Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Is April Fool's early this year? aka as

Oy vey Shar Pei!

Sassy and I spent some quality time at the vet. He thinks she has inhalation allergies, contact allergies and probably flea allergies. For the next month to 6 weeks she needs medicated baths weekly. The shampoo has a prescription. He doesn't think it's her diet, so that's one huge relief. Anyway, she also gets to take Benadryl and have her bald spots treated 2x daily. She's also getting antibiotics.

We went through this with her last summer, and what the vet told me today is that we should just expect to have spontaneous flare-ups with her skin. Poor, poor dog. At least we're used to this. Don't get me wrong. I don't like it, but I'm used to it.

As for the septic, let me mention that our system is approaching 50 years old. Enough said? Yeah, I think you get the picture. I'll just say that plumbing is a recession proof business. Maybe I should take it up.

Actually, I'm getting set up on etsy to sell things, like the project bags that make great wine bags. I'll post a link to it when it's up and running. Right now it's a bare shell of a shop.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Schedule changes

I decided that Sassy couldn't wait until Friday to go to the vet, so I called back and we've got an appointment tomorrow. While I'd rather see the same vet each time, Shar Peis have so many possible issues, and I've spent some time online reading about them all, that now I'm a little freaked out.

Yeah, I guess I'd better start jobhunting. Looks like I'll need the income to funnel to the vet's office.

March Phat Fiber Sample Box part 2

I can't believe I forgot the biscotti. I'd show you a picture, but they were delicious. Here are the details.

Matilda Chiapparelli's Italian Cookies. Keith had put them on top of the fridge where they sat until I saw them today. I promptly ate one to counteract going to the gym, then Keith said I could eat his. It took no coaxing. They are really good.

The best part about going to the gym today. Taking a real shower. Since the monsoon, the septic tank has been a little too full, and I took an ultra quick, use as little water as possible shower yesterday. Even though the showers have low-flow heads at the gym, it was still great.

Did you ever notice

that sewing really cuts into your knitting time? I was updating my knitmeter, and boy! I've not done much knitting this month.

I just called the vet's office, and Sassy has an appointment for Friday morning. It's the earliest we could get in with the vet we've been seeing recently. I think she'll be okay until then. I'm keeping an eye on everything, and unfortunately, she's not the first dog we've had with strange skin issues. April, the first dog Keith and I had, had all sorts of skin problems. Hers were different from Sassy's, but it got me trained up for Sassy.

We've never actually picked out a dog. Both Sassy and April were dogs we found roaming in our neighborhood. We looked for owners both times, and I think both times the former owners were not looking for them. Poor April had grown into a choke chain when we found her, and she was scared of men although she learned to love Keith. She lived to a ripe old age of around 14, we think, as we never knew her real age. So, I do know how to deal with animals with issues.

Anyway, the vet and I should have some fun on Friday. In the meantime, I think I've been treating Sassy more as a lab when I should be treating her more like a Shar Pei. From what I've read, she's the worst sort of mix as Shar Peis and Labs have polar opposite nutritional needs. I'll discuss it with the vet, but I think instead of ham and potatoes that I may need to try oatmeal and poultry of some sort. Either that, or Keith going to have to get his hunting license and bag the maximum amount of deer this next year to feed her. (Sorry to any vegetarians out there, but let's face it, dogs need meat. Yeah, I know they are omnivores, but I have visions of the camping scene in Blazing Saddles when I think of feeding Sassy beans.)

So, it's Monday. What fun do we have planned for this week? Septic tank gets pumped tomorrow. Keith has let me know that playtime is over, so I either need to start getting stuff posted on etsy, or I need to start jobhunting. It's gonna be a fun week, including all the usual grocery shopping, starting to go to the gym again and more rain heading our way later in the week. yeeha.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

No knitting content, just a pet rant

Our poor dog Sassy is a mixed breed dog. We found her as a puppy after Mama Dog had escaped from her humans and was roaming around with 2 pups. Sassy got separated, and while we looked for her humans to return her, we didn't find them and ended up keeping her.

And here's the big bugaboo. Sassy is such a sweet, good natured dog who is a mix of Shar Pei and Labrador Retriever. I learned after her first vet visit that vets love Shar Peis as they have a whole myriad of health issues. Apparently, labs have a few too. As Sassy has aged, she's been developing some of those health issues, mainly allergies. She has skin issues (after some research I found Shar Peis need weekly baths). I've started cooking homemade, limited ingredient food for her, and in the last couple of days I've noticed her fur is falling out, and she's shaking her head a lot. I've cleaned out her ears a couple of times this week, and now I'm thinking that I'll have to change her diet again. I'll take her to the vet again this week, but the sticky point there is that the vet who's been seeing her only works a few days each week, so I'll have to see when she's working this week. For the short term, she's getting a bath, another ear cleaining and some ear drops, as well as a little Benadryl. I'll make an appointment for her today to get her in ASAP, and do some research on grain free diets for allergy dogs.

The really sobering point was last night I started looking at some website that had life expectancy for Shar Peis. I know labs can live a pretty long time for large dogs, but Shar Peis only have a 7 - 10 year life expectancy. Sassy just turned 7 this past summer. I think I'm looking for another Shar Pei website to see if this first one is true or not. (Fingers crossed it's not.)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Rain, rain, please fall on Lake Lanier

Obviously, it's monsooning here. The sump system we had installed this past summer is working quite nicely, pumping out the water and keeping the basement nice and dry.

Last night Keith and I went to the Fox Theater to see Zahi Hawass speak. Ever since Ramses was discovered to be at the Michael C. Carlos Museum, Dr. Hawass has become more involved with what goes on here in Atlanta. I remember when the Carlos Museum was raising funds to purchase the collection from the Niagara Museum, and I went to see Ramses just days before Dr. Hawass came to take him back to Egypt.

He spoke to a nearly totally packed house last night. Since I recently finished reading all the Amelia Peabody books, my curiousity had led me to the Theban Mapping Project's website, so when he was talking about the Valley of the Kings, I wasn't totally in the dark. I'll admit to being in the dusk about it all since I know so very little, but that didn't have any impact on my enjoyment of his lecture. At one point Keith said to me, how could he remember all the details of the different tombs, and I told Keith that if you are passionate about a thing, it's easy to remember. The enthusiasm and passion with which Dr. Hawass spoke about these mummies and tombs is infectious. He's having DNA testing done on the mummies in the museums in Egypt in order to identify them and put families back together. I find it fascinating. He had a booksigning afterwards, but neither of us wanted to wait in the very long line.

As for me, I plan to enjoy this very rainy day in front of my sewing table, whether it is cutting out pieces or making more bags and tweaking patterns. I am rather pleased that I found a size for wine bottles as I had tried to make one several years ago, again with no pattern, and it wasn't quite right. And as Marne mentioned in the comments of my last post, I have to develop one that has room for your whisky and your knitting. Gotta keep'em separated!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Slight miscalculation

Yesterday I decided to whip up a small project bag. No pattern, but how hard could it be?
I wanted something small since I knit a lot of socks.
Apparently, I need to work on my pattern a little. It holds a fifth of bourbon or probably a bottle of wine.
Gotta admit, sometimes when knitting you really need that bourbon.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

March 2009 Phat Fiber Sample Box

I know, I've been remiss and not shared the contents of my Phat Fiber Sample box. Let me first state that I can't express the delight I felt as I opened the box. The closest I can think of is birthdays when I was a child, and I didn't know what I was getting, and almost every present was wonderful.

I will state I have mixed feelings about sharing this. Part of me says, what are you waiting for? Go sign up with Phat Fiber immediately. The more greedy part of me thinks, don't do that! Then it will be more difficult to buy the next one. (Which, truth be told, I won't be buying one again anytime soon, but only because I'm not earning much money right now. Not because I don't want to. Believe me, I do want to. Very much so.)

Bear with me, there are pictures and a lot of links in this post.
In the first photo, you see how it was packed. The second is my haphazard repacking to get it all back in so you can somewhat share what I was when the tissue paper was removed.

Since I knit and don't spin too much, I ordered the yarn box.

It was chock full of yummy yarn samples. Starting from the top in the first yarn photo are:
Northern Bay Handspun in an amazingly soft camel and silk blend,
Abstract Fiber's very generous sample of merino and tencel fingering weight, Desired Haven Farm's mohair and wool blend, Dragonmaille's angora and wool blend, and Liberty Fibers yarn and fiber.
The orange and gold yarn at the top is from Bohemian Knitter Chic, and is a worsted weight wool. The second is Hedgehog Fibres silk and merino blend in a color called Burned. It is gorgeous, but I love a great brown. The green is Oriri Draco Designs Koi, a 100% bamboo yarn. I love the way bamboo looks. I think she needs a wishlist on her site. I'd drooled over there a few times before the sample arrived. The handspun at the bottom is from Cool Climates. It's a mixed fiber yarn of wool, mohair, angora and merino.
Phew! Linking all this is hard work. I can't let myself go look at yarn right now! Must be strong.
Ok, weak moment over. Thinking of sewing I want to do instead.
Third picture, from the top, Fire Lizard Studios Joy, an 80% merino and 20% nylon sock yarn. (I'm biased - I love sock yarn, and this one is good'n'squishy.) The bright lime and yellow is from Danido, and it's 100% superwash merino, dyed with organic dyes. Third down is a handspun from Melissa's Kre8tions in shades that remind me of Black Watch Tartan. Ok, I must admit some love for the cottons that came with the Irish Breakfast Tea. (I love that tea!) At some point, in that time when my stashes have been knitted and sewn down, I'm buying some of Sheeps of Egytian Cotton's Isis. I don't know what it is about that yarn, but I've got to get some. It may the colors, for all her yarn samples delight me. (Am I being too poetic for yarn? I don't think so.) Last, but not least, is a tantilizing handspun yarn from Wilde Thyme. It has sparkles and beads and fun colors that don't show well in that photo at all. (Today is a dim, grey day, and the halogen light in my kitchen always seems to make things look funny. I'm well aware it is human error since I've not figured out all the setting on my camera, but let's not talk about that right now. I'm still working on my first cup of coffee since we overslept in the grey dimness.)
Onto the mostly non-yarny surprises that I found in my box. In accessory photo number 1, some stitch markers from winemakerssister. Once again, I'm biased, because while I would love an incredible necklace of emeralds and diamonds, I'm a sucker for emerald green glass and beads too. Maybe I was a magpie in a past life. You know, collecting things, especially shiny ones.
There is also a shawl pin from Dawning Dreams. Dare I tell you that I'm also a sucker for curling, organic shapes?

In the upper left of this picture is a shamrock stitchmarker from Wooly Hands. In the upper right is a row counter from In Stitches. I've only recently started seeing this style of row counter, and I'm wondering how it will work for me. On the bottom row is stitchmarker from Black Tie Fiber Arts with pink jasper.
This next picture all came from the same crafting family! Mom, Dad and Son all work together for their store. How cool is that? The swag they sent includes a pair of earring, a Scrabble tile pendant (I recently purchased some from another etsy seller), stitch markers, handdyed yarn and a pattern of which I didn't take a picture. The store is Calizona Designs.
There are other yarnies who didn't send samples, but sent business cards and discounts to Phat Fiber Sample Box purchasers, so I'll include them for you to peruse their shops too. Natchwoolie, Woolie Bullie, Knitting Note Cards, My Fair Bag Lady, Mad Angel Creations, and Ballee.
All in all, that was the best $33 I've spent in a long time. So much fun and surprises.
Next, just a couple of shots of sewn binding. Just a few appliques, and I'll be finished with the hard work. So exciting to see a nearly finished project. Even more exciting when it's all finished.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Oh dear, what have I done?

I didn't realize that buried beneath all that junk on the table was also my love for sewing. Now that the table is cleared, and my machine is happily at home on it, all I want to do is sew.

I'm nearly finished with the binding on the quilt, but I found a small rip in the fabric on the back! It looks like the rotary cutter got it at some point, and I put the whole thing together without even noticing it until now. Crisis or opportunity?

Opportunity, of course. I've decided to applique a small heart on the back in one of the fabrics from the quilt top. I'll do something to keep the rip from expanding, probably stabilize it with a teeny tiny bit of interfacing, then put that heart right on top to cover it.

I've been to Knitch a couple of times in the past few weeks, where I let some Amy Butler patterns seduce me into buying them. As I'm currently not earning much income, I had to pass up her lovely fabrics. However, I had a very big surprise when I stopped in JoAnn's yesterday. I was amazed to see how nice some of their fabrics are. I ended up purchasing enough to make a Barcelona skirt, and it was 30% off too! Less than $13 for the skirt is great. Don't get me wrong. If I had the cash, I'd get some of Amy's fabric too. I just don't have the cash flow right now.

Since I was a quilter and fabric stasher back when I was working for the accounting firm, I do have a decent sized fabric stash. Most of the fabric cuts are much smaller, or they are not my style for clothing. While I think Hello Kitty or Snoopy fabric is a lot of fun, I don't really want Hello Kitty all over me for every day clothing (at least not in the prints that I have). However, I do have several yards of skulls and roses fabric. I'm torn between a skirt for me or a knit bag. I'm leaning towards the bag as I do think about age appropriate dressing. I do hate seeing mutton dressed as lamb, and as I'm reaching a "certain" age, well, need I say more?

Anyway, I've got to start knitting that sock again, and it's darn difficult with the siren song of an empty sewing table and a set up machine. At least Grey is crashed on the table right now, and I'd best not disturb her. She's an awfully fussy, squealy, protesty sort of cat, which earned her the title of Princess.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

PSA update

After inspiring my PSA of the other day, the girls took it to heart, and helped me as much as possible today.

Lily watches the thread as it spins while the machine is going. As I was attaching binding without using any pins - something that quilters do - I was able to make sure no paws got near the needle. When things aren't pinned, I only sew a few inches at a time, stopping frequently.

Here, Princess follows me relentlessly for petting. How dare I take pictures when I should be doing nothing but petting her until it's time to bite the hand that pets, then go take a nap?

At least that's what I think she was saying. She kept getting into shots, making it nearly impossible to get one of the sock in progress without her blocking it.

Here is a shot (taken quickly with no time to fuss with settings as I had to work before deluged with assistants) of the quilt with the binding attached to the front. For those of you who don't quilt, now I get to fold it over and sew it down by hand onto the back of the quilt, hiding the seamline from the front. I hope/plan to get started on that sometime today.

As for Mr. Chubbikins, he thought the sun and the catnip were just great, so he got stoned and took a nap.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

There really was a table underneath!

As you know, if you've read my blog for any length of time, I suffer from a severe case of packratitis. I know, I've read that I can call myself a collector, but when your so-called office looks like the set of Sanford and Son after a tornado, your hubby won't buy the collector label.

My sewing table has been buried for several years now under 3 unfinished curtains, 2 basted quilts, stacks of books, knitting patterns and let's be honest, assorted junk and some cat fur. Today, it looks like this:

In the lower left foreground is a quilt I started for my cousin's baby. I purchased all the fabric before the baby was born, and I think I even got the entire top pieced too. I think said baby is now 4 or 5. I quilted it last year sometime, and today I plan to look through the two bins of quilting fabric for the binding material. I think I saw it, so I can get the binding done. If I'm diligent, I can get it to her before she turns 6, unless my math is off. Let's face it, the years can just fly by.

The cats haven't decided what they think about the table. It was much softer with the basted quilts on it. Lily is pondering all this space.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Public Service Announcement

It is best if you always keep an extra cover for your heating pad. Sometimes a marauding cat may decide to imitate a pelt and drape herself over said heating pad and a stack of magazines in search of the perfect spot to relax.

It's also best if you keep something on top of your DVD's as said cat finds them to be a perfect place for a nap too.

Yes, this is Lily acting as if she is boneless. Keith was less upset when he saw the cover was off the heating pad. (I think it's already in the laundry.)

You may find that keeping disinfectant wipes on hand will be the most convenient for the multiple times a day that you must wipe off your counters.

After all, the window over the sink gives a different perspective of the back yard, far different from that of the window situated less than 8 feet away.

Whenever the human puts anything down, it must be thoroughly investigated. This need to investigate is increased exponentially if she tries to move your paws away from said object.

This is Gale's sock yarn. I am really loving it. I've knitted as far as the heel turn, but these pictures are from yesterday. I'll take more tomorrow after I've done the heel.

And finally, here is the back of my Basil. I've knitted to the arm and neck shaping, but I've set it aside to knit on the socks for Gale.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Quick peek

Here's the sock I've started to test knit for Gale's Art. Sorry the picture isn't the best, but I really like the base yarn she's using. It's a joy to knit with. Texturally it reminds me of Wollmeise. It takes the dye beautifully.
Details: I'm using size 2 needles since I usually knit at a very firm gauge, and this pattern calls for 7.5 stitches per inch. I'm usually at 9/inch, so I needed big (for me) needles.
Pattern is Spring Forward from Knitty.com's Spring 2008 issue. I started these socks last year with some Socks That Rock Lightweight, but I just didn't like the way they looked. Can I say I'm loving how they look with the yarn from Gale? The colors here are a little more intense than they are in real life.
It's a drizzly, grey day here in Georgia. Yesterday was sunny and warm, but today is grey and cool. I can't help thinking it would be a wonderful day to work in the yard, but Keith is home, and I doubt I can persuade him to join me in that.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

500 and still going.

This is my 500th post. I thought it needed to be about more than how much I hated housecleaning, but I've been having trouble thinking of something deep and meaningful to say.

I've put off writing this post for several days. It seems a milestone should be singular and outstanding. I've been thinking about having a contest where I give away a ball of sock yarn. What do you think? Sure, it won't be on the 500th post exactly, but it will commemorate that post.

I know sock yarn isn't fair to those of you who don't knit, so what I say to you is, "What's the matter with you? Pick up needles and give it a go." To be fair, that's part of why there isn't a contest (yet) because I've been wondering what to do about you non-knitters.

So there. Post 500 is done now. I won't be pondering and worrying about being witty, urbane, philosophical or any of that tripe. From here on out I can get back to showing pictures of knitting and regaling you with tales of an ancient kitty. Yes, Scooter is still with us and doing fine. Today is liver day, but thank goodness he's finally napping on the bed. Sweeping and preparing to mop are not easy when you can't get the stubborn, tiny, old kitty to get out of the way. I want to indulge him any way I can, especially since on top of being mostly, if not all, deaf, we've noticed his eyes are getting a little cloudy now. I need him to cooperate today since we've got company coming for dinner, and I've got to get as much red clay dust and mud cleaned up.

ETA - when/if I do a contest, it's going to be good sock yarn, not something that is easy to get. You know the kind of stuff - where you have to stalk an etsy shop or website and keep refreshing to get the yarn. Yeah, that's the stuff.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Still raining

I won't be taking any pictures of knitting projects draped across the stone bench today. We need the rain, so I'm ok with not being able to take pics.

What I'm not ok with is Lily running wild outside, then coming in with a mist of water all on top while also much wetter and leaf encrusted underneath. She likes to sit under the azalea bush and watch the birds, then come inside with a running leap and wet feet onto my desk and all the papers upon it. Ugh!

So I'll have to keep myself busy with some housecleaning and figuring out just what the heck has happened with our flex plan. They've been moving things from one year to the other, then telling me that we've been overpaid. Huh? It's our money - give it back! They have, of course, changed how things are done from the year before, so if we can't get it all straightened out, in 2010, I'll just skip it. They are supposed to make things easier, not more difficult, but it is insurance I'm talking about.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Acting like a normal person (all about shopping)

Now that's something I don't do very often. Knitters are in their own little world, as are people who have been self employed, subcontractors or retail employees. In other words, I often do things like hit the mall on a Tuesday when they're not busy at all.

Ahh, Tuesday morning shopping is so nice.

Today, however, I met a friend who works a M-F, 9 - 5 job for lunch at Phipps Plaza. Phipps is a quieter place with some really high end stores. We met there for the smaller crowds and Johnny Rockets. The place was practically empty when we arrived at 11. After lunch and visiting, I went across the street to Lenox Square. Lenox is a much larger mall with some high end shops also, and it's usually busier. You must remember that I'm the one who goes there on a Tuesday morning, and I usually do all my holiday shopping online. I was aghast by the crowds. I needed to pick up a few items, such as goodies from Aveda and Lush, and a concealer from MAC, so I steeled myself and dove into the crowd. First stop, the MAC counter at Bloomingdale's, where a very sweet girl told me that my concealer was discontinued. Oh rats! She suggested I go to the Bobbi Brown counter to see what they have. The Bobbi Brown counter has 3 sales associates, and they are all taking their time with the customers that they have. While I can totally understand that, I didn't want to wait around just for a concealer. Off to Sephora.

Sephora is rocking. They are mega busy there, and I'm not sure how long I browsed around waiting for an associate. Luckily, I love that store, so waiting wasn't a hardship. The gal who helped me picked out a good color on the first try, in a texture I liked. (Let's face it. Sometimes those of us who are aging, and have thin, pale skin might need something a little heavier that teenagers do.) After spraying on two perfumes to try out, I pay and head to my next stop.

Aveda and Lush are just a few stores away from each other. I stop into Aveda first, only to find the product I want has been discontinued. Augh! It's one that I've been using as a facial cleanser ever since an Aveda aethetician recommended it. Now I'll have to find a new facial cleanser. To some of you this may not be a big deal, but my skin has gotten more reactive over the years, and trying new stuff isn't always a pleasant experience. I've had things break me out in a rash almost immediately. And to find 2 products that I really like discontinued in one day truly sucks.

At least Lush still has Keith's solid shampoo. Yes, this is what happens sometimes when you take your man shopping with you. You say, do you want to try anything? Next thing you know, you're buying him specialty grooming products too. Honestly, I don't mind. I figure the more specialty products he uses, the less fuss about what I may have in the cabinet.

As for knitting, this is a sorry excuse, but I'm stickin' with it. It's gray and drizzly outside today, so I can't take wonderful pictures of knitwear in progress. I cast on Keith's second Wollmeise sock yesterday. I had written notes about how many stitches I had originally cast on, and how I spaced out the increases, but I think they were written on the back of an envelope that has since been recycled. (What do you want to bet I'll find them just as soon as I finish with this toe?) I had to count stitches, count increases, write it all down in the notebook I found to keep in my knitbag, then I cast on, hoping it was all correct. So far, it seems to be.

For my lovely Basil in the green Summer Tweed, I've reached the armhole decreases for the back, which is the first piece I'm knitting. I won't even attempt to estimate when I'll be finished with the back as I have some sock yarn from Gale's Art that I need to test knit. Gale gave it to me 10 days ago, and I need to get started on it. I know I mentioned writing up a pattern for it, but I think I'm opting for the quicker way out, and I'm looking for a pattern to use. I have ideas which I need to cast on and try out.

Scooter slept with us last night since it had gotten cool in the house again. Just a few days ago I was very tempted to turn on the air conditioning, but I opened all the windows instead. Today I broke down and turned the heat back on. It's just that time of year. It goes from nearly 80 F highs to 45 F highs within 24 - 48 hours and back again. I just try to keep at least one area warm for the old kitty.

So look for pictures tomorrow should the weather cooperate. As for me, I'm off to look at Aveda online to see if I can find any remaining stock lurking somewhere, then I've got to see if I can talk Keith into watching Empire of the Ants with me tonight. Follow the link. There's a Simpsons reference. (I can relate almost anything back to the Simpsons. Yeah, I could get a real life, but mine is much more fun.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Age doesn't get in his way

It pains me sometimes to look at Scooter. He'll be 19 in June, and he's gotten so frail looking. I know he has some arthritis, but just try sneaking supplements into his food! You would think, that he might have learned some good sense, but he is a cat. Not only that, we've let him get away with more in his old age.

However, just a few minutes ago, I heard Sassy growling. She was eating her breakfast, and I certainly don't need to watch that, or so I thought. Scooter had come out from under the cabinet where his pillow is to snatch a piece of meat off her plate! Sassy was not happy about that! I don't think she enjoyed the rest of her meal as I had to keep running Scooter away from her, and she doesn't like all that activity around her dish.

I've told Sassy it's only fair as she is always sneaking cat food when she thinks I'm not looking, but I see that dog logic and human logic work much differently.

ETA: I watched Castle the other night. I thought it was a cute show, and not just cause Nathan is so darn cute.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Boo ABC!

I learned over the weekend that ABC has not renewed Life on Mars. While I'm disappointed, I'm not surprised. Over recent years I've discovered that if I really enjoy a show (Firefly, for example), it will be cancelled.

The rumors I've read say they will at least do a final episode that answers the questions about just how did Sam end up in 1973.

I will merely suggest that you take an hour one Wednesday and watch it. It comes on at 10:00 EDT. What I've liked the most is the cast. Jason O'Mara has that perfect befuddled look, yet he's ready to throw a punch or screw the boss's daughter in the file room (oops!). Michael Imperioli just looks great in his 70's hair and mustache. (I'll admit I loved him in The Sopranos too. And I actually think he looks better in the 70's hair.) And Harvey Keitel, what can I say?

I suppose after it finishes, I'll have to buy the original BBC version on DVD and give it a watch. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy the last few episodes with the American cast. Final episode is showing on April 1, if I remember correctly.

However, ABC is starting a new show tonight with Nathan Fillion (our beloved Malcolm Reynolds) called Castle. I'll admit, he makes it worth giving it a watch.

Ok, I'm off to do real work now.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

It's a lovely day in suburbia

This time last week we were watching the temperatures drop and wondering if the snow really would stick. We had snow once or twice last year, but none so far this year.

This week, the temperatures are rising to springtime levels, mid 70's by this afternoon. Most of the flowers have survived last week's snow and ice, although some of the hyacinths have already turned brown. I think I'll just go buy and plant some more.

Sorry that these flower pictures aren't the best. I wanted some spring color, but the sun is shining too much for the best shots.

As you can see by this action shot, taken last night, Lily has fully recovered from the indignity of going to the vet and is very intent on figuring out just how to get the fish. She gets behind the aquarium several times a day to chase the fish. Sometimes I wonder if the fish has gotten used to it since it seems bored when she's not up there checking it out.

I've been working away on my Basil, and I wanted to show you my progress. As usual, I had a cat volunteer to model, but like all models, they don't always understand what the photographer needs from them. Mr. Chubbers could benefit from watching America's Next Top Model and listening to Nigel and the rest of the judges. However, his cuteness prevents this photographer from giving him a negative review.

This last photo shows Gale's Art Fibers new sock yarn. I'm to be a test knitter, and I've been letting ideas percolate since I think I'm going to finally try my hand at designing. I see it's going to be more work than I ever thought as I'll have to do a fair amount of test knitting to get the pattern to do what I want. Yes, I can make a chart, which I most certainly plan to do, but what you see on paper and what the yarn does can be two separate things, especially for the novice designer.
I do apologize for this post being longish and leaping from subject to subject. Now, on to the next subject.
We watched Blade Runner last night. I had heard Ridley Scott on NPR one evening. I think it must have been Fresh Air. He was talking about how he had been able to finally do release Blade Runner the way he had always wanted to in this DVD release, Blade Runner, The Final Cut.
Yes, I am quite old enough to have seen Blade Runner in the theatres back in 1982. I probably watched it a time or two after that when it was on cable, but I haven't seen it in maybe 25 years. It's hard now to separate my older memories of it with the newer ones from watching it last night, so I won't try. I just remember that I liked it, but not in the way I enjoy watching Predator over and over again.
It is so interesting to watch it and see how movie making has changed so much in 25 years. Last night I kept thinking "Keith must be bored out of his skull. People are talking. There are no explosions." I haven't asked him, but he was playing video games and surfing on the net with his phone the whole time.
As for the movie itself, you can read the wiki on it. As for me, I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. Yes, it is a slow paced movie. If you want explosions, lots of bloody deaths, and wild chases, this movie is not for you. If you actually like to think about movies and wonder about things like what it means to be human, then you will like it.
ETA: Keith's opinion of Blade Runner - "Lame."

Saturday, March 7, 2009

In which Lily imitates a demon

I wish I could paint a better picture with words.

Yesterday Lily and I went back to the vet, along with Monster who needed a sanitary clip. Lily's lip is still swollen, and Dr. Alicia wanted to aspirate it to look at the cells. That's all well and good.

Thus, Lily was taken into the back upon our arrival to have a needle inserted into her lip to remove some of the cells. Well, that just wasn't going to happen. I could hear snarling and growling coming from the back. After a few minutes, Dr. Alicia came back in and said she wouldn't be able to take a sample without sedating her. She'd already clawed Andrea on the back of the hand. I called Keith, and we decided upon 1 more course of antibiotics and a liquid homeopathic instead of a pill. (Lily is just about impossible to pill and surprisingly very picky about what she will eat for a former stray cat.)

When I had first arrived I had asked Dr. Alicia to show me how to make a kitty burrito (where you wrap your cat in a towel in order to immobilize it for pilling). We practiced with Monster, who behaved wonderfully. Next, we got Lily onto the table. She is starting to growl again. She gets wrapped into the towel, and she starts struggling. Dr. Alicia puts the worm pill into something called a piller after she shows me how to use it and puts it into Lily's mouth. Lily is getting angrier by the second. I honestly can't remember if she spit the pill out or if it didn't come out of the piller. The second try the pill does stick in the piller. Lily backs into the towel, pulling her head in like a turtle. Her head gets uncovered, and the doc tries again. This time a very angry Lily spits out the pill. It gets stuck in her fur. The tech is holding Lily by the scruff of her neck while the vet is trying to avoid her claws and get the pill out of her fur. The decision is made to grind the pill up, dissolve it in water, and squirt it into her mouth. Dr. Alicia leaves the room, and Lily goes ballistic. Susan, the tech, is holding a spitting, hissing, squirming, flailing Lily by her scruff and the skin above her tail. I have never seen a cat so angry. I make the decision to take the pill home where we can grind it up and give it to her ourselves.

With some growling, Lily gets back into her crate. I think everyone is relieved not to have to pill or medicate her anymore at the moment.

Her lip has been going down, then reswelling. If it shows no improvement with another round of antibiotics and this homeopathic treatment, I'm taking her back for a day at the vet where they can sedate her, and I'll be prepared to handle a drunk kitty when she gets home. (Drunk kitties are bad, but I have a feeling Lily is going to be really bad. I've always hated bringing them home while they are still affected by anaethesia. Confining Lily after getting spayed was really difficult as she still wanted to climb and leap. Locking her in the bathroom led to lots of yowling.)
Just writing about this makes me want an Irish Coffee to start my day. I haven't tried to give Lily her meds yet today. Hopefully the next entry won't be from the hospital where I am recovering from doing just that.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Still here

I've just been on either Facebook or Ravelry or actually knitting.

I've finished Keith's first Wollmeise sock. Last night I finished the first sock in the Bearfoot pair too. Both the Wollmeise and Bearfoot are dark colors, and I found I was longing to work on some yarn that I could actually see more easily.

First I cast on the second Bearfoot sock, then I picked up a lovely ball of Rowan Summer Tweed in color 527, a spring green with tiny tweedy bits of blue. Time for that next Basil, the one with some adjustments. I decided to try the stockinette border instead of seed stitch for this one. (I have 2 more bags of Summer Tweed - thank goodness for stash building while I was earning money.) I tried on my yellow one again and decided that I'm making a size smaller for this one. I don't want it to fit like a bag if I lose weight, and even at my more voluptuous size, the yellow one is a little baggy.

Tomorrow, first thing in the morning Lily and I are going back to the vet. She's been foaming at the mouth when we give her Benadryl. No, she doesn't have rabies. I think she really doesn't like the taste, but Christie told me that her cat foamed at the mouth from it as the cat was allergic to Benadryl. I spoke to the vet, and Lily is getting the lump aspirated. I wonder who's going to need the sedation - me or Lily?

Snow and ice this past Sunday, and today I have the windows open to let in the mild spring air. The weather may be schizo, but this is the South. The next 7 days are going to be absolutely wonderful with highs in the 70's and lows in the 50's. Window weather for sure, although everything in the house will soon be yellow as the pollen starts to blow from the trees. To tell the truth, I don't mind a bit since I love spring as much as I love fall. Daylight savings time is just around the corner too.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Southern snow

Hey, the weather guys got it right. Boy, do we have snow.

Large, clumpy flakes coming down very quickly.

Covering everything, including our street, with the fluffy white stuff.

This doesn't happen here very often, so we enjoy it when it snows.

It's Sunday, and we don't have anywhere to go. I have food, and I didn't even have to run to the grocery store in a panic to buy bread and milk.

Really, why bread and milk? I've always thought that was strange. Maybe if you bought peanut butter and jelly with that bread and milk, it would make sense, but the grocery stores always run out of those 2 items when it snows.

I'd be in a real bind if I ran out of petfood, but once again, let me stress, this is the South, and by the end of the week the temps will be around 70 F again. Sure, we'll have today and tomorrow with snow, but it will all be gone within 48 hours, and except for my dead flowers, you won't even be able to tell it was ever here.

However, we'll all enjoy it while it's here. It is providing Lily and Chubbers with something very strange to go check out. After all, they were both stray cats who found their ways here, and they've seen rain, but who knows if they had ever seen snow before.

I kind of doubt it. The 2 winters before they showed up were both very mild. There had been some apartment fires several weeks to a month before they showed up together, and I've always thought they had lost their homes in the fire.

Don't worry, they were out less than 5 minutes. They couldn't stand looking at it out the window, so we all went outside to see it more closely. We had a very loud thunderclap that scared Chubbers to bits, and he went racing back indoors. Lily, as you can see, had to do more investigating before she came back inside. It's her duty to thoroughly check out everything. She's lucky she had 9 lives.