.  I decided to cut back on the pattern rows because the first one is rectangular rather than square and I like square coasters better.  Now I feel like I understand the pattern so I can resume knitting the fingerless mitts with the cable pattern on the cuffs.

29 October--Leonardo da Vinci, Head of Disheveled Young Girl (Leda).  Leo held the fragile charcoal stick lightly and drew it across the paper as if caressing the girl's cheek.  His feather touch left a thin line of black on the page, one line from her hair down to her chin and across to her opposite ear, no hesitation, no smudging out and starting over.  He had asked her to pin up her hair.  In the summer heat tendrils had escaped to curl around her head like a halo.  When he finished the quick sketch you would think an angel had sat for him instead of a street urchin he paid a few pennies to pose.

Alrighty then.  I'm bushed.  I'm going to slap some pictures on here and hit the sack.  More fun tomorrow--and the next day--and the next.  It never ends.  Maybe I'll get to the newsletter tomorrow after or on Wednesday.  If I'm lucky.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Instead of Writing a Newsletter...

... I spent the afternoon batch-cutting my winter dresses.  I had that lovely pile of flannel that needed cutting and sewing into clothes, and it was time.  The dark plaid will be a jumper like all the other Dress no. 1's I've made over the last year or so.  The other four prints will be Dress no. 2's; they have sleeves.  I meant to make the vegetable print one (on the bottom of the stack) in the Dress no. 3 pattern (which is a caftan) but shorten it only to discover that when the pattern designer said that it needs 60" wide fabric she isn't kidding.  So it too will be a Dress no. 2.  I don't mind, it's simple to sew up and easy to wear.

Before cutting I went downstairs to hem and attach the pockets of the brown stripe Dress no. 1 that I meant to finish yesterday.  Now I have something new to wear tomorrow.


Lately I have felt a great need for a cookie so I used my last 2 eggs to whip up a batch of chocolate chips.  I got smart, though, instead of baking them all and having 45 cookies lying around begging to be eaten, I baked 15 of them and scooped the rest of the dough into balls, froze them, and bagged them.  They'll be moved to the basement freezer tomorrow so that they're out of easy baking reach.  I let myself have cookies, just not ALL the cookies all at once.

October 28--Roman, Empire Period, Head of Asclepius or Zeus.  He looked like an ancient Roman statue with his curly hair and beard and piercing gray eyes.  His name tag said "Silvio" and he drove the tour bus.  All of the older ladies tittered and giggled over him like a gaggle of 'tweens.  Marie couldn't be bothered.  She had schedules to keep, menus to approve, every day something cropped up.  This was not what she thought she'd do with her master's degree in anthropology.  Conducing tours around the Italian historic sites seemed laughable for a woman with her education but she had to live and nothing was cheap here.  Jobs were scarce and as her Gramps used to say, "Beggars can't be choosers."

Oh, what a dreary day today was.  I didn't even get fully dressed.  Worst of all there's still water on the basement floor around the new water heater.  I can't decide if there's a leak in the foundation (it's been raining), the furnace drain hose is plugged, or there's a bad weld or glue joint.  The plumber's coming tomorrow around noon to make sure it's nothing he did or didn't do.  If it isn't one thing, it's another.  (I will say that it's a great motivator to get a lot of the stuff downstairs up and out.)  And of course I have a zillion things to do tomorrow-a chiro appt., a writing date, I need to have my broker resend a form to Proctor & Gamble which I have to initial, and now the plumber, oh, and I want to go vote since I'll be out of town on election day--although that I don't have to do tomorrow.  *flings hands in air*

Friday, October 26, 2018

Guess What I Got Today?

A new water heater!  Just what I wanted!  Not.  I went downstairs after my late morning shower to start the laundry and get sewing on that last Dress no. 1.  I was looking for something of Mom's on a shelf when I noticed water on the floor coming from the base of the water heater.  Oh goodie.  I started shifting boxes and things to make sure that it was the water heater and not the walls or a window.  Nope, it was the 1994 vintage water heater.  So I called Jerry and he arrived around 2:30 with a new one in his truck.  He worked for a couple hours and now I have endless hot water, well, not endless exactly but reliable hot water.  Durwood and I discussed putting in a tankless system when this heater failed but that would have cost at least double and would have been a huge pain in the keester.  I'm just not up for that.

I got the laundry almost done before the plumber arrived (I always use cold water to wash, not hot) and shifted boxes and totes so he'd have working room.  I found a couple things I want to take along to KY when I go next month too.  I'm making a pile.  (Don't panic, DD, not a huge pile, plus I need room for the hall tree in the car.)  I also got the seams sewn on the last cut-out Dress no. 1 and the neck and armholes bound.  Tomorrow I'll hem it and put on the pockets.  Then you'll get to see it.  This morning I figured out a way to wear my "muslin" of Dress no. 3 which is a kind of caftan that I made out of some gauzy fabric from deep in the stash.  My only complaint is that the dress clung to my brown knit leggings but I dealt with it.  I plan to cut out another Dress no. 3 in flannel although I might make it shorter, just not feeling the maxi thing.

The heel of the Woodland Plain-Old-Sock is turned, the gusset stitches picked up, and once the dress is sewn I'll be back to work decreasing gusset stitches and knitting the foot until toe time.


I was a bit distracted today (no, really???) so we've only got one bird--a little male Downy Woodpecker having a sip at the birdbath.  It's rare to see a woodpecker at the birdbath so I always snap a photo.

October 26--John Singer Sargent, Miss Beatrice Townsend.  Trixie carried Mop everywhere.  Grandma Babe said, "That child would take the dog to church if you'd let her," and not in a nice tone of voice.  Our mother, Babe's daughter, always defended Trixie.  "Now, Mama," she said, "you know that Mop never makes a sound no matter where she is.  Let the child alone."  Mama wouldn't tell Grandma Babe why Trixie carried Mop around, anymore than she'd tell Miss Arlene that her husband, Elmer, had a still down behind the pump house in a grove of trees next to the stream.

No, nobody told me why Trixie carries Mop either so don't ask.  This afternoon I took my car over to Joe's so he can paint over the bare metal parts of the rear fenders.  These fenders pooch out so that the spray from the front tires sandblasts the paint off in a triangular area.  Road salt season is approaching so it needs doing even if that means I'm car-less until Monday morning.  Maybe I need mud flaps... but not those nudie one the truck drivers have.  My mind is racing like a gerbil in a wheel with places I want to go, just because I can't.  I'll be the one crawling around on the floor cutting out dresses and maybe pants if I get on a roll.

Thursday, October 25, 2018


That was me today.  I had every intention of busying around, sewing up that last cut out dress, accomplishing things.  What I ended up doing was sprawling on the couch knitting a bit, staring slack-jawed at the TV, and surfing the web a bit looking at a website Lala mentioned that I thought might be a place I could submit a story.  Maybe, maybe not.

Birdies visited the feeders but no juncos clonked into the patio door today.  The Red-bellied Woodpecker came again and I especially wanted to post this photo because right after it left this Downy Woodpecker flew in to take its place.  Quite a size difference.


Mrs. Cardinal came to check out the platform feeder offerings...


and I thought you might like to see the winter attire of a male Goldfinch.  In the summer it's a vibrant yellow but molts to this drab avocado color for winter.


The mailman brought me the temporary tattoos that I ordered on Sunday.  I found the "warr;or" ones that SN-D shared at The Clearing but also a hummingbird, dolphin, Virgo constellation, and "calm."  We can all use that last one now and again.

An email from Knit Picks a few days ago offered a free shawl pattern that I downloaded.  The pattern calls for 5 skeins of yarn in 5 different colors but, in the spirit of not buying yarn if I have something that will do, I dug out this pair of sock blanks.  I started with the lower left one and will alternate the sections so that the colors mix and blend.  It's a cool-looking effect as written but I've got this yarn, I like this yarn, so I'm using this yarn.  Even though I have 3 other projects OTN I had to cast on and knit the first part of it.  I promise, cross my heart, that I'll finish at least one project before I plunge full bore into the shawl.  Really.  

October 25--Sir John Lavery, Naval Ratings Embarking, Southampton, 1917.  The ship didn't look very big but once she realized that those ants on the deck were people, Emma changed her mind.  She held tight to Daddy's hand and tried not to get run over by the luggage trolleys that sped past.  The carts were piled high with cases plastered with colorful stickers.  Her cousin Caroline had a book of stamps from all over the world.  Travel stickers are better, Emma thought.

And here I sit doing this at 11 o'clock--again.  Arrgh.  Can I not tell time?  Do I not see when it's dark and suppertime comes and goes?  I completely spaced on suppertime tonight.  I think I need a keeper.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018


At least I assume that's what this Sharp-shinned Hawk said when it sunk its talons into the Junco it drove into the patio door glass this morning.  There've been a lot of birds hitting the glass lately so I assumed that the hawk had rediscovered that its favorite target, the junco, had returned to join the bird buffet in the back yard.  And evidently I was right.


Today I wore the last unworn new Dress no. 2.  This is the most expensive fabric I've bought in a long time but I had a 50% off coupon so I didn't pay full price.  I really like this pattern and I have a few lengths of flannel to make more winter dresses but there's one Dress no. 1 (jumper style) cut out so I'll get that sewn up tomorrow which will make it okay for me to cut out the flannel dresses over the weekend.  Hooray!

Last week one of the writers read a personal essay about her weekend at a retreat cabin in Lower Michigan and she talked about squirrels.  Durwood had a vendetta against squirrels so listening to her made me think of him and cry--finally.  I cried and cried, and my fellow writers let me cry it out.  (God, those are some wonderful women.)  I found a bushel basket of stuffed squirrels and chipmunks in a gift shop so I got one.  I never begrudged the squirrels the corn, peanuts, suet, and seed that they eat, I even bought a double-sided suet feeder to accommodate them but, I gotta tell you, Durwood did, in spades.  For years he'd plink at them with his BB gun, never killed any or even hurt one badly but he thought that he could effect a Pavlovian avoidance response.  Never happened but he kept trying until he was so shaky I took his toy away.  I'm happy to have this little stuffed squirrel to remind me of him and my week at The Clearing.  (it's a magical place, trust me)

I finished the leg of the Woodland Plain-Old-Sock last night so I started knitting the heel flap using the Eye of Partridge style heel.  I like the way it looks, it's as durable as the old-fashioned ribbed heel flap but it looks cooler, IMHO.  Next I turn the heel, pick up gusset stitches, and decrease back down to the original number of stitches, then knit even until it's time to toe.  Sock!


I didn't write the prompt last night.  It was almost midnight by the time I got to bed and I was bone tired, so tired that I slept until 9 o'clock this morning.  Makes for a very short morning.  Then I had a haircut and met the cleaning lady at the storage where she and a friend loaded up the bed and drove off with it.  Now the storage unit is empty and swept, I let the lady in the office know that it's empty, so that'll save $66 a month.  I think I'll salt that into a special column in the ledger and use it for something special.  Might as well save it since we've paid it out every month for the last 16 years, don't you think?  Time to hit the hay.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Blue, Red & Squirrels

I had colorful birds visit this morning.  I bought some suet pellets at the birdseed store yesterday and put them out in the pellet feeder and a couple handfuls in the platform feeder.  The bluejay found them lickety-split.  I think it found the corn I mixed in with the dregs of the safflower seed I put in there yesterday and when it came this morning there were the delicious pellets of suet.  Yum.  I took a bunch of photos but the best one shows the bird hiding behind a corner post and a Slinky so I'm putting up this one of it flying out.  When I looked at the picture I was amazed that it could fly in that confined space.

I spent some time catching up writing in my Bullet Journal after breakfast and glanced up to see a Red-bellied Woodpecker first on the corn cob and then on the suet feeder.  This is a female.  I know this because her belly isn't red.  She's big, more than twice as big as the Downy Woodpeckers that usually visit.


And this squirrel not only spent time eating the corn one of its compatriots ran off with one of the cobs.  Arrgh.

When I got home from The Clearing I discovered that the bananas I'd put in the crisper to hopefully keep them edible were too mushy to eat so I had to make banana bread.  Oh darn.  I added some craisins and pecans.  I had to try some to make sure it was edible, then I froze one loaf and took the other one to DS and his family because I knew if I kept them all I'd eat them all and in short order.  Better to get it out of the house.

Just before noon I got a call from the St. Vinnie de P pick-up guys so I met them out at the storage with the key and now all that's left in there is my grandparents' old bed that I slept in after their house was broken up and that was our first marriage bed.  Tomorrow afternoon the cleaning lady and a friend are coming to get that and then I can stop paying $66/month to store things that I'll never use again.  AND I'll be getting a refund because I've paid 6 months ahead.  I wish I'd known that when I paid 2 months' rent last month (I thought I was behind).

October 23--Juan Gris, The Bottle of Banyuls.  Faye wasn't sure she wanted to drink what was in the bottle left on the table.  The bottle was dusty and the stopper was waxed into the neck.  She held it up to the light but all she saw through the brown glass was the shadow of something thick and liquid.  The yellowed paper label was more than half gone.  She wouldn't have been surprised to see that it said, "Drink Me."  The thought made her smile.

In early September I got an email from NaNoWriMo touting a writer' inspiration box from a bookstore in Montana.  It had a notebook, candles, a bag, and other things.  At the time I was considering writing another manuscript (I have since come to my senses) so I ordered it.  It came yesterday.  The coolest thing is a frog timer for seeing how many words you can write in a certain space of time.  The candles smell great and I'll be interested to read the book of pep talks.  I'm kinda lukewarm about the mitts, mostly because they have a slit instead of a thumb. I like thumbs or at least partial ones.  What?  My thumbs get cold too.  I'm up too late--again.  Good night.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Christmas Shopping

Today was an errand day--bank, birdseed store, get glasses adjusted, a tiny bit of shopping,
pharmacy, and grocery store.  As much as I detest the whole idea of Christmas galloping my way I knew that if I wanted to get snowshoes for LC and OJ at Play It Again Sports for a decent price I had to go NOW.  So I did and look what I found.  Two pairs, a boyish pair and a girlish pair, the only child/youth snowshoes that weren't toys they have, well, had.  They're probably going to be way too big for the kids for a couple years but I predict that they'll figure them out pretty quickly.  I can't wait for snow (what am I saying???) so I can take them to the park where we will tromp around and have fun.  DIL1's family are skiers so LC is learning to ski and OJ will start learning this winter.  I don't ski but I love to snowshoe so guess what they're getting for Christmas.

The knowledge that winter is, indeed, on the way came home to roost yesterday when I realized that over the week I was gone the juncos had arrived from the Arctic to their winter home in the warmth of Green Bay, WI.  The thought that those little black and gray birds come here to overwinter in a warmer place just boggles my mind.  It's not warm here, birdies, not warm at all.  And yet they come and thrive to go back to the icy expanse of the Arctic to nest in spring.  Crazy.

It was cold and very windy up at The Clearing last week but as I stepped on the first step up to the Lodge I spied this tiny pink flower.  It's an itty bitty geranium, believe it or not.  It's name is Herb Robert.  It was the only one I saw, brave little thing sheltered in the lee of the railing post.


There were two boxes of craft books on the piano bench last week with a sign between them offering the books for free (but just in case you had a crisis of conscience there was a donation envelope too) so I flipped through them and found this book of crewel embroidery.  I used to love doing that when I was a teen so I brought the book home and, yes, I did make a donation for it.  I'm not a complete philistine, not yet anyway.

Even though it was cold and windy last week I managed to walk along the bluff a couple times.  The trees sighed in the wind and the waves crashed on shore but it wasn't appreciably colder there than on the Schoolhouse path and I got to see good old Cabin #12, my home for the week, from a different angle.  I think this picture gives the feeling I get being at The Clearing.  It's just an "away" place, away from home, away from the world, away from everyday life.  So serene and calm.  Is it any wonder that for the past 17 years I've saved all year for that one week away?

Aren't rose hips pretty?  I think they look like persimmons.  I noticed these yesterday when I was trimming off a couple rose canes that had broken in the wind.  The thorns tangled in my hair and in my sweatshirt but I managed to extricate myself with a minimum of damage to skin and clothing and got an up-close-and-personal view of the rose hips.

October 23--Lucas van Leyden, The Engagement.  She looks at him with expectation in her eyes and a small smile playing on her lips.  He looks scared out of his wits.  Her right hand rests on his left shoulder as if her touch will help keep him from running away.  They must be in love.  The understanding on her face acknowledging his fear, accepting it, and working to allay it isn't something common to a marriage of convenience.  Once the ring is on her finger will he be brave enough to kiss her?

Seven years ago today Mom went off to that big sewing room in the sky.  I'd say bridge table but I don't play and I use some of her sewing things every time I sew so that's what I think of when I think "Mom."  LC said she wants an American Girl doll for Christmas.  I need to talk to her parents to see if I should pull out Mom's AG doll and clothes for her.  I'm glad I kept them.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

I'm Back!

Back to reality.  *sigh*  Last week was exactly what I needed.  It was cold, colder than
anyone anticipated, and so windy that the leaves were flying by the window sideways.  Luckily I took along my winter coat, hat, and mitts AND warm clothes.  I wore it all, fuzzy leggings, flannel dresses, waffle-weave shirts, hand-knit wool socks (mismatched, of course) and all.  Yesterday I drove through rain, sleet, snow, a whiteout, sleet, and rain--all within 80 miles.  Fortunately the roads were warm enough that the snow only stuck to the grass and the roads just got wet.  The people I felt the sorriest for (not that I didn't feel sorry for myself driving in horizontal snow in October) were the brave souls running the Fall 50 mile race from Gills Rock to Sturgeon Bay.  Ack.  The poor devils.  For the first 10-15 miles the runners were intermittently on the shoulder of the roads and they looked bedraggled, frozen, and determined.  I wouldn't be at all surprised if a portion of them got pneumonia.  Oh, and I wasn't thinking and drove over the tallest bridge over the river on my way home, the bridge that's high enough for freighters to pass under, and was hit by a wind gust and nearly pushed into the guardrail.  Good thing it occurred to me as I drove up onto the thing that I needed to be aware and have my hands firmly on the wheel just in case.  Don't worry, I wouldn't have gone over but my car would have been thoroughly crunched being driven into the concrete by the wind.

This morning's sky pinked up nicely and the sun tried its best to peek out between clouds all day.

I spent an hour this afternoon uprooting all of the annuals that were thriving when I left and had been killed by frost before I got home.  There's nothing more cheerful that driving up to your house on a cloudy, windy, rainy day to find a row of pots sporting blackened and dead coleus.  Welcome home!  Cleaning out the pots and moving them against the house let the mums shine.  Now that a bunch of them are blooming I think the purple ones look fine.  I'd still rather have had the bronze and cranberry ones instead but flowers are flowers.

Look at what I found in back when I was cutting the dead and dying fern fronds, bleeding hearts, and peonies.  It's a honeysuckle flower or cluster of flowers.  There's one dark red snapdragon flower out there too.  Party on, flowers!  The best part of driving all of the leaves and plants to the yard waste was that I also trimmed back the mints so that they could hunker down between the bales and the timbers so my car smells great, minty and earthy.  Mmm.

Yesterday I didn't hurry home.  I realized as I was loading the car that for the first time in... forever I didn't have to be home so even though the weather was rainy, sleety, snowy, and just plain rotten I doodled around from village to village along the bay shore, from store to store.  I stopped for some good olive oil and fig balsamic vinegar at Curt's Oilerie in Fish Creek and went across the parking lot to the Peninsula Bookman for a copy of LaVyrle Spencer's one Door County title, Bitter Sweet.  (that's for you, cda)  Then I went down a few blocks to Beach People and Lake People.  In the last store I overheard the lady say that there was an alpaca store around the corner so I had to investigate (of course, I did).  It's from a farm (ranch?) in Luxemburg which is about 20 miles north of Green Bay.  Never heard of it.  Most of the wares in the tiny store were garments, socks, etc. made from their fleece by Peruvian knitters but they did have a few baskets of yarn.  So I bought some (you knew I would, right?), but only these 2 skeins.  I thought I'd knit a white hat and use the burgundy as an accent color.  I feel I've matured because I gave thought to what I'd make before I just snatched the stuff up.  Progress.

I did waaaaay more writing than knitting last week but I did manage about an inch of sock, I cast on the first gray Appleseed Mitt (but stopped when I got to the part that needs thinking about), and last night I cast on a second Appleseed Coaster.

I did a line edit of the manuscript on Monday and then worked on a couple new scenes the rest of the week.  Not as much as I'd hoped but I like all of the words I managed to pin to the paper.  I'm happy.

I didn't write a prompt last night.  I was tired and just unpacked, watched TV, ate the wrong things for supper, and went to bed.  I'll write tomorrow, I promise.