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Sunday, December 26, 2010

What is a Clunky Old PC Monitor Good For?

What is a Clunky Old PC Monitor Good For?
Kitty TV...
(Left to Right: Nikoli, CooPurr, & Gryphon)

Bird watching and enjoying the neighborhood smells...

And for me? General PC-based endeavors (enhanced by fur, purrs, and flicking tails that inevitably block the screen...)

(How much longer do you think it will hold up under the, uh, extra duties?)

Monday, December 20, 2010

It does get better!

I originally started this blog entry specifically intending to show support for the It Gets Better Project.
I will still do that, but I'm going to mention a few other subjects/blogs that have made me pause to consider how much more I have to learn and grow - and that have offered hope that our world is still improving.
And...this is still not the blog I had re-intended.

I tried to describe how sad-beyond-words it makes me that children would take their own lives because they feel there is no other way to stop the pain.
Is this because they literally have not reached a point in their physical and emotional growth where they can fully comprehend "later" or that this day in school doesn't have to define their whole life and that everyone won't always treat them this way?
What if there is a chemical imbalance skewing their world?

And how to explain that bullies tend to be a few ignorant jerks, or people lashing out because of their own pain, or other people slinging "stones" because they don't want people to sling stones at them.

Can we teach the bullies compassion?
Aside from extremely rare exceptions, I definitely believe so.

Please know you are Not alone.   Deep Breaths.
Please consider there are many tomorrows that will be better than today.
Please notice the overwhelming good in the world. It's right there in front of you.
It is just not as loud and obvious as the bad stuff.  But good is Much more plentiful and consistent.
The above is the short version and lacking the full weight and depth of my feelings on the subject of bullying and suicide.
But the short version might make for a better blog and actually does achieve a mild semblance of coherency.
I suspect I may not be in a place where I can explain what I'm feeling and how I wish it to be better.

So...the short version it is.
Please consider the links below as confirmation that our world and society is still trying to do better.
  • To all younglings who are subjected to torture and bullying...most especially Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) kids - It Truly Does Get Better. You are NOT alone. 
  • Anti-bullying Starts in First Grade.  Katie, I am particularly fond of "Star Wars" ("Star Trek", "Firefly"...the list goes on!). Let us revel in our similarities AND our differences! It's part of makes us unique and the world a more interesting place! 
  • Challenge Day. I think it helps people to find compassion.
  • TED - Ideas Worth Spreading.  No, I haven't fully explored this site and it's quite feasible there are Ideas presented with which I cannot agree. But I love what it stands for and it's an interesting and heartening exploration that I intend to continue.
  • Lots of food for thought...about the effects of what we say and what is heard:
    "Who hears you, when you speak about rape?".
  • And a repeat offering: Randy Pausche's "Last Lecture". It's worth your time. Really.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010

    I forgot to introduce you to one of my cats...Oscar

    Like Nikoli and Mikale, I inherited Oscar from someone at work.
    The gent that gifted him to me felt I would be a better owner for Oscar. Something about he didn't really have enough room and that Oscar needed more attention than he could provide.

    Essentially, I don't think I got much choice in the matter of "adoption". Certainly not as much choice as I had with the orange kitties. Oscar was left in my cube one day after the gent had said something about bringing me a cat. However, I did get to name him! He just looked like an "Oscar" to me. I'm not quite sure why.

    Oscar is my office-cat.
    He watches over my cube and keeps an eye on visitors, trying to make sure they don't leave too much work behind after they visit.
    (He is not terribly successful at this endeavor, but I appreciate the effort.)

    Oscar is the epitome of low maintenance.
    No brushing, feeding or litter-box cleaning required.
    I will try to do a better job of including him in the blog so you know what he's up to and what he's wearing.
    Oscar has outfits for the major holidays! Some he came with and some I've added to his wardrobe.

    In honor of our upcoming December Holiday, here is Oscar in his Santa Claws accessories:
    (All the hats have cutouts for his ears!)
    Oscar and I (along with the DH and the furry monsters at home) 
    wish you a lovely Holiday Season. 
    Please paws to revel in friends, family, furry loved ones, 
    and the beauties of the season.

    Thursday, November 25, 2010

    Blessings Be. Give or Take a Hundred Years.

    Blessings be to you and yours on this day of Thanks.

    Yes, I know. It's officially the Holiday Season.
    Revered, anticipated, and dreaded all at the same time.

    In the U.S., if you consider almost any traditional "Holiday", you'll find negative aspects of the holiday that never occurred to us when we were on break from school as children; hyper-commercialism, stress from additional tasks, family baggage, depression, or activities that are downright inconsistent to the original point of the Holiday.

    But today is Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. ... so...yes, I am Thankful for:
    • My job (sometimes frustrating but always interesting and challenging), 
    • My friends (unique, kind, talented, and oddly tolerant of my foibles), 
    • My DH, 
    • My feline kids, 
    • My birth family (admirable individuals), 
    • My Country (Sometimes we're a bit of a selfish lot, but we do freedom reasonably well and we can be inspirationally generous), and
    • My much-taken-for-granted health. 
    • And Blessings Be to the world for Knitting!! {Happy sigh!} 
    And then my brain wanders off to marvel at other things for which I am Thankful - and I pause to consider how all of these things are very new or only recently readily available to the average person.
    (!!And sometimes still not available here or in some parts of the world - think about it!!)
    These things were literally unheard of 100 years ago or only available to the very, very rich.
    What about 75 years ago? 50? 
    • This much growled-at PC that actually does labor reasonably well for me.
    • Satellites.
    • The Internet (Blogger? Ravelry? Wikipedia? NetFlix? Google Maps? Spell Check!).
    • Television. Radio.
    • The right to Vote.
    • Plastic.* 
    • Air Flight. Space Flight.
    • Mechanical Wonders (Automobiles and Crock pots, Clothes Washing Machines, and what about all the medical mechanical wonders...?) 
    • * Chemistry/biological wonders. (Antibiotics? Chemo-therapy? DNA Mapping?)
    • My ongoing education and curiosity of the world (What would I have been allowed (or had time) to study 100 years ago?)
    • "Stash" (books, fabric, yarn...more books). (50 years ago "stash" was primarily used to describe a cache of drugs - sad.)
    • A ready supply of chocolate in many forms and flavors (Yeah, think about that one!)
    • Central Heating/Air Conditioning!?!
    • Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream!
    • Heck - INDOOR PLUMBING!??!
    • The list goes on and on...and yet how much am I still taking for granted?
    That perspective increases the Thankfulness at least 1000-fold, does it not?
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. May we be more appreciative of our many blessings.

    Saturday, November 20, 2010

    My Viewing Pleasure

    If you didn't get to catch Masterpiece Mystery's excellent new presentation of a very old, established literary character, please track down "Sherlock" in your local Public Television/BBC website. We truly enjoyed it and are awaiting the next installation in the series - due out the Fall of 2011. {SIGH - so long to wait...}
    (I do support my local PBS station. Shows like Masterpiece Theater (Classic, Mystery, & Contemporary), Nova, Great Performances, This Old House... PBS fills a major gap and simply must continue.)

    Inspired by the rave reviews of some knitterly friends, I recently finished watching all 3 (?) seasons of the animated TV Series "Avatar: The Last Airbender" . (I'm lov'n Netflix!)
    And - it was pretty cool. Aside from the to-be-expected kids/"Jerry Lewis" humor and some overdone drama, it was a pretty good story, good artwork, well "acted", and pretty decently written (well, mostly).
    I really enjoyed it!
    I would kinda like to know what they did with the criminally insane royal fire-bender sibling and what happened to Zuko's Mom...and also the fate of the cabbage vendor (did he retire on Avatar play royalties?).  But I guess they couldn't tidy up everything.
    (The same knitterly friends panned the The Last Airbender movie. I'll take a gander at it some time - just to be fair.)

    The DH recently gifted me with a copy of the animated movie "How to Train Your Dragon". Excellent fun!!
    I'm afraid I have not read the book so at some point I'll track it down to see what changed between original novel and animation.
    Throughout the movie, the main Dragon Character, Toothless, constantly reminded me of one of our also-not-toothless house-critters:
    (Uncanny "Night Fury" Dragon resemblance.
    And if you factor in how destructive Gryphon can be
    when he "flies" through the house...)
    (Please pardon the cheesy/grainy photo - it's challenging to get a picture of Gryphon {holding still} that shows how green his eyes are.)

    Lastly...I am seriously enjoying watching "Glee". I started watching late in the 1st season but I quickly caught up on Hulu.

    It's a caricature of musicals, high school and people. I think it is delightful, silly, charming, wicked-fun, and a bit angst-y but I LOVE the music.

    I grew up watching 1940 & 1950 movie musicals with my Mom. I am also fond of attending Broadway Show tours that come through town. I suspect that's where some of my delight in this show originates.

    The talent involved is stellar. We're treated to amazing musical performances each week - from well known performers and from brand new talent. (Matthew Morrison, Kristin Chenoweth, Idina Menzel, Chris Colfer, Lea Michele, Neil Patrick Harris, Charice, Jane Lynch, - the list goes on and on...amazing talent all!)

    I do like shows that can surprise me. Glee is clever and heartful. Sometimes there's an excess of angst and a little sit-com ploy, but but it can still surprise and charm me. I can't say I love every episode and the music-to-plot ratio is a bit light/contrived (a la early early Broadway musicals), it's always fun and interesting - and...oh, the music!

    I revel in the show tunes and presentations of classic pop/rock I grew up with.
    I have also been surprised and intrigued to hear more modern tunes presented in a choral or group format. The harmonies are amazing - probably my favorite part. One of the "glee" clubs on the show, the "Warblers" remind me of the University a cappella groups I've found on iTunes-U.
    (Which I cannot find again to link to this blog - sorry.) Ah - rather like "Straight No Chaser"!

    I'd heard of Lady Gaga and had seen some of her work - which is innovative and very interesting. But I became quite taken with the Glee version of "Bad Romance".
    I'd never heard Madonna's "What it feels like for a Girl" - but I am very drawn to the Glee version performed by the Glee Guys and how it was used in the episode. It has become one of my favorites.

    I'll stop now. No, I don't think I qualify as a "Gleek" - either by the Fox slang for a Glee-Geek or by the surprising  dictionary definitions for that word (ewww).  But for now, I'll keep watching and listening!

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

    So What is a Book Meme???

    What is a "Book Meme" anyway? Answer. Ohhhh. K.

    I saw this on The Yarn Yard Blog and was intrigued...
    I gotta wonder who chose the books and why CS Lewis' Narnia books are included twice (once as a set and once as the 1st book in the series)?
    And why are the vast majority of these classics profoundly depressing?
    I know - it's "Art".
    As you've guessed, I may not always find "art" entertaining or desirable.
    Reality is enough "art" on it's own most days.
    But I do love books...

    1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
    2) Underline those you intend to read
    3) Italicise the books you LOVE.
    4) Post your list so we can try and track down these people who’ve only read 6 and force books upon them.

    1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
    2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
    3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
    4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
    5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
    6 The Bible (not all of it)
    7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
    8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell (I steer clear of Orwell after reading "Animal Farm" #41 in school)
    9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
    10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
    11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
    12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
    13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
    14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (I've only read a few)
    15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
    16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
    17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
    18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
    19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger (I keep thinking about reading this one...hmmm.)
    20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
    21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
    22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
    23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
    24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
    25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
    26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
    27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
    29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
    30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
    31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
    32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
    33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (see 36 as well)
    34 Emma - Jane Austen
    35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
    36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
    37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
    38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
    39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
    40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
    41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
    42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (I loved the history/descriptions of Europe)
    43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
    45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
    46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
    47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
    48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
    49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
    50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
    51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
    52 Dune - Frank Herbert
    53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
    54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
    55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
    56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
    57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
    58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
    59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
    60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
    62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
    63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
    64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold (Started it but quickly realized this was the stuff of nightmares for me)
    65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
    66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
    67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
    68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
    69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
    70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
    71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
    72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
    73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
    74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
    75 Ulysses - James Joyce
    76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
    77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
    78 Germinal - Emile Zola
    79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
    80 Possession - AS Byatt
    81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
    82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
    83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker (I've got this started, actually)
    84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
    85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
    86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
    87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
    88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Alborn
    89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
    91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
    92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
    93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
    94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
    95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
    96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
    97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
    98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
    99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
    100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    The Obnoxious Furry Quilt

    "Once upon a time, there was a young girl who was extremely responsible and reasonably bright.
    But she was also profoundly naive and trusting. And she got married."

    Yeah, that was me. I call it "The Training Marriage".
    Whereby you learn that there realllllly are people like that in the world and you reallllllllly don't want to marry them.

    I would say my taste in men has dramatically improved. The evidence being the "DH" (Dear Husband), referred to occasionally in this blog. Much mo'betta. Trust me.

    I actually did get a few good things out of the Training Marriage/First Love.
    • I learned how to drive a standard transmission. It is my transmission of choice. 
    • I was introduced to the music of Styx. Probably still some of my favorite music. (No, I haven't kept up with them since their split with original member Dennis DeYoung. Tsk.)
    • I got the hair stylist in the divorce. (Ok, this sounds much funnier when the stylist is introducing me to people chortling that I got him in the divorce.)
      No, it wasn't part of the divorce decree, but the Ex has a tough time facing people... We'll leave it at that.
    • I got a couple of stellar recipes from my ex mother-in-law. Wicked-good tacos. Seriously - eat 'em until you've eaten too many "good".
    • ....
    • Um... ...well...that may be about it.
      I did learn not to be sooooo trusting. I may have learned it a little too well.
      Oddly enough, I'm still pretty gullible and trusting in some areas. Not so much in others. 
    • Ah - I also got a queen-sized quilt made by my mother. 
    That marriage didn't last, but the quilt has.
    My mother was a pretty amazing seamstress. She made most of her clothes for most of her life.
    She could look at a dress and make a pattern.
    She was very, very stylishly dressed in her younger, modeling days.
    She was adept in a variety of crafts - Knitting, Crochet, Quilting, needlework...she could do pretty much anything.
    I miss her. A lot.

    Mom went through phases of colors. Blues, Yellows, Burgundy, Plum...her wardrobe would be augmented based upon her current color phase.
    Yes, in the 70's and part of the 80's there was a fair amount of polyester involved in her sewing.
    And there was...a brief fake fur phase. As I recall, there were a variety of jackets made from fake fur for several members of our family. (My blue/white one didn't achieve completion...which happens with crafting and growing children.)

    So, after I had married the guy of which my parents did not approve (smart, weren't they?), but that they had accepted for my sake...she decided to make us a quilt for a Christmas present.
    A Nine-Patch quilt.
    Out of the scraps of fake fur.
    I loved that she made me something. I loved that it was useful and well-crafted and warm.
    I was not crazy about the colors. And I thought it was a bit... obnoxious.

    And I am still not crazy about the colors and I still think the furry aspect is a bit obnoxious.
    But - it is unique and I still love that I have something she made for me. And the DH and I use it every year.
    This inscription always goes on my side of the bed - tucked under my chin in the winter-time.
    And the cats - all of my cats - have loved it on sight/feel. It is irresistible to any feline.
    I love that they love it and that they snuggle and purr and play and kneed on it. 

    "And they lived happily ever after..." certainly didn't apply to The Training Marriage.
    And it doesn't always apply to the current marriage.
    But there is laughter and purring on a pretty regular basis.
    And there is also a well-loved, obnoxious, furry quilt that was a gift of love from my mother.

    Sunday, November 14, 2010

    The Music Under his Feet

    Savion Glover.
    I was able to attend his "Bare Soundz" performance here in Tucson last night.

    I witnessed Grace.
    Humor. Joy.
    Rhythm (of course).
    Stamina - amazing stamina. 
    Clever. Charming.
    Flow. Energy - Tap Jazz.
    Shared Joy.
    Experience and innovation.

    Honor and Gratitude - shared by Mr. Glover with the generous sponsors, the two gentlemen with whom he shared the stage: Marshall Davis Jr. and Keitaro Hosokawa, the stage crew, the sound-man (!), Mr. Gregory Hines, the ushers, the pre-show Tap Performers in the Centennial Hall courtyard, and shared with the audience (which happened to include Mr. Ben Vereen(!) {who inspired a special song from Mr. Glover!}).
    Here's a small sampling of what I was gifted with last night: Savion Glover on the Colbert Report.

    (Yes, some of my knitting was imbued with last night's rhythm: The Einstein Coat, The Birds Nest Shawl, and a stray green hat I pulled from the UFO pile.)

    Saturday, October 30, 2010

    I told my husband I'm kinda in love with another man...

    He was pretty good about it...and he understands.
    He didn't even laugh at me!

    We just finished watching the "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear" on Comedy Central.
    I told the DH that I was kind of in love with Jon Stewart for what he'd just done/said.

    Yes, I expect it was an excellent advertising gimmick.
    And tomorrow or even tonight, I expect we'll hear a great deal about how many people were watching (or are belatedly watching it online or as a rebroadcast).

    But it was grand and funny and a kind reminder to folks to pause in the rampant "The Sky is Falling" antics/panic.

    I first heard about this event via a Cafe Press e-mail offering "Restore Sanity"/"Keep Fear Alive" t-shirts (Yep - marketing and souvenir sales...).
    My initial response to the Cafe Press ad was a confused look/ "What the ???" - but I tracked it down and was not too surprised to see Stewart/Colbert were up to something interesting.

    I do enjoy watching both "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" - although I don't get to watch as often as I'd like.
    When I do get to watch, I find them intelligent, charming, ironic, fun, clever, silly, sane/insane, respectful-or-not, but always thought-provoking.

    And...their shows can be an educational opportunity.
    As was today's pundit/comedic Rally.

    I say "Well Done" to Mr. Stewart and Mr. Colbert!!
    "Well Done" to all the people who performed, wrote, created, supported, and pulled off this larger-scale reminder that:
    • It's not all bad news
    • It's not all news-worthy
    • Generalizations/Stereotypes work best in humor or fiction and not necessarily in real life
    • Humor can help people pause in learned-loathing habits to possibly reconsider/grow
    • We do need to vote/be aware/be responsible
    • Irony can be sweet or sour
    • "Blessed are we who can laugh at ourselves - for we shall never cease to be amused". 
     Please have a lovely weekend and revel in humor, irony, intelligence, and the gift that it is to be a free citizen of the world.

    Tuesday is election day.
    You may think that a single vote doesn't count... 
    but they're All single votes - and they add up.  

    Sunday, October 17, 2010

    Barber Shop Intern?

    Cheap entertainment for the day: The DH got a home hair cut set and asked me to cut his hair.
    (Possibly not considering that I am extra sleep deprived just now. {wry grin})

    We setup on the back porch and I cut his hair - shorter on the sides, longer on top using the attachments that came with this have-yer-wife-do-it-herself kit. Trimmed the hairs on his neck and around his ears.

    My first time cutting anyone's hair - ever. And it wasn't bad!
    He went inside to check and came out correctly noting the curve of his head on the side that was away from me was a little teeny bit "bushy". (He'd setup up his chair against a table and the cord and my short arms didn't reach as well on that side.)
    I'm game for a re-trim so we moved the chair, reapplied the longer cutting tool and I trimmed.

    And it seemed like a lot came off.
    E'yep, I'd put on the shorter attachment - he now has the equivalent of a military "bowl" cut.

    He took it VERY well and we both laughed. I told him it was Karma - he could tell his younger brother it's payback for the time when DH shaved his brother's head bald when they were little boys.

    He wants me to try cutting it again in a few weeks. He's a brave, sweet man.
    Hmmm - maybe a little too short on top...

    Friday, October 15, 2010

    Love 'dem Kitties, 'deed I do..."HEY - stop that!!..."

    I think it is safe to say that Los Gatos are a prime source of entertainment 'round here:

    I wish I'd gotten pictures of CooPurr jumping up to this sink. He stood up on his back legs to peer up at the sink (no, he's not quite tall enough to see over the lip, but his head is about on level with the bottom edge of the sink.)
    (Click here for a CooPurr scale picture against my clunky PC monitor.)
    Then he plotted his jump, rocking and stepping forward with several false starts, until he flew up to the sink and landed gracefully with two paws on the front edge and two paws on the left-side edge - having planned it perfectly.
    (This is NOT a little sink - and CooPurr fills it easily.)
    Gryphon has another "friend" he plays with besides myself and Nikoli...."Gecko":
    Gryphon checks the back door every evening.
    Usually Gecko is high up on the screen door.
    This night Gryphon didn't have to jump or be held up to visit Gecko.
    ("Can we keep him?")
    Gryphon (inspired by Nikoli) recently discovered there's catnip in that sausage-roll of stripey fabric:

    And there's ALWAYS a cat or three to help make the bed - and changing the sheets is a hysterical process!!
    Yep - that lump Nikoli is attacking - it's Gryphon.
    (Nikoli focuses on what is under his nose...oblivious to all else.)
    Oh yeah - they help for the entire process!
    (Did you notice Mikale peeking from the other side?)
    Cruel-Fate. {SIGH}
    This is what I found the other morning when I got up:

    Gryphon, also likes to hang out with us in the computer room...snoozing quietly...
    all soft and cute-looking...
     with his paw dangerously close to the "ESC" key on my keyboard...?? 
    "Gryphon! Watch it!...! Move your..."
    "Click"..."Gah...Rasssn-Frassn"..."Did it save?"

    Sunday, October 10, 2010

    The Return of the Carpet

    Updates all 'round...

    Charity Craftiness:
    The Jayne Hats I made for the local Browncoat Group Charity event...The larger one was part of the raffle prizes. I understand the gent who won it was rather tickled. The medium sized-one was sold for $40.00. And they've asked me to make a couple more! {Yarn shopping!!}

    The Entrelac Scarf I made has been donated to the Academy for Cancer Awareness' Confetti Gala to benefit the Under-insured Cancer Patient Fund. I believe it will be part of the Silent Auction offerings next week.

    Also donated to benefit the Under-insured Cancer Patient Fund, these loverly, spiffy baby hats/socks.
    (Please Note, I did NOT knit these. I asked for volunteers to knit to help this charity and I donated the cotton stripy yarn...and these were created by an extremely talented friend of mine.)
     I am entirely smitten with these.
    The charity folks were tickled too!
    (She completed the hat above with "leftover" cashmere yarn and bits of the cotton yarn pulled off so she could make the socks match!)

    (I am agog at the perfect matching socks...sigh.)
    So - although I did NOT knit these, I have to share the pictures because they're simply too wonderful and looking at them makes me smile!

    Personal Craftiness:
    I've completed one of the "Columbine Peak" Blue socks for my niece and started on the 2nd sock.
    And I completed the Dublin Bay Socks for me-self:
    (Pay no attention to the pink bits, I try not to...)
     I'm knitting away at the first portion of my Einstein Coat. I'm doing it in Reynolds Lopi Yarn. I love the white-on-black tweedy effect, but the yarn feels quite "woolly". (rough)
    Since it's meant to be a coat...I'm ok with "woolly".

    The Einstein Coat is so named because "you feel like a genius when it's done".

    Beyond that, I'm swatching for Reba's socks (also in the Dublin Bay Pattern) and the lacy Sabine cardigan:

    Home Improvement: 
    As previously noted, the DH and I decided to replace our well-loved living room carpeting. After carpet shopping and selection was achieved, we packed.  A lot.   With Help:
    Gryphon and CooPurr
    Nikoli and Mikale
    And the new carpet arrived and was installed!
    It is very tactile and yummy to walk upon and we're quite pleased with it!
    The cats like it too and displayed their approval in ways that best suit their purrsonalities:
    This is a good place for a bath!
    Relaxing - high and low.
    Here's the thing I belatedly noticed. 
    Back when the cats were helping us carpet-shop...Mikale was elsewhere and did not voice his opinion regarding carpet samples:

     AND...I noticed the carpet shade we chose looks a tad familiar...
     E'yup - it appears we chose a shade of carpet that is very nearly great camouflage for Mikale.

    However, I think Mikale's normal posture of "Sunny Side Up" will keep him pretty visible:

    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    Hats inspired by Ma Cobb to support Equality Now

    We have a "Can't Stop the Serenity" screening at the Loft Theater later this month - hosted by our local Browncoat group.
    (What is a Browncoat, you ask? Follow the link for a decent explanation.)
    {Why yes, I really am that geeky - and proud and tickled about it! If you haven't seen the Firefly series and the Serenity movie - you've been missing out and you should correct that lapse in your entertainment world with all haste! (and maybe with some popcorn, and some friends...pizza is good too...}

    The proceeds from the Can't Stop the Serenity event benefit Equality Now and The Women's Foundation of Southern Arizona.
    A young lady I know put out the word on Ravelry that the organizers of the event were looking for some Jayne Hats to offer at the Serenity screening.

    I had the yarn in the required Red, Orange, Yellow colors (wool and alpaca yarn no less - yummy), a pattern, and the plot to knit a "cunning" Jayne hat on my Knitting to-do list.
    Now seemed the time to do the deed.

    I made one hat to match the pattern specifications. It is rustic and roomy and very nearly matches the pictures of Jayne Cobb wear’n the hat from his Ma. On my “pin-head” - it’s a little too roomy (i.e. fits best down over my eyes) so it’ll probably fit a normal sized person’s head mo’betta. (Or a Jayne Cobb-sized person...)

    I tweaked the pattern some and made one that fits my head. And I still had more yarn - so I went for a 3rd hat of an in-between size. The yellow ran a little short on the 3rd hat so I finished the very top with some leftover Cascade 220 doubled (excellent color match).

    I offered the 2 larger hats to the Arizona Browncoats group and their organizer picked 'em up yesterday!
    She seemed very pleased with them.
    I'm not sure if they'll be raffled or auctioned, but I hope they raise some decent funds for the charities AND that they'll sit well on the heads of a couple of Browncoats!
    "A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he's not afraid of anything." ~ Wash

    Friday, September 10, 2010

    A Bit o'the "Bubbly"

    Whilst clearing out the living room so the carpet could be replaced, we came across two little bottles of bubbles from a wedding the DH attended in Vegas.
    (You know, where folks are expected to blow bubbles at the Bride-n-Groom instead of throwing rice, or bird seed, or something that represents good luck and fertility. {I have NO idea how bubbles represent good luck or fertility. Aside from the silly/fun aspect, I would suggest soap bubbles inspire cleanliness ;-) }

    I asked how long he wanted to store these (dusty) treasured keepsakes in our home...and his eventual response was that he was able to let them go.
    But first, we absolutely HAVE to blow soap bubbles at the cats, right?!?

    Nikoli, our fearless scardy cat, had the most fun: 

    Gryphon is not so sure about these thingies...

    Mikale is unimpressed with the flavor:

    The kitty-wonder of airborne soap continues:

    Gryphon chooses to retreat to a safe place from which to spectate:
    Nikoli continues to play (watch the tail-action):

    And Gryphon can't quite resist:

    I think soap bubbles are probably not Gryphon's favorite "toy" (which would be Nikoli) but they were an interesting afternoon's diversion.

     And where was CooPurr you ask?