Thursday, November 29, 2007

yfwd, K2tog, K1* repeat

Sorry it's been quiet on the western front here. I've been so wrapped up (yarn over, knit 2) in this knit for my Grandma that I don't want to think about much else. I'm making a (very) abbreviated version of River (just one pattern repeat) to make a table scarf. I'm looking for more knitting podcasts to listen to (beside my beloved Stash and Burn) so that while I'm at work doing data entry, I can listen to people talk about knitting. Knit! Knit! Knit! I wish I had more time to do it. I've got so many projects in mind but I just don't forsee knitting a sweater, a pair of socks for hubby, another pair of these for Xmas, and these mitts before school plunges me back into knit-a-row-a-week mode (in a month and a half--eeep!). Oh yeah, still need to finish the Jaywalkers (resurrected) and the two Xmas presents. Don't forget that.

My photography is in hibernation and the few photos I've been taking look just like photos I've taken before. I must admit though, it's been nice to not feel the urge to whip out the camera all the time. I say all this as though I haven't taken a photo in months. It's been a few days.

I'm starting my annual work load increase but luckily, it isn't going to be as bad as usual this year since I pawned a big monkey off my back to another department. Whew. This is giving me a little more time to consider what holiday fun I want to concoct for the family. Ummm...I pretty much have every weekend between now and Xmas jam packed with festivities. Yeah. This weekend is a popcorn party premiering Rudolph on our small screen. Maybe Pipakuks. Unpacking the decorations. Planning what other treats I want to make later in the month (the weekend of the 15th and 16th, so it says on my list).

I've also been enjoying peeking in the mailbox. Day before yesterday, I received my y'at pack from Cathy. It has been tonic for my overstressed self. We're still juggling Nora's condition, with its roller coaster-y nature. The good and the bad. Cathy's mail reminded me to look for the good.

Take care, gang. Posting will probably be somewhat sporadic until after the holidays, but I'll be around. Snuggle down and drink some cocoa/tea/coffee/booze.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Yeah, you right!

You get the picture. Oh, yes! They are now skittering their way across town, the country.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

And now for something completely different. Seasonal confusion.

Still blooming. Despite the below freezing temps at night.

Sorry for the maudlin post earlier. I guess it's my way of coping. But the message remains: I'm thankful.

Thankful...Sad, but Thankful

I have received word that our sweet Nora dog's cancer is taking a tour through her body. Her days are limited but she still does her tap dance and wags her tail. She eats her food (and all the fancy food that I'm sneaking to her so our other dog doesn't notice). And she's still a champion snuggler.

I'm thankful that we chose each other, saving her from doggie death row six years ago.

I'm thankful we've been able to provide her with medication to ease the pain of her rickety hips.

I'm thankful she had another summer so she could bask in the sun.

I'm thankful I've been able to experience her cheerful disposition and dancing on a daily basis.

Sigh. I'm not good at this.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Ode to a Fish Tank

Oh, Fish Tank. How grateful I am for thee. When the wee tot awakes at 1:50 a.m. and is inconsolable, refusing to go to sleep unless she is allowed to sleep in our tiny-for-our-amazonian-size bed, I thank you Fish Tank for providing a diversion. Something to stop the wailing and to incite yawns.

Fish Tank, if you could only make our bed bigger so that we didn't even have to have this fight for 45+ minutes in the middle of the night, I'd kiss you. Or something else that you might appreciate more (scrubbing? more fish? more regular feedings for your inhabitants?).

So tired. Yawn.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Emerging from my mental cocoon for a moment for five things

1--Finished knitting on two major holiday presents. Photos, sadly will need to wait until after the holidays.

Now it's on to the finishing portion which is something I always seem to rush through, willy nilly. I hope to sew 'em up this weekend and then consider my next move. The table scarf/doily thing is just not happening so far for the grannies. I've cast on lace from about 4 different patterns and just can't concentrate long enough to not make a mistake. Maybe I'll try a different yarn that isn't lace-weight, although I was trying to knit from my stash.

2--Ok, how cute is this and this and this from the evil store that seemed to be created especially for me to drool over? Argh! Well, at least it gives me inspiration for fun future projects (far, far into the future when I'm an applique queen...).

3--The photo swap is finished in my mind, but I haven't actually done the printing and assembling of packages yet. It's funny how I feel like I can cross it off my list since I know what I'm sending, what I'm writing and how it's going to look. I also feel like I need to tuck an extra "+1" in my packages although I'm not sure what. I'd better hunker down and work since I'm feeling like I want to send these out into the world next week.

4--Sweetie Nora. I'm worried. She's having some issues and I'm wading through the test results that all seem to inconclusive, but still nudge us toward her cancer. We've been extremely grateful so far since they said that the life span post-diagnosis was 2 years at the very lucky end of the spectrum. We're at about the year and a half mark.

5 or 1.5--Slowly getting ready for the holidays. I'm mostly done with Kidlet's presents (just on to stocking stuffers now) but that wasn't too difficult as I only bought two presents! I'd kind of like to knit something up for her too, but whatever I knit seems to end up at the bottom of her stuffed animal pile (and then I save them and move them to my desk). I'm really trying hard to make a homemade holiday to the best of my ability. I still have some ideas I'd like to pull off, but I'm not sure if they'll happen. Last year, I made one present. This year, (fingers crossed) at least half of my presents will be homemade. Next year? Ooooo...all?

Ok, back to the cocoon...have a lovely weekend, folks!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Feeling quiet. Have so much planning, making, worrying, cooking, reading, sleeping (oh wait, no sleeping), compiling, and work to do that I need to take a wee break.

If you get a chance to check out this book, do. I need to become more "Moomin-minded". I am tempted to get a tattoo on my arm just to remind me to let the housework go and make work a game.

Cheers! Back soon...

Thursday, November 08, 2007

A Musical Interlude

Seeing The Darjeeling Limited (yes, I'm still thinking about it) resparked my interest in a favorite Kinks album that I had forgotten about (Lola versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One). In the film, they featured three songs, "Strangers" (my heart swells whenever I hear this song; it's an all-time fave), "Powerman" and "This Time Tomorrow". The past two mornings after I drop Kidlet off (and that has been hard this week), I blare the CD in my little car as I zip down the highway. This morning, "Lola" came on as I pulled into the parking lot at work and I was singing at the top of my lungs, accompanied by hand gestures. Man, that song is brilliant. I loved it as a kid for the novelty factor, but it's brilliant. Anyway, had to share. I may be alone here, but hey, it's in me.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Plodding and Plotting

Thanks for all the well wishes, my friends. Kidlet is still having some ear trouble but is now on antibiotics (I hate 'em, but I'll embrace them for a good night of sleep). Me, I'm just plodding along through the snot and scratchiness.

Meanwhile, I'm starting to think of Thanksgiving. How can you not think of Thanksgiving, after watching "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" for the 32nd time with a sick Kidlet? I am a bit (ok, more than a bit) of a control freak. I have to have everything planned, listed and purchased well ahead of the big day. Today's dilemma is "shall I bake a pumpkin pie or buy it from my favorite baker, Franz?" I'm leaning towards purchasing if only for the 'ease' factor, even though I finally feel confident in my pie crust skills. Do you have any favorite holiday recipes? There's a rustic porcini onion stuffing on epicurious (for some reason it won't allow me to link directly anymore) and my cranberry recipe (look in the comments for the recipe).

Here's a little daydream for knitter Ani...this made from this.

Monday, November 05, 2007

morning reflection

Last night, I was able to dream because I was finally able to sleep. My dreams were saffron colored. Kind of wonderful, really. The movie still is in my thoughts. Yes, I actually went this weekend. It wasn't my favorite (the story being wealthy Americans trying to muscle their way through a foreign land and spirituality) but it lingers with me. That's really about all I can say about it right now until I've digested it more. Oh. And that Adrien Brody is still a dish.

The past several days have been a roller coaster. I was fevered, shaky and dizzy on Thursday. Coming out of it Friday. Still recovering by Saturday. Then I barely slept a wink on Saturday night due to the tot not sleeping. She did not go to bed until 1:30 a.m. She tossed and turned, and poked and prodded me throughout the night. We really started sleeping around 4 a.m., just in time for me to wake at 6:30 a.m.. She's been complaining about her ears so I get to drag her, kicking and screaming, into the doctor's office in about an hour. I will have to get her up in the middle of her nap for this. The nap that she fell into a blissful snooze in about 3 minutes flat, perhaps a new record for her. Things have been better.

My knitting has gone from the heights to the depths in record time. I finished (well, I still have some kitchner-ing to do, but the knitting is finished) Holiday Project A and it looks quite sharp. Avoiding my colorwork dilemmas for Holiday Project B, I went to Projects C and D. These I can actually talk about because Kidlet's Great Grandmothers don't touch computers. I decided to make a little lacy doily-table scarf type item for each of them. I started with this pattern, Branching Out. I started and restarted. Seven times. Every time, I ended up with one stitch too many. Except the last time when the pattern came out just right. Then I got to row 3. One stitch too many. I gave up. Being so close to hitting the heel on my Jaywalkers, I decided to work that instead. Lately, I have had a couple of incidents where I ended up one stitch short on stick number one. Fine. I figured I had just forgot an increase here or there. Cruising along. Then I started to study it. The double decreases were wonky as hell. I started counting extra stitches on other needles. If this had been last year, I would have shrugged it off and continued. This year, I've started to be a little more critical of my work. I spent five minutes yesterday zipping the yarn from its (partially) tidy zig zags and now it is back in ball form. At least today I have started back on Projects C and D and am having greater success. I'm using the Sugarplum Shrug from the new Interweave Holiday edition for the motif on the table scarves. So far, so good.

Ok, wish us luck at the doc's office. Oh, the misery. She hates the doctor more than anything else on this earth. More than lions and bears. More than being potatoes (unless they are french fried, the only acceptable means of eating a potato). Sigh.