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Saturday, December 27, 2008

It's officially Winter in Arizona - and we have the Frost to prove it!

Yes, Frost. Actual freezing of stuff.
Yeah, I know...it's not Snow or anything, but for Tucson, this is pretty chilly.
(See this blog for pictures/comments regarding Arizona "Snow").
I'll have to wait to see if the sheet-draping I did last night will save my plants from frost-bite.
The last two years my plants up on the porch - next to the house - froze almost solid.
Yep, I lost a few. The Arizona-type plants, not the foreigner/back-east plants. Some took 6 months to recover.
I think it was the wind-chill rather than the over-all temperature. (sigh)

Aside from the plant frost-bite concerns, the white stuff was beautiful.

Lace-edging the Cat's Claw:

Gilding the Bouganvilla:

Frosting the Barrel Cactus:

Sparkly and Spiny:

The real stuff up on Mt. Lemmon:

Watch as I figure out how to use my Camera...

A belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ok, I wasn't going to follow this blog but....

I like to see what Blogger recommends in their blogs of note. If I'm intrigued, I'll usually I add the intrigue-ment to the "Blogs to Explore" folder/pile.
This one, "The Big Storm Picture", I sent off to a couple of folks because the pictures are STUNNING but I didn't add it to the Explore-pile because
A. It wasn't about knitting, food, cake, or the basis of wicked dry humor.
B. I read it all the way back to the first blog which was November 8, 2008. i.e. nothing to explore...
C. I don't watch Storm Chasers every week

However, I keep going back to look.
And I have always looked at the sky a lot. A lot - a lot.

And the gent posting the blog obviously has some profound knowledge of the skies and weather he photographs. Educational Opportunity!
And "stunning" doesn't do these pictures justice. They are amazing, humbling, and sometimes sad or scary. Well worth the look.
And a second look.
And...yeah, I'm going to follow the Big Storm Picture Blog. Done deal.
Woof - amazing, lovely, grand, pictures!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Arizona Snow

Arizona Snow - it drifts, it floats, makes snow snakes in the street, can be tracked inside, collects on your clothes and hair, it whitens the yard, fluffs through the doorway, hides behind the pedestal sink in the hall bath....
It's the seeds from the Desert Broom.

The Desert Broom is more formally known as "Baccharis sarothroides".
It's a weed to many of us in Arizona.

I rather like the fluff. As noted, it's generally the closest we get to snow in Arizona.

As a plant...it's squirrelly.
It is a serious pain to eradicate and it seems to have a respectable sense of self-preservation - it excels at growing out of patches of Prickly Pear Cactus...where you can NEVER get to the root to pull it out. (This gent has taken some lovely pictures of Prickly Pear Cactus.)
And the fluff can stop up a pool filter pretty quickly.

However, I saw this lovely drift of Desert Broom seeds and Bouganvilla petals/leaves and I had to show you:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I've been a little crafty of late...

Yes, I've been a little crafty of late...and due to the season, I can't post everything lest some surprises be ruined. However, here's a couple I can post 'cause these folks don't know about the blog and I'll be delivering the gifts this week.
I've been trying out Cat Bordhi's Moebius Baskets...and I think this light teal one proves what I heard about lighter colors not felting quite as well.

It still came out reasonably well and I stitched some beads around the edge to add some sparkle fun.

And I also finished the Lace Ornament from the Knitted Ornament Class I was pondering a couple of blogs ago. It came out alright, but I'm about convinced that I should steer clear of lace-work for a while. I seem to be in need of better knitting skills to do lace-work. Oy/SIGH.
(Or maybe I just need better "tinking" skills...)

The color of this fiber is about the color of a friend of mine's much beloved Mini Cooper. (grin)
She drove her first car into the ground whilst she valiantly paid off her student loans. So after the debt was cleared, she gifted herself with a spiffy, tricked out little Mini Cooper - which suits her personality. She is delighted with it - going to rallies and coming off very sporty in a silk scarf with the convertible top down. Yep, I should get a picture of the Mini Cooper Maven...
But here's a picture of the ornament I made for her.

Lastly, I saw a nifty picture from Ireland of a crescent moon with the planets Venus and Jupiter in attendance on Celtic Memory Yarn's blog. So when I saw the similar celestial arrangement in the South-Western early evening sky over Arizona - I knew what it was! (No, I haven't tried taking a picture - per Spouse of Jo at Celtic Memory Yarn, I'd need a tripod and a time-release...(insert more photo technical jargon here). It's beyond my abilities - I'm just delighted when I manage to photograph stuff in frame...)
Have a lovely evening - go look at the sky tomorrow night!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Blogs to Explore - Celtic Memory Yarns

Another Blog to Explore - so many blogs, so little time...
Today - Celtic Memory Yarns. I can't remember - did the Yarn Harlot reference this one and I marked it to explore later? From where-ever I found it - later is today.

Well, right off the bat, I'm tickled with clever phrases - I'm intrigued by "Yarnslayer" in the title of the 11/17 blog. And they know about Ravelry - a definite sign of intelligence and good taste!

Well - "Jo" seems to have quite a few blogs and participates in (moderates perhaps??) quite a few knit-a-longs. She's also in Ireland! Being that the majority of my ancestry is Scot/Irish, I've got that immediate Celtic kinship perception. (There's a little Comanche American Indian from my mother's side too...)
Hmmm- she commented that "Traditional" crafts seem to be less than favorably viewed in Ireland. I'm surprised - but then I'm pretty ignorant of what a lot of the world thinks. However, - I believe Ignorance can be cured!

Oy - if you read this, you MUST go see the 11/17 blog to see pictures of the Yarnslayer -too funny and excellent pictures!!!

She doesn't seem to post often - well, she does seem to have a few different blogs to manage. There only seems to be a couple of posts a month, but they are lovely, grand vignettes...glimpses of her Ireland. It's lovely and calming. I also enjoy her phrasing. Neatly done!

Ah - another person subject to Start-itus in recent months! She seems to have succumbed to that yen...and very nicely, I might add. She appears to be quite talented - with a wide range of abilities. A professional - she dyes some truly lovely hanks (No, Kinia, you do NOT need more yarn.)

Back to the blog...Wow that Samhain designer yarn she made is gorgeous!
And another comment about Irish folks "frowning" on knitting in public. Someone described it as a perception of disgracing Women's rights!?! Never occurred to me and I can't agree. From my perspective being a Woman with rights means I get to choose how I spend my time (before I go vote...;-).

Ohhhh - she's got to spend some time with Elsebeth Lavold, author of one of the Books I sigh over: Viking Patterns for Knitting! Yep, I get a touch of goofy-ness about people I admire.
I stutter, become even more socially inept, and become memorable in not a good way. I've noticed recently that I do this a bit with Upper Management people I admire where I work.
It would be funny if it weren't so humiliating and embarrassing. (sigh)

So...pardon the gushing...but I'm impressed with Jo at Celtic Memory Yarns and even more so at the company she so gracefully keeps. But it's how she shares her view of the world that catches at my heart.
Yep, this is another keeper-blog. I'm smitten and I'll keep reading.
(And I need to keep up with the adventures of Yarnslayer and Sophie!)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Making the list, checking it twice, and coming up with alternate plans...

As I fight off Startitius (terrible crafty urge to start something new you just saw someone knitting, saw the pattern for, or "there was this yarn...")...and make the list of the stuff I want to finish for the Holidays...
I can't help but think of the Yarn Harlot and the Schedule her friend Lene put together for Mz. Stephanie so she had a shot at finishing all sorts of knitted wonders before Christmas arrived.
(There's a hilarious blog or bit in one of her books about the kind of madness that over takes our favorite Yarn Harlot during the holidays - brought on by frantic knitting and inevitability of the projects we don't get done...)

Now, I am a known list maker. Love crossing things off the list.
However, I knit at about a 10th of the speed of the Yarn Harlot (on a good day) and she seems to have a lot more time to knit, although she's got a serious writing career, several children, and a variety of interesting social obligations. Or maybe she's just a profoundly more experienced knitter with warp-speed knitting capabilities...

SO - I'm trying to interject some reality into the to-do-for-the-Holidays Knit list.
Mostly I have succeeded in scaring myself.
This is about the time I have the reality check and start considering some non-knitted gifting.
No, I'm not too panicked - I try to shop for stuff year round so I have a fair gift stash to pull from.
But the pressure is there...and then...I thought I'd found the answer!!

I took a class last week at a LYS - Knitted Ornament Covers.
I'd gotten happy feet thinking "These would be great gifts..."
I'm a little disappointed. The teacher had quickly jotted down a "better" way to do two of the pattern rows on a slip of paper for each student. Seems it may have actually been a pattern correction. (sigh) Of course, I did the first ornament cover based on the Original Pattern. I'd glanced at the original pattern and the "better" way and thought "Both seem fine...?".

I'm hoping I can place the missing beads with duplicate stitch.

Having gotten a grip on "better" = corrected, I used the slip of paper to replace the 2 pattern rows in the 2nd part of our homework the Zig Zag Ornament Cover. (teacher said it works for both patterns).

Serves me right.

I'm planning to sit down and figure out why I seem to be missing stitches and some beads are scrunched together...
This definitely could be user-error...but I'm a little disillusioned.
Do I want to try and invest time to make these as gifts? I'm already "0" for 2.

I go to the 2nd half of the class tomorrow - let's hope for a revelation.
(And maybe a corrected set of patterns...)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Blogs to Explore - Once more, with knitting

Continuing my efforts to reduce my "Blogs to Explore" stash by actually exploring some blogs I bookmarked to review later...

I like the title. "Once more, with knitting."
First entry I'm looking at from 11/14 has some "Lord of the Rings" references. Nice.

Pause for Bumper-sticker Memory:
Saw this bumper sticker the other week. I don't think Bush is quite this bad, but the bumper sticker was Clever!
"Frodo failed. Bush has the Ring".
Wickedly spiffy, yes?

OK, back to the Blog-exploring...
Ha - you're not going to believe this...the Lord of the Rings reference to some spiffy pictures relating to some planets found outside our solar system...devolves into a reference about Pres. Bush having the One Ring. If I'm psychic, I wish I could do it on purpose...
She even has a clever picture of Bush w/Ring...

I think it's a "She". "Meegiemoo's "About Me" page is a tad light on info, but the Hot Pink Shawl (?) (a very nice pattern too) is making me think "female" somehow.
(Correction - it's a " Hemlock Ring Blanket")

Weeellll - there's an interesting reference to "2008 Year of the Sock" that intrigues me.
And this person knits with "Pushing up Daisies". (Which the rumor mill indicates is about to be tragically cut from our lives. ACK!)
So far so good...
She's a better knitter than I am. (not a ninja-hard accomplishment, I assure you...)
And it is definitely a "She". And she has a red "streak of orneriness" in her hair! Excellent!

Canadian - and a fellow Ravelry-member!! Heck, I'm 2 blogs in and I like this woman.
(Ok, I like most everybody, but she does appear to have some excellent taste AND a sense of humor right off the bat!)
Ha, Ha! Clever YouTube addition...
And another one! This is the "Take on Me: the Literal Version" Martha and Ray were telling us about! ('80s music video "Take on Me" with someones literal interpretation over laid...)

I'm about convinced this is a keeper. I'm having too much fun!
Um...she's a WAY, Way better knitter than I am. Prolific too.
Tsk - she doesn't like Musical Theater. And it appears she can go to New York - Broadway!!
However, she does have a cat AND appreciates Monty Python.
Correction - 3 cats. Found a spiffy blog about the "newest", Jetta!
She also seems to have a weakness for sock yarn, not unlike myself.
(The difference being, she's way past her 2nd pair of socks!)

Yep, a keeper. Another blog to add to my list.
Made me laugh out loud - several times!
Sigh - and she's already made the February Lady Sweater I want to try to knit.


No, not me. The DH.
Although I suspect I'll be involved in the culmination of this tree trimming episode.
There's this 40+ year old Juniper Tree in our front yard.
It has expanded to take up a fair portion of the driveway.
It's pretty challenging to do the serious parking without dredging the bumper through this tree.
So we decided we'd cut it down at some point to reclaim the driveway.
DH had some time off this week and he chose this task to enliven his home-time.
DH is just over 6 feet tall...he cut back the tree as far as he could reach:

Two trips to the dump, a full city-trash can, and there will be more to come. He's talking about renting a chain saw....

Friday, November 7, 2008

Buttons and patches

Yesterday, I was a little surprised at my reaction to going through my button drawer (don't panic, it's a little drawer in a vertical organizer...not thousands of buttons).

I was looking for a button I could use as part of a clasp for this. (It'll be a bracelet.)

The button drawer contains the buttons I bought because they were interesting, cute, or on sale, buttons that came with a suit or blouse I purchased (yes, I used to wear suits), buttons I inherited from the passing of my Mom, and buttons I inherited from the passing of a friend's mom.

My friend was not inclined to use the crafty stuff his mom left behind. Because he's a generous soul, he invited me over to help go through some of her crafty stuff and gifted me with quite a bit of it.
Hence a 2nd round of buttons I inherited. Inherited stuff is bitter-sweet.

I especially like the buttons from my Mom and his Mom - lovely, sturdy things in grand colors or classic black and white. Possibly from before I was born.

In this drawer were also patches - the kind you sew on shirts, uniforms, bags. Some were from my childhood. From the Girl Scout Camp I attended each summer. Quirky things I thought were cool but never got around to attaching to something.

I think one was a pool patch we pinned to our swimsuits. Can't remember if it meant we were unlikely to drown or if we were allowed at the AFB Officer's pool.

Some of the treasures and the ASDM patches were from my sister-in-law who lost a battle with cancer a few years ago. She was a docent at the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum for a while...I miss her very much. I miss my Mom very much.

Yep, I cried into the buttons. It surprised me.

But it shouldn't have. Buttons have history and potential.
The patches remind me of times and people that I miss.

I think I'll put the ASDM patches on a bag. My sister-in-law and I both had/have an affinity for spiffy bags. It will help me remember her to other people.

The buttons will also add to the story of whatever they enhance.
"Thank you, I made this beaded bracelet, but these buttons were selected by the special woman who was the mother of my friend, John. "

And later - "Yes, I love this yarn too. I couldn't wait to make this pattern, but the buttons were from my Mom."

I have been blessed with some wonderful women affecting my life.
I still am blessed with wonderful in my life. Hugs and healing to us all.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

People can be dumber than TOAST!!

~~Caution - Venting - Technically Political~~

I CANNOT believe people in Arizona and California voted to pass those STUPID laws about marriage only being allowable between 1 man and 1 woman.
OY! People can be dumber than toast.

And since this is not a rant about work, I figure the blog can handle it.

I find this embarrassing. We, as "intelligent" beings, should evolve a skosch faster than this.
I grew up watching Star Trek and reading open-minded Sci-Fi/Fantasy and I keep hoping we'll skip the Armageddon-depressing future, stop being social idjots, evolve/grow up and move past the point where we deny people rights based on physical/genetic traits.

Homosexuality is not a CHOICE - people are born that way. It's genetic. It happens to animals in nature too. Just like folks are genetically born to be heterosexual or to have brown hair.
We're all people, demmit. Why shouldn't two people that love each other be able to formally and legally join their lives and celebrate their love and commitment to each other? Why can't a homosexual couple expect the support of the law, insurance, and the world for their union?

The dumber-than-toast group needs to stop being ninnies and afford everyone basic rights and privileges regardless of race, color, creed, or sexual orientation.
Wait - isn't there a Federal Law that covers that already?!?!

Please - if you thought that proposition was a good idea - don't try to convince me and please don't leave rude comments. I'm not leaving rude comments on your blog.
I'm somewhat OK with it if people are homophobic...technically it's their right. {Sigh}
However, I do think it's an ignorant choice and folks that live in that kind of fear need to get a grip on logic and the basic laws of nature.
I understand folks have unreasonable fears/beliefs that colour their thinking - but please don't inflict them on me or my blog (or the world at large). Thanks.

What may annoy me beyond the ignorant prejudice displayed, is that the Dumber than Toast group spent 8 MILLION dollars to get this stupid law passed - and it's pretty much what is already on the books. (It is embarrassing enough that it's already a law. {gah})
Can you imagine the research that could have been funded, the people that could have been fed or healed, the retirement funds that could have been restored with 8 Million dollars?!?!?
Ok, "dumber than toast" is not an adequate description of this idiocy.

Huge, disappointed, frustrated, embarrassed-for-my-fellow-man, annoyed SIGH.
Now I have to go figure out who to write or what petitions to sign to get this stupid bit of legislature repealed. This looks like a good place to start - left a note to see if there's anything I can do to help.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Blogs to Explore - Crazy Aunt Purl

Continuing my efforts to reduce my "Blogs to Explore" stash by actually exploring some blogs I bookmarked to review later...
(this might be the only stash-busting at which I can be successful.)

Another of the well-established blogs in our knitting community: Crazy Aunt Purl.
She's also published, having created "Drunk, Divorced, & Covered in Cat Hair".
(I don't qualify for the "drunk" park, but I can claim the other two.)
That title alone bodes well for an interesting sense of humor....
As of yesterday's blog, I like her. She's real and she's a bit of a kindred spirit - or maybe someone I admire and I'd like to be at her level of regard for herself so I could be a kindred spirit. I think she's working to be comfortable with herself. I can relate to that. All this on a couple of paragraphs... Lem'me read a bit more...

Oy - looks like CA has a dumb Proposition up for vote - like our dumb proposition against same-sex marriages. Our society really does seem to grow up painfully slowly.
Crazy Aunt Purl sums it up rather nicely at the bottom of this blog.
(Wicked grin - I got custody of the dentist AND the hair stylist in my training-marriage divorce!)

As I read on - I'm only liking this woman's blog more and more. I like that wry sense of humor thing. I like the cat and cat-hair thing (been there, doing that). She seems to have a good head on her shoulders and a grand sense of humor.
And she's a bit vulnerable - honest. Rather brave and overall - spiffy.
I'm going to keep reading...

OMG - Cats in Sweaters?!?!? Matching sweaters to their humans'?!?!?!
Too funny - and I'm oddly impressed with the tolerance of these cats...
Speaking of...the blog indicates she lives with 4 cats...I've only seen pictures of 3. See - now I'll HAVE to keep reading to find out about the 4th cat...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Not my BobCat...a REAL Bobcat...

No, I didn't have a camera with me. I'll try to rectify that.
My boss was relating a tale of seeing a Bobcat stalking a jack rabbit just off our parking lot - basically in the middle of Tucson.
He was regaling me with this tale, pointing out the location about 25 feet from where I park everyday (hmmmm?). Then he placed the pumpkin he'd purchased for the Company Halloween festivities on Friday in my little truck (yep, I'm doing the carving - we'll see how that comes out).

As he continued his story, we then stepped over the curb behind where my truck was parked and discovered...bones. Likely bunny bones. Not new. Pretty well done and dried. There was an interesting bit of, well, um, fur between the 2 bone piles (sorry - trying not to gross you out too much. Skip to the next paragraph if this is all too much for you...) It was suggested it was not just the abandoned skin but, perhaps, well.... a hairball. Sorry, I had to laugh at the contrast of what was on the ground and what I've cleaned up over the years in my role of kitty-mom.

Well, we peered at the empty lot to the south of our building for a little bit and then stepped back over the curb to the parking lot. As we loitered, talking...the boss-man said "look" - and he pointed west across our parking lot...and there, in the late afternoon sun was the critter himself.
The boss was right - at first glance, the Bobcat looked rather like a house cat. But then I realized he was about a 75-80 feet away so he was probably a bit larger than a house cat...then there was his tail. It was almost like the boss had set me up with an elaborate, well-timed show...the timing was perfect. The Bobcat stood for just a moment, strolled across that end of the parking lot...and disappeared into the brush. Spiffy, huh?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Blogs to Explore - Knitting Curmudgeon

Yes, I'm doing the proposed Blog "home-work".
Being of the loony multi-tasking type, I'm also back to working on a blanket I started many moons ago. I'd forgotten I'd actually started it.
AND - it's for a young lady that favors Pink. Sigh.
Confession - for a female of our species, I have an unnatural aversion to pink. I can manage fuchsia, love purple, Red is also good. However the pink generally preferred by most females - "Barbie", Pepto-Bismol pink gives me the willies. Uck. Shudder. Blech.
I suspect this aversion has roots in my tom-boy childhood where it has been told that getting me into a dress (a pink dress, no doubt) was about as much fun receiving a jury duty summons.
I don't recall the dress-wrestling...I do remember hair cuts didn't generally go well for me, but that's a whole 'nother set of stories.
SO - for me to knit stuff in pink for folks means that I have high regard, affection, even love for that person. So if I give you something pink I knitted personally...it means you're SPECIAL!

AND....the Knitting Curmudgeon blog exploration:
Looks like she's been blogging for quite a while and has multiple blogs. I like the "Best Quote I heard all day" openings. She has chutzpa - seriously. Opinionated and comfortable with herself. Cool. Thus far I'm impressed, although I feel a bit like I've just wandered into a really interesting conversation although I'm pretty clueless regarding what the heck everyone is talking about.
I suspect that "Caribou Barbie" might be Mz. Palin. Wicked Clever.
I'm not yet sure what "the Mighty Wolf" is. (Maybe a loom??)
And not sure what "wolvies" are? (buddies? Pack-members?)

The Knitting Curmudgeon doesn't have a problem with telling it as she sees it - including work stuff. (Yep, I'm a little jealous).
Near as I can tell she's a real knitter (leaves me in the dust), designs stuff to knit (oy/wow), and she also spins and weaves.
Oops - I'd push her buttons a bit - she is not fond of ending sentences with prepositions. I am, on occasion, guilty of that particular gaff.

Wow - excellent entry for 9/11. Seems she does this annually and she was just across the river the day it happened in 2001.
And, per her 9/6 blog, I'm not alone in my concerns that our media is now generally unable to perform un-biased reporting.
Please note - the Knitting Curmudgeon is hugely better informed and much more fascinated with politics than I am.
I only read back through August.
"Curmudgeon" works; i.e. Aptly named.
Once I got past my wincing over her profanity, I can't help but be impressed.
And this is someone I'd like to read more of. (Oops) Someone of which I'd like to read more.
(That still doesn't sound right...)

Friday, October 24, 2008

"Blogs to Explore" - and I haven't been...

It's probably not unlike the many, many, many, many books I have stacked up around here waiting to be read...
It may relate to my respectable but not too scary fabric stash...
The yarn stash...well - maybe not so respectable and a little scary...
Yet...I have a lot more books than yarn and...ok-well, that's actually pretty darn scary. Hmmm.

When I'm visiting my favorite blogs, I sometimes browse the favorite blogs of my favorite bloggers.
If I'm intrigued and plan to read more later, I mark the new blog as a Favorite in my "Blogs to Explore" category.
And, to further increase my "Blogs to Explore" stash - Blogger has a nifty little feature called "Blogs of Note". (where I tripped over the ever-delightful Cake Wrecks.)

----Minor Alert - diverted thoughts running amuck -----
No, I am not now and am very unlikely to be the author of a "Blog of Note".
I'm clever, but not that clever...and, heck, I post up-side-down pictures of my cat. Odd and cat-lady peculiar, but not "note-able".

NOTE: (pun intended - HA!) I heard recently that that because I have a spouse - I am immune from all "Crazy Cat Lady" labels!
i.e. Single woman with many cats = the "crazy cat lady".
Woman with many cats + spouse = "Soft-hearted" (soft-touch), "Generous", "Organized", "Humanitarian" (or would that be feline-itarian? ); Amazing, stellar woman with a family that just happens to include (a dozen or so) cats.

One more Note: Would a mere Significant other wave off the "crazy cat lady" moniker or does there have to be an actual wedding involved?

Ok, that digression took us about 2 fields over and across the lake...

Back to the Blogs to Explore.
I propose to reduce my "Blogs to Explore" stash by actually exploring some blogs and update my blog with the...well, "review" is perhaps too strong a word...maybe...offer my 2 cents worth (cheap opinions).
Maybe once a week? (We'll see how long this grand scheme lasts....)

Who is at the top of the Blogs to Explore List?
Could it become a "Favorite" Blog? To be visited and chortled over often?
Recommended to people at work and on the street?

Ya never know. I'll plan to Explore "The Knitting Curmudgeon". Great title, huh?
Love the "Shut up, I'm Counting" comment (I could learn something from that statement.).
The South Park-esque cartoon lady holding the automatic weapon is giving me teeny bit of pause though...

I'll explore and report back later. Feel free to explore as well.
G'night all and pleasant dreams!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Did a little weaving amongst the knitting...

A few weeks ago, I had the great fun of taking a weaving class at Grandma's Spinning Wheel.
I finished this scarf:

It's a cotton chinelle - very soft!

I probably made it a bit tight - except for the left side where I missed, for half a scarf, that I needed to add a tug to help the yarn lay properly. Live and learn, uh... well, weave and learn. ;-)

Another class-mate and I had so much fun we matched schedules with the owner and she let us come back to borrow a loom again, loiter in the store and make another scarf!!

So...last weekend we "demonstrated" weaving at the front of the store whilst folks were at the back of the store creating some very interesting and fun-looking wet felted items.

The class-mate was excellent company (we have very similar tastes in TV shows which shows great intellect and humor, I think!) and was much swifter than I, finishing her scarf that Saturday (spiffy red-ish warp with a lovely green-based fuzzy weft - it came out very nice and very soft!).

I picked another not-as-bulky yarn so it took longer. I was also a little hampered by a cold and cold medication. Ugh.
However, the cool bit being the yarn I picked wove into some totally amazing patterns. I'm calling it the "Sunset Scarf".
The owner of Grandma's Spinning Wheel was also pretty tickled that the yarn she suggested wove up so very interestingly.
She let me come back on Monday to finish up...Here 'tis:

Pretty cool, huh?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I'm actually NOT as crazy as SOME people...

Yes, I am actually not as crazy as some people.
But we'd be hard pressed to believe it from yesterday's blog, huh?
My apologies to anyone intrepid or foolhardy enough to wade through yesterday's Work rant.
(And my compliments at your bravery to return!)
It was not my intention to use this blog for Work venting.
But, boy did I ever vent work yesterday. Sigh.

10/8/08 - Edited for Work Venting....trying to leave it at work
I said yesterday I intended not to use this blog for Work Venting...and I decided very very early this AM to keep to that intention.
So today I removed the "Possible Closure" section from this blog.
You didn't miss much. Thanks for perusing, though.

So - on to the people that I am most definitely less crazy than...e-mail spam authors!

I've been getting VERY BIZARRE e-mails lately from people that I know, respect, and love.
I'm gobsmacked (love that phrase) to be getting these types of e-mails from these particular people.
No, I don't consider these e-mailing friends crazy...however, the it'll-be-on-the-cover-of-the-Nat'lEnqur-next-week bogus e-mails definitely bring on the padded room consideration.
i.e. - "Who writes this stuff?!?!"

I've gotten 2 e-mails from 2 different and lovely souls that ??wanted to share?? the crazy e-mail that Bill Cosby was going to write-in as a presidential candidate... (no, that is not the crazy part. I think Dr. Cosby would be a grand president - wise, intelligent, funny; he has a lot to teach us and he'd probably help us grow up even more than he already has...but I don't know that I would wish being president on him. ).
No, the crazy part is the wild and bizarre mix of kinda/maybe-worthy concepts and downright creepy stuff in that e-mail. An e-mail Mr. Cosby DID NOT AUTHOR.
Snopes, Urban Legends, and Mr. Cosby himself had some words on the subject (voices of sanity).

I got another one that used Andy Rooney's good name to bolster some, um, opinions...You can ogle it in disbelief on Snopes
Mr. Rooney also did not appreciate the use of his name and has been trying to quash this bogus e-mail for literally years!

(Like the Crazy bozos that write the wonky e-mails and send them out under someone else's name are EVER going to read this...)
If the comments are something that people want to communicate then communicate by all means. This is America - we have and fight for the right of Free Speech.
Even if I don't agree with the speech - go for it. This is America.
If you're boring or I don't agree, I reserve the right to wander off or delete the e-mail.

However, presenting concepts as coming from a well-known or respectable persona to give the comments more credence - only has the opposite effect when the false alignment is revealed.
It makes us question what else about the "communication" is a lie.

To anyone who forwards e-mails...PLEASE...
If people would take a few seconds to check Snopes or the Urban Legends website, there would be a whole lotta less crud being flung around the internet.

I was gifted with a lot of other eyebrow-raising e-mails this week. All looked like, and proved to be stuff that Snopes and Urban Legends labeled as "FALSE".
Our world is challenging enough without adding "Chicken Little" worries.
Let's work on the real issues and steer clear of the False Prophets.
~~Um~~Real End of Soap Box Alert~~(sorry)~~

Monday, October 6, 2008

General Blatherings 10/6/08

OK...I was perusing the recent blogs and I've left a lot hanging.
So - here's some blatherings to catch us up. (Caution - I'm dieting, sleep deprived and pretty well stressed out...there could be some whining involved...)

BobCat - I started him on Lactulose a week ago Saturday. (Yes, I even tasted it! It is Not nasty - it tastes sweet, actually.) We're still adding pumpkin to his food too.
I think he's doing better, but he's not quite, um, regular yet. I'm consulting with the Vet to adjust the dosage and figure out what the heck I'm doing. He's been more perky again of late and even playing some!! (pretty good for a 17-year old kitty.)

BobCat was a key player in last night's insomnia . Good thing he's all cute and furry 'cause I'm pretty sure his squeaky-meow is pitched perfectly for maximum annoyance/awake-ability. (And he's not the dumbest kitty on the block. He knows squeaking in corners or in the bathroom really enhances the attention-getting effect at 2:45 AM). Yep, GOOD thing he's cute and furry....

(Yes, I took this picture upside- down.)

BJ's Baby-Blanket- "Take-2".
Yes, I'm doing it right this time. Here's the revelation on the re-knit. If you glance at the first one I did in pieces then joined...and the one I'm almost 3/4 the way through with...you'll probably notice "Take-2" pattern is a bit different than "1st Attempt". Yep. Not only did I do a crummy job carrying up the yarn on BJ's Baby Blanket#1 - I put it together backwards from the expected pattern!! (Oy - I think claiming I really studied the pattern before I started would be easily identifiable as a bogus statement. )

(Worse yet - I think I like the pattern I made on "1st Attempt" better...)

Ah - and I'm officially and truly late on this blanket now...BJ's Baby arrived last Tuesday.
"Take-2" seems to be taking A LOT longer - and I'm getting a teeny bit resentful of it. This last baby blanket is between me and some entirely spiffy wool I just procured. Wool I'm plotting to knit/felt into some lovely little Moebius Bowls!! A little is plotted for weaving too...

(Yummy colors, huh?)

You didn't miss much. No pictures. Some clever comments. Some diffusing humor.
Mostly venting and frustration and some sadness.
On the 10/7 blog, I apologized and noted that I hadn't intended this blog for Work venting.
As I was trying to fall asleep last night...I realized how true I wanted that statement to be.
I actually don't expect the petulant personality at work to improve. They've been that way a very very long time. Nothing I do can change that.
But I can change how far I take my work concerns home.
Boundries are hard for me...I tend to do everything 100%.
Hmmm - not everything. I don't take care of myself 100%.

Hence - edited for Work Rant. Again, you didn't miss much.

Plant pictures...a lot of my yard has moved to generating seeds, but the bougainvillea is blooming nicely:

(Deep cleansing Breath...)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I think it was a parrot...and I found another blog to watch

I have achieved knitting whilst walking on the treadmill while also listening to an audio tape.
I'm not chewing gum at the same time so I think it'll be OK.

Spent a lot of this evening reading this nifty blog: "Readin' with my Furries".
I saw a comment about it in the Best Friends Magazine. It's about a nifty lady named Jennifer who is also a pretty serious cat person and has the joy and fortitude to work at Best Friends. She has chosen to spend a few hours a week reading and creating lap-time for the kitties in the Incontinental Suite, who generally don't get as many visitors as some of the other Kittyville residents. I plan to check back and keep reading. (Yes a few tears were shed whilst reading through the older blog entries.)

I was pulling in laundry from the line late this afternoon and there was an odd bird up on the phone line. It was kind of short on neck so I knew it wasn't the usual dove or desert birds that loiter in our neighborhood. I briefly thought it might be some kind of small bird of prey but there were other birds, wrens-n-such, on the same phone line, unafraid. And it bobbed it's head up and down and used it's beak to steady itself on the phone line.
A parrot? I tried to take pictures but it's more like bird-outline:

But I did play with the camera a little and got a lovely shot of the sunset:

Friday, September 26, 2008

Semi-crummy week/Lovely Friday evening

Yes, the week was only semi-crummy.
For all the stress at work (for my industry this time of year is like tax-time for accountants; 'cept we get "tax-time" a least twice a year (sometimes more but I'm Not going there just now))...
For the mystery insomnia last night (if I'd known I'd be awake until 1 AM, I'd have had a buncha dark chocolate and earned my insomnia...)...
For the across-the-board depressivness of the news (all issues seem to have been born of greed)...
For the lack of time with my honey, for the worry about the cat and the minor obsession with his litter box and it's contents....

I did have a lovely Friday Evening. Having abandoned work after only a bit over 9 hours of attentiveness, I was trolling for a treat/relief/something that wouldn't make me seriously afraid to weigh in next week...
Then I remembered the Yarn Harlot had a new book out: "Free-Range Knitter".
She'd done a nifty, very nicely written blog about it a week or so ago.

I decided that might help me recover from this week and prepare for next week.
I trucked over to the nearby B&N, found a neat stack of the desired tome and selected one for my very own. I also managed to pick up a couple of things for Christmas and B-day gifts then settled down in the cafe to read. To top it all off, I got some tea and plain cheesecake.

The cheesecake was yummy, but is certainly NOT what was inspiring me laugh out loud in the cafe. "Free-Range Knitter" is lovely and fun and ironic and so well done; such a grand use of the English Language.
I Love how she sees and phrases things.
I'm only up to page 21 (didn't stay much past the scarfing, um, gracious lady-like partaking of the cheesecake)...but I've giggled my way through each page. The folks at B&N were kind enough not to ask me to leave for disturbing the peace, but I did notice the busboy was a bit cautious about picking up my empty plate (he paused but seemed to decide somehow it was safer not to interrupt my chortling).
I'm having a terrible urge to call up KJ or Reba and read one or both of them the "Glory Days" section in Chapter One about the McPhee Annual Furnace Wars. I've read her blog comments about this - here you can too (Oct 29th)! Too fun!!
Ok, I'll stop gushing about the book. But this was such a nice break from the rest of the week.
A gift.
Time to go spend some time on the treadmill. It was only plain cheesecake...but it was cheesecake. So...whilst virtuously walking a couple of miles, do I read some more of Free-Range Knitter or do I knit some more on the replacement baby blanket and listen to a "Cat Who" book recording? Ummm...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Yarn carrying confession and a Stray Observation

Well, I pretty much disappeared for over a week, huh? Apologies.
I'm distracted with knitting, BobCat and work stuff.
BobCat had another issue with constipation and spent a day at the Vet experiencing the various efforts to unbind him. He's doing better, but we'll probably have to do some daily medication to help him digestively. (See - I kept the description vague and "ewww-less". Aren't you relieved?)

Knitting distractions: I've been working very hard to finish BJ's Baby Blanket - the last of the trio of Baby Blankets I've been cranking out the last couple of months.
I understand the baby is not here yet, but she's due any minute now...overdue, actually - so I'm LATE.
Now....... technically, I did finish it.
Will I be giving it to JoAnna (my friend) for her daughter BJ?



Because I did a crummy job of joining the pieces and carrying the different yarn colors up the edge. Ewwww. Not something I can give to someone and look them in the eye. So...I'll be shipping it off to the Project Linus people.
Yes, I feel a teeny bit scummy about inflicting it on Project Linus, but that way it won't go to waste and maybe some kind soul will think the odd spots of color are a "design element". (sigh)

Sooooooo - I got another skein of the Ecru color and I've started over.
It's not like I can blame ignorance on my poorly executed color-carries...I'm pretty sure I learned how to do it correctly on another project. And it was JoAnna that taught me.
So, no, I'm not going to present them with a baby blanket suffering from unsightly random speckles of yarn colors where they're not supposed to be...

And here's the stray observation. I was driving home from work this evening and found myself behind a Boxy Fake SUV in a rather spiffy coppery-orange. I realized the custom license plate said "Lemming". I actually thought about trying to ask the driver if:
a.) "Lemming" is his last name?
b.) He just likes Lemmings...?
c.) He feels like a Lemming in traffic?
d.) Or if I'm the Lemming because I'm following him... ;-)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Teeny Gecko, Shopping Carts, and some knitting...

Interesting Observation for today...some irony, and a minor surprise for me...
Went to the bank this AM and nearly got run over by a gent in a full sized pickup with a trailer. He was dashing from parking lot to parking lot picking up "borrowed" shopping carts. Let us say he feels very comfortable in maneuvering his truck/trailer but he may not always be cognizant of other folks in traffic. The shopping cart collection effort being brought to my attention on the way to the bank...on the way back - there he was again. This time on the other side of the street, blocking an entrance/exit to an apartment complex as he dashed out to load another cart that had wandered away from a major shopping experience.

I found some ironic humor in the fact that as he was loading one up, about 50 feet in front of his road-block-truck...was an elderly woman pushing a shopping cart, presumably home-ward.
I was surprised when nearing and passing the woman; perched on either side of the cart were two large white cockatoos!
I'm guessing she took them with her for a morning outing...possibly to Petsmart. No, I didn't get pictures...I was driving....but it would have been a grand picture.

Here's a picture for you:

This teeny Gecko surprised me last night in our hall bathroom. I found him after I got home from work and the Grocery store (no, I didn't "borrow" a shopping cart).
Our hall bath is in the middle of the house - not quite sure how he got that far - BobCat does think lizards are interesting to chase. And he was teeny - about an inch and a half long - with his tail.
I'm ashamed to say I did not succeed in capturing him without losing his tail. I know it'll grow back, but he's soooooo teeny. I was trying not to deprive him of his nifty striped tail - but when I was trying to herd him out from behind the toilet tank - I must have applied some pressure there and it came off and continued to wiggle as a distraction.

Here's the interesting bit to me....I've "rescued" quite a few of these critters from the indoors to place them back outdoors. This was the first one that, once on my person, didn't want to leave. He was wandering over my hand and up my arm...
You can see he crawled onto my shirt and was pretty happy squatting right there. I don't think he was too impressed with my feeble attempts to take his picture. I got him back on my hand to put him on the window sill outside on the back porch - lots of bug options there...but he didn't want to get off. (sigh) Finally he chose to explore the window sill:

I've been neglectful of posting my knitting accomplishments of late. I'll try to do better, but here's a shot of Jessica's Baby Blanket before I delivered it last week...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Found out what "color" I am and kitty-mom cleanup stuff

Found out what "color" I am at this website.
I like the "blue" aspect but must question the semi-saintly description...I don't think I'm that deep - more like generally sleep-deprived. I'm just me.
(Not sure if this will work, but... cool, I got the code in the blog...learn something new every day...)


You give your love and friendship unconditionally. You enjoy long, thoughtful conversations rich in philosophy and spirituality. You are very loyal and intuitive.

Find out your color at QuizMeme.com!

And now...off to bed. Too tired to be more useful.
Handsome lone kitty, BobCat, had a rough weekend with, um....well.....constipation.
Don't panic - I'll be skipping the gory details. However, when he's not happy, I don't sleep well. He was moving stuff very slowly through the weekend but stopped Sunday. However, he seems to have released a lot of what was bothering him last night and I did a lot of scrubbing with bleach extremely early this AM.
Glamorous kitty-mom blog, huh? Nuf-said. Going to get some sleep.

(Again, don't panic...I'm working with the Vet and adjusting his diet to avoid this issue...we had been doing pretty well for the last month or so, but BobCat fell off the intestinal wagon, having indulged in too many kitty-treats and having found some grass to add to his diet. (oy) Have discussed with DH the kitty treat issue and I pulled the grass/weeds this AM. )

Thursday, September 4, 2008

It was big. Huge. Black and Yellow with orange antennae

No, it WAS big. Longer than my fingers!!
Ok, I kinda have tiny hands, but it was about 4 inches long...

Rick at work took some REALLLY good pictures (he has a good eye and a very nifty camera).
(But you don't get to see those - ;) here's what you get...)
I happened to have my little camera with me and snapped these pics:

(This shot reminded me of the basic physical structure of the big nasties in the "Alien" movies...)

Ok, minor adventure trying to find out what kind of grasshopper it was. We considered it might be a "locust" of plague legends 'cause it was so huge...but it doesn't look like the locust pictures.
So, working my way through the search results...
  • Grasshopper Mower (yes, a lawn mower)
  • Grasshopper Vegetarian Restaurant (waaaay back east)
  • Grasshopper Store (stuff for kids, I think...)
  • Grasshopper Drink recipes (now this looks interesting...yummmm)
  • Grasshopper Store (x 2 - this one looks to be for "fashionable" adults in plaid trench coats who hang out in a Van in the woods. ~~Uh-huh.~~)
  • Grasshopper Arizona (a town named Grasshopper? Wait - there's actually 2 - Grasshopper Junction also!)
  • Grasshopper sparrow...(no, I didn't go look.)
  • Grasshopper dissection (Ack - moving on!)
OK, back to the critter identification.
I can tell it's a short-horned grasshopper...Ok, I haven't found our critter yet, (and I have been looking at A LOT of bugs on line) but I was astounded to find Orange, Pink, and Lavender grasshoppers!! I guess they're younglings...

Back to the search.
Whoa...what's this? A Taradactyl Grasshopper...darn, no pictures.
There is an AMAZING range of colors on Grasshoppers-they're beautiful! (The "Whatsthatbug" website is cool!)

Eureka!! found it. It's a Horse Lubber Grasshopper!!
Here's another person's comments. Apparently they taste nasty (hence the bright colors) and can produce a "rank foam when feeling threatened". Guess ours didn't mind all our paparazzi action, since he didn't foam up... (there's a celebrity joke in there somewhere...)
Off to the next adventure!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

More fun links...yeah, I've been surfing...

Blogger had this blog featured and I agree - it is a HOOT!!!
('cept now I'm craving cake pretty seriously...)
Cake Wrecks

And if you haven't experienced Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog...you're missing out.
From the creator or Firefly and Serenity (along with Buffy the Vampire...) - this mini semi-musical was created for the Web. Also very funny - poignant - and with some very impressive vocals by Neil Patrick Harris (yes...Doogie Howser...)

I was tickled to find that there are 3 installments of Simon's Cat (remember the animation of the cat trying to wake up his owner?)
Ah - and for daily giggles, this is an excellent conglomeration of all sorts of humor: NY Times Laughlines.
And I tripped over this in Laughlines - all hail Paul Hunt, Comedic Gymnast extraordinaire!!

Weekend Warrior Adventures

No, not me being the Weekend Warrior ...the DH.

I've had a pretty good weekend thus far. 3 loads of laundry this AM before this afternoon's rain.
(Yep, I lamented too soon that the monsoon was over - we've been damp pretty much every day this week.)
I also got to have a long lunch with a favorite friend - celebrating her birthday.
I followed that up with stopping by Grandma's Spinning Wheel to pay for a class I've registered for and...yeah, well, you didn't think I could escape without getting a little yarn, did you?

Home to get water for the DH - and my Father-in-law has joined the fray! They're pondering the foibles of changing the serpentine belt on a 1997 Buick LeSabre. Seems there's an Engine Mount bolt the silly belt is looped around...
I looked on-line ('cause the guys generally don't... I think when it comes to cars men sometimes have an "exploratory surgery" perspective that just makes me wonder.) - anyway - per the on-line comments, they seem to be heading in the right direction but it seems not enough weight has been taken off the bolt by the jack location and they still can't get the belt threaded.

I'm mostly trying to stay out of the way, pull the laundry in off the line (interesting streak of what appears to be engine grease on my once-clean sheets...hmmmm?) and resisting the urge to kibitz too much. (having peeked at some belt-changing comments on-line does NOT make me an expert...) Took some pictures of the barrel cactus out front - there's a bee buried in the center of the top flower - he went deep for that pollen...

I wonder if Buick will be going to the dealership on Monday...

No! The DH and FiL were successful!!
('course there was that comment about "can't go in reverse anymore...")

Sunday, August 24, 2008

No, I'm still here...I've just been knitting when I wasn't at work...

The Ravelympics ended this AM. I stopped at 5 medals. Not too bad. I'd hoped to get more done, but 5 finished projects in a couple of weeks is pretty darn good.
I was in the vicinity of finishing the odd-patterned scarf...but I ran out of time. Maybe this week.

I should have taken pictures, but Laurel's Bowl has been gifted away already. I decided it was too boring and added some random beads to the top lip of the bowl. It turned out rather nice.
Laurel seemed quite tickled about it.

Earlier in the week, I started and was making good headway on the baby blanket for JoAnna's grandchild...but was unpleasantly surprised at the unexpected colors that came out of the skein of yarn...Teal. Actually - the blanket looks nice, but it certainly doesn't look like a baby blanket.
Friend Reba asked if I wanted to go to JoAnne's just about then and JoAnne's was having a yarn sale - so more baby yarn has been acquired and another project plotted.
Anyone interested in a teal and purple lap-blanket?

Having neglected most everything except work (which seriously cut into my knitting time(wry grin)) for the past few weeks, today is slotted for some minor catch-up tasks. Vacuuming, pick-up rooms, clear my desk, update the blog, maybe some swimming, and some other household chores. Fun day, huh? (kind of a let-down after all that focused knitting, but it does assuage some of the sitting-on-my-tush knitting-guilt that has built up over the past 17 days.)

Butterflies are making their late-summer appearance and our Monsoons seemed to have died down (durn it). I'll try to get some pictures of the Butterflies.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Knitting, Felting, Posting

I finished the TriFold Knitter's Bowl today and trundled off to felt the armload of knitted purple bowl along with the little blue bowl I knit for Laurel.
The TriFold Bowl felted up tremendously!! (May be a skosh too much.)

Wise knitting teacher had noted the pockets come out a bit short to hold what she's hoped so I had knitted them longer to avoid that issue. Moot issue when the puppy felts up like The Incredible Shrinking Man. So I still have short pockets.
The bowl is stuffed with a plate and some towels and is drying in the Laundry room awaiting a trip to Craft Klatch for show-n-tell.

Laurel's Bowl...well - it didn't felt so well. The LYS Owner had indicated she'd gotten this yarn to felt...obviously she's more talented than I am. However, I felted it with the TriFold bowl so it wasn't the felting environment...

I have been remiss in posting pictures of the other Ravelympics completed projects I've been posting on Ravelry. (I have 5 Ravelympic medals now!!)
However, I was holding off in case one of the giftees recognized her name in the list...but I passed the Baby blanket for Reba's Grandchild to Reba on Wed. (She was WAY delighted and I received some very heartfelt and delighted hugs. Seems she felt the same way I had about the yarn - it was perfect. (Here's hoping the perfect yarn is washable as advertised. (No, I wasn't bright enough to swatch and wash)) (sorry the pics are so dark)

Michelle loved the colors of this dishcloth so she got to take it home after I did show-n-tell at work. (This is the one I did in Continental Stitch - I've decided I'm not inspired to change my knitting style to Continental full time just yet.)

And lastly...I finished the Lace Sampler Shrug...(yes, the arms are still a bit short, ah well - I like the 3/4 length a lot!)