Wednesday, April 30, 2008

This is interesting

I copied this from Elena23's blog. I thought it was interesting, and I've read more of them than I expected. Luckily, I don't give a rat's ass about having a book on the shelf to make me look smart. I'd rather sell them and pick up something I want to read. Anyway, have some fun with this.

Here are the top 106 books most often marked as "unread" by LibraryThing’s users. As in, they sit on the shelf to make you looksmart or well-rounded.
Bold the ones you've read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion - I've read this several times. I like reading Middle Earth's entire history.
Life of Pi : a novel - ugh. Just could not finish this.
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey - I know the story, and I think I may have read it.
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov (pieces assigned for class)
Guns, Germs, and Steel - actually watched him on PBS & mean to read this
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Iliad - I can't remember - may have read in school
The Time Traveler's Wife
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales - I do have a copy of this, and I always plan to read more. Some are quite fun
The Historian : a novel - I think it has vampires. It's on my to read list
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange (and the movie has Malcolm McDowell)
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
Angels & Demons
The Inferno (and Purgatory and Paradise)
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles - freshman English in college. Hated this book.
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay - actually quite good. Both Keith & I have read it.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces - love this book.
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter - heartily dislike this one too.
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon - love this book.
Oryx and Crake : a novel
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers - I'd much rather watch Oliver Reed & Michael York

Not so hard after all.

I made enough for Sassy to have 3-4 meals yesterday. I used one of Dr. Pitcairn's recipes with info from William Cusick's site. She has delicious oatmeal with turkey thigh, chicken hearts, yellow squash, broccoli and wheat germ oil. Her skin looks better, and her ear has improved a lot. I dosed her with tissue salts yesterday, using one specifically to reduce inflammation, and it worked. How cool is that? We will continue to doctor her up with those, and I shall order the lab book to get better nutritional info for her. I'll have to give her supplements, and I need to know which ones and in what amounts. I know it sounds like a lot of work, but it will be better in the long run to do this instead of vet trips for hot spots and other Shar Pei related skin issues.

I have done some knitting, but a 2x2 rib on a heathery gray sock on size 1 needles isn't exciting to photograph. I should be turning the heel soon, and that makes better pictures.

Until then, just a random picture. Here you see Lily helping Keith get packed to go work out.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Thank goodness for Dr. Pitcairn

During commercials last night I perused my book by Dr. Pitcairn, Complete Guide to Natural Health in Dogs & Cats. My copy is actually from 1982, so I'll order the new and updated one later today. This book has been very helpful over the years, and I saw that I was basically already treating Sassy's ear with the right oils. His are a little different from what my essential oils book said, but this morning her ear is less red and inflamed. The area she was chewing on yesterday looks better too. Woohoo for having the right reference books on the shelf!

I decided since she is showing improvement that instead of rushing to the vet this morning that I would do the thing I've always dreaded doing and start making homemade dogfood for her. So much that I've read over the years concerning any health issue in pets seems to stem from feeding commercial pet food. I feed her very good commercial petfood, one of Nutro's, but in the end I wonder if it's the best for her.

I've been online this morning checking William Cusick's website for some basic information. Sassy is part Labrador Retriever and part Chinese Shar Pei. The foods that are good for labs are not necessarily good for Shar Peis and vice versa. This makes finding foods that will nourish her a little more difficult, but it can be done. As for Sassy, she already enjoys Scooter's liver day since she gets the liver water when it's cooled down, so I think she'll be in hog heaven getting basically human food. From something I read in Dr. Pitcairn's book years ago when I cooked for April and Ripper, most of his recipe's are things you and your pet could actually share. Now I will say that gently cooked chicken hearts are not on my personal menu, but fish and greens I'd gladly share.

I will say this, and this is true in whatever you pursue in life. I have knitters who say they could never do what I do, whether it's knitting cables or calculating yardage amounts or using a Barbara Walker pattern for a knitted sock. I always tell them that they can do it. It just takes practice. The more you do a thing, the better you will be at it. I feel this way about petcare too. In the early days, I would rush them in for any little thing. Now, I have the tools at my disposal to do some research and see if they really do need to go. I am able to build upon past experiences, do research, review the data and make a decision. Results - today I will be able to buy organic veggies, fresh wheatgerm oil and hormone-free, free range chicken parts for homemade dogfood. I personally can do things to improve Sassy's health, and my vet is an integral part of that. I will confess that I'm not looking forward to cooking for the dog since I can't always prepare meals for me and Keith. Towards that end I'll look for some alternatives for her too. Maybe I can prep food and freeze it? Maybe we'll all be eating the same dinner?

Another thank goodness is that my vet uses holistic treatments as well as regular medicine, and she may have some good alternatives for diet. Daphne cooks homemade food for both her dogs, and doctors Pat & Sasher haved helped her tweak ingredients over the years. I'm grateful to have so many resources available to me.

Have a great day, and think of me, slaving over a hot stove. (Although that beats mopping any day!)

Monday, April 28, 2008

In which I vent about pets

I am so lucky to have a hubby with a pretty flexible schedule. I bet 99 days out of 100 his schedule can accomodate changes, and this includes the all important spontaneous vet visits.

Today was day 100. We both had places to be at pre-appointed times, with no wiggle room. Today is the day when I notice that Sassy is shaking her head. Keith suggests since she hasn't been up very long that maybe she slept on her ear, and it was bothering her. (You know this has happened to you. You fall into that really deep sleep, and when you wake up, your ear has been mashed and hurts like mad.) Good try by K, but as Grey had some ear problems last summer, I just didn't think that was it. I went to Sassy and picked up her ear. Inflammation, some slight swelling and moisture. Great. Inflexible schedule, I'm running out of time, and there was no way to get her to the vet and back. I decided to clean her ear with the ear cleaner sent home for Grey, give her an aspirin and then swab her ear with a concoction of essential oils diluted in oil. I figure we can get her to the vet tomorrow since it won't be that Day 100, and I had to do something for her ear before I left.

I'm doing ok on time. I've taken out the trash, gotten the dog doctored, showered, and my schedule allows for make-up and getting dressed. I'd better start looking for Lily. After all, she loves to play in the rain, and I haven't been able to locate her yet. I look out the door and hear odd squeaking. She's got a bird. I go out, thank goodness I'm still in pj's, and pick up the wet cat. Now I have an injured bird to deal with. I quickly get dressed, forgo make-up, and go back out to look for the bird. It has disappeared. My hope is that it was only shaken up and was able to fly away. My fear is that it was mortally wounded. I looked for it, but it was totally gone. As I've mentioned in an earlier post, hope springs eternal.

I let Sassy back out before I leave, and when I come back up I find that Lily has expressed her displeasure with me by tinkling on the floor in the kitchen.

Tick, tick, tick goes the clock as I clean up kitty tinkle.

Home this afternoon, and poor Sassy has pulled out some of the fur near her tail. She's part Shar Pei, and they have all sorts of skin issues. We've had problems with food allergies with her too. She and I are definitely visiting the vet tomorrow to find out what's going on. Sometimes I really wish the furkids could tell us what is wrong. Of course, it might be things like "I found something only slightly rotten out back and decided to eat it." Or the cats might say "I don't like throwing up outside. Just how uncivilized do you think I am? It's easy enough for you to clean it up from the kitchen floor."

Luckily I can knit and watch Bones and House for the next few hours between dog ear cleaning and other household chores. And this is why I have stash. It seems all of my disposable income lately has gone into building a new wing at the vet's. At least I can knit for the rest of the year from stash. Viva yarn hoarding!

Mmmm, cookie

A little something from the weekend.
The cookie is crocheted. I'll edit this later with pattern details.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Boohoo, no knitting yesterday

I found out the hard way that apparently I'm allergic to the new wonder sunscreen, Helioplex. I got barely any knitting in yesterday as I spent quite a lot of the day in a Benadryl induced sleep. Catching up on sleep is always nice, but it doesn't lend itself to good knitting pics.

Don't let my weird skin reactions stop you from trying newer and more efficient sunscreens. Remember there are all sorts of odd auto immune issues in my family.

Tomorrow is Sunday, so there will be knitting pictures. Hmm, upon going back and reading this, it seems I need some coffee to shake off the Benadryl haze.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Anniversary recap

When I came home from work yesterday, this is what greeted me:

Wow! Was I shocked. See that little blue box? We all know where that's from, and that's what totally surprised me. Tiffany's, and I hadn't even asked for it? The sweetie gave me an Elsa Perretti bracelet with a tiny floating heart. I love her designs, and several years ago I asked for a floating heart necklace. This was before the falling dollar and rampant inflation, back when silver was actually reasonable. I was speechless. I'd show the link, but I am reluctant to know what he paid for it. Sometimes I do get a little tired of keeping the books.

Anyway, that made me feel really weird about the gifts I had for him. A little background here. Keith has always wanted to be rich. I think that was hammered into him from a young age that he needed to be rich. My gift to him was more frivolous, especially since I couldn't buy a Corvette. I got him $20 worth of scratch off lottery tickets and a subscription to The Economist. One of the reporters for The Economist is on Marketplace on NPR as a regular, and we both enjoy listening. Also, it's supposedly read by more CEO's, COO's, etc, than any other financial magazine. Let's face it, I can't afford a vintage Gibson or Les Paul guitar either, and I thought this might be a tool he could use towards earning more money and getting that vintage guitar for himself.

We're actually pretty low-key people, so we went to our favorite Chinese/Japanese restaurant last night. It's Lucky Key/Fujiya. We went to the hibachi table for the show and the melt in your mouth fillet mignon. We had forgotten it was $1 sushi night, so that added to our enjoyment.

Keith had also gotten us a bottle of champagne, but we're saving that for tonight. He had some work to do when we got home last night, and a very early eye doctor's appointment this morning, so we decided to forgo any alcohol induced rowdiness until later. And we're both ok with this. For the record, we met on September 11, 1982. We've been together for a long time, and we're looking forward to the next 20 years.

I promise, knitting content later.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Totally awesome surprise

I've been curious about Wollmeise. Now that I've entered the world of sock knitting with hand-painted and hand-dyed yarns, I'm trying to find and use all these yarns with the cult status. Wollmeise is one of them. Practically impossible to get from either her website or from the Loopy Ewe. I know as I was watching for the Loopy Ewe sneak up a few weeks ago.

However, I happen to know Numma Numma, who has recently become famous in the online world of sock knitting for her yarns. I had shamelessly asked her before the sneak up if she would get any early info since she sells to the Loopy Ewe and is a Loopy Groupie, and she said unfortunately she would not. She knew about my curiosity and desire to own some of this yarn, and last week she told me that she had actually been on the Wollmeise website just after an update. She bought an extra skein for me! How totally wonderful is that? That was such a thoughtful, kind and generous thing for her to do. I'll post a picture of the yarn later this week.

Tomorrow is the big 20 for us. It's pretty weird to think that Scooter has been with us for so much our marriage. He's still pretty spry as his 18th birthday approaches.

As for the possible insect bite, the swelling is still diminishing. I slathered the area with some prescription steroid cream leftover from the horrible poison ivy incident this past fall, covered it with a bandage, and left it until this morning. The inflammation is now confined to the area immediately surrounding the blisters. I plan to coat it well again tonight. Hopefully it will continue to heal, and I won't need a doctor. I must admit to an awful temptation to pop the blisters, but I am behaving and leaving them alone.

Sorry if that grossed any of you out. I think I'll end on that note. I've got a book waiting for me, and I'd like to get to sleep earlier tonight.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Spider bite?

Last evening I noticed a bit of itching between my pinkie and ring finger on my left hand. Not a lot, just enough to be annoying. This morning the area was a little blistery and still itched like mad. Of course, my first thought is how in the world did I get poison ivy there? I haven't pulled weeds in a few days. I wore gloves the whole time. And honestly, that is a strange place to get p.i. from a cat too. I could see if it were on my palm or arm, but between those two fingers? As it got slightly more swollen and blistery today, I decided I must have gotten bitten by something. A spider was my first thought, followed by ants. I plan to watch it and see if it needs a trip to the doctor. I'm hoping that it will heal itself. The acid ants inject (formic, if I remember correctly) does cause blistering, and I would imagine some swelling if the bites are close enough together. Unfortunately, it hasn't been bad enough not to wash dishes or do laundry. That also means I can still knit tonight.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


I just realized that some of you may read my other post from today and get panicky about my LYS. Don't worry. I'm certainly not going anywhere, nor do I think Arlene is retiring. I was merely using these as examples of what could possibly happen and why I need so much stash now.

As of today, I only have one yarn in my stash on Ravelry that doesn't have a picture. I do have some other yarns that I haven't input, but most of them are either acrylics, Sugar & Creme or Peaches & Cream cotton, or leftover bits. In my mind none of that really counts as stash. Technically it may be, but we all have our idiosyncrasies. That's one of the many that I have.

Random thoughts today

I've had another cunning idea about our anniversary. I had always thought by our 20th anniversary we'd be rolling in dough, and I could buy Keith that vintage Corvette he's always wanted. Well, none of that has happened, and I won't tease him with a Matchbox Corvette. Maybe by our 30th. However, I did have another idea for a fun and not horribly expensive gift for him. One that should be amusing and possibly quite memorable. Get your minds out of the gutter. It isn't that.

As for me, I've spent some time this morning taking pictures, uploading to Flickr, tweaking with Picnic and finally adding them to Ravelry. I've gotten pictures for almost all of my stash so that I can look at it and think, oh yeah, I'd forgotten I had that yarn.

I was reading Carat's blog the other day, and I decided to add some random facts about me here.

1. I am fascinated and terrified by tornadoes. One day I really want to go with some stormchasers and see one.

2. I've come up with a great rationalization for my yarn stash. I currently work in a LYS, but at some point in the future, I won't. Don't worry, I have no plans of leaving anytime in the foreseeable future, but things happen. I could win the lottery. Arlene may decide to up and retire to the beach. Life is full of strange possibilities, and I've got to have stash to meet them head on.

I had more when I was thinking about this the other day. I have been rather distracted the past few minutes as Princess Plumy has been feeling most neglected since I won't let her sit on the keyboard and knead whatever body part she can reach. (I'm still a bit injured from a kneading incident the other night. It led to an attempt to trim someone's needle-like claws, which resulted in much biting.)

In the meantime, here's a picture for you. Fighting off having your claws trimmed can be most exhausting. Isn't she the definition of kitty innocence there? Don't be fooled.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

So close

I'm so close to the end of the shawl, but it still feels so far away. I suppose for any large project you get to the point where you wonder just when it will end. I'm not sure I've done anything quite of this magnitude. A pair of socks do have a lot of stitches, but I've gotten to the point where I can see progress on a sock. Yes, this does conflict with a post I made sometime last year about how I could work all evening on a sock and not see anything. Part of that depends on thickness of the yarn, how many stitches, etc, but all this is beside the point. The point being that the end of the shawl is in sight. I should be doing a major happy dance by this weekend.

Next week is a biggie for us. We will be celebrating our 20th anniversary. It hasn't always been wedded bliss. Sometimes it's been far from bliss. What we have learned over the years is to keep talking. We communicate, even when we don't want to sometimes, and that has worked really well. What will we be doing to celebrate? I'm not sure. Keith wants to go out of town, but I've been putting the kibosh (sp) on it. I've had serious reservations about leaving Scooter for any length of time. For right now, no romantic trips. Who am I kidding? Those of you who know us know that we're not really a romantic couple. Champagne and strawberries don't impress me much. A hot tub or hot springs on a cold, crystal clear night with maybe some whisky in hand and woodsmoke drifting from the fire, now that's more like it. Even better if there's snow on the ground. I wouldn't mind a few nights in a mountain cabin, but truthfully, we know Scooter's time is short, and he's a really great cat.

As for anniversary presents, we haven't been much of a present couple either. I have gotten him a little something, that I won't mention here in case he reads my blog. Now, if I had won the lottery last night I would have sent him off to Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp. Remember when Marge sent Homer to one? Yeah, it'd be great to send Keith to one. He'd probably ask Mick Jagger to yell Simpson just like on the show.

Anyway, it's been a great nearly 26 years since we met. Next week we'll probably go celebrate with some sushi. Or maybe Mexican. It's our anniversary, and I'm not dressing up!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Nerd alert

I went over to Gale's house today for her to show me how to do long draft spinning and card fibers. It was so fun, but even more so when I got to play on her computer. I have no need for photoshop, but she does, so I got to teach myself how to do banners & badges for Ravelry. I need some more experience, but it's pretty good for a first try. I helped her get her group on Ravelry set up, and I've gotten the first yarn input too. I must admit that I do miss problem solving on the computer. I will get to have some fun when I teach her how to use QuickBooks. I get to set up a chart of accounts and inventory. Cut me some slack. I spent a lot of time working doing bookkeeping and accounting, and parts of it actually were very fun for me. There is something to be said about sitting in front of a computer and setting up someone's accounts. What was even more fun was a new client whose books were a mess. It's just another sort of puzzle that needs to be solved, and I loved doing it.

As for the spinning, there are reasons I avoid it. I want to do it too, and I certainly don't have the time. I left today with a gorgeous batt, so I'll pull out my wheel and play with the lovely fiber as soon as the shawl is completed. I'm so close to the end of ball 5 on the shawl. I'll be spit-splicing almost immediately when I pick it up tomorrow.

I'd better head off to bed and grab a few hours of sleep. Tomorrow is labor day, and I forgot to get that winning Mega Millions ticket today.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Woohoo for flickr

I've been using flickr for Ravelry, but now I have it linked to my blog. I am so excited since it allows me to edit the pictures more easily.

However, I'm including some directly from my computer this morning too.Here's the prayer shawl in progress. As of this morning it's unblocked size is 27" x 45". I still have a ways to go.
These are front and back photos of the Woolly Boully Meanie sockyarn in the Luna Moth colorway. The color just doesn't photgraph very well, but I love it. It's much more green, the same shade as a luna moth. I ordered it online and was quite surprised when it arrived. I'll admit to some disappointment, but it's grown on me since then.
Here is a photography assistant offering help and supervision.

Shower cat

Shower cat
Originally uploaded by everbork
I heard Keith yelling my name from the shower the other morning. I went to see what the fuss was about, and Lily had gotten into the shower with him. She's fascinated by water and just had to investigate.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

They'll be no tribble at all

I must lay the blame for my obsession with this entirely with the Mad Crocheter. It was bad enough that she has me checking I can has cheezburger several times daily, but now...

You did go look, didn't you? You must. There really is no one quite like Spock.

Yesterday it was 80F, while tomorrow night there are freeze warnings possible. It's too damp outside for me to take any pictures of knitting in progress. I hope by tomorrow morning it will be drier. I have things that must be photographed before you all can go "ooh" and "ahh" like a bunch of Smurfs.

Hmm, a Smurf reference. This is really bad. I'm displaying my sleep deprivation and age all in one shot. We slept with the windows open last night, which was pleasant until a certain kitty decided that 5 a.m. was the time to get hyperactive. This included climbing into and out of the window over my head several times. Sassy also needed out around this time. Between the dog and the cat, my sleep was over.

I returned the hopefully unnecessary yarn for the prayer shawl and used my store credit to get some Jasmine, color Nut, from Louisa Harding. I've found several patterns in Rowan 41 I would like to make, including Bonita. I think Jasmine will make a very lovely Bonita. I do have some changes to make to the pattern. I want to add sleeves since my upper arms are not tank worthy right now.

Anyway, I must go in search of dinner.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Knitting in public again

I've been knitting in public again today. We went for our annual trip to the North Georgia Premium Outlets to get work clothes for Keith. We should be more like normal people and clothes shop for him more often throughout the year, but he finds it to be an ordeal. A few years ago I figured out if he finds something that he likes, then I must encourage him to get more than one. This is especially true for shoes, which seem to be an even more odious chore.

I'm not even sure when he discovered that the Gap khakis are appropriate for work and fit comfortably, but that is one stop where we can depend on getting him outfitted. Last year we discovered the Haggar outlet. I'll admit that it gets easier each year, but I still have to be there to help him decide if things fit properly. That's where the knitting comes in. Thank goodness for sock knitting. If I have to hang around while he tries on lots of clothing, I'm no longer wondering if I should pull my hair out strand by strand or in big clumps. Nope, I'm as happy as a clam working away on my sock. Where ever you are, if you're knitting on a sock, people are going to talk to you. Or in the case of pre-teens who are too cool, they'll whisper questions to a younger sibling who has no problem asking them.

Did I score anything on today's shopping expedition, you ask? Actually, I did. I bought new summer tees at Tommy Hilfiger and Ann Taylor. All of my tees are at least 18 months old, and many of them look it. When the black shirts look sad and gray, time to replace them. (Alright, I'm actually planning to re-dye them. Just haven't gotten around to it yet. I also need to shop more regularly throughout the year for clothing instead of buying only books and yarn.)

What else did I get? I got a day with Keith that was fun. He wasn't on the phone with work the entire day. He wasn't grumpy or irritable. We've got the shopping down, so it was pretty painless. To quote Mastercard, it was priceless. Tomorrow, back to reality, but I'm going to enjoy the rest of today.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Scooter update

I want to thank everyone who has asked about Scooter. He has been so frisky after his surgery that you wouldn't know we'll be celebrating his 18th birthday soon. His incision is almost totally healed up. The worst part of all this is that we no longer have to give him tuna twice daily with medication in it, and he's been very vocal about this. He and I napped for a little while the other day. He likes to get under the top cover and sleep on my stomach. He did this for just a little while, then kept walking on my bladder and meowing because there was no moist food out. He would go into the kitchen and check, then come back and complain. To be totally honest, he's really being quite a pest. Considering the alternative, I'll take the pestiness.

I joined the Nefarious Yarn Club on Ravelry a few weeks ago. I think I mentioned it here. The dyer is making yarns based on nefarious characters, both historical and fictional. This is a tongue in cheek, lighthearted yarn club. She reiterated the fact in her first shipment which arrived yesterday. (There had been some people getting a little riled up in one of the threads. If you're going to get upset or offended by some of the suggestions people make, this isn't the yarn club for you.) The first offering is Hannibal Lecter, a gorgeous tonal brown based on the leather face mask he wore in the movies. It is such a lovely color of yarn. I've never seen the movies or read any of the Hannibal Lecter books, so I can't really do a character based sock. Yes, I know about Hannibal as it has become part of cultural background, and I don't live under a rock. However, unlike a Bellatrix inspired yarn, I have no pattern to link with the yarn. That may be a good thing. As for some other nefarious suggestions, I think I could very easily come up with an Umbridge pattern.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


On Saturday one of our customers came in with the 2007 spring/summer Rowan magazine. I'll admit that I've thought about subscribing to Rowan Magazine off and on since I started knitting. While helping her with her pattern, I knew I had to have a copy. The LYS I work at doesn't carry Rowan, so on my day off I went to the one I knew had it (I had checked online) and bought it. The photography and styling is so beautiful. Last night I was back on, and before I knew it, I was a subscriber. I'd like to blame Ann & Kay, but it's really Kim Hargreaves fault.

I finally started on ball 5 on the prayer shawl. I'm really thinking I won't need all 10 balls of yarn, which is really excellent. There is some other yarn I would like to get. I've been working on Keith's gray sock too when I need to knit with the tiny needles that I love. I've gotten a list in my head of which projects I need to finish first, and the shawl tops that list. It's followed by Keith projects. As soon as I get the shawl finished, I'm picking up his sweater again so it will be ready to wear this fall. I can alternate it with his second gray sock until they are finished.

Mr. Chubby has been following his normal breakfast and dinner routine, but he is definitely more skittish right now. I know vet visits are never what a kitty wants to do, so we'll be patient while he gets over his trauma.

Have a great Wednesday. The week is almost half way over for those of you who don't work weekends.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The first of the season

Keith spotted our first hummingbird at the feeder this morning. It was a male ruby throated hummingbird. I think I remember reading the males migrate first, followed several weeks later by the females. There was at least one that came to the feeder off and on all day. It was quite exciting for the nature nerd here.

Also, Chubby was still hiding in the closet when I got home from knitting this afternoon. I was determined to get him out. First I tried clearing out the closet, putting on a heavy ski jacket and leather gloves. I thought maybe I could grab him and put him by the door. That didn't work.

Plan B. Clear the pets and humans from the front room, open the front door as wide as possible, and be very quiet. Keith went to work in his office, while I went out front to tackle some of the wildly exuberant weed growth. After I'd been at it long enough to fill the first yard waste bag, I came in to find that he was actually out of the closet! I went back out, and soon saw a movement in the corner of my eye. He was out and going back towards where I think he may spend the night. Yes, the other neighbor who feeds the ferals house. At least that was the direction in which he was heading. As Keith tried to lure him out of the closet today with some delicious sardines, I'm sure Chubby will be back in the morning for breakfast.

In other news, Daphne knows someone who knows how to contact the groomer who no longer works at our vet's office. It turns out Daphne liked the work she did too. We are going to track her down and see if we can get her to continue to groom our pets. No one does a sanitary clip on a long haired cat like she does. Most importantly, Monster likes her as well as she'll like any groomer. (Monster lives up to her name with some of them.)

Gotta go. Dexter on CBS is nearly on, and the Ice Truck Killer will be revealed tonight. Must find some really easy knitting before it starts.

Chubby's post-vet adventure

After keeping Chubby in the trap all of Friday night, I opened the trap Saturday morning to let him loose in the house. He and my critters all know each other, and I knew he needed to get out of the trap. I didn't want to let him out into the cool, rainy outside. What I forgot to do was to close the door of the junk closet.

He cautiously came out of the trap. Monster, awoken by the movement, came to sit on the table above him and growl. Great! There would have been no problem if it had been Grey. She's very curious, and she likes Chubby. She gets nose to nose with him every morning on her way out to tinkle in the yard. Monster, however, doesn't much like other cats. They interfere with both her petting and her eating. I went about my business, leaving them to sort it out. Well, Chubby has gotten into the junk closet and as far as I know, hasn't been out. I think I'm going to have to get some thick clothing on and get him out of there. I'll release him back outside as soon as the weather gets dry and clear. He's a semi feral kitty, but lately he's been looking into the house thinking it might not be so bad to be warm and dry. After this, he may decide to leave and not look back. I'm not sure I'm okay with that, but who knows what goes on in the mind of a cat. I can take comfort in knowing he's much better equipped for life out there since he's gotten several vaccinations, and he won't be contributing to the feral cat populations any longer.

I've been knitting like mad on a couple of projects. I worked on the prayer shawl last night. It seems like this 4th ball of yarn will never end. I originally got 6 balls of yarn for this project, then went back and bought the other 4 balls in this dye lot. I now think the 6 will be more than sufficient, leaving me with 4 to return. The emerald blue is a gorgeous color, but it's not one I'd wear, and I'm honestly getting very tired of looking at it. The beauty is wearing a little thin. When this dreary fog lifts I'll take some photos.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Chubby's vet adventure

We're back from the vet. Chubby had the following health issues addressed:

Abscess was cleaned out.
He was neutered.
He was treated for earmites
He was tested for Feline Aids & Leukemia. Thank goodness he was negative for both, so he got several vaccinations.
As Keith said, it's tough to be a feral cat.

Poor guy was anesthetized, so he's now a drunk kitty. The instructions are to keep him in the trap overnight with a towel over it so he can sleep it off. Tomorrow he can eat and be released. We'll just have to wait and see what happens when we let him back out.

I had my oil changed today, along with getting my tires rotated. This gave me some quality knitting time. Knitting a sock on double points with tiny yarn gets other people talking. It really made the time go by so much more pleasantly. I was working on Keith's second grey sock. Between last night and today I've knitted at least another inch or so on the cuff. This may not sound like a big deal, but these socks have 100 stitches per round. My gauge is around 11 stitches per inch. Believe me, there is a lot of knitting in an inch of length on these socks. I don't remember my row gauge, so I can't tell you how many stitches I may have knit in the past 24 hours.

I'm off to make a cup of tea. I was sort of virtuous today and mopped the kitchen and bathrooms. (This means I swept and vacuumed first.) I also got all the dishes caught up, which wasn't too bad. I had very little hand washing to do today as I haven't been cooking from scratch this week. I won't be cooking tonight either. I pulled out some soup I made about a month ago from the freezer. Since it's been cool and rainy all day, it's perfect weather for some homemade soup.

At the vet!

Yes, it's 8:44 a.m. as I write this, and Chubby is at the vet.

Sometimes truth can be as strange as imagination. Chubby got trapped the very first try. In fact, it was an awful lot like I visualized. I'm sure it had much more to do with a hungry cat coupled with some smelly sardines than any visualization on my part.

He'll get his abscess treated, rabies vaccine and testing for feline leukemia & AIDS today. Next week, neutering time. After all, I've got to do it all while I have him contained. I'm afraid that when he gets out of the trap I won't see him for a few days, and I know he won't be easily trapped again.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Hope springs eternal

Otherwise known as "What was I thinking?"

I came home Wednesday evening with my plans made for this morning and beautifully executed in my head. Here is how I imagined it: I would wake up a little earlier than normal. Chubby would get immediately into the trap when I baited it with tuna. I'd be at the vet's office by 7:30 a.m. and home by 8. I knew I couldn't get to the vet's before closing, but I could call a friend who could pick him up. I'd just add the charges to my credit card and come home to find a medically treated Chubby curled up in the trap. All would work out perfectly.

This morning reality set in. I didn't get up quite as early as planned. I had not included the fact that I would have to finish unloading the dishwasher and reload it before I could wash a skillet to cook up breakfast. I forgot that I would probably have to change the litter box and take out the trash. What made me think that Chubby, a skittish cat, would trust me enough to just go into a trap, even baited with tuna or sardines, on first sight? Or that I could make the trip to the vet, fill out all the paperwork and get home in one hour? Had I checked with my friend to see if she could pick him up? I knew Keith couldn't help as he had store visits to do. Should I drive myself frantic trying to meet some unreasonable goal, or would I be sensible and just wait until tomorrow when I have the day off?

I asked Keith what he thought about it. Wait until tomorrow, he said. A few minutes later he said Chubby's waiting for his breakfast. I went to check on him and give him some food. He was quite ravenous as he hadn't been fed the night before. (You have to make sure they're good and hungry to make them easier to trap. Lifeline has a whole list of suggestions to help you become a successful trapper.) He came up to eat, and I could see that it had indeed been an abscess as it had burst. He actually looked more comfortable, but we are still going to the vet. Even if I can't trap him tomorrow, I have the trap available for all next week too. I may prop it open and feed him in there to show him that it's safe.

I have learned with aging pets over the past few years to get really worried when they stop eating. As long as I'm getting the "I'm hungry, human, where the hell is the food?" meows, I know they're ok. Chubby was most definitely talking and letting me know he needed food. Think Garfield and lasagna.

As for knitting, I made some progress on Keith's grey sock while I was at the knitting guild meeting. We had Joyce Williams as our guest speaker. This woman knits sweaters with laceweight and fingering weight yarns. I am in awe of that. She must have a helluva lot time to knit, and I bet she's fast too. I've also made some progress on the prayer shawl. I'm about midway through ball 4 of my yarn. That would be 756 yards of yarn knitted so far. As for me, right now I can't decide if I want a nice cup of tea or a Mudslide, although I think we're out of Kahlua. Have a good night.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Let the trapping commence.

I was able to rent a trap from Lifeline Animal Project this morning. I haven't seen Chubby tonight, but many nights he leaves around dusk to get to wherever it is that he sleeps. My plans are to take up any food left out tonight and bait the trap with tuna tomorrow morning. If I catch him, then off to the vet for a look at the probably abscess and a rabies vaccination. He's a very handsome cat, and I want to do what I can for him. Healthcare first, find him a home second.

Chubby update

Yea! I talked to Christy, who's been at my vet for a few years, and she said they could help Chubby. Now, all I have to do is trap him. I've got to rent a trap (keep your fingers crossed they have some available at Lifeline), actually trap him, then take him in. I will admit here that it will be nice to one day be able to keep more of my paycheck. I know Mastercard has been enjoying me this year, as is the vet's accountant.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

New authors

Are any of you out there like me when you find an author who is new to you? There are so many out there that you can always find someone who has been around for awhile, and you've never read any of their works.

I've been watching Bones for the past season or so and finally picked up one of Kathy Reichs' books to read. That was a horrible mistake for me. I have devoured two of them in the past 10 days - 2 weeks, and those books have given me the excuse to ignore the housework. How can I possibly vacuum when I must know what will happen next? The flip side to this is that it's interfering with my knitting time. I just finished book #2, Death du Jour, and I don't have any more (of hers to read). I will stay out of the Book Nook until Saturday, when I'll have some more books to turn in for credit. I went to our storage unit today and brought home a Rubbermaid container filled with books. So far there are only 4 I want to trade in. I checked on Amazon, and all of them have a lot of copies for sale starting at $.01.

I've also got to find a vet who will work on feral cats. One of Chubby's cheeks looks swollen today. He looks like Pixel did when she tried to eat a bee. His appetite is still quite good, so I know he's not in too bad of shape. Over the years I've instituted a wait and see policy for some pet issues, mainly because I've rushed to the vet and spent a lot of money for things that were very minor. Let's hope that Chubbs has just had a run in with a bug and isn't having an abscess. In the meantime, I'm looking for a feral friendly vet. One of the front desk people at my vet was most vehement that they couldn't help me one of the other times I've called. I'll have to see if I can catch up with one of the women who's been there for a long time so I can get the real answers. Send some positive energy Chubby's way. For the record, Chubby is starting to think that being someone's pet wouldn't be too bad. He comes when I call him, and he also will trot over when he sees me come home.

Scooter got his stitches out today. (Unfortunately I hadn't seen Chubby and his swollen cheek until long after I'd been to the vet.) The vet is very pleased with his recovery from surgery. I asked them to weigh him since his appetite has been better (tuna and liver), and they said he weighed exactly the same as last time. I was hoping the old guy had gained a little since he's been so skinny. He has gotten even pickier and only reluctantly ate the moist catfood I gave him when we got home. He really can't have tuna every day as it's not that good for cats.

Let's see, I haven't covered knitting. Not much going on there since I've been to the Book Nook and brought home Kathy Reichs and Colin Dexter. I did get a some knitting in last night. I'm almost through the third ball of yarn on the prayer shawl I'm doing. I'll have to take and post an updated picture of it.

I think that's all the happenings around here for today.