Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Photo Ops

Why I haven't been knitting! My newest addiction!
When I'm not showing off my hand knit socks that it!
Or making these! (Biggify! You know you wanna!)Yep! It's that time of year! Time for Halloween finger food! This year I threw in some toes for good measure!
Halloween party at work tomorrow. This is an integral part of my costume! Heh Heh Heh!
Details on THAT later!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Precious Little Knitting and Things That Go Snap In The Night

I've been doing precious little knitting lately...

Get it!? 'Precious little knitting'? Ha! I kill me! Here are the wee baby socks that match the hat from the last post. I've also gotten a sizable chunk of the scarf that I had previously abandoned, done this weekend. It's no Dr. Who scarf a la Chocolate Sheep, but it's all cabley and takes some thinking. I will be able to get even more done tomorrow seeings how I have to sit with my foot up one more day. Why you ask? Because, I answer, if it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all lately. I managed to break my left pinky toe Friday night. How you ask? Short answer-I bumped it. The long answer involves one of my neighbors drunkenly serenading the neighborhood at 11:30 PM, setting off Ben and Holli (who is visiting for a few days) and sending me scrambling to stop the cacophony on all counts. There was singing, and barking and howling and darkness. There was shushing and cursing and total chaotic mayhem during which one little piggy got crunched and went Oweee, Oweeee, Oweee all the way to Immediate Care on Saturday.

Good news, I didn't have to put the knee-high boot, that I just got out of, back on. Bad news, I got what my doctor called a UAS (Ugly A** Shoe) to wear on it instead. It's a very stylish number made out of plywood, blue canvas and Velcro. At least it keeps my toes from bending thus cutting down on the pain (a veeeerrryy little). Although I found out that it does NO good when you take a direct hit from above by a big, floppy, dog paw. I verified this fact by testing it several times over the last couple of days. Nope. No protection at all. Now you know. I do these experiments so you don't have to. At least the openness of the 'shoe' allows me to show off my hand knit socks for the next two weeks. Well, at least one of them anyway!

Charity Knitting is tomorrow night at The Sow's Ear. I figure since I can't go to work, I'd better follow doctor's orders and not got there either, although I am starved for non-canine companionship! I will switch from my scarf to a charity project (baby blanket that I am crocheting), drink a cuppa tea and have imaginary conversations with my co-charity knitters tomorrow night from 5:30-8:30 in their honor. I missed Saturday afternoon knitting too. I was conked out from lying awake all night Friday. Hopefully, I'll be back in the saddle by November 7th for Knit Night, although that seems really far away and I may need to organize a Knit Night here before that. I miss my peeps!

Anyway, back at it, the scarf awaits....Have a great Monday everyone!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tripping the Light Fantastic

Yesterday I received my fifteen $100 BP gas cards from my boss! YAAAAAY! The price of gas is coming down so rapidly that they'll probably be giving it away in a couple of weeks. Then I can use all my buckage on Slim Jims and tire pressure gauges! And there is that little cardboard pine tree I've had my eye on.

I fell walking Ben today. It was dark and I stepped my left foot off the sidewalk, lost my balance, got tangled in his leash and fell on one knee and both hands to the cement. To add insult to injury, I had a treat in my right hand which I auto-discharged at high velocity when I started to fall so I could brace myself on impact. Ben, obviously feeling no remorse or concern for my safety, and showing a stunning deficit of prioritization skills, took off like a rocket after the treat, effectively clothes lining me to the ground AGAIN. I felt like every 'Charlie-Brown-Kicking-The- Football' cartoon Charles Shultz ever drew; head over heals in the air screaming Aaaaaarrrrrgggghhh!And all this in front of the cute guy in my neighborhood who walks his (well-behaved) Husky every morning. Sheesh! I hopped right back up and jauntily walked off as if nothing had happened until I got around the corner and out of sight and then I gave in to the limp. All the skin is gone on my palms and my right knee which is also swollen. Between that and my already stiff-from-surgery left foot, I walk like I have a 'lower GI problem'. What a way to start the day! Things could only get better from there!

There has been knitting. I made a baby hat for some neighbors who have been hinting heavily about wanting one. I'll make little socks to go with it this weekend and hang a little gift bag on the door of their apartment a la 'The Knitting Fairy'. As this will be a mission that requires grace and stealth, I think I'll leave Ben at home!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Apple Cider Donuts and Toilet Cookies

File this one under ‘Scientists Will Eat Anything’. I helped a neighbor fix his toilet yesterday. (The little flipper dingus has come unhooked from the big balley thing and needed to be put back on its leverey whatzit. It was all very technical so the little Yankee girl from the backwoods of Maine pushed aside the Hulking He-Beast and fixed it for him!) I went home to get Ben for a vet appt. at lunch today and there was a container of Halloween cookies and a thank you in front of my door. (Awwww…what a sweetie you are, Toilet-Technicality-Challenged-Hulking-He-Beast!) So I took the cookies in, put them on the community treat table and sent an email to the department saying ‘Toilet Cookies on the treat table. Enjoy’. 9 out of 10 folks pondered aloud why they were called Toilet Cookies as they munched them. Some of my more ‘special’ kids thought that they kind of looked like a toilet seat(They were mini sugar cookies with purple frosting and ghost sprinkles.) Finally someone asked me and I told him that they fell in the toilet and I swear by all that’s good, he never stopped chewing as he pondered the answer. They truly are human garbage disposals, those kids '- mine!

I got one of those musical cards in the mail yesterday. When I opened it and it started to sing, Bentley got all enthused. He came over and poked it with his nose so I opened it and closed it for him a couple of times. He’d back up and then come in and poke it again. Then I put it on the floor and he spent the next FIVE minutes pushing it open with his nose to make it sing and bouncing up and down on his front paws, then pushing it closed…over and over and over….It was hysterical. Sometimes I think there IS a twinkle of brain activity going on in that big dopey head!
I had the best Saturday! I was kind of nervous about it, like I am the first time I do things that I used to do with Mr. Bee, all by myself. But I decided that come heck or high water, I was going to have a happy, positive day! I drove up to Roche-A-Cree Lake to help friends close up their camp for the winter. It was so foggy that I couldn’t see 5 feet in front of the car just after Sauk City but then it was better after I rounded the big hill just shy of the Baraboo. I saw no sign at all of that big ammunition plant up there, just white ground clouds everywhere! I stopped at Ski Hi apple orchard at about 8:05 a.m. and was delighted to find them open and peddling the fresh apple cider donuts that I love so much. I scored 7 to take to the cabin for brunch but only made it up there with 6. Huh. One must have fallen out somewhere! From up there, the fog looked just like the Atlantic Ocean when you are coming down from Ellsworth, Maine towards Bar Harbor in the morning… It was settled down in all the hollows, creating an autumn colored shoreline and little islands here and there.

( Click to biggify and you'll see 'the ocean' between the two hills!)

I discovered that driving through The Dells is a dangerous thing for us attentionally-challenged folk. Look a giant spider! Look at huge horse! Look a hulking replica of the Roman Coliseum! Look a building that's been in an earthquake! I’ve become used to being driven for the last 18 years, (Yes, just like Miss Daisy) so actually keeping the car on the road whilst gawking at all the gaudiness on both sides of the road was quite a challenge. Then when I got to the actual Main Street it was Dodge-The-Tourists-Palooza ‘08 or something. The streets were crawling with folks. [Aside: People, when I let you walk across in front of me, step on it will ya!? That is not the time to saunter along at a snail’s pace and pretend I’m not waiting for you. Given your geographic location; directly in front of my car AND smack dab in the middle of the land of all things distracting, some giant whatzit is likely to catch my interest at any minute and I could jump the gas and run over your butt. Purely accidentally of course, but you’d deserve it if you're one of THOSE people. You know who you are, you are, you Saunterers, you.]

When I got to the camp, most of the fog had burned off and it was gorgeous; bright sun and beautiful leaves. They are a little bit ahead of us up there, color-wise, but it was still amazing. And the lake…ah…the lake made everything even better. I’m a water girl. I need my fix beside a body of water of some sort fairly often and Roche-A-Cree fit the bill quite nicely!
We raked and lugged and unplugged and drained and cleaned almost all day (in between working on a jigsaw puzzle) and got everything ship shape for the winter. It wasn’t even work-being with good friends in such a beautiful Maine-like setting. Pure bliss! My friends made something called “Squaw Corn” for breakfast which was a delicious dish that involved bacon, eggs, and creamed corn. I know, nothing could go wrong with that combo, huh? Good friends, good conversation, good food, and a lake. That must be what Heaven is like.
I had originally said that I wanted to be back in Madison before dark since I was concerned about the traffic on Hwy 12. I’m a wuss, I know. But I was having such a good time that I didn’t leave the camp until 5PM. Turns out the worry was for naught as usual. I was so comfortable driving that I even stopped and contributed $10 (in about 9 nanoseconds) to the HoChunk nation at the casino, and stopped in Wal-Mart in Baraboo to get a toaster oven that my Mum picked out for my b-day gift. (It’s wicked awesome by the way! Made a Bisquick pot pie in it on Sunday!)

Thus, many lessons learned:

*I can choose my attitude once again!! (It’s been a while since I’ve been successful at this.)

*I am perfectly able to do things on my own.

*I am perfectly capable of enjoying doing things by myself.

*A 9" cake pan full of pot pie will fit in a toaster oven.

*I don’t look like I am 'just talking on one of those ear cell phones' when I am actually singing at the top of my lungs along with a Nickel Creek CD if I am also bouncing around in the car, dancing in my seat like a cockroach on a skillet. People stare.

*People stare and I don’t care.

So there.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Maybe Cider's Not For Me Either

I swear to God people, I never touched a drop of caffeine tonight! It was apple cider, and not the kind that had 'turned' either! And I was STILL a giggle monkey with way too much energy at Knit Night. To be fair, I wasn't the only one flying a little on the wild side this evening. I had company:

  • We managed to rename Ben-The-Barista "Caf-Daddy" after he proclaimed himself a caffeine pusher. We even gave him a gang sign (tap hand to the chest and make a 'C' with the same hand and pretend to drink from it).
  • We discussed how Catholic school children used to bring pennies to school during Lent to buy little plastic pagan babies and rename them and how I would probably have been resentful about having to spend my candy allowance on pagan babies and would have named them all "Snickers".
  • I managed to douse myself with apple cider during a laughing fit when one of the ladies revealed that she was sitting and sweating in her jacket because she was bra-less underneath and couldn't take it off. The ladies' suggestions for how to remedy the situation, Macgyver-style, using only the items on hand, was priceless.


  • When the gentleman sitting next to me announced that he couldn't look up something on his laptop for a lady because he 'couldn't get his Google up'...well, it was pan-de-monium, lemme tell ya! I had to leave for my own safety as well as the safety of others. What a hoot!

And I got no knitting done. My yarn was tangled. I dropped my needles 27,000 times. I made holes all over the baby hat I was working on and it was stockinet stitch. For the love of God, knitting straight stitch round-n-round was the only thing I had going for me these days and I've apparently lost that! I don't know what my problem is, but lately I can't knit well... something that rhymes with 'knit'. I've unraveled my DNA Scarf, frogged the Frog hat, and now I've bounced the baby project as well! Back to knitting with no distractions for a while I guess. [Although, to be honest, if I was totally alone in a plain white room I could find a way to be distracted. (Oh, look! A corner! Cool!) At one point tonight, Jen mentioned that there was new sock yarn with shiny stuff in it and I nearly trampled her to death trying to get to it before the words were all the way out of her mouth. Shiny! Colors! Soft! Yeah, distraction-free knitting may not be obtainable.]

Time to go wind down with my new book (The Gargoyl by Andew Davidson-excellent!!) and get some shut eye before my big trip up north to my friends' cabin tomorrow. It's only up in Adams-Friendship but somehow 'my big trip a little north and east of here' didn't have the same ring to it. I'll try to take a couple of decent pics of the fall colors along the way. Wish me luck! If my past artistry has taught you anything, you know I'm gonna need it!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me...

Yesterday I completed my 43rd successful mission around the sun. My plan to live forever? So far so good. It was a strange birthday for me, being alone this year for the first time. It wasn't as bad as I'd anticipated but I will definitely be going to dinner with friends next year instead of going it alone. I filled my time doing a little retail therapy and bought a new small digital camera with the money my Grammie sent me. Thanks Grammie!

I was so excited about the fact that it's pink that I tried to take a picture of it. Yes I am that big of of a dork. And to think that this is the best possible one of the 8 million I took. At least you can tell it's pink!

Then I tried it out of the Halloween Skull dish cloth that was the pattern at this month's Dish Cloth night at The Sow's Ear....and started to suspect that no matter how fancy the camera...I am the world's worst photographer!

Finally I decided to try it out on the guy who's always photogenic....

"Me? Oh Crap."

"Fine. I'll pose."

"But I'm gonna lie down if I get tired."

"Seriously, enough is enough."

At least it's little so I can take crappy pictures anywhere. It fits right in my purse! I hope to get some shots of the fall colors on my way to Adams-Friendship on Saturday. It's supposed to be a glorious day for a drive! With that kind of subject matter, maybe I'll be able to take at least a couple of decent ones. Time will tell....until next time...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Busier Than A Long Tailed Cat In A Room Full Of Rocking Chairs

Boy Howdy, was last week busy! Seems like I was on the tear every day and evening. This week seems to be queueing up to be the same with Dish Cloth Night at The Sow's Ear on Tuesday and Knit Night on Friday. Saturday will find me up in Adams- Friendship helping friends close up their cottage for the winter. And I'll need to find an hour or two for cat wrangling time in there as well as baking up something for Bosses Day on Thursday. Wheeeee!

Last Friday night, Friend-Donna took me to The Memorial Union for a drink and to shoot the breeze. I am ashamed to admit that I have lived here for 18 years and never been to the Union. I DON'T drive downtown-especially right after work when 8,000,000 of my closest friends are trying to get there too! But it was an absolutely beautiful autumn evening and I had a blast and now I regret that I can't get there more often. The people watching was magnificent! When we first got there, it was mostly students. I was amazed at the way everyone was set up in cliques just like the high school cafeteria, the jocks at one table, computer geeks and another and so on and so forth. Based on the deep conversations...not...coming from the table next door, I have decided that college is wasted on the young as far as academic content is concerned. I know it was when I went. I think you should work at a minimum wage job for at least five years after high school until your brain is more fully formed and THEN get to go. I'm envious of all the learning opportunities down there, but man, you couldn't pay me to go back to the hormonal zoo right out of high school again! Then as more folks got there, it got more diverse and more lubricated and more interesting, if ya know what I mean. I loves me some good people watching. We ended the evening with a slab of spanakopita (I think...Greek spinach/feta pie) and baklava at the Parthenon. I came home a happy girl.

Saturday I did my kitten taming stint. There were two 6 week old tortoise shell kittens and an older feral cat. I concentrated on the older cat since there was a bunch of home schoolers there playing with the kittens. Blazing Billie loves to play with the cat dancer but just try and touch him and he runs away. I finally cabbaged him, snuggled and snogged him, and got him to relax a bit after a fashion. Another 28,000 cuddle sessions and he may be adoptable. Maybe.

Sunday I frogged my frog hat (how appropriate!) and decided to concentrate on another project before I did harm to myself or others. Ears? No problem. Joining without a twist and getting the seed stitch to come out right? BIG PROBLEM. I musta starting that sucker 8 or 9 times and still wasn't happy with it. Either the seed pattern was off or the joins were too loose or whatever. I'm going to work on a scarf that I'm making for a holiday gift and let froggie marinate a bit more before I tackle it again. (Ewww! Marinated frog!) I've worn the first 20 feet of the yarn right out knitting and raveling it.

We celebrated CARE Week at work last week. It's a national thing that companies do to celebrate their customers and customer facing groups. We got gifts every day including a $25 gas card, a Bucky Book, movie tickets and a cool vest. We also got lunch on Monday and breakfast on Thursday. I think we should have CARE Week every week! ;-)

Wednesday, we had our corporate quarterly meeting in the auditorium. Every October we celebrate people's anniversaries at the company with videos and stories and entertainment. This year was special because it was my 15th and the company's/founder's 30th anniversary. There were about 30 of us sitting down front in the auditorium celebrating 5, 10, 15 or 20 years. I was shocked with the Chancellor of the UW and Governor Doyle both showed up to give congratulatory addresses. They both know I'm shy and don't like to be pointed out and fussed over so they both pretended to concentrate on the companies anniversary, but I know that they came for just for me! We also had a small 'Dancing With The Stars' competition, 'Richard Simon's and his Simmonettes; doing a dance routine and ;Marilyn Monroe' sang 'Happy Anniversary' to the Company president. Beats running and fetching and filing and typing all afternoon!

As a 15 year gift, I got to pick out a $1500 gift card to anywhere I wanted. I picked a BP Gas card. Free gasoline for a year! ChaChing!

So all in all it was a good week to be Molly Bee. I was busy, had fun and raked in the goods. I could get used to this!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Frog's Ears and Wild Cats

Guess what this is? Why, it's a frog's ear of course. I started a froggie hat for a wee friend for Christmas. I found the free pattern on line. Isn't it the cutest thing ever? What good are other peoples' little kids if you can't make them silly hats? The kids love 'em and wear them. The parents have to live down being seen in public with their child sporting frog eyeballs on the top of his head. It truly is a win win situation for childless knitter with an odd sense of humor such as myself!

Kudo's to the designer of this one. It's a very clever design. There is a dinosaur one too. Gosh I wish the kid had two heads....but if he did, he's already look silly and wouldn't need the hats...Oy! Life's ironies!

I added another metaphorical hat to my collection today (as in 'she wears many hats'). This hat comes with a wee chair and whip, for I am to be.... (echo...echo....echo) The Kitten Tamer...(echo, echo, echo). Dog Whisperer eat your heart out! [Is real life as weird as it is in my head?]

Anyway...I saw an ad for a local vet that said 'we need kitten tamers, call for info'. So whattaya gonna do, right? Ya gotta call! It's like a double dog ( dare! So I did and now my Saturday mornings are devoted to socializing the wiley beasties for adoption. So I kinda lied. It's more of a feather-on-a-stick and piece of string that comes with the hat rather than a whip and chair. And no. I won't be bringing any home. Bentley likes to nosh in the cat box, and in a place as small as mine, it would be an ugly situation so I'll just get my kitty fix there!

I'll teach them all the standard kitty tricks; not coming when called...ignoring you when you speak....not learning their own name....walking on the kitchen counters when you're not looking and clawing up the sofa. Someone's gotta do it! No wait! I think they come with those tricks already installed, so maybe I'll just cuddle and smooch 'em a lot. You know I'll come home all scratched and chewed up but it'll be worth it for quality (as well as quantity) kitty time! And the kitties will be so glad when I leave and stop slobbering all over them that they'll be perfect angels in order to be adopted into another home before I come back the next Saturday. I'm sensing a plan coming together, People!

Off to finish my homework. I'm taking a "Women and Money" class. This is class three and so far I've learned that I don't have any money. And I paid $45 to learn that. Wait a minute....methinks I may see the problem....

Friday, October 03, 2008

Dum De Dum De Dum (Drumming Fingers and Twiddling Thumbs)

I went to Knit Night tonight and left early because I have to be at our yard sale at 7:00ish tomorrow morning. The special at The Sow's Ear was a Harvest Latte. Well, as luck would have it, I LUVS me a Harvest Latte, so I had Ben The Barista make me one big enough so that I could actually sit on the side of swimming pool-sized mug and hang my feet in if I wanted to. I didn't consider the fact that one of the main ingredients in it is espresso. So now I'm home and all jacked up on caffeine with nary a sandman in sight. I feel like I'm on fast forward and I'm sure the poor ladies that were subjected to me at The Ear this evening thought so too! I was talking reallyreallyfastandloudly because I can't hear in a crowd and therefore think no one can hear me either. My throat actually hurts. Clearly the espresso was clouding my judgement. I'm pretty sure all of this classifies as a drinking problem. I'll have to check in the the Juan Valdez Rehab Center to dry out before I'm going to get a moment of shut eye... or be invited to sit with Jen and Elizabeth at Knit Night again!

Here is a shot of the two cable hats I made for The Ear. One more to go before I'm done with this stinkin' skein of white. Booooorrrrrriiiiiinnnnggggg....

And here is a gratuitous shot of the Fearless Heron Hound, keeping a sharp eye out for gangly-legged feathered intruders from the safety of his living room.

[Aren't I handsome? Why I hardly look like the dork I truly am in this photo. All of those stories she tells about me are lies I tell you! Lies!]

Well, maybe I'll toddle off and read some. I'm reading The Lace Reader which is AWESOME and you should definitely check it out. It's a novel about a family of women in Mass. who see the future in pieces of lace. The only problem with this plan is that it's a REALLY GOOD book which means it won't make me sleepy and I'll read all night. I ought to be good and ready to drift off by yard sale time tomorrow. Oy Vey! Which means I'll have to stop at the filling station and get a ginormous coffee so I can make it though the day....You can see where this vicious cycle is headed, can'tcha? Hello my name is Molly Bee and I'm a caffeine junkie....Darn you 'Pusher Ben' and your delicious Harvest Lattes!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Horrible Harrowing Heron Happening

This morning, Ben and I had an encounter with our blue heron friend. He's always on the far side of the pond if he's there at all and when I looked I didn't see him. The last couple of days he hasn't been and I figured he'd headed south for the winter. We ambled down the sidewalk to the far end of the pond where the reeds are only a few feet from the sidewalk.

All in a whoosh, the heron flew up out of the reeds right beside us, swooped at us, over our heads and then circled back around to the far end of the pond and landed! For a minute there it was all wings and beak and long dangly feet! Scared the Bejeepers out of me !!!

Had my eyes not rolled back in my head from shock and being just a hair this side of 'the vapors', I would had thought to look for his special 'toe comb' that Knitzu told me about, but I was busy trying to figure out what the police report would say about cause of death-'beaten and then eaten by gangly marsh bird' probably.

I think the heron was startled as well. Ben, however, won; both for being most frightened and being the quickest thinker in the self-preservation department. I know! 'Ben' and 'quickest thinker' in the same sentence! Once the dust and feathers had settled, I looked and there he was, flattened to a big, red, dog shaped film on the sidewalk with his paws over his nose and his eyes squinched shut. I swear I could hear him mumbling incantations trying to evoke his doggie superpower shield of invisibility.

Clearly he figured that if he kept a low enough profile, the pterodactyl will eat Mommy first and he could then run away as fast as his big, floppy, puppy paws could carry him. Valiant, true-blue, brave-hearted protector...y e a h...r i g h t. He looked mighty sheepish when it was all over, but there's not a doubt in my mind that if it ever happened again, the results would be the same. It's clear that when the heron hits the fan, I'm on my own!

In knitting news finished my another cable hat last night. I am working on the third from the skein of white I have. One has a roll up brim and the other two don't. I like the pattern. It's our there in the freebies under 3 AM Cable Hat I think. It's fairly easy, but the cables add a little break from the monotony of round and round. I am no longer grooving on the white yarn though. I'll be glad to start another color. Green is next I think. I'll try and remember to get a photo or two before I turn them in.

My knitting may slow down a bit now since I am taking an Adult Education online course about Women and Money Management. Did the first class last night and really like it. I've never been real savey when it comes to investing so I thought this would be a good opportunity to learn. to buy lottery tickets

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...