Sunday, December 31, 2006
This is the felted hat I made for friend-Donna. The photo doesn’t show it well, but it’s just a basic brimmed hat, navy blue with blobs of color in it. She had mentioned that she would like one when we saw an example of it at The Ear. She used to have one but she left it on a train in Switzerland.
The next picture is of a mitten pattern I test drove, but don’t like it that well. The finger cab is boxy and too big because my Fair Isle is fairly tight. But I did like the afterthought mitten. All in all, I believe that this is destined to be a stag mitten. Maybe I’ll try again and drop a needle size for the finger cap. But not any time soon.
I made my Mum a cardigan but forgot to take a photo. She will send one soon so I can post it. I also made Gram a pair of socks but forgot to take a pic of them. I did take this picture of my socks. It was a pattern that I found in a magazine and I used Lucy Neatby’s Celestial yarn which I have fallen totally head over heels in love with. Figures since it costs 30 bucks a skein! I have extremely good taste! It feels like heavy weight pearl cotton even though it is merino wool. They feel yummy on!
Right now I am working on the top down crew neck cardigan that I couldn’t get the gumption up to do for Gram for Christmas. I’ve onlyworked on it a couple of times in the last week and am already at the place where you put the sleeves on holders, so it is going pretty fast. It is a Casade Quatro-fuchsia and light pink-two of Gram’s favorites. I will remember to take a picture of this one before it goes out the door!
Other than that I am working on another super secret project that I can’t talk about just yet so that kinda sucks, but after that I am going to investigate the world of miniature quilts. Authentic mini quilts have as many pieces as fill sized quilts but on a much smaller scale. They can take as long or longer that a full sized to construct, but take less fabric and take up less room! I think I will start with paper piecing because on such a small scale there is absolutely no room for error or it ruins the whole thing. I also like to hand quilt but haven’t the time or patience to do large quilts so the minis seem to be what I’m looking for. We’ll see.
The Holiday’s went well around Chez Bee. We had a lot of fun and arrived at the other side of the big events unscathed. Mr. Bee graduated Magna Cum Laude and is very greatful to have some down time.
I got many wonderful gifts this holiday; material, spiritual and emotional. Probably my favorite was getting to spend time with my nephews whom I haven’t really been close to the last several years. We had fun on Christmas Day as well as getting together to go geocaching and watch DVD’s. It was amazing to be together again.
My New Year’s Resolution is to get back in the swing of updating this blog more! I hope you all had a happy and safe holiday!
Monday, December 18, 2006
This is a link to my new favorite thing.
I’ve made one for everyone that I have a photo on my computer for. Tooo funny! Thank you Joey T. for being the first to humiliate yourself!
The countdown is on to being able to post more pictures! Soon the secret Christmas projects won’t be secret anymore. I do have one of my Lucy Neatby socks that I knit for myself done. I will try and post that later this week. Her merino Celestial sock yarn may ruin me for any other sock yarn from now on. Too bad it’s like $30 a skein! Shoulda thought to hook up with Santa on that count earlier. Is it too early to start my wish list for next year? I promise I'll be very, very good.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Mr. Bee is counting down the days until he is done with college! He has exactly three, count ‘em three, more classes before he’s done. His last class is the evening of the 14th he has taken the 15th off to celebrate by staying home and doing exactly what he wants to do all day! It’s been 4.5 years of homework, books and teacher’s dirty looks. He’s ready to veg on the couch for a couple of days and he deserves it. I'm am so proud of him.
I went with Mrs. M., as her guest, to her quilt guild’s Christmas party a couple of nights ago. The speaker was a wonderful woman named Katie who spoke at length about Underground Railroad quilts. It was a wonderful presentation and she had beautiful quilts. The buffet dinner was yummy and we got free fabric and a quilted bookmark as a gift. Everything was a huge success…except for what I’ve taken to calling ‘the race riot’ in the middle of the meeting. Katie is African American and of course the Underground Railroad Quilts were used by African Americans and a large part of the presentation centered on the fact that African Americans were, and continue to be, treated with malice and prejudice. I think the melee that happened came from a pure place. I think the ladies, the majority of whom were elderly with a little sprinkle of dementia, and nary a one in the room African American herself, were outraged at the stories Katie told about racial mistreatment, and in an effort to assure her that she wouldn’t get that kind of thing from them, they somehow managed to get themselves into this wild hair tangle about who went to a segregated high school and who didn’t and which towns were prejudice and which weren’t. It went on and on and got louder and rowdier and NO ONE stopped it. The ones that weren’t arguing and sniping with each other were shaking their heads, rolling their eyes and giving the others dirty looks. God love Katie. She just skimmed through her notes quietly and waited the 10 minutes for it slow down to a simmer and then continued on with her presentation. I was at once embarrassed for Katie and for the ladies that, I believe, were trying their hardest yet failing miserably, and being highly amused at the spectacle of it all. I think that if it were a younger group there would have been fisticuffs! Older and they would have been slinging their canes at each other! The party was really nice though in an ‘aside from that Mrs. Lincoln how did you like the play’ kinda way and Katie assured the group that she wasn’t offended in the least. I am greatful that Mrs. M asked me because I would have been sad if I hadn’t heard Katie speak. She is a remarkable and talented woman. And I always have fun with Mrs. M. (who was as appalled as I was by the whole thing). I’m sure it will be the most memorable party I attend this holiday season!
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Monday, November 27, 2006
Was more than a little blue this Turkey Day so didn’t do much by way of celebrating. I launched an assault on my messy house on Friday while Mr. Bee was out. How do two people create such a mess!? Put up some outdoor Xmas decorations because it was warm out. I refuse to turn them on until at least the 1st of December though! I’m still not ‘Christmassy’ yet. Although all of my shopping is done which is good!
I spent Saturday scouring the countryside for my favorite Celestial Seasoning Holiday tea. Walgreens had them on sale 2/$5 (and one Walgreens had them entered into their computer incorrectly as buy one get one free so it was $2.99 for two!). I got enough to do me for the year if I ration wisely. I may even give a couple of boxes away to special friends….but they have to be VEEEEERRRRYYYY special.
No pics but I am working like a fiend on the peach Christmas socks for Grammie. # 1 sock is almost to the toe. This Yarwool (?) is the finest(as in thin) sock yarn I’ve ever worked with. While it is lovely and soft, it takes forever to get anywhere because it’s so wee! And if one stitch is a little different from his neighbors, it shows up like a skunk in the fog. Hopefully blocking them after I finish will help this.
I am also working on two other Christmas projects that I can’t talk about-so no pics there either. Remember my vow to not make anything for Christmas? Yeah right! What was I thinking?!?!? I just wish I had seen these projects ‘that would be perfect for so and so’ a little earlier in the year! I’m down to the wire again! At least there are two Knit Nights at The Ear in December. This Friday and the third Friday.
And I have this other problem. As soon as I ‘have’ to knit something, even if it’s a self-imposed ‘have’, I can think of twenty seven other projects I want to start-for me! I have to find a way to just settle down and enjoy each project without tearing through one so I can get to another.
Friend-Eli (6) went with me to see Happy Feet on Sunday at IMAX. I hadn’t been to the IMAX before although she was a seasoned pro. There were a lot of ‘scary parts’ in the movie involving seals and orcas chasing the happy little penguins. I really wasn’t expecting that. Probably wouldn’t have been scary on a regular screen, but a 5-story high, 70 foot wide seal is pretty darn frightening I’ll tell you-no matter how cute they are in real life! Friend-Eli solved this by hiding her face until I tapped her on the leg and said it was OK. I just swallowed hard and tried to be brave. I don’t think I’ll be going to IMAX again anytime soon. It really wreaks havoc with my motion sickness/balance problem. It was fun to go once and see what it was all about though.
I’m off. Time to make American Chop Suey for supper, take a short walk (heel is MUCH better and it’s 50-something degrees outside) and settle down for some more peach socks, Celestial tea, and The Bachelor finale.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
I started a pair of socks at lunch today for my Grammie for Christmas. I got the softest, light, plain, peach Jaarwool. No funky stripes for Grammie. Then I got a skein of Trek in yucky browns, tans and greys-boy colors- to make a pair for my brother. Don’t know if he’ll wear them or not, but he tromps around in the snow a lot and if he’d try them he might appreciate the lightweight warmth. We’ll see.
Tonight is off the complete my Christmas shopping. I just have a couple more things. I had the majority done by Halloween. If I don’t get it completely done by Thanksgiving I’ve failed. I can enjoy the season a lot more if I don’t have to don my protective gear and battle the hoards in the stores!
Monday, November 20, 2006
So in my ongoing effort to get out of cooking dinner, I tried to bully….eh…that is…gently coax Dr. W. into a turban-esque-whole-head bandage. My plan was to milk this puppy for all it was worth and guilt Mr. Bee in to talking my poor, injured-now-recovering-from-what-must-have-been-major-surgery body out to supper somewhere tonight. Anything that looked less that a full-blown brain surgery was not going to get me even take-out Chinese. But I'm thinking that a bad-WWII-movie-style-bloodied head wrap, possibly accented with a limp, slight cough and a strategically planned swoon or two might do the trick. But he’s a tough cookie that Dr. W.. He saw right through my onion-skin charade. I suspect maybe he has a wife that tries to get out of cooking dinner on a routine basis.
I ended up walking out of his office with one of those little, weenie, round dot Band-Aids like they put on corns. To say I was little insulted, and majorly disappointed is an understatement... unless it turns out to BE a corn. Ooo! I never thought of that! Then I guess it was totally appropriate. But I’m not going to be pacified until I hear that for sure. Until then I’ll be at home... cooking dinner.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
I have been practicing Celtic Knotwork and made this card for a friend. I've got a long ways to go but I love how intricate they look.
Knit night was fabulous on Friday night. I finished one pink sock and got the leg done on the other. I also finished a secret Christmas project so it was productive as well as entertaining.
Schooner Fare cancelled on Saturday night. Chuck was ill and couldn't fly so the concert got postponed. I was so excited to go. Guess I'll just have to wait a little longer.
Off to start a new secret project. Will try and blog more next week.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
All the while this time-honored process was going on, a little voice in my head was planting the seed, “Pssst…if you’re gonna to rip out the button band anyway, why don’tcha frog the whole thing and make the crew neck version from that pattern you got in Maine? You like that version better." [See, that’s the way us arithmetically challenged, folks’ thought processes work. Tearing out a couple of hour’s worth of button band knitting time versus a month’s worth of entire sweater knitting time? Peh! Potato/pah-tahdo. Same thing.] So, after the Christmas projects are done, I will Ripit! Ripit! Ripit and make myself an only slightly already used crew neck cardigan. I ought to finish it just in time for the summer heat like I did the last one! That ought to teach that stupid button band!
Monday, November 13, 2006
I really want to try the scarf that Jerry is doing over his the When Knitting Was A Manly Art blog. Multi-directional and textured! I have the perfect yarn for it, but that probably isn’t a project to take to The Ear on Knit Night since I’ve never tried multidirectional before. I get too involved in being a social butterfly and craning my neck to see who’s coming through the door to actually follow a pattern. Best stick to the socks. I can do those with my eyes closed!
This weekend is the bi-annual open house at Blackberry Ridge Woolen Mill in Mt. Horeb too. Friend-Anne and I usually go together. The last three times I’ve gone, I’ve purchased the exact same sock kit! It’s like that Groundhog’s Day movie! I guess I really like that particular pattern! Wish I had time to actually knit it so I would remember it and not buy the same darn kit again! And again! I’ll take a better inventory of my sock kits before I go this time!
Saturday night Mr. Bee and I will travel to the metropolis of Milwaukee to see Schooner Fare in concert. They are a folk duo (used to be a trio-we miss you Tom, sob) from Maine and they sing Celtic and maritime music. The Mister and I play their CD’s in the car and sing along all the way to Milwaukee (1.5 hours) and back. We usually have a build-your-own hamburger at Fuddruckers along the way and then go to the concert. (We’re party animals, me and my Mister!) I always feel like we’re going to see family when Chuck and Steve come to Wisconsin! Plus I invariably run into other misplaced Maniacs in the crowd. Can’t wait!
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Started a new pair of Socketta socks; pink purple and blue. Winter dropped by on Friday and it made me think about warm wooly socks again.! A combination thundershower/sleet/ice/snow storm dumped about 3 inches of yucky mush on us and it’s still here. Our neighbor across the street spent today putting up his Christmas lights. I am NOT ready for winter this year! Bah Humbug!
My doc gave me some medicine that is taking a little bit to get used to so I’ve spent a quiet weekend at home. Mr. Bee is studying and I am vacillating between feeling great and doing housework and then feeling crappy and napping. Wee doggy has been ecstatic since napping is most favoritest thing ever! He’s very very good at it. He’s thinking about turning pro.
I forgot to call Philosopher’s Wool on Saturday to enter their free kit contest. And I was home too! I just spaced it! Rats! Makes me want to get back to the sweater kit I bought from them a couple of years ago when I was waaaaay to green to handle it. Will have to take another stab at it and see if my Fair Isle skills have improved enough to make a go of it.
I bought my supplies for the polymer clay button class I signed up for next weekend. I was really excited when I signed up for the $25 introductory class. I wanted to try it to see if I was going to like it. I was less enthusiastic when the confirmation letter came a couple of days later with a arm long list of supplies I would need. And far less enthusiastic still when I purchased them and they cost more than the cost of the class! I can see buying my own clay but the teacher/store must have some kind of tools to share so we can see if we like it without having to buy all the stuff ourselves! Especially for a class fee of $25! If I had known I would have to buy everything you would ever need to make the stupid buttons anyway, I would have just done it, read the book and taught myself. Lesson learned. I will be more choosy about where I take classes from now on.
Well, now. I have really got my grump on- rehashing all of that so I’m off to bed before I really hand you all the business end of a hissy fit. Hopefully tomorrow will be a much better day!
Thursday, November 09, 2006
So I got shoe inserts and a sheet of exercises which I am to do in my bare feet. (This she told me right after she told me to never go barefoot. Confused? Me too. ) And I have roll a bottle filled with ice under my foot a couple of times a day. It all sounds like a rocking good time, but if it helps, so be it.
I wrote an entry on Sunday night that has disappeared. Blogger ate it. Blogger told me it was probably going to eat it when I tried to post it, but I posted it anyway and it lo and behold it showed up on my blog. The next day I got an email from Elizabeth that said something about ‘not being able to post a comment to your latest entry…’ and by the time I had gotten back in to look, it was long gone-not even in my drafts. It’s as if it never existed. Although several people had read it. Hmmm.Twilight Zone weird!
I have received calls from two friends who each have an interesting conspiracy theory. I had mentioned a bad customer service experience at a local grocery store in the missing entry so one friend thinks that the Pick and Save Godfather whacked that entry’s knees and threw it to ‘sleep with da fishes’. The other one is my favorite. I mentioned that I was reading “Lisey’s Story” by Stephen King and that I was loving it and the ‘Little Stevie Wonder King’ sure could write ‘em! My other friend thinks that Stephen, (who we all know is a faithful reader or MY blog) was so upset by the name-calling that he phoned the good folks at Blogger and had them take down the offensive entry. This last one has now become my reality. I’m sorry Stephen! It was meant to be a compliment. Please don’t stop reading my blog!
Thursday, November 02, 2006
I am knitting the coolest shawl right now. I call it my REY (Ridiculously Expensive Yarn) shawl. It knits up quick on big needles and is a really easy pattern. I saw one worked up at ‘Off The Beaten Path’ and had to have one of my own. I bought some Cherry Tree Hill purple, blue, teal variegated and some metallic variegated to match. Don’t know if I’ll wear it as a shawl shawl or as an over the coat shawl with my long grey wool coat. Ahhh…decisions decisions.
I’m in a such spendy mood lately. I spent all of my birthday loot on a quilting frame and REY and now I’ve spent my work bonus on joining the Blue Moon 'Socks that Rock' sock club for next year. They sent me an invitation to join. Would have been rude not to! They send 6 sock kits containing their AWESOME yarn and lots of other goodies.
Ooooo! And I also signed up for a class on how to make polyclay buttons for all of the future sweaters I will knit. It's coming up in a couple of weeks. Sigh……today it’s very very good to be me! Too blessed to be stressed!
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Monday, October 30, 2006
Happy Halloween all! Here are some photos of the fistfulls of 'finger food' I made tonight. I'll give them to my scientists at work tomorrow for the big day! They love gross stuff! They're scientists!
(Don't worry, it's just peanut butter fudge, gel frosting and almonds. But there is the matter of the pretzel stick in the middle to give it a nasty little boney crunch when you bite it. Surprise! Heh Heh Heh!) Raise mayhem where you can!
Sunday, October 29, 2006
We also went to a new yarn shop. Well, not new…it’s been there a year but the name of it is “Off The Beaten Path’…and it was...so I didn't know about it. It was really nice though-in a house-and the rooms were filled floor to ceiling with lots of yarns that I haven’t seen on other shops around. The staff was really helpful and we had a nice visit while they wound the yarn I bought. I used my b-day loot to buy some ridiculously expensive yarn to make a shawl out of. One skein is metallic though and you know that shiny is always worth every penny! My friend bought some beautiful dark tweedy green to make her first sweater with. Fun day.
Today I paid for all that fun. I could hardly walk on my heel spur. I’m just counting down the days ‘til I can get in and see about it. We did go to the new Trader Joes in town which was a disaster all the way around. The store was wonderful but not designed to serve the 86 gazillion folks that were there. We ditched our cart and went to Pick and Save. I got the stuff to make a yummy black bean soup which I cooked all afternoon. The only mishap in that adventure was trying to puree it before capping the blender. I look mahhhhy-velous covered in bean puree dahhhhling! So does my kitchen!
Depending on how my foot is tomorrow night, I may or not make my famously disgusting Halloween finger cookies to take to work on Tuesday. IAs much as I love an opportunity to gross people out I'm not sure how long I could stand at the counter molding the things. We’ll see. If I make them, I’ll post a photo. Have a great week everyone!
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Mrs. M. and I sallied forth to Belleville (UFO Capitol of the World-really check it out!) this evening to try a new restaurant there-Belle’Bleu. It is Continental/Rustic French cuisine, much higher than my normal Mcstandards, but Mon Dieu, it was magnifique! We started with a cheese plate that included a poached pear stuffed with blue cheese-two great tastes that taste great together as it turns out...who knew? Then I had the pistachio encrusted roughy with an orange marmalade sauce. It was really good too! Mrs. M. had a chicken dish stuffed with goat cheese, peppers and olives and wrapped in prochuitto that was sublime as well. We dined in high style-even had a glass of merlot. And it was less expensive than the new steak house down the street-go figure! Great food-great company…I can think of worse ways to spend a cold rainy Wisconsin evening!
Now I should go continue on my acrylic fingerless gloves for Friend-Lu. Got one two- thirds done yesterday-maybe I can complete it before ER is over. Also I got a new machine quilting frame with some of my birthday loot so I get to put that together and look ‘er all over. I need a couple of pieces of PVC piping before I can use it though. It’s one of the table top ones that works with your own sewing machine. I saw it on Fon’s and Porter’s quilting show on PBS the day after I all but ruined by Robbing Peter To Pay Paul' quilt and just had to have it. I hope it works as well as it looked like it did. I will be able to get into lots of trouble with it I’m sure-any project that forces you to go to Home Depot for spare parts can’t be good!
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Because of the verigation in the Cascade Yarn, you can't see the cables-or any of the definition really-oh well. I've already given them away so it doesn't matter. I will make my next pair with a solid purple. We'll see if those photograph better. At any rate they are warm and comfy! Friend-Lu thinks so too! They will keep her hands toasty while she types! At least I got to love them for a little while!
(And no, I can't explain the angle of my bangs in this photo!They are straight across, I swear!)
The Good News: I just got my gloves back! YAY!
The Bad News: Seems Friend-Lu has a wool allergy and thinks I tried to kill her with them. BOO! I think some fuzzy acrylic ones are in order for her! Tuit suit!
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
I’m beginning to cave! I promised myself that this year I wasn’t making nuttin for nobody for Christmas. But there are so many cute patterns out there! And if I quit my job and work every nanosecond from now until December 24th at midnight…I could maybe get everything done…..Heavy sigh...There must be some kind of a seven-step program for this kind of problem.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Saturday I had an at-home-alone day. Mr. Bee was away so I did a bunch of catching up and finishing. When he got home we went to see The Prestige which was wonderful. I love a film that keeps you guessing until the last frame. I give it an 8 out of 10-mostly due to some swirley camera work that left my eyes spinning and my head aching. When we went in, it was raining a pour. When we came out-SNOW! It was so beautiful! We got an inch and it lasted until lunchtime on Sunday.
Sunday we went to the movies again with friends D and T. We went to see Man Of The Year and then to Gray's for supper. The film was a lot better than I thought it was going to be. I love Robin Williams but I’m not political at all. In my estimation, it’s all just a choice among the lesser of evils so why bother. But Robin was great and there was another sub plot which made it interesting. I give it a 7 out of 10.
Grey’s is fast becoming my second favorite restaurant. The waiter was green and not so great last night but this was the first time I’d gotten bad service there. There was an excellent singer/guitar player and the company was great. We even got free dessert for all of the service screw ups. And as always the food was spendy but fantabulous.
Mr. Bee will be starting his last two classes this week. He’s only taken one at a time in the past, but will be taking two for the next eight weeks. Mr. Bee will be a busy boy. Molly Bee will be a busy girl picking up the slack while Mr. Bee study…study….studies!!!!! But then Mr. Bee will graduate in December! You GO Mr. Bee!!!
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Bossman is gone today so I am dealing with the general mayhem and disharmony that always accompanies his absence. My kid with the...hmmm....how to put this...'least people skills' likes to try and assert a command position much to the dismay of his peers. His orations are getting more lengthy, as well as more pompus and more condescending in tone (in so much as that's possible). My break will be over soon and 'Mom' will have to go over and shut him down or there may be bloodshed. I can see why the Bossman gets paid the big bucks!
Plans to work on the Halloween Quilt last night went seriously awry. Got supper, took Wee Doggie for a walk in the freezing rain, went to get groceries, put them away-went to bed. In that order. I am reading Thirteen Moons and it's a library book so I have to finish it up before it becomes due on Saturday. That was my justification for the early turn-in anyway. I was so tired that I read the same two sentences in the section about them rounding up all the Native Americans for the Trail of Tears approximately two hundred and seventy nine times and then fell asleep with the light still on and the book on my face. (Hope the next library patron doesn't mind the drool.) I have much the same plan for tonight actually. I am nothing if not persistent!
Actually I really would like to get my Halloween quilt quilted tonight so I can put the binding on tomorrow night at The Sow's Ear. Althought I get a little thrill out of seeing the nasty white batting 'go away', binding a quilt is mind-numbingly dull. It would be good to have some company while I do. Can you take quilting to Knit Night? Anyway...break time is over-off to put a damper on the impending mutany! Have a great day!
*Kid-One of the 15 Ph.D scientists I den-mother every day.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
It's been quite a whirlwind the last few days. Mrs. M took me out to dinner Monday night in an ongoing celebration of my most recently completed solar excursion. We went to Grey's Tied House. It is the yummiest! And the company was wonderful. We topped the evening off at her house watching The Bachelor on her new mega-huge TV. That little Italian prince guy looks even better life-sized! She recently finished a beautiful pair of socks and is starting another. Not to be outdone, I started another pair too-from a heavyish, tweedy-type yarn. It's really soft. Will make good slipper socks.
Yesterday was one of those days I love. There were a lot of little things at work and at home that had been piling up and I managed to churn through all of them in record time; got my hair cut, got a lot of holiday shopping done,did laundry, took my old sewing machine out to the mall and gave it to friend Scott, cooked a nice dinner-roasted green beans, steamed broccoli and steak. The only 'incident' was that I managed to cook the plastic thingy from the bottom of the steak on the Foreman Grill. But I discovered it before it made too big a mess. [What is it with me a the paper that comes with food?!?At least I didn't eat it like the cheese separator!] We are still trying to get the garlic smell from the roasted green beans out of the house, but they were heavenly.
Tonight I hope to get back to the Halloween quilt. I got the batting and backing; just need to layer it and quilt the dang thing. Mr. Bee has been sequestered in his hobby room for two weeks- painting. He is running a gaming demonstration at a local store this Saturday and has 16 bazillion little men- orks, gnomes, elves and assorted other creepidy crawlies to paint before then. It's been a roller coaster of 'I can/can't get it done' but he's closing in on it. I will lend my support by sewing loudly from the next room tonight!
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Today is my b-day and Mr. Bee has certainly outdone himself. He started on Friday by having 3 dozen peach, pink, yello and white roses delivered to my office. He woke me up with breakfast this morning from the Pancake Cafe;Portabella Mushroom and Havarti Omelete and Blueberry Pancakes. I finished breakfast and picked up the Sunday Paper only to find a TQ Diamonds jewelry gift box underneath. In it was an amazing white gold topaz/citrone/peridot/amethest/garnet bracelet. Then he took me an hour north to the casino for an hour or so. Came out $200 richer than we went in! Then we went to an orchard and I got some of my favorite honey crisp apples and some cider donuts to take in to work tomorrow. We stopped at this roadside historical marker and got an easy geocache.
And the perfect ending was coming home and walking down to the new Tied House at the end of our street for a cozy dinner for two. That Mr. Bee is quite a guy! I think I'll keep him.
Must go-I am preparing for another mission completely around the sun. I embark tomorrow morning. Wish me well!
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Four-Layer Pumpkin Cake! Click for the recipe!
I made the cake part for this last night. It smelled heavenly and came out perfectly. I will go home and frost it in time to take it to Stitch and *itch at The Sow's Ear tonight. It's to celebrate my 41st successful mission completely around the sun. Well, if I make it to Sunday that is. I plan to embark on my 42nd trip first thing Monday morning! And as Steven Wright says, "I plan to live forever...so far so good."
I was hoping to have my 'Robbing Peter To Pay Jack' quilt ready for the binding by tonight but that didn't happen. I actually went to bed at 7:30 last night I was so exhausted. I will finish up my second 'stripy Goodness' sock and start making baby/kids socks from all of the leftover bits of sock yarn I've amassed lately instead. Can't stand to see such beautiful yarn go to waste.
Tomorrow night we are going to a hockey game with friend T & D. Can't wait! I haven't seen a game in a while. I'm always anxious to see the players erupt into a knock-down-drag-out fight. I've even been know the stand up screaming, 'Hit him in the head!!!!Hit him in the head!!!' to the top of my lungs. But then if they actually start fighting, I get upset and yell tearfully, 'Stop it! Someone's going to get hurt.' I do a similar version of this during car races; 'C'mon! Wreck!'/Oh No! Oh God! Someone get him out!' It's just one of the many amusing ways my multiple personalities duke it out.
This weekend will find us at Sky High Apple Orchard and Ho Chunk casino. We make an annual fall trip out of it. Do you know why they call it Ho Chuck? Because they always get a'ho chunk' of my dough when I visit! I signed up to take an additional shift at Hospice as well so it's apt to be a busy few days. Will try to bring back photos from up north to post though!
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
I put my pedal to the metal last night and finished my Halloween Quilt top. It's a variation of the old Robbing Peter to Pay Paul Block. It looks really blue in the photo but it's actually mostly deep purples. Gotta love any holiday that lets you put purples and orange together. Off to get a bat tonight-machine quilt it tomorow night and hopefully put the binding on it at The Sow's Ear on Thursday night-just in time for the big day!
Sunday, October 08, 2006
I sat on the rocks by the roaring dam, soaked up the autumn sun, wrote in my journal and visited with this guy:
You have to look really close but there is a huge heron fishing in the shallows below the dam. On the top pic he is on the left side of the dam. In the next one he is more in the center. He didn't seem to have much luck so after about a half an hour he moved over to deeper water above the dam. See his long neck and head?
Then I moved to the other side of the park and just sat by the blue water under the blue, blue sky and meditated in the cool breeze: Sorry Wisconsin, but this afternoon was waaaaaaay better than a Packer Game!
There were polka dot alpacas...
And baby ones too...
Teeny Tiny Kittens...
And pumpkin kitties too...
And even a quilt show
Doesn't get much better than that!
Thursday, October 05, 2006
But toward the end of the day, I got over being so cranky about it and got to thinking that maybe folks aren’t as intellectually challenged as I was making them out to be. There could be other, very valid, reasons for my current physical state. So, jacked up on a high that only the combination of a shot of DayQuil with a Robitussin chaser and numerous cups of green tea can provide, I started offering some other possibilities when asked:
“No I’m just allergic to capybaras”
“No, I just still miss The King….Oh Elvis (wail…sob)!!!!!!”
“No, I just shoved a bunch of beans up my nose”. (Could happen. You don’t know. Actually if you know me at all, you know that this could very likely happen-through no fault of my own or otherwise!)
And the ever popular…
(Looking puzzled) “No. Why do you ask?
Maybe it was just the cold drugs and the lack of oxygen actually getting from my mouth- where it all comes in now- to my brain, but the blank stares and puzzled looks were highly amusing. So was the guy who asked, “What do you mean Elvis is dead? I just saw him at Wal-Mart last week.” Gotta give kudos to those who are on their toes!
Anyway, the whole cold experience hasn’t been a total loss. I cast on a sock with my new Maine sock yarn on Tuesday morning because I was feeling sorry for myself and needed a ‘treat’. New sock yarn is like the prize in the Cracker Jack box. You never really know what you’re gonna get. It’s so exciting! What I got was this!
One ‘Snot Sock’ down-one to go! Here is a close up of the stripey- goodness.
Almost makes up for the God-Awful-Green-Stripe Sock disaster…almost. (Ten to one that those buggers will never grace my Mum's feet although she does now possess them!) My goal is to finish the other sock before this cold-from-H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks actually goes away so I’ll have a pair of Snot Socks! Make lemonade outta those lemons!
Gotta give a shout out to friend, Roy, who investigated the ancient art of stair-surfing this past weekend. Seems that in lieu of a regulation stair-surfing board, he decided to use what was at hand and try riding his tabby cat on down those bad boys. Rumor has it that there was a righteous wipeout at the bottom and he got banged up a bit. Kitty seems none the worse for wear. Hope you’re on the mend Roy! I know stair-surfing on the cat always sounds like fun for you and for the cat, but it rarely is. Make sure you have the right kinda equipment and a helmet next time, eh? Cowabunga Dude!
Monday, October 02, 2006
Saturday, September 30, 2006
This weekend had such promise. And now it has turned into a real bummer. We were supposed to go a couple of hours north to spend the weekend with friends at their cottage on Roch-a-Cri Lake. I was so exited. I love these friend and I love camping and I love the water. I scurried and made chili and fruit salad and dessert. I had a list of all of the games and warm clothes we had to pack. Camera was loaded with new batteries. Then we got up bright and early this morning…too bright and too early….because Mr. Bee was sick. Poor guy hacked his way through the night; he latest new and exciting symptom of his week-long journey to actually getting this cold. He felt so guilty about all of the cooking and planning and all that our friends have done as well… and he wanted to go so badly that he hated calling to tell them that he thought he’d better stay home. He debated about it until daylight. Turns out it was a good thing he did stay home as he has gone decidedly downhill since he got up this morning-more hacking and blowing and sneezing and now a fever. Poor Mr. Bee. Poor Molly Bee. What a poopie weekend!
Anyway…I’ve worked some more on the top-down-vee-neck cardigan. I am going down to my quilting room in a few minutes and work on my Halloween quilt that I started last year and never finished. I got all of the blocks done, now it’s just the assembly. That’s usually where the process breaks down-once the exciting part is over. Now I have to think of a way to think of the finishing as exciting. I have the sandwiching and quilting part. I DO love the binding part though-making all of the white fluff around the edges makes me happy. Hmmm. Will have to think on that some more while I’m putting the lattice and borders on.
Took another knitting class from Amy Detjen at The Sow’s Ear on Thursday night-cables this time. I’d taken it once before-but way too early in my knitting career for it to stick. This time it made much more sense. I’m afraid I wasn’t much of a student. I had just come back from having dental work and I thought my jaw was going to explode as it thawed out from the anesthesia. My dentist has done this ‘new thing’ the last couple of times I’ve gone in where he drills a small hole in the side of the tooth near the gum and puts the anesthesia in there right into the roots and nerves. Works like a charm-freezes quickly and solidly. But I’ve discovered that I’m in for two days of absolute agony afterward. I’ll think I’ll make my needles the normal way from now on. It’s almost enough to make you stop eating things that make cavities in the first place-almost.
Well-off to NOT sit by the lake, eat chili and play dominoes with our friends; off to play nurse to Mr. Bee and then to the dreaded quilt instead. Hope everyone else’s weekend goes better!
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Based on my recent experiments here in The Ark, all rodents like to rearrange furniture and do housekeeping during the wee hours of the morning. Sneakers-the-Bunny has always enjoyed making thumping noises about 2 AM by gleefully picking up her litter box and dropping it repeatedly. Enter Flake, Rosebud, and Key, our three new gerbil friends. Two of them bumped their respective houses around the fish tanks all night while the other one ran hot laps on her squeaky wheel. It went something like this:
Gerbil 1: bumpbumpbump
Gerbil 2: bumpbumpbumpbumpbumpumpbumpbumpbumpbump
Sneakers: THUMP!!!! THUMP!!!!!
Gerbil 3: squeeaaaaky squeeaaaaky squeeaaaaky squeeaaaaky
Sneakers: THUMP! (Always has to have the final word!)
I laid there for quite a while trying to figure out if they had devised some kind of rodent Morse Code and were talking to each other:
Sneakers: Get used to the kisses and cuddles. I’ve been captive for over three years and she never lets up. Just go limp. That’s what I do. It’s your only hope.
Gerbil (probably Flake since she’s the uppity one): No way! I'll go all Ninja on her butt! I’m getting out, I tell ya and I’ll spring all of youz too! Once we're out, meet me in that old van down by the river! I've got enough gas money to get us to Rio!
Or just some bizarre plot hatched to finally push me over the razor-thin edge I’ve been delicately teetering on for some time now. (Reading over what I’ve already written, I suspect the latter and that it’s worked).
Tonight I will be setting the four of them down and explaining how cold the Wisconsin nights get this time of year. If they would like to experience just how cold…keep it up! Then they can all spend the night out on the deck. They’d probably like that…just one step closer to Rio.
Monday, September 25, 2006
And maybe my keeper will be my personal secretary as well. I was fretting and stewing about how busy my life was going to be last week. It was my first week back from vacation and I had Hospice on Wednesday, dentist on Thursday, Knit Night on Friday. Busy! Busy! Busy! Not so much as it turns out...Hospice is this week. My dentist's receptionist informed me when I arrived at my appt. last Thursday that it is, in actuality this Thursday and Knit Night was two Fridays ago and I missed it. There is something to be said for writing things down on a piece of paper. Unless you mistakenly put it in your sandwich and then it's not helpful at all.
Anyway, got my Not-Quite-Badger socks done-pathetic photo to be added later as Blogger has decided I can't add it now. Went back to work on Mum's cardigan. Still on the mindless-knitting-stockinet-stitch back part but am almost finished. Then on to the mindless-knitting- stockinet sleeves part. It's a good TV watching project.
And a gerbil watching project. A friend of mine is dropping his three gerbils off at Chez Bee tonight for a couple of weeks while he goes on vacation with his folks. They used to be in one fish tank together (The gerbils...not his folks! Be nice!) but then after years of peaceful cohabitation they decided to go cannibalistic on each others' furry butts and had to be separated into three different fish tanks. Should keep the cat busy. Maybe I'll put each tank in a different room.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
I just ripped out the entire heel and gusset of Not Quite A Badger Sock # 2. Why is it that sometimes I pick up the heel stitches just fine and other times, I get this row of holes down both sides where I picked up the stitches? What am I doing differently sometimes and not others? Anyone?
I signed up for a cable class at The Sow’s Ear next Thursday night. Amy Detjen, knitter extraordinaire is teaching it. She showed me how to do cables without a cable needle once before and I really liked it but have forgotten how. In Lucy Neatby’s class we learned to pick up wrong or dropped stitch way down in a cable and fix it so that will come in handy too.
There is a new Russian restaurant in the next town over. Mr. Bee and I are going there for supper tomorrow night. I have been yearning for Plov ever since we visited Kazakhstan and lived on the stuff for six weeks. They have it at this new restaurant. Also got tickets to see the local theater’s production of Into the Woods next week and are going to a friend’s cottage next weekend. We are really social butterflies these days!
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
It's been crazy busy of course, dinging out my desk and emails. We had a new phone system installed while I was gone so we are suffering all of the snafus that involves. It's all computerized so if the system goes down we are toast. The cool thing about it is that all voicemail messages go into .wav files in the email box. There's good and bad in all change I guess but some of my 'kids' always go kicking and screaming. They are scientists for God's sake. One would think that they could handle figuring out a couple of different options on a telephone! Not so much as it turns out.
Worked some more on my second sock last night. I got some Socketta in Maine. The light in the store was really dim and I thought it was all red and white, Badger colors dontcha know, but it turned out to have yellow, pink and orange in it too. I really like it anyway. I got two other skeins while I was in Maine that have a lot of purple in them that I can't wait to get started on. My b-day is coming up next month and my plan is to buy myself some three strap Birkenstock sandals so I can wear my knit sock collection with them. Not all at once I don't think, but on early mornings when decision making is hard, that might be a possibility.
Will start on Mum's seamless-top-down-vee-neck cardigan sleeves this weekend. Then it's just the collar and button band and it's done. The buttons Mum picked out in Camden are gorgeous. They are a pearlescent gray that have a darker gray print on them that just matches the two toned gray that I am making her sweater out of. Good picking, Mum!
I would like to make a cardigan for Grammie this Christmas as well, but I think I took her measurements incorrectly when I was home. She's just a tiny little bitty thing due to osteoperosis but her measurements were almost the same as Mum's who is much taller and straighter. Will have to have her remeasured before I go get the yarn. I got the top down seamless NOT v-neck pattern so maybe will tackle that style for Gram.
I also got all kinds of blueberry kitchen decorations so want to do a blueberry table runner for my hutch. And of course my loon quilt is still in the machine half quilted. No rest for the wicked I guess. Keeps me off the streets.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
We arrived home yesterday. We drove from Crystal, Maine to Erie, Pennsylvania on Friday and then left at 6 a.m. from Erie and made it home at 5 p.m. Central time. It took us over two hours to get through Chicago. It was bumper to bumper, ten M.P.H. traffic for mile after mile. There was no apparent reason. The road looked like Shriner’s parade with all the lane switches and fancy maneuvering. We were both tired and grumpy before we hit Chicago. I thought we were going to end up in divorce court before we finally got to Schamberg. But made it we did. And I finished one sock and turned the heel on the other during the trip so it wasn’t all bad.
Sebastian the cat and Sneakers the bunny were alive and well when we returned. Our good friends, D and T took excellent care of them. Even the plants looked better than we left them! Wee Doggie went to bed almost immediately and hasn’t really slept the trip off yet. It’s taking him a while to kick the doggie valium in his system. Mr. Bee and I haven’t really slept yet as Sebastian has yet to finish telling us the tale of all that happened while we were away. He kept remembering tidbits about every 45 minutes all night and couldn’t wait until morning to share them so he would perch on our pillows and bellow. This has continued throughout the day today. Hopefully he will run out of stories soon so we can all get some much needed rest.
We had a good time in Maine. We got to catch up with kith and kin. We spent a couple of days on the coast with Mum and her friend, Roy. We had a great time eating lobster in Camden, walking the sand in Lincolnville looking for beach glass and hiking out to the lighthouse at the end of the Rockland breakwater. We even introduced Roy to the art of geocaching. He asked all about GPS’s. Could he be a convert? Just another conquest in our plan for geocacher world domination heh, heh, heh.
Camden Harbor from the top of Mt. Battie
Rockland Breakwater LighthouseStopped by the yarn shop in Camden to meet The Yarn Demon who assures me that she will start updating her blog again soon for her fans! Great store! Bought some beautiful buttons for Mum’s cardigan….the body of which I finished on this trip. I even worked on it some while I sat in the chilly dawn air on the motel deck overlooking the Atlantic. Talk about a meditative experience! The first rays of sun on the sea, the smell of salt and pines, the feel of soft wool, the sound of birds and boats and knitting needles clicking. Heaven!
We went down to my Aunt M. and Uncle D.’s camp on Mattawamkeg Lake a couple of times. Roasted (read 'incinerated' here) a hotdog on the fire. Kayaked around The Point. I absolutely love kayaking. The boat sits so low in the water and paddles so easy that it’s like being part of the lake itself. And of course everywhere you look is a scenic wonder of lake wildlife, pine trees and huge blue sky. So restful and Zen.
But now we’re back. Work tomorrow and many busy days ahead. While I’m grateful for the reprieve, the time went by so fast and next year seems so far away. ...
Foggy Belfast Harbor
Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse Lens