Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I'm Tho Thick!

I caught my huthbund'th code. I'm coughing, thore throat, dwipping thinutheth...weally baad!

Thtay away from me! You don' wanna get thith!

It might be thwep!

Thank God that I'm going to the doctor today! I don' think I could take another day of thith! I coffed all night, and wath awake until after two AM. It ith now fibe o'clock, and I am awake again!

Thomebody! Get a bucket for the dwipping thinutheth! Ow! Coff! Coff!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ready for Tuesday!

I'm ready to go to work this morning. I'm going to take my Wave Afghan with me. I'm about 8 skeins into it, so it's quite a bit of work, and heavy, so it's in a big JoAnn's Project Bag. At some point, I'll put it into my rolling suitcase to lug it here and there.

Tonight is Knit Night in Lake Odessa, although I don't know if I want to go or not. I'd like to, if only to get my son into the habit of going. I think it does him good, and his knitting is coming along very well, his stitches get more even every day, and he's working on a design for a bureau scarf of his own idea, in a bright lime green.

He takes after me more than he knows.

I had hoped to get started on another shawl, but couldn't locate the ice blue Zephyr to make it, so it will have to wait until I can get my hubby to help me pull stuff out of my room downstairs, which of course it's in one of the big tubs of yarn, and I don't know which one. I really must make an inventory and type it on a piece of paper and tape it, glue it, zippy stick it to the tub so I can look and tell at a glance what's inside, because the tub is not clear plastic. Idiot moi. But they were on sale, what else can I say? Even the clear plastic ones are stuffed so full that I couldn't tell you what's in the middle!

So Wave Afghan it is. It will be lap sized before too long. I admit, though. It's very likely that I will be called away on some other project very soon. The Princess Shawl keeps calling me, now that I have the needle to begin again. And the Fair Isle Sweater whispers (since it's downstairs, I can't hear it so well as the Princess Shawl) from "The Room" that every crafter has.

Ravelry, here I come!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Leyburn Socks done!


Monday? Again?

You know, considering how I feel about Mondays--no scratch that--considering how EVERYBODY who actually works for a living feels about Mondays, I find it amazing that they exist at all. You would think that someone would get this great idea (note: light bulb over the top of the head type) that Monday's would be legally dropped from the week!

Perhaps they can make a law about it.


In any case, it's Monday again, and well, I'm not sure, but I think I might have the flu. The symptoms aren't very pronounced yet, and not wicked enough to keep me home from work (I only have a half day today anyway, but I digress)--but I wonder if I should go in, walk in the rain/cold to get there and then have to turn around and come straight back home due to nausea and um, other symptoms...

Never mind!

But if I stay home, then I won't be able to go to spin group, and I would miss that! Of course, if I'm really sick, I won't be able to go it really behooves me to NOT BE SICK. Nevermind that I don't like to be sick in the first place.

And of course, you know that I'm going to get sick. You know why? Because my hubby is sick. So I'm using all my stores of "stuff" to keep me FROM it--including refraining from getting close enough to share skin of any sort. Naturally, he's coughing all over the house, and like a dutiful wife (not), I follow behind him with a can of Lysol spray in my hand. Everytime he coughs, I spray the air to try to kill whatever it is that has him knocked out for the count.

It doesn't bother him being sick. He's retired.

So I'm sitting here, typing this, wondering whether I should go in to the office, or just call in and be done with it. I don't seem to have a fever, although I am a bit chilled--could be it's just chilly in the room. Bones hurt--but that could be age or the way I didn't sleep much last night. Of course, I have visited Aunt Martha this morning 3 times--but that could be from what I ate last night before bed.

So it's one of those, "oh heck, I don't know what my body is trying to tell me" sort of mornings.

I think, though, that maybe I should have stayed in bed. Ah, maybe I'll just call in. Means no knitting group today. Rats!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Some People are Just Insane!

I belong to a vast number of groups on Yahoo. They range from groups for recipes for Low-Carb to Knitting (of course), and as you are aware (if you've been reading my blog since it's inception), bagpipe band drumming.

I come across novel emails only once in a blue moon, and it takes me several weeks to filter through to find those which are even slightly "blog worthy"--those that get up my ire (or what have you) and cause me to write back--for whatever reason--to the original poster.

I also belong to Ravelry, which I figure is probably 99% a good thing, and the other part, well--clearly might be for a group that possibly doesn't include me, and so I sort of giggle over it and figure "ah, don't throw out the baby with the bathwater". Which to me, means, don't throw out a good thing just because you have to wade through 75% or more to find something that you personally don't "like"."

I had just such an email and wanted to share with my readers. Granted, my email was written MONTHS after the original poster had complained. It just takes me a long time to wade through 99% of a good thing to find the 1% I find gets up my own irksomeness (yes it's a word, shaddup!)

The original email (sadly) is no longer available, however, I do have a comment the original poster shared in response to one of the more liberal posters who commented in general to the original theme...and so this is constituted my reaction...

Posted January 5, 2010:

"And this is the breakdown of our society. I will never think it's ok to use
the f-bomb in a knitting pattern description no matter how many times it's
said on a forum or in movies or in your own home. If a "designer" can't
think of another adjective to use in their description, then I'm skeptical
of the brain power behind the "design". Where does it stop? Where is the
line drawn? Is there any line? Anything goes is not ok. If you think
otherwise, you are part of the problem instead of the solution. Everybody
screams "censorship" and common decency dies? Kids don't notice? You don't
have many kids around then. Kids notice everything. My nieces are pre-teen
and teens and they are not sheltered and they sure did notice and they were
offended and wondered why it was allowed. They may hear it in movies and
they may hear it from friends, but they sure don't expect to hear it from
their Aunt or anything she's associated with. That's not cool for them. Why
would guidelines in posting patterns be censorship?
You don't understand the need to use cuss words yet you defend a right for
others to do it. Where does this stop? I think the point is being missed

Lest I get overly abraded by this person's attitude by re-reading it, let me just say now that it does disturb me. A LOT. I'm sort of a live and let live sort. I try hard to let others be, and only speak my own mind when I feel that something is getting out of joint. Clearly, this one *IS*. Granted, they have a right to their opinion, and that's fine. But this email is about RAVELRY! I was shocked! I felt like this poster was attempting to trample all over my civil rights as guaranteed by the Constitution--something that simply rubs me literally over the cheese grater! (In other words, *THE WRONG WAY*!)

The original post occurred in response to "my neices" viewing a knitted penis (a BIG one!) and some "objectionable language" used in the description of some design ON RAVELRY. (Yes, I've seen the knitted penis--once--when I was searching for something, and it popped up (pun intended). I've also seen a knitted boob and a crocheted thong! So what?!) I came, I saw, I stared, I looked again, I laughed, I moved on. That was my own reaction. The "foul language" has been a part of Ravelry since it's inception, since when we originally signed up to belong, oh, so long ago, we were asked then what our favorite cuss words were. I think mine went something along this line...

"&)*&&#^#& and don't you forget it!"

The beginning of the post I tend to agree with, but then it goes off on a tangent that plainly identifies the person as someone who would like to share opinions, just not when you disagree with them, and clearly would have you live your life EXACTLY the same way as they do; a sort of force my religion on you sort of behavior. *ahem*. Everyone has a right to judge for themselves. Everyone has the right to boycott something if they find it's not for them. They DO NOT have the right to tell anybody else how to live, and other's on the list believed likewise. Before I go on, here's my reply to the poster:

Entered 3/27/10:

I think Ravelry is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I think Free Speech is one of the Greatest things that's ever happened in this country!

Just my nickle, but I have to agree with the folks on the side of the fence that sticks with Freedom of Speech.
That said, I do find it objectionable that there's an f word on Ravelry--a tad uncouth there...but there's no accounting for some people's taste in language. You'd think they'd realize that they're being judged as being in poor taste and showing the lack of their own intelligence. I mean, they could have just typed in *)(*&$#^#^ for heaven's sake...but I digress.

I suppose you find the knitted boob objectionable? These are for mastectomy patients, but the knitted weenie is not for guys who need extra padding in their shorts. A simple pair of socks would do the trick for that!! (tongue FIRMLY in cheek). Chalk it up to SHOCK FACTOR.

I ran across a crocheted thong one day at the office on Ravelry, and darn near had an apoplexy!

Gotta know, I got out of that right now!

But you, as parent (ish) need to pre-review EVERY website, not just those you THINK may be objectionable, and use your discretion. That's your right. However, to ASSUME that everyone else has to change their tastes in exchange for yours, is a bit presumptuous. Now, before you get on a high horse and start flaming, please keep in mind that I have a right to my view, just like you do. You have a right to have a problem with it. You have a right to stop going there. But you do not have the right to force your views on other adults and make them to follow your choices for their lives.

Sorry, but that is the way it is, and the reason why the Constitution is written the way it is, and the reason why it's worked for some 200 odd years.

As for kids noticing or not, I think they do...but I think more for the giggle factor than anything else. Let me tell you, the more you react to something, the more "NO!", the more titillating it's going to be to the kids. Better to talk about it briefly, laugh about it-make fun of it, then drop it. That way, it's more likely to be forgotten than remembered in secret hiding places.

You have every right to draw the line in your own home. You have a right to complain. Ravelry has the right to maintain their standards as well. Seems to me that when we signed up, we were asked "What's your favorite cuss word?"

To to a point, I do agree with you, but when you started spouting reactionary lingo, I basically shut down.

In the same vein, I didn't go see the art exhibit that included a crucifix in a beaker of human whiz either--my right to boycott.

I'd rather be knitting...where'd those socks go?"

Anyone who knows me, realizes that the *tongue firmly planted in cheek* is more for smile factor--rather than argument--to diffuse the situation; however, it was apparently tossed aside by the reader. I am not one to force my beliefs and credos on others. I am NOT one to sit on the fence--IT IS NOT MY RIGHT to tell someone else how to live. IT IS MY RIGHT to judge what is right for MY OWN LIFE. I sit FIRMLY on the right side of the spectrum (as opposed to the left, not the *wrong*); but recognize that everyone has a right to decide for themselves--because GOD calls, and JESUS saves...not me. Now, I can live my life in such a way that those who do not live according to God's plan can SEE and DECIDE again, for themselves, and if my life shines as an example, and puts their own life in shoddy comparison, well then, perhaps God is calling them at that point. If this enacts change in them, then that is what was supposed to happen--not by MY WILL, but by God's Design.

No, I'm not going to get into the religion aspect here any further.

But here's this poster's reply to my email, received 3/28/10

"Why thanks for the untimely, lengthy and unsolicited opinions. This conversation was so many yesterdays ago. You are entitled to all your opinions of course, but I don't really care what they are. And No, I'm not against knitted boobs for mastectomy patients. It's amazing how one can form such strong opinions about someone they don't even know and from one email. You don't know me at all and therefore have no right to tell me what I need to do as a parent or a parent (ish) as you called me. In fact, you have no right to force your arrogance into my day at all.
I'm also entitled to my opinions. Imagine that.
Don't bother writing me again because I will delete it before I read it. Life is way too short to put up with someone on a knitting list lecturing me in an email and telling me I'm using reactionary lingo. In whose opinion...yours? Who the hell are you to think that I would care what you think? I don't even know you. If you aren't part of the solution, you are the problem."

So, I guess I'm part of the problem. I don't think I am, but I could be wrong. Who knows? I just know that Ravelry is, for the most part, a good thing, just like I believe that 90% of society is basically "good". I stand by that observation. Just like I stand by the idea that I believe the poster means well, and is really reacting to the 1-10% who ARE the problem--the ones who rob, steal and destroy the quality of life that we try to build in our own world to shelter our children and those we love. I react to that 1-10% too! I have no beef with that part. But to expect RAVELRY to change it's guidelines? The internet is a free exchange of ideas and etc.. Yes, there is objectionable material on the internet. Yes, we have to be vigilant and watch out for it. Yes, we have a right to not look at it if we choose. But, NO, we do not have the right to tell others what they can or can't post there. If the poster doesn't like it, they have a right to throw out the baby with the bathwater and never turn on the internet again! Sadly, I think that's cutting off your nose despite your face, but there you go.

I also believe that smoker's have a right to smoke. If they want to destroy their lives, that's their business. But I don't believe that I should have to smell their smoke in a restaurant (or other public place). Yes, I could boycott the restaurant. So can they--if they don't agree with the restaurant's policies. I did not believe that government had to get involved and make a law that said "No smoking in public places (basically)." Still, I think it's a good idea--since I'm a non-smoker, and it's better for the health of all the patrons (not just the non-smokers) and staff that they don't have smoking in their establishment/business/office, whatever have you. The internet has no such health issues. I also don't like smokers who leave their cigarette butts laying everywhere. That's a public annoyance. Litter. And the smell of a stale cigarette butt? Ew. Now, lest you think I'm saying ALL SMOKERS do this, I'm not. But those who do, ruin things for those who are sensitive to other people's sensitivities. Again, that 10% thing. I can wrinkle my nose at somebody walking down the street, holding a smoking cigarette in their hands as they walk down the street, but I can eventually come back to clean air when I'm outside. I can't do it shut up inside a building. There is just no "getting upwind" inside a building. Outdoors, I do it all the time!

In like vein, should Ravelry decide that it can remove things deemed "objectionable" by a few (myself could be included in that respect) then, where will RAVELRY stop? Would the knitted boob be removed to the adult section? Yes, I believe it should be--as it's also part of a naked body! YIKES! I think that's the wrong design. That thong? Since *I* can't wear it, (without looking like a complete idiot) yes, it's objectionable. Remove it. And that picture of a naked baby, avatar for (whoever, since I made that up), yes, it's objectionable. Remove that person's access to Ravelry until they change it. Before long, there'll be no Ravelry for anybody!

So thank you, no ma'am. I will keep the guarantee of free speech, safely in the hands of the matter the cost to myself. If I were offended so easily by 10% of the population, there would be no one else on this earth to speak to--because I would have removed all of them at one time or another, since they are ALL slightly different than me. Some would be removed later, some sooner. But you get my point. I am not God, and glad of it.

I hope you're glad of it, too! :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Michigan State-The Elite Eight!

I'm not one to watch sports, but when it comes to tournaments, especially, it seems, basketball, when the Trip to the Final Four begins, I am glued to the television once I find out that MSU has any sort of shot at winning the national title.

Last night was no exception.

Now, lest you think that I attended MSU, think again. I didn't. This is just a "regional loyalty", but loyalty it is, and while I won't bore you with a lot of details about the game save for the fact that MSU made it from the Sweet Sixteen to the Elite Eight, I would like to state that even though they won the game last night, they didn't seem "on top of their game". In fact, I thought that the team moved very slowly--compared to Duke--which fairly flew across the court for most of the game.

If MSU expects to get to the final four, and they well MIGHT, they're going to need to step up their game--especially if they go up against Duke at any point. Duke has a pretty good team this year, very strong and very fast. MSU has one "mover and sh aker". Anybody who watched last night's game saw it. Duck, twist around, JUMP, SCORE!

Yes, that move was pretty exciting. Too bad it was the only move of the night!

I'll be watching the play again today at 2:20. I have no idea which team they're playing against, or if they show any promise in relation to MSU's ability--I'm sure they are quite good, else they wouldn't have made it as far, so the game should be an exciting one!


I'm nearing the cuff of the Leyburn socks. Presently, I am increasing because the leg is a little tight right now, and the leg isn't quite the length I'd like. So I increased a few stitches around. I have no idea how that's going to affect the pattern, but imagine that it will. I just hope that I can maintain the pattern--so I plan to add a life line so I can rip back in case it doesn't work, and put in the ribbing on a pair of too short socks. The stitch gauge has been fine to this point, and if I didn't want a little longer sock, I would be fine--but I want a longer sock. I might not be satisfied with the result.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It Took Long Enough!

But Friday is finally here, and with it, one more day before the WEEKEND!

My back is killing me. I'd like to take a day off again this week, but since I took quite a lot of time off last week for doctor appointments, I think that I should pass. I also haven't been sleeping well--mostly due to the book having kept me awake with all it's loose ends, which I can live with, I suppose. The next book will tie things up neatly, I believe. Even so, two nights with only 5 hours sleep each has really messed up my inner time clock. I'm hoping to catch up this weekend, as I have very little of real import to do. Sunday is busy, with two classes--one knit, one crochet, but otherwise, I'm free.

I'm still knitting on the Leyburn socks. They take a while because most of one row is slipped, so I only really get 6 rows in when I knit 8. I know that sounds a little odd, but there you go.

I created a blog at the office to cover some of the idiot things that some web admin put in. Sadly, my work blog cannot be accessed by the general public, which is really the ones who need to see it! I'm considering putting in billing procedures there, too, so that workers can share the info with their customers, right there when they are discussing the program with them...maybe even print off the page. My blog will be more up to date than the public website--which is informative, but sadly lacking in the useful information that parent's really need to understand. Somehow, I'm able to put it into layman's terms that people at my education level understand, especially when they fail to read the fine print.

I'd like a nice picture of me--but I haven't taken a good picture of me since I can't remember when, and I think I even broke a few camera viewfinders along the way. I've never thought of myself as photogenic. Now that I'm older, I think "What a crone!" when I look in the mirror..."A happy crone, but a crone, nonetheless."

Well, there goes the alarm to wake up. I'm going to have me a hot shower and hope to warm away some of the ache in my back. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Not Pennsylvania, but close--

I've been reading a book, a series, really, by Diana Gabaldon. It's the latest one of the "Outlander" series. The title is "An Echo in the Bone".

I'd consider it in the genre of 'historical novel', since most of it takes place at some point in history, both present and past, weaving them together with the fanciful tales of the Scottish standing stones. The author takes much creative license with this idea, and the history is probably not meant to be completely 'factual', but it makes a reasonably good read.

My only complaint about it is that it ends with a fair number of loose ends, some very distressing--especially the kidnapping of one of the children of one of the main characters, and so folks have to go back to the past to find said kidnapped child, when in fact the kidnapper hasn't yet taken the child through the stones.

But the novel has left me with a little bit of scottish lilt in my voice at times, which happens when I'm close to someone who talks that way, and the way the book is written, it's as if they are


Some strong emotions in this book. A good read the last 80-100 pages that I could not put down, hoping to come to a satisfying conclusion about the kidnapping, but such did not happen.

So there will be another book.

I'll have to return this one to my friend, so that she will loan me the next one when it comes out.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Monday Over, Tuesday Begins

Holy cow, yesterday was a long, busy day!

Our office has incepted this Performance Sheet online, and we had to go and fill it out. The stress is already colossal, and this is the most idiot thing. Not only does it NOT get you a promotion if you are already EXCEPTIONAL at your job, functioning higher and well above expectations, you still have to complete this idiot thing. What a colossal waste of a government employee's time!

I worked mine up in about a half hour, though, having been exposed to it some time ago...I think the last time I did one was about 8 years ago, and I thought the same about it then. All this gobledygook about getting your job done in a perfect manner, even though it's not your fault that the work doesn't come to you complete, NOR do the computer programs allow you to work on it immediately--NOR are you allowed access to those computer programs to make the changes necessary to do your job efficiently....and so "your work" sits idly by while you wait for some other government employee to finish theirs. Git er done! Says the Supervisor. I'm waiting for it to be available to me, says I.

I do a lot of waiting you see. Waiting and email. Only to hear "What?" "I don't know how to do that!" Or, "I can't." When clearly, they have to if they want their client to get a check. I sometimes feel so harried on both ends of the candle, that I just want to cry. Government work is not for the idiot--though I bet many people think anyone can do it, and that all we do is sit around and chat with our friends all day. The fact is, that our office is constantly on the phone with people who don't understand--and let me tell you, you have to have ALL YOUR DUCKS IN A ROW, before you give ANY answers, and even then, people get really uppity with you.

Case in point--names removed to protect the attacker.

Phone call. Gentleman on the line states Medicaid cut off in October. "please be patient while I run some screens." (pretty canned answer so far, but it's all I've got). I get names and birthdays and social security numbers, and check one database. Then I check another, and find out that the caller had open medicaid that closed in October, that had been opened when the children were in foster care, and that the cases had finally closed in October, but! I also found that his children were covered by A DIFFERENT MEDICAID as of April, and that he should tell his providers to use these numbers INSTEAD, and to remind them DO NOT USE THE CHILD'S SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER to look them up, this being tied to the foster care identification numbers, which had been closed. Then, the caller was asking me why one of his children doesn't have medicaid anymore, and I explained that according to my records he was determined ineligible for our program. "BUT HE HAD IT BEFORE!" (clearly angry) so after getting his attitude under control again, I explained "The case you had for this child was open in the county, not in our program. You will need to go to the county, SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS CHILD ONLY, and apply for a program USING THE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER I GAVE YOU FOR HIM, to see if you can get him/her medicaid. Then he starts hammering me about having to fill out 6 pages of forms, which I have nothing to do with--and I have to keep my cool, and explain that if that's the way it's done, then that's the way it's done.

Personally, I would have no idea, since I've never had to apply for assistance or medicaid myself, but I suppose you do what you have to do to get your child insurance coverage, and I realize how blessed my life has been, and I have not always worked here, just the last 20+ years.

I mean, that seems only fair, being that's what EVERYBODY does, right?

Now, anyone who looks at this can see, that there is a coverage overlap of 6 freaking months. I am aghast at the state of government largess--when our state is doing so poorly!

Further, he needed to make sure that the information for this child was entered on the correct identification number AND that he call the medicaid hotline to get new cards. I verified his address to make sure the cards were going to go to the right house. ALL THIS FOR 4, count them, children. And I can do only one at a time.

Once he had the instructions firmly on paper--what to do--who to call--he settled down to a reasonable human being. However, I have the distinct impression that I'd spoken with him just a few days before, and he was not able at the time to give me the information I needed to do my job. It's frustrating. It's a living.

All in all, on the phone with an argumentative person for an hour. He didn't know it, but I stayed WELL PAST MY TIME TO LEAVE, JUST FOR HIM, but I got not even a thank you at the end--and then I went home. The air in the car was blue, and when I opened the door, it slipped out into the ozone, trying to follow me, it's grasping blue fingers trying to hold tight before being forgotten. I did try to shake it off, but it's grip was tight, and walked into the house, with an attitude that could have knocked a frog off a knot on a log at a hundred paces, to find my husband studying for his test at the breakfast nook.

"How was your day?"

"grumble, grumble"

"That good, huh? What's for dinner? Something better than salad?"

"grumble, grumble", and a fair amount of stern looks. Were my eyes red? I couldn't tell.

I tossed my coat, purse and knitting into a chair, then I sat down in my favorite chair, opened my book and disappeared into it's pages for an hour before getting up and fixing dinner.

During this, he interrupts me with stories of his day. How the property we own might be sold any day now, as the people who are looking at it are impressed, and may just put in an offer. How he's not nervous at all about his test, yet he's not yet doing it (a fact I point out, and so he retorts--)

"Boy, you just have a way to cut right to the chase, don't you."

"Well, yes", I explain..."it's what I do everyday, all day, and I do it quite well. Do you think *I'M" going to take the test for you."

"Well, I thought..."

"Never mind what you thought, my dear. I'm not taking this class. You ARE. So take your test and be done with it so you can get on with your life!"

So he did. It took him all of 10 minutes. I have no idea why he was so ambivalent about it.

I finished dinner, and got back to my book.

Tonight is knit night in Lake Odessa. I have a pattern to make a pair of gloves from the fingers down, and wanted to show it to the rest of the knitters there, as well as my son, who probably will come and knit with me, thinking that this particular project is WAY over his head, when it's really not. We'll see.

But it's another long day at the office before that.

Another long day at the office.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday Already!

Seems to come with increasing quickness as the weather gets nicer. My head feels like a ticking bomb just about to explode (or is that implode?) and simple thought is just not possible yet at this early hour.

I am with coffee, but that's the only saving grace. VERY active dreams last night, which just before waking was attended by none other than CHUCKIE himself, who was terrorizing the neighborhood children--and I haven't even SEEN a Chuckie movie, I also dreamed that I went back to school, and the math problems were pretty much the same as last year's problems, except that I had burned last year's books and so had nothing to really study with as to how to solve the problems using the variables from last year's book! In short, I was completely screwed if I couldn't lay my hands on last year's book. Before a classmate could assist, along comes the Chuckie dream.

I'm in bad shape this morning, I guess.

The Leyburn Socks are nearly half done, and I have bought some new yarn for a pair of finger-down gloves, which I will begin when I finish the socks.

Coherent thought is finally coming back to me. The body still aches. I have but 10 minutes left to blog something interesting--I think the scrub maple tree that flowered in our yard is playing fun with my sinuses, plugging up my head. That would be about right--this is the time of year I get one of those nasty colds that never leaves you.

Oh, yes! We got our taxes back, and right after the taxes came back, our realtor called and said that he might have a buyer for the property we own in Fowlerville. We are looking forward to an offer, and if sold, we'll be able to pay off our house and burn the deed. Wouldn't THAT be something? We've only been in this house for 11 years. I think that must be a record! There will be a deed burning party...if I can locate the deed.

Then we can borrow money to fix the barn, which needs a new roof. I'm trying to talk hubby into letting us do it, but since it's a gable barn, he's afraid of falling off.

Well, I suppose that I understand that. Sad to say that he got rid of my rock climbing harness.

I think I'm going to need a second cup. Yes, I do believe it.

Good news should always be accompanied by good coffee.

I have never owned my own home. My mother never owned her own home, she moved too often.

But when I retire, I think that hubby wants to move into a smaller place with a fenced yard (so that we can release our dog into the wilds of the yard without her running over to the neighbors to fight with the yellow lab there. Frankly, I don't want to move, but I see the advantages of it. I would like a place where I can have a small huge out-building for all my crafts--a heated building with lots of space so that I can spread out and relax and--well, pretty close to a mother-in-law house--where I can cook and do laundry and watch television and not "mess up" the big house! LOL! It's a dream, I know. But I could have that here--maybe. Our neighbors have a pole barn--why can't I have one? I know right where I'd put it, too. Smack over our garden which never really grew anything other than tomatoes, potatoes and beans--corn won't grow at all on "rocky-top", which I suppose is more a difficulty with the soil than rocks. But there's also a half acre on the other side of our big barn, where, should we take down the lean to there, we could have another barn, right beside.

I wonder if it would be less expensive to build a pole barn than to roof the gable barn?

Ah, but this is a dream, you understand. I have fallen back to sleep, and lost all track of time, even while sipping hot coffee. My brain is buzzing with possibility, instead of Chuckie. If only that property would sell, and even though I had once thought about putting our new place there in the middle of 25 acres, while having sheeps all around grazing--more dreams--the prospect of paying off this house has just really lifted my mood and made me feel somehow safer! I'm adrift on a sea of ideas and plans. Hubby is still snoring. His "ideas and plans" time was last night, waiting for the realtor to call again--so adrift that he couldn't study anymore, and came to his lounge chair and said "Imagine? Now I can't concentrate on Physics!"

That was all it took?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday-Living History Show

For the first time, my SIL went with Ray and I to the Living History Show. The three of us had SO MUCH FUN!

Between the three of us, I think my SIL spent the most money--there were three bead stores there, and she was in 7th heaven. I found a size 15 crochet hook (I bought two, one for my SIL and her beading and one for my crochet hook collection) for--get this--three bucks!

There were people dressed as indians, pirates, rich ladies, poorer ladies, farmers, revolutionary war Brits and Colonists, Civil War folk from both sides of the coin, trappers, drovers. Why very very few of the people were dressed in normal street clothes.

Everyone LOVED my Civil War Shawl, and I got lots of nice comments about it.

We lost each other a couple of times in the throng of people, but we finally grouped back up and headed for the door with our treasures, climbed back into the car and headed for lunch at the Galesburg McDonald's.

After lunch, my SIL and I decided that we wanted to share our "finds" with our aunt, so we quickly drove to her house in Battle Creek. Ray decided to wait in the car, and I spent but 10 minutes there while my SIL showed off all her beads--$60 worth in a little finding bag. It just doesn't seem fair, you know?

Ray and I headed for home then, it was chilly, but not terribly so, and didn't see snow until we got to Charlotte, where it was coming down pretty heavy. It was too wet to stick to the roadway, so driving wasn't a problem.

When we arrived at the gas station where I'd left my car, I found that I'd left my keys in my SIL's car--so Ray and I drove to my house to find my second set. When I couldn't find them in my sock drawer, I went downstairs to my step-son's room to speak with my hubby who was down there visiting, to use his key for my car.

"This is gonna cost you..." he said. I was in too much of a hurry to reply.

We drove back to the gas station and I got my car, called my SIL, and headed for home and rest.

Quite a day.

Later, the manager from JoAnn's called to tell me that my student for Sunday had cancelled in favor of a date in April (possibly because of the snow), and so now I have very little to do today except knitting. I told her about my issue with the Red-Heart Contest, and she sighed and exclaimed that it sounded about right, but that she wanted me to bring in the "official rules" so that she could take a look. I may just go in to demo today, and take the document with me, leaving it on her desk. I will likely deposit my check from JoAnn's that I got in the mail on Friday, as well.

And now, after a fitful sleep, full of strange, short dreams that covered a miasma of subjects, I waken with another backache. The doctor says that I have a small amount of arthritis in my middle-spine, but didn't think that was causing the trouble. I think it's the bed, but I can't be sure until I get a different bed in here.

I was thinking about breakfast at Denny's, which hubby and I normally do, but he's not hungry yet--having had a midnight snack--then off to JoAnn's to demo. Since he's not hungry, we may opt to lunch--although I know the place will be busy after church, so I have no idea now WHAT to do. So many projects on the list--including groceries and laundry, and I don't want to do any of it, except to lie back and rest--I am that weary. I know I pack far too much into a day, even with work--and I get myself all stressed out because of it, and then I get sick.

And the scrub maple tree in our front yard flowered this weekend, and it's playing havoc with my sinuses.

The Bus of Life needs to slow down and let me off at the next stop, instead of whizzing past while I try to jump off and tuck/roll over to the ice cream store.

Saturday is Living History Day

Batten down the hatches Randy, I'll be passing by your trailer today! I'll be sure to honk my horn from I-96 and wave out the window to make sure ye see me! (sorry about that--I've been reading Diana Gabaldon's next "Highlander" book).

Yes, today is living history show at the Kalamazoo Fairgrounds, and I can barely stand the wait. The weather is holding out (just a little wetness on the ground), and the snow storm they'd been predicting tracked to the south, instead of coming our way. The temps did drop, so wearing my gear might be troublesome (as in not warm enough). And I might have to wear my thermal undies below.

My intent this year is to look around at wool fabrics. Gather together some colors for use in rug hooking. Not that I've begun my project, mind you, but the time is coming.

I have my 50% off coupon for JoAnn's as well, and they have a cutting machine that I might just buy.

I plan to bead with my sister in law this Sunday, and then I have a class afterward for the knitted baby hat. The next classes aren't until the following Sunday, but I'm hoping for more signups today.

Ray and I will probably hit the ground running at 8 am this morning, pick up my sister in law at Battle Creek about 9, and arrive at the Living History Show about 10, when it opens, and stay until about 2--whereupon we will depart and head for the Galesburg McDonald's, arriving perhaps about 2:30 to 3:00 for our lunch/supper.

If my ex doesn't show colors during that time (sort of a pirate reference, again with Diana's book), we'll head out rather promptly, with only a star to guide us. I will likely drive Ray's car, and I'm a little concerned about seating arrangements, as Jen just had surgery, and I don't think she should be navigating the attempt to get into the back seat of a two door car! It means Ray will be in the back seat, which isn't entirely fair--but he wants me to drive. I would stay in the back and knit for all that!

Oh, and I finished the heels on my Leyburn socks last night. I had to increase the stitches on the heel side (about 5 stitches each side of the heel), then did the short row (wrap and turn style), and now I'm decreasing those extra 5 stitches, which means I'm on my way up the leg.


There was a concern that the socks would be too short, but with the extra "gusset style" stitches, the heel is PERFECT, and the sock fits my foot wonderfully! I do have a couple of holes which I will tidy those up with some waste yarn, but otherwise, everything is VERY well done. I also have to remember to decrease a stitch on the back to get back to 72 stitches, because the pattern calls for a multiple of 6 + 1, rather than "borrow" one for the instep, I just increased one and figured I'd decrease one on the back at some point down the sole, but then I forgot, and didn't do it on the heel--too involved concentrating on which stitch I was on--so perhaps the next decrease row, I will.

And I have to shower now, so if you'll excuse me...

Friday, March 19, 2010

Contest Tank-Fears and Jeers

Well, I am very miffed.

I think I may have decided that I'm not going to enter Phlox in the Red-Heart Contest.


Because they sent out these little fliers to the stores with all the information about the contest, who, what, where, when, how--and save the WHY for people who read the


on the website which basically states:

'we can take your design, make a pattern and sell it by the thousands to people and not pay you a penny royalty, because we gave you the possibility of earning a $500 gift card for JoAnn's just to try.'

Which basically means, that if you win, you lose your pattern and design and it becomes theirs, and you get $500 to spend at JoAnn's, or you lose the contest, and they get your pattern and design and it becomes theirs, and you get nothing.

Which to me, seems like highway robbery. You literally sign your rights to the pattern away just to compete.

That's wrong. That's very wrong.

So my sweater, pretty Phlox, stays home. Perhaps I'll write the pattern down, perhaps not-but if I *do*, I'll sell the idea on RAVELRY and make some money for myself that I can spend anywhere.

Shame on you, Red Heart!

I am so disappointed! To come all this way, only to find out at the last minute that the yarn company just wants to steal from the people who buy their yarn? I've a mind to boycott!

Not only that, I might even include the jeers on Ravelry--I just think it's dirty pool to fail to include the "oh by the way" on the flier--but you know what? I think I've heard of other companies doing things similarly--making you sign your rights away so that you get a little bit of public exposure, but they get all the MOOLAH.

Well, quite honestly, exposure is over-rated. I want the Moolah. I really want the moolah, since just now I got my Verizon bill, and it's nearly $300--this makes no sense whatsoever. So I have to check into it and find out what the heck is going on...AGAIN.

I hate Verizon too. Why oh why did I get a Verizon phone? I was quite happy with my Sprint phone! I won't be staying with them, that's for darn sure.


So hubby is doing homework, trying to catch up with an assignment he missed, and I'm working on these Leyburn socks. Sorry, Red Heart-NOT YOUR PATTERN. I need a drink.

Oh, and as an aside?

I have lots of this Red Heart Eco-Cotton left. I'm planning another tank top that is multi-colored. I'll be scanning RAVELRY for a possible candidate later tonight.

Grrr. Red Heart. I'll never buy another skein!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Short Row Heels

I Love the look of short row heels.

I Hate that they are so shallow as to literally fall off my foot.
I Hate the way the instep bunches up at my ankle because there's too much fabric there.

I Want it all--a deeper short row heel with no extra fabric at the ankle.

I know that there is a way to do this! I KNOW IT in the bottom of my shoes!

But how to achieve it?

Research is beginning even now, as I hunt for the perfect short row toe. Not satisfied with a standard short row toe, this one's got to be deeper and easier than all the rest, and can be adjusted to ANY number of stitches and be done just as easily as the last time you did it, even if last time was a year ago.

You see that's about how often I knit socks, but there you go.

I'm going to have to rip out this pair back to the beginning of the heel, and I'm not happy about that--more than 30 rows of knitting. What a shame!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Is now finally here!

My contest tank...named Phlox.

What do you think?





Why is work so boring?
Why don't birds carry luggage?
Why don't cats shed ONLY where you want them to shed?

The weather is warming.
The birds are singing.
The trees are budding.
The sun is shining.

And I am sitting here on my computer, when I could be out walking the doggie?

I'll tell you why.

It's because the weather was SO NICE!

(How nice was it?)

It was so nice that I took my knitting, and walked for an hour outdoors today, and now I'm so sore, that all I want to do is sit on my butt and type a log entry in here.

As she walks away, slowly.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tuesday Knight Nit Knight

There's a new yarn shoppe in the town where my son and his grandmother live. It's called Double Ewe Yarn Shoppe. It's a small, cozy shop with two nice owners who are both quite personable, and on Tuesday night, they offer a knit-night get-together, bring your project or problems for resolution.

I decided I'd go, since hubby was in class and wouldn't be home for hours. I took my little sock bag (with my socks) and headed for the store as soon as work would allow it.

The day seemed to drag, so at break and lunch, due to the warm (yes, I did say WARM) weather, I decided to take a long walk, and just generally enjoy the sunshine that we haven't seen, low these many months. I didn't even wear a coat! And when I arrived at my mother's place, my son and I got out our knitting and sat on the patio and knit, then we stood up and walked to the knit-night.

I'm working on some Leyburn Socks from Ravelry. I've got this yarn--I don't remember which kind it is, because I lost the ball bands, but it has very short color changes, and so the yarn wasn't pooling the way I had hoped. Then I remembered that these Leyburn Socks are good for this sort of yarn, and so, after knitting a little on the heel, I started the Leyburn pattern on the foot--as these socks are toe up.

I'm really liking the pattern. Very easy to memorize. This one is sure to become a favorite.

The knit-night was a nice time, and a great time was had by about 14 people--and I didn't have fights with my son, either! That was a real plus. I suppose as long as I keep our conversations to knitting and learning about knitting, we will get along just fine. I think it's pretty cool that he's already designing in his head what he wants to do with his newest project, and putting his thoughts on paper as to how many rows to do this or that. I might see one of his patterns on Ravelry one day...

So, if you're reading this, kiddo, you should put that bureau scarf on Ravelry when you're done with it. Remember to take good notes, and make it available for free. This is your plug.

The pattern is an easy one, just knit and purl, so you have to know how to cast on, knit, purl, how to change between each one and cast off. Size is around 18x30 or so.

So after knit night, my son and I walked back to my mother's, and since I was chilled, I went inside for a minute, then walked to my car. I drove to Meijer's and got gas and milk, then I drove home listening to the Beach Boys in my car's cdrom.

When I got home, I worked a little more on my Leyburn Socks. Here's the progress..


A Rare Morning...

Hubby asked me last night to wake him when I woke up--which usually ends in my getting out of bed, while he languishes there for a minute or two. I get up, let the dog out, feed the dog, do my business for the morning, put coffee in the coffeemaker and turn on the puter for email and blog reading/news.

And then he starts snoring.

He was mad at me yesterday for turning off his alarm on Sunday because it made him late for school on Monday. It wasn't intentional--I just forgot to re-set it!

And since today is his first day back in Physics--well, I just figured he'd get right out of bed and get to work.

To be fair, he DID finally get up--after I'd finished doing everything in the first paragraph, and then, fully clothed, crawled back into bed.

So it was poke, prod and wrestle and pull him out again to sit at the kitchen table to do his homework. That's where he is right now. Operation successful. Now if only I could be that successful at the office!

Remember the bag and covers I purchased at the Expo?

Here's one.


This wasn't even my favorite, but it's the one I'm taking this morning. Tommorrow, I'll post another!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Call In the Clowns

Did you know that there was a woman, charged with DUI, headed to court, drunk, shaving her ying-yang, while at the steering wheel, operating the pedals while her husband in the passenger seat operated the wheel?

And she told the police she was on her way to her boyfriend's house and wanted to pretty herself up?


They walk among us.


They actually breed.

God help us all.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


A very odd day, but odd. Here's why:

I woke up early, knowing that I was going to the Women's Expo with my SIL. I drove to my MIL's house to pick her up, because she has been staying there due to recovery from surgery, and to give her mom the pleasure of taking care of her daughter for a little while--and she was ready to go, so we piled into the car and drove to the expo, stopping momentarily at her house, which was on the way.

While there, this little orange and white tiger kitten walked across her yard, and I called to him. He came right into the car with me, sat in my lap for a minute while we petted him. Nice little cat--purred very loudly. I nearly took him home with me--but of course, hubby would never have it. Since he was clearly someone's pet, but no collar, I let him hop out of my lap back into the yard to continue his exploring. I hoped that he was there when we returned, because I would have taken him home with me, regardless.

Both of us were excited about getting to the expo, too--so off to the races!

When we got there, not a parking place to be had. So we continued up the road a piece and parked in a lot, and took a shuttle bus to the expo.

Do you know how long it's been since I've been on a school bus? Because that's what the shuttle was--a school bus.

Do you know--I really don't remember the aisle being that narrow?

And all of us (as there were several waiting here for the shuttle) embarked and commented on the narrowness of the aisle and how our knees were jammed into the seat ahead--how DID this happen?

The world may never know.

The bus departed the parking lot, and we were off like a prom dress--headed for the expo. When we arrived, we stepped carefully off the bus, remembering the training we had when we were in school, I suppose--being careful that we don't fall down the steps--it was a cool trip down memory lane, remembering some of the things we used to do on the bus with our friends and boyfriends--and we would sit in the back seat and listen to the radio on the high school bus...ah, memories.

Once off the bus, the rain misted down upon us, so we hurried into the building and got in line (remember cafeteria lines?) to sign up for the raffle and then headed into the Expo.


Lots of booths and lots of food--so much to do! There were two mediums, several massage places, all the hospital and diet booths that you can imagine. Quilting and sewing groups. Home repair. Cleaning (yuck...didn't bother to stop there, and not really worth mentioning, since I rarely do that sort of thing, but for those who do enjoy that sort of activity, I suppose that I should mention it)...a couple of bead places and so much more.

My sil and I stopped at a medium, and I got my palms read. She told me not to reveal the reading for 48 hours, and so I won't, but I came in trying to be open minded, but the first wrong answer she came up with, things started shutting down, and I came away wondering how "rehersed" was that reading anyway? Why the secrecy for 48 hours? So that we have time to forget it? So that we don't tell anybody at the expo that she's full of it? I suppose that there were some items that were "possibles", but they were few and far between--but I have to say that 75% of the reading--perhaps even 90%, was dead wrong.

I got the idea the reading was scripted after while.

My SIL went in first, of course. I think she was satisfied about her reading, and she felt the same way, although I don't think she came away with the idea that the reading was completely scripted. Much of the reading could apply to ANYBODY, being so general as to be nearly worthless. There was a good deal of glad-handing, too. Stroking the ego in hopes of getting more money, I suppose.

I have always contended that these things should be FREE. They are a gift given to you; therefore, they should be a gift you share with others.

After the medium, my SIL and I stopped at a purse booth. They had medium sized handbags with assorted "covers" that you could change and give your purse "a new look". I bought one bag and 4 different covers. It was like I couldn't stop! After this, however, I was broke and owed my SIL $20 for the medium.

We stopped and got our heads massaged with these odd "fork-like" contraptions. But the sensation was strange, and we were starting to decide that it was time for lunch.

So we sat in a couple of chairs and waited for the shuttle to return so that we could leave with our purchases and notes, and go somewhere for a salad. We decided on Wendy's. While we sat, we chatted about our booth reviews and I pulled out a pair of socks from my small bag and started casting on. By the time the bus arrived, I had about 28 stitches on each sock.

When we got on the bus, it was pretty surprising, because a lot of the people on the bus in the later day, were the same people we'd met in the morning! It was like Kismet, but we returned to our cars and drove away, my sil navigator and I driver.

When we got to the bank, I put my card in to withdraw money to pay her back the $20 I owed her, and then we drove on to Wendy's, where I quite literally heard her father tell me

"Tell her that I love her."

I remember feeling touched about that. But I forgot to tell her, because it wasn't a good time to say

"Oh, by the way, your dead father tells me that he loves you, and wanted me to let you know that he told me that."


So, I didn't say anything at the time, and then forgot completely. Eager to get home, I dropped my sil off at her house--no kitten--darn! She opted to take her car to her mom's, and since I was eager to get home, I drove away, having forgotten completely (again) to tell her what her dad told me.

Now, on the way home, I thought, hmm...I could stop at JoAnn's and do some demonstrating with my socks....but my gut told me to go home, so I did.

When I got home, my hubby said--

"What the heck are you doing here?" (note: I cleaned up the language a bit.)

"Um, it's my house?" I answered, wondering why he was in such a foul mood.

Apparently, he'd made plans with his mother to have cake and ice cream at his mother's at 6, and he had called me to let me know--however when his sister had called her mother, she had said she was going to the grocery store to get a few things and never said a word about cake and ice cream! I'm willing to wager that the phone call came when I was in Wendy's and the phone was in the car, so I never heard it, and since I don't check my phone every time we're apart, I never knew that I was supposed to stop at his mother's and wait for him there.

No big deal. Nothing to get your panties in a bunch over, but he was apparently miffed about something else, and the whole "I'm pissed at the world" attitude had my mystified!

He'd been studying, and wanted to study on the way to his mother's. Of course, I wanted to knit, but because of his foul mood, I opted to let him have his way. It didn't have the desired effect, I'm afraid. We stopped at the gas station and he purchased a sub sandwich, and saved a little of it for me later. I worked on my socks while he ate.

I swear, he spoke harshly to me all the way there. I wanted to chatter about all the stuff at the expo, and he wanted to study. Finally, I left him ALONE, like the hibernating bear. He behaved badly the entire drive, and even when we arrived at his mother's, and I commented on his attitude.

"Well, I know it seems like I don't listen to you, but quit with the attitude already! I'll be so glad when this Physics class is over with! You are impossible trying to cope with the stress this class is causing you, and you're making my life a miserable existence because of it!"

After which, he realized how much his attitude was affecting me, and behaved a little better, for which I was grateful. He got a little testy with me later, and everyone looked at me, wondering if I would say something, which I didn't--but they could see the hurt in my eyes. Glad to know they couldn't see the hurt in my heart. I did my best to let it go.

Later in the car, I asked him if he was angry with me over something, to which he replied no, that he didn't know what was wrong, but that perhaps his meds weren't covering him during the day. I told him that if he wasn't angry with me, why had he been so short with me? All I could come up with was the homework from his Physics class. He really has no idea what he is reading. It doesn't make sense to him. He has a tutor. I think that makes him angry, too. Perhaps he thinks he's getting dumber, and the idea bugs him to no end? Maybe it galls him that he has to ask his buddy from high school (who is his tutor) to help him, and he believes that he should be man enough and smart enough to be able to understand and complete this stuff? Maybe he's upset that he figures it's so "over his head" that he can't concentrate?

Well, the world may never know. In the end, I offered some stress relief, but he would have none of it. I do know that the other night, he didn't sleep at all, and he's spent the last two nights sleeping really hard, and even now, at 10:00 am (spring ahead) he's still snoring! I would be too, if it weren't for my backache.

So that brings us full circle to the present. Today, I thought we were going to his mother's for cake and ice cream, but since that happened LAST NIGHT, I suppose I have the day. Stress relief for hubby later, perhaps, and some time for the most hated 5-letter word in the world.


Yes, friends, today I plan to empty the dishwasher, refill it, and start it on it's merry way. Later, perhaps another load of clothing in the washer/dryer. I might even dust my laptop screen (admittedly VERY dusty--noticed last night!). But there's a great deal more housework that could be done.


Pray for me.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Contest Tank, Continued

Finished...50 little flowers.

Finished...50 little flower centers made of puffy fabric paint. Now they are in the closet on a cookie sheet to dry. This will take 3 days.


1. Lay Sweater flat on table.

2. Toss little flowers in the air over tank.

3. Glue down where they lie.

This way I get a really random placement, and it looks a little more like nature, rather than "Tenna's sewing hand", which I figure is infinitely more pleasurable.

I did crochet a rose and a sprig of greenery, but the greenery is really the wrong color, and the rose is lovely, but too heavy for the tank fabric, and I worry that it will cause the shoulder to droop and ultimately, that the rose will lay right on top of my boob.

Not a good plan, in any case.

Today, I'm preparing to go see my sister in law, and we are going to head to the Jackson Women's Expo. She, if you follow my blog at all, had surgery last weekend for a kidney biopsy. Real surgery for a biopsy?! Well, she was off her game a few days, but seems she's back to the races now, and with a little pent up energy, she's looking forward to going to the Expo. A few days cooped up in the house will do that to you, I suppose.

Between projects, and can't find my raglan sweater pattern book, which disturbs me to no end! I know what color the cover is, and about how big the book is, and I can find it NOWHERE.

But the coffee is good.

So instead I decided to try Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket, and all is going along very well, with the exception that I cast on with size 6 needles, and had to move to size 9's because the fabric was too tight--so of course, the edge of the cuff is much tighter than the fabric of the sweater, and that looks a little odd, but since I'm using scrap yarn and it's likely to be too small for anyone in my family, I'm thinking of donating it when it is done--elsewise, if there's not enough scrap yarn, I'll just drop it into a project bag when I run out and head over to something more challenging--maybe lace or the like.

Need more coffee.

Yesterday, I had two doctor appointments, and rather than rush around trying to be here or there, I scheduled both on the same day, and took the day off work. Mental note: You usually regret doing that. Anyway, after the appointments, I decided to head to this new yarn shop my son goes to--it's called Double Ewe (get it?) Yarn and Crafts. A very small store, with not a lot of stock, but lots of friendly people, and a cozy little place around a round table (around? a round? hmm..) and good conversation. I guess Tuesday is their "Knit Night" when all the local ladies who knit (notice the rapid distinction, there) come, and I'm thinking April--after the contest tank is finished...of course, it would be a GREAT place to go to actually FINISH the tank. So I'm a little on the fence about "this coming Tuesday night". But anyway, I decided to take my white dishcloth cotton, and finished up my basketweave dishcloth, gave the pattern to my son, and talked all afternoon knitterly, as if I were a master knitter (yeah, right..I suppose there was one person in the room who believed that--and I think he's related to me somehow....), waxing philosophically on the best bind off and cast on for socks, etc. We listened to Barry Manilow--quietly thank goodness, on CD. I like Barry Manilow, but not all afternoon. Now Barry WHITE on the other hand...he can eat crackers in bed, for all I care, as long as he talks during the wild thing--if you know what I mean. (Wow! Digressions Galore!)

So I taught my son how to cable without a cable needle, and the shop owner asked me how I do it, and she was pretty impressed. The store is a good place to go to knit with other knitters, that isn't my local bunch, who are pretty much master knitters in their own it's a real spirit lifter to share all the techniques that I've learned from my Monday night group with others. I feel like I'm still quite a long way from "master knitter" considering the sort of stuff master knitters design...for instance, there's this cabled golfer's hat that I bought years ago, that I still want to make someday just for the experience--not because I look good in hats, mind you.

Dry quickly, little flowers! I have plans for you!

In the meanwhile, I need to prepare for the Expo. It's almost 8:30am, and I haven't taken a shower yet. I have to be someplace in 1.5 hours, so I'd best get going. The coffee is really good this morning, though.

I'm thinking of taking something small to work on, such as socks. I have the yarn. I could get going on it very easily and quickly. I need to prepare my little project bag (which currently has my Princess shawl in it--it will need to go into a plastic bag in favor of sock yarn and size 1 addi's. I am off to the races.

Maybe the muses, or the ether can remind me where my Raglan Sweater Book is? The wonder and worry over it is driving me crazy.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

And Now, More Info on the Contest Tank..

But sadly, no picture yet, because it's still a work in progress.

I finally got the other colors of the yarn tonight from JoAnn's, and I've been working feverishly making small posies and testing one of the ferns from the book "Crocheted Flowers". This is a bonanza of stuff, let me tell you.

At first, it took some time to figure out what they meant in the pattern, but once I did, I was going right along--the fern is very lacy and I plan to make just a few fronds. Then I have to make centers on the flowers and sew them to the tank.

And then it will be done.

And then I can take a picture.

And then I can submit it to the contest.

Coming right down to the wire, aren't I? Well, the end result is going to be quite worth it.

My cat, however, is taking it all in stride, however, he seems a little starry-eyed...


You are getting sleepy....

So Much Going On!

Over the weekend, I finished a basketweave towel,
Basketweave towel

worked on the wave afghan,
Wave afghan

and taught three more people how to crochet. Then the four of us decided on which projects to work on and things were off to the races.

I was very busy this weekend. I feel very satisfied in what I accomplished.

Hubby is on spring break. He's telling me that he wishes that I would retire. I'm not even close to it, and figure that the only way I could do so is if I became disabled in some way--frankly, I don't wish that on anybody, including and especially not me.

So there you go.

I downloaded a cute potholder from a link on Grumperina's website. So another project. And also purchased Alasdair Post's (Falling Blox) directional double knit hat. Something keen for hubby to wear next winter season. I also need to make him another pair of gloves--so I'm off to buy yarn for all that today.

In the meanwhile, we're all waiting with baited breath for the results of his sister's biopsy. He worries by letting his hair fall out. I worry by knitting more.

One of my students asked me if I'd gotten any projects done since she last saw me in December.
Oh sure! I replied.
Two pair of socks
A couple of animals that I painted.
A dk hat
A lace scarf
Three eyelash yarn scarves
Three felted flowers
A baby hat
The border for the princess shawl
A basketweave towel
A tank top

There was more, but now I can't remember--and it boggled even my mind at how long the list was! No wonder I'm so tired! Guess I should have joined the ravelympics?

Oh, and I also spent time with my son this weekend, teaching him to purl, work stockinette and to do ribbing. His first project was a knit bureau scarf. His next project will be a sweater vest. I think he'll be a better knitter than I am, and I'm excited about that. I can barely stand the waiting while he practices his stitches so that he can make his own sweater vest. He will be excited once he realizes that he can actually knit something that he can wear--an accomplishment for any knitter.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Value of Your Health

Not meant to be some "preaching to the uninitiated", but let me tell you--your health is VALUABLE--as valuable as the money you DON'T have to spend on hospital stays, doctor bills and prescription drugs. All of which


So take good care to maintain your health for as long as you possibly can, because the alternative


That, or it sucks away your ability to have any fun with your fun money.

How have I come to know this?

Well, I have a cousin with ALS--I hear she's in hospice and doing Very Poorly. She is only 40 years old. I can't believe it. She's going downhill so fast. It's hard to watch. It's hard to hear about it. She will live long enough to see her son old enough to be on his own, but far too soon, she will be gone for this world. Her mother is simply undone about it. It would be so nice if my aunt's son and wife would come back to Michigan, as they live so far away, and they have a grandson, that would give my aunt some "future focus". At this time, she is basically walling off the entire world in her grief.

Children aren't supposed to die before their parents, you see?

And ALS is this really SUCKY disease. It robs you of all your muscle tone (since it is a form of Muscular Dystrophy), and basically kills you, leaving your brain intact, so that you KNOW when you're dying--and it's usually that you just stop breathing--because you can't breathe anymore--and you die grasping (and gasping) for another last breath to keep you alive. It's a horrible HORRIBLE way to die.

The only thing that can keep you from dissolving into a raving lunatic, is God's Grace. A dash of resoluteness to get you through it, and a hope that there's something better waiting for you on the other side of life that no one lives through, leaving everyone else here selfishly mourning the loss.

And then yesterday, I spent the entire day (pretty much) in the hospital with my sister in law. She had a kidney biopsy yesterday. A very painful recovery, from what I hear, and she was aware, but not so much yesterday, trying to find a comfortable position to lie in. The incision is at her waist, on her back, making lying on her back a difficult thing. Plus the pain medication gives her the jitters and makes it difficult to relax. Then you've got the indignity of those hospital robes--ridiculous things that for sure have a purpose in life, and make "checking things out" a lot easier for the doctors and nurses, but many times don't cover up the body well enough to say so. She's going to be in the hospital, recovering from a biopsy for at least 2 days--it will take about 2 weeks to get the full results of the biopsy.

No, friends, it takes a lot more than an hour to make a diagnosis. This isn't HOUSE, you understand.

And all this pain control costs SKADS of dollars to the patient. Even WITH insurance.

If you're healthy now, GREAT! Good for You! Do everything you can to maintain it as long as you can. Don't do drugs. Don't smoke. Don't drink. Don't put anything into your body that has any sort of chemical in it or on it. The fact is, you're going to die ANYWAY, but perhaps you can, barring problems with your own DNA, resist dying TOO SOON.

If you have to take medication. TAKE IT PER DOCTOR'S ORDERS. Don't self-medicate. You are not a doctor, and while "this much" might get you by, there might come a time when it doesn't and you have to take more. ALWAYS DISCUSS WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE YOU SELF-MEDICATE.

And for goodness sakes, don't take MORE than you need to--this amounts to self-medicating (see above), and can cause all sorts of other problems (like Kidney or Liver Failure). Keep yourself safe. Your doctor knows more than you do about such things.

If you're watching someone else deteriorate--pray for that person. It doesn't matter if you believe in such things or not--over even if THEY believe in such things or not. The person who is ill, even if they say "you don't need to do that", will still appreciate the effort and the care you exhibit deep down--that just goes without saying.

I do believe in life after dying. I'm not so sure anymore what it's like. Things have happened--and it's been a little weird. I don't make a big deal out of it...but there have been comforting words.

Keep your fun money in your pocket...or save it for YARN!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


This is FUN! If I could maintain a steady hand, I could work on these all day!

Meet Ellie!


Note that I'm not really creative with names?

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Weekend

I've decided that I'm going to order more colors in the Eco-Ways Cotton by Red Heart. I hate to do it this late in the game, but I need more flowers. Sadly, the yarn doesn't come in very many colors. This means down to the wire submission. Oh, well, if I don't make it, I don't make it--but I still have a really nice tank top to wear!

I started the December 2009 Mid-Month KAL for the Monthly Dishcloth group at Yahoo. I'm just a little behind.

I started a towel in basketweave using white Peaches N Cream at the office. The towel is for the office, so working on it there is appropriate during lunch and breaks.

I finished painting the pig I got for my mother, and she's so cute, that I can't stand the thought of giving her away.


And I finished another of the JoAnn's sweaters.


It's been a busy weekend!