Saturday, January 31, 2009
I was visiting with Gale yesterday, talking about dyeing and business stuff, and she suggested that I wind little tiny skeins of yarn to work out my colorways. I thought that was a great idea. So that's how I spent my Saturday night. I put some undyed yarn on the swift, and using my niddy noddy, made little 5 grams skeins. I doubt I'll do anything towards dyeing tomorrow as I have a knitting party to go to, but I plan to start mixing dyes early next week. (As well as spending some quality time with the tax organizer the accountant mailed. Ugh.)
White House Farmer
I've been thinking about double-digging part of my yard and installing more food plants this year, so when I saw that President Obama was considering the same thing, I thought that was pretty wonderful.
Go vote for one of the farmers now, as the voting ends tonight. Then think about what you might grow to eat this year. Even if it's just a tomato plant, you're becoming part of the solution.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
So, I went shopping today. First stop, Target for something I'd read about on Ravelry in one of the cat groups. A little something to help with those stubborn pet stains.
Second stop, thrift store for a couple of comforters or bedspreads to cover the sofa. Here is the culprit breaking in the new cover.
This next picture, "thank you Mom for coming after me with the baby wipes and a pair of scissors for the dingleberries. Aren't I cute? I'm still not that sorry I bit you."
Still no knitting today. Life on Mars is back on tonight, so I'll get a few rows completed. Well, maybe not. Jason O'Mara is really easy on the eyes.
ETA: I've just ordered a cookbook for pets the vet recommended. I'm convinced that I'll never get Monster to lose weight eating kibble. That's not all fluffy fur. She's got long fur, but there's a lot of cat there too. The vet and I have been working on getting her to a more normal size. Let me tell you, this hasn't been fun.
Inman Park Pet Works has do it yourself dog washing stations. For a small fee, they provide everything, and all you have to do is bring the dirty dog. Yesterday we tried it out.
It was excellent. The dog walks up the ramp into a stainless steel dog tub. (Keith had to pick Sassy up and put her in. She weighs 60 pounds.)
Once you get her started, she's usually pretty good. Yesterday I think she was a little freaked out and behaved better than usual. When it was all over, I let her sniff around the store and got her a treat.
In other news, I didn't knit a single stitch yesterday. I did, however, finish book #10 in the Amelia Peabody series. I even missed watching Fringe as I had to know what happened between Ramses and Nefret. I really can't read books all day long today. I have errands and house cleaning. (Monster had some stomach upset, and that's not pleasant with long haired cats. Let's leave it at that. Who am I kidding? I can't leave it along. Her tail looks a little funny from where I had to cut off some of her fur.)
Monday, January 26, 2009
Yesterday I asked Keith to take a picture of one of my hats while I was wearing it since it really looks bad flat. (Somehow, I got distracted, and that picture never happened.)
To be honest, I don't think he wanted to do it. He's been a little under the weather since Friday night, and his response was, "Why don't you just buy a head?"
Honestly, I hadn't thought about buying one. I went to look on ebay, and the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. Not to mention there are a lot of heads to choose from on ebay. Styrofoam, plastic, fiberglass. Some with hair, some without.
Of course, since I knit socks too, my next thought was I'll need to get some feet to go with that head.
I haven't ordered either of them yet, but only because I had other things to do yesterday. I'll probably do it in the next few days.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I completed books 8 and 9 in the Amelia Peabody series since Thursday. Yes, it has cut into my knitting time. Yes, it has made me want to just curl up on the bed or sofa and read all day. Laundry? - well, I did run low on a few things. I finally broke down and did some. Cooking? - do ramen noodles count? (Just kidding about the ramen noodles, although I bought my 1 package that I get every 6 months earlier this week. Mmmmm, mmmmmsg good.)
Obviously, there's not been much going on around here.
I'm a little concerned that Scooter seems less perky than usual. I'm not sure if it's the Chinese herbs he's taking, or the fact that when they took blood the other day he kept bleeding so much that they had to bandage his leg. Keith says he may just feel a little drained (no pun intended). I'm definitely keeping an eye on him.
I looked at the cat age to human age calculator, and Scooter is the equivalent of 90 years old. No wonder he looks so frail. I have ordered 2 self heating cat pads, the non-electrical kind, for him from Drs. Foster & Smith. I'll put them under the heating vents he likes to sleep under. Two is good since he'll only sleep on things for a few days before he wants them washed.
Off to a night of knitting and providing a lap for a snoozing, ancient kitty.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
I watched the inauguration and knitted the whole time. It's the first one I remember ever watching.
I stabbed my thumb with one of Scooter's needles while trying to give him sub-q the other night. Luckily for both of us the needle was sterile as I was getting ready to poke him. I had to apply pressure to my thumb while Keith changed out the needle. After that, I made Keith poke him. It's amazing just how sharp those needles are. I didn't really feel it, but I saw it sticking out of my thumb. Sorry for that image.
I spoke to Dr. Alicia today. Scooter is still borderline anemic (after a year of eating chicken livers every other day or two). She wants us to start giving him lixotinic, a vitamin supplement with Chinese herbs in it. They customize the herbs according to the condition. Brownie took lixotinic after we discovered the hyperthyroidism and hypertension. Just the lixotinic and the herbs made a difference while we were waiting to get her medication. Dr. A is also giving me some recipes since Scooter is getting pickier about his food. He doesn't want to eat catfood; he wants the chicken or fish off my plate. He's an awful beggar. At many meals he starts pawing me the minute I sit down. If I'm cooking for him, that may put an end to some of the begging. (OK, probably not. Whatever the human is eating is always better. Do any of the rest of you have to let the pets sniff can lids or the piece of fruit you're eating to convince them they don't really want it? And that doesn't work with Sassy since she'll eat anything, except maybe lettuce without any dressing.)
Cats, knitting and bits of housework are all that's happening around here. There have been a lot of things that were put off while we both worked, and now I'm making progress. Sure, some days there is more progress than others, but each day something is getting tackled. Whether it's throwing out expired kelp powder or scrubbing the floor, I make progress each day.
Monday, January 19, 2009
I found it while scrolling through things to do on the Day of Service, and that sounded like something that would be easy to do, as well as help me clear out my fabric stash.
I learned how to sew at a very young age, and I am a packrat. Perhaps I should capitalize PACKRAT. Over the years I have accumulated lots and lots of fabric. Some came from older relatives who have passed away. Some came from other friends and relatives who were clearing out. Some came from a fat quarter surprise group I had joined when I first started quilting. I had boxes and bins of the stuff. (More than I care to think about.)
This seemed to me a perfect time to go through and weed out the fabric I thought I might use someday and donate it to a great cause. So I took some time yesterday and today, and I ended up with a lot of plastic grocery bags of fabric to donate. I can't tell you how good that feels. I probably would have never used much of it, and I hate to think of someone going through it after I die thinking "Why in the world did she keep all this?" I kept some, but they are projects I've truly worked on and just set aside since knitting is so portable.
As for the reception I received at Intown Quilters - I think the woman who helped me was flabbergasted when I came in with 5 bags and said there's more in the van.
The real question - was this service? In my mind, not really. What I did find though, while perusing the list, there is a nature preserve within about 5 miles of my house that I didn't even know existed. That's something I can go help with, even if it's just showing up and picking up trash from time to time.
The other question is (drumroll please) is why do packrats tend to hang on to things that have not much value? I suppose it's thrift, but I should probably clean out the collection of old and used twist ties in the kitchen drawer. At least I avoid using plastic sandwich bags too much, so I don't feel compelled to rinse and re-use them. (In my next life can I please be a packrat for something really good? Maybe I'll collect diamond tiaras instead of old peanut butter jars. That was another surprise when I decided to clear out one of the kitchen cabinets. You would have thought there was about to be a world wide shortage of old peanut butter jars. I'm sure the recycling guys were not happy that week.)
Oh well, thanks for letting me babble on about thrift and how that contributes to packratitis. Just call me if you need a couple of twist ties or an empty kitty litter box to hold some magazines. I'm sure I can round one up for you.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Check out this press release about Obama's "Regulatory Czar"
(Thanks, Elenaknits, for posting this on your blog)
Saturday, January 17, 2009
This one popped into my head just a few minutes ago. Aztec by Gary Jennings. I first read it while in college taking Pre-Columbian Civilization. Aztec is a very long book - 800 to 900 pages long. I read it in a week, taking every waking moment when I wasn't in class or lab. My roommate wanted to kill me as I don't think I spoke to her all week long.
Aztec is a historical novel set in time just before and during the Spanish conquest. Aztec provides a fascinating look at what life may have been like during that time, told from the point of view from Mixtli. I'll warn you that it's full of sex, human sacrifice, war, and some gruesome revenge. It will also grab you and not let you go until you've read it cover to cover.
I do like to read historical fiction as it brings bare facts to life. It's one thing to read about a Wiki entry about Xipe Totec, and quite another to see the ritual richly imagined enough to (unfortunately) picture it. Or to see the images of the pyramids gleaming white in the sun except for where blood runs down from the sacrifices taking place at the top. In some ways Jennings reminds me of Tolkien in that the description of places creates an amazing picture in your mind. I can as easily picture the crowds on the day of the installation of the sun stone as I can see Isengard or Minas Tirith (and I don't need Peter Jackson's interpretations as the way I've pictured it for years still works for me).
So take some time, if your tastes run that way, and read Aztec. If you prefer the excesses of the Roman Empire, then may I suggest The Kingdom of the Wicked by Anthony Burgess. I won't go on and on about it as I think I've blogged about it in the past.
One other book I'll mention at this time is The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein. I may have blogged about it before too. To summarize, the moon is a penal colony. A bit of rebellion is started, and those who are involved include a sentient computer - oh hell, go read the Wiki about it and buy the book. Heinlein also wrote Stranger in a Strange Land, another great read.
These are all books that will have you thinking about them long after you've finished reading them.
Friday, January 16, 2009
What I have been able to import/export are the account lists and categories list. While this helps some, there is much left to do. I've spent several hours in front of my computer this morning, printing reports, going between files and backing stuff up as I go. Fortunately, I've gotten all the day to day stuff ready to go from 1/1/09. I still have some of the other bits to catch up on, but they're not critical.
As for the Borg reference, I feel like I've been glued to my computer all week. Why don't I look like Seven of Nine yet? (I'm talking post-Borg when she runs around in catsuits)
The minimum temperature at my house in the past 24 hours was 14.5 degrees F. What's more, the interior of the house near the window where the thermometer is located got down to 57.9. I'm sure that was last night when the programmable thermostat goes down to 60.
I confess that I set Keith's newest sock aside to work on Lady Eleanor last night. It's large enough to cover my lap, so it was much warmer than a sock to knit.
I know, I owe you pictures, but they will have to wait. I take most of them outside, and there's no way I'm subjecting my camera to those temps right now. It may be over the weekend before I get around to them.
As for the dyeing, I hope I mentioned that I'm shifting gears, decompressing from working, and letting the ideas flow. I came up with 5 more colorways over the past 24-48 hours. It's great! They pop into my head almost fully formed, complete with name. I'm not quite ready to tackle the area in the basement that will become my work area. I've still got bathrooms to deep clean, but I'm definitely getting closer to being ready to start dyeing.
Well, I must start my day. I've looked in the fridge, and it's pretty bare. Thus, a menu must be planned and the accompanying grocery list written. Luckily I've got plenty of warm clothes for when I head out to the store.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
I still have things to install and update - Quicken, my printer, Adobe Reader to name a few. They will have to wait until another day though.
We have the coldest temperatures in 15 years headed our way. Sure, it's gotten down into the upper teens here in the past years, but into single digits? That's been awhile. So today I'm off to the Home Depot or Wal-Mart to get some plastic to cover my basement windows which are not very well sealed and covers for the outside spigots. I've decided to bring in the hoses instead of wondering if they'll really split or not. (Keith doesn't ever seem to worry about any of this. Is it because I worry enough for the two of us?)
And it hasn't been all chores around here. Instead of screwing with the computer on Saturday, I joined the Peachtree Handspinners Guild for Distaff Day. I've not used my spinning wheel since I received it, and it was high time to get a little spinning done. Thanks to Janice for helping a novice get her wheel going, and I was off. I didn't do too badly for someone who hasn't been on a wheel since 2005. I can see I need improvement, but it's like everything. Just keep doing it, and the improvement will come.
Anyway, I'm off to test out my light kit. I'll post pictures of finished knitting projects later. One of them is the begged for Noro Striped Scarf. I'm learning to expect the unexpected when doing this scarf. It didn't turn out at all like I thought, but it looks great!
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I thought I was missing working, but yesterday I filled in for someone, and it was perfectly clear that while I miss some people, I am very glad to be out of retail for awhile. Yes, I think I want to become a hermit for a short while and finish decompressing. Some of our fellow humans could stand some decompressing too, or maybe a whole lotta valium.
Anyway, I've spent most of the day in front of this screen, starting around 9:30 this morning, and it's 5:30 now. I did step away to eat, but I also got a lot of knitting done, including finishing the second sock of my "car socks". (Those are the ones I knit on while sitting at super long traffic lights.)
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
See ya in a few days!
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
You know, I may actually get back to knitting tonight.
Monday, January 5, 2009
I'm not exactly picky when it comes to what I read. I read voraciously, except for when I'm knitting since I really do prefer honest to goodness books to audio books.
That said, I long ago came up with the category one time reads. These are books I've read, maybe succumbing to peer pressure or publicity or maybe the author snubbed Oprah. (Jonathan Franzen and The Corrections - blech.) I've read them the one time, sometimes I even finished them, and that was enough. I finally left the book club that I started since very few of the books appealed to me. One year I realized I'd only read part of 4 out of 12 books, and that was the year I left.
I'm thinking the Amelia Peabody books may fall into that category for me. I found after I read the Lord of the Rings the first time, I hungered to know more. Thus I started buying the other books, such as The Simarillion. Wow! I spent time at night wondering about Frodo living in the West. I really cared about those characters. While I'm enjoying the Amelia Peabody books, I'm don't find myself pondering about their fates. In fact, while reading the first one, I noticed elements of a romance novel running throughout it. I wasn't surprised to find that Elizabeth Peters also writes romance novels. That explained a lot.
I shall certainly enjoy reading them, but even in this fourth one it seems Amelia is becoming...well, let's put it this way. The forward certainly gives the author the leeway to make Amelia a bit more of a caricature of herself. Oh, and when I think about Ramses, her son, I keep reminding myself it's just fiction. Of course, child prodigies do exist, but really.
Soon, I'll blog about some books I love to read over and over again.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
One morning there was a discussion about knitting literature at the store. Everyone thinks that because I work in a knit shop and knit an awful lot, that I read all the chick lit knit books. I've tried with one of them. I really did. Blech! is all I can say about it. I much prefer something with English inspectors, vampires, or barbarians. (I have a fondness for Robert E. Howard, and he wrote some creepy vampire short stories.) At this point Doreen decides I need to read the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters. I will admit that over the years I've seen them quite a bit as they are alphabetically right next to my beloved Ellis Peters, creator of Cadfael and Inspector Felse.
This was several weeks ago. Doreen wanted to finish them all before she gave them to me. It turns out we are quite similar in that she included a printed list showing the books in the proper order. I would have done the exact same thing if she had not included it so that I could read them in sequence. I picked up the books this past Monday, and I have since read 3 of them. Maybe I should repeat this. On New Years Eve, I started reading the first one that evening, and by last night I had completed the third. Is it any wonder not a single stitch has been made?
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Now, the reason I know you're really here:
Here is the Lady Eleanor, still in progress, but moving along quite nicely. Soon I won't have a good place to take photos of it.
Here is the request scarf I started last night. For you knitters out there, this is Silk Garden in colors 8 and 258. The color is a little off, but I just wanted a quick photo to post. I'll mess around with getting better color next time.
Today I've got a whole list of things to do. I mentioned to Keith something we needed to do tomorrow, and he said we can do it on Saturday. I started to protest, then I realized that I can do it on Saturday! Saturdays off will be a strange thing for a short time. I think it will make things a little less stressful around here as Keith has harbored some resentment towards my job for awhile. He's been with his job for so long that he gets a lot of vacation, and I've been reluctant to take that much time off. Having a much more flexible schedule will make things more pleasant here. (Not to mention that sometimes I think he wants an admin assistant here at home. Don't worry, I'll get well compensated for that work.)
So have a happy new year, everyone. I'm feeling cautiously optomistic about this year, and I hope I can be more optomistic and less cautious about it soon!