Tuesday, December 30, 2008

This and That/Show and Tell

I finished my Koolhaas Hat for a friend's daughter who is undergoing the rigors of chemotherapy. Ben volunteered (uh...maybe volunteered isn't the correct choice of word. Barely tolerated might be more accurate) to model it, but since he apparently doesn't have a Koolhaas shaped head, I modeled it too.
Didn't wantcha to think I knit it into that funny shape that you
see in his picture. It's on accounta his big, lumpy, misshapen,
empty head that it looks like that, see! I also made these little goomers. I tried the pattern once before and came out with a grossly exaggerated lobster claw mess. I guess I got so excited knitting the tiny little thumb that I couldn't stop! These came out better. I'm thinking they are just the ticket for little keepsakes next Christmas. It took me about an hour to knit each one, but I think once I get the hang of it, they'll go faster.

Here are the socks I knit for Mum for Christmas. I didn't post the pics here before because she pokes around my blog from time to time. She's wicked nosey like that! I highly recommend the Knit Picks Essential Sock Yarn; so soft and yummy to knit with! And it seems to wash up well too.

Christmas went well. We roasted Cornish Hens and then went to see 'The Day The Earth Stood Still' because Mum had never been to IMAX before. If you think Keanu Reeves is scary on a regular screen, you should see him five stories tall. His nostrils were as tall as me! But this was the perfect cinematic vehicle for him...he never changed expression once during the whole film, which was apropos seein's how he was supposed to be an alien unfamiliar with human behavior. Very believable. Not so much when he pulls the exact same performance in all his other movies where he's supposed to be an actual human.....

But, I digress....I made a big Cornish Hen soup after Christmas and whilst rummaging around in the cabinets over the stove for containers to freeze it in, knocked over the basket on the top of the fridge that held my ancient salad shooter (not good for salad but excellent for grating cheese) directly into the soup pot. Splosh! Ya'll think the surf was up when I knocked my latte into my knitting bag at Knit Night a while back? That was nothing compared to this broth/hen/veggie sunami that hit the kitchen. Ben was thrilled to help with cleanup! Mum suggested I dry it out and see if it still worked, but I frown on using any electrical appliance that I have to drain before I plug it in. I'm thinking maybe she's trying to devise a way to cut her visit with me a little short without actually flying home. But I threw the shooter away and thwarted her evil plan. On an upbeat note, Cornish-Hen-With-A-Hint-Of-Salad-Shooter Soup ain't half bad!

And I'll leave you with this little number that we saw in the Wal-Mart parking lot while 'Grammie' was buying Bentley a micro fiber 'woobie' (blanket) of his very own because 'he needs one'....Sheesh! He is not going to be tolerable when she leaves.....He was barely tolerable before!
Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Never Trust A Chocolate Sheep

I thought Chocolate Sheep was my friend...but she's not. Wouldja just look at the puzzle she gave me to put together! Nothin' but little round dinguses (dingi?) all over it! But since Mum and I have been snowed in, we took an afternoon (yes and entire afternoon) to put it together. After the 37,000 shades of green fiasco of October I said that my next puzzle would be a little easier to put together. This was Beth's solution....37,000 little round dinguses....Just kidding, Beth! It was fun to put together and all of the pieces are there, although there was a tense moment when Ben was chewing on an unknown object and I thought for sure....but it turned out to be some other unknown object. Never did find out what it was.
Happy Holidays from Ice Station Zebra! Guess what? We are having a snowstorm. Again. They say today's storm is a different one than the one we had yesterday, but honestly, it looks the same to me. They are all starting to run together until it feels like it has snowed every day for 6 months. Though it's pretty and all, enough is enough! I blame Gary Cannalte. If he'd stop talking about it all the time, maybe it wouldn't happen. I think it's becoming an 'if you build it they will come' phenomenon or self-fulfilling prophecy or whatever. He could stop all of this if he wanted to. Hey Gary! How 'bout tonight you talk about 70°s and sun and see what happens? It's worth a shot!

All of the snow and blowing has made for plenty of time to relax and knit. I am working on Brooklyn Tweed's Koolhaas Hat. I'm doing it in soft, acrylic baby yarn for a friend who's going through chemo right now. I LOVE the pattern and the challenge. I am thinking about using the pattern in a pair of socks. I'll have to ask Jared if he minds...
Once you get the hang of the pattern it goes pretty quickly. I'm just thankful to be doing something other than stockinette round and round which is what I've been doing for the last 6 months!
Anyway, going to finish getting ready for friends to come over and join us for a Christmas Eve lasagna supper! Have a wonderful holiday and keep safe and warm!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ho Ho Ho-ly Crap I've Been Busy!

It's been a whirlwind around Chez Bee lately. Mum, the Queen Bee, arrived in a wicked snowstorm the other night and we've been having a ball catching up. BubberKev (kid brother Bee) and his fiance, whom we'd never met, arrived yesterday, in a snowstorm. I haven't seen old Kev in a while so it's been fun tormenting him again, if only for a day or two. His fiance, Sheila, is wonderful! She's got a great sense of humor and keeps BubberKev in line quite handily! She is a special ed teacher so she's perfect for him!

We ventured out, in a snowstorm, to Olbrich Gardens yesterday to see the train exhibit and thaw out in the tropics of the conservatory. I think Sheila wondered if she was making the right decision to join this wacky crew when I scrambled under the kumquat tree, grabbed one that was on the ground and tasted it. I'm sure she thought she'd be spending the rest of her visit in the ER getting my stomach pumped, or trying to come up with bail money when the kumquat police came to arrest me for stealing fruit in a conservatory. She got right into the swing of it though and spent the rest of the visit trying to convince me to climb various trees and try other fruits and nuts she spotted in the canopy. Some of them looked pretty toxic. She may be trying to kill me to lessen some of her woes in the future. Smart woman!

We went to The Melting Pot, in a snowstorm, last night to celebrate the holidays, eat food with sticks and set chocolate on fire. I was the only one that had been there before so it was nice to introduce the others to the fun.

Ben has been having a great time with all of the visitors who, of course, only came to Madison to see him. Mostly he has been taking the opportunity to test out all of the additional seating on laps and feet. He's just a tiny little puppy doncha know!

Now we're off, in sub-zero temperatures, to get some breakfast before Bubber Kev and Sheila head back to the warmer climes of southern IL. I'm thinking of following them to get out of all of this snow and the frigid temperatures. NEGATIVE 35° wind chill factors today! Holy Frozen Snot, Batman! And today is the FIRST DAY of winter. Bah humbug! If this keeps up, I'm going to crawl back under the covers and reconsider things come April. Stay Warm!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Happy Birthday Amy Detjen!

I've been having a bit of a rough time of it of late. The holiday blues have been wreaking havok with me for a couple of weeks now. Today I finally caught a break. The weather was warm (well high 30°s anyway). I got a lot of errands done in the morning. I took Bentley down for his mani/pedi... and he didn't lock me out of the car. But best of all....as I was perusing in my latest time suck, Ravelry, I noticed that The Sow's Ear had sent out an invitation to Amy Detjen's birthday party this afternoon! So of course instead of doing any of the rest of things on my list, I packed up my knitting and was out the door before the page had fully loaded!

So get this:

  • I got to see Amy D. who I haven't seen in a month of Sunday's (and who's blog mysteriously up 'n' died...ummm let's see...was just about a year ago now, wasn't it Amy?) which is always delightful. She's one of those people who just cheers you up by existing on the planet. I don't get to see her nearly enough.
  • Amy LURVES purple so we were encouraged to wear it. Since the majority of my wardrobe is purple and blue I managed to pull together a purple sweater, coat and knitting bag with no trouble at all.
  • Any yarn with purple in it was on sale!
  • The place was packed with a lot of my knitting peeps to knit and visit with.
  • The new holiday lattes were available; peppermint mocha, eggnog latte and something called Turtle Dove (I think it's a steamer)....yum.
  • And I didn't spill any this time. I know! That's gets its own bullet point.
  • AND THERE WAS CAKE! The true reason for my existance on the planet. White wedding cake too....my fav!

So I'll give you a minute to absorb the delightfulness that was this day; warm weather, Amy D. , purple, friends, lattes, yarn sale and cake. The stars don't align that perfectly very often! Who can feel sorry for themselves on a day like today?

Now it's back to life and our regularly scheduled programming....but at least I'm more chipper about it!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Fish Food For Thought

OK. Those fish hats over at Knitty are the drop-dead funniest thing I've seen in a quite a while. And of course I want to knit a whole aquarium full in lots of tropical colors to match my many ensembles. Maybe some in Blackberry Ridge's Tropical Fish colorway. Seems apropos, no?

I finished my truffles for the cookie swap tomorrow. They don't look like much but they'll be yum anyway. I needed to make 48. The recipe made somewhere in the neighborhood of a gigamultibazillion so I farmed the overage out to my neighbors. They put up with Ben and me as long as I keep the baked goods coming. Sugar soothes the savage natives and all that. I also made the cake for the Chili Cook Off lunch so my nest smells all warm and chocolate-y.
Speaking of chocolate-y. I set out to send a friend's husband a small package of goodies for the holidays. He is stationed in Afghanistan right now. I thought maybe my coworkers might want to send wishes as well so I put out the word. Folks from all over the company contributed candy, snacks, puzzle books, lotion and lip balm. They all signed a card I had to go with the shipment. By the time we got done, we had 2 boxes that weighed about 22# each! The picture doesn't do justice to how big the boxes were. That kind of selfless outpouring always brings tears to my eyes. People really are good. It's too bad I get discouraged and tend to let a few rotten apples spoil the while barrel sometimes.
I also got some more knitting done. Update on Rav. First picture. One and 1/3 down. Should be finished by this weekend so I can get started on my school of hats!!! I'll be up to my gills in the things! Before you know it I'll start carping about them. Holy Mackerel! I think it's time to go to bed!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Search and Rescue

Sure he can't seem to learn to walk on a leash. Sure he has trouble ignoring squirrlish taunts. Sure he occasionally locks me out of the car and sometimes drags me to my doom when we go walking. But on Tuesday, we found out that Mr. Ben has a genuine purpose! Search and Rescue Dog Extraordinaire!

I took him out in the rain, snow and gale force winds after supper. We walked a little ways until our mission was accomplished and then scurried back home to lay on the couch (with our head on the pillow of course) and warm up. I got to the door and was sliding it open when he bolted back the way we came about 12 feet and thrust his big goofy head into the snowbank way up past his ears. Then he ran back towards me and into the house. I thought that was weird but am used the odd shenanigans from the big galoot. As I was taking his bondage gear off, he spit something out on the carpet; a man's wristwatch! Treasure! I can't figure out how he knew it was there, but he found it. He proudly pranced with me to post a note about the find on the bulletin board in the lobby. So if any of you have lost your timepiece in a snowbank (preferably digital, can't be sure he can find a dial watch yet) feel free to call Ben at 555-468-8463...that's 555-GOT-TIME, and he'll find it for you! I'm so proud! All the vet, doctor and dog food bills are finally paying off!

Tomorrow night is cooking night at Chez Molly Bee. I was supposed to have a class but it got postponed, so I will be making brownie truffles for the cookie exchange on Friday as well as a 'Better Than Whoopie Chocolate Cake" for our chili cook-off. (I'm not a big chili fan so they are making an exception for me if I bring this cake for dessert!). I'll post both recipes on my recipe site: Molly Bees Kitchen if you 'd like to check them out.

I also finished a little sump'in' sump'in in the knitting department but you'll have to check it out on Ravelry (mollybeez) because it's a gift for a non-Ravelry person. I know! I didn't think there were any left out there either! Second pic from the right...most recently finished item. I loved the yarn-so soft and I even liked the pooling effect.

Have a Happy Thursday everyone!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Singin' and Swingin' and Making Merry Like Christmas!

Well, though I did better at this Knit Night than the one before, the jury's still out on whether Santa will be coming or not. There's the little matter of a drowning and a stabbing. Both were accidents but I'm not sure how Santa will judge them. I had no sooner sat down with my bowl o' latte when a rogue wave came from out of nowhere, sloshing half of it all over the table. As luck would have it, I missed the lady next to me but did managed to fill my knitting bag full and soak my left pant leg, which then proceeded to dry into a heavy crust . Then Kitty Mommy came and sat next to me and just being in that close a proximity to yours truly caused her to stab her finger with a big safety pin...hard. I exuded nothing if not bad mojo all evening. But not on purpose. Still, I think if Santa shows at all, he'll just be leaving Red Heart in my stocking. Me thinks I started this 'trying to be good crap' way too late in the year to rack up any 'all natural fiber' points.

Saturday night found me at the Imperial Garden in Middleton for supper with friends. GOOD FOOD! And pretty Christmas lights too. I am trying to consciously pay attention to all of the little things; decorations, music etc. this year in an effort to truly slow down and enjoy the season. D & T came back to my house after supper and we watched 'Tuna Christmas'. I had heard of the title but didn't know anything about it. It is going to be a holiday tradition from now on. What a hoot! I belly laughed out loud through the whole thing. I highly recommend it, especially to anyone having a blue Christmas. It's guaranteed to make you smile.

Today I toddled on over to Mount Horeb for lunch and a little shopping and then went to Cave of the Mounds at 2 PM for a Christmas concert. It was really neat. The Barneveld Congregational Church choir sang in the cave. There were about 50 people standing and sitting in chairs on the cat walk inside the front grotto of the cave. The acoustics were amazing and it was a tropical 50° in there as opposed to the 4° it was outside. I even unzipped my jacket a little. Party!

At the end of the singing, we had a special visit from Santa who scared the bejeepers out of us by sneaking in and ho-ho-hoing boisterously behind us in the dark. Infants and old folks shrieked. He then claimed that he often stays over in the cave on December 24th if he gets too tired to fly all the way home to The North Pole. The sheer thought of Santa and those precious reindeer under the damp, smelly ground made the toddlers cry. I hope he learned some important lessons for the 3:oo show.
What does a spelunking Santa say? (Say it with me with enthusiasm!) "Hole! Hole! Hole!"

Friday, December 05, 2008

He's Comin' To Town

I went to friends' for supper the other night and was having a conversation with their 6-year-old. He was pondering about whether Santa Claus would bring him his heart's desire for Christmas this year. I told him that Santa only brought toys for good girls and boys, but from what I could tell, he seemed to be doing OK. He looked at me with a solemnity that only a 6-year-old whose Christmas gifts depend on it can have, and said, "I TRY to be good, but sometimes I'm SO BAD.... SOOO... SOOO BAD! "

I know how he feels. I, Molly of the house of Bee, do solemnly swear, to behave myself at Knit Night. I won't mention exotic fruits and vegetables. I won't make up pimp names for Ben-the-Barista and then get the group to flash gang signs at him. I won't make 'Google' innuendos. I will be the picture of piety and politeness....to the best of my ability....if I can. Ok....er....well, I'll try. Don't expect miracles but if I don't at least start trying at this late date, Santa will skip my house for sure. Here's to a shot at redemption!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Looked Fun When Knitzu Did It...

I saw this over at Knitzu's place and thought it looked like fun. Then once I bolded all the things in the list that I had actually done, I realized how truly dull and empty my life has been so I reevaluated the questions and counted some of the ones I 'kinda' made. It's late. I'm very tired. I apologize in advance...

Things I’ve done (in Bold)…

*Started my own blog
*Slept under the stars

*Played in a band
*Visited Hawaii (Used Hawaiian Tropics-counting it)
*Watched a meteor shower
*Given more than I can afford to charity
*Been to Disneyland/world. (Have ridden on Madison's famous Beltline though...That's more of a thrill ride than Walt has to offer so I'm counting it.)
*Climbed a mountain (fell off said mountain. Double word score.)
*Held a praying mantis (and a frog, and raccoons and a boa constrictor and baby bear. Oh! And a rabid butterfly!)
*Sung a solo (So low you can't hear me. Tenor. Tenor twelve miles away.Ar. Ar. Ar. Counting it. )
*Bungee jumped (Experienced several stumbles and falls that were equally spectacular-counting it)
*Visited Paris (Quebec City-same thing-French language-short tempers. Counting it.)

*Watched lightning at sea.
*Taught myself an art from scratch
*Had food poisoning
*Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty (I refuse and you should too. She hates that. It makes her itchy!)
*Grown my own vegetables (Does growing stuff on the veggies in the crisper drawer count? ?? Yep!)
*Seen the Mona Lisa in France (Is she missing? I may have seen her trying to disappear in a crowd at the Cleveland Airport once. Counting it)

*Slept on an overnight train ( I slept on a train but it was only a half hour trip from Madison to Middleton! Not my fault it was a short trip...counting it. )
*Had a pillow fight
*Hitchhiked (Just kidding Mum!)

*Built a snow fort
*Was buried under a collapsed snow fort and lived to tell the tale!
*Held a lamb

*Kissed said lamb on the lips
*Gone skinny dipping (In my case it's more 'chunky dunking' but I'm counting it.)
*Run a Marathon (Avoid running of any kind unless something is chasing me and even then it better be pretty menacing...)
*Ridden in a gondola in Venice (Ridden in a gondola at Summerfest. Hey! Work with what you have! Counting it.)
*Seen a total eclipse
*Know all of the words to Bonnie's Tyler's 'Total Eclipse of the Heart'....bonus!
*Watched a sunrise or sunset
*Hit a home run

*Been on a cruise (various day cruises including a Windjammer)
*Seen Niagara Falls in person (Not for lack of trying...Only got close enough to see the spray! No where to park! Counting it.)
*Visited the birthplace of my ancestors (Uh, the hospital? Home town? Ireland? Counting it on the grounds that the question is too ambigious. )

*Seen an Amish community
*Taught myself a new language
*Had enough money to be truly satisfied
*Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person (No but may or may not be responsible for the leaning. It's a long story, but if it turns out to be my fault, I'm sorry.)
*Gone rock climbing
(and rock falling...counts double.)
*Seen Michelangelo’s David
(on TV...question non-specific so I'm counting it)
*Sung karaoke (Lord help me and anyone else that was within earshot...)
*Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
(On TV again...non specific...)
*Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant (Homeless guy-San Diego. He turned out to be a really cool guy!)
*Visited Africa (Nope been to Kazakhstan though, same third world feel only there are reindeer instead of lions...counting it.)

*Walk on the beach in the moonlight
*Been transported in an ambulance
(in the front seat-Grandma was in the back. No I didn't run the siren or the lights, but I asked and I tried when no one was looking. )
*Had my portrait painted (No thank God! You're welcome World!)
*Gone deep sea fishing (Have eaten a varity of deep sea fishes....counting it)
*Seen the Sistine Chapel in person (Met a Sister Chappelle once...close enough...counting it)
*Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris (Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower at Putt Putt mini golf-exact same thing, so I'm counting it.)
*Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

*Kissed in the rain
*Played in the mud
*Gone to a drive-in theater
(Gone to a drive-in in the trunk of a car. Extra points!)
*Been in a movie (Does a documentary on Admiral Perry for PBS count? Yup!)
*Visited the Great Wall of China (Visited Great Wall of China Buffet and Take Out...counting it!)
*Started a business (failed at a business...two points...swish!)
Taken a martial arts class
*Visited Russia (only to get fuel)
*Served at a soup kitchen (Served soup in my kitchen...counting it)
*Sold Girl Scout Cookies (Beat up Girl Scouts and taken their cookies (in my mind)...counting it.)

*Gone whale watching (Actually saw whales and lost a camera to whale snot...triple points)
*Got flowers for no reason

*Donated blood, platelets or plasma
*Gone sky diving (Accidently. Not from a plane. Bentley induced flight. Short trip but I stuck the landing...counting it)
*Bounced a check (Gas and Dashed by accident once...counting it)
*Flown in a helicopter

*Saved a favorite childhood toy
*Visited the Lincoln Memorial (Visited the Memorial Union in a Lincoln...counting it.)
*Eaten Caviar (On pizza!)
*Pieced a quilt

*Stood in Times Square (Stood around being square...counting it)
*Toured the Everglades (Use Glade air freshener...counting it)
*Been fired from a job (Not for lack of trying) To bad the it wasn't 'Set my job on fire' then my answer might have been different.
*Seen the Changing of the Guards in London (Seen guards changing at Badger Hockey Game...counting it)
*Broken a bone

*Been on a speeding motorcycle
Seen the Grand Canyon in person (Driven on Grand Canyon Drive in Madison....same thing...pot holes that deep...counting it)
*Published a book (Snapfish hee hee)
*Visited the Vatican (Um....no.... there's the little matter of the restraining order....)
*Bought a brand new car
*Walked in Jerusalem (Walked through Jerusalem artichokes-counting it)
*Had my picture in the newspaper (but not on the post office wall...yet...at least not until we get the Leaning Tower of Pisa incident worked out.)
*Read the entire Bible
*Visited the White House (Visted A white house...counts)

*Killed and prepared an animal for eating (Prepared food for an animal to eat...counting it)
*Had chickenpox
*Saved someone’s life
*Sat on a jury

*Met someone famous
*Joined a book club
*Lost a loved one

*Seen the Alamo in person (Rented a car from Alamo-counting it)
*Swam in the Great Salt Lake (Cried me a river-counts)
*Been involved in a law suit (Talked to a lawyer in a cheap suit at gas station-counting...)

*Owned a cell phone (If you lose points for not using said phone....subtract 5)
*Been stung by a bee
*Rode an elephant (No but I held a 50 # albino boa constrictor....that oughta count for something.)

Wow! Upon reevaluation, I've led an amazing interesting life....not. Goodnight

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...