Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I Hope The Insommnia Stops Before The Craft Projects Run Out!

...or I'll be forced to do something constructive like clean my grubby nest in anticipation of a dozen or so guests Friday night!

Celtic Knot


Putting the Irish in O'Lantern

We'll put this one on the patio to duel with the neighbor's garden gnome.

Boo! Scary Pun'kin Ben!

Funny Bones and Stoney Stares

I was up all night with a particularly pesky bout of insomnia so to say that I'm less than cheery today would be an understatement. Not grumpy so much as zombie-like. So when I took Bentley out at the butt crack of dawn this morning, I was less than attentive. I put him on his leash and then step out on my patio to let him wander down the lawn to take care of any fluid collection that may have occurred overnight. I stood, in the freezing cold, eyes closed, swaying in my slippers for quite some time before I realized that Ben wasn't moving. Closer observation showed him stone still, hackles raised, in 'pointer position', staring down the garden gnome that has been on our neighbor's patio all. summer. long. Apparently, vigilant watchdog that he is, he just noticed it. Nothing I could say would convince him that it was a game that he could not win. He was in full Garden Gnome Lock Down position. I finally had to physically get between him and the gnome, promise three cookies and a belly rub to break the obsession. He finally trundled off to do his business, casting frightened looks over his shoulder the whole time. I'm surprised he could even pee. For a huge, tough-looking guy, he sure is a big 'fraidy dog! So add gnomes, and possibly other garden or patio statuary to the long list of Ben's Kryptonite (Halloween decorations, whooping cranes, flags, the dark, Bob the maintenance guy....)

Make no bones about it, I can get into plenty of trouble when left to my own devices. Particularly on little to no sleep. Witness last night's little project.

I was really rocking the joint, turning these out. I really knuckled under and got busy.

I made a whole graveyard of boney treats for various events I have going this weekend.

[Jam mini marshmallows (sideways, not endways) on the end of thin stick pretzels and dunk them in white chocolate. I recommend white candy coating. The white chocolate chips are hard to keep the right consistency for dipping.]

Anyone who has a bone to pick about how gory these are should be reminded that it could have been worse! Remember last Halloween's little science project? Finger Food!

Ewww! Chills me to the bone!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Free Entertainment

So the other night the neighbor boys stop by to visit. They are both named Mike and are collectively know (by me) as Mike-Squared. Individually I call them Mike and Hef because I've never seen 'Hef' in anything other than jammie pants, a robe and slippers. They knock on the door and I open it. There they stand, one with a plate of cookies and one with a bath towel. Right away I know this is not going to be the ho-hum Sunday night I originally envisioned.

Mike has decided that their dishwasher doesn't work and wants to compare notes with mine since both are the same make and model. Hef is just along for the ride; in it for the cookies pretty much. Mike figures out a way to jerry-rig the dishwasher door so that the machine thinks it's closed, thus enabling him to turn the thing on and see where the water goes. As it turns out, predictably, the water goes all over Mike and the kitchen . One towel was hardly sufficient. Hef and I munched cookies and watched in amusement as The Poseidon Adventure was played out brilliantly by Captain Mike. He never did figure out if his machine, or mine was running correctly and after a while scampered off formulating plans that involved tying plastic bags to various nozzles on the inside of his machine to see if they filled with water. I hope he has more towels.

Just another Sunday night at Chez Bee!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Spooked

Wanna know what scares a Bentley? Well, besides swooping blue herons? And fluttering garden flags? And Bob the Maintenance Man? And the dark?

This!

We walked by this Halloween display yesterday and the wind was blowing the robes around. Ben did his usual duck and cover move, hackles raised and then just howled to the sky like a wolf. Never seen him do that before! And then he didn't want to walk past it even though it was on the other side of the street! Don't know if he's seen the movie 'Scream' too many times or has a problem with big plywood pumpkins, but this totally freaked him out. It was so funny, we walked the same route today. Same thing! Don't call the Humane Society! Starting tomorrow I will alter out route until after All Hallow's Eve!

Know what scares me? This!

Trailer hitch cover in the Walmart parking lot in Maine.

Monday, October 19, 2009

So Addicted. Oh So Very Addicted.


I took an enterlac class on Saturday.

Oh. My. Gosh! So hopelessly addicted! Just one more rectangle!!!! I may need an intervention! Off to knit one more rectangle. Night all!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Boo Boo Bees

I have a head cold. My eyeballs are going to jettison from my head in a fantastical manner at any moment. But I'm not having half the bad day that Bentley is. I woke up this morning to this pathetic site.

Both of his eyes were red and weepy and it looked like he had tucked a green seedless grape-jumbo size-up under his right eyelid.


(Sorry about the horror and carnage of the pig ear consumption shot but it shows the eyelid lump to it best advantage.)


Called the vet and got a 3PM appt. I dragged our pathetic selves down there. It's conjunctivitis again. Doggie Pink Eye. Drops twice a day and he'll be right as rain. It had been a month since his nails were clipped so the doc decided to do them while they had him back there. Ben decided HE was done about 15 seconds before his last pinky toe actually was and spazed out. They cut his nail pretty badly and it took some time to get the bleeding to stop, mostly because his blood pressure was so high from freaking out. I went out to put him in the car and it started bleeding all over so I took him back into the office and he came out looking like this:

Went in with Boo Boo Eye and came out with Boo Boo toe! Bad day for Boo Boo Ben!

The tables will turn soon since I am now responsible for putting drops in his eyes twice a day-which he hates- and seeing too it that he doesn't get his bandage off. All while sneezing and blowing my dern fool head off. Something tells me it's going to be a long evening for the Boo Boo Bees!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Best. Supper. Ever.


Mix two teaspoons of butter, a minced garlic clove, dried parsley and a little salt into a paste, set aside.

On a sheet of tin foil, lay out 6-9 asparagus spears (like a raft).
On top of that put a white fish fillet (I used catfish because I had it on hand)
Spread the butter paste evenly on top of the fish
Top with a couple of slices of lemon.
Seal and bake 15 -17 minutes at 375°.

While that is cooking, take a thin slice off the top of an apple and then core it. In the hole in the middle put a little brown sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon. Top with a little butter. Put it in a deep sided bowl (I used a corell cereal bowl.

Once your dinner is cooked and you are sitting down to eat it, put the apple in the microwave for 3 minutes and 30 seconds. Just let it sit in the micro while you eat.

When it's time for dessert top the apple with a dab of Reddiwhip.

Easy and delicious. Heaven.

Monday, October 12, 2009

CDC Confusion and Pun'kin Fun

We got a little health newsletter in the mail today. The front page has some tips from the CDC to avoid getting the flu. I'm glad I work with scientists because I immediately had questions. I was waaaay confused...
  1. Avoid close contact with others who are sick. (Shun and ostracise your coworkers. Got it. Check.)
  2. Stay home when you are sick. (Shun your neighbors too. Pretty straightforward. Check.)
  3. Cover your mouth and nose. (Will make it difficult to work, not to mention breath, but o.k.)
  4. Clean your hands. (Difficult to do while they are over my mouth and nose but I'm pretty dexterous with my elbows. Probably doable. Check.)
  5. Avoid touching your nose or mouth. (This is where I got confused 'cause number three says....)

My kids worked out that you only have to cover your mouth and nose until you die from lack of oxygen and then you don't have to worry about getting the flu....and just that easily we discovered the cure for H1N1! That's how science works!

In other news...the front page of the hometown newspaper had an article about folks in Maine sailing pumpkins: http://www.bangordailynews.com/detail/124863.html. I sent the article to my kids commenting that anyone could chuck a pumpkin (they're big on trebuchets out here) but it takes a rare breed to sail one. One of my kids allowed that if the seas were rough enough he could probably sail and chuck at the same time! That's why I come to work in the morning!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Autumn in Wisconsin

Even though it snowed yesterday morning and was only 39 today, this was one bea-u-ti-ful weekend in Wisconsin. Spent yesterday in the Black Earth, Spring Green area. Saw Taliesin, farmer's markets, flea markets and House on the Rock. What a gorgeous day! Bought a pie pumpkin at the pumpkin patch. Will try my hand at Pumpkin Salad. If it turns out, I'll post the recipe. Hope your weekend was as spectacular as mine!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Playing with Dirty Balls

Get your mind out of the gutter...unless it's the bowling alley gutter because that's what I'm talking about. A bunch of us went bowling last night and when we finished, my hands were filthy. I went to the loo to wash them and when I was finished my hands felt funny...tingly. Within a couple of minutes I had a hot red rash all them. I'm guessing I was allergic to something in the soap, but it's never happened before. I bowled a 164 at one point so, as a bowler who does the Snoopy dance when she breaks 100, it was totally worth it. Still a little itchy today but getting better. I guess the moral of the story is to play with your own balls and not the one at the lanes. At least you know where they've been and can wait til you get home to wash your hands!

Friday, October 09, 2009

H1N1 LMNOP C3PO R2D2

If we are supposed to stop calling it the 'Swine Flu' and call it 'N1H1', why does the Channel 3 news lady keep calling it the 'H1N1 Swine Flu'. Defeat the purpose much?!

You know what the difference between the Swine Flu and Avian Flu is?

Wait for it....

With Avian Flu you get 'tweetment'.

With Swine Flu you get 'oinkment'.

Hey, I said I'd write every day this month. I didn't say it would all be 'good'.
Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Molly The Pet Sitter and the Case of The Aqua Mice

My friend has four kitties-two older females and two newish boy-kittens. For those of you keeping score at home, they are the two males from the litter that we found in her barn this spring; Bear and Romeow Catulet. I stopped by the other night to get instructions for their care and feeding while their mommy and daddy are on an upcoming vacation. The feeding part is easy. The important part is favorite toys, tickle spots, treats and where Mommy hides the home grown catnip! I brought some little kitty toys with me, cause that’s what good Aunties do. One of them was a largish mouse that makes a loud electronic mousey squeak when batted…or gently touched…or breathed on…or looked at sideways… [Yup! That’s what good Auntie’s do alright! Bring toys that the kids love but are so loud and annoying that the parents curse the day the good Auntie was born!] and the other was a packet of three much smaller mice with a feather on the end of their tails.

Oh. My. Gosh! You should have seen the little boys. They were like the Flying Wallendas tossing and chasing those mice around. We played with them for a while and then got down to the business of what needs to be cared for during my friend’s vacation. Then we noticed it was quiet….One might say too quiet. Soon Bear comes up dragging in a sopping wet feather mouse. The mouse was confiscated and put up on the cupboard to dry. I thought to myself that he must have accidentally flung it into his water dish, but soon he came back with another feather mouse just as wet. We were discussing details and , distracted so we just took that one away too and put it on the cupboard with its friend. Bear disappears and comes back a THIRD drenched feather mouse which is also removed of airing. At this point my friend and I look at each other and say “What to heck?” We follow in the direction that Bear disappeared just in time to see him trying to purposefully dunk the big electronic mouse in his water dish. Ain’t no mouse like an Aqua Mouse I guess! He was a feral kitten, maybe his daddy was a raccoon…he washes his mice before he eats them? I suspect the mice will remain Aqua Mice until the end since cat’s take the phrase ‘No don’t do that’ as a personal challenge. At least his Mum will be glad when the electronic squeaker takes a bath!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Molly The Cable Guy

I have bundle service from a local cable company...first letter starts with 'C' as in 'Crappy Customer Service' and rhymes with 'starter'. In the year I've been with them they have done nothing but screw up. The Phone Center people are very nice to speak with, but when it comes to doing what they say they'll do, they do something else entirely. Like give me a wrong phone number. And hook my phone up to another empty apartment in my building. The latest fiasco occurred this week when I got their ad in the mail. I could add HDTV, all of the premium movie channels AND a DVR player for $40 LESS than I'm paying now. I KNOW! It sounded like magic beans to me too, but I checked it all out and it was forrealz!

As usual, the customer service rep, Elizabeth, handled everything beautifully. She was kind, courteous and efficient. I arranged to have The Cable Guy come to my house to hook up the DVR because I am notoriously bad at all things electronic. She tried to convince me that I could do it myself, but I told her that that we should get to know each other better before she made those kind of pronouncements. [She was trying to save me a $29.99 service fee. I was trying to save myself from electrocution and the rest of my building mates from the inconvenience of having to find alternative housing through the Red Cross.] But over all it was smooth sailing. I hung up after the interaction and said to Ben, "That went a little TOO well.' Having lived with me thought the previous encounters with this company, he thought so too.

I was grateful that we were able to find a two hour window the next day for The Cable Guy to show up. The last couple of times I've needed them, I've gotten an approximate date range. He shows up on time. My new BFF Elizabeth had even managed to book a strapping, studly young lad, which I appreciated. He came in and said, "I'm here to install your additional cable outlet." Sigh. Ben gave me an 'I told you so look' and slunk off into the bedroom to hide. I explained the problem to Studly. He was actually here to install a DVR and not an extra outlet. Of course he didn't have a DVR in the truck so he made 20 minutes worth of phone calls to complain about the having been given the wrong ticket and to try and find a DVR at a local office. Finally he says that he's going to get one and will be back.

Finally he comes back lugging this huge, silver box that looks like a '67 Buick, claiming that it is an 'older model', but it has better features than the new ones. Yeah. Right. But he says it with authority so I let him hook it up. It takes 40 minutes, 400 miles worth of assorted cables and programming wizardry possibly capable of launching the Space Shuttle, but he gets it hooked up. We go over the remote. Briefly. And some of the features. Briefly. To be honest, I lost interest in Studly as soon as I got my first glimpse of High Def. Oh! Look! Pretty Colors! My eyes got a glazed, far-away look and I waved Studly out of my apartment with a distracted flick of the wrist.

After he's gone I play with it a bit. The first thing that went wrong was the fact that the mute and volume keys didn't work on my remote. Ben-again with the I told you so-slinks off. I spend the evening walking the 7 feet, all the way over to the TV to change volumes. Then I get ready to go to bed and shut everything down. I came back out for a drink of water and realized that there was a horrible noise coming from the Buick. From what I pieced together afterward, it was a clunker and had been 'reconditioned' with a fan that was run by a squirrel and a badly chewed rubber band. I unplugged it.

I went to the cable office today and explain the whole sad tale to the person behind the desk. She is stunned that Studly tried to offload the Stone Age DVR on me and trades me for a brand spanking new Ferrari model. I ask her to void the $29.99 service charge since I have to do the whole thing over myself anyway and she says..."Weeeellllll...a technician DID come to your house." What?!? I said, "Yeah but he might as well have come over for coffee for all the good it did me. Wait! Does that count as a date? Does that cost more?" I made her laugh so she cancelled the charge. Or so she says. We'll see when the bill comes. You should probably just wait to come out of hiding, Ben.

So if you hear loud cussing and/or lots of Emergency Vehicles this evening. Or if CNN reports that the Space Shuttle made an unexpected liftoff. It's just me...Molly The Cable Guy.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The One Where Molly Bee Finds A Wallet

I was driving along the other day when I passed something that looked like a wallet in the road. I do this often because one of my biggest fantasies is to find a fully loaded wallet in the street. Normally this would guarantee that one would NOT find a wallet and I know this so I usually keep driving. But today I had that niggling little voice in my head...'That REALLY looked like a wallet.' So I turned around, went back, parked on the shoulder and sho nuff! Not only was it a smooshed wallet but there was cash blowing EVERYWHERE! I chased the bills in the breeze, dodging traffic, over the guardrail and down into the pucker brush. I believe I may have even uttered a Yahoo or two! Finally I had gathered all I could find-$340. I threw everything in my car and drove to work.

The wallet contained a license but I couldn't find the guy on the net or in the phone book. There was a business card for someone else in there, the only piece in the wallet with a phone number on it so I called that person. They in turn gave me the phone number for the wallet's owner. I called him and he didn't even know he'd lost it and his weekly pay. I practically had to convince him. The more I spoke with him the stranger the converstaion got and the more uncomfortable I got. I finally arranged to meet him at a public location so he wasn't privy to where I work etc. Then I called my friend E and told him that I needed a wing man and that I'd be over to pick him up at lunch time. I'm pretty sure I could take E in a bar fight but he's a tough looking guy so I thought it was a good idea to take him along. I picked him up and filled him in on the situation en route to the rendezvous point. I would pull up next to the van (that the owner said he was driving) and leave the window rolled down. E would stay in the car and listen for any signs of distress whereupon he would unfold himself from my little car and stroll on over to save the day. I love it when a plan comes together.

I parked next to the van and got out to talk to the guy. It turned out better than I though. It was strange but not so scary. He brought his Mom and I explained to her exactly where I found the wallet etc. The owner tried to give me $20 which I thought was nice but I refused. They thanked me profusely and we returned to our cars. I got in the car and the following conversation takes place:

Me: (Surreptitiously out of the corner of my mouth-real sneaky like) Psst! Did you hear any of that?
E: (Bored and disinterested) No, you left the keys in the ignition so all I could hear was BONG BONG BONG.

I think Special Agent E may be the weak link in my super secret spy organization. 'No Officer, I didn't hear anything when he shot, beat and strangled her, but I did notice that our car door was slightly ajar.' Sheesh. I'm confiscating his badge immediately.

Anyway, the best part of the whole thing was when I returned to the office, I had a message waiting from the wallet guy who now sounded kind of ticked:

'I went back to where you said you found my wallet because you missed a $100 bill. It's OK because I found it.'

No good deed goes unpunished!

(Friend D said that I screwed up from the very beginning. He said that I should have called and told the guy that I had good news and bad news. The good news was that I found his wallet. The bad news was that there was no sign of the $340 that was in it! I'll know for next time!)

Monday, October 05, 2009

Rope? Horse?

I apologize for being remiss in my blog-keeping lately. I've been so busy I don't know if I found my rope or lost my horse. I've set a goal to write at least a little something every day for the rest of the month and see if I can get back in the swing.

Today's little something is about the Mt. Horeb Harvest Festival. I was sick and it was raining, but I went anyway and I'm glad. I wanted to be there because friends Mo and Rebecca opened their new yarn shop The Cat And The Crow. It's a lovely space! Lots of beautiful things and room for knitters and spinners. Here are a couple of fine examples of 'Yarn On The Hoof' from Mo's farm, Four Crows Farm. She has some lovely fiber in her shop from them.

There were also carriage rides.

And men making lefse. I found the process less fascinating than the fact that MEN were doing the cooking! :-)

Buggy rides. Pulled by a rare headless horse. I'm guessing he was originally in The Godfather. I took several covert and surreptitious spy pictures of the 'Amish Buggy' before I realized it was actually a festival attraction and therefore not taboo. I was quite the rebel there for a few minutes though!

If horse rides don't catch your fancy, how about a ride in a Viking Dragon Boat? There was enough rain in the street to float it I'll bet!

I also visited with friends Delma and Mary Ellen at Witchery Stitchery which as moved to Front Street. I almost had a heart attack when I thought their store closed. It was the go-to place to feed my cross stitch addiction back in the day.

There were quite a few craft booths there, God love 'em. Toughing it out in the dreary weather. I was so wet and miserable that I didn't even stop, so you can tell how truly yucky it was. I even skipped the Quilt Show because I passed it by accident and wouldn't go all the way back down to it in the downpour. I ducked into the fire station to dry off a little at one point and poked through the Friends of Mt. Horeb Library used book sale. Lots of treasures in there. Too bad I'm down sizing.


Came home, changed into dry togs, made tea and settled in to make popcorn for my felted popcorn and cranberry strand. This is an entire skein of Dale of Norway. Not much to look at for all of that knitting, but I think it'll be cool when it's felted.
Tomorrow the tale of the lost and found wallet!