"Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either." ~ Elizabeth Zimmerman

11/30/07

The (cough) Last (sniff, urghh) Post

Wow! The new DSL connection is working. It's waaaaaaaaay faster.

It's the last day of NaBloPoMo. Thank the gods! It was quite a challenge, and I did it! I love doing the blog thing, but not every day. I wish to apologize to my readers (I know I have a few, and I thank them for that) for those few days of the absolutely boring posts about nothing and thanks for enduring with me. I'm looking forward to posting only when I want to say something.

That having been said... I feel wretched. When Ruth called to tell us about Ringworm (which is a fungus, not actual worms), she had just come down with a cold. Unbeknownst to us, she left some of those germs here before she went back to school. Sweet Hubby came home last night feeling terrible with a headache, sore throat, and stuffed up nose. I told him to stay away from me, but it was too late. I was feeling lousy last night myself. All achy and no energy to speak of, but I attributed it to the going up and down the step ladder a million times and dragging boxes here and there while I decorated in the house. After all, my legs were cramping up. Ha! Little did I know.

I woke up in the middle of the night coughing and gasping with an asthma attack. I coughed all the rest of the night, I had to use my inhaler twice, and now I have a sore throat, a headache, and a stuffed up head.

Thank you Ruth. I love you anyway.

Speaking of Ruth...

While decorating, I was listening to the news on tv and heard a story about a girl who committed suicide after being picked on via her blog, or something like that. What an incredible tragedy. Anyway, they were saying to find out what your kids are up to on the internet, Google their name. Well, that got me curious. I know Ruth has a fictionpress.com account. She loves to write and has been posting some of her writing there. I hadn't read it in a couple years, so I decided to see if I could find it by Googling her name. I did, and I read some of her stuff, and the motherly pride began to swell to monumental proportions.

She is writing a fictional piece called 52 Dragons. It is one of the most clever things she's written yet. She's writing a chapter each week about a dragon, one for each week of the year (thus 52 dragons), but each chapter is exactly 52 words long. Each chapter has a clever, and often humorous ending. I loved every word of it. If you're inclined, please visit her 'blog' and read this story in progress. Come back here and leave a comment on what you think of it please? Inquiring mother wants to know.

52 Dragons

And while your at it, if you have the time, read her Ode to Chocolate Pudding and her story The Adventures of Jack Bunyun and Flamin Pete. She wrote that last one a few years ago and actually got offers to publish it. For some reason, she turned them down. Silly girl. We may have the next J.K. Rowling in our family.

One more thing. UPS delivered a package here last night around 5pm. It was for Sweet Hubby from Huppins. I was ordered NOT to open it. Hubby left with it this morning-unopened. Could this be the contents of the mysterious package?


I think Santa's alias this year is Huppins.

Have a great day.


11/29/07

Fridays Feast 11/30/07

Thought I'd sneak in a Fridays Feast before my last NaBloPoMo post. Technically, it isn't Friday where I am, but it is where the writer of Fridays Feast is. That's close enough for me.


Appetizer
What is your favorite carnival/amusement park ride?

Hmmm...used to be the roller coaster, but the ol' body can't take the g-forces anymore. It's the Ferris wheel now.


Soup
How do you react in uncomfortable social situations?

I try to sink into the background and go unnoticed. I'm uncomfortable in most social situations anyway. I prefer watching and listening to everyone rather than being involved.


Salad

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how much do you enjoy discussing deep, philosophical topics?

5.


Main Course

Did you get a flu shot this year? If not, do you plan to?

No and no. I know too many people who have got the shots then got the flu anyway. Leave my dose for someone who really wants it.


Dessert

Approximately how many hours per week do you spend watching television?

Probably most of them, I've never counted. I love tv, and I'm not ashamed to say so. However, it's more listening than watching. It's on all day and I listen while I'm puttering around the house, and it's nice to have on when I'm knitting.


Good night.

Cats and Christmas Trees

We had 3 package deliveries yesterday-2 of them after 7pm, which was a surprise. The first two were from Fed Ex Ground, the last one from UPS. It almost felt like being in the shop again. LOL! Why are delivery guys so cute?

Only one of those packages was a Christmas present ordered online, which I'm not going to talk about here lest the receiver be reading. The second package was the snorkeling mask I ordered the day before Thanksgiving. I wasn't too sure about this order. It was for a prescription mask. I am quite pleased with the results though. I will be able to see the fish when we go snorkeling in Mexico. The mask is well made, fits me perfectly too. Very nice product. If you should ever need to order yourself a prescription snorkel mask, I highly recommend Snorkel Mart.

The third package was from Verizon. Our new DSL modem. As it turns out, I won't be without internet for 2 weeks. The last time I inquired of them, they told me I had to cancel the current service and be without for two weeks before they'd hook us up. I found this rather outrageous, since we have Verizon DSL to begin with. It's just that we don't get it directly from Verizon. We go through another ISP. A middleman if you will. We are not willing to give them up completely. They are our backup system in case the DSL isn't working for some reason (Sweet Hubby must have access for work, even if it's old fashioned dial up). Verizon has changed the way they do these kinds of things since then. I am happy. Anyway, tomorrow is supposed to be transition day. Lets hope it all goes well. Computers are such persnickety things.

I spent too much of yesterday on Ravelry. I have come to the conclusion that, as much as I love it, I am allowing it to take up way too much of my time. Time I could spend knitting, beading, cleaning house, doing laundry, working on my long neglected book. Sigh. I will have to ween myself off somehow.

I spent some time decorating. The tree has all the lights on it for this year, well, at least, what I could find of what I wanted to put on it. Somewhere there is a box of little white globe lights. I really wanted to use them, but I have no idea where Sweet Hubby hid them. I spent time on the ladder, braving the overpopulation of stink bugs in the cold workshop, digging in the attic of said workshop trying to find them. I dragged a lot of boxes in the house (after knocking off all the stink bugs, clinging for dear life), filled with wonderful decorations, but not the white globe lights.

I also put some really pretty gold garland on the tree. Usually I use ribbon (I have quite a collection of wired Christmas ribbon since Costco started carrying it), but when I saw this garland-all gold loopys, I had to have some. It's so sparkly! The tree is just gorgeous as it is with white lights, white star, gold garland. It seems sad to put ornaments all over it. But at the same time, I've made so many beaded ornaments over the last year or so it would be silly not to put them up. So I will. I just wish I had some help. Decorating the tree is not as fun doing it by myself. I miss my girls.

The fur kids love the tree. Especially the cats. They get SO excited when I start unpacking the boxes and putting things together. This morning, when I got up, Chenille was laying under it in that 'cat' way. You know, like she's wallowing in a huge vat of luxury or something. I think she's surprised where I put it. It's back in the 'old' place, in the dining room.

We used to put the tree there every year. But then, about 4 years ago, they went too far with their tree enjoyment. If you stand where the tree is, you can see that it's open all the way down to the other end of the house, right to the sliding glass door in the sun room. It's a straight shot too. The cats found a new game. The "Lets race, starting at the sliding door run as fast as you can through the house bounce off the dining table and fling yourself at the top of the tree" game. Whoever sticks the landing first wins. They knocked the tree down three times, breaking the stand on the third (not to mention ornament pieces all over). And people wonder why I insist on an artificial tree?

They can't play that game anymore because there's a dog gate between the sun room and the kitchen. It has a tiny cat sized opening so they can get through, but it's not big enough for big olympic sized dashes through. They can't get enough momentum built up for the bounce, let alone the fling (though it'd be hilarious to watch them try). I feel fairly secure in the situation to return the tree to it's former spot. Hmm...I wonder if she's tried climbing it yet. Sometimes the cats will climb up on the inside and hide, watching the house activities, they're little golden eyes picking up the gleam of the lights.

I got some done on the cover up sleeve. I'm hoping to finish it by Friday night. Then I can block it.

Have a great day!

11/28/07

This is Actually Working.

What, you may ask?


The Yazi. I finished the sleeve last night, and started the next one. I've earned 6 Yazi shots total.


At bead group I worked on yet another ornament cover. I call this one Lilac Egyptian because, for some reason, it makes me think of Egyptian princesses. I bought the pattern for this on Bead-Patterns.com. It's called the Memories Ornament Cover by Cathy Lampole.


I used 6mm lilac iris bicone crystals, size 11 matte silver lined lilac Japanese seed beads, size 8 metallic gold hex beads, and size 15 metallic gold hex beads. I actually substituted the size 15 hex for gold delicas in the pattern, mostly cos I couldn't find the delicas.

When there isn't a bunch of light shining on it for photo taking, it picks up the lights on the trees in the most wonderful way. The crystals sparkle from the back as well as the sides because the light can shine through the clear ball. I wanted to show that, but I have no idea how to photograph something like that.

Last night Tommy was looking so elegant sitting in his chair with his front legs crossed that I had to take a picture. It's kind of dark because I didn't use the flash. I took several of them with the flash, but he turned away every time. Apparently he objects to being blinded.


Have a great day.

11/27/07

Houston, We Have. . . . Snow.

Well it's about time! Sheesh! The month is almost over.

But first we have a WIP pic of the first sleeve of the lace cover up. I will probably finish it tonight since I'm well into the cap shaping. Woo Hoo!


When we woke up this morning, the sun was shining on our first real coat of snow for the season. We got about 6 inches at the Parkarosa. The sky was dark and cloudy behind the sunny trees. It's so pretty when that happens I had to take a couple pictures so I could share. The view north of the house.


The view west, down our driveway. Some blue sky in the distance. Yes, that's our trash can at the end. It was garbage pick up day this morning. I swear, it was well off the road. This is just before the snow plow came by. After the plow went by, the can was lying on it's side, in the middle of the road (sigh).



Morgans response to the snow. "Cover me up. I'll see you in the spring."



Tommy couldn't stop looking at it. He must have sat in that chair for at least an hour, just staring out the window. You'd think he's never seen snow before. I distinctly remember having some last year Tommy.


Heard from daughter Ruth this afternoon. Seems she and her two room mates have caught a case of ringworm ---- from Lindamon. Oh boy! And we just had her here for a week. You know, I'd like to have a dull moment just once. Me and the fur kids aren't showing any signs yet. Keeping our fingers crossed.

11/26/07

Christmasfied

I totally spaced a class today. I was scheduled to teach part 1 of a bead crochet class at 10:30am. I don't know why, but it totally left my mind about 2 seconds after noting to myself I had a class to teach today. At 11am I was working on this blog and thinking about how nice it was that I could spend the day decorating the house for Christmas when the phone rang. Oops!

That wasn't as embarrassing as the time I showed up for a doctors appointment a week early. Sigh. I knew I had an appointment that month (it was written down somewhere), just got the week wrong.

I just hate it when that happens. I know who I inherited it from too. My Dad. I used to get so frustrated when I was a kid because he'd ask me the same question 3 times, then promptly forget the answer as soon as I gave it. I do the same thing now. Urgh. I don't think it's early signs of Alzheimer's cos he's in his 70's and his memory isn't any worse now than it was then.

Anyway, as it turned out 2 of the 3 students who had signed up didn't even show up, let alone be late like me, and the third student, who very kindly waited until I could get there, turned out to be a friend of mine. She's used to my memory lapses so it all worked out.

I have Christmasfied the blog. I got the background tile from Pats Web Graphics. The tree tile in the banner is from there too, though I added some artistic license to it to make it more to my liking.

Another cool place for Christmas web graphics that are free is Hellas Multimedia.

I've knitted enough of my lace cover up to earn another shot of Yazi. Hooray!

Have a nice evening.

11/25/07

Copper and Turqoise

Not much to say today. We did a bit of Christmas shopping, a bit of Christmas decorating, a bit of beading, and a bit of knitting. It's been dark, grey, dreary, and cold all weekend. The high today was 28F. We still don't have snow. It's extremely unusual not to have snow on the ground by now. There is very little snow on the mountains too, so no skiing yet. The weather this year has been so strange.

Here is a netted ornament cover I finished a couple days ago. I used size 11 Japanese seed beads in black and silver lined turquoise, size 8 copper triangle beads, 6mm round black onyx, and size 8mm Cathedral beads in matte turquoise with copper. The cover is on a pale peach ornament with a sort of etched look to it.



Chenille came out to help me take the photo of the ornament cover.



This is the new garland that we put up along the beam that runs down the center of the house. Not a very good pic, is it?


Have a good evening.

11/24/07

Second Thanksgiving

I have been trying to get myself to blog all day. I'm just not in the mood. I'm wiped out from the past two days of good eats and fun times with the family. It's been dark, dreary, and cold all day, and I'm trying very hard not to fall asleep.

There were 26 of us at the Second Thanksgiving celebration last night.

When I walked in the door of Dan and Sue's house, a group of the young-uns were playing a dancing game with Nathan's Nintendo Wii. They were having a great time.

There was a group around the dining room table talking, a group in the kitchen hovering around Sue and the food, and little ones were running all over the place screaming and yelling. Every year I forget how noisy this event is. My ears are still ringing from it all.

There were lots of Thanksgiving leftovers to consume. In fact, so much that the idea of having a Third Thanksgiving was brought up though, thankfully, no one took it seriously.

We also, as a family, took this opportunity to congratulate Jonny and his new fiance Ann on their engagement. We toasted to their future happiness, and welcomed Ann into the family. Such a large family can be a bit overwhelming for people who come from a small family, so we like to do our best to make them feel welcome. A large cake with red roses in the shape of a heart was produced. It was pretty tasty too, except the frosting was way too thick. I'd rather have more cake and less frosting.

When we got home last night I popped the movie White Christmas in the dvd player. The first Christmas thing I do after Thanksgiving is watch that movie. It always gets me in the Christmas spirit.

Today we're just chillin'. The garland I ordered arrived in the mail and we put it up, which took some doing. Now Sweet Hubby and I are sittin' in our recliners, laptops in our laps, surfing the internet (at least we're not emailing each other like we used to). My daughter Ruth is playing with her Nintendo DS. The fur kids are snoozing, and I'm in the mood for a nap myself.

I managed to start the sleeve on the cover up, and I've finished another ornament cover. Will have to take pics of it tomorrow.

Oh, one more thing. Sweet Hubby signed us up for Verizon DSL for internet. We have Verizon already, but we're getting it through another service provider. At the time we first got DSL, it was how we had to do it. Now we can get it directly through Verizon-cutting out the middle man and saving us 70 bucks a month. However, we may be without internet for two weeks during the transition from one to the other. If that happens, my NaBloPoMo is screwed. If you don't hear from me for awhile, you'll know why. For now, I'm hoping everything changes smoothly, without much interruption of service. Keeping the fingers crossed.

Have a nice evening.

11/23/07

MMMMM..Turkey...

Thanksgiving day was awesome. We went to Brother in Law Dan and Sue's house for the festivities. It was a relatively small group this year. Just us and our kids and them and their kids, plus my daughters boyfriend Frank and their son's fiance' Ann.

As usual, we had more than one meat. Sue cooked the turkey (sublime), nephew Jonny bar-b-cued salmon on a cedar plank (then drowned it in orange juice, so I couldn't eat it-allergy to citrus), and I made roast Prime Rib. The prime rib was SO good. Best one I've ever done. We also had all the usual stuff-mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberries (made by me), green bean casserole, home made bread rolls (made by my daughter Sarah-absolutely scrumptious), fruit, and olives (black and green). Can't have Thanksgiving dinner without Olives. There was Huckleberry Cheesecake and Pumpkin Pie for dessert. I was so stuffed after dinner I could hardly walk.

The really cool thing? We get to do it all over again tonight. The Park clan does what we've come to call Second Thanksgiving. First Thanksgiving everyone can have dinner with the in laws, the sides of the family without the last name Park. Since Dan, Sue, and us don't have in laws around here, we eat together. On Friday everyone gets together and eats the leftovers. One huge Park party. Sometimes we sit and yack and laugh all night, sometimes we watch movies, sometimes we play games (like Apple to Apples, a great party game). Whatever we do, it's always a lot of fun and extremely noisy. My daughters love Second Thanksgiving more than first.

Last Wednesday I finished another ornament cover. I took a pic.


This is from Accent On: Beaded Ornament Covers by Karen DeSousa. I used Japanese size 11 seed beads in black hematite and matte silver lined white, size 8 metallic silver seed beads, size 6mm black crystals, and size 3mm and 10mm clear ab fire polished crystals. This was a really fun pattern.

This is the finished Garter Rib socks:

Yarn: Austermann Step Navy #15.

Pattern: A combination of Garter Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch, and the basic 2x2 rib sock from Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles by Cat Bordie.

Needles: Two size 3 Addi Turbo Lace Circulars.

I love this pattern. It was easy enough to memorize making it very portable, yet interesting enough to not be boring.

Here's a couple of pics of Lindamon. I just love that little pink tongue.


Zonked Out!


Have a great evening.

11/22/07

Happy Thanksgiving!


Wishing you a wonderful, happy, love filled Thanksgiving Day.

11/21/07

Ahhhhhh...TV

It's so nice to be able to sit, drink my coffee, and watch the morning news. (My God! Oil is at $99.29 a barrel!)

Satellite guy has restored tv. He tried his best to mount it up on the house somewhere. Actually spent 2 hours trying to find spots that would work so the moose couldn't reach it, but the trees just seem to be in all the wrong places. Since we are unwilling to cut down any more for signal reception (we cut several down last summer-another nasty story), we have no choice but to have the dish at the bottom of the hill.

He replaced the old dish completely. The original dish was one of those wide ones with 3 white nobs (that's as technical as I can get). Dish Network has 3 satellites out in space. Two are to the south (110 and 119) and are 'regular' channels. The third is to the southeast (129) and sends out the HD channels. The wide dish can be pointed to pick up all three signals. Not so easy here, in an area fraught with large trees and surrounded by mountains. They don't do the wide dish around here anymore. If you order HD, you get two dishes. One for HD, one for the rest. So he had no wide dish to replace with. Thus, we now have two dishes, on poles, at the bottom of the hill.

First words out of Sweet Hubby's mouth when he got home and saw them. "Oh, so now they have two targets." Referring to the moose, of course.

This Thanksgiving weekend, besides putting up the Christmas tree, we are putting up a fence around the dishes. Welcome to north Idaho.

By the way, I have not seen a single moose since obtaining the paint pistol. Can moose smell guns?

I finished knitting the Garter Rib socks Monday night. I blocked them yesterday. I also finished another beaded ornament cover. I am having serious camera trouble so have not been able to take pics yet. I spent half the day yesterday trying to find a solution to the problem.

I have a Sony MavicaCD 400 camera. It doesn't use a smart card. Instead, it has a little disk drive inside it, and uses the little mini cd-rw's. It takes unbelievably fantastic pics, which are then put on the disk in jpg format. You can pop that little disk into any computer and look at the pics instantly. However, before doing that, the disk must be 'finalized' by the camera first.

Usually, I take pics, finalize, transfer pics from disk to computer, then unfinalize to take more pics. Repeat-as often as I want. A disk will hold 90 pics, or a few minutes of video (my camera does video too). For some reason I can't unfinalize. The camera either freezes up (requiring a reboot), or it screws up the disk making it unusable.

I tried reformatting the disks, but the camera is causing disc errors, again rendering the disks unusable. I've lost 4 disks worth of pics this week trying to solve the problem. (Fortunately, I had the good sense to copy the pics onto my computer before trying anything-whew!)

Yesterday I worked on making my camera compatible with my laptop computer. It has a usb port and cord with the ability to connect to the computer so pics can be downloaded directly from the camera-without the need to finalize. Unfortunately, the driver that came with the camera is not compatible with Windows XP (which gives you an idea how old the camera is). Most of my time yesterday was spent trying to find a driver to download off the web. I found one. Then it was trying to figure out how to install it. Not easy for me cos I'm lacking in hardware knowledge, but eventually I figured it out. It works! I spent 5 minutes dancing, singing the song "I am woman, hear me roar!" (Helen Reddy) and asking my daughter for high fives.

Later today I will take pics of the socks and whatnot. It's not the most efficient way of doing things. It takes almost 20 minutes to download a full disk worth of pics. But it's better than taking pics and then losing them.

In the meantime...

Dear Santa,
I know you're pretty busy making toys up there at the north pole. In fact, with the deadline just over a month away, it's probably downright crazy. However, if you could find the time, I'd really appreciate it if you could get the elves to put together a new digital camera for me. That's what I want for Christmas. I've done my best to be a good girl this year and feel I really deserve it.

Take care,
Linda Jo

P.S. I will be leaving a glass of milk and a plate of cheese for you, as usual.


Have a great day.

11/20/07

Today is Tuesday

I've heard from the nice fellow at Starwest Satellite. He informs me this is his second moose call. I said, "Oh, that first one was probably me. I had you guys out in September because of moose damage" He said, "No, actually, it wasn't. I got called out to a job where the moose had bent the pole the dish was on right over onto the ground." Oh--wow! I'm awed. Anyway, he'll be here in the next couple hours or so.

I really enjoyed the comments for yesterdays post. Heh heh. Marguerite has valid questions, which I shall attempt to answer here.

What part of the moose are you supposed to hit? Or, in your case since you're a good shot, what part of the moose are you planning to hit?

Well, the rump is pretty big and easy to see. So I'm planning on aiming that way.

Then, what is the moose going to do?

I have no idea. Theoretically, according to hubby and his brother, it should make the moose run away. However, I've hit moose with rocks, and even smacked one with a broom once (I was totally insane for doing that, I know), and it didn't cause any running away--at least, not the moose. I was the one who did the running.

Do the paint balls sting?

When you hit a human with one, yes. They sting a lot! That's why paint ball gun enthusiasts wear padding and a face mask when they 'play'. Apparently, this whole idea came from brother in law Dan (hubby's twin brother). They live on the other end of the Parkarosa. They are having extreme trouble with deer. So he got a paint gun and some purple paint balls. He's been shooting them at the deer. It's working really well, which explains why I'm seeing a sudden increase in deer hanging out around my house. I will have to check them for purple spots on their backsides.

Is the moose going to know you hit it?

Ummm...You've hit the big nail on the head. Somehow, I don't think so. They've got pretty thick skins. They don't seem to mind much when Sweet Hubby hits them with rocks the size of his fist-a fact he seems to have forgotten.

The way I see it, Sweet Hubby and Sweet Brother in Law are always trying to keep up with each other in the toy department. If we get the big screen tv, they get the big screen tv. If they get the surround sound system, we have to get the surround sound system. If we get hd tv, they have to get hd tv.... you get the picture. Dan has a paint ball gun. Therefore we must have a paint ball gun. (Dan has a brand new dvr receiver too. Guess what I've been told to order?)

One thing I will say. We're gonna have some darn pretty deer around here.

Paint balls are fairly harmless. The paint is non-toxic and biodegradable. It will wash off in the rain. I don't think it will hurt to try. I'm shooting from the safety of my door though, so I can step back and slam it shut should the need arise.

(Hello, 911. I've been trapped in the bathroom by an angry moose. Yes, it broke down my front door and chased me in here. Please help!)

I have finished an ornament cover.


This is Filigree from Karen DeSousa's book Accent On: The Heirloom Collection. I used matte teal ab size 11 Japanese seed beads and Chinese round crystals in size 4 and 12mm. I also altered the pattern just a bit so it would lay flatter over the ornament, and added one more swag at the bottom. It was sort of a combo of netting and brick stitch. This is not a pattern for the faint of heart. In fact, it is one of the most difficult beading patterns I've ever done. It was even harder to teach a class on it--which I did last week. Course, I was handicapped by the fact that the students didn't have the book (cos someone-not me-forgot to order them). So, I would recommend less experienced beaders get a bit more experience under their belts before trying this one.

I found another web site full of links to free sock patterns. It's called Boogie Knits.

Have a good day.

ETA: He's here! He's here!

11/19/07

Caution: Cuteness Ahead

One day 'til Tuesday.

I wasn't so sure I'd be able to post pics of Lindamon because my camera is not behaving properly, but I finally got it working. I have a Sony Mavica 400. It takes wonderful pictures, but I've been using it a LOT ever since I got it a few years ago (twas a Christmas present from Sweet Hubby) and it's showing signs of wearing out. I'm hoping Santa will bring me a new camera. I've been a good girl this year, really, I have.

Introducing Grandkitty Lindamon. Isn't she cute? She is kind of strangely colored. She's sort of a pale ginger with a hint of green. Yes, I said green. I've never seen anything like it--at least, not on a cat. I love her little pink nose.



A very proud Mommy.


Mommy and fur child.


Playing in Mommy's lap.


Lindamon is a real sweety. She loves to cuddle and she's very well trained. She loves her Mommy very very much. Spends as much time as she can in Ruth's lap, snoozing.

She is not getting along with my fur kids though. And now my cats are expressing their discontent to have a 3rd kitty in the house. Chenille actually peed on the living room carpet this morning--on purpose! She meowed to get my attention before squatting to do it. I soaked her head with a squirt bottle full of water in return. Then I tossed her outside. We'll see if she does that again!

That's the end of today's cuteness.

There was a family meeting this weekend (I didn't attend). Besides real business (property management issues), the subject of the moose problem was discussed. They don't believe my complaint has been taken seriously by Fish and Game. They had said someone would call me and come out to the house in the next day or two. That has not happened. Apparently a solution was presented. Sweet Hubby came home and announced we needed to go to a sporting goods store. We went. He bought me this.



It's a paint ball/bee bee pistol. Came with some ammunition and an extra sight. He also bought me a small jar of yellow paint balls. I am supposed to shoot any and all moose with paint balls, in an attempt to scare them away. Ummmm...okaaaaaaaaaay.

I'd never shot a pistol before. I've shot lots of rifles and shotguns. I am pretty good too. I can shoot a quarter off a fence at 50 feet (as long as the sun glints off it so I can see it), but I'd never shot a pistol before. I wasn't expecting to be able to hit anything with it. I was wrong. I nailed my target (a rust spot on the old water heater sitting out back) on the first shot. I nailed it on every shot. Okay, I guess I can shoot a pistol.

Call me the Moosinator!

There was knitting progress. I am about halfway down the foot of the Garter Rib sock. I am so pleased with how nicely the stripe pattern is matching up.


On other fronts, over the weekend I managed to leave my car door open, just enough to drain the battery. I'm so glad we own a trickle charger. I need to take my Opal yarn to the post office for it's trip to Sweden.

We got a skiff of snow last night. Just enough to make the front steps slicker than slick. Winter has arrived.

Have a good day.

11/18/07

Random Ramblings on a Sunday Morning

2 days 'til Tuesday.

I just want to state the truth here and now. I did not 'force' Marguerite to go to the yarn store with me. I asked her if she'd like to go and she said yes. Of course, with some of us, just the mention of a yarn store is like grabbing us, chaining us to a bumper, and dragging us to it. We're going against our will. The brain is screaming NO NO NO, but the body wants yarn regardless of what the brain is saying to it. I know how that feels. Hee hee..... I've found myself kicking and screaming at myself as I drive myself to the yarn shop to look at yarn. I know I'm gonna buy some too, even though I don't want or need to. Sheesh! If you could see the size of my stash already! It will take the rest of my life just to knit the Opal sock yarn stash I've got squirreled away. And yet--I keep buying sock yarn.

I guess I owe Marguerite an apology. Sorry Marguerite.

Speaking of Opal sock yarn. I am doing something kind of.... fun I guess. On Ravelry there is lots of ways to find and exchange yarn with other Ravelers. I've come across a gal who lives in Sweden who has a skein of Opal Toucan (from the Rainforest II collection) who doesn't want it anymore and is seeking to trade with someone who does want it. I do. So we've negotiated a trade. I'm sending her my periwinkle blue Speckles (a long discontinued color) in return for her Toucan. I find this whole thing rather exciting.

Yesterday I spent several hours working on the second Garter Rib sock-while watching DVD's of course. I've got all the way past the heel and am almost done with the gusset. I am quite pleased with it too. The stripe pattern is matching exactly. However, seeing some of the sock put out on other folks blogs, I am asking myself why it takes so long for me to knit a pair of socks? I'm a fast knitter-when it comes to actually making the stitches. Maybe I'm just enjoying the process more or something.

It is so dark here this weekend. Besides the cold and the wet of winter, I also hate the dark. I'd forgotten how dark it is at this time of year. By 3pm I have to turn the lights on in the house. (by mid December the sun will be setting around 4pm) But this weekend it's been extra dark because of thick dark rain clouds dumping on us. Not that I don't want the rain, I do! We need it. I just wish it wasn't so dark. Maybe I should get out the Christmas lights and start decorating the inside early. I am wondering, though, why we don't have snow yet. Usually, by now, we do.

Last night the wind was blowing and I couldn't believe how warm it was. Makes one believe in the global warming, not that I don't. I actually do believe in the global warming theory. I just don't agree with some of the ideas of what's causing it. If you really want to hear a rant on global warming, mention it to my brother in law Chet. He's a scientist extraordinaire (in fact, he's our real life CSI guy too). I love listening to him talk about it. He's fascinating. He's also the biggest defender of CO2 I've met. Go Chet!

Sweet Hubby has approved the ordering of new Christmas decorations for the inside of the house. (If one of us is going to spend more than 100 bucks on something frivolous, we talk to each other first. It's just the courteous thing to do.) We live in a double wide manufactured home with an amazingly open floor plan-which is what made me fall in love with it. We have really high ceilings with a long beam that stretches the whole length of the house. I like to hang garland along that beam. This year I've ordered some garland from Lillian Vernon. It's going to look so pretty hanging on that beam. Fake pine tree with lights, pepper berries, real cedar sprigs, white star flowers, pine cones, and red and green plaid bows. It should be arriving some time the end of this week.

Oh yes, daughter Ruth arrived safely with the grandkitty. She is so cute. I will take pics of her today. Her entrance into the house, though, has caused all kinds of trouble. Of course, Silver and Chenille are being total snobs. Won't even give her the time of day, the little warts.

Morgan was curious. He's sniffed her a bit, but for the most part, is leaving her alone.

Tommy--well, we all know how 'smart' he is. He's so excited he can't stand it! He wants to play with Lindamon in the worst way! But, as usual, he approached her the wrong way, by lunging and barking, just like dogs do when they want to play with each other. Lindamon interpreted his advances to mean "I want to tear you apart and eat you". She slashed his nose. Tommy yelped, Morgan attacked Tommy. I was able to stop the fight immediately, so no one got hurt. I wasn't expecting this kind of problem. We will have to keep an eagles eye on Morgan until the household is used to the new visitor. However, Tommy won't leave it alone. He paced around and around for hours last night in agitated restlessness. Poor guy. He just wants to make friends and play.

I've been surfing knitting blogs and have found some interesting information. Simple Knits has compiled a list of 314 triangle shawl patterns available free or to purchase, listed by yardage needed to make the shawls.

Knittychick has compiled a list of 598 (and counting) free sock patterns available on the internet.

I wonder how many socks I'd be able to get done in a month if I didn't surf the web?

Have a great day.

11/17/07

3 Things Meme

Three days to Tuesday.

It's raining like crazy today. Still no tv, though the idea of duct tape has been brought up. We just might try it. The worst that could happen is that it wouldn't work.

My daughter Ruth, and grandkitty Lindamon, are coming home for Thanksgiving break today. I will take pics.

I made good progress on the Garter Rib sock last night. Thank the gods for DVD's.

Now, for a meme that I stole from someone else's blog in my search for blog fodder.

Three Things

Three things that scare me:
  • Creepy looking beetles
  • Crazy drivers.
  • Angry Moose.

Three people who make me laugh:
  • My daughter Sarah
  • My brother in law Dan
  • My friend Cindy

Three Things I love:
  • Spring
  • My yarn stash
  • Living in north Idaho
Three Things I hate:
  • Religious organizations
  • Hair in the bathroom sink.
  • Men who think women are stupid.

Three things I don't understand:
  • Why we put up with the lousy quality of computers.
  • Why people hold on to anger.
  • Why my sisters won't speak to me.

Three things on my desk:
  • Paper-great piles of it. (urgh)
  • A package of blank CD's.
  • A cup full of pens.

Three things I'm doing right now:
  • Blogging
  • Drinking coffee
  • Listening to the radio (until Tuesday-sigh).

Three things I want to do before I die:
  • Visit Australia
  • Have enough money to pay someone to clean my house for me.
  • See my daughters married to wonderful young men.

Three things I can do:
  • Knit
  • Rub my tummy and pat my head at the same time.
  • Make the best apple pie in the universe.

Three ways to describe my personality:
  • Introverted
  • Creative
  • Marches to the beat of my own drummer.
Three things I can't do:
  • Write computer programs.
  • Ski
  • Brain surgery.

Have a great weekend.

11/16/07

Fridays Feast 11/16/07

Four days to Tuesday.

For todays edition, I present Fridays Feast.

Appetizer
What was your first “real” job?

That would be summer librarian/custodian assistant at Camelot Elementary school, in Federal Way, Washington (where I grew up). My parents were very poor. When I was 14 there was a state program started called the Work Training Program. It was for 'underprivileged' teenagers and basically provided job training experience. I qualified and got in. I was assigned this cool job of running the school library (it was open for summer book reading), and I also had to help the school janitor with the cleaning. I really enjoyed this job a lot.


Soup

Where would you go if you wanted to spark your creativity?

At the moment- to the pile of knitting and beading magazines sitting on the coffee table in front of me. If I actually have to leave the house, I'd go to one of the beading or knitting shops in my area, or the book store (for beading or knitting books).


Salad

Complete this sentence: I am embarrassed when…

I fart in public.


Main Course

What values did your parents instill in you?

I would say high moral values with a deep respect, love, and caring for others, which, considering how abusive my childhood was, I'm still wondering how they did that.


Dessert

Name 3 fads from your teenage years.

Hip huggers, platform shoes, disco dancing.

Have a great day.

11/15/07

No TV 'Til Tuesday...Sigh

I woke up at my usual time this morning. I laid in bed a bit enjoying a snuggle with my fursons, thinking about this blog. I had no idea what to write about. I was thinking about another installation of my knitting history, but couldn't come up with any ideas for that either. What to do? What to do?

I forgot. . . . I live on the Parkarosa. Never a dull moment.

I got up, opened the back door to let the boys out for their morning business. All hell broke loose. Standing right there, in front of the steps, bigger than life, was a HUGE bull moose-antlers and all. Morgan turned tail and dashed into the house. Tommy-well, we know how 'smart' he is. Boom-he was gone. He chased that big ol' bull down the hill-doing his little barking hops all the way. What amazed me was the bull actually ran! I've never seen a moose run before. I've seen them stroll, walk, and even trot a little bit. Wow! They can be fast when they want to be! He disappeared into the woods.

So, there I am, standing in the yard, screaming at the top of my lungs at Tommy to get back into the house and suddenly I realized I was not alone. I turned--there are two big ol' Momma moose and a baby standing there watching me act like a crazy lady. What the...??? I turned tail and ran back into the house. Tommy ran in with me.

By now, Sweet Hubby has come outside to see what all the ruckus is about. Tommy and I come dashing up the steps. The two Momma's and baby stroll down the hill and off into the edge of the woods. But then they stop, turn, and just stand and stare at us.

Sweet Hubby says. "Wait a minute, what? That doesn't look right?!" I look the direction he is looking and I see this:



Our satellite dish has been VANDALIZED! See that part dangling from a wire on the right? It's not supposed to be dangling. You get 3 guesses as to who did it, as long as all 3 guesses are MOOSE!

I grabbed my camera to document the damage. I walked down the hill-daring those two cows to even think about coming near me. I think smoke may have been coming out my ears. I was pretty pissed! They walked away from me, down the road leading to our own little private gravel pit. I took pictures of Momma1 and baby. Momma 2 was camera shy. She stepped into that stand of little trees behind M1 and baby, and watched from there. I couldn't get a clear pic of her.

Still watching me.


After I finished my picture taking, I went back into the house. All 3 moose came back and are still, as I write this, standing just in the trees at the bottom of the hill, staring at the house. Just standing there, staring. They've been standing there for 2.5 hours now, staring at the house. I've screamed at them "WHAT'S THE ATTRACTION? I DON'T UNDERSTAND? WHAT'S THE ATTRACTION TO MY HOUSE?" They refuse to answer.

I've called Dish Network. The tech support fellow who got me to deal with, named Ashton, was very nice and polite. I explained my 'problem'. "The moose have broken my dish." I had to repeat that. He didn't believe what he heard the first time. After the repeat, there's a pause, and Ashton says "Can I put you on hold? I need to ask my supervisor what to do about this." He's never had problems with moose. I can tell.

They are sending someone out to replace the dish. They are also going to see if they can move the dish out of moose reach for us. They said they'll use 2 dishes if they have to (one for regular signal, one for the HD signal). Unfortunately, the soonest they can get someone out here is Tuesday. I love tv. This is going to be hard. I will miss Survivor tonight, and CSI--tonight is the episode that Sarah Sidle leaves. Arrrghh! And I'm gonna miss it!!!

Life is SO unfair.

After talking to Dish, I called Idaho Fish and Game and I let them have it! Sweet Hubby looked it up on the internet this morning. If someone complains about animal infestation, they are required, by law, to do something about it within 30 days. I mentioned this at the start of the conversation. The gal at Fish and Game actually listened to me. She asked me a lot of questions. I told her all about Nubbs, Antlers, Miss Molly, Mama Brown and her baby, the two big cows that ate my tree tops, the big bull this morning, the satellite dish destruction, my car being used for a popsicle, being trapped in my car for 30 minutes by a big cow, the flowers, the broken sprinklers, the videos we have of moose sucking the water out of our sprinkler system, the cars stopped at the end of the driveway while they wait for 'our' moose to cross the road, the attempted stompings of my dogs, I let it ALL out. The danger--REAL danger-- we face each and every day is becoming overwhelming. I actually started crying. I told her never, ever, in all my dreams and nightmares, would I have ever thought that I would have Moose problems. They HAVE to help us!!!!!!!!

She asked where I live. I gave her my address. She said "Diagonal Road?" You live on Diagonal Road?" I said yes. "Wow, that's weird. We got a call from someone on Diagonal Road yesterday about moose trouble." I couldn't believe me ears. My neighbors are calling them. I'M NOT ALONE. HALLELUHIA!!!!

They're sending someone out.

In the meantime--knitting is gonna be hard without tv--'til Tuesday. Sigh......

I hope your day is better.

11/14/07

The Odds of This Happening?

Yesterday afternoon, when I got home from bead group and running errands, I checked the mail box. Lo and Behold! There was a package from Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. The Ebay Austermanne Step Navy #15 yarn had arrived. With great trepidation, I opened the package, fully expecting it to be totally different than Garter Rib sock #1.

Miracles DO happen! Not only does it match, it's the SAME DYE LOT!!!!!!


Doin' the really really really happy dance!!

What are the chances of a skein of yarn bought in a shop in Spokane, Washington and a skein of yarn bought from a shop in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada being the same dye lot? I should be buyin' lottery tickets! I cast on that second sock right away.


This morning I finally finished the front of the lace cover, and it matches the back perfectly!



And since I'm taking pics of WIPs, here's the I Love Gansey sock, which is going on hold until I get the Garter Rib sock done. (Should only be a day or two.)


Then, to really top things off, my Ravelry T-shirts arrived too. The knitting gods are smiling down on me again.

Have a great day!

11/13/07

Yazzi Shots Earned So Far - 3

The Yazzi reward system is working. I worked so much on the lace cover yesterday my right pinky actually started to ache. I realized I was gripping the needle a little tightly with it and eased up. The ache went away, so I continued to knit until the eyes were so tired I could not focus on the stitches anymore and had to put it down for the evening. I'm 2 inches away from having the front done. Hurray! I'm being very careful to make sure everything is right too. I do not want to frog this yarn anymore. I savored my shot of Yazzi while watching reruns of Home Improvement on Nick at Nite.

I still wanted to do 'something' after that. I was in the mood to create. So I tried working on a beading project. Ha! I must have fried the brain or something. I don't know why I thought I'd be able to see what I'm doing working with size 11 seed beads when I can't even see the size 6 needle sized stitches in my knitting (which by my standards are darn big!). I gave up and went to bed.

I think I've been bitten by the Christmas bug. I want to put my tree up NOW! I'm already doing my Christmas shopping and planning the decorations for the house. I usually don't even think about this stuff until a couple days before Thanksgiving. Maybe it's because both my girls will be home for Christmas. The cruise might have something to do with it too.

Oh yes, something else I'm getting excited about. I've hooked up with another north Idaho resident on Ravelry. She is joining me in attempting to start a knitting group here. I've wanted one that meets once a week during the day either in Rathdrum, or near Rathdrum, ever since I closed the shop. I worked on it for awhile but hit some dead ends I won't go into here and put the idea aside for a later date.

This gal lives in Athol and told me of a new coffee shop/book store that's just opened up in Spirit Lake where we might be able to hold our meetings. Spirit Lake would be perfect. It's only a few miles from my house. We're going to get together and approach the owner of this new place to see if we can use her facilities. Knitting, coffee, and books, all in one place? Sounds like heaven to me.

If you live in the north Idaho Rathdrum/Spirit Lake/Athol area and would be interested in this adventure, please leave a comment to let me know. I'll post updates and info here.

I have beading group this morning, so I better get crackin'. Have a great day!

ETA -- Moose sighting!

Just as I hit the 'publish post' button I looked up and there was the Momma Moose and her baby of a few days ago in the front yard. I didn't have a disk in my camera. Rats! Couldn't take pics.

Mom was licking the thawed frost off the windows of my car! (Oh great! Now I've got moose slime all over my car windows.) I've never seen a moose do that before. Baby walked over toward me, kneeled down, and started munching on my geraniums in the flower bed under the windows. This is not acceptable behavior! I opened the window and yelled at her. Then I checked to see if my voice was working cos she didn't react at all. Momma moose reacted though. She walked over and glared at me-eye to eye. If there wasn't a screen in the window I could have reached out and smacked her on the nose. Then Tommy noticed. He started barking his little head off, which woke up Morgan and got him barking his head off. The moose decided that was too much noise to go with breakfast and slowly wandered away.

Ah Moose. I admire their attitude toward life.

11/12/07

My Knitting History Part IV

Barbara G. Walker

The introduction of knitting magazines and books was a MAJOR life changing event for me. I knit shawls, sweaters, hats, and mittens by the yards. I seemed to have a natural gift for not just knitting, but creating too. I started designing my own ideas and knitting them.

The person who was the most inspirational to me at the time was Barbara G. Walker and her first two Treasury of Knitting Patterns. I found them in the local library my senior year of high school. Unfortunately, they were out of print so I could not purchase my own copies of these two fabulous books. I checked them out, and kept them checked out for well over a year by renewing every month. After graduation I actually got a part time job at the library, which made it a lot easier to renew. It was these two books that turned me into a serious knitting addict. It's mind-blowing to think that so many hundreds of patterns are varieties of just two fundamental stitches, the knit stitch and the purl stitch. I would spend hours just looking at the pictures and reading the patterns. They stimulated my creative juices to flowing like nothing else. Eventually, though, my boss insisted I return them so others could have a chance at them. Sigh.

That's when I wrote a letter to the publisher asking, yes even begging them, to PLEASE put them back into print. I must not have been the only one to do that because it was less than 2 months later that I was in my favorite book store and ran across them literally fresh and hot off the presses!

If you are of the nature and ability to get creative with knitting, I highly recommend Barbara's books. They contain patterns of every type of stitch you can imagine. We're talking lace, cables, purl and knit textures, colors, mosaics, ribs, etc etc all nicely organized in easy to find categories with pics of each pattern knitted up. She has even added 2 more volumes to the first two.

While surfing the web last night I found a really cool web site called The Walker Treasury Project. A group effort has been organized to knit larger swatches of every stitch pattern in the four volumes and publish color photos of them on this site. Although every stitch pattern is illustrated in the books, the photos are small, most in black and white, and in a lot of cases don't fully show the potential use of those patterns. Larger swatches can do that. Anyone willing to help can join the project. Info can be found on the web site on how to do so. I think I'll join. It sounds like fun, and I love to 'join' knitting things anyway.

Have a great day!

11/11/07

Feeling Calm and Serene

Just got back from the trip to the hot springs resort in Montana. You may have noticed I've not said the name of the hot springs resort. That's cos I'm keeping it a secret. I'm doing this completely in a spirit of selfishness. We don't want everyone knowing about it. It's one of those best kept secret kind of places and if I blab it will be harder to get in to the place than it already is. I'm protecting myself.

I've returned refreshed and rested. Sitting in a mineral hot spring, drinking rum and cokes 'til I'm feeling no pain, then having a truly decadently scrumptious meal for dinner at the resort restaurant, then soaking and rumming some more, then flopping into a comfy bed and snoring 'til morning where upon we return to the above mentioned restaurant for a decadently delicious breakfast before heading home (I don't know where this place gets they're bacon, but I sure want to know!) is surprisingly medicinal. I'm ready to take on the lace cover up full force.

It was snowing when we got up this morning. I realized it's time to say my sad goodbyes to fall, and say hello to winter. During breakfast my nephew Nathan, who was extremely excited that it was snowing out, asked why I don't like snow. Here is what I told him:

"Well snow is pretty and all, but mostly it's cold, and wet, and cold, and cold, and cold, and wet, and cold, and cold, and wet, and wet, and cold, and it has absolutely no color at all, and it's cold and wet."

He understands now. Course, with the entrance of hot flashes into my life this year, I might really learn to love snow. (Most heard question asked by me to hubby: "Is it hot in here? Or is it just me?" Most heard answer to said question: "It's you.") I could see myself wallowing in a snow bank in my underwear while having a 'power surge'.

I took knitting with me, but I was too busy soaking and rumming and eating and sleeping to knit.

On Friday, the Patternworks order of Austermanne Step Navy #15 sock yarn arrived. I ripped open the box in happy anticipation of making a sibling for the Garter Rib sock. The dye lot is so different that it doesn't even look like the same color scheme! Sigh. Hopefully, the ebay skein will be closer? I have a feeling I'll be starting these socks over before the end of the month.

I still feel serene and calm. I think I'll knit for a bit. Yazi is calling my name.

Have a great day.

11/10/07

My Knitting History Part III

My First Sweater

When I was a senior in high school (1976) my mother brought home a magazine with knitting patterns in it. I did not know there was such a thing until then. I looked for the magazine, cos I know it's around here somewhere and I was going to scan the cover, but I can't find it. It's currently buried in a pile of boxed leftovers brought home from the closing of my store. I think it was a special knitting edition by Ladies Home Journal, or Womans Day. One of those two. The magazine fascinated me. Oh what avenues of knitting opened up to me. What wonderful things could be made with but two sticks and some yarn. The patterns were so awesome!

I found a particular sweater in that magazine that I just HAD to make. It was a simple sweater. Stockinette, with drop shoulders, big 3/4 length sleeves that had cuffs, a square neckline, and ribbon trim sewn around the neckline and along the sleeve cuffs.

Not knowing anything about knitting sweaters, I determined that I had to follow the directions exactly, right down to the same kind and color of yarn. Fortunately, my Mom found a store that had it. Germantown Worsted wool. Scratchy, and expensive. But I'd saved my babysitting money up and I had enough to get it. I took my new treasures home.

It took a few days to get up the courage to cast on those first stitches. I just kept fondling the skeins of yarn. After I cast on I discovered this sweater knitting thing really wasn't that difficult after all. It was just, basically, a bunch of short wide scarves sewn together. I even got brave enough to adjust the length of the sleeves a bit (I have short arms.) I enjoyed every stitch of that project. Weeks and weeks of dedicated knitting went by and finally the sweater was done. It fit me perfectly.

I decided to hand wash the sweater before that first official wearing. After washing, I carefully laid it out on the floor on a towel in front of the fireplace to dry. I remember it was really cold that evening, so I didn't think the sweater would dry otherwise. My parents had a thing about not turning on the furnace unless we were about to freeze to death. Usually it was the fireplace, and blankets. I had some place I had to go, orchestra practice, or maybe it was a youth club meeting, I don't remember exactly. What I DO remember is saying to my Mom to keep an eye on that sweater and turn it over a couple times while I was gone. I also remember she was in her favorite chair reading a Harlequin Romance. She said she'd take care of it.

When I returned home later that evening the first thing I did was check my sweater. It was still laying in front of the fireplace, dry. Oh yes, definitely dry. Too dry. In fact, it was scorched!! On the front! A fairly good sized section was brownish green burnt yarn. Mom hadn't looked at it once the whole time I was gone (curse those romance novels). I was completely devastated. All that work. That beautiful sweater, ruined! She apologized, of course, but I was never able to wear it.

Two things I learned:
1) Don't dry my sweaters in front of the fireplace.
2) Don't trust Mom to keep an eye on things.

I never left her in charge of my knitting again after that.

I still have it. I carefully wrapped it in tissue and stowed it away in a box that sad day. Every once in awhile I'll get it out and remember how much fun I had knitting it. This is a pic taken yesterday.

(Burnt spot artfully covered with sleeve)

Have a great day.

11/9/07

Couldn't Leave It Alone

There it sat, in the bag, next to the coffee table, mocking me. I don't take too well to being mocked. I just couldn't leave it alone. I kicked into "You will not defeat me!" mode. I'll be darned if I'll be brought down by one lacey hooded tunic!

I took out the cover and decided to figure out what I want to do about this problem. I took measurements. I tried things on. I held pieces up to myself in the mirror. 18 inches is going to be too long. 16 inches is about perfect. So it's staying at 16 inches. Maybe this was just the knitting gods way of getting my attention. I was making a mistake and they wanted me to know that.

However, with all the frogging and reknitting I've been doing lately, I've started loathing this project. I need something to help me get it done, and get it done as soon as I can so I can move on to something else. I've pulled my bootstraps up and rallied forward.

I went to the liquor store. I bought myself a 'reward'. I love Yazi. It's a ginger flavored vodka, and rather pricey. It comes in a beautiful bottle with a dragon on it (which 2 family members have already placed dibbs on). It tastes so wonderful. Lots of spicy ginger flavor. This will help me get the cover done.

No, I'm not getting drunk before I start knitting. I've had enough frogging on this project! Each day that I spend some time knitting on the cover I will reward myself in the evening with a shot of Yazi on ice. Don't laugh. This works for me.

Last night, after dinner, I started knitting. I got halfway back to where I was before the frogging began. It's perfect-no mistakes. I'm feeling very proud of myself. I had a lovely lovely shot of Yazi. I savored every sip, letting the tingling spicy flavor dance around on my tongue. It was worth it. I'm looking forward to working on the cover today.

In other knitting news, here's a photo of the red Shi Bui sock yarn I'm using for the ILG socks. (That's a piece of 'cover' under it). I will not neglect the socks while working on the cover. I want that N next to my name on the SAM4KAL blog.


I got an email from Patternworks. The Step Navy #15 yarn is on it's way. I guess I get to have 2 balls instead of one. Cool! All ready got plans for that second ball.

Here's something I haven't said much about the last few weeks. Moose. That's cos we haven't been seeing any until now. The regulars have gone south to their winter homes. This is a mama and her little baby I spotted in the back yard a couple evenings ago. They were passing through on their way south.


On the family front, in case there might be some family members who read my blog and don't know yet (though I think I'm the last to know, as usual), I just got the news that my nephew Jonny asked his girlfriend, Ann, to marry him and she said yes. I will get details from Sue tomorrow when we meet at the hot springs resort in Montana.

I think Sweet Hubby and I are about to step into the 'wedding gift years' of our life. Fun!

Have a great day.

11/8/07

One of 'Those' Projects

Into every knitters life there comes the occasional project with a stubborn uncooperative mind of it's own. The one that lives it's life based on Murphy's Law. What can go wrong, does go wrong--at every opportunity it can find, and even not find. My lace tunic, also referred to as . . . . . . The Swim Suit Cover (insert music of doom here) . . . , is one of those.

I have not been giving this project the attention it probably thinks it deserves. That's why I started it nice and early-months before the cruise. I had this idea that I would work on it at a leisurely pace. It's supposed to be an easy project for me. The lace pattern is very simple. The shaping is fairly standard. I have thought of this as my 'brain dead' project. In other words, I'd have to be brain dead to not be able to do it.

Pull the plug because I must be brain dead.

Yesterday morning, about 2 rows before finishing the left side of the front piece (remember, I divided at the neck placket), I layed it out next to the finished back piece. It was 2 inches longer than the back from the armhole decreases to the hem.

"Oh No!" I thought, "I've knit too far." I got out the tape measure and that's when I discovered it. The disaster! I had intended there to be 18 inches from hem to armhole. The front is right. The back is 2 inches short. I could have SWORN it was 18 inches when I started those armhole decreases. I must have measured it at least 4 times (measure several times, knit it once). I remember doing it. I was sitting out on the deck soaking up summer sunshine at the time. Apparently measuring things on the deck table was a bad idea. So, if I want 18 inches I'm going to have to frog the 'finished' back piece all the way down to the armhole. Heck! I'm not doing that! I will live with a shorter tunic. Except--I really wanted that to be 18 inches, which is longer than the pattern says to make it.

I took the project with me to Knitwits where I ripped out the left side of the front--thinking I'd shorten it to 16 inches too. That's when I discovered I've actually messed up all the way down to the placket divide. I also discovered my needles weren't with me. So, in disgust I crammed it all back into my bag and told the ladies I was not knitting. Instead, I helped everyone else, and ate cheesecake. One of the members brought cheesecake. It helped me feel better-a little.

Last night I frogged down to the beginning of the placket and I'm right back where I was 2 weeks ago, except with a tunic that is 2 inches too short.

I am at a decision point. Do I do the front 2 inches too short too? Or do I do it right, then plan on frogging the back to add the 2 missing inches?

Sweet hubby got to hear my moaning and cussing for quite some time. He's asked me to put it away until next week. We're going away this weekend, to a hot springs resort over in Montana. I need it.

Morgan got his stitches out yesterday. He's been acting very joyful since. I think he's feeling very good indeed. We'll be taking the boys with us to the hot springs. They love it there.

Have a nice day.

11/7/07

Why I Didn't Vote

Yesterday was election day. I didn't vote. I was planning to. Even drove toward the voting place. Changed my mind and went home instead.

I've said this before (and I'll probably say it again), I grew up in an extremist religious cult. My parents joined it when I was just a baby and I was in it until August of 1997 when Sweet Hubby and I finally got the courage to leave. It is the best thing we ever did.

We were not allowed to vote in our church. The reasoning was that we were not citizens of this earth, but of Gods kingdom. Besides, God chooses the leaders of this world, not us. So we had no business voting. From that point of view, I can understand why we didn't vote. However, it was always something I wanted to do.

Now that we're no longer part of that way of thinking, I registered to vote. I was quite excited. I could hardly wait for election day. My first big election was the 2000 Presidential one--with George Bush, Al Gore, and the big Florida hanging chad debacle.

Wow, is voting ever a big disappointment. I got to the polling place I was assigned, they handed me my ballot and.... what? There was stuff on that ballot I knew absolutely nothing about. I didn't even know it was going to be on the ballot. That was a huge surprise. I chalked it up to the fact that I'd just registered a few weeks before the election and because of that I'd missed out on whatever info must have been given to everyone else. I did the best I could with what scant information was on the ballot, and turned it in. I was quite proud of myself and wore my little "I Voted" sticker for at least a week.

Since then voting has become a hassle. Why? Because of the severe lack of information given to voters. When I registered I had this crazy idea that all the folks with stuff on the ballots somehow informed all the registered voters--I figured maybe by mail--about their propositions, proposals, and positions of office they all wanted and why I should vote for it/them, and opposing groups would send the same info as to why I shouldn't vote for it/them. That would give me something to start with and I could do some research from there. Ha! I was so naive.

That doesn't happen. Time and time again election days have come and gone and I haven't even known what's on the ballot until I read it. It's not for lack of me trying to find out either. I search the internet, talk to friends, scan the newspapers. The only things I hear about are the things like running for Mayor or State Representative, something big like that--where we get to see every corner in town littered with dozens of the little campaign signs. (Sweet Hubby calls them sign gardens.) It's very very very frustrating for me because I want to vote, and I want to make an informed choice for my vote.

So, what happened yesterday? As I was driving toward my assigned polling place I kept thinking about the fact that I did not know of one item that was going to be on that ballot (or even if there was going to be a ballot). Not ONE! I had no idea what was up for the day. I thought to myself, "Why am I doing this? I can't make a decision on who or what I'm gonna vote for if I don't even know what's going to be on the ballot? I won't know a damn thing about any of it. How in the heck can I make an informed decision on where to put my important vote under those circumstances? This is a joke."

They say that it's important for us to get out and vote. But no one gets us any information so we can choose what we want to vote for. That tells me my vote isn't worth anything, at least, not here where I live. Would it be so hard for the sponsors of bills, propositions, levys, and whatnot to get the voter list and send something in the mail to each registered voter explaining the whats, whys, and wherefores? It should be required! I mean, where is all that campaign money going anyway?

They say voter apathy is at an all time high. It's not apathy folks! It's frustration. In the past few years I've talked to lots of friends and family who are registered voters and didn't bother to vote. It wasn't apathy. It was a severe lack of information. I frequently hear the question "Do we have anything on the ballot this year?" in conversations. That is a crying shame for a democratic country.

I promptly turned around and went home.

I wonder if it's like that in the whole country, or just here?

I did go to bead group yesterday. I worked on a beaded ornament cover in black and silver. It's coming along nicely. It was just me and C too, so we had some good conversation.

Morgan is doing great! He's actually playing with his toys, and running around in the yard. He hasn't done that in ages. I have my Morgster back! It's sweet!

Today I have Spinning Club and Knit Wits. Gonna be a busy busy day.

Have a good one.

11/6/07

My Knitting History Part II

The Scarf Years

I think it's important to mention that one knitting lesson from my father is the only knitting lesson he ever gave me. When I got to the end of my first complete scarf I asked him about binding it off. He replied that he couldn't remember how and that's why he bought me the How to Knit book. Remember, I was 9 years old. It's a testament to how much I loved knitting that I persevered and stuck to it under the circumstances. I didn't know anyone else who knit, so I had no choice but to use the book. For some reason, though, I found learning from the book easy for me.

For the next several years I knit scarves. I became well known for my scarves. Anyone who knew me, or knew someone who knew me, got a scarf made by me. I made scarves for 2 reasons. I liked them, and I was scared to make anything else. Doing anything with a stitch pattern, or any shaping at all was incredibly daunting to me. It was a long time before I got the courage to move on to something else.

Once in awhile I did ribbing or stockinette, but mostly I knit my scarves in garter stitch with 3 colors of stripes. The local grocery store carried a fairly nice acrylic yarn called Love Knit that came in every color under the sun, and then some. I spent most of my allowance and babysitting money on that yarn. I loved experimenting with different color combinations. I made so many scarves that I actually wore off the blue coloring on the tips of my needles. My knitting got incredibly even in stitch construction too.

I still remember 'the pattern'. I'd made it up myself.

Materials: One 3.5 oz. skein each of 3 colors of worsted weight yarn. (A,B,C)

Tools: One pair size 6 knitting needles.

Finished measurements: Approximately 6, or was it 8, inches wide by 5 feet long, plus fringe.

Gauge: Not important (Never heard of it at the time so have no idea.)

Cast on 50 stitches with color A. Knit 20 rows. Change to color B. Knit 20 rows. Change to color C. Knit 20 rows.

Repeat this stripe pattern until scarf measures 5 feet. End with an A colored stripe.

Bind off. Weave in ends. Add fringe to ends if desired.

I actually started getting orders for scarves. People payed me money for MY scarves. It was very exciting. I didn't make much money. Just enough to keep me in yarn. Eventually, though, I saturated the market and ran out of folks to make scarves for.

In my senior year of high school I finally got the desire to make a sweater.

Next time, Part III, The Sweater

Have a great day.

11/5/07

My Knitting History Part I

I don't have anything to write about yesterday because it was a quiet, boring day for the most part. So I thought I'd write about my knitting history.

When I was 9 years old my father took me down to the local Payless Drug store. He bought me a pair of 14 inch blue Boye size 6 knitting needles, a skein of really ugly worsted weight acrylic gold variegated yarn, and a little book with knitting lessons in it. When we got home he showed me how to cast on and do the knit stitch. Then told me to knit a scarf.

Up until that day, I did not even know my father knew how to knit. So this was all quite a surprise. For years and years I wondered how and where he learned to knit because he'd never told me. My father is not one to talk about himself. However, whenever he did talk about knitting, it was stories from his army days about knitting socks while sitting in a fox hole. So I assumed that's where he learned. It wasn't until just a few years or so ago I found out he'd learned to knit from his father, who learned from his father, who learned from his father, on down the line. (I had no brothers, so I got lucky.)

Needless to say, I LOVED it! I worked on that scarf until I ran out of yarn. Unfortunately, I needed a second ball to finish it. I hated the color so much I never got around to asking for that second ball-so I never finished the scarf. Instead, I talked my Mom into getting me 2 skeins of purple and white variegated (see? I've always loved purple). With this new yarn, and my little How To book, I learned the purl stitch. I knit a whole scarf in stockinette stitch, and used the book to learn how to bind off. I was HOOKED.

I used to carry my knitting around with me in a little basket. I even took it to school and worked on it on the school bus and during my lunch break. It took weeks and weeks for me to knit that scarf. I don't remember what the other kids thought about this. I must not have cared.

Over the years I have often wondered why? Why did he decided that day to teach me how to knit? I think I might know the answer. Earlier that year I'd been hanging out in the Cherry tree in the front yard, eating cherries. The branch I was standing on broke. I fell out and landed flat on my back, fracturing it. The fact that I can walk around today is a miracle.

Injuring my back severely curtailed my physical activity, pretty much for the rest of my life. I think my Dad taught me to knit because he saw that I needed something to do while sitting around. Whatever the reason, I'm thankful for what he did because knitting has given me many many hours of joy.

Have a great day.