Monday, July 30, 2007


I've seen The Simpsons. Seen prototypes of said Simpsons. Anyone for Life In Hell? Not to mention the fact that Mr Groening (rhymes with 'complaining') grew up in Portland. Course he hasn't come back here permanently. Why when you have all the sunshine you can buy?

Bitter? Nah. Love the dude. He described the first month of love as being in the love blender. Been there. Frappe'd to pudding by a pretty face.

So when I got the opportunity to have myself Simpsonized, I jumped at it. So here I am. All of me.

Lesterlee, Our Lady of Medicare Collections. So happy to hunt down those codes to make the claims get paid.

Perky punky Duffysan, ready to head out to the next choir rehearsal or a hot night with those wacky knitters. Note the gelled hair and the rectangular glasses to add angles to those round round curves.

Babe-a-licious badass Mistress Duffilina, Denizen of the Dark Side, who craves to crawl out of the body of Lesterlee and bitchslap some bureaucratic butt while blasting out Beastie Boys in the Bright Red Bug.

A big wave of the pointy stick to Mel for posting the link. So how is it your Simpsonization has more hair?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Visit to Newberg

An update on Garrett. If he is stable and doesn't have a temperature, he'll be flying to the US tomorrow morning. He's had a temp of over 100 but he's being pumped full of antibiotics and he has a couple of wound vacs to keep the deep tissue of his shoulder clean. Even then he's thinking about what prostheses he'll get and has made a goal of running after 6 months.

I visited Phyllis today to pass on messages from the office and give her assurance before she takes off for the east coast to meet up with Garrett in Bethesda MD. She's exhausted from having poor sleep and the stress of waiting. She's in better shape than her husband and daughter though. I think it's the Mom maintaining the calm in the midst of the storm. I had a good chat with her and warned her that her point when she lets go will come when she least expects it. She understands and is taking things as they come. She's taking her knitting with her at my urging. She has needles she can take on the plane (I got those for her) and plenty of yarn for making squares for the baby blanket we'll make for the Aunties In Stitches.


On the GLBT-Knit List, I'm known as the Sock Mistress, but unlike some sock enthusiasts, I'm more an enabler than a knitter. I haven't really done many pairs of socks because I haven't found the perfect sock yarn yet. The self-striping yarns are fun to play with, but they don't hold my attention very well. So many sock yarns that are out there seem to be geared more for the younger set with their vibrant colors and crazy combinations.

But it's been warm. I haven't wanted to do anything with the WIPs I have because they're either too bulky to work or not that exciting to do. I've been wanting a pair of socks to go with some of the raspberry and pink summer clothes I have, so I've been hunting for yarns. I figured that I'd do a pair with two different yarns in a colorwork pattern. I found some Art Yarns in pink a few weeks ago that I figured I do up with a white background, but I was busy with the commission so couldn't work on the socks.

Then this caught my eye at Twisted. I walked away from it the first time, then when I sat down to work on the Bag O'Plenty, it called to me from the bin. I got up. I looked at it again. I looked at the price. No, I told myself. You have your sock yarn. I walked away and sat back down.

Yarn is seductive. It calls like a Siren to Odysseus. It murmured possibilities and enlisted the assistance of other yarns. A skein of black Louet Gems Opal called out that it would make a splendid background for the yarn. "And it's locally made! Support an artist!"

What can I say? I was conquered. But look what they make, kidlets.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Knitting Meetup night

A knitting meetup met at Twisted tonight. It was fun meeting new folks and seeing a few from the last PDX Knitbloggers gathering. The space was wonderful for accommodating the group, which were a good dozen folks. Twisted has a good selection of yarns not found in other shops, so if you're looking for something different, check them out, especially sock yarn. The proprietor is going for local produced yarns in that area, so it should be interesting to see what shows up.

I took with me the Bag O'Plenty but its fat yarn and needles were starting to wear on my hands. I didn't bring a lace project to work on (something I thought about at work--dope slap!), so to give my hands a break I opted to leave a little early.

Close to home

We received word that one of the men we're supporting in Iraq was seriously wounded from an IED. Garrett Jones is the son of my working partner Phyllis. He was looking forward to eventually training as a police officer like his father and was tapped for sniper training. He stepped on an IED and lost most of one leg and sustained shrapnel wounds. He's stable and will soon be returning to the States, but he will have to find another career to pursue.

We are with Phyllis in our prayers. The Marines have a strong support network of families and officers, so he will get the care he needs. My thoughts turned to my nephew, who is still in Iraq, and I pray for his safety.

Monday, July 23, 2007

You don't know what we will find

The chorus has given me much, not the least the cameraderie of an extraordinary group of people. One such couple are Chris and Nancy, retired professors who love to travel to out of the way places. Their home is a treasure house of items they have picked up from their excursions to Asia, the Americas, Africa, and Europe. I love going there because I always find something new that I haven't noticed before.

One thing they do is collect rugs. They graciously granted me permission to take photos of their rugs. The variety of designs they have is incredible and the ones they have on display are just a portion of the collection. I can see how Kaffe Fassett fell in love with the textiles out there. Who could not marvel at the design and color of rugs like these?

Wouldn't it be fun to have one of these as a magic carpet?

Friday, July 20, 2007

Succumbing to evil

For dinner: Cheetos, chocolate, and a Slurpee.

Don't tell me you've never heeded the call of evil.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Sucked In by the Harry Monster

I don't often get caught up in what's trendy. My usual response is to avoid the popular like the plague. But Harry Potter touches upon something that I dearly wanted as a child: magic power. I devoured books on wizardry and magic as a kid and imagined a world where the people were born with magic power. The Harry Potter books touch that old yearning, so when the new one is ready to come out, I have my order in. I don't care if it's the trade hardback; I want the story not a collectible. So I'll have my copy when the last book comes out. And I'll probably be up until the wee hours reading it.


I was able to finish my obligatory knitting but it put a strain on my arm, so I've set aside knitting for now and focused on the design of the next project. I need a new knitting bag as my favorite bag is showing signs of wear and tear. Features of the bag I love are its size, a side pocket for holding keys and my cell phone, and inner pockets at the ends that are perfect for holding straight knitting needles. Most of the bags out there aren't quite large enough but I did find one by Noni that looks large enough to handle my projects. The Rather Huge Carpet Bag has a great size. I'll do different handles as I like looser handles for throwing over the shoulder than one that you have to carry by hand. I'll also add a couple of pockets. The body will also be of different colors, so be prepared.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

If you read the comics regularly and get "Stone Soup", you've been told of a new arrival in one of the families. I found it interesting that the baby was named Luci Stone Weinstein. Was it in honor of Lucy Stone?

All I know is in the last couple of days since the birth I've had Amy Ray's "Lucy Stoners" going through my head. I'm ready for the tape to change now.

Monday, July 09, 2007

I think I have Rabbitch's Title Virus. Hers are working now. Mine are not. If there was one, it would be A Pleasant Sunday Surprise. Just insert it where appropriate. (and yes I tried the Shift + Tab; doesn't work. Barf-o-bits)

I had a pleasant Sunday afternoon with Barbara, her partner DeVia, Gary, Mary, and Melissa. DeVia had a conference in Portland this week so she and Barbara came into Portland on Saturday to meet up with fellow knitsibs. I was expecting to just have lunch with them at Dan and Louie's Oyster Bar, do a short yarn crawl at KnitPurl, then sit and knit for a while. A nice quiet Sunday for working on the commission.

During lunch, Mary asked me if I was going to the PDX Knit Bloggers gathering at Knit Purl. "What gathering?" Turns out that a group of Portland bloggers who had gone to see the Yarn Harlot in June decided that the Portland contingent should stay in touch with each other and created an online group for knitters who blog in the Portland Metro area. They were meeting at KnitPurl for a knit-in and meetup that afternoon. So instead of a calm sedate knitting session I was regaled with a roomful of laughing chatting bloggers.

There were at least 4 versions of the Mystery Shawl KAL #3, including Barbara's version done in splendiferous handspun. Kathy was charting out a version of the Clematis edging for a wedding shawl for her sister. Bobbie had a sweater going out of beautiful burgundy bamboo (can't help the alliteration--it was worth it). Rodger arrived for an hour away from work to work on his sidewise hat in Noro Sakura. Barbara put away the MS3 to work on a pair of socks. So did Melissa and a few others. Deb of Fearless Fibers was fiddling with some fine yarn, having left her big projects at home. I had the commission, which I dubbed the fifty thousand miles of stockinette. There were many others: scarves, shawls, and sweaters. Kathy has the list of bloggers, so check them out. Hopefully the meetings won't always be on Sundays; otherwise I'll be just a lurker on the list for most of the year due to chorus rehearsals.

Web candy

I've been playing with the web stuff that I've seen on other blogs. So far I'm a solid Gryffindor House member, I'm mostly Neo-Pagan /Mahayana Buddhist /Unitarian Universalist, and I'm 47% able to fend off a zombie attack. Just don't ask me to clean the house.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Sumer is icumen in, lhude sing cuccu!

And don't forget the sunscreen.

It's assumed by newcomers to the Pacific Northwest that summer begins with Memorial Day weekend (last weekend of May, for my non-US readers). In fact, summer begins after July 4th. The vagaries of the weather shifts have settled and the hot air from the interior of the country has a chance to come in and bake us for a few days until the Pacific air forces it back over to the other side of the mountains. Either way it's not my favorite time of the year. While I equate it to lazy days of reading mountains of books, eating fresh fruit, and sleeping in, I also equate it to sunburns, the stench of lighter fluid from barbecues, and sweaty evenings trying to catch some cool air and being unable to sleep until 1 am. Summer and I are not friends. We came to a mutual agreement when I invested in central air conditioning a few years ago when I upgraded the furnace from a converted sawdust burner to a tidy little natural gas box. At least I can sleep at night and am not a grump by the end of August.

The Fourth was fairly quiet in the neighborhood. Either that or I was so soundly asleep that I didn't hear anything. The city put the word out that fire marshals were riding with police on the Fourth to enforce the fireworks laws. Washington's fireworks laws are not as stringent as those in Oregon's, so folks commonly cross over to Washington to pick up fireworks that they can't get in Oregon. This year law enforcement decided to put more muscle into the laws. I don't know how well it did in other areas but in my neighborhood it did make a difference. The cats as a general rule do pretty well on the Fourth, but last year two of them were under the bed. This year all three were sleeping calmly, though Buster was quite put out that I kept him in the house for a good part of the day.


I got word that something good is going to happen to me at the office. I can't say yet what it is because it isn't official yet, but it was enough to leave me a little stunned. I needed something to help me recover so I got this.

Schafer Yarn's "Anne", their fingering weight yarn. I wanted something with softer colors for the swatches I'm going to be doing for some pattern write-ups and I had a birthday discount card from Yarn Garden.

I think I'm okay to drive now.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Family Reunion 2007

The Stephens and Brown clans got together at Champoeg State Park. The Stephens folks have been getting together every year but it had been some time since they've been with the Browns, who are cousins on Mom's side. It was my turn to host so I took the opportunity to get both clans together in one place.

Larry Brown brought photos and a notebook compilation of the Brown family archive. It was great to see the photos and letters that our grandfather, my mother and her brother Delmar had gathered. Our grandparents were descendants of pioneers who had settled in Oregon in the 1840's so seeing the artifacts and reading the history was a real treat.

This was the ending of a very busy June. It was a lot of fun and full of variety. I'm looking forward to a few lazy days of summer before the chorus season begins again.