Sunday, February 28, 2010

Wild But Not Wooly Week

Another wild week at Chez Bee. But not particularly woolly until this weekend. I've had a touch of labrynthitis for the last week (yet another new and exciting remnant of the virus from H-E-Double Hockey Sticks. The gift that just keeps on giving) and there is something about watching my needles that made my head spin. It only just got better enough on Saturday afternoon for me to work a little but but after a couple of hours I was more than ready to put it away again.

Ben's tummy clock has been telling him it's breakfast time earlier and earlier with the days getting longer and all. He soundly thumped my evil plan to sleep in until 7:30 on Saturday morning. He woke me up with his pathetic squeaking at 5:55. I got up and went to the bathroom. By the time I got back he was sitting on my pillow. Sigh. So I hit the ground running and did laundry (mostly bedding to get the dog butt off it) and other feats of domestic wizardry and had the nest whipped into shape by 9:30.

Groceries put away? Check!

Sheep dustless? Check !

Red Velvet Cupcakes baked? Check!
(1 pkg red velvet cake mix. 1 can diet ginger ale. Bake like it tells you on the box.)
[Little note: if you have one and then brush your teeth, don't panic when you rinse. It only looks like you have Hemorrhagic Fever.]

So off I went to Last Saturday knitting in the afternoon. The girls were in rare form despite the absence of Dale Harriet and Cindy. I imagine we would have been forcefully removed from the premises had we been 'full strength'. ( Don't laugh! I actually happens in these parts! Recently in fact!) Saturday night I went to friends' to play games. Does anyone out there like Phase 10? I love it and I'm looking for more people to play!
Sunday morning Ben and I had another disagreement on what 'sleeping in' actually is so I started my day at 6:00 again. I worked a little on this:

I love the way entrelac makes Noro Silk Garden yarn look!

It's not all in the picture but I've got about 2.5 skeins in it and one more to go! It's working up pretty quickly and the color changes make it interesting.

Then I worked a bit more on this:

If you look at the rocking chair picture above, you'll see I still have a ton of roving to spin. It's the magical never-ending basket. The more I spin, the more roving there seems to be!

About 10ish, I went to meet Scott and Michael at Granite City Brewery for brunch. It was wonderful food, I highly recommend it. I even saw the crew from the Sow's Ear there breaking fast! Scott and Michael and I had a very interesting conversation about the philosophy behind forgiveness. Food for the tummy and food for thought. I always have a great time with these two wonderful guys!

We'll I'd better skedaddle for now. My early spring cleaning spree now has me washing scatter rugs and my Snuggie (Don't laugh! I LOVE that thing! It's a blanket...but it has SLEEVES! Genius!) and I need to move them to the dryer. I love the smell of bleach in the evening! (Sigh) I hope there's a Betty Ford treatment center for that.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Goin' To The Dogs

I'm sure you all know this, but occassionally it bears repeating. All dogs on the planet are MINE. Due to space and time restrictions, I assign stewards and keep them in different places around the globe.

This is Brinkley. I keep him in Minneapolis with my friends, The Brownes. He's a sweetheart who's very camera curious so I have lots of photos taken down the barrel of his nose.

This is Sophie and Max. (Can't find Max? Look UNDER Sophie.) I keep them at my brother and sister-in-law's house in Illinois. Sophie's sweatshirt says DGG (Dog Gone Gorgeous!) I think these two are the cat's pajamas!

These are my boxer-cuddle-buds, Dakota, Nevada, and Murphy. I keep them at friend Joe's house in Monticello. This is us catching up and ringing in 2010 in a big dogpile on New Year's Eve.

This is Topanga. I keep her upstairs with my friends Mike and Mike so she gets to come visit me often. Here we are having one of our lengthy girl-to-girl heart-to-hearts. She's a very good listener.
These two rascals are Gracie and ZuZu. I keep them at Knitzu's house in Augusta, Maine. Just look at those furry faces!

And here's the fur beast that lives at my house, Mr. Bentley and his buddy Stinky Skunk.
Is he not the king of the dorky pose or what?

So to recap. Dogs. All mine. I know all of their names, locations and personalities and can provide a complete list upon request. If you have one at your house, please give him/her a huge hug and sloppy kiss and tell them Mommy loves them!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sugar Camp Spin In 2010

I held a Spin In on Saturday. Lynn, Elizabeth, Jen and Mary came by before lunch. We started out with snacks and copious amounts of tea and then began the spinning and knitting.

Jen was the Drop Spindle Diva:
She even Navajo plied some at the end of the day. ON THE DROP SPINDLE. I know. The very concept made my head hurt too!

Elizabeth and Lynn worked the wheels"


And Mary plied the needles:

After a bit, we took a break and went to lunch at Joey's Seafood. I highly recommend this place. Their scallops are YUM! You can imagine what kind of group we were; our waiter, 'Tyler' came to our table and the first thing he said was. "Well, THIS looks like trouble." Once again our reputation precedes us!

We came back after lunch and started in again. We put Bridget Jones' Diary in the DVD player so at least I was way less productive what with Colin Firth on and all. I must have gotten something done because my hands started to ache and I put up the wheel and took up knitting at some point (I think it was around the time Firth threw Grant out through the restaurant window...le sigh!).

Lynn and Elizabeth and to leave around supper time, but Jen, Mary and I ordered a Papa Murphy's thin crust chicken, artichoke pizza and it was delish! Then more knitting and spinning while we watched Bridget Jones : The Edge of Reason and discovered that there is no such thing as Colin Firth overload!

Ben was in his glory all day with all the new folks to love. He behaved pretty well and wasn't too pushy for a change. He kept the drool to a minimum except when he and Mary were playing tug of war over Stinky Skunk. Mary was so cute. She got a dinner napkin so wrap her end of Stinky, because in this case he was also Slimy Skunk. Ben was so exhausted when everyone went home that he made ME tired so we hit the hay and left the cleanup for this morning.

All in all it was an uberfun day. Mark your calendars! The weekend after Valentine's Day next year is Sugar Camp Spin In 2011!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sugar Camp Spin In

I'm having some folks over on Saturday for a spin in. This melty time of year always reminds be of maple syrup season back home-thus the 'Sugar Camp Spin In' was born. We're meeting around 10:00am, spinning, going out to lunch, spinning all afternoon, ordering takeaway for supper and spinning some more. I can't wait! I've always winged it when it came to spinning. I'm self taught so am looking forward to picking the brains of the more seasoned spinners who will be coming over. Rumor has it, someone may even spot me as I try Navajo plying again. I nearly strangled myself last time. I need professional oh so many different ways.

I spent a couple of hours processing some beautiful roving I got at The Sheep and Wool Festival in Jefferson this fall into pencil roving. It's 100% Bluefaced Leicester from River's Edge Weaving Studio. Here's a little roving porn for you;


Soft as feathers


I KNOW right? It's MY color! Melted Peacock! I'm going to ply it with a black or grey. Can't wait 'til Saturday! {Molly Bee wanders off to ply up some ugly singles she's got on her bobbins so she can spin up this luscious confection on Saturday!}

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I Got Chlymidia From My Valentine!

Heh! That got your attention eh? I had TWO Valentines over last night. Am I a play-ah or what? I invited friends, Joe and Steve, over for lasagna for supper. They arrive at 6:00PM:

Joe: (thrusting a beautiful plant into by hands) "Happy Valentine's Day! It's a Chlamydia!"

Steve: NO! NO! It's a Cyclamen! CY-CLA-MEN!

The plant (and that exchange) was the PERFECT Valentine gift! It was fun to spend time with the guys again. We had supper, played games, had peanut butter pie and watched "Meet The Fockers". It's always nice to see them. They make me believe that maybe there are still 'nice' guys out there somewhere.

Today I went to breakfast with D at the The Pancake Cafe. What a zoo. Remind me not to go there on the weekends again! Sheesh! But breakfast was great as was catching up with my old friend.

I watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. I LOVED the 'Aboriginal People of Canada' thing (other than the NBC announcer who insisted on talking over the whole thing) but was so disgusted with the airing of the footage of the Georgian Luger's death scene that I shut it off and haven't turned it back on. It was tragic enough without having to see that clip. Lots of kids were watching those opening ceremonies. Extremely poor taste NBC! I'll go back to my Dirty Jobs and sitcom reruns thanks!

I'll end this with a picture of my REAL Valentine...striking the pose (complete with lip licking) on Valentine's morning. Dependable, loyal, true, delivers copious amounts of kisses, will snuggle all night, worships the ground I walk on. and makes me feel like a rock star every time I come in the room. Who could ask for more

Happy Valentines Day!!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snowmaggedon and Snowpocalypse? Maybe So!

The East Coast is claiming we must be closing in on The End Times since it hasn’t snowed this many inches in some of those areas since records started being kept. I scoffed, thinking them wussies for thinking The End Was Nigh over a few inches of frozen rain. Then this morning I was awoken by an EARTHQUAKE and I’m beginning to think that the Right Hand Coasters may be onto something! About 1 minute before 4:00 AM Ben started whimpering and whining. I got it together enough to ask him what was wrong and then the shaking started. It was a 4-point-something centered in DeKalb, IL so it wasn’t much, but I live in the dead-solid-center of the upper Midwest, not exactly earthquake territory, so it was definitely notable! Immediately after the shaking stopped, Ben turned around 3 times, threw himself down on the bed, sighed heavily and went back to sleep. I took that to mean that the worst was over and yet, I laid awake for another two hours until the alarm went off. No aftershocks. Interesting start to the day.

My work day didn’t conform to my usual Rain Man schedule either since we had a Corporate Quarterly Meeting and other one-offs popped up here and there all day. The day ended oddly too. As I was cleaning off my desk preparing for tomorrow, I picked up a little plastic card, that I have at my desk, that says “12 Rules to Improve Your Attitude”. It’s one of those feel good little trinkets you get a seminars. I look at it A.LOT. depending on the day. Today, it promptly sliced my right fingertip wide open. The card says to ‘Read Daily’. I don’t think my body could withstand the blood loss. All in all it’s just been a weird ol’ day for a day that isn’t even Monday.

I’m going to push through and try to end the rest of the day in my normal OC way; grocery shopping (double coupon day!), salad supper (the grocery salad bar rocks!) and knitting (Finish it February-Intarsia Scarf). Hopefully there will be no further bloodshed, I won’t have to refer to my notes to maintain a positive attitude and normalcy will be restored. I’d hate to have to fit in being on the lookout for horsemen on top of my already busy schedule. Maybe I’ll duck and cover just in case.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

I TOLD You He Was Smart!!!

Sweet Willie Browne is an exceptional child. He solved the communication problem we were having when I visited and has also found a cure for the common cold! I got this directive from him earlier this week when I was a little under the weather. I'm all better now! The child is a genius I tell you! And a cuter genius there never was.

I splurged and got myself a think pad mini lap top thingie (that's it's technical name) just before I went to Minneapolis last weekend. I was inspired to do so after watching Dale Harriet and her faithful companion 'Hermine' at Knit Night. So handy. So cute. So wee. To demonstrate what my friends call my 'Amish-ness', I didn't turn it on first thing. No, instead I ran around playing "Let's See Its Size In Relationship To This' for 15 minutes before I settled in with it. Here are my favorites.
Small size navel orange.

Next to the 'lap top' I bought for William

I've only had it a week and have had no help with it and I have already learned to scam wireless connections from my neighbors and play games on it. Amish. Puh!
As far as Finish It February goes, I finished these socks for William:
as well as the second Irish Hiking Scarf I had going. This one is out of Caron Simply soft and is so nice and cuddly. Day and night from the Ninja Death Scarf. This one wouldn't make as effective a weapon though.

Ben has had enough of taking care of my snot-laden self this week and wouldn't model it, so I just put it on the floor with the two sides together so it looks weird, ahem...that is to say...'artsy'!
I ventured out to supper with a friend tonight. I still sound like Kermit The Frog but it's a step up from the dulcet tones of Bea Arthur I demonstrated on Wednesday and Thursday and the clicks and beeps I was left with on Friday. I figured I was no longer contagious and needed to get out of the house for a bit. Went to Uno's for lobster rolls which sounds really really wrong but tasted very very right. Especially since I've been living on cough syrup and Sprite Zero all week. I was out about 90 minutes and that was enough. I'm pooped and ready to settle in. Off to work on my entrelac scarf and watch a movie. Have a great Saturday night!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Of My Own Design-My First Official Finish It February Project

Here are some pics of the anklets I designed. The yarn is Socks That Rock. I used sterling silver beads and a "I Love To Knit" charm that hangs down in the front.

The yarn detracts from the beads. I would use a solid in the future. I used the method of adding beads where you don't have to string them all on first.(You may be able to see the charm if you biggify it.)

Now it's time to crawl back to the couch. I heb a code en my node.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

It's Groundhog's Day!

Well, Groundhog Day 2010 started with violence. I got up just before sunrise, looked out the window and saw my neighbor crouched over the groundhog hole with his Maglight torch trying to get an early indicator of what the rodent's prediction would be. The beam from the Mag was the next thing to halogen and lit up the neighborhood. I ran out in my robe and slippers and soundly beat him about the head and torso with a Louisville Slugger I keep at my bedside for just such purposes. He's not angry at me. He knows that the beating he would have gotten by causing a shadow with that darned light thus heralding 6 more weeks of winter would have been much worse! BTW. It worked. Sun Prairie's own Jimmy The Ground Hog did not see his shadow. YAY! Only a month and a half more winter instead of 6 weeks!!!

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...