Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Moving along

I spend so much time reading the Knitters Paradise forum that I don't have time to knit.  But I received some lovely yarn that has inspired me to get going again.  If I actually finish something I will post a photo here.  I know, you are breathless with anticipation, right?  I forgive you if you're not.

We went to visit my only living aunt and uncle on Sunday.  She is on hospice, with COPD, and caught a flu bug three weeks ago that landed her in the hospital for three days.  Then a stomach bug, for another emergency trip to the hospital for fluids, etc.  Both have taken a real toll on her stamina, and she is now on hospice care, and although her Alzheimer's is still there, she was pretty sharp during our visit.  Her coughing made me hurt, just to listen to; and my uncle is looking so tired himself.  They get a fair amount of visiting aides/nurses/and even her doctor once a week (who knew doctors anywhere still make house calls?) but day-to-day it is up to my uncle to be there. 

I know I don't want to go by inches; my grandad had a heart attack while painting his eaves, and was gone immediately.  My mom and dad just slipped away, but both were in sad shape by then.  When I show up at the pearly gates I want St. Peter to say "Wow! You look great for your age!"  Old joke.

We also put spring flowers on the graves for my parents and sister and aunt, Now if only the weather would match the flowers.  So far all we have are tiny green stubs peeking out of the ground. 

My DS got laid off last week.  It is a long tale, but I won't bore you.  The new regional director started this week, and tomorrow DS is going to talk to him.  I know he is nervous, but if he can relax he is very well-spoken.  At the minimum he will find out the main reason he was laid off.  Poor business?  Uncertainty about his position's duties?  Any information will be welcome at this point.

However, there are a lot of job opportunities in the area right now, so he should be able to find another position.  Lots of new construction in the area, and all the ancillary jobs that creates.

Bumper sticker for the day:  "A walk in the woods helps me relax and release tension.  The fact that I am dragging a body should be entirely irrelevant."

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Swap packages

I have been doing monthly swap packages on the Knitting Paradise forum.  This where the coordinator pairs up knitters and each one makes up a package to send their package in that month's color.  This month the color is brown.  I am finding it really hard to find brown things in any category (other than chocolate and yarn) and not much in a tan color either.  I have been picking things up even before the swap partner has been chosen, and I think I will need every bit of the month to finish it.  It is fun, though.  There is a suggested price range also, but I never pay too much attention to it.

I have been under the weather this week, fighting off a cold/flu and finally feel half human today.  We have all shared it in the family, and we all sneeze and honk together.  Yesterday C broke his glasses, and last week R broke hers.  Coincidence?  Maybe not.  Maybe broken things are contagious too!  You never know...

Tomorrow I will finally find out my lab results from January.  Presumably if there had been something dire someone would have called, right?  I will see.  I called the dr. office yesterday to give them a heads up on getting the results, and they called yesterday to confirm my appt., and to let me know the results are in my folder.  I don't remember what was tested.  Or why.

I got a DVD on loom knitting yesterday.  I watched the first demo on making a hat, and I didn't find much new there.  I am hoping the rest of the lessons cover some of the stitches other than ssk, which is all I have been doing on the loom so far.  I have two books of patterns, and the diagrams of the advanced projects is confusing.  Hoping a visual reference will clarify things.  I also got a box of yarn today, 17 little skeins, just the thing for making stripes on a hat or scarf.  Meanwhile I finished my latest scarf on the knitting machine, and it looks good if I do say so myself.  Then I lubricated the knitting carriage and the needle bed and now the carriage just zooms! across the bed.  No more sore shoulders for me... I also leveled the bed, added another clamp to prevent it from shifting, blew the crud out of the needle grooves and checked for bent needles (there aren't any).  Now I am making a cover to go over it so it doesn't collect more cat hair.  But I must be careful to not make the cover too cozy or they will sleep on top of it instead on the window ledge.

Firefox just crashed, must tie this up for now.

Bumpersticker for the day:  "I'm not always sarcastic; sometimes I mean it." crashedfor                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Thursday, March 13, 2014


I hate to do laundry.

By the time I get it sorted, washed, dried, hung up or folded and put away, the dirty clothes hamper is full again.  Rinse.  Repeat.

So guess what I am doing today?

The temperature here is a stiff 15 degrees, after 55 yesterday morning.  I want to go to somewhere warm, but that would only make returning worse.  So I crank up the space heaters and sit with my knees nearly in them.  At least we finally got propane for our tank, it is used for the furnace and the stove, and the bill was $$$$ and the driver said he was about to run out and return to the gas facility to fill HIS tank next.  Next year we will be sure to top off the tank in the fall, and not have to worry about a bitter winter and running out.  If we had lost power this winter in one of the storms, I don't know what we would have done for heating; the thermostat and the fan both need electricity to make the furnace work.  I think we have a  kerosene heater we could use; otherwise, it's all of us in the local Ramada  Inn.  Including all the house cats.  Let's don't think about that.

I spent several hours reading the knitting forum, and I feel constrained somewhat from saying here on the blog what I think about various posts on the knitting site, because my signature there includes a link to here.  Just in general terms, then:  A lot of the posts are of photographs of knitted or crocheted projects, with some variety of "What do you think?" as the post.  And everyone says, wow, great, lovely, etc., often several pages of this, including requests for the pattern.  But what I think about some (not all) of them is EWWW, tuck it away from the light of day and pretend it isn't there.  And rip up the pattern too.  But of course that is too too mean, hence the Wows.  And when I read posts about how ungrateful some family member is about the amount of work it took to make, say, an afghan, that gets used for a dog bed, and so on, I think, HMMMM.  I wonder if I and the giftee have the same thought.  Anyway, I don't see the attraction of knitting in purple and orange with highlights of fuchsia,  unless it is for a dog bed.  There.  That's what I'd say if it wasn't so mean.

I personally spend a lot of time matching the pattern to the yarn.  When  I used to make some of my clothes (back in prehistoric times), I finally figured out that the best fabric and colors to use were the ones on the face of the pattern envelope.  If it was shown in solid fabric, don't make it in a floral.  I also learned that the feel of fabric is pretty irrelevant to the actual dress, because (of course!) no one goes around feeling the fabric of a dress.  Except me, and then I don't buy it if the thing itself is ugly.  And there is a lot of ugly clothing out there, believe me.  I like to shop at a super discounted store where there are returned items, product overruns, discontinued things, all for half price or less.  And so I see a lot of rejected clothing and wonder what they were smoking when the designer came up with some of these things.  Or who got the kickback.  Hit it with an ugly stick.

Well, the dryer is dinging at me, so back to laundry.

Bumper sticker for the day:  "Don't let your mind wander, it's too small to be let out on its own."


Thursday, March 06, 2014

Extraordinary Lives

I found this on the knitting forum I follow and thought it would bear repeating here:

Make the Ordinary Come Alive

Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is a way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples, and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.

By William Martin | Illustration by Hasebe Yutaka
Bumper sticker for the day:  "Live so your memories will be part of your happiness."

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Damned snow is back.

I hate to blog about the weather, but this season is really getting to me.  We had heavy icy snow Sunday night and the roads on Monday were incredibly awful.  My son stayed home, he had brought some work home on Friday and worked online.  My daughter, who works in a family medicine office, had her dad drive her to and from the hospital.  They had 35% cancellations for the day.  I cancelled my ortho appointment and finally got in for my cortisone shot this morning.  Relief, it is like magic how fast it works, but only at 3 month intervals.

 This is a 'light' snowfall from last week.  The wind chimes got a work-out too.
 This is AllWhite sitting in the snow instead of cuddling up in the heated garage. 

I'm wearing my Alaska sweatshirt today, I think we got their weather and they got ours.

Bumper Sticker for the day:  "I know I am supposed to respect my elders, but it's getting hard to find any."