Monday, June 30, 2008

Just a quick note.

Yesterday the one thing I've been waiting for happened. Mr. Chubby came into the house on his own. He didn't come far, but his curiousity got the better of him. He got to just inside the door, stood on the doormat and sniffed for a minute or two. I know his little brain is thinking, hmm, this might be a better place to be when it rains like mad.

I've nearly finished the cuff on the first No Purl Monkey sock. I'm several rounds into the sixth repeat of the lace pattern. I'm wondering if I can get the cuff finished before breakfast this morning.

I'll post sock pictures later today or early tomorrow to show off the Monkey.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Knitting goodies

Above you can see my Goddess Knits Anniversary Mystery Shawl in progress. I've only done a few rows of Clue 2, and clue 3 comes out tomorrow. I'd better get a-knittin'. In the second picture you can see a closer view that shows some of the stitch markers I got from Lizardsmells' etsy shop. You can doubleclick on any picture to embiggen it. (Thank you Jebediah Springfield.)

Next, you see my No-Purl Monkey sock which I started last night. I love the way the twisted ribbing looks. The yarn is Wollmeise, which is very nice to use. It's not as lofty as some other sock yarns, nor does it feel as soft in the skein. However, it is really nice once you start knitting with it, and just look at those great colors!

Needle Nook got in these really cool needle gauges, and I had to have one. It's so compact, looks like a nautilus, and is shiny! Ok, the shiny part speaks once again to the inner magpie, but it looks almost like a piece of jewelry.

Please go sign the petition showing your outrage for the choice to kill cats by Fox Richmond. The RSPCA is looking to get 3000 signatures. Thank you for your help.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Fox Richmond and the feral colony

There is an update on the RSPCA's site regarding this situation. I don't think the person in charge at the station ever expected this kind of response. To me, this is very surprising considering the Michael Vick case so recently. I'm sure this is turning into a public relations nightmare that will have some interesting repercussions. One thing I have noticed in reading some of the comments on blogs and an online petition ( is that many people seem unable to differentiate between Fox Richmond and the Fox Network. It is the management of the local affiliate that decided on bulldozing and extermination, not the Fox Television Network. I do think Rupert Murdoch would have had more sense that to start killing kittens. Kitten killing may make news, but it's not what you want your company known for.

If you want to make your voice heard, you can sign the petition and/or send an email to the "gentlemen" who thought this would be a good idea. I've linked the petition above, and the RSPCA's site has links to the emails at Fox Richmond.

Tomorrow, pictures of some new goodies. I bought stitchmarkers from Lizardsmells' etsy shop.
They are so tiny and shiny. They appeal to my inner magpie. As for now, I'm off to feed my feral kitties. Apparently everyone is waiting for dinner.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Corporate Idiocy

I got to this via Wendy Knits. I know she reaches a much larger audience than I do, but I also have different people who read here.

The local Fox affiliate in Richmond, VA, has decided to get rid of a feral cat colony living on the site by bulldozing it and trapping/killing the cats. Here's the link to the local SPCA,

I thought this was great.

more cat pictures

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tagged! I'm it!

I've been tagged for a meme, so here it is:

1. What was I doing 10 years ago? Who can remember that long ago? Actually, we had just found out that Keith's mother had ovarian cancer, and everyone's lives were about to be sucked into whatever it is that cancer dictates. On the fun side, I was feeding Fluffy Meow, the stray who was pregnant and became my very first rescue kitty.

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list? They've been changing as the day goes by. Originally it had been a) finish gray sock, b)finish clue 2, c) start Monkeys, d) henna my hair and e) nap. The revised list is
a) nap - and I got 3 hours in instead of just 2.
b) Banks like to sell mortages to each other. Unfortunately, not all the paperwork gets done. I have to do some of their paperwork today. Woohoo.
c) wind my Wollmeise into a ball.
d) henna my hair. I love the way henna turns my now reddish brown and gray hair back to the vibrant color of my youth.
e)finish the gray sock.

3. Snacks I enjoy. Fresh peaches, cherries dried and fresh, Little Debbie's snack cakes, and all sorts of baked goods. Go Great Harvest Bread Co.!

4. Places I've lived: Tuscaloosa, AL; Birmingham, AL; Auburn, AL; metro Atlanta

5. Things I would do if I were a billionaire. Hmm, just once I'd love to say like Monty Burns, "Release the hounds!" and chase the door to door salespeople away. However, I'd give money to some charities I already support, but now I could also have a foundation that supports shows on PBS. I really want to travel to the British Isles and Australia. I would love to see more of the Himalayas (I've been to Nepal and Tibet, but on a speedy trip with a travel group). Nepal is probably one of the most beautiful places on the planet, and I just loved it.

If you want to do this one, which I've seen on several blogs lately, consider yourself tagged. Just let me know in the comments so I can make sure to read it.

I have a cunning plan

I just love the way those words roll off the tongue.

Anyway, I have my plans for today.

1. Finish the gray sock. I am very, very close. Just a bit more on the toe, then the thrill of kitchnering 100 stitches together, and sewing in the ends.

2. Finish clue 2 of the GKAMS. I really want to get this done, and once Keith goes to work that's one distraction down. The cats are all out romping right now, so everyone should be good and snoozy soon. They just need to get a little sunbaked.

3. Start some no purl monkeys for me with the Wollmeise.

4. Get a nap. A two hour nap. Most easily done when the kitties all want to nap. Of course Grey will spend 10 minutes kneading my belly with sharp, prickly claws, but I'll pay that toll if I can get a couple of hours of blissful snoozing. Snoozing without the phone ringing. Snoozing without dreaming I hear Sassy whimpering to go out (and getting up to check, then standing outside in the dark while she runs around the yard exploring instead of tinkling). Blissful snoozing without the sputtering of a hubby's clogged sinuses.

Hmm, maybe I'll move the nap to the top of the list.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Only two rows!

That's all I was able to knit last night. We spent yesterday catching up on some of the deferred maintenance due to last weekend's massive basement clear out. Keith had to hook up the washer and dryer before I could do any laundry, so I got to clean bathrooms. Afterwards, I did laundry while he mowed the front and back yard and got the litterboxes. We had planned to henna my hair again last night, but time slipped away from us. We did try a new DYI project. Keith cut my hair last night! Before you are too aghast, my hair was down to between my shoulder blades. It's all one length, and what I wanted was to have a couple of inches trimmed. I knew that if it looked terrible, I could go get it fixed easily enough. He actually did a great job for a first try, and I trimmed it a bit in the front. I've found that ever since Tracy moved, I haven't found a hairdresser I just loved, and more times than I care to think about I've come home after paying decent $$ and trimmed it some more in the front. If I could see well enough to do it, I would just cut it myself anyway.

On to knitting. I find that even though I am so close to finishing, I just can't pick up that darn gray sock. I wanted to work on the mystery shawl last night, but some neglected kitty needed petting and would not let me knit. I was finally able to do one round of the pattern with very little ripping (thanks to the stitch markers). We were pretty tired, so we just went to bed early. Maybe tonight I can get some knitting done. I've made a huge dent in the laundry (I still have pet beds and some blankets to wash, but the clothes are mostly finished).

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Dratted lace

Last night I picked out which chart from clue 2 for the mystery shawl I would do, and I got started.

It was one of those nights. I honestly do not know how many times I had to rip that darn row out. At least 4 times. After the 3rd time, I realized that I was reading one of the chart symbols incorrectly. Don't know what possessed me last night (tired), but I kept reading the S1 K1 PSSO as a S2 K1 PSSO. No wonder I kept ending up short at the end.

I tried several new things for me to do in lace knitting last night. I am using stitch markers to help keep track of the sections. I was reluctant to do this when I did MS3 last year as I thought the markers would be moving around too much as the yarn overs and increases would change the section sizes.

I also ended up knitting on 2 circs. This is a first for me. I have avoided this for several reasons. The main one being I just knew I would pick up the wrong one and knit with it. However, the shawl wasn't working for me on magic loop, so I've switched it. I think in a few more rows it will be large enough to use the 24" circ only.

As for the 2 hours of knitting last night - well, I got one pattern row and one knit only round done. 2 hours = 2 rows of lace knitting. Lace - not the thing to knit when you're tired.

I'm really glad that the weeks of working extra are over. I can use the extra money (who couldn't), but I feel beat. I know all the work I did last weekend to clear out the basement didn't help as I didn't have a decent day off. I'm so looking forward to later in this week when the hubby is off to work, and I can take a nice, long nap. I'm going to get caught up with laundry, trash out, litter boxes and such today. I will admit I do love knowing the next monsoon won't flood the basement.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Today is a BIG day

Let me list the biggest event of the day. Scooter turns 18 today! I haven't quite decided what to get him. I'm really thinking of splurging and buying him (us) some salmon. He loves it when we eat it, and as we haven't had it for awhile, this is a great excuse to get some.

Today is Clue 2 of the Goddess Knits Anniversary Mystery Shawl. I'm looking forward to it. I'm still not so sure I like the chart I used for clue 1, but I'm keeping it. I'll look for a more dynamic chart to do this week. I did like the symmetry of chart B on paper, but it's a little static once knitted up. I've started calling it the eye of the hurricane. A hurricane's eye is a calm, sunny spot in the middle of the worst winds. Mine will be a calm symmetrical spot in some whirling lace.

Today is also the Start of Summer of Socks 2008. For me, SOS08
won't officially start until I get finished with Keith's sock. I'm so close. I'll get the darn thing finished this weekend, maybe even tonight. Then I can start some Monkeys with the Wollmeise.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Furkids Open House

This is one of the local shelters I support. Here's some info if you want to go visit, play with cute critters, and make a donation.

Please join Furkids for our Open House, in honor of Adopt A Cat Month!
Furkids 2650 Pleasantdale Road, Suite 8 Atlanta, GA 30340
Saturday, June 21 & Sunday, June 22 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Activities include:
Tours of the shelter including our new surgery suite
Play time with 200 happy cats
Door prizes
Silent auction
For the kids, we will have a moonwalk and fun games with prizes
BBQ lunch for a small donation (from 11:30 to 1:30)
In addition, our dogs will be onsite for adoption.
We will have merchandise for sale, including a special t-shirt designed especially for Furkids by renowned artist Marie Mason.
Volunteers will be on hand to answer questions about adopting and volunteering.
For more information, please visit
It's FREE! Bring the entire family - kids are welcome! Please help us spread the word and tell your friends!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A natural progression

For me, the more I knit, the more I find I want to alter patterns. I find that learning all the basics leads to changing things. I've also found that while I see lots of patterns I want to knit, I have an idea starting to spring from my head as Athena sprung from Zeus's. Hopefully there will be no need for Hephaestus and his hammer to help this idea out, just some yarn and needles.

I've wondered about designing knitwear. As I'm not a designer, I wonder where the ideas come from. With some designers, it seems they have a favorite stitch that gets incorporated into everything. Think of how you may look at a design and know instantly it's Debbie Bliss or Louisa Harding. I look in Rowan books and can pick out Louisa Harding patterns almost every time without fail.

Anyway, I don't want to be a bigtime knitwear designer. I can't begin to imagine the pressure they are under to come up with new stuff all the time (which leads to reinterpretations of things they've already done over and over again.) However, I wouldn't mind starting to do my own socks. I was reading Wendyknits last night, and she mentioned that she has 76 pattern ideas for socks in a file. She stopped making other people's socks very soon after sock knitting. I find that inspiring. How wonderful to learn the basics and then run with it. That said, I do hope she publishes her trilobite sock pattern. I have a love of trilobites left over from my dinosaur obsessed early childhood.

Be a fearless knitter. Remember, it's only yarn, and you can buy something less expensive to experiment on. Chose a smooth one that rips out easily and give something new a go.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Woohoo for the nicer basement

They finished a little after 6 p.m. last night. What they did was dig a trench about 10" wide by the walls. A waterproof fabric was hung on the walls which will direct water into the trench. I didn't see what was installed into the trench, but I think it was perforated piping that will pull the water from the trench when the sump pump is activated. I'm running late this morning (we stayed up too late last night), so I'll have to post pictures later.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Oh the noise!

Yeeha! The basement is being waterproofed today! We've moved some stuff to storage, some to Goodwill, and some to the backyard. Before we go to bed tonight we've got to move the stuff in the yard back into the basement. I may be Southern, but I'm not that Southern.

Oh yes, I forgot we've got a big pile for recycling tomorrow too. This time instead of a cracked laundry basket we have a dog chewed holder for newspaper to keep it together for recycling. (It looks amazingly like a laundry basket, just without the smaller mesh.) Years ago, when he was a young pup, our dearly departed Ripper once again justified his name.

While I will admit that I'd much rather be knitting instead of framing in rooms, I'm kind of excited about making our basement into useable, liveable space instead of a scary, grimy, spider filled wasteland of unknown stuff. While we have come across things and said, "Oh, this is where that is!", we've also had quite of bit of "What in the world is that, and why do we have it?"

But where does the title of this post come in? Well, they have had to jackhammer away part of the floor all around the walls. Right now I'm hearing the whine of a saw going through cement. I'll be so glad when they are finished for several reasons, not the least of which is the banging and whining of equipment. The guys who are doing it are very nice. I peeked downstairs once, not really knowing what to expect since I had Keith take care of a lot of this. I'm not being a helpless female. I've found it's easier to let him talk directly to people than to try to relate it. The two of us rarely ask the same questions, and I've found what he thinks is important I haven't even thought about. Thus, he gets all the info he needs by handling it, and harmony is maintained in our relationship.

Best of all, I'm planning to move my office/fabric/yarn room to the basement. I'm an awful piler of things at home, and it drives Keith nuts. I'll be out of sight for him, which I think will actually relieve him of some stress. Every time he comes in here, he says we'll have to tackle cleaning and organizing my office. My answer? Stay out!

Summer of Socks 2008 starts this Saturday. Am I ready? Not at all. I still have 3 other socks in progress on the needles. I'll see what I can get knocked out over the summer. I want to use the Wollmeise Allen gave me soon, and if that's all I get done, I'll still be happy.

The other thing about having the waterproofing done today is that I can't do laundry! I gotta admit, it's kind of nice right now, but I'll be sorry later in the week. I think I'll go find a spot and work on Keith's heathery gray sock.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I promised you pictures

And here they are. Sorry that they are mostly yarn! We'll start with the lace. This is Clue 1, Chart B of the Goddess Knits Anniversary Mystery Shawl KAL. I'm using Jaggerspun Zephyr in Copper. I am also using the most wonderful Addi Turbo Lace needles. I love, love, love these needles for lace.

These are from trip 1 to the LYS going out of business. This was the 40% off day. I got Zara and Millefili Fine.

Hmm, it looks like I'm stuck in one color.

This is trip 2. This was the 60% off day. I was in search of a few more Zara, but found this instead. Having a list wasn't much help. As you can see, I bought more of the other colors I'm stuck in too.

This is the June surprise from the Nefarious Sock Club.

See, not even a single cat picture. Grey did help me take photos, but she was able to keep her paws and whole body out of the shots. I finally had to run her off as the space she was allowing me for yarn kept getting smaller and smaller.
ETA: Mr. Chubby is thinking about becoming a house cat. I caught him looking through the open door to see what all was going on. The shredded weatherstripping is complements of Grey. She panics if the door is closed while she's outside. I've caught her actually hanging from it about a foot off the ground.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

This is why I started TNR

Please take a minute and go look here. This is really why I started the TNR. It all had to do with kittens. Don't worry, it's a great picture and story with a happy ending.

In knitting news, I started on my Goddess Knits Anniversary Mystery Shawl last night. It's a pi shawl, which means it's circle that is started in the middle and worked outwards. I'm using Jaggerspun Zephyr in the lovely Copper color. I'm still undecided about using beads with it or not. Unfortunately, the beads I like best are the ones I'm using on the still unfinished MS3 from last summer. I'll have to make a decision tonight. My Addi lace needles aren't quite long enough for using for magic loop, so I need to buy some more today. I think I'm posting a lot of pictures tomorrow.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Another JJ update

Today JJ the kitty got spayed, vaccinated and microchipped. She is being released from quarantine, and in a few days she will be released to her old home. The rel just can't tame her right now, but she may try to at a later date. In the meantime, JJ can recover from the trauma of being around all those humans.

As for my own feral, Chubby gets so close when it's meal time that I have touched him several times this week. He runs off when I pet him, but now I know his fur is kind of coarse. He's been complaining a bit more since I've done the terrible thing, trying to pet him instead of feeding him quickly.

A friend from high school called me last night. I probably hadn't spoken to her in 10 years. When I left home to go to college, I left the city where I grew up. I return as little as possible. I didn't enjoy my childhood there, and while it's geographically beautiful, I don't think I'll ever live there again. I've kept in touch with very few people from there, and I haven't gone to any of the reunions.

Anyway, after talking to my friend, I decided to look up this guy I had been in love with all through elementary school. (Isn't the internet fun?) My father had also been a mentor to him, but as I hadn't spoken to my father in years after my folks got divorced, I didn't know about the mentoring business until after my father's death. Succumbing to curiosity, I looked him up. He was very easy to find. A prominent attorney, he's married with 5 children. Most importantly, he looks like a stuffed shirt. Looking at his picture, I'm wondering what the hell I ever saw in him? Sure, he's a pillar of society now, full of civic duty and sitting on several boards of directors. In my mind - how terribly dull! Has he ever had the panic of wondering if he has rabies from the cat he's just trapped? Has he ever sat in the twilight to watch the bats catch mosquitoes? Probably not. Thank goodness my love was unrequited, and that Xan, my friend Keith had tried to pick up, wasn't interested. Otherwise, I may have never met Keith, and my life would be much less fun and interesting. (Even if he can be delusional and thinks we're going to frame in our basement in our spare time during July and August.)

Take a minute and go Google someone you once loved or dated. My friend who called last night had dated 2 guys who turned out to be gay. She laughed about it, wondering if she had turned them, or did she just like tidy men?

As for me, I think I'll go look at pictures of Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow to try to erase that terribly dull looking attorney from my memory. Or, I may go google someone else from my past to see what's going on now.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The end is near

of Keith's heathery gray sock! I am only a row or two away from switching to the heathery blue to do the short row toe. If it weren't so late, I would be dancing for joy. As it is, I need to go to bed so when Grey wakes us up by 6 a.m., I'll be ready to go work in the basement for a little while. By this time next week, the basement will have the new sump system, and when we get a deluge like last night, we won't have water in the basement. I can't tell you how much I look forward to this, but I do dread the work we have to do before then.

I have had to do one of the things I hate most in the world. I have thrown away books. We had to. They had gotten moist and moldy. Throwing books away seems like sacrilege to me, and I'll admit to finding it a most disagreeable task. However, sometimes they can't be salvaged, and tossing them into the blue recycle bin (when appropriate) is the best thing to do.

Once we get the basement cleaned out, and the water situation fixed, my beloved thinks that he and I will have rooms framed in by September. I'll let that sink in while I go to bed. Yes, he really thinks we, he and I, will have framed in rooms by September. Perhaps I'll speak to those guys from Dune who can fold time and space. That way, in my spare time, I can hammer studs, hang drywall, do laundry and still get some knitting done.

As Edna Krebappel would say, "Hah!"

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

No more Zara

Today I went back to the shop that is closing in a hopeful mood, looking for more Zara. I was out of luck. However, I can't leave a knit shop empty handed, can I? Especially as the very few items that were left are marked down 50%, and if the total of your sale was more that $100 after the discount, it was 60% off.

I looked around. Maybe there was some Summer Tweed left. Not much at all - just 2 balls of a green I really like. What's this bright green stuff? It's so shiny. Mercerized cotton? No, it's silk! Oh, that book I nearly got last week. There's one copy left. And this oh so soft red stuff. It's merino, silk and cashmere. There are 9 balls of it. Well, at 50% off... Wait, I also need some Rowan Calmer. I need 4 balls, but I'd better get all 6 since that's all there is in that color. Better safe than sorry, right?

I think you get it. I still need to search down the Zara. I saw a couple of people with it for trade on Ravelry. It's not the same dye lot, but as I'm already thinking I'll change the sleeves anyway. I might not need it, but it's better to be safe. Remind me to always carry my handy yarn requirements guide with me if there is any chance of highly discounted yarn.

While I was doing that, Keith took Lily for her rabies vaccination and annual wellness check. It turns out she has a yeast infection in her ears, and the vet said that if one kitty had it, the others probably did too. So we get to put ear drops into everyone's ears. If you see me in the next few days with my arms clawed to bits, you know why.

Monday, June 9, 2008


and why I haven't been knitting them.

I was adding to my queue in Ravelry last night after perusing what to do with the yarn I bought last week. I found a sweater that I've been wanting to do is in that very same yarn, Filatura di Crosa Zara, but I don't have quite enough.

I find that people think that since I work in a yarn store that I know everything there is to know about yarn and knitting. They think I never make mistakes. Well, I do. I wasn't sure how much yarn I would need, so I bought what I hoped would be enough. It isn't. I really hope they still have a couple left as I only need 2 more. (Actually 3 as I like to have more than enough.)

Anyway, I find I really want to make sweaters, but I also want to lose weight. I haven't been very good about losing the weight, so I put off making sweaters. It's a conundrum. Unfortunately, I love to cook and eat, and all the best tasting stuff is not the best for you. At least it's summer, and there are lots of lovely fruits and veggies available. We'll see how the summer goes.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Gotta vent for a minute

Today is June 8, 2008. It is currently 11:09 a.m. The exterior thermometer, which is currently in the sun, says it's 96.6F here. Summer isn't supposed to be this hot, this early! It's actually only 88F, but that's still pretty hot.

We went to a friend's very belated birthday party last night. She likes to have a big party at her house with a live band. Last year it was a few days after her birthday in early April, and it was freezing. This year she moved it to last night, and it was agonizingly hot. The band was in the back yard, as were all the tables for eating. There were a lot fewer people here this year too. As we sat outside, sweating and fighting off bugs (the band was very good), I will admit that I was thinking of pouring the entire pitcher of lukewarm water down the front of my shirt just to cool off. The thought of sitting in wet linen helped keep me in line.

Anyway, as much as possible, we're staying home and keeping still. We try to save energy by not running the air at a temperature that would really be comfortable, so we keep the thermostat around 76 - 78. All the curtains are drawn, so the house is dim. The weather was lovely until about 10 days ago, when summer arrived with a vengeance! It's bad when you find yourself thinking, maybe we'll have a tropical storm this year?

I made the executive decision this morning that the amigurumi group is taking a hiatus this summer. As I mentioned before, 2 out of the last 3 times there have been only 2 of us there. Thus, I will spend my Sunday afternoons happily napping under a pile of cats until next September, when I revive it if there is enough interest.

Unbelieveably cute

more cat pictures

Friday, June 6, 2008

Ways to be a mean pet mommy

These are not in any order.

1. Apply Advantage.

2. Clean their ears.

3. Apply soothing treatments to hot spots.

4. Give a bath.

5. Forget to give an elderly cat his organic chicken liver one day. (As he thinks every day should be liver day, this is even more unforgiveable.)

6. Shut bedroom door when changing the bed to avoid cats under a fitted sheet. Also remove pillow from sleeping reach during this time.

I'm sure there are more, but these are the ones I'm guilty of doing in the past week. My feline masters have forgiven me as I woke this morning with an aching back from sleeping in a cat-induced yoga position all night. Liver was cooked and served, Advantage is now dry, and ears aren't itchy. Thank goodness cats, like men, have selective memory. Dogs, however, remember things much better, especially anything to do with the dreaded bath.

JJ's continuing adventures

I got to talk to my relative (rel) last night about her JJ misadventure. That's the thing about imagination. What you imagine isn't always what you get.

My rel's vet wasn't interested in helping her with the feral, so she went to another vet that some of her friends and acquaintances used. She trapped JJ on Monday and took her to the vet, but the vet had some emergencies and couldn't do anything to JJ until Tuesday. Tuesday is when JJ bit the tech, and it was the vet who made arrangements with Animal Control to quarantine JJ. The vet said they could do it, but of course they wanted to charge big bucks, and since the rel thought it was their fault that the tech was bitten, she didn't want to pay. (Personally, I agree it with her on that, although accidents do happen.)

The woman who she's been dealing with at Animal Control has a friend who is a vet who also works with ferals doing TNR! OK, how lucky is that. She's the one who will try to get JJ spayed.

I also told the rel, don't worry. If it comes to it, I'll take her to Lifeline's clinic and have them spay her if I need too.

I just feel so badly for her. I mean, this is her first time to do TNR, and it's been such a bad experience for her. (I've edited it for the blog, so trust me - it's been bad.) She's a soft hearted cat lover who can't bear not to feed strays and ferals, but I truly feel if you're going to feed them, you also have to take responsibility to spay and neuter them. I feel this way mostly because of the day I had to take a malnourished, dying kitten to the emergency animal clinic. It was horrible, and I don't ever want to have to do that again. To that end I have trapped and spayed 3 females in my neighborhood and neutered 1 male. Like I said last week, I've seen a new cat lately, and it will get a trip to Lifeline as soon as I can arrange it.

I'm sorry about all the cat stuff lately. Knitting, what is that? I slogged away on the heathery gray sock last night while at knitting guild. I do wonder, will it ever end? I much prefer knitting socks for myself since my feet are much smaller than Keith's. I've also been knitting on my Meanie Luna Moth socks, and I'm nearly finished with the first one. Yeah! Knitting pictures soon!

Until then, here's a random picture of Monster from earlier this spring before the lion cut. You know cats, find the clean laundry and sit on it. Wow, she looks really grumpy in this shot.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Philosophical minute.

We have Trotter coming to do the pre-work inspection on the basement tomorrow. It has been really good for us since it is forcing us to go through all the junk down there and clean out. We look at things and wonder "What were we thinking when we kept this?" A trip to Goodwill is in our very near future. I mean, really, one random coffee mug carefully wrapped up in paper? A cracked plastic laundry basket? (luckily it has a recycle code on it - it's not going to Goodwill.) It is truly amazing what we will hang onto, thinking that we may actually use it in the future. I could get all philosophical and point out how we do it not only with material things, but with relationships that no longer work or keep the baggage from earlier in life. It's too early to be philosophical.

One thing we have found are bags and bags of fabric. I also quilt on occasion, and so did my grandmother and her sisters. I think those bags are from my great aunt Vedah who died several years ago. I'll have to go through those bags and be more discerning about what I keep. All of us fiber folks need to do that sometimes and cull those strange yarns or bizarre in a bad way fabrics, and it's not so easy to do. If we don't do that, we'll end up with places like my basement - filled with dust covered boxes and bags that don't hold any hidden treasures, but a cracked laundry basket.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Misadventures of a novice cat trapper

For once these aren't my misadventures. This has happened to a family member that I have probably nagged into becoming a cat trapper since if you just feed feral cats, you end up with lots of feral cats.

She has trapped her first feral, a young kitty she's called JJ. JJ is a teen cat, and probably a pregnant teen cat. She took JJ to a vet's office "down the road." As I haven't had a chance to speak to her yet, it sounds to me like it was a random vet she took JJ to. I have suggested links to vets and clinics who specialize in TNR, so I don't know if this vet was from this list or not. I have a feeling that they're not.

JJ was anesthetized so they could do the feline leukemia test (negative.) She came round as one of the vet techs was handling her, so she bit the tech. The vet told my family member that JJ would have to be taken to Animal Control and quarantined. (And this is why I'm thinking it's a random vet. My vet wouldn't do this, nor would the TNR clinic I take the ferals to.)

My poor family member is extremely distressed. Crying, she took JJ to Animal Control and explained what was going on. They are going to keep JJ and actually see if they can spay her. The problems arise as this family member has some medical issues and won't be able to pick up JJ or care for her when the quarantine is up. I think she has been planning to keep JJ, but at this point won't be able to work on socializing a feral cat. One option is to release JJ (that's the R of the TNR - return) back where she was captured. My family member and some other co-workers have been feeding the ferals, so JJ will have food and be in a familiar place.

Or, she can work on her husband, who puts on a really gruff front, but he may cave and help her socialize a feral at home. I'm not sure if he will, but the one cat they have now is a friendly feral he brought home from work a few years ago. That's the option I'm hoping for.

I feel so sorry for her (both JJ and the family member.) I had some misadventures with my first captures, Momcat and her 2 kittens, but nothing like this. I did have to quarantine Lily after she bit me, but I was able to do this at my vet's office. Have I mentioned how wonderful I think my vets are lately? Expensive, but wonderful. And for the record, Lily gave me an agitated, playful bite, not a bone deep, horribly frightened bite. I know now to feed Lily until she stops eating, and she's had her shots so the bites don't bother me.

Speaking of ferals, Mr. Chubby has been sticking his head into the doorway to see what's taking so long for breakfast. We're wondering just how long it will be before we find him sleeping on the bed.

Loss of will

As many of you know, I work in a Local Yarn Store. You would think that this would give me greater power to resist yarn as I see it, sticker it, restock it and hang around it all the time. Not true. You see, when I go to a different yarn store, I see other yarns. Yarns I don't spend hours with, building up a resistance against.

There is a LYS going out of business here. I will admit that I've only been there twice. It's not at all convenient for me, and let's be frank, a lot of stores carry very similar stuff. Same yarns, different companies. And while it carries Rowan, there is another store that is much more convenient that also carries Rowan, so I just didn't go to this one. Don't get me wrong. It is/was a lovely shop. In this busy modern world, convenience, or lack thereof, can make all the difference.

So I knew it was closing, and I also knew that I could live without going there to see what was on sale. I had some curiousity, but no burning desire. However, a friend wanted to go, and I allowed myself to be persuaded. I thought, well, maybe they still have some Summer Tweed or Silky Wool that I must have. With that intention, I went to meet my friend there.

There was some Summer Tweed and Silky Wool left, but not in the best colors. Since I was waiting for someone, I perused the store. What I found was some Zara in a lovely rust color with quite enough for a sweater, and some Millefili Fine in a great orange. I also got a couple of books.

So, for those of you who have called me things like yarn devil (since I tempt you with yarn), yarn pusher, enabler, etc, just know that I'm actually no different from you. I find myself thinking now about possibly going back to this store for a couple of yarns that I didn't get yesterday. After all, I've had some time to think, and I may really need...

More yarn storage space.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Amigurumi group

Hi amigurumi gals,

If you haven't read the Needle Nook (K)nitters board on Ravelry, please go and read it now. I'd really like to move the time to a little earlier in the day so I can go to yoga classes also. If we need to take a summer hiatus, we can certainly do that. I've just noticed that there have been fewer of us most weeks. Let me know what you think, preferably on Ravelry so everyone will be able to read and respond. Thanks, and see you soon.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The passing of an icon

Icon is a word that I think it tossed around so much in today's world that it's basically meaningless. Every movie star or fashion model who can dress herself seems to be called an icon. However, the world has lost a real, honest to goodness icon. I remember when I was a child, and Lenox Square Mall was relatively new, Yves Saint Laurent had a store here near Neiman Marcus, Charles Jourdan and Bailey, Banks, and Biddle. These were the days when high fashion truly was high fashion, and not every designer had a store at every Tanger Outlet mall. Mom subscribed to Vogue, and I remember looking through the windows of the stores and seeing the clothing from the magazine.

I may be happiest in blue jeans and black t shirts, but I also used to love fashion. I love looking at beautiful and opulent clothing, especially when the designers are going wild for Russian inspired designs for fall or maybe re-working boho hippie chic for spring. I will admit that the past few years have been disappointing when I get the fall issues of all the fashion magazines. I have my own opinions of what has happened, but I am merely a potential consumer, not a designer. (And notice I did say potential consumer. Quite frankly, I don't have the money to spend $20K on a coat, regardless of how a fashion writer tries to convince me it's a must have. I will admit that even if I did have that kind of money, I'm way too cheap to spend it that way. If I ever win the lottery, I'll be a quiet millionaire. The kind who quietly supports charities, wears blue jeans from the thrift store, drives a slightly beaten up pickup truck, and has a remarkable collection of vintage YSL clothing.)

Sorry to stray from the subject. I've always loved YSL's designs and was saddened when he retired. With his passing, the world has lost a true icon.

Quiet weekend

Thank goodness it's been quiet this weekend. Car repairs are underway, and most importantly to me, I've turned the heel of Keith's second gray sock again. It still is a little different from the first heel, and I'm pretty sure it's because I switched from dp's to magic loop. Oh well, such is life. I would really prefer not to knit the darn thing again.

We'll get the police reports this week from both car incidents. I would like to find out who stole Keith's car and see if this person has connections to our neighborhood, or if it was totally random. Either way, I'm passing the info along to the neighborhood watch so it can be distributed.

I'm hoping to make some progress on works in progress (wips) this week. Summer of Socks and Goddess Knits Anniversary Mystery Shawl both start in the next few weeks. I want, at the very least, to finish the heathery gray sock before then.

Oh! Keith has absorbed knitting lingo, and I didn't even know. I mentioned to him that I wasn't sure I would have enough of some of the other yarns to knits socks for his rather large feet, and he said, "why don't you knit at a larger gauge?" Wow! Excuse the cliche', but you could have knocked me over with a feather. I explained about how socks needed to be knit at a tighter gauge for better wear and comfort, but all the while I'm thinking, he's learned about gauge? Actually, it makes sense. He likes to play guitar and knows about home improvements, both of which can include wires, which come in different gauges.

On that note, I'm off to the kitchen to work on his sock while he makes dinner. He's pretty darn wonderful. He takes over all cooking duties on Sundays. From the pancake jamboree in the morning to whatever we might have for dinner, he does it all.