Monday, July 26, 2010

Ta Da! Roll The Credits!

Sometimes it takes a village to complete a project....
I knit it!

Knitter-And-Finisher-Extraordinaire, Julie Fisk, blocked it!

Cutie-Patootie-Next-Door-Neighbor,Lindsay, modeled it.
(She has EIGHT dimples! Count 'em!)

Look! Nary a Barbie Boob in site!
The Fir Cone Shawl...C'est FINIS!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Bye Bye Birdy

I came home at 1:30 yesterday to find this little guy in a heap on the patio. Apparently in his exuberance to partake in the regurgitated worm that his folks were serving up, he leaned a little too far over the edge of the domicile and down he went. I got out my step ladder, scooped him up and made my assent to reunite him with his kin. Even on the top rung I was too vertically challenged to replace him. Heavy sigh. I went next door and begged Rob to come and share his tallness for a couple of seconds and help me out. He nestled Birdy back in his home and all was right with the world. I checked him off and on until dark and he was happily munching meals with his three brothers and sisters.

We had wicked storms last night. They called them ‘train storms’ because individual super cells popped up one after another after another after another and they all traveled the same route. One round of horrendous thunder, lightning and funnel clouds would go over. It would clear out a little for about 10 minutes and then the next one would come. Thankfully with all of the rotation in the clouds, there was no serious tornado damage even though there were several touch downs in the area. The real havoc-raiser was the rain. Beaver Dam got 2.5 inches in 22 minutes at one point. I took some pictures or the torrents, but because it was so dark out, it’s hard to see my sidewalk river and the new swimming pool under the trees. It got even more difficult to see when we lost power. I read by flashlight for a while and then went to bed.

At first, Ben did what he always does during a thunderstorms; goes and finds Percy Porkloin and together they snooze it out. Because of the funnel activity though, he was all weirded out and did a lot of pacing and whining. Twice there was such a sudden, drastic, change in air pressure that my ears popped painfully. It must have been ever worse for him. It was a looooonnnnnggg night.
Come daylight we unhunkered and peeked out to find that there was surprisingly little damage overall; standing pools of water and a few limbs down. We were just breathing a sigh of relief when we saw the little birdy back on the patio. He had departed to that big aviary in the sky when the worms are free and the flyin’ is easy. I don’t know whether he broke his neck, drowned, or died of exposure but he was 'legs up'. I preformed a hasty service and burial before Rob woke up and happened by. (He’s even a bigger sap over animals than I am if that can be believed!) I’ve been thinking about Birdy off and on all morning and wondering if I had checked during the night, if I would have seen him earlier and been able to bring him in before he died. Poor little guy. (I take back my earlier statement...I'M the bigger sap.)
Just back from knitting with the girls at The Ear and am going to go watch Haven. Ben will be watching through his eyelids from the other end of the couch. He's making up for last night. Hope you all weathered the storms. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Barbie Boobs, Birdies, Cantalope and Treasure

I've been working on Wendy Johnson's Fir Cone Shawl pattern in an effort to conquer lace knitting. I'm having much more success with it than I had with 198 Yards of Heaven and it's building my confidence quite a bit. It's a repetitive pattern; 8 rows the same, move the lace over one motif and repeat-purl the back. I'm using some yarn I got up at the MKG Knit-In this spring and it's wonderful to work with. It's Lace Weight 100% Merino by htNEVEL (from right here in Madison!) in the Bloom colorway.
Now that I am nearing the end though, I'm nervous about blocking the thing. I blocked 198 Yards of Heaven with approximately 14 bahgiggatrillion pins. And this bugger is 12 bahgiggatrillion times bigger that that I'm fishing around at The Sow's Ear for help. If all else fails, I believe I'll buy some welding rods and attempt it myself this weekend.

How badly does it need to be blocked you ask? Well I'll tell you. I had about 6 inches done and was working on it one evening at the Ear when the Fabulous Amy Detjen said, "Oh look, she's knitting Barbie boobs!"

(This is the back side of the shawl...and I have to does look like Barbie Boobs.)

Thanks Amy! Now that's all I've been able the think of for the last 10,00 miles of knitting, so I aim to block that sucker until every last Barbie boob is squished FLAT! Mammo-blocking! Found another wee birdy this week. This little robin was hunkered down in the grass in the dooryard. He is a little older than Grumpy McFeatherbutt so I left him be and checked on him for a couple of days. Mum and Dad were feeding him and caring for him. Since today is lawn mowing day however, I fashioned a little nest from the sweet grass that grows down by the pond, nestled him in it and moved him to the base of a spruce tree about 5 feet from where he was 'hiding'. They never mow under the boughs so he'll be safe and I noticed Mum and Dad had found him already. Good deed accomplished.

I bought a cantaloupe yesterday at Millers the likes of which I have never seen in my life. It was as big as a seedless watermelon. You know how you can order a half a cantaloupe with a scoop of cottage cheese in it some restaurants. Picture what that looks like. I put a huge peach in one half so you can see by comparison. I KNOW! And this is the smaller half! The sign on the melon bin said 'From Indiana'. Yeah! From the fields downwind of the nuclear reactor!! I gave the other half to the new neighbors since there was no way I could eat it all myself before it went bad. I ate so much of it last night that I had 'After Thanksgiving' belly and sloshed when I walked!

Speaking of the new neighbors, Rob stopped me the other day and asked me if I wanted to look through a box of 'stuff' he was going to donate to Goodwill. 'Stuff'. Yeah. Seems Rob just left his old job at The Field Museum in Chicago. The 'stuff' in question was trinkets that the museum staff had brought back to him as gifts from their excursions all over the world-wonderful carved, painted and beaded tribal and folk art objects. I had the best time going through it all. I was a good girl, resisted my magpie tendencies and only took one small hand-carved picture frame, in the interest of keeping the knickknacks in the nest down, but it was all beautiful! So if you're a Goodwill treasure hunter keep your eyes open! Good 'stuff' may be coming your way!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Are You Going To Scarborough Fair?

Nope, but I spent Saturday at the Dane County fair with friends and we saw many wondrous things...
Genetically Engineered Headless Oreo Chickens (Cause you don't want anyone looking when you eat that much Oreo!)
Cars that the cave men drove before tires were invented...(Apparently dinosaurs pulled them and there were too many sparks shooting out from the undercarriage when they went really fast so that's why they invented the wheel. It's TRUE! The guy told me! )

My next car (a 2010 Tesla) if I can save up my pennies....

My next car (a 2008 Alpaca) if I can't.... (You know me, I'm actually leaning towards the latter! Seat's cushier and there's more leg room. )

And as exciting as the fair is, it was even more exciting when Steve, Joe and Cam tried to rescue the poor, unfortunate, young man that had become trapped in this giant wooden barrel. They nearly had him out before the police and fire departments arrived. Oddly, rather than continue with the rescue efforts, the authorities invited us to leave the park. I wanted to stay because I heard them talking about some 'incident' on their walkie talkies, but Joey was becoming especially agitated for some reason.
But we couldn't leave without gettin' our pichurs took on the way out. I know we were told to go quickly and directly to the exit, but we needed a little souvenir of our big day out and we don't take no stinkin' orders from The Man!

(That's Joe as "The little Girl" and me as "The Farmer". Don't ask.)

I came home and pulled myself together (I as much as that is EVER a possibility...) and then Ben and I went to play Wii games with my friend, Wee Paddy, for the evening. He's 5 (almost 6... going on 45). My favorite line of the evening was when I asked him to please eat just a bit more of his supper before we began the big competition, and he said (and I quote),
" I find that at my age, I just don't eat that much!..."
I know! He kept me in stitches all night. And even though I'm a couple (:ahem-cough:) o' years older AND I sic-ed Ben on him to lick his toes and distract him, he STILL won almost every game we played! They were all boy games though- Ping Pong, Tanks, Duck Hunting, Fishing, Hockey, Aerial Combat. The only game I smoked him in was wake boarding (A total fluke I know! Have you ever SEEN me swim? I'm surprised the little digitized Wii Coast Guard didn't show up!)
I'm already plotting my comeback though. Next time, I'm bringing my OWN Wii game disk; Lace Knitting, Napping, Chocovine Consumption, Hand Spinning, and Ph.D Herding. Then we'll see who's King Of The Rec Room my friend...then we'll just SEE!
How was YOUR Weekend?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Just Another Weekend In The Hood

It was an unusual weekend for me (and that's saying sum'pin ain't it?!?). I didn't uber-schedule myself and yet I was on fast forward. Turns out that lack of plans plus sudden power surges equals nest cleaning. Usually I find that housework is seriously detrimental to my knitting...and reading...and hiking....and running around like a chicken gettin into all sorts of trouble..time, so I just don't do it. Then I have a day like yesterday when I manage to pick up, clean, sterilize and hermetically seal the place all is one 'swell foop' as it were.

But I did schedule in a little fun time for Saturday. I met up with this mysterious man of intrigue...

Surprise it's young Teddy Roosevelt!

And one of his Rough Riders!!!

(and their mom Chocolate Sheep) for lunch at The Ear. The menu was juice boxes, lattes, a cookie, caramel and gum. Teddy and the gang are very much like myself. They crave the adventure. The thrill. The adrenalin. The unusual. So we spent some time petting stingrays and stuff in the afternoon. No cute 'n' fuzzy bunnies for us!

This guy truly loves to be petted. Unfortunately the gang (myself included) were all 'vertically challenged'... to reach into the bottom of the tank so we petted him vicariously through a taller adventurer in the pet is to say...the wilds it is that sting rays live.

It's sad to think that we couldn't wind up the day on the rides at Six Flags because none of us are 'this tall' and therefore aren't allowed on any of them, so we amused ourselves running up and down the wheelchair ramp outside the pet store until it was time to go home. [Note: See 'juice boxes, lattes, cookies, caramel, and gum' above.] That's right. That's how we roll. We ain't called no stinking 'rough riders' for nothin'!

Since I had such a relatively normal June Cleaver Sunday, the Universe has decided to bless me with an amusing Monday to take up some of the slack. The new neighbors were running around outside in their underwear at 7:45 AM for no apparently reason. They are adorable guys but the drawers are smiley face boxers so I'm not sure how I feel about the whole thing, but it was certainly entertaining and a fine way to kick off the week.

And the city of Madison has sent its finest workmen out to repave my street. My street is very short and yet there have been signs posted that say they will be paving for over two weeks. Now I know why. At 8AM sharp they showed up:

It's been two and a half hours and this is the progress they've made so far. They've kicked the tires on the machines. They've milled around like baby ducks on crack. They've had coffee. They've admired each others boots. And all the while, this poor guy has been continually trying to keep the back end of whatever that thing is from floating off into space (click to biggify). I'm thinking two weeks isn't even in the ball park at this rate.
Even Ben gave up growling and looking menacingly out the sliding glass door and went back to napping on his chesterfield. It's too bad his Mum puts that stupid dog bed up there, so he has to curl up in the corner. She must not love him very much.
Well, my break is over. Back to work. No rest for the wicked.
How was your weekend?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Christmas in July and Coded Messages In the Living Room

I must have been a very, good, girl lately because Christmas came early! I got three, lovely gifts this past week:

This Yankee Candle potpourri burner is from Pat. I looked in on her kitty, Daisy, while Pat was on a business trip last week. It was an awful hardship for me. You know how much I fear and loathe animals. (By all rights, Daisy should have been the lucky recipient of this gift since she had to put up with me snogging and snurgling all over her. There's a tea light in the bottom and a scented oil cake in the top which melts and smells loverly!

Then Blog Buddy and Puppy Mommy extraordinaire, Knitzu from Maine, sent me this lovely pottery mug. I love the chicken one she sent me earlier. Big handle. Just the right size. She said that when she saw the hedgehogs on this one, she knew I had to have it. It came with packets of yummy coffee to try and a bag of milk-boney goodness for the Ben-meister. Awesome!

And friend Jen gave me a jar of her uber-delicious strawberry freezer jam. You'll have to use your 'let's pretend' for this one since I forgot to take a picture when it was all new and pretty-like. Go ahead. Take a minute to picture its-stained-glass-red-sticky-sweet goodness. I'll wait.....I KNOW right? It's not such a pretty picture now though. I think all that's left is a smear on my left cheek. (Burp!) It's indescribably delicious.

Here's something for you to ponder. Normally when I get up in the morning, there are stuffing-less 'road kill' dog toys all over the living room floor. Oh sure, Ben looks like he's asleep when I go to bed, but apparently he's just faking it until I doze off at which point he gets the party started . This morning I got up to THIS:
Now, you have to understand, these dog bones were all in the very bottom of his toy box. He had to remove other toys to get to them, but all of the other stuff was still in the basket. Two thoughts...

#1. This reinforce my belief that he IS playing dumb when I tell him to pick up his toys and put them in the basket each night?

#2. Don't the bones look like they've been put down purposely in some kind of cryptic pattern? Is it akin to crop circles? Stonehenge? 'SOS 'spelled out in coconut shells on the deserted island's beach? (Wilson? Is that you?) If anyone knows a Wind Talker or has the decoder ring for this one, I would truly appreciate it if you could help a sister out. If you could just narrow it down to the ilk of the message that would be great. Is it more of a 'For the Love of Dog (sic), Please Call The Humane Society To Come Get Me Before She Snorgles Me Again' message...or a ' Wanted: Cat Burglar To Open The Sliding Glass Door. You And Me Can Finally Give That Squirrel The Butt Whoopin' He's Been Asking For If You Can Just Get Me OUT OF HERE!' kinda thing? Do you think I should be concerned? I'm kind of afraid to go to bed tonight....

What does it mean, People?!?!? What does it mean!?!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Holey Cheese Scarf Batman!!!

Had a lovely day today. Went to lunch and shopping with Scott and Michael. No bail money required. And best of all, no one got accidentally cannoned to death. I was VERY well behaved for a change. Afterward, I went to The Ear to knit and bit and show off my newly finished cheese scarf.

When I went on Safari this spring, Ruhama's had this worked up as a stole but I wasn't sure I had the fortitude for something of that sheer size. I should have gotten enough yarn to do one. It was an easy and fun knit even if it did go on forever. I was pretty happy with it when I finished it, but now that it's been blocked and the holes are rounded out, I REALLY like it!

The 'holes' are more like slits until it's blocked.

This is, Liz, the lovely and talented barrista at The Sow. She vamped it up and modeled it for me. She's got it wrapped around her neck twice so you can see it's pretty long. And pretty wide as well. And it's very light and airy-knit on #3 needles. Keep up the great work there Vanna!

I am hereby naming it my 'Wine and Cheese Scarf" since some of the purple colors are the reminiscent of a good Merlot ( and because there may or may not have been a bit of 'whining' involved during the last two repetitions..."Will this ever END"?!)and...well....the cheese part is obvious. It makes a nice addition to my growing knitted food collection (turkey carcass hat, fish hat, carrot for a snowman's nose on a hat). I'm thinking I should make more in authentic cheese yellow for my Packer Backer friends!!!

Too bad I can only wear it to church since it's so holey ! Ba Dump Bump! Thanks you! I'll be here all week. Be sure and tip your waiters!!!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

4th of July and Other Disasters

Happy Independence Day All! My holiday is relatively low key. All of the excitement happened yesterday when I met friends Joey and Steve in New Glarus for brunch. We ate at a small diner on the edge of town and when we finished, I told them that I was going to poke around town and see what kind of trouble I could get into. They signed up immediately! My kinda guys!

First we went to the bakery where I got a loaf of fresh sourdough. At Knit Night the night before, Jen gave me the most amazing freezer jam I have ever eaten and I couldn't just put it on Wonder Bread could I? Then we went to the Cheese Shop where I got some interesting cranberry, white cheddar to take to a party I was going to that evening. So far a pretty tame, sedate adventure.

I'd been geocaching in the area before and had seen a small, Swiss, historical village that I wanted to visit when I got a chance, so we took off on foot to the spot I thought I remembered it being. Since I wasn't exactly sure, I kept thinking it was on the next block and the next and then the next. The walk began to feel like '40 Days and 40 Nights Lost On The Streets Of New Glarus' since it was all uphill and blazing hot. But eventually we found it. It isn't a working village-more of a museum with several buildings. We took the self-guided tour since we were too rowdy to join the tour group already in progress (which included a Dahli Llama-esque chap from Tibet and the reincarnation of Albert Einstein, right down the the wild, electrocuted hair). It was really interesting.

There were lots of bits and bobs in the General Store. Isn't that one of those horns from the World Cup on the back wall? Switzerland must have won back in the before times.Wicked cool old fire trucks and equipment. I asked Joey to drive this one out in the sun so I could get a better picture. Then I had to talk him out of it. There may or may not have been physical restraint involved. I HAVE to remember to stop double-dog daring him to do illegal stuff unless I really mean it.

This old fashioned IPad was interesting. We've come a long way Baby...

I made the boys pose in front of the Sausage Shop. Look how happy they are about it. Knock it off and say something nice to each other, you guys!! (Mostly they were disappointed that, despite the sign, there were no sausages. They must have sold out before we got there. The Swiss World Cup crowd no doubt.)

You know me. Every time I run across a cannon I have to fire up that bad boy. I declared war on the closest town I knew of, Mt. Horeb, and took careful aim...

But then Joey was all like, "Watch me clean my ear with this giant Q-Tip", and ya'll know whenever Joey sticks something in one ear, I can't resist watching it come out the other side!

Thus distracted, my trajectory changed....

Steve thought it was still a darned good shot but I'm kinda gonna miss ol' Joey T!

Despite the casualty, I had a BLAST. I highly recommend the Swiss Village if you're looking to KILL a couple of hours in New Glarus. Be careful with the cannon though. It has a hair trigger!
How's your holiday weekend going?

Friday, July 02, 2010


OMGosh! I got recognised by total strangers! I was ambling through Target, checking out cleaning products like I actually intended to use them, when I was tapped on the shoulder and asked, "Um, aren't you Molly Bee?"

-First thought: Panic!!! 'Cause in my world, it's never a question of IF I'm in trouble, it's HOW MUCH and for WHICH...ahem...incident. But the lady was smiling and frantically waving another lady over so I was pretty sure I hadn't gotten caught for anything. This time.

-Second thought: Oh crap! I don't recognize this person. I'm absolutely horrible with faces and names. Particularly if I know you from one place (work) and I see you in a totally different place (Starbucks), the Roladex in my brain just starts flipping wildly and I end up drawing a total blank. I always try to pull of a "Hey how ya doin'?" but it's rarely successful.

-Third thought: "Hey did she call me Molly Bee?" Mostly the only folks that call me that are family. This lady doesn't LOOK like Grammie....but....

All of this races through my head in the 30 seconds before she says, "We read your blog all the time! I recognized you from your haircut picture!" Mystery solved. Aside from my family, friends and a couple of routine commenters, I rarely stop to think about the fact that other people have access to the documentation of my freaky life!

We chatted for a couple of minutes. They were wicked nice. It's kind of surreal to have a face-to-face with people you've never met, dont' know anything about, and have them ask you specific questions about your life. They asked about Ben, spinning, and the naked bike parade. They complimented my shawl. They jokingly asked for an autograph and I swear if they had produced a pen I would have signed anything, so flattered was I. I'm sure I came off as such a giddy airhead, that they won't read me anymore, but that aside, the experience sure made my day.

I supposed now I'll have to hire security, slink around in dark glasses, shave my head and take swings at the paparazzi. But such is the life of a publicly recognised blogger, Dahling!!

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...