Friday, September 23, 2016

Yes, I am terrible.

I am always apologizing.  Sigh.   I don't believe that badgers in the wild do this.  Then again I'm pretty certain feral badgers don't have friends and don't stitch or read, but who knows what they really get up to in those setts!

Since last we met I've been doing a little galavanting.  Most recently I was in Kansas City for WorldCon -- oh happiness.   If only every day were WorldCon.

In typical MB (Musing Badger) fashion, I started planning "packing" a month out by selecting reading and stitching options.


But what actually made the flight was:


And this PILE of stitching options:


Now I was very proud of how much I trimmed from the original packing stack of stitching, but this was still silly.  I ended up finishing the angel needlepoint that Missy has her right paw on and two and a half xs ornies.  I was definitely prepared in case emergencies dictated I stay in Kansas City for another ... err.... month.  Whhhhy don't I ever learn?  Do you do this to yourself too?    There are items in that pile that I took one look at and said "I don't want to do this!"  Now I had to have known that somewhere in my brain the couple days before when I packed them, right????

I have to share a little hotel humor too which I hope will bring a chuckle to dedicated Coke/Pepsi brand fans everywhere.   This was the vending machine on my floor.  And a quick glance at it lead me to believe that as a Diet Coke fan I was out of luck.


But here are the actually offerings in the machine.  LOL   Poor Pepsi.  They definitely got the short straw on this one.

I have only good things to say about the Kansas City Convention Center.  It is logically (mostly) arranged, fairly easy to navigate, and it welcomed me (and 4,300 of my best friends) well --


And even better -- at the top of the escalator in the dealers/exhibits space we were met by this sign.   This is why my conventions are better than anyone else's!


Giant spacemen also greeted us :)


And giant Christmas ducks, and a river with parks along it (this park sponsored by New Zealand


I'll be back again soon with more news from the road trips.....   I swear (but you've heard that before, I know.)!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Ready. Set. Read...and Stitch!

Woohooo... I just have to make it through today to get to the excitement of (possibly) the month -- the Save Our Cozies Readathon.   It's my opportunity to thank some writers who make my life just that little bit better every day and my opportunity to have my disgruntled opinions of their contract choices ignored by Penguin Random House.

In fine compulsive style I've made list after list.  I've gone shopping.  I've checked out library audio books.  I've sorted and piled and re-sorted and re-piled.    Now, I just need to get to the farmers market at lunch today to pick up healthy nosh and I'm ready.   Well, except for I don't know what I'm going to read first.  OMG!   The decisions!!!!  After all there is so much to choose from. :)



And 'lo, I bring you glad tidings of The Official Badger's Short List of Non-Audio Readathon Opps:


I think that might be the order I read them in, but who knows.  I'm a mood-reader in the exact same way I'm a mood-stitcher.  And speaking of stitching.......

I am hoping the mood strikes me to continue work on my flag while enjoying an audio book during Saturday's readathon.   I did several hours last weekend and made decent progress.




What I want to know is why those flipping stars take me FOREVER to stitch.  OMG!  

Last weekend also saw me finish this Painted Pony canvas.... well, maybe finish.  I can't decide if I'm going to stitch around her in a forest green or have her finished  in the shape and size she is.  All of that is further troubled by the fact that I can't figure out how to cord her.   Sigh.  That will be a problem for another weekend.


Have an excellent Friday, be gentle with yourself, think kindly towards the world (#jesuisNice), and maybe drop in to the readathon blog or facebook page and thank an author.

Friday, July 01, 2016

And now -- So. Very. Stupid.

Once again I was exhausted.  Dead tired, I tell you.  So I knew it was a bad idea, but after dinner I had a half a Diet Coke.  OMG  I may be up til dawn!  I knew I needed to pack so I couldn't be passing out in my dinner, but really.   This just proves that when I'm tired, I can't think.  Sigh.

What made me so tired?   Walking 68 miles through the National Botanic Garden -- ok it was single digit mileage but there was humidity, blazing sun, and I wasn't wearing my training shoes --- it was hot, remember -- I wore sandals.  I'll never learn!

But it was beautiful!


These columns used to be on the "back" of the Capitol.





I'd never seen a bonsai bougainvillea -- so cool


This tree, bless its soul, is from 1625 and it survived the bombing of Hiroshima:





Purple peppers -- how cool !


Sure, there's a ton of things to do and see in D.C., but the Botanic Garden is lovely -- definitely bring your GPS and walking shoes though.  It's huge and BADLY SIGNED!!!!!!!!!!   Sheesh-- would a flipping sign at the gate that says "entry" kill someone?

I'll stitch again..... I swear.   Gotta go pack now.  Tomorrow we are spending an early 4th at Mount Vernon who will even be having fireworks!   Fireworks-packing.  Packing-fireworks.  Yup, fireworks won!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

So. Very. Tired.

I should be asleep.  Actually, I might be asleep and just not know it.   Maybe that's it -- I'm just dreaming of being a responsible blogger.

In my dream, O tell you about getting exhausted in a good way by wandering The Mall in D.C. enjoying the American Folklife Festival.  This year it featured the Basque heritage and the state of California.  Don't get me wrong, it was fun, but it's smaller than it used to be, and it almost seems these days like the states invited don't really put out much of an effort.  Sure, California is my home, but jeez what little bit they did was so boring.  There's a lot of culture, talent, and heritage in California, but the only craftsman working today was a mask carver from Mexico..... they couldn't even manage to scare up a single CALIFORNIA craftsman?????  Ok, done grousing.  The Basque side of the festival was fun and the weather was pretty near perfect so the whinging will cease.

Generally, these gentleman encased TIGHTLY in sheepskins do their bit in January-- I bet it's a lot more comfortable than in the height of summer.



I decided that how tight the bells are tied to them is only fair considering the years of corsets we women endured.


Lovely weavings were showcased--




I was particularly fond of the giant tea pot --- it's easily two feet across


And I loved the woman who for 40 years has been mending nets seaside--


In my stitching world the flag came out to play --- those stars take me FOREVER!   there is no reason they should, but they do.


This Celtic cross has not actually gotten stitched on while I've been here, but I'm hoping showing him will embarrass me in to working on him.  At the moment I am leaning to the overdyed Kreinik for the shamrocks.


I'm making good progress on my Kathy Schenkel piece....


My angel got her wings!   Yea!  She may only take me 6 years to finish.....


Before I thought to pull Think or the Celtic cross back out, I was "forced" to start this awesome plaid snowflake.  I got a who two dozen stitches in I think.  This is how I get myself in trouble with ta gigantic pile of UFOs



Ok, I believe my dream of finishing a blog post like a good person is coming to an end......   Any second now I'll roll over and wake up..........    nite nite.

************
Don't forget -- come on over and join the cozy mystery readathon in a couple weeks... just think, if even for only a couple hours, you could be part of an international community of people enjoying the bliss of reading :)

Friday, June 24, 2016

It's not all gin and giggles......

... but you might not be able to prove it by me.

Sure, I'm on the road.   Sure I'm taking some vactaion days, but lordy I've spent a lot of time working.  And yet I feel so much more rested and I've been having what feels like more than my share of fun (possibly that's a throw back to early American roots-----I can't possibly deserve all this fun, can I?)

Well, Also harkening back to those Colonial roots....   I've managed to make a circuit of some nice potent potables.   Hey, the Founding Fathers did a lot of distilling and brewing, and Jefferson did his best to develop an American wine industry!   So, really, I've been doing my part as a good American!

We had dinner with our friend, Margaret from Team in Training (Leukemia and Lymphoma Society) and that was accompanied by an al fresco Manhattan --


After the dishes were done I moved on to a Perfect Manhattan (add another kind of Vermouth) and all was right with the world.

Tonight (and several other nights) there has been wine accompanying the evening ---   This particular glass was for my niece who probably really needed it.  The littlest great nephew banged his head pretty badly at school today earning himself two big lumps and a trip to the ER.  He's fine and chipper if a bit lumpy, but mommy needs a couple glasses of vino at least!


And it hasn't all been booze---  remember please that my dear brother-in-law presented me with a box of  chocolates upon my arrival.   I've had one about every other evening or so.  Honest!  

You don't get to see the first one I ate because it didn't dawn on me to take a picture of it before consumption--- I can't help it, if you saw these in person you would understand that they cause brain short circuits.

This mint darling of a 5 nights ago was amazing!!!!


Two nights ago it was this darling with the gold smear--


OMG, gentle reader, it was peanut butter -- subtle, silky, delectable peanut butter cream.    I'm still smiling thinking about it.



I even made some stitching progress -- this has been helped immensely over the last two days by the advent of the Barrett Jackson car auction live broadcast.  The BIL is a car guy and years ago he hooked me on Barrett Jackson.   I learn all sorts of fascinating things watching -- things no one really needs to know, but I find it all fascinating.

I've been explaining to friends that this one "is as far as I can go" because I forgot the thread for the wings and the dots.   But actually, that's not true.  The eagle eyed among you will have noticed that I could do the hair.  Sigh.   Dearest gentle reader, do you have any ide how much I hate long-and-short, random stitches????   Sigh.   What was that Scarlett said..... Tomorrow is another day.....


I'm sending her to a finisher who doesn't need takeaway and does fancy shapes, but I am seriously considering doing maybe 2 or 3 rows of something around her -- maybe green (like the Christmas tree she will hang on), or a maroon or red.  Thoughts?

Because I "couldn't" work on the angel, I was forced to start a new canvas (because the 4 xs projects I brought with me didn't fight hard enough for my attention I guess.   Anyway, I started this Kathy Schenkel which will also be a Christmas ornie --


Initially I couldn't decide if I wanted more sparkle int he peachy pink --


But, hey, I tied off and kept going so it's going to be just fine!   Besides, I clearly remember it being the only appropriately colored semi-sparkly thread I could find.  So it's just perfect!

Well, that's my story for now.....   working, drinking, stitching, plotting my reading {don't forget that you can join me a a bunch of like-minded literary goof balls in the Save Our Cozies Readathon  on July 16th --- my list-making self gloried in adding a list to the right side bar here to track what I thought would be maybe 10-12 possible titles I thought I'd like.  But since it's me, on day one I had 18 and now I think it's up to 20.  And I *know* that even if I get all day to read I'll get at best 2 done.}, and viewing.......   such a life.


There I am!   the little freshly manicured toes peaking out around the laptop.  Me in the Yellow Suite (formerly, and sometimes still, the Blue Suite-- the accents all lend to blue and the walls used to be blue) --- the BIL's mother's quilt on the bead, my great grandmother's lace framed on the wall, and Barrett Jackson on tv.   I hope you at least as content as I am at this moment!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Teach a Publisher a Lesson (and enjoy yourself at the same time)

Gentle Reader -- In case you hadn't heard there's a flurry of nonsense in the publishing world.  It seems that in general publishing houses are cutting back their rosters -- most especially onerous is Random House/Berkley Publishing Group and what I can only call their "attack" on the cozy mystery genre.  I can hear you now, "And why, Ruth, do stitchers care?"

Well you care, my friends, among the writers dropped by The Morons of Penguin was Monica Ferris.   Monica, too perfectly wonderful for words, Ferris.  If you haven't read her, shame on you!   She writes the absolutely perfect Crewel World mysteries series based around a lovely needlework shop in Minnesota.  Ms. Ferris, is guilty of making me laugh out loud numerous times, and I am fairly certain she has a hidden camera in my LNS because I swear I know these people she writes about.



Anyway. that's by way of introducing my point of the day.  a bunch of people have banded together to host a Cozy Mystery Readathon next month.  24 hours (or any portion thereof) dedicated to the joy of reading cozies, talking about them all over social media, and hopefully impressing upon publishers what utter and complete idiots they are.  Links to sign up and follow all the excitement are:

Save Our Cozies Facebook  there's always lots of chatter and conviviality in that group (if you join the group, on its files page they keep a running list of what authors and series have been cancelled and such plans for said series as they know)

Save Our Cozies Readathon blog   with instructions on how to sign up

Save Our Cozies Readathon Goodreads Group

If you care to, come and join -- you may find new friends and new authors, and maybe even some will become both at one time.  There are nifty prizes in the readathon too, but mostly it's just fun to "virtually" hang out with people who love words as much as you do.


In the other part of the world.......

It's been pretty here in Northern VA.  Lunch today was a picnic in Rock Creek Park on the way back from Johns Hopkins.



A dinner of misc nibbles (and my thoroughly yummy cucumber/tomato salad) was accompanied by a lovely environment ,,,,,
 


A little stitching has happened.  I've made small bits of progress on Painted Pony's Home of the Brave canvas --


I've been at her for years.  Yes, i know that's embarrassing, but it's true.  I did parts and then put her away.  Then I'd haul her out for an afternoon and then she'd go away again.   I think because she (and her sister canvases which I also own) are for me, they don't ever get their time n the sun.  But since it's trip time, lots of small canvases came out to play.   At the moment she lacks the stars (allegedly those are supposed to be beads but I think that might be too much give that nothing else is beaded and it's not like the stars are a focal point), the trees, the eyes, the blue dots in the skirt, and the wings.   I'm planning to send her to a finisher who does amazing shapes without the stitcher have to round things out with background or even give takeaway rows.   Let's hear it for our awesome finishers!

Also likely to get some needling soon is LK Flip-It Holly --


I've also been at this an absurd amount of time -- something like 6 months at least.... maybe a year.  And, yes, I did change the colors on this one.  How observant of you.   Look how close she is!   I know I can hammer her out.

I want Brave and Holly done for their own sakes but also so I can start a needle in Think by Kathy Schenkel--


As you can see she's all kitted out and ready to go.      I also have Holly's Flip-It partner, Stocking kitted up and ready to start too.   In short, I'm itching for finishes so I can earn new starts.

But as much as I want to stitch I am currently obsessed with reading.  It's one of those months where my Nero Wolfe shirt "Go to hell I'm reading" is indicative of my motto.   Anything that interrupts my reading --- meals, friends, emergencies, dinner, work, etc is too annoying for wards.

Half of today was spent at Johns Hopkins with The BIL, and they have some nice art there.  This "lace" is one elevator lobby --




Every time I've gone this installation makes me smile.

Until tomorrow...... go on, go sign up for the readathon now  :)  

************************

Stitching Accomplished:
nearing completion on Painted Pony's "Home of the Brave" canvas

Reading Completes:
Franklin W. Dixon -- The Missing Chums
M.C. Beaton/Marion Chesney -- The Flirt

Reading Actively in Progress:
Ngaio Marsh -- Black As He's Painted

Stitching Finishing Hopes:
Home of the Brave
Holly

General duties I need to remember:
Cookie baking!  Sheesh I need to get going on that before my BIL runs out of the chocolates I brought him.
Garden tending---must stay up to date with my watering!
Plan a cocktail hour for local friends -- drinks and giggles, that's the plan.
Make it over to The Waste Knot to pay my respects (and practice trickle down economics)
Work.  Dang it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!