Saturday, September 30, 2006

No Weekend At The Lake for Molly Bee!

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

Rodent Revolt

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:
Sneakers: THUMP!
Gerbil 1: bumpbumpbump
Gerbil 2: bumpbumpbumpbumpbumpumpbumpbumpbumpbump
Sneakers: THUMP!!!! THUMP!!!!!
Gerbil 3: squeeaaaaky squeeaaaaky squeeaaaaky squeeaaaaky
Sneakers: THUMP! (Always has to have the final word!)
Repeat ad nauseum throughout the night.

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

Write A 'To Do' List. Then Eat It.

Oh My God! I need a keeper. Just got back from lunch. I made Mr. Bee and myself sandwiches with some roast beef and cheese I got at the deli. Every single bite I took was tough and had gristle in it. I got to the very last bite only to discover that I had eaten the entire little piece of paper (less one bite) that they put between the cheese slices. Deeee-liish!!!!! I dare say I added fiber to my diet in an unconventional way today!

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

Bashing Barriers Would Be Easier with a Magic Bullet!

I went to an interesting workshop at the hospital this evening. It was called “Bashing Through Barriers”. The presenter, Jane Birr, gave tips, tricks and tools to establish where you are, where you want to be, and how to deal with the excuses and obstacles that arise between you and your goals; be they health, emotional or spiritual. It was all common sense stuff that we’ve all read in women’s magazine and heard from Doctor Phil, but there is something about sitting in a room full of people in the same boat that you’re in that is a little more motivational. I’m always hopeful that I’ll be told that there is a ‘magic bullet’ or that if I just wait and hope long enough things will turn out the way I want/envision. As usual I was told that the cards we’re dealt often suck but the only way to change them is through motivation, determination and persistence. Still no magic bullet…..Maybe it’s time to try determination…again. Why does there seem to be less determination and motivation every time around?

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

Time To Ask For A Raise?

Back at work: Day Two. Everyone I meet tells me how much my boss missed me and that he was running around like the proverbial chicken while I was out for two weeks. When people asked him how to do things, he just told them that he didn't know; that he always just gave them to Molly Bee and 'they got done'. I've had more than one suggestion that now is the time to ask for a raise-LOL.

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

Home Again! Home Again! Jiggity Jig!

Well… I wrote an update while I was in Maine. It was a good one too-possibly Pulitzer Prize winning material. And Blogger ate it. I was too ticked to start over. The world will forever be deprived of my witty observances of life in Aroostook County. And now my streak of writing genius has ended. Too bad you all missed it and are stuck with the same old same old.

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 Lighthouse

Stopped 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!


Lobster boat

Spent a day with my Grammie. We did the town of Houlton red; shopped a little, ate a little, shopped a little, ate a little. She even walked across the new pedestrian bridge with me. It was nice to have some alone time, just her and I.

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

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Off to Moose Country!

We're all packed and ready to roll. Leaving at 4AM tomorrow for my home State of Maine ! I may get a chance or two to check in while I'm there, but if not, see you all on the 16th!

Cooper and The Garden Guest

I discovered earlier this summer that finches aren't the only thing that like my thistle seeds. Even though there is a plethora of seeds...