Monday, May 30, 2016

Duck, Duck, Double Egg

This morning's email included this from D2. "Some people win the lottery... but I crack open two double yolk eggs from the same carton for breakfast. What are the chances?!"

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Minnesota Standoff

It happens most often at doors and four-way stops.

Husband tried to go to the post office today, got up to the door and there was a guy on the other side about to come out.


Both men waited the required awkward 30 seconds. The inside guy then stepped forward and pushed the door open.

Then the obligatory apologies: "Sorry, I thought you were coming through first." and the reply, "It's ok, I'm not in a hurry today."

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

My Trans Barber Shop Experiences

When I was very young my Dad took me to the barbershop for occasional haircuts. It was two blocks from our house, and cheap.Cheap was important. There were 7 kids in our family.

Fast forward 50-some years. I'm living a block from a barbershop, and a while back I went in for a $14 haircut. The barber said he couldn't do women's hair, but then he relented when I said I just needed an easy trim. There was nobody in the shop to witness his rule breaking, and he finished the job quickly. Our little secret, right?

This morning I was walking past the shop with husband on the way to breakfast. I need a haircut, but now I'm worried, as I broke the rules last time, and now there is a much greater awareness of this whole "using the wrong haircut place". I expressed how dangerous it could be to use the shop that doesn't correspond to my birth certificate gender.

Husband said he feared for my safety if I'm in a place with a bunch of (gasp) men.

"How about that nice salon the next block down?" he says. When I told his Scottish ass the difference was around $40, he decided that I could risk crossing over.

Gotta love the practical Scots.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

What's better than hand shucked corn?

Homemade ice! It's finally cold drink season here in Minnesota. Time to turn on the ice maker in our refrigerator, not a trivial task, but my back survived this morning's bend and reach behind the ice drawer to flick the "on" switch. By dinner time we had husband-pleasing frozen cubes, despite his having to listen to jaw-clenching machine rattling all afternoon, while he tried to watch golf. Fortunately I was at the dentist.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Yesterday it was a tax. Today it is a user fee.

I'm always reminded of the old SNL skit. "It's a floor wax. No, it's a dessert topping! It's both!"

From today's Star Tribune:

"The speaker (Daudt) was asked if the increase is a veiled tax increase, and he said it is not, calling it a “user fee.” Just 24 hours before, Daudt called (Governor) Dayton’s car tab proposal a tax increase."

Perception is more powerful than reality. It you can convince them it isn't a tax, then it's all good. Later, when you need their votes, you can disingenuously say, "I never raised taxes."

Wink, wink.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Everybody has a story

and most of the time you don't know it. Sometimes, if you are lucky, you find it.

I live four doors down the hall from the author of this story, or I should say lived, because she died in January, while I was in Florida.

I recently learned she was a writer, and I looked up her work. The description:

"I don't feel so good today, Svensk. My chest hurts, headaches and nervous as hell. I was just thinking today, that you might not accept this wreck that the army will turn back to you after the war. I wouldn't blame you if you didn't. (September 1, 1944) Sharon Barbara was born in 1948, three years after her father was discharged from a military psychiatric hospital. His nervous condition was a mystery to her and a secret source of shame she couldn't bear to acknowledge, that is, until she read his letters. The box containing the letters that her father wrote to her mother between November 1942 and April 1945-his time in the service during WWII-had been right under her nose for years, in the closet of her childhood bedroom. The Letter Project began as a simple preservation task, but over time, it became a memoir as one question led to another. The author's inventive approach of blending memoir, letters, and fiction, culminates in a captivating story of a daughter's journey through her family's past to find freedom and peace. Inspired by letters her father wrote to her mother before and after D-Day, The Letter Project offers us a beautifully written portrait of Barbara's own battles with self-doubt, depression, and loss."

Saturday, May 14, 2016

This man could have been our president

Yes, I'm talking about Dan Quayle; he's looking very good about now.

How I pine for the innocence of those old days, when a media spanking over misspelling potato ("potatoe") was nasty politics. Nowadays a candidate can call opponents names, like "Lyin' Ted" or "Little Marco", or even worse, compare some immigrants to 'rapists'. Quayle's jab at single motherhood, pales in comparison, but it was furor fodder in 1992.

What has happened to respectful civil discourse, and why do some candidates (looking at you, Mr. Trump) get a pass on it?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Knitter's Elbow

It's the same as tennis elbow. The fix includes ice, rest, and stretching exercises. For me, not knitting is like a slow roast in the fire pit of purgatory. I'm attacking my reading stash.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Learning history from bumper stickers

I saw this one the other day in a parking lot. No idea what it was about, but I thought it was odd that a football helmet would be on an anti-mining sticker. When I finally got around to googling it, I learned that the mine was stopped 18 years ago, when then-Governor Tommy Thompson signed a moratorium on mining. Then the area tribes stopped it forever by purchasing the land.

Given the weather up here, it's strange to see a vintage bumper sticker riding on a car in nearly mint condition.


Just finished these projects. Shalom cardigan and February Lady.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Climate: Put a toaster cover on it!

What? It's May 6th and 90 degrees, beating the 1934 Minnesota record high for this date.

Speaking of toaster covers, I designed, knit and gifted this to homeowners of a place we rented in the Villages in February. Context: The couple had everything, as in collections of rare and unusual elephants, giraffes, pineapples (the decorative kind), a strange shrine to some oriental deity, five dining tables (which one to use? That was difficult). So what can you possible give to someone in that condition? The only need I perceived was the toaster hider, as that appliance was an ugly vulture, perched in plain sight, on the granite countertop.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Women who break diamonds

I inherited my mother's wedding ring three years ago.

Not only does it represent 62 years of a successful marriage, but it held many memories for me. She wore it 7/24 all those years, except for the time she had it reset because the band had thinned to a thread.

When I went to the jeweler to have it resized (mom never weighed more than 102 pounds except when pregnant, ballooning to 115), he looked at the gem and declared it flawed, and not worth much.

The diamond has a small chip in it, imperceptible to the casual eye.

It didn't matter to me, but I wanted to know how the hardest rock could chip. "Wear, age," the jeweler muttered.

I'm not surprised. A woman who survived dust storms and the Great Depression, walked across a dike to teach at a one room schoolhouse in subzero temperatures (frozen hands in the deal), raised seven challenging children, suffering the death of one, and lived into her nineties, had broken a diamond.

Yep, sounds about right. I'm so proud to wear it in her memory.

Write about what you know

Cliche advice. I'm reading about writing. I'll make my next post about the first thing I see when I open my eyes. I should know something about whatever that is . . .