Sunday, July 27, 2008

I haven't forgotten about you dear readers, really I haven't. There have just been some things going on around here that have taken all of my attention. I will be back soon with more pithy commentary on the matters of life. There are just other things that have to be dealt with at the moment.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Vacation morning

What a beautiful morning for vacation. The sky was cloudless, the air was cool and the lake was calm. These were the mornings that we lived for when I was in Jr. High and High School because we would be out on the boat by 6a and skiing on the glassy water. Perfect of slalom and barefooting.


Mom and I had thought to go to the grocery store yesterday morning (we go to the grocery store ALOT) but Dad came up and told us that they were putting together a house down at the North end and we needed to see it. So, we hopped on the golf cart and toodled up to the North end.

They indeed were constructing a house and it was a very interesting process. Late last week they had trucked in the three separate parts of the house and left them, on their wheels up at the far North End. Early this morning a VERY large crane came along the road that we all use to get to the North Side cottages.
This was such a cool process to watch. The different pieces of the house come totally prepared even down to the carpet already being installed and the chandelier in the living room in place

They lifted piece one up, turned it 180 degrees and carefully put it in place on the foundation. We weren't sure what they were going to do about the roof. We thought that they might just construct it from scratch after the had all the basic pieces in place. What was amazing was that when the first piece of the house was in place they climbed up to the roof area and just lifted the first half of the roof up. It was already built and just tilted up. Cool!

While they were putting up the roof the crane operator was lifting, rotating and setting in place the second part of the house. This crane operator was an absolute master. The second part of the house was actually lifted into place at an angle so that it could be put in place correctly.

The final part of the house was the kitchen wing that went on the back. The kitchen was already prepared including all the appliances. The fellow for whom the house it being made told me that they are hoping for occupancy in 4-6 weeks.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

What better way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon than trying to break something vital by being pulled on an inner tube behind the back of a boat. Actually I had "tubed" for a while and Jana (the excellent sister-in-law) wanted to double up so here we are flying through the air. It was loads of fun.
The lake was a tad rough today, not the roughest we have ever seen but enough that you got bounced around a tad. That didn't stop our enjoyment though.

Here is oldest progeny flying through the air. She is quite an expert on the spectacular wipe out.

Meg and Beth just can't seem to keep it together.


I am in a quandary and I am not quite sure what to do at this point. Ever since I can remember, I have watched the Olympics. I count down the days until the Opening Ceremonies and I mourn when the last broadcast is done. I love the Olympics.

However, I am not sure how much of this Summer Games I will watch. The more I read about China, the repression of Christians there, the draconian measures they are taking before the Olympics start and a myriad other issues I am torn. I know that watching supports our athletes who train hard for many years to compete. But, watching also give approval to China and what they are doing. I am not sure that the one doesn't out way the other.

Many are now dubbing the games the "no fun" Olympics because of all the restrictions. Last week it was reported that even banner supporting athletes will not be allowed. People who have tickets to attend different events are now having trouble obtaining visas to get into the country.

Just as a side note, President Bush SHOULD NOT, I repeat, SHOULD NOT be going to the open ceremonies. That I can tell you.

I will let you know if I watch, which may be a limited amount. I am participating in the Hat Dash hat knitting over on Ravelry for the Ravelympics so I will be participating in some way. I am just not sure.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Thoughts on Obama 1

I am SURE as the days get closer to November I will have other thoughts on Mr. Obama, and they won't be favorable ones just so that you are forwarned. However, these aren't my words but the words of Charles Krauthammer from this piece on RealClearPolitics. Read the entire thing for yourself. It is excellent.

"There's nothing new about narcissism in politics. Every senator looks in the mirror and sees a president. Nonetheless, has there ever been a presidential nominee with a wider gap between his estimation of himself and the sum total of his lifetime achievements?

Obama is a three-year senator without a single important legislative achievement to his name, a former Illinois state senator who voted "present" nearly 130 times. As president of the Harvard Law Review, as law professor and as legislator, has he ever produced a single notable piece of scholarship? Written a single memorable article? His most memorable work is a biography of his favorite subject: himself."

Friday, July 18, 2008

I'm on vacation!!

Yes, I (and the rest of the happy family) are on vacation for the next week. Dear readers I will not leave you hanging, never fear (all 5 of you). "The Cottage" has internet access so you won't be rid of me that easily. We will be resting and relaxing by the lake or in the nice AIR CONDITIONED cottage when it is hot (like today). I am sure that you will be subjected to at least one post where I reminisce about the cottage and all the years that we have spent here. But that is not today. Today I just recover from the 6 hour drive with all of us, and the luggage, and 5 computer bags and the dog stuffed in the Subaru Tribeca. It wasn't too bad, just a tad tight. I also did all the driving due to the DH's broken right ankle. We arrived safe and sound, unloaded, I made the first of many trips to the grocery store and then had time to sneak in a nap. Lovely.

Bye for now.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I hate deer part whatever

Did I mention that I hate deer? I think I did but if I didn't let me make it perfectly clear.


Between yesterday and today 50% of my day lily blossoms have disappeared down the intestinal tract of some marauding quadruped. Where is my gun?

I sprayed the stinky, vomit smelling stuff that usually keeps them away and forces me to keep the windows closed until the smell dissipates. I live a relatively good life. I don't cut off little old ladies in traffic (most of the time) so why do I have to deal with this pestilence.

Time For Some Campaignin'

Well, JibJab has done it again. Here is the new election video. Now what ever side you are voting for they are equal opportunity offenders so don't take it personally.
Send a JibJab Sendables® eCard Today!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Knitting Update

I realized that I haven't done a knitting update in a while. I know that you have been waiting patiently to know what I have been working on. I can see it in your eyes. So here you are.

These are my Handsome Devil socks. They were the socks for June/July at Six_Sox_Knitalong I loved these! The pattern wasn't all that difficult and the result is very nice. They fit great. Now if it would just be cold enough to wear them.

These are my Scales Skins socks and I am lovin' them so far. Evidently this was an old pattern from Six_Sox_Knitalong from 2006. Someone mentioned it in the forum but the pattern was no longer available in the group archives. But the internet is a beautiful thing so I just Googled them and found several different variations. I am using Jitterbug yarn in the Colorway Raspberry. The yarn is manufactured in Wales and is a dream to work with. I am definitely going to get more of this stuff (not that I don't already have a ton of sock yarn).

This will eventually be a hat for Caps For a Cure, a group that I belong to on Yahoo. We knit hats and caps for cancer patients. The pattern is Little Cables and I am working with some yarn that I think I purchased at Michaels a time ago. It was already wound into a ball and I didn't have the label so I can't tell you what it is. It is sort of a tweed and it is knitting well although I think the hat is a tad big.

And finally, a scarf that I am knitting with Noro Silk Garden. This will end up to be a rather expensive scarf because the Noro isn't cheap. However, I loved the rainbow colors and couldn't resist when I saw it. My friend Cindy made a throw with this yarn (at staggering cost) so I elected to just do a scarf. Wasn't sure about it at first because the Noro isn't as soft to the touch as one could want but it is going OK.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Why I Hate Deer

Sorry for the fuzziness of this first picture but I was taking it through the screen in my office.

The deer were out the other day, in the middle of the day no less, to graze contentedly at the edge of the front yard. Bold as you please.

Yes, yes I know that they are picturesque and you are thinking all "Bambi" thoughts about those cute deer. Well buddy, let me disabuse you of all those warm and fuzzy notions about deer. They
are marauding rats with hooves!

I try not to complain about the deer and I do what I can to discourage them. We have a nice big dog who happily goes out and pees on all the plants that he can manage to anoint. That helps a tad but he isn't out at night and that is when they are the worst. Have you ever seen Aliens? There is a line, delivered by the little girl Newt as she is talking about the bad aliens. She looks at Ripley blankly and says, "They come out at night, mostly". Well, that is what the deer do. They come out at night...mostly. We live in a heavy deer population area. In fact, we have one female in the neighborhood who consistently produces twins or triplets. Doesn't she know that ONE AT A TIME is fine with the rest of us.

Of course I happen to love several types of plants that are at the top of the "Deer like to eat these" list. Most notable on the list are Hosta and Daylily. With the hostas they just eat the leaves like it was a salad and leave the bare stalks. One year I had a hosta Armageddon when I came back from vacation. Almost every hosta had been partially or totally eaten with just the stalks left behind. I saw this devastation every time that I left the house. As far as the Daylilies go, they don't eat the leaves, they just wait until the blooms are almost ready to open and then they eat the stalk of flower buds. I will look out one day, anticipating the imminent opening of my lovely lilies and the next morning....nada. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

So, I spend part of each summer doing some preventative things. Mostly I spray deer repellent of several different varieties. The spray either smells like vomit (because it has eggs in it) or it smells like a slaughter house and looks like thick blood (because it has blood in it). Aren't you happy to know that. The smell disapates after about 18 hours but the deer can still smell it and they stay away...sort of.

It doesn't kill my hatred of deer though. Everytime I have some venison sausage (like last night) I laugh evilly and say, "Take that Bambi".

Friday, July 11, 2008

Moment of Truth in Iraq

Moment of Truth in Iraq
Yon, Michael
Knitting sticks: 5

I seem to be on a roll reading books about the war in Iraq. This is definitely a must read. Michael Yon is a former Special Forces soldier who is now a journalist in Iraq. Unlike the Main Stream Media reporting from the Green Zone Mr. Yon is out and imbeded with the troops.

He pulls no punches in his assessment of how the war was handled initially (badly) and how the war is going now (we are winning). Don't believe what the New York Times or CNN would have you believe. The war is being won and can be won.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Meme On reading

I found this meme over at Writing and Living blog and thought it was fun. I would tag others if I had any "bloggy" friends but, I don't. If you find this and think it is fun then feel free to use it. Here we go.
1. Do you remember how you developed a love of reading?
I don't remember when I didn't read. I just remember that I always seemed to be reading
a book. The library was like Nirvana for me.
2. What are some books you loved as a child?
I think that depends on my age. The books that I most remember reading when I was
growing up were An Old Fashioned Girl, Little Men and Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott,
The Boxcar Children, The Sugar Creek Gang (my grandpa gave us the WHOLE set),
King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry, Bambi
3. What is your favorite genre?
I am not sure that I have a favorite genre. I tend to read across most genres
4. Do you have a favorite novel?
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R.Tolkien
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
5. When/where do you usually read?
I usually sit in my "red chair" in my office. The red leather chair was once owned by my
paternal grandparents. It still smells the same as when I was a child. I remember curling
up in this chair at their house and reading. It is a tad weather beaten but still one of my
favorite pieces of furniture.
6. Do you usually have more than one book you are reading at a time?
I try not to have this happen but sometimes it does.
7. Do you read non-fiction in a different way or place than you read fiction?
I read in the same place but not in the same way. I read fiction for pure pleasure. I read
non-fiction for both pleasure and knowledge. I tend to write down quotes from non-fiction
books and read them slower.
8. Do you buy most of the books you read, or borrow them or check them out of the library?
I would be extremely poor if I bought all the books I read (I average 125 books per year).
I use the library a lot, I buy some books and I also use Paperback Book Swap as much as
is possible.
9. Do you keep most of the books you buy?
No. If it makes sense to keep them as part of a collection then yes but otherwise I try to
pass them on.
10. If you have children, what are some of the favorite books you have shared with them?
Anne of Green Gables by L.M.Montgomery
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R.Tolkien
The Little House on the Prairie series
11. What are you reading now?
Moment of Truth in Iraq by Michael Yon
12. Do you keep a "To Be Read" list?
Absolutely. It just keeps getting longer and longer
13. Do you keep a "Have Read" list? (I added this one)
Again, absolutely. I maintain an Excel spreadsheet.
14. What is next to be read?
Not sure yet. The possibilities are endless.
15. What books would you, or do you like to re-read?
The Lord of the Rings
An Old Fashioned Girl
Harry Potter series
Pride and Prejudice

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Obviously the people that wrote this report have NEVER sat down to the dinner table with a toddler before. And frankly have no idea what a toddler is even all about! What child hasn't turned his or her nose up at a food they haven't eaten before. Sometimes the PC idiocy of people just makes me shake my head.

Mah Jongg

One of the pleasures of summer, or anytime that my daughters are home, is playing Mah Jongg. We were introduced to the joy that is Mah Jongg by my MIL Linda. I don't remember where she learned but once she taught us then we just couldn't stop.

I don't win all that often but it is still addictive. We are planning to log many hours of Mah Jongg when we are visiting the cottage in a couple of weeks. Currently we play a couple of hours a day if we can manage it.
There aren't too many things that are better than sitting around the kitchen table, klinking tiles, playing Mah Jongg and laughing. It makes the day a better one.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

to the person who hit my car

This is an open letter to the person who hit my car. I can't address you in person but I still have to do something with these feelings. And I just need to have someplace to call you a coward because that is what you are.

You didn't have the courage to stop and leave a note on the car after you sideswiped it and broke the side view mirror. You don't have the excuse that you didn't realize you had hit something because not only did you hit my car but you hit the car that was parked in front of mine on the street. You scrapped the side of that car as well as damaging my car so don't try to give me that business about pleading ignorance. You just figured I am sure that if no one saw you then you could just drive on with impunity.

This isn't the most expensive repair in history I am sure. I would still have been mad about the whole thing but it would have definitely ben lessened by a note of apology and the courage to tell me who you were. Again, all I can say is that you are a coward. I hope you like being a coward.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Just Because

In honor of the fact that the second named storm of the year has formed in the Atlantic (Bertha) is the list of 2008 Hurricane names. I know that you wanted to know what they are so that you to can keep track of them.

Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly, Edouardo, Dolly, Fay, Gustav, Hanna, Ike, Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paloma, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky, Wilfred

Happy Fourth of July!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Fourth of July to all of you. I hope that this day is a wonderful one for you.

This is the most wonderful country to live in and be a citizen of (despite the liberal democrats who think it is broken, evil and needs to be remade in the image of the world). I have no desire to be a "citizen of the world". I want to say, proudly, that I am a citizen of the United States of America. I can't say that I have been to every country in the world but I have been in enough countries to be able to say that I wouldn't live anywhere else. You don't know how wonderful America is and how blessed we are in this country until you have walked in the slums of Lima, Peru or Chennai, India or Kumasi, Ghana where there is no running water and electricity is spotty at best. Where children have no shoes and life is hard. This is the best country in the world.

Later this morning daughter Ashley, surrogate daughter Ahren and I will go over to the library to stake our claim on our favorite spot for the parade. We go early (almost 2 hours) so that we can snag, hopefully, the spot that gets the best shade. Of course, today we may not even see the sun but it is still our favorite spot. We will set up the blanket and chairs, I will sit and watch the traffic and people go by and the girls will go over to Starbucks (yuch) to get something to drink. Dan and the rest of the girls, and another friend or two ,will arrive 30 minutes before the parade. It seems rather excessive I know to stake out a spot for the parade 2 hours early but that is the "Debbie Way". It has become a tradition for Ashley and I and we wouldn't change it. Traditions are a good thing.

After the parade, where they will hopefully throw us a large amount of tootsie rolls, we will come back home for a restful rest of the day. Dan will grill and we will just relax. It will be a good day.