Monday, April 27, 2015

This and That...Here and There...

It's been a full couple of weeks. We have been out and about quite a bit; seeing the Baraboo Tiger Sanctuary, walking at the park in Belleville, and just rambling about in general. 

The highlight was when we went to see John Edward last Thursday night and it was very good. He was very warm, personable, funny and entertaining. We didn't get read, but lot of other people did and he is very convincing. He said a couple of things in his teaching moments that really resonated with me. We really enjoyed it. 

When we have some down time, we've been playing Qwirkle, doodling, reading, walking and knitting. I finished another Ben Kwok piece which I kind of like. I didn't really like it (the entire composition, not the template) until I put the music notes around it. That seemed to perk it up a little. 

No less that nine different friends sent me this picture; allowing that I need this yarn bowl in my collection.  Huh. I can't think of why! :-)  I found the site that makes them and was delighted to find that they also make a wee version of this bowl that is an egg separator and the white comes out the nose! I'm writing my letter to Santa right now to beat the rush!

In the knitting department, I finished these socks. I always rib the leg but didn't on this pair.  I also managed to use a heavier weight yarn and one size larger needles and then had no earthly idea why they were too big for me! Tres baffling!  They are a cheery color though and will fit someone along the way.

I have already finished another sock ( in which I used the appropriate pattern, yarn and needles and am hoping for better results) and the leg on the second one, so I'll report soon! Mum gave me a beautiful antique basket and lid to keep my knitting in, so I will post a picture of that when I post the socks. 

This is the way my weird-o mind works. I'm at the hospital the other day getting a cat scan and I'm in the changing room when I see this hook. The way the light was hitting it it was casting a fiddle head or 'Mooka' shadow so I took a picture of it. I can almost guarantee you that no one else in the history of the world has done that!

Finished out this last weekend with a delightful breakfast with Scott and Michael. We went to La Brioche again.  (In case you needed a reminder about their wonderful crepes!) 

We had a great time visiting and hearing about their vacation to Sedona. I want to go now....if only to see the magnificent sunsets! So the moral of the story is, keeping busy, getting out and about, having fun and enjoying our time together. That's what it's all about!  What have YOU been up to?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Hanging With Mr. Cooper

Mr. Cooper is one cool cat, and I mean that in every sense of the word. In the 'groovy/cool' way and in the disinterested and aloof way. He's the funniest cat I've ever owned. He NEVER comes when you call his name or when you put your hand down, but he's always around, curious about what you're doing and lurking in the background.  Unless you want him in the background, and then he's on the counters, table or  otherwise in your face and exactly where you DON'T want him to be. 

He does live up to his name though. His name is Sheldon Cooper* because no matter where you sit, you're in his spot. Here he is on a saddle stool that I put in the middle of the living room  so I could scrub the dining room floor. The stool has two oval holes in the middle as a 'handle'. I love the way his fur is poofing down through the hole. He is a Maine Coon and has all of the fur but only weights 8#; he's nothing but hair...and teeth. Our Coop is not a lover, he's a biter

But, that said, when he's in a snuggly mood, he's the best. Here he is taking a nap on the sofa with me. Just look at that smile! You'd never know he was dreaming of hopping on your face when you're least expecting it for an experimental taste!

The last cat I owned was more like a dog than a cat, maybe that's what makes Coop so  unique.  I tell people about the weird things he does and they tell me that that is normal cat behavior. Guess I have a lot to learn about 'normal cats!
*He could have just as easily been named Kramer since he never enters a room but what he's skidding sideways at 80 m.p.h. with his hair all disheveled.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Administrative Professional's Day

OMGosh! You will not believe what my kids (coworkers) just pulled off-a surprise Administrative Professional's Day lunch! 

They gave me a card and a tiara...purple of course!

And decorated the tables with purple decorations

We had baked potatoes with all the fixin's and green salad (and purple pop).


Hope even made me a purple cake with real flowers!

While we ate lunch, they played a looping slide show of all of the silly email pictures I've sent them in the last year and then after lunch they played 'How Well Do You Know Melinda' trivia!  I was so surprised....I'd forgotten about Admin's Day and I can't believe they pulled it all off without me finding out! I am one pleased Admin today! What a great group of folks to be with every day! How blessed am I?

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Diva Challenge 212: Fanz

This week's challenge came at an opportune moment because I had been working on Ben Kwok's toucan in my art journal and didn't have any ideas on what to put in the bottom space. Fanz! Of course! Why didn't I think of that!

I've really been enjoying the new drawing journals that I found at Michael's. 8.5" x 5.5". Smooth paper; very little if any tooth. Only 40 sheets and flat-no spiral or glue. I've been shrinking down Ben's templates and putting them in there along with some of my favorite quotes. Unfortunately, that's all I want to do since I started the journal last week and chores etc. have gone by the wayside. So be it. 

I am going to the library tonight to hear a talk by Susan Holding on her new book The Little French Bakery cookbook. Susan and I worked together for three years at a local medical clinic. She was an RN. She decided to follow her passion and went to France to learn to make a pastry-atrician? I'm eager to see her again and hear about her journey. Some days I find it impossible to imagine taking that kind of a leap of faith and some days...I can totally see it! 

I finished the book Into The Heart of The Dark Wood by Billy Coffey last night. That sucker kept me up for three nights! First the heart palpitations reading it, and then the dark dreams following. It was my kind of book! Growing up in the wild woods of Maine gave me the ability to 'see' this book in vivid detail. It's a 'realistically scary' book...a 'what if' book. It reminded me of  Stephen King's The Dome in that way.  What would happen if you were just a couple of kids and were lost in the the winter. Awesome read! I highly recommend it. 

That's all the news today from rainy Wisconsin. I'm gonna have to get out there and make some sunshine!

Monday, April 06, 2015

Cha-Cha-Cha Changes

Spring is the time of renewal and change. The winter snow changes to melting puddles (trust me, People Of The Northeast, it will happen!) and the bare trees give way to buds and leaves. All of the changes around me have me in a good, but reflective, mood this spring about changes in my own life. This little guy was my WIP last week. He 'bout sums it all up.

It was a relatively quiet weekend. I went to Knit Night with  Elizabeth, Jen and Colin on Friday night. The other Knit Chicks were attending Seder dinner for Passover.  The music was pretty good. I got a lot done on the socks I'm working on. We had fun chatting and throwing sarcasm, and pithy observations around; none of which I'm allowed to repeat, 'cause, you know, what happens at Knit Night stays at Knit Night. 

Saturday, I was in a clean-y mood, which rarely happens, so I took the opportunity to neaten up the basement, wash a couple of windows and organize my sock yarn. I dug out my umbrella swift and winder and wound enough skeins into cakes to get me through the rest of the year. It's one of those tasks that I hate to get started,  but once I do, I kind of like it. Cooper kind of liked it too until he figured out that those strings were attached to a rotating beast that was going faster than a helicopter blade and could take both of his ears clean off, then he feigned disinterest and wandered off to knock things off the shelves that I had just neatened. 

I did get out a bit and go to lunch with Friend-Mary. We went to Outback (YUM) and caught up a bit since we haven't seen each other for ages. Afterward I went to the Agrace thrift store, run by our local hospice. I hadn't been in since it had moved locations and I found a CD, lovely plate and purse that I like. The rest of the afternoon was spent walking. The breeze was cold but with a jacket it was perfect for walking through the field and woods.  I didn't see my hawk.  I usually do.  In fact, the last time I saw her, she had a bright-orange, ornamental koi from someone's backyard in her talons. Now there's something you don't see every day!

I had a nice e-chat in the evening with my sister, Dina, and then toddled off with my book. I didn't stay up to watch the Badgers play Kentucky, but I knew when they won at around 10:10 because a collective cheer went up for miles around. I wasn't asleep yet and had my window cracked. It made me smile. I wish them all the luck against Duke tonight!

Sunday was Easter and I had no plans so I decided it was a 'rest day' and devoted it to The History Channel, good books and knitting.  My street was pretty busy with folks coming and going so Ben and I went out several times to visit neighbors, and I went for a two hour hike up through the fields again, but other than that, we were couch veggies all day....and night as it turns out, since PBS has had the brilliance to put Call The Midwife, Mr. Selfridge and Wolf Hall back-to-back-to-back! (Contented sigh...) 

I got one sock done (Kitchner grafted and ends woven) and the other is down to just the toe. I'll post a pic soon. They are socks for giants. .5 mil. larger  needles than I usually use, thicker weight yarn, and no ribbing makes them hugantic! I almost frogged them but decided that I would finish them since I had them both 3/4 done. I'll hang on to them. They'll fit someone, somewhere, sometime. 

At any rate, that's all the boring news there is to print at this point. I hope everyone had a wonderful 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...