Friday, June 27, 2008

Boo, Continental Airlines! Hiss!

Rick should be home right now. Instead, he's checked into a crappy hotel room in Houston, trying to sleep in between the roar of jets taking off nearby, and knowing he'll have to be up at the crack of dawn to go back to the airport to try again.

He was there, at the gate, at 3:30 this afternoon - hours before his flight was supposed to leave. He sat in those uncomfortable chairs and waited for hours, getting up to check the monitors occasionally to make sure his flight was still on time and all. Everything looked okay, and the gate sign said all the right things. He was starting to wonder why they hadn't boarded him yet, so he got up again to check the monitor - and they'd moved his flight to a different gate! In a different terminal! And made no announcement! He rushed up to the gate and said he would run to the new gate, but they told him not to bother - the plane was already late, and they refused to let him board. (And he wasn't the only one. There was a crowd of travelers sitting there, stunned to find out their plane was still at the airport and knew it was missing a group of passengers, but was insisting on leaving without them anyway.) Rick pitched a fit, as you can imagine, and Continental did not one thing to make it better. Not even an apology!

So Rick is sitting in Houston. His bag of tools, which would cost many dollars to replace, is circling the conveyor belt in Milwaukee. His truck, which I needed for farmer's market in the morning, is in the Milwaukee airport parking lot. His side of the bed is empty. And I am not happy with Continental.

Thanks, guys.

Rick had to take a last-minute business trip to Houston yesterday, and won't be back until late tonight. And I've been working late every night this week, and am seriously re-thinking this whole no-overtime deal. And my desk is just buried with several projects that must be done today, as well as one which may not fly despite my putting my heart and soul into it. And the house is well and truly thrashed (although a friend is coming over to help me clean tonight). And I'm still a little bummed about the folks who aren't going to be able to attend Luc's party on Saturday. And the mosquito eggs which were laid shortly after the heavy rains a couple of weeks back have now hatched, and the little buggers are vicious. And the radio says to expect heavy rains tonight, tomorrow night and again on Sunday. (Goodbye, outdoor party.) And I didn't get to walk yet this morning, because I had an errand which absolutely positively had to be done before 8:00. Maybe on my lunch break, assuming I get one.

And then I walked down to tend the birds and rabbit, and saw this:

These are the first ever blooms on my first ever hollyhocks. They're a souvenir of my time as a Kohler charwoman last summer and the summer before. I gathered the discarded seedheads from their dramatic display near the parking lot and just sprinkled them in between the vent pipes in my septic garden. Aren't they fabulous? And Flax is one of my all time favorite flowers, just because of the wispy look and a color that always reminds me of misty Berkshire mornings. And I thought that Ozark Sundrop wasn't going to come back after the way it reacted to being divided last year.

Thanks, guys. I needed that.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Shopping List for a Graduation Gathering
  1. Two bunches of daisies, yellow and white
  2. Another packet of plasticware
  3. 6 lbs or so of beef for shredded BBQ sandwiches
  4. 3 dozen buns
  5. Ice cream
  6. Fruit pie
  7. Watermelon
  8. chips
  9. bean dip
  10. 2 dozen ears of corn for roasting
  11. 3 lbs of rottini
  12. Ranch dressing
  13. 2 heads broccoli
  14. 1 head cauliflower
  15. shredded carrots
  16. baked beans
  17. 1 box cheap merlot
  18. Club soda for spritzers
  19. Fireworks
  20. insect repellent
  21. potatoes for potato gun
  22. Dollar Store aerosol deodorant for potato gun
  23. Horseshoes

I also made a list of things I need to accomplish at work before end of day tomorrow. Trust me - you don't want to see that.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Flowers for my desk

Last week I cut a vase-full of peonies off the bush and brought them in for my desk. My assistant loved them, so the next day I brought a second vase in. One of the attorneys asked if he could have some too, since they smelled so nice - so I brought a third vase in. But the peonies are now just about past, and a couple of those original blooms have since exploded into showers of now-too-sweet petals all over my desk, so last night I threw them all out. But we'd gotten so many compliments about the peonies at my assistant's desk that I really thought I ought to replace them with something. I looked around the garden this morning, and decided on daisies and yellow loosestrife. Cut some, striped the bottom leaves, arranged it in a vase quickly, and off we go.

As I got into my car, a little buttercup-like blossom fell off the loosestrife. And another. And another. By the time the little bouquet had ridden the 7 not very bumpy miles to work, there were dozens of them on the seat, down the crack by the shift stick, on the floor, and all over my car. I'm thinking this is where the "loose" part of the name comes in.

Oh, well. There are buds on the roses, daylillies, clematis, hollyhocks, and a dozen other things. Surely I'll be able to come up with an "Option B" soon.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Assignment: Elkhart Lake (pt. 2)

I kind of like these. What do you think?

Rough Monday

It's work related, so I can't go into details - but yesterday just sucked. I can still just barely put two words together, and feel like I just walked out of the SAT or something. Oh, and yesterday morning after my walk I stripped off my weighted gloves and set them on my car while I walked down to tend my birds. The gloves were bright blue, the same color as my car. I think you can guess the rest.

Let's just hope today is a better day.

Monday, June 23, 2008


I'm not sure how it magically appeared on the couch - I swear I looked there more than once - but I found the Barbara Walker Treasury which went missing the other day. This is what I accomplished in about 2 hours:

If I'm estimating correctly, one skein will make about 52" of edging. The shawl itself is still with Tammy having its last wingtip attached, but it sticks in my mind that I was going to need about 16' of edging to go all the way around. Translation: I'm going to need at least one more skein of the yellow wool. Good thing Jody is reserving the rest of that 10-pack for me, just in case! But the especially cool thing about the whole edging situation is that I received an e-mail back from Meg Swanson (yes, the Meg Swanson) this morning, granting me permission to post the stitch pattern of that edge lace for the benefit of anyone wanting to try this project at home. I can't believe she responded, and it is so great that they're feeling generous with their stitch patterns! Now I'll be able to post the entire set of instructions for the tree of life shawl here, once I assemble them from the various posts.

Also, some of you may have noted from my KnitTalk group posting that my friend Peg gave me
a book of doily patterns. (Imaging what a gorgeous baby blanket these would make, if you blew them up on heavy yarn and larger needles and maybe added a few repeats! Margaret sent me this link as an example: The book has no copyright and according to the pencil note on the front it dates back to about 1955 - so I think I'm okay to share the patterns freely if I can figure out how. I made a .pdf scan of the first pattern, "Laurel," but blogger won't let me post a .pdf the way you would a photo and I'm not sure how else to do it. I also checked Ravelry, but apparently I'll need to do a lot more research before I can figure out how to post it there. So if anyone (up to 5 people) would like to contact me, I'll e-mail you the .pdf. All I ask is that you post it online someplace where those with internet access but less than complete web-building skills can freely access it. And/or post it to Ravelry. And/or explain how I can post these directly to my blog. Fair enough?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Assignment: Elkhart Lake

After farmer's market on Saturday, the woman who runs the gift shop inside the old train station beckoned me over and invited me to put a spinner rack of small prints in her shop. People are always asking her for local images, and she liked my work, so I managed to put together a dozen or so "local" images from the stack I had at the market. But I didn't have any of Elkhart Lake, exactly, so I promised I'd do something about it. I headed back to Elkhart Lake on Saturday night and wandered around a bit, but the first thing I discovered was that a Saturday night when Road America was hosting June Sprints was not the ideal time to find a peaceful scene - or parking to walk up to it. I noted a few locations I'd like to visit when we have fewer visitors and some quiet evening light, but I did manage to take this from the boat launch:

I'll work on it more this week. I'd like to get a shot of the train station and the restored caboose on a misty morning, especially if I can frame out the anachronisms. And the little stone chapel down in the woods. And possibly a shot of the shop row next to the train tracks, if I can get the right light to make it interesting.

Meanwhile, I was over to Peg's place again today. She's in the final phase, since she's moving on Thursday, so we washed windows and did some other cleaning things that she was fretting about but couldn't handle herself. I got Rick and Luc over there to load out the drafting table she'd given us, and it was a lot of fun watching Luc carry his half up the basement stairs. This thing originated from Kohler's design department, according to Peg. It's a really neat piece of equipment, but the base appears to be cast iron and it's godawful heavy. I'd lured Luc over there by promising him McDonalds for lunch, and all I could hear from him as he grunted up the stairs was, "two McChickens small fries chocolate shake, two McChickens small fries chocolate shake, two McChickens . . . . "