Thursday, May 31, 2012

Keep The Faith

I got a book on Zentangling letters a week or so ago. I finally sat down with it while The Hatfields and McCoys was on last night and gave it a whirl. Not really happy with the 'aith' but am pretty pleased with the 'F'. Not bad for a first try. I see lots of Zen words in my future! Fun!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Diva Challenge: Crescent Moon

This week's Diva Challenge was to do a tile using only the Crescent Moon pattern and it's variations. I tried it using squares, triangles and hearts as the 'moon' with varying degrees of success. I'm not happy with the tile, but it's the only one I have time for this week so it will have to do!

It was a sad weekend at The Farm. We lost two hens (Penny and Gigi) and a rooster (Mr. Pickles) to a raccoon attack. They were all sweethearts and Gigi was especially adorable with her little, fluffy pantaloons. They will be sorely missed. Also, Toby-the-calf got moooo-ved (get it?) to his temporary home in New Glarus. He needs to spend time in the company of other cows because, quite frankly, I don't think he knows he is one. He's part dog, part people. We'll get him back in the future when he's done attending 'how to be a cow' school and we have a new facility built but there will be a big, empty hole in the barn and in our hearts until he comes home again. Tonight we will be shoring up the stalls to insure that raccoons stay away from the birds and other animals. Raccoons have a special place in my heart, but I had no idea they could be so vicious. And to seemingly no end. 

Other than that it was a good weekend, equally divided into work (rearranged my bedroom, fixed my computer etc.) and fun (Last Saturday Knitting, out of town visitors, and brunch with friends). Now it's Wednesday, which is really my Monday since I had yesterday off, and my internal calendar is all confused. I've heard Wednesday called 'The Middle Finger of the Week'...and when it's also your Monday...well, I think it's a two-handed 'salute'.  Hope you all had a great Memorial Day Weekend and that your week is sorted better than mine right now! Onward and upward!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Diva Challenge: Pea'nuckle

This week's challenge from the Diva's blog was to use the new pattern 'Pea-nuckle' in a tangle. I was excited to start but soon realized that it's a difficult pattern for me. The spacing has to be pretty correct so that you can connect everything and really make it shine.  It's the pattern there on the left hand side. As you can see, I failed miserably.  I'll keep trying. It looks great if it's done correctly.
It was still a fun challenge and neat to do it in the small size that official 'Zetangles' are supposed to be-3.5' square. I usually use a lot more real estate. Thanks again Diva for a great challenge and a relaxing evening!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Brush With Celebrity

I went to see Who's Line Is It Anyway-Live at The Overture Center this weekend. Walking in from the parking garage I looked to my left and saw a gentleman, sharply dressed in black, talking on his cell phone.  Two steps later I  realized it was Greg Proops, one of the improvisational comedians from the show. I did the stereotypical double take and waved. He gave a kind of  'Oh-My-God-If-I-Give-Even-The-Subtlest-Encouragement-This-Lady-Is-Going-To-Come-Over-Here-And-No-One-Wants-To-See-That-Happen' lift of the chin in acknowledgement. You know...the kind you don't get it you're 19...and blonde...and stacked. Anyway, I was glad just to have a wee brush with one of  The Shiny People to add to my list.

The show was phenomenal. I am amazed at the quick wit and talent of that kind of comedian. I've been a Ryan Styles fan since I first saw him on The Drew Cary Show and he certainly didn't let me down Saturday. Chip and Jeff were outstanding as usual.  Brilliant minds and plenty of belly laughs. That's what I call a perfect evening!

Sunday at the farm was HOT. It was the first really hot day of the season and I was unprepared. I didn't eat breakfas,t then I forgot my water bottle and had to pick one up at the store. When I came out of the store, there was an elderly lady standing out front and she asked me if she could beg a favor. She had locked her keys in the car and wanted a ride a couple of blocks over to get her keys.

There is something weird about me. No! Other than they myriad of things we already know about! Strangers (except for Greg Proops) approach me all the time and ask me to do things: take their picture,  hold their infant/child/keys/purse/backpack/jacket/groceries, give me a lift/ directions/your phone/some money/gum. It's weird.  How do they know I'm trust-worthy? How to they know I won't give them bum directions? How so they know I won't run off with their camera/infant/child//purse/backpack/jacket/groceries? I guess just one look at me says that I'm built for comfort, not for getaway speed and that I'd just love to tell them where to go, I guess! But how do they know I have gum? !

Anyway, I agreed and drove her to her apartment. She thanked me for the ride and I told her to go in and grab her keys and I would give her a ride back to the gas station and make sure she got into her car alright. She went into the senior apartments and then didn't come out, and didn't come out, and .didn't.come.out.   Just when  I'm starting to think that she got clear to her apartment at the back of the very top floor, realized that THOSE  keys were also locked in her car, had a stroke and died in the hallway, when out she comes. She proceeds to tell me that she ran into Myrna and then Louise and then Bertha and then Maurice and she told them each the story of how the nice lady from the filling station gave her a ride to get her keys....Sigh.

I'm glad I left home extra early so I wasn't late getting to the farm, but due to a couple tours and other things, I didn't get home until 1:30; exhausted, over-heated and henpecked-literally.

 Esme, the female turkey was really verklempt about something. She paced the fence line crying for almost all of my shift. So before I left, I picked her up and went to the bank under the shady trees to sit with her a spell. I stroked her head and back and she settled into my lap, eyes closed....drowsing. After about 15 minutes I removed my left arm that was loosely supporting her body thinking that she would jump down. Nope. She was in cuddle position for the long we sat like that for quite a while until I started getting a headache from the heat. I gently moved my legs and she turned her sweet, little, face around and looked at me.  I talked to her, telling her that I didn't want to, but I had to go home-yadda-yadda know, just talking turkey...and then she hauled back and pecked me right in the chest, hopped down and went back to pacing the fence line. Now I have an Esme's-beak-shaped hole right above my left boob to show for my time. Sigh.  No good deed goes unpunished. LOL!  At least I made her feel better for a little while....right before I ticked her off again that is!

So that was my weekend. Hob-nobbing with the stars, ferrying old ladies and gone to the birds.  How was yours?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bits and Giggles

I have another sighting to add to my bird list.  Earlier this week I was surprised to see what turned out to be a Virginia Rail in a tree by the pond across the street from my house. And last night I saw this.

This is a rare and elusive El Pato. She was not very scared of people. I walked pretty close to her to get this shot with my phone.  They are noted for their plaintive cry, 'Graznar! Gaznar!' I know this is an El Pato and not a regular old duck because she was standing outside the front door of  Cuco's Mexican Restaurant.

Had a nice dinner with friends. Here you see 'Senor Scottada'
after his really big Margarita...ole!

I tried to have my picture taken but  I am 'fun-sized' and apparently this is just a photo op for tall people. My face only came to the mariachi guys chest! My face only came to the mariachi guys chest! You could see a little bit of my hair though. Looked like he had a beard, but no face. It was horrifying!

I ran out of things to doodle on so I decided to doodle on my nails!  Just kidding (for now, but you know it's only a matter of time). They are actually a decal type deal-y I found at the drug store.  I usually don't worry too much about my nails, other than keeping them clean and ultra short, because I do too many crafts and barn work and stuff, but I couldn't resist when I saw these! Kinda a pain in the butt to apply but they're supposed to  last a long time. 

Once again aliens have breached the security system at Chez Bee.  You may recall that they visited a month or two ago and took every stitch of  my bed covers off two nights in a row.   Now the hooliganism has escalated!   You hear about it on those Sci Fi shows, but you never think it'll happen to you...and then one morning and you find an obviously alien-mutilated cow on your living room floor. Oh the horror!They amputation was done with surgical prowess and as you can see, they removed all the blood from the bovine first. Even though that's creepy, I appreciate not having to spend the day scrubbing the stains out of the carpet. They must have taken the remainder of the cow aboard their ship and whisked it off to their planet for further study and experimentation because I looked all over the house and couldn't any other parts.  Weird.

I have GOT to get the locks changed!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Diva Challenge # 70-Colour Me Sepia

This week's Diva Challenge was so much fun! Ben and I sat out on the patio last night. We're getting to be real accomplished patio-sitters, me 'n' Ben! I ate my supper and worked on the challenge in the gorgeous spring weather. I met new neighbor Phil and his dog, Hershey. And I was glad to chat with my upstairs neighbor, Annie and her dog Finnegan.  Annie is doing well after her date with the hunky EMTs and fireman who swept her off her feet and took her away on Saturday. Just another beautiful evening in the 'hood. 

The Challenge is called "Colour Me Sepia"...and yes, 'colour' is spelled like that because she's from Canada so she's allowed.  I am merely guilty by association and will return to the more uncultured spelling of things after this post.  But for now I like the flavour.  But I digress....  The challenge was to use brown in the typically black and white tangle. I decided to take the challenge literally and use the brown to color in spaces and the black to outline...with the exception of the border...because that was where I started and with all the neighboring going on, I had two triangles filled in with black before I realized what I was doing. the picture doesn't really show the difference between the black and brown since my brown was a little on the darker side but you can get the gist of it if you look close. 

I also combed the Genevieve Crabb's weekly  round up for new patterns and enjoyed trying some of these for the first time. I especially enjoyed Laura Williams' LinQ; it's the fancy swoopy thing with the pearls and stripes that runs across the middle. 

So thank again, Diva for another relaxing evening and a chance to learn new patterns!

Monday, May 14, 2012

One Goat In, Two Goats Out

Although the weekend got off to a rough start , it turned out to be pretty eventful. I went to breakfast and to see Dark Shadows (campy) with a friend on Saturday morning. The day was so beautiful that after our breakfast at Hubbard Avenue Diner, we got a walk in before the movie started. Saturday afternoon I found myself uber exhausted and decided that the chores I had planned could be shelved in deference to gorgeous weather and Mr. Ben and I parked ourselves outside in the fresh air.

It wasn't too long before an ambulance and fire truck pulled up and carted my new upstairs neighbor off to the Emergency Room. Not sure what happened. It was encouraging to see her walk down the steps of her own volition (although heavily assisted) after the hunky firemen busted her door down to get her out. I told her not to worry about her dog Finnegan.  Ben and I would go get him and take care of him.
Turns out Finn is a carbon copy of Ben. He's a boxer lab mix of the same size, shape, weight. temperament and drool quantity. Two goofy knuckleheads They had a great time together until Finn went back home to his Mom around midnight.

Saturday evening I went out to supper with friends to celebrate Steve's birthday. We ate at Longhorn Steakhouse. Good food. I had the lobster baked potato which made me homesick. Oh to have gone to Young's Lobster Pound instead!

Sunday morning at the farm was sad and hilarious both. First thing, we found that Rosie-the-duck had gotten herself stuck in a confined space in her stall and hurt her leg. She went off to the Emergency Clinic.  It was scary, but she's doing well and I'm sure will be back soon.  She is the sweetest little thing. One of the staff hand-raised her at home as a duckling and so she loves people.

It was another beautiful day and Lola spent it bathing in the sun that shines against the barn door. It does get toasty and warm in that spot and the black rubber mat that's out there draws even more heat.  I'm surprised she didn't smell like bacon cooking she was out there so long. Here you see a volunteer poking her to see if she's 'done'.

Just kidding. Every time someone walked by the bathing beauty, we couldn't resist giving her belly rubs.  She loves them and they make her little piggy tail go! Talk about Hog Heaven!

We got all of the barn work done and the volunteers went home. I puttered around some more until a lady and her daughter came in for a tour. We started at the further end of the barn. I asked if they wanted to go in the goat stall to visit and they said that they did. When I opened the stall door, two goats escaped.  I opened the door to get them back in and only got one in before two more came out. It was like a Three Stooges routine. Since I was giving a tour, I tried to play it cool and just let them be, figuring I would get them back in the stall after the guests left.  So for the remainder of their visit, we had an entourage of Butch (a big goat), Clark and Diana (mini goats), Teddy (a mini sheep) and Lola following us all around. They were very well behaved and at our heels the whole way. It was pretty funny. We went down to the horse pasture and Thor and Mick (the llamas) were thrilled with their new friends. They all touch noses and then settled down to eat grass from the same patch.

We got back in the barn and the guests insisted on trying to help me get the goats in one more time. Even with a sweet feed incentive, we couldn't get everyone in at the same time. The guests left and as soon as I  opened the stall door and they went right in! And no one came back out!  I guess they were just putting on a little show for their company. Sunday mornings are nothing if not entertaining at the Farm!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Diva Challenge # 69-Groovy

The first Monday of the month, the Diva calls for a UMT (Use My Tangle) Challenge. She chooses a tangle pattern invented by one of her loyal followers and challenges everyone to use it in a design. This week's UMT called for the use of  Eden's tangle 'Groovy'.  Yesterday was one of those I looked forward to actually sitting down for the evening and working on this one, no cookin', no laundry', no nuthin', just me and the pen. All of the issues I'd been ruminating on all day fell away and it was just lines and curves. By the end of the evening I was much calmer, relaxed and ready to go to sleep. I cannot begin to tell you the immeasurable ways that tangling has helped me with all kinds of angsty, depression, anxiety-type issues. I SO encourage everyone to give it a try.  Yes you CAN do it; one pen stroke at a time, line by line. No one has to see it but you. You'll be amazed at how you feel. It's almost like hypnosis and it gives your brain and all of your worries a rest for a bit.  Anyway, enough expounding.  Here is my Groovy challenge for this week:

Try it! You'll like it!

Friday, May 04, 2012

Ben and Molly Sitting In a Tree.....

♫ Ben has a  girlfriend! ♫ Ben has a girlfriend!♫

Miss Molly is spending a couple of days with us while her folks go away for the weekend. She's a looker, Molly is.  About 8 " tall and maybe 6 lbs (if you strap another mini dachshund to her back)! She's an older girl and doesn't let Ben push her around just because of his size. She thought he  took a little getting used to at first, but they were buddies within a couple of hours.  This morning though, he strolled by  while she was eating her breakfast and she bared her teeth and let him have it with her best 'I-Will-Eat-Your-Face-Off-If-You-Come-One-Step-Closer' growl and Ben was all like, 'Uh...Gosh...My mistake, Ma'am!' and couldn't back up fast enough. Girl Power!

I walked them separately last night, but together this morning. It was like a circus sideshow; Ben oblivious to the fact that there was anyone outside with him at all and Molly creatively macrame-ing his paws together by winding under this belly and around his feet. Together they made knots that would put the Boy Scouts to shame. I became very adept at untying them which should come in handy next time I use a new skein of yarn and that big ball of yarn barf pops out of the middle.

They've already formed an very effective alliance  in the treat department. They take turns looking adorable and then when I toss them treats, Ben gobbles the ones in the center of the floor and Molly darts to get the ones that roll under the sofa and love seat. Ben just stand there looking amazed as he hears the crunching coming from far beneath the furniture. He can't even get his big lunkhead under there! Bonus for Molly; there are treats from waaaay before she arrived  under there. She may be a little heavier than 6# when she goes home!

It's been interesting watching the dynamic that's for sure. We usually have big, boy dogs over so it's an even match.  Molly has proved that she's a 80# lab in a tenny tiny body and fits in just fine!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

DUOTANGLE Challenge: Hybrid and Strircles

This week's challenge over at The Diva's blog is to create a tangle using just two patterns: Hybrid and Strircles. Here is my attempt:
I really enjoyed this one since I use these patterns a lot. Thanks again for a wonderful challenge Diva!

Sturgeon Bay Speed Racer

I was in Sturgeon Bay over the weekend and went to see the Third Ave Playhouse's matinee of Shooting Star with Doug Mancheski and Amy En...