Friday, August 31, 2007

More Yarn...Pant...pant...

Okay, LYS had some new yarn in, and (sniff) I succumbed. I also purchased some dk wool to knit a pair of socks from the Six Socks Yarhoo Group. Name of the sock is "I love Gansey". It's on the list of to-do's.

First however, I should say that I finally finished Ray's kilt hose, and bagged them so the dog and cat hair doesn't get all over them. While knitting, I can pretty much pick out any stray hairs, but once I lay them down...well, let's just say it's like a magnet....

Then, I took a 3 hour nap, after which came the trip to the LYS...where I went off my yarn diet and bought out the store.

I finished spinning the singles for the Sheep to Sock that I purchased at the Michigan Fiber Festival. The resulting yarn will be lovely.

I un-skeined one of the bumble bee yarn skeins I bought at Fiber Festival, and wound it into a ball. Tomorrow, I will separate it into two balls in preparation to knit Breeze from, and then I will start knitting said Breeze socks for my ex-mother-in-law. The other skein is for another pair of footies for myself.

Husband did not stay home today as he planned, so I got quite a bit accomplished--as you can see, however, tomorrow he plans an early trip to the paint store to get stain, and then we'll be working on the deck for the rest of the weekend. Therefore, it's likely you won't hear from me for a few days, and even more likely, not for a few days after that, while I try to let my body recover. Work is so unhealthy for me. :)

I'm trying to figure out how to make the sweater on the cover of Knit N Style. I really do like this sweater, but I can't justify the cost of the yarn in my head. I probably should have purchased more merino/tencel at the Fiber Festival and spun my own--maybe even dyed it. Perhaps that's something that I can do down the road. I've not really decided yet one way or the other. It takes a long while to spin up 1500 yards of yarn.

Yesterday, I dropped in to visit with my ex-mother-in-law. The nursing home residents were pretty unsettled...they didn't have any electricity all day. The generator ran essential equipment, and thank goodness it was a pretty nice day and not too hot, otherwise, there would have been huge problems. Anyway, there was nothing to drink, and the food was late--in fact, I understand that the administration had to have it shipped in! Mom told me that one of her son's (this would be Rick, not my ex, but his brother) was in the hospital, and she wasn't really sure why. Well, I decided to drop into the hospital on my way home, and give him a visit too, as well as give a little support to his wife. Imagine my surprise, when I find him in the STROKE unit, hooked up to telemetry like a fly in a spider web! The doctor's think he had a heart attack at some time, but couldn't find any evidence of it. He was on vacation, so stress wasn't necessarily an issue. He woke up Wednesday morning with chest pain, back pain, and shoulders hurt so bad he could barely catch his breath. To me, that sounds like a pulmonary embulism...and I'm not even a doctor! Ready care rushed him to the hospital, and in typical male fashion, he promptly told them that he didn't need all the fuss.

Yes, shut up, lay down and take your IV. He passed the stress test they gave him--so they took x-rays of his lungs. He's a heavy smoker, so they put him on that medication that's supposed to help you stop smoking. I've had friends go on that same pill, and it worked really well for them. Both have been smoke free for years. (On the other hand, I didn't notice that he was on fire, either...a condition which could have been alleviated with a glass of water, rather than a pill that cost $150. His wife counters his complaint that "it costs too much!" with "well, if you smoke a pack a day at $5, in a month, it's paid for!" I like how she thinks!) :)

Time to put the dog in the bedroom and feed the cats. Then I can put myself to sleep as well. It's been a long, productive day, with a good deal of rest that was much needed.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Long Hiaitus, Getting It Done, Busy, Busy Busy!

You wouldn't believe the last couple of weeks--so I'm not even going to try. Suffice to say that I got Ray's Kilt Hose done, then realized that they were 2" too off to the frog pond for me! I must have measured from two different points of reference! Not something I am prone to do unless I am stressed. In the meantime, however, I have perhaps another 12-18 rows to do on the cuff and then the final 6 rows of ribbing, and these things will be finished, and I can begin on something new.

A motorcycle crashed into Ray's car--the insurance company wanted to total the car--Ray says the motorcycle occupants are fine, all things considered, perhaps mostly shook up, but otherwise, minor scrapes. He's going to have a body shop take a look--they think that they can repair the car for a few hundred.

My son Bill was at a bonfire, and someone tossed an ember in his direction. He miscalculated and took the ember to the eye--he says it only is black and blue, but it sound pretty scarey for this mom. I'll have to get a look at it to see exactly what's happened, but I don't believe it's serious from what he's told me.

The Fiber Festival came and went--the Kalamazoo Scottish Highland Festival came and went. My husband and I haven't put a brush to the deck for all the rain we've gotten in the last couple of weeks. There was even a tornado touched down in the next town to the south!

So what do you do when you're so busy you can't even think straight? You just try to keep on keepin' on--do what you can, as you can, and take rests in between to catch your breath.

Right now, I'm at the office, trying to get away from my desk for lunch--but since it's been so long since I posted, I felt I really should let those who read my blog (are there any of you left out there?) know what was going on.

Today, I suggest a Sukoku easy as not to tax the brain too much. I feel as if I'm going to melt. I hope that everyone out there is having a great day. I'm taking tomorrow off work to try and catch up on some things at the house, and if my husband takes tomorrow off, too, we will likely get a jump on the holiday weekend on the deck. Unfortunately, I didn't pull a card from my Tarot deck this morning, which I usually do before I take off from the house on my daily routine...but I do have a deck here at the office. It's not one I generally use...but here goes..

From the Druid Craft Tarot, I pulled the Three of Pentacles. It means, good solid hard work, appreciation for your efforts or perhaps the opportunity to stretch your current skills in another area. It may also herald the renovation or improvement of your home. It also speaks to the ability to devote yourself to the art of "making" crafts, weaving, knitting spinning, the list goes on, or even to the written word...writing stories or songs.

And thus ends today's post.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Stressed, spelled backwards, spells Dessert!

Well, I did come home from work today, and went straight to bed, because this has been not just a difficult week, but a difficult 10 solid weeks, and HAIRY weeks at that. No, perhaps not “green gorilla” hairy, but more like “pull the strands out of your scalp” type hairy. The “I had one nerve left, and it’s YOU that’s got to get on it!” type of hairy.

It got to the point this last Thursday, that I literally pulled my telephone off the desk, ripped out the plug, and tossed it down. Then I walked into the supervisor’s office and asked her if it was okay if I did that. Later, when I arrived home, and after I settled into my blogging routine, I found the chest pains had subsided, so I called my phone at work, and cleared my voice mail. Now, I call that a dedicated employee.

On Friday, I plugged the phone back in, finally calm once again, B vitamins taken, and a good-night’s sleep thanks to Lunesta, thinking that I might just be able to handle it today, but the phone was inoperative. I didn’t believe I’d broken it, but it was smoking, and it emitted a noxious plume. I called telephone repair. Come to find out, I had plugged in the wrong outlet, which overheated the components, and when the repairman plugged it into the right plug, it still smoked (ssst…hot), so they replaced the phone, and I happily continued my work day. Today was not quite as hairy as the last 10 weeks, thankfully, and perhaps issues will begin to settle down at the office so that I can relax in a much deserved rest when the work week begins anew on Monday.

Two of Pentacles is today’s tarot card. Here is a juggler, on a tightrope passing two coins high in the air. It stands for juggling money, or borrowing from Peter to pay Paul sorts of behavior. This is curious, because I don’t really have any financial difficulty just yet. Although I am going to need to purchase corn for the heating season this year, and will likely need more than normal, as I’m expecting an early, long and cold winter season. Also, because of the draught, it is expected that the corn harvest, with it’s new popularity for Ethanol, will only bear 2/3rds of it’s normal yield. This means higher prices, and means that I have to purchase LAST year’s corn to see if I can at least find a break. Next year’s crop will be in high demand as soon as it comes into the silos.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Views and Ideas about Blogging

I have always wondered why people blog. I know my own reasons—first, it has saved my sanity a few times—but I wonder why other people blog, or how they “come up” with something week after week, one creative idea after the other. Some bloggers insert crafts they’re working on, some print out lavish patterns for socks or sweaters, or whatever comes to them from their creative side. Many bloggers have visitors every day. Some bloggers get comments on their blogs. In the beginning of my blog, I received comments—now, not so much, and I wonder to myself…”is anybody out there listening”.

I think that blogging can be overdone, or underdone, as in the case of today’s entry on my own posting board, but I have to ask what it is that draws people to read another person’s personal stories. Might a person become a blogaholic—reading other people’s blogs? Or do they eventually tire of the game and move on to other bigger (or just simply different) things? I suppose that some people have a mission statement to their blog, others just plug away, writing about what pleases them at a moment’s notice. But I am finding that blogging should not be like work. The words should fly off the fingers and keyboard, jumping at the opportunity to be put to reality on a piece of paper or computer screen. They scream for dominance, as the thoughts escape the mind itself, sometimes coming so fast as to be lost forever should the fingers not scale the keyboard quickly enough.

Today’s Tarot card is the 10 of wands. Robin Wood pictures a young man with a heavy load of…well, okay, wands, but it could just as easily be a load of wood being carried to the stack of cord wood for the fireplace. The load is heavy, and the poor man is stooped over in his attempt to carry it. Well, this of course, means that the person who draws this card is or has been under great strain at work. Hardly a difficult perception there. But it also speaks to the person’s forebearance—the drive and determination to get the job done, even to the point of extreme exhaustion.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

TADA! Sock yarn arrives in the mailbox!

Well, the yarn finally arrived for the friendlysocks KAL, but I need to know which pattern to use, because I am not apparently all that astute at picking up the instructions that were written in the variety of email (emails?) that I receive in a given day, numbering somewhere in the 2-3 hundred.

So now, I’m waiting for the list mom to tell me which pattern in the book I’m supposed to be recreating, and then I will begin. These I’ll have to work along with Ray’s JAKH…still haven’t finished those.

I purchased the book Fair Isle Knitting Simplified, and the companion video with Ann’s special technique for knitting two colors in the round without getting the thread tangled. What? Do I knit two handed? Well, no, not yet. I “CAN” knit with yarn in either hand, I prefer to knit with yarn in my right hand, and can knit several different configurations with my right hand. I can also knit backwards (for those of you who understand Entrelac, knitting backwards is a must!), read Japanese charts and do two socks on a single long circular needle using magic loop. I can do them on two circs, and also on double points, but prefer the magic loop method. So this new technique is just one more in my arsenal of skills. I’m looking forward to using it with the KAL socks. It means that I will need to separate my yarn into 4 balls—and having seen the ball of yarn now, I’m not sure that I’ll have enough. I will have to weigh it before I re-ball it to make sure. I might have to use some scraps for the toes, since I do know the pattern is cuff down.

I’ve been reading the book, though, and in the early pages, Ann’s husband writes about the early days of Philosopher’s Wool. From the time he helped build their house in Canada, right up to the present day. It’s really quite interesting. He got the name because he was studying mystical philosophy in college. So the name of their business is a combo of his choice of profession and hers (spinning/knitting/raising wool), but it nearly sounds like he’s doing ALL the WORK. I haven’t seen much of any statements such as “and while I was toiling in the hot sun building the house, Ann was…” There is a lot of I did this and that—granted, it’s his turn to shine, but the “oh, Ann was really in to knitting right now”, just doesn’t cut it. The whole thing has me wondering if she was in the mix at all! The way it’s written, it’s as if she’s only a second thought…I’m sure he didn’t mean it to sound that way, and perhaps I’m a little too “man bashing” here, so I’ll shut up about it. It’s a good read, so far, nevertheless. I’m enjoying it.

While I was on my lunch break today, I found some kits in Philosopher’s Wool at the LYS. The patterns didn’t necessarily shake the brambles in my woods. Pretty, yes, but not really my own personal style, I guess. If I use Ann’s technique, it will be on a pattern of my own choosing—but I might just dye some of my own wool and carry out plans for a pullover using one of the fair isle charts in the book. I noted that the kits in the store were mainly cardis for ladies and pulls for the guys. I’m sure there are more patterns, but this seemed to be all the store had in stock at the time. While I could have adjusted the cardi pattern into a pullover easily, the colors just didn’t shine for me. The book mentioned that Philosopher’s Wool prefered to use muted, tweedy colors, *HIS* favorites, by the way, in an effort to help in combining “colorways”, and I agree with that method of thought. It’s just my inner child loves brights. The brighter the better!

So, with that thought, I believe that I will go back to my knitterly chair, and read some more of this fascinating story.

Wow. It just started to rain. That’s going to kill the breeze, but the rain is needed badly. Crops around here are really suffering.

Tarot card for the day: The Star.

This card is a very lucky card. One of those “wish upon a star” type cards. It bodes well for the one who draws it. It means a lot of other things, but that ultimately, the wish will come to pass.

Monday, August 13, 2007

All My Husband's family...

I have a great husband. His name is Jeff. I call him that anyway. It's not his real name--but he just "looks" like a Jeff--in fact, on our third or fourth date, I told don't look like a person with your name to me. You look more like a "Jeff", and he told me how strange that was, because everyone in his family and all his closest friends called him Jeff. This was quite a revelation--because I didn't know that Jeff was actually his MIDDLE name at the time.

I mean, come on, I'm psychic, but I'm not THAT psychic.

Anyway, him, his sister, his sister's daughter, his daughter, his granddaughter ALL look alike. Right down to the nub.

It must be nice to have a family that looks alot like you. I mean, you know that those are your genes in there in the mix. Me, I'm adopted. I don't know much of anything about my family. I found my sister, but she betrayed me--my other sister that I found preferred to remain ignorant, I guess, and that's her choice, I suppose, but it sure would be nice to have someone who looks a lot like me.

A little about my sister's betrayal. It has to do with my ex-husband. She remained friends with him even after he left me (and unkindly so), and he gave her away at her wedding, to which I had told her that if she had invited him, she could forget about me coming. True to form, she didn't even bother to invite me, not that I expected an invitation. This man lied to everyone I knew about me. I just don't know yet what lie he told her to make her choose him over me--even so, she's my blood relation--were the shoe on the other foot (and believe me, it was, as her husband left her before mine left me), I would never have done to her what she did to me. I mean, those kinds of things just aren't done!!! Sigh. It would be nice to have someone in my life that looks like me. My sisters look quite a bit like me, and resemble each other even more....but it's never going to happen.

On such auspicious occasions, I like to write prose. Here's something I wrote, long long ago. I hope that you like it. It's long, has no pictures, but it's a very good read! Please enjoy!

The Green Gorilla

Long, long, time ago, when this old gal was in her first year of college, my sweetheart was taking me back to campus after a short break spent lounging at home with friends and family. It was dark and misty outside, and the trip was nearly two hours long. The local radio stations we were familiar with were long since lost in the airwaves. We drove in silence for a while. Then, to break the mood, I asked my boyfriend if he wanted to hear a story.

“Sure,” he said. “It will help pass the time.”

So I made up “The Green Gorilla” right there on the spot. It has always seemed to be best “told” rather than “read”, and I’ve written it down several times, only to rewrite it slightly differently. The names change to protect the innocent, you understand, but the basic premise is still there. Keep in mind that the story is pure fiction…or is it?

Long ago, driving down a lonely coastal road a salesman was returning home from a long and boring convention. His eyes, tired and droopy, he realizes that he’s going to have to stop somewhere to get some rest. The fog drifts in off the ocean, and through the fog he spots a small bar, in the middle of nowhere with two neon martini glasses, flashing back and forth. Jones’ he made out on the doorway, as he pulled up to park in the front. It’s late, and he’s not surprised that there’s only one other car, probably the owner’s, sitting toward the back of the gravel lot. Ralph figures he’ll stop and ask for directions to the nearest motel while getting a drink or two. Opening the car door, and stepping into the night, he feels the chill of the foggy air, and heads for the bar door, beckoning him enter.

Inside, it’s a cozy place, standard fare for small town out of the way taverns everywhere. The bartender, a swarthy fellow with a white scruffy beard, deep set eyes and peg leg fit the bill of retired seaman turned bartender. His brown, weathered face turned to Ralph while he put down the dish towel and glass he’d been drying for the last 10 minutes, just passing the time till closing. The bar stands bulwark in front of the man, who likely topped 5’10” and had a bit of a heft to him that belied a bit of a drinking problem. He smiled at Ralph, exposing several missing teeth, in a generous welcome. The initial unease that Ralph was feeling dripped away, and he walked up to the bar and sat on one of the round red stools.

“Whatcha having?” asked the bartender.

“Oh, just a beer thanks…what do you have on draft?” replied Ralph.

“Oh, the standard fare, one of them light beers that nobody will drink, Mick, and Miller. You look like a Miller feller, there. Can I draw you one?”

“Sure, Milller will be fine,” and the bartender set about his business, efficiently, set the beer in front of the stranger and started to talk of things seaworthy. He pointed to the stuffed shark on the wall, identified it as the bugger that took me leg, and how he relished watching as the taxidermist did the work.

“They call me Salem, round these parts,” he offered, and since Ralph was in mid-swallow, he had to pause a moment, point at his own chest and answer-

“My name’s Ralph. I’m from up Philly way, small town. I got a wife and kids up there.”

“What brings ye to Albintown?” asked Salem.

“I had a convention in Tampa, and now, I’m headed back up the coastline, getting in some of the sights, small towns and such. I’m not in any big hurry, just have to be home, you know, by Monday next week. Trying to make a few sales along the way. Speaking of which, you don’t happen to know anybody that would buy…” but Salem cut him off with a wave of the hand.

“Albintown’s not a town where people be buying things, I’m afraid. Most of the town’s gone bust. I’m still holding out for the few brawlers and alcoholics that still remain in this town. For the most part, it’s pretty dead around here. Business ain’t what it used to be, and I’ll likely have to fold up in a couple more years. Fortunately for my wife, it’s long past my time to retire, and she keeps after me to take her to that new-fangled water park in Raleigh.” Salem sighed about then.

“Is there a motel?” asked Ralph hopefully.

“Hmmpf”, was the reply.. “Motel folded up years ago. Two kids tried to run it for a while, but it went belly up, just like the rest. Me and my wife, we have occasion to take a boarder now and then, but they stay a night or so, then move on. No one seems to stay for long ‘round here.” Salem drew Ralph another Miller as he vanquished the first. “No, pretty quiet up here…best place for me to hide…” and he stopped suddenly, as if he’d let loose a long held secret.

“Hide? Hide WHAT?” asked Ralph, now hugely curious. “Treasure? Er, Bounty? A sunken ship? A few gold dubloons?”

“Oh,” said Salem, “now ye’re making fun of an old man with a wooden leg! No, man”, and as he said this, he poured himself some of the brew into the clean glass he’d been drying earlier. “I’ve got something ain’t no one EVER seen.”

Curiosity piqued, Ralph tried to get Salem to tell him what it was, but Salem changed the subject and they talked further of other things, long after closing time and several beers later shared between them. Ralph thought Salem an all-right sort, though a bit crusty around the edges, and so agreed to go with him to his home to board for the night. Ralph was not so far gone that he couldn’t drive, so he followed Salem out of the parking lot and onto the deserted street, and into the dark of the night, and the spook of the fog. Ralph followed at a reasonable distance, careful not to lose his leader, thinking about what Salem might have hidden on his property. Not really paying much attention to the road, although it was quite curvy and steep at times, he had no trouble keeping up with the red tail lights of Salem’s car. Soon, Salem came to a stop in front of an old ranch style home with a front porch deck that ran the expanse of the front, mostly gone rickety with old age, and didn’t look too safe. Ralph got out of his car, and so did Salem in turn, and Ralph could hear the sound of waves crashing on a shore nearby, but somehow distant. Salem noticed Ralph trying to reconnoiter the sound, and told Ralph about his surroundings in the darkness.

“Aye, it’s the shore, but it’s 500 feet down! I wouldn’t step to close, if ye know what I mean.”

Ralph was reminded of the hidden something, and so he brought it up again to Salem.

“What have you got hidden here old man?” And finally Salem relented, and told Ralph a fantastic story that only the too drunk would possibly believe.

“You expect me to believe that you have a green gorilla?” asked Ralph incredulous.

“Absotivly,” answered Salem. “Would ye like to see him? He’s really quite something, and probably asleep at this hour. I keep him in the back of this cave…can you see the torch over there?”

“Um, yeah”, answered Ralph. “But I don’t believe you. I’m not as think as you drunk I am…er, and Salem laughed, patted Ralph on the back and and led Ralph over towards the cliff’s edge near the torch. Once there, Ralph could see a wide trail, seemingly cut into the cliff face, and Salem grasped the torch to light the way onto the cliff way. A short distance, and there was the mouth of the cave, right there in the front of the cliff face. It was huge, and looked to be hewn by cavemen long since gone. The two men entered the mouth of the cave, and walked into pitch dark, except for where the torch threw light. Eventually, they came to what appeared to be a dead end.

“So much for your green gorilla,” sneered Ralph, but Salem passed his hand over a small red lazer placed in the wall, and the mountain shook massively, and the stone wall before them rose into a cavity in the cave ceiling. Ralph’s eyes got big, and the torch didn’t light the way very far into the interior, and now he was wondering about his initial bravado, and wondered if he should have been more wary. But Salem stayed right with him, and didn’t run off. Soon, they came to what seemed another dead end, with a similar red laser in the wall. As Salem passed his hand over the laser, the rocks shuddered, and rolled carefully away, again, exposing another darkened tunnel.

“One thing ye must know, before greeting my gorilla” said Salem, “is that he’s pretty harmless, but you canna touch him. I canna be responsible for what he might do to ye should ye make him frenzied.” On they continued into the dark pit of cave, until finally, they come to another torch and a cage door, with bars of iron many inches in diameter, and there, sleeping and snoring in the smallest lit corner of the cave was the biggest…and the hairiest…and the greenest gorilla that Ralph had ever seen. Not, of course that he was wont to have seen them occasionally, but this was amazing! Ralph was simply astounded, and realized with a start that he was not seeing a pink elephant, but a green gorilla, and the thing was as real as he was. A small laser light glowed in the wall near the cage door. The torch burned on the wall. The gorilla snored lightly in his sleep. Ralph was mesmerized.

“He’s a light sleeper mind you.” At this, the gorilla opened one eye, observed the two men, snorted roundly, turned over and fell back to sleep. Ralph could see the nails on the hands and feet of the animal, they were as long as his arm! The hair was soft and silky, nearly a sea green color, and the face…my god, the face was horrible, yet not so bad for a gorilla. “In fact, now he’s asleep again, ye could probably go inside and get yerself a closer looksee…again, mind…do not touch!” And with that, Salem turned, and walked out of the cave, leaving Ralph in a quiet stupor, trying to gather up the courage to take this fascinating animal on.

So he passed his hand over the laser, and the huge bars slid aside into a cavity in the wall, and walked to within several feet of the gorilla. There was no reaction, except another snort, a sniff, and a sigh. Ralph drew closer. The gorilla opened one eye, then two, eyed him with the same curiosity that Ralph had, and for a moment, Ralph hesitated, but soon, the gorilla decided he was no threat, and closed his eyes returning to slumber.

Ralph drew within a few feet of the gorilla. If he wanted to, he could touch it. Just the end of the longest hair that hung from the hand of the massive beast that clearly outsides him by at least 300 stone!

“He couldn’t possibly feel me touch the very end of one of these hairs,” Ralph said to himself, as he slowly reached out a finger to touch…and he barely even moved the hair when at last he had gathered the courage and bravado to do what he was told by Salem NEVER to do. At first, there was no reaction, so Ralph reached out again, but

In mid-reach, the gorilla woke up, stood up and pummeled his breast and roared the most horrifying roar that Ralph had ever heard in his life. FEAR struck him to the core, and he turned to run, passing his hand over the laser quickly, grabbing for the torch, and heading down the cave-way. The bars slammed shut, but by the time he reached the stone wall, the gorilla had made short shrift of the barred cage door, mangling and roaring and thrashing! The gorilla had escaped! Ralph passed his hand over the laser, and the stones slid back into place, and he ran, headlong into the dark, but as he approached the next laser light hidden in the wall, the gorilla, swiped the stones with one massive hand, and they fell into little heaps at his big, green, hairy feet! The last laser light had burned out, and apparently, was no longer operative, and Ralph ran as if the devil himself was after him, ran around the wide causeway next to the cliff face, and literally threw the torch down. As he climbed into his car, he fumbled with his keys in his pockets. His hands shook as he brought them out and into the ignition. The gorilla was now rounding the corner of the cliff face, directly in front of the car!!

“OH, GOD! Oh God! Start Will YOU!” Cried Ralph, as the car sputtered and whined, then died….”START!!!”

“RRRRRRRRRGGGGG” was the car’s reply. Now, the green gorilla was next to the car, and he picked it up with one massive hand. Ralph, still trying the key, really didn’t notice that he was nearly 50 feet in the air. The green gorilla poked his pudgy finger into the window, broke it, smiled, and said

“You’re it.”

Now, my boyfriend was on the edge of his seat when I told that story, and it’s had many revisions, but I think this is the best one yet. How about you?

Realizing Capricorn Dreams!

A few years later, my father brought home an old upright piano with one key that didn’t work at all, and I learned to play my favorite song, “Somewhere over the Rainbow” on it. Later, in life, I learned to play snare drum for a Scottish Bagpipe Band, and now, learning to play bagpipes. So, in a way, I still realized my goals—I am a performer—a professional, getting paid for my performing—and I love it. I can’t wait to start writing tunes on the bagpipes!

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is sort of a mantra for Capricorns, I think.

Prose…Draper style…

As dusk approaches on another day, I sit on my deck and watch the fireflies, who, by day, hide themselves in the tall grass. As the weather cools, and the sun disappears over the horizon, they crawl up the long, reedy stalks, flashing code as they rise, and take flight into the night like a million little lazers, seeking their companions, and whizzing past my ears. When full night arrives, they become beacons to those that come after—the headlights of a passing car on the road half a mile away, and the sound of an errant motorcycle, probably a Harley Davidson, piercing the silent vigil of the fireflies of the night. Fog advances, and everything disappears as if by magic. Millions of crickets sing song and frogs croak in their basses and tenors. The world reappears in a silky haze once dawn breaks, but for now, the night is quiet and deep, save for the bark of the red fox, and the spooky hooting of the barn owls. I am alone in my perch, watching and listening to night sounds.

Writer, yeah, that’s right.

Goodnight all!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Update on Kilt Hose

I did get some more action on the kilt hose--even as hot as it was today. Everything is sticky. I am beyond the heel and gussets now, and working up the leg. From here on out, it's just cables and an increase on either side of the center purl in the back. It's all on magic loop now, so it's going very quickly. I should have these done hopefully by next weekend, giving me lots of free time to puruse the goods at the Allegan Fiber Festival August 18 & 19. There will be a nice review of the weekend's pursuits when I get back, and pictures of whatever I purchase!

Bonding with Instruments, and the Shiny Pumpkin

Looking back, if I had gotten the piano, and applied the time to the piano that I applied to guitar, I would be a concert pianist by now—but such is life. I attacked my first guitar with a hunger bearing on obsession. It became my best friend. I wrote songs with it. I felt it’s rhythms course through my soul from the back of the guitar through my rib cage. Guitar became a way to express myself. Music and strum became my life’s blood, coursing through my veins. I wrote song after song. I performed at family parties. Beyond that, however, it was a secret I kept close by and closed in.

At 13, my school mates found out that I had latent talents. It was like I became a superhero overnight. Suddenly, I was completely in the limelight. The song that hit the charts with my school chums was actually a Johnny Cash rip the tune of “I’ve Been Everywhere”, I wrote “The Spirit of 76”. (76 being the graduating class). The song had 2 verses, made up of the names of all my classmates that year. It was an instant hit. I was skyrocketed to popularity…

But I got tired of playing it after while, and every time I brought my guitar to school, everyone wanted to hear it. Never Mind the new song that was in my head at the time…they only wanted to hear their name set in song—memorialized forever. So the shine sort of wore off the pumpkin.

It was a happy time for a while, then it got boring, and I realized that maybe performing wasn’t in the cards for me. I continued to play and write. My best (at least in my own honest opinion) is below:


You walked out of my life, and I won’t see you again.
I longed to be your wife, and I was sure your closest friend
But I found I can’t live on a dream you can’t fill
And I can’t stop my crying, don’t believe I ever will
So please, don’t hurt me again, anymore.

When I found you, I felt so satisfied,
Now the world lies blue for the million tears I’ve cried
And I hope you never call to tell me, you might return
A fool never listens, and this woman never learns
So please don’t hurt me again, anymore.

Oh, by the way, I saw your best friend at the market yesterday,
We got to talking, went out for a bite, and I had a great time, and your memory, didn’t even get in the way,
And now, I don’t even remember, and you never cross my mind,
What? You don’t believe me? Here’s what I had to find
You aren’t hurting me again
I don’t have to hide.

I hope you enjoyed it. Thank you, thank you. (bowing discreetly).

No really, don’t clap (mom! You’re embarrassing me!)…just throw money! Haha!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Capricorn to the end!

What is a Capricorn? Is it only someone with a birthday between the later half of November and most of December? My heavens no! Capricorns are deep, brave, stoic, the life of the party AND the wallflower. They are the enigma of all the sunsigns—problem solvers in everything except their own lives, where they seem to be mired in constant questing. High achievers, they never feel like they’ve ever made the grade, or that they ever will. They suffer from extreme highs and lows, and are often considered bipolar. They really aren’t, you must understand, because this is what life hands them—opportunity after opportunity, that they tackle with a relish, only to find out later, that someone else might have been a better choice to accomplish the task. Even so, when they are able to accomplish the task put before them, they often will beg off and exclaim that someone else could have done it better.

Yup, that’s me, all over. Case in point—at eleven, my parents asked me what I wanted for Christmas. Without thought, I said

“Piano..” Easy, right? Apparently not for my parents.

“Well, if you couldn’t have a piano, what would you like?”

Again, without much thought…

“Drums.” (single sentence phrases were apparently my early pre-teen responses)

Looking back, I can see that my mother was tiring of the game, and I remember she heaved a bit of a sigh at this one. I have never been much of a forward thinker, and tend to rush ahead where fools dare not tread…she thought way ahead in the future, far better than I ever hope to be. I’ll bet she didn’t want all the noise, I’m sure, now that I know how much racket drums make!

“Well, if you couldn’t have a drum, what would you like?”

By now, however, in my own selfish child’s view, I was being denied what I truly wanted once again, so I countered with a heavy sigh…

“Oh, I suppose a guitar will be okay.”

Keep in mind that I really did want the piano or the drums far more than guitar. I knew even at eleven the value of having a background in rhythm and in musical notation, and knew if I could play piano, that I could play ANYTHING. Apparently, my parents didn’t feel the house had enough room, and also the lessons!! Oh, my the cost of the lessons alone often turns many away from the pursuit. And so, a guitar came to me for my eleventh Christmas present.

Special thanks to, for the borrow of their picture of the sea-goat, which I could never have reproduced by myself, for the pictures of the piano and drums. A temporary use, that I will replace with my own pictures of my own guitar and other instruments, once I have better lighting tomorrow.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Spending the Day with HP (and I don’t mean Hewlett Packard ®)

Today’s Tarot Card is the High Priestess of the Robin Wood Tarot Deck. This is one lady who’s got it all together—a spiritual leader of mystery, she opens her book, as well as her crystal ball and peers into the future. The moon over her left shoulder speaks of her connection to the mysteries of the world, while two trees, one dark, one light, speak to the ying/yang, good/bad, in other words, the duality that exists in all of life. She imparts and embodies mystery, both at the same time. She is knowable, and yet, unknowable. Tomorrow will come, but only she knows what it will bring—and she’s not telling. The most secretive of all the tarot cards, she is wise beyond words, and second only to the Magician, who has control over these mysteries. She tells us to look beyond the obvious, seek into the subconscious, watch for things unseen, understand that there are forces beyond your control that will ultimately work for the good, even if they don’t seem so good right this very moment. She might be telling me that I need to relax where work is concerned—that eventually things will work themselves out, and not to fret my pretty little head over it anymore. Okay, HP, you got it…if I can manage it, being a control freak and all.

I discovered that someone I know has been reading my blog. This surprised me, because I didn’t really think that my life, or the things that go on in it, would come off quite so interesting to someone I knew. I’ve been told I should be a writer. I can’t imagine what I would ever write about! Should I tell about how I tripped over a dog and broke my ankle when I was 7? How I was so inquisitive as a child that I actually touched a wringer washing machine’s wringer, and ended up with a sprained arm trying to pull my arm free from said wringer? What about the time when my father called me into the tall weeds to watch millions of garter snakes weave between the blades of grass, to reach down, snatch one, and hold it up for the whole world to see my bravery!?

Oh, pushaw. I’m no great thing, and for sure, no great writer. But things do happen to me, and I’m a bit of a drama queen, I suppose. I find other people infinitely more interesting than me. However, that doesn’t stop me from trying, and I’d never let it stand in my way.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Le Chapeau

I found a hat at Meijer’s the other day. This hat caught my eye, and I picked it up, examined it, decided it was mine and tossed it in the cart. No, I did not look at the price, until I got to the checkout counter. Imagine my surprise. Only $2.29!
Okay, made in China, and the actual pattern is on the inside – apparently a manufacturing faux pas. Still it’s a cool hat. I brought this puppy home in hopes of finding the two patterns it utilizes in order to make my own hat in my colors. This one won’t see the light of day once my colors are obtained. I’ve got a ton of stitch dictionaries for knitting, and it shouldn’t take long before I have this knit up.
Unfortunately, I still don’t have the yarn for the friendlysocks KAL (but it’s been shipped-I just got the email yesterday), and I got the pattern for the Berroco Shrug that I just love!

Are you getting the idea that I have too many projects in line to do?

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

What it is!

Having visited the doctor today, he tells me I have allergies. Now this is not my regular doctor, and I know what happens to me if I don't get the correct drugs, but my regular doctor is on vacation.

Thank goodness I had that extra antibiotic in my medicine chest. I'm now snorting Flonase. This is not a fun thing. I get any sort of liquid up my nose and my sinuses hurt for days afterward. So far, the first dose hasn't bothered me much, but the smell is like hopps--you know, the stuff that goes into beer? No, I'm not kidding. I suppose that there are worse things to smell all day, but beer hopps ain't so bad, really! (hick!)

I've been sleeping off and on since I caught this bug. In the air conditioned room, of course. Living outside that room is tantamount to visiting the place where the devil lives...with added humidity that you can cut with a knife. No knitterly things going on in this heat, I will grant you that much. However, I did get some knitting done on Saturday at the Highland Games, and here's the result. Now don't they look like a little pair of slippers? :)

I can't believe it, but my hubby is washing clothing in this heat. I think he needs his head examined. He will need to wait until we are safely tucked away in the air conditioned room before turning on the dryer!

I tell you, two days off work (meaning the weekend) just isn't enough time off for this old gal! These last two days (Monday and Tuesday) have been a godsend! Right now, I feel more rested than I have in a long time, and I believe that I can conquer the world...

Tomorrow...we'll conquer the world tomorrow...yes, never do today what you can put off until tomorrow. (must be the flonase).

The item that I'm "not getting enough of" is more likely some sort of vitamin. Goodness knows that I could use something that will alleviate the stress, so I purchased a B Complex + C + Folic Acid. B vitamins are for stress, and C is for the cold/allergies. Folic acid is most often taken by ladies with child, I'm not so sure I'm going to be needing THAT anytime soon, but it was the only way I could get the B's I needed...packaged with the other stuff. Now, granted, I could buy a generic vitamin that has basically everything in it, but I truly hate horsepills, and vitamins with everything in them seems a little like overkill. Not everyone needs all of that stuff in their diet. Beyond this, normal "daily vitamins" tend to make me overeat, and I am not prone to eating things that are good for me under the influence of vitamins--by that I mean I pork out on potato chips (and dip), double chocolate muffins and pastry pies...and whatever else exists in the local party store in the building where I work, that looks remotely tasty. Oh, yes, they have boiled eggs, salads and sandwiches, but they also have fried chicken and pizza twice a week! LEMME AT EM!

Okay, enough of my dietary concerns. The heat is exhausting. I am ready for dinner. I forgot the catsup when getting groceries (along with my Flonase). Must have been the smell of beer in my nostrils.

Monday, August 6, 2007

The Price of Overdoing it

Saturday morning, I woke up with a tickle in my throat, and I know that means "Tenna, slow down, you need rest. Relax. You need sleep. Unfortunately, the world doesn't stop for me. I get sick, and I am DOWN with it in short order.

So today, I am going to the doctor with a low-grade fever and a cough that somes from a sinus infection. I've been taking Sudafed, but they are only a temporary fix. I found some Cephalexin from my LAST sinus infection, and I used up what was left of that. There has been some relief, but the cough is sounding so chesty and rheumy that I figure that I best go in, get more drugs and stay home from work for a day--maybe two...since work is what did this to me.

Stress can really do a number on you. Even though I already know that I'm not going in today, I still wake up shaking at 2:30am. My body saying "no you shouldn't take that day off, you aren't really THAT sick" But something inside me knows the difference. Until this cough abates some, I can't go back to bed, because I'll keep my hubby awake, and he DOES have to go to work in a few hours. So I will let him sleep, in blissful ignorance that his wife is plenty miserable.

I might actually get some knitting done on those hose for Ray, but I'm really hoping that I can get more rest. I think I'm going to take my temperature. If I'm hot, I'll do the Tylenol thing, and once the cough medicine takes effect, I'll head back to the bedroom, just in time for the alarm to go off.

The tarot tells me that I'm not getting enough of something. I can't say what that something might be--as the cards were quite explicit (not to mention private), but if I do that, soon my husband will be sick, too. And there is no one sicker than a sick man.

Time to get out those tissues....

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Highland Games!

Today was a good day. Today was a bad day...very much like the wheel of fortune. Things were never totally assured.

I started my day at 5am, having slept fitfully, rising with my hubby to shower and prep for the day. He showered first and left for work. It was too dark at the time to snap his picture, so you'll just have to imagine one weary man, waking up early on a Saturday to go in to work. I'm so sorry, but I don't like overtime. I showered after he left, and realized that I had a tickle in my throat. Oh, no, not a sinus infection! Not today! I got my wheel, and my fiber, my tarot cards, my camera, my sunglasses, my Cascade 220 and pattern for John Anderson Kilt Hose, needles, cell phone and bluetooth (which died on me), and two chairs for us to sit in. Ray was to bring the vehicle, pop and water, a light snack and his drum, because he was competing.

I snapped his picture in the basement hallway, just as we prepared to leave.

After packing the car, we were off to the races, with a quickie stop at the gas station for a light breakfast.
Driving down the road, we watched the sun rise over the horizon, and I was reminded of a Robert Frost poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay":

Nature's first green is gold, her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower, but only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief.
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

It was repeated in a book called "The Outsiders", a book I read in junior high school. I put the poem to music on guitar, and used to sing it all the time. It's a poem about youth, and how quickly it fades.

On the way, I asked the tarot how Ray would do in competition. I had no idea how many would be competing against him. I pulled the 10 of pentacles, which is a card of "completion" of effort and achievement in a chosen course of study. No longer the apprentice, now the master level. I predicted that Ray would win in his competition.

We arrived about 8am at our destination. Notice that while there are lots of tents, there are no bodies yet.

We unloaded the car, and set up, as we usually do, parking the car close to our site while unloading. However, when I jumped into the car to move it to the parking lot, disaster strikes. The car wouldn't start. Ray tried it too, after all, sometimes owners know the quirks of their own cars, right? But he had no better luck. For all intents and purposes we were stranded. The police came around, and told us we had to move the car. They tried to start it too. No luck. They told us the soonest they could call a wrecker to come in to help us would be after the games--at 6pm! Well, of course, by that time, there wouldn't be a place open to FIX the car for us. I made a mental note...never take Ray's car to a distant site again.
I made the best of things, as I normally do, sat down in my chair and began to spin, then decided to work on Ray's Kilt Hose, while he moseyed over to the drumming competition, sure that he would not do well with this recent turn of events. In the meanwhile, a weaver from the Michigan Weaver's Guild showed up with her floor loom. Since I didn't feel she would want to be memorialized on my blog, I only snapped the loom. She was working on a herringbone twill fabric, which was quite intricate and looked difficult. She demonstrated to a number of young and old, and I demo'd the spinning wheel, in between rows of the socks. She brought 5 bobbins of weft yarn, and was done with it by noon. She left me all alone after that. Somewhere during this time, Ray returned from his competition, and informed me that Angus LongPhee was judging drumming today! Now I haven't seen Angus in quite some time, as he had moved to Florida, and I thought I'd never see him again. But there he was in all his glory. I gave him a big hug (even though he couldn't quite place who I was), and snapped his picture.

From there, Ray and I moved on to the heavy athletics field. While there are a fair number of Scottish Heavy Events, the favorite of most is the cabre toss. A cabre is a long pine telephone pole, which is very heavy, weildy, and generally moves in unison with the forces of gravity. The athlete has to wrap his hands around the pole, balance it against his shoulder in a perpendicular to the earth position, move his hands down close to the bottom of the pole, and swiftly pick it up. This is called a successful "pick". Once picked, the pole has to be steadied in the hands of the athlete (no mean feat there), and then walked, then run forward as gravity takes over and begins to tilt the pole toward the earth. At a precise moment, the athlete tosses the cabre into the air, hoping to toss it, end over end, in a straight forward manner. The competitor to toss the cabre in this way in a 12 o'clock position, wins. The competitors are allowed 3 tries, and the game is scored. If the cabre does not fall end for end, then the degrees are calculated. I was able to snap some pics of the prep for tossing, and even the actual "pick", but they get to running so fast, that I just couldn't deal with the actual toss. However, many even in the amateur competition, were able to complete the toss at least once in thier 3 tries.

After this, Ray and I bumped into some friends from our band who were competing with another band this year, and we spent some time chatting in the sun. Ray decided after a bit that he was going to head back to the car. One of the friends, Pat and I decided to go shopping. We found lots of things to buy, and I found a couple of items that I did indeed purchase. I found a pewter drummer on a key chain to go with my pewter piper. I snatched that one up in a hot tamale minute! At another store, I started to hunt for a new Sgian Dubh. I had lost my Sgian Dubh (pron. skein doo, which is gaelic for "small black knife"), so I hunted for a new one, happening across one that was just beautiful, and I asked the shop keeper..."how much?" Now, Pat and I had been asking him about several items in his "store", and when he told me the price, I thought that he was kidding with me.


And I replied "oh, no, seriously, really, how much!?"
"No", he replies..."it really is $450. It's carved from ebony."
"Oh!", both Pat and I exclaim in unison. Pat looks at me, and tells me I have expensive taste! I reply, "You've got that right, expensive taste WAY beyond my budget!" We both laughed. I asked him if I could touch it, and he handed it to me. I looked it over, and it's got a smokey quartz stone in the hilt, and I tell the store operator that there should be a diamond in there! He countered with "and then it would cost even more!"

Sigh. Yes, I imagine so...
From there, Pat had to head off to practice with the drum corps in her competition effort, and I stopped at another tent to buy a "dubh" of a cheaper make and model, then headed back for my wheel with my treasures. When I meet Ray at the tent, he's sulking over the car, and I offered perhaps he could go visit with Angus again to see how he did in the competition. So, to get the car off his mind, that's exactly what he proceeded to do. I sat down and began to spin in earnest.

In the area where the Weaver's Guild and I sat, there are re-enactors and a special "kid's games" Battle of Culloden game that is held every year. Here are a couple of the ringleaders. These guys and their wives have a stash of toy "weapons" by which the children, being rather overloaded with a variety of weapons (namely a wooden rifle and single shot pistol, a shield, a dirk (knife about a foot long) and a broadsword--which is usually longer than the child is tall!)will charge the English first with the rifle (the crowd yells "BANG!"), then the one shot pistol (another BANG!) at the end of a 50 foot running course, and eventually with broadsword in one hand, dirk and shield in the other, will run down said courseway yelling all the way in a true highlander fashion (SHRIEK!) meant to scare the opponent at the end of the courseway, and tap the Englishmen (stuffed, of course) on the shoulder with the broadsword, indicating defeat of the English. (Writer's note: In actuality, the English won this battle, but it's cute to watch the kids rush those English soldiers...BOO!) While I watched the coming and going of people, a lady passed by with some Scottish Westies. They were so cute in their little get-ups that I just had to take a pic! There were also the standard Gordon Setters and Bearded Collies, Border Collies and Highland Bovines...cows, that is.

Ray returned from his chat with Angus, and Blue Medal in hand! He won! The tarot was right again! (Writers Note: I wanted to get a pic of his medal, as it was quite large--bigger than a silver dollar, and on a hefty blue ribbon, but he wanted to get home before I could snap the pic.)

Another friend of mine took a second place in his grade, a medal he was very proud of, as he was wearing it when we were talking, and I totally missed it until he showed it to me. I gave him a high five in congratulations.

Around now, Ray decides to go and watch the band competitions. I stretch out in the chair and fell asleep, my mouth hanging open, and I waken, about an hour later, sure that I was drooling, snoring and simply totally gross. I was tired, and the heat was a bit much. My throat is killing me, and I'm starving. I feel like I might have a fever, and wished fervently that Ray would return from the playing field, and see me starving, head over to get me a meat pie or a bridie. About 20 minutes later, he did show up. We couldn't decide what we wanted to do at this point. It was almost closing ceremonies, and still no idea how things were going to work about the car.
About this time, one of the local police shows up, climbs into Ray's car, and turns the key over, and the car started.


And even though there were a great many things that I didn't have the time to review and document here, such as the opening and closing ceremonies, where all the massed bands play, the highland dance competitions, the drum/pipe/band competitions, the drum salutes, the judges, the country dancers, the country singers, playing ballads on guitar, the tug of war between the local fire workers and the marines, the food, the beer tent, the clan tents, the dog trials and agility, the crafts, the staff who tried really hard to give us help, I tell you, the list goes on. There was something for everyone there! I feel like I missed everything being slightly sick and tired.

Well, as you might guess, we packed and headed out for home, stopping only long enough to grab a bite at a nearby McDonald's, using the drive through, so we didn't have to turn off the engine, worried that we might not get the car going again.
On the way, we stopped at my workplace to pick up my chanter, pipe music and directions to tomorrow's "gig". Called my son to let him know what time to meet us at the corner, and then headed to my house. We unloaded the car again, leaving it running, and then Ray quickly departed. I hope that I see him in the morning....and, true to form, I have a 99.1 degree fever. I feel lousy, and have to perform tomorrow.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Always Consider Tomorrow!

Work finally did me in for the week, and I am finally out of jail and a free bird for the weekend. I might just take Monday off, too, considering how today went. Work and I just don't get along!

Tarot card for the day is the Wheel of Fortune. This is truly a card that can bring good tidings, or bad tidings, dependent on where you're at when the reading is done. If you're experiencing difficulties, things are going to get better. If you're experiencing a great time and life is good, you can expect a telegram telling you that your mom died or something (now that's a complete dramatization, you understand, but you get the picture), or just a speedy downturn of events. This describes my day today in great detail--had you been there to see it. Not prone to bawling my eyes out at the office, I suppose that the last month and a half has finally gotten to me--I had a mini nervous breakdown--RIGHT THERE. How embarrasing! But it is to be expected. You're goin' along great guns, then someone comes and rains on your parade.

So I left work early, and stopped at the LYS. Always a good tonic, right? I made a couple of purchases, then sat down to work on this wasp's nest of sock yarn that the cats so graciously left me to pick up and sort out. I have accomplished this, and the ball is neatly packed away where little kittie paws cannot reach. I still have to dehair it. Any ideas on how to get at least some of the cat and dog hair out of the yarn before I knit with it?

Purchases were two 50 gram balls of black fingering weight (for fair isle socks), and some glittery sock yarn, which won't photograph at all--but it's greyish varigated. The glittery stuff in it makes the yarn look like spun silver. Really quite beautiful. This is one that waits patiently for a pattern to speak to it. Since it comes in a 100 gram ball, I don't have to buy a second ball.

Tomorrow is the Detroit Highland Games, held in Livonia, Michigan. It marks my 25th year of being in band drumming. I'm taking my wheel and a pair of the John Anderson Kilt Hose to knit on--this pair being for my friend, who is doing the driving. There will be a fair amount of pictures from that watch close. I won't be home until quite late. The Games are an "all day" thing. I enjoy it quite a lot. Hubby works on Saturday, so the house will be empty, with the exception of all my animals. It isn't supposed to rain in Michigan until Saturday night, and the day is supposed to be a scorcher! I hope I can locate some shade to do my spinning!

A bird of unknown type is in one of the trees outdoors, chirping for all he's worth! Or maybe it's a chipmunk. We have lots of little critters about the place. Yesterday, there was a hummingbird in my lillies, getting a meal. The other day, deer were stealing apples from my apple tree. All sorts of apples on the ground, but they have to eat them out of the tree! Go figure.

Since I need to rest up for a while in prep for tomorrow's festivities, I am going to close for now, but keep your eyes open. There'll be lots of kilted lasses and laddies on tomorrow's post!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Miscellaneous bits and batties

Tarot card for the Day: The 8 of swords.
Here's a woman, tied up, blindfolded, surrounded by 8 swords stuck in the ground, on the beach. Blindfolded, you wonder if she knows that she's in trouble--since the tide is currently out. Does she even realize what's coming? This card generally symbolizes being in a sticky situation from which there doesn't appear to be any way to extricate oneself. It's a card that basically says: "nothing you can do to make it better, but to let things go on as they will and hope for the best". The swords surround her but only on three sides. There are none in FRONT of her, and were she able to SEE, she could see that all she really had to do was march STRAIGHT FORWARD, and she would no longer be in the position she's in. The meaning inferred, then, is when it seems that things are darkest, marching straight into the storm, rather than trying to retreat, is probably the best policy in the current situation. When the card is reversed it means that things are not really so bad as they seem, but to wait until the storm passes to move. It can also mean, "stay indoors today, it's going to rain". But since we're going through a draught this year, and since the weatherman claims no rain until next week, I'm pretty sure that it doesn't mean that I need to stay indoors.
This card is the perfect draw for how I feel at the office. We are going through a very trying time with the new system that was recently installed on our hardware. It's basically been a nightmare (9 of swords), but only because it's made life difficult for all of us here. I keep hearing "this is normal"...but I disagree! It's not normal for me to expect that I'm going to have to commit myself to the looney bin everyday for a month! The gal in the card is tied up, but I'm the one wearing a straight jacket...see the similarities?

So, on to more fun things.

When I arrived at home, dog and cat were standing by the door with sorrowful looks....they had gotten into my sock yarn stash, and pulled apart one of my 100 gram balls. It was strung all over the house, and now full of cat hair.

I have to get out my winder to rewind it back onto a center pull ball. I suppose I might just as well also split it into two balls to prepare for knitting.

I also have a pair of blue and white socks that I made that were much too I'm going to unwind them, put the yarn on a niddy-noddy, and steam it so that I can make new, better fitting socks out of it.

I also have to figure out this broadband card. It's just not working like it should. So there is another project. One more job to do, along with making dinner and going to the store to buy pop. I'm getting exhausted again, but soon the pics will be uploaded, and I'll be able to go from there.

So I have my work cut out for me this evening! I hope that all of you out there in blogger land find your day full of yarn and fiber (if that's what you like), and all your days are warm in the daytime and rainy and cool at night (if you're a day person, like me, that's always a good thing).

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Sleepless in Seattle's got nuthin' on me!

Up late last night, with my own personal computer guru friend, who I've not seen in a handful of years, due to a computer glitch. Come to find out, it's not one of those pesky virus files that have been coursing the internet, but rather all the start up files that are loading everytime I boot up. I've been overtaxing my system.

But he gave me some really good information last night...for instance that I could get rid of my house phone and dial up internet account and for the same price, purchase internet through my cell phone and use a card in my laptop for high speed internet. He also showed me how to use my WIFI connection on my laptop, which was something I didn't know how to do.

This fellow is a GEM of a friend, and I have a very special relationship with him, even though he doesn't like to tell me much about his personal life, and I figure that it's more from a personal desire not to overburden me with all the gory details. Even so, he listens to my whimpering over trivial things--for instance how the software on our machines at the office is somewhat less than desirable, and of course, he and I can discuss many things computer related. He took my laptop completely apart--this guy is a total artist--I couldn't believe all the teensie-tiny parts in there, just to clean out my fan of the dust that was clogging the fins--only to put it back together precisely as it was taken apart, without one extra part remaining. Now my HUSBAND, on the other hand, usually has a part or two--maybe a screw or some oddbit--left over at the closing ceremony...but not this guy. He is meticulous to a fault--but when he's done, you know it's really done. I trust him implicitly with my machines...and in some ways with my life--indeed, my puter, being my connection with my readership and the rest of the world outside my little portion of it--really IS my life.

So with that, Chris, I honor you in my blog! You are truly a marvel (no not a comic) and my super-hero where my computer is concerned. Thank you once again for coming over to work on my puter so late. I honestly don't think I can thank you enough. And don't go being bashful about my praise. You do deserve it.

In the meantime, we were up working and talking until quite late into the night, and I'm sure he figures that I was unable to rouse myself this morning....however, I did just that! Roused myself in time to take the dog out, write this thank you, and take off for work--all on time. I do have a reputation to uphold at the office, and with this undesirable software, they truly do need the help in debugging, which I'm fairly good at. So I will make it, fear not.

The buzzer just sounded....And she's off like a promdress-on the way to work! More later!

Later, after the mayhem of the afternoon...

We all had a family dinner at Los Tres Amigos--Hubby and I, his sister and brother in law, their two children, and his mom and dad. I ate too much--that frozen ice cream sits on the top of it all, sort of rolling about in an utterly obscene way, and even after two antacids, I am still uncomfortable. I went about getting the card for the computer, but now, husband says he'll not be able to do without a phone in the house. Since I keep the cell phone with me almost all the time, it means that I won't have any savings. Looks like it's dialup forever for me.

Today's tarot card is the 10 of wands. Here we have a picture of a young person hoofing 10 long wands through a field, down a trail. It looks like he's plenty tired, and the city, far in the distance is where his thoughts seem to be, while his load is large and with back stooped, he forges ahead.

Basically, too much work, too hard work, too much load--looks like you'll make it, but it's going to take a long, long time to get there, and you're tired--exhausted--yawn! One more step...head toward bed...why does this sound so inviting, I ask you? Maybe that I only got about 3 hours of sleep last night? Could be!

Gnite all.