Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wisdom Wednesday

I've been pretty blog-prolific this week so I'll try and keep this short....

♥I went to the Alpaca Festival and was talking to one of the owners who said that one of her alpacas wouldn't hang with the rest of the herd. She only wanted to hang with an old horse that the lady also owned and oddly enough a duck. Lesson: Sometimes who you love and how your family is constructed isn't 'conventional', but it's still love and it's still family. Family is who you make it.

♥Sweet Willie Browne (age 1)and his folks came down from the Twin Cities last weekend. They came over for supper on Monday night. I couldn't have been more excited to see Aaron and Terri and my honorary nephew. Within 3 minutes of entering my house (and on my watch I might add) he fell and whacked his head on my spinning wheel giving him a goose egg on the forehead, a cut on the cheek and a bloody nose. He recovered in minutes. I still haven't. Twofer! Lessons: 1. Again, Family is who you make it. 2. Molly Bee is not only a danger to herself but to others. Small children are no exception. She is having a warning label installed later this week.

♥I was having lunch the other day and watching two girls lunching at another table. They were in their early twenties. One spent the entire lunch texting on her cell phone and virtually ignoring the friend she was with except to relay the riveting texts that were going on between her and off site friend # three. Finally the texter went to the restroom and while she was gone, her friend quickly paid her share of the bill and left. When the texter came out of the restroom she had no idea where her friend had gone. Lesson: If you don't pay attention to what's right in front of you, you'll lose it.

What did YOU learn this week?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Anatomy of a Giraffe

♥Sticks and strings make tangled mess♥
♥Lay it out. Better I guess.♥
♥Stuff each part with love and care.♥
♥Sew the ears on; 'right 'bout there.♥
♥Add some spots, mane, tail and horns.♥♥ And TA DA, Jorge is born! ♥
♥A knitted friend for a wee, sweet boy.♥
♥ Auntie Min's pride and joy!♥

Monday, April 26, 2010

Alpaca Fest 2010-Fun Facts

I went to Alpaca Fest on Saturday. Every year I learn more and more amazing facts about these incredible animals.

They are 'nesters'. Here a mama alpaca prepares a nest in which to lay her large cache of eggs.

Sometimes they have to be re-inflated. Here's a couple that have really lost their oomph....

Each pen has huge fans attached to the side. You just position the saggy alpaca just so in front of it and presto! Here are some that are about halfway through the re-inflation process. It doesn't take long.
Here is one of the oomphless alpaca in the first photo, re-inflated and back to his perky self. Magic!

Some alpacas earn their keep testing mascara for Maybelline. We're hoping to score this one a contract with Crest White Strips too.

Even the smartest of alpacas will fall for the 'dare you stick your tongue on the frozen fence' gag every time. ('Cause, quite frankly, much as I love 'em, even the smartest alpaca isn't all that smart. I think that's why I relate to them so well.)


They also suck at Hide 'N Seek....

Seriously, this group was given a 5 minute head start and were still found in less than 30 seconds.
All in all it was a wonderful educational day! Hope you all found something interesting to do with your weekend too!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Bright and Shiny Weekend

We are supposed to have a rainy gray weekend here in The Flat Lands. Everyone is kind of grumpy about it since we've been horribly spoiled by the spring we've had so far. Rain or no rain, my weekend will be bright and shiny. Tomorrow is Alpaca Fest people! Literally hundreds of alpacas and creas to snog and snuggle! This year I vow (as I have every other year) that I will not snuggle alpacas and then touch my eyes. This year I will fail (as I have every other year). So if you see some chick with red, runny eyes trying to smuggle creas out of the Dane County Coliseum, it's me. Be sure and say hi and be prepared to aid and abet if called upon. Look nonchalant.

Hopefully I will recover by the time Last Saturday Knitting comes around in the afternoon. I always look forward to knitting with the girls and sipping a Victor Allen's icy coffee concoction. I just finished a big project, so maybe I'll take my entrelac scarf and finish that off. Or my top down sock. Once I finish all of my half-dones, I will start on this...

It's my painted sock blank from Fairy Yarnmother. Isn't it cool!?!? I can't wait to see how the socks come out. I got Mum one too. It'll be fun to compare our pairs since her painting is very similar to mine. At the rate she knits though, I may have to knit up mine and then knit hers when I got back home for a visit!

Sunday I have tickets to go see Almost Maine at The Overture Center. A guy from my neck of the woods in Northern Maine wrote it. I bought the tickets on October and have been counting down the days in my calendar ever since! Two County Kids together in the same room! Prepare for mayhem, Madison! Can't wait!

Here are some pics of the pretty flowers my kids and my company gave me for Administrative Professionals day.

From my company

From my kids...
How can I have a gray dull weekend with all of that kind of fun and love?!?!?! Ya'll have a bright and shiny weekend too!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wisdom Wednesday

Last Friday, Friend-Terri found her 11 month old son, William, slumped over his highchair tray- unresponsive and blue. She managed to revive him and call 911. He recovered quickly but spent the next 24 hours in the hospital with his worried parents trying to figure out if he chocked or had a seizure. Twofer! Lesson: #1. Hold the ones you love tight and tell them how much you love them. Things can literally change in a heartbeat! #2. EVERYONE should know Infant First Aid and CPR!

I was behind a Mo-ped type scooter on the way home from work yesterday. The driver was decked out, helmet to boots, in Harley Davidson gear and his scooter handlebars had fringe. Twofer ! Lessons: #1. Work with what you have. #2. Don't let anyone else define you!

On Sunday, our friends went to a local casino for the day. They lost $300, suffered through a horrible meal and came home bickering with each other. I, on the other hand, got up early, went to the filling station and purchased a Sunday paper. The better part of the rest of the day was spent pouring over it; reading every page and doing the puzzles. Pure Bliss! Lesson: Fun doesn't have to cost much. (And if you steal your neighbor's paper before they wake up, it can be free! )

My Grammie fell down Monday and broke her glasses. Nothing else. Despite the fact that she now looks like this:

Twofer! Lessons: #1. 98-year-olds bounce! #2. I come by my grace, style and coordination honestly!

What did YOU learn this week?

Monday, April 19, 2010


I've had a wicked case of One-itis lately. I'm devoting the rest of the month to finishing up and pairing off all of the lonely singles I have kicking around here; one Toe Up sock, one Toe Down sock and a Sulbu mitten. When I envisioned this post in my head, I saw it as a puppet show:
[Top Down sock pops up over the back of the sofa]:
"♫Onnnnnneeee.... is the loneliest number that you'll ever do♫"

[Toe Up Sock pops up next to him and joins in...]

"♫Twwwwooooo can be bad as one...♫"

[Sulbo mitten joins the odd pair...]
"♫It's the loneliest number since the number one.♫"

(Don't get excited, it's just the back of the same Selbu. He's quite a dancer!)

And they all start rockin' together Three Dog Night style!!! There's stage fog and lasers!!! The crowd goes wild!!!!


But then I thought, 'No that's just weird and you probably shouldn't even admit that you seriously entertained the thought right up until the logistics of working all three 'puppets', the lights, fog machine, and camera all by yourself slowed you down.' No, best just to keep it to myself.....

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Knitting Safari

It is I, Molly Bee, returned from the Wilde Prairies of the Mighty Midwest where I participated in the Madison Area Knitter's Guild sponsored 'Knitting Safari'. My fellow hunters were delightful, the prey was plentiful and I showed remarkable skill in falling my victims. I'd size them up from across the room, craftily corral them into the kill zone, whip out my razor sharp edged credit card and ZOT! Tag 'em and Bag 'em!

We arrived at Base Camp (Dutch Mill Park and Ride) and boarded our safari vehicle (a cushy Badger bus) at 8AM sharp. We arrived at Knitch in Delafield first where I quickly took down this furry beast: hand painted BFL roving from Happy Fuzzy Yarn Co. (It's posing here with his new friend a hand carved shawl pin from Argentina (Ithink).)

and this sock yarn from Ewetopia Fiber Company. Yummy!

Then it was off to the mean streets of Hartford where we went to The Main Street Knitting Shop. I stalked some patterns and finally trapped some in a plastic shopping bag, including the Galileo Mitten Pattern I've been drooling over on line for quite some time.
Then it was time to break for lunch after a hard morning's hunt. First we took a group shot as mighty hunters on safari are wont to do. (Actually this safari picture was indeed dangerous; but for the shop owner/photographer as she kept walking backward into traffic to get us all in it!)

Then we went for a fabulous feast at The Mine Shaft. After we had been nourished and rested, we began the prowl anew. Off to The Knitting Knook in Milwaukee. This was an uber-small shop in an actual house (which also housed an engraver and a day spa) but it was packed with product and personality. I quickly trapped this sterling silver tinged, purple, lace weight beauty and a weird woven shawl pattern.
Then at last we were off to Whitefish Bay to Ruhumas. This was the largest preserve on our trip and I had been here only once before. It was many moons ago but I still dream about it often. (I may or may not have actually asked them if I could be buried under the tree outside their front door the first time around. Pllllleeeeaasssseeee!) I'd been waiting for this all day.

I found these two wily skeins hiding behind a sample of a drop stitch, cable scarf pattern that came with them for free. Mine!
And I got this Kauni yarn (with ridiculously long repeats) and a scarf pattern that looks like Swiss cheese to make it into. This critter put up the most fight of any I encountered all day. It was very popular and was stalked by many game hunters at once.

Oh sure, the insects were a little annoying...
(Wee glass ladybug beads that I will weave into a pine needle basket.)
but all in all it was a successful, lucrative day for us all. Off to make my spoils into sumthin' purty! Hope you all had a wonderful day too!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wisdom Wednesday

♥There's an old lady that works at my grocery store. I avoid her line because she looks mean and scary. Seriously. Like that one that built that cookie house then tried to cook and eat those kids that time. Today I went to the store wicked early and she was the only one at the registers so I was forced go to her. Turns out, she is the sweetest old grandma type. We had a lovely chat and I will look for her line specifically from now on. Twofer! Lessons: Looks can be deceiving. Face your fears.

♥We had our departmental Wii Bowling Tournament Bowl Off yesterday. It was down to our team and one other. I was more than a little freaked out about bowling in front of everyone. AND the other team was ubergood. AND I didn't want to let my team down. AND you never know how I'm going to do. (It can go either way; 80 or 160. I average about 110-120.) Today I got 6 strikes in a row and bowled at 236! We won by 1/2 point. Lesson: Terror brings out an alternate personality who is apparently a pro bowler. (I wondered where all of those funky colored shoes in my closet came from!)

♥I witnessed three separate incidents on Monday where co-workers, sitting in their comfy chairs at their desks, lobbed the business ends of hissy fits over non-consequential, insignificant things (one was the absence of Styrofoam cups-even though there were inches away from where he was looking). Each left sputtering and mumbling that 'they didn't know why they even stayed at Company X'. All I could think of was the coal miners in West Virginia. Twofer! Lessons: Get your undies out of a bundle, take a step back and put things in perspective. Be grateful for what you have.

♥I had to have a hip x-ray this week. Instead of a gown, they gave me a one size fits all pair of blue shorts made out of the same material as the bags that they sell at the grocery store so you don't have to use plastic and paper. For REALZ! They were gigantic and I had to hold them up and hold my shirt down at the same time, lest they slip and puddle around my ankles. The doc made me walk from the exam room to the x-ray place in them. It was hard to hold them up and tote my purse, jeans and shoes but I made it. The x-ray tech was busy so they made me sit in the waiting room. Everyone else was wearing street clothes and they all stared at me. I just smiled and said, "It's a bold fashion statement but I think I pull it off! What do you think?" and twirled. I'm lucky I didn't lose my drawers and fall down, but I got several smiles and the lady that was in the seat next to the one I sat down in even got up and moved to the other side of the hallway. More room for me! Two fer Lessons: If life puts you in uncomfortable circumstances, find the humor, own it and work it ! The crazy lady in the goofy shorts gets more room on the sofa!

It's all good, People! What did YOU learn this week?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

On The Bench

Ben and I have been pretty much on the bench this weekend. My hip infection reared it's ugly head again on Friday and the Ben's vet thinks he tweaked his knee so we were both told to cool our jets and sit this weekend out. Kinda sucked since it was such a gorgeous weekend and we had plans to go to a farm, but we threw open the sliding glass door, made our own mischief and enjoyed it as best we could.

Ben's entertainment was easy. Take a few of these treats (Sorry for the shaky pic... but it's dried liver and you can get it at The Sow's Ear. He's WILD about them!)

And put it in this ball.

And put it on the floor. It's that easy. The object is that the dog will roll it all around the floor and the treats will fall out the end. But as we all know, our Ben is a thinker (I know, just go with it). He's frantic because he wants the treat so much, but the ball is egg shaped and doesn't roll so that the treats come out easily, so he lays down with it firmly grasped in his front paws. First he lines his eyeball up with the hole and eyes the prize for a while. Then he sticks his nose in the hold and snorts mightily hoping to blow the treats out the other end. This doesn't work but he does an excellent impression of an orca surfacing Then he pokes it a little with his nose or paw. This goes on for a while until he gets frustrated and gives it a good swat. More often than not, a treat will fly out accidentally. It's immediately gobbled and the whole process starts from the eyeballing it stage on because he has no idea WHY the treat came out, just that he did ALL THAT STUFF before and it worked so he'd better do it ALL again. Doggie Rain Man. I don't know who's more entertained, him or me.

As for me, I got this much done on a Selbuvotter mitten and decided I didn't like the order of the colors. (Sorry these pics are so bad, I was dodging flying liver.)

So I tore the whole thing out (three days work, but, hey, I got nothin' but time) and reversed the colors so that the darker is the main color and the lighter is the contrast. I'm much happier.

I did sneak over the wall for a bit this morning (Shhhhh!) and went to breakfast with friends, Scott and Michael. They had recently returned from a trip to Spain. I LOVED seeing their beautiful photos, and they brought me a lovely fan as a gift.

( (No I'm not trying out for the lead in 'Annie'. I discovered that if I don't blow dry my hair out this (see below)happens. ))

At any rate, I hobbled there and back again and spent the rest of the day trying to be a good girl and stay down. It's not easy but Jodi Picoult's new book "House Rules" is certainly helping. Hope you all had a great weekend too!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Wisdom Wednesday

An alarm that sounds like a truck backing up has been going on in my living room at one minute intervals for over 19 hours. The human spirit can adapt to anything.

A boy I used to babysit back in The Before Times passed away today. Seems like just yesterday he was running around with his blankie and a purple, Popsicle face. He was only 30. Cherish every moment you have. Old age is not a guarantee.

Knit Night got a little out of hand last Friday night. There were naked sheep and pole dancing. Just sayin'...Just when you think you've seen everything.

Can't give more details because..What happens at Knit Night stays at Knit Night.

The other night a thunderstorm sat right on top of my house; Flash!Boom!Flash!Boom! I finally freaked out a little and called to Ben who crawled in under the covers right next to me for the rest of the night. Twofer! You're never too old to need snuggle reassurance. Sometime your best buddy has 4 legs, fur, and bad breath.

I was kinda blue on Easter since I didn't have plans, am far from family and was just sitting around feeling sorry for myself. So I packed up and went down to the Ear where there were friends and an egg hunt and I had a great Easter afternoon. Twofer! If you don't like you're current situation, change it. Family is who you make it.

I've spent the better part of three days working on a heavily patterned Norwegian mitten. A little voice in my head kept been saying with every stitch, "You should have reversed the colors and used one size bigger needles." I got 2/3 of the way done before I listened and went back to the drawing board. Sometimes the voices in your head are right and you should listen.

While walking Ben, I came across a uber-huge mud puddle. I thought that: #1. I could leap it. #2. It wasn't that deep. Sometimes the voices are wrong. On both counts.

What did you learn this week?

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Perfection-a photo essay

Norwegian Mitten pattern book from the library...
Plus two skeins of purple yarn and #2 needles...
Plus a 5 pack of orange peeps...
Equals the PERFECT EASTER WEEKEND! Hope yours is perfect too!
♥Happy Easter!!!♥

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...