Sunday, November 30, 2008

missing people i never actually "knew"...

....although when I listen to their music over and over (and over), I sort of feeeel like I knew them. Somehow.

A million years ago it seems (I'm thinking almost 15 years ago??), I was driving alone along the coast of Half Moon Bay for a solo weekend stay at a youth hostel, and I heard this song playing on the radio. As the song played, I distinctly remember the sensation of not actually "listenting" to music as a way of hearing it, but it was more like feeling the music swirling through in my head, like a breeze. Or like breath. It was like I heard music differently in that moment.

The radio didn't announce the artist at the end of the song, and I completely flipped out because I didn't know who it was and I had never heard it before and was certain I'd never hear it again. I pulled over to a pay phone and called the radio station to find out who it was (I didn't have a cell phone back then). Then I pulled into the little town and found the little new/used record store and bought the one copy they had in stock. I listened to it all weekend long.

Not quite sure why he and his music are on my mind today, but it is.
I miss Jeff Buckley. I flipped out when he died.
And the music still feels like breath in my head.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

snaps on saturday

Today was the annual pilgrimage to Wendy Addison's Theatre of Dreams in Port Costa. I have some loooovely photos of the interior that I took last year, and if I can dig them out, I will post them. I totally forgot to pull out my camera this year, but here are a few of things I purchased.

Wendy is one very creative lady that works with vintage materials and makes some of the most marlevous and magical things. Port Costa is this wee little town nestled next to the Sacramento River, and I swear to you, it has not changed in decades. Wendy has a workshop there, plus her store front, which she only opens a couple of times a year. People come from all over to shop there. My mom first found out about here because she appeared on Martha Stewart.

ETA: She has no website, but she has A BLOG!!
Do click and see some amazing photos of her goods, her workshop, plus the hours she will be open for this holiday season.

Friday, November 28, 2008

pay it forward, 2 of 3

Felted Project Bag (my ravelry project page)

Pattern: totally filched from another knitter's project page on Ravelry.
CO 34 stitches, knit about 40 rows.
Pick up and knit stitches all around the rectangle.
Knit in the round until piece measures about 12 inches. Bind off.

Knit for: Donna (of The Chaos), as part of Pay It Forward

Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted (#56 Olive), 1.5 skeins

Needles: US #11 (Knitpicks Options)

* Well, I'm not sure if this was a mod or not, but I did bind off the bottom of the bag before picking up all the way around. I picked up a couple of extra sts in each corner. Both of these things caused the bag to come out rectangular, rather than round like the original. I didn't plan for that, but I do like the final result. I blocked bag over a plastic babywipes box ;-) Oh, and I also knit 11" of the bag body in stockinette, and the last inch in garter, to avoid curling while blocking.
* I added metal grommets after punching the holes, I used black cording and a slide instread of an i-cord drawstring, and I fashioned a wrist strap out of jewelry hardware and belt webbing. Tinkering with this stuff was my favorite part of the project.

Started: 11/9/2008
Finished: 11/21/2008; This could have been a weekend project, no sweat. A couple of days to knit, felt, and a day to do the hardware, and there you have it. Took me a bit longer because I ran out of yarn and had to get back into the city to pick up a second skein!

Notes: The strap for the bag and the inspiration for the goodies inside, came from a favorite sock bag that I purchased for myself awhile back from JulipBags.

What I tossed into this bag was hand lotion, a crochet hook for picking up dropped stitches, a hair elastic, addi sock needles, and a tin fashioned with a magnetic strip, a tape measure, folding scissors, a darning needle, a long pin for holding stitches, and stitch markers (from PaperAndYarn).

The sock yarn I added was one of the shipments from Sock Yarn Cinema from Knit! (and I did not part with it because I didn't like it, just in case you are thinking of ever joining in on the fun over there---I am just behind, and I was pretty sure Donna would like the themed yarn thing). This yarn was based on the movie Gone With the Wind, and it came with a letter addressed to Scarlett, plus some hand balm, and a lemon verbena sachet.

I have a hunch there are more of these in my future, maybe some striped ones as a way to use up some of my odd balls of feltable wool. I'd love to have one for myself (of couse. selfish me.), but I think they'd make great gifts, even for the non-knitter. But then again, being a BagLady, I suffer from the notion that everyone needs many, and can never have enough :-)

Now, onto PIF item number 3, which has been frought with all sorts of problems: underestimating the complexity and time required of the project, not being able to find the correct quantity and colors of exactly the right yarn, and well....then there was the kittens getting at the WorkInProgress, in which their shredding then called for an entire frogging and restarting.

It is going to be late, but I have advised the recipient, and she says she's okay with it.
Still. I suck.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

'cuz everyone deserves a warm scarf

Happy Thanksgiving
Happy Knitting

~~holiday card from mom & dad~~

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

do this for me and you'll be rewarded with a funny kitteh foto

No, I am NOT just filling in here with another kitty photo. I really do have an actual post tonight, and it's a favor to ask of you.

I have a good friend that just received some not-so-good news today. There's "something interesting" popping up in her breast exams, and she went in today for some more detailed looking around. Now they want to do a surgical biopsy.

Not the news one needs at any time, but especially not during the holidays. Ugh.

So she has asked if I would post and request that y'all please send out vibes for an anonymous special someone. You all know that I'm all about focusing the mojo directly to the intended recipient, but she hasn't told her family yet, and she probably won't tell them until...well until she is good and goshdanged ready. Anyhow, point is, they don't have the information yet, and well, you know how the internet can be. Just a few clickety clicks and then there you have it.

So, yes...please send out some love for my friend.

And then, as promised, here's another funny one of Mr.Darcy, who when he sleeps, I swear always looks like he has just come home from a night on the town:

I must double check his water dish. There's gotta be some Maker's Mark in there or something.

Thanks gang :-)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

my morning

I had a pretty nasty clog in my kitchen drain that I needed to call in a plumber for this morning. I got a peek at what they pulled out of the p-trap and my best guess is that a wooden chopstick fell into the drain and got chopped up into slender 3" or so sections that couldn't make the curve of the pipe. The wove themselves into a sort of a "basket" that basically caught anything else that made it down the pipe. Had no choice but to cancel everything that needed to happen this morning and wait for my appointment window.

The drain is fixed but these guys that showed up were pretty danged stupid. One was in training, and the second he was left alone in my kitchen (while the senior employee went out to his van for a tool), the apprentice decided to pull off the p-trap. With nothing underneath. Making a mess. Then SeniorEmployeeGuy comes in asks ME if I have a bucket.

A plumber. Without a bucket.

So I get a bucket, some microfiber towels and express the importance of not allowing water to be left standing on a real wood floor to seep through the cracks until the end of the job.

Anyhow, as much as these two seemed to completely lack common sense, they were nice, so I was nice, and the drain is fixed, and they cleaned the place up before departing.

But I have to share this one last parting conversation with y'all:

SeniorEmployeeGuy: "I feel so bad about using your bucket and the water and all, that I am going to give you a free degreasing service."

Me: "And what exactly does that mean.?"

SEG: "I'm going to pour something down your pipes to strip it out..."

Me: *raises eyebrow*

SEG: "...but don't worry. It's economically safe!!"

Me: *mouth opens to either correct him or giggle, not sure which was going to come out first, but before I could do either*

SEG: "It's so safe, you could pour it on your lawn and it won't kill it!"

I was going to tell him that he meant environmennnnnnnntally safe.
But I guess being that it was a commmmmmmplimentary service, it really was economically safe after all.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Sorry it's just another photo, but it was a ScarDoc daytoday, and I am just flat out trashed.

Not quite as trashed as Mr.Darcy, however:

Talk about down for the count. Sheesh.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

because after six loads of laundry....

....and several rounds of cooking and washing dishes.... get too many ellipses and a photo of too many birds.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

snaps on saturday (and then some)

two guys fishin'
(taken Saturday afternoon, while we lunch at Moore's Landing, Napa/Carneros)

Here's a few extra from earlier in the week:

Friday: Mr.Darcy & Gaara (presently happy together)

also Friday: the hat I knit that didn't fit me so well fits Bridget perfectly
(antique button added for fun & sparkle)

taken Thursday night in dance class:
The Spine
(as seen looking from the pelvis, inside the ribcage)
the skeleton is real, and his name is Todd ;-)

Friday, November 21, 2008

what's in my cd player

I don't often talk about the music I listen to around these parts because it's almost freakishly diverse. I mean, if you look at the stack of cd's nearest at hand (and most recently played) and you'll find Nine Inch Nails next to James Taylor next to Public Enemy next KD Lang next to some classical music, some heavy metal, some pop, some Beatles, some Middle Eastern music, and some ambient stuff for chill-axing.

I have me some mooooods, ya' know??

Anyhow, the last few weeks I've been playing this one particular CD to death. I picked it up a few weeks ago on a whim. It was for sale on a display rack in a coffee shop. I absolutely adore the whole album, which doesn't happen that often for me. I'm not even sure how I'd describe this stuff. It kinda feels like skipping through an old english country side holding hands with a pop band. Or something. I dunno. Give yourself a listen if it pleases you.

The first two clips below are a couple of the tracks that have been getting stuck in my head for the last couple of days. For those who can't tolerate watching a video that has no video, skip them. But the 3rd link there is a cute little ditty that has lots of tiny handknit sweaters for you knitters out there, and that last one has some damn cute barn animals ;-)

These are the Fleet Foxes.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

i'm rambling, grab yer favorite beverage and stay awhile.

Sorry to have been so vague last night, but when I have that much going on, and I am that tired, that's about all I feel like typing. Betcha y'all can't wait until this Blog365 thing is over, because then I'll just shut up instead of posting really bad one liners ;-)

After I posted last night, TheMostImportantGuy said to me, " We need to get you back to feeling just 'whelmed'." Hahahaha. Yah. No kidding.

Here's what is that I think is going on with me. Because honestly, the things that are coming up in my day to day life do not seem all that much different than usual.

I think it's the work I'm doing with TheScarDoc. It's AMAZING. It's bringing me so much relief and release, I honestly do not think I have invested in any other sort of treatment that has been this effective for me. It also has a way of pushing just about every emotional button for me--sometimes while the treatment is actually happening, but often in the days following when I'm not quite paying attention because I'm....whatever....folding laundry and helping MyFavoriteKid with homework.

The technique this guy specializes in is called Myofascial Release. Now, I had a wee bit of this done on me right after the car accident. Like a few minutes of each physical therapy session. The PT's would teach me how to work the scars a bit so that the scar tissue would not become so dense. Helpful, but this guy's version of the work takes it to a whole new level. See, the notion is that the fascia (the layer between your skin and your muscles) is one continuous sheath. He acutally uses the image of it being like a sweater (and not just for me because I am a knitter--lol). When you tug on one part of a sweater, it shifts on the other side. The fibers are connected. So in his work, there is big attention paid to how one part of the body plays into pain in another. This is quite different from regular massage where the treatment is applied to the muslce tissue directly. The actual stuff he does feels like he is sort of tugging on one side of my body part to get release from the other side. Not sure if that makes any sense.

So I went to this guy several months ago because my right arm (the one that has 3 plates and 16 screws in it), was starting to go numb. I would have sworn up and down and sideways that it was coming from the forearm. The screws are irritating some nerves down there, and I was positive it was radiating up the arm. He swore up, down, and sideways, that it was coming from my neck and going down my arm...and probably a bit the other direction as I suspected...but that most of it was my neck. And then he went so far as to say that the problem with the neck was tied into the scar that runs down the center of me, from sternum to pelvis.

(for those who don't know, the car accident left scars on every part of my body except my left arm....which really deserves and honorary tattoo or something!)

Anyhow. A few weeks after working with him? The numbness was gone. I have not experienced numbness once. That being "done" (not that it wont need the occasional tune up), we decided to work on the abdominal scar. See, the part up near the top, at the sternum? The scar tissue has affixed itself to my diaphragm. It makes it very difficult to take a full, deep breath.

Now here is where the "over" in "overwhelm" starts to come in. See, unlike the hospital PT's, TheScarDoc's work also really factors in the reality (imho) that there is a mind/body connection. The logic is that body remembers. In the very same way that one can remember a scent from childhood that can cause them flashbacks, the logic goes that scar tissue probably stores some memories, too.

I know about most of these. Most. And let me tell you, some of them I could never have imagined. Every once in awhile TheScarDoc gets in there and something happens. It can happen while he doing it, and/or it can happen in the days following. I remember stuff. And I don't actually mentally remember it. I'm not even sure if I can describe what happens. It's like a total cellular recall, though. And it can be intense. One time when he was working on the abdominal scar near the sternum, I could swear to you that it didn't feel like his hand was on top of my skin outside of my body. It felt like hand inside. And along with that feeling rose an immediate panic in me that if I could attach words to it, felt like, "NO NO NO NO NO! I didn't say you could do that!!"

Now, I have no idea what the f*&% happened that day in the Emergency Room, and I might be making some of these body memories up. I truly believe that the mind/body is amazing and powerful and can store all kinds of truths....but I also know for a fact that if you lie about something long enough, you'll believe it ;-) Know what I'm saying?? So I have no frickin' idea how much of what comes up during this work is real or imagined....but over the weeks I have come to realize that it really doesn't my matter. My body/mind is holding on to it, and it is due time to let it go.

Ok, so weeks have gone by, and TheScarDoc and I have worked on the arm, and the abdominal scar. I have homework in between weekly appointments, and his goal is always one of helping people get the release, but then setting them up for self-care, not dependency. It's going great. As sure as I sit here I can tell you that my arm is no longer numb. I no longer have constant neck pain. I am breathing (I am breathing!!) again (this is HUGE). I used to notice that I was sitting with poor posture, and when I would go sit up straight and would be stiff and tight---now it hurts to slouch. I actually am now naturally and unconcioulsy sitting up straighter. I am doing my exercises now how to treat myself if I pull something or move the wrong way.

But now? I've decided to have him keep going. We've moved down in to the leg in the past two sessions.

Oh. My. God.

It's hard. It's really hard. It's difficult when it's being worked on, and it's been really difficult afterwards. I have not even processed the hows and whys of it yet. I can tell you that from the physical side of things, I am already noticing greater range of movement in my thigh socket on the stump side (in addition to the amputation during the accident, my pelvis also separated in the front like a book. I have a plate there that holds it together now. Yay me. LOL). But there is a whoooole bunch of stuff going on inside the bowl of my pelvis where that tissue got pulled out of shape, and no massage therapist or PT is going to ever be able to palpate all that. But his work? Well, you pull on one side of the sweater, and it adjusts on the other. I can home Monday afternoon and it felt like the bottom of my pelvis was falling through. Crazy.

And that's what overwhelms me. I need to sit still for a freakin' minute and just BE with it sometimes, and it's almost like I cannot find the time! I am not trying to avoid processing things (been there, dont that)....but it's like my day to day responsibilities plus life's other mini-dramas all seem to get in the way of me "me time" and then all of those feeeeeelings that TheScarDoc and I are working to release? They just sort of "steep".

It's unnerving.

Okay. So I just sat down and typed away for awhile, kind of like stream of conciousness writing, and I'm not going to go back and reread it now, or edit it, because if I do, I will take half of it out and besides, I need to go do laundry and feed the cats and let the dog out and go to the market and stop by the school to meet with the music teacher, and get ready for dance class and and and and....

...and maybe find a minute for myself ;-)

And THAT is all have to say about THAT.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

pardon my forrest gump imitation please

I am feeling a bit overwhelmed.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

mysteriously knittin' along

Ok, so here's the hat I was fiddling with when I should have been gift knitting instead:

Mystery Beret, aka the "Meret"
(my ravelry project page)

Pattern: Ravelry Link (this free pattern was offered as a KnitALong via Ravelry), designed by Woolly Wormhead

Knit for: me ...except that I might need to pass it along to someone with a bigger head and knit myself another one. Read on.

hat pre-blocking

Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted, #20-Cypress

Needles: US#8, dpn's and a 16" circ

Size: Medium, Extra-Slouchy (which netted me something more like a regular slouch---my stitch gauge was correct, but my row gauge was off, and I planned accordingly)

Mods: The pattern called for either a ribbed or a rolled brim; I wanted both--the look of a rolled brim, but the grip/stretch of the rib, so I did both. I did a stockinette roll for about an inch then a few rows of rib after that. Everything else I kept to as written. If (ok, not if, but when) I do this hat again, I will probably add an extra lace repeat to make it even slouchier.

hat post-blocking

* I could have sworn that this yarn was black when I bought it. It wasn't until knitting on it in direct sunlight that I learned it's really a very deep forest green. The true color reads like the top photo,though. It's quite dark. It's a nice color, but I really wanted me a black beret, so I'm a little disappointed. A little. I mean, c'mon. It's Malabrigo for crying out loud.

* I first blocked the hat over a plate by steaming it with the surge on my iron. The lace really opened up nicely, and I was certain I did a thorough block (it was quite damp). I let it dry thoroughly, took it off the plate, and within an hour or two, it had snapped back to it's pre-blocked blobby shape. I then soaked the hat and did a full on wet block, and when while positioning it onto the plate, I sadly stretched the brim out a bit. It did fit perfectly, and now it fits so-so. It's loose, and if I bend over, it will fall off. I have a feeling I am giving this Bridget. Her head is like 3" bigger around than mine. If it's not her style, I'll either gift it elsewhere or maybe sew in some elastic thread and keep it.

* I will totally knit this hat again.

* This was my first Mystery Knit ALong. It was a total blast to see everyone's works in progress and to be part of the fun, and to not really know exactly where things were going. I really enjoyed the whole KAL process as much as the knitting and the finished hat!

Monday, November 17, 2008


The resident gimp is uber-busy with deadline knitting.

Of course, while working on the PayItForward gift knits, I have managed to crank out a hat for myself. Selfish me. Pics tomorrow.

Right now I need to let my fingers keep flying!

stitch markers courtesy of Paper and Yarn

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Mixed weekend. Mostly good.

Good ~ Mr. Darcy starting feeling much better. Noticeable improvement yesterday compared to Friday.

Good ~ Friday night game of Bunko at the clubhouse with both MyFavoriteKid and TheMostImportantGuy (who won the prize for lowest score--ha--and I only had one point more than he did).

Good ~ After the bunko game, MyFK got to have an overnighter at his buddy's (Bridget's kid). That meant he had a blast, and TheMIG and I had some quiet time. We actually used it to go to bed early. I must be getting older ;-)

Good ~ Woke up early. I brewed coffees while TheMIG had some mediation time. Took Riley to the dog park, and then tried out a new local breakfast joint. All by 10am.

Good ~ TheEx was slated to pick up MyFK from the overnighter, as it is their weekend together. More Boy/girl alone time for us.

Good ~ Went to go see the new 007 movie, and then afterwards stopped a Napa Wine Bar for flights of champagne and wine, plus an appetizer.

Good ~ (SuperGreat, actually) Went out for a fancy schmancy dinner at Ubuntu, where we had the Garden Tasting Menu and the matching wine pairings. The food was so good (as always) that one dish almost made me cry, and another dish had me audibly giggling. I love that place. It's a splurge, but soooo worth it.

Not Good ~ We argued on the way home. About buddhism. Well, not really. It was about not being able to listen to each other and/or understand what the other is saying. Buddhism was the topic, though. Twisted, huh.

Good ~ Talked it all out in the morning, and all is okay. Which is good, because this weekend was slated to be our celebrating our anniversary (which is officially tomorrow). It would have really sucked to have the argument not be resolved.

Not Good ~ My knitting life sucks right now. I am short on yarn for 1 deadline gift. Missing one color of yarn needed for the 2nd. I knit a great beret and accidently ruined the hat band by overstretching it during the blocking. I can probably salvage it with some elastic, but it really took the wind out of my sails to have that flop.

Good ~ TheMIG and I went out shopping for a motorcycle jacket, and I got to go on my very first ride with him. I am a fairly experienced passenger, but had not ridden with anyone since being one-legged, and TheMIG has only been riding since early this year, and I am his first passenger. We'd practiced a few months ago around the neighborhood, and I bought a helmet, but I was stalling on buying the proper garb for safety. Today was the day, and it was great. We just rode surface streets (no freeways), and took a ride out onto Mare Island, where there is very little traffic, and wonderful views.

Good ~ Pitstop for a late lunch at a mexican restaurant we've never tried before.

Good ~ Finally put the den back together. The futon had all been taken apart thanks to Mr.Darcy mistaking it for a litterbox when he first arrived here. It seems that the special cleaning solution acutally did save it from ruin. It just took several days to dry out.

Good ~ More Boy/girl alone before TheMIG went home :-)

Good ~ TheEx brought MyFK home, and we cuddled up and watched a nature show about bald eagles.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

snaps on saturday...

...but taken on Tuesday (Veteran's Day).

Friday, November 14, 2008

poor mr.darcy

It seemed to me that the new kitten had not been acting quite like himself, but it was hard to be sure. He's only been here a week and a half. He's been eating, but it seems a little less. He's been playful, but a little less. Sleeping a little more, purring less, a little crabbier. But maybe that is just the way he always is.

Then I started noticing that he was parking himself next to the water dish in the kitchen and not drinking out of it. Just staring at it. And then last night he started with the teeth chattering. He was sort of clicking his teeth together, like he was shivering. I spoke to a couple of people that have cats that do that when they get excited, and I thought maybe that was it. The first time I noticed Darcy doing it he was sitting in the window watching the bird feeder, and the second time I was putting down his food bowl for dinner. I made an appointment just to be sure, though....and then cancelled it thinking that he was probably just fine.

That was last night. Then this morning he wakes up and his whole chin is covered in drool. I call back the vet and reestablish the appointment.

Turns out Mr.Darcy has a virus that creates little ulcerations in the mouth. Poor Darcy has a huge one covering half his tongue, and it's infected. He was dehydrated (hence staring at the water dish--poor kitty hurt too much to take a drink!). They gave him a little intravenous fluids, some antibiotics for the infection, and some liquid pain medicine that coats and soothes the mouth.

He already seems to be doing a little better, but I have to keep a close eye on him this weekend. Have to keep an eye on Gaara the cat, too...the damn virus is very contagious. I asked the vet if I should separate them, and she said it was already too late, but hoped Gaara would be alright since he has completed his shots and boosters.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

they are entirely incorrect about where i keep my weirdness

You Are 50% Normal

While some of your behavior is quite normal...

Other things you do are downright strange

You've got a little of your freak going on

But you mostly keep your weirdness to yourself

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

i understand why there is a need for such things, but....

...what does the need for rules like this say about the state of things??

Oh, yes. And it's almost certain that I'd be the one waltzing in donning my handknit beret and Jackie-O shades.
Please do not sound the alarms.
I'm harmless.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I'm quite the crankpot today.

After posting last night, I went to climb into bed, only to find that some kitten (and I am 99.9% sure it was Mr.Darcy), made "a statement", which meant stripping the bed, one very bad night of sleep, and a mountain of laundry today.

I woke up with a headache. It has lasted all day.

MyFavoriteKid had the day off of school for the holiday, so we headed over the newly built Veteran's Memorial park here in the 'hood for the dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony. The ceremony was quite nice, actually. Lots of vets and current enlisted folk, a couple of good speeches, and it was really cool for MyFK to get what the day is all about, rather than just seeing it as a day off school.

While at the event I was witness to one really bitchy lady shoving around one of the event volunteers, and I ended up having to call the police to come. Lovely way to end things for us. That just made my head pound even more.

After the park, it was out to lunch with my folks, which was quite nice, but then home to the mountain of laundry.

Somewhere after dinner I realized Gaara the cat was nowhere to be found and that the dog had been outside in the yard barking hysterically not an hour earlier. Guess who has figured out how to use the dog door?! Grand. This actually worries me quite a bit because I have a hillside full of wild rabbits behind me, and hawks fly around, and well....sometimes looking out my kitchen window is kinda like watching the Nature Channel....and Gaara the orange tabby sorta looks like a wabbit. At the same time, I don't want the dog to be locked up in the house when I am gone for longer stretches.

Head throbs a bit more, and it sorta wanted to make me cry, actually.

The TheEx calls in an effort to shirk his parental responsibilities. I am not even going to waste myself by elaborating. He is an ASS.

Oh, did I mention I HAVE A HEADACHE??

And I am knitting something for someone else, and have run out of yarn. Yay, me. The heading has now reached "splitting" status.

I am going to bed. Or to couch. Or wherever the clean blankets are. Gah.

Monday, November 10, 2008

he stays

I decided to let it ride out the weekend before making a decision, but it's official. NewBlackKitten is staying. The animals are all getting along marvelously. The kittens are playing together like a couple of nuts. The dog was mopey and feeling a little left out, but he seems to be getting over it. And NewBlackKitten has been to the vet, has his first round of shots and tests, and has a clean bill of health.

Here he is, Mr.Darcy (you know--from Pride & Prejudice).
Do you see the resemblance?

NewBlackKitten as Mr.Darcy ~and~ Colin Firth as Mr.Darcy
Well, I do. Don't you?
Maybe this will change your mind?

He kitten acts like Mr.Darcy, too. Aloof, misunderstood, and isn't quite wired with the best of social skills ;-)

So now the NewBlackKitten has his name, as well as the beginnings of his slew of nicknames. I call him Mr.Darcy, or just Darcy. TheMostImportantGuy asked me what the character's first name is in the book, and I when I told him Fitzwilliam, he started giggling and is now calling him that, and sometimes just Fitz. MyFavoriteKid is calling him Mr.D. And now I have somehow started calling him KitTingTong (whereas Gaara the orange tabby is KittenHead).

If you arebig Colin Firth/Mr Darcy fan like I am, I ran into this next clip, and it's just for you. If you need a laugh :-)

Sunday, November 09, 2008

pay it forward, 1 of 3

I finished this a few weeks ago, but I didn't want to post photos until the recipient had received it. It's one of my three Pay It Foward projects. The other two are in progress and the due date is November 27th (I had 365 days to do all three--leave it to me to take it right up to the last minute).

Clapotis (my ravelry project page)

Pattern: Link ~ Ravelry Link

Knit for: Barbara from Nova Scotia as part of Pay It Forward

Yarn: Black Bunny Fibers, Wool-Silk Blend, in the colorway "Rusty Rose" (purchased as a 4 skein set dyed specifically for clapotis, I used just under 3 skeins, approx 594 yds). This yarn was soooo yummy to knit up, had a great drape, and was very soft. There was no pooling anywhere.

Needles: US #8, KnitPicks Options
Mods: made more like a scarf instead of a shawl

  • Did the increase section 4x instead of 6x, ending with 83 sts
  • Knit the straight section 16x instead of 12x to make it long enough.

Finished Size: Well, I forgot to measure it after blocking and before sending (duh); I think it was about 16" wide and probably close to 60" long.

prior to blocking

Started: July 3, 2008
Finished: October 21st, 2008 (but I set it down for a long while in the middle. It was actually a fairly quick knit)

Notes: I would totally knit this again, and would love to have one for myself in midnights blues.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

snaps on saturday

fishing for kittens

Friday, November 07, 2008


MyFavoriteKid is having a sleepover here tonight. Earlier, I took them out to the middle school family bingo night. It was fun, but I think the dauber fumes got to me ;-)

Things were a little bit better today for me today, but I really had to work at it. Lots of knitting and new age tutti-fruity music blasting through the house in an attempt to curb anxiety. Lovely.

I have knitting to show you tomorrow.

PS. I know I am a shit for not replying to comments like I used to. I feel horrible about it. Especially when every single one of them means so much to me. Thanks you guys for all of the notes you leave me. I really appreciate all of you.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

what happened to the reed in the wind?

It's very late and I'm just getting home from dance class. I really wanted to post earlier in the day, before I left for the studio, but thing after thing kept popping up in my way. The image that keeps coming to mind is a guy jamming for the goal line with the football, and everyone else running interference.

Today it's been about kitten introductions and management (I honestly cannot tell if Gaara is trying to play with NewBlackKitten or if he's trying to kill him). Then Bridget, the new girlfriend, made an unplanned stop at my house to let me know that she had totally lost the paper with my phone number on it and hadn't saved me into her cell phone yet. That turned into an hour long visit. Then MyFavoriteKid came home to advise me that he was an hour late to school because the bus got in an accident (nobody was hurt, but ummmm nobody was notified either....and he has a cell phone but was instruction not to use it. Yes, I have a meeting with the principal on Monday to raise some hell). And then MyFK went on to tell me that there is this kid at school who wants to have a fight next with after school with Bridget's son (over a girl, I might add), and MyFK's response to this is.....
to sell tickets.
Which then sucks up any remaining time I might have had to what...? Feed myself before dance class or post maybe...? It sucked my time right up into the black hole of parenting, is what it did.

I got a little weepy. And this is not the first time this week. I'm just feeling pulled in a million directions by things it feels like. And ice that like a cake with my serious sadness over the ban on gay marriage propostion that made it through somehow, and my sadness about people in the convalescent hospitals missing cherries and whatnot, and I don't even know what to tell you. I'm not anxious or depressed...I'm....I don't even know. I can't slow down long enough to sit with myself and figure it out.

The main thing I keep hearing in my head is, "I am only one person, people!" And I am not sure what that means yet, but I have a hunch I need to start really focusing on being as effective as possible with MyBadAssOnePerson-ness.

I was thinking tonight while driving to class about how inflexable I have become over the past few years. I use to thrive on chaos being thrown at me. I built a friggin' career out of it. I was a CATERER. That's a job that's got about 20% to do with food, and about 80% to do with putting out fires. And I kicked ass. I was fluid and on my toes, and I could handle anything you could throw at me. Maybe the problem is that now I have less toes???? I dunno. But I definitely less fluid. You throw one little pebble in my path and I go slipping on it. It's bugging me that I can't roll with the punched more easily.

So there's me. And now I lay me down to sleep....

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

down for the count

It's just a few minutes after 10pm and I have been asleep for the last hour or so on the couch. I tucked MyFavoriteKid in for bed, said I was going to close my eyes for just a few minutes, and fell asleep straight away. I'm exhausted and I'm going straight to bed. I feel like I have been on high vibration ever single minute since I woke up this morning.

I'll at least let y'all know that the missing knitting showed up last night. TheMostImportantGuy came to help with kitten drama and to spend the night. He flipped back the covers on his side of the bed, and it was like a magic trick: tadaaaaaaaaa!!! There was the knitting.
Right there.
Where I kid you not, I had checked at least half a dozen times.
I swear, I could hear the giggles of the little elves that secretly live in this house and hide things from me.

I was pretty close to finishing off the second one when it went missing, but it turns out that TheMIG has a revision he'd like to make. He wants it to be shaped in the front so that the coverage extends over his chin. Looks like I'm going to be tinkering with some short rows or something.

G'night y'all.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

i'll see your voting machine and raise you one boobiesquishing machine

I voted and got a mammogram this morning. Woohoo. Double Whammy.

After that I went to a knitting group at K2Tog in Albany, where they were also having a 25% off sale today, but only IF you
a) had your "I voted" sticker, and
b) did not talk politics (it was a politics free zone today--kinda nice to have the break for a couple of hours, to be honest with you)

Then I went to volunteer at the convalescent hospital. Today was one of those days that I left teary-eyed. One of the residents was telling me stories about eating cherries during the depression. We were talking about my yard and the fruit trees, and my cherry haul this past year. She said, "Oooooh, I just looooooved bing cherries! I can't eat them anymore. No teeth! But I remember, during the depression....times were tough and we didn't have a lot...well no one did....and my husband would sometimes come home with a little paper sack...and oooo I just knew what was in there!! I just loved them so! It was just a tiny handful, that's all we could afford, but they were so delicious! I will never forget those cherries."

I took a photo of us after she told me that story.

Me & Eleanor

I should mention that moments before we were talking about my fruit trees, she was telling me how depressed she is that they took her walker away from her and put her in a wheelchair since she is having a hard time standing. This means she now has to ask for help going to the bathroom, and she said, "...and they aren't very nice about it." Then she said, "I think I have outlived my usefulness."

Hence the teary-eyes.

I am glad we talked about cherries. If she could eat them, I would pick them off my tree next season and bring them to her in a paper sack. I might have to make some jam or something for her so she can at least have the flavor.
Man, I am getting all choked up again.


In other "news" (ha---I almost typed "mews"):

I am slowly introducing the animals to each other. NewBlackKitten is curiously exploring the entire house. The dog wants to get at him, but is somehow managing to exercise enormous self-restraint (thank goodness). NewBlackKitten seems to be getting used to the dog being in the same room, but doesn't want him too close.

And Gaara the orange tabby? Gaara cannot stand NewBlackKitten. Hissing and growling or sitting in the corner being pissy...and then when the NewKitten is put back in the den for a bit so I can get crap done around here with having to keep an eye on things, Gaara is either hissing at me, or skulking. It is so sad. I am giving him extra extra love.

Here Gaara plays with one of his two favorite toys, while NewBlackKitten sneaks up behind him and peeks.

Then when Gaara figures out he is being watched....

...and Riley steps in to mediate.

I have no idea what this means yet in terms of whether or not NewBlackKitten stays or we find him a good home. You will know when I am no longer "undecided" though, because he will actually have a real name!!

Monday, November 03, 2008

break it down

Here is the deal. I typed this up Sunday morning. Early. Like crack o' dawn early. I didn't post it yesterday because I didnt have time to go back and read it and fix it if it was a total mes, so I was going to do that today. Which I did not have time to do, either.
So here it is. Messy. Rambling and full of typos. And probably off by a day (like when I say yesterday, that's really the day before yesterday--ya' dig?).
Actually, my blog is probably always this much of a mess hahaha. I mean, there must be 18 kajillon parentheses in this post. And elipses. Yay me.

My suggestion is that you just move along, to be honest with you.


Ok, let me see if I can do some catching up here. This will probably be long and rambly. Move along, or grab your beverage of choice.

Friends. Let me start with an update about friends. At some point this past year (do not make me scroll back through my own blog to find out when or to make links for you...I mean, I don't flip back through the pages of written journals regularly, either), I was kvetching about not having friends. Or having them, but not spending time with them. I was having all of my days filled with solitude, or MyFavoriteKid, or old folks that I would visit at the convalescent hospital when I volunteer there. All good activities and people to spend time with, but totally out of balance with my need to also have time with friends.

Well, I don't know how long ago that was, but let me tell you -- I made one very solid concerted effort to change things -- and it has worked. I now set aside time for friends, I have people over, I go visit people, I speak to people on the phone regularly, I go on outings with friends, I go to group events, I have even tried very hard to make new friends (someone should remind me to post about TheMostImportantGuy placing a personal ad to find friends for me----hahaha. It was hilarious).

Anyhow, it has been good. Very good. My life feels much different and much improved. I have also learned (again) quite a bit about the need to acutally DO something if I really WANT something (novel concept).

So out of all the things I wanted to do to improve my friendship time, the process of finding new friends here in the new neighborhood since moving up here last summer, was proving to be the most difficult. I wasn't really connecting with anyone through school functions or through MyFavoriteKid's buddies (in fact, all of the friends he made at school last year? None of the parents spoke english. Planning playdates was sooo much fun). I couldn't find a knitting group here that met at a time I could go. And I was making acquaintances with neighbors, but not anyone I would totally connect with. But then a couple of weeks ago, I met Bridget.

Bridget. (excuse me, let me get more coffee. maybe you should, too) (ok, back. yum) So I'm in the supermarket a couple of weeks ago and I round the corner to get cat toys, which are way down the other end of the very long aisle. Just as I round the corner, the lady who is standing at the other end of the aisle, directly in front of the cat toys, looks up, points at me, in that, "hey! I know you!!" style, and starts waving. As I approach, I realize I know her from somewhere, but now sure how or where. She, on the other hand, is talking like she knows me. I just let her talk for a bit until I can try to figure it out.

Now, this gal talks as much (more, actually), and as openly, as I do (and that's no easy feat). She's got streaks dyed into her hair (so do I) and is wearing braided pig tails (I'm in a ponytail). She's wearing a quirky t-shirt (so am I). They just moved into the area last year (so did we). They came from the East Bay (so did we). She hasn't been able to make new friends up here (me neither). She has an 11 year old son in 6th grade (so do I). She had her first son when she was a bit older (me too, so we're very close in age). Their family just rescued 2 kittens a couple of weeks ago (we rescued one, too), hence us both being on the aisle with the kitty toys. She works very part time, and has lots of volunteer jobs (me, too).

And so there we are 30 minutes later, hanging on the cat food aisle, and we're laughing and talking and exchanging phone numbers (and we both still have cell phone numbers in our old area code), and we're wondering if the boys know each other from school, and we're making plans to get them together, but if they don't hit if off....well, screw it...we'll be friends without them...but hey, wouldn't it be cool and easy if they were buddies, too.

I still don't recall meeting her before, exactly...but she's talked long enough for me to figure out that it had something to do with back to school night at the middle school.

So we play phone tag during the week and both of us leave rambling chatty voicemails, and then on Wednesday she brings her kid over after school. The boys know of each other, and have a mutal acquaintances, but never really hung out. They hit it off instantly, and we barely see them for the rest of the afternoon.

Several hours later, and Bridget and I know all about each others family and childhoods, and interests, and I am telling you: this woman and I are cut of the same friggin' cloth. I am not even kidding. Except she doesn't knit. But I can work on that ;-) hahahahaha

I also finally figure out how we met on back to school night (because she reminded me). The parents met in the gym that night, but had to cross the campus to tour the classrooms. The pathway was closed for construction and they had us detouring over wet grass. I was in my wheelchair, but also holding crutches, and I was fine on my own but would have been better if someone could carry the crutches, so I turned around and basically handed them to a total stranger (that would be Bridget) without much discussion (which is unusual for me because usually I am stubborn and wont accept help or ask for it either). She just took them and handed them back after the grass with very little discussion about it. I like that.

Anyhow. We exchange voicemails the next day, Thursday, about how cool it was to hook up. And then comes Friday morning, Halloween, when Bridget becomes the bringer of the chaos (and this is only half of the chaos...there is a whole 'nother half brought by our kids, but that might have to wait for tomorrow, because this damn post is already too long).

Chaos. So it's Friday morning. I have just gotten MyFK off to school, the phone rings, and it's Bridget.

"Ooooh my god!! I have a kitten in the car! EldestSon was at the bus stop and their was a stray kitten, and the bus was coming and he didn't know what to do and so he called me and MADE me come down and get him and so I did, and oh my god...he is SO cute...and he meowed and he ran to me...and he is in my car...and, oh my have to see him...I am just around the corner and you have to see him."

"You are trying to get me to take the kitten, aren't you."

"Nooooonooooo...but you just have to see him and I only have a minute because I have to help out at the school with the Halloween parade and I need to get my costume on and...ooooh, he is sooooooo cute....."

"Fine fine FINE (laughing). But I am still in my pajamas, though."

"I haven't brushed my teeth and I don't have any underwear on yet."
(I love this woman. Serioulsy. I have only known her for a few days, and we're already talking about underpants hahaha).

SO. She comes over. Kitten is a.dor.a.ble. I know, they all are. And they all grow up to be CATS. Shut up. I mean, just look:

So he's cute, and she has to go to the school, and there is no way her husband will let her take in a 3rd kitty. And maybe the neighbor will, but who knows. Well, silly me can't stand the kitten being left alone while she goes to the school, so I have her leave him with me. I set him up in the den with his own cat box and some food and water, and he is soooo friendly and sweet and filthy, so I clean him up some, too. Bridget comes back in a couple of hours and picks up the kitten and takes home the extra cat box, and whatnot.

Later that evening, I am slated to go to her house. The boys are going to go trick-or-treating with Bridget's hubby, she and I are going hand out candy (we're both in costume), and when the kids come back, I am going to drive them to the Middle School Dance (that's where Phase II of the chaos comes...but honestly, it's not really chaos. It's drama. Or pre-teen angst or something. More on that later, like I said).

While I am at Bridget's house, I go visit the kitten, who is in the garage (we'd both been keeping him separate from our own animals because he probably has worms and lord knows what else). The kitten is totally freaked out. He runs up to me and jumps on my like he is dying, and it really is a little cold and damp in there, and big and lonely, and the trick or treaters outside making a racket are totally freaking him out.

You know where this is going, right?
The kitten is back in my den. *sigh*

Ok, so TheMostImportantGuy drives up to spend the night in the den with the kitten because he is crying and lonely, and if I leave my own pets alone in the rest of the house, they are whining and freaking out. Come Saturday morning (yesterday), I am on number 2 on the wait list at the vet for a cancellation, but they probably cannot see me 'til Monday. Meanwhile, I am trying to get this all coordinated to somehow not screw up my trip to the yarn store and spending time with FRIENDS (see, nice little loop, eh?).

I have no idea if I am keeping the kitten. I won't let my pets get physically near him yet, but they have made visual contact, and it has not been good. NewBlackKitten hisses at dog and starts flipping out, and Gaara (the existing cat) growls at NewBlackKitten. It could get ugly.

So we shall see.

Ok, I am officially sick to death of typing. And I'm also out of coffee.


If you made it this far: I told you. What a mess. Thanks for sticking it out, though ;-)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

taking the easy way out

I kid you not: I woke up at 5:30am today and I typed up that big long post I promised (oooh, I am soooo happy the clocks have changed back to standard--I can't stand daylight savings time, to be honest with you).
The post is pages and pages long. It is rambling. It needs some editing. And I didn't have time to get back to it during the day, and I am now too tuckered out because it is 10pm but feels like 11, of course. I need to get in bed before I just pass out.

So here is a tiny little tease about the chaos over here:

I know. I am insane. I am TheNewAndImprovedCrazyCatLady.

But the cuteness is almost blinding, is it not?

Hopefully it will make you forget that I am a slacker and also buy me one more day to get my fingers clicking on the danged keypad over here.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

snaps on saturday

Ya' know, my intennnnnnnsion was to grab a cup o' joe and sit and type, but the morning was just and friggin' insane as yesterday (I will explain. I promise.)

In fact, it was so insane, that I didn't even GET to have a cup of coffee. I had to buy it on the road from a drive thru coffee shop. Ugh.

At least I was on my way here:

I headed there in the first complete downpour of the season, but in very good company. KarenTheDancingLurker and I went to check the place out before they close the storefront in January** (ohhh, the sadness). For those who don't know about this place, they only carry their own line of yarns, and they are all yummy and unique. All over the store are hanging multiple swatches of each of them, and if that is not enough, every single one of them is available for you to sample knit. You just grab a ball and some needles and plop yourself down and bang out a few rows.

The first was first time there. I had ordered from them online, but had never been to the shop in person, because every single person that I had ever gotten into a discussion with about this store, warned me about the dreaded stairwell (Artfibers is on the 2nd floor). Everyone insisted that I might need some help getting up there, and that I should probably not go alone. I listened to y'all because I know not one of you see me as lame, so I figured it must be quite horrible. I still cannot figure out why each and every one of you failed to recognize there is an elevator. Sheesh. Had I known that, and been able to go on my own over the years, maybe my purchases alone would have kept them in business (hahahahaha).

Yes, I bought more yarn. No, I do not neeeed more yarn. (oh my gosh, it is sooooo lovely).

So I was supposed to be home from this little excursion around mid-afternoon, and meet up with TheMostImportantGuy, who was waiting at my house. Karen and I got so carried away with swatching every single yarn before we purchased then....and then going to lunch....and then going clothes shopping....that I ended up getting home at 6:30. Whoops.

I'm glad to report TheMIG was in good spirits about it all, and that's good for me, because he was the overseer of the choas and the insanity that I left behind in my wake.

I know, the clues. It's killing you, no?
More tomorrow.

**Artfibers is closing it's retail store, but will continue to sell online. They will send you a sample of any one of their yarns so you can knit a bit before you buy. Cool, eh? And you can buy whole cones of the yarns, or have smaller balls wound off, to get just the amount you need. Check them out, and get on their email list.