Monday, July 24, 2017

Blogger Challenge 326-Nzepple Monotangle






This week's Diva Challenge is to do a monotangle with N'Zeppel.  It's one of my go-to tangles. I love it so much that I did the poster sized version a while back and it hangs in my living room, so I'm cheating and submitting it as the challenge piece for this week.

The subtext of the challenge was to think about a time that you 'didn't fit it'. When I was making this piece, I was going through a crisis in my life that made me feel very, very alone. The mindlessness of this pattern soothed me and calmed the mind monkeys for a few minutes every day. It's a piece that looks complicated but is, in fact, very simple. Here's a link to my progress if you are interested. 

http://mollybeesattic.blogspot.com/2011/11/my-nzepple-period.html


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Scary Knit Night


We had an incident a couple of weeks ago at Knit Night that was a wake up call to renew my CPR/First Aid skills. One of the ladies came in more than a little disoriented and we were afraid that she was having a stroke. I remembered some of the things to do to 'test' and see if it's a stroke. I got her to smile-both sides of her mouth were level, she repeated phrases with no slurring or forgotten words, no signs of muscle weakness or 'drooping' in her face. I had seen TIA's many times with an elderly grandparent and I was sure it was something like that. We decided that calling 911  wasn't needed, but we did call her husband who came and took her to the Emergency Room. Many test later, they determined that it wasn't a TIA, but some sort of a stress-related lapse and she is A-OK but she doesn't remember anything that happened during the incident.

It really scared ALL of us and reminded me that it has been several years since I renewed my CPR/First Aid training. I think the last time I did it was the year they rolled out the 'not breathing/only chest compressions to the beat of 'Staying Alive' by the Bee Gees. I'm signing up the next time the Red Cross offers it at my work later this spring. You just never know...

I was surprised that I had the presence of mind to remember some things about strokes. You don't have to take a First Aid class to remember these two bits of information.

If you’re with someone and you notice a sudden change in appearance or behavior, make sure it’s not a stroke. Ask them to do these three simple things:
  1. Smile - Is it the smile you know and love? Or is one corner of the mouth drooping down?
  2. Close your eyes and raise your arms - Are the arms held high together, or is one drifting back down to the side?
  3. Repeat a simple phrase - Why not make it funny? If the person is fine, you can laugh about it later. Try “If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.” Listen for slurred words and unusual sounding speech. 
The American Stroke Association developed another easy-to-remember way to spot a stroke. It's called F.A.S.T. Here's how it helps you identify a stroke in yourself or another person. :
F – Face drooping. Is one side of the person’s face drooping or numb? When he or she smiles, is the smile uneven?
A – Arm weakness. Is the person experiencing weakness or numbness in one arm? Have the person raise both arms. Does one of the arms drift downward?
S – Speech difficulty. Is the person’s speech suddenly slurred or hard to understand? Is he or she unable to speak? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Can he or she repeat it back?
T – Time to call 9-1-1. If any of these symptoms are present, dial 9-1-1 immediately. Check the time so you can report when the symptoms began.

I lifted this highlighted verbiage directly from the interwebs...but they are trying to spread this info so I don't think I'm in a lot of trouble. No more than usual anyway.  I hope you never need it, but if you do, I hope it turns out at well as our incident did! It ended up to be just a reminder to be informed and trained in case someone needs you in an emergency!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Pseudo Spring and Half A Brain

The past few days have been lovely and rumor has it that they will get lovelier as the next week goes on. 50° in mid February?! While the East Coast is getting buried?!  I know we shouldn't get used to it because we know winter never goes away without a fight...usually she starts rabbit kicking along about basketball tournament week if memory serves...but I can't help it; Pseudo Spring always puts a ...well...spring...in my step. Just in time too because I was just at the point where, as my friend, Jen, says, 'I lose all will to live'. These past few days of warmer days and melty snow have prevented me from climbing the bell tower. Moose feels the same way. He's not a fan of snow but he is a big fan of lawn so his nose has been going into overdrive lately. I don't know why he doesn't hyperventilate and pass out.

I went over to Mt. Horeb today for my friend, Linda's, sister's funeral. Rhonda was only 47 years old. Way, way, way too soon to go. There are more and more folks my age (and younger in the obits) every day. I'm not liking it one bit. Pretty sobering. The service that Linda and her family put together was lovely. The music, Abide with Me and Eye on the Sparrow made me well up. The reverend reciting the lyrics to Irving Berlin's Always put me over the edge. Very touching.

I noticed on the way over and back that the sky was teeming with skeins and skeins of geese! Seems they are as confused by this Pseudo Spring as I am. I hope we're not all in for a rude awakening anytime soon. Of course there is always the chance that they are just getting to heck out of the US, despite the season, and back to saner soil in their homeland of Canada. They may be on to something actually.

This weekend I shall search the catacombs in the basement for my half finished Thinking Cap and finish it for the Science protests in April. It's only half finished. I was thrilled to learn that I was actually ahead of the curve on this once since I started it about 2 years ago-before it was even cool. I am nothing if not a trend-setter.


This here's my friend Carl, modeling the 'Thinking Cap'


Since it's not finished, I'm thinking Carl only has half a brain.....

My hands are still giving me fits, but I figure if I do a little of the miles and miles of I-cord required each day, it will be done in time. I saw a bit of inspired thinking this week. Some of the ladies that knit the Pussy hats for the first protest are just adding the I-Cord to that one. Dual duty!  There is also a great hat pattern floating around that has the cables that form a DNA strand much like the Dr. Montville's Double Helix Seaman Scarf that I made a few years back. I'm pretty sure I'll knit that one too. Maybe a hat and scarf both, since the first one was for a friend. My hands have to stop weeping and bleeding sometime,ya?!?!



Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Raptor Revenge


A couple of weekends ago, I was driving home and saw something out of the corner of my eye falling from a telephone line. My first thought was 'owl' so I turned around, parked and went to make sure it was OK. It wasn't. Turns out it was a beautiful Red Tailed Hawk and though I tried to revive it, it was DOA.  I know it's illegal to take possession of a raptor, but I just couldn't leave it there so I put it in the car headed off to the police station. I thought maybe they could get it to the DNR, the Ho-chunk nation or the UW or something, I don't know. I just couldn't leave such a beautiful thing there in the road. 

As I was driving, I turned the heat on in my car and apparently the vent was set to blow under the dash because all of a sudden, the hawk's feathers ruffled and I did a fancy bit of driving for a few moments thinking that this huge thing with sharp talons had just come back to life in my car! Don't get me wrong, I would have been ecstatic, terrified, possible on the sidewalk and probably bleeding from a lot of different places, but ecstatic. But it was not to be. 

I took it to the police and by then I was crying. I'm sure the two officers, whose combined age couldn't have been more than 25, questioned their career choices when this sobbing woman came stumbling towards them, babbling about 'knowing it was illegal'....(actually it was a dead hawk not an ill eagle-see what I did there?) and thrusting the heap of feathers at them. But they took it and told me that it was OK for me to bring it to them. They got some information about where it was found etc. and send me on my way. I then contacted the power company because I don't know if it got zapped on the wires or flew into them and broke it's neck, but wanted them to check so it didn't kill any more birds! 



Here's where things get a little weird. I know, like that wasn't weird enough, but you guys know how my life goes by now! I found the hawk on Sunday. On Monday, I went out to get in my car at work and this Cooper's Hawk was sitting in the bushes right in front of my parking place. It just sat there looking at me the entire time I was getting ready to go. I left the lot before he did.


On Tuesday, I was going to the barn after work and a Red Tail Hawk flew over the hood of my car the entire length of Woods Road-about 1-2 miles. He was about 10 feet above the hood and he just stayed there the entire way, leading me across that road.

On Wednesday night, I walked Moose before bed and there was an owl in the pine in  back parking lot. He/she and I hooted at each other, back and forth, for over 10 minutes before I got so cold I had to go in. 

I'm wondering if the raptor community knows I took one of their own and is keeping a close eye on me-waiting for the perfect time to take revenge? If you find me in a heap, all scratched up with my baby blues missing, you'll know what happened! 



Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentines Day!



First off, my Diva Challenge. I wrote this entry last week with a delayed posting time, then Laura's challenge came out yesterday and it was for a heart challenge so I did that last night. 

And now on to my post....
Every year I plan to make my own Valentines. Every year, I fail. I might make one or two just never enough. This year I got my back pockets in gear earlier and got 'er done!  They are pretty simple designs and I just put them on colored note cards, but I was pretty pleased with myself nonetheless. 


I'm back in another phase where I can't get enough of drawing Gemz! 




On behalf of Cooper, Moose and all of the rest of the crazy that is Chez B...

     Image result for Happy Valentine's day clip art from MollyBeeImage result for Happy Valentine's day clip art

Monday, February 13, 2017

Mr. Moose

And what of Mister Moose you ask? He's doing just fine thank you very much. He is getting braver about the cold weather but still appreciates being bundled up in his Packer sweater when he ventures outside. 


I walked in the living room the other day to find him sitting like a human in the recliner. Just leaning back, looking out the window, chillin'...Life is tough on the Moo Moo.


This boy came to visit. Moose watched Mr. Popper's Penguins with the boy. The boy ignored Mr. Moose and didn't offer him any of the the much-coveted string cheese he was munching on... even though it was clearly 'the share kind' in Moo Moo's estimation. The boy received 'the stink eye' until said cheese was all gone. The boy didn't notice at all. 


But most of all, Moose Wigglebottom is tired. Evenings often find us reading a bedtime story...


Until we are sleepy and can't help but yawn...


and then we fall into a boneless sleep in mommy's arms. 


Goodnight to all from Mr. Moose!


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Knitting? Has There Been Knitting?

Oh yes! t]There has been plenty of knitting in the past several weeks. The Knit Sisters and I get together just about every Friday evening and one Saturday a month so that gives me quite a lot of stitching time, although I often have to rip out what I've done when I get home because I'm so busy gabbing and laughing that I've made a ton of mistakes.  I have managed to pull off a few projectsthough. 

This is a close up of The Peace Cowl I made. I love the stitch pattern. The yarn is some hand-dyed that I won online. It's softer than unborn, baby panda pelts. This project was part of a Knit Along for the first 21 days of December. The idea was to take a few minutes each day in the busy, stressful holiday season to just relax, reflect and knit a couple of rounds; projecting peace to the universe. 

I did it, but it was a little deceiving, what with hundreds of stitches in each round! It took over a half an hour to do the repeat you were supposed to do each day. Plus the first time I cast on, I didn't have enough yarn. The second time, I had enough yarn but I twisted it when I joined it in the round and had to start over. So the start was a little less that peaceful. But I finished it and even knit a second one directly after out of purple sock yarn I had in my stash. This one went to Aunt Gail in Ohio!


I knit some Owl mittens from Jorid Linvik's Big book of Mittens. I love the baby owl on the thumb! Stranded knitting on small needles gives me wicked hand cramps I've discovered. Guess I'll have to do more of it so I can strengthen my hands!



Image result for jorid linvik

On January 1st I started a 2017 Sky Scarf. Each day I add two rows (the pattern is Mini Bamboo) based on the color of the sky: blue-clear skies, grey is overcast, white is snow, black is rain, tornados will be orange. (Nuclear fallout a beautiful red with sparkles)!  I'm dividing the months with a pink stripe. should be interesting to see how it turns out. This is almost all of January. 


Last week I started and finished Elizabeth Morrison's 'Skating Party' hat. I love the yarn. It comes in a kit from Knit Circus. This gradient colorway is 'Cindy Lou Who'.


It was a fun knit and the finishing-continuing the hat peak with an inch of I-cord and a bobble before binding off- was genius. I only had a little trouble in keeping the pattern together when I was decreasing but fortunately the designer was sitting to my immediate left and graciously helped me out.



It's weird for me to knit so many projects that aren't socks! It was fun to do something a little different over the holidays! Knitting has slowed down for now beacuse I am having some skin rash issues on my hands, making yarn tension painful, but as soon as that is under control, I'm back in the saddle! Knit on!