Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Groundhog Dessert Recipe

*Snort!*  That got your attention didn't it!  My department is having a Super Bowl Fun Day Soup Potluck tomorrow. I made a taco soup and then whipped up these Groundhog's Day inspired treats for dessert. I found the idea on Pinterest. The ones on there are infinitely cuter but it was fun to play with anyway.

You need Pepperidge Farm Milanos or Nutter Butters or something similar in shape, slivered almonds, butterscotch chips and chocolate frosting to glue all of the parts on. It's pretty futzy to trim the almonds for ears and teeth and to cut the tops of the chips...but.....
Ta Da! A Groundhog
 Then you stick them in a chocolate pudding cup and surround them with crumbled up Oreos for 'dirt'.

Horrors! A legion of Groundhogs!

We'll be eating them in a room at the office. I will be sure and turn the lights out so they don't see their shadows. I'm not a math whiz but if I don't it'll be somewhere around 120 more months of winter!  
Happy Groundhogs Day!

Diva Challenge and Birthday Business

I haven't participated in the Diva Challenge for a while for reasons that will soon become clear.  This week's challenge was to use a specific string from

 Since I am working from home today, I took 30 minutes at lunchtime and tangled. When I took Diane Knauff's class in October she told us that we didn't have to stay in the (string) lines. That concept blew my mind since I am a color-in-the-lines kind of girl  but I took it to heart and played really fast and loose with the string on this one. It was so much fun!


And here is the reason I haven't done the challenge for the past few weeks.

When I went home for Christmas, Mum had cleaned out her hobby closet and boxed up a bunch of skeins of yarn that I had sent to her over the years so she could knit her own socks . She doesn't enjoy knitting as much as I do and though she has knit a few pairs for herself, there was no way she was going to knit up all the yarn I sent, so she sent it back home with me on Dec 26.  So from December 28-January 25, I knit socks from that yarn to send back to her for her birthday today!  I was disappointed that I only got 3 pairs done but I had a lot of other stuff going on so I guess three is not so bad considering.

I also sent her my first attempt at doodling on a photo mat. Here it is without the shading:

And here it is with the shading.  I'm always amazed at the difference in depth. The blue thing is just a towel it's sitting on, for contrast.

And here is the whole thing in the frame. Sucky photo but you get the idea.  (For you Dr. Who fans, a friend saw this pic and said that it looked like I was taking the picture with the TARDIS (see reflection)).

I also did a little one for me to frame one of my favorite snapshots. The picture sucks because of the wrid angle but I like the way the mat came out. I'll take another picture once it's framed.

At any rate, that's what I've been up to about you?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Great Mini Piggy Caper: A Veggie Tale

We haven't had a good barn story for a while....

This weekend we got a TON of veggies donated from the local market, Millers in Verona. G*d Bless Millers! Their outdated produce goes a long way to keeping our animals fat and happy.  And none of them is quite so fat and happy as Mini-Pig-Diva, Miss Lola.  We have to keep Miss Lola on a diet of her pellet food and green leafy veggies only.  No sugary fruits or starchy veggies to pudge up her svelte, Miss Piggy figure. Even on her 'diet' though, she still finds enough crumbs of other animals'  foods lying around to keep her pretty voluptuous.

So this weekend, when I put the big, plastic, veggie bin on the barn floor so that I could sort through and put some in the fridge to keep it from freezing, I carefully checked around for Miss Lola, knowing she was doodling around loose in the barn. I finally spotted her waaaay down at the other end of the barn, 'helping' the kids muck out the goat stall. It's a big job.  It needs lots of supervision. Miss Lola was clearly 'on it'.

So I took the cover half-way off the bin and started sorting. I guess I  kind of 'vegged' out (get it?!?!) and took my eye off Miss Lola for a few minutes. What transpired next probably would have escaped every one's attention had she been even a little more stealthy about it. All of a sudden, about halfway down the barn floor, Miss Lolla starts to squeal to the top of her little piggy lungs and run full tilt toward the veggie bin.  My first though was that Gracie Goose had...well...goosed her.  That's happened before and always sets her to running. But the pig-curdling-rebel-yell-top-decibel-continuous screaming at the same time was new. It made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck!

Before I could process what happened, she came in hot, aiming straight for the bin and in one fell swoop, threw the cover the rest of the way off, grabbed an entire ear of corn, turned on a dime and, still screaming, albeit muffled with her mouth full of corn cob, took off to hide and eat it. It was so obviously premeditated, expertly choreographed and  executed, I didn't even have the heart to take it away from her. She hid in the darkest recesses of a stall and happily munched her treasure. When you work that hard for something, you ought to be able to enjoy it.

Note to self: Keep even partially opened veggie bins up off the floor so as to avoid future heists and not perpetuate Miss Lola's life of crime.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

New Kid On The Block: Pay Pal Wing Wings

There's a kid and his mom that I run into quite often while walking Ben.  One day this late fall, she asked if her son, who's about 1 and a handful of change, could pat the dog. I said "Sure" and walked over. The kid immediately goes behind his mother's legs and peers out anxiously at Ben. Ben can be a scary looking dude in anyone's estimation. I can't imagine what it's like when you're only two feet tall!  Ben seemed to sense the kid's trepidation He stopped his normal beans-for-brains antics for once and quietly sat down and looked back at him. The kid thought about it a couple of minutes and then comes bailing out from around his mum runs to Ben and throws his arms around him in a brotherly hug. No timid 'touch and run' for this guy. Ben gives him is patented slurp up side the head and they've been best buds since.

His mom says Torry is painfully shy and retiring with strangers, but for whatever reason, I am his go-to girl for a chit-chat every time he sees me. The problem is...I can't understand ONE WORD the little fella says. It's not the normal baby googles that I'm used to. I wish that I COULD Google Translate it because he's just so passionate and animated. There's inflection in his voice. He punctuates his thoughts with belly laughs. He asks questions. Arms flail to make his point. Eyebrows raise to assess my understanding. Yet it all goes into my brain pan and just sits there like cold tapioca. I got NOTHIN' when it comes to this kid.

His mother translates for him, like they do.  Usually, at that point, you can relate what the mom says to the baby babble and kind of see a correlation. Not with Torry.  I was beginning to think the kid was an alien changeling or something (because the thought that I am just too stupid to understand a nearly two-year old is unthinkable).  He's obviously trying to communicate something important! Unfortunately he's picked the wrong planetary ambassador 'cause I got nada, nil, zilch, zero in the comprehension department.  He keeps trying though. He never gives up. He doesn't get frustrated. He talks away while I tilt my head and give his the equivalent of the look that Ben gives me when I'm trying to explain something to him.

Yesterday, he saw me coming up the street, broke free from his mom and tore down the sidewalk toward me as fast as his chubby, little, snowsuit-encased legs would carry him.  He was chanting the same four syllables the entire way. "PAY PAL WING WINGS! PAY PAL WING WINGS! PAY PAL WING WINGS!" The first thing I thought of was that old Richard Dryfus movie,  "Crippendorf's Tribe".  Oh my gosh, he's not an alien! He's a member of some sort of primitive, tribe heretofore undiscovered in the suburbs of south central Wisconsin!

He crashed into my legs. That's how his people stop quickly apparently. He and Ben had a snuggle session and all the while he's glancing up at me and chanting, "PAY PAL WING WINGS". His mom, who thinks it's hilarious that I can't speak 'Torry', finally arrives and laughingly says, "Do you know what he's saying?"  I hate this. It's akin to when that person walks up to you and says "You know who I am, don't you?" NO! Then she makes it worse by saying, "Take a stab at it."  Fine. I'm game.  In the name of anthropology, I'll put extra effort into communicating with the diminutive tribesman.

"PAY PAL WING WINGS!" he says emphatically. "Well..." I scratch my chin thoughtfully so as to make the impression that I have a shot in heck at this. "Apparently it's some kind of thinly veiled extortion attempt in which I, Wing-Wings, should transfer monetary funds into his Pay Pal account." She thinks this is hysterical and when she gets done laughing at me, she wipes her eyes and tells me what he said.

Aside: For Christmas this year, dear friends in Minneapolis sent me adorable earrings.  They are little yarn balls about the size of a peanut M&M and have teeny, tiny, eentsy, weentsy knitting needles in them. The yarn is purple.  Turns out, I was wearing them the last time I ran into Torry and his mum said he was captivated with them and had babbled about them since.

PAY PAL WING WINGS!= PURPLE EARRINGS!  Did I finally have the Rosetta Stone necessary to crack his lexicon? Probably not...but I finally had an infinitesimal glint of hope.

"PAY PAL WING WINGS?" said I pointing to my ears. " PAY PAL WING WINGS!" he hooted. Both of us kept repeating the phrase, dancing around, nodding and laughing in the age old tradition of two vastly different tribesman who have finally found common ground. In fact we kept it up until his mom began to look concerned.  I pulled myself together, looked at her calmly, said 'Pay Pal Wing Wing', saluted Torry, who nodded sagely, and continued on my way.

Guess what my new 'walking earrings' are going to be?

Monday, January 14, 2013

NyQuil, Assault Rifles and Common Sense

I just had to pitch the business end of a hissy in my local department store. Again.  That's twice in as many weeks. Today I went in to get dog food and saw that they have NyQuil and Musinex on sale so I picked them up as well. I've been flirting with a cold that's been coming and going for days.

(Aside) And this turns out to be important: I have a department store credit card (you could guess which one and you'd probably be right on target) that I charge everything to because I get a whopping 5% off, then pay it off at the end of each month. Most times, like today, when I go in the store, I only have the card, not my whole purse with me.

I get to the counter and the clerk says, "I'll need to see your ID for the NyQuil."*

As I am saying, "I don't have it with me...", and the clerk is beginning to look panicked,  a lot of thoughts run through my head:

1.  It's freakin' NyQuil for Gosh Sakes and only one bottle at that!  Not nearly enough to start my own meth lab or whatever those crazy kids are doing with it these days.

2. I  wish background checks were this thorough for gun purchases.

3. It's finorkin cold out there and I. am. not. going. clear. back. out. to. the. car. for. my. license!

She asks me if I have any form of ID. I say that I have my employee badge from work and pull it out.  It has a gorgeous picture of me, looking like I'm getting booked for a felony of some sort, and it has a bar code on it.

She says, "Oh. No D.O.B.?"

I say "No, but my birthday is 10/15/65."

The cashier looks confused so I add, "I'm 47."  I feel like flashing both hands four time and following up with a full hand and two more and saying "I'm this many"! I'm afraid that much finger flashing could set off someone's epilepsy though and I could be in hotter water than I am right now from trying to purchase cold medicine!

The blinking light of doom is engaged atop the register. The young man behind me gives the big sigh and rolls his eyes. You can tell he's trying to decide if he should jump ship or if it's going to be a quick deal to just give the old lady her cold medicine already!

The manager comes over and the cashier tells her the scoop. She looks right at me and says, "May I see your ID please?"   REALLY?  That's your solution?  We've already  thoroughly discussed that that's a long wait for a train don't come. When I re-tell her what the clerk just got done telling her, she stares at me for a moment and says: 'You don't have ANY form of ID". I pull out my Employee Badge again but to no avail. In fact, with my booking photo, it's probably a detriment.

Finally I say, "I have my Department Store card, which you wouldn't have given me unless the paperwork I filled out had my birthday on it and I showed was over 18."

The manager takes the card and looks it all over and says' "It doesn't say how old you are."

I point at my face and say, "No. THIS says how old I am." She takes one look and no more discussion. She rings it right through.

I don't know whether to be disappointed that my face no longer reflects an age that ABSOLUTELY DEMANDS an ID....or glad because common sense prevailed in the end for change. All I know is that if the cold comes back, I'm ready for it.

*1.  I'm fine if you keep the cold meds in the pharmacy and there is a sign on the store shelf that says you'll have to go there and get it and sign for it, but there was no indication of that. Had there  been I wouldn't have picked it up today, but on another day when I had my ID.

2.  I've signed for cold medicine before but never NyQuil!

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Happy Friday Eve!

This is a tangle I did before Christmas to try out some new patterns.  The light to dark ratio is off, the composition sucks (what is that big blog in the middle!?), but I am posting it because I love the new patterns I tried out.

I wish I was better at remembering names and creators of tangles.  I print stuff off and cram it in a folder and then when the mood strikes, I pull out a handful to practice. By that time, where I found it and who created it is long gone.  The only  ones I remember is 'Knyt' in the upper left, 'Fife' in the lower left, and 'Ramparts' at the bottom right.  So if you created any of the patterns on here, THANK YOU! I had a wonderful, relaxing evening getting to know them!

DaVinci DaVotion and Lunchtime Luck

Although a lot of other groovy stuff happened, the main reason for going to the Mississippi River Museum was to see the traveling DaVinci e...