Friday, November 30, 2012

7 Quick Takes (Vol 191)


Greetings and salutations. Here we are gathered together AGAIN for another dose of “Deb’s things that she cannot make an entire post out of”. That is just so special. You know the regulations. When you are done covering yourself in the blather you need to click on the picture above to be whisked, at the speed of my Christmas carol overload, over to Conversion Diary to see what everyone else has accomplished better than me.

Blather bell. Blather bells. Blather all the way.

Here at Chez Knit the Christmas decorations are finally done.

That sounds like I have been decorating all week which is very far from the truth. Pretty much everything was up on Tuesday. My philosophy on Christmas decorations is that if it takes longer than one day to get everything up then you have WAY too much stuff to decorate with.

I will admit that I did put up one thing yesterday but that was just because I hadn’t gotten around to it. It is a particular string of lights that I always put up over the kitchen sink area. The lights themselves look like lighted Starlight mints.

But the kitchen sink area needs to be clean and clutter free to do the “putting up”…..

and it hadn’t been for a couple of days.

So sue me.

HHBL and I attended a holiday party this week at the newly opened

Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland

I had to make small talk with loads of people I didn’t know, including people like the editor of The Cleveland Plain Dealer, all while balancing a glass of wine and a plate of food. A situation that is ripe for disaster.

I will say that it is a kick to be able to wander around a museum in the evening even if it is one without a single piece of artwork that I can connect with. I am not really a modern art fan. I look at some of the contemporary paintings and art installations and I think, “Heck I could do THAT!”, even though I know that I really couldn’t.

HOWEVER, there were some canvases in one of the rooms that looked like large paintings done with gray metallic paint with flecks of white and black. I looked at them and thought

1. What was in the mind of the artist?
2. Is there a particular theme or inspiration behind these?
3. Who REALLY thinks these are art worthy of hanging in a museum?
4. I COULD do these, just hand me the paint brush

You know, I do have to be honest. There was one piece of art work that did intrigue me. It was this thing….

I did not take this picture, I pulled it off the MOCA website. But I could have looked at this installation for a long time. It was very intriguing.

And I would have taken the picture from a slightly different angle. The photographer needed to take a slight step to the right.

Not that I am criticizing…..much.

I am working on a longer post that is really a composite of pictures taken on my almost daily walks around Sunny Lake.

This was from this morning.


I happened to turn around and saw this. Beautiful.

Still not missing cable TV in case you were wondering. My instant queue for Netflix is growing by leaps and bounds. And I still have 70+ movies in the DVD queue.

Well I will say that we sort of wish we had cable today. We are wishing that we had ESPN tonight because The Kent State Golden Flashes are playing Northern Illinois for the MAC Championship. This just means that HHBL and I will have to go some place, like perhaps Buffalo Wild Wings, so that we can eat and drink and watch the game.


The Annual Stealing of Ornaments is Monday night and I am still playing with the menu. There are some old standards. There are some new additions. But this year I decided that if anyone asked if they could bring something I would say, “YES! Bring a dessert.” That is the thing that I always seem to forget until the last minute and then I scramble around trying to make something.

Not that I am not scrambling around now trying to get stuff done as it is.

Look for the theft report some time next week. We do have one “newbie” this year I think and so inevitably she will be the one who has an ornament appropriated more than anyone else. It always works out that way.

I am going to admit that I haven’t done a single LICK of Christmas shopping yet.

Not one bit.

No siree.

When the progeny were younger I was completely diligent about getting it all done before Thanksgiving rolled around. But somewhere in the past few years I have become a Christmas Shopping slacker.

I will get to it next week.

I hope.

Do any of you set “goals” for yourself for a year. I have talked before about the fact that I am not all that great about setting goals for myself. But I am thinking about next year and what I want to accomplish. I always start out full of fire and then slowly die down to embers.

But I will give it a try again.

I am sure I will tell you later.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Next Iron Chef

Several weeks ago when I had the chance to do some photography at the Cleveland Food Show I got a big kick out of the Culinary students from several of the local high school’s vocational programs.

Oh the exuberance of youth.


I already alluded to this young fellow who is going to, “Attend and graduate from the CIA, then go to NYC and work in a number of restaurants and then come back to Cleveland a success and open a bunch of restaurants.” He was totally sure about his path.

I just had fun watching all the groups of students move around the convention floor, like flocks of white coated birds of prey swooping down on different exhibits.


And then there were some that were competing in different cooking competitions and demonstrations. The group that won this particular competition practically levitated off the stage when their names were called.

And then there was this young man.


I was busy observing the crowd and taking some pictures for my client when I looked to my left and saw him standing in front of the Wolf range. The rest of his group was still a bit of a ways down the aisle but there he was, very quietly and intently standing in front of the range.


And then, with a burst of energy, he begins to “cook”. This picture doesn’t convey how completely “in” to his cooking scenario he was. It may have been that he was the head chef at a famous NYC restaurant. Or perhaps the hottest chef on the Food Network at the moment. Or more likely he was competing in the finals of The Next Iron Chef.  Whatever he was, in his own mind he was totally there.


And then his friends showed up and the spell was broken.

But it was so fun to watch while it was going on.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Semi-Wordless Wednesday


I wanted. I wanted badly. But my toes told me,

ABSOLUTELY NOT! We will make you pay if you buy these. Don’t think we won’t!

I am trying to convince them.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What Once Was Lost

Two weeks ago I lost my favorite bracelet. It was a bracelet made with sliver and 22 small black gemstones, not very expensive ones but still lovely. When the light is right a star appears in each of the small stones.

I had worn it 24/7 for almost exactly five years, having purchased it on October 12, 2007 in Agra, India and only taking it off once in those five years when I had to have surgery and they wouldn’t let me wear it. But that was the only time that it had been off of my arm.

It was purchased in a small shop on the same day as this picture was taken.

Taj Mahal

The day that HHBL and I visited the back end of the Taj Mahal. The reason for only being able to see the posterior of the Taj Mahal being…

- Missing our connection to Dehli because of bad weather thereby……
- meaning that we had to spend the night and part of the next evening in the Newark airport before….
- we snagged the ONLY two stand by seats on an overbooked flight to Dehli which meant…..
- we had to fly in MIDDLE seats for a 14 hour flight and the guy sitting next to me had a 2 year old on his lap….for the whole 14 hours…..
- which meant that when we got to Dehli we were a day behind in our packed schedule causing us…..
- to go to the wrong hotel the first evening, quickly deducing that it was a Muslim hotel and I was not welcome thereby causing our driver to…..
- drive us to the correct hotel but not before driving three blocks down a wrong street meaning that…
- he threw the car in reverse and backed down those three blocks, backed around the cow in the street, backed THROUGH the very busy intersection before finally depositing us at the right place but causing us to….
- to go to Agra with a driver on a FRIDAY rather than the anticipated THURSDAY and when we got there, after a three hour drive, we found…..
- Friday being a Muslim holy day and the Taj Mahal being a Muslim shrine it wasn’t open. So our driver kindly (said with some sarcasm)……
- made sure that we saw the “better” and “less crowded” (unless you count the crowd of people trying to sell me something) view of the Taj. AND he made sure that……
- we could do some shopping (quel surprise!). And in the shop that he so kindly directed us to…..
- I found a bracelet that I loved. The first price quoted just made me laugh. I quoted back a price that I knew would not be taken….
- He quoted another price that was laughable…..
- I came up $10….
- He quoted again, a price that I wouldn’t pay…..
- I quoted my final offer…..
- He said no…..
- I walked away….
- He blinked and took my offer.

I loved that bracelet. It made me smile every time I looked at it and remembered that fabulous trip.

Imagine my horror when I looked down at my wrist on Thursday, November 15th and realized that the bracelet wasn’t there. I saw my other silver bracelet from Peru, I reached up into my sleeve to pull down my India bracelet and realized that it wasn’t on my wrist. I actually searched around in my sleeve for a second but it wasn’t there. My heart just sank and I stood there for a moment in mourning. I had done errands that morning, not many but a few, and the next day I made the rounds of all the places I had stopped and I asked if anyone had turned the bracelet in and the answer in each place was no. The bracelet was gone.

But life moves on. I would daily fiddle with my bracelets and it just didn’t feel right without my Taj bracelet but what could I do.

And then yesterday came. I hadn’t ever made it down to the mail box so HHBL picked up the mail on his way up the driveway. He walked in the door and the first words out of his mouth were…

I am going to make your day.

Now I could take that any number of ways. Ways which I will not detail for you here because this is a family blog of sorts.

He took my hand and…..

Dropped my lost Taj bracelet into my palm!!!!!!!!!!!!

When I went to pick up the mail I was rooting around in the back of the mail box and there it was.

I just stood there and looked at it. It had been in the mailbox all that time. I don’t remember catching it on anything when I got the mail that day but I must have.


All is right with my bracelet world.

Monday, November 26, 2012

You Try To Raise Them Right!


Oh my wonderful progeny.


You try to raise them right.

To be friends.

To treat others well.

Not to be led astray by the suggestions of cousins…..

Cousins who are usually up to do good…….

Remember the incident last year when I left my camera on the table for a short period of time and came back to find that SOMEONE had used it…..


Used it to take pictures that cannot be shown on the internet.

This year I thought that I would just be careful about where I left my camera. I did not want a repetition of last year. My retinas have really never recovered.

I was not clever enough I am afraid.



Friday, November 23, 2012

7 Quick Takes (Vol 191) The Thanksgiving Addition


The turkey is picked clean. The dog has finished with all the crumbs. We have slept off our turkey comas. And it is time to blather a bit. So when you have finished my grilled and deep fried blather you need to click on the picture above to be whisked, at the speed of my hardening arteries (Mimi bought 10 POUNDS of butter for prep and there is ONE pound left) over to Conversion Diary to see what everyone else is doing.

I am full of blather


There was early morning duck hunting on the lake. Not us but others. We contented ourselves with

Marinated venison tenderloin wrapped in bacon and grilled to perfection. Provided by Pilot Man and as about as fresh off the hoof as you can get. It was wandering the woods in deer form less than a week ago.

And of course there was turkey, both grilled and deep fried. And turkey skin!!!


There was a lot of technology. Everyone had a device to catch a bit of quiet time in the mayhem.

There was mayhem??

You bet there was


There were games played. We taught Slim Jim to play Mah Jongg. There was Uno. There was Rook.

I don't play Rook with Uncle Dean....blood is often shed. And sweat. And tears.


The annual Turkey Pain Bowl was held. And no one was seriously injured which is always a plus.


Beauty treatments were applied


Sisterly love and affection


And of course the annual family picture. Sort of like herding cats.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Turkey Time


From Our house.........

To yours......

Happy Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Semi-Wordless Wednesday

It was an amazingly foggy morning. A perfect time to go for a slow photo walk.

The water season is on hold til next year.

Oh dear. Someone didn't make it through the invasion

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Another Day, Another Weak Blog Post


Alpha forgot to blog today. She says to tell you that she will try to do better tomorrow. She hangs her head in abject shame.

But she still won't give me extra treats.


Monday, November 19, 2012

To Delete or Not to Delete. That Is The Question.

I am sad to say that I am already thinking about larger “projects” that I want to tackle in 2013. That is if the Mayan’s are incorrect and I will still be here in 2013.

One of the projects that I will be tackling will be the overload of pictures that I have on my computer. I might not have any problem cleaning out things in my house but digital pictures are another matter entirely.

How about these……


Do I need to keep a picture of the Mostquito Magnet that we no longer own? Hmmmmmm.


How about the tandem bike that I sold several months ago flat tire and all. I bet this one can go.

Light Bulb

Does anyone remember why I have a picture of a light bulb? I think I can kick this one to the curb.


I don’t think that I need to be reminded of the Great Pie Dough Debacle.

Crestwood-Aurora 08

Can someone tell me what marching bad this is? It is my “Misc” photo folder for 2008. A long ago memory of some football game.


Ummmmmmmm. I think this is the hallway in Cartoon Girl’s dorm during college. I think.


The back end of a buzzard who hung around the driveway for a while. I don’t think I will use this ever…….

Matt Wilhoit4

How I ever came to have a picture of Matt the Marine trying to bring his sister into line I will never know. I don’t think I need this one.


A rather poorly focused picture from a high school production during the progeny’s high school years.


A boring picture of the one and only time I have attended a Cleveland Cavaliers game. Snore.


A picture of me and my “new” car, Coco, taken in 2007. I have several versions of this particular picture. How many do I REALLY need.

One would think, looking at these photos, that I had absolutely no photographic ability. You see what I mean about a definite need for a picture purge. It didn’t take me all that long to find these stellar examples of my picture hoarding tendencies.

I need an intervention.