Thursday, October 29, 2009


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.