Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


Great to see you can be at the keyboard and with your knitting needles again, Dear Bess.

And what a relief that BD's eye was only scratched (though I've had that sort of thing, and while it heals quickly, it can be painful!)

May the rest of your March go out like a lamb.


By Blogger Marg, at 12:08 PM  

I actually gasped when I read the first bit about BD's eye; I'm glad it was something that will "fix itself" in time.

And I know what you mean about being more cheerful when pain-free. I regularly get headaches ranging from sinus to migraine and I say a little prayer asking God to bless whoever invented the OTC migraine meds I use when they take it away.

By Blogger fillyjonk, at 9:01 AM  

I hope to goodness you're both staying healthy and that your finger is feeling a little better each day. Looking forward to when you're back to full strength and full of news about your crafts, and painting, and wildlife, and community events, and .... :)

By Blogger cathy, at 12:19 AM  

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Friday, March 27, 2009  

Thank you all for your encouragment. I had another happily pain free day. I hardly even notice the splint. It's amazing how much more cheerful you can be when you don't hurt.

We had a bit of a scare though, yesterday, when BD woke up with watery blood seeping out of his good eye!! All plans were thrown out the window as we made a bee line for the eye doctor. Whew. It was a minor scratch on the eyeball - nothing to worry about. But my goodness - we folks in TheCastle have had a time of it lately.

No knitting news. I'm between projects. I'm still clumsy with the needles, but I believe the next thing will be a ribbon cap-sleeved summer top.

Happy Friday and again - for you dear ones who have stayed with me through this long silent winter - Love you. Mean it.

posted by Bess | 7:05 AM


That is great news! I injured a finger badly in a folding lawn chair when I was a teen. It took a long time for my nail to grow back, but it did. The important thing is that you have less pain now. Happy knitting! I'm so happy for you!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:12 AM  

yay! so nice to see you knitting! and so glad your finger is mending :-D

xxoo Jen

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:51 PM  

I'm glad your finger and you are both feeling better!

By Blogger cathy, at 12:56 AM  

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009  

Pain Free Days at last!

In spite of the awful look of that finger, beneath it's concealing Band-aid, real healing is going on. I took it to the surgeon on Tuesday with enough trepidation keeping me stiff, fully expecting him to say “I'm sorry, you will never grow another nail. You let it go too long before seeking proper medical attention.” Pain can make it easy to imagine more bad news hurtling at you fast.

Instead, he was really upbeat about it - and the moment he put the hard splint on my finger it stopped hurting. And it hasn't hurt again. It's the sort of thing I can take off at will, I can wash my fingers, flex them and keep them supple, then pop it back on. I can also

ta daaaaaa

Pardon the fuzziness. I had to take that picture myself. It's clumsy, but it is knitting and that feels like ... well, not quite getting out of jail free – i can't spin yet, but certainly being on parole.
Yesterday was the first day in weeks that I didn't have to drag myself through to the end ... or quit halfway and just go home. It's the most wonderful thing to see that it's 5 o'clock and realize you haven't been aching for the past 3 hours.

Real knitting content will be showing up sometime soon. Happy Thursday.

posted by Bess | 6:01 AM


I do remember what it was like when my huskies blew their coats (at least twice a year) - fur everywhere! In the air, on the floor, large tumbleweeds of dog fur for at least a couple of months no matter how often or much they were brushed.

I'm sending good thoughts for the quick healing of your finger. How awful for so many reasons.

By Anonymous diann, at 9:12 PM  

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Sunday, March 22, 2009  

My house faces due south and the upstairs hall connects the east and west bedrooms. At the equinoxes, the sunshine pours down the hall from LD's old bedroom to ours and lights up the whole upstairs. It's nice to linger in bed till that happens - around 7:15 this morning. It's always a joy when too, because it means a sunny day lies ahead – or at least a sunny morning. It also means, in September, that my birthday is nearby. But this weekend it gives promise of ....

laundry drying on the line

and dog hairs becoming visible all over everything.

Yes. It is dog brushing time. I will be grooming one dog or the other from now through mid-May. Socks is first this year - and usually is. Her fur is the thickest and it's particularly matted this winter for some reason. My dogs who need to be brushed the most are the ones who hate it .... Jack, whose fur is short and needs only a week of brushing, thinks it's fun and always tries to nudge his way in on a session with another dog. They lie in pitiful suffering, grateful if I turn my attention to Jack or anything else for that matter.

I don't indulge my sufferers though because if they don't get groomed, at least a little daily, they become un-pet-able. their fur is outdoor dog fur and it gets matted and greasy and then they don't understand why we don't love them any more. So. Beauty treatments it must be.

In the fall the abandoned bird nests will all be lined with Socks' yellow fur. Priss' is a dull grey brown that I once spun into beautiful yarn. She hates the grooming even more than Socks and is a little less submissive too. When either dog has gotten up and moved away for the third time I stop. It's a testimony to their trust in me that I can come back at them the next day with the same hated instrument. Thank goodness dogs, at least my dogs, don't hold a grudge.

Our Weekend With a Writer author, Martin Clark, was a delightful speaker and his wife was a fun guest to sit beside on Friday night. He entertained everyone, we had a full house, we sold lots of books. Saturday's event in the historic Federal Courthouse was equally delightful. He talked so comfortably with us it was like listening to a favorite cousin come to visit and catch up with things. It is amazing since I know he's made lots of book tours the past several years and talked with similar groups everywhere, but he really did make us feel like we were special.

If you get a chance to hear him speak, do take advantage of it, for you're sure to be entertained.

And speaking of entertainment – our Saturday night was a true entertainment and dining adventure, for last night was the Annual Hunters for the Hungry Wild Game Banquet. In my rural county, nearly all the men, and not a few women, hunt. Game is abundant here for there are some enormous tracts of land and equally vast spreads of forest. The men hunt in clubs, alone, sometimes even on horseback. The Upper Essex Baptist Church is a collecting station for Hunters for the Hungry, so if you have more meat than you can eat, and more than your neighbors can eat, you can take it to the church where they have several commercial grade freezers. The church's ministry involves not just donating their extra meat, but collecting it, storing it, getting it to the processor, and bringing it back to the community to share with food banks and social services.

Sometime after the hunting seasons all close, they cook this enormous feast and invite anyone and everyone to come celebrate. Free. Though donations are welcomed. Half the county, at least, half of this end of the county was there last night, in the warmest gathering you could hope for. There is always entertainment or a speaker after dinner and last night's star attraction was the barbershop quartet the church minister sings with. I'm wicked bad for forgetting their name, especially as it's a memorable one – but here is a photo. R is the tenor on the far left. His wife M is one of my best friends and his son C was my teenage help in the garden for years.

You may notice there is a paucity of knitting related chatter here – and of course, followers of TheQueen know that is because of my injured finger. It is healing in a fashion. It is certainly easier to care for than at first, but it looks simply awful and for some reason, though the break happened 3 weeks ago, it has hurt more in the past few days than it did the first 2 weeks. This may be nerves awakening from their stunned comatose state. I am believing that at least until I see the dr. on Tuesday. I suspect he will say No Knitting for 3 more weeks. I am praying the deformed nail-less tip will return to an esthetically acceptable state by summertime.

In the mean time – there are watercolors awaiting – so one is never completely without artistic pleasures. But thank you all for your kind concern and for continuing to ask about me. Your care is my best medicine. Thank you a LOT.

posted by Bess | 8:27 AM


Deap breaths - this too shall pass (hug)

What sort of bird is nesting in your tree? It looks like a bird of prey, but I can't really tell.

By Blogger inukshuk71, at 12:04 PM  

It's a bald eagle. They live in my back yard in a nest as big as a volkswagon beetle.

By Blogger Bess, at 2:19 PM  

Wow! Now those are big birds! I wouldn't let an animal or anyone shorter than 3' if I had those in my backyard - but they must be wonderful to see flying in the sky.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:16 PM  

Oh, so sorry to read about your finger. I hope it mends soon ...

Big, Giant Hugs ~


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:34 AM  

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009  

My backyard treasures

My camera's telephoto lense is only so good - and these fellows don't mind me hanging around, but they're notoriously camera shy - they seem to know when I'm looking and when I am trying to photograph them and they'll duck out of sight or fly away if I have that camera in my hand.

The favorite perching tree

And look who's nesting again, even though she raised twins last summer!
A little closer - but alas, a little fuzzier.
This more than makes up for the fact that I had to change my own bandages today. Yikes. Ick! Gross. Eeeww. I put a chair in the bathroom, soaked the thing for 30 minutes and then dropped the gauze all over the bathroom floor.
Sigh. There is a reason I am not a nurse.
But the first time always has to be the worst. It will be better next time. Thus sayeth TheQueen.

posted by Bess | 7:33 PM


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Tuesday, March 17, 2009  

With pinpoint precision and laser-like intensity, you are now focusing on an issue that causes considerable concern. That's fine if your concentration is helping you to make real progress. It is not so good though, if all this is simply stealing your attention from other matters that you could be usefully attending to. How worried do you need to be? Recent events have given you much by way of reassurance. Coming events will supply even more. Meanwhile, look for reasons to be cheerful, not fearful.

Sometimes he's so on target - that Mr.Horoscope

Dr had to take the nail completely off. YEEOWW. Bandaged back up with training on self care I go back next week. In the mean time, once blood had returned to my head, I went home, took another sweet codeine pill, some sugar and a nap. I'm not going to obsess about how gross this all is. I'm not. I'm not. I'm not.

I will paint a small springtime postcard, watch a how-to art DVD (thank you Mr.UPS for driving down my muddy lane a few minutes ago) and dream of MS&W and girlfriends and warm days

posted by Bess | 12:59 PM


It came at the right time too! At least you can enjoy a bit of it until your finger heals. Take care and get well very soon.

By Blogger inukshuk71, at 9:35 AM  

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Monday, March 16, 2009  

Nothing like a surprise package to cheer you up

This is from my Ravelry Regional Swap partner Inukshuk71, who lives in Quebec.

What a treat! I'll write more about this later but I wanted to put the photo up ASAP.

posted by Bess | 6:31 PM


Hope the finger doesn't hurt too much, and I hope it will mend quickly! Glad to see at least you're finding ways to entertain yourself. :)

By Blogger cathy, at 6:51 PM  

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Sunday, March 15, 2009  

When your hand looks like this

You can still play with this

And this

But you can't knit. I'll see the dr. on Tuesday and we'll know more then.

Thanks all for your kind posts.

posted by Bess | 5:05 PM


Prayers for successful surgery and swift healing are winging your way, Dear Heart.


By Blogger Marg, at 11:28 AM  

Oh, no! I'm so sorry! I hope the surgery goes fast and smoothly, and healing is uncomplicated and speedy.

By Blogger fillyjonk, at 11:50 AM  

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Friday, March 13, 2009  

It gets worser and worser

I hurt my finger far worse than I'd thought. I won't go into the gory details but will only say that I go for surgery today at 2 o'clock.

"You'll be in some pain this weekend" said the dr.

At first I thought I could teach my lace edging class with a stunt knitter doing the demo's but the thought of a 9 hour day - 4 hours of travel and 5 of class - on painkillers - made me pause. With the deepest regret I canceled out on the organization. The woman was extraordinarily kind about it. But it is a hit for them. If they never call me back, well - that is the way of the world.

Not much blogging will be going on but I can read comments so feel free to leave them. :->

Off to clean the house while I still can - I hate to be sick in a dirty house.

posted by Bess | 9:12 AM


Oh, Sweetie! Glad you decided to have it checked out...and fixed!! If I were there, I'd type for you...

Ah, but to be able to knit and paint...makes you believe that every cloud has a silver lining, wot?


By Blogger Marg, at 9:57 PM  

Ow, ouch! Hope it's better soon.

By Blogger cathy, at 11:06 PM  

That poor little digit! I'm sure the lady who organized the event understands and will call you back and understands you didn't break a finger on purpose. I wish you a quick and successful surgery and recovery. Get well soon dear.

By Blogger inukshuk71, at 12:22 PM  

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009  

It's broken

Kinda makes it hard to type, although it makes rude gestures more noticable.

So. No typing for a while. Except when I can go S L O W L Y . And even that leaves my hand tired. Fortunately I can knit. And paint.

I'll be around with little posts, but no Classic Queen Rambles.

Priss is sympathetic but also glad she has paws, not fingers.

posted by Bess | 6:40 AM


Hmmm. I don't have any 'drama' around me now, but otherwise, this is right on the money -- at least, in terms of encouraging and inspiring me! Thanks, VirgoSoulSis. And I hope your finger heals quickly!


By Blogger Marg, at 2:55 PM  

You poor thing! How will you open the swap package I just sent you?! :) I hope your finger will heal quickly. On the up side, you are probably excused from dish-washing duties now, right? ;-)

By Blogger inukshuk71, at 9:28 AM  

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Sunday, March 08, 2009  

It is not all over. It has only just begun. Now, let us be clear about what 'it' is. 'It' is your bid for freedom. 'It' is your chance to build a brighter future. 'It' is your journey from here to the kind of tomorrow you have always dreamed of reaching. The drama that's developing around you now is a crucial part of the process of getting further towards 'it'. You have recently been treated to a revelation. Now you need to think it through - and then act on what you have been shown. Remember the words of the philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, 'The only way to have a friend is to be one.' Help someone this week... and they'll help you get where you need to be.

This is what MrHoroscope has to say today. So let us just say that I've been on a journey this week and evidently am still doing so. Mostly, though I've had this smashed finger and typing is not easy - still. We got kiboshed by snow last Sunday and in spite of the 75 degree day yesterday, there was still a little left on the north side of the house. We were without power from Sunday night till Tuesday night. BD and I sat around working crossword puzzles together.

I'll be back when I can write more. Till then, here are snowy photos.

Oh. Well. I guess not. Blogger won't upload this morning. Anyway - I'll be back - when I am better.

posted by Bess | 7:22 AM


I think you must have a bit of your mother's talent. Even now, there's something dynamic and full of life in your work.

By Blogger cathy, at 12:57 AM  

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Sunday, March 01, 2009  

Snowy Sunday

Isn' t this just like Virginia .... to wait till March to give us a real snow. This is what it looks like just outside my door. Mr. Weather dot com says we can expect 6 inches or so and down here, that means Snow Day! I don't plan on going to work tomorrow and nobody else does either.

I shut my finger in the car door yesterday morning and pretty much put my typing and knitting on hold for the rest of the weekend. It's better now but I'm still typing with a gimpy left hand. All the E's and D's are impossibly hard to reach with any finger.

But the middle finger of my left hand doesn't have much of a role to play in painting so I am branching out to try new styles and to push my skills further. Here are some more fellows chatting in the rain - on scrap paper because they are practice.

And here is an attempt at a sailboat picture, copied from the book Loose Watercolor by Jerry McClish.
This is so much fun I can't believe I waited so long to get started. One of these days I may even get good at this!
Hope you get a snow day tomorrow too - or something you want just as much.

posted by Bess | 6:48 PM