Imbolc/St Brighid Day aka Poetry Day

One of my very favorites:

CARRION COMFORT by Gerald Manley Hopkins

Not, I'll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee;
Not untwist--slack they may be--these last strands of man
In me or, most weary, cry I can no more. I can;
Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.
But ah, but O thou terrible, why wouldst thou rude on me
Thy wring-world right foot rock? Lay a lionlimb against me? scan
With darksome devouring eyes my bruised bone: and fan
O in turns of tempest, me heaped there; me frantic to avoid thee
         and flee?

Why? That my chaff might fly; my grain lie, sheer and clear.
Nay in all htat toil, that coil, since (seems) I kissed the rod,
Hand rather, my heart lo! lapped strength, stole joy, would laugh, cheer.
Cheer whom though? The hero whose heave-handling flung me
        foot trod
Me? or me that fought him? O which one? is it each one? That night,
        that year
Of now done darkness I wretch lay wresting with (my God!) my God.


Found at
Blog pix 2433

That would be Oscar above - he
spent his Christmas vacation hissing
at me. I bribed him with treats and
eventually he got to the point where
he would walk by me, realize I was
there, halt in mid stride and walk on.
No hissing.


Less of a victory is typead. WTH is going on with the formatting? It's only giving me headers as font type?
I do not have the time or inclination to keep fooling around with this.

Happy New Year! : Snow is cold

No resolutions, no goals, no WORD to ponder this new year. It feels wrong. I may need to remedy this soonish.

2012 threw me a few curve balls - a cyst in my spinal column? Srsly? But it also made me take what was apparently desperately needed downtime. And the anesthesia brain wore off. I think.

I also caved to the fact that my memory is no longer fabulous and started keeping a calendar and a list of things to do - it's amazingly fun to cross things off.

Plus a White Christmas with family! Four inches that stuck. Too cool. Kind of literally. Snow is cold.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! May all your dreams and wishes come true. Hez asks for less fireworks. Not a fan.

Happy New Year! : Snow is cold


Or, as I like to think of it, last day to register to vote so that you too can complain about the administration. If you don't vote, you don't get to complain. (If only that was enforceable.) You can register online until midnight.

What I Did Over My Su(rgical) Vacation

Blog pix 2388Blog pix 2386

Impressive, no? Well, maybe not. If not, completely the fault of the camera. (And not the cameraman (me), pattern, Crown Prince Stole (Nancy Bush) or yarn (Cupcake Fiber Co).)


It was virtually the only thing I could do while recuperating. I couldn't read so much as a magazine article or fluff novel (much less the stack of continuing ed stuff I'd planned on reading!) I did watch some television (because hello, still me).


So I knit. Row by row. I scaled it down, it's a scarf rather than a shawl because I only had 700 yards but isn't it beautiful?

Just nod yes.



Thankfully, since then, I've been able to read, and to work, and as of last week, tie my shoes.

WATCHING: Once Upon A Time (oh, how I want all their costumes), Dancing With The Stars (I'm not sure I care who wins, as long as it's Gilles. Who coincidentally, is also on Switched At Birth. Season Finale tonight!!

...and Castle, NCIS, NCIS LA, The Big Bang Theory, Haven and Blue Bloods. Oh, and Covert Affairs. And probably more. What's your favorite show this season?

READING: Assembling California by John McPhee. Really, really interesting! it's a look at how California was assembled over the millenium geologically. I'd always thought, if I thought about it at all, that California was submerged and just, I don't know, rose to the surface during and Ice Age, maybe? All the water locked up in glaciers? But shifting tectonic plates (is that an oxymoron?) pieced California together over time. More when I get through more than the first two chapters but already hooked. He has a very accessible writing style.  



Unconcious Mutterings:


  1. Authorize :: Engage Blog pix 2382
  2. Plunge :: Headfirst
  3. Work :: Work Work
  4. Throttle :: Choke
  5. Drill :: Down
  6. Toot :: Whistle
  7. Conference :: Knit
  8. Hodgepodge :: Desk
  9. Bumble :: Politicians
  10. Scandalous! :: Tell Me

Also go here and give generously. Prizes! Great cause! (or directly at Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) Spectrum Disease at Guthy Jackson if prizes don't interest you).



Great Googly Moogly

  1. Exorcise ::demons
  2. Theory ::chaos
  3. Possible ::improbable
  4. 1600 ::1666 Great Fire of London *
  5. Feeling ::Groovy **
  6. Excuse :: Reason
  7. Mortality ::inevitable
  8. Trivial ::pursuit
  9. Pupil ::dilated
  10. Challenge ::confront

From LunaNiña but shamelessly copying Shut Up and Knit.

Blog pix 2379I live! I stand, I sit, I'm back on my feet, I still can't tie my own shoes but thank heaven for sneakers and boots. It's amazing how much bending, twisting and lifting we do without giving it a second thought. Well, how much I did and didn't.

Haven't knit a thing since my scarf sized Crown Prince Shawl (well, a top hat, but I still have to felt and probably shellac it). Anesthesia brain cleared up a bit so I was able to read Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Llosa Vargas for Aarti's A More Diverse Universe book challenge (although reading and actually participating was a little bit beyond me, when your surgeon says 6-8 weeks, they might know what they're talking about. 

Anyone have any thoughts on the Mirkarimi debacle?*** I'm not sure I'd care at all who San Francisco appointed Sheriff if the defense for him didn't keep running along the lines of former SF Mayer Art Agnos saying"....“Anyone who knows Eliana Lopez knows she is not a woman who could be or has been abused..."

Wha'?? Not a woman who could be or has been abused?  Because you can tell by looking? One caller to KGO radio this morning dismissed it because "it didn't require medical care." Pat Thurston rightly queried if it would still not be abuse if he'd socked her in the face or punched her in the stomach because those wouldn't require medical care either. (He demured.)

Maybe a bruise on the arm of a Latin American actress doesn't sound like abuse but why doesn't it? Because she's an actress? Latin American? Her husband is part of the Progressive party? Because it really is political hash? I'm not sure I want to know for sure. All those scenarios are too depressing. And smack in the middle of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. 

Blog pix 2280

* Although I should have thought of Pennsylvania Avenue.

** Fair Warning: YouTube.

***Notice how I don't care at all about Lance Armstrong?


Home Again, Naturally

Blog pix 2344Not my speed! I've been told I drive "like a little old lady".  I thought I'd be able to knit but not so much, squeezing my eyes shut and stomping on the passenger brake. (It doesn't do much.). (Okay, the average was the average speed but we were on some l-o-n-g stretches of road.)

Eastern Oregon and Southwest Idaho are pretty much high desert. We drove through what had been a huge fire outside of the border four days previously - 530,000 acres - that was just chilling.

The wedding was fun - it rains in Idaho! It rained after the ceremony and almost after dinner - it felt pretty nice because it was probably still 90 degrees at 7:30 at night. When it rained again during the first dance, we bailed. After all, being sugar, I could melt.

The next big trip in my future is a trip to the hospital - I went to the doctor for a cortisone shot thinking I was getting the beginnings of arthritis and lo and behold, I have spondylolisthesis complicated by a cyst crowding my spinal column. So 4-5 days there, 6-8 weeks at home (possibly) and 3-6 mos recovery.  The very first thing my mother said to me? "Good thing we moved all the furniture already." True. It looks so good.

And maybe I'll get some knitting done......


The Pendleton Factory in Pendleton, OR. Blog pix 2292




Blog pix 2295 Blog pix 2297 Blog pix 2299I bought a blanket. No wool for sale! Boo. Blog pix 2319

Other than that, it's been all about catching up and getting ahead so it won't be too crazy while I'm recuperating. On vacation I took my mom's copy of Charlotte Armstrong's book The Protege, written in 1970 that was pretty good. Nicely psychological with no mass serial killers, just old fashioned murder-for-a-reason. Even a bad reason.

And someone wanted a carbon copy of an itinerary! That takes me back. A used bookstore in Pendleton had The Turret Room and Dream of a Fair Woman, both good but I liked The Protege best. It was refreshing to have a 74 year old woman protagonist that wasn't portrayed as a dotty old woman but was fully fleshed out. Her son and her daughter and the Protege himself motivations seem differnt than modern day standards.

Right now I'm reading "How To Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe" by Charles Yu. I just want to blockquote all of it.


Positively Subversive

Blog pix what I think every time I look at my bookshelves now. I swapped rooms in the house and had to bring some books (out of both desire and simple physics) but it was such a hodge-podge with my categories and the length of the current bookshelves that I finally organized them by color.

Well, not completely. But randomly enough so that the juxtaposition of some of the books has led me to daydream about the fisticuffs that must be occurring when I'm not looking.

Other than anthropomorphosizing my books, what have I been up to? Beats me. Not much progress on the WIP's. Managed to finish reading The Perfect Prince and start about six other books, all of which are perfectly interesting but somehow eminently easy to put down and wander away from Catriona, Robert Louis Stevenson's sequel to Kidnapped....From the Renaissance to the Counter-Reformation: Essays in honor of Garrett Mattingly,... This Will Make You Smarter. I particularly like Jonah Lehrer's essay Control Your Spotlight so far - it's so much easier to distract oneself than deny oneself, something I'll need to work on as I'm going to have to drop some weight to deal with the spinal stenosis and the not-fitting-into-my-jeans.

I did finish something - another Untangled! Blog pix 2263Those earbuds really do tangle up annoyingly without them. Now I actually like to untangle things but not in the dead of night and now when I want someone quietly reading to me in bed. That said maybe TWiV is not the most restful of nighttime stories....

Oh rats, I've lost the picture of Hez looking so amusingly disapproving. My old bedroom is the library, the den is now my bedroom and the craft room is a disaster.

She's spent the last few weeks wandering about the house muttering "This doesn't go here. That doesn't belong there. WHERE IS MY - what, srsly? There? You put it there? Harumph grumble grumble."

Once she realized we weren't moving, that is. For a week or so there, she just look scared and stuck to me like glue.

Where I Spend Three Days Knitting and Reading And Finishing Nothing

Blog pix 2179....typically. I did pick up approximately 810 stitches, knit 27 rows and frog about four times, if anyone else is counting. And I finally got the letters I'm going to use in Mom's vest on Exel and charted. More or less charted. I may change a few things there as well.

Finished reading In The Shadow of the Throne: The Lady Arbella Stuart by Ruth Norrington and meant to read Jack Higgins new thriller but.....Bess of Hardwick: Empire Builder by Mary S Lovell insisted I hear her side first. Bess really did have an interesting life but her 4th and final husband sounds like he had his hands full with Bess, Queen Elizabeth and Mary, Queen of Scots. Wife, queen, prisoner. Prisoner who might be the next queen if the current one didn't make it. That sounds like a thrilling tightrope to walk.

Someone thinks she should be an outdoor cat again. Someone who rolled around in the dirt.

She was not amused.


Alive! Alive!

Blog pix 2171and it's spring! The hills are green, the cows look happy (although there was one young heifer that kept a wary eye on me and kept gamboling back to Mama). Too cute.

Somehow I managed to both gain weight and lower my cholesterol during tax season -  no mean feat.

Now I have to reaquaint myself with this thing called standing? walking? so very complicated....

and knitting and reading! A whole book! More than one! And don't have exciting stuff like AMT in them.

Birthright: The Story that Inspired Kidnapped by Roger Ekrich was pretty fascinating. Another example of family dynamics and entailed estates. Jemmy, the heir presumptive, is only in line for the five titles in England and Ireland because the oldest son line died out after three generations. (Well, he had a girl, but pfft. Don't start me.) His father is actually the heir presumptive but the current heir is a bit horrified - and who can blame him? Arthur Annesley is a ramshackle mess.

Kidnapped was equally rollicking but Robert Louis Stevenson's Jemmy, David Balfour, is a bit older, a clearer lineage and never gets far from Scotland. He's also a bit of a drama queen - at one point he's stranded on an island - within sight of a village - sore afraid and his clothing in tatters (okay, he was swept to the island when the ship sank, lucky to be alive at all) and it turns out that the island is only an island in high tide. Don't see that often in books today.


Tagged again!

Blog pix 2039This time tagged by Marji at Tangled String.

  • Who taught you to knit? I did.
  • Do you remember the first thing you made? A mass of garter stitch. Then a sweater out of Vogue.
  • Do you knit more for yourself or others? For myself. Other people are not grateful enough and that seems like an unfair burden.
  • Is there a price too large to spend on a knitting project? Well, yes, but I do anyway.
  • Do you knit patterns more than once? Is this presuming there are FO's in my life?
  • Do you have a favorite knitwear designer? Yes.
  • What is your opinion of those ginormous needle sizes? Nice on your hands?
  • Do you understand the Zimmerman EPS system? Yes.
  • Do you knit in public? Yes.
  • Have you been part of a KAL? Not for long.
  • Have you ever knit a “mystery” item? Yes, but it didn't start out that way.
  • Do you knit English or Continental? continental.

Don't make me come back here after April and tag you. (Presuming I live through it) Tag!



Blog pix 2120Rules: • Post these rules. • You must post 11 random things about yourself. • Answer the questions the tagger (KSD @ hand eye crafts) set for you in their post. • Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer. • Go to their blog and tell them that you have tagged them. • No stuff in the tagging section about ‘you are tagged if you are reading this.’ blah blah blah, you legitimately have to tag 11 people! (whatever, tag as you like, fun remember?)

Random Facts:
1. My mind goes blank when confronted directly.
2. Well, not blank, but nothing appropriate to the situation either.
3. I have a cat type. Apparently. (Gray)
4. There is no end to the creative and useless things I can do when up against a deadlne.
5. Like reading "Excel: The Missing Manual" by Matthew MacDonald. Or thumbing through HW Fowler's "A Dictionary of Modern English Usage"
6. It's pretty fabulous actually.
7. I've ordered it. (The Excel manual. I had a library copy. I've had Fowler's dictionary for ages.)
8. Did you know that you can see the sum of the cells you've highlighted on the status bar?
9. And you can make up your own fill in set?
10. I like rain.
11. I like puppies.
1. Who is your favorite Disney villain? Michael Eisner
2. What one fear do you wish you could overcome? imposter syndrome
3. What's your dessert at your last meal? something with whipped cream and coffee
 4. If you had the chance now, would you date your high school crush? I can't even  remember  my high school crush.
 5. If cost were no object, where would you build your dream home? I'd just move here or there.
6. Any sound can wake you up in the morning --- what is it? Whatever it is, I'll think it's something else.
 7. What is your dream pet? What? And risk the Wrath of Hez? A darling gray kitty.
 8. You can commit any crime and get away with it.  What would it be? If I'm committing it, it's not a crime. I hope.
9. Who is your favorite hero of fiction? Jack Reacher. He comes in, saves the day, and goes on his way.
 10. You have your own knitting store.  What is it called? Get Out of My Stash. I may not do well.
 11. Eleven questions, or an even dozen? 11

Tag! You're it.