Saturday, June 30, 2012

snaps on saturday (the mystery addition)

Ok, my fabulous foodie friends. I was unpacking some kitchen stuff at the new house today (it's not done, there are finishing touches, but yes!...we are far enough along to unpack some things).... Anyhow, I was unpacking some stuff at the new house and ran into this implement, that I do not recall purchasing, and it does not belong to TheMostImportantGuy, and I have no idea what it is for.

Several tines about 3" long, and all very pointy on the end, like little nails.

I haven't googled it yet, but my best guesses so far are: pastry docker cake slicer (or something that marks where to slice it) cheese slicer (for a crumbly cheese like a good bleu or stilton) Do y'all have any idea wtf this is??

Friday, June 29, 2012

my prayer to the kitchen gods

crazy shadows on my wall at sunset tonight

I am utterly exhausted. A bit from not sleeping well, but mostly I think just from stress.

As for the (never ending) kitchen remodel, today was just....a trip. 

My day started at 7am with a text message from the painter (who is holding up the whole shebang at this point) saying he is not coming to work on our house today.

Several back and forth messages ensured that would not be the case, but by 10am he was asking to be paid for 90% of the bill, even though I'm not convinced that 90% of the work is done (and he's done other work for use before, and never have we paid him until the job was complete).   We are meeting with him tomorrow at 8am (?!) to discuss.  Yay.

Dear God, Great Spirit, The Universe, The Powers That Be, The Goddess of Home Construction, Whoever You Are Out There....can you hear me?  
(*tap tap*  Is this thing on??)
 I want all uncompleted work properly completed, and I want all these damn contractors out of my house. It was supposed to be done a week ago (actually, it was supposed to be done mid-April), so please hurry. I want to put my house back together. And I want to make toast.  Thank you.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

yah. i knew that ;-)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

from grrr to grin

Tonight was a conversation between TheMostImportantGuy and I about money and budgets and remodeling. No arguing or anything, but money is not the easiest of topics for most people to discuss  (especially when it's flying out the door at such a rapid pace, and extra surprises show up ceilings falling in!)

Anyhow, just not a very fun thing.  Yah know?

I was just sitting here typing that very sentence above, and in the background on the television I hear this song, and I had to stop what I was doing and go check that my hearing was correct and that I wasn't imaging things. It was the most perfect attitude adjustment ever (and I paused it, rewound it, and played it for TheMIG who also cracked a big smile).

A much better thing to end our night with...a very good bedtime story.
A night cap :-)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

lunging for the finish line

I did the final rows of the shawl of irritation tonight while at knit night at the sports bar.  All I have left is one very long bind-off row. I'm going to hop in bed and do that now, sew in the ends, and tomorrow give this thing a good soak and blocking.

And thennnnn....

I finally cast-on for something else more enjoyable (possibly even two things--one portable, one not), and also set my sights towards doing some spinning. Le Tour de France is coming, which means so is the Tour de Fleece!  And I am also about to head off to a spinning retreat in a couple of weeks!

Back to knitting....g'night!

Monday, June 25, 2012

sooopah tired

I slept like crap last night. 

I woke up around 3:30am feeling scratchy in a few spots, and by the time I had woken myself up enough to understand what was happening, I realized I was the recipient of multiple mosquito attacks.  I had one on my leg, another on my elbow, and the one that seemed the most fresh was the one under my chin.

I put on some some anti-itch stuffs and the sat in bed with the light on for awhile so I can find the little stinker, and then got tinkering with the ipad (and was so tired, I cannot even tell you now what I was looking at on there).

I never found the mosquito, but at about 4:30am a tick went marching across my right arm and I leaped out of bed so fast I forgot I had one leg and toppled over.  It took me until 5:30am to finally fall back asleep but I had forgotten to turn off my alarm from the Friday before, which went off at 7am. Back to sleep by 7:15am but then TheMostImportantGuy called to wish me a good morning...

...and that's when I just gave up and got up. 

Super tired. Sleep beckons.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

when all else fails, talk about something warm and fuzzy

I do have things to say, but I'm exhausted.  The most I can eek out tonight is a picture of some very lovely yarn that arrived in the mail earlier in the week.

It's Brooklyn Tweed "Loft" in Fossil, Woodsmoke, and Soot, and it was part of the Barenaked Club by Knitspot.  It came with options for several patterns including shawls, a hat, or what I am going to make out of it:  a very large square (large enough to be a throw for the couch in my craftroom).

I'm in the process of finishing up this other scarf-like shawl-ish sort of thing that I have been chugging away on for what seems ages.  I have not enjoyed the knitting of it one bit.  I thought about casting on something new so that I'd have the rush of starting a new project and then something to alternated with so the scarf doesn't kill me, but I've actually been afraid that if I do that, I might just never come back to knitting the scarf-shawl thing at all!  The yarn is so gorgeous, and I know that it will be something I will enjoy wearing, so I am forcing myself to finish it. With any luck I will finish it this week with photos coming soon.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

snaps on saturday

A parade of things I took pictures of today so that I would not cave in and buy them just for their cuteness factor.

Exhibit A: Perhaps the oddest salt and pepper shaker I have ever seen.

B:  A kitchen timer shaped like a Russian Nesting Doll.

It was tough not to give in and purchase this because the new kitchen really will need a timer in it somewhere (although I prefer digital), and because I am currently choreographing a dance piece that is inspired by matryoshka.  I didn't like the ring of the chime enough to cave in, though.  If I had, I may have been a goner.

C: possibly the best ice cube tray I have ever seen...

....The Gin & Titonic ice cube tray, which makes cubes shaped like little Titanics and ice bergs. Ha!

D: once again, the needs of the new kitchen really could have had me justifying this next one...

...but even though I am a practicing buddhist, I'm not much into the Happy Buddha.  I resonate more with the serious staring at the floor buddha LOL.

E:  Then there was the cake knife....

....shaped like a saw.  Which I think is a riot.

And lastly, Exhibit F (and the F should stand for "I Fell For It", or F for Failure....because it came home with me):

Yes, I know. Stupid.  A drawing of a chihuahua which has been placed in a shadow box, and the glass has been "tagged" with a bit of fake graffiti. TheMostImportantGuy thinks it's lame and I also have a hunch he thinks I am slightly insane.  As for me, I freakin' love it, and I laugh hysterically every single time I look at it.

That being said, I don't know why I bought it though, because honestly, I could have made it myself.

Friday, June 22, 2012

kitchen intimidation

So I left y'all with the cliffhanger yesterday about how my new (but not even done yet) kitchen is bringing up feelings in me other than excitement.

Want to know what spent most of yesterday feeling as I stood in the kitchen?

I am felt intimidated by it!!

Now that I've slept on it, I realize it is not the kitchen that is making me feel intimidated.  It's the people that are asking me about the kitchen.

Most people know that I'm a foodie at heart and that many many moons ago used to cook professionally (I was a cook/caterer in another lifetime, at the time of the accident).  And so as the kitchen has been coming together, people ask me how it's going, they (naturally, it would seem) ask me things like:

So what's the first thing you are going to cook?
When can I come for dinner?
Whatcha gonna make?
Whatcha gonna do?
Whatcha gonna Whatcha gonna Whatcha gonna....

It's actually sending me into one of those deer in the headlights panic states. It's like I am having performance anxiety or something.  Seriously.

My brain has been soooo wired for stress these past months, that rather than hearing these questions as exciting or inspiring,  I hear them as pressure to perform.  Like I am supposed to pirouette around my kitchen sprinkling pomegranite seeds and zatar everywhere for y'all or something.

Actually, I could do both of those of things with no stove. Bad example. Let me try this again.
Like I am supposed to pirouette around my kitchen and crank out

I talked with KarenTheDancingLurker last night about this after dance class, and when I told her how pressured I was feeling by every one asking me what I was going to cook first, she said:

"Make toast."

I love it. Hilarious!!  But it's true.  I need to just get in there, just me, and prattle about.  Even though I know my way around a kitchen, I do not know my way around this kitchen, and for a long time I will be bouncing back and forth between two houses and two very different kitchens. Things I automatically reach for will be in different places in each kitchen.  And then there is the point of learning learning to use the new appliances. There will indeed be a learning curve with the new appliances.  I will probably burn the first few meals as I am not used to cooking on a range that has a kajillion BTU's and six burners, and every oven circulates heat a little differently, so there will be burnt cookies, too.  I have to figure out why the steam oven has a setting labled "humid"...and where my current dishwasher has On/Off and Scrub/PowerSave, the new dishwasher has something like 8 options...hahahaha.

Writing this post is actually helping.  Just this very moment I had an image flash through my head of me in the kitchen looking sort of looking like I Love with that big giant loaf of bread coming out of the oven.


That's what I needed.  Comic relief!

So I will make toast, and play in the kitchen alone for a time or two, and think of Lucy laugh my ass off when it comes out all wrong...

And the next person that asks me "Whatcha Gonna Do", I am going to start signing like this guy (Burton Crane "rapping" on America's Got Talent), because I LOVED HIM :-)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

i love the smell of new appliances in the morning

There is clearly still a lot of work to do, so the appliances are not the crowning jewel I had hoped they would be, but hey....look!

A fridge!  A Stove! 
And wait!  What's that?!

Another stove! (that's my fancy steam/convection oven)  And a dishwasher!
And a broom! (hahaha)

The rest of this post is just me babbling away so I have something to come back and read in my old age so I can laugh at it all, because I swear, I will never remodel another kitchen in this lifetime.

Read it if you want, but if you do, grab a cup o' something, because it's looong and rambling...and potentially full of typos, as I'm too tired to do much checkin'.

Getting the appliances in today was not a smooth event.  For starters, even though we bought all of the appliances from one place, they were coming in two deliveries.  The fridge and range were to arrive between 7:30am and 11:30am, and the steam oven and dishwasher from Noon until 4pm.  Go team.  The two delivery times requiring me to sit and wait the whole day was really just a time suck, not a real problem, though. Here were problems.

Remember the contractor who walked out on our kitchen job? The Turkey? Well, when the big stove came in, the delivery guys saw that the guys line TheTurkey had put in was larger than typical, and they did not have a connector piece that would go from his pipe to their gas line for the stove. 

TheMostImportantGuy had just left me there for the day and had headed off to work, but I called him and he came back so that one of us could watch the house (and the guys) while one would go get the part.  We decide that TheMIG will go get the part, but the installation guys are having a real difficult time being specific about what part needs to be picked up (as in, "...well just go get something sort of about this size.")  While they are all outside at the truck talking specifics, my phone rings and it's the delivery dispatcher who has already heard that we are holding up their drivers.  I hand TheMIG the phone (as I am about to flip....well, maybe I did flip), and he tells the dispatcher to chill out because he can go to the hardware store and back while they are installing the refrigerator.  And then he goes.  And I hear the fridge starting to make its way through the front door.

And then my phone rings again. It's the dispatcher again, and I tell him that TheMIG has left for the part and will be right back, and the dispatcher says that is not why he is calling. He is calling about the scratch on the fridge.   (?!!!)  He says that as "my husband" (teehee) was leaving he was shown the scratch but didn't agree to installation until he talked to customer service....but they're not calling him, they are calling me of course, and this is now my first news of it....but the installers are now marching my scratched fridge across the room.  This time I for sure flip, as it's starting to look a lot like the Who's On First routine with all the phone calls because now the dispatcher doesn't want to talk to UnreasonableMe, he wants to talk to TheReasonableMIG, so we get off the phone and are probably both trying to call the poor MIG who is quite busy at the hardware store trying to by "something sort of about this size."  Meanwhile, I tell the delivery guys to put the fridge down and go take a smoke break, oh-an-here's-some-bottled-water.  I look at the scratch while they do that.  It's very minor, and it's on the left side of the door and will probably be not noticeable at all because the bar is on the side.  But still.

TheMIG arrives back with the part, the installers call their dispatcher, who then calls me, and then I hand the phone back to TheMIG...and I only tell you all that to just illustrate what a circus this was becoming.  Anyhow, the dispatcher and TheMIG agree the fridge stays, and we get a $350 credit (so that's impressive, because now that it's in, I don't even see it).  But while TheMIG is on the phone hashing that all out,  I hear, "Uhhh...we have a problem..." coming from back behind the stove where there are working on hooking up the "something sort of about this size."  

It turns out that the new fitting is fine, but I have a duel fuel stove, so there are both gas and electric hook ups, and TheTurkey...?  He put in an electrical hook up for a clothes dryer, not for a stove.  So they can't plug it in, or push it in place (and it's a tank), or level it, or test the connections. 

The turn to the scratched fridge, and install that, but only with some difficulty as we can't figure out why there is no power (the switch was flipped at the box), and we can't find the water shut off for the ice maker because TheTurkey didn't put it near the fridge, he put it underneath the floor of the fridge, in the basement (weird).

So they leave.  The fridge is connected, but the stove is in the middle of the room, and at 12:30 the second crew shows up with the steam oven and dishwasher. 

Oh, I wish I had a picture of these guys.  They were maybe in their mid-twenties and they were identical twins.  I really couldn't get over the fact that they liked each other enough to work together, and you really could see the "twin-ness" in them as they talked to each other and worked together.  Anyhow.  The dishwasher went in without a hitch.  But the steam oven.  *sigh*  The couldn't get the power to come on with the steam oven, which we were told just took a standard outlet.  One of the twins goes down to check to see if the switch was off at the box, like it was with the other outlets, and as he is flipping stuff, I see sparks fly behind TheTankOfAStove that is in the middle of the room like the pink elephant no one will talk about.

It is at this exact moment that the plumber (who was there the day before fixing the bathroom leak that caused the ceiling to come down) stomps in and loudly announces, "I'm turnin' off the water!!!" because now that his seals are dry from yesterday he wants to check for leaks and change some other hardware thingy.... but the twins have the dishwasher going through a fill and drain cycle checking for their own leaks, and so now I am negotiating that while still trying to figure out why it looks there are fireworks happening behind the stove.

It as it his point that our HandyMan arrives (because I had called him and begged). I swear, there was white light around him.  A real angel on the scene.  In my mind at least. hahaha 

He and the twins figure out that the steam oven really doesn't take a standard outlet after all, it needs more juice.  He can fix it, but the twins have to leave without testing it.  As the HandyManOfWhiteLight takes out the clothes dryer outlet behind the stove, he sees that when TheTurkey installed it, he had pinched a wire in with the screws and that's why it sparked.  Handyman fixed that, and he somehow managed to get the stove in place all by himself, which is surprising, because it is HUGE.   We spent quite some time leveling it together, but I think we might need to tweak that some more.  It's really hard to get things level in a house that is 80+ years old, because nothing is square!   Handyman also fixed the outlet for the steam oven, so that is now working (although untested), but were were indeed there until at least 4pm fiddling, so it really did take the whole day!

End result?  Everything is fine. And shiny. And new.  And I am excited enough that I found myself even giggling a few times.  But there is one other surprising feeling I felt...but I will save that for tomorrow ;-)


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

are we there yet??

If I'm getting sick of talking about the house, then I can only assume you are sick of hearing it...but what else is there to talk about when you blog daily and all you do is related to the house remodel?

Well, actually, today was a little different.  It was MyFavoriteKid's 15th birthday today!   It didn't pack the punch it normally does because his birthday party was two weeks ago, plus my parents came by last night with lemon meringue pie and a candle and we all sang happy birthday, so somehow today was like the culmination of MyFK's birthday month or something.

Anyhow, back to the house.  The electrician/plumber guy and the painter man totally knocked it out of the ballpark these last two days so the that appliance delivery could take place tomorrow, and that is where I will be.  The first wave of them comes in during a 7:30am-11:30am window, and the second set arrives between 12 noon and 4pm.  Why they couldn't tighten that up when they were all ordered from the same store is beyond me, but WhatchaGonnaDo, right?

I will sit and knit and watch things go in, and then I will have a real place to put orange juice for the first time since March.  There will still be goings on and finishing touches happening through the end of the month, but I am back to seeing a light at the end of this incredibly long tunnel, and I am...


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

best & worst

I'm sure I have blogged about this before, but when MyFavoriteKid was little, every night we'd do this routine called "Best and Worst". We'd all share with each other the one very best thing that happened that day, and also the very worst....except that we perhaps should have called it "Worst and Best," because we always saved the best for last ;-)

Here are my Best and Worse from today.

Worse:  The hole in the ceiling is bigger.... 

....and the pipes inside are really really old (some of them possibly from when that bathroom was installed in the 1930's?)

Best: Well, the point of this exercise is identify the one best thing, but honestly, things are so craptastic right now, I think it's good to take note of as many good things as I can! So here are three!

Always a best: yarn in the mail, from the Knitspot crew, as part of the BareNaked Club.  This month's shipment came with pattern options for a hat, a shawl and/or a hap style square (there's enough yarn to do more than one project. 

Now I just need to decide which project(s) which size(s) and which colors to insert where.

Next best thing: making Cherry Brandy using cherries and lemons from my yard, a little sugar, Spanish Brandy, and some Amaretto.

The recipe is from Jerez, Spain....and I was a little surprised that when I went to BevMo for the brandy, lo and behold, there was brandy on the shelf from Jerez!  So I'm giving it a whirl ;-)

I have no idea if it's going to be any good until it's ready in 6 months, but I'll keep you posted.

One more best thing:  watching the cats out the front window, and watching my dogs go hysterical as they watch cats out the front window.

I actually think that this cat is feral and that he lives on the big hill behind the house.  Maybe not.  But here's the deal.  Almost daily, some cat or another from the neighborhood (including my own cats) will lay in this spot and roll around for awhile.

And my dogs go nuts the entire time, and the cats just roll around in the kitty scented dust bath or something.  And I love to watch them, mainly because I don't know for sure why they do it (I assume it's territorial, but I haven't asked them, and they wouldn't tell  me anyhow. First rule of Cat Club is you do not talk about Cat Club.)

So yarn, booze, and kittehs.  A triple dose of bests like that just has to make the worsts go away. Right???

Monday, June 18, 2012

what is the universe trying to tell me

Not only is the plumbing of the upstairs bathroom screwed up, causing there to now be a portion of the ceiling cut out, we have now discovered another goofy issue. 

There is an electrical problem with some older wiring to an overhead light in the bar area near the kitchen.  The fix will require some rewiring that will probably involve the electrician cutting (more!) holes in the walls and ceiling.  The electrician isn't free to do the work until Wednesday.  This means the painters (who are already on-site and ready to roll) will now be delayed as they can't paint a wall that is about to be dug into....and this also means that the appliance delivery that was scheduled for this Thursday will now probably need to be pushed out until next week.

I am so sick to death of working on this kitchen.
And as easy going and wonderful as this batch of contractors has been to work with, I am just sick to death of people being in and out of the house every day.

Pass me the yarn.
And a cosmopolitan.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

happy father's day

That photo on the left is one of my all time favorites of me with my dad :-)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

snaps on saturday

As taken tonight at the new house:
A lovely photo of our bedroom ceiling....

...which for some reason is on the floor.


It would appear that the leak from the upstairs bathroom was not repaired as well as we were told it was (there was a known leak there when we bought the house...but we had it repaired, patched, and painted...sometime around March or April of last year!). So now, in addition to trying to get the kitchen done, we also have a plumbing issue, a ceiling that will need to be patched, and a wall and a ceiling both that will need repainting.  Hopefully there is no rotting wood involved also (more will be revealed tomorrow, I am sure),

Yay us!
I hope this is not some Candid Camera version of  The Money Pit Part II or something.

Friday, June 15, 2012

still not the post i need to be writing...

...but whatcha-gonna-do.  I'm not sure if the headache started first or the anxiety attack about the kitchen, but those two things ended up being great bed partners, and they took over my whole day.   I have spent the day doing all the things I know to do that bring me back to a somewhat normal state, and I am finally there, but I am wiped out and heading to be because I have an early day.

I can show you a couple of  craptastic and poorly lit shots of where the kitchen is at, at least:

The bamboo countertop in the bar area has been installed, but I have to do the sealing of it this weekend.

The quartz countertops are in, the marmoleum flooring is in, and the tile backsplash is done.  The sink is in place, but not connected yet (I think that is happening tomorrow).

And the tile around the stove is done, including the decorative panel thang in the back, that I am going to need to describe in better detail later, because it's a cool reclaimed bit of history and worth a story.

That's all I got.  Well, that and pile of things I have on hand that make headaches go away ;-)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

squeaking it in

I'm barely making today's post before midnight!  Just in the nick of time!

Dance class went a little long (we Circle Danced, to celebrate the coming of the Summer Solstice), but on the ride home, there was a horrible accident on the bridge that I cross to get home.  Only one lane out of the four available was open, and cars involved in the wreck were turned every which way.  It looked like a lot of people were involved, and they were sort of dazed and wandering around.  It was a bit scary!  (mostly for them, but for me, too...I get a little flash-back-y!)

I'm going to shake it off with a good night's sleep.  A more complete post tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

so which side do you think i passed on?

I guess it's going to take me a little bit longer for me to write up the 2nd post about the Brenda Dayne class.  Sorry! Today just got out of control!  I thought I had most of my day free to spend time with MyFavoriteKid, clean house, experiment with some new recipes in the kitchen, pick cherries, blog, and maybe even knit more than just 1 row for a change.

That is not at all how my day went, though.  I ended up having to zoom over to the other house 3 separate times to deal with the flooring guys, the tile guy, and look at some paint options.  Since I was in the car and day had been basically shot, I just kept rolling. I went to dealers and returned flooring samples, the countertop samples, then I went and purchased the sealer for the bamboo countertop, and picked up paint chips.

My (current/not new) house at present looks like a cyclone struck it, but MyFK and I did pick some cherries from the lower branches (there are at least a dozen birds in the upper branches right this moment having the time of their lives. Everything they drop, the dogs are trying to eat. And the cats are hunting them.)

My goal tomorrow is to try to make a Spanish version of a Bing Cherry Brandy, plus some cherry syrup to add to soda water and/or sangria (knowing me, screw the soda...hand me the wine).  These are pretty lofty goals as I have no friggin' idea where I am supposed to find the time to be in the kitchen tomorrow when I have dad's (final!) trip to radiation, plus teaching two classes (knitting and dance), checking in over at the other house with the builder guy and the painter man, and all the other stuff.

Anyhow, I spent a lot of time on the road today, and I probably should not have been whipping out my camera to get a shot of this, but I  just had to.

And hence the title of the post.

(hint: I took it as a challenge.)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

a day with the original knitsib

Since none of you (slackers!!) guessed who that was with me in that photo the other day, I guess I'll just have to tell you. It's Brenda Dayne from the podcast Cast-On! She is currently taking a US Tour and she taught a couple of classes this past weekend at A Verb for Keeping Warm. I'll tell you about the class I took in my next post, but for now, let me tell you about the event that she held at the shop after the class.

It was called A Memorable Yarn, and it's part of a project that Brenda is working on for (I hope I have this right) an arts council back in her area (she's from Wales).

Here is her event description:

A Memorable Yarn
What is a memory? It is a set of encoded neural connections in the brain. It is also our ability to encode, store, retain and subsequently recall information and past experiences. Neurons firing in our brain are why we can knit, but it’s our memories of where we’ve been and what we’ve learned that make us knitters.

Join Brenda Dayne on a journey through synapses, brain wrinkles, actions, words, needles, and yarn as she explores these primal human connections in A Memorable Yarn. A collaborative, investigative storytelling and gallery event, A Memorable Yarn brings knitters, their work, and their memories into the spotlight.

Your participation is simple. Donate a few yards of a yarn that holds a certain memory – perhaps leftover from a meaningful project, a yarn personally hand-dyed or hand spun, or a souvenir yarn from a foreign adventure – and an hour or two of your time to knit a small Memory Bag as a physical recollection of that special yarn or project.

This small but intentional act will, in turn, create a new memory for you, as the knitter, and for Brenda, as the artist who will join these invisible strands and tangible objects into a single, powerful collection of personal history. Together, the Memory Bags will form a literal representation of hundreds of hours of labor, and create memory connections between knitters beyond their local social circles, bypassing age, gender, skill level, and socioeconomic status.

To take part in the Memorable Yarn Project, download the pdf,  which contains directions for knitting your own Memory Bag, as well as a form for recording your memories. follow the instructions to knit your Memory Bag, then bring it and your recorded memories to the Memorable Yarn event nearest you.

So here is my (wee!) Memory Bag:

And here is what as submitted on my form for recording memories:

A Memorable Yarn, June 10th 2012
      I was in a pretty horrific automobile accident in the spring of 2004.  I lost my right leg, and my right arm was left broken in several places.  The doctors kept insisting I play with a Rubik’s Cube for physical therapy for my hand, and I thought I'd lose my mind. I asked if returning to knitting would be a suitable replacement. They approved, so I picked up the needles up again after a break of a decade and a half.
      I started a blog around the same time, where I tracked my thoughts and feelings about being an amputee (as well as my knitting). It turned out that most of my readers were knitters. I began reading their blogs as well, and several real life friendships developed.
When I had recovered enough to make an attempt at wearing a prosthesis, I wrote about wanting to knit socks the same colors of my fake leg and setting out shopping to find yarn to match. A week later, a package arrived. Carol Sulcoski of Black Bunny Fiber Arts (and now the author of “Knitting Socks With Handpainted Yarn,” had seen one of the pictures of me wearing my prosthesis, and no sooner had I mentioned wishing I had matching yarn, she had rapidly gone to work dyeing a special surprise for me.
The yarn you see here in my little memory bag was my first gift in the mail from another knitter, and it was my very first experience of indie handpainted yarn. I used it to knit the first socks specifically for my prosthesis, and they were my first fancy/non-vanilla socks. The little orange heart I added in the corner is made with a remnant of my own handspun (not my first handspun, but the first I was ever proud of), and it was also my first 3-ply yarn. The fiber was hand dyed by Kristine Vejar, of A Verb For Keeping Warm, which is the location where I am delivering my memory bag to you!
Thanks to knitting, my life has been filled by sending and receiving creativity, friends, love, and compassion.  Brenda, thank you so much for the opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks for my craft and the knitting community by contributing to this project.
                                    Warm Regards & Happy Knitting ...

I'm really excited to see what this collection of Memory Bags turns into!  And I'm so excited to be a part of it. 

Part 2 (which technically was Part 1, as the class came before the event)...tomorrow!

Monday, June 11, 2012

so much for intentions

Not the post I was intending. I wanted to write about the class and even I went to on Sunday, and I will indeed do that....tomorrow. I do have some spare time in the early afternoon to type.  Today was eaten up, and I was "beaten up". It was a hard day at the convalescent hospital, and things were even harder once I got home to the teenage son (who loved me so much yesterday, but today can't stand me. Ahhhhh, teens!)

All I've got for today is a random photo I took at the stop light of a guy on his bike...

...with his saxophone.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

toss up

The toss up tonight is between writing a longer post about my day of knitting classes, or spending my evening practicing what I learned so I can master it (and not forget it).

Sorry guys. The practicing wins.

But until tomorrow, here's a little teaser for you.....

Can you guess who?

Saturday, June 09, 2012

snaps on saturday

First cherries of the season off the tree, which is loaded.

I bet I have a picture just like that taken last year.
Well, something like it ;-)

Also today, a Meal Fit For A Queen.
Oh wait, I mean A Meal Fit For Some Teens.

Doesn't look like much I suppose, but considering the party started and noon and is extending until tomorrow morning, you can be certain that this was only Phase One.  Build your own sandwiches, chips, dips, fruit.
And then it just kept on going.

Aside from taking them to the pool and throwing them food from time to time (and picking up after them), I've spent most of the day in my room doing some knitting homework for some classes I am taking tomorrow....and I can't wait to tell you about it.

Friday, June 08, 2012

the daily ritual

Every single day, Teeny pesters Riley in this little game that I can never seem to capture properly on film....but here it is anyhow. Note that she (the wee little chihuahua) is the antagonist.

I think what really needs to happen is that I need to try to capture it as a video.

This week has been bananas-crazy-busy.  Stuff for the kitchen remodel has moved forward, including countertops going in and tile starting today.  This past Wednesday was MyFavoriteKid's last day of school, and of course, he had all sorts of last minutes this-n-thats that he needed assistance with early in the week, plus I'm still taking dad up for radiation a couple of times a week.  Somewhere in there I also taught all the stuff I normally teach and met with a stained glass person about designing the cabinet doors for the new kitchen (it always comes back to the new kitchen, doesn't it).

Tomorrow MyFK is having an early birthday party (because if he waits until his real birthday on the 20th to do it, most of the kids are gone on vacations).  So tomorrow I have a house full of teenagers.

I'm sure I'll be hiding in my room most of the day knitting and watching silly old movies....and throwing food to the pack o' kids every couple of hours.

Thursday, June 07, 2012


Every year, the open space on the hill behind my house is razed to the ground.

that's the roof of my house there in the foreground

That hillside is a sort of urban-esque Wild Kingdom.  There's rabbits, feral cats, snakes, voles....I think there's even been a skunk up there a wide variety of birds.   It's sad to me to see it get cut down, but that sad does not compare to the panic I feel when I discover that the hillside has been ablaze (not once last year, but twice).

The hillside is maintained by...I don't know who. The city? The county?  Beats me.  I should probably figure that out and see if there is a way to know what day it is going to happen.  As it stands, it's completely unannounced.

If I knew what day it was going to happen, I might shut my windows so I don't end up with a house full o' pollen.  I'd also make sure not to let the kitties out that day, because even though kitties are supposed to be scared of big loud pieces of moving machinery, I am always really freaked-out-worried that the day is going to end up like the wood chipping scene from Fargo.

Gaara, the orange cat, made sure to come home extra late that night, I swear just to piss me off.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

spotted at the home improvement shop

Prolly not the real thing.
Ya' think?

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

joke of the day

Expect wispy thin posts this week. This is the big crazy hectic week, the one I have seen looming on the calendar since May, the one I have been wishing I could just wave a wand and be over and done with.

So here's a little joke for you today, since it's all I can manage!

Knitting and driving
A policeman spots a woman driving and knitting at the same time.
 Driving up beside her, he shouts out the window......
"No," she shouts back, "a pair of socks!"

Monday, June 04, 2012

Sunday, June 03, 2012

hot love for little plates

Leave it to me to find an entertaining/home decor inspiration at a funeral. Heh. I mean, my favorite movie of all time ever is Harold & Maude, right?

Well, here's how it happened. TheMostImportantGuy and I went to a funeral last weekend (see if you can follow along:  it was the mother of TheMIG's recently retired guitar player, but he had also dated the old guitar player's sister all throughout high school and college, and that ex-girlfriend of his, she keeps the blog of the very first blog I ever read, and the very first time I met her, it was just me and MyFavoriteKid having dinner with her...without TheMIG.  Crazy, right?!!)

Anyhow. So we went to this funeral of the mom, and it was huge. LOTS of people. I'd have to estimate a couple of hundred. It was at this really cool old church, and after the service, everyone was invited into the fellowship hall for refreshments. At the head of the buffet table were stacks of the coolest snack plates I have ever seen in my life, and it was love at first sight.

I put a brownie in one of the tiny square sections, and I filled up the rest of the plate with this and that, and while I was waiting to get through the buffet line, I realized that oh-my-gosh, I totally had to find some of these plates because they are The. Perfect. Party Plate.  I knew I'd probably never find them because they looked like they had been with the church since like, forever and probably came about because church members had collected blue chip stamps or something and did a SnackPlateDrive. But I loved them so. They are heavy and substantial, and way more charming than a regular plate. 

And let me tell you, the charm factor went up about 200% percent when we got to the end of the row of buffet tables and I realized that the church ladies were serving up punch into little matching cups, and that one of the little side sections on the snack plate was actually meant to be a cup holder!!

Could you just die from the cuteness?!!

Obviously, as you can see from the photos, I came home, surfed the internet, and found some of these great little dish sets. I ordered 3 sets of service for 4.  The set I am showing you here arrived in perfect condition. The set I showed you Thursday came as plates only (but I had found another shop that had just glasses). Sadly only 1 of 4 plates survived.  Today another set came in I lost another cup and plate.   I now have 8 plates and 7 cups.  I'd like more, but I've got to make sure the seller knows how to pack correctly before I risk this again.

I learned something interesting about these plates as I was ordering them.  That little section I had put my dessert into like a TV Dinner?  Well, these plates come from and era that pre-dates TV Dinners. That little section has a divot in the corner because it is actually AN ASHTRAY.

I don't smoke. But your cancer stick would go right where that pencil is ;-) 
Sooooo 1940's!

Kinda gross, aint it? 
I mean, even when I was a smoker (many many moons ago), I never put my ashtray on the same plate of food I was eating off of, for crissakes! 

So. Now that everything I have ordered has arrived, I have been wasting way too much of my time planning parties and looking at punch bowls and pouring over punch recipes.

Of course, I also went surfing for more plates, to replace the broken ones...and maybe some of them will be in the other patterns that didn't quite make it through!

Don't you dare go buy them all up before I do.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

snaps on saturday

Sometimes you'll see a statue of Quan Yin with a young child:

photo not taken by me; filched from the internet

But today at the zen center we practice at, I spotted Quan Yin with.... ape!!


those last two shots taken by moi ;-)