Thursday, April 30, 2009
I spoke to my brother who lives in Birmingham, AL, earlier today, and he was at the grocery store when I called him. He was trying to decide what kind of water to buy.
Apparently some of the schools in Huntsville, AL, are closing because of the new flu mutation of H1N1, and he is getting ready for when it moves his way.
Honestly, it's not a bad idea to have some supplies on hand for things such as the power going out for a few days. I found this online and went to the stores.
While the only thing I'm truly prepared for is being stuck at home and being forced to knit 100 pairs of socks (I might be exaggerating about the amount of yarn - I really don't know), at least now we've got enough canned goods to last us a few days. I figure I'll just pick up an extra pack of tuna or couple of cans of soup each time I go. I will have to make a trip for extra pet food too, but I hope that can wait until tomorrow.
I know, I really need to entertain you with pictures of yarn. It may not happen until Sunday. I'm catching up on some of those things I've still been letting lapse today, and I've got another sewing project I want to try create from thin air.
I have been knitting, and I've turned 2 heels in the past few days. My Bearfoot second sock and Keith's Wollmeise second sock are both now past the heels. Woohoo! I need to finish with both before the Wendy's Socks from the Toe-Up KAL starts on Ravelry. And on that note, I'm off to finish putting up groceries.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Of course, one's definition of normal can change over time, and I should be getting used to the occasional odd request such as over breakfast this morning, quite out of the blue, when Keith asked me what I was going to do with the apples.
OK. I'm reading a book, having that first cup of coffee, so it takes a couple of seconds for the data to process. I'd purchased a bag of organic apples at the Dekalb Farmer's Market, like I do pretty regularly, but this bag had tough skins and hard, tasteless flesh. I had mentioned that I could bake them or make applesauce sometime last week while I was working Stitches. Apparently that's on my to do list for today. He also asked me to clean the fish tank. It has some mold growing under the lid where someone who shall remain nameless has dropped fish food and not bothered to wipe it up. To that I said I'd put it on my list after all the other stuff - you know, like changing the bed, making dog food, fixing dinner, baking pumpkin bread to finish off a partially used can of pumpkin, and so on, and so on.
Shari told me that I would have to post my Stitches swag, but that will also have to wait for another day this week. I've had a long list of yarns to add to Needle Nook's website, and I've got to get going on that. I think I may be able to get around to adding a few later today, but it's looking more like that's how I'll spend my day tomorrow. For you knitters, there are more web specials going on there, including some really good yarns that I was surprised to see on the list.
As for now, I've only been back from the grocery store, NTB, post office and petstore for a little over an hour, and the dishes still haven't danced themselves into the dishwasher.
Oh, and what possesses someone to sniff the kitchen sponge? I mean, really? It wasn't me, but one of the members of the household decided we needed a new sponge, and to prove it, sniffed it. Methinks he needs a hobby.
ETA: I'm still catching up on reading everyone's blogs and Ravelry. I've gotten so far behind with Stitches, but I hope to be caught up in the next day or two.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
I did get a lot more knitting time in this weekend than I expected between the customers, so I'm getting very close to the heel turn of Keith's second Wollmeise sock.
I really do fear the time that Keith starts wearing his socks and decides he wants more. It doesn't take me too long to make a pair for myself if I'm knitting monogamous. He's got huge feet, and it takes me a while to get his knitted up.
That's all I've got to say right now. Stitches was great. I'm looking forward to next year, but for now I'm ready for bed and a book before drifting to sleep.
I won't lie. My feet hurt at the end of the day, and while my body is read for rest, my brain is whirling. It took me awhile to get to sleep last night. There's so much information overload at a show like this it takes some time to process it all, especially when you're feeling slightly sleep deprived, and you've drunk about two-three times more coffee than you normally have in a day.
I'll admit that I am glad that today is the last day. I've not seen much of Keith these past few days, including our 21st anniversary. We had talked about it, and we'll be celebrating it sometime this week.
I'll finally have my van back tomorrow, so I can get back to normal with the grocery shopping and errand running. I haven't been to knit night in a month! I'll be so glad to go this week. As for now, I'd better sign off and go get ready for this last day of fibery goodness.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
I had no intention of beating him to the door, but I'm also not letting him into anything dangerous, so I looked outside and saw a police car parked in front of our house. I said as much.
Let's face it. A police officer at your door at 4:30 a.m. can't mean anything good. I know we're law abiding, so I immediately start worrying about the rest of our family. Honestly, I can't even think straight as I grab my robe and follow Keith down the hall.
He opens the door, after checking through the window, and the officer sees us. Keith all business, me owl-eyed right behind him. He says something to the effect of "I must have the wrong house."
It turns out he's looking for our next door neighbor. He had stopped someone who gave him the description of our van in the driveway. Our neighbors had people over that evening, and by the amount of beer boxes and bottles we see at the street on Monday mornings, we know exactly why he stopped the person even though he didn't say a word.
He was very nice and apologized for waking us up. Keith said to him, "Don't worry about it. We appreciate what you do."
I thought about that as I fed the cats and let Sassy out before I went back to bed. I know I wasn't mad at the officer at all. I felt so much relief that it wasn't one of our family members in the hospital or morgue that I wasn't mad at him. I just thought what Keith said was a really nice thing to say to someone who's just woken you up from a deep sleep, and it turns out it was a mistake.
So, if you see me at Stitches South today, and I look like I really need another cup of coffee, I probably do.
Stitches has been a lot of fun. I've seen so many people that I don't see now since I'm not working at Needle Nook. It's been great to visit with them. I've also gotten to see the other vendors with all their wonderful yarn and other items. There is a basket weaver from Wisconsin who has some gorgeous baskets. I would love to buy one, but I'm also working on clearing things out of the house, so I'm refraining.
I'm off to get that first cup of coffee now and start to wake up better. And remember, that officer who comes to your door in the wee hours of the morning just may have gotten the wrong information from someone who's had a few too many.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Here's my second Barcelona skirt with some modifications. First, I did change the pattern slightly to fit me better around the midriff. I'm so happy that my first attempt with changing a sewing pattern was successful. Of course, it was a small change, but still, it could have gone horribly wrong.
Secondly, I had thought why just line a skirt with muslin when I can get fun cotton fabrics on sale that cost less. So what I did was to use the lining pattern for the exterior of the skirt. The lining pattern is shorter, as you can see in the picture. I used the exterior pattern pieces for the lining, and I added about 4 extra inches. This way I could line the skirt as the pattern calls, but when I turned up the hem, the right side of the fabric would show beneath the shorter exterior. I know for you non-sewers this probably doesn't make any sense, but I thought other sewers might want to give it a try.
What I found is that when I just added the lenght, it also added some bulk, so there are some gathers on the hemline of the lining. They do show on the exterior, so next time I'll have to experiment on how to reduce the bulk. I do have ideas.
In kitty news, poor Scooter is dehydrated once again, and this time he was a little constipated. I read that milk can actually get things moving for cats, so I gave him a little bit, and it seems to have worked. I've also read that pumpkin can help with fiber, so I added a tiny bit to his canned food this morning. I'll keep on eye on him and see how he does. Otherwise, it's back to the vet.
He is absolutely awful for us when we give him sub-q. We made the attempt on Monday night, and he writhed a foot out of the towel and pulled the needle out during his wiggling. We didn't try last night since we thought we'd have to take him to the vet anyway for the other issue, but since we don't, we'll work on getting him tonight. We have to get everything ready and wait until he's in a deep sleep so we can get him before he realizes what's going on. Keep your fingers crossed for us.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
I think I can handle that. Besides, I need to get sock #2 finished before Stitches on Friday, and I didn't take notes on what I did, so I needed sock #1 in order to make them match.
Someday I'll learn. I've made enough socks now that I've gotten cocky. Where's Han Solo to admonish me? Why does that make me think of John Belushi as the captain of the Raging Queen? Yes, well, I'll just take my Han Solo admonishmant fantasies and go work on my sock.
I really should remember to actually eat lunch. Protein deprivation obviously does stranger things to my brain.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Yeah, not fun at all. The first one is only a fictional (I hope) example.
So when I saw the Nefarious Sock Club last year and read about it, I had to do it. What could be more fun that getting a yarn based on a villianous person each month? No warnings about who it would be, just a surprise every month.
On top of that, Carrie makes collector cards and shrinky-dink stitch markers to get with the yarns each month. While I may not love the colorway each month, I just love this sock club.
Her original plan was to run it for 12 months, and that was up this past March. We've convinced her to keep going, and this time she offered an optional swag bag to go with it.
Have I mentioned I love a good surprise? Something pleasant and fun to counteract all those less than pleasant ones we get? I checked out the etsy vendors she mentioned as swag suppliers and signed right up for it too.
I got the first installment of the new year yesterday and here they are:
Blackbeard sock yarn, fun and goofy swag, plus a close up of the skull and treasure chest stitchmarkers.
I really can't wait until next month.
ETA: Here's her etsy shop if you want to go check it out. She's doing Buffy yarns now, but go look in her past sales at the Dexter series too.
Friday, April 17, 2009
"I have your sock and I want 10 mil in chocolate ice cream. If you deliver without calling the sock cops, I will release it unharmed!"
I've spent waaaay too much time with pets and medications lately. I thought 10 milliliters of chocolate ice cream was a very strange thing to ask for.
I left the sock at Gale's house yesterday. If you're planning on going to Stitches, you need to stop by her booth. All the fibery goodness that she's bringing will leave you speechless.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Honestly, except for the dripping wound, he seems to feel okay. In fact, I need to defrost his liver and ply him with more moist food. I'm pretty sure that what that sweet, cute look he gave me meant.
Monday, April 13, 2009
He did need fluids, and he behaved well for them. They were able to give him 300 cc of Ringers Lactate with some vitamins and antibiotics added to it.
Dr. Brantley asked about how he was eating. At this point it's more important to make sure he keeps eating than to worry about his special diet cat food. He said there comes a point where we have to think about quality of life. Being forced to eat a food he doesn't like or letting him eat what he wants since he's terminal anyway.
Yeah, that word. Terminal. Keith and I knew that was a possibility. It's amazing how even though we humans know that life has an end point, we can ignore it. Even this morning while I was waiting while he was checked, and I'm not stupid, I figured it was the cancer, I still hoped for an abscess. I see Scooter every day. He's bony, can't groom himself very well, and still is stubborn enough not refuse food with supplements in it, and I'm not ready to let him go. I know I'll be able to do it when the time comes. I've had to make that decision several times already, but that doesn't stop the pain.
While he's here, I'll do what I can to spoil him more than he's been spoiled in his whole life. Tuna, baby food, chicken, whatever he wants to eat, I'll let him have. I can cook extra of whatever we're eating and let him have some.
It doesn't seem like we've had him in our lives for nearly 19 years. It's definitely not long enough.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
His appetite has been better today, and he's looking perkier. We'll remove his bandage later today and check out the lesion wound. At least an abscess can be treated, and except for the antibiotics, I've got everything here on hand to treat it.
Keith and I were able to get Scooter wrapped up in a towel last night like a kitty burrito. For such a frail looking cat, he turns into the Tazmanian Devil anytime we try to look at him or give him sub-q. Anyway, we waited until he was in deep sleep on the bed and got him.
His skin cancer is back, with a vengeance. It did take both of us to trim away the fur, clean it up with some betadine, add a liberal does of neosporin, then using a gauze bandage, part of a roll of gauze and some gauze tape to bandage him up. I won't lie. I did all the holding and kitty wrestling while Keith did all the other work.
The cancer just looks gross. I won't go into any details here. I'll call the vet tomorrow and see if there's anything else we need to do about it. He's much too old for another surgery. I know Dr. Hyatt got all he could when he did the surgery (was it only last year?). There were two big problems with doing surgery. One was the location of the cancer on his neck near big veins and arteries and his esophagus. The other is/was his age. They had to use as little anesthesia as possible on him in order not to kill him during surgery.
I don't regret the surgery. It made him much more comfortable for part of this past year. I love Scooter so much that if I thought it would be possible and do him any good, I'd do it again.
However, I don't think he'd survive another surgery, and I don't think at this point it would do him much, if any good.
Back to that whole desire/suffering thing of the Buddha. I'm suffering right now because I desire for Scooter to live as long as I do. I know this suffering is of my own making and my own choice, but I love that cat so much. He was my first kitten that I'd known since the night of his conception. I carried him around and took care of him whenever Pixel needed a break. He's spent years sleeping with me, burrowing under the top blanket only so he could stay warm and still breath.
I know he's not dead yet, but I grieve now since I know he hasn't much more time with us. And yes, I know pre-grieving doesn't do a damn thing besides make your sinuses swell and your eyes red, but I can't stop it. He's been my baby more than any of my other pets. Our bond has been closer since I think he's always thought of me as his human mom, the one who didn't hiss or bite when he wanted snuggling.
I'll dig through our pictures and put some up from when he was young. He has always been a very snuggly looking, handsome kitty.
"And how is he doing right now?" you ask. He's sleeping under a heat vent on one of his several cat beds after actually eating his moist food. I think he does feel better after the amateur doctoring since he's acting more normal.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
He may just be in pain from the lesion on his neck and his arthritis. I'm hoping we can doctor him up well enough, but if not, it's back to the vet. If the skin cancer is back, there may be nothing we can do except try to keep him comfortable.
Kim, thanks for being in our comments, sending us luv.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
What I found interesting is that over the years I've been heading in a Buddhist direction as some of the tenets make so much sense. To paraphrase, if living is suffering, and suffering is caused by desire, then don't desire things.
Yeah, way easier to say than to do.
However, there are things I don't desire, and not desiring those things helps me find satisfaction with my life as it is. I don't desire a big house (think of the maintenance and utility bills). I don't want a fancy car, although I wouldn't say no to a low mileage, year 1999 body style, extended cab Dodge Dakota. (I really loved my truck.)
So I was talking to Keith about this some as we were running errands, and I confessed that I've not been able to rid myself of all desire, and one thing I wanted right now was a couple of yards of brown fabric with pink polka dots that I saw the other day. The wonderful hubby that he is drove me to two fabric stores to get my fabric, and a third to look for a matching zipper.
For me, it is the little things that make me happy. Keith in a good mood. Actually seeing an honest to goodness bluebird at our house. Making sure Scooter is just sleeping and not dead in his kitty bed.
And if I ever do conquer all my desires, you will find me wandering about India like the holy men do, even though I don't think I've ever seen a holy woman there.
He seems so fragile I hate to manhandle him to look at him. He's gotten very grumpy about being handled, although he is more than happy to nap in my lap.
Today we'll treat the spot with some Betadine and Neosporin, then cover it up with a gauze bandage so he can't scratch it with his horrible claws. (His claws are thick and long. All hell breaks loose when I trim them. He's even bitten me recently when I was making the attempt to groom him.)
I hate seeing him get so old and frail. He was such a wild and vibrant cat. Now he's a grumpy old man. He'll be 19 years old on June 21. I do hope he makes it. Keith, in his usual straightforward way, said we both know he hasn't got much longer. I know it, but I don't always want to hear it.
However, as long as he seems to have a good quality of life, I'll put up with his grumpiness. Yesterday was liver day, so I know he still has some enjoyment in life.
As an aside, I did finish my skirt, and I'll get Keith to take a picture of it today to post later.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Yeah, yeah, I've already heard the obvious joke.
Anyway, I've been sewing on an older model Bernina that I totally love. It's the coolest, most wonderful sewing machine I've ever owned. However, I didn't have the correct foot to install an invisible zipper, and I know Bernina feet are outrageously expensive. I had gone to Hancock Fabrics yesterday and spent the $3.00+ for the invisible zipper foot, but it didn't work on the Bernina. What to do?
At some point last night the answer presented itself. Go get the old Kenmore out of storage and see if it will work. So that's what I did this morning. My Kenmore actually needs to be serviced since something is not quite right with the tensioner, but it worked well enough to install the zipper. I'm happy, and now I can proceed with the skirt.
Also, I've been without Internet service all day. I finally called AT&T to see what was up, and apparently all I had to do was log in to my Bellsouth account to get it working again. I'll know for next time since ultimately that's what I had to do last time. And yes, I did write down what I needed to do.
Now I'm off to sew up the skirt lining and see if I can get it finished tonight.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Wow, I really do need to work on my photography. Apologies for this less than stellar shot, but since one of my work supervisors was helping me hold down the quilt, I had to post it.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Thank goodness she loves Pill Pockets.
Ah, the books. I had to buy two of them. One of them is all about looking at something in art or nature and deriving a color palette from it. The other was also about color theory, but it has some wondrous beadwork in it. When I saw a bead woven, incredibly realistic octopus, I had to have that book. (Remember, I love, love, love cephalapods. Enough to stop eating calamari.)
One thing she said last night is that when she's gone to speak before groups, she gets feedback later about how she made color theory easy. Hmm, I thought, we'll see. She lived up to her word and gave me much food for thought.
I'll admit, I've been goofing off since I quit working for Needle Nook. Yes, I don't have a dedicated place to work. How could I possibly dye with cats wanting to help all the time? I can come up with all sorts of excuses, but the truth is that I found myself frightened by the prospect of it all. I personally know 2 indie dyers who sell to Loopy Ewe, as well as selling in some brick and mortar stores and online themselves. It's daunting to think that wow, I've got to come up with great colorways, then dye it all, then label and sell it. What if my colors that look interesting in my head totally suck. What if I can't translate them? It was a type of paralysis of analysis.
Actually, Margie's talk about color theory was like that small, but absolutely crucial, bit of information that I needed to hear. And I find it interesting that in some ways I was headed in the right general direction, but this nudged me onto the course. I think her two books will more than pay for themselves for both the color theory help, and I wouldn't mind picking up beading again. Glass fascinates me in ways that yarn and fiber can't. Light and transparency, reflection of metallics, the glow of pearlessence - captivate me like a magpie.
One more thing. I had been in Walmart yesterday, and I stopped to peruse the magazines. I ended up getting the Bead And Button's Beader's Handbook. Margie has an article in it.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
All I can say now is that I'm waiting for the DVD set to be released. I can definitely watch this over again.
Now I'm off to work on my bad imitation of a good housewife. I'll see if I can improve it any.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
For Miss Sassy I've made an Excel spreadsheet so I can mark off when she gets her meds each day. It makes it much easier than wondering if she got her antibiotic or not.
I also did a little photography this afternoon. Now that I have them on the computer, I see I need to do a little more work on them.
They are all going up on etsy in the next day or two. I've got several errands to run tomorrow, and most involve pet stuff. Anyway, the yarn is kettle dyed. I did it while taking Gale's class last year. The base yarn is Louet Gems.
The kitty bag is fully lined. All fabrics have been pre-washed, so any color bleeding or shrinking that might happened should have already occured. The satin cording was not prewashed. The fabrics are 100% cotton, and they are from my stash. Both bags comfortably hold that bottle of bourbon as illustrated last week.
The dessert bag has some rather stiff interfacing in it. I was experimenting, and while I'm not thrilled with the results for a round bag, the interfacing will work really well on a larger tote or a square bag. I'll be back at the machine, trying out some other things.
I've really enjoyed making something from scratch. Shorter project bags are in the future. Also, these two have somewhat gathered bottoms as my circle template is a little too small, so I'll have to work on that too.
Off to watch some trash tv now - America's Next Top Model. Later, I get to watch the series finale of Life on Mars. I'm going to really miss seeing Jason O'Mara each week.