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Showing posts from March, 2016

When the Going Gets Tough...

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It's been a rough couple of weeks around Chez Bee which means there has been precious little housework (even more 'precious-er littler' than usual) and more drawing and crafting.  After help from Friend-Jen on this finorkin' pattern, (Not the designer's fault-I totally over thought the chart to the point of no return.) I've made some headway on my shawl.


Close up of stitches. It's honeycomb but you won't be able to really tell until I block the bejeepers out of it.

This is a horrible shot, but more accurately represents the yarn color. I don't generally wear bright yellow and this yarn, with it many shades, reminded me more of honey and honeycomb than the one on the pattern. 

There's also been copious amounts of doodling. Nothing takes me out of my head and tranquilized my mind-monkeys like a clean sheet of paper and an ink pen.

This is a card I made for my friend Kathy.  The pattern in the upper left is my 'Obad' pattern, and the tree i…

Making New Friends

I always have fun at the grocery store. I'm that annoying lady who insists on looking at you, smiling and saying 'hello'...or that your kids are cute. I'll help you reach something if you need it, direct you to where to find an item if I know where it is, or help unload your groceries at the check out.

We live in  this new world where most people are oblivious, self-involved and pre-occupied.  And I live in a city where trying to handle your life among the seething masses tends to make folks distance themselves out of sheer self-preservation, but I was born and raised in small-town Northern Maine.  I knew all my neighbors. We said hello to each other when we met face to face. For good or bad, everyone knew everyone else's business and we all looked out for each other. I've been here for 26 years now and I refuse to have those little sparks of civility, humanity and common courtesy  stomped out of me by the same people who pride themselves on their 'Midwest …

Diva Challenge 260: Monotangle-Shattuck

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Shattuck Swirl
This week's Diva Challenge was a monotangle; only use the Shattuck tangle in your tile. Shattuck is one that I use often so it was a pleasure, meditative and very cathartic, to draw the same strokes over and over.  Thanks for another wonderful challenge Diva!!!

Saturday Disasterday

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Last night was Knit Night with the girls. I went to supper with Friend-Dale Harriet beforehand, which is always a good time. Then there was an excellent band at the cafe-The Soggy Prairie Boys. I'm a Soggy fan for life now! The girls set to work cheering me up and succeeded brilliantly. I couldn't ask for better Knit Sisters!

This morning I had a wonderful brunch with Friend-Janice, to celebrate another successful mission completely around the sun. She doesn't really celebrate her birthday but I'm ever so happy she was born, so I made her go....because it's all about me. We went to Pancake Cafe-yum! We munched, chatted, and  laughed until we cried.

I was in such high spirits and optomistic that I figured I'd keep it going and head on over to Farm and Fleet to look around at the gardening stuff. That's right, I fully intend to torture and kill some veggies in my garden again this summer. I had such a great time perusing all of the little packets, deciding wh…

Week Of Surprises

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This has been a week of surprises, some happy, some not so much...but that's the way life goes, eh? In focusing on the positive, this is one of my favorite 'happy treats' of the week.  Friend-Gail sent it to me from Texas for Pi Day. How cool is that! Can't wait to make a Pi cake! 

Another happy surprise was a bonus from work! Yay! I had a couple of ideas for treats for myself in celebration. I really want a pair of small diamond stud earrings. I also want a mondo set of Prisma colored pencils. Both are spendy and not something I could buy usually....so I thought and thought and thought about which to get and finally came to a decision...a Bissel Symphony steam mop.  Do I know how to live it up or what?
One of the not-so-happy surprises of the week was not so much a surprise, since we knew it was coming, but even so, you're never really prepared.  Amy the sheep passed away at Heartland last night. Amy was a gentle old girl. She was 14 years old when she first arriv…

Speedy Delivery

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Yesterday something was delivered to the mail room at work without a name on it. Mail-Guy-Brian sent a message and asked if I knew anyone who had ordered 'brown-eyed susans from Etsy?'  I hadn't, but I said I'd ask my department. I went out to the middle of the room and bellowed, "Anyone here expecting anything from Etsy?" All butts were out of their seats immediately at that point. They hadn't ordered it but wanted to know what it was and if it wasn't claimed, could they have it? All the usually tomfoolery I get when I ask a simple question. 

 But one of my scientists looked stunned and was repeating, "Yes! That's AMAZING...just AMAZING" . Of course I thought he was giving me a hard time like everyone else, but after a bit of discussion, it turns out that he had ordered something from Etsy FIVE MINUTES AGO and was amazed that it has arrived so quickly. 

Just another one of the amusing little bits that makes me love coming to work every da…

Weekly Challenge #259: "Touch of Irish"

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Pi Day

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I work with scientists so Pi Day is a big deal around here. Friend-Gail even sent me a special pin all the way from the Houston Museum of Natural Science to mark the occasion. I am the Geekiest Geek in the whole department today...and that's quite an accomplishment!

[I recently told 'the kids' that I was spending WAY too much time with them and it was rubbing off.  I saw a recommended book list in a newsletter and the first title was, 'How To Make People LIKE You in Seven Seconds'. Working in a place where they talk science and genetics all day, my brain read it as 'How To Make People Like YOU in Seven Seconds' and my first though was' "Seven seconds!? Geez! Cloning has come a long way since I first started here!"]
Because we love all things mathy/sciencey and have an unhealthy obsession with baked goods, a Pie Baking contest seemed the obvious way to celebrate. The rules were to bring a sweet or savory pie with an International flair and to …

Taking Care Of Unfinished Business

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Last Friday before I met the Knit Chicks for the evening, I bit the bullet and cleaned out my knitting bag. It was a disaster. Partial skeins and half-knit socks all jumbled together. Normally I am pretty good about finishing a pair of socks before I start another so I was astonished to find THREE partially knit pairs in there! Whattaheck?!?!? Then I realized that the socks that were left unfinished were either dark colored or had a 'not-plain-old-ribbing-that-I-could-do-without-looking' pattern. We meet at a coffee shop in the evening and until recently, it had very poor lighting. I would attempt to see the dark yarn or the pattern and not be able to so I would start a new pair in a lighter shade with boring old ribbing so I could knit them without looking in the dark of the cafe. 
But now they have new lighting and it rocks! Thanks Tuvalu! So I reorged the knitting bag and started in on unfinished business. This is the first pair I worked on. One sock was already done and I…

Springy Saturday

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Even though the flowers are up in my garden and the snow is gone (for now), it's not spring until a County Girl can spy a Jack In The Pulpit, Stinking Benjamin (Trillium), Fiddleheads, or Cow Slips (Trout Lillies) poking their heads through the mud on the bank of the river in the woods, so I went to Belleville to check things out today.

The dam was at full capacity. I love the sound it makes-trickling and splashing.

The air was also filled with the sounds of shrieks and squawks of hundreds of Canada Geese and Sandhill Cranes fighting for nesting sites in the cattails. Peepers and Bull Frogs put in their two cents about the matter as well, and fish were jumping, flipping and flapping all over the lake. Everyone was in rare form!

 No one was home in the muskrat houses. They were all out swimming and enjoying the day.
 The thing that looks like a lump of mud in the middle of this photo is actually a muskrat who kindly sat still for a really long time so I could take his photo.  And i…

Spring Done Gone Sprung.

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This week has brought a welcome respite from our Southern Wisconsin winter. It's been almost 70 degrees and sunny, the snow is all gone, our spring flowers are coming up and last night I heard PEEPERS (or as they call them out here, 'chorus frogs') when I took Ben out at bedtime. And this weekend we 'spring forward' so it will be lighter for an extra hour at night. Pure Bliss.

Not only are the spring flowers peeking their heads out, so are the neighbors. Everyone is out poking about the lawns and landscaping to see what got ravaged over the winter. The hypnotic pull of computer games has temporarily lost its luster and there are even kids outside playing! I know it won't last. Our neighborhood was a ghost town, kid-wise, all last summer.  I see tons of kids getting on the school bus in the morning when I head to work, but after school and on weekends there is rarely a kid in sight. They are all either micro-scheduled for ballet/karate/soccer/camp/etc. or parked …

Oh The Humanity!

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When my Mum was here last fall, we investigated the Fairy Gardens that everyone is making. Made in pots, wash tubs, wagons, or in your garden, they are wee fantasy scenes involving furniture and houses made out of bark, moss, rocks etc.-some are really elaborate, all are charming.  They remind me of the fairy houses that are in Cathedral Woods out on Monhegan Island, Maine. It's one of my most cherished memories. The forest is all tall trees with no underbrush, and hidden here and there are elaborate little houses made from natural materials. None of the houses are more than 6 inches high-perfect for a tiny fairy couple just starting out or maybe a retired tooth fairy and her husband.
(Picture from Pinterest.)
This weekend there was an article in the paper about them so I cut it out to send to Mum. I told her about it when I talked to her on the phone and she was telling me how she's actually made one for her dining room table already and was looking forward to trying more ela…

The Light At the End Of The Tunnel

Two people have told me that I need to post this here. It is a stupid and embarrassing story, but when has that ever stopped me?  We just got our bathrooms redone at work and one of the new features is that everything is automated....including the lights. You go in and the lights come on. Then after an appropriate amount of time, they go off.  Now that the bugs are worked out that is.

This incident happened a couple of weeks after the 'grand opening' and apparently the timer wasn't set correctly because I went in the bathroom, sat down and immediately the lights went out. Talk about dark! It's essentially a concrete bunker in there with no windows. I blame the panic that this Inside-Jonah's-Whale darkness caused on what happened next because it didn't even begin to occur to me to get up, leave the stall and make the light come back on. No,I love a good challenge so all of my MacGyver skills kicked in and I immediately started looking for ways to make the light …

Monday Celebrity!

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You Guys! You Guys! I met a bonafide celebrity this morning! I had an early morning blood draw at the clinic and the technician must have been Eeyore from Winnie the Poo! She sounded like him, looked like him and dragged herself around the lab like him. The whole time she was taking my blood she was bemoaning the fact that she hadn't slept all night and had felt like crap for 6 weeks now. She was coughing and blowing.....all while poking holes in my protective outer coating!!!! Yikes! I had her smiling a bit by the time I left but WOW! Eeyore! Live and in person! Well, the 'live' part seemed up for debate, but I'm still counting it as a celebrity sighting because, somersaults...that's how I roll! She even did such an Eeyore job of the draw that I have a big battle wound in the crook of my arm. So if you think your Monday is off to a bad start, just think, there is someone who is having a way crappier day than you...she's down at the clinic!

A lazy weekend was h…

Take a Hike, Stick!

Last weekend I decided that seeings how I got grabbed last year, it probably wasn't a great idea to go hiking alone in the 'hoods 'n' woods without a weapon. I had been carrying pepper spray since the incident, but thought it would be prudent to also carry a hiking stick with me. I've had a hiking stick for years and use it off and on when I go geocaching-mostly to poke at things with- so I thought, 'How hard can it be to take it walking/hiking around the hood when I go? ' Harder that one would think as it turns out. Seems some training is involved when taking the stick on longer walks. I tripped over it, caught it on the sidewalk, drug it on the bike path and concentrated so intensely on getting the rhythm right that I forgot how to walk altogether at least twice during the hour and a half stroll. Yep. On Saturday the stick won.

On Sunday we went out for another spin, Stick and I.  It was much better. Incidents where Stick tried to openly kill me were dow…

March Media Detox

It happened last Saturday morning.  That one last, little straw that finally broke my camel's back completely and left him running in two different directions around the living room.  I was sitting on the sofa checking out what my Facebook family was up to and within thirty seconds I was openly crying. A guy in Kansas shot up his company. A father in Massachusetts killed his family. Abused animals. Dead children. Donald Trump. Racism. Anti-Muslim rhetoric. Kardashians.

I couldn't continue so I put down my cell and decided to just go do the chores on my list. As I was puttering around, I realized how sad, scared and disgusted I was. I felt like the whole world was falling apart and that I didn't want to be around my fellow humans any more. I had that panicky feeling that you get when something is really wrong in your personal life-someone you love has cancer, a family member passes away, your job is on the line.  Upon further reflection, I realized, that this...THIS...was a…