Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year Mayhem

At least that's what I'm planning.

Alas, Keith does not share quite the same love I have for old sci-fi movies, but also he's felt so yucky that all he's done is lay around and look pitiful. Lily is taking full advantage of this, using him to lean on and get all her fluffy fur groomed just so.

However, Keith has felt well enough to now leave the bedroom, which gave me a chance last night to watch...drumroll please....

The Thing from Another World

Ah yes, I have quite an affection for these old movies. However, I do revel in all the gory of John Carpenter's The Thing, and that's on the agenda for tonight.

So, for me no champagne and kisses at midnight to usher in the new year, although there will probably be fireworks set off by the neighbors.

I'll also admit to wanting a marathon of the Original War of the Worlds (in which the townspeople say, "there are scientists fishing at the lake" or some such nonsense. Today you wouldn't just go grab a random scientist for an alien encounter, but I suppose back then you could. After all, have you ever really stopped to think about the Professor on Gilligan's Island? He knows something about everything, and I mean everything.)

Oops, I lost track there, didn't I? Anyway, a progression of War of the Worlds, then Independence Day, which has a lot of scenes taken right from the WotW and updated, then the newest one, which has some great special effects.

As for now, I'm entering the wayback machine to 1982, when Kurt Russell was still really hot, and watching a shapeshifting alien kick some ass.

Happy New Years!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Angelic visitation

An angel visited us yesterday in the form of Daphne bearing 8 servings of wonton soup, and I meant to mention this earlier. Everyone needs a friend like Daphne who will petsit and deliver Chinese soup when you are ill. Thank you again, Daphne!

Laundry avoidance

Honestly, it can't be avoided any longer. It really doesn't matter that almost every hand towel is in the dirty clothes. (and for the life of me, I can't figure that one out, unless Keith has been using them to dry off Lily since rain doesn't deter her from going outside.) No, I've only got one pair of handknit socks left that are clean, so laundry must be done. Or at least a load of socks.

Actually, our hamper, which isn't very large, is full. I just dumped all the sheets and blankets from the bed onto the floor the other day. I didn't have the strength to do anything with them after I changed them, so Monster has been happily sleeping on them. I'm just glad we have an older model washer that can handle more fiber than these new fangled ones with all the computer parts can, as there's gonna be some cat hair on 'em now.

We did pull ourselves out of the house to go to WalMart, because we really had to. A prescription was ready, and someone had to go get it. I'm thinking it was a bad idea to take Keith along since he was grumpy the whole time. (While I, of course, was having the time of my life buying toothpaste and birdseed.)

Things I have accomplished over the past 24 hours. I read The Return of the King almost cover to cover. I'm including the appendices at the end of the book, as I like reading more of the history of Aragorn and Arwen. I knitted about 6 rounds on the sweater sleeve. I've slept.

I'm pretty sure this is a cold. It's moving up from my chest and into my sinuses. I don't expect to be able to think clearly for a few more days as the lack of oxygen fogs my mind. And let me tell you, Keith is no fun to be sick with. He doesn't want to watch movies. He just wants to lay around and look really miserable. He's had more sinus issues than I have, so I guess I can understand it. However, it'd be nice if he wanted to watch something with killer rabbits or giant, radioactive bugs with me. He may want to just stare at the ceiling, but I find I'm too restless to do that. Oh well, I'd best go check the laundry now and dream of giant ants attacking Los Angeles later.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A pat on the back

I normally don't do this sort of thing, but I want to brag just a little. A couple of weeks ago I got a message from a friend looking to adopt 2 kittens. His family had just lost their beloved dog, and he had decided to get kittens for Christmas. He asked me where to get them, and I was able to direct him to my two favorite local shelters, Furkids and AtlantaPets. I was quite happy to receive a message telling me thanks, that he had adopted 2 kittens from Furkids. They are littermates from a feral mom. I'm glad to have had a small part in helping them all find each other.

Ok, so maybe that really isn't bragging, but I'm a still partially sleep deprived, not yet caffeinated, possibly H1N1 carrying knitter who is still wondering in the back of her mind just what movie will fill another long day of just lying about the house.

H1N1?

It has been suggested that we may have H1N1, which we may. If you'd like, go here and check out what CDC says about it.

However, we're not moving around a whole lot. I did have to brave the grocery store to make sure we had some things to eat that didn't involve me doing any prep work. Poor Keith is so wiped out that he's useless, and while I feel somewhat crappy and enervated, unfortunately I'm the better feeling of the two of us, which means I had to go to the store.

I'm really thinking now that I may just order 6 or 10 portions of won ton soup from our favorite Chinese restaurant so we'll have something edible. You know you feel kind of crappy when mac and cheese doesn't taste that good.

I did get a fairly decent night's sleep last night, which is a big win for me. Keith still had some insomnia, but he thinks his low-grade fever has broken. Well, that's what I thought a couple of days ago too.

My biggest concerns today are what in the world am I going to watch now and will any of the critters get sick? While we don't have any pet pigs to share our illness with, I'm wondering if cats or dogs can get it? As to the what will I watch, I did watch all 4+ hours of the extended version of the Return of the King yesterday. Poor Keith lay on the couch the whole time in a state of semi somnolence with Lily by his side. However, as he had been in the bed for much of the time since Saturday night, I didn't feel sorry for him.

I did accomplish a bit of knitting. I've finished stoma cover #10 except for weaving in the ends and started #11. It was the perfect kind of knitting to do while watching Aragorn summon the oathbreaking dead to fulfil their oath. Or to watch Barad-dur fall when the Ring was destroyed. Back to the stoma cover knitting. It still seems that I haven't made a dent in that cotton yarn. I didn't think I had that much, but apparently I do. Darn dishcloth cotton going on sale for less that $1 a ball. What was I thinking?

Well, I must be off to brew some coffee and get ready for another long day of laying around the house. Thus I'll be able to bore you with more tales of the recovery, and perhaps of my total inability to tackle a New York Times crossword puzzle for the days of Thursday-Sunday. Keith, quite nicely, told me that being ill does mess with your brain. That was very sweet of him. I will admit that it's strange how events from 2000 seem like ages ago now, and to work a puzzle that was published during that time is like a bizarre little time capsule.

ETA - Maybe I should watch The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. It's a nice long film at nearly 3 hours.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Never tempt the Fates!

They have a wicked sense of humor. After another night of tossing, turning, wondering do I have a fever now, does Keith have a fever, won't he stop moving, talking, and why won't Lily settle down, I finally got maybe 3 hours of sleep. I'm really wishing we had a guestroom with a spare bed as I would have taken Mr. Chubbers and his soothing purring in there to see if I could get some sleep. Maybe a hotel....especially since Keith is in a mega cover-pulling rampage. Of course, when the maybe fever kicks in, my own personal furnace could heat the whole room.

Anyway, I woke up feeling worse than I did all day yesterday. Most likely it was having another night of no sleep that did it, but my throat hurt all the way into my ears. I'm hungry, but too tired to fix anything. Keith has hardly budged from the bed since he got into it on Saturday night, so I know he won't be cooking anything. I think I'll brave the grocery store for some more chicken broth, bland frozen dinners (mac & cheese!), and a cough syrup with an extra drowsy, 12 hour formula. If that doesn't work, I think we have one of those ballpeen hammers in the basement! Ah, the secrets of life that I've learned from Bugs Bunny.

The worst thing about all this? Not a bit of knitting yesterday. Not one single stitch. In fact, when I was up, I was mostly playing Spider Solitaire or Pathwords. Maybe I can pry Keith from the bed long enough to watch The Return of the King. He hogged the bed all day yesterday. I think it's my turn now.

P.S. I once again tried the "What Would Clint Do" and downed a jigger of whiskey last night. While it might work if you're having surgery during the Civil War (The Good, The Bad and The Ugly) or having a fake nun pull an arrow out of your shoulder (Two Mules for Sister Sara), but I think I'll use the cough syrup tonight.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

An empty lap and both hands

Yes, Miss Grey has left my lap (thank goodness!), and I have use of both hands again. I know I make remarks about aging now and again, and I definitely feel my age when I've got that heavy cat sleeping in my lap. I have to cross my legs for us both to be comfortable, but by the time she gets up (or I push her off my lap), my legs are numb and my hip joint hurts. I'm hoping yoga will help some of this. What it can't help is that Grey is just a large kitty.

I'm feeling better today. I must have been running a very low grade fever. I just couldn't get warm last night. I finally took a hot bath, and I had to keep adding lots of hot water to it, then I climbed into bed early. Neither of us slept well last night, as hubby is feeling crappy too. He tossed and turned all night. I tossed and turned some. Everytime I was awake and trying to get more comfortable, he'd ask me if I was awake too. Unfortunately I was, every single time. However, I got really overheated last night, and cooked out most of the germs. I feel much better today. He's been in bed most of the day. I sure hope he can sleep tonight. I've got to work tomorrow, and I'd like to sleep. I plan to get him to try to sweat out the illness tonight, whether he likes it or not.

As you can see from the earlier post, I've finished the body part of the February Lady Sweater. I started on the first arm yesterday. The knitting didn't go quite as quickly as I would have liked. I'm not sure if I had my recent rant here about Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings, but in the past I've complained about the liberties he took with the story. I'm re-reading the Lord of the Rings, and for some reason felt compelled to watch the movies again. (Viggo Mortensen). What I noticed is that he does say during the credits that the movies were "based on the LOTR". I suppose saying that gives him the freedom to turn Faramir into a real ass. What he did to Faramir bugs the crap out of me. However, for all that he got wrong, he did get some stuff very right (Viggo Mortensen). I've watched the Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, but it may be a few days before I get to watch The Return of the King. Keith said the movies were loud and depressing, and he was grumpy that I was hogging the bedroom watching them. As we are not tied to having to keep up with anybody, we only have 1 large color TV, an old console of undetermined years that we got when his dad moved several years ago. Thus, only one decent place to watch movies (the 13" tv in the kitchen is not made for large scale battle scenes, but works well for animation).

Wow, have I digressed! Anyway, the knitting was slow as I had to watch the movies, and I'm not an accomplished enough knitter to knit lace without looking at it. Heck, I'm barely accomplished enough to knit garter stitch without looking at it. Many times last night my knitting was forgotten as I watched the movie. Still and all, I'm on the first sleeve, and I'm happy about that.

Also, I'm knitting right along on the next pair of socks for Keith. He had been very reluctant to wear the handknit socks, mostly because he thought wool would be too hot. This wet and chilly late autumn has changed his tune, so I've been alternating between my sweater and his socks, dividing my knitting time to make progress on both.

Time for me to go. I hear some leftover Chinese food calling my name, and as I've not eaten much today, I'm rather hungry. I do plan to get better again about blogging. Only one more family get together, and I don't have to cook anything for this one!

pics only.




Kneading cat in lap. Can't type with only one hand.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The month is speeding by.

Just a fast update. Lily's biopsy came back that it wasn't a cancer. We're using really strong antibiotics to see if it will shrink the lump, and they have. I'll probably take her back in sometime next week for a followup.

I've picked up a chest cold somewhere. At least I think that's what it is. My nose isn't stuffy, but my throat tickles like crazy. I'm going to take a nap in a few minutes. I'd been debating about watching a movie, but sleep sounds much better.

I'm almost finished with the body of the February Lady Sweater. I only have a couple of more rows before binding off. Sleeves will seem like a walk in the park.

I promise there will be pictures in the near future. Right now I'm wondering if I can lure a cat or two onto the bed to keep me warm while I snooze. The other item on my mind is do I have an cough syrup, or should I just take a slug of whiskey to soothe my throat? I'm leaning towards the whiskey.

Monday, December 14, 2009

It's happened.

The event that I both feared and longed for has happened. Keith has started wearing his handknit socks.

You know what this means, don't you? I have to start knitting more socks for him. He even suggested I use larger yarn so that it doesn't take so long. After all, he has size 12-13 feet, so it does take some time with sock yarn to whip up a pair of socks.

I wound yarn for his next pair yesterday. After all, he likes wearing them, and he's really a great husband. I'll get started in the next few days on them. Since I found out after I purchased the yarn just how much it takes to make a pair for him, these will be knit in Prairie by Yarn Smiths with toes, heels and probably part of the cuff in Malabrigo Sock Yarn.

I'll post pictures after I take some.

P.S. I finished stoma cover #8 today. I'm starting to make a dent in all the cotton yarn.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I finally uploaded a few pictures.


These pictures start a few weeks ago, so I've put them in some semblence of chronical order.

You may remember, if I blogged about it, that I thought I had searched in vain for a second bobbin of singles. I finally found the fiber, unspun, of course. The finished second bobbin is the one on the far right. I had divided the fiber before I spun it, in an attempt to spin two bobbins of the same weight. Didn't happen. I have
much to learn, and probably not nearly enough time to learn all I'd want. Honestly, I'd have to be immortal to learn all I'd like to learn.
Can you imagine? Becoming a vampire so you'd have time to study all that you would like? I could take astronomy classes, learn Hindi (for watching Bollywood movies) - I'm digressing.

This next picture you see, depending on how blogger decides to edit my post, is the yarn on the swift. I think it must be the single as you can see loopy, tightly twisted areas. My finished yarn was actually quite nicely balanced.


You remember that we're waiting on pins and needles waiting for the results of Lily's biopsy. In the meantime, let me share a picture of Lily sleeping on top of the curio cabinet in the kitchen. She found our round baking pan to be the best spot ever for about a week. I don't think I can even begin to tell you how we have worked to disuade her from getting on the curio cabinet. Luckily for us, she just found one of Scooter's cat beds, and that has become her choice for napping.


This past week Gale and I drove to Gastonia, NC, to go to Mary Jo's, a huge fabric and notions store that is 32,000 square feet large. Can you say total sensory overload? It was amazing, but as I told Gale, next time I need a list. I went with plans only to check the place out (yeah, right), and I, of course, made some purchases. That said, I got an awful lot and didn't spend much at all. Off the top of my head I'm not sure how much fabric I did get - I'm thinking about 5 yards total, as well as zippers, buttons, and a pressing tool. It's not a tailor's ham, it's the round one that fits into sleeves. I should have just gone on and gotten the tailor's ham too. Drumroll please......I only spent about $55. Some of the fabrics I purchased were Amy Butler, and they were between 35% to 40% off what I could buy them locally.
Never fear. I will continue to purchase locally, as this was an all day excursion, spent mostly in Gale's mini SUV. Mary Jo's has seemed like an urban legend. A place whispered about in quilting classes, so I had to see it for myself. Wow! Just wow!


Now for a little knitting. This bright orange project is stoma cover #7, knit from Cotton Classic, using US size 6 needles. This is one of the formerly amigurumi yarns, but I know someone will just love this vivid orange. I actually enjoy a good eye-searing lime or purple yarn too. (Maybe not wear except as a hat or mittens, but I do love 'em.)


Last, but certainly not least, is my February Lady Sweater in progress.

This morning, while waking up and thinking I needed to wind the next
ball of yarn, I realized that I am going to run out of yarn. Yes. I am going to be short.
This wonderful Malabrigo Merino Worsted has been marinating in my stash since 2005. It's from the very first shipment of Malabrigo that Needle Nook ever received. I'd purchased it with a project in mind that I've never gotten around to knitting, and when I decided to make this sweater instead, I had enough.
And herein lies my error. I had enough for the size I thought I needed to make, but after working on in for some time, I realized I needed to make a larger size. I charged right ahead, making that huge mistake of not rechecking my yardage. As the end of ball 3 looms in the near future, I only have 2 balls left to finish knitting the body and the 2 sleeves.
Can I take a minute to point out to less experienced knitters that we all screw up? We all make the silliest mistakes with our projects. This is why I tell people to buy that extra ball of yarn when I'm working. It's just for this reason.
Now, I'm not sure just one more ball of yarn is going to fix this for me. What I will do is continue to knit. I can finish the body, and in the meantime I can start looking for the same color of Malabrigo and see if I can find a reasonable match. I know it won't be the same. Malabrigo kettle dyes their yarn in batches of 10. However, since it is kettle dyed, and there are inconsistencies in color, I should be able to find something I can use. If not - well, I'm sure I can think of something.
Now, it's time to go enjoy this frigid morning. It's the first hard frost of the season. Poor Sassy is outside as I didn't want to stay out there and wait while she searched for a place to do her doggy business. (Sometimes it takes a really long time to find the perfect poop spot, and I figured I could blog instead of spending 15-20 minutes outside waiting while she sniffs every square inch of the yard. She does have one of those insulated doghouses, and she waits in it while watching the back door. You can see her nose sticking just out of the doorway flap. She also starts her special "let me in" bark which I haven't heard yet, so maybe there is a lot of squirrel chasing going on right now. Whatever, it's time for her to come back in, warm up and have some breakfast.) Enjoy your Sunday!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

No snow today

and I'm just as glad. It's been quite cold all day long. It was so wonderful to get home from work, put on flannel pj's and handknit wool socks. My poor feet had been chilly all day long, but wrapping them in the comfort of soft, cozy wool was just a delight. I've got to start knitting socks again.

I have been totally seduced by Malabrigo Worsted Merino, which is what I'm using for my February Lady Sweater. I've been knitting it a little tightly to get gauge, and the resulting fabric is a spongy, incredibly soft, cushion. I've had some difficulty knitting it as Princess Plumy finds Malabrigo a treat for paws. I have to keep an eagle eye on her to stop her from kneading my sweater every chance she gets. I know it's so soft that it will probably pill, but it doesn't need any preliminary cat pulls before I ever get to wear it. (I have a vision that someday I'll accidently leave it on the bed, and I'll never be able to get near it again. It will be claimed by someone with sharp claws who's not afraid to use 'em.)

I do need pictures to share, and weather permitting, I'll get a few tomorrow.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Wintry mix

There's a chance for some wintry weather (snow) during the next 24 hours.

Snow can be very interesting down here in the South. For us natives it can be a fun holiday. Schools and businesses shut down. Roads are closed. As long as the power stays on, it's a free day off.

The transplants from the north like to scoff at us. A dusting of snow. How ridiculous that the entire city or region shuts down. They know how to drive in snow!

Truthfully, why bother? What's wrong with having an extra day off to relax and enjoy? The quiet is so amazing with the planes grounded, and the roads closed. And the misguided folks who feel they must go out and drive find that although we've gotten better prepared for snowy days with salt and ice, so many of the secondary roads just have to wait until it melts. As for us, we hang out with hot tea or chocolate, watching the flakes fall and the birds swarm the feeders.

As for the wintry weather, it's probably going to be just a little too warm for snow, so it will be that wet cold that penetrates you to your very bones. However, the grocery store shelves will soon be empty of bread and milk (which always sells out whenever snow threatens. Personally, I'd rather stock up on nachos, pizza and a bracing alcoholic beverage instead.) I'm sure I'll enjoy the snow as it falls and melts. Perhaps you can too.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A mixed day.

Miss Lily made her third trip to the vet over the past 18 months for her swollen lip today. This time, finally, there was something the vet could see. She has a mass growing in her lower lip. Poor thing had a punch biopsy with the sample being sent to the lab. The vet called me about an hour after we had dropped her off to tell us the news. Keith was able to pick her up about an hour after that. Apparently she needed a whole lot of lap time when she got back home.

I don't know about Keith, but I'll be on those pins and needles until we hear the results of the biopsy. We're hoping for something benign. I'd hate to think that Lily has more hardship in her life. She showed up here as a stray who decided we were where she wanted to live, and she's Keith's baby.

On to fun news. I purchased some bookmarks from Moonwood Farm, who was raising funds for one of her sick alpacas. Purchase of the bookmarks entered me into a drawing to win a prize. Honestly, I didn't for a minute think I'd win anything, so I was flabbergasted to find a notification that I'd won second prize! Woohoo! I'll receive membership in her Moonbeams club. I'll have to oil up the wheel and get a-spinnin'.

As for now, I need to find someplace better to sit. Princess Plumeria is in my lap, looking happily catatonic after kneading on me, but my leg is falling asleep. (She's a big kitty. Not fat, but big. And she's convinced that I can't sit anywhere in the house without her in my lap to hold me to the chair. She's the reason that I'll need hip replacement surgery in the future.)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hibernation

I wish I'd been hibernating. Snug in bed, snoozing happily under a pile of blankets and cats. Sounds like bliss.

Hubby mentioned tonight that I haven't blogged in a long time. True. We've been busy, and nothing I've done lately is really blogworthy. Should I bore you with tales of clearing out the stuff we've accumulated over the years? Why do we save some of the things we do? I've made 2 trips to Goodwill over the past 2 weeks. I've got another small load to drop off. It feels great to drop off clothes I'll never wear again someplace where others can use them. Let's face it - it's highly improbable that I'll ever be a size 4 again. Even if I were to achieve that admirable tiny size, I'm too old for short shorts. I find nothing is more sad than a woman dressing inappropriately for her age. We all know it's usually some pathetic older woman trying to recapture her youth by dressing like she's a teenager. When I was a teenager, I dressed in what would be described nowadays as grunge. However, it was the 70's and years before grunge. I suppose a middle aged Southern woman in a flannel shirt, jeans and cowboy boots nowadays in certain parts of the country would just be normal, so actually I can dress like my teenage self if I want to. I'd just have to make sure I wasn't in the Atlanta metro area and head out into the areas where people actually still are native Southerners. Or maybe Texans.

Hmmm, maybe I shouldn't blog while waiting for a Benadryl to put me to sleep. It seems to have an interesting effect.

Yes, Benadryl. Contact dermatitis again. Considering it's on one ankle and the opposite shoulder, I'm thinking that once again a feline vector is involved. Amazingly, this time I either didn't get much exposure, or I was much more swift in addressing the issue. After only 36 - 48 hours since I noticed it, it's almost all gone.

There has been knitting. I've got to load pictures from my camera to the computer and onto the blog. I'm sure that will happen sometime this week. Not sure when. I'm partway through my 7th stoma cover for donation to Grady Hospital. I've got quite a stash of cotton, much of which I purchased either just after reading Mason Dixon Knitting and thinking I needed to make a lot of dishrags. The rest of the cotton was from my attempts at amigurumi. I think amigurumi is very interesting, but it's hard on the hands to crochet at the necessary gauge. Thus, I have cotton just sitting around, taking up space from future sock yarns. This way I can use up the cotton and do some community service. And we all know that space won't stay empty for long.

I'd best go and see if I can get some sleep. Lily's going to the vet yet again for her swollen lip. I do hope they can give us an answer this time.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Feels like winter!

Sometimes I do wonder just what it is I love about living in the South. (Hint: it's the geography.)

Today is a few degrees warmer that it would be in dead winter, but it feels like a winter's day. It's cold and rainy. These cold, rainy days can be so bonechilling. It makes me really glad that this isn't medieval England, and I'm not in some stony home wearing 15 layers of clothing and still not being able to warm my hands.

I've been doing all sorts of research online today. Business names, suppliers, etc. Emailing the accountant. I'm going to stop being a lazy bum (although it's really fun) and start dyeing yarns. I do have ideas of colorways I want to make up. I'll give it a go and see what happens. Worst comes to worst, I'll know I'm really awful at it and need to go back to bookkeeping. Best case scenario, I become the next Wollmeise! :) (If you believe that, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn for sale. Great price.) I guess I shouldn't be self-deprecating as who knows what the universe has in store for us. I could really be the next Wollmeise, watching knitters swarm my shop like ...hmm, all analogies going that way aren't perhaps the ones I should be using. I tell you, I'm a little warped.

There has still been knitting on the February Lady Sweater. I'd take a picture, but it doesn't look much different from last week. Just a little longer. I'll be getting to the lacy part pretty soon, and then it should be good picture fodder again.

I suppose I'd better go figure out what we're having for dinner tonight. I'd planned to make something in the crockpot, but we napped, and now it's too late for that. I'll make it on Tuesday, when hopefully the leftovers from whatever I make tonight are all gone.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Arborist number 2

The second arborist has come and gone, and he told me almost the exact same things arborist number 1 did. I still can't describe the relief. Sure, who wouldn't be thrilled to not have to spend thousands of dollars to have trees removed, but to me, it's more than the money. I really like having trees in the backyard. In the summer time, when it's hot, and I'm trudging up to the composter, I can feel the difference in temperature the instant I get under the trees. Hmm, I'd better remember to check for ticks though. Ticks are a small price to pay to keep my cats, squirrels, woodpeckers, owls and all the other birds who visit happy.

I do have a small something to share. I had ordered some Feliway, the cat pheromone that helps to calm kitties. Keith knew I had ordered it as I mentioned it to him. The box arrived, and I left it unopened on the cedar trunk near the door. When Keith noticed it, he asked, "What's in the box? Yarn?" I think I may be getting a little predictable!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Happy news from an arborist

Several months ago, you may remember, we had to dig up most of our backyard to have a new drain field installed.

Some of the trees had a lot of their roots damaged and dug up during the installation, and I've been worried about them. I had called the county extension service and spoken to a master gardener volunteer who told me that the roots wouldn't regrow, and I should just have all the trees removed.

I called a tree company that we had used before and been quite happy with what I'd been told at the time, but this time when I got an estimate, it was from one of the salesmen, and he wants to take down nine (9!) trees from the backyard.

Ok, they're not the best trees. They are pine trees and sweet gums, but they form part of the squirrel superhighway from the far reaches of the backyard and all the neighbors' yards to our roof, from which a squirrel can easily reach the birdfeeders via the large ligustrum with only a few feet of cat gauntlet to run. Yeah, I doubt that sentence is grammatically correct, but I'm leaving it as is.

I've been dreading taking down all the trees. Sure, it's expensive. As in OMG! You want me to pay what?! More importantly though, I have memories in those trees. The redheaded woodpeckers that hollowed out a nest cavity in the old dead tree, and finally left after the tree fell. They lived there for several years. It was so cool. We both loved to watch them.

There was the night I knew we'd have to put our husky Ripper to sleep. He was so uncomfortable. He had lost so much weight that I could carry him from outside to his bed inside and back again several times that night. I sat outside with him, listening to him breathing and trying to comfort him while an owl hooted in the trees above us. It was such a sad, difficult night, but there was also the wonder of hearing that owl keeping watch with me.

Then there was one night when we heard an owl very close by making the strangest sounds we'd ever heard an owl make. It sounded like a very happy owl trying to hoot around a mouthful of rodent, and it was almost just outside the window.

I've procrastinated calling other tree services since I was afraid what they would say, but I forced myself to call 2 more yesterday.

The first arborist came today and tramped around my hellishly messy backyard (we've not done anything to it since the drainfield was installed as we've been waiting for any treework to be completed and for the weather to cooperate for longer than 24 hours. It's rained so much that the red clay sticks like crazy to your shoes. But, I digress.) After looking around, quizzing me about when the work was done, he said, none of them look like they need to come down right now. If they were in danger of coming down, we would have seen some dieback, and he didn't see any evidence of that. A couple need to be trimmed, and several need to be checked again in the spring when they start to leaf out again.

That was the best news I've heard in some time. I do have 1 more arborist/tree service coming to take a look, but now I'm actually ready to go do some work in my backyard. It won't be all torn up again, and I'll be able to make some headway back there. It will be a very Zen experience as I go pick up all those rocks that now litter the surface. (Or it may just be utterly maddening.)

To keep this a little fibery, I did ply my singles the other night. The yarn is balanced now, but I don't think it's plied that well. Gale suggested I run it through the wheel again and add more twist to the plying. I'm thinking about it while the yarn rests. I've got to take pictures and post them soon.

As for now, it feels like midnight since it's been dark for hours already. I think bed and a book are calling to me.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sorry that I misinformed you

I really and truly thought I'd be back to blogging more regularly this past week, and before I knew it, a whole week had gone by.

At least I've got some pictures for you today.

Miss Grey has been a velcro kitty today. A quick word about Grey, a.k.a. Princess Plumeria. She is a large kitty. Not fat, but large. She's larger than either of her parents were. Her mama was a somewhat petite, but fierce, stray kitty that we named Fluffy Meow.
Her daddy was a feral male we named Howler as he was always running around yowling. This was back in the days before I'd ever heard of TNR, and while I fed Howler, I didn't know what to do about getting him neutered. Unfortunately, the life of a feral can be harsh, and he disappeared one day. I did find a home with my cousins for Fluffy and one of her kittens, and Grey and Monster stayed with us.
Anyway, Grey is a large, nicely proportioned kitty, who still thinks that she's the tiny thing that would fit so nicely in my lap. My legs usually fall asleep, and I'm wondering if the hip pain I experience has less to do with my age and more to do with Grey and Scooter sitting on me so much over the years. In his prime, Scooter was a fat kitty, weighing in around 13 pounds. I'm not sure I want to know what Grey weighs.

Truthfully, I'm surprised I've been at the computer this long without Grey trying to sneak her way into my lap.

Without further ado, knitting from these past few weeks. This week I did finish the first sock from my Miss Babs Yummy sock yarn. I started it months ago. It was my sitting at traffic lights, waiting in long lines sock. I took it out as I was getting panicky about some knitting math I'd done on the next object, the February Lady Sweater. Sometimes it really is better just to trust the pattern and not do the math that might freak you out.
The February Lady Sweater is the orangy thing you see somewhere on the page. I've learned no amount of my editing will convice blogger to format the page in the same layout as I see whilst typing it.
Next is a skirt for a bear for the Atlanta Knitting Guild. This is a challenge bear that I accepted with some donated yarn in coordinating colors. Ugh! The yarn is so gross. Kind of a scratchy acrylic. I'm doing my best with it. I did the skirt with no pattern, just adapting it from hat construction. I was a little dismayed to put it on her to find the waistband was under her armpits, so I've included a picture of the undressed bear. She doesn't have the easiest figure to dress. I'm still debating about what to knit next. Last night I cast on for a cardigan (no pattern again), but my half assed math was off. I also tried a poncho that I ripped out. I'm taking the lazy way out and searching the AKG website for a pattern to use.


Finally, I spent part of Tuesday looking all over for a bobbin of yarn so that I could ply the two bobbins together. After much searching, I realized that I had never actually spun the second bobbin. D'oh! Tuesday night I sat and spun that second bobbin, and I'll ply them together in the next few days. I forgot to take pictures this morning while taking the knitting pictures, so I'll take them and add them later in their own entry.
Hurricane Ida wasn't too terribly bad here in my immediate area, but other parts of metro Atlanta flooded again. The ground is still pretty saturated, and it didn't take too long for water to start backing up again. Our sump pump was going almost constantly starting sometime Tuesday during the day, and we are still hearing it sporadically even today.
I must go now. Keith thinks Mr. Chubbers has a tick, and my beloved isn't very good at removing them. I suppose I'm a jack of odd trades, master of few.

Monday, November 9, 2009

More regular blogging to start again

I was looking through my entries for the past few months. Wow! I've really been sliding in the blogging department.

Part of it is was travelling with Gale for the shows in Wisconsin and Rhinebeck. Shows and travel are tiring, and while Gale was wonderful and let me use her computer, I felt a little funny about monopolizing it. If and when I do that again, I hope to have my own netbook so I can download pictures and blog from the road.

As for pictures, believe it or not, I don't think I took a one at Rhinebeck, so I wouldn't have had any to share anyway.

When I got back home, I had a couple of weeks to clean house before the Artist's Way Group met here yesterday.

A couple of weeks for cleaning, you ask. Well, if you have looked at my blog description, which includes generally avoiding housework, you may get the idea. Ever since all the rain in September, the ground is still pretty saturated around here. White kitchen floor, red Georgia clay, and pets, as well as humans, doesn't add up to anything good. Also, I had to dust. I will confess, I'm horribly lazy when it comes to housework. Why should I waste time dusting when I could be knitting? Thus, there was dust. Fine, powdery, Georgia red clay dust mostly brought in on Sassy, who likes to dig out wallows in the back yard. Actually, every dog we've had enjoys digging a nice wallow in the dirt. You get a dirt covered dog running around inside, and I guess you see my point. Anyway, it's all clean now, and all I have to do is maintain it. Or win the lottery and get a cleaning service to go with the larger house.

We've got a late season hurricane headed our way, complete with flood watches and torrential rain. I'll get outside today and snap a couple of knitting in progress pictures before the rains start again. We just had the wettest October on record (or was it the second wettest?). This fall we've had is also a record maker. While the fall colors have been just gorgeous, I'm not ready for another round of rain.

Well, I must be off to do something actually blog-worthy. My spinning wheel started whispering my name yesterday. It also said "resistance is futile". Apparently, I must obey. (Boy, Keith sure wishes I would obey his whispers to do more housework.)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A few pictures

A baby surprise jacket knitted from Gale's Art sock yarn. It's a sample for Gale to take with her to shows. This is the jacket before it was seamed. I'll take another picture of it today.

Next you see Miss Grey inspecting the beginning of my February Lady Sweater. I'm using Malabrigo, and the gauge is slightly off. Luckily, I've been knitting long enough to make some adjustments (or just not give a damn since it's so close).

The final picture is another Mochi Plus Tam/Beret. I made one, maybe back in September for the store, but this one is for me. I do like a fun hat, and this one is very fun to knit. I am using Mochi Plus yarn, but I'm thinking this hat would be a great way to use handspun yarn too.

I've got an exciting day planned with the hubby. Sassy is getting a bath. I've got comforters to wash that won't fit in our washer, so I get to spend some quality time at a laundromat. Isn't my life exciting? I will have some more knitting photos soon. The ones I posted today are from Sunday, and the BSJ has been seamed while the FLS has many more rows completed.






Thursday, October 29, 2009

Coyote!

We saw our very first coyote on our street today! I saw it trotting around in the yard across the street, so I yelled in a very ladylike way, "Keith, what the hell is that?!"

Dear Keith. He says that it's a fox. I'm thinking no way is that a fox. That's a coyote, and I just need you to agree with me so I know I'm not hallucinating. Luckily, pictures of foxes and coyotes are quite easy to find on the Internet, and he soon agreed that it was a coyote.

Our kitties don't know it yet, but they have just become indoor only cats. I know they are used to using my vegetable garden as a litter box, and I'd honestly rather have to keep moving where I plant the edibles instead of scooping kitty litter, but I also want them in one cranky, furry, living piece and not on a coyotes dinner plate.

As for the coyote, it was probably thinking "what the hell?" itself. We were standing there, watching it. It took off running up the street until we couldn't see it. I knew it was only a matter of time before they were here in my neighborhood. Daphne, who lives about 6 miles away, has seen them in her neighborhood for the past few years. My only gripe about coyotes around here really is the whole inside/outside cat thing. I see buying or building one of those outside cat playgrounds in my future. Why can't I see that winning lottery ticket in my future?

Even during stress, there's levity

I have been filling in at the knit shop where I formerly worked for the past few months as a little background to my tale.

When my hubby appeared in the store yesterday, I was surprised and shocked. He very rarely drops in to say hi, but he had news for me. He had a gift certificate from Barnes & Noble that he said I could use, and as he was near one, I'd asked him to pick up Heat Wave for me. I'd also asked him about something else a few days ago, which I'd already forgotten, but he hadn't. So he walks into the store, announcing as he does, "I got that book for you, and your Playboy too."

Yes, he says it in a knit shop filled with about 4 or 5 customers. Granted, I'm not sure anyone heard him. Also, there was no one in there who really knew me well enough to say something about it. I will admit to some slight mortification with his announcement though. Let's admit it, do you want to buy baby yarn from a woman who reads Playboy? In my defense, I had read on Ravelry in the Simpsons fan group that Marge was on the cover. Being a long time fan of The Simpsons, how could I not get it? I personally wasn't quite bold enough to go purchase it on my own, but I luckily have a husband who would do the task. In case you're wondering (and I know you are), Marge was the centerfold, and it's almost tame enough to be on TV. The best part though, is Homer's silhouette against the wall. (Yes, it's very tame too. Get your mind out of the gutter. This is Playboy, and you actually can read it for the articles.)

As for me, I won't be working at said knit shop much longer. I had a very interesting discussion with the hubby, and those who know him know he's not very tactful, but he is honest. We've worked a deal, and although it involves me actually doing housework, I will get off my lazy ass and get my own etsy shop going. The etsy probably won't start rolling until January 2010, as there are things to get into place. I have a long and horrible to do list for today, which has a lot of drudgery on it - ugh!

Oh knitting! You came here for knitting? Well, I finished off the baby surprise jacket a couple of nights ago. I need to figure out if I want to do anything to the collar. I picked up my green Basil and for some reason that V neck and I just can't seem to hit it off. I've done the bloody thing before, but this time that darn thing just doesn't want to work for me. I finally cried "uncle!" and tossed it back into the knit bag. Then I pulled out my very lovely Pimenton Malabrigo that I've had since 2005 and cast on a February Lady Sweater. The Malabrigo's gauge isn't the same as the pattern calls for, but I'm adjusting by knitting a different size, and I think I'll be alright. One lovely thing about neck down knitting is that you can adjust as you go.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Presented for your amusement

Let me preface this post by saying that in the past, I've done such things as read Beowulf and Dante's Inferno for fun. I could quote Shakespeare, and actually name the act and scene that I was quoting. Sure, that knowledge is still there, buried under the detritus of testosterone packed action adventure movies, waiting for a reason to be resurrected.

Today is not the day.

Castle is on tonight. In this past week's Entertainment Weekly, the reviewer gave it a "B", saying that the chemistry between Castle and Beckett needs some ignition.

I, for one, must state that I watch Castle because it's cute, mindless and has Nathan Fillion in it. That's when I realized that I could watch Nathan read the phone book.

Can you just imagine him working his way through the endlessness of Jones and Smiths? Even by John Jones #105, he could make it interesting with a quirk of a smile, the simple lift of an eyebrow, and I would watch. After all, I'd be knitting the whole time anyway and dreaming of Malcolm Reynolds.

Well, off to pursue the adventures of finding the perfect head of broccoli and soup making. I'm looking forward to tonight. I may not have Captain Reynolds to snuggle, but I do have a wonderful real life hubby who also watches Castle.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Rhinebeck recap

Wow! I've been to Rhinebeck. It is huge. Just freakin' huge for a fiber show, especially when what I have to compare it to is SAFF.

The food was so wonderful too. Aztec Cocoa from Taste Budds. Utterly delicious chicken pot pies. And the Double O Grill across from the fairgrounds entrance where we stopped in for lunch and went back for dinner that night and the next two, eating something different and incredibly mouthwatering every time.

Honestly, I'm not sure what I can say about Rhinebeck and be able to do it justice. I saw bloggers I've read. I got to actually meet the brains behind the Nefarious Yarn Club. And I didn't buy a darn thing!

Part of it is that we are so fortunate in Atlanta. We've got a lot of great yarn shops that compete with each other to bring in new indie dyers as well as standard yarn lines. While I can't get all of everything here, Stitches South brought more of them here last year, with more to come this year.

Also, this is the third fair/show I've worked for Gale's Art this year, and I find I'm a little jaded. Between the shows, working at a yarn store, the Internet, and having a rather decent stash, I find it takes more to impress me. If I were more of a spinner, I think I would have made more purchases. However, one only has so much time in a day, and while I enjoy spinning, I also enjoy knitting and sewing too. I've got to say no to something.

Finally, working a show is different from going as an attendee. While Gale is wonderful and sends me off to shop, we were very busy on Saturday, and by the time I got to take another look around, the things I'd wanted to purchase were sold out. Such is life.

I'm very glad I've had the opportunity to go. I've been there, done that. While it's not the same as climbing Everest or Denali, it's sort of a knitter's equivalent, and I can mark it off my list.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More mountain slogging

We've discovered that we'll be driving through the rain again today. Such is life.

I've had mountains on the mind ever since we've reached them. I love mountains. I was raised in the foothills of the Appalachians where they wind to an end in Alabama. I remember the first time I read The Lord of the Rings and Gandalf tells Bilbo about how Gollum ends up in the caves of the Misty Mountains, how I felt a kinship with Gollum. No, I've not been searching for the one ring to rule them all, but I feel that way about mountains. They hide secrets in their hidden coves and valleys. Caves are incredible too. I've never gone honest to goodness spelunking, but I do so enjoy a stroll through a commercial cave.

So today I'll enjoy the occasional glimpse through the mist, rain and fog at a valley suddenly opening to our side and dream of Middle Earth.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Misty Mountain slog

Today as Gale and I headed up the eastern side of the Appalachian Mountains, we got to see fog almost as thick as that in Illinois. I can understand it better here, as we were driving along one side of the mountains, the valleys probably green and verdant beneath us. Who actually knows? The fog was thick and dangerous as we drove through the low-lying clouds.

Needless to say, it took awhile longer than expected to drive through it all. The leaves are changing colors, but the dense greyness of the drizzly, dim day gave us only glimpses of golds and burgundy reds. I'm really hoping the weather is more clear tomorrow.

I did take pictures that have to wait until I'm back home to upload.

This ran through my head for part of the drive. Here's to hoping for blue skies tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Left a picture out!

This is what happens when you stop at a bookstore. Yesterday's stop was Barnes & Noble, hence the very wonderful new tote bag.

Those who know me from way back when may remember that for awhile I collected Conan the Barbarian comic books. However much I enjoyed them, Robert E. Howard's actual stories are better. Imagine my delight to find this collection while browsing through the bargain books section. I was even more delighted to find they still had a few of these totes in stock.


NASA really should have named that section of the space station "Colbert".

Housework avoidance, now with more pictures.

Obviously, no mop touched my hand yesterday. Gale, Chicken Goddess and I went to the Georgia National Fair. Enjoy!






















































Friday, October 9, 2009

Just my imagination?

I'm still not sure if there was something in the bed with us the other night.

Shari, Keith had to comment about your scorpion experience. Once when we went camping, he had one crawling up his leg as we were packing up camp. It met an untimely demise as it had been heading for his "equipment". We've been very fortunate in that I've only found 1 here at our house in the very long time that we've lived here. However, a time or two we've had absolutely huge wolf spiders in the basement. They're not as large as tarantulas, but they're not that much smaller either.

Kyoko, my dear departed Pixel loved nothing better than hunting and eating the little brown spiders that would sneak into the house. Ugh! It always made me a little queasy to see her hunting down a spider.

I had good intentions yesterday. Stay home with Keith and do a few chores around the house. There are always chores to be done as I typically avoid them for as long as possible. However, I received an invitation I couldn't refuse from the Chicken Goddess, and soon I found myself heading off to the Whole Nine Yarns.

The Atlanta metro area has a lot of yarn/knit shops from which to choose, but I must admit that after Needle Nook, I rather like the Whole Nine Yarns, Mainstreet Yarns and Fibers, and Knitch. The Whole Nine Yarns and Mainstreet Yarns and Fibers are both far enough away that I don't get to either of them very often. (Ok, when I used to have to drive to Athens to get catfood, I did go to Mainstreet pretty regularly. Now I've found a place that carries Eagle Pack Holistic here in town, so I'm not out that way as often.)

Part of the allure is that they carry Rowan yarns and books. I have a strange weakness for Summer Tweed, and I also now have a sweater's worth of Calmer to knit up also. Yesterday I was able to control myself, purchasing only a sweater pattern from Chic Knits and some sock yarn from Greater Adirondack Yarns.

Thus, no mopping was done yesterday, and I've made a stab at it today. I'll admit that I'll pick doing laundry over mopping any day. Let's face it. Mopping is futile. Thirty minutes after I mop, there will be muddy pawprints on the floor. Why even bother? It's hard work with not much payoff. And honestly, while I love the idea of the Swiffer Wetjet, they lie! It doesn't clean a dog stained floor. It moistens the mud and just moves it around. I know that I have the awfulness of having to actually get on my hands and knees and scrub that darn floor like mad, and I just can't seem to make myself do that. Maybe if I were bribed with a half day at the spa, but unless we win the lottery tonight, I know that ain't gonna happen. (And if we win the lottery, I can pay someone else to scrub the darn floor for me.)

I have occupied myself with laundry, cooking and doing dishes, mostly done in mopping avoidance. I did tackle the hall bathroom, but I think it's going to need to be scrubbed by hand also. Moist, rainy days + Georgia red clay + pets = more mud than I want to think about.

I will take a brief moment and give my Scumbuster some high praise. It sure made cleaning the shower tile a lot easier.

I think tonight I'll practice my shooter pouring since I have to make Mudslides at Knit Nite in the near future. This is the only thing I'm liking that has the word "mud" near it. (Remember, don't brag about your pouring skills unless you're ready to prove 'em.)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

In the really hope I was dreaming category...

This morning I woke up abruptly, or so it seemed, when I felt something running around on the bed.

We don't normally sleep with the kitties at night. While Mr. Chubbers is the best, quiet, stay in one place all night long cat, Lily likes to engage in early morning aerial acrobatics while Princess Plumeria just meows in the most pitiful way possible to let us know she's in dire need of petting.

So, when I thought I felt something running on me, I instantly knew it wasn't a cat.

Then, when I felt it on the top of my head, I freaked out.

I tried to say Keith's name, but no sounds came from my mouth. (At this point I should have realized that I might still actually be asleep. I may be a quiet person much of the time, but I don't have any problems talking.)

I tried again. "Keith! Turn on the light! There's something in the bed with us!"

That woke him instantly. He wanted to know what it was.

"A mouse, a chipmunk, I don't know!"

The covers got tossed back. I tentatively touched my pillow and jumped at what I saw beneath it. It was the bandanna I used to cover my eyes while I'm napping.

Keith's reaction to all this? He was "dreaming like hell" when I woke him up, and how did I know I didn't dream it? After all, it's not likely we'd have a mouse in our house with the cats.

Well, that's not exactly true. Sure, no mouse in its right mind would willingly come into our house, but as I had just grabbed Lily with a live chipmunk in her mouth just a week or so ago, there may be a small rodent inside most unwillingly.

As it was about 6:30 a.m., we went back to bed after thoroughly checking the covers. Keith is convinced that I dreamed it all. While I'm not as sure, he sometimes thrashes around like crazy when he's REM sleeping, so it may have been nothing more than him pulling on the covers. Although, I'm sure I felt something in my hair....

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Where did the week go?


I didn't realize it had been a whole week since I've posted. I guess I've been busier than I thought, including several nights where I was only on the computer long enough to check the weather and make sure I wasn't needed anywhere.
Things are returning to a state closer to normal now. Last Monday we had a rather large pile of trash at the street. We have a few more things to add for tomorrow, but it's almost back to our low levels of trash (thanks to curbside recycling).



Keith was able to fix the dryer yesterday. I had spent Monday afternoon at Gale's house. She worked in her dye studio while I knitted and dried 3 loads of laundry in her dryer. I had missed hearing from Chicken Goddess, who also offered me use of her dryer. She had emailed me, but as I've not been on the computer much this week, I had missed seeing the email.
Tuesday involved the dermatologist, and I honestly don't remember what I did after that, other than cooking a big breakfast when I got home.

Wednesday I was gone all day working, then out at the Artist's Way Group that night. No computer time at all that day.
Thursday. What did I do on Thursday? I honestly don't remember. I think it involved catching up on dishes, but about all I remember was staying in my pj's most of the day until it was time to shower and get ready to go to knitting guild. Candace Eisner Strick was there. She was in town to teach some classes, that honestly I wasn't much interested in taking. And I'll admit that some of the guest teachers have given such boring presentations at the meetings that I don't much look forward to the "superstars". However, I found Candace to be very entertaining and interesting. The knitted items she had with her that night were really quite nice too. She made up for my missing Fringe.
On Friday. How will I ever be able to forget Friday? And I must blame/thank Chicken Goddess for it.
The day started innocently enough. I had gone over to CG's house last month to watch Bollywood and knit, but her TV system went kaput on her. She had to get a new home theatre system to replace her aging components which couldn't or wouldn't communicate with the newer ones. (This is something that I know is in my future. Our ancient console TV needs a good slap to get it going when we turn it on. Yeah, let's leave out the B&D jokes surrounding the TV, shall we?) Thus, she has insisted that she has purchased all this stuff just for me, and I must come over to watch it with her. The whole basement flooding/stuff getting wet/appliances not wanting to work thing has sort of consumed my life this past 10 days or so, and I just hadn't felt like I could run off to watch TV and knit all afternoon. Besides, my beloved husband would have a fit that I was goofing off and not working on the house when it so desparately needed it.
However, I had gotten laundry caught up, thanks to the kindness of neighbors and friends (I don't think I mentioned my neighbor Wanda let me dry 3 or 4 loads of laundry last Sunday, did I?) The house, while not exactly wonderfully clean, was good enough I could sneak off for a little while, and so I did.
I have now watched Om Shanti Om and Jhoom Bara bar Jhoom (my spelling may be a bit off). You must remember that most of the time I watch movies that have monsters or aliens, explosions and lots of muscle. After all, Predator is one of my all time favorite movies as it has Arnold in his prime, miles of steriod enhanced musculature and one mean m-f of an alien. Watching these movies full of singing and dancing (and one majorly hot, probably yoga enhanced male torso) were very different from my usual fare. I wish I could instantly learn Hindi so I wouldn't have to read subtitles. That's very distracting from all the dancing. And knitting? I gave up trying, especially after Jackson, a very large grey kitty who has coloring like my Princess Plumeria, except his fur is short, decided that my lap was wonderful. I sat there, hypnotized by Bollywood and Jackson's happy purring. That sure as hell beats mopping any day.
Well, I'll pay for it today. We had some things in the cooler from the downstairs fridge, and I totally forgot to buy more ice. I have to go through and toss some more stuff. Time to get the compost bucket and spend some quality time in our finally dried out and smelling much better basement. I still have this running through my head.
Oh yeah, there are knitting pictures way up above, aren't there? The sock is another sample for Gale's Art. The colorway is Autumn Fire, which I can't seem to properly photograph. The other is a Baby Surprise Jacket in her Crayon Box colorway.
The kitty picture is Mr. Chubbers dawdling on his way back into the house. Kitties really can be like stubborn kids. Sure, I'll go back inside, but I'll take my time and maybe you'll forget you want me to.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The sun is back again.

Yes, finally a cool front has moved through and pushed the rain further east. I am so happy about that.

You know, not having a dryer would be ok if:
1. I had a clothesline.
2. It stops raining long enough to actually use it.

I think what I'm going to do is watch a bunch of necessities here at home, then take all the wet clothes to the laundromat to dry. Hubby did find the problem with the dryer, but we have to determine if he can just splice some wiring, or do we need to buy a new part. One of the connections had corroded, and it probably would have started burning even without the flooding. The corroded area is actually above the high water mark, so it's probably just a coincidence. He hasn't had a chance to look at the fridge yet. One good thing about having it emptied out is that I can give it a thorough cleaning. I just hate to waste time cleaning it if it's beyond repair.

Last night was the first night in about 10 days that I picked up my knitting. I finished the third sample sock for Gale. Ok, it's not totally finished as I have to kitchener the toe and sew in the 2 ends, but I'll be finished with it sometime today.

I finally had my bout of melancholy/pity party yesterday as I took clothing to the drycleaners. Yesterday was just so dim and gray, and I felt tired. I'd just had enough. I decided to do what depressed people do - curl up in bed under a cat or two and see if I could sleep through the melancholy. That was when it started to rain again. Deluge. Monsoon. I checked the water coming back into the basement, and it was just a little more that it took to make the floor damp. Anyway, I got into bed with Chubby and Grey, and as I was dozing off, I heard a loud thump. My first thought was that it had rained so much that the trashcan had started to float and turned onto its side. I thought I'd better look outside and check. Whoa! A dead tree had fallen from the neighbor's yard and into the street near my van.

I nearly panicked. And herein lies an odd tale for your consideration. Imagine, if you will, a woman who has had every brand new car she's ever owned or leased squished by trees. The first, back in 1984, the new Toyota Corolla SR5, trunk, roof and back window smashed by a fallen oak while parked in front of the dorm at Agnes Scott College.

The second, the hubby's 1989 Mitsubishi Galant, hit by a large branch from a pine tree at the house we were renting in Decatur.

The third, my beloved 1999 Dodge Dakota, smashed lengthways from end to end by a tree while I was at work in Alpharetta, just 7 weeks short of the lease expiration and turn in time in 2003.

The fourth, the Galant gets finished off by a tree that fell in our yard in Stone Mountain. I don't remember the year.

The odd thing about it is that the trees have fallen on the new cars, not the ones we've purchased used. However, I know better than to tempt the fates, and so when I saw that tree in the road near my van, my heart leapt into my throat. Damn the rain! I grabbed an umbrella and went to check.

Amazingly, the tree fell in such a way that the only damage was pulling the cable wires down. It missed mailboxes, cars and people. No one was hurt. No property damage. No squished vehicles. I was and am amazed and grateful.

Happily the sun is shining today. The air feels drier. It's about darn time fall got here and moved some of summer's heat and humidity out to sea where it belongs.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Still cleaning

But now things are getting interesting. Not in the good way.

I washed a small load of linens that had been swamped in their storage container, then popped them into the dryer. I was starting the washer for the next load when I smelled burning. I turned off the dryer and unplugged it, making sure there were no flames or smoldering areas before I left.

We also have a second fridge in our basement. I love having the second fridge. It gives us space for storing all those odds and ends that you don't use every day (quart of capers), and we need the extra freezer space since our main fridge has the tiniest freezer. I wonder if our cooler has more space than our freezer.

Anyway, we unplugged it during the deluge, gave it time to dry out, and turned it back on. Apparently something is wrong with it, and this has become clear after I'd gone and done grocery shopping. I have to decide what goes into the cooler and what I can squeeze into the main fridge.

I had really planned to be on my 4th or 5th load of laundry as Fridays have turned into my regular laundry day, but it's not working out.

Thanks for letting me whine a little. I know many other people have been impacted by flooding much worse that we have, and I keep that in mind to maintain my perspective. However worse other have had it doesn't negate the fact that having a foot of water in your basement is a major pain in the butt, and cleaning it all up really sucks. And no matter the circumstances, having to replace appliances is also a pain, and facing having to do two at the same time - ugh. Luckily, hubby may be able to fix the dryer, and we may also be able to get the fridge repaired too.

On the good side of things, I went outside last night, and both of the feral kitties were waiting to be fed. That was great since I hadn't seen Hopalong in several days, and I'd been worried he may be met an untimely end. He's gained a little weight since he got snipped, so he probably climbed a tree and waited out the mess. I just know that the first night he came back he got a little closer to me than he normally does while waiting for his kibble.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sun!

Yes, Apollo made an appearance today. We discovered that even after being submerged, our a/c still works. Thank goodness for that as we had turned if off about 4 a.m. Monday morning, and we really needed it today.

One of the ferals, Mamacat, showed up to beg for kitty crunchy last night, so she's one less worry.

I spent the day getting groceries, took a rug in for cleaning, catching up on dishes and doing some laundry. We're still waiting for the basement to dry out, but the sump pump is still running, and we can see water running down the street. Bein' down in the holler does have some disadvantages.

Hmm, this seems a little disjointed, but I find I'm tired still from being up most of the night on Sunday, and I thought you might like to know that things are returning to normal for us.

For a lot of people in the region, normal won't return for a long time. If you want to help, you can make a donation at the Atlanta Red Cross. I'm sure you've seen some of the photos of the metro area that are showing up online now.

I think I'll quit now and be back tomorrow with a better post.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Gratitude

Oh, it's raining like mad again, and the water's rising.

However, we did go through and toss some stuff that should have been tossed some time ago. Regretfully, we also had to toss some stuff (books) that we would have kept if they weren't horribly waterlogged.

I've been watching the weather, and it's almost like a horror story. People here in Georgia have been swept away by flood waters. There are some giant sinkholes swallowing up parking lots. I'm not thrilled with what's going on here at our house and on our street, but we are actually very fortunate.

I'm really not being a Pollyanna about it. Even if we end up throwing out everything in our basement, which I hope we won't have to do, material goods can be replaced. Nothing will be able to replace the missing child who was probably swept away by the storm.

Next, almost all of my fabric and all of my yarn is upstairs, above the flood. That makes me very happy.

And finally, sometimes procrastination is a good thing. Keith had thought we'd have our basement framed in and sheetrocked by now. It didn't happen, and now we know that we have other things to tackle (bricking in the garage door) before framing in the basement. My beloved has thought all along that he and I would do the framework (ha!), so it's been put off and put off. Just a little while ago he said he was so happy that he didn't have his den put together yet.

Please do keep some good thoughts for my two feral kitties, Mamacat and Hopalong. I haven't seen either one of them all day, not even when the rain stopped for a few hours, and I'm worried about them both. I have a very good idea of where Mamacat lives, and for the most part it's a great place as she always looks dry and fluffy. I think Hopalong hangs out with her sometimes too. My fear is that she got trapped by the rapidly rising waters, and well, you can deduce the rest.

As for my very spoiled varmints, they are quite irate that I'm not letting them outside to go potty in the mulch or down into the basement for some lurking. I know I will have to pay for my human insolence in the very near future.

Ugh! Flooding

Last night between 1 a.m. to maybe 4:30 a.m. we got an additional 2" of rain. This is on top of all the other rain we've gotten since Wednesday. We're near the bottom of a hill, "down in the holler" is what I usually say, and this time that was a very bad thing. We're very near a creek, which overflowed. The volume of rain overflowed our sump system. We had to unplug everything in the basement, turn of the a/c and pile things up where we thought they would be safe.

Didn't work. The massive volume of water buckled our garage door. Our back door is raised, and the water got too high and just flowed in from that side too.

I didn't get much sleep at all last night. Today we'll be donning heavy shoes and gloves to haul things up to the trash. Things like books that were stored in the basement where we thought they would be safe as we've never had a flooding incident like this. I'm buying several jugs of bleach as we'll have to scrub every surface. I'm wondering if our dehumidifier will work again once it has dried out, or will we have to go buy a new one?

Have I mentioned this sucks? And it's still raining. One really great thing is that the basement is cement block with a slab floor, so at least it will be easy-ish to clean. That is one thing to be grateful for.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Those crazy critters


Lily's found a new place to sleep. Yes, that is the headlight of a 1984 Datsun 300 ZX. That's the last year they were Datsun.

This car has a long history with my family. My Mom and stepdad L originally bought it.

Then it went off to college with my cousin. She later gave it to my

uncle. A few years ago it went back to my Mom and stepdad D. Now we have it.
It does need some work. Mom and D put work into it, but Keith has always wanted a car to restore, and this one still has plenty of things he can do. In the meantime, I need to order a repair manual for him, and I get to start looking for things like a heat shield (which always makes me think of Star Trek).


I know, it's always cats on my blog. Can't help it. I know my place in the universe, and it is to serve catkind.
However, you've been more than patient, so here are more sheep pictures from Wisconsin Sheep and Wool. Enjoy.



















































Ahhh! Mom's back home. Do you think she'll stay put if I sleep in her suitcase and knead her things?




Friday, September 18, 2009

More about monsoons

Thank goodness last night we didn't have a repeat of the 3" of rain in just a couple of hours. The basement is attempting to dry out. I'm afraid we'll burn out the motor on our dehumidifier.

When I got home yesterday, (I'd gone to work to fill in for a sick coworker), I did my usual stuff - let Sassy out to potty. As she was sniffing around looking for that perfect spot as dogs do, I heard a siren slowing down nearby. I looked up to see a fire engine coming around the bend of the street. They stopped, I put Sassy back into the house, and then I heard my next door neighbor let out a piercing whistle. She did it again. It turns out she had called 911 for a downed wire in her yard. While she stood there, (and she is able bodied), I decided to walk down to the engine and tell the guys what's going on. Apparently they had stopped because of another downed wire. And this is the best part. I had no idea we had such good looking firefighters. For about a split second I wished I was 20 years younger and single. Luckily for me, some good sense came with age, so I set the admiration aside, and explained about my neighbor. Then I went into the house as it was still sprinkling.

Thankfully we don't need an ark yet, but a decent break in the rain will be nice. It seems over the past few years we don't get rain and sun in good measure, but an overabundance of one or the other. Drought or deluge.

I'll do more pictures of sheep later, along with another restaurant to try if you're up that way. As for now, I need a bit of coffee.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

How about some pea soup?



Actually, this fog is from day 2 of the trip. The fog this morning wasn't as bad as the fog when we woke before the dawn in Normal, Illinois, but I didn't get a picture of it.
I must mention a really yummy restaurant in Normal. We ate there twice while travelling. If you're ever in Normal (I just love that name!), go eat at Destihl. They brew their own beers on the premises, and they have something called a "Nut Sack" on the menu! (Of course, you know me, it makes me think of the episode of the Simpsons where the kids get snowed in at the school, and Seymour gets tied up in the bag that holds dodgeballs. He asks the hamster to chew through his ball sack.)
Bad jokes aside, I thought the food was quite good. I had the Tomato Soup and the Chicken & Bleu Cheddar Salad the first time. They do serve iced tea, but it's flavored. I'll admit it's good, but not exactly what I wanted. I should know better than to expect real iced tea above the Mason Dixon line. The second meal we had there I had a glass of Cline Zinfandel and the Mediterranean Pizza. Yum! I'm wishing I had a glass of that zin right now. I see a search at the store for it.
I'll get some more sheep pictures posted tomorrow, probably. We've been having torrential rains the past few days. I saw on the news there had been 3" - 6" in the past 36 hours. Our basement has been flooding like it did about 15 years ago when Hurricane Opal came ashore. I may be short on time if I'm bailing out the basement tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sheep teaser

I'll admit to being pretty useless yesterday, and this morning I just don't have enough time to post much. I did want to show you this picture since I didn't notice the grin until I uploaded it from my camera.
Stoner sheep or what? I just love that grin!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Back from Wisconsin

I'm bone tired from the long drive, but I'm back from the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool where I helped Gale with her booth. Hubby had just told me to sign off and go get some sleep. Sheep pictures will be posted in the near future.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Pea soup!

I have never seen fog like I've seen these past two days! I heard about fog being so thick there could be 40 car pileups, but this Southern gal really didn't believe it. I believe it now. The fog we drove through leaving Bloomington, IL yesterday was so thick that we missed an exit since we couldn't read the signs until we were literally on top of it. I just looked out the window here in Wisconsin and saw the same thing. I'll see if I can take a picture of it. I won't be able to post pictures until I'm back home and have all my proper camera cords and software.

Yes, I'm in Wisconsin, home of the Green Bay Packers, cheeseheads and miles of genetically modified corn. (Just you wait, Monsanto, until the Vegetable Liberation Front, composed of all those mutant veggies, rises up!) As for me, I'll avoid anything with corn in it and just enjoy all the wooly goodness I can stand at the fiber fair this weekend. Thank goodness I have such a wonderful hubby who lets me run off to snorgle yarn while he stays home and works! He's the best!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Dropping by

I know, I know. I promise, I haven't done anything blogworthy lately.

I did finish the present I was knitting, and I forgot to take a picture of it! It was a shawl, knit lenghtwise, using James C. Brett Marble Chunky. I used nearly 3 whole balls of it, for a total of approximately 1000 yards. It is a scrumptiously soft yarn, and Princess Plumy thought I had to be knitting it just for her.

Now that it's finished, I'm back to working on the Jaywalker sample for Gale. I'm ready to do the heel, which I may get done tonight.

I won't be blogging much this next week either. I've gotten out of shape for working retail, and I find myself feeling pretty beat when I get home. The days I'm not working there, I've been working around the house or running those errands that always need to be run - groceries, petfood, repeat. I may have written about Keith decreeing that we would start getting to bed earlier since we wake up early anyway. Well, the days are getting shorter. We've had a lot of dim, grey weather lately, and I feel pretty sleepy most of the time. I felt more normal after hearing the other women in the Artist's Way group saying they've felt really tired lately. I'm just waiting for some cooler weather to energize me. To get back on subject, we've been going to bed earlier, which actually cuts into my computer time - a lot.

So, don't look for me to be here much until maybe next week. I'll see if I can get a picture of the finished shawl since Daphne only lives a few minutes down the road. I'll work on getting the Jaywalker finished so that there's more than one picture next time.