Sunday, September 30, 2007

It's Sunday, so it must be time for pictures

And here they are...

First of all, I have the habit of tossing out seeds, apples cores, etc., to the birds in the bird feeding area out front. All sorts of odd things pop up and grow there. Recently a vine started growing that I knew had to be a member of the squash family. I recognized the vining characteristics, the leaf shape and most importantly the flower structure and color. I just had no idea what exactly it was. I've been occasionally checking for fruit, but I never expected this. My hand is in the picture for scale...

Yes, it's a baby watermelon! Imagine our surprise.

Now onto knitting content. This includes stash enhancement, works in progress and gratuitous cat pictures, complements of Grey (a.k.a. Princess Plumeria because she has a very plumy tail, and I just love the word plumeria, which is a kind of flower.)

From top to bottom, Grey checks out the sock yarns from Spinning Bunny. They are 50% merino and 50% tencel. They have a very lovely sheen to them. I can't wait to start using them. Grey was very wiggly, and I caught her briefly not blocking the yarns from the camera. Needless to say, I put the yarns up right after the shot. On the right Grey stops her sun stretching long enough to sniff one of the needles on Keith's sweater. I'm slowly making progress as I do a few rounds each night. I forgot to photograph his sock that I'm also knitting. Last night everything I knitted on was for Keith. He should feel very special.

Here on the left we have my second Cherry Tree Hill sock that I'm doing toe up. I believe I wrote a short post about how taking copious notes while working on the first sock doesn't do a darn bit of good if I neglect to even look at them before starting the second sock. I have frogged the entire toe once because obviously I didn't check my notes. Second time's a charm in this case. On the right are 2 sock yarns from Toasty. You can't read it well at all since I took the photos later in the morning than I usually do, so I had to contend with the sun on the stone bench. The lower yarn is named "Olive Oil for Eve." All the Toasty sock yarns are named after foods you can put on toast. Anyone who has eaten at the Macaroni Grill knows that warm bread and olive oil with pepper can spoil your dinner faster than Superman can outfly that speeding bullet.

I did spend a little time on Etsy this morning. I found a sock knitting bag there last night that I decided I couldn't live without. I had to visit another artist too that does these cute tiny little pictures. I know some of you may not consider it "real" art, but I just love it. So check out Ashley White Jacobsen and White Willow.

In less than 2 hours it will have been an entire week since we had to take Brownie on her final trip to the vet. Keith mentioned that earlier today and said he missed her. My feelings about Brownie are mixed. This is nothing new - they've been mixed for about 17 1/2 years. Brownie has caused me a lot of worry over the years. She used to run off for several days at a time, coming back after I was almost reconciled to the fact she was gone or dead. She would climb trees and get stuck, usually 30 or 40 or more feet up. I was outside some nights at 1 a.m. talking her out of trees. She would climb a different tree and get stuck on the roof. I would go stand on a chair and hold a laundry basket on my head for her to leap into (she always did!) On one hand I feel relief that I don't have to worry about her anymore. On the other hand, I really do miss the terror she once was.

Another emotion that you have to deal with when making that decision for a pet is was my timing right? It absolutely is the right decision to make, but I find that I second guess the timing. I had no questions at all about Ripper. He was ready to go. I find I've wondered a little bit about Brownie. Not much, but just a little. This isn't rational or logical, because given the facts the decision absolutely was right. I have this tiny little part of me that thinks, well, if we had done the surgery... I'm intelligent enough to know that bit of doubt is also the part of me that really misses Browniedamnit!

On that note I need to run outside and see what Keith is doing. I asked him to refill the birdbath. All of North Georgia is on a total watering ban. We haven't watered any of our plants in months (and it shows). I do, however, fill up the birdbaths once or twice a week, depending upon rate of evaporation. Wildlife suffers in the drought, and it's my duty to provide drinking water for birds, bunnies, squirrels, chipmunks, feral cats and possums. I'm guessing the bats I see swooping around at dusk get enough from the insects they catch. Maybe the bats use the birdbaths at night. Wouldn't it be so cool to see a bat or an owl at the birdbath? I left insects off the list, but they need water too. I'm not sure how to provide if for them in a way that they don't drown in birdbath. Let's be honest, I'm not worried at all if the yellowjackets get enough water.

Friday, September 28, 2007

How could I forget this?

One of the other knit shops is having Cat Bordhi come and give some workshops! I know this means nothing if you are not a knitter, but she belongs to a small group of highly original thinkers in the knitting world. The scientist in me would love to see her brain at work. How she comes up with what she does is a mystery. And I'll say this, she would be just as original and groundbreaking in whatever field she were in.

I'm not sure her website does her justice. Let me just say that I almost immediately signed up for one of her workshops. Yarn Harlot was great, but Cat is on a whole other level.

Questions of ownership

Have you ever really stopped to think who owns who in the human cat relationship? Those of you who live with cats know what I'm talking about. There's really no question at all, is there? Cats own their humans absolutely and expect total obedience. May the ancient Egyptian cat goddesses take pity on the poor humans who think otherwise.

This has become even more apparent this past week as Keith and I realize we have one less mistress to serve. A terminally ill pet becomes a focus of your life, whether you realize it or not. (And you think that's bad- having a terminally ill close relative is an even more powerful focus. We've been there/done that too.) As much as we miss Brownie, I've noticed that it seems more peaceful here. We're no longer on deathwatch. As for my other senior kitties, I'm making appointments on Monday morning to confirm their health. I think other than some arthritis, they are both ok.

I've been asked about the yarn named after me. It's not quite as flattering as it sounds. Beth had suggested a color combination to our dyer, and the dyer named that particular yarn after Beth. When Arlene saw it, she told the dyer that she and I both wanted yarns named after us. I am thrilled that the dyer did make it in colors that I really like (she's a great gal), but I didn't do anything outstanding to get a yarn color named for me. I know - that's not a great tale. I'll have to read some epic hero's quest and come up with a better one.

One more thing. You absolutely must check this out on my favorite site - Stuff on my cat.
According to the cat's slave, this is one very lucky shot. This has not been photoshopped. It was caught in midjump, the human being in the right place at the right time with the camera. Enjoy.

Monday, September 24, 2007


I thought I'd feel really sad today, but I feel empty, wrung out and numb. I guess I got all the sobbing out of my system yesterday at the Dekalb Gwinnett Animal Emergency Clinic. Yeah, numb is how I feel.

Even though Brownie rarely left the kitchen, she occupied a very large part of my consciousness these past few months. If you look through the blog, I've been blogging about her illness and mortality a lot. To have someone you've been so focused on for so long suddenly gone does leave you feeling empty. She and Pixel are my first cats. I came from a relatively pet-free childhood due to the various allergic people in my family. I received Brownie and Pixel from a co-worker who had rescued a pregnant stray. They've been with me since they were pretty tiny, maybe 6-8 weeks old. Since 1989.

At least I'm off work today, so I have time to grieve without having to put on a cheerful face while greeting customers. I can be a hermit and spend all day watching Futurama if I want to while cuddling one of the healthy varmints. (And yes, I will tackle my laundry too.) That's all for now.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fare thee well, Brownie.

Today was the day we've been dreading. I had to work today, and that certainly didn't help matters any at all.

This morning I noticed Brownie's eye looked odd. This is the one that had the original hemorrage. It looked slightly swollen to me. I wasn't sure about it though, and other than that she seemed quite as usual for her current state.

A little later Keith asked me if I thought her eye looked wierd. By now it was noticeably swollen. We decided that he would take her to the Emergency Animal Clinic while I went to work. After all, it was too late for me to get someone to cover for me. I figured he would need some reinforcement since I've been the one who was there for both April and Ripper's final trip to the vet. I got to work and called Daphne, leaving her a message.

In the meantime, Keith couldn't find Grey. He knew she was outside, and we can't go off and leave her locked out. She's a panicky sort of cat, the proverbial fraidy cat. She would shred the front screens and who knows what else in her frantic state. Keith looked for her. By the time he found her, he decided to wait for me to get home.

I had a feeling when I saw her eye as I left for work that there were probably 2 options. One, surgery to remove the eye. Two, it was time for the final trip to the vet.

We took her to the EAC and had a really wonderful vet. She examined Brownie and offered her opinions about what we could do. Dr. Bell was very compassionate to all of us. She agreed that it was probably time to let Brownie go. She mentioned those things that we hadn't really thought of, such as even if we wanted to do the eye surgery on Brownie, would she survive it? Would she be able to heal afterwards?

We had made the decision pretty much before we even took her to the vet. Her health was deteriorating. She very rarely went outside anymore. She barely ever left the kitchen anymore. I was amazed to see her outside one day last week. Having a terminal pet (or relative) leaves you in that low level anxiety all the time. Is today the day it will happen? For us, today was that day.

I leave you with memories I have of Brownie when she was young and a complete terror. I wish I had digital pictures, but they are all film and have to be scanned in. I was always very protective of my kitties, and I don't like to let them run around outside that much. Brownie became insufferable, and for several years she would go out every night during the warmer months. Keith and I (but mostly me since I wake up earlier) had to get used to seeing what dead things awaited us each day. Brownie was an extremely prolific hunter. Some weeks I would receive dead squirrels 6 days in a row. She brought us beheaded bunnies (ugh!). For years we had no chipmunks in our yard or the neighbors because she and Pixel were relentless. Those 2 would not suffer a rodent within their territory. (BTW - Pixel is still quite spry.) Brownie would have made a most excellent barn cat. Anyone with a barn or sheds would have been thrilled to have this pinnacle of feline ferocity. And although we called her things like Browniedamnit and the Brown Menace, we will really miss her.

Did you know?

Hummingbirds are actually quite talkative little birds. When I sit outside and watch them at the feeder, I have found that they chirp. A lot. It's a very quick chirp. I'll have to search the web and see if I can find a recording for you.

I'm thrilled that with the cooler weather the owl is back. OK, maybe the owl was here all summer, but when it's 80 at night I don't have the windows open, nor do I sit outside. The other night I heard my usual owl, followed by some very strange sounds. I'm not sure if my owl was trying to hoot with its mouth full of yummy rodent or if another species of owl was passing through. We've had several species fly through over the years

Several years ago on a cold night about 10 p.m., Keith was running to pick up a lottery ticket. (We don't play unless the pot is really large). He had just left the house when he called me and told me to come to the other side of the street quickly. Bring a box, he said.

As he was driving along, he happened to cross the path of a diving screech owl. The poor thing crashed headlong into the side window and was lying in a heap in the street. My dear husband had parked his truck, turned on the hazards and was standing in the street over the owl so no one would hit it. Luckily our street is not a heavily travelled one, but I know he would have protected that owl even if it were busier.

I had picked up a pair of leather work gloves and a cat carrier. I scooped up the owl and took it home. With a potentially injured owl in the box, what does a person do? Call the emergency animal clinic, of course. We took the owl, and it just so happened that one of the techs who worked there also worked at the raptor rehabilitation center. She took the owl out of the crate. (She let me pet it - I'd been dying to. I just love owls.) She said the owl looked like it had injured it eye area. Maybe a head fracture.

Unfortunately at the time I never thought to get more information from her so I could follow up on the owl. I left it in her capable hands and wondered from time to time how it was doing.

Last year when Grey went on a baby rabbit catching rampage and brought me an entire litter of baby bunnies, I had a chance to wonder about my owl again. Here I was with baby rabbits, and I found a nearby vet that would take them. In return, it was suggested that I make a donation to a local wildlife rehabilitation facility. I had no problem at all with that and made a donation that I thought was less than I would have if I'd won the lottery all those years ago, but seemed quite generous to the vet staff. The mascot for this organization is a screech owl that had been injured in a car crash and was now blind! I've been meaning to go there and find out if this is my owl. Here's the link for Atlanta Wild Animal Rescue Effort.

So I'm a sucker for wildlife, which is how I've found out that hummingbirds chirp, especially when a cardinal flies too close to them. I currently have the hummingbird feeder on the same pole as the suet feeder (the downy woodpeckers and hummers seem to ignore each other.) I think as fall winds into winter, and the hummers have migrated on, I'll move the feeder so that next spring they aren't as bothered by the songbirds. The songbirds ignore the hummers, but songbirds are so active and frantic sometimes that the hummingbirds just can't enjoy their meal.

Yes, there will be more knitting content for those of you wondering later today. I have finished my red scarf and need to photograph it. I will also post a picture of "Olive Oil for Eve", the Toasty Yarn that is named for moi. When I saw it I thought it was a lovely color, but not as olive green as I normally wear. It was funny when the dyer came in, as one of the first things she said was (and I'm paraphrasing), "I know it's not as olive as it should be for you, Eve, but it's just so pretty." I wholeheartedly agree. I can't wait to knit it up.

If you look carefully in the picture that includes me at the Yarn Harlot, you can see I'm working on Keith's sweater.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

My dreams are getting so strange...

Ok, a bit of background info may be neccessary here. Yesterday I was trying to remember some of the Spanish I learned when I took it in elementary school & junior high. It would be very helpful to speak Spanish, so I was straining my brain while seeing if I could remember much. That must have done something to the language center of my brain because I was dreaming in German last night. How wierd is that? I don't remember anything about the dream at all except that it was in German. Yes, I took it for 2 years in college and could actually read it even if I couldn't speak it that well. The brain is truly amazing.

As for Yarn Harlot, I had a fabulous time on Wed. night. I read her blog. I've read her books. I thought it was great that she was coming to Atlanta. I did debate about going though. She was appearing in Virginia Highlands, and I know some of you who may be reading this live there or love to hang out there. To me, being the child of the suburbs, I find it a big pain in the ass. OK, the parking is the part that's the pain, and there's usually nothing down there that I want to see or visit badly enough to mess with the parking situation. So I debated it. Then I had an inspiration. Could I convince Keith to be my chauffeur for the evening? He agreed, and before we knew it, we had several others with us. He's a great guy for driving all us women down there and picking us up. (Honestly, he's just a great guy)

Stephanie was very funny. Her delivery and comic timing were great. The Hilan Theatre where she spoke was filled with loud, rowdy, happy knitters. We got to see the traveling sock in person, and if you go look at her blog, you can see me in the front row. I am very glad that Kim was able to book Stephanie in Atlanta.

So, what else is going on here, you may (or may not) ask? Not a whole helluva lot. Summer has briefly returned, as it does every year, covering us with humidity and making us long for the cool nights of only a few days ago. The equinox is official tomorrow, making tomorrow the first day of fall. One of these crystal clear days will soon pull me from whatever it is I'm supposed to be doing, and we'll head out for a day hike in the mountains.

In the meantime you'll find me covered in mosquito bites as I continue to toil pulling weeds or just sit outside watching the woodpeckers and hummingbirds that come to the feeders. I've got another hummingbird feeder, so now I can keep one out all the time and still change them every other day.

And most importantly of all, today is Brett's birthday, along with our favorite hobbits, Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. Happy Birthday to all!

And before I forget, Brownie has been a little more active these past few days. I'm finding that I have to make sure to turn on lights instead of shuffling around in the dark because she has left her favorite sleep spot under the curio cabinet and has been sleeping the middle of the kitchen doorway. When I got catfood this past week, I took a list of all the flavors she likes and bought only those. Maybe the venison is just what the ancient cat needs.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I'm infamous!

Check out lightwading for the unadventerous in my sidebar. I'm one of the "evil" yarn shop employees. And yes, I've also been called the yarn devil for tempting people with new and luscious yarns in a horrible attempt to part them from their money. Mwahaha!

I'll have to write more tonight. Yarn Harlot was here, and I was on the front row. When she posts about Atlanta, you may be able to see me in some of the pictures of the crowd.

I also have a locally dyed yarn named after me. Yesterday was a very exciting day. More later.

Monday, September 17, 2007

It's Monday...

Another morning spent running around doing most of the errands for the week. I have a couple to do tomorrow because in one case the store isn't open on Mondays, and in the other, I just decided to go tomorrow.

I found I couldn't face knitting last night, nor was there anything I wanted to watch on TV. I started roaming the bookshelves, looking for the right book. I didn't know what it was, but I sure knew what it wasn't. I found this one, The Alienist, by Caleb Carr. It was one of the first books the bookclub read, and I enjoyed it. If you look at the reviews on Amazon, you'll see people either love it or hate it. Not much middle ground there.

We didn't have a real mop, just a Swiffer wet-jet, which works pretty well most of the time. It doesn't do a whole lot on ground-in Georgia mud on a white floor. Keith told me yesterday that if I bought a real mop today, he would mop the floor for me using the bleach. It turns out that it was a good thing I didn't mop yesterday since Brownie missed the pee pads again last night. Now I have a whole, fresh bottle of bleach and a brand new mop that looks very scrubby, so he can tackle the floor tonight. (or maybe tomorrow morning would be better. I've got to figure out too just how many pee pads do I have to put out for her. It looks like she's getting her feet on them and just hanging her butt over the edge. Poor old looney cat.) In the meantime thank goodness for things like the Chlorox disinfecting sheets. Those are so handy for small areas.

I need the temperature to drop a few more degrees. I am covered with mosquito bites on my ankles and arms from the yardwork. I had checked the CDC website when West Nile Virus first became an issue here in the south. What I found is that in a healthy adult, the symptoms are pretty mild, like a cold. I figure I'm probably okay. I may have even been already exposed to West Nile, so I'm not worried about that. It's the darn itching that's driving me crazy. My upper arms look awful with all the bites, and I have a lot more yardwork to do.

Gotta go get dinner in the oven.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Ahhhhh. Cooler.

Finally some cooler weather is here. I feel more lively, as do the critters. Everyone is frisky today, racing up trees and stalking bugs.

Brownie is in her usual sleep spot. She seems back to normal. We think it was a bit of constipation due to eating too much kibble and not drinking enough water.

I've done some yardwork this morning. I'd still be out pulling weeds, but I've run out of yard waste bags. I usually hibernate on Sundays, so I'll be at Home Depot getting more bags tomorrow. I can still get some yardwork done before the yard waste pickup later this week.

That's all for now. Just wanted to let everyone know that Brownie is better. (Although I do have to mop the kitchen with bleach today. She missed the pee pads twice last night.) Such fun.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

More on Brownie

I've had a chance now that I'm home from work to look up bloody stools in cats. Although constipation is one of the options, there were actually around 6-8 other potential causes. Several of them most definitely could apply here. Change in diet is one of them, and she's been so picky I've been changing her cat food at every meal. Another one was eating people food. I figure at 18 if she wants a little cheese or smoked turkey, she's allowed. We'll watch and see if this is an isolated case (it's happened once yesterday and once today.) Keep your fingers crossed for all of us. That said, she's still perky and having a totally Pavlovian response when I walk into the kitchen. You know the one - Meow really loud, and the human, if properly trained, will open a can of food. Didn't work this time since I know for a fact Keith fed her 2 hours ago.

Terminal blues

There has been a new development in Brownie's health. A bit gross, so scroll down to the next paragraph if you are easily grossed out. There is now some blood in her stool.

I am in a state of - well, I'm not sure how to articulate exactly what it is. It is the moral or ethical or personal exercises that unfortunately some of us will have to face when a loved one, be it human or animal, has a terminal condition. True, life is a terminal condition, but I'm speaking of an illness.

My biggest concern became Brownie's comfort and happiness. I want her to enjoy what remains of her life. I have spent a lot of money at the vet since March to determine what was wrong, and what, if anything, could be done about it. I buy her human medications at the pharmacy and pay full price for them. Even though they are generic, they are not cheap. She eats holistic canned catfood now, and when she got picky about eating the same couple of food choices, I've picked a much wider variety for her. In the process, I've found she really likes venison. She also gets baby food meat each night since we've found it's the best way to hide her medication. The other kitties have enjoyed these benefits also.

I'm still not ready to tell Brownie good-bye. She still enjoys eating, so I know she's not ready to bid this mortal coil farewell. I'm very concerned about the blood in her stool, but is it just a bit of constipation since she sleeps 23.5 hours or day, or should I be more worried? Do I pack her up, let her endure the trauma of an exam, as well as the trip to and from the vet, to discover what is going on? I know she's terminal. It's only a matter of time. At this point, can my vets (whom I think are wonderful) do anything at all?

I know (from personal experience - thank goodness I wasn't the one who had to make that decision) that there comes a time in some cancer patients where they get palliative therapy and nothing else. I think I am there with Brownie. I don't think there is anything I can do except to keep her comfortable and let her enjoy what's left of her life. I find I've been working towards this over the summer. This is not an easy choice.

That's all for now.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wierd Science

and other oddities.

I've been perusing the net and found several things that I thought were funny and/or interesting.

Tots aren't smarter than apes, just... more social. Yes, someone spent money to see if human toddlers were smarter than apes. My first thought was, whoa, waste of money, but it actually looks interesting.

Fly George Jetson's car. Check out the Moller M200x

Global dimming. Who knew that particulate pollution was actually slowing global warming?

I added this one because the more I learn about cephalapods, the more I think they are some of the most fascinating creatures on earth. They are absolutely incredible.

As for us, Keith has this week off and has done a few of those "honey do" jobs for me. I once again have working lights in the basement. The yard is mowed. He actually has done some of the errand running for me too.

As for me, the countdown to the equinox continues. 10 more days. The temperature is dipping into the mid-60's at night, so it's much more bearable. Soon the days will be crisp, and I will feel the unfortunate urge to contribute to global warming by taking a drive into the north Georgia mountains. There is nothing like fresh boiled peanuts on a cool fall day.

I've used most of the first ball of yarn for my red scarf. I've been wondering if the basketweave will relax and look better after I wash it. I haven't used much acrylic yarn since I started knitting, so I can't anticipate how it will look or react. I'm carrying on with it even though I'm not 100% happy with it. Hopefully the recipient will like it.

That's all for tonight. I got up early to go to the gym, and tomorrow I have to get up early to drop off my van for some recall work. It's always something, isn't it?

Sunday, September 9, 2007


Last Sunday I posted that the dryer had a broken belt. That meant no laundry since we don't have a clothesline out back. (It may be against code in our area too.) I usually try to get all the laundry done on one day so I don't have to fool with it again. That didn't happen this past week. I have a mountain of it to do today once Keith gets the new belt installed. He's doing that right now, even as I type this. I had thought about going to yoga tonight, and that may be out of the question after a whole day of schlepping laundry up and down the stairs. However, since I am currently out of both work clothes and workout clothes, I won't complain about the schlep.

This morning I tackled some of the front yard. It really looked like hell. My typical unit of measurement of yard work accomplished is how many yard waste bags have I filled. This may not be the best way to measure since some weeds fill the bags more quickly than others. For example, when pulling Virginia Creeper and other vining weeds, you can fill a bag pretty fast. When pulling wild violets you have a lot of work to fill a bag. I have filled 2 bags so far today. The sun is coming up over the house and into the yard where I was working, so I won't do any more until late this afternoon. After having that skin cancer, I avoid the sun almost as much as Dracula does.

So that's my Sunday. I've done a bit on my Red Scarf. I forgot to take a picture this morning before I posted, so you'll have to wait until later this week.

Oh yes, I forgot to mention we've also planned the thrilling fun of washing Sassy, then playing the game of catch a cat and put Advantage on it before you get clawed to bits. Don't you wish you were here?

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Shocking scientific announcement!

Yes, you're reading it here! All the astronomers, cosmologists and theologists can stop their looking. I have discovered the center of the universe, and it can be found right here!
Are you ready?
Here it is:

Yes indeed, that is the center of the universe, sleeping on my kitchen table.

In other news, Pixel decided it was time to come back into the house. It's been getting into the mid-60's F at night, and that must be too chilly for her. Also, I don't give her any canned kitty food or half and half when she's outside. She demanded her half and half right after she polished off some yummy catfood this morning.

I realized I've been remiss on my charitable donations so far this year (with having all the vet bills). No vet bills in August, so I can make a donation or two. If I send in some $$ to PBS now, do you think it have any affect on shortening the pledge drive? I guess I'd have to send in some big bucks, and that won't happen unless I win the Mega Millions.

The temperatures will be comfortable enough for me to resume some TNR pretty soon too. I didn't want to have Mr. Chubbikins trying to recover when the heat was so terrible. I'll get the trap and get him fixed in the next few weeks.

I'll tackle my red scarf again tonight. Right now it's just a ball of red yarn waiting to go. Since it's much thicker than I normally use, it should go pretty quickly. I think I've posted a link if you want to check it out and maybe let an orphan know that he or she is not forgotten.

Only 16 more days until fall is officially here. We'll have to look quickly to see any autumnal color. With the drought here the leaves will probably go from green to brown, then fall off overnight.

Have a great Sunday, everyone. I'll be tackling some of the weedy overgrowth in the yard while trying to avoid getting poison ivy for the 3rd time this year.

Friday, September 7, 2007

The waiting is the hardest part

When I came home from work tonight, the furry devils were all demanding immediate feeding as usual. All except for Brownie, whom I didn't see. I checked her sleep spot, at which point she awoke and joined the feeding frenzy.

I find I've reached sort of an odd state of low level, constant anxiety. It's barely there, but when I see Aunt Bev has called my first thought is "I hope nothing's happened to Grandma." Sometimes when Keith calls I wonder "Is Brownie ok?"

Honestly, since I turned 30 several long years ago, I've been mostly ok with aging. Ok, I'm seeing the loss of elasticity in my post 40 jawline, and I am starting to wonder just how much plastic surgery would cost. The worst part about aging is that you don't do it alone, and those you've known and love start to pass away. I'm very lucky that I still have grandmothers, but one has had multiple strokes and the other has Alzheimer's. One still knows who I am, the other does not. I have 3 aging cats. Brownie is the only one who is really enfeebled, but Scooter is much less mobile than he once was, and Pixel is more neurotic and odd. In fact, Pixel once again is outside. She complains about it when she shows up for feeding, but she keeps her distance so that I can't grab her and bring her back in.

Keith has a cousin who is a few years older than we are. Nearly 2 years ago he was diagnosed with liver cancer. In the meantime he continued to travel and live life to the fullest while they tried to reduce the size of the tumor in order to operate. We heard tonight that the cancer has spread, and he's been in and out of the hospital recently. We plan to go visit next week, if he's up to having visitors.

On a much lighter note, Alien vs. Predator 2 is scheduled to be released in December. Yes, the first one is really funny to me (it's not supposed to be). Be ready for cheesy sci-fi.

Speaking of which, I've been watching season one of War of the Worlds, the Fox tv series from the 80's. Keith and I really enjoyed it when it came out then. It's not always easy to knit to since I do have to watch it. Fun special effects that include aliens dissolving into piles of smoking goo. It was (and still can be) kind of creepy, but for someone who stayed up late on weekends watching 50's sci-fi and The Nightstalker, it's must see TV.
As for the knitting, I've set everything aside so I can work on the red scarf. My cable didn't work very well on the acrylic yarn. It was too big and made the yarn misbehave too much. I'm thinking now of a basketweave so I won't be totally bored, and the scarf will mostly lie flat. Not much progress on Keith's sweater.
Here's a random picture of Scooter dozing in the sun this past spring.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

More on Supernova

After I posted earlier today, I did a search on Supernova. Apparently only 2 seasons (12 episodes) have been made. The reviewer I stumbled across said something about the show being cute, but that science and scientists aren't that funny. Actually, they are pretty funny, but they're so out there in the way they think that probably most people don't understand them. Of course, I spend my Tuesday nights watching Nova on PBS, so I've seen some pretty funny astrophysicists and microbiologists. The truth is that scientific humor is not for everyone.

If you get a chance, watch it and decide for yourself.

Finished CTH sock #1

For those of you who are not sock knitters, I've finished the first sock of a pair knitted in Cherry Tree Hill yarn. Who knows what I've done with the label. It's probably in the big bin of sock yarn. And here it is....

The lighting isn't what it should be, but the colors are very close to reality. This one was knitted toe up, and I used a variation of Wendy's Russian bind-off. I realized that I was knitting 2 together through the back loop, and I decided I liked the way it looked.

On to the sweater...It's knit in Galway Wool by Plymouth. It's a tweedy charcoal grey. The pattern calls for black, but I liked this a lot better. After all, one must enjoy what she's knitting. As you can see, I've almost finished with the first ball of yarn. You must also remember that one round has 238 stitches, so when I do 6 rounds, I've knit 1428 stitches. I worked on this for awhile last night, but finally put is aside to finish the sock. Sock # 2 is already started.

The fall sweater drive is still going on at work. I helped steer a woman away from the acrylic to the Silky Wool, which is a lovely blend of wool and silk. I recently purchased 7 balls of it myself for a raglan cardigan knit from the neck down. I think her husband will be happier with the pattern and the yarn I suggested instead of beige acrylic.

We collect community service knitting at the store. Since I've been there we've been working with first Chemochic and now Chemoflage. We knit and collect chemo caps for women. Of the many other charities out there is one called the Red Scarf Project. Scarves are knitted for young adults who are orphans. They are distributed at Valentine's Day. I've seen other bloggers who are involved with this, so I'm somewhat familiar with it. I've not participated before since most of my charity knitting last year was for Chemoflage ( I knitted 7 hats last year) or for the Atlanta Knitting Guild (I knitted some parts for the teddy bear sweaters.) I have in the past sent items to Afghans for Afghans also. This will be the first time I've been involved in the Red Scarf Project. I think it's a great thing to do - I just really dislike knitting scarves. They are soooo boring. I shall be spending some time looking for an interesting pattern so I don't mind knitting 5 feet of bulky yarn. I'll probably do a cable, a pattern I've not done before so I can learn something new. If you want to check out the charity, here's the link... Red Scarf Project

That's all the news. Ok, one more bit. Some of you know that I spend Saturday nights watching the Britcoms and knitting. (Both of these drive Keith crazy sometimes.) GPTV has changed the lineup once again and added something called Supernova. It's about Australian astrophysicists in the bush at the Royal Australian Observatory. It is hilarious, and quite honestly when I was in college I seriously thought about astronomy instead of biology as a major. That's why I love this man almost as much as I loved Carl Sagan.

Gotta go. The belt on the dryer broke yesterday, and there are halfway dried clothes in there. I've got to hang them on the drying rack outside before they get sour.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

It's here!

September, that is. The days are getting shorter, and boy! People are buying wool in mass quantities again. I was all alone at work yesterday, my co-worker having to attend a funeral, and people are in sweater knitting mode again. I helped with the makin's of 4 sweaters yesterday. Sure, there were sockknitters too, but like I said, sweater knitters buy in mass quantities. You have to when making a sweater. (We won't talk about the 12 balls of Plymouth Galway for Keith's sweater or the 12 balls of Silk Garden languishing in the closet for me to make the sweater on the back of Cornelia's book from this past winter.)

Anyway, we've had rain almost every day this week and cooler temps. Thank goodness the dog days of August are over.

I've got to grab breakfast before heading to the wool mines. The Jojoland trunk show came yesterday. It has some luscious cashmere and a gorgeous lace shawl. Arlene is ordering the shawl pattern and perhaps more cashmere. The cashmere colors we have right now are either all pastels (yuck) or not-for-me jewel brights. I have lots of restocking to do also since 3 of the sweaters were sold after 4:00 p.m. yesterday.