Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Quick --- And I Do Mean Quick --- Check-In

I am sitting in the Brentwood Public Library, using one of the "guest" computers, because Briton has the lengthier access my mother's card provides.

We are having an enjoyable, though very hot, visit. We have moved through all the predictable stages: not talking too much, talking too much, being angry, pouting sullenly, missing the pets, wishing we had more money, thinking how soon we have to leave. . . Regular travel things.

Hannah and I visited Threaded Bliss today, and I picked up several skeins of pretty alpaca on clearance. Also picked up a knick knack or two for swaps and Secret Pals. And got a picture of Hannah with Rudy, the owner's dog. The one whose nose smells like grape jelly. (Rudy. Not the owner.)

We've been to the Parthenon, to all our usual haunts, both shopping and eating, we've been inundated with Nicole Kidman / Keith Urban coverage, we've valiantly tried to rescue a baby deer from a collision with a car --- it's all been eventful.

Lots of knitting going on, as I have no chores to distract me. I'll fill you in when we return home, and I get to use a computer that doesn't have a blinking timer on it!!

I miss reading what's going on with you all. Hope you are cool, and, to anyone in the Northeast, dry!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Acknowledgement and a Retraction

I've been failing to mention that the wondrous Melanie surprised me the other day with a box of yarn. There was a skein of red WoolEase (the stripe-in-progress above), two skeins of purple WoolEase, and 3 skeins of fingering weight from KnitPicks in a delicious shade called "Cornflower." Thank you, my dear --- you continue to be a many-faceted inspiration.

Too, I wish to thank --- again --- my Secret Pal for this round, for the yellow needles she sent me. While I have, in the past, railed against plastic needles, these are awesome. They're Susan Bates, size 11, which gives them some heft and strength (my previous experiences with plastics always wound up with them snapping at some time during the project.) But the best part is their points: long and very sharp, making picking up and moving stitches oh, so easy. I've made this little purse out of cotton and ribbon that my erstwhile Secret Pal Bethanie provided, and it just sped by! I'm going to take it with me to Nashville; I'm sure my mother has fabric about that I can use to make a liner. The ribbon yarn is called Casablanca, and it is so soft --- almost sensually so.

Speaking of Music City, we're off in the morning. If I can get to one of the computers at the library, I'll check in on you all. 'Til I can get back, take good care of yourselves, and here's a question to chew on: If you could have the original of any document, what would it be?

(Spanish was the winner of the Language Derby, by the way.)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Blues All Around Me

(Thanks to Riley B. King for laying the title out there for me. . .)

Yesterday? Odd day. It was if I were enclosed in some sort of plexiglass all day --- I was seeing things, hearing things, but I was disconnected somehow. No energy, no fire, no drive. Not even a viewing of "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies," courtesy of Mystery Science Theater 3000 could make a dent.

Today? Not so much.

First, I have finished another pair of fingerless mitts:

These I'm calling "House," because the bulk of the work on them was done while watching that show. (I should call them "Laurie," I realize, in keeping with the precedent set by my "Neill" pair, but this sounds better.) On the needle there is the beginning of a gift for a secret-thingy pal. That's all I can say about that.

In the mail today, my first package from my One Skein Pal, and it was a beaut!
A very charming note, giving me credit for her daughter's new Mini Cooper being christened "Anderson" --- get it? A little note card with a tiny little knitted swatch on the front, and, inside:
Manos yarn (which I have been wanting to try, in a bow to MST3K), an inital bookmark, initial notes, a stunning spinning stitch marker, and hand cream! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! (I have to thank you here, because I don't have access to the One Skein Blog.) What a gift!

But was that all? No! The mail also provided my Magic Yarn Ball, wound by the person in charge of the whole operation, Larissa! The idea here was to wind little gifts and treasures into a ball of yarn, then send it away so that the recipient can find them as they knit. It's positively inspired, and I will definitely be taking this to Tennessee with me to work on. Thank you, Larissa! Hannah and Rupert were appropriately impressed!

Monday, June 19, 2006


My Daddy, God love him, told me all his life that things just always work out. (I've got to, somehow, find a way to put a picture of him here.) And, once again, he was right.

Despite the awful portents about Hannah's birthday, she seemed to thoroughly enjoy her day. In very large part, that was due to all of you who wished her well here --- THANK YOU!! (Unlike her rather phobic brother, she enjoys being blogged about. Short of some weird experiment so designed, the two of them couldn't have been made more different.) And she thought the picture of Mr. Duchovny was inspired.

Whomever is having a birthday at this house is placed in charge of the entire day: TV, music, food, schedule, the whole shootin' match. Hannah chose a vegetarian restaurant, a trip to the mall, lots of "X-Files" and "Invader Zim," her Japanese pop CDs in the car --- you get the picture. Again, she seemed happy and content all day, which is, after all, the point. Most of her gifts she already knew about, but we managed to sneak a couple of surprises in on her. So her Granddad was on the money one more time.

And, not to be morbid or martyr-ish, but, since we've no living fathers here, yesterday was spent as a fairly mundane Sunday. I'm knitting fingerless mitts again, one pair for myself, one pair as a gift, so I toiled away at them. I'm trying not to do too much on the afghan, as the generous Katie has promised some other yarns, and I want to be sure and work them in. I did start, sort of on Katie's inspiration, sorting through all my patterns, getting them a tad better organized. That's fun to do every now and then --- I forget what I have!

Otherwise, I am completely free from school. We will be heading to Nashville this Saturday, staying for a week. No computer access there, as I've said before, short of availing ourselves of the Library's machines. But there is a terrific yarn store not 5 minutes from Mama's house. I've been saving my shopping day from Stashalong to use there.

Thanks for the kind descriptors of yours truly, left in response to an earlier meme. Must work now to live up to them. And, I owe some of you some words of your own!

And, it would appear that lots of you love Scrabble, according to the answers to my last question. Life is also popular, especially putting the people-pegs into the little cars! Risk, Monopoly and 221-B Baker Street (very nice call, Jennifer!)also got nods. Myself, I've long been partial to Sorry!, though I really, really like to play Mancala. Next up: What language would you like to learn?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

For My Daughter

I'm sure Duchovny, and everyone else she finds interesting, wish my Hannah a HAPPY BIRTHDAY today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, June 16, 2006


Had a less than happy day yesterday, as I dealt with ill-tempered teens and grade-coveting students and heat. Heat is an enemy of my head, if said head wishes to stay headache-free. If you are at all interested in the horrid details, go to MindFull.

So, I have exams to grade, a 14th birthday to try and salvage, a make-up vocal lesson to drive to and wait through, housework, and other routine maintenance. Son has awakened full of venom and vinegar, beating himself up about not having yet learned to drive (he is truly intimidated by the thought, so he shouldn't even try) and not being an "eager beaver" about researching colleges. Both offspring requiring crisis mode, apparently. And what I want most is to lounge about and knit and read and sip cool drinks.

Melanie and Katrina and Jennifer all have this meme on their blogs, and I have contributed there, so please return the favor:

Please leave a one-word comment that you think best describes me — it can only be one word long. Then copy and paste this in your journal so that I may leave a word about you.

Interesting response to my last question, from "Event Horizon" (which I had to see, because of Sam Neill, despite my never-easily-frightened best friend's warnings) to "Blair Witch" to "Nightmare on Elm Street" to "The Wizard of Oz"'s flying monkeys. I'm not one for horror films myself, but "Seven" was devastating. I do, however, have my own "Oz" confession to make. I was, am, and always will be spooked to skin-crawling by the Munchkins. (The skin on the back of my neck is goosy just typing their bloody name!) With all that eerie giggling and leaf-shaking --- yikes! When Dorothy opens the door to Technicolor until the time "Follow the yellow brick road" begins to fade, I am out of the room. I used to imagine the were under my bed, and would grab me if I got too close. (Hey, they would fit!!) Loathe the Munchkins! The flying monkeys never bothered me. Wicked Witch? Not a problem. But the little leg-shaking dudes singing "The Lollipop Guild"? Get me out of there!!!!!!!

Today's question: What is your favorite board game?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A Wee Bit O'Blue

To prove that there has been blue knitting this Project Spectrum month, my favorite stuffed lion presents a blue bookmark. It reclines atop Love's Executioner, the book I will be reading next. It's about psychoanalysis, not murder. Calm down.

Swaps are going well. My One Skein Pal e-mailed today and said my package will be on its way soon. Haven't heard from my Magic Yarn Ball recipient, though it should have arrived --- she lives in Nashville.

The Scrap Afghan generated lots of comments: thank you all! The reason I'm making a second panel is for width, not length. It's not quite wide enough to really wrap up in, which is what Hannah and I like to do with our covers. And the pattern is from Nicky Epstein's Knitting Over the Edge: it's Wide Vertical Eyelet:
Row 1: K2, *yo, K2tog, K4, ssk, yo, K2*
Row 2: Purl
You need a multiple of 10 stitches, plus 2. For the afghan, I had 162.

Hopefully, Fox will come through with another double feature of "House" tonight. Briton has a friend over, and I can retreat into my room and knit and watch.

Which reminds me, if you haven't already, go see "Cars." We did yesterday, and had a great time. Paul Newman is tremendous --- big surprise, I know, but he really is great. And stay for the credits. Please. Especially if you're a fan of any of the previous Pixar films.

Today's question: What's the scariest movie you've ever seen?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Picture, Picture, Tag!

Here are the pictures I referenced yesterday. The toddler socks/booties:

The glimmery silver doesn't show up, unfortunately.

And here's Panel One of the Scrap Afghan:

And, finally, a tag, from the sweet Heather. Tomorrow's her birthday: stop by and wish her well!!

I WANT my children to find peaceful happiness.

I WISH wishes could be granted.

I HATE boastful ignorants.

I MISS my Daddy and my husband.

I FEAR hatred.

I HEAR an episode of "Frasier."

I WONDER if I'll know my grandchildren.

I REGRET not learning how to knit sooner.

I AM NOT a long-range planner.

I DANCE too infrequently.

I SING along with the Bee Gees. Always.

I CRY pretty easily.

I AM NOT ALWAYS totally honest.

I MAKE WITH MY HANDS lots of gestures when I lecture.

I WRITE in several different styles.

I NEED at least 10 hours of sleep each night.

I SHOULD lose some weight.

I START thinking about sleeping again as soon as I wake up.

I FINISH one thing thinking about what to start next.

I TAG whomever feels like playing!!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Many Things About Which to Blog

And only one photograph. Today. More tomorrow maybe?

I have finished the toddler socks, and am just about to bind off the Scrap Afghan, so I need to show them off. I have decided that I am going to make another panel of the same size for the Afghan, as this is just a mite snuggish across.

Took the car in for routine maintenance yesterday, and got quite a few rows done on the capelet, thinking all the time of what to do for this month's Project Spectrum. Then, this morning, as I sometimes do, I looked at another blog via one of my daily reads, and found out about this project. A perfect use for blues, don't you think?

Not too many responses to my comedian question. Feel free to continue to answer, though I'm moving on to the next query: What's something you really wanted as a child, but never got?

My favorite comedian (because I consider George Carlin a sociologist) is a treasured part of my life mask collection:

Robin Williams.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


I have just about decided that my headaches are menstrual/menopausal, at least in part. (This is exactly the inviting start to a blog entry everyone loves, I realize.) Still, I'm trying to get to the chiropractor, because that helps, too. I stayed home from school yesterday, the pain was so intense. Today, I'm better, though it's like the headache is almost there, but not quite. Like it's wearing a leather jacket, and fingering a switchblade in its pocket, waiting around the corner for me to walk by unawares.

Too much metaphor?

The star musician from my last question is the wonderful Jade, who, it appears, played just about every instrument there was in her high school band. There were a couple of clarinetists (yours truly included), too. And stringed instruments were the wishes of most: people want to learn --- or are learning --- banjo, guitar and cello. As for myself, I've wanted to be a drummer since I was, maybe, 8. I have a picture of myself one Christmas morning, in my "mini-dress" gown and white go-go boots, banging on my new drum set. I still want to learn to play.

Today's query: Who is your favorite comedian?

The Headache trumped The Knitting the last couple of days, so there's nothing on that front. Those who asked about the animals in the last post: Rupert is the Pekingese/Bulldog, and Gable is the Extraordinarily Gorgeous Cat. The Latter has no use whatsoever for the Former. And yet, Gable positively adores Jessie, our big Retriever mix. I don't know if it's a size thing, or that Gable just doesn't appreciate Rupert's, uh, special appeal (he's no Einstein, this one) ---- but he has never had any time for, nor patience with, him. I do believe that is as near to one another as I've ever seen them without hearing Gable's unmistakable guttural growl.

And, to end on a sad note, Hannah's hamster, Chip, died yesterday. She was determined to get him to the Vet, and we took him, just in case, but it was too late. He was pretty old, I think, for a hamster. Very mellow little guy, too. It would be sad enough on its own, but yesterday was also the day my husband died.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Six, Six --- Well, You Know. . .

Ah, the first gardenia of the season. How I love, love the smell. Soon, too soon, there'll be so many blooms, I won't be able to keep up with them. But every room in the house will have at least one bunch.

One of my sick headache days, made better by a very nice thank you from Sarah, my Knitters' Tea Swap spoilee. My package arrived in France safely, and she seemed to enjoy all its contents. I have been so lucky with these swaps, almost always getting people that were fun to spoil, and, more important, fun to get to know. She is no exception. And, oh, does she have an adorable son!

As the head rules the body today, not much in the way of personal or professional accomplishment. Just trying not to make any sudden, nausea-inducing moves.

Thanks for answering the last question --- reds, blues, greens, purples --- people look good in lots of colors! For today: What musical instrument have you always wanted to play?

And, finally, if these two can be this near one another without a hissing pawfight breaking out, there might be hope for all of us yet :

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Well, now, it seems most of you eat the healthy-type cereals! Good for you all. I must confess, when I think of "cereal," I think of Cap'n Crunch back in the old days, when it was really sweet. Quisp had sort of the same taste, if I remember correctly. The Cap'n Crunch that's out there now doesn't taste like it used to. The closest thing I've found is Oh's, which, by the way, is the favorite of Jamba Junkie Katrina!

We've had some rain in the last couple of days, so the heat has abated a little. It was quite nice late yesterday afternoon: I took my capelet out with me to work on, sitting on the deck, while letting the dogs sniff about. We have these lizards every year, I think they're anoles, if anoles can change color. At least one skitters out of the way every time we open the door to go out, and Jessie speeds after the sound. Rupert, bless him, just sees that Jessie is excited about something, and follows her. Then, when he's in the yard, he realizes he doesn't know what's going on. So he usually just sits down. He's a trip.

Back to school tomorrow. This is a full week, then 2 class days next, then Finals. I wrote the Final yesterday --- have to type and copy it tomorrow when I can use the school's ink and paper.

And, since the June Project Spectrum color is blue --- apparently, I am indigo!

You Are Indigo
Of all the shades of blue, you are the most funky, unique, and independent.
Expressing yourself and taking a leap of faith has always been easy for you.

What Color Blue Are You?

My current projects are every color (the afghan), peach (the capelet) and purple/gray/silver (toddler socks.) I'd better find something for the blue assignment.

And on colors: What color looks best on you?

Friday, June 02, 2006

Reality Check

Do you know how hard it is to get time on the computer when you have two children at home all day? If they aren't on it, one of them is on the telephone, making the Internet moot. (Yes, we're still on dial-up. But we have running water and inside plumbing!) And, as much as I love Free Cell, you can only play for so long. . .

So I haven't been able to show you my first Secret Pal package. Ta-Da! Bright, sunny needles, some pretty Blatt yarn in blues and grays and white, a pattern which said yarn and needles fit perfectly, the yarn requirements pamphlet (a godsend), some hand lotion, and one of the Quotable Magnets that I really like. This one says "always make new mistakes." Thank you, SP! A nice intro!

I have officially given up on the mohair poncho. Though it was pretty, something about it just didn't suit me. So today, while Briton and I watched an MST3K ("Overdrawn at the Memory Bank"), I folded it up into a cute little bag. Very pleased with myself, I am. I'd show it to you, but I think I'm going to send it to my One Skein Pal. So, on the needles right now: the Scrap Afghan and a feather-and-fan-type pullover cape in yummy peach cotton sent by my last Secret Pal, Bethanie.

It has rained here today, thankfully, as the heat has been oppressive. For me, at least. I have, I swear, been trimming grass at night when I take out the dogs. There are a couple of streetlights nearby that give me vision, and it has been too uncomfortable for me to do it during the day.

Oh --- a little June thing for you, dear readers --- a question an entry. Today: What is your favorite kind of cereal?