At last! The Longest Ten Weeks of the Year Are Done

  Yay! Yay! And whew. 

Blog pix 1979 Another view from Mt Diablo - I think I was only 2200 ft up. 

Blog pix 1955I'm on the final border of my Curve of Pursuit!! Woot!(That's not my CoP, that's Monika's.)

I'm partially frogging/redesigning my Lace Edged Elegance - if a pattern calls for cotton - there might be a good reason. Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Wool is beautiful and feels wonderful but it's not a warm weather sweater and short sleeves are, ah, dumb, in the cold weather we've been having. It's getting long sleeves as we speak and I'm trying to think of what to do with the inset square neckline. A ribbed split collar, maybe.

All My Children & One Life to Live - cancelled! I'm in shock. I don't actually watch them anymore - me and apparently hordes of other former fans - but I was glued to them for a.......hmm. Couple of decades. Yowza. I'll still spot a cast member on other shows and squeal like a cousin made a TV appearance. They were family.

I'm at peace with Detroit 187 most likely getting cancelled - I love the show but the numbers are abysmal - it's been pre-empted umpteen times and the replacements did better in the time slot - ouch. It was quirky but compelling. Now I'm really hoping that Chicago Code makes it. New favorite. (Warning: The site talks but it took a minute).

Chris Jericho should win Dancing With The Stars this season. Maybe Romeo. Maybe.....

The Sex Life of My Aunt by Mavis Cheek was.....eh. Dillys is having her adulterous dalliance and adulterers and mid life crises evidently bore me but Mavis Cheek's writing kept me going. There was just enough personality and truth to the book to keep it somewhat engaging.

Time Spike by Eric Flint & Marilyn Kosmatka was his typical fun romp with semi-serious overtones - his out-of-place worlds - this time, a maximum security prison, conquistadores, Cherokees walking the Trail of Tears with the soldiers on duty and the Mound people of Missouri all end up in the Cretaceous period. It's pretty simplistic but they do try to address the wrongs that have been taken for granted over the years.

Hez sez "Who are you again?"


Monday Musings, Tuesday Twitterings, Wednesday Witticisms, Thurs-- oh never mind

Our library system offers ebook downloads. There's even a nice little app for it too.

So far I've spent untold hours trying to get an audiobook to freaking download.

So far, in vain.

Evidently it doesn't support WMA files but only MP3's. So why won't my MP3's download? And isn't the app supposed to support the WMAs? WTH is a WMA anyway? No, don't tell me. At this point, I do not care. Not that it matters, I have something like 400 unlistened to podcasts to listen to and 12ish hour work days for the next week but it's the principle.

Blog pix 1765 Elizabeth I is up to the armscye decreases on the second haf! w00t!No pix, they all came out looking yellowed and wonky. Fluorescent lights are not kind to Hempathy.

I managed to suck it up and weave up 3/4's of the middle back of the Tailored Jacket before I decided that it was way too much seaming and too darn hot outside - what happened to my nice cold weather? 90 today and 94 tomorrow? I liked the temp in the 70's. I need to move.

You can see how carefully I wove in the ends while I was knitting. I know you're supposed to block the pieces first and then seam but I made it intentionally too big so I could full it a bit for warmth and a cheat custom fit. It would probably be a good thing for the seams to shrink about the same amount as the pieces.

People have alternately been amusing and annoying me. Mostly annoying me. Learn. To. Drive. People. If you're lost, don't slow down and look for the address from the far left lane!!! Don't dive across three lanes (cutting me off) then dither about making the light so that we both miss it. It's possible that it's hormonal but it's also possible I'm going to smack a total stranger in the head with a 2x4.

Adrienne Martini's SweaterQuest: My Year of Knitting Dangerously was interesting. I knit Mary Tudor and I didn't find it all that dangerous. She spent half the book questioning if she was knitting an Alice Starmore if she didn't use the wool Alice did originally, something that never occurred to me. If I changed the style (pullover to cardigan) or the shaping (waist shaped and set in sleeves) and used her charts, I'd still call it an Alice Starmore. Have you seen her colorways? Amazing. Now Alice might take one horrified look at the sweater and disavow it, but that's her perogative. Adrienne also seems to dislike her for her ferocious protection of her name and brand but even that makes sense to me, if slightly counterproductive. It's a cold cruel world out there. Filled with nice strangers. (And the occasional one with a 2x4 indentation).

Blog pix 1760 The Two Lives of Charlotte Merryweather by Alexandra Potter was cute, if a total trifle. Thirty one year old control freak Charlotte has a chance encounter with her 21 year old self over the course of a week (or possibly more, I admit it, I started skimming it when I realized it was basically Charlotte dithering over her choice of men and career, as if at 31 the whole game is over. Hardly). She tries to protect her younger self from bad decisions, her younger self teaches her who she was.

One Step Behind by Henning Mankell is a later outing in the Wallender series. I had just caught Kenneth Branaugh's version on PBS the night before I picked this up on Gale's reccomendation. Nice and psychologically driven.

Warrior's Don't Cry: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock's Central High by Melba Pattillo Beals. Searing memoir is right. I've just started this so I'll say more on it later, but I'm only a few pages in and her life is making me cry in both rage and fear and sympathy. I cannnot believe what she and eight other teenagers had to endure just to go to a good high school in 1957. Unbelievable. Adults. Parents. Teachers. Students. Not to mention what she, her family and every person of color had to deal with on a daily basis.  I hope we've come a long, long, long way from there.

 


Cowell Smokestack, July Book Round Up, Pt Reyes Seashore

The Cowell Smokestack is no more. I'll never be able to find my house from Mt Diablo again.

Blog pix 1218 The demoliton, beginning, middle and end. Whoops, no end picture. Between not having my camera and the iPhone scrambling the pictures (why does it do that? Why? It's really annoying).Blog pix 1220 (Hey! I found my camera cord! Yippee!)  

The end will come. I promise.

Hmm. Oh, the June book update. Is it really already July? I've got to start writing these as I finish the books.

Regions of Germany by Dieter Bose (L) 2005. I picked up this book as a direct result of reading 1632 by Eric Flint - I know nothing about the 17th Century and less about the German provinces.

Margaret Pole: Loyalty, Lineage and Leadership by Hazel Pierce (B) 2003 273p. A girl can only go so long before returning to the 16th Century and England.  Margaret Pole, a woman who had more right to the crown than Henry VIII did, whose brother was executed when Catherine of Aragon came from Spain to marry Arthur, still formed a great and lasting friendship with Catherine, was a loyal friend and godmother to Mary, Henry & Catherine's daughter (and not say, Mary Tudor, Henry's sister that my gorgeous Alice Starmore sweater was inspired by), a landowner and power in her own right (due to the death of her husband, a marriage that for all intents and purposes seemed to be quite happy). If she hadn't tangled w/Henry VIII over property rights - 15 years worth! She might not have made herself quite so disagreeable in his eyes and ultimately sent to the Tower and executed as a dowager of 67. Maybe. Henry VIII strikes me as easy to offend, especially when you have something he wants.

Blog pix 1222 Dissolution by CJ Sansom (HB) (M) 2004, 400p I've had this on my TBR shelves since 2004 (hence the hardback bit) but I was disappointed. Matthew Shardlake isn't as smart as he thinks he is and despite all his own flaws and circumstances, only too willing to believe the mores of his times.

Mallory's Oracle by Carol O'Connell (L)(M) 1994 286p My new favorite heroine, Kathy Mallory is rescued from the streets at the age of ten (she says eleven) by Louis Markowitz, New York City cop. His wife immediately falls in love with the child and they raise her as their own. But Mallory (as she insists everyone, including Louis, call her the day she becomes a policewoman) has been badly emotionally damaged as a child. (Not physically, of course. She's the requisite angelic blonde with amazing computer skills and physical prowress.) The series follows her as we discover what happened to her as a child (not in this book) and how she gradually grows a soul. (Website has spoilers.)

Blog pix 1230 Paradise by A L Kennedy (L)(N) 2004 286p. Wow, what a wallop. Amy of Knit Think (whoops, wrong reviewer! Sorry! [name deleted] Ex Libris had posted a review and I had to read it, if only because of the quote she cited.  We follow Hannah, an unrepentant drunk. Her justification, her story, is both mesmerizing and flat out horrifying. Why she searches for oblivion, how she deals with the day to day reality of frequent blackouts - her view that reality is a story that she tells herself, oh, it has to be read to be understood. But that said, I feel that I was given a tour, an apalling but thorough tour, through the mind of an alcoholic.

Breakup by Dana Stabenow (M) 1997 242p. Back into the arms of Kate Shugak. It took me a bit to process the death in the previous outing but it was handled well. Breakup, aka, Spring, a time of new beginnings in Alaska, or maybe more of the same amplified. Kate has more on her plate than usual, what with two bear encounters in the first few pages, a plane crash and a body turning up in the thaw a scant three miles from her homestead.

Blog pix 1233 The Man Who Cast Two Shadow by Carol O'Connell (L)(M) 1996 336p. Mallory on the hunt for the killer of a woman at first thought to be Mallory herself. The act that set the murder into motion would have never occurred to me so the murder was a mystery until the denoument. Don't fall in love with Nose, the cat.

Killing Critics Carol O'Connell (L)(M) 1997 400p. Oooh, I thought that Nose was heartbreaking (albeit thankfully ambiguous). The murder victim and the eventual........well, not the killer. The killer was awful but the eventual discovery of the...accomplice, I suppose, was heartrending.

Jumper by Stephen Gould (L))(SF) 1992 352p. I've got to pick up the DVD, I have a feeling I'll like Hayden Christiansen better as Davy Rice than Stephen Gould's Davy came across in my imagination. A wee bit too weepy and clingy but it's not as if the boy doesn't have good reason. And oh, how I wish I had his ability.

Blog pix 1239 The Stars Are My Destination by Alfred Bester (L)(SF) 1956 197p. I didn't love this one as much as I thought I would either but it sure was a wild entertaining yet thought provoking ride.

The Uncrowned King: The Sensation Rise of William Randolph Hearst (L)(B) 2009 466p. Provincial mouse that I am, I expected this to take place in San Francisco and San Simeon. It appears the boy had a life before and after the Examiner - one as a newspaper editor to be reckoned with in New York with his recently purchased Journal. He went up against such luminaries as Joseph Pulitzer and Charles Anderson Dana. I learned that I knew nothing about yellow journalism or the Spanish American War. I didn't even realize the Spanish American War was over Cuba. Gah.

Blog pix 1154_edited Death Masks by Jim Butcher (L)(SF) 2003 378p. Harry Dresden! I knew I hadn't read Jim Butcher's last Harry book, Turn Coat, but I didn't realize I was missing three in the middle. This time out, Harry is facing a duel with a Count in the White Court, looking for the missing Shroud of Turin and tangling with various folks on both sides of Good Guy/Bad Guy.

Stone Angel by Carol O'Connell (L)(M) 1998 400p.  Mallory finally confronts the demons of her childhood and we find out what happened.

The Ministry of Pain by Dubravka Ugresic (L)(N) 2005 257p. Any book that starts with a poem from Marina Tsestaeva starts out on the right foot. It's an uncompromising look at Tanja Lucic, an emigre from the former Yugoslavic states, who has landed a teaching postition, and her students and their "new" life in Holland. Bleak, sure, but the author has an eye for phrasing and description.

Blog pix 1186 I'm sure you'll all be happy to know, California, land of sunshine and movie stars, is broke and will be issuing IOU's.

I'd like to throw out every last legislator, Republican and Democrat alike.

Dudes, it's not your party, it's your STATE.

We're stuck with an extra 3 billion dollars of debt, thanks to the missed budget deadline.

I love that the special election, when we told them to find the money someplace other than police and firefighters, the elderly and the children, they read as "Oh, the voters don't want to decide" and not "Morons, some things have to be spent".

I mean, of course, other than their nifty car allowances and per diems.

Oooh, this just in. State parks can revert back to Federal holdings if the state doesn't keep them open so Angel Island and the top of Mt Diablo will stay parks. Hurray for the Feds!

(pictures: Cowell Smokestack from the topBlog pix 1192 of Cowell Road, the view from the deck of the Pt Reyes Lodge, Pt Reyes beach, the trail to the Whale Watch at Pt Reyes Lighthouse, Point Reyes Lighthouse. Do you see that walkway down to it? THIRTY STORIES. Darn. It's not open on Tuesdays. It was Tuesday.)


(also pictured: the Trellis Lace washcloth and what Adrie calls my Fair Isle Finger Cot. See? Knitting. That's the stole, the stole that appears to be 50 inches wide. How long does that need to be to be a rectangle when it grows up?)

Hez says "This mouse looks tough but he sure is lazy. Is he a California legislator?"


Books, Socks and Cat

Books read in June May:

Silent in the Grave, Silent in the Sanctuary by Deanna Raybourn. (fiction) I really enjoyed the outings of Lady Julia Gray.It's hard not to love a book that begins with "To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband's dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor." Alas, the next book in the series won't be out until next year.

A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara Tuchman. (non fiction) It follows the Count of Courcy throughout his lifetime. Perfect timing to read about the 14th Century from the point of view of a French nobleman.

A Fool and His Money: Life in a Partitioned Town in 14th Century France by Ann Wroe. (non fiction) More of a close look at a town and townfolk of Rodez than the trial case she was ostensibly following but a fascinating look into the times and people. They felt like neighbors. Rodez is in southern France. (very roughly)

Labyrinth (fiction) by Kate Mosse. This takes place roughly in the same area as A Fool and His Money but here the characters were both stereotypical and capable of the most supreme acts of idiocy to keep the plot going. A plot that was better covered by The Da Vinci Code and I didn't think much of that book either.

Departures (speculative fiction/aka science fiction)by Harry Turtledove, a collection of short stories. I think my favorite one was the origin of the common cold.

Socks: Blog pix 872 Jaywalker(s)!  Why I decided to take a picture of just one foot....I have no idea. The shoes are why I was so hot to finish the socks, they needed handknit socks to wear correctly. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

  • Stats: Shepherd Sock in Irving Park, not quite two skeins. (from Amanda Cathleen in the August Birthday Swap)
  • Started: June 2007
  • Finished: June 2008. Probably not a reflection on the pattern. Who else hasn't knit a pair yet? There must be more of us. Well, you. Now. ;)
  • Fit: They fit really well but they are a bit loose in the ankle. There was limited pooling and the yarn striped quite nicely but better on one foot than the other. Between the camera and Typepad, they're frustrating my attempts to get another picture to show you so you'll have to take my word for it for now. The pattern is a lot of fun. Just enough to do to keep it entertaining but not so difficult it couldn't be a tote around project.

Cat: Hez hates me. First I stuff her into a box and leave her all day at the vet for torment and tribulations, then to add insult to injury, she has to take 2ml of antibiotics twice a day for ten days. We are on Day Two. Pray for me.

Blog pix 870_edited Hez sez "I will not pose nicely for you, you horrible excuse for caring companion."

Hmm. The book didn't either. Possibly it's the shakey cam I'm using. (Yes, my unsteady hands. Whatever happened to the days of point and shoot when you didn't have to freeze for 15 seconds?)


Maudlin Monday

TV: Anyone watch Mansfield Park on the Masterpiece Theater Jane Austen series last night? Anyone else have a hard time placing who the sister Maria was played by? The New Bionic Woman. Could not believe it.

I think I caught a glimpse of Adam from MI-5 in the crowd during the wedding scene.

Well. I think they caught the, ah flavor of the book.  I haven't read it and was basically flipping through the book last night double checking the scenes, it seemed to be a somewhat faithful adaption if hideously abridged, not that the nuances of Sir Thomas and Lady Bertram's fondness of Fanny came through. It seemed to be somewhat added to the end. But oh well. Not half bad. How did it stack up to the book if I'd actually read the book beforehand?

And, typically, there's another good show on during the Austen series timeslot, if an entirely different century and culture. Breaking Bad on AMC at 10pm Sunday night is pretty intense. It's an interesting compare and contrast of society of 1808 to 2008 (note: blogging license with the dates) if you watch them back to back. (That link is a clip, so be warned.)

Knitting-wise: Blog_pix_793

That would be the back of the super secret not-jinxed-yet cable cardigan and another preemie cap for the K3tog Preemie Cap drive. Yes! Another! I have finished multiple caps! As in, more than one, which is normally quite pathetic but I was having one unbelievably difficult time with the first one. 

Here's a better another shot of the back of the cardigan: Blog_pix_794 It's just fiddly enough to keep it interesting but easy enough to memorize. Even the shaping is easily done.

In Bad Parenting Cat news, I managed to squash Hezekiah under the automatic garage door on Saturday coming home from work. I'm fairly certain I only managed to pin her but it freaked me out and I don't think she was all that happy with it either. She immediately ran away from me into the back yard but considering it was dark and rainy, deigned to come into the house about an hour later. She's been hopping in and out of her cat tree and hasn't missed a meal yet, but she's still going to the vet later this afternoon. I keep thinking internal injuries or hairline fractures. And the guilt! The guilt! I feel so horrible.

Blog_pix_788_edited Mt Diablo as seen from Pine Hollow Rd last week. No snow now, but there was still some over the weekend!

I have recently discovered The World of Podcasts (love my iPhone!). Anyone have any favorites to recommend? I've subscribed to

  • Cast On
  • Sticks and Strings Knit Science
  • Dan Carlin's Hardcore History
  • Hot For Words
  • Berkeley Groks
  • The Math Factor
  • Stash & Burn

Blog_pix_765_edited Hez sez: "How could you?"  And "Check out the 24th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering."


2007 Statistics

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Statistics! Oh, I can hear the excitement. [Hmm. Sounds like crickets. Odd] Out of 81 books I started to read in 2007:

  • 53 were library books
  • I actually read 61 of them
  • 15 DNF
  • 5  'still' reading - 1968 by Mark Kurlansky, The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker, Madwoman in the Attic by Susan Grubar and Sandra Gilbert, The New Time Travelers by David Toomey and Books on Fire: The Destruction of Libraries Throughout History by Lucien X Polastron
  • 17 bought this year
  • 7 from my TBR shelves
  • 28 non fiction
  • 52 fiction
  • 8 collections of short stories by various authors
  • 2 audiobooks
  • 50 written by men
  • 20 written by women

Best Book? Oh, that's a tough one. My favorite two were short stories. The Secret Lives of People in Love by Simon Von Booy and The Devil's Mode by Anthony Burgess. 

Worst book - How to Read a Poem by Edward Hirsch. It was my only D rating of the year. My review back then: .... written far too strongly in his voice for my tastes. I really didn't feel like reading all about how Edward Hirsch felt/thought/dreamed/whatever about a poem. The glossary in the back makes the entire book worthwhile though and I'll probably pick up the book and enjoy it some day.

  • 7 published in 2007
  • 30 between 2000-2006
  • 1 in 1847 (Jane Eyre- Charlotte Bronte)
  • 1 in 1855 (The Warden by Anthony Trollope
  • 1 in 1862 (Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon)
  • 1 1887 (She by H Ryder Haggard.)
  • 1 in 1909 (The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett)
  • 1 1940's (Earth Abides by George R Stewart
  • 3  1950's, two of which were apocalyptic stories. (A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller Jr and Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank - I preferred Canticle)
  • So....7 in the Reading Through the Decades Challenge. And 2 that were on my list.

Blog_pix_760_edited KNITTING: Projects frogged this year: The Oldest UFO; the Wool Ease Norwegian Socks. The Retro Cardi. The oversized cable sweater. Kat with a K's UFO Resurrection had me rethinking more than a few projects, but like every other challenge, I didn't quite make it.

Actually, I'm not really sure about my knitting projects. In 2008, I think I'll keep an Excel sheet on those the way I have on my books. I know I finished the Mountain Stream Scarf (it's drying on the blocking board as we speak), the Annemor #13 mittens,  the Hugs For Snickers scarf and probably a bunch of dishcloths but other than that? No clue. (Possibly because that's all I've knit this year.....) Ravelry is a great help, but I like having the day and not just the month. If I'm tracking it at all.  Blog_pix_706_edited

This year is already getting away from me. Uh oh.

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Benford's Law of Controversy

....doesn't cover the blog posting as I'm typing out a title for it. What the heck? (Note: A title that doesn't even make sense in the context of the text, I might add. Next post. Maybe.)

Anyway. I did this! Blog_pix_716_edited Well, I did more than that, all but the thumb, but I didn't take a picture. I haven't cast on the mate yet either, but I'm really happy with it. (Don't click on it and count my errors. At least, don't tell me if you do. I noticed a huge glaring error looking at the picture. Not, mind you, while knitting the actual mitten).

I did this for my darling BFF's birthday. Blog_pix_718 I almost forgot to take a picture - I finished them awhile ago - luckily it was wrapped with my usual elan (tied up tissue paper).

Fetchings made out of Touch Me yarn by Muench. I was going to get a model shot, but in between the talking and the lunching and the shopping, it slipped my mind.

We went here Blog_pix_724 (Walnut Creek. I'm on top of the parking lot on Locust and Botelho. Recognize it at all? )

How about this angle? Blog_pix_723 And see? We do too have fall.

Go look at  Marina's finished and MODIFIED Mary Tudor while I sob weakly in the corner. For that matter, check out the Elizabethan Jacket WIP Insanity finished. Blog_pix_720

Hez sez: Don't block the TV. (She's watching Shay Pendray's Needlearts). Good thing she slept through Heroes last night or she'd give up TV entirely. At least one hero that went down I was happy about. Sadly, that hero didn't stay dead. I can't believe they killed off who they killed off. Argh.

In good TV news, Jericho returns Feb 12th! Everyone buy the Season One DVD and set your TiVo/whatever up to watch it. Just. Do. It.


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

First: The Horrid Seam:

Blog_pix_594_edited

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

Blog_pix_584_edited

Blog_pix_585_edited

and more:

Blog_pix_588_edited

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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:

Blog_pix_580

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

*Ha.


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


Knitters - Yarn Storage Questions

I just bought three humongo flat plastic storage bins (we won't go into how something that size can't hold a teeny weeny stash, much less three of them - I'm just assuming they don't make them the way they used to - outside of mass & matter) and my big question is:

If I take the yarn out of the ziplock bags, will it be okay? If I do, I can fit more into the bins but then again, a moth infestation could be deadly.