Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Help by Kathryn Stockette

I have finished one of the most endearing books I have ever listened to.  When someone explained the book to me, I was less than interested, actually blew it off.  How lucky I was to buy the audio book from itunes, what a great listen.  It is about the 60's and the south and how white people, mostly woman treated their colored help.  Done through the lives of the Black help, it has a whole different perspective than we are used to.   It is done in the voices of black woman and one white woman.  You have to listen to it to get the whole picture, the accents of southern woman makes the whole story come to life.  I laughed at some spots and was ashamed in others, ashamed that anyone could treat a human being less than they are.   I strongly suggest that if you get the book please get the Audio book, it is well worth the listen.
The Help

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I have never been a good student, school was something I had to do to do something else.  Kind of the story of my life, the trade off.  I have to do this to do that.  I have taken a few classes here and there and you know what I enjoy them..  This Fall I am taking more classes than ever..I am registered for Judith McKenzie McCuins class at SOAR and I signed up for a writing class, something I have wanted to do.  Some of the people that read my blog, or my newsletter think I should write a book and I have kept snippets of things I have written about life experiences.  So I thought a writing class will be a good thing, a fun outlet, away from the fiber things I love, but a portable diversion, we always have a pen and paper or laptop or Paul (IPad).  I love telling stories, I love sharing all of the fun stupid things that have happened in my life.  I am excited and class starts in a couple of weeks.  I will also be teaching at UWM in Spring, so that is good news!!!  Fiber Arts of course...Life is good!!!

Mad Hatter tea party

Knitters can have fun at anything, did you ever notice that?  I could throw a walk on hot coals party and knitters would be laughing and enjoying themselves.  How about a mid winter picnic party?  I'm sure they would be there knitting with mittens on and having fun.  I had a Mad Hatter Unbirthday tea party last Saturday.  The order of the day was to dress funky or costume and bring a teapot, teacup and your favorite tea.  I had the hot water and cake!!  It was fun and there were many types of tea to choose from, some better than others and if you didn't like it you threw it over your shoulder.  It started out not so cold but got pretty damp and cold later and the party ers still knit.  We had layers on!!!  Knitted layers and it was fun!  I must have been walking on the tables or doing splits because for some reason the back of my knees are killing me, like I over extended them???  hhhmmmm sitting in a car?  I guess another year older and another ailment!!!  Oh and Dragonfly actually did knit herself into her project...note to self don't knit with gloves on.  Mike and Danijela also took me to Chicago for dinner and to take photos of the Bean.  What a piece of work!!!  and to think we in Milwaukee have the orange I beam sculpture?  For some reason I can't upload photos, the server is down so use the link to see photos of the party and the Bean!!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A very happy Unbirthday to me.

We had a really great time at my unbirthday party!!!  There was lots of knitting going on and tea passing and cake, yes there was cake.  The idea was to have a Mad Hatter tea party, each person brought a teapot, cup and their favorite tea.  I provided the cake and hot water.  The tea stayed pretty warm early in the day but then it got really cool and the tea was a tad more chilled!!!  It was fun and yes there was lots of layers of knitting outfits!!!!  Hey we know how to keep warm!  So thanks to everyone that made it and those that wish they had!!!  It was a Frabjous time and I forgot to do the Flatter wacker dance....shoot!!!  Next time!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Now tell me why?

Just a question...why in the world would Rick Harrison from Pawn Stars follow me on Twitter?  just saying.....what could that possibly be other than a computer glitch, or some hacker trying to add him to my Twitter??  Not quite sure what that is about, not quite sure I want to know.  I have watched the show a few times but don't like the drama and arguing between each other.  I prefer "Pickers"  it is so funny how human beings do not want to let loose of anything they have in their possession.  I can't watch Hoarders because Hoarding is a disease, filthy is another problem and to have 6 dead cats under a foot of garbage is just sick.  There is not enough soap to clean me after I watch that show!!  Ugh...I am trying to get into work mode after vacation mode....I am still idling down or revving up whichever it goes.  I am looking at a mound of paperwork on my desk....a pile of "stuff" on the table...fiber all over?  Did I say, I don't like to watch Hoarders?  Whenever I am hanging on to something I think of the woman that had a plastic broken hanger and she justified it by saying " some crafter may be able to use it?"   Maybe she is right?  at that point I toss whatever it is...unless of course it is Seaglass...oh how I love seaglass, the feel of it the color the frostiness of it's finish, the smooth round edges...somewhere I have a bag of it...I find it now and then and just breath deep and sigh......ahhhhh Seaglass.  So now you know my weakness!!!  Up on the island some Artist had some Sea Glass wrapped in what looked like rubber cording.  I almost.....almost picked it up to look at it and then may be rubber...and rubber and I have a plain old hate relationship, it will kill me not doubt.  Speaking of yesterday I went into Goodwill to complete my costume for the Tea Party Saturday....I thought I just smelled perfume...oh no that place is swimming in Febreez.....I turned and ran out of there and spent 15 minutes trying to breath.  I did the inhaler thingy and had the hardest time to recover from that little trip.  Choking and coughing and saying in a little voice please open my air ways!!!   So shoppers beware if you are allergic to Febreez, stay out of Good will at all costs.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


So this weekend is my Mad Hatter tea party.  Everyone is invited and all you need to do is wear something you knit as a hat, scarf, socks, mittens etc.  The more zany the better of course.  So I needed to tweek my costume and went to the Halloween shop which are gearing up for Halloween next month.  My first desire was to be the Red Queen, this would require a extra large huge,  red prom dress or bridesmaid dress, something red....uuuhhmm not happening.  so off to the shop I go.  Since when did Alice in Wonderland and every other costume turn into slutville?  I almost thought I was in an Adult Sex shop, actually mentioned it to the sales girl who by the way had no idea what, where or why she was there???  All the costumes looked like French Maids, short with boobs galore???  Alice, short skirt, thigh highs and popping boobs?  Really the Alice I knew didn't look like that?   Red Queen?  uhhhh we have this red long dress, oh it's a queen dress?  Oh it only comes in Medium, but here's one that is a G large and it's "short".   No thanks...Do you have wigs?  Uhhhh I think there is this red looks like an overstuffed pillow?  Look I don't think this is working too well?  She says "for me or you?"  huh?  I think maybe both of us??  Do they do drug testing at those employers?  I went to Bartz where they know what they have and are very nice to help.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Life saving

You know how sometimes life just gets nutz?  More often than not, we get so caught up in life that we don't take time to be with people we love and enjoy being around.  I love the word Kindred Spirits because it is all encompassing.  For me spinning is so relaxing, fiber running through my fingers and twisting itself into a wonderful yarn is zen for me.  Plying it is pleasing...watching two energies wind around each other in a motion of dancing, twisting and then sometimes contorting.  When I sit with other spinners, it is enjoyable to watch each one handle the fiber differently.  There is no "right" way or wrong way, you can do what ever you like to yarn and make it what you want.  I am thinking it may be like clay to a potter.  So this weekend was great, my spinner friends all taking time from busy lives and spending time with our wheels and fiber, food peace and quiet!!!  It was wonderful, and I am thankful for friends like that...they "get it"  So many of us don't take the time and we really need to, kind of like refilling our pitchers with life, so we can pour some in each glass again until it is gone, only to refill it and life goes on

Washington Island Retreat

So the photo above it a second before Buster the dog, snaps at Dear Martha for trying to pull a burr off of his ear....Buster was not happy and I think Martha moved pretty fast herself.  I just spent a week up on the island.  It started out kind of rainy but I didn't care, I was spinning and felting and playing.  It was so quiet and relaxing.  I stay a Cedar Point Inn, right off of the Ferry, it is quiet and very very reasonable.  A friend of mine owns it and he is a super guy.  So if you want to get away this is the place to go to write, read or just sleep.  The island is nice and my favorite coffee shop is Red Cup Killer coffee, (of course it is Alterra)  Ann the owner is very nice.  The Swedish Mill is Ok they have free WIfi, but they atmosphere just isn't the same as Red Cup!!!   A drive around the island is a must and there are lots of deer and sandhill cranes.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

One persons idea

I have always wondered about the fact that one person with an "anti" attitude can make millions of others involved in their views.  Such as, Atheists, now I am not a statistician, but really how many atheists do you know vs. Christians?  How can it be one woman Madeline Murry O'Hare, she is now dead, cause the government to stop saying the Pledge of Allegiance in school?  She has been influential in lots of this kind of woman.   Now we have one, and I use the term loosely Pastor in Florida that is going to burn the Koran.  How on Earth did this even make International news?  One person, one person that scammed people out of money before and is holding on to a thread of a so called church.  He has the Nation watching and waiting to see if God says he should proceed with the burning or not?  The President is talking about it?  Seriously one man, if this one person has this kind of power, it scares the hell out of me.  Personally I am not a believer in book burning, witch burning, or flag burning or any other kind of burning, "my view" but I as one person do not make the news on that view, I don't have Angelina Jolie saying it is right or wrong, General Protrykus saying it is putting Our Troops in Afghanistan at risk.  Why are they giving this guy any air time.  Take this off of the air and send his address to some radical extremist Muslim, they deserve each other, each are "one of a kind" and do not express the views of a Nation.  Take away his air time and he will shrink away like the Wicked witch of the West....get a clue

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Rated X

Now walking down the aisles of a grocery store, and happened upon this little treasure I had to buy it.  First off who in their business minded self would think this is good advertising?   Is it funny yes?  and did I buy it?  yes, only because I forgot I could take a photo of it in the store.  Does it crack me up and provide a 5th grade boys humor?  yes...So for 79 cents I keep laughing at this.   So I was looking for Seitan, which is a wheat product that vegans love?  I am not a vegan I am a carnivore, but it really tastes good, kind of and thought I could try to duplicate a recipe.  I went to Sendiks my favorite shopping place, where life is good, peaceful strolling down the aisles and wonderful smells wafting from the deli dept.   I even like looking at the wines and I don't drink.  I just like shopping there.  But no Seitan so I went to Woodmans, Ok, if going to Woodmans can save me a few pennies, it certainly can raise my blood pressure past a safe level.  I enter, any of which two doors takes you into the place but heaven forbid you are on the wrong door when you have to check out at the one door that lets you out.  I start looking for Seitan...I try to find someone to help me....meanwhile trying to dodge mom's and grandma's weilding their carts like we're on the Indy  500.  I move aside and take in this sight...3 people fighting over in the "out of date, ready to rot eat at your own risk" bin, and yes it is meat.  One would put down a  package of meat and someone else would swoop it up.  I guess vultures behave like that over a corpse too?  So onward with my search, there are boxes of crap everywhere and customers are trying to fanagle their way around this maze of stocking shelves, me included.  I am getting tired of walking the 60 foot length of chips and snacks, are there really that many snacks available?  I find the Seitan way back where I started from, before the meat aisle and proceed to the check out.  I can find no cashiers it is all do it yourself which I have terrible luck with.  So I walk up to one, and push Start, it reads, please remove something from the bag?  I didn't put anything in the bag, I push start again same I am getting upset, I want to check out and go home...I start to walk to another one and this nice lady says "I cleared it for you."  Thanks, now can you check me back I go and start scanning, and it actually scans my few items, so now I want to pay.  I swipe my card enter my pin and "sorry please reenter your pin....5 times.  I then clear it and push cash, I pay with cash and steam is coming off of the top of my head.  I on a normal day, do not like to grocery shop...I hate it, but when I go to Sendiks I enjoy it for some reason it is small, personal and they actually know me.  If I need help, they are there, they check me out and bag my stuff and greet me.  If you look sideways twice they ask you if you need help.  It is a service store, a locally owned service orientated shop.  I will support them and my sanity AND, I bought Bel Giousa?  mozzarella cheese at Puke and Save it was closer and I thought cheaper it was $2.00 more expensive than Sendiks where I find pleasure shopping!!!  Yes I am now a grocery shopping snob!!!!  Also the fruit isn't rotting in the car on the way home.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Knitting Idiot

I am knitting on these wristlets that are in Knit Scene magazine which by the way is a pretty good issue this month.  I have ripped these mitts about 5 times because
1.  I was socializing
2. Not paying attention
3. Forgot what I used for what marker
4. I am attention deficit
This is why I don't knit lace...every row is different.  I like a repreive, just purl a row or knit a row...just an easy row.  Because I do have ADS, you would think something different would be a good thing, I watch someone else knit on them with ease and my problem is I want to watch something else while I knit like TV???  I may have to rip them out once again to get back on track....arg....
I am waiting for the rain to roll in, it seems to be a heavy one, which means sump pump watch.  At least it is cool.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Labor Day

Did you know that our forefathers fought and lives were lost for a 35 hour work week?  Not a 40 hour week but a 35 hour work week.  Did you know that if Unions hadn't stepped in workers would be working endless hours and at the mercy of the company they work for?  Did you know the Union idea was actually thought of as a Communist plot.  Anyone associated with the Union was thought to be affiliated with Communism.  All of this to see people working 60 hour work weeks.  What is happening to America, we work more and make less money, or we work more to spend more and live beyond our means.  When I worked at Miller we could have all of the overtime we wanted.  There were guys there that worked every day and sometimes 12 hour days.  They hated me...they couldn't understand how I could work 40 hours and survive.  They were miffed when their wives decided to leave them for someone that was not "working" all the time.  What happened to living on a 40 hour check?  I and the bank, owned a home, a car, I had a child, what I did not have was a boat, land up north, extravagant taste.  I lived modestly, because it was all I could afford.  It was my decision to forego fancy stuff to work a regular work week so I could have a life out of work.  I don't begrudge anyone for having those things, but at what cost?  Your family, I would explain to them that woman really want you around.  Yes the money is great, but you are forgetting your family.  You can never go back....ever...your children grow up and you get older and you can't redo that.  As you get older, life goes by faster, the years blur on into the other.  Take time to live life, play and balance things out.  Spend time with those you love.  Let's not go back to the sweatshop eras.  Remember to take time to enjoy life.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Flavored coffee

I am not a fan of flavored coffee, I like plain black coffee, a mild blend, in a mug.  Flavored coffee smells so good but I just don't like the aftertaste it leaves.  I went to a house party this week and she made Hazelnut coffee and it was really good, really good.  I asked her what kind it was and that I normally don't care for flavored coffee.  She blends it herself, a small amount of flavored beans to a larger amount of regular coffee.  What a great idea, it really cut the strong flavored coffee and left just a  hint that made it taste very good and no aftertaste!!!  This could be dangerous?  Although I still think flavored coffee is somewhat of a dessert type of coffee.  It is for having conversation and visiting with a friend, not for a meal or my favorites first and last cup of the day!!  A stand alone, social cup, now this is just my opinion and being that I have not liked flavored coffee for all of these years which is about to change I am looking forward to Holiday Grog from Berres brothers....OMG good!!  But I am going to cut it with real coffee, mmmm can't wait.
I went to the Quilt show at the Milwaukee Art Museum, it is a beautiful exhibit.  The works are from the early 1800's and the fine stitching they accomplished is breathtaking.  This is the last weekend it is here and really worth seeing.  We went for schneck at the cafe, the desserts were very good, the service was very poor.  It amazes me that a hostess seeing that we were pushing a wheel chair, or even when my mom has a walker, puts us at the farthest table away from the entrance.  As I was pushing the chair and hostess was 20 feet away I looked at her like "seriously?"  do you not see this wheel chair and the fact that I am going to make everyone move to get by???  There were several empty tables I had to pass to start the obstacle course.  So I pushed her where the hostess wanted and two whole tables had to get up and move.  Use your head people.  It's like a pet peeve of mine when you are at a drive through window and they give you your change back, they lay the paper money in your open hand and pour the coin change on top of it.  Now this should be a taught thing during training.  It is better to put the loose change into your palm first and then the paper money can by grabbed after.  But the balancing act of holding your hand flat in order to keep the change from sliding off of the paper money and winding up on  the asphalt can be a trick.  I guess it's better than maybe just throwing the money at you??