Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Milwaukee Public Museum

I hope you all had a wonderful long Memorial Day weekend. I certainly did. I started it on Friday by going to Milwaukee to the Mummy exhibit at The Milwaukee Public Museum.  I'd been wanting to go but it never seemed to fit into the schedule and then I heard that the exhibit was packing up and moving on today so I figured I'd better get moving. I find looming deadlines motivational.

First of all, if you've never been to the museum you should go. It's an AWESOME natural history museum that covers all regions and major cultures of the world. It even has a live butterfly room that I could spend all day in if it wasn't 1000° in there! The Mummy Exhibit in particular was simply amazing. They had it set up so that only a certain number of people got in at a certain time which was fortunate because it seemed that every school age child in the tri-state area was in the building; spring field trip season being in full swing. First you started off with small things that were naturally mummified; cats and squirrels found in attics etc. I thought, "Uh Oh, this is not what I signed up for. These aren't mummies, these are just gross dead things!"

Pretty soon it progressed to the Coptic mummies and then South American.  There were displays of the tools used in the mummification process (in the case of the Egyptian mummies) and the artifacts interred with them (South American).  Numerous TVs showed various related videos. There was one particularly good video of the oldest mummy ever found; a 6,000 year old infant whose skin still held it's original peachy tones.  It was unbelievable!

There was a room that held a mother, father and child that died in Germany in a 17th century TB epidemic.  They were accidentally discovered in 1997 behind a wall in a church along with 151 of their towns folk who had also succumbed to the disease. Conditions under the church were such that natural mummification was possible. The same was true of a 16th century baron and baroness that were found in the 'basement' of their castle; preserved right down to their hosiery.

But of course, my favorite, and the reason I wanted to go, was the bog mummy.  They only had one and she was pretty beaten up but I was fascinated and spent most of my time with her...oh and the bog dog. The only dog found mummified in a bog!  I don't know why I'm so attracted to this phenomenom. Maybe I was a bog mummy in another life?  Wait, if that's true that I probably still am. Given the very nature of bog mummies....I must still be out there somewhere! Attention! People of Eastern Europe! Please go to your nearest fen and poke around with a stick and try to find me immediately, won't you?


Saturday, May 28, 2011

New Post over on Molly Doodles Blog

I have several folks complain that they forget to check  the Doodle Blog since I update it so infrequently.  Doodles take a long time the way I do 'em!   So when I update that blog, I'll just put a little tickler in there so that you can pop over there if you want. Save you remembering to check both blogs:

My work here is done. Have a happy Saturday!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Everything I Need To Know I Learned in Tai Chi Class

I took my first Tai Chi class this morning. I'll give you a minute to stop picturing it and pull yourselves back together. OK now? Good. My company is offering a 6 week introductory class. Even though it starts at 7:30 AM I still loved it and learned some valuable lessons:
  • Chai Tea and Tai Chi...two totally different things as it turns out.
  • While I do have some beautiful tea cups, I don't have any 'loose and comfortable' gym clothes that I wish to wear around  my coworkers . I agonized over this for days, then when I got to class, I realized that no one else does either. I have come to view my coworkers in a totally different and disturbing light.
  • Tai Chi is an actual martial art. The moves are slow and graceful (theoretically graceful in my case) but the premise behind them is that they are strike postures. Today we learned the 'poke someones eye out' move.   So don't tick me off and then stand totally statue-still without blinking for 3-5 minutes because I can now blind you. Or myself, depending on how good my grasp of right and left are on that day.
  • You can technically use Tai Chi to kill someone, but chances are they will die of old age while they are waiting.
    Crane Pose
  • When achieving the 'crane posture' you make your hand into a little bird head that looks like a crane. This is meant to be totally symbolic so don't make it 'talk' to your neighbor. Teacher doesn't like that.
  • At one point you create a magical- mystical 'energy ball' between your cupped hands.  Teacher said that we could push the energy back into our bodies or rub it into an achy place on your body or anything you wanted to do with it really.  I hurled it at my neighbor.  Teacher didn't like that either. 
  • The lessons are really paying off already for my neighbor who moved with lithe agility to dodge my lobbed energy ball.
And I think my teacher learned that Tai Chi isn't the calming, meditative experience she'd been peddling in the beginning. She looked close to tears when we left. Maybe she'll just miss me over this next week. I'll bet that's it. Can't wait to see what I learn next Wednesday!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Must Be Related To A Bad A** Honey Badger

The little pond across the street from my house is a source of endless fascination for me. I'm a water girl. I LOVE the ocean but I'll placate myself with a lake, pond, stream or large puddle if I can find one, so the little pond with its cat tails, ducks and geese  fits the bill nicely.  This morning while Ben and I were out for our morning constitutional, I stood for a minute and watched two ducks paddling around near the far shore.  They paddled to the edge and  then hopped up into the grass. Suddenly, there was a flurry of activity as they ran all around then then flew back into the water. Apparently the spot they had chosen to come ashore was where the resident muskrat was working on his new digs.  He chased them all over the place until he got them out of his neighborhood and back in the water. It was hysterical. I've never seen anything like it before. The ducks were totally shocked, feathers flying, and quacking their heads off in a manner that sounded like 'Ohcrapohcrapohcrap', and the muskrat was clearly PEEVED.  He kept chasing them in circles long after they were away from his new home.  All I could think was that he must be closely related to the Bad Ass Honey Badger. If you haven't seen this video on the Bad A** Honey Badger, you NEED to. Click HERE!  Honey Badgers (and muskrats apparently) are just CRAAAAAZY!)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Busy Bee

It has been brought to my attention that I've been neglecting my bloggerly duties of late.  I'll try to remedy that by updating more often.  I've been busier than a one-armed paper hanger but have been doing the same old-same old and it hasn't been particularly blogworthy but if folks don't hear from me in a while, they assume I've been abducted by aliens so I'll try and check in more often. 

Took Ben to the vet today-AGAIN.  He has begun limping again and the vet doesn't know why. We're giving it another week and if he's still limping, he needs to start antibiotics-AGAIN.  If that works, we'll know it's an infection.  If it get infected after the antibiotics run out, the titanium plate has to come out of his knee and I get a $3500 key chain. It also could be a miniscle (sic) problem which means another surgery. Or it could just be lame. I just feel so bad for the guy because he doesn't deserve to be in pain of any kind. A braver, truer soul there never was.

I know folks who have a jig saw puzzle laying out on their kitchen table, or a card table, or whatever all the time. They stop by and put in a piece now and again.  I decided to adopt that strategy to Mollydoodling. I got a 2' x 3' piece of really nice art paper at the University Book Store and it now lives on my kitchen table. I pick away at it now and again, adding a pattern on one side of one block at a time. It's really relaxing. Good thing no one is depending on me putting actual food on the table three times a day. Ben eats on the floor and I eat at my kitchen bar so it's all good.

I've been totally obsessed with the Camden Pierce Hughes saga back in Maine this week. We all see a million bad things on the news everyday, and every once in a while, one really gets to you. This one is it for me. It's been nice to have the distraction of drawing to push the nasty thoughts out a bit. Poor little sweetheart. Rest with the angels in peace.

Tomorrow night is Knit Night.  I'm cranking out socks to beat the band in between doodles. I am determined to knit only from my stash this year and I have a plethora of sock yarn.  Guess what y'all are getting for Christmas?

Better wrap it up...the season finale of Bones is coming on. Loves me some Hodgins!  And then the aliens will be here for my nightly probing....

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mish Mash

My 1,000 mph life hit a small roadblock in the form of an ear infection that gave me a case of vertigo that dropped me like a Southern belle with the vapors last week. I'm so far behind on my blogging that I no longer know what happened when but I'll plop it all down here and let you sort it out.

I got a mysterious email message from an address I didn't recognize one day. It said only, "Tardis at Westfield Comics." Nothing else. Now when one receives such a message, it can only mean one thing...THE FINORKIN TARDIS IS DOWN AT WESTFIELD COMICS!!!! Sure enough, The Doctor had parked her right out front!  I went for a spin. 1934 was lovely.
My twin sister, Mary had sent the mysterious message. She took a spin too!

This time traveling only added to my timeline confusion, so i couldn't tell you when I actually finished this pair of socks, but it was sometime in the last two weeks and here they are. They're knit from a Plymouth yarn that I picked up at Yarn, Glass and More in Presque Isle, Maine. I hadn't seen a colorway quite like it and they knit up like a dream. [Note to self: Go back in time and find out what you did with the other sock blocker...how does one lose ONE sock blocker?]

 Friend Jen and I went on a Girl's Day Out shopping excursion to Chicago's Miracle Mile. A bus from a local travel agency took us down and dropped us off on Michigan Ave. supposing that we would shop 'til we dropped at Tiffanie's, Prada and Harry Winston.  All of the other ladies on the bus were giddy with anticipation.  Once we landed, despite the 40 mph winds and driving bitter cold rain, Jen and I broke from the herd and headed to the beach.  We're not much for shopping.  We just tagged along to see what other trouble we could get into.  As far as I'm concerned a day in this weather on the beach is better than any day trying on Jimmy Choos and getting facials! Don't let that get out or they'll take away our 'Girl Cards'.
Lake Michigan was really rockin' and rollin'. We only had one 'incident' when we were nearly washed out to sea!  And it turns out getting your skin blasted with beach sand is way more inexpensive than a spa.

We went to Navy Pier and walked the entire length. What a cool place-especially the stained glass and mosaic museum.

Harbor Light
Cruise boat
Jen has three kidlets so we went to the  Lego Store to appease them for having to endure an entire day without Mommy.  The Lego sculptures were magnificent. I wonder if they've noticed that I took T-Rex's left bicuspid yet?

 This guy is sitting in the lobby outside the store. Love the bird poop on his shoulder...just like a real statue.

 We created madness and mayhem around the entire city and still managed to make it back to the rendezvous point in time to catch the bus home. The other ladies were laden down with packages and they eyed my empty hands suspiciously.  Jen at least had the Lego bag so she was less suspect.  I just said that I bought so much that I had my stuff shipped home. They seemed OK with that. My 'Girl Card' is safe for now.

What have you been doing?

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Weekend Update May 1, 2011

It was a fun-filled week: Cirque du Soliel on Tuesday night, movies with Steve and Joey on Thursday night, lunch with Pat on Friday and then there was the Royal Wedding reception of course. Saturday I went to Joey's Seafood with Mary, Jen and Elizabeth and then to  knitting. Our normal Last Saturday Knitting place had to close early at 3PM, so we moved the party over the The Sow's Ear until it closed at 5PM.

I had forgotten that the Alpaca Festival was this weekend until someone mentioned it yesterday afternoon. I'm glad they did, I would have felt bad if I had missed it. I got up bright and early and went down there this morning. I usually go on Saturday and there are a lot of folks around and the animals are wicked skittish, but this morning was really quiet and I got plenty of alpaca kisses and love. It was wonderful. I visited each and every alpaca and then watched the judging for a bit. I went to the vendor area but stayed true to my vow to not buy fleece/yarn this year. I had to make a 2 skein exception recently to make a project that someone asked specifically for, but as of today-May 1st, I haven't bought anything fibery!

To top it all off, I finished a Molly Doodle.  (Click to biggify for detail. Finally! One I'm happy with!)

 And gave myself a snazzy Mollydoodle manicure.
There just aren't enough hours in the day around here lately!

I'll leave you with pics of some of the cuties I got to commune with this morning...
Love the punk hairdo. He was a real 'party animal'.

 Doesn't the one of the right look like a white alpaca with a brown hooded coat on?
 Here's looking at you.
This is the 'Push Me Pull Me' from Dr. Doolittle.

What have YOU been up to?

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...