Saturday, July 29, 2006

Surface of The Sun Hot

There is nothing about me that's remotely pretty. Built like an armored tank. Below average to par in every way. Usually in jeans, t-shirt and what is it about getting my nails done that makes me feel girly and pretty? Dunno. Anyway, I went to get them redone this morning and then took over an hour stroll around the mall while they dried. Since it is hotter than the surface of the sun outside, it was nice to walk in the chilly air. It was early enough so that not many folks were in there and it hadn't gotten swampy yet. I haven't been walking like I should because it's been so miserable outside. Tomorrow is supposed to be even hotter with dangerous heat indexes. Fun. Looks like it's treadmill time again.

Went to Knit Night last night and got a sizable amount done on my comfort shawl-finished the first skein- even though I left at 9:30 because I was so hot I was starting to feel ill. It was packed to the rafters and it's in an old house so the air conditioning isn't all that great. Plus there are no shades and the sun beats in the front room where we all sit. One of the girls that works there was working on a baby cardigan for her adorable 4 month old. It had a pretty slip stitch pattern that I think would make a good sock cuff and will try it on the next pair I knit. She said that you just slip the second stitch over the first one and then knit the first one. Sounds simple enough. If anyone has tried this and knows whether I should cast on an odd # or an even # to get this to come outright, please let me know.

Well, this will be short and sweet because the computer room is heating up. Off to the living room to lay low, drink iced tea and watch The Kids In The Hall.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Guess I Underestimated A Little...

I apologize for understating the rain in yesterday's Emu and Alpaca entry. It was bigger than that it turns out. More of the Rhino and Killer Whale variety. While I was whining about my wet hair and clothes, folks downtown were looking for parking spaces on higher ground! We got something like 5-6 inches in 90 minutes down on the isthmus. Last report I heard was 68 campus buildings with water damage/flooding.

My favorite story so far is of a group of UW students who were gathered in a classroom to take a test when the storm hit. Their professor no-showed. When someone finally came in and told them to leave because of the flooding, the classroom looked like this...

and they were still reluctant to leave!! They left notes all over the place saying that they were forced to leave. Guess they were afraid of getting docked on the exam. But not afraid of drowning where they sat in calculus class. People constantly amaze me.

Chez Bee weathered the storm just fine although I swear our lawn grew three inches overnight. The aspen tree outside my office window is bent into a weird yogi-swami shape and will probably need to go to that big lumberyard in the sky but no damage other than that at work. We were a lot luckier that some other citizens. We live on a hill.

Tonight is Knit Night until 11PM down at The Sow's Ear. I love knit night. We start off all prim and proper drinking iced tea, showing our projects and demurely chit-chatting but by 8:00PM the noise level goes way up and it inevitable turns into a giggle fest with jokes about what's really in our tea cups and worse. It's due in part the sheer giddiness of getting to stay up late and everything I guess. And the sugar from the yummy baked goods. I shudder to think what would happen if alcohol of any sort was introduced into the mix, even so much as a glass of wine or two. It would be hide-the-lamp shades time. The authorities would have to be called. It's been touch and go a couple of times already when there was nary a drop to be found.

I' ve learned to only take mindless knitting. Otherwise I will have to tink every stinkin' stitch the next day because I was being a social butterfly rather than paying attention. I Usually I take a sock, but tonight I will try and get a chunk more done on my Hospice Comfort Shawl. Knit three/purl three on telephone pole needles. How could that go wrong? Believe me it has, but it's a lot easier to fix than lace!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Raining Emus and Alpacas

When I went home for lunch it was sunny. By the time I got back to the parking lot at work it was raining...hard...harder than cats and dogs. I think we even bypassed sea lions and iguanas. I'd say it was a full Emu and Alpaca type rain that I had to run through to get to the building. People, I do not run. I am designed for comfort, not for speed. But let me tell you, I ran like I was in the Olympic trials. I haven't put on that much speed since I used to run away from Little Earl in grade school when he used to wipe boogers on all the girls. And yet, I arrived at my destination, completely soaked. My carefully moussed and blow-dried hair-flat. My shoes-squishing and the rest of me looking like I'd been in a wet t-shirt contest gone terribly wrong. And because it's 8,000,000° outside, the air conditioning inside is cranked up to the Arctic Tundra setting . I'm already starting to ice over. It's going to be a long afternoon.

On a better note, I have hit a milestone. 1,000 visitors have stopped by my site! That seems unfathomable to me but I am delighted. Welcome! Stop by! Come often! Leave me a note!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Heavy Sigh...It's one of those days following one of those nights. I was awake most of the night thinking. I know, it doesn't happen that often so when it does, it keeps me up. I finally fell asleep in the wee hours only to wake up with a cough and sore throat. And a weird, itchy rash on my arms, tummy and legs. My boss is out this week and I am in charge of all twelve 'kids' myself. I've already broken out the 'just wait until you father gets home' threat and it's only Tuesday. AND it smells like someone nuked catfood for lunch in the microwave a few feet from my desk. AND Blogger won't let me upload any pictures. I shoulda just stayed in bed and thunk some more. Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints to join the rest of the world!

I worked more on my convergence quilt last night. I did steps one and loved it. Step two and loved it. Did step three and now I hate it. I realize now I misplaced my fabrics and they don't converge like I thought they would. That's why it's a sample I guess. Ricky was saying how there were always people in his class that didn't like theirs when they put it together but once they finished and put the border on it was great. I'll never know...'cause it's now in the scrap bag! Will start back on my McKenna Ryan loons again.

We do have to make a foray into town tonight to pick up a gift for this weekend's wedding at Bed Bath and Beyond. That always perks me up. Especially if I can find a citrus zester like I saw on the Food Channel the other night. I've been adding zest and lemon juice to stir fries. I usually just use my grater, but on TV they used one that looked kinda like a fork and made long strips of zest. Opened up my world just a little bit wider it did. It's all about the little things!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Mixin' and Minglin'

Well, we went to the wedding shower yesterday afternoon. It was at a buffet restaurant. The back corner of the dining area is kind of partitioned off for parties and there are ten long banquet tables in there. The bride is the daughter of friends of ours so we knew a few mutual friends but none of the family-from-away or the bride and groom's friends. After lunch I decided to mingle with some folks that had arrived late and were kind of getting ignored. I met some lovely folks, admired and cooed their children, complimented clothing, explained my connection to the know the normal chit chat. Finally I asked one of the couples how they knew the bridal couple and they were kind enough to tell me that they, and all of the folks at the two tables I'd been visiting with, didn't know the bride or the groom. That they had just been seated in there because all of the tables outside the party room were full. Only to me....I love my life....I'm thinking of maybe just headin' on down some random Tuesday evening and visiting among the tables and maybe making balloon animals for the kids like those clowns you see around. Embarrassing mistake or new career possibility? You be the judge.

We played a fun game that I'd never heard of before. Everyone gets a piece of paper and writes downa movie title that describes what the future newlyweds' life will be like and why you chose it. There were the normal mushy ones. And the 'Oh-My-God-I-Can't-Believe-You-Said-That; ones (my favorite one of those was 'Temple of Doom' from an apparently bitter uncle). Mr. Bee and I put "Twister" because the couple will reside in Oklahoma and there's bound to be a cow or two flying around somewhere. But my favorite was the winner..."The Muppet Movie". The reason was 'because there's nothing more romantic than Kermit and Miss Piggy and they have to put up with all the weird characters around them.' If that doesn't describe most marriages I don't know what does!

I did start hacking away at my Ricky Tims quilt last night.
I started with four 14" squares of coordinating fabrics. Sewed some, sliced some, sewed some more and then tonight with reslice and sew more. It's really fun and there doesn't seem to be much you can screw up...if there is, no doubt I will discover it! Will try and get some photos up soon.

Before I started quilting I cleaned my quilt studio which always is a chore but makes me feel like messing it up again right away when it's all organized. I realized that if I never buy more yarn, knitting kits, fabric or quilt patterns I will still never be able to use all I have before I die. So I am going on a self-imposed hobby diet until I get a lot of it used up/completed/donated/sold. The threat of not being able to shop always makes me more productive!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Midwest Knitter's Webring and Little Distractions

I recently joined the Midwest Knitter's Webring. Thought I'd better add some knitting content so I don't get evicted! I do knit all the time, but tend to take photo's of finished projects, rather than works in progress. I noticed I'm in the minority on this one so have decided to adapt and evolve. So for those of you who have seen my horrendous photos of finished stuff...brace are some equally, if not worse,photos of a couple of things I'm working on now.

Here is a sock I started during down time at The Ricky Tim's Seminar last weekend. It's just a knit one-purl one rib. I really liked it until the hideous, pukey, pea-green color cropped up. Didn't notice it when I bought the yarn or I wouldn't have. It totally doesn't go with the rest of the colors. I was distracted by the pretty pinks and blues. Ya'll know how easily distracted I am...

[As an aside you will be happy to note that Mr. Bee took better care of me at the Fair the other night. He kept me upright all the way through the goat barn. I did step in some poo in the sheep barn so he has some work to do in that department but I fell in nary a hole all evening. ]

Here is a photo of the Cherry Tree Hill Glitter Alpace lace stole that I started, stowed and then picked up again. I've been to The Sow's Ear twice with the sucker asking pattern questions, but I think I have it now. I've come to the conclusion that I actually have to pay attention to the instructions which I'm not used to. I'm used to mindless knitting like socks because...again...I tend to be distracted by ringing phones, gentle breezes, fur babies, Taylor Hicks car commercials, neighborhood kids, insects, my own arm freckles and shiny objects. But I have discovered that if I buckle down I can do it. Don't know how much fun that is though!

Today Mr. Bee and I have to go to a wedding shower lunch over on the East Side of town. It's at the Old Country All You Can Eat Buffet which Mr. Bee always takes as a personal challenge and the thing is three hours long so I may have to call 911 to bring the Jaws of Life to extract him from his booth when it's over. Looking forward to coming home so that I can do a test of Ricky Tim's convergence quilt method. I got some fabric with money on it and another one to merge with it. I've decided to call it "Passing The Buck"! Get it? Will post WIP pics of this too when I have them...even though it's not knitting.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Sixteen Candles!

Today is our 16th Wedding Anniversay. Sixteen years ago today we were visiting with a Maine Black Bear named Oscar, getting married on my parents deck, talking my Daddy out of shooting the skunks out by the woods (talk about a shotgun wedding!) and having a wedding barbecue! The man that married us was a family friend, justice of the peace and the local undertaker. (We marry 'em and bury 'em!) I wouldn't trade our wedding for a white lace and church deal for the world. Very small, very private, very unique...and very unexpected...just ask my Mum!

Tonight we are going to the Dane County Fair to celebrate. We started this way back in the day when we didn't have money for a fancy dinner or anything and the tradition just stuck all these years. It's an agri-fair so there are a lot of animals for me to visit with. Mr. Bee gets his favorite fair treat-a pickle on a stick. I know... of the the greasy, sugary, fat-o-licious fair yummies he could choose..he picks a vegetable. There's just no reasoning with some people. There's nothing even special about the pickle either. There are a hundred varieties of supermarket pickels that taste better than the ones at the fair. He thinks the stick makes it special. Someone was a marketing genius. Oh no! We're out of corn dogs, and caramel apples! Here stick these pickles on there and sell them! Maybe I should have tried this approach with the pluots!

Speaking of dirty, little, fair secret confessions, I have one too. I am addicted to the Bulldozer Game.You know the one where you drop a coin down a chute and a wee bulldozer pushes it towards the edge? Back in Maine, they play with real quarters and you get to keep the quarters that fall off the edge, but out here you buy a Dixie cup of tokens for a couple of bucks and you get to keep the tacky, cheap, plastic trinkets that fall off. I will spend $5 in tokens, put all hundred tokens down the slot and on the last play a $25 cent plastic whistle key chain will fall off and I'm happy as a clam! I do the happy dance and show Mr. Bee my 'prize'. It's sad really.There must be a Betty Ford type center for this kind of thing. Think how many pickles on a stick that $5 would have bought!

We had horrible storms last night. It pretty much was one continuous thunder storm from 2:30 a.m. until 7:30 a.m. Lots of power out and trees down. Wee Doggie can't hear but woke up at around 3:00 and decided that he needed a drink of water and a quick spin around the dooryard. Mr. Bee took him out to the kitchen to get his drink. His middle-of-the-night drinks are always nice loooooong drinks that feel like they takes three days when you're standing in the kitchen in your underwear waiting for him. Then Mr.Bee opened the door. Wee Doggie stuck his nose out, took one look, sniffed and took off for the bedroom. He decided he could 'hold it' until the weather got a little better. He hates rain because he is so low to the ground that all of his 'parts' drag in the wet grass. Come on! You'd hate it too!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Bubble Truck She's A Comin'!

The bubble truck is coming to our house tonight. It pulls up in the drive. We throw the Wee Doggie in the back. The truck hums...bubbles and water come out the back...and then, by and by, the Wee Doggie comes out-freshly scrubbed and trimmed. Smellin' good. It's magical. He even likes the Bubble Truck Lady which is a small miracle considering what must go on behind the closed doors of that poor panel truck. We used to take him to a chain store for grooming but he came back twice with fleas and several times cut and traumatized. Plus it took them three hours a pop and since he is deaf, mostly blind and kinda on the high-strung side, it was terrifying for him. This is much better. The magical, doggie-washing bubble truck.

The cat sits on the guest room bed, staring out the window, eyes agog, watching the truck shimmy and shake. He can't imagine what horrendous atrocities are happening to Wee Doggie... but he doesn't particularly like him and thinks he deserves everything he must be getting in there so he doesn't want to miss a moment. He secretly hopes for tinges of blood among the bubbles.

The rabbit is oblivious to the truck and process itself, but sees the Bubble Truck Lady as a new victim on which to practice her shameless beggar routine. She stands up and rakes the metal bars of her cage (Attica! Attica!) all the while pantomiming frantically that we are abusing her and never give her treats...or food....or water. And we poke her with a stick. If she could sneak a tiny note to the lady that said "Help me! For the love of God, please help me!" she would. But she can't. Because she has no opposable thumbs .

The Bubble Truck is coming! The Bubble Truck is coming! It's a very exciting event for one and all. We loves us some Bubble Truck!

We're a long-faced bunch around here this evening. The Bubble Truck Lady had to call and reschedule....

Here are some additional photos of Ricky Tim's work:

My favorite part of the show was this next quilt. It was Tim's first. He taught himself to quilt using the Leisure Art's Teach Yourself To Quilt book just like me and used the almost identical colors and fabrics I did! He even hand quilted it like me with big utility stitches. Maybe there's hope for my quilting evolution too!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Molly Bee's New Rules!

Look! It's me and Ricky Tims Ya'll!!!

I spent the last two days at Ricky Tim's quilting seminar in Middleton, WI. I have come away so inspired and rarin' to go that I can hardly contain myself! I had no idea that I had become such a mindless drone of the Quilt Police; rigid rules...this is the way it MUST be caint do that! (Ricky has a pronounced Texan accent that is highly contagious!) The message that I brought away from this seminar is to screw the rules and play!! If you can think it up, it can be accomplished. So maybe it's not according the Quilt Police Book of Methods and Standards but it can be done.

I have so many ideas that I've never even attempted because it goes against all rules and I wasn't sure how to accomplish it. Boy! After this weekend, that is no longer an excuse! I was up twice in the night writing things in my sketch book lest I lose them by morning! I have spent most of this morning listening to Tim's beautiful piano CD's, writing, sketching and playing with colors. I've almost always made someone else's patterns, step-by-step but now...look out art quilt world! I'm having so much fun!

Here are some shots I took of Ricky's Quilts. I spelled that with a capital 'Q' because these are by no means ordinary and shouldn't be categorized as such. You all know I am a horrible photographer. The opportunity to study these up close and personal for two days was a sublime experience. The magic of these pieces comes not only from the rich saturated color selection and placement, but from Ricky's AMAZING decorative quilting skills which don't show up at all in these-intricate stitching, trapunto, colored threads, bobbin-quilted sparkles. Just imagine...that's what Ricky teaches you to do!

Look at the beautiful hand-dyed colors!

Center of a Rhapdosy quilt. All applique button-holed down with beautiful colored thread and decorative stitching.

Horrible photo of a stunning quilt. It's also on it's side, but it demonstrates what I love about Ricky's Convergence Quilts.

More later. Blogger is giving me an awful time uploading pictures. It probably recognizes the poor quality and doesn't think they should grace the web. Not sure I blame it!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Fwick Fwick Fwick...

Does anyone else get as grossed out as I do by that sticky, flappy sound that some folks make when they wear plastic mules and flip flops? Not the normal 'click' 'click' click'...more like someone peeling a sticker off something before the click. It's a really hot day here...humid...sweaty... and all you can hear is varying paces of 'ffffwick' ffffwick' ffffwick' up and down the hallway. YUCK! Dr. Sholls makes a foot spray people! Let's use it!

I have no knitting news because I hate knitting and I'm never going to do it again....well until I get home from work anyway. I am having problems with the honeybee sock from heck. I shall not speak of it further....That'll teach it!

Was out of the office Tuesday and Wednesday. Don't feel much better today but I am upright so I came in. Mistake. No injured reserve list around here. I've been running my back pockets off all day...back and forth...up and and fro... But the important thing is that I'm wearing shoes WITH SOCKS so I'm not going 'fwick' fwick' fwick' while I do it!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Crazy Monday

It's been a nutso day here at the old TechnoFarm. I have more work than one person can handle and the new girl from the department next door started today so I spent a lot of time training her for a job that I've never done....I hope there's a quiz later! She seems nice although a bit unusual at over 6 feet tall with a short dyed black pageboy, thick black cat glasses, all black clothing and numerous facial piercings. We make quite the pair walking down the hall together. I'm 5'2" and about at un-punk as you can get! I did wear red shoes today which is about a crazy as it gets in Molly Bee Land.

Had a nice weekend. Went geocaching on Friday night. Got one that I'd been working on for over a year. It had a vicious puzzle that ultimately involved turning the bit map of the background upside down, translating it to get a clue word for another cipher and running the scrambled satellite coodinates through that. Sheesh! No wonder it took me a year and a threat to a geopal to give the the secret before I slit my own wrists. It was worth it though. It was in a beautiful park and we took a lovely walk around a pond that had baby ducks paddling everywhere.

Got the talons resharpened Saturday at the Penny's Salon and had Kato's Burbon Chicken for lunch-YUM. Then I made the stir fry for supper that The Diabetic Chef made at the seminar we went to a couple of weekends ago. It was FABULOUS and easy. Every veggie under the sun, whole wheat mastaccholi, chicken, spices, garlic, lemon and feta. Good thing it's tasty because once you add a little of this and a little of that, before you know it you're in WAY over your head and you've made enough for a month!

Sunday found us waiting in line with friends D & T to see Pirates of the Caribbean. There were sold out shows, long lines, and theaters so packed that people were actually sitting in those front rows where you spend the whole movie looking directly up Johnny Depp's nose. It was an awesome film though! I liked it better than the first one! Then we went with them to Casa de Laura for supper. I had a chimi when I should have had a flauta but the food was excellent as was the peach margarita!!! Ole!

Not much knitting done...that's not true. Lots of knitting done if you count putting in and taking out the same 16 rows of the honeycomb sock I'm working on. Darn cables! I'm getting in a quilty mood again since I will be attending the Ricky Tims seminar next weekend:two days 8-5 and then Ricky does a concert on Saturday evening. Talk about multi-talented! Please click on Ricky's name above and see his beautiful quilts! See why I'm so excited!?I traced all of the pieces for this McKenna Ryan quilt on Thursday night hoping to get it layed out this weekend but that didn't happen. Time is precious this week with social activities Thusday -Sunday so don't know when I'll get to it...but at least I got it traced and if you've ever done a Pine Needles Quilt you know that that's half the battle! Break's up! Time to get back at it!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Getting Hosed

It was hotter than heck at work today...inside and out. We came out at 5PM, got in the car and I slumped over exhausted. Mr. Bee asked me what the matter was. I told him that I was hot, tired and couldn't face cooking supper. I just wanted to jump in a clear, cold mountain spring somewhere. He thought for a moment. And then this wonderful man who 15 years ago would have said:

"Let me whisk you to the nearest Alp and carry you in my arms to the top where you can bask in the cool, clean waters whilst I feed you Godiva chocolates by hand..."

...who ten years ago would have said:
"Let's check into that romantic hotel that has the in-room pools. We can order the lobster from room service."

...who five years ago would have said:
"Let's get Subway and go to the State Park pool and lounge around."

This gentle, caring man looked me right in the eye and said...
"I could squirt you with the hose....". Yeah! And he wasn't kidding. He said it all kinda sincere-like and hopeful and stuff.

We will have been married for 16 years in a couple of weeks. I guess the honeymoon's over. I know that the gift for your first anniversay is paper and twenty-five is silver. Sixteen years must be rubber tubing!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

What IS a Pluot Anyway?

Mr. Bee has been bamboozled by a hybrid fruit. He was with me at the grocery when I bought four pluots; the on-sale fruit of the week. He was intrigued. He was concerned. He was baffled and borderline distraught that a supposedly new fruit had been invented without his input. So we had a short scientific in-store discussion on how sometimes apples don't just love apples and oranges don't just love oranges and that the lowly, little, purple bundle of joy imbued the very best of both of his parents; the plum and the apricot. Crisis averted. I talked him down. Or so I thought.

But it must have been weighing heavy on his mind because he asked me twice over the weekend who the pluot's parents were again. And I explained it again. Twice. So when I handed him one for this afternoon's snack and he asked me the third time, I decided to change my tactic. I told him in drawn out exaggerated tones that it was a p-l-u-o-t....a cross between a pluuuummmm and a .......what? He thought for a minute and replied.."An umlaut*?" Heavy sigh...I give up. . I just said that that was correct (in a 'good boy tone' of voice)-rather than go through it all again- and that I thought that the umlaut harvest was going to be especially bountiful this year. I'm just glad that I didn't buy them back in the days when the pluot was actually marketed as "Dinosaur Egg" fruit. I think we'd still be talking about it over at the supermarket.

*(Umlaut-A "double dot over a letter". The double-dot (called a diuresis; the letter-symbol combination is called an umlaut) is the correct, German way of writing the word; the ue, oe or ae letter combinations are a way of representing the umlaut in non-germanic alphabets which lack the umlauts.)

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July

It's been a very relaxing four day vacation...Well not relaxing really-I've been sick some, cooked some, cleaned some and generally just got things caught up around here. I will never understand how some women can work a full time job and still have houses that look like they fell out of Better Homes and Gardens. We have a rule around here. You can draw in the dust...just don't date it. It's nice to get caught up again.

I did find some time to knit a pair of the teensiest-weensiest baby socks for friends of ours who are expecting any moment now. Well, not for them...for their baby.

And I started spinning up some beautiful roving that Sandy from The Sow's Ear dyed.

And I went to a movie with Mr. Bee, "Keeping Up With The Steins" with my hero, Jeremy Piven....

Hmmm, I beginning to get an inkling of an inkling of an idea of how nothing houseworky gets done around here....Oh well, off to the fireworks! Happy Independence Day!

Sturgeon Bay Speed Racer

I was in Sturgeon Bay over the weekend and went to see the Third Ave Playhouse's matinee of Shooting Star with Doug Mancheski and Amy En...