Thursday, January 31, 2008

No Eyes in the Back of My Head

Sometimes I wish I had eyes in the back of my head.

I would really like to be able to take a look at my incision--just to make sure that it isn't seeping or turning ugly, angry colors, without depending on my husband, who is pretty inept at caring for me.

I knit a whole four rows on his socks last night. It was the only knitting I did all day. Between sleeping and eating, I really didn't do much at all. I bundled up and drove to the store for some goodies (chips, crackers, chocolate--you know the drill "comfort food!"), and when I came back, downed two more Tylenol and fell fast asleep until hubby came home.

He wasn't happy when I asked him to feed the sheep either, as I had no way to pull a new bale down--being that I'm not supposed to stress my incision. It wasn't like I've asked him for help with them all year--and he groused about it all the way out and all the way back in, but he shut his mouth when he found out that I'd bought some Packsi's at Meijer's. Well he shut his mouth long enough to say "mmmm", and then they were "gone".

My husband--he's so easy.

Anyway, as I was saying, I hate that this cut is on my back. I like to be able to see what's going on--even to the point of telling my hubby at the hospital--it would be kewl if they would take a movie of it and show me afterwards what it was like--See I'm not squeemish that way. Recently, my mother had her cataracts removed, and I got to watch the surgery. The only thing that bothered me was that it seemed like they were having some difficulty "getting" to the correct position to suction out what needed to be removed, and the particular movements they made looked like they would hurt. But squeem? Not me.

So I would have liked to watch my own surgery...funny as that may seem. Shoulder still hurts me a bit, but the dressing is gone now, and so I don't have that pressing on the incision--which makes the sitting back in the chair or lying down 75% easier than with the dressing! Even the pains in the chest area are going away. I'm still struggling with heartburn that gives me a headache. So instead of drinking pop (Diet Caffiene Free Pepsi), I'm drinking some caramel-flavored coffee. I actually felt well enough to fill up the dishwasher and get it going. I'm better today, which means I go to work on Friday. It's okay, I suppose. One has to get back to the routine eventually.

But I still wish I had eyes in the back of my head.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Quitting Knitting

What? ME? Quit Knitting? You've got to be joking!
No seriously, I typed in the alphabet for my Title for today, and found that I'd not used the letter Q--and all I could think of was quitting--then all I could think of was Knitting.

How can I do that when there's projects like this one out there? I can't pass this one up! The theme for February's Monthly Dischcloth is of course, the color pink. I have the yarn--I could start immediately--BUT

I won't...I won't...I won't. It will have to wait. I will put it in my queue at Ravelry. I will hope that I can make it somewhere between the two cloths already on the agenda for February. It means I'll be making 3 cloths.

What I need to do is to take all these other things that take up so much of my time--such as sleep, and work...they just take up too much of my day, and I really need to knit.

And while I knit, I must sit. This hole in my back hurts like the dickens! So I'll eat a little something, take some more tylenol and go back to bed.

Yeah, right. Me. Quit Knitting. If you believe that one, I can sell you this bridge that runs between Upper and Lower Michigan for a couple hundred.

This afternoon, I thought I would do some knitting, but I am so sore from surgery that I can barely stand it. Leaning back in the chair creates a significant pain in my back, so I've been sitting at the computer in the chair sideways--holding myself up, which also takes some effort. Add to that, while I was under they intubated me (I must have had an apnea episode, or were concerned that they MIGHT have one, so they stuck an airway down my throat.), my chest, throat and even around my lips hurt like hell.

I think that it will be a long while before I let my doctor send me to that hospital again.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Back from Surgery and sleep!

Hey Barb! My turn for a migraine!

Hold on while I take a tylenol-3 for this whopper!

The surgeon's office called to move the time up for my surgery. I was just fine. I arrived. I knit on my hubby's socks (they are taking forever!), and was called in to be admitted after about 15 minutes.

After admitting, I followed the pointy finger to the second floor, where I found the nurses station. Hubby followed me and sat in a chair while I prepped myself into the designer fashion for surgery patients. I crawled into the hospital bed and covered up with a nice warm blanket. The nurse returned and obtained all the rest of the information and signatures, put in the IV (which hurt like hell--there must have been a burr on the needle!) gave my hubby a key for a locker for my stuff, and left me with a little specimen bottle, which I took with me to the little room adjacent--and pleased the nurse.

Then I returned to bed. The surgeon arrived and told me everything that was going to go on. Then a resident arrived, and told me everything that was going to happen.
Then a student doctor arrived (before the resident left) and added that he was going to be watching--the resident was assisting.

Is it just me, or are doctors getting younger? This guy looked like I could easily be his mother!

Then the nurse came in with the anesthesiologist. She gave me something--and after that, I don't remember anymore--until I woke up in recovery with a sore throat, a cold feeling under my back (they put me on ice), and a migraine (hangover?) that would choke a horse.

Hubby helped me dress and we checked out. We stopped at a UPS store so I could send out some blocking wires, stopped for lunch at McD's, got my script and headed home.

I want chocolate like you can't know!

Right now I'm uploading a file to the band website. I am working on the band website, writing here, and reading email. I'm taking tomorrow off, too. I can't sit very long. or my back starts to throb.

So wish me well as I'm off to bed once again.

Hospital Day

Today I go to the hospital. I am tired- they moved up my time to go in. I have to be there by 5:30, so I'm leaving as soon as the dog goes outdoors to do her thing.

The cats got into the trash last night---you might know, since it's just going to LAY there all day. Good cats. You know what to do, don't you?

Okay, dog is in, I have my coat on.

Bye!

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Lady

She turned up in my draw this morning. She stands for loving family and friends and being one with yourself and the rest of the world. She heralds harmony and safety and peace. She speaks to the female body and maybe pregnancy...(well, that one isn't in the cards for me thank goodness). She's a card of being in tune with body and soul.

Right now, all I can think about is this cyst on my back, and how I'm getting it removed tomorrow. This may be a card that is telling me that by having this procedure will bring me back into "equilbrium" with my body, but I never know.

Yesterday's cards didn't turn up any money--so I'm confused! And POOR! Ratz!

I did call Ray and tell him to take care not to buy a stolen car.

I digress.

This thing on my back hurts more and more--as if it "knows" that it's leaving--I just hope that the surgury goes well and that it takes no time at all to get well again so I can go back to the office. I tell you, I take one day off and the whole place goes to heck in a handbasket.

I did a little more work on my hubby's socks last night, but couldn't get much done because all the animals seem to know that something is "wrong" with me, and they all want my attention at the same time. The dog won't leave me alone, and both cats want to sit in my lap--this is unusual in itself, because they hate each other, but there you go.

Band practice seemed to go well, but when it's just one snare drummer (me), the sound is a little "thin". Afterward, we went to battalion headquarters (da local bar) and had burgers and fries. I got the blocking wires, and dropped off a piece of music for Sammy. I took some drum music home--I can even read some of it, but I'm better at 4/4 time than 3/4 time in reading...so I'm having the guy who wrote it down to come in and work with us on it. It seems pretty easy in most places--and rather redundant, but we'll take a look at it. Perhaps it will give us some more "pieces" to incorporate into our regular 3/4--we'll see. The guys is supposed to email me a copy of the file inside Drum Note Pro--that way I can hear how it sounds without having to reinvent the wheel.

Well I have to do some editting on the band website, so I'll sign off for now. It's likely you won't see me tomorrow until after surgury, and I'm not sure that I'll be able to do much of anything coherant. Wish me luck.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Let me tell you about

My Saturday


I can believe how Saturday turned out. I had a performance in Grand Rapids, and when I returned, a party at my girlfriends--but I drew the 4 of swords reversed, which says: "enforced seclusion--perhaps even imprisonment."


To be honest, I wasn't arrested--but there was some police involvement--and it wasn't MINE, but someone else's, and yes, they are imprisoned, in a way, but not like you'd think. Allow me to elaborate:


I woke up at 7 am and took a long hot shower. I was expected at 11am at a performance in Grand Rapids at that time, and was having just a bit of sinus trouble, but nothing to hold me at home. I prepared myself and was dressed by 9am. I spent the next half-hour or so waiting for Ray to come down, as he was going to accompany me to the performance.


About 9:15am the telephone box rang. It was a strange number, and I was hesitant, but also curious, but it was too early to expect a phone call (indeed at first I thought perhaps it was Ray calling and said so to my husband, but it wasn't his #), but early enough for Ray to tell me that he couldn't come due to road conditions.


Well, it was a used car lot in St. Johns.


"Is this Tenna Draper," asked the voice on the other end.


"Yes, sure....who's this," I replied with a little miffed-ness, because I was expecting another tele-marketer salesman...


"This is (some guy) from R&H Sales (there goes my RADAR). Do you know a Ray Croisant?"


"Yes, I do." Now, I'm worried--what's Ray doing at a used car lot?


"Well, he's just been in a pretty bad accident, and he's...wait, he wants to talk to you."


(brief intermission while the phone is passed to Ray and I become hysterical)


"Hi Kid" (his euphemism for me)


"Tell me what happened...." (mother instinct)


And he proceeded to tell the tale. Apparently, he made the turn off the highway to take a shortcut around town, and the road was not yet plowed, lost control of the car and swerved into oncoming traffic and they broadsided him.


Then he asked me if I'd just take him back home.


He got a ticket. His car was totalled. What could I do.


Now keep in mind that I'm dressed in my performance gear...but I run to the car and head out with my shopping list in hand. I called the Pipe Major to let him know that the show wasn't going on for me and why, then told him the good news was that Ray hadn't been hurt, but that he didn't have a way home, and so I was taking him, because he was really shook up and....and...


So I missed the performance.


I took Ray home.


I did it all wearing a kilt.


Then I went to JoAnn's (in a kilt). Then I went to TSC (in a kilt). Then I went to Meijer's (in a kilt). Then I went to another TSC (in a kilt). Then I went home (and got out of my kilt).


And I threw away the brazziere from hell.


Put on some street clothes and drove over to my girlfriend's house--where I'd pretty much missed her party with all the shopping I'd done (and I forgot the milk, darn it!). I watched everyone pack up and leave, then watched while my girlfriend took another friend down the road to her car where she'd gotten a flat tire, and then I left and came back home and did some knitting.


So while I had an enforced "imprisonment" where I really didn't get to do what I'd wanted to do all day, it wasn't really an imprisonment of the kind that I imagined. In fact, I would say that my friend Ray has a worse imprisonment--noting that without a car, you are basically "Home Bound". I'm hoping that he gets some sort of transportation during the week, because he has tickets for the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards playing at the Wharton Center on this coming Friday, and my son and I are supposed to join him.


And there is practice today, although I know that he won't make that.


So the entire day for both of us was one of "you aren't going to be able to do the things that you expected to do over the weekend.


Today, I pulled the 9 of pentacles reversed. Entitled "gain", you would think it would be an indicator of "loss" instead, but usually, Tarot doesn't work that way. No, this one means financial gain from tainted sources (after paying my car repair bill, I'm tempted, believe me, to take whatever comes my way!) or obtained by theft (I don't have any rich friends!) or embezzlement (that's not even possible). You are either fully aware that it's suspect or you suspect--and it's up to your own conscience whether you accept it or not...but that I should remember there is a price to pay for everything. Rut roh!


So I ask where this $$ is going to come from...and drew the 10 of cups--labelled "reward".


Now, both of these are suspect cards--because I have no one of shady enough character who would offer me tainted money, and I'm not the type to steal or embezzle, no matter how much I need some this week, but to tell me it's from a reward of some sort--well, that's just not possible! I haven't done anything to deserve a "reward". However, perhaps it's all referring to Ray.


He was talking to his lawyer about freeing up some money from his sister's estate, left for him for such purposes--he was going to wait until spring, but the crash of his car has put him in relatively dire straights. I don't think of this as embezzlement, though, so where is the connection?


The 10 0f cups is also considered the "wish card", meaning that I will get my wish. The two cards together make no sense at the moment, other than I'm hoping that he will have a car by this coming Friday so that he can go to the performance at Wharton. I'm wondering if the car he obtains is known to be stolen or suspected?


And of course, these cards may have no connection whatsoever to Ray, or to each other, but thinking has never been my strong point. I'm a "do-er", not a "thinker".


So, I'll talk a bit about my knitting. I got the life lines and the waste yarn in for my afterthought heel--the pattern is meant for two socks on two circs, but I did it ala Magic Loop. I did, however have to put in a little "extra" step to get me back around to the heel to finish knitting after the waste yarn was put in--that means "slipping the instep stitches for one row". This will work out once I remove the waste yarn and pick up my life line rows to work the heel after finishing the cuff. Here's what it looks like now:

You see the pins on the toes? Well the pink ones mark the edge to put the bunion. The silver coilless ones tell me it's the back/sole of the sock.
The waste yarn is yellow. The life lines are a bright neon yellow green--It's dmc thread, but it's got too much nylon in it, I think--splittier than all "get out".
I'm doing the cuff in ribbing first 2x2, then I'll increase to 3x3 for the calf, because he has such big calves!
You'll see!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Enough is Enough is Enough

I've been sending emails to my mother in law. The computer on her end belched and quit--so her email was lost.

Her slipper pattern for two needle slippers (well, not HER pattern, but the one she's been hunting for) is HERE. Now I have you, my pretty, and to make sure I don't lose you again, I'm going to TAG you, too.

So I'm running right along, sold some knitters blocking wires to one of the women in Knitting Beyond the Hebrides, and have Paypal all set up. Just have to put my link over there on the right side so that you guys can order from me!

Beyond that, I am spent. The week (even though it was only four days) has just simply drained me. I still have to set up a UPS account and eat...hmmm...nothing sounds good except for sleep!

Our lights went out again last night, did I tell you that this morning? Goodness. I can't even remember what I was doing this morning. Okay, give me a minute to read my blog...LOL! I have to read my own blog to know/remember what I did this morning. Something is VERY wrong.

Okay, I guess I didn't tell you!

So the lights go out about 11pm last night, and I'm right in the middle of trying to set up Paypal--and the battery comes on--well this machine doesn't run well on battery, so as I'm getting ready to shut things down, the lights come on again.

So I start another button click, and pow, the lights go off again. I'm turning off the internet, and the lights come back on---it's a race to see who can shut down fastest, you see.

So I get started shutting down. The lights beat me to it. Everything died but the battery, and I safely shut things down, set my cell phone alarm clock and went to bed.

My husband wants a new clock that runs on a battery--just in case the lights go out in the middle of the night--so that the alarm will still go off at the proper time. I don't even know if there IS such a thing. I suppose there is, but I bet it's expensive, and he's asking this at a time when I have to pay him $360 for fixing my car.

I don't think he's going to get a new clock anytime soon. Losing electric power isn't something that he can control--unless he wants to buy himself a little wind up clock--which is perfectly acceptable--but don't expect ME to buy it. Then HE should be the one to keep it loaded with batteries--since HE is the one who wants it that way.

Why do I sound upset and angry?

Might have something to do with the fact that I'm tired and hungry, and he's not willing to take me out to dinner. This is what I get for skipping lunch in order to get my PayPal set up.

Sheesh.

What? Am I the biggest idiot yet?

Oh, I was reading my blog rolls and arrived at this one inquiring about co-parenting support groups. I'm pretty sure that I understood what the person was talking about, so I informed her about an organization called "Parent's Without Partners". As the name suggests, it's a support group for adults who's spouses have flown the coop and moved on to "find themselves".

It gives the adult left behind a chance to have some fun now and then (let's say on the weekend they have "off"), and also a chance to do fun things now and then with their child and other people's children (let's say on the weekend when they're the "parent in charge").

Not to be mean to the one who left the family behind, it's been my experience that the one who leaves the home (especially if it's the man) leaves to escape the responsibilities--and instead of taking those responsibilities (and by consequence, becoming the parent who is "no fun"), often this parent will attach to another partner quickly, if only to foist the responsibility onto the newcomer, maintaining his role as "fun guy", leaving mom with nothing but "parenting responsibility when the child returns home to the custodial parent.

Not only this, but when the custodial parent is on the "off" weekend, they sit at home, missing their little one, because that little one is the ONLY one left that their lives revolve around. That little one is their sole purpose in life. The last link to the love they once knew. And being that sort of alone on the weekend is rather like Eleanor Rigby--the worst sort of lonliness.

Parents Without Partners takes care of the alone-ness. You have other parents who "feel like you do", and fun activities (remember dancing?) to chase away those blahs and bluedoms. Suddenely, while you don't have a real date, here's somebody who will take your hand out to the dance floor and spin you around for a few whirls--EVEN IF YOU'RE A BRAND NEWBY! Let me tell you, it is one special feeling.

And you can talk to the other spouse until you're blue in the face, my friend. Co-parenting is a myth until the other party grows up and realizes that they need to accept responsibility for this cute little bundle they've participated in creating--that means picking them up from school--but not just that--it's also important to be on TIME, and not always at the last minute to call YOU and say "I can't make it--(insert stupid excuse here)", making you change all your plans at the last minute to rush over there, pay the sitter the extra money that you don't have, while the other one gets off scott free.

My old boyfriend and his ex-wife had an arrangement that seemed to work out well. The first 6 years, mom and her boyfriend had the baby, and she spent her summers with her dad. The next 6 years, she spent with her dad, and summered with her mom. At twelve years old, she was asked who she wanted to be with, and daughter chose her mother. This upset dad quite a bit, but he had to accept it, since it was her choice, which she could change in a week if she desired. But when she was out of his home, he was desperately lonely. For a while, he turned to me, but then, when he thought our relationship was getting in the way of his relationship with his daughter, he would throw my son and I out of the house.

Well, you can guess that after three times of that sort of thing happening, I told him to take a flying leap. A week later, he came to me to tell me that his daughter was moving to California. I didn't feel the slightest bit sorry for him. He needed to "own" that lonliness, and I wasn't about to take the time to sugarcoat his day for him, when I knew that it would never result in a permanent position in his life.

And so, when he tried to convince me and manipulate me into meeting him halfway, I simply told him that I wouldn't do it anymore. It made me cry (hard), because I did love him, but it was a decision I had to make in order to maintain my sanity.

Co-parenting is a great vision--but there needs to be MORE...like a MISSION STATEMENT and how you're going to arrive at "predicted outcomes". On the other hand, it might be more of a pipe-dream--a vastly unattainable goal that is perpetrated and maintained the the selfish "other" parent who has cast off his or her role in order to fish for something more suitable to his/her tastes and selfish personal "needs". If by Co-parenting, you're thinking that both maintain their responsibility to the child, while at the same time, living with the knowledge that the "other parent" is having all the fun, while you're doing all the grunt work. This is the rule, not the exception--this is where Parents Without Partners comes in. It bridges the gap between the parent who was left behind with all sorts of responsibility to work outside the home to put food on the table and roof over your heads, and all at a far lower income level than that to which you are accustomed. Now you have an outlet where you can safely "date", but not really DATE. It also provides a place where you can do fun stuff with your child, so that you're not hearing "I'm going to DAD'S HOUSE. It's WAY more FUN over there!" which is SO freaking hard to hear.

I can say all these things, because I've been on both sides of the coin--having been in Parent's Without Partners--having dated a man with a child who was completely responsible for his child, and having become a step parent myself. I can say that while I am an accepted part of my husband's family, I do my level best to keep my nose out of family matters, and care for my husband and his family as if they were my own--however, I still consider myself on the "periphery" where his kids are concerned. Partly because they were much older and pretty much on their own at the time, but I am still involved in their lives as adults with children of their own.

My step daughter needs to get her family of four healthy! It seems like every time we call, someone is sick. I have to tell you, though--the greatest compliment I ever got in my life, and the one that told the story, was when her mother came up to me in the hospital, as we were waiting to hear word about the new grandbaby born preemie--my step-daughter's mother came up to me, took my hand, and said "congratulations, grandma!"

Wow.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Another Tribble?


Yes, these little tribbles are multiplying just like on the Star Trek episode. I have 5 of them now, and counting. I'm using up my scraps and taking care of my monthly dishcloth KAL at the same time!


A note for you folks who check out my blog and want to see the details of the projects over there on the right hand side of my blog...unfortunately, if you have no ravelry account, you will be unable to view my ravelry page.
SO EVERYBODY GO SIGN UP!
I stopped in to my favorite LYS today and got some yarn and a knitted afghan pattern called "The Great North American Afghan". This one is really colorful. No idea when I'll have time to start it, but it's a great addition to the library.
Beyond that, this evening I knit up to the heel on hubby's socks. I haven't taken a picture yet because I want to get the waste yarn in FIRST, then I'll take a picture. First, I need to try them on hubby again for length. That may happen in the morning, or as late as tomorrow after work.
So after I post to Ravelry, and read my email there, plus a couple on my regular email, I should be ready for (yawn! 'scuse me) "bed".

A Cool Website for Crafters!

I found this site and it is just the coolest thing! I will take any picture from your hard drive--be that something that you took with your camera, or something you happened to glom off the internet--and turns it into a GRAPH--from which you can knit, cross-stitch or needlepoint. Maybe even plug into your sewing machine (although I'm not certain of the last item).


But it makes a graph and then you can download it to your hard drive and use it for any number of things. I got a picture of my pipe band's webart, and will knit it to the back of a black sweater. I'm so excited about it, I nearly lost my noodle!


Here's the little copy from the pdf that was downloaded to my hard drive....I just think that this is so cool!


Not much knitting to report, even though I worked on the PWFI Sweater sleeve last night, I didn't get far because I was watching television--GHI or, as those in the know call it--scream and scream again. Ghost Hunters International. They go all over the world hunting ghosts with AVP meters and MFP meters, and try to catch on film, unexplainable phenomenae. I find the show interesting, but sometimes, some of the sounds they get on the AVP sounds like a cat to me--and some of the shadows could be explained by a cat as well. In all these shows, I have never seen a dog or a cat. Don't they know that if you have an animal like this, that if there *is* a spirit, that the animal can either sense it or see it, and dogs have been known to bark at them--even growl--
Well, I suppose it's time to go, a quick pull of the Tarot brings up--AHA! The Sun! Reversed, but that's okay. It means anything from a good day to simply one where the sun shines. It can also mean watch out for hot things. In the book, it says that my intelligence is not being usefully directed--hmm...what intelligence? Well, for one, I'm sticking here on the blog, when I should be on the road to work--but it also means settle down and listen to the world that is spinning so fast around you. Simplify and spend some time inward. The card can also indicate learning difficulties--owing not to a lack of intelligence, but to inappropriate teaching.
Nah...it's intelligence-or rather the lack of it--hehe. It's okay, since I have a doctor's appointment today--so I'm not going to get a huge lot done today anyway. Beyond that, I have to warm up the car. There! One job completed. Funny thing, it's cold outdoors, but I go out in a sweatshirt to start my car. It must be a little warmer today than yesterday! But it did snow quite a bit, which means that the roads will be a mess this morning. It's the soft, fluffy downhill stuff that skiers like--one day I will tell you about my skiing adventures.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Another Dishcloth!

I belong to a knit along group called Monthly Dishcloths. It's a Yahoo Group that makes knitted dishclothes of every type and timbre! Okay, maybe not timbre, but they're all cute.


Even though they call themselves "Monthly Dishcloths", they put out one at the beginning of the month, and one in the middle of the month, called the Mid-Month Dishcloth KAL.


I was a little late in getting my installments together due to some other pressing matters, but finally got my act together and took the pattern and yarn with me to work yesterday.


I forgot, however, to drop a knitting needle in the bag! Holy cow, am I an idiot!


So when I got home, I put the nose to the grindstone, as it were, and whipped this puppy up in an evening--even with interruptions--hubby wanted dinner, dog wanted outside--you know the drill!


So here's the January Mid-Month Dishcloth KAL from Monthly Dishcloths at Yahoo:


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Finally on my way home...

My day is done. I made up all the time I missed this morning. I got most of the work done that I'd hoped to do, and the evening is going to be filled with nothing but KNITTERLY THINGS!

I've still got quite a bit to do here in the office, but it can wait until tomorrow, because if I stay even one moment longer, they will turn off the lights on me! Beyond that, it's starting to get dark outdoors, and I don't want to have to walk in the dark--so I'll be leaving now thank you.

It's been a long long day. I am really glad that it's over.

Needles to say

I am to a point where I have to measure hubby's sock again to see if I'm ready to start the heel.

The Fair Isle is too big to maneuver to work.

So I'm taking a little washcloth to work with me to knit on today.

I am going to be so bored.

Monday, January 21, 2008

RETRACTION

Okay, somewhere in the midst of my "poor, poor pitiful me" episodes over the Christmas/Birthday/holidays, I forgot to mention something.

Everyone DID NOT forget my birthday.

My best girlfriend from Spin Night came over "specially for me", brought me a birthday card and a little giftie of a little stuffed sheepie--something that she and I share alike--I'm pretty amazed that I forgot all about her visit that day---but having been *clears throat* reminded tonight of the fact, I felt that a retraction was due. I gave her this big hug and apology for forgetting. I'm such a big boob!

And of course, my friend Ray, who I've known for years and years, who I've played in parade and competition and performance for over 20 years now--he took me to dinner for my birthday a few days later, since I was busy most of the day on my birthday with people who apparently don't care whether I live or die--but what can you do? You choose your friends, but not your family, right?

I guess when it comes right down to brass tacks, I'm old and decrepit and forgetful, and more often than not, one heckuva drama queen.

So thanks to those who are the best sort of friends---just for being my friend and remembering my birthday. Because, as memory serves--(and it usually fails miserably in my case), those two things were the brightest parts of my holiday vacation, and I truly am sorry that I forgot them--and so I memorialize them here.

I hope that I am as good a friend to you, as you are to me.

SALUTE!

As the Tummy Turns..

Well, the band party was a busy affair with lots of people milling about. I can get really stressed out doing that sort of thing, but I managed.

I got my car on Sunday, which was a good thing--except for one thing--it was so darn cold that my hands were just frozen to the tips! Made it difficult to do any knitting in my class, but I dutifully learned my stitches, and was happy when I started working on the sleeve when I got home. Working 2 handed fair isle isn't as hard as I thought it would be. Making the sweater, however, is probably going to kill me. Even so, I'm looking forward to the next session, and pretty sure that I'll have the assignment done in plenty of time.

The teacher brought in her next knitting fashion--a double knitted hat--and told me how she cast on and how it's knitted, and how it's, yes, it's reversible. Outside it's pink with white flowers, inside, it's white with pink flowers, and it's just as cute as a bug.

I signed up for that class too.

The only problem with the entire day was that it was so shockingly cold, and silly me, I forgot my mittens in Ray's car (which we had to drive to Grand Rapids because mine was being fixed), so I had no hand covering. My hands actually hurt while pumping gas...

WORD OF WARNING, YOU LADIES OUT THERE WHO DON'T KNOW BETTER---


Do not allow your car to get low on gas repeatedly. I understand it's very hard on the fuel pump. I know gas is this ridiculous $3 a gallon, but keep it running on a full tank, and you likely won't run into the trouble that I had!


So I knit on my sweater sleeve..and here are the results:
I made the picture bigger because I wanted to show off the detail. I've already made several mistakes, and like the teacher said "it isn't going to matter". The piece is lovely. I just have to remember to make the same mistakes on the other sleeve, and I'll be just fine. I'm thrilled. Now I'll be able to do almost anything I see in the stores...just take some notes and take them home!

Today, I have a doctor's appointment in the morning hours--I'll leave the house about 10am. I've got a few hours I can knit. Then later today, I have my Spin Night. Ray is supposed to bring my mittens down so I can keep the cold off my hands, and we might go see my hubby's family today. I'm taking knitting, naturally, but don't know if I want to take the fair isle project, which is quite cumbersome--or I can take hubby's socks. I've got to decrease another 4 stitches on the foot, as the socks are feeling "loose". His words were "none too tight". I've decided to do an afterthought heel instead of a short row heel, because the patterning on the socks isn't what I'd hoped it would be--there is absolutely NO pooling on this sock! Hard to believe from a handye!

So unfortunately, I'm not too impressed with this pair of socks--they are plain ordinary vanilla socks, so they really needed to see some "pooling" for intrigue--now, without the pooling, they are just ordinary vanilla socks. BORING!

Tarot Card for the Day is the Three of Wands, which says that I've laid a very good foundation, and that the next steps will take a lot of hard work and creative energy (I think it's talking about my fair isle!) It says: Be flexible and open to change, because down the road it may become necessary to modify or improve the original idea--this will challenge you and stretch your skills more than you ever thought possible. Giggle. I've already changed around the coloring a little. Maybe I'll play with it MORE!

Well, I have to post my sleeve for the Fair Isle Sweater to my Ravelry account, so I'll take off for now--

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Button, Button

Who's got da button?

Me, that's who.

Check out my cool buttons:



The Saddest Day of my LIFE

Years ago, I knitted this particular sweater. I made it out of 100% virgin wool, essentially in the same color as in the picture (it's teal, for all those color-challenged monitors out there). I can't even remember the name of the yarn, it was so long ago (20 years if it's a day), I just remember that it was big, bulky and scratchy as all get out! But I loved my creation, and knew to protect it from harm (meaning the washing machine).

But then harm moved in by way of my mother. She decided to do something nice for me, which was the cause of my grief to this day! She washed my clothes for me...and my beautiful trellis cable aran WOOL sweater went right in with the hot water wash, because my mom washed ALL our clothes in hot water--being something of a germophobe...

When it came out of the DRYER (yep, she dried it too, to add insult to the already done injury), it wouldn't even fit my DOG--and I had a cocker spaniel at the time. I cried. That sweater took me forever to knit. I wore it exactly two times.


So, along comes 20 years later. I find merino/tencel top at the Michigan Fiber Festival and it's in the same color as my mutilated sweater that I still HAD (we burned it when we found it up in the barn in a storage box, moth eaten and smelly from mice, etc). Since I was spinning now, I resolved to buy the wool top, spin the worsted-bulky weight yarn and make the most-loved sweater of all time once again--only this time in soft-next-to-the-skin yarn!


It took several weeks to spin up the two pounds of wool required to make an aran sweater like this, but finally the last bit had been spun, let to set, plied, rinsed, hung to dry and balled. With anxious needles, I set to knitting. I was so excited as the pattern developed again before my eyes that I nearly cried. It didn't take me very long, and I had all the pieces knit. I was surprised at how little time it took to knit, since the spinning part took so much longer. Then, I gingerly laid the pieces on the table and finished the seams. Then back on the needles to pick up the ribbed neckline, folded to the inside and sewed it down, and I was finished.

I was so excited that I wore it to work the next day. I think I wore it twice more after that.

And then the unthinkable happened.

The completely unexpected happened.

My husband did the laundry.

And while I would sort out the woolens--he figured that "if it's in the hamper, it can be washed!"

***mental note to self-get a different hamper for the woolens...***

And so my SECOND try at this lovely sweater met disaster once again. The pattern, I think, is cursed.

Here is the final result of the incident:






You haven't heard crying until you hear a woman, who made a sweater from scratch, come home after a hard day at the office to find THIS. Keep in mind--this wouldn't fit my dog Mandy "the Border Collie with attitude". But even with the felting, the cables stayed very prominent.

I'm saving it.

For that rainy day when I need a new purse. I'll just sew up the ribbing, cut it off at the armholes--add a pretty binding and an i-cord for a handle, use one of the sleeves for a flap, the other for a pocket inside, and toss what little leftovers--and voila! A new bag!

I'll have two like this--because hubby also felted another sweater that I didn't much cry over--the resulting bag--



Front:






Back:



Now this isn't too bad a result--all things considered. This bag was made from a sweater than Anna Dartt had knit--it's intarsia, and therefore the desire to maintain it in some useful form. Again, you too, can do this with any sweater that you've accidentally felted in the washer/dryer.

All you do is cut a straight line just under the armholes, then either crochet a picot edge around the top or sew on some handmade binding--something coordinating. Sew up the ribbing at the bottom. Add fringe and pony beads as I did, or some simple macrame. Because I used the arms and upper torso for the pockets (both inside and outside front), I didn't have anything left for a "flap", so I crocheted a small flap and fastened it down with a bead that looks like seaweed, to go with my ceramic "fish pin".

I need a closeup to show off that "fish pin", in fact I have several pins on this purse (more on the bag I use daily)...and here they are:



Now aren't they just the cutest? My favorite is the ceramic fish!

Friday, January 18, 2008

List of Roving!

Here's a list of roving that I have. If you want some, let me know.

I also have blocking wires for sale. Stainless steel, 36" or less if you want, you can get as few or as many as you want. Shipping and handling will be extra of course, depending on where you are.


Batts
1 90x96 Queen Size white wool quilt batt (very nice from my own sheeps!)
1 60 x 90 Twin Size white wool quilt batt (same, but smaller)

2# brown alpaca roving (wonderful stuff in a cinnamon color)
1/2 # grey & white angora (uncarded)
1/2 # Iclandic roving (very bright white with a high glossy shine)
7 bags, 7# ea white romney wool roving (how in the world did I get so much ROVING?)
2 # shetland roving (this is actually being spun by me, so it's not for sale--I'll be making a fair isle sweater out of it)
11.5 bags 7#ea of grey romney wool (some of this may be Jacob--I know it by "feel")
1# silk hankies white (for hand dying your own silk thread!)
bits and pieces of wool and bunny fur (uncarded)

And of course, the blocking wires.

So email me if you're interested in anything--and we'll talk price!

Freezing Friday at 4:58

I am so worried about my car. Outside the wind is blowing very hard, and it's been snowing little snowballs (tiny white hail). Temps are below zero, I'm quite sure. My poor little car.

So to keep my mind occupied, I added another 30 or so yarns to my Ravelry account, including a fair amount of my own handspun. I also have roving in nearly every sort of type--shetland, icelandic, cormo, corriedale, romney, jacob, mohair, alpaca and angora...just to name a few. I put in some of my colored/dyed rovings, but haven't gotten to the big bags of roving yet. That's going in tonight.

In short, I have lots of yarn AND lots of yarn to MAKE.

I was able to get a few more rows on hubby's socks yesterday, but only during the time I was waiting in the tire repair shop--not a longish wait, but enough to get in a couple of rows. The progress is posted in the right margin widget from Ravelry.

Notice I've posted quite a few more unfinished projects? These are called WIPS (short for works in progress). Notice that the Sharon Miller Shawl hasn't made a move? I have to save this wonder for times when I'm not stressed. It's a good SUNDAY project this week, since I have Monday off. The "knit" is not something you can do and watch television or chat with a friend. On a difficulty scale, it's doable, but it's challenging. The border, which is all I've been able to work on so far, is knit, purl, yarn over, ssk, k2tog--and it's pretty much different on every row!

Rut Roh.
Hubby's trying to start the truck, and it's not firing. I knew this could happen. I'm going to get some pants on.

False alarm. Poor thing. It cranked really hard this morning. I'm willing to bet it's really hurting for oil, but hubby is going down the road now. I'm glad. It means I can borrow his car again today. He's a pretty good guy, when he works at it! :)

I don't feel like going in to the office though. I'm sad about my car. I really miss my car. I'm fairly sure that the box I hit in Grand Rapids is the cause of all this distress. Last night, hubby said "it sounds like your car is out of gas!" Well, it had 3/4 tank in it when I went to lunch on Wednesday! I shouldn't think it would be empty! Then he asked if the gauge could be stuck--and I said "don't think so--it goes up and down just like it should when the car starts". There was a point when it almost sounded like the car was going to start yesterday, but it just

didn't quite make it.
It's going to cost me $12 to park today--because I have to park 2 cars. What? You think I'm walking 4 blocks in this freezing tempurature??? I know you're not thinking straight this morning! Go get some coffee!
Hubby and I tried "Raspberry Creme" yesterday. I used half the bag for our meager 6 cups that we brew, but the stuff was HORRIBLE.
I don't mean horrible in a nice way, either. In fact, it was so horrible it was
HORRIBLE.
I don't mean to be nasty, either, but this stuff was nasty coming out of the bag, nasty during the brew process, and nasty in the cup. I told my husband that it wouldn't be so bad, if you could just get past the SMELL, which was nauseating.
Take note, I am sure there must be at least one person out there that this coffee manufacturer just gushes over, but it's not me or my husband.
By the way, this is part of the Christmas Present that hubby got me--a bunch of flavored coffees, so I am torturing him with it. You should have seen his face when he took his first drink! Can you say "another kodak moment missed"?? This morning we drank some nice warm hazelnut creme, which is quite good--though not as good as the coffee I get at the office.
So I asked them--who makes the coffee that you guys put in this little store? They replied "Paramount" (NAYY). So I asked if you can get it anyplace else but Paramount, and they said "sure, at the local L&L Food Center". So guess where I went after I got the tires repaired? You got it. I got Paramounts Hazelnut and their Mackinaw Island Fudge--another favorite in the little store where I work. Yum. I can't wait to have some!
I was a bit worried that his car would not start this morning--it is very cold outside--but forgot that it's right up here by the house, so it's a little more protected, rather than halfway to the barn, where it's got no protection from the wind--so my fears were without merit. Bessie started right up, and she'll be warm when I finally take off for work--I should leave early, too, since there a dusting of iced snowballs on the ground. But I will give the car some time to heat up and the ice on the windows to melt.
And now, I'm thinking that there's got to be some way to get rid of all this roving that I have. Perhaps I'll give a listing of it in another post. In the meantime, ya'll have a nice warm day!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Worst!

My car is broken down!
Won't start!
What do I do now?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Dreaded Doctor Visit

Okay, queen of drama here...I went to the doctor today, because a month or so ago, I go to the chiro for an adjustment, and she asks me if I've every had back surgery.

"No, why?"

"Because you have a cyst on your back. Did you know that?"

"No , I had no idea any such thing might be back there. I can't feel it.."

So she pressed on it.

"Ow! That smarts!"

"Well, you best have your doctor take a peek at it. It doesn't look serious, but if it's bugging you, you may need to have it removed..."

"Oh, okay."

Thanks a lot for the additional stressor, lady!

So, today was the day I had my doctor take a look at it--not that my regular doctor was available, since she's moved away from the clinic and opened up her own practice (which really doesn't open until February). So I had to see a total stranger about this thing that has been worrying at me since before Christmas!

He said the same thing. Referred me to a surgeon, because he wasn't very happy about the size of it. I was thinking that it was maybe the size of a quarter. Apparently, this is not so. It is the size of a softball.

So when I sleep, it's pressing on my backbone, and makes my back ache in the morning.

So I'm going to the surgeon. He'll do an intake. He'll do an ultrasound. He'll drain it, or remove it--who knows. It bugs me just that it's there! I want it gone. I realize I'm probably being a total boob about this, but I really don't need another boob growing on my back!

Tomorrow, I take my mother to her eye surgeon--apparently one of her eye surgeries has had complications. I'll be gone all day most likely. She's a little scared, so I called her today to tell her about my "extra boob". It made her laugh. We'll talk more about it tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Afternoon Nearly Sprouts Tears...

I stop into Barnes and Noble, ostensibly to purchase the magazine called "Piece Work", only because it's got a ton of knitting in this issue, and it's all multi-color, fair isle, norwegian, latvian, estonian, etc--type knitting.

At least 4 different pair of mittens and gloves with and without fingers. Then there's a sweater, a lace shawl and how to do it's from nearly every corner of the globe.

I had to have this issue--remember last Saturday when I drove all over Lansing to find it? Well, it was at Barnes and Noble...just like a poster to one of my email "list serves" said it would be. What's craziest, is that Barnes and Noble is far closer (oxymoron alert) to me than any of the other places--so why didn't I look there first?

The world may never know.

I also purhased another "Idiot Book" about Web site creation. What's crazy is that I have space on my ISP--25 MG of space in fact, that I haven't used because I can't figure out how to access it! What I want is to be able to merge my geocities information and my blogger information into one spot on this web space available on my ISP--but so far, the whole thing has simply escaped me. I probably have to call them to initially set it up---maybe, since I can't even access the file manager.

So I digress again.

I am in B&N and this certain particular "song" comes on the intercom. This was one of those "our songs" songs. You know the song that you have with a certain particular boyfriend with whom you shared quite a bit of yourself, and he's all you can think of when you hear it.

Well, I've managed for almost 10 years not to think about, sing or play that particular song, and so there it is.

And I've got chills. Memories are flooding all around my head while I remember waltzing with my boyfriend to this particular song. And then, blasted onions! And I'm standing in line, thinking:

"could you maybe please hurry up and take care of that customer so that I can pay for my purchase and get out of here, or you're going to see some waterworks the likes of which you've never known."

Well, I did get to the counter, paid for my purchase, and rushed out of the store. The moment I set foot outside, the spell was broken, and I was whole again.

I don't think I've ever had a particular song affect me quite so strongly before. I've had a couple of dreams about this guy, but nothing STEAMY--see, just "comfortable" stuff.


Right now, I sort of miss him, but then again not. This is the fellow who tossed me out of his house three times before I finally got the idea that he wasn't going to marry me, and told him to quit coming around for his "entertainment" because I was no longer offering TO HIM. I also told him that I wasn't going to meet him halfway, and that if he wanted to continue the relationship that he would have to come 100% of the way, because I wasn't going to compromise myself ever again.


Of course, shortly after that, I met my hubby, and things have been just fine since...Oh! I found a really cool picture of him that I snapped quite a long time ago...check it out.



It happens to the best of us...

I was at the office today, and suddenly, our printer stops working. No lights. No display. None of the buttons will work.

So naturally, I call the help desk and report it, because I figure it's broken--right in the middle of a job.

About a half hour later, I go back and look at it again....

"Crying out loud...it's like there's no pow..."

and I look down at the plug in the floor.

Oh, for Pete's SAKE!

Someone must have passed by with a bucket and hit the cord. It was half un-plugged.

I guess even the best of us have off days. I feel pretty humble now--for all the smarts I have.

Monday, January 14, 2008

I learned something new today!

Yes, in fact, I did learn something new today.

I learned how to download a website into Front Page. I learned how to edit within Front Page and to upload it back to the server--all on the fly! And I taught somebody else how to do it, too!

I feel so...so...IMMORTAL!

Seriously, though, I was having a lot of difficulty. So I contacted the people who run the webserver. Now I want to update all my websites through Front Page! I mean, I have 3 now that I keep track of...

This one here, of course,
Then there's the old one on Geocities
And of course, the pipe band.

How many more can I keep track of? LOL! I just feel like a god. (little g)

I did such a big happy dance, that hubby thought I was losing my mind. Then I called the Pipe Major. Well, poo, he didn't have internet access handy...so I called the Pipe Sergent! He was ready with the computer, and he was SO IMPRESSED. He's the one I told how to update.

Now if someone would just tell me how to login to my geocities account with front page, I'd be all set! It would be helpful if someone would tell me how to do blogger with front page, too. And then I don't have to be online in order to do my numerous blogging and updates to my computer! Wow. I feel quite IMPORTANT. I feel like I could do anything.

Giggle. I feel giddy.

Doesn't take much, does it?

There's something about having a PLAN

The band has decided on a medley for competition for this year at Alma and Detroit. I have the music, and need to come up with a drumming score for two 3/4 tunes and 2 6/8 tunes.

I'm terrified.

What if they don't like my "style"?

In the meantime of fretting, I decided that I need to add another level of security to the website to put the tunes on the website. Then give the band members the login/password.

I haven't got the slightest idea how to do it.

I suppose that I just set up another level of security for viewing and downloading in hidden files, then create the link to the hidden file? And from there, the website should know how to do it, but I have no idea if it will work, so I'm a bit unnerved by the whole thing.

In the meantime of all that fretting, I finaly laid my hands on the "glow in the dark" yarn, and started on the "band" to go around the bass beater. The entire thing feels like it's taking forever because I'm doing them on a smaller needle to get better coverage. The beater is bigger, and I don't want the band to look "lacey"-- I also thought of refective tape, but it only "glows" if light hits it. I want things that glow in the dark!

But at least I found the nylon, and I know how big to make the band--and it can stretch as tight as we need it to stretch.

This weekend, we're having a party at the tavern closest to our practice area. We're having food and the cash bar, of course, and we'll be entertaining.

Not a lot of progress on the socks, and I have to shower in 3 (count them) 3 minutes.

But I'll be home early and able to put more on the blog--after I get things taken care of around here. I didn't get to the laundry at all, and I'm wondering what my husband wore to work! haha!

The roads look a little slick, too, and I need gas, so I best get my butt in gear. See you later!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Band Practice Day!

I hate to admit it, but over the last 9 weeks or so, I haven't practiced with the band only 3 times--once in November, once in December and this will be my second week in January. Oh, wait--that's 4 times.

Math was never my strong point.

Anyway, when we finally got together LAST WEEK (time #3), the ensemble sounded horrible because the snares (Ray, my son and I) hadn't practices but those 3 times, and we sounded like crap--crap being a nicer word than the one I'd really like to use--but we just couldn't keep it together. I'm pretty sure most of it is my own fault and said so, in fact, I messed up at one time and took a break for the potty just to cry. I was pretty upset that I couldn't seem to keep it together. Sometimes that happens, and when I don't do well, neither do the other two, and they have their own issues.

The fact is, that the snares have to get together a few times more outside of practice, and the issue is that there just isn't anyplace for us to practice this way, except at my house--which shuts out my son, as he doesn't have the $$ to be travelling 30 minutes to my house once a week--in fact, he doesn't make enough $$ to drive himself to work--and so he walks (good thing his job is just over the next hill, right?)

Check out the band website's calendar. We have lots of events posted there, and several performances where we'll be playing...but if the drum corps doesn't tighten up, it will be me and the drum sargeant (Shirlyn) playing in ensemble. So the beat goes on. We have to get it right, and soon.

So I set out my drumming metronome and my sticks/pad. I also have the bass drummer's beater, which I'd hoped to make a "glow in the dark" stripe out of my "glow in the dark" yarn to pin on the beater, which is 14" around and about 5 1/2" high. Instead of covering the entire beater, which I felt would be "overkill", I thought a 1-2" glowing band might be a better idea. Unfortunately, suddenly, I can't lay my hands on the glow in the dark yarn! I haven't the slightest clue where I put it. Usually, when something like this happens, I dream about it, and I go to that place and I find it, but I had no dream about it last night. I sure hope that I didn't lose it.

So I ask the Tarot Deck--where is my short skein of glow in the dark yarn and pull the Knight of Swords reversed.

He's holding his sword aloft--which tells me that the yarn is downstairs (because the sword is pointing down, being in reversed orientation). Downstairs is the only place I haven't looked, because I don't remember putting it there, but there are a couple of places that I should/could probably try. It doesn't appear to be upstairs...but before I go down there, I'm going to check in the closet ONE MORE TIME. I have lots of yarn up in the upper area of my closet and frankly, I'm not sure what all is up there. I suppose I should get it loaded to Ravelry...I have all my hand spun up here to keep the moths out of it....

Here I go....looking....

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Who said I can't have it all?!

I just got back from the store...not just one store, though.



I hit Meijer's Thrifty Acres, Gander Mountain, JoAnn's Fabrics, Michael's, Community Newscenter, Rae's Yarn Shop, and Schueller's Book Store. I also called Threadbear, the Pipe Major for the Pipe Band, my son (busy), home and my son again (still busy).



I got this really cool Bernat yarn as well as some Sugar 'n Cream in brown and blue at Meijer's. Some coordinating yarn for the Bernat and wooly nylon in brown, plus a super special item (see below) at JoAnn's, Montse Stanley's book at Schueller's, and an assortment of corrections for the Pipe Band's website. Oh, and I got some groceries at Meijer's too. Funny I should forget that...wonder why?




So I'm sitting here drinking a pop and eating a potato, when it dawns on me to show you pictures, since I haven't in say...2 hours...so here's the coolest yarn...



Oh, and at JoAnn's I found some cotton Lion Brand yarn, in my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE COLORWAY IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD....Welcome, Grape!


















And the book of techniques from Montse Stanley--the definitive work on knitting techniques (according to some groups) and a fine addition to anybody's library!

And now I am sitting on this wealth of "stuff", safe and warm in my house, and thinking...

"okay, what are you going to do with all of this "stuff"?"

Well, I will tell you what I'm going to do with all this "stuff", my friend, and it won't take long, so listen close!

The brown and blue Sugar 'n Cream is for another football dishcloth using intarsia techniques. I would like a realistic-looking football against the realistic-looking sky. I already have the white for the clouds, and I am on my way!

The purple flurp color is for another dishcloth in mid January for the Mid-January KAL for the Monthly Dishcloths Yahoo Group.

The fancy variagated blue (and coordinating brown) is for a Surprise Baby Jacket from Elizabeth Zimmerman, which I am champing at the bit to try.

The brown wooly nylon is to reinforce the heels on my hubby's socks.

So now, I am off to knit on hubby's socks. No progress made on them today as I did so much running around, but I had tons of fun, and I hope that you enjoyed the virtual tour of my day!

It's Saturday Again! Yay!

You know, us folks who work outside the house AND inside the house should be congratulated. We should be given a party.

Yes, that's what we need, one big world wide party. With CAKE!

And it should happen every Friday at 3:00PM, last at least 2 hours (if not more) and T-Shirts should be handed out that say something like "Another week BITES the dust!" or "I don't remember who I am, or how I got here....maybe tomorrow I'll remember and come do this again on Monday? NOT!" And the shirts should be bright neon green, with a picture of some poor lonely soul with really sad eyes--maybe a basset hound.

Do you think it would make a better world? Would we get tired of cake and T-Shirts and just go home at 3? LOL! YES! It would be nice for a couple of weeks.

This last week has left me completely drained and frustrated. You should have heard me at the doctor's office:

"I do believe I am quite losing my mind working for this place!"

My doctor agreed.

I even offered the top-dog boss, who was leaving our "arena" (because it is something of a circus--I just don't like the clowns who work there---kidding) for another position in order to garner interest in Children's Services--that if he found something where he thought I might be able to "fit in" to give me a CALL. My coworkers are incredulous.

"You mean you'd leave government employment?"

Sigh. They simply have no clue apparently what I go through in a week. If I could afford stress leave, I would take it--this little orange pill I take now and then for anxiety really IS for my state of mind and general overall health. If only I didn't have to "wake up" from this weekend "dream" I would be far better off. Stress and worry/anxiety lowers the body's defenses--and you get sick. My entire vacation--everyone else was sick. My husband has been sick for 2 weeks. I live with this man! I haven't caught it.

Not me. Not sick. Not even a little. You know....my usual hot flashes (oh, wait they call them power surges now), and the occasional temper flare, but no extreme emotional crying that always sets off a sinus infection if one is floating around--nope--not sick.

So today, I am destressing from the week. Unfortunately, I need a week to destress from the week.

What am I going to do?

Friday, January 11, 2008

From the Pen...

Well, I don't have much time, as I'm on my lunch HALF-hour today, because I came in late due to oversleeping and due to an accident (didn't include me, thank you for your worry) on the way in.

So I have only enough time to get a few words out...

Still working on hubby's socks, but am gladly past the bunion point. I made a couple more Tribbles, but couldn't get the photo to load to flickr, so it's not going to show over in my Ravelry stuff today--it will by the weekend, however, so fret not. I also finished the Snowflake pattern from Berrocco--it's in the free patterns. The picture is a little strange/yellowed because I took it in the dark--with a light on BEHIND me, so everything looks "yellowish". The cloth is actually the whitest white you can find, but because of the weird lighting in my house in the evening hours, everything looks yellow. Even so, under DIRECT incandescent lighting, the white of the pattern and the green cast in the lighting washed out the relief of the pattern...and that's why I took the picture in the dark--so I could show the pretty cabling!

I have to update the band website tonight, and therefore won't be able to work on blogging or Ravelry tonight. I did finally obtain more yarn for hubby's socks (came on Monday) and also some yarn from a person who was just irritated about how the dye was coming off on her hands and that the skein was horribly tangled (I spent an entire evening---3.5 hours untangling.)...I told her I'd take it off her hands, and she mailed it to me.

Gotta love these sock knitters! Thank YOU! KISS! Love this yarn. Bright peacock blue, self striping with Navy, turquoise---you know, colors you'd find on a male peacock. But the dye wasn't set right--so this weekend, I will be setting the dye and drying--then it goes into the stash to knit up VERY SOON. It's Great Adirondack sock yarn, too. I can't believe she let it go. Her loss, however, is my gain. I love the color, and can't wait to knit with it. This package also arrived on Monday...so I've been playing for a bit, haven't I?

I also plied the chiengora that I had on the bobbin for a week now. I will be taking it off the bobbin tonight and putting a new ply onto the bobbin. I'll take the skein to it's owner on Sunday.

I'm going to be a busy girl.

This weekend, hubby and I might play some cards with the in-laws. That's always fun, and I can knit and hold cards at the same time--don't ask me how I do it, but I seem to always have to be doing two or three things at once--that includes talking AND listening...

Hubby was in a bad mood yesterday, downright irritable, in fact. He wasn't happy that I had plans for Saturday, but then I figure out after a HUGE fight that I don't have to be there on Saturday after all. He'll be in a better one when I tell him that I made a mistake and the band party isn't until next weekend. I hate fighting with him, it just tears my heart out!

Therefore, I need to go to band practice on Sunday, instead, and he'll have a whole week to get used to the idea of my being out NEXT Saturday. That might suit him a little better!

I must blog...

It's almost time for me to head in to the office, but I had to say something...and now I don't remember...senior moment...um...

Well, I'll sleep on it, and let you know Saturday, when I am awake enough to tell the whole story.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Everyone Knows

Wow. The Wind is just howling outdoors. There's another chill in the air. There is no snow anymore on the ground. My back is killing me.

No blogging last night because I was so tired from only 4 hours of sleep the night before, but I did get another Tribble made. The gal who designed them had it right--they do multiply like, well, Tribbles...seemingly born pregnant! But if you check the last blognote, you'll see that I found out that I am 77% addicted to blogging...this is a better score than Barb's "So the Thing Is..." blog, who got a score of 82%.

I obtained three (3) patterns for knitting sampler afghans---one from Leisure Arts, because someone on an email list asked about the pattern for Turtle Check. This caught my attention, and once I saw the afghan I just had to have it--so it was a mad hunt for it on Monday. I finally located it at Michael's Craft Store, but I really had to hunt for it, because their stocking clerks don't "neaten up" the pattern book shelves very often, and so things get "hidden". But--I was successful in my search. I now have the pattern for Turtle Check.

The other two I purchased at Threadbear--The Great American Afghan (which surprisingly does NOT have Turtle Check) and The Great American ARAN Afghan (which has a cool little sweater for one block, but also does not have the Turtle Check pattern in it). I got all of these for short/sweet quickie individual block type projects that should go pretty quickly. I have no plans to start one "right away", but at least I have the patterns in case I do need something for intermediate knitting.

Also, at spin night, people passed around some patterns for socks and a chullo--both were really cute.

I haven't read any email for at least 2 days, so I am sure that I am completely behind with at least 3000 of them in my basket. I really did try to catch up on my holiday/vacation--I really did! I read up to 200 a day, and still didn't catch up. Before the vacation, I had over 2000, but by the end of my holiday, I still had over 2000.

How does that happen, anyway?

Work was busy again yesterday, and it's a good thing, or I would have laid my head down on my desk and fallen asleep--I was that tired. I slept last night about 10 hours--waking with my husband this morning at 4:40am to make coffee and breakfast, then to send him off just before my own alarm went off at 5:30am. Did I say that my back is killing me?

I went to a chiro about that issue, and as I was being examined, she asked me if I had ever had back surgery, to which I answered "no, why?". She tells me that I have a fatty tumor on my back--now this is really something to blog about, right? Anyway, I'm going to set up an appointment for my medical doctor to take a look at it, because THAT'S where my back hurts most of the time--and I think that it's pressing on something while I SLEEP and I end up with a backache in the morning--and nothing helps with the ache, either. I can take Tylenol, Advil, Bayer Back and Body--they all put me to sleep. In fact, analgesics of ANY sort (even the ones with caffeine to keep you awake) put me to sleep. But I don't want to take morphine or oxy codeine--can you say "sleep like the dead"?

So I put up with it. It makes me cranky, and not my usual humorous self.

Speaking of which--got to tell you about my dream last night--old boyfriend who decided that he wanted to get back together with me, except that he found out that there was some other man, who previous to the old boyfriend was a one night "hey I'm pretty interested in you--would you like to go out on a date?"-type thing where nothing beyong "talk" had happened, but was threatening anyway. We ended up getting back together, and it was a very happy dream--except for having to drive in a snowstorm where the snow was drifting in 2-3 foot high drifts, which was likely the windy outdoors encroaching on my dreaming. There was a point where I was nearly run over by an 18-wheeler--that was pretty scary, but otherwise, it was a pleasant dream. then the alarm goes off. Any ideas why it works that way?

I have had 2 such dreams since breaking up with this old boyfriend--the last one was not so nice, as he was still married--in this one, he was newly divorced and looking for ME. That was a real mood lifter, believe me. Unfortunately, in real life, I wasn't what he wanted, so he married someone EXACTLY like me. That really ticked me off. Enough about him, then.

No progress on hubby's sock, due to making Tribbles--and the football dishcloth. I have to check my email for other stuff--and I will likely be back in the morning to tell you all about the rest of today.

I hope you have a nice, pleasant day---and that your back doesn't kill you.

Today's Tarot Card is the Three of Cups reversed. Upright, this card can indicate that your catty "friends" are talking about you in ways you might not appreciate...ie gossip. Reversed, however, indicates you are spending too much time being self-indulgent, and not paying enough attention to others and basically ignoring them. This is based on a poor self-image and you need to work on it! It could mean that you're working too hard (oh, there you go! I was thinking of taking off today due to my backache), eating too much (not possible), doing drugs (again, not possible) or spending too much time with other addictive behaviors (ie, Devil sort of behavior--tho not as predominantly as the Devil card). So wise up! Change direction and make others your focus today. This could be a pre-emptive strike--that something is going on behind the scenes at the office that I am unaware of, and it looks like, with my back trouble this morning, I'm going to have to help out and pull bills and files. YUCK!

Well, we'll see. Just coming off vacation, my brain has been mush, and I'm trying to catch up on all the things that were allowed to slide while I was gone. I've been really busy, which has been a blessing! But I have been ignoring the people a little--not any more than normal, because I tend not to waste a lot of time anyway--not only that, but I spent an hour yesterday on the phone with one lady who seriously needed somebody to talk to, and another hour with a lady who wanted to complain about the changes to the program that resulted in delays of the mailing of the check--not that there is anything I could have done about it. It's nice to chat with folks who really want someone to talk to sometimes. Perhaps there will be another call like that today? Maybe. There seems to be one in every crowd.

So long for now.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Quick entry from the office..

77%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Find Ultrasound schools

Unwinding the clock

I was really stressed yesterday evening. The day, while productive, was stressful--my first day back from a two week vacation--and everyone wondered who piddled on my parade. When I explained that it was my first day back to work from a 2 week vacation, most nodded their heads in understanding.

It's good to have a group that understands you so well. :)

So I came home when the lightning and thunderstruck-finished another Tribble and it took me a while to find it again, because the blogger changed her blog around for the new year, and cleaned up the posts and filed them in archives, and well I just had a heck of a time finding it.

So there it is, one more time, in all it's glory.

And then proceeded to unravel my day, by unravelling a skein of Great Adirondack yarn that was horribly tangled (can you say "what a mess"?). Someone on one of my lists decided she didn't care for it because the color came off on her hands, so I wrote her, told her to leave the tangled mess and send it to me--I'll use it for something.

She was happy to be rid of it.

I started untangling at about 10pm.

Untangling finished at 12:30am.

What was I thinking?

But the good side of it, is that while I was untangling the yarn, I was also untangling my thoughts which worked pretty well, and got me to sleep until my hubby's alarm went off again this morning. And now, after a cup of hot coffee, I feel almost ready to tangle with today. Notice I said "almost". I am extremely tired.

Tarot card for today is the 2 of pentacles--reversed. It means I'm going to try to juggle two things at once and fall on my butt...in other words, I won't be successful. I have several things that I want to do today.

1. Make another Tribble.
2. Work on hubby's socks.
3. Start on MIL's corduroy skirt
4. Finish my day at the office.

I'll be lucky to finish my day at the office, the way I feel right now.

Hubby is down with a cold, in case I hadn't told you recent, but I think I did. He says he thinks it strep--seems like he'd be coughing a lot more than he is, but you know, you can't play with strep--it can turn into shingles--or was that chicken pox? Anyway, I asked if he had little red sores in his mouth, and he said he didn't, so I figure he doesn't have strep--plus no one else I know has strep, and so far as I know he's not been kissing the waste bucket at his work--so I think he's just caught the bug that his grand-daughter had at Christmas.

So, prognosis is that he'll live, but because he's trying to self medicate with this, I have an idea that it's just going to get worse, and he will eventually end up having to go to the doctor to get a prescription. I figure he's got a sinus infection.

Anyhow pics of the tribble tonight when I get home--no time left to do it now. I'm on my way to the office.

Bye!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Guess What? It's January!


And you know what that means!


Football

And Taxes!


Sheesh. Check out my Ravelry Stuff, and you'll see I finished the washcloth and the mousie today. I was also able to locate the catnip--so filled it and it's now somewhere downstairs--where the dog can't get to it.

Came home to find that our Federal Tax forms had arrived (sigh). You just never can get rid of them, can you?

Spin night is tonight, so the blog is shorter than normal. It was a busy day at the office, but I managed to get some work done--though I think I'm not going to push myself so hard anymore. The supervisor wants me to turn into a State employee (you know, sits on the phone all day talking to another person (usually personal) and gets very little done during the day? or at least that's the popular opinion--nevermind that there's not a lick of truth to it--but the new supervisor wants me to break my back--it's not in such good shape as it is--and I am not going to spend the rest of my life with back pain--sorry...so now she wants me to fill out a "reasonable accommodation" ALL BECAUSE I OFFERED TO HELP HER DO A CERTAIN TASK. The way I figure, I just won't offer my extra time anymore. I'll keep myself busy doing this and that. The whole idea just drives me insane--I can do a little of this particular task, a little of that, but if you expect me to deal with the entire issue--um, sorry, that task was assigned to little miss "I hate you because you don't work as hard as I do". Nevermind names...she knows who she is!

So I was ticked off about that, but then she's having me fill out a medical leave request.

WHY?

I don't have the slightest clue. I didn't take any medical leave--hadn't planned on taking any medical leave--although she might be asking for the form to be filled, JUST IN CASE she works my butt off, and I call in with back trouble (which I've done before). Now back problems are nothing to sneeze at...and I'm sure many of you already know about that.

Well, enough about that issue. I'm tired of thinking about it anyway.

I called my ex-mother-in-law today to find out how her holidays went, and what she got for Christmas, and to apologize for not seeing her for the last month, but that I'd been busy knitting and prepping for Christmas, etc. She tells me that my sister dropped in to say hi yesterday, as she was there to visit or take care of one of her patients/adult foster care-type stuff--and happened to drop in to see Judy.

Then she told me that my ex fell on the ice at home and hurt his back.

I say "Oh, that's too bad!"

She says "Yes, he's off work and off his feet and going to get an MRI soon."

"Well, I'm sorry that he injured himself."

"Yes, it's too bad that it didn't happen at work, or he could have gotten comp." and I thought to myself...'perhaps not, but he'll probably put in for SSI/Disability.'

and further she says "I don't know how they're going to pay their bills if he doesn't have an income..." and I think to myself 'oh, I'm sure he'll come up with something--he's a resourceful slug.' No bitterness here, right?

My thought is that he and his wife had a disagreement over the holidays, and he went to take the car, and slipped on the ice and yeah, sure, likely went down, and he's a big guy--big around--and I will bet that was some sort of Kodak moment--(sigh--missed opportunity), but that most of his "ow ow ow" is from the fact that he'd rather sit on his collective than to work for a living--and it doesn't matter what sort of job he has. Eventually, he will lose it by getting fired or quitting. Do I think he's faking? My mother would tell you "absolutely!" Me, I think he's probably hurting, but the MRI will tell the tale. And since pain can't always be diagnosed (any more than psychological troubles) it's very likely he will use his fall as an excuse for the rest of his life. Sucking the Social Security account even drier, while I work hard for a living now, only to not be able to live when I retire.

Nah, no bitterness here. Where'd I put my salt shaker? What? Isn't that what you use on slugs?

Okay, enough acrimony. How in the world I came home with such an attitude, I'll never understand!

Then my hubby starts talking about my son.

Oh Jeez. It's never going to end....this is the song that never ends, it just goes on and on and on.

So I had him chat with my mother. I get so tired of him harping on me about my son's behavior. All I want is to live in peace for the rest of my life, without a worry about this one or that one...just to be able to get by. Of course, you know my mom discussed the issue with him. At length. Then, he's telling me that he wants to not discuss it anymore...and I told him..."no, you've upset her, now, and you're going to talk to her. She's an old lady! What did you think was going to happen?"

So he sat and listened (he's pretty good at that) and by the end of the conversation, he was pretty sure that my son hadn't gotten that money for school from the Federal Government and that he probably wasn't going to go to jail for non-payment--so you see why I wanted nothing to do with the conversation!

Now, he's peacefully watching television. I'm pretty sure that my mother is fretting, and the entire episode has likely put my son into another tailspin, and he'll be pursuing his own agenda again at some point soon--he doesn't handle stress very well.

So I am going to Knit and Spin night. I'm going to work on my socks, perhaps another Tribble, and chatter with them about my day. Wishing you all well!

How can it be so HOT this morning?

We're expecting Temps in the 50's today--and perhaps even Thunderstorms.

In Michigan.

In January.

I can't believe it. It's 75 degrees in this house, and I am sweltering--the sweat is just dripping off my forehead, and my scalp itches like I have fleas (no, I don't really have fleas, it's just HOT in the house!)

I can live quite fine in 60 degree weather--in fact I can live quite fine in 40 degree weather, as long as the weather is dry, but at 75--especially in a humid 75, I literally MELT (just like the snow, which has left a muddy mess outdoors, and now, when Mandy comes inside from the mud, she looks at the towel in my hand, and hangs her head as I pick up each foot and wipe it dry so she won't track wet mud onto the carpet).

So I'm frustrated. Plus that, while I was gone from the house, my hubby and his son had a chance to conspire with each other about his son coming here to live with us. Now I am not sure if this is my hubby's way of moving all my craft stuff into the garage or what--but he promises me that before his son moves in, he will build a nice work-room in the (unheated) garage so that I can have all my craft stuff out there. So now, I have to think in terms of moving stuff out of the GARAGE too, because there is a ton of stuff out there--it's where we keep the snowblower, the tablesaw, the tools--etc etc ad infinitum. I want a door. I want a floor, and want it to be free of pests like spiders and mice, and I want to be able to directly access it from the house--so that it can have some of the warmth from the house--and I don't want to be directly on the cement floor--in fact, carpet would be nice, but not necessary---perhaps we could put down a wooden floor??? I don't know. There also needs to be GOOD lighting, and I want the WINDOWS AT THE BACK--this is turning into a BIG room. It will mean that the garage will no longer be a 2 car garage--and at best, will only be a 1 car garage, IF THAT, since it's also where we store our corn in the winter for our corn stove (2 ton at a time).

So as I was saying, it's hot in the house, and so I turned off the corn stove for today, because they are predicting really warm weather.

How's that for a seque?

Nearly done with my washcloth now...and almost finished with the mousie. I have unfortunately succeeded in hiding the catnip somewhere in the house--so well, that now I can't find it. Pics to come tonight when I have finished with the work...I'll also post my sock progress, because I intend to take all three projects to work today.

Also, tonight is Spin Night, and I have some spinning/plying to do.

Then, the band wants their website updated. In short, it's only Monday and I already have 14 things to do.

Isn't life wonderful?

My internet connection has disrupted 5 times this morning. Apparently, I left it on with no activity last night (hadn't meant to do that--had intended to update the band's website last night, but was so wiped out from the drive to and from Grand Rapids, that I just fell into my chair and finished knitting the mousie. Even this morning, I am watching the clock, just waiting for 6am to happen...since that means I have to get off my blogging butt and get ready for work. Where's that coffee!!!

Do I sound a little high strung? Like maybe I don't really need the coffee? Sigh..perhaps I am. It's the heat, I think. Heat frustrates me. If I can go outdoors with 2 flannel shirts and a sweatshirt on--I'm perfectly fine. But I seriously want a temp that doesn't fluctuate like Michigan's weather fluctuates--there have been times in Michigan, when the temp has gone from 70 degrees to 30 degrees--IN 10 MINUTES! Yes, I've been outdoors at those times, and let me tell you--that IS NOT FUN! I have drummed in the pipe band and icicles have formed on the bottom edge of my drum. That's EXTREME. Bagpipes can't play in freezing weather, you know, because as you blow into the bagpipe, water vapor condenses on the reeds, freezes and won't vibrate. Forcing the instrument will blow a hole at some weak point in the bagpipe bag--just ask Fred Lewis (long time probate judge in St. Johns, Michigan, PM of the Heather Pipers, McLeod of Lewis, Glen Erin Pipe bands for year and now retired and living and playing in Muskegon, Michigan. Glen Erin had a performance in Detroit on St. Patrick's day one year back in 1989 or so...and as we travelled downtown, the icy wind blew right up our kilts. We finished the parade, but Fred's bag was shot.

Ah, the corn stove has stopped pumping heat into the room, and things are cooling down. Whew!

Well, it's my first day back in 2 weeks. I am rested, and frankly, I dreamed about calling to work to take another couple of days--but I won't actually do that.

Tarot card for the day is the Ace of Swords. This does not bode well for the day--unless it means that I'm going to strike forward with gusto and have a busy day, and get it all done there, all done here, all done there and there and there, come home and crash into bed.

Ah...incredible burst of raw energy to get the job done, but be careful I don't step on someone's toes or get too engrossed and chop someone's head off due to the stress. There may have been some changes in the office....this is what I'm most concerned about--that they've parcelled out my job and don't need me anymore.

Well it's probably pretty close to 6am now so I should get going. You all have a lovely day, and I'll see you soon!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Letting it Cool

Hubby got up at 5:53 am this morning and took a shower to help clear his sinuses.

And I made breakfast--Oatmeal and coffee.


I made quite a bit of progress on hubby's socks and the dishcloth--see Ravelry details in the sidebar!


In the evening, the pets were very relaxed, and I got lots of pictures--here are some favorites:






A Chat au Lait CloseUP!











Chat for dinner, and Mandy wants a bite...of course, Chat's having nothing to do with this!











Chat-Make sure you get my BEST SIDE! Poser for the camera.















If I ignore you long enough, will you go away?







There were lots of other pictures, but figured that I would let some of them stew until another day. In fact, one of my snakes was performing this morning, but I tend to leave her alone as much as possible--they can get very stressed if they are handled too much.





I woke up to yarn on the floor--not a common occurrence aorund here, but it happens now and then. This particular yarn seems to be a cat favorite--so I'm going to knit it into a mousie today.



Also, today is band practice, and I will be taking in the green, glow in the dark tenor beater covers (posted a few days ago) in to show to the tenor drum players. I think they will be pleasantly surprised...another "merry christmas" from Tenna.

In the meantime, I have updates to make on Ravelry, so perhaps I will be back later today if anything extraordinary occurs during practice or the drive there or back. Hubby's son is supposed to come over for a visit and some computer game playing today, and I'll be taking my yarn to band practice in case things get slow. This is the first practice of the year, so I'm willing to bet that things are going to be quite hectic. I'll try to get some good photos.

Check back later!