Friday, December 29, 2006

I have a date

January 31st. It means I have all of February to do nothing but knit, read, watch Perry Mason and movies, and snuggle with the cats. And sleep. And have funky hormones. It's a good thing I have the knitting and am confined to my house. I'm scary enough when my hormones are whacked now.

I can't wait.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Passing of a Moderate

I was in grade school when the Watergate scandal broke. Mom had the hearings going so I saw people like Haldeman and Ehrlichman and Dean speaking before the Congress panel led by Sam Ervin. When Nixon resigned and Ford took over, the country was like a child who had been told that Santa Claus was really Dad. We really hurt. Sure we knew politicians were lying sleazy crooks but we didn't want to believe it. Heck, Johnson didn't trust Nixon with a ten foot pole.

Then this affable man came in with the job of moving the country on. He seemed to be such a lightweight. Almost insubstantial. Yet in the short time he was in office he did his job. We hated what he did when he pardoned Nixon, but we moved on.

Goodbye Jerry.

Hey Cast-On Lady!

Brenda Dayne of Cast-On fame has been fighting a nasty infection and hasn't said much since the 17th. Send her good wishes, will ya? She may be getting in a lot of knitting time, but spending Christmas feeling icky doesn't sound like fun.

Blog update

I moved to the updated Blogger and lost my links in my sidebar. They'll be updated later, most likely Thursday night. Let me know if there are other things missing.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Rogue hood detail

.....getting closer to the grafting point.

The day after

Hope your weekend was stressless or if it was you had a place to retreat to. If you're not a surly teen or a decrepit great-grandma, retreating to the kitchen to help work on feast items is a good strategy. That way if an irritating relative comes by, you can say, "Sorry, can't talk. Gotta get this done." And there are knives near by.

This weekend was spent doing my best to imitate a figgy pudding. I was inert this weekend. Other than doing laundry, which for one person is a piece of cake. And knitting on the Rogue. I'm on the second chart for the hood and working on the hood decreases for those of you taking score. And I must say the cabling on it is certainly rewarding for the work. I did myself proud when I found I had crossed a cable wrong and was able to tink all the way down and redo it correctly without leaving any telltale signs of the tinking. Smug.

Friday, December 22, 2006

But you will never find her in a pair of plaid pants

Jeanne tagged me (a hit! A most palpable hit!) with the Six Weird Things About Me meme that's making the rounds. And since she put in such a nice comment I'll play. However, I will leave my gentle readers the option of being tagged, since not everyone likes to play. So here goes.

First, the requirements: "Each player of this game starts with the ‘6 weird things about you.’ People who get tagged need to write a blog post of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says ‘you are tagged’ in their comments and tell them to read your blog.” Like I said, if you want to play, let me know and I'll tag ya. Or you can swipe this on your own, comment that you swiped it, and everyone will be happy.

Let me preface this that I got the notice that I was tagged this morning and while I was at work I spent my dead time thinking of what weird things I have. If you were looking for something kinky, I gotta tell you you're gonna be disappointed. After that weaselbutt comment for just encouraging people to give to those less needy, I don't want to attract the anti-sex coalition. Those of you who want more details can leave me your phone number and your fruit preference.

1. I have a beard. Not a few whiskers that stick out of Aunt Ethel's mole, but a beard. It runs from the corners of my mouth down to under my chin. I'd let it grow, but people think I'm crazy enough as it is. During my time off recovering from my surgery, I might just let it grow to see what it looks like.

2. I think circus clowns are disturbing. There's something about a man or a woman who puts on garish facepaint and tries to make you laugh by doing bizarre things in front of you. I prefer rodeo clowns. They're doing what I want circus clowns to do: stand in front of a half ton of angry pot roast.

3. I never liked baby dolls or stuffed animals when I was a child. I never wanted to have a baby and these creatures that just stare at you trying to be cute are just disturbing. I had Barbies, but the baby dolls gathered dust in the bottom of my toy chest.

4. I collect stuffed sheep. I have 19 of them, including one received for Christmas that doubles as a pillow. It's going with me to the hospital so I have something to hug when I need to cough up the crap left behind from the anesthetic. And I have kits for Sam the Ram and Sue the Ewe. They may get done during my convalescence.

5. I'm a neatnik at work but a slob at home. I live in an old house with no storage space. I need fifty million cabinets. I've even done preliminary plans to turn one of my bedrooms into a giant closet with a bunch of cabinets for my stuff. In the meantime, stuff just gets dumped on the floor wherever.

6. I find some words visually repulsive and some words fascinating to look at. When I write, I see the words as patterns, not an ordered blend of letters. For me, some words like crotch and son and secret and slacks look weird. Then there are some words that for some reason at a particular moment will strike me and I'll stare at them for a minute or two. Like cake or shoe or pastrami or plaid pants. This visualizing words as patterns helps me spell words correctly, but there are times when I look at a word and think, "Is that spelled right?" only to realize that it's the pattern that's attracting me.

I won't go into other things that are simply my opinion, like I think ice skating is overrated, that every driver should take the driver's test at age 40, and that we should bring back the word contrary as an adjective to describe someone who is slightly stubborn.

Anyone want to be tagged?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

And now: your letters

First, I want to thank everyone who has left a comment and wish all my readers good tidings during this time of year. It's nice to know that not only have I been read but I've written something that is worth commenting on. Thanks too for the wellwishing. I appreciate it.

The Stash Busting 2007 has a number of folks that are jumping onto Wendy's wagon. Even if you don't do much stash busting this coming year, give yourself an E for effort. It's not easy to resist the call of new fiber. But to think I have more stash than Knitterguy Ted--eep.

Anonymous paid a call and left a message: "I made another contribution to George Bush in your honor... can you be any more self-righteous...or self pitying?" Am I really that self-righteous about my opinions? Somehow when I think "self-righteous" I think of Bill O'Reilly or some of the radical Christian right or radical feminists or environmentalists. I'm willing to listen to other opinions expressed in a mature, reasonable fashion as long as facts back them up. But I don't think I should censor my own opinion on my own blog. As for self-pitying, well I welcome you to take a hammer to your back tooth, your knees, and your feet, followed by spending a week of having blood pour out of your ass. When you're done, write back. And don't forget your name this time. Because I care.

Back to our regularly scheduled program

I'm back to working on the Rogue. The front is nearly done and I'll be starting on the hood tomorrow. In retrospect, I could have worked on this without the class. It wasn't that hard. But I did get some tips that I would not have picked up from the pattern and it was fun knitting with others on the same item. I should have it done by the end of January at this rate.

Ho ho ho and a bottle of eggnog

I haven't put up a tree (no room), I have no decorations up (too lazy), the Christmas letters are waiting to be stuffed in envelopes and flung to the four winds, and I have no plans for the weekend. It's a good weekend to just sit back and enjoy the quiet, read a good book (I have a few P D James mysteries waiting for me from the library), and sip hot tea. No traffic, no screaming children, no hollering in-laws, and no commercial hype.

May you find that quiet spot in your life this weekend and have a merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


It's that time of year when strains of cynical Christmas songs go wafting through my fevered brain as I juggle chorus commitments, holiday tasks, and year end brouhaha at work. Who was the wise guy who decided to have the fiscal year of thousands of companies end a few days after a major holiday?

This year I went very very simple: Heifer International donations. The gift that gives to others. All of my relatives are at the point where they don't want more stuff. So I don't give them stuff. I like some stuff, but I appreciate donations to charity at this time of year even more. While the time for giving occurs all year long, many folks use this time of the year to give. So give money if you can, and if you can't, give of your heart, attention, and time.

Off to work. Heigh ho, heigh ho.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Blow, blow thou winter wind

It's not unusual for us to get windy rainstorms during the winter, but the one that passed through Thursday and Friday was apparently the biggest one since 1993. We don't get named hurricanes through here, but we get hurricane force winds on the coast and tropical storm strength winds inland. It blew a lot of trees down, broke tree limbs, tossed trash cans and recycling bin contents, and taxed the electrical grid by taking down power lines and blowing transformers. Thursday night I went home at 5 and watched from the parking structure flashes of electric blue as transformers arced and blew. Some places are still without power even today. My sister and brother on the coast are fine fortunately. Pam said that the winds were so fierce it was blowing the fir trees on their property about like they were just bushes. She and my brother Larry lost power but it's back on and all is well.

Stash Challenge 2007

Wendy of Wendy Knits! is challenging herself to work her projects completely from stash. She's put up some guidelines of the challenge, which runs from January 2007 to September 2007. I think that's a great idea for me, since I'll be trying this coming year to spend my money reducing debt instead of yarn. This is just the natural fiber portion:

The acrylic chunk, sad to say, is just about as big, but most of it was of donations for the preemie cap project. The rules say nothing about acquiring tools though. Maybe I need a knitting machine....

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I'm here

Hey ho.

I know it's been a while since my last posting. I wish I could say my time's been occupied by a girlfriend or boyfriend, but nothing so sordid as that has been keeping me busy. Part of it is learning how to live with diabetes: taking classes, making changes, gathering info. Part of it has been chorus. It was our holiday concert last weekend, so I was very busy with rehearsals and performances. Part of it was other medical stuff, which I'll get to in a minute. And part of it was knitting. Really!

Sing of joy!

I live in Portland but sing in a chorus based in Salem. It's Confluence, the only GLBTS* mixed voice chorus in Oregon registered with GALA Choruses. We sing three concerts a year, one in December, one in March, and one in June. Each concert consists of two performances, one of which is in Salem, the other in Corvallis or Portland. The December concerts were held in Corvallis and Salem with the tech rehearsal in Corvallis. Last week, I went to Corvallis on Wednesday for the tech rehearsal then back home, then returned to Corvallis on Friday, stayed the night with friends, sang in Salem on Saturday, then returned home Saturday night. Tuesday this week the chorus sang in Portland for PFLAG's Christmas party. Not much room for other things. The concerts were a lot of fun, though, done jointly with the choruses of the Unitarian Universalist Congregations of Salem and Corvallis (all but the Portland one). They held a special place for me because I was surrounded by my chorus family when I needed them.

Lordy Lordy do I feel forty

It seems I've had a litany of ailments this year. It used to be that the worst thing I would get was bronchitis in the winter and achy knees from too many stairs. Who said that it was my turn to get old? It bites, let me tell you, to be told your cholesterol's jumped because you're getting older, your blood sugar's jumped because you're getting older, and you're wheezy because you're getting older (well, not really but it sure as hell feels that way). Then that old fart Perry Menopause comes around and decides that not only should my body feel hotter than it already feels but I should experience the Johnstown flood 3 days every month. The Kotex and Tampax people love my buying their products by the case. Well, not anymore, kids. This end of January I'll be going under the knife and having a hysterectomy. The fibroids that have recurred have given me the ticket to have my womb removed. I'll never use it and gawd knows I don't need another place for the big C to be tempted to try to rear its ugly head. I don't know which it will be: laparo or abdominal; my surgeon's consulting with another in the clinic to see if I qualify for the laparo. That will shorten the recovery time significantly. Remember the hernia back in September a year ago? (If not, go to the archives if you so desire.) The recovery time will be a little longer than that. It doesn't matter to me which as long as it gets done and done well. And I'm just loving telling people that I got a hysterectomy for Christmas.

Click and click

So the WIP basket has been sort of overflowing. The Rogue sweater went on hiatus while I worked feverishly on a pair of mittens and a pair of gloves for a couple of kids who are patients at the Providence Child Center. Our office is gathering gifts for them this year as part of our mission projects for the holiday. We love them dearly, those kids. Today I turned them in, so now I can go to another project. I want to make a felted hat for my friend Linda, so I'll be working on that this weekend. It will go quickly. After that, I can return to the Rogue. And if I time my surgery right, I'll be able to take my class in Orenburg shawls from Joan Schrouder January 27th. Whee!

My LYS got copies of XRX's latest Knitter's compendium, Victorian Lace Today, which I've been waiting to see. What with the latest issues of Knitter's offering patterns ranging from dull to OMG, I was skeptical about what would be offered. But I was pleased to find that there were items in it I would make. I consider myself to be sort of an intermediate lace knitter, beyond the simple stuff but not ready yet for Shetland shawls and certainly not up to Knitterguy Ted's league. I felt comfortable with the patterns in the book. I wasn't crazy about the photography of some of the items, though. When I look at lace, I want to see the pattern. I don't give a rat's ass about the model. So I have a copy to peruse, and if I'm up to it, to play with on the needles.

*I want to spell it GBLTS, but then I want to pronounce it giblets. I don't think the community would appreciate being compared to turkey guts.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Cribbage and knitting on the coast

Last weekend I went to my sister Pam's on the coast for Thanksgiving. She and I had a lot to talk about, and while we're of different faiths (she Independent Baptist, me deist), she's in a way my surrogate mom. We had a good weekend together. My brother-in-law enjoyed playing cards and I made progress on the Rogue Sweater. While I was there, Pam and I visited my brother Larry who has property adjoining a canal that runs into the ocean. He gets quite a bit of wildlife there and regular visitors, mostly Canada geese and a local goose named Gus. Larry has been feeding them regularly so they came up for a handout while we were there. He's not the only one with wildlife. The deer like to come up to my sister's door and get apples or other treats. Most of the birds are gone so there are no handouts for them except for seed in the feeders. Just a nice little place in the country, perfect for spending Thanksgiving.