Stick Figure of Tim

Tipping According to Tim

Stick Figure of Tipping TimUpdate on this this tipping post.

I’ve got tipping down pat at home, but I’ve recently spent some time in Europe.   Friends who live here said you pay what your’e charged, you don’t have to worry about doing math in your head, tax and tip are included.  Easy, right?  Not.  So my friends, some who have traveled far more extensively than me, said of course you have to tip, just only 10%.  Then, when I asked politely, I was told by locals that only Americans tip.  Of course they’ll not say no, but really, it isn’t necessary.  To top it off, I am handed a restaurant tab that say, in bold “service not included”.  So, am I to tip and expect quiet sniggering behind my back?  Or am I to pay the exact amount and risk being cheap?  Or… a possible solution, how about pretending I don’t know the local currency and having the round up to the nearest whatever?  Yes, I have seen some do this.  Creative, I suppose.  Instead of being tightfisted or American (why should that even be an issue?), I’m just not very smart.   Hmm.


Husband and I pretty much agree to disagree when it comes to tipping. He’s old school – 15%, a dollar a bag, etc.  In contrast, I’ve worked for tips and tend to be (possibly) overly-generous.  Ask my barista.  It is unlikely we’ll ever be on the same page, but there are worse things a marriage can suffer.

And…here’s Tim to the rescue.  His blog is a romp to read, plus he has stick figures.  And charts.  I love charts.  So, now we all know where we fall on the tipping spectrum. At least based on a relatively small survey of New Yorkers a couple of years back.  Thanks, Tim, for doing the heavy lifting.

Here’s the link: Wait But Why on Tipping

Seashore Shawl

Noblesville, Yarn, and My Seashore Shawl

Seashore ShawlOn a recent trip, I found myself in the delightful town of  Noblesville Indiana, with plans to meet some friends for lunch at Rosie’s Place.   Someday I want to live in a town like Noblesville, a quiet suburb just northeast of Indianapolis. As I walked to lunch I couldn’t help but notice the courthouse that anchored downtown Noblesville –  backed against the White River and  surrounded by shops and businesses which then gave way to homes built before I was born.  Perfect.

I’d done my research ahead of time, and found not only the lovely diner where we’d meet, but a yarn store that looked quite promising.  So, of course, I made a point to arrive a little early to check out  Black Sheep Yarn and Fiber Arts,  housed in a beautiful old Victorian conveniently right next to public parking.  Which cost twenty-five cents an hour. Twenty Five Cents an Hour.


So I found this Freia yarn I hadn’t seen before.  It caught my attention and I’ll tell you why .  First, the name was Freia*.  Freia is an old Nordic name., lso spelled Freyja, Freja, and Freya.  It means “lady” and is the name of the goddess of love, beauty, war and death in Norse mythology.  Freya also happens to be the name of one of my sisters. And, in my lifetime, I’ve met very few people blessed with that moniker.  I’ve heard it has recently become popular in Great Britain – I’ll be keeping my eyes and ears open on my next trip across the pond.  In any case, so the name caught my attention.  And the color ways… oh my!  Well, and then as I looked more closely – this yarn is merino/silk and well worth a quick fondle.  I was enamored.  In any case, this delightful little skein made it into my bag, the back of my car, and after a more than a few hundred miles, onto my needles at home.  And you can see the results – my Seashore Shawl.  I’m pleased with the results, I received a couple of compliments, and, well, life is pretty good.


* For more information about Freia Fibers, check out their site: Freia Fibers.  But be warned – that delicious merino/silk is not available online, but only through a limited number of retailers.  I’ve put in a request at my LYS and the owner tells me she’s on the waiting list.  Fingers crossed.

This Temperature Scarf Thing They’re Talking About

This Temperature Scarf Thing They’re Talking About



Many of my yarn crafting friends have committed to creating temperature scarves, afghans, and blankets. You gather up a good-sized palette of yarn, and knit or crochet a small portion, choosing yarn color based on the daily temperature.  And then at end of the year, you’ve got a completed item that not only keeps you warm, but memorializes the whole year’s weather.  And who doesn’t want to remember that, right?  Just think, if you make one every year, you can document global warming in your zip code – in a  warm, cozy, cuddly kind of way.  How cool is that?

So, am I up for the challenge?  I’m feeling a little pressure here.  After all, January has already started… which means I am behind.  Crap.  Most normal people would be perfectly fine just starting when ever.  But of course, they’re not quite as OCD as me.  Can I muster up enough flexibility to attempt this?  Yes, yes I can.  I can do this.

Okay, first the pattern.  Well, I’m keeping it simple.  I’m making a scarf, and a quick search on Ravelry turned up guidelines and a recommended cScreen Shot 2016-01-03 at 9.25.06 PMolor chart.    Looks pretty straight forward.  Not sure I love the palette, but no big deal. I can easily come up with something I like better.

I dislike the idea of 24 skeins of cheap yarn, so perhaps I’ll use fewer colors and better fiber.  I went online and found a lovely set of reasonably priced yarn – no worries about mixing fibers or dye lots. Call me a happy camper.  It’ll be a few days before my yarn arrives, but that’s okay.  I’ll just knit a week’s worth when I start.

Okay, what about the temperature part?  Some are checking the thermometer at noon every day.  I’m far too lazy for that that.  I have a fabulous outdoor thermometer right on my desk.  I’ll take a quick glance when I’m ready to knit and that’ll be it. I’m going to be traveling a bit this year.  Guess my colors will depend on weather conditions wherever I am.  There.  Decision made.

Wish me luck… I’ve just committed to 732 rows of scarf.  Go ahead, check my math – two rows for day in this leap year. And an entire year of picking up the needles daily.  Not a resolution, but still an exercise in discipline.  I can do discipline, yes I can.

Stay tuned.

Beautiful Day

Beautiful Day

I get a kick out of Awareness Days.  Beautiful Day is observed every November 20th.  The U2 Song, the Muppets,  a Christian pop song, and a (probably forgotten) Beach Boys Song… Who knew?


So I wandered over to Holiday Insights.  This site contains all kinds of holiday information – traditions, trivia, recipes and more.    And this is what they say about Beautiful Day:

“The world is filled with ugliness. So, as day like today is refreshing, and eye appealing. It’s filled with beautiful sights, sounds and smells.

But, wait a minute. Just what was Beautiful Day created for? We have yet to find the creator. In addition to what we found in our research, we can only speculate as to the intent of this day.

Here is our part fact, part speculative reasons this day was created:

A song by the band U2 is titled Beautiful Day.

The Beautiful Day monster appeared on Ed Sullivan and later Sesame Street. The monster created mayhem and chaos, in his attempt to ruin a beautiful day.

It’s creator wanted to create and enjoy the perfect, beautiful day.

The Beach Boys song It’s a Beautiful Day

As for this author’s choice? Well, I’m just gonna kick back and enjoy this beautiful, God given day!

Have a lovely Happy Beautiful Day!”

Now, about that Beautiful Day Monster… First seen on The Ed Sullivan Show and then later on Sesame Street and The Muppet Show.  I found out all about him on Muppet Wikia:

“Beautiful Day Monster is a blue Muppet monster best remembered from his appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1969, ruining a girl’s beautiful day. Three years before, he began life as The Crown-Grabber in an unaired commercial for Wheels, Crowns and Flutes. He has made several appearances in the early years of Sesame Street, on The Muppet Show, and several other Muppet projects. Wherever the Beautiful Day Monster goes, destruction and mayhem soon follows.

Although the monster was known as “Beautiful Day Monster” behind the scenes, he had many names on Sesame Street, such as “Fred,” (in an early Sesame Street skit) “Harold,” “Snookie,” “Lulu,” and “Windy.” He was also a contestant on a 1969 Sesame Street game show, “The Mr. and Mrs. Game,” where he was named “Ralph” and had a wife, also a contestant. For a few sketches, the monster was turned into a female character with a dark black wig, a necklace and a pink ribbon. After the first season, Beautiful Day Monster and most of the other early Sesame monsters were replaced by friendlier looking monsters with brighter colors.


A small Beautiful Day Monster (used in the original Ed Sullivan sketch when the monster has shrunk) was used alongside the regular-sized monster to demonstrate the difference between ‘little’ and ‘big’, where he was known as “Frank.”

For The Muppet Show, the Beautiful Day Monster puppet was reconstructed and his teeth removed to give him a less frightening appearance. In one memorable sketch in episode 108, he asked a travel agent (Paul Williams) about the cost of a trip to Pittsburgh. No matter what the travel agent offered, Beautiful Day Monster asked “You got anything cheaper?” until the agent dropped a weight on him, flattening him enough to send him by mail. This was his only major appearance in a Muppet Show sketch, although he appeared several times behind Gonzo during the final moment of “The Muppet Show Theme.” The flattened version of the puppet would appear in the At the Dancesketch in the next episode, wearing a wig and dancing with Rowlf.”


Points to you if you can remember the Beach Boys song.  I couldn’t until I gave it a listen on on youtube: A Beautiful Day, Beach Boys.  Oh yeah… that song!  Now I remember…. umm, sort of.  Well, okay, not really?  Wonder why?

Okay, here’s the scoop.  This was not a Beach Boys hit, and it wasn’t even released on a Beach Boys album.  Mike Love and Al Jardine wrote it, and the band recorded, but it wasn’t until 1979 it was released as part of the soundtrack of the 1979 movie Americathon a prophetic comedy. This flick  which featured an impressive comedic cast (John Ritter, Harvey Korman, George Carlin), some great cameos (Jay Leno, Meat Loaf, Tommy Lasorda), and a soundtrack including tracks by Eddie Money, the Beach Boys, and Elvis Costello.   Sadly, Americathon was not all that memorable, even though the writers kind of correctly predicted the demise of the Soviet Union, the prevalence of reality television, and the sale of public assets to the private sector.  But, hey, we have another song to attach to today, Beautiful Day, so not an entire waste of my research time.


jamie-grace-beautiful-day-facebook-cover1Christian pop artist, Jamie Grace, released her Beautiful Day (featuring one of my faves, Toby Mac) a couple of years ago.  Hard to listen to this and not smile?  Beautiful Day, Jamie Grace.  Seriously, you don’t even have to be a follower to enjoy it.

And of course, we can’t have Beautiful Day without Bono and U2’s iconic track.

The heart is a bloom
Shoots up through the stony ground
There’s no room
No space to rent in this town
You’re out of luck
And the reason that you had to care
The traffic is stuck
And you’re not moving anywhere….

….It’s a beautiful day
Don’t let it get away
It’s a beautiful day

So, there you have it.  Today.  A Beautiful Day. Have one yourself!

Beautiful Day, U2



I Got This Email….

Today I received an email asking if I had video to be included in a surprise for Martin Clunes when he’s on the iTV daytime show “Lorraine”.

Here’s an excerpt from the email:

“Yes it is a surprise for Martin!  He loves the Clunatics – I spoke to him on the phone yesterday and he is so fond of you all. He said you are ‘a force to be reckoned with” and are very generous be reckoned with’ and are very generous and have raised thousands for charity too – as well as being massive fans of his show.”

Shame I don’t actually have any video – never met the man.  And granted, the email likely went out to everyone who subscribes to a fan blog.  But still – I feel slightly special

I do find myself wondering about increased inclusion of North American fans.  I’m thinking there is a carefully crafted clever marketing plan afoot.

Oh, now I will be dreaming about going to England and meeting Himself.  Wonder if Martin and Philippa would accept an invitation to visit stunning Colorado?



Source: Urgent Request for Videos to Surprise Martin Clunes | “Doc Martin” with Martin Clunes Fan

I’ve (sort of) Been Blogged!

I’ve (sort of) Been Blogged!

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 9.39.21 AMMy friend Lisa was interviewed for a piece in the Doc Martin Online Blog.  She is truly a super-fan!  Not only does she know pretty much everything about Doc Martin and Martin Clunes, but she designed and sold Clunatic t-shirts to raise money for a charity Martin Clunes (and I) support- Julia’s House Children’s Hospice in Dorset.  And… they used the photo of the three of us in our Clunatic shirts at our Rocky Mountain Gathering this past summer.  How cool is that?


Meet Lisa Fenderson! Where do you call home? Virginia, USA. Basically the East Coast between New York and Florida. Tell us a little about yourself? I was born in Puerto Rico but moved to Virginia, when I was 11. My Dad was in the TV and Radio broadcasting industry, and I followed in his footsteps. …

Source: Lisa Fenderson – Doc Martin Online