Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween! I'm A Prize Fighter!

(Warning: This episode contains a graphic medical mishap that may not be suitable for all readers. Parental Guidance is advised.)

I just had to document this here, because I'm not convinced that this weird-ass crap happens to anyone but me. I'm like that old Bad Luck Schleprock cartoon guy these days; the little cloud of doom never far from directly over my head.

I just went to the dentist to have an old filling replaced. While he's in there working (if you're squeamish, this is the part where you may want to look away) he gets the inside of my upper lip wrapped around the high speed drill. That's right. You read it correctly. Apparently it got too close to my lip, just grabbed it and twisted it around there until it tore open. I was oblivious except for a slight tugging since my head is so full of Novocaine it may never truly thaw again. I was clued into the fact that something was amiss when he jumped back, exclaimed 'Uh Oh' and grabbed lots of gauze to staunch the bleeding.

He finally got the bleeding stopped and told me to go home and put ice on it; twenty minutes on/twenty off to take down the bruising and bleeding. I just looked in the mirror and the burg that sunk the Titanic wouldn't be enough ice at this point. I look like Angelina Jolie and Mick Jagger's love child. I mean, it's lucky that today is Halloween so I don't have to shell out for a costume and all....a little dark eye shadow around one eye and I'd look like the loser in a big prize fight...but what about tomorrow? How much bad karma do I have to work off anyway?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

All The News That's Fit To Print

Things have been pretty busy around Casa de Bee. We've been on the hop with a lot of social stuff. Friend-D took me out for a birthday lunch at Casa De Laura...flautas YUM! Then Friend-E took me to a new Mexican place the next day for lunch. I think it's called La Taquero or something. It was a pretty authentic place. Good food. Lots of it. Cheap. Went out with friends D&T to Clauggagh, my favorite Irish Pub, and then to a movie which was so raunchy that we snuck out and into another one-giggling all the way. I felt like I was in high school again! Except back then we would have been trying to sneak into the raunchy one. We also spent time with friends E and A and their kids and pup at the dog park. Big Ben do like the dog park, yessir he do! Only problem is, other dogs and people don't understand that every tennis ball in the world is his so if someone else is playing with one, they must mean for him to play too! He's not aggressive or possessive, he just has a 'havetachaseit' gene which kicks in and off he goes! I swear he would run 'til he drops.

Went to Saturday knitting with Elizabeth, Linda, Anne and Rhonda. Was fun as always and Elizabeth wore her amazing sweater. Check it out. Photos don't do it justice. It's even more beautiful in person. After knitting we went to boss' house for supper and word games. Had a blast even though one of the other players is some kind of a crossword puzzle creator/editor/wunderkind and put us all to shame! My boss made prosciutto wrapped pears in a soy sauce reduction. It was beautiful and tasty. When he comes to Chez Bee he gets take out pizza. Maybe next time I'll arrange the pepperoni in a smiley face or something. I'm all about the effort.

I finished clue # 3 of Secret of the Stole before the deadline!!!! Only to discover that there is no deadline on odd #'s weeks. Dang it. I'm chugging through Clue # 4 with hopes to get it posted on time, but tonight I am cooking ( Halloween fingers heh heh heh ) so that just leaves Thursday night. I work best under pressure....NOT!

I've been doing a bit more on my Wee Paddy quilt too. I'm disappointed with my lousy sewing. I'm not quite sure about the intricacies of the flip and sew method. I have a lot of seams going in the wrong direction and other generalized wonkiness going on, but this one was just an experiment anyway. And despite its MANY flays, it still looks good at a distance. Here are a couple of shots so you can see how small it got! (This top one is the backside through the interfacing.)

Mr. Bee is going to be away this weekend so I have lots of ME stuff planned. Knit Night on Friday night...quilting on Saturday....a girl movie on Sunday....and all of the French Toast I can eat. Mr. Bee ABHORS French toast. I'm looking forward to Knit Night since I missed the last one. I'm working on a nice boring pair of socks for Grammie so I shouldn't have to tear too much out afterward!

Made a pretty decent fast and dirty spinach lasagna last night and am making Halloween Fingers tonight so will put the recipes on my Molly Bee's Kitchen site soon!

Later: Here's a shot of the finger food I made tonight. Click to make it larger-it's worth it! Happy Halloween! REcipe can be found here

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Lace, Flowers and Pet Grooming Supplies

I am just having the worst time of it, Y'all! I've felt lower than a snake's belly for the last several days although nothing seems to be 'wrong'. I did get a migraine yesterday and the medicine for it made me stagger around like a tranquilized rhino all day. Bleck! I'll be glad when whatever this is goes away! Through it all, I did manage to get caught up on my Secret of the Stole. This is it through hint # 3. Hint # 4 comes on Friday. Lace is really, really, really hard for me...especially in my current less-than-enthusiastic-woozy-rhino-on-a-bad-acid-trip state, but I'm getting the hang of it, slowly but surely. Not that you can tell by these photos!

Mr. Bee gifted me with one more birthday surprise this week. He ordered me Tammi Bowser's 3.0 Quilted Photos Express Quilt program and her latest book! He really loves me....or he really screwed up and I just haven't found out about it yet! I'm going to try to get to the workshop and work some on my Wee Paddy portrait quilt tonight. Mr. Bee is off to Rockford, IL for some work thing so it'll just be me and Big Ben. He loves to go to the shop with me and chew on his toys (and occasionally the big bear I have on the sofa down there). I hope to get a couple of good night's work done on it before Stole Hint # 4 comes out on Friday. Placing the colors, although fussy work, was more fun than the sewing part! It's not hard, just boring. Big Ben isn't much of a conversationalist especially with his mouth full of fuzzy teddy feet.

I used the birthday loot that I got from Mum and Gram and bought a new printer. Got a heckuva deal. It's an HP fax, scanner, copier, printer/photo printer that Staples had on sale from $399.00 to $149.00. We got there early and of course they were all out. Fortunately we arrived at the end of another customer tirade about this fact and to shut him up, they offered the upgraded version of the same copier ($450) for the same price ($149) so we coasted on his coat tails and got one too! Right now it's making an attractive paperweight in our computer room because we haven't read the instructions although I do admit to poking a few buttons anyway.

Speaking of Bentley, and I always am aren't I? We got the coolest pet brush last week at the pet store. I thought Mr. Bee was out of his mind paying $25 bucks for a brush but this thing is amazing! It's called The FURminator. It's got one row of teeth so it's more of a comb than a brush and it gets out ALL of the undercoat. Poor old Sebastian-the-17-year-old cat has been less than thorough in his grooming lately and has gotten a lot of mats on his sides. I have been cutting them out periodically here and there which makes him look like a recent photo I saw of Tom Pickett. (Shout out to Tom in Ohio!) And while Tom...ummm... pulls it off...umm....sort of....Sebastian doesn't do so well with it and looks for all the world like he has a bad case of the mange along with all of his other problems. This brush got the mats out without pulling or cutting. I can't explain it. It was some kind of pet grooming tool miracle. He just laid there purring his old bones through and through while I got every one out. And Bentley...don't even get me started. He goes bananas. He makes half-assed scratching motions with his hind legs and staggers all over the place. We had to hide the brush because he goes berzerk when he sees it and wants to be brushed all the time. I highly recommend paying the price. It doesn't look like much, but you are obviously paying for some kind of elfin magic. That's the only way to explain how it works.

Here is a picture of the flowers Mr. Bee sent for my birthday. He always uses ProFlowers on the internet. They always arrive looking half dead, but then perk up once you give them fresh water and room to breathe. These don't look a week and a half old do they?

Off to work on my Wee Paddy quilt!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Something Is Afoot

Not much to report. I've been working diligently on my Secret of the Stole project. I have to get the second clue done by Thursday night. I knit and frogged, knit and frogged, knit and frogged until I thought I would lose my mind. Then I figured out that after I do the right side, there is always 99 stitches. So if I count the darn things at the end of every row I knit, I can find the mistakes easier and sooner. Duh! Now it's going a lot smoother although as carefully as I pay attention, I still seem to miss a yarn over the first time around EVERY ROW! Maybe I'm not smart enough for this project!

Other than that, I've been babying my foot. I went to the doctor on Monday and learned that I have tendonitis and a cyst in my Achilles tendon of my left foot. Apparently my self diagnosis of a 'heel goiter' was not accurate. The doctor didn't even crack a smile when I called it that. Geez, tough room. If I don't take care of it (wear the special fashion statement that is an ortho sock thing, put it up as much as I can, ice it, and stay off it as much as possible) I will need surgery. No thank you! I'll be a good girl I swear! It is killing me though because I love to take Ben to the new dog park near the house. Maybe I can rig up some kind of a cart and he can pull me around the trails. Hmmmmm..Here Bentley! Here Boy!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Molly Bee's BirthdayPaloozah!

What a wonderful weekend! Mr. Bee treated me like a queen and managed to squire me all over the countryside to celebrate the upcoming completion of my forty-second successful mission completely around the sun. My plan to live forever is coming along nicely.

Yesterday we headed to the shores of Green Lake to go to a most interesting bookstore. The first interesting part was trying to find it. You'd think a bookstore in a manure storage bin wouldn't be difficult to find, but you'd be wrong. There are no signs-no nothing. But with a little help from a scruffy looking local the Kwik trip we finally got there. It was well worth it. There are actually 5 buildings of books on the farm-lots of antiques etc. But the building that intrigued us the most was this one:

Yup! It's a manure bin. Castle Arkdale. I wish I had taken picture inside, but it was a little dark. It was absolutely beautiful. Wood walls and a second story balcony that went all the way around; just gorgeous! You could poke around in the treasures for days. It's definitely worth the trip.

From there we stopped in at Ho-Chunk; no big wins or losses to report and on to Middleton to the Blue Spoon Cafe for dinner! Yummy chicken salad with craisins and almonds!

This morning we took off bright and early and headed for The Fireside in Ft. Atkinson where Mr. Bee surprised me with brunch and tickets to see 'Thoroughly Modern Millie'. It was amazing! Brunch was great. I was treated like a queen with a BIG cake, champagne and a balloon. They even took our picture and had it framed and waiting for us when we left. And the play was outstanding. I've always wanted to see it after seeing a couple of numbers on the Tony Awards a couple of years ago and it didn't disappoint! I wouldn't have been able to imagine how they pulled off a big musical in a small theater in the round, but they did it with panache!

*Blissful contented sigh*. It sure is going to be hard adjusting to being a mere mortal again...

Friday, October 12, 2007

Run! Don't Walk

If you haven't yet gone to the IMAX here in Madison to see the new National Geographic 3D "Monsters of The Deep" film, go out and get in your car, grab the bus, call a cab, saddle your mule, whatever you have to do to get there, and GO! Er...unless you're one of those folks who catches up on your Bloglines at 2 AM....then wait until tomorrow, check your local listings and GO! I took nephew Ty last night and it was the best $8 I've spent in a loooooonnnnnggg time. And that includes yarn purchases, People! It's only 40 minutes long but I was amazed! The last 3D I saw was a TV dealy with red and blue lensed glasses that had been punched out of the back of a cereal box. This was a totally different deal. I was IN the shallow prehistoric sea that once divided the U.S. Sea creatures swam right up to me and then over my head. At one point one swam BETWEEN Ty and me! It was SO COOL! I think all movies should be like that. 40 minutes felt like 5 and I'm sure I looked a little freaky trying to poke at the jellyfish with my fingers and catch the bubbles as they floated by.

I finished part one of Secret of the Stole this evening and knit Row 1 on the second clue that came out today. I find lace knitting difficult because I have the attention span of a gnat, but I'm getting through it and it's clear that the end result will be worth the effort. It's so delicate and the beads look great.

Mr. Bee and I are off to the northland tomorrow to get some fall apples and visit a bookstore that is in a manure storage building. No joke. We read about it in the paper and he is all gung ho to go! It's quite a distance away so I hope it's not crappy. Yeah, you know I had to throw one in there.

Sunday I'm being kidnapped for my b-day (which is Monday). Mr. Bee has some secret plan up his sleeve and as long as it doesn't involve being abandoned in a manure silo I guess I'm OK with it. Details as soon as I find out!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Very Rough Draft!

I couldn't wait. I don't have all the pieces on the top yet, but I LOVE how this quilt is turning out. You can kinda see how big it is. When it's done it'll only be 20 by something. The further away you get the better it looks. Squinting helps too. Can't wait to see if it gets sharper when I sew it. I think I'm going to have a lot of fun with this method!

I can't show you the original photo without his parent's permission so just rough draft quilt will have to suffice for now.

8 feet away

12 feet away

Can you see him?!?!?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Bits and Pieces

Gosh! I'm so far behind I think I'm first! Where to begin to catch up? Most recent and then back I guess. Yesterday Mr. Bee and I went to T&D's house to eradicate a nasty computer virus that had preyed on them . Mr. Bee did all the fancy footwork and D and I visited. While we were chatting, I finished my first Sherbet Sock. The pattern is from the Charlene Schurch book (the first one). It's in the five stitch repeat section and I think it's called slip stitch cable or something. Anyway, the blurry blob in the whole sock photo is condensation. It's October 7th and hotter than the hinges of heck and muggy-Oy! But anyway, here it is and a close up of the the stitch pattern on the leg (sideways view).

Friday night was the Grand Opening/Anniversary Extravaganza at the Ear. It was WONDERFUL. I got to meet Dale-Harriet and her daughter, Mary, and Beth (finally). Elizabeth came as did friend Anne and all of the wonderful regulars I normally visit with. There was wonderful completed knitted objects all over the walls that customers had knit. I had brought my Socks That Rock socks to show Anne and Debbie whisked them away and hung them up! There were appetizers and a lovely cake with The Sow's Ear logo on it and wine. True to form I had half a glass, got a horrible headache and had to leave before the festivities were over. I'm a lousy drunk. It's really not worth it. But before the girls poured me in the car (passenger seat-Mr. Bee drove) I had a wonderful time!

Last week I worked on my photo quilt in the evenings. What an interesting project! You've seen the pattern grid that I drew from the computer print out. Here are the billions of little one inch squares, all arranged in numbered compartments....
Here is a truly abysmal photo of the graph with the fusible interfacing laying on it. It was night in the basement and it looks like I managed to actually stand in and block the only light that was shining on it, but you get the idea. You can see the grid clearly through the interfacing...

And here are the first ones I've placed on the huge grid...

I am tacking them down a few at a time with my little iron that looks like a curling iron with a triangle on the end. (Yes I did straighten them after I took this pic and before I tacked them). As you can see, color 18 is a rusty red and 17 is the blue with stars. So you just place the right color on the right 1, 124 numbered squares. I'm almost done. It took me a week where the author of the book says it takes her two hours! But I should be done this week enough to take a photo before and after sewing. It's pretty amazing. You're so close to it when you're working on it that you can't see it and think you've wasted a week of your life playing with postage stamp sized bits of fabric and then you back up and boom! Very cool!

Back to the living room to catch up on "Heroes" and finish the first part of The Secret of the Stole which is SO totally awesome! Kudo's to Nautical Knitter for putting it together. It's stunning and we've only received a tiny bit of the pattern so far. Photos of it later this week too.

Before I go, my Mum's friend Gloria pops in here from time to time. Her husband had a stroke last week and I just want them both to know that they are in my and Mr. Bee's thoughts and prayers as they meet this challenge. Cyber hugs to you both!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Woo Hoo! I'm IN Club Ravelry!!!

I got to the front of the line and the bouncer looked 'iffy', so I distracted him with , "Hey, look over there!" and snuck in! I'm MollyBeez! Be sure and stop in and 'friend' me!

Of course, now I have to find the time to go in and look around. I've only just set up my profile for now. Mostly the reason I wanted in was because I was out (I'm wicked contrary that way), but from just the little bit of poking around that I've done, it looks AWESOME!

I'm about 2/3 of the way through glueing billions and billions of 1 inch squares to my quilt pattern. I'm beginning to have my doubts....but we'll see. I've taken a couple of pics of the steps along the way and will post them when I get closer to completion.

For those of you in the Madison, WI area, don't forget that tomorrow night is the big Grand Opening Soiree at The Sow's Ear in Verona. I'll be the one in the red shirt, knitting the tri-sherbet colored socks and hitting the celebratory wine especially hard! Be sure and say Howdy!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Giddy With Anticipation!

You signed up on August 2, 2007
You are #22591 on the list.
775 people are ahead of you in line.
15884 people are behind you in line.
56% of the list has been invited so far

I may arrive at the Ravelry velvet rope tomorrow!

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...