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I Continue To Start And Never, Ever Finish

Stolen from limedragon:


You're The Guns of August!
by Barbara Tuchman
Though you're interested in war, what you really want to know is what causes war. You're out to expose imperialism, militarism, and nationalism for what they really are. Nevertheless, you're always living in the past and have a hard time dealing with what's going on today. You're also far more focused on Europe than anywhere else in the world. A fitting motto for you might be "Guns do kill, but so can diplomats."
Take the Book Quiz at the Blue Pyramid.

Hmm. That sounds sort of like me. Except for the interest in war, imperialism, militarism and interest in Europe. It is however, a great title. And calendar appropriate!

Blog_pix_596 Wow. In no way is that yarn that blindingly bright. It's a lovely muted red in Rowan Wool Cotton and the pattern is  Elizabeth I from Tudor Roses. (Golden Gate is on a time out.) I took it with me when I went with my mother for her temporal artery biopsy (she has, presumably, temporal arteritis) but because she's on Plavix for her stents last May, predisone for the temporal arteritis for the last 3 weeks and the surgeon didn't think the biopsy was all that conclusive to begin with, she didn't have the biopsy. I'm happy about that. I was worried, as I could clearly see when I got home and realized that my gauge tightened up considerably while we were in the waiting room. Hopefully it's not going to skew the piece because I am not reknitting it.

Yet.

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There was a widely bruited-about statistic reported last week, stating that 1 in 4 Americans did not read a single book last year. Clearly, we don’t fall into that category, but . . . how many of our friends do? Do you have friends/family who read as much as you do? Or are you the only person you know who has a serious reading habit?

Hmm. One of my girlfriends will read anything anyone gives her - she apologizes that it's fluff, but considering her life, she needs the fluff. My brother & sister in law probably read more than I do. My parents read (my dad has his books stashed in the medicine cabinet). I think most read at least one book last year, if not considerably more.

Look what I won from Bridget! Blog_pix_595


Aprons, A Horrid Seamline, & A Month of Booking Through Thursday

First: The Horrid Seam:

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Ack. Although maybe I'll just frog it back a bit and see if I can fix it. I might be that I fooled around with how I was picking up the stitches.......or it might be knit flat. In any case I WILL PREVAIL.

I hope. It sucks, doesn't it. I know, I know. I'm frogging it. [sigh]

Check out all these aprons we found packed away! They were my great grandmothers, my grandmothers and I think a couple of my mom's so they'd date back to probably around the 40's? This one I thought was really cute and then realized it's probably really Blog_pix_581_edited_2racist.

Apron Two & Three:

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Aprons Four & Five

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and more:

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and even more:

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Btt2 August 9th Do you have multiple copies of any of your books?
If so, why? Absent-mindedness? You love them that much? First Editions for the shelf, but paperbacks to read? If not, why not? Not enough space? Not enough money? Too sensible to do something so foolish?

Yes, I've picked up my share of doubles over the years. Absent mindedness, books being re-issued with different covers (I hate that) and there were more than a few doubles of knitting books (contest coming up one of these days) and a LOT paperbacks by Jack Higgins and Louis L'Amour particularly. First editions for the shelf but paperbacks to read? I'm sure this'll horrify anyone who likes pristine books but books were meant to be read, not hoarded. OTOH, they're not meant to tear up either.

August 16th One book at a time? Or more than one? If more, are they different types/genres? Or similar? (We’re talking recreational reading, here—books for work or school don’t really count since they’re not optional.)

One book at a time. If I have more than one going, I've pretty much given up on the other.

August 23rd When growing up did your family share your love of books? If so, did one person get you into reading? And, do you have any family-oriented memories with books and reading? (Family trips to bookstore, reading the same book as a sibling or parent, etc.)

My whole family are readers, however the one book oriented memory I remember with complete clarity is the summer I turned 16. We were on a two month road trip from CA across Canada to MI, camping in National Parks, staying with relatives.

My brother and I in the back seat, when we weren't squabbling or singing "We are marching to the yellow gold, the yellow gold, the yellow gold. We are marching to the yellow gold......." (which for some reason drove my father mad ;) we had our noses buried in a book. (We might have played Crazy 8's too. We played one game we dragged out something like 8 hours). My father, with *his infinite patience was pointing out historic sites and/or scenery. I mumbled something along the lines of "Whatever" and he grabbed my book out of my hand and tossed it into the river we were crossing, huffing something about "......historic scenery.......once in a lifetime opportunity......you WILL enjoy and SEE these beautiful sights.......nose buried in a book........gah......."

Final Hezekiah shot:

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Cat tree? I'm not sitting in a cat tree.

*Ha.


Knitting Hates Me

It's sad when your obsessive hobby hates you. The knit on sleeves are leaving gappy holes in the pick up stitches and I did take a picture to see if you all think I should frog the whole sleeve and knit 'em flat & sew 'em on or frog back & see if I can fix the gappy holes somehow (although I tried at the time...) but evidently when your hobby hates you, your camera hates you too. Hmph.

Oh dang. That means I can't post the pictures of the aprons that were my grandmothers and great grandmothers and, I a few of my mom's. Until I get batteries for the camera anyway. Okay, text heavy today, picture heavy later.

Then I pick up an ongoing scarf and actually figure out where I am in the pattern (row 4!) and knit just enough rows to get the whole pattern and stitch count completely screwed up. I frogged it. (Okay, it's true, it was a little too wide and was probably going to run out of yarn & get frogged anyway, but that's completely beside the point.)

At least I still have reading.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Lost Constitution by William Martin. It follows the exploits of Peter Fallon, a rare book expert and his girlfriend Evangeline, a travel writer. *This time out they're chasing one of the first annotated rough drafts of the Constitution. The story follow them in real time and flashes back alternating chapters from August 1786 forward, following the document up in line. It was wonderfully convoluted through the heirs and twists and turns of life, all the way up to who knew who and what and when to the present. Ostensibly they're working for Harriet Holden, a congressperson who's making waves to repeal the Second Amendment, much to the disgust of survivalists, a religious empire and a network magnate. But it's so much more than that.

A few quotes from the book: "But this is America. In America, we get up in the morning, we go to work and we solve our problems."

"Hate the sin, but love the sinner. Especially when she has six million listeners every afternoon. But back to you. If you were in crisis, have you considered what would happen if you were not to survive it?" Peter didn't like the sound of that. "Are you threatening me?"Jarvis laughed. "Why would I threaten you? If not for a chance meeting at the Mount Washington Hotel, I would never have laid eyes on you before."  And finally,

He understood her. She never wondered if what he really understood was how to find her buttons and push them. J

*This time! There are two previous books featuring Peter Fallon, Back Bay (written in 1979?!) and Harvard Yarn Yard (2003). (Sorry. Knitter here. Anything that starts with y-a-r should end with an "n"). I'm looking forward to reading their previous exploits but my. That's a 24 year gap between the first & the 2nd. Good thing the 3rd is only a mere four years.

Dolce Bellezza had this meme (that I am stealing): The game is SCATTERGORIES ... and it's harder than it looks! Here are the rules:
* Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the questions.
* They MUST be real places, names, things ... NOTHING made up!
* If you can't think of anything, skip it.
* You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question.
* If your name happens to start with the same letter as mine, sorry, but you can't use my answers!

My name: Carrie

  1. Famous Singer/Band: Counting Crows
  2. Four letter word: Cash
  3. Street: Castro St
  4. Color: Crimson
  5. Gifts/Presents: Chocolate
  6. Vehicle: Civic
  7. Things in a Souvenir Shop: Coffee cups
  8. Boy Name: Charles
  9. Girl Name: Catherine
  10. Movie Title:  Clear & Present Danger (or, y'know, Carrie)
  11. Drink: Coffee
  12. Occupation: CEO
  13. Celebrity: Carmine Giovinazzo
  14. Magazine: Cosmopolitan
  15. U.S. City: Cinncinnati
  16. Pro Sports Teams: Cardinals
  17. Fruit: Cantaloupe
  18. Reason for Being Late for Work: Car trouble
  19. Something You Throw Away: cartons
  20. Things You Shout: Come here!
  21. Cartoon Character: Argh. Wiley Coyote. Cinderella?

And uncharacteristically, I'm tagging. Bev, KSD, Elspeth, Pixie Girl and Jennyellen. (Psst! Elspeth LOVES to be tagged. Seriously!)


Title? Uhhhhh, stuff.

Jen of JenLa got one for her birthday and I immediately wanted one too. So I ordered a Jordana Paige satchel for my birthday and it came the very next day! I tried to artistically arrange it so you could also see the sleeve progress on GG and minimize the paper towel roll in the background. Lovely. It's perfect. I can fit a book and a project in it and everything else. I might have to register it as a lethal weapon, but that's true of all my purses. Blog_pix_572_edited

This is what my brother sent me. Hezekiah was really cute with it. She was doing her "questing paw" at it but couldn't quite reach the shelf. Later that night she managed to get up close enough to check it out. I'd post the pix I took but since they all came out as black sheets, I thought I wouldn't bother. Bad camera. (I'm never going to admit it's me).

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Blog_pix_485_2 Blog_pix_514This is a before and after shot of the living room.... what is that draped over the easy chair? Huh.

Saw Pierre Marivaux's Triumph of Love at Cal Shakes last night. Great cast, mean spirited play that sells itself as a fairy tale. A princess falls in love with the true heir to her throne (her uncle usurped it & died, her father then inherited it and from him, she did) who has been spirited away as a child and raised to hate her. On the path to marrying him and restoring him to the throne (I wonder if he'd been ugly or didn't want her, she'd've still handed it over) she seduces the couple (brother/sister) that have raised him, more or less to buy time to seduce him. I've got to read the play.

I also picked up a lariat necklace from CraftyLily that I showed off to all the knitters sans projects at the play last night. I was KIPping. I'm going pretty good on the knit on sleeve, just cross your fingers that it fits.

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"You want me to do what with the yarn?"


Eight Centuries Later

the ribbon scarf is done. Blog_pix_544  If I'd had any idea at all that it'd take so. dang. long to cast the stupid thing off, I'm not sure I'd've knit it. Seriously, I think it took me since last Wednesday until Sunday? To cast off? Gah. I used the double cast off method (the last stitch goes back on the needle and is knit it together with the next to go stitch) just because it looked nicer but man, it was something like 3200 stitches on the final row. Blog_pix_547_edited_2 Wow, that picture is really blurry.   I ran out of the one novelty yarn I was using to bind off aboout 300 stitches before the end, but found a different Tahki ribbon yarn that was mostly the same colors. I actually like it a little better, but NO WAY am I going back and redoing it.

I was squired all around the Bay Area over the weekend for my birthday (Tuesday, the 14th) . We did the boutiques, bookstores, bakeries and the beach in Half Moon Bay (also the yarn store but they didn't have the yarn I saw there a year ago that I decided to buy this time around....go figure.) BFF fell in love with Touch Me and Sinsation yarn......there was this gorgeous scarf made out of Sinsation and something else on display. She crochets so she's halfway to knitting.

Sunday A & I mostly just gazed at the water from the Benicia Wharf and gabbed. I was shopped out. The Benicia Knitting Circle wasn't open, darn it.

Fashion Knit in Walnut Creek had a baby Sheba/Hezekiah (small gray cat) in the store yesterday but not today. Darn! Today I was all prepared to take a picture and yesterday I was too busy petting the kitty to think of it.

"What cat tree? I don't see a cat tree. Honestly, I have no idea what you're talking about half the time....." Blog_pix_523_edited

But she did jump from the bench into the top perch last night. Yeah, right before getting out and walking to the other side of the windowsill to look outside. She wasn't that attached to the open window when she had huge pieces of furniture to sprawl on.

My mom emailed me this: (this was so Sheba.)

How To Give A Cat A Pill

  • 1- Pick up cat and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow
  • 2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.
  • 3. Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.
  • 4. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm, holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.
  • 5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse from garden.
  • 6. Kneel on floor with cat wedge! d firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.
  • 7. Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.
  • 8. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.
  • 9. Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink 1 beer to take taste away. Apply Band-Aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.
  • 10. Retrieve cat from neighbor's shed. Get another pill. Open another beer. Place cat in cupboard, and close door on to neck, to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with elastic band.
  • 11. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges. Drink beer. Fetch bottle of scotch. Pour shot, drink. Apply cold compress to cheek ! and chec k records for date of last tetanus shot. Apply whiskey compress to cheek to disinfect. Toss back another shot. Throw Tee shirt away an! d fetch new one from bedroom.
  • 12. Call fire department to retrieve the damn cat from across the road. Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil wrap.
  • 13. Tie the little bastard's front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table, find heavy-duty pruning gloves from shed. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of filet steak. Be rough about it. Hold head vertically and pour 2 pints of water down throat to wash pill down.
  • 14. Consume remainder of scotch. Get spouse to drive you to the emergency room, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call furniture shop on way home to order new table.
  • 15. Arrange for SPCA to collect mutant cat from hell and call local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters.

How To Give A Dog A Pill

  • 1. Wrap it in bacon
  • 2. Toss it in the air

I'll leave you with a pirate ship to sail away on.......Blog_pix_546_edited


Bobby Brady?!

How concerned should I be (since it's pretty much my profession) that I can't seem to add a column and get the same number twice today? Does it have anything to do with having to enter those horrid little spam codes eleventy billion times on comment screens? (I understand the need for them, I just hate them. Possibly because I have to enter them eleventy billion times.)

Found at Educating Petunia:

You Are Bobby Brady
Ultra competitive, you will do almost anything to win. From pull ups to pool sharking, you're very talented.
And while everyone is aware of your victories, they still (affectionately) consider you to be a little brat!

Okay, that's just weird. For one thing, while I might cop to being competitive, it's not like I'm all that good at anything. I blame it on question #3. First I'm Anne Rice and now I'm Bobby Brady.

I'm beginning to question the wisdom of Blog Quizzes.

Blog_pix_498_edited The picture is of Hezekiah hanging her arm over the edge of her ex cat tree, lounge-style, which is her favorite way to lounge.   

Even if there hasn't been much talk about TV, there's still massive viewing going on. Current addictions: The Closer (wasn't that proposal from Fritz perfect?), Eureka, Burn Notice, Dr Who & Psych. Well, also the daily addictions: Designed to Sell, Knitty Gritty and Uncommon Threads (Uncommon Threads is fueling my crochet ambitions. Drew Emborsky was on Tuesday? last week? and I'm all squealing like I know him and don't just read his blog) and mindless flipping to random shows. I watched the Contra Costa Library series on our local channel late one night (awesome for an unending purl row) about Obesity and Children. They don't play outside anymore and no one walks to school. Okay that and supersizing and neighborhood schools being miles away and sponsored by Fat Food. I mean, fast food. And electronics. Probably global warming too, they threw it in the lecture, but I wasn't paying enough attention to figure out how it fit in.

I've tried to watch Saving Grace, but I just can't get into it. Last week making out by the dead deer they just shot -  before the opening credits, eww. I'm very unhappy with The Dead Zone for killing off Walt, I don't know if the show is good or not this season, I quit watching it. I really liked that Walt and Johnny had an adult relationship. Oh wow. I completely forgot about The 4440 this season. Any good? I taped The Company last Sunday but haven't watched it yet. It's got a great cast.

I caught Damages last night. Rats, I meant to watch this when it premiered. I liked it, but I couldn't quite follow what was going on. It's another one with a great, great cast. Glenn Close. Ted Danson. Nestor Serrano (ever since Witchblade, I look for him.)

Real Andrews, which is why I started watching in the first place last night. Taggert! From General Hospital! Never mind that my decades addiction ended about....wow, a decade ago. I still consider General Hospital family.

This is a pic of where I keep the short dpn's, highlighters, uh, pencils, my pink pen, scissors....etc....etc.....Mmip_012

And THIS is what Birdsong sent me! For second place in her contest. Awesome. A cute kitty card - a Black Sheep Lantern Moon measuring tape and a very cool project bag! It's made something like a jewelry holder, lots of little pockets but do you see that very cool knitting fabric? And the spools at the end of the draw strings? Thank you, Birdsong! Mmip_001

And this is what I'm working on. I WILL finish, hopefully in the next couple of days, but yowza, there's a lot of stitches. It's eating skeins like.....Dan Ackroyd must be eating doughnuts.Copy_of_blog_pix_506_2

Mary Tudor last night was almost easier in comparison to seventy kabillion purl stitches. (One row, Marina. But one more row than before! And amazingly enough, I found the highlight cross off chart. Which is why I knit the row, it seemed destined. So, three rows this month so far! Cinch to finish her by Sept. Blog_pix_027

Gratuitious Carmel Beach/Sophie picture.


Poetry For No Reason

Marina Ivanova Tsvetaeva / December 12, 1923

You who loved me with the falseness
Of truth - and the truth of lies.
You who loved me-beyond
Anything!-Over the edge!
You who loved me beyond
Time-Right hand, wave!
You love me no more:
The truth in five words.

I love that poem.

Found surfing around:Programmable Robots - WHAT year? exerpt: Yet the trail doesn't stop there. It led me even further back past the automata of the Byzantine court and ancient Rome to ancient Alexandria. It was here that Hero, one of the greatest Greek engineers, constructed a programmable robot that pre-dates da Vinci's by 1500 years. Its control system turns out to be unique; more like knitting than a computer circuit. Nevertheless, there is clear evidence linking Hero's design to the programming languages used in, say, Honda's latest humanoid robot Asimo.

Ha. Knitting is everywhere, which, considering its mathematical properties, isn't all that surprising.

Joan at The FairyGodknitter is having a comment contest, the deadline being August 13th, her birthday. Go comment!

I'd show knitting pictures and progress but there isn't any. Well any discernable progress. Queueing my projects I've noticed that my WIP's are.....old. Old-old. They've had birthdays old. I've got to stop starting new projects and frogging them with wild abandon. 

Books_by_color_2 I hopscotched around on the book reviews of the books read last month and missed my absolute favorite:

The Secret Lives of People In Love by Simon Van Booy. Short stories written with evocative charm. I love his turn of phrase and his imagery. Stories with sentences like [and here I just opened the book to a random page because every page has something as beautiful as this is] "I cannot walk farther because something sweeps through me - something so sad it renders the world broken and perfect all in the same feeling." I was always aware that I was reading, his choice of words conjures up visions outside the story, but at the same time, I was also being told a story. No matter how small the story, a grief struck young man and his father, they just.....reverberate. I can't think of a better word.

I read the library's copy of the book, then bought my own copy. (I found this book through Bookfool's review. Thanks, Bookfool!)

.......[skipping books I've already talked about].....  Sacred Cows by Karen Olson. I enjoyed the angle of Annie being a journalist investigating and her relationships. Her cop boyfriend and the Boy From High School was a little awkward, but I suppose it would be. I take it either journalists are still the hard drinkers they were in The Old Days or Annie needs rehab. I picked up Secondhand Smoke (the second in the series) at the library last night. (Reviewed & Recommended by Musings of a Bookish Kitty)

Urban Shaman by C E Murphy, (Chris of Stumbling Over Chaos read & reviewed) Another hardboiled dame. Joanne Walker (or is she?) has a near death experience and her world will never be the same. (Which is cheating a bit because things were going a little haywire before that - spotting a damsel in distress from an airplane? Yup. She did.) Kind of a tough girl version of Charles de Lint. She's a police mechanic but circumstances force her into wearing the badge for real and battling Herne the Hunter and the Wild Hunt of Celtic lore. Another book where I liked both the heroine and the people around her (you know, along with the storyline and the plot).

Time's Children by Rebecca Ore. I'd probably like this book a lot better if it didn't forcibly remind me of Kage Baker's Mendoza series. Clearly there are differences, but that those controlling the time travel inherited the time travel mechanism from the veiled future is the same premise. Although I'll see. I'm only about a quarter of the way through it.

Submissions are due August 10th for the Book Carnival - The theme this month is Surviving the Dog Days of Summer: Books That Take Your Mind Off the Heat.


Honda Civics Are No Good For Hauling

....cat trees, at least. I didn't get a picture of either being carted around and I totally should have. The first cat tree was too big to fit into the trunk properly, so I drove home slowly with the trunk open (the store is like, a block or so away, all residential streets). The second cat tree turned out to be shaped pretty much completely like the bottom half of the cat tree I couldn't get into my trunk, so I shoved it into the back seat. Then I either needed to rip off the arms of the doors...........or leave the passenger side door open. Guess which one I chose?

Hez got a new cat tree because my darling graceless klutz fell off the tiny perch twice that I know of and tended to avoid climbing it. She liked to have the blinds up so she could use the window sill to get into it.  Not exactly what I was looking for in a cat tree, y'know? On the other hand.......today she was playing with the dangling birdie and fell through the opening in the top perch.......so it might just be her. Blog_pix_494

What? I can't believe you told them about that!

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Booking Through Thursday

  1. Have you ever written an author a fan letter?
  2. Did you get an answer?
  3. Did it spark a conversation? A meeting?

(And, sure, I suppose that e-mails DO count . . . but I’d say no to something like a message board on which the author happens to participate.)

This one is easy. No. No. And no. Evidently I don't write fan mail. I barely write thank you notes.

I finally finished Trollope's The Warden last night. The plot device pits clergy privileges of benefices (revenues that went with the parishes etc) and "modern social awareness". (Modern at the time anyway). Septimus Harding, a lovely minister much more inclined to play music is called on the carpet by his prospective son-in-law about his 800 pounds a year benefice that he receives managing a charity that takes care of 12 indigent old men.

It's a character study, but it's pretty broadly drawn. It was fun to see Charles Dickens as the character Mr. Popular Sentiment in the novel, sometimes I forget that they were contemporary in their own time. The relationships between Harding and his prospective son in law, his daughters, his actual son in law, the laywers and the church are what really drives the story. It's kind of lovely, pastoral and days-gone-by feeling, but it rings true nonetheless.   This was the first of the Baretshire novels, I'm looking forwrad to reading the rest and seeing how the family gets on.

There is some knitting news, but alas, I can't post it until I've given it. I've been working on the sleeve of the Golden Gate and every time I think I've got it going, I get off count. I keep switching between dpn's and circs, neither works out really well. I suppose if I ever just sat down and knit the darn thing, it'd go easier.

The house is being slowly pulled together, but clearly I CANNOT buy any more yarn or books. Unless I move to a bigger house.

What with bridges collapsing and other bad things happening, I want you all to BE CAREFUL OUT THERE! And may you all come home safe every night.