Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Don't Even Think About Starting Something New, Molly Bee!!!

Here's how my twisted little mind works. I'm thinking about attempting a gansey (Fisherman) sweater. I've been thinking about it off and on since I saw Jerry's last beautifully completed one. But recently I've been obsessed! Yes, I have a gazillion projects 3/4 done. Yes, very soon it will be very warm; poor weather to be knitting a heavy sweater. But does my mind listen? Nope. The heart wants what the heart wants I guess. I will finish the blecky socks I'm working on and block my latest Branching Out Scarf, but then....the gansey....I believe she will be mine!

Since I don't have any new photos of the projects I'm working on, here is a gratuitous Bentley shot. I can't help it I just can't get enough of that Snuggle Pooch!

It was warmish when I left for work this morning so I didn't wear a jacket. Tonight is is 40°s and raining. Didn't think that one through too well. I got soaked getting to the car and now I can't warm up. Think it's time for some hot tea!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Apple Dumplings, Sushi and Lint Balls

Made a bang up supper tonight. Mr. Bee is still reeling and wondering what I did that I am trying to atone for. Chicken Paprishka, home-made spaetzel (which Ive never tried before and was messy but fun and tasty) and Apple Dumplings for dessert. It was like a Thanksgiving feast! I’m glad he liked it because from the amount of leftover chicken, we’re going to be eating it all week. The Apple Dumpling recipe was one my Mother-In-Law sent down last week. It sounded so good I just had to try it. It was easy to prepare, came out beautifully and was very yummy. I could have eaten half the pan but I was a good girl and just had a little and foisted the majority of it off on my next door neighbors!
Here’s a picture of what's left. It’s a crappy picture-my speciality. Apple slices wrapped in crescent rolls sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon and baked in 7UP. YUM!

This weekend has been 60-70°’s and beautiful. We walked the dog about a million miles and threw the ball enough times that he finally got tired, took his ball and went home. I didn’t even think that was possible! We got him another ‘indestructible’ dog toy that he ‘destructed’ in less than 24 hours. This one was an octopus names ‘Sushi’. It was made out of ballistics material. It lasted about as long as actual sushi. That is the end of the ‘babies’. Only hard rubber toys from now on.

The cat was so disgusted with the incessant gnawing and Sushi screams that he tried to mail himself to another country.

I’ve worked a little bit more on my sock from H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks. I cannot begin to describe how much I detest this yarn. It’s weird because I haven’t been overly anxious to finish any of the other eleventy-million projects I’ve started lately, but I am heck-bent on finishing these socks when I should just pitch the whole works in the garbage. It’s that bad. Dirt, little, lint balls stuck everywhere!

Well, off to watch the new Discovery Channel special on The Planet Earth. It looks great! Maybe it will distract me from my yarn problems and the apple dumplings that are left!!!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Kung Fu Hustle

So Bentley and I went for our walk this morning. It was just getting light and there was no one else around…just us and the 10 bazillion worms that crawled up in last night’s thunderstorms. There were so many that it was kinda horror movie-ish! Bleck! Anyway, we’re doing our thing in the early morning quiet. We get to the crosswalk in front of the elementary school. I make Ben sit. He does. All of a sudden a booming voice bellows, “Need some help crossing the street?”

Ben hits the deck like he’s been shot. Thanks, Fearless Protector! I instinctively strike a Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragonesque pose; ready to Billy-Blanks-Tae-Bo the perpetrator’s ass at the merest provocation. Actually I’ve only done Tae Bo a couple of times and possess absolutely no other martial arts skills. I’m hoping that any attempts I make to defend myself in this way will make my potential attacker double over in laughter and then I'll just run away. It’s obvious at this point that the big, scary, dog angle isn’t going to work in my favor.

Anyway, once I get my wits somewhat about me, I turn around and see an older gentleman who kinda looks like Santa standing in the cross walker’s closet by the sidewalk. I have no idea why he was there so early. Maybe he’s some kind of uber-dedicated crossing guard that actually lives there; just standing up in his little sentry booth waiting for someone….anyone to cross the street so he can protect them. Any time! Day or night!

I put my hackles down and Ben scraped his belly off the sidewalk. I told the man that I was just training the dog to sit before crossing the street and he looking disappointed but said, 'OK' and went back into his booth. I’m glad I didn’t just instinctively try to take out the Santa Crossing Guard. It would have been a bummer of a way to start a perfectly good Thursday!

In the spirit of my new found streak of rarely finishing anything I start, I started yet another new pair of socks last night.Yes, I realize I am a prime candidate for some kind of intervention. No, the Pembrookshire ones aren’t finished. They require too much concentration at this point. Big Bentlies take a lot of getting used to. So I’m just making plain ribbed ones with a skein of red, white and blue Fair Isle stuff I had in my stash. I’ll remember to put the name of it in a future entry because I hate it! It’s attached to itself all over the place with what looks like grey lint balls. Maybe the machine that made it into skeins was dirty, maybe the yarn pills. I don’t know. All I know is that I tried to pull it out from the middle last night and instead of one strand or a little wad coming out, almost the whole middle came out and it took me almost an hour to wind it back up because I had to physically tear these lint balls apart. It’s in a big skein like Trek but it’s not Trek. I’ll remember to put it in later. But whatever it is I’m never buying it again!

Later: The name of the wool is Steinbach Wolle Aktiv Effekt from Steinbach GmbH in Austria. The problem with the dirty lint balls that fuse the strands together has only gotten worse. Every time I try to pull from the skein, I get a wad I have to physically tear apart. Annoying!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Mooowaaaa!! Right On The Lips!

Maybe it’s spring fever or something but I don't know what has gotten into me! Yesterday I proposed marriage to poor Jerry over at When Knitting Was A Manly Art even though I know that polygamy is all kinds of wrong both legally and morally. I got weak in the knees when drooling over the picture perfect pastries he made and asked him to cook for me forever. (I say polygamy rather than leaving Mr. Bee because I’ve gotta believe that if he got an eyeful of that chocolate extravaganza he would give me the go ahead!)

Today it's The Dog Whisperer. I'd kiss him right on the lips if I could. I read his book and his psychology is working wonders with Bentley. I can't believe how I've done everything 'wrong' all these years with regards to greeting and training dogs. It's a totally different story once you see things from their point of view. It's amazing the transformation it makes in their behavior. I really like being the assertive alpha dog and Ben seems to like being the submissive obeying one. I wear the pants and he doggie drools on 'em! What a team! Cesar Millan is my hero!

Bentley and I had a kind of rough day today though. He has pinkeye and I lost a chunk of my bottom front tooth so we both had to go to the doctor. Both of us felt the same way about it although Bentley was probably less grumpy and more gracious than I was about the whole thing. My dentist cheerily greeted me and asked me how I was doing and I found myself snapping, “Better earlier today when I still had all my teeth!” Then again, sunny greeting or not, Ben got a boatload of Pupperoni treats and me? Not even a free toothbrush! Probably the dentist figured that at the rate I’ve been going lately it wouldn’t be long before my teeth were in a glass beside the bathroom sink anyway so why bother!

But after all of the trauma of having our mouths, ears and eyes poked and prodded we both came home and had a nice long walk and that always cures what ails ya. I also finished my blue Branching Out scarf just in time for a friend’s birthday so the day ended on a high note. Now it’s off to bed. Our 5:00 AM walk comes awful early now that it’s still dark out!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Oh The Carnage! No More Babies For Bentley

Bentley one. Baby nothing. Apparently, Bentley is not a 'baby' kinda guy. We gave him this baby to play with in the back seat of the car. Although the screams from the squeaker were indeed horrifying,the struggle was brief. Approximately six minutes and the baby was halved and eviscerated. No more babies for Bentley.

He is an amazing guy though-in every way except his babysitting abilities. We got him from a rescue. The person that had him before us got him as a pup and trained him really well and took good care of him. He is housebroken, crate trained, knows a lot of commands and is very calm and gentle. He leaves the cat and the rabbit alone. He loves people and other dogs. He is only one year old and is a lab/boxer mix and is as healthy as the small horse he is! His original owner had to give him up because he was moving away and couldn't take care of him. Lucky for us!

The only thing we have to work on is leash training. He was never on a leash before. He was so well trained that his previous owner walked him without one. But since that's illegal here, we will need to train him. When he and I went for a walk early this morning, there were minimum distractions and I was fresh off a nice, big, dose of Cesar Milan's dog training book. He walked like a champ. He's very smart and it won't take long I don't think.

Already we've taught him to sit before any door until we go first and invite in or out. He will also sit before crossing any street until we say it's OK to go. He stays in the living room while we are preparing food or eating a meal-although he's still a little whiney about it! It's all about calm assertiveness and establishing yourself as the pack leader. He responds really well to it. We've taken him to the dog park twice and he is off leash and has his run of the place but always comes loping back when we call him. Pretty good since we just changed his name yesterday and it doesn't sound anything like his original.

We are thrilled with him. We miss Wee Doggie like crazy and appreciated the no shedding, low maintenance, no drool factors a lot. Despite his inherent 'doggieness' Bentley brings a whole different deck of cards to the table! This should be one interesting ride!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Meet Big Bentley

While Wee Doggie can never be replaced, we decided that we had enough love to share with another puppy so I am proud to introduce our newest furbaby. This is Bentley. We're not sure what he is; some boxer, some lab and who knows what else. We have decided he is a breed unto himself-North American Caninus Gooficus. What a sweetie! 80# of love and snuggles!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

WIPs and Swag

Partook in a little retail therapy yesterday to ease my blue mood. The multicolored lovelies are going to be socks, as is the yummy, purple lusciousness in the middle. The pale pink silk is going to be another Branching Out Scarf.

I am really hooked on that pattern. Here is another one in progress. (Unblocked)

And here is a fuzzy shot of my Pembrokshire Pathways sock. How do you other bloggers get such crisp closeups??? You can't really appreciate the pattern unless it's stretched out a little though. There are rows of eyelets in between the big and little cables. I'm having a bit of difficulty understanding the heel pattern. Will take it to Knit Night tomorrow night and see if anyone can help me decipher it. Probably over thinking it, but the division of top and heel stitches aren't coming out right

Monday, March 12, 2007

Flying Lessons

It was a gorgeous weekend weather wise. Lots of sun and 50° temps. That was a good thing, because neither Mr. Bee nor myself could stand being in the house with the Wee Doggie gone. For such a little feller, he sure left a big space in the house and a big hole in our hearts.

We toyed with the idea of getting another dog right away. We went to PetSMART where they have local humane societies come in on Saturdays with some of their adoptable pets. The first dog we met was ‘Amigo’ a HUGE bloodhound. She wasn’t what we were looking for at all, but I can’t resist a fuzzy face, so I got down on my knees and she came right over and tucked her face under my arm and just snuggled. We asked the ladies there about her and then I asked them if we could take her for a short walk.

If you would like to experience flight by non-mechanical means, I highly advise taking an 80 pound bloodhound on a ‘short stroll’ down the dog food aisle at PetSMART. The minute I said, ‘Let’s go” she put her nose to the ground and took off like she was powered by some kind of super rocket fuel. I thought my arm was going to separate from it’s socket. Then my feet left the linoleum and I found myself sailing past the cases of Alpo at an alarming rate of speed. Thank goodness she found her brand of choice about half way down the aisle and stopped so I could regroup a little. I got my feet under me. Pulled myself together and foisted the leash off on the nearest innocent bystander, Mr. Bee, and said, “Here, you wanna give it a try?”

Now Mr. Bee is not a fragile man. He is 6’6” tall and ruggedly built. But Amigo managed to jerk, dislodge and drag him down the floor while he was still in the “Ummmm…” phase of forming his reply. As strong as she was and as fast as she went, it was a good thing she had ADD and stopped about every half an aisle so we could finally get her turned around and get her back to the front of the store where we got her. After the slow moving, twelve pound, Wee Doggie, this was a little too much dog for us! We soon decided and agreed on what we knew from the start.; that another pup right away was not going to fill the void that Wee Doggie left, so we stopped looking for now.

On Sunday we went Geocaching in the morning and to the zoo in the afternoon. Vilas Zoo has done a lot of revamping since I was last there and the new exhibits look great! When we got home I took another walk before the sun went down. It has been such a loooooong winter. I just couldn’t bear to miss a minute of the sun and warmth. The robins were out in full force as were all of the neighbors. Just the cure I needed for my cabin fever and to ease the blues a little.

Couldn’t get it together to knit at all this weekend although we watched tv both evenings. I started another Branching Out scarf about 10 times with 3 different yarns but just couldn’t get in the groove so ripped it all out. I think now that it’s warmer, I will try and get back down in my quilt room. I’ve got the itch to finish a couple of projects I’ve got going down there; a pine tree and cardinal quilt from Elizabeth Burns and a miniature paper-pieced flying geese quilt. We’ll see. Just taking things from hour to hour at this point.

Friday, March 09, 2007

God Speed Wee Doggie

Wee Fergus
?-March 9, 2006
Sleep well our precious Sweetheart.
All your pain is gone now, but ours has only just begun.
Forever in our hearts.
We will miss you so...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Bless His Frosty Little Heart!

It's been so cold and snowy here for weeks that my patience was wearing mighty thin. I was just remarking to a friend at lunch yesterday that it was finally happening...despite global warming, we had somehow finally managed to plunge the planet into another ice age and it would never be spring least in my lifetime.

So it did my heart good when Mr. Bee and I looked out the window today and saw a little robin on the one tiny patch of lawn that the wind had blown the snow off! Oh he was all alone, confused, shivering, swearing and it looked like he had lost several toes to frostbite, but he was still there! The first robin of spring! I have hope!
I still haven't received my first Socks that Rock kit. Have you? I've been so excited every day because Peaknit got hers last week. I rush out and meet the mailman at the mailbox and...nothing. I'm beginning to scare poor Travis-The-Mailman. If that kit doesn't show up tomorrow, he may be too frightened to show up with the rest of the mail! Keep your fingers crossed for Travis and me. I have a feeling tomorrow may be the day!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Yummy Casserole

I made this for lunch today and we really liked it. It came from Taste Of Home Magazine. I've written it here with the changes I made to the original.

Hash Brown Sausage Pie

Mix and press into the bottom and up the sides of a pie plate:

20 oz hash browns (either the refrigerated kind or frozen-thawed)
1/3 c melted margarine
1 tsp beef bullion
Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350°.

Brown 1# bulk sausage and one small onion-drain well

Add to sausage:
1c small curd cottage cheese
1 c shredded cheese of your choice
3 large eggs-lightly beaten. Add salt and pepper to beaten eggs to taste.

Mix together and pour into potato shell. Bake 40-45 more minutes until knife stuck in the middle comes out clean.

We had it with a salad for a brunch type lunch this afternoon. This has lots of potential. You could add peppers and or mushrooms if you wanted and make it lower fat by using ff cheese and egg sub. Yummy!

Two Down

I finished two projects this weekend. The dreaded Grammie sweater. It's knit out of Cascade Quatro. I have no confidence that it will fit her at all, but here it is. It really does have two arms, but one is in the sun as it blocks on the kitchen table. And we all know that 'Can't Take A Decent Picture To Save Her Soul' is my middle name!

This is the Branching Out scarf from Knitty done in Silky Wool. I really liked the challenge of this scarf. It had a few new things for me in it but it was simple enough that I didn't have to 'tink' too much as a newbie lace knitter.

Cool! Two down and one to go. I have to finish my thrummed mittens before I can start on the cool Pembrokeshire Pathways socks that Peaknit is working on over at her blog. She is a bad, bad influence that Peaknit! I want to make everything I see on her blog! Better get to it!

Friday, March 02, 2007

They're Water Lilies Damn It!

Our company had an Employee Art Show that started in December and ran until yesterday. One employee makes beautiful enameled jewelry. I coveted a necklace for the whole three months that it was downstairs. I finally bought it for myself yesterday before it disappeared from my life forever. It is a silver medallion with green and purple enamel and three squiggly cuts leading up to tear shaped holes in the bottom that reminded me of water Lilly buds rising from the surface of the lake where my Aunt and Uncle have a camp in Maine. I put it on immediately. I spent a couple of minutes in the rest room admiring my beautiful Water Lilly necklace. I went up to my department and met Dr. S. He took one look at my necklace and said, “Why does your necklace have sperm on it?” Heavy sigh. What do I see when I look in the mirror now? What were once three delicate Water Lilly buds reaching from the depths of the green water toward the sun are now three wriggling spermatozoa swimming towards my chin. Sometimes I hate working with scientists.

Color bad, but you get the idea!

DaVinci DaVotion and Lunchtime Luck

Although a lot of other groovy stuff happened, the main reason for going to the Mississippi River Museum was to see the traveling DaVinci e...