Pen and Ink...and maybe some paint

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Badger happenings...

Thanks to my awesome readers who asked if this...
...was really MY larder! I'm touched that you believe me to be so awesome as to have such a larder. Nay, I must confess, I Googled "hobbit larder" to find this fine example. I wanted Badger to have something more in keeping with his habits and tastes than my boring little pantry. In this alternate universe I like to call The Wind in the Willows World Wide Tour, anything is possible, if we just think it up!

The wind is whistling around the house and slushy snow is falling outside. Badger and I are enjoying an evening of hygge. I asked if he would consider posing for his portrait. He thought it would pass the time pleasantly. Here's the rough sketch. I'll update as watercolors are added.

After some sketching, tea was made and we sat before a roaring fire reading and knitting. As I continued the saga of Jane Eyre, Badger was clicking away on his double pointed knitting needles, producing a pair of thick, woolen socks. I must have him teach me how to do this!

(from the internet)
My work schedule has made it difficult to entertain Badger as I would like to. He, however, has been the ideal guest and has managed to see some of the sights himself during my work day. The second day he was here he hiked into my small town of Nevis and was quite impressed with our Tiger Muskie statue.
(This statue is actually here in Nevis. The pic, however, is from the internet.)
 He continued on down the trail to the town of Akeley, a five mile jaunt, and visited our very impressive Paul Bunyan statue. He cajoled two children into posing on Paul's boot so we could see how BIG he is. We seem to be enamored of giant statues in this neck of the woods. This British badger seems to think nothing of a 10 mile walk! He said he found it quite invigorating!
(Yes, he's actually 5 miles down the road. Internet photo.)
My house is back on the market at a reduced price. I actually had a realtor show it yesterday. That's the first showing all summer. I have no idea what the result of that showing was, but I'm thinking I'd better get a little serious about looking into housing alternatives, just in case. Badger and I have been making a list of things I need to find out about apartments in the area. This could be exciting, if I keep the right frame of mind. I'll be working on that. If things get too exciting, too quickly, I may need to put Badger on a bus to his next destination. We'll see how things develop. I don't want him getting lost in the confusion. :) Meanwhile, we'll enjoy staying warm away from the cold, sloppy weather. I finally have two days off! Hoorah!

Stay warm! God bless and shalom!

Friday, October 23, 2015

A soggy day...

Today a fine rain drizzles down upon my little patch of ground. I'm so glad that yesterday was fine and fair, for my friend Badger. But wait...I left you last time staring at an unopened package!

No fear. I opened the package soon after I posted and Badger and I had a delightful first meeting. He's my kind of people! Polite and very down-to-earth. (Is that a pun when applied to a badger?)

After a tour of the house (It was dark outside, so no thought of going out, though he, being a creature of the night, might have liked to.) we enjoyed a small before-bedtime snack. I knew right away what he would prefer. A favorite of mine as well, coincidentally... (This was accompanied by hot chocolate and pumpkin bars!)

We munched and talked for quite some time, but I, unfortunately, had to go to work the next morning, so to bed I must go. (Did any of you have this problem?) I showed Badger to the guest room, but he seemed a little hesitant. I asked what was the matter and he said that he would feel slightly lost in the large bed. Oh! After a bit of thought we came up with a very snug solution.

Up bright and early the next morning! Badger was seriously jet-lagged from his trip over the big pond, so I let him sleep in. I felt so guilty having to rush off to work, but it occurred to me that he is, after all, a GROWN badger and could probably shift very well for himself. I left him a note, inviting him to help himself to anything in the larder...

I also suggested that we have a very nice hiking trail running alongside the property and he might want to enjoy the sunshine and have a nice walk. Upon returning home I found that he had taken my suggestion, had packed a little lunch, and had explored the trail as well as the woods behind my house.

He regaled me with stories of his explorations. His nose quivered with delight as he told me of the scent of badgers in the vicinity. He had even discovered several burrows. I told him that our badgers' holes were probably not as snug and well-stocked as his own. "Yes," he replied. "There's nothing that compares with home." He sounded a little wistful, but assured me that he meant to enjoy his journey, knowing that his snug burrow awaited him at the end of the road.

After a filling supper, I took my guest outside to introduce him to...(dum, dum, DUM)...the Ancient Swamp Willows of Nevis, MN. Though they are ancient, and pretty much falling down, he loved them instantly and had to have a climb. (No badgers don't really climb trees. He needed a little boost.)

I've misplaced my photo of Mole, Rat and Toad playing in that very same tree, so I showed him this painting instead. He thought it was rather cool that they had all shared this same experience!

Well, Badger went off to the study to write in his journal, so in other news...
I've been reading through my binders of old emails from mom. She has one binder entitled "Warm Fuzzies" which contains "only letters that supply special 'landmarks' or 'warm fuzzies', etc. that I like to read on cozy rainy days." There are many hand-written letters in this binder, going back many years. I was very smitten with a letter from one of her friends. I loved how this woman had created her own ingenious stationary using dried flowers encased in a wax paper-like material. Isn't this cute?

It has a Victorian feeling to it, don't you think?

Well, I'm going to cease and desist for now. A slight cold still hangs on and fogs my brain, so I'll find some very un-cerebral activities to entertain myself. Badger is enjoying doing his own thing and is now poring over my bookshelves in search of a good rainy-day-read. Like I said, my kind of people!

Farewell, from the north woods of Minnesota!

Shalom to all.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The badger has landed! The badger has landed!

At least, I think there's a badger in this package?

I just arrived home from work and am feeling achy and less than wonderful, so I may savor the moment. Let the suspense build. Like Christmas morning. :) Meanwhile, Mr. Badger is imprisoned in this parcel, wondering where in the world he is! Don't worry. I'll open the package soon. I just wanted everyone to know it arrived safely.

Yes, Glenn. We're playing again. The Wind in the Willows Tour rides again! This time Mr. Badger is our guest. What sort of fun can we dream up for him? Stay tuned for further adventures! Wah-hoo!



Thursday, October 15, 2015

No Idle Hands...

Remember this?
Well, I've been patiently waiting, and yesterday I received a 5 pound package in the mail. I didn't think this book would be that heavy...and I was right! They sent me the wrong book! Wah! The book I received was a long biography called In Search of Nella Larsen. The Amazon bookseller I bought it from said they would gladly refund my money if I returned the Nella Larson book. I figure by the time I pay the postage myself to return it, I will be money in the hole when they refund my purchase price. (Which was about $6.50 with s&h.) So, I'm out the book and the money. Maybe I can find it at the library again. How hard can it be for someone to check the invoice and make sure it matches the title before they ship it out? I didn't leave them a very good rating. Ha! How do you like them apples? :)  **UPDATE: I just found two emails in my inbox. One from the seller and one from Amazon telling me they have issued a refund. I don't have to return the book. I'm satisfied with that! :)**

I'm working on my kids' photo albums a bit. I stopped in the middle of what I was doing to begin a "short" bio of my life to include in them. I've lived in so many houses in my lifetime. I tried to give a brief glimpse into my childhood homes and some funny memories. My husband wrote/dictated his little life history to me a few years back, and I've already put a copy of that in the albums. Write your bios now, folks! Your kids will enjoy them later.

Here are Hazel's official three year old pictures, taken by her mom.

 The REAL Hazel... (below)

 Seems like only a couple of months ago you couldn't even get her to look at the camera. Now she turns three and, BOOM, she's a child model...

 A more typical Hazel pose. Rock in hand...

I babysat Audrey and Hazel yesterday while Mama Micah took pictures of someone else's kids. (She's trying to get up the courage to become a photographer, though she isn't letting anyone pay her yet.) Anyway, we were watching Bubble Guppies. The subject matter was insects and spiders. Audrey asked if one of the pictures was an insect. I said, no, that's a spider. They have eight legs. She said, "Oh, yeah. They're arachnids." The Bubble Guppies episode did mention that word, but I'm always bowled over when she remembers these things! (Four years old!)

I'd better get up and MOVE instead of sitting around all day. I've visited everyone on my blog list. Fun to see what you all think about life. Have a wonderful day filled with...


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Library book sale haul!

Well, sort of a mini-haul compared to years past. This time I couldn't go to the sale until after work, so I realized things would be picked over and I would just enjoy the leisurely perusal of books and rejoice if I found something interesting. And here they are...
 *The Agony and the Ecstasy-I've wanted to buy this before, but wasn't sure if it would be good...or terrible. I figured for 10 cents I couldn't go wrong. I can always redonate it.
*The Purpose Driven Life-a copy to give away since I won't give away my copy with annotations by my dear mom. :)
*Rees Howells-Intercessor- Another book I thought might be interesting.
(I found all of these books in the 10 cent room, so I grabbed any I thought might be good. My total investment...$1.85!)
*Born to Trot-I seem to be amassing a collection of Marguerite Henry books. My granddaughters will thank me someday!
*Made in the Middle Ages-a cute little old textbook which tells about all sorts of things that were made in the Middle Ages such as church art, furniture, weaponry, books. Lots of line drawings.
*The Warden-Trollope. I've heard people mention that this is their favorite Anthony Trollope book. Again, for 10 cents, why not? (I'm building up my rainy day library here, folks!)

 *Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes-Robert Louis Stevenson. I had never heard of this book, but it looked like a fun little travel tale.
*Moby Dick-Just because. There was a nicer copy, but I liked this dog-eared one.
*Golden Book Encyclopedias-These are so much fun to look through! The grandgirls will like them, too! :)
*China-A nice, though outdated, picture book of China. Just because I'm curious.
*Selected Sonatinas ?!? I don't even play the piano! BUT for 10 cents, I thought it might be fun to pick out a measure or two at a time. I do have an old upright that only gets played when Audrey and Hazel visit. (Cheap thrills!)

This last week at the deli was quite a workout. Last weekend I fried chicken one day and closed the other. I had Monday off and was so worn out I just sat, mostly. Tuesday and Wednesday I repeated the chicken frying and closing. (The two hardest jobs in the deli, physically.) Thursday and Friday I had the 7-3 shift. Much easier, so I have some energy left to enjoy my weekend off!

This is what I was doing this morning. I awoke at 6:30 and felt good, so I got up. I thought I'd sleep later, but I did get to bed early last night. Breakfast was had, dishes were done (they had piled up a bit), laundry started (finished now!), a little dusting and sweeping. I just have vacuuming and cleaning the bathroom to do. It will get done sometime over the weekend.
 Just finished Taking Flight, a book given to me by my art buddy, Pom Pom. Thanks, Pom! I got some good encouragement and ideas. :) I love the idea of making picture frames from old books, and of doing a painting on an old kitchen cabinet. Those are on my To-Do list.  (Shown below book.)
 I would leave off the wings. I love to find uses for old books. You could put a photo in there or a small painting.
I love the idea of painting on an old cabinet door. I like the black border and bright colors. So many possibilities!
Wednesday was a misty morning...

 Fall has arrived!

 An eagle couple decided to land on a very tall tree across the road from my house. You can see the second eagle just to the right and down below the higher one. They made the occasional screeching sounds, which is what drew my attention in the first place. They stayed for a while. I wasn't sure if they thought my cats looked like good fodder, but the cats are all present and accounted for, so they must have thought of something tastier.
And here I'm linking to a random beginner crochet tutorial so I'll be able to find it later! :) I actually understand what he's doing!


I hope you're all enjoying a fine weekend. It's in the 70's here today. Destined for the 80's tomorrow. Back to the 50's next week. Enjoy it while you can, I say.

Blessings and peace on all!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Intrigued by a knitting book...

I've been taking a stroll down memory lane via some old emails exchanged between myself and my mom. I'm currently reading emails from the year 2005, and I mentioned to her that I was reading a book called "No Idle Hands: The Social History of American Knitting". I have no recollection of this book, so I jumped over to Amazon and found it. I just had to order it, of course. I thought some of my knitting pals might also be interested.
I'm enjoying an afternoon/evening of "hygge". Thanks for bringing up that subject again, Pom! (Via a Facebook post.) I'll link to that article here so others may enjoy it and get some ideas. :)
Besides working, I've been doing a little ATCing, reading, tea drinking and socializing with daughter Micah and her three sweeties. I finished The Moorland Cottage very quickly. It has a satisfying, though slightly traumatic ending.

Although blog writing and visiting comprise part of my definition of hygge, I think I will end this here and make time for other things. I find my evening disappears quickly when I'm too tuned into my computer. I know you all understand. ;)

Much coziness and shalom to everyone.