Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year Mayhem

At least that's what I'm planning.

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

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

The Thing from Another World

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

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

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

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

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

Happy New Years!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Angelic visitation

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

Laundry avoidance

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A pat on the back

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 28, 2009

Never tempt the Fates!

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

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

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

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

Sunday, December 27, 2009

An empty lap and both hands

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

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

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

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

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

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

pics only.

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

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The month is speeding by.

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 14, 2009

It's happened.

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

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

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

I'll post pictures after I take some.

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

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I finally uploaded a few pictures.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 5, 2009

No snow today

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

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

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

Friday, December 4, 2009

Wintry mix

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A mixed day.

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


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

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

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

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

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

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