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August 2009
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October 2009

A lick and a promise

It seems everything in my life is getting a good slobbery lick these days, and the promises...  Sheesh.

Can you believe it's the last day of September today???  It sure feels like it outside.  We haven't resorted to turning on the furnace yet, but I think we're close!  I sure love my hardwood floors, but sometimes it feels like I've got my feet on ice; I love big rugs and even carpeting, too, but the damn good dog pees on and ruins whatever I put on the floor.  I'm taking a chance re-carpeting the room that'll be our new bedroom, but the (just-formulated) plan is to keep it dog-free unless accompanied by an adult.  Yeah.  That might work.

I spent the day in Madison yesterday, hangin' at UW Hospital.  The news for my sis is... OK!  The "bad" was countered by "good" and the best news is that there's really nothing new; chemotherapy continues.  She wore one of the do-rag caps we sewed over the weekend and I'll be sending the pattern link to a woman we met in the waiting area who admired it and liked the style.  I'll link it here, too, as soon as I find it again (I'm sure the pertinent info is on the pattern instructions that I printed, I just don't have that on me right now)!

I didn't bring a camera with me yesterday.


Yeah, I think I've finally learned THAT lesson.  You know, the one about bringing your camera everywhere -- even if you THINK you're only going to be hangin' at UW Hospital with the sister who likes her photo taken the LEAST -- because maybe you'll end up also going to a gorgeous old family farm (outbuildings!) with your nephews (cute kids!).  Maybe you'll take a hike on a mowed path through prairie fields, or eat apples right off the tree, or pick Cinderella and New England Pie pumpkins right off the vine, or watch Mack find eggs and fill a basket in the henhouse (chickens!).  Hell yeah, I think I learned THAT lesson real good.

I have to figure out how I can have my (homegrown pumpkin) pie and my MUFA, too!

Glimpse of the northwoods

6-point Buck

Light play

Old resort cabin

Hopefully, a little dab'll do ya for a day or two.  I am swamped at the moment, having taken Friday off and being gone all weekend.  I took a ton of pictures of the five of us, but it's going to take more than 10 minutes to whittle 'em down to my faves.

But the weekend...  We had a blast.  We sewed, we ate, we drank, we napped, we laughed... and laughed and laughed!  Another day up there would have been real nice.

Anyway, up top is the buck from Emil & Mavis's yard -- now positioned across the road.  The sun came out during a Saturday morning stroll through the woods, and I had a little fun with it.  The log cabin is one of a couple of remnants of the old, nearby Hiawatha Resort -- the tavern/lodge is long, long gone.  I think my parents honeymooned there.

More later...

See ya later, alligator


Heading up north to park it for a mostly technology-free weekend with my sibs.

It starts now.  Have a good weekend, y'all.

Hi there


It's kind of hard to post a picture everyday when the cameras sit idle, so I've been diving into the archives the past couple of days.  There are thousands of photos on my hard drive -- perfectly good ones -- that never see the light of day because there are others I like more or that better suit my needs on a particular day.  So, I've been diving in, finding a photo, opening it in Photoshop (sometimes for the very first time), and playing around.

Hi.  Not ready to resurrect the 365 selfie project, but kind of missing it.

Katie and I made Chicken Pad Thai last night -- it was great to have two in the kitchen for that one, as there was lots of chop-chop.  I couldn't find flat rice noodles and wasn't in the mood for running all over tarnation to find them, so used cellophane noodles instead.  Interesting.  It's what's for lunch today!  (I'll bet, like pizza, it would be good cold.)  A little later, on a whim, Katie whipped up Chocolate-Zucchini Snack Cake and, oh my, it's delicious and the serving size is substantial -- larger than I'd normally cut a cake.  I wasn't really due an extra meal/snack yesterday, but had to have a piece.  Yum.  And I reached a new low this morning, nevertheless.

Woohoo.  Going down.

Hubs will be home today, having been gone to the west coast for over a month.  He worked a couple of art fairs and painted a mural in a client's home; he drove up through Oregon and visited some old friends on the way home.  It'll be great to have him back, though there will be some adjusting -- one finds and falls into a different routine when flying solo.  It's probably not altogether bad that I'll be enjoying the company of sibs far away in the northwoods while he unpacks and settles back in; goes through his stack of mail and attends to some of the other things that have piled up; recharges for what's going to be a busy next month and a half.

The weekend starts tomorrow and I can't wait!


I skipped out of work a wee bit early yesterday -- early enough to stop at Iris Fine Yarns to return shadow[]box Rav_link leftovers -- like half!  I didn't return the Heilo because that had been on sale, but I couldn't see holding on to five balls of Kidsilk Aura for no good reason (and, believe me, I tried to find a good reason!).  I took store credit for most of it, but made a quick little exchange for a ball of Rowan Alpaca Cotton -- it caught my eye and I remembered the mitts that Theresa just posted!  It was Theresa's shadow[]box that sent me to the yarn shop last time... I may just take all my autumn knitting cues from her.

* * * * *

I had a calculated setback with my Kari-Bak (Baktus Scarf) Rav_link yesterday when I decided at lunchtime that I didn't like the pointy-point at the half-way mark.  I wanted something... less pointy... more roundy... so I ripped back and knit a few rows (maybe a dozen) straight before beginning the decreases again.  I like it better.

* * * * *

After two nights and a first-look at all of the competitors on Dancing With The Stars, the person I expected to like the least has turned out to be a personal favorite -- Kelly Osbourne.  This is really silly, but my feelings started to turn even before I saw her dance.  First of all, she's paired with Louis and he is amazing.  Secondly, she's looking really cute -- that's shallow, I know, but I'm just loving her hair and she's just... cute!  Even more shallow is this goofy article I read yesterday about dancing and the stars, as in horoscope.  Kelly is a Scorpio, like me, and the tango is "our" dance.  Big surprise.  And, of course, I love that.  And I had a feeling.  And then she danced.  And I got all teary-eyed, too!  I loved seeing Ozzy and Sharon in the audience.

I've noticed Jacksons in the audience both nights, too, and wonder what that's all about.

I am looking forward to IT.

* * * * *

I'm also looking forward to lunch.  I have some of last night's leftover Roasted Potatoes with Blue Cheese-Walnut "Butter," which Katie dubbed her favorite recipe so far.  As stated yesterday, I have loved them all and this was no exception.  I can't even choose a favorite!  I had so much fun, too, stopping at Jacob's Meat Market for green onions and cheese and steak (cut to order) -- it's a great little corner market and they're a hoot; that's going to be a more regular stop.

* * * * *

Well, folks, it appears that the comment situation with Typepad will not be resolved in a manner that I find satisfactory.

The issue is this:  When you leave a comment on my blog (if you can leave a comment on my blog -- there seem to be plenty of times when I get separate emails or comments on FB when people cannot comment on the blog), I receive a notification via email.  Normally (in the past), I'd hit "reply" to that email and you'd receive an email from me, and we'd conceivably go back and forth amongst ourselves from there.

The new default "reply" to that notification email is to POST my reply IN THE COMMENT THREAD and send you a notification that I've done so... so that you can COME BACK to my blog to read my reply.  I think how it works from there is that we'd carry on our back-and-forth correspondence RIGHT IN THE COMMENT THREAD.

Ew.  Ick.  That makes me kind of sick.  I often write very personal stuff in my email replies.  I know, you're scratching your head trying to remember the last time I replied to a comment you left...  and I'll admit, I'm not always the best at replies.  But when I do reply, it's usually because I'm moved... and if I'm moved, I can usually be found spilling my guts and sharing all sorts of personal information that is... PERSONAL.  So, yeah, the new way really does make me sick.  Typepad has been working on some alternatives, but the alternatives are not working the way I want them to and, I'm sorry, I'm not going to pay premium price for a product that isn't working the way I want it to; thank you very much, but I don't even want it for free.

So, I'm going to have to move.  Sometime.  Ugh.

* * * * *

Frog and Duck

I randomly came across this photo last night, putzed with it a little and then posted it to Flickr.  Fits in well here today.

* * * * *

Yeah, I think it's time for lunch now, too!

Now with photos of knitting!

I got home last night just in time to catch a little bit of daylight in the pergola!

Leaves are falling

The scarf is coming along.

Rainy Day on Dear Waves

It's going to look great with anything denim!

Hundertwasser was an artist

Taking pictures of yarn is boring

Duncan came by.



* * * * *

I had some good news yesterday.  There hasn't necessarily been more good news than bad lately, but the good news has been BIG (though we've had to wait and wait and wait for it) and the bad news...  Well, some if it's been big, too, and really bad, and some just niggly and annoying, most of it just needs to be processed and accommodated.  That doesn't mean I can't and don't put up a fuss!

* * * * *

It's been three weeks since I started the Flat Belly Diet and, I'll tell ya, I couldn't be happier.  It's been a long time coming, this motivation to actually do something and, of course, even a little success helps to keep me motivated.  It sure helps that Katie is on board and is also excited about the results.  I am enjoying cooking again -- and not just the cooking, but the planning and the shopping and the eating, too.  We bought the new Flat Belly Diet! Cookbook and I love -- absolutely LOVE -- everything we've made so far from either book.  Some of the cookbook recipes are even available online.  We've had Grapeful Chicken (with grapes and butternut squash), Penne with Mushrooms and Artichokes, Cioppino with Lime Aioli on toast points (toast points!) (makes me smile every time); tonight we're making Roasted Potatoes with Blue Cheese-Walnut "Butter" and serving with steak, and, soon, Saffron Rice (Katie brought me saffron from Greece!), Creamy Barley Risotto, and Chicken Pad Thai.  Sound like diet food to you?  As I paged through the cookbook the other day, I had some Julie & Julia thoughts...  And my skin!  Did I mention how great my skin feels and looks?  It's so funny -- Katie mentioned a change for the better in her skin on the same day that I noticed my own!

* * * * *

Good wishes and prayers for my sister today.  Her white blood count was so low last week that she wasn't able to take the last dose of chemo scheduled in the current course; she was feeling very weak and fatigued, too, but has bounced back a bit.  Thank goodness, because we have a big weekend planned!  She goes in for the scan today; fingers crossed that the drugs have done their job!  We'll find out next week.

Also, send some up for the young son of one of my co-workers.  Eleven years old, he underwent brain surgery on Friday for the second time in his young life.  I've been following his progress through updates on CarePages and have had some deja vu moments.  He has a ways to go in terms of recovery.  Currently, we're all praying for poop.  Heh.  I've done that before.

There's been a lot of that.  (Feel better soon, Mr. J.!)

Oh, and isn't it great to know that Margene is finally home!!


Yes, knitting!  I talked a fair bit of knitting during the rummage sale, as I would pick up my current near-mindless project on occasion and be noticed.  I'd dug a skein of Opal Hundertwasser out of the stash last week and, well, the yarn is hard to ignore -- even when it's just sitting there doing nothing.

One woman was clearly more interested than most and more knowledgeable, too.  I told her about local knitting groups, asked if she knew about Ravelry (she did, but hadn't signed up yet), and gave her my email address.  I hope we make contact sometime along the way.


I knit the skein on the left, Der Blaue Mond ("Blue Moon"), into Argosy Rav_link two years ago -- a much-loved and -worn scarf.

DSC01432 (2)

My current project is the Baktus Scarf Rav_link -- which I've dubbed Kari-Bak because it's a combo of the two variations -- and I'm using the skein in the middle.  It is called Regentag auf Liebe Wellen ("Rainy Day on Dear Waves").  Baktus is all garter and Karius is all stockinette; mine alternates garter and stockinette stretches in a fairly random manner -- from one row to one repeat to several rows and/or repeats.  I like it!  Problem is, Mom likes it, too.

The third skein, Wartende Hauser ("Waiting Houses"), is still in the stash, and I might have picked up another -- I don't remember.

Anyway, Kari-Bak is about 2/3 to 3/4 finished.  It won't be long!  I have been completely wrung out with everything there is to do -- freely admitting that I am NOT doing it ALL, that I just can't (or won't) do everything! -- and haven't held a camera in days.  But I will -- soon -- if only to get some (probable) FO shots of this and the shadow[]box Rav_link.

Bucklin' down

Friday morning, 7:59 a.m., setting up the rummage sale.  Mom asks Joe to pull out and set up the hammock frame that his ex-wife sent over for the sale, muttering all the while that it's so big and it's junk and who's going to want it without a hammock and maybe they should just throw it away.

Friday morning, 8:00 a.m., first customer of the day.  "Is that a hammock frame?"  Mom says, "Yes, but it doesn't have the hammock."  Customer: "That's OK, I'll take it!  I have the hammock -- I've been looking for a frame all summer!"


I heard early morning music for the second day in a row yesterday from the same (previously silent) house.  There's a decided Country Western flavor -- older stuff, too.  Yesterday, it was Donna Fargo.

That video is kind of hilarious.  This morning, I took a different route and walked downtown instead.  There was no music, but more activity than usual for a Sunday morning because the Fox Cities Marathon is today!

* * * * *

Dad wrote yesterday and, for various reasons, has decided not to come just now after all.

* * * * *

So, the sale went very well and we got rid of lots and lots and lots of stuff!  We boxed up everything that didn't sell, save an armful of whatever, and it'll be picked up on Monday morning.  I have always boxed up everything that didn't sell, but that usually translated to "a lot" or "most."  This time, it truly is EVERYTHING and, I'll tell ya, it feels great.  Alison had the biggest take and the fattest envelope, and I believe she's earmarked most of that for a drywall project at the coffee shop.  Yay!  Improvements!!

Having spent two days selling trinkets and geegaws, I have to buckle down today and get some stuff done around here.  No doubt, I have a bill or two that's due.  The kitchen's a mess.  I did manage to get laundry going yesterday before I left, but there's a job or two that needs attention.  I may not even have time for football today.  We'll see...

Morning serenade

I've never hear anything but barking dogs when I'm out for the morning dog walk.  It's always the same dogs -- a little yippy-yappy one three blocks away that growls occasionally and barks for.ever, and what sounds like a much, much larger dog two doors down.  I never see them.

Anyway, this morning I heard music!  Wafting rather loudly for 6:something in the morning, from a house about two blocks away.

It's kind of weird because I just learned that my dad's coming for a visit and, until Karen Carpenter came along, Marty Robbins was my dad's favorite singer -- at least, that's what we all thought.

OK, I'm off to sell a bunch of crap, um, I mean some really great stuff at a rummage sale (tomorrow, too)!

Sadness countered by hi.lar.i.ous.ness

Rest in peace, Mary Travers.  My first thought of Peter, Paul and Mary is always "Puff The Magic Dragon," integral to childhood, but there are so many good ones!  I always found her quite mesmerizing.

Also, Henry Gibson.  I watched Rowan & Martin's Laugh-in as a kid, though SO much of it went right over my head!  That show was integral to cultural awareness and understanding.  I most recently enjoyed Henry Gibson's hilarious portrayal of a judge on "Boston Legal."

Speaking of Laugh-in, I have Goldie Hawn's memoir on my stack o' books -- it was recommended by and borrowed from a member of my book club.  I seem to be back in the memoir groove, though I'm currently reading an anthology of Southern women writers called "Down Home" and enjoying it very much.

And Patrick, earlier in the week; now Dirty Dancing in heaven.

* * * * *

This gets funnier every time I watch it.

SNORT!!  Watch it again!  You want to.

Two weeks -- and Wednesday? How random.

So, when "that woman" started blathering in my ear at 3 a.m., I cut her right off!  I thought of Joy's and Carole's (yesterday's comments) and sent her packing -- go have a party girls!  I woke up rested.  I'll take it one night at a time.

It's been just over two weeks since I started "dieting" and I saw a brand new, LOWER number on the scale this morning.  I always get on two or three times to make sure...  YES!  Happy dance in the bathroom this morning!  My highest-ever recorded weight (including all three pregnancies) was on March 31st of this year; this morning, I'm 9 pounds down from that frightening benchmark.  I am still settling into and discovering the nuances of the Flat Belly Diet, but enjoying it quite a bit and the cooking has been fun.  Taking a hint from my daughter, I'm approaching the whole thing as if it were a project.

(Some thoughts.)

This morning, as I reached into my drawer for a packet of my favorite oatmeal -- Quaker Simple Harvest Maple Brown Sugar with Pecans (it doesn't have enough pecans, so I add some!) -- I noticed my bottle of Tums.  Hm.  I remember those!  I have them at work, both upstairs and downstairs at home, and a few in my carry-around bag.  I'd often have a handful in the middle of the afternoon, and another handful at the end of the day, some before bed and, sometimes, a handful in the middle of the night.  Guess what?  I haven't even THOUGHT of Tums in the last two weeks, haven't even had a HINT of heartburn.  How's that?  That makes me feel GREAT!

Warning (TMI, I'm sure):  I am a little pootier, 'specially later in the day.  Come see me early.

My consumption of Diet Coke has dwindled to little or nothing and I'm not missing it all that much.  Just a little.  I won't make a declaration giving it up completely, but I'm happy with the cutting way back.

I'm still drinking coffee as usual.  That's two cups in the morning, with half & half and a teaspoon of sugar.  I don't count it and never considered giving it up or cutting back.  Not negotiable.

This has to be something I can live with.

I'm drinking more TEA!  I get a big cuppa at the coffee shop every morning and enjoy it all morning long -- hot, warm, cold.  I'd been hooked on orange-spice, but switched it up to cranberry this morning.  I think of my grandmother -- she always loved tea!  Also drinking much more water, though notice that it's a little more challenging on the weekends -- when I'm not trapped at a desk!

Aside, my other grandmother would have been 101 last week!  She died at 57.  I was about 8.  Crazy.

What's a post without a photo?

Is it an egret?

Labor Day, walking the dog.  I thought it might have been an egret, but think it's actually a heron.

Plum at Plum Hill

Okay two; also taken that day: a little plum on the hill.

Feelin' stretchy

I'm feeling stretched and over-extended and I've been sneezing -- allergies or a possible late-summer cold?  Voting for: NEITHER!

There's not enough time in the day lately, and all I can do is the best I can do -- which I've been doin' -- but that woman who wakes me up every night at 3 a.m., who won't stop talking in my head, she's not helping!  She is wearing me down, man.  No matter how tired I am when I go to bed, she shows up like clockwork and WILL NOT SHUT UP 'til, like, 4:30 or so -- and my alarm goes off at 5:10, which is, of course, then too soon!

Hopefully, by the end of the month, a couple of really big things will be ticked off the list and some of those that can't yet be touched (but are looming large -- larger and larger, but don't touch!) will be at the ready.  Hopefully, too, I'll be a little more free to toot, no, to BLARE SOME HORNS!

Also, by the end of the month, I will have been here:


Not exactly "here," but close -- just around to the left of the island and the point.  Up north.  Relaxin'.


The color will be MUCH different than in these photos -- the trees are changing fast this year and it's always a week or so "ahead" up north.


Anyway, that'll help.  It's been a while!  I don't think I've been up there since I put down my (faithful and well-loved) Sony point-and-shoot camera!  That's sorta tragic.

I finished the shrug on Sunday and knit up a little baby hat during the football game on Sunday night and have nothing active on the needles!  Um, well, I could get back to my Habu sweater... or recon with Mom's... or seam Maddy's sweater... or my Oblique.  I guess "NOTHING" isn't really accurate.


It's fab

...ric.  Fabric.  Fab fabric!




My sister read about my stop at the fabric store on Wednesday night, so I thought I'd show her what I found!  I either misread the content labels on the first two shown or was so taken with the designs that I blew off the content altogether, but those fabrics have little to no stretch; cut on the bias, however, we might be able to fudge some stretch.  (Mmm, fudge!)  The last one has plenty of spandex and is plenty S-T-R-E-T-C-H-Y!  I really love it, too.  It's the only fabric I photographed twice (on the hood of Maddy's car).


With the exception of the "olive" fabric, the colors are lively but very soft and muted.  I just couldn't resist those colorful (but not blinding) hits of "pimento"!  I have plenty of a thin, lightweight, but warm cotton fleece for making these (and a few more) suitable for cold-weather wear, if desired.

It's the second of three four-days-in-a-row work weeks.  I usually work a four-day week, with Wednesday as my normal day off.  One might think that having a Monday or Friday off -- with the resulting 3-day weekend -- would be more attractive, and I would have agreed, but after nearly 6 years (I can't believe that!), I can definitely say that Wednesdays are the way to go!  On that schedule, I never work more than two days in a row and Wednesday is like a mini weekend (Monday is "Monday," of course, but Tuesday is like a "Friday; rinse and repeat on Thursday/"Monday" and the REAL Friday!).  I have the option to switch it up, obviously, and can also say that it's much easier working four in a row looking forward to Friday off as the carrot rather than slogging through after a used-up Monday.

Anyway, the next two weeks are Fridays-off -- the rummage sale at Mom's this week, then next week up north at Uncle Jimmy's with the siblings.  Carrot-on-a-stick...

Making progress

Well things are a little better in the realm of Typepad comments than they were at this time last week.  Far from perfect, our voices have at least been heard, apologies made, and efforts are underway to make it all better.  I believe there are some who have jumped the Typepad ship, I, for one, will be hanging in a little longer.  As Bob is my witness, I do NOT want to pack up and move 5 years of blogging to another platform.  No sirreeeee, I do not have time for that.

It's a busy, busy day -- going surprisingly well.  The dog's been walked, breakfast and coffee consumed, one load of laundry washed and in the dryer/on the line, the second load underway -- and I'm taking time from editing photos to share a couple.  Two of my faves from this morning.  Click for big (they're always better that way!).




Preparations for next weekend's big rummage sale will commence this afternoon.  Honestly, it's too late to back out now, but I can't wait 'til THAT's over with.

Friday fluff (w/eye candy)


My fluffy, fuzzy, soft, Rav_link shadow[]box.  How fluffy, fuzzy and soft?  This fluffy, fuzzy and soft:

Fuzzy wuz

I love this thing and can't wait to wear it!  Shoulder decreases commenced last night and I do believe this will be an FO before long.  It's been a while since anything of substance was finished 'round here!  I've been considering joining this and working in-the-round at some point, but it hasn't happened yet.  It looks like I may have a fair bit of yarn left to return, which is good because I've been suffering major guilt over the cost of this project.  I do believe it'll be a major player in my winter wardrobe this year, though -- and that is, as they say, priceless.  I always have a favorite item or two every season and think of those oft-worn items as part of my seasonal "uniform"; this piece is definitely in!

Outside the back door last night:

Hydrangea petals

Not sure the plant

Fuzzy pink bud

There, in there


Happy Weekend!


I had a little time yesterday between the end of the workday and my book club meeting, so went to JoAnn Fabrics to find some fabric for the do-rag project.

I walked into the store and heard this:

...and took it as a sign that I was on the right track.  Sharon is the one who introduced me to Eva Cassidy and I remember discussing this song, in particular, with her years ago; we listened to a couple of Eva's CDs backwards and forwards when we drove out to CA together to deliver Katie to university there.

I found three fabrics that I hope she'll like.  Patterned and colorful, but no butterflies and not hideous.  I didn't get home 'til late last night and it's so darn dark in the morning now -- I didn't get any photos taken.  Eva stands in for the photo today.  ; )

I've lost a solid 4 pounds as of today, even with eating out last night.  We went to Olive Garden and I did a little nutrition research beforehand -- and I'm so glad I did.  H.O.L.Y.M.O.L.Y.  I decided on Linguini alla Marinara, except I had bucatini in place of the linguini, and a salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Planning is key!  I did not plan well for today, so we'll see how well I do on the fly.



The hints of fall are becoming more and more evident.


These are sumac that we transplanted on the hillside in back.  They kinda grow like weeds.


Soon they'll be afire -- this is just a hint of what's to come.  There's a fair bit of yellow and red appearing in the treetops, also.  Sure seems early for so many autumnal hints.

I think I'll be heading up north in a couple of weeks with some sibs -- the color ought to be inescapable by then.  I'm hoping for spectacular!  We'll be doing some relaxing, some traipsing around, and also some sewing.  I'm bringing my machine to make some do-rags.  I've found a couple of patterns online, but wonder if anyone has personal experience or a recommendation.

Is it Friday yet?  Ugh, only Hump Day?  I'm wrung out already!

Under the arches



I got Ali and Kevin to come and hang out under the bridge yesterday so I could shoot them.  This time, I was on "this side" of the road and on the top step of a tall stepladder.  It was the middle of the day, so no dramatic light or anything, but that's okay -- the setting is pretty dramatic all on its own.  And this time, I used my 24-105mm lens and got a little zoom on.  As usual, I'm thinking of 10 different things I'd like to try next time -- and I think I could talk these two into a next time!

It wasn't all Typepad comment angst all weekend...

I made a quick trip south with Katie on Saturday.  She was contracted to do some work at my sister's and I went along for the ride.  I shared the driving, took some photos, did a lot of knitting -- relaxed.  It was good.  I should take some photos of the knitting, shouldn't I?  It's coming along.

Sunday and Monday were spent putzing around at home -- computer/photo stuff, laundry, cooking, all the kids in and out.  Maddy left yesterday afternoon with a laundry basket of clean clothes and some grocery money.  About an hour and a half later I get a phone call, "What street do I turn on again?"  Honestly, I never knew the girl was so directionally challenged.

The daughter of a family friend who will be attending Lawrence University flew in from Oregon late yesterday and I picked her up at the airport.  She was hungry but also tired, so while I made shishkabobs and got the grill fired up (I did it!) she fell asleep on the couch -- and fell asleep so soundly that I really didn't want to wake her, but knew that she'd wake up STARVING in the middle of the night if I didn't.  So I did.  And we all had a nice meal together.

I am so thankful for all of the suggestions about the blog and hosting and domain names.  (I have had for quite a while, now, by the way, and have as a subdomain for the photog blog -- which is, actually, also a Typepad blog).  I am also thankful that, even with the long holiday weekend, our voices have been heard by Typepad and have confidence that we will be well represented in negotiations by Norma, one of my fellow "legends of Typepad."  Heheheh.

(What day is it today???  This is going to be another screwy week!)

Not feelin' the love


Apparently, insofar as personal/hobby bloggers are concerned, Typepad is pulling out the proverbial Welcome Mat.  Norma has summed up the situation nicely here.  I, too, am as loyal as the day is long.  I have both touted and defended Typepad lo these many (5.5) years, but now I feel pushed aside, trampled, stomped on, and ultimately betrayed.  That just won't do!  I really don't want to move my blog(s), but, as I wrote in my last communication to Typepad, this most recent change is UNACCEPTABLE.  Period.  It makes me sad, mad, and frustrated beyond belief.  I don't have time to research options and figure it all out (and I suppose that's that Six Apart is banking on), but I will if I must.

I've never had my own domain name because a) I was a little behind the times and it never even occurred to me, when I startedt his blog, to secure (a nice shop in St. Louis, by the way) until I was informed by the person who did that it was done; and b) what else could my domain possibly be???  I'd think about it now and then, but not expend much time or energy because it just wasn't that big a deal.

Ugh.  Whatever shall I do?  Any suggestions?

I'm so pissed off at Typepad

Typepad has been changing things up a bit lately, and so have I -- trying to be progressive, trying to roll with the punches, trying to welcome change.

I was using Typepad Connect recently for comments and I liked everything about it except that when someone would leave a comment on my blog, the default "reply to" address was a threaded comment/reply/conversation on my blog and the commenter never knew I'd replied unless they came back to check.

I hate that.  Who in the hell has time for that shit?

Not only that... my reply is often not limited to the content of my post, but I might expand into full-blown foaming-at-the-fingertips about something completely unrelated and, frankly, possibly quite personal that's between me and that person that I/they/we don't want all over the WWW, or at least not in my comment/replyconversation section.

So.  On Thursday, I ditched Typepad Connect and went back to the old, default Typepad comment handler.  I had a couple of comments, the reply-to was the actual commenter's email address... I was happy.

On Friday morning, something looked funny about the Typepad email notifications of comments -- AND the reply-to address was NOT the commenter's email address.  WTF!!!???  Didn't I just change that?  I went through all my settings, re-checking everything, and finally opened a Help Ticket.  Sure enough, within those 24 hours they changed the way Typepad handles comments so that they are threaded comments/replies/conversations.  WTF (again)?

WHY???  My reply from Typepad said that they added the feature because of the large number of requests.  Hello?  If people want threaded comments/replies/conversations, Typepad Connect works wonderfully!  At the very least, I would like to see the comment/reply/conversation threads as an OPTION -- either in regular comments or Typepad Connect... somewhere!  I AM SO PISSED OFF.  Believe me, I've registered my complaint.  I might even do it again.

What do you think, Typepad users?  Commenters?

At least it's a gorgeous day today.  Happy Saturday!!



With flare!

Dem bones

The foot bone's connected to the ankle bone, the ankle bone's connected to the shin bone, the shin bone's connected to the knee bone...


I have ankles!  It's a crappy cell phone pic and may not look like much to you, but holy cow, it's been ages since I've had a discernible ankle bone.

Today is Day 4 of The Flat Belly "Diet" 4-Day Jump-Start and I'm feeling great.  I didn't actually weigh myself 'til the evening of Day 2, but between then and now I've lost about 1.5 pounds.  Granted, it's mostly water, but guess what?  Apparently, my body holds water like a camel that's heading into the desert.

My ankles have been swollen to some degree for a couple of years -- from just a little bit puffy to full-blown cankles (and somewhat worrisome edema... went to the doctor worrisome) -- my lower legs and calves very puffy, too.  A masseuse once described my skin as spongy, for whatever that's worth.  Well, my ankles are not swollen now.  I can feel a difference in my face (I may be down half a chin!), my boobs (I'll kind of miss those, it's been nice to have some for a change), my fingers and hands (maybe I'll be able to wear my wedding ring again one of these days)! 

One-point-five down, a whole bunch more to go!  These four days have been limiting, but really not too bad.  It's only four days!  I'm looking forward to moving forward and putting the rest of it (Flat Belly/Mediterranean) into practice.  I definitely think it's a plan I can live with.  Katie's been doing it with me and that helps; she's been huge into the journaling and the keeping track part -- she even found a few copies of The Ultimate Diet Logfor us.  I'm sure you've recently read that journaling and have a buddy are both very helpful in this type of endeavor.

I have given Zumba a break recently, for various reasons.  I went a few times in early August; September feels like it's half over already, there's so much going on, but I've got a nearly-full punch card in my bag (packed and ready by the back door!) and I will get back on track again.

Happy Weekend!!


Wow!  That extra, unscheduled day off (Tuesday) made for a very busy Thursday morning at work!  It is Thursday, right?  September 3rd?  'Cuz this is a VERY unusual schedule for me and my head's been sorta spinnin' all morning!  Y'know what that means... Random on a Thursday!

The head-spinning only got worse upon learning about Margene's illness and impending surgery and it took a while to recover from that news this morning.  All the best in the world for a quick and speedy recovery to you, Margene!

An important appointment came and went yesterday and I am feeling relaxed and relieved.

I celebrated by starting a new knitting project.  I saw Theresa's Rav_link Shadow[]box (a free, downloadable pattern) the other day and fell hard.  I am using Dale of Norway "Heilo" and Rowan "Kidsilk Aura," mainly because I misread the pattern and really liked the vision I had in my mind, particularly given the supplies at hand, so I ran with it; there's some adaptation due to gauge and whatnot but I'm confident it will all work out.  And wow.  Yummy.  It's a lovely maroon and definite potential for wearing it to death.  Did I mention yummy?  Oh, and that I'm knitting the large size... on straights?  One hundred and sixty-some stitches is about the limit on my 14" Boye needles.

There has been some very excellent and encouraging news regarding Ali and the coffee shop -- lots of behind-the-scenes goings-on going on lately.  Keep those fingers crossed a little while longer!

Maddy is coming "home" for the weekend.  I hope.  She called me from the driver's seat this morning and said that she didn't know if she could get out of town!  She thought she knew, but I guess not quite, and was driving around hoping that something would look familiar and nothing did.  Between giggles, we determined where she was and how to get where she needed to be.  Heh.  (Note: Get that girl a map!)  (Seems like I did.)  (Note: Make sure the girl knows where the map is and how to read it!)  Her social/work calendar is quite full for the weekend, so I expect only to catch an occasional glimpse.

We are in for the most fabulous holiday weekend weather -- it's been quite delightful all week, actually.  I do hope we have a nice autumn.  Plans for a Sister Weekend in the northwoods are underway and it sure would be nice if the weather was fab; we'll have a good time, regardless (we always do).


Hay Wagon

What's a post without a photo?  Flashback to last year.  I definitely have a thing about the farming and the hay, don't I?  OMG, that reminds me!  I had a dream about the bachelor farmers the other night!  I've never met them and didn't really "see" "them" in my dream, but it was all about the haying and those wonderful little haystacks dotting the field and someone else doing it the same way -- I don't know who it was, though, or where!  Could be a slight Marlboro Man/Pioneer Woman influence going on, too.  I dunno.  But pretty funny to be having farm dreams.

That is all.

This morning's walk

I brought the camera along on this morning's (somewhat chilly) dog walk.  I went through the ravine to the creek-side path.  I don't often take the dog and the camera together -- it's not easy taking photos while trying to hold a beagle straining on the leash because something (probably a black lab's poop) smells so delicious and, of course, whatever it is is ALWAYS just six inches beyond the limits of the leash.  I had a few out of focus shots, but managed a few.




See the bug in the thistle flower?  I'm not sure what those other flowers are (I wonder where my Wisconsin Wildflower book is?), but they're so pretty -- I just love the color (hm, wanting to repaint the downstairs bathroom...)!  I must have a thing for bell- or trumpet-shaped flowers.

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood!  It's generally a pretty quiet neighborhood, but with school having started yesterday... it's WAY quiet!  I have some stuff to do around the house, then some errands in the early afternoon (yarn store on the list!), then back at the house for an appointment, and then... some knitting?  Could it be???

Can't think of a title today


I called my sister Sharon (pictured above on August 13, 1975, with Uncle Bob) (I hope they don't mind my posting it) on Saturday while on the way home from delivering Maddy to college.  Sharon came with me five years ago when I delivered Katie to college.  I told her, "You should be with me now!  This is totally different.  I can talk and smile; I'm even able to laugh!"  Number One Child vs. Number Three Child; 2300 miles vs. 150 miles; four months before laying eyes on her again vs. five days.  It's different!  I think we might have gone as far as Salt Lake City on the return trip from CA before I could muster much of anything but tears.

Ah, well.

* * * * *

There are a million things going on -- I've taken an extra day off of work again this week (today) and hope to tackle a few of them -- keep this little head of steam going.  I've already taken a bunch of stuff to St. Vincent de Paul this morning and delivered a bag of ice to Ali, had breakfast and walked the dog, and maybe something else that I'm forgetting...

The fabric for the new window coverings has been washed, dried, ironed (thanks Mom!), and also cut (for the most part); I'd like to get at least half of that job done today -- for sure.  Then the other half tomorrow?

OK.  I'm starting to feel a little overwhelmed.  The blog's been fed... time to maybe make a list!