Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Elegant Universe

I'm going to try to read a book, but not just any book. Being a total nimrod about physics in general and astro-physics in particular, I thought it might be a fun time to read a book by Brian Greene called "The Elegant Universe", which is about a number of theories, starting with some of Einstein's stuff, of which I only know E=Mc2, which I couldn't begin to elaborate on--other than E=Energy, M=Mass, c=hmmm....foggy foggy dew? and the 2 is supposed to be squared, but I couldn't figure out how to make it move up a notch on blogger using html code....that's how stupid I am.

Well, really, I'm not stupid about everything, just about SOME things. I'm pretty smart about lots of stuff--just ask my boss. Or my therapist. Or my MOM.

Okay, hush.

Anyway, I was so impressed by the series on PBS that I decided to get the man's book and try to read it, if not understand it, and see if it takes me into realms of my imagination (as things scientific always do). I thought, if I can just get past the first page, maybe I could get past the second.

So far, I've read 2 credits. I don't remember what they said, but they sounded positive, smart and enlightening. I thought perhaps this book might cater to the ignoramusses of our day (that's usually me, but you may join me if you like--you'll be in good company, trust me), and therefore be a nice readable book that I might put down after 24 pages and say "Whew! That was a BITE!" as if my mouth wasn't full enough already.

And then..

"What does it MEAN?"

But I'm willing to give it a go, and let you know if I make it past the first 24 pages. If I do, it means I wasn't as stupid as I thought. Maybe simplistic is a better word.

So I'm home from my first day at work this week, and holy cow, am I beat. I'm only 3 days behind in my work, and I've got 3 special projects going at the office. It was pretty good getting away at lunch time, and even though I got a lot accomplished (including 34 voicemails), I don't feel like I was quite up to par on getting things done. Since it's going to be at least 20 minutes or more before supper, I have a little bit of time, either to read, knit, blog, catch up on Ravelry...whatever. I decided to blog.

You lucky devil, you!

I received my first Christmas card today, from my friend Ray. That man is such a character. I get cards practically year around from him, some just because he wants to keep in touch. It was a nice card, and I'll have to return the gesture. I don't usually do Christmas cards, but he makes such a concerted effort, that I feel it wouldn't be right if I didn't respond. He can get really blue when snow flies.

I suppose now, I'll go check Ravelry. It's been a nice update.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sick Days Off

Well, I decided to take another sick day. Still not quite on top of things with this sinus infection, but getting better. Taking 2 pills out of that Z-pack really knocked the legs right out from under it. But I coughed, wheezed, sneezed, dripped and snuffled my way all through yesterday. Today, things seem much improved, thanks to the addition of chicken noodle soup and mandarin oranges from a can.

However, outdoors, it is cold and wet, and by the end of the day they are saying that nasty four-letter word again. I am eating my oatmeal, thinking about taking my next doses of morning medication, so that I can get myself on the mend faster.

I need to go to the increase evenly site to figure out how to do some increases for the stealth project which is darn near done, and I might actually finish it today. That means I would be able to start on a couple of other things, and well, that just gets me all excited. I'm not sure what's coming next, but you can be sure it will be exciting.

So off to that website.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Sunday was a bad day. I had a sore throat. It simply destroyed my whole weekend. Today (Monday) I'm headed for the doctor. I have been in bed for the last 12 hours sleeping off and on, sometimes with a cough drop in my mouth.

I don't sleep well with a cough drop in my mouth. I used to try that when I was a kid, and somehow it would end up stuck in my hair. My mom used to comb my hair when I was little, and I had long hair. She got tired of combing cough drops out of my hair. I can't say I blame her. I seemed to be sick a lot as a kid, and I get sick when the season's change from fall to winter and winter to spring. Some say it's allergies. I just think it's the most horrible thing. I truly hate being sick. I'm such a whiner.

I'm about 3/4 done with my stealth project. That's a blessing. I haven't worked on it at all today. It's weird, because I am always knitting. Today, I'm not sure I'm going to attempt it. It's not like I'm feverish or anything--just a sore throat and stuffy nose, but I know if I don't kick it in the butt right away, I will be sick for months. First, it develops into bronchitis, and then pneumonia. I can't get that sick.

And my friend at work emailed me wanting to do lunch, but I couldn't seem to get myself around until an hour later to let him know that I can't.

Being sick is a sad state of mind.

See? I told you. Whiner.

I'll miss my class tomorrow night, too. That's not nice. It's okay. Boss wants me to get better and not pass this bug around to others. I understand that. If I feel better, though, I might just head over to Lake O to knit night--because they will get the other gal to take my place or reschedule.

All because I'm sick. Boo Hoo.

I feel like I'm not going to live, even though my husband said that I would. Of course, he's not SICK. Even so, he's asking me to tell the doctor go give me extra antibiotics FOR HIM. Um, yeah, right. The doctor will be all for that, I'm really sure of it. I ought to just go into the living room and spread my germs all over him, just for the heck of it. Just touch my itchy eye and put my finger in his mouth. Nothing like spreading germs the sneaky way. But I won't. I have a conscience. Then, he takes my WI-FI hub out of our room and puts it elsewhere so that he can get 100% connection speed, while I only have 78%. Now, this is not good, because frankly, I pay for the darn thing, it should be ME at 100%. So I'm irritated, on top of being sick.

Just a bad day all around.

Well, it's getting close to time to go, and I want to check out the new patterns on Ravelry, so *cough*. Bye.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Turkey Weekend

Amidst guns and firecrackers, my dog, Mandy, did not enjoy the holiday in the slightest. She is still hiding out behind the throne, which seems to be the only safe place she can find.

Hubby is fast asleep and snoring, still at 10:30am. I don't know how he does it.

Our Thanksgiving holiday was happy and at the end of the meal, everyone was stuffed, except the turkey. Mom bought a 22 pound turkey, and the bones were basically picked clean. There were some new dishes, which will likely be on the table next year--a corn dish made with corn, jalapenos and cream cheese and a little something else, but I can't remember what it was. It was spicy, but it was SO tasty. We also had some Greek food to eat/sample. Grape leaves and another dish that looked a little like pumpkin seeds, but was some sort of pasta in a light marinara--it was spicy, but not hot, and I think I would have liked it much better if there had been a little more sauce--then of course, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans (not the traditional green been casserole, but beans with craisins and almonds), gravy and biscuits (Grands). After supper there was 2 cakes and 3 pies, and there was a lot of dessert left over.

I think that was the hardest part to believe.

There were about 20 people to eat the bare-nekkid bird, and everyone was in or out of the kitchen back and forth for this or that tasty treat. Black and green olives, pickled green beans and cheeses of nearly every flavor. It was pretty amazing how much food 20 people can put together! I gave my mother-in-law two hot pads that I've recently made, then sat down in a chair and prepared to continue to knit on my son's Christmas present. It's coming along nicely. I expect that I have another 2 or 3 full days of knitting before it will be done, and next week is going to be quite busy. I'm not worried any longer about getting it done before Christmas, but I am concerned about other things with respect to the project, and I may have to do some major grafting, but we'll see how things go.

Friday, I got the shock of my life. I had been out Christmas shopping most of the morning and was on my way home when my cellie rang. I almost dropped the phone when I saw who was calling! My SISTER called me! She wanted to know what I was doing and would I like to go to lunch? After I picked up my chin off the floor, I said yes, and then called my hubby to ask if he'd like to join us at a Chinese place. He declined, so I picked him up a sub sandwich and went home, dropped it off, then headed to meet my sister.

We had a great time at lunch, and I asked if she'd like to join me for some Christmas shopping, to which she answered in the affirmative. So we pulled out of the restaurant and headed to Walmart.

Now on Black Friday, I expected Walmart to be swamped, but there was hardly anyone there! Surprise for me. I think we spent about 3 hours just roaming the aisles, and then the shopping began. I bought two more gifts for my husband, she bought four or five. I bought a candle warmer and a couple of magazines for myself, and she bought some items for her house, too. I lost track of her two or three times. She found a gift for her husband that I thought would make a perfect gift for my son-in-law. My total haul-$50. Her total haul-$70. Time spent together doing stuff we love-priceless.

So I'm getting cold, and thought I would put away the knitting for a little while land warm up in bed with my snoring husband, but saw that the computer was trained on my blog, so figured I would stamp out a couple of words.

There are just times when I can't believe how blessed I am.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday's Almost Over

It was a real Monday today. Too much work, and not enough time to do it in...that's because I didn't get to work until 9:41, because someone I sleep with, (who shall remain nameless) woke me up by taking all the covers off of me at 2am, and then proceeded to snuggle and snore in my ear.

The result?

No sleep from 2am to 5:30am, which is when I normally wake up. And so, instead of rising at 5:30am, I simply turned off the alarm.

Hubby continued to snore, while I called in to the office to let them know I was going to be late, because of my husband.

At that point, I promptly fell into deep sleep, and didn't waken until he turned over, all excited, saying

"Hey! Aren't you supposed to be at work?"

This at 8:30am.

And when I told him why I didn't go in, he looked at me as if I had spoogers all over my face and denied every word. But it was true. I'm considering separate beds.

But the 2 1/2 hours that I lost, I'd sure like to have had back. There was too much work to do for 5.3 hours. I really only needed another hour, but I simply wanted to go home and work on this scarf--

The Popcorn Scarf.

Which has sort of up-ended the stealth project for Christmas present that I've been working on--feverishly. I've got this scarf going, and I really like it.

 The fact that it really looks like popcorns is what makes the whole scarf...even if it is a little too wide. But what really upsets me is that the whole thing biases to the left. This is because the popcorns sort of lean leftwise.

It's a simple pattern, made simpler by taking away two strands of yarn and the huge-mongus crochet hook to use one strand at a time, carring the unused inside the stitches and a size H hook. I end up with a green background and white popcorns--the perfect scarf for a Spartan fan! Of course, it's not to plan, but an alternative, and when people see this, they are going to want to make it. That's how cool it is.

In fact, it's so cool that I told the manager about it, and she seems really thrilled about the prospect of showing something similar, but different to show what you can do just by altering the pattern a little.

And here I was thinking I was being clever! Durn!

So for now, I need to run into the living room and get started on the stealth project. I'm just not certain how I'm going to proceed. I'd like to work it a la magic loop, but I have a thought that it will get too be too much for that, so perhaps I'll just do one at a time and let it be like that. In the meanwhile, Knit or Die!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Still Working on the Stealth Project

But getting closer to being done. It seems to take forever. Of course, tonight is the night that hubby and I watch the bulk of our television viewing, so there'll be no knitting this evening. In fact, I have but an hour before the next show pops up. I have to measure, and of course, I have no measurement to compare to--so it's a guess by gosh project, and I really hate those.

But on to describing the next project. JoAnn's wants me to make a popcorn scarf.

I think I want to make a popcorn scarf--just not the way THEY make a popcorn. I want to make one that I can sell to a Spartan fan to wear to a game. I thought "green and white", and things started snowballing from there. So I'm going to try my hand at it this evening while watching "A Gifted Man", to see how it works out. Think white scarf with green popcorns? Green scarf with white popcorns? I'm thinking the latter. It might turn out more interesting than I think. We shall see.

In the meanwhile, I'm struggling for stuff to chatter about in my blog. I did inter-library loan the book by Brian Greene. I thought it might be fun to see if the book is so far over my head that I find myself equal to a zero on the simian intelligence scale...if there is one.

Usually, I don't bother myself with things that are so far out there, but imagine being able to sit down for a moment or so with Albert Einstein or any of the other great thinkers of our day? Tossing out ideas, trying them on for size, coming to conclusions that change the world. There was a line in "Close Encounters", where the government men were talking, and one said "Wouldn't it be great if Einstein was here?" and the other government man said "Hell, he was probably one of them!"

Which just totally blows your mind to consider, and maybe pokes your brain onto imagination mode enough to say:


And then decide that it's too far out there to consider, and it becomes just one of those things that you really can't spend a lot of time thinking about, because there is just too much going on in life to wonder about something that seemingly has so little significance on your own life. As the Bible says: Sufficient unto the day, is the grief thereof...meaning there's so much to worry about going on today, why worry about things that have little impact on your life? Like Tomorrow--or the future or what happened yesterday.

It's cold tonight, and the wind has picked up. I had hoped for the Silver Bells in the City to have moderate weather for the lighting of the tree. It is so cold, in fact, that even Mandy didn't want to go outside--preferring sleeping in front of the fireplace. She might be having trouble with her joints, perhaps her hips--as many line bred doggies do.

Well, it's time to get going, so I'll say goodbye for now. Find some knitting to keep you warm. It's going to get really chilly tonight.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Meaning of the Universe

Hubby and I watched Nova on PBS last night. It was about the relationship between time and space, physics and string theories and TOTALLY over my head. The only string I worry about is my yarn in my hand. The show was interesting, and especially mind-boggling, but I noted right away, that there was a problem with the model that the narrator, Brian Greene, was using.

When a star explodes, as in a big bang, it doesn't just explode left or right, up or down--it explodes in an infinite different directions--all around the star. Spacially, and relationally, the star explodes toward me, but MOST of the star PASSES me and goes away from me--like a sphere around a rubber ball. In fact, half of the exploding star is between neither closer or farther from me or farther from me entirely. The rest comes close or not at all. UNLESS the star only explodes out from ONE POINT--like a tennis ball comes apart at the seam, more or less. Which might explain the emissions from our sun--mini explosions that happen all the time, that are more like a burp or a queef, rather than total annihilation. Whatever, it was intriguing, and caused me to think about Biblical things and the end of the world and such.

Then came Thursday, and it was all about Friday and the day off for a three day weekend. Wow.

I did some traveling on Friday. I was pretty much on the road most of the day--first because I wanted--no--sincerely desired this new yarn by Berroco--called Lacey. This stuff is like lace, but makes the most magnificent frou-frou scarf! You can go to Berroco's website and look up Lacey, and you'll find the yarn AND the pattern. It more for decoration than keeping warm, so not a lot of use for around here, but it might make a pretty spiffy Christmas present for someone who is feminine and doesn't necessarily live in a frozen tundra.

Then, later in the day, I found out that my Addi Turbo interchangeable set does not have a size 10.5 in it. Since it's from Germany (UK), I can see how they might use different sizes according to what's used in the UK most often, but over here in the hinterland, we don't use a 10.75--so whatever made them put that size in the box is a mystery to me. Maybe one of my readers will come up with the answer. Perhaps its a very popular size in the UK--unknown to me. Or perhaps it was just a manufacturing accident. Indeed, while the other needles pass through the needle sizer quite easily, the 10.75 is so tight as to be almost a 10.8--which would be really confusing to me. All of this resulted in another trip to town to find the 10.5 that I needed, so I stopped at Hobby Lobby, who didn't have ANY but the thinnest double pointed needles (DPN), but they did have the most delightful colors in Sugar and Cream--which I fondled for a while and then moved on. I decided that I didn't want a set of bamboo needles, even though they would have done the job, I would use them once and then be done, so I opted instead to go to Sticks and String, a delightful little store owned by a couple of the ladies that worked at Threadbear before the horrible accident. I stopped in and found a couple more frou-frou scarf yarns that just about knocked me over, the 10.5 interchangeable that I needed AND some hand balm in Lavender flavor.

Talk about heaven. And I knew the minute that I smelled it, that I would have to have it. So I searched down in the depths of my pockets and came up with $10 I didn't know I had, and bought some. Then, when I got home with my prizes, I rubbed the stuff all over my hands and under my nose and well, let's just say I smelled good all night, and it really helped me sleep. Lavender is known for it's relaxing qualities, and this was no exception. I'm not sure what balm is in the tin along with the scent, but it smooths your hands, but doesn't leave them greasy AT ALL, so you can keep knitting or sewing or whatever handwork you're doing!

Today, the plan is to work on my son's Christmas present. If I tire of that, I may switch over and do some crochet on the Reindeer hat, or work some on the Scrappy do. There's a lot going on in the house today. It's so cold in here, one must keep moving, and that is why things in here seem so rushed. I need a drink in my glass and some knitting on my lap to help keep me warm. So signing off for now. Pictures later of the scrappy do, because it's getting SO BIG--it covers my lap now quite well!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I'm Thinking a Couple Days...

Rest, and relaxation, tarnation!

It's the weekend. I didn't think it would ever get here, and do you realize that you have less than 2 months before Christmas?

It's just too much for my mind to fathom. It doesn't seem like it was that long ago that we were shoveling snow out of the drive--and to think it was at least 6 months ago!

I haven't got ANY of my Christmas knitting done. It's boggled my mind. I can't think straight.

I did finish a pair of gloves for my winter wear. I have to make a pair for my hubbo--he lost the last pair. They only needed a little mending (big hole in the palm--easy to fix). And I started a pair of pink fingerless gloves--which I'm considering giving to my grand-daughter for Christmas, along with a puffy scarf I made last month. Otherwise, that's IT.

I have a special present in mind for my son, but can't talk about it here, because he reads my blog (nyah, nyah), and it's going to take me a while. So I suppose I should at least start it...and soon.

My hubby's side of the family isn't drawing names this year. I think it means that we're buying a little something for everyone. I assume that means some major bending of the credit card this Christmas, because I like giving nice gifts. Things that took some thought. Things that match the giftee--for instance, the fingerless gloves I made for my son two years ago, and the matching hat last year were both wonderful. The Nurse Kitty for my sister in law was a really cool gift. But this year, I'm at a loss. I suppose I could take a handful of dishcloths and pass those around, but that's more of a birthday gift than a Christmas gift. I've got an idea for my step daughter, but I'm pretty sure that she already has one. Her husband is as easy to buy for as I am. My mother in law likes clothing and jewelry. My other sister in law, her husband and their children are coming up from Florida--and they don't use knitted wear much down there--not that I would have time to do it anyway.

And so I'm kicking myself for waiting so long to start. I've had a bit of a sagging interest in knitting. Not that I'm losing interest, but because I'm always so tired when I get home from work. I simply don't feel like doing anything except sit down and watch television. It's very likely the chill in the air and the cloudy days and the lack of sunshine that's causing my intrigue to wan. Even though I'm still knitting, my productivity has gone WAY down.

It's cold in the house, and I'm a little uncomfortable, so I'm going to sign off and crawl under the covers to get warmed up. Hubbo says he can't mow lawn until the grass is dry which may be late in the afternoon considering the amount of frost we got this morning. That's another thing--having to scrape the windshield. Sigh. It's going to be a long winter.