Showing posts from 2017

Guys On Ice 2018

Mum and I went to see Guys On Ice last Saturday at The Barrymore in Madison and had a ball! I try to go see the play at least once a year when it's in Milwaukee or Madison. It's part of my Christmas tradition. 
This year I made Packer Fish hats for each of the guys; Doug Mancheski, Dan Klarer and Steve Koehler. They (the hats) were goofy looking but I had so much fun making them, and the play gives me SO MUCH joy, I always want to give something in return. It never fails to bring me back to the ice shack on Pleasant Pond in Island Falls, Maine. Lloyd and Marvin become Daddy and Poppy sitting around shooting the breeze and telling jokes. Love it! Love it! Love it!
Here are the hats.
Here's Dan wearing his hat with the tail flipped rakishly forward.
Steve is looking none to happy in this pic, but dapper none-the-less! You wouldn't be happy if a fish has biting your head either! 
And here is Doug in his hat. I think his hat is a flounder since the eyes are kind of on the…

Christmas Cookie Central

So the Christmas treats hit the fan this week at work. There is a gentleman in the company who makes huge bowls and platters for all of the buildings. I think I heard that at last count he and his wife bake 4,000+  of  all different kinds of cookies between Thanksgiving and Christmas! He arrived yesterday with two, huge bowls and a platter for our merry, little band here in the outlying building on Nobel Dr. (our new home). Sean's wife likes to bake so he brought some in too. The Sales folks have been sending generous gift baskets and boxes of sweets galore. It's been Sugarpalooza around here for over a week!

We apparently hit max capacity yesterday.  By 2 PM, most of the pounds and pounds of treats were gone (within 5 hours), the sugar buzz had been enjoyed, and  by then everyone was walking around in a sugar-crash daze, rubbing their swollen tummies and moaning. Since my tummy hasn't been 'quite right' since I was so sick a couple of weeks ago, I have been stayi…

Decking Them Halls, Y'Alls!

My holiday spirit, which heretofore has been AWOL, showed up in full force last weekend, thus proving that each and every last, little piece of me is a just a wee bit slow on the uptake.  But when it kicked in.  Woo Doggies!!!! Better late than never I guess.

I kicked off the season by putting up the Skeletree and lighting the outdoor lights. I put candles in all of my windows except for one.  There was one candle that I impaled my hand on and broke the bulb so I need to replace it. Lemme tell ya, that temporarily puts a twist in your tinsel! Those flickery-flame candle bulbs are made of the very, thinnest glass on the planet as it turns out.  It's very sharp. And makes you say very bad, and very un-Christmasy words. But I digress...

I finished making presents, and made Christmas treats. I wrapped gifts and packed boxes to mail to friends and family far away. I stuck a bow to the dog's head and the cat's tail and then sat back and giggled while they struggled to free them…

The Legend of the Skeletree

In 2008, I had just moved out of an 18 year marriage. I was holed up in a one-bedroom apartment licking my wounds and feeling abandoned, abused, rejected, deceived, betrayed, lied to, cheated on and depressed.  I had only been in the apartment for about 4 months and had absolutely no interest in decorating for the holidays. It would be the first Christmas in 43 years that I wouldn't be celebrating with family; my first one all alone.

Friends told me that I should at least decorate ...that it would cheer me up... that I should make new holiday traditions.  The absolute last thing I wanted was to buy a tree and haul it home. That was not going to happen, but for some unknown reason, while I sold the rest of my life in a yard sale, I did bring an outdoor Christmas tree decoration with me when I moved. Half as a joke to appease my friends and half seriously, I dug it out of my storage bin and installed it in my living room.

The tree comes in three parts that hook together and all of t…

Donut Delivery Day

Every year, our company has a record retention initiative in December and early January. On the first Monday in December, it kicks off with donuts for all of the employees first thing in the morning. It made sense when we first started it years ago. We only had a couple of buildings and a couple hundred employees.  Now we have 11 buildings and a gazillion employees and it's a bit more of a challenge. I've been 'in charge' of ordering and the distribution of the tasty treats for the last three years.

This is my last year on duty as the process is shifting to another department in the company and I was anxious to go out in style.  We ordered 85 dozen donuts and prepared to meet at 7:30 on Monday morning to get boots on the ground and donuts out the door to the almost 1000 employees in the wider campus area.

Oh the best laid plans. I was horribly sick Sunday night and considered calling my partner and telling her that I just couldn't make it, but I've done the del…

Carolin' In the Cave

Friday night I maintained my Christmas tradition of going to Mt. Horeb to hear A Capella groups sing in the large cavern in the Cave of the Mounds. I almost didn't go. I'd been dealing with a headache all day and I hadn't been able to get tickets for the Saturday show that I usually go to when the Green Tones sing. I decided at the last minute to suck it up and go because I'd already bought the ticket and because I didn't want to ruin my 8-year streak. I'm so glad I did.

The drive out kind of sucked because it was 7:30 and dark.  The heavy traffic and glare reignited the headache I'd worked so hard to stomp down, but once I got into the cave, which was lit only by candles, it was better. Two  groups performed; the main group was Deliberate Vibrations (8 men) and then there was another group, Mad Fusion (several men and 1 woman) which had some members in common with Deliberate Vibrations group.

The first group did quite a few songs including a very funny ren…

Yesterday Was a Bad Ol' Day

Yesterday was a bad day. A really bad day. Not the amusing kind of bad day that I seem to a really, really, bad ol' day. As luck would have it, I planned to leave work early to go to a dental appt. at 1:00 PM and a haircut appt. at 3:30 PM. My dentist appt. which always take over an hour, got wrapped up in 35 minutes! Miracle of miracles! I had several errands I wanted to run before my haircut, but as I pointed my car west, I drew nearer and nearer to Heartland Farm. Before I knew what was happening, I had turned down the farm road and was on my way to healing. The heart knows what it needs.

I love to visit all of my feather and fur family, but the farm has recently rescued 7 female emus and I wanted to spend a little time with them. They had been roughed up a bit recently and were still nursing their superficial wounds, but despite being moved to a new home, and the hardships they had endured, they were calm, curious, and friendly. They were m…

Really REALLY Big Bang Theory

My life is weird. I encounter a lot of strange situations. I kinda bring that on myself by not being able to keep my thoughts to myself-especially around people I don't know. I'll strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere over anything. I've met lots of interesting people that way and had a lot of fun, even though it occasionally does bite me in the bum. But usually even that amuses me so it's OK.

My job is weird. I tell people it's kind of like working with the characters from The Big Bang Theory more days than not. Even after 24 years here, each day usually holds  some kind of special challenge to the point where, it becomes commonplace. The weird becomes the norm.

But yesterday was one of those outstandingly weird days that pop up from time to time where the bizarre and surreal just keeps getting more so and you start to wonder if you're still in bed dreaming this or if it's really happening.

[A little back story...] I took my car over to my car hus…

How Do You Eat An Elephant?

The more things change the more they stay the same in many job, new office, yadda, yadda, yadda. Kinda feeling like I'm movin' ahead and like I might just be getting a handle on this adulting thing after all and then...I get my reality check.  Every. single. time. For instance,  I discovered this morning, when I dug out my winter jacket (that I bought a year ago October) that I had managed to wear it for the entire winter last year with the price tag still attached in the underarm. Now I know it's a heavy jacket and we had a kind of warm winter, but c'mon. I wore that jacket a lot. Couldn't one of y'all let me know that I was Minnie Pearling it??? I feel like one of you had to have noticed it...but then again why would you...I didn't. Sheesh. I'll always be the dorky misfit. I should just get used to it!

Speaking of winter coats, Moose and Cooper are all geared up for the cold weather (fancy segue, no?). They are both in fine fettle but th…


It has been brought to my attention, that I've been absent for a while. I didn't think anyone even read this thing. It's not like I have any wisdom (or anything of any value at all, really) to impart. But when I was home in Maine this autumn, more than a few people asked me what was up with the silence. [Aside: As those of you who know me personally can attest...when I am quiet, something is wrong! It's one of the signs of  the apocalypse. Really! Look it up! Generally speaking...I'm...well... generally speaking.]
I told them I was in the witness protection program, but they didn't buy it.  If I have learned nothing from my small-town-Maine upbringing it's that your Mum and her friends will find you, no matter how well you hide!

Truth is, it's been an unusually busy few months for me. I got a new boss a few months back. The hours have been longer; the learning curve has been steep and demanding. There's been time for little else. And this week, our …

Diva's Weekly Challenge #332 "String it: 2² (two squared)"

As luck would have it, I needed to do a tile for our Prairie Tanglers meeting this Saturday. The challenge there was to use Phil-Agrees in a tangle. Then The Diva posted a challenge to use two squares as a string; a match made in heaven for my purposes!

Blogger Challenge 326-Nzepple Monotangle

This week's Diva Challenge is to do a monotangle with N'Zeppel.  It's one of my go-to tangles. I love it so much that I did the poster sized version a while back and it hangs in my living room, so I'm cheating and submitting it as the challenge piece for this week.
The subtext of the challenge was to think about a time that you 'didn't fit it'. When I was making this piece, I was going through a crisis in my life that made me feel very, very alone. The mindlessness of this pattern soothed me and calmed the mind monkeys for a few minutes every day. It's a piece that looks complicated but is, in fact, very simple. Here's a link to my progress if you are interested.

Scary Knit Night

We had an incident a couple of weeks ago at Knit Night that was a wake up call to renew my CPR/First Aid skills. One of the ladies came in more than a little disoriented and we were afraid that she was having a stroke. I remembered some of the things to do to 'test' and see if it's a stroke. I got her to smile-both sides of her mouth were level, she repeated phrases with no slurring or forgotten words, no signs of muscle weakness or 'drooping' in her face. I had seen TIA's many times with an elderly grandparent and I was sure it was something like that. We decided that calling 911  wasn't needed, but we did call her husband who came and took her to the Emergency Room. Many test later, they determined that it wasn't a TIA, but some sort of a stress-related lapse and she is A-OK but she doesn't remember anything that happened during the incident.

It really scared ALL of us and reminded me that it has been several years since I renewed my CPR/First Ai…

Pseudo Spring and Half A Brain

The past few days have been lovely and rumor has it that they will get lovelier as the next week goes on. 50° in mid February?! While the East Coast is getting buried?!  I know we shouldn't get used to it because we know winter never goes away without a fight...usually she starts rabbit kicking along about basketball tournament week if memory serves...but I can't help it; Pseudo Spring always puts a my step. Just in time too because I was just at the point where, as my friend, Jen, says, 'I lose all will to live'. These past few days of warmer days and melty snow have prevented me from climbing the bell tower. Moose feels the same way. He's not a fan of snow but he is a big fan of lawn so his nose has been going into overdrive lately. I don't know why he doesn't hyperventilate and pass out.

I went over to Mt. Horeb today for my friend, Linda's, sister's funeral. Rhonda was only 47 years old. Way, way, way too soon to go. There …

Raptor Revenge

A couple of weekends ago, I was driving home and saw something out of the corner of my eye falling from a telephone line. My first thought was 'owl' so I turned around, parked and went to make sure it was OK. It wasn't. Turns out it was a beautiful Red Tailed Hawk and though I tried to revive it, it was DOA.  I know it's illegal to take possession of a raptor, but I just couldn't leave it there so I put it in the car headed off to the police station. I thought maybe they could get it to the DNR, the Ho-chunk nation or the UW or something, I don't know. I just couldn't leave such a beautiful thing there in the road. 
As I was driving, I turned the heat on in my car and apparently the vent was set to blow under the dash because all of a sudden, the hawk's feathers ruffled and I did a fancy bit of driving for a few moments thinking that this huge thing with sharp talons had just come back to life in my car! Don't get me wrong, I would have been ecstat…

Happy Valentines Day!

First off, my Diva Challenge. I wrote this entry last week with a delayed posting time, then Laura's challenge came out yesterday and it was for a heart challenge so I did that last night. 
And now on to my post.... Every year I plan to make my own Valentines. Every year, I fail. I might make one or two just never enough. This year I got my back pockets in gear earlier and got 'er done!  They are pretty simple designs and I just put them on colored note cards, but I was pretty pleased with myself nonetheless. 

I'm back in another phase where I can't get enough of drawing Gemz! 

On behalf of Cooper, Moose and all of the rest of the crazy that is Chez B...

 from MollyBee

Mr. Moose

And what of Mister Moose you ask? He's doing just fine thank you very much. He is getting braver about the cold weather but still appreciates being bundled up in his Packer sweater when he ventures outside. 

I walked in the living room the other day to find him sitting like a human in the recliner. Just leaning back, looking out the window, chillin'...Life is tough on the Moo Moo.

This boy came to visit. Moose watched Mr. Popper's Penguins with the boy. The boy ignored Mr. Moose and didn't offer him any of the the much-coveted string cheese he was munching on... even though it was clearly 'the share kind' in Moo Moo's estimation. The boy received 'the stink eye' until said cheese was all gone. The boy didn't notice at all. 

But most of all, Moose Wigglebottom is tired. Evenings often find us reading a bedtime story...

Until we are sleepy and can't help but yawn...

and then we fall into a boneless sleep in mommy's arms. 

Goodnight to all…

Knitting? Has There Been Knitting?

Oh yes! t]There has been plenty of knitting in the past several weeks. The Knit Sisters and I get together just about every Friday evening and one Saturday a month so that gives me quite a lot of stitching time, although I often have to rip out what I've done when I get home because I'm so busy gabbing and laughing that I've made a ton of mistakes.  I have managed to pull off a few projectsthough. 
This is a close up of The Peace Cowl I made. I love the stitch pattern. The yarn is some hand-dyed that I won online. It's softer than unborn, baby panda pelts. This project was part of a Knit Along for the first 21 days of December. The idea was to take a few minutes each day in the busy, stressful holiday season to just relax, reflect and knit a couple of rounds; projecting peace to the universe. 
I did it, but it was a little deceiving, what with hundreds of stitches in each round! It took over a half an hour to do the repeat you were supposed to do each day. Plus the fi…

Cooper-The Hacker Cat

Just look at that face; so beautiful, so seemingly innocent. Why he just looks like a gorgeous Maine Coon cat, not a...... terrorist and master hacker or anything!  I CAN NOT leave my computer unattended or he is on it in a flash. This has been going on as long as I've had the laptop. He has accidentally sent a couple of emails. I routinely come back and find the letters pppppfffffftttttttt and the likes strung across the screen, but it's only been recently that he's become savvy enough to do any real harm.

A couple of Fridays ago, I was working from home and had a teleconference with the office. About 5 minutes before the meeting, I pulled up the files I would need to access in my Microsoft Explorer program, then turned my back for two seconds to get a glass of ice water.  The call came in, connecting me to the meeting and I looked at my files. All gone. Folders and folders of data from the past 10 years... vanished without a trace. No amount of…

Doodling, Oh Yes, There Has Been Doodling

I'm pale, pasty, depressed and cold...very, VERY cold. It has been a doozy of a winter and doodling may be the only thing that has keep me from sighing 'Goodbye Cruel World' and leaping from my desk.
I've been trying some new (to me) tangles rather than using the 'Go To' stable of favorites that I always use. I am also experimenting with drawing them larger so that I can use some of the elements as Gemz. I'm thinking that that is what I will do with the one below. I think the 'pearls' will look groovy in jewel tones!

My company is having it's annual art show right now and I submitted a few pieces. The curator of the show is always trying to get me to make 'bigger' pieces. He has a preference for large canvases (think bigger than a person). I keep telling him that this kind of detailed stuff is not conducive to extraordinarily big pieces. I wanted to accommodate him but wondered how to accomplish such a huge endeavor. Then I thought abou…