Sunday, September 30, 2012

a snap on sunday, too

Although, it was taken on Saturday....

Saturday, September 29, 2012

snaps on saturday

Lots of busy errand running today, but I did break to spend a few moments enjoying an Octoberfest sidewalk celebration that I accidentally stumbled upon!

Friday, September 28, 2012

just keep knitting...knitting, knitting, knitting...

Back in August I gave a bried nod in a post about a shawl that had I started on the 17th. I'm still not done yet, but here's a look at where my sights are aimed:

the pattern in Sonnenblume (which means "sunflower") 
by Anne Hanson of Knitspot 

It's a top down shawl.  For you non-knitters out there, that means I started at the center top edge with that honey-comb section that mimics the center of the sunflower. The shawl grows wider and wider as it grows longer. And lemme tell ya',  I have spent weeks working my way towards that bottom edge there!

I have only have 12 more rows plus the bind off to go, but the rows are taking forevahhhhhh because each row at this point has just over 775 stitches, and a whole lotta lace action to keep track of!!  Fun knitting, but sooooo looooong!!!  Each row is now taking me about an hour (I'm slow and I get distracted by television and chores and life and whatnot), not to mention that fact that I don't have much uninterrupted knitting these days.

I have a goal to try to finish this thing by the end of next week, but I'm not sure how realistic that is. 
Even after the knitting, I will have a massive blocking job to contend with (blocking is the soaking and then the pinning out all of the points of the shawl to open the lace).  This was a yarn/pattern club knit along, and from what I'm hearing, the pinning is quite the project, too!

But for now, I will just keep knitting....knitting, knitting, knitting...!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

returning to my bloggy inspiration for a day

When I first started this blog, is so that I could have a place to record all of the stupid things people would say to me because I am an amputee.  That never really panned out....I quickly started writing about other things.  Not for lack of material, lemme tell ya'.  People say stupid things to me daily, and if I'm out in public long enough, it's often multiple times daily, and it's the reason why sometimes I'd rather just stay home and be a hermit from time to time. 

Well, today I had such a classic example of stupidity that I thought it was enough to remind me of my original intention for this blog.

I'm in my wheelchair, shopping at my local supermarket using a handbasket on my lap. As usual, I have seriously underestimated my shopping list, and I should have gotten a cart. But I didn't. And I'm aint gonna go get one, either.  What I have instead is the basket on my lap, a 6 pack of sodas in one hand, and a huge 24 roll package of toilet paper dangling from the other hand.  I'm not struggling one bit. This is par for the course with me.

I pull up to the checkstand and start to load my stuff onto the belt.  The lady in front of me, who is turned completely around to watch my every move, is doing this funny little pantomimed dance just for me.  For every item I lift from my lap and place on the belt, she is squatting down, outstretching her arms, and without actually touching my things, she is spotting every thing I lift, just in case I drop it. Every item.  Even the tiny little box of mac & cheese.  Because ya' know, I might drop it. 

I manage to say nothing and try to be amused by her antics rather than annoyed (which major progress for me, you have nooooo idea).  About half way through emptying my basket, she realizes I need no help getting my items onto the belt, so she shifts to rearranging my items that are on the belt. Even though my items are perfectly placed (so perfectly in fact, they are placed so that the refrigerated items are separate from the pantry items, for example), she is going to lift each item and put it back down about a half inch away from where I had set it.  I keep my mouth shut, and I give her a smile of all things, not the scowl of my inexperienced gimpy-youth.  It is at this point that she turns to me and finally says something.

"You have this all figured out, don't you."

"Yes. Lots of practice!"

She turns, lifts up her right pant leg (?!), and points to this 6" vertical scar on her leg, running over her knee, and says, "I am blessed!!"

"Yes, it would seem you are!"

She lifts up the other pant leg, so she is now standing at the checkstand, with her pants all wicky-wonky, and the checker is waiting for her to pay for her stuff.  The lady doesn't pay. She leans over me, points to both scars and says, "I am blessed!!!  I can still walk on both my legs!! I am blessed!"

At which point I find myself thinking, "Are you really honest to god saying this to a one-legged chick in a wheelchair??!!  Well, by golly, yes!! It would seem you are."  But instead of saying that, I say, "Yes, you are indeed correct. Blessed you are." (because aren't ya sorta implying that I am not, you nutjob??"

"And I had back surgery, too!! I AM BLESSED!!"
All I can do is think to myself, "Alright, alright. I got it. YOU are blessed."  Sheesh.

She turns and pays for her stuff.  The poor checker, who is waiting for her to pay, is watching this whole exchange and makes a great effort to pick her mouth up off the floor, because she sort of looks like she is catching flies.

The end.


And yes, for every day I leave the house, I could write a story like this. 

I'm evening laughing!

And that's how I became "AmpuTeeHee"  ;-)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

no alarms and no surprises please

Blogger often cuts off a portion of the frame of the video.
If that's the case for you, linky-linky.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

the crush

I love this time of year where I live.  I live at the very base of the Napa Valley, and I drive up into the area where grapes are grown at least once a week. 

It's harvest time.  It's this crazy science of timing where the growers are trying to choose the perfect date to harvest for maximum flavor.  We are scheduled to have a small heat wave this weekend, and tonight, as I was driving home from knitting up in the city of Napa, I could see and smell lots of activity.

There were portable flood lights set up on the hills of several vineyards, work trucks parked along the roadsides.  People moving in and out of rows of vines with big crates. And the's very unique.  It doesn't smell like wine yet, but it doesn't smell like grape juice, either.  It's something in between, and it's a very distinct odor.  The whole valley will smell like this for weeks and weeks. 

It smells like fall.

Monday, September 24, 2012

watch out, i got my crabby hat on

don't mess with me, bitches!

I'm not sure if it's the fact that MyFavoriteKid spent all afternoon trying to manipulate me in the homework department, or if it was the dance concert logistics, related phone calls and email I had to spend time on today, or if it's the pile of dishes staring me in the face that the elves just seem to refuse to come clean when I am not looking, or maybe it's just that I haven't taken a break to knit a single row today....

but whatever it is, I am crabby!!!

I'm probably more crabbypants than crabby-hat, but I'm diggin' the fashion statement.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

many a missed photo-op!

Things I could have taken photos of today, but somehow managed not to:

~ a photo of the harvested romaine lettuce, spinach, arugula, and basil from the garden containers that I did this morning.
~  a photo of the gorgeous (and absolutely delicious) roasted shrimp with orzo pasta salad that I made for friends that came over for lunch and crafting.
~ a photo of the pitcher of lime daiquiris I made so we could wash down the pasta.
~ a photo of us enjoying our lunch and daiquiris, or of us having dessert while knitting on the patio.
~ a photo of us barely getting any knitting done thanks to too many daiquiris.

I didn't take photos of any of those things!
Instead I only managed to take a photo of this:

The dead redwood tree sprig that was floating overhead dangling by what I assume was a spiderweb.  I found it rather magical as it spun in the breeze, as if it were being controlled by the Forest Nymph of the Redwood or something.

Interesting, but certainly not the highlight of the day ;-)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

snaps on saturday

Today was the last of our Master Gardener classes (vegetable series).  We did 8 out of 9 months, starting in January.  I learned a bunch of good stuff, but I think the next thing we need to do is take some classes more along the lines of "urban homesteading".

When we left the gardening class, we noticed that out in the park behind the building there was a 4-H rabbit event happening, so we took a stroll over. That's me and "Neptune" who they sometimes call "Niptune", the girls told me.  They were about to dress him up as a pirate for the costume contest! hahahaha

So maybe if we urban homestead, I can haz bunnehz?

Friday, September 21, 2012

wanna come see me dance?

An evening of contemporary bellydance, and I will be performing in four pieces...two troupe numbers, a solo, and a duet.  

Would love to see you (and be seen by you!).

Thursday, September 20, 2012

yeah, what they said!

Tonight in class we did our ritual "Circle Dance" for the autumnal equinox (I know it's a few days early, but class is on Thursdays, so we always do it the Thursday before).  Before we start to dance, we circle up, holding hands, and if people want to, they can say a few words about where they're at.

I said something like this:
I sort of feel like I am "stretched thin" dough....except that I'm not really stretched thin at all.  I feel more like when you stretch out dough and then it springs back into a tight little ball.  Like I might actually being doing better if I was stretched thin; at least I'd be covering everything.  But instead it's more like I am shrinking away from things.   Maybe I need to "rise."

My dancer friends said something like this:
No, not need to "rest."
And "chill." 
Yeah. In the fridge.
With a damp towel over you.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

seventh blogiversary

SEVEN YEARS ...whoa! Time flies when you're writing a bunch of nonsense, doesn't it?!!

I've had some ups and downs this past year with the blog, and I even took the month of August "off" to be a little "less post-y" and think about what keeping this blog really means to me.  I'm am embarrassed to say that I never quite figured that out.  Somewhere in there during the month of August, the attack on my dog took place, and it sort of short circuited my mental process. I just sort of creeped back in here for September without saying a word, in case you didn't notice. LOL

During the August hiatus, I at least figured out these two things, though (and I wouldn't say I figured them out, as I sorta knew these two things already...but I did at least confirm these two things):

1) I love the practice of blog posting every day, I do it for myself, and it is an important practice that I am not about to stop any time soon.

2) I am so happy that y'all are along for the ride....whatever this ride thing IS that I am doing here.  I don't say thanks often enough, but really truly, I so much appreciate the fact that you are here.  I feel like I am never alone (and for me, that is a very big deal).

How about we celebrate with a little blogiversary raffle, eh?

Leave a comment on this post by the end of the month, or if that doesn't work for you because the comment system here is wacko or because you prefer to be a lurker, then email me instead at AmpuTeeHee{at}hotmail{dot}com.  I will throw all the names into a hat, and I'll announce a winner October 1st.  Then I' will mail you these little prezzies....

When you get them you can buy yourself some new music (ten bucks) and than you can take yourself and a friend out for a cup of something-something and a snack on me (twenty-five bucks).


Thanks again to all of you for visiting my little corner of the internet :-)

Wow, I still can't get over the fact it's been seven years, though!  I sort of have this theory about how things go in seven year cycles, so what does that mean for the blog?!!!!   I have no plans, but maybe nature will take its own course!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

when knit night turns into....

...learn how to make chainmaille night!

One of the guys who attends our "knit night" from time to time (and I say "knit night" in quotes because we often have crochet, beading, and jewelry making going on!), led us in a quickie class in learning how to make byzantine chain.

That's me on the big rings.
Here's a sample of a more experienced bit of work on smaller rings.


Mike was awesome at teaching us how to do this. Lots of little tips and tricks, very patient and easy to understand.  If you live in the Bay Area and ever want to take a class, look him up at Just Bead It! in Concord.  Woot!

Playing with all the little rings is a little fiddly for my taste as far as hobbies go, and I'm not quite sure if it's portable enough for me for me to get toooo deep into it (plus I am just the type of klutz to knock over a tray of rings and have them scatter everywhere), but I could see myself playing around with this stuff for awhile and perhaps making a few of things as gifts. As fiddly as it is to make, I just adore the end result.  I'd love to make a little bag or a dragonscale bracelet or something as a greater goal.  It's a neat skill!

Monday, September 17, 2012

the changing of the (seasonal) guard

Move over, watermelon...

....we're about to cross over into pumpkin time!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

happy new year... my family and friends that are celebrating Rosh Hashanah.

May this year be sweet :-)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

snaps on saturday

MyFavoriteKid and his date on their way into the Homecoming Dance

I just met MyFK's new interest last night at the homecoming football game.  She's really sweet, and hey....any chick that wears hot pink converse with a fancy dress is just fine in my book ;-)  (scroll way down on this ancient post to see why I can say that with conviction!)

Friday, September 14, 2012

i might be taking things just a little too far

If you were squicked by the last snacking vulture action photo I posted, then do yourself a favor and scroll no further....because this one is gooood and snack-y!

Let me tell you how this photo came to be.

I was leaving from a pit-stop at TheNewDiggs, and as I rounded the street corner, I almost ran over a vulture because he was snacking in the middle of the road on freshly squooshed possum.  I slowed down, and MrVultureMan (and no, I have no idea it this is a really a Mr or Mrs Vulture) put his food down and moseyed over to the curb.  After I passed, he went back out into the middle of the street to work on his snack again.  I pulled over and watched him do this routine over and over again. As every single car approached, the car would slow, the vulture would drop his food and go to the curb and then come out again in between oncoming traffic.  But the poor guy never got enough of  a chance to get any food!  Then a FedEx truck almost took him out.  I went from feeling a little bad for him to feeling concerned.

So you know what I did?

I pulled around, got my wheelchair out of the trunk, used a plastic baggie that was in the car as a pair of gloves, and dragged the squished possum by the tail over to the side of the road and launched it onto the lawn of the house we were in front of.

MrVultureMan was watching this whole operation from his perch on a nearby roof.

He seemed a little leery of eating the possum after I moved it...well, he probably wasn't leery of the possum, he was probably just leery of me!  I was still standing there waiting to see what he'd do, and I suspect that for a moment there, he thought that I was competing for his food, and that my grabbing the possum was some indication that I was wanting a snack too...and besides, I was also in the scary wheelchair machine!

Eventually though, he could resist no longer.

I know.
I might be taking this whole "Wild Kingdom" thing a little bit too far.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

raining tears...

Like most folks I'm sure, I have thoughts and feelings about what is going on in the world...but the last few days, with the news of the death of U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, I have gone to some interesting internal places.  I've cried that this level of anger and hate even exists on the planet I inhabit.  I've sat in deep sadness about the loss of a sacrificing humanitarian and I have fretted that maybe there aren't any more like him brave enough to take his place. I've wondered why bad things happen to the people who bring so much good into this world. I've lamented that there is so much righteousness and lack of tolerance in this world.  I have sat baffled wondering why people just can't understand that if you really really really just think about it for a minute, you'll see that our fingers all point to the same place when it comes to talking about god.  I've watched the news and I've seen and heard the protests and hate filled chants that are being directed towards the the entire country that I live in, and I've found myself afraid.  And oddly enough, I caught myself destructively stuffing my face full with jellybeans and licorice in a feeble attempt to make life somehow sweeter...or maybe to pad myself (whatever the reason, it didn't work. I just felt sicker. Back to green smoothies.).

I also sang songs in my car.
Ok, maybe I was not just singing.
It was more like shouting.
At the top of my lungs.

Songs like this one:

(bless The Dave Matthews Band for once again putting my feelings all together for me in one place...
one awesome love-filled rockin' place)

Fire, the sun is well asleep;
the moon is high above, fire grows from the east.
How is this hate so deep?
To lead us all so blindly... killing, killing.
Fools are we if hate's the gate to peace
This. Is. The Last Stop.

raining tears........................

(more lyrics here)

If you aren't a Dave Matthews fan, let Charlie Rose tell you why you should be.

Over the years I've played the studio version of this song a kajillion times, and the ending has always been one of my favorite parts.  This live video sadly cuts off before the ending, but I had to use this version over others (even though  some of them were so great) because of the magical "Dave Moment" in the last 3 minutes or so. He looks up like he's channeling a message from above, then he adds a few lines of comfort right at the end of the song (and they don't appear on the studio version)....everything's gonna be alright.

I'll take Dave's comfort over sick-making jelly beans any day.
I should probably set up music in the kitchen so I get to that sooner.
Music always makes me feel better than candy.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

vintage me.

dated "1/78" on the back (which makes me 10, almost 11)
no idea where this was taken

Get a load of that sweater ;-)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

watch me say a whole lotta something without saying anything

Today was really really odd.

I have been dealing with some pretty big stuff with MyFavoriteKid the last four of five days.  He is proving himself to be quite the experimental teenager (I knew it was coming eventually), and while I am dealing with him effectively and logically and with a level of loving open groundedness that I did not even know I possessed, his behavior has caused me to be quite reflective.

So today I spent quite a bit of time thinking about myself as a teenager, and my parents and how they dealt with me as a teenager, and the circle of friends I had when I was a teenager.....and then lo and behold, multiple old high school buddies track me down on facebook today (oh, the timing!)....and then the cat brought in a dying bird with feathers everywhere that triggered a whole layer of grief....and then on the way to knitting tonight, I turn on the radio and the station is playing Carly Simon and all I see for a second is a flash of my mom in the sunken living room with a glass of wine in her hand belting out, "You're So Vain," as loud as she can.

It was like I was floating in outer space for a moment. It was totally surreal.

It's like I am in some crazy vortex where all I have been, has morphed into all I have come to be, and everything is sort of connected in some really bizarre way, like I'm watching a movie or something. It is blowing my mind, and I'm not on anything but coconut water, brown rice, and steamed kale...I swear it! Ok. A glass of wine at the knitting group tonight.  But that's it.  And it's like the whole world and all of my experiences are all swooshing into this crazy pinhead of moment where every experience of my life is....just. all. related.

I do not believe I am making any sense at all, but that's okay, because this is all I can do!
It's not making much sense to me either, at the moment.

What I know for sure is that not only am I okay, I am doing a really fine job of being alive and present and checked in and here.  I am a great parent, not only to my own kid, but to my own self, as I am now finally learning to re-parent myself.  Kudos to the new therapist.  I am getting my money's worth.

Monday, September 10, 2012

move over candybar, I have a new love

I found this today in the TJoe's "new items" section, and oh my goodness, I am in love.  The secret about salt and chocolate has been out for awhile now, but salt and pepper??!  Who knew!  I love it.  I'm thinking this would be lovely shaved and turned into hot cocoa or a sipping chocolate or some sort, but it will probably get eaten before I get a chance to find out!

Sunday, September 09, 2012

my souvenir

Each of us that helped with the high school knitting club clean-and-sort kept one little something for our efforts.  Mine is this wee little 1oz skein of ancient boucle laceweight.   The pic was snapped under the florescent lighting at the school, so the lovely ruby colored isn't being captured well. 

I think I'm going to bang out a little beaded knit necklace out of it.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

snaps on saturday

The high school knitting club has been donated a ton of yarn over the last few months.  A huge portion of it is one from just person.....a coach at the school whose wife very sadly passed away last year, leaving a ton of yarn in her wake.  This is his second delivery of boxes to the club. It must just be oooozing out of the walls, truly giving me an full-on true picture of what it means to be a knitter that has gone "Sable" (knitters don't go gold or platinum, we go S.A.B.L.E...Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy).  I think the knitting club has received close to 10 bins from this man (and there have been other donations from other people too, so it was backing up!).

Today we were let into the school so that we could sort through it all. 
Yarn Wrangling, as it were ;-)

What you see here is maybe 1/4 of what we had to cull through. It took 4 people 3 hours, and we still had one final bin left that I just couldn't bear to crack into because even if we sorted through it's contents, we were pretty much out of storage room anyhow!  It's mostly ack-crylic (but perfect for the kids to knit charity items for), and there is also a shitload of novelty yarn, but I think the kids can whip out some fun scarves that they can sell to raise money for other projects or something.

It turns out that even though the coaches wife was a knitter, she mostly did crochet. There were several fully completed blankets in the bins that just needed the ends sewn in, so the kids are going to finish them off and donate them to a local hospital.  There were also many WIPs (Works In Progress), mostly in the form of the beginnings of blankets that were abandoned after the first few inches.  The kids are going to finish these off just where they are and then turn them into scarves, also for donation.  Kinda like this:

(that's me....sporting the neon acrylic! LOL)

So now that the kids have the yarn sorted by weight and color have a separate bin full of chenille and boucle and another full of fun fur....they're ready to rock.  They're going to start knitting up a storm for charity.

Friday, September 07, 2012

a photo from earlier in the week

Wednesday was the first meeting of the High School Knitting Club, complete with power point presentation and sign in sheets and other handouts...none of which I have anything to do with! I just sit in the corner and help kids with their knitting!  The kids run the club completely by themselves, and they knit for the charities of their choosing.  It's looking like it's going to be a really great year!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

all dance brained out

Just home from a very late dance class.  We're not really in dance "class" mode right now, though. We are in pre-performance mode, as we have a show coming up soon.

Tonight was a "show-n-tell" of all of our pieces. We watch each other perform and then give feedback, but additionally, tonight we were taking notes about props, costume changes, and the feel of each dance, so that we could start to put the pieces all in a sequence that makes a nice arc for the evening concert.  It's like a little puzzle, really.

This is a busy show for me. I am in two ensemble pieces, one duet, and one solo....and I only half-assed my way through the duet and solo tonight, and I'm beat!   Time to put in some extra rehearsal hours getting stronger for this!  Eep!

Off to bed...I am supposed to be up in less than 6 hours getting MyFavoriteKid up and off to school! These late nights are making me wonder why I ever gave up coffee!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

in a relationship with...

It would seem that my new friend has a new friend.

I like it:-)

Just kinda hope my kittehs don't become hawk food!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

another day...

News of the day (jeez, more bullets!):

~ My hand will be fine. It's a very deep puncture so it's multi-colored and very sore, especially if I bonk it, but it looked much improved after getting some air overnight. It hurts more to push a wheelchair than it does to use crutches, which I find odd, but placement is everything, I guess! 

~ Oh, and it does not hurt to knit...yay!  So I knit for a little bit today.

~ I took the dog for a recheck at the vet, and you will just have to wait to hear more about that tomorrow (sorry) because it really warrants a full blown blogpost of its own, and I need to sleep on it.

~ MyFavoriteKid stayed home from school today sick with a cold, but he was able to watch one of his teachers give a lecture by having one of classmates turning on skype.  Kids these days.  ;-)

Monday, September 03, 2012

today, more bullet-ish

In the morning, an interesting little pop-up farmer's market sort of thing in downtown Vallejo.  We picked up some good looking produce and had some yummy crepes and locally roasted coffee.

In the afternoon, friends over for swimming and snacking and just plain hanging out at TheNewDiggs, this time folks with kids and dogs.
Total headcount:
Big Humans=6
Little Humans=2
(I think Riley and Teeny were having so much fun that they thought I was throwing them a dog party)

In the evening, tending to my not-so-great looking hand. I accidentally punctured myself with a pair of very sharp scissors earlier in the day ( one would ever do that on purpose...sheesh), right near the base of my thumb on the palm side.  It's looking a little ugly at the moment and if it looks worse tomorrow, it may just warrant a trip to the docs office.  But I also have Riley's follow-up #2 with the vet tomorrow, so....I'm going to have to figure out how to squeeze that all in.   Besides the fact that my hand hurts and looks ugly, it's also hampering my knitting! Boo!

Thumb aside, it was a really fun 3-day weekend.  I hope y'all had a great one, too!

Sunday, September 02, 2012

the day in bullets

~ house and yardwork at TheNewDiggs
~ harvested some salad greens out of the planter barrels
~ appraiser comes buy to reassess the place post remodel
~ girlfriend Sandy comes for knitting and snacks, bringing some very yummy wine
~ which turns into my making dinner for all of us out of whatever I could scrape together in the kitchen and garden because I had thought we were going out for dinner and wasn't prepared to cook (pasta with olive oil, garlic, chard, spinach, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, basil, parmesean, and grilled tofu with herbes de did the job)
~ rented the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Sent from my iPad

Saturday, September 01, 2012

(not my own) snaps on saturday

Tonight I surprised TheMostImportantGuy and MyFavoriteKid with a trip to San Francisco for dinner and a night at the theater.  I took them to see War Horse.

In the very first scene that the horse appeared onstage as a foal, a little tear rolled down my cheek (not sure what that was about! LOL).  The puppeteering was crazy cool, and you can see some snippets of it in action here

Great date night with my guys :-)