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Optimism may bring your kitty home, but it doesn't get you to the knitting store on time!  Darn it.  I never made it to Yellow Dog Knitting in Eau Claire on Friday.  I didn't realize until late Thursday that they closed at 4:00 on Friday (oh, the pressure!) and things just didn't go as smoothly with the grrs getting home from school, delivering the dog to the kennel, grabbing a bite to eat, and hitting the road!  I could have used at least another hour -- so, now I know.  We stopped so I could call, but I didn't have the phone number with me (I had the google map, the address, directions, no number) and trying to reach information from a pay phone is impossible.  I'd had a brief thought about going down on Saturday -- it was only 45 minutes -- but my sister's house was a whirlwind and I don't know what she would have done without me!

We did make it in time for my niece's graduation ceremony on Friday, but due to a time-crunch at even that late hour, there was some primping and changing in the van and/or parking lot/restrooms of Perkins.

Ar004602Don't click on this pic unless you've got a high-speed connection -- I forgot to re-size it, so it's huge.  These are my sister's tulips -- many of them are 3 or 4 flowers to a stem!  Her home looked very nice for festivities -- my brother-in-law is looking forward to "no projects in the month of July" and lots of fishing!

Thank you all for your kind words about Duncan.  If anyone thought that he'd done anything other than wander off for an adolescent toot, it wasn't ever articulated.  Even Ai's friends were encouraging and hopeful about his return.  I've enjoyed the comments about "wild oats," but wonder, really, how many wild oats a fixed little kitty has to sow?  And what's the attraction with the little friend -- who turns up now and then at the back door, but who is frightfully shy and likely feral?  It's obvious that Duncan didn't sweet talk his way into anyone's back door because he's so thin and, lordy, if he had, they'd have probably given him the boot because he's so loud and insistent!  I suppose he's just expressing his happiness and letting us know that he missed all the lovin' (and the full food dish).  Meow.

Oh, a little knitting -- not much!  I finished knitting Kate Gilbert's Papa Bunny and sewed the leg and ear seams, but need to embroider and fill before I call him finished.  I'm very happy.  Other than that, I'm only swatching.  Speaking of happy -- go tell Kate how happy you are for her, #1) cuz she's gonna have a baby, #2) cuz she gets to hobnob with knitbloggers on an international level, and #3) because it is her design that will grace the cover of Interweave Knits Fall 2005 (preview here) (thanks to Natalie at Keeping Me in Stitches for the link).

Sounds familiar

Squitten_1We interrupt Memorial Day (it's winding down, anyway, having finished our fry out) for a special announcement.  Duncan has returned home -- very vocally and quite thin.  He had a friend with him at the back door when he meowed -- instantly recognized even though his voice is lower (was this all due to adolesence?) -- but I think we scared him/her off with our exuberance at the boy's return.  Ai was upstairs; I told her to stop when she reached the landing, and to listen...  I'll let you imagine the shrieks of joy!

Happy Weekend

DandeI wanted to post a bug picture for Katy's Bug Week, but it's gone.  The weirdest thing -- a good-sized spider inside the stereo tuner, right by the dial thingy.  The fact that if it were not inside the tuner, it's fate would have been found smushed on the bottom of my shoe makes me feel no less sorry that it will just die in there because there's no way out.  How it got in there in the first place is a complete mystery.  I've had that tuner for over 20 years and I've never seen anything like it before!

SumSo, instead, I've got flora.  Since it was Kt who deleted the spider pics (or put them someplace "safe"), I swiped this great dandelion picture that she took.  On the right is my Sum & Substance hosta, and it's becoming quite substantial!  My foot is there for scale.  I am very pleased.  Elegans At left is a more artsy shot of Elegans, another large variety of hosta, with a more mundane, variegated variety peeking from behind.

Today, we're on our way north for my niece's high school graduation.  She, too, is an excellent student and garnered awards that will aid in the furthering of her education, too.  Thank you all for your kind words regarding Ai and her award.  Kt won one when she graduated, and now Ai -- maybe Mdd will earn one of those full rides.  Heh, a mom can dream, can't she?

Anyway, I'm hoping to hit the road very shortly after the grrs arrive home from their half-day at school, and maybe we'll make it to Yellow Dog Knitting in Eau Claire before they close today.  I sure hope so!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend.  Be safe.

Lots of clapping (no knitting)

Ai won a $1,000 scholarship from a local organization.  She wasn't expecting it and is very surprised and happy.  I'm pleased as punch and very proud!

My only knitting was at lunch-time yesterday -- an orange sherbet bunny ear.


First of all, I am banking on Duncan having sweet-meowed his way into someone else's back door.  He is such a sweet little kitty, with just the right mixture of sweet & sour, salt & pepper, sugar & spice -- I'm sure he sashayed right into their hearts, too.  Or maybe he's just being macho kitty and living in the bush for a while.  Whatever...  I look forward to his homecoming someday and I sure appreciate that you're all with me on that!

PetsSecond, Wendy, I'm not sure I mentioned the teddy bear pattern before, so thanks for the reminder.  'Tis one from Nursery Knits, by Debbie Bliss, which I scored for a quarter at my local St. Vinny's a while back.  (Woo!)  I'll tell ya, though, I'm loving that Orange Sherbet Dreamsicle Papa Bunny -- I hope to have a pic for you tomorrow, possibly even finished!  This little tower is stuff from the LYS sale destined to become more knitted pets.  The other is just a nice showing of yarn butts.

YarnbuttMore pics from the past couple of weeks will soon be in a new photo album on my sidebar.  I'm calling it NRT (or Nicotine Replacement Therapy) -- it could also be called, When the Cat's Away the Mouse Will Play, because that's what happens when you go off the patch, your LYS has an inventory reduction sale, and your husband goes away all at the same time!  I shall now resume my best behavior.

Headline News:  Senior Awards Night (tonight) at Ai's school -- she has won something, we just don't know what it is yet.  I'll be picking up DH at the airport tomorrow night.  We're heading up north to niece's graduation this weekend.  I'm stopping at Yellow Dog Knitting (whether my family likes it or not) on the way!  I woke up this morning and realized that I have not made arrangements for our Beagle Dog's weekend accommodations!  Crap.

Me me me me meme

Three names you go by:

  1. Vicki
  2. Victoria
  3. Mom

Three screen names that you have had:

  1. I have always
  2. been name
  3. challenged

Three things you like about yourself:

  1. I am smart
  2. I am creative
  3. I have a good sense of humor

Three things you don't like about yourself:

  1. My tummy
  2. I don't cook (or clean) as often as I'd like
  3. I am impatient with DH

Three parts of your heritage:

  1. German
  2. Irish
  3. Swiss

Three things that scare you:

  1. Heights (increasingly)
  2. Long-term illness
  3. Loss of physical function

Three of your everday essentials:

  1. Coffee...3 cups
  2. Caffeine-free Diet Coke
  3. Chocolate

Three things you are wearing right now:

  1. Birkies
  2. Lee Riders
  3. Mascara

Three of your favorite bands or musical artists (@ the moment):

  1. The Beatles
  2. Fleetwood Mac
  3. k.d. lang

Three of your favorite songs:

  1. Crazy
  2. Paradise by the Dashboard Lights
  3. So Happy Together (duh!)

Three new things you want to try in the next 12 months:

  1. "Rogue" (there, I said it)
  2. thereby knitting nearly an entire sweater on circs
  3. and a cardi, too, so sewing in a zipper

Three things I want in a relationship:

  1. Honesty
  2. Trust
  3. Laughter

Two truths and a lie:

  1. I'm not
  2. real good
  3. at this, either

Three physical things that attract you to the opposite sex:

  1. Laugh lines
  2. Nice hands
  3. Curly hair

Three things you can't do without:

  1. My family
  2. My garden
  3. Chocolate

Three of your favorite hobbies:

  1. Knitting
  2. Blogging
  3. Old movies 

Three places you want to go on vacation:

  1. Mediterranean
  2. U.K.
  3. Alaska

Three things you just can't do:

  1. Bake a decent cake from scratch
  2. Smoke
  3. Run or jog

Three kids names:

  1. Hazel Addy
  2. Gabriel Michael
  3. David Michael

Three things you want to do before you die:

  1. Travel the Maritime Provinces
  2. Get in the car and go
  3. Oh yeah, see world peace

Three celeb crushes:

  1. Gregory Peck
  2. Brad Pitt
  3. Liam Neeson


I am knitting an adorable Bunny of Kate's design in orange Berroco Plush.  It's "papa" size and reminds me of orange sherbet or a Dreamsicle.  Mmmmm, and OMG is it ever soft!  I'm also knitting a Debbie Bliss bear of Rowan Cotton Glace which is tiny and fast, but also tiny and futzy, and sometimes I'm not in the mood (or my hands cramp).  And Cromarty's second sleeve is being worked very, very slowly.  And blocking Goldie didn't help the shoulder problem, so it's draped over a chair while I plot my course.

Meanwhile, I'm waiting for a baby to be born because I'm tired of knitting gender-neutral baby things.  I am so hoping to cast on something pink -- with frills or lace.  Due date is June 5th, but my sister's already 75% effaced and the baby is "in position."  Even though my youngest child is about to enter high school, part of me wishes that I was having a baby, too.  Oh, I know I'm nuts, and I'm sure it'll pass...

I believe I'm about two weeks without any nicotine replacement therapy.  I'd just cracked the last box, Step 3, of the patch when my 19-years-quit BIL came to visit again.  While congratulating me on my success and warning me about feeling too confident, he muttered, "Lose the patch."  I don't know why I listen to him, but I do.  So, I lost it.  I had one bad week and a horrible, horrible day, but I'm better and I think I've gone through the worst.  I'm not to the point yet where I wonder why I ever smoked or why I didn't quit years ago -- they tell me that I'll eventually get there -- but the cravings are far fewer and fleeting.  I am managing (key words).  If I can do it, you can, too.  ((hugs))

We've lost Duncan.  It's been over a week and we all miss him.  I keep praying that he'll come back.  I think Mickey is, too.

I've been working on a meme that Katy sent me for hours.  Why can't I easily come up with the answers to these questions when I'm on the spot???  Tomorrow...

Gotcha covered

Dbathwin21jpg_1I sent these pics to Lauren a while ago, when she was wondering what to do with a window in her new digs.  (Hey, what did you do, Lauren?)  They were still on my computer, so I thought I'd share.  This is my downstairs bathroom and this window is right next to the toilet, so you can understand the need for utmost privacy here.  In my humble opinion, this is magic with lengths of fabric and tension rods.

The white-on-white panel at the bottom of the window has a casing at top and bottom and it's held inside the window frame with two tension rods.  I have made similar panels in lace to use where I didn't need quite so much privacy and, in that case, have often topped them with valances.

Dbathrd2jpgThe panel at the top is much longer than it needs to be and has an extra casing in the middle, as well as a large ruffle at the top.  I love how this looks -- it's dressy, but not too formal.  But it can be formal, depending on the fabric -- or not.  The sun has taken its toll on these, especially the top, so they're going to have to be re-done soon.

The real beauty of these, especially for someone just starting out or renting, is that they can be made for next to nothing.  The "fit" is not crucial, so they can often be used in other rooms, other places; and compared to many other window treatments, they use a minimum of fabric.  I have cut down larger curtain panels, sheets and other fabric that I've found at rummage sales or thrift shops.  The biggest expense might be the tension rods, but they're not a bad investment, either!

Itty bitty hearts

Dsc04450These itty bitty hearts pack a punch!  There've been plenty of bleeding hearts posted this spring, but I never tire of them.  These are brand new buds.  Not only do the little heart flowers themselves look like their "bleeding," but don't you think that the whole stem looks like it's dripping with or "bleeding" hearts?

Yesterday, I was off to move Kt home from college.  It was a gorgeous day, the sun was shining, the windows were down as I drove, the wind was blowing through my hair...  on my legs!  I swear.  I was a little lazy last winter; I'm Ms. Natural in a lot of ways, but I don't think I'd get used to that feeling.

Kt was packed up very well by the time I got there.  We grabbed a bite for lunch, started hauling -- only one flight up/down, thank goodness -- and were finished in about an hour and a half.  She checked out and then had to work one last time at her desk job before coming home.

Dsc04452I do believe I have a computer in pretty darn good shape.  I did it myself and I didn't lose a thing except spyware/adware/crap.  I do not regret one single minute or cent that I spent with the geeks in the last week, either.  I learned a lot from them.  Whew!  Now maybe I can get some knitting done!

Happy Weekend.

Thank You For The Music

Dsc04444'Twas the spring choral concert at the high school last night, so Ai's last.  It was long and, unfortunately, too much that was uninspired, but those kids know how to redeem themselves with a big finish!  First, they sang "America The Beautiful" and "The Awakening," both of which were performed at a choral festival last fall -- lovely!  The spring concert is always a tough one for the director, but it's hard for the kids (seniors), too, and there were tears with the presentation of flowers and the scrapbook they made to hold her collection of senior photos from the last 10 years!  But then they rolled out a chair for her and sang her a song:  "Thank You For The Music."  It was upbeat and sung from the heart -- that was an inspired song!  They had only practiced a few times -- whenever they had a particular substitute teacher -- oh, and there were more tears!  Forget-me-not...

Dsc04441Dsc04447I spent a little time on the phone with the Geek Squad before the concert.  Um, feeling the love not-so-much with last night's geek.  There has been improvement, but performance is not quite acceptable yet (and I am not expecting miracles nor, I guess, am I to expect perfection).  I'm inclined to take a computer break tonight and take it up tomorrow -- my day off, but also Kt's moving-home day!

I flew home and snapped some garden pics -- I've been enjoying Chelsea's pics (the pansies are to die for) and links.  Compare the photo at left with this one (slightly narrower view) from two weeks ago.  That bleeding heart almost reaches my shoulders, and all the itty-bitty heart blossoms...  Wow!


Emergency Baby Cashmerino -- in the mail for you tomorrow, Kristyn!  Rowan Cotton Glace -- destined to become teddy bears.  The top ball is already being transformed.

R.I.P. Frank "The Riddler" Gorshin.  Hee, take a look at some of those movie titles.


Middle Sister and I gave Dr. Sister, Ph.D., a concrete chicken for the garden last weekend to celebrate the doctor thing -- a 63-pounder!  I told the "doc" that the chicken was a reminder of how proud we are, crowing about her accomplishments everyday... cockadoodledoo!

I think I'm in love with the Geek Squad.  I am working with them by phone and, though we haven't finished quite yet, I am very happy.  I love that they don't take themselves too seriously.  When's the last time you laughed while on hold for tech support?  Talk of "covert ops" and spy music had me practically giddy!  Jackie and Sandy have both had geek dealings in the past and I think I'll be joining the Knitters-Love-Geeks fan base!

What I really need is a headset for my phone so my hands are free.  I didn't knit a stitch again last night, though I did cast on for a cute little teddy bear at lunchtime yesterday.

I stopped at the LYS again last night and I did not leave empty-handed.  DH picked a terrible time to go out of town and by now, I've rewarded myself well into the future in terms of money saved by quitting smoking!  Still well below the "new recliner" episode, though, and I still have wiggle room if I want to make it "three bags full."  Yes sir, yes sir, I kind of like the sound of that...

Damn Rock Stars

Rock Star
You scored 92%!
You damn rock star. You know all the basics, and if you got any wrong, I bet it was that stupid "You're So Vain" question. Your friends are probably intimidated by your knowledge of classic rock and envy your impressive collection. When a classic rock song comes on the radio, you can probably identify it before the vocals kick in most of the time. You probably get good scores on the "maiden name of Clapton's mom" tests, too.

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online dating free online dating
You scored higher than 66% on notes
Link: The BASIC classic rock Test written by allmydays on Ok Cupid

Honest, I don't know Eric Clapton's mother's maiden name, but I do love classic rock!  It's a fun test that I found at Snooze's the other day -- thanks!

I went to Jazzercise for the second time last night and oh, it hurts so good!  For the record, I did try to go on Saturday morning; somehow a door was inadvertently locked and I was one of about a half-dozen locked out.

Last weekend was the first of two city-wide rummage sales in my burg, so I got an earlier start than planned on Saturday and got my exercise by getting in and out of the car.  I was absolutely thrilled to find yarn at the very first sale -- real wool, even!  It was nothing thrilling and yet it was thrilling (I know you know what I mean), and I bought it all.

I did go to the sale at my LYS last night.  I brought home a bag full of yarn and had fun photographing it, but my computer is acting up again (I give up, my next call is to the Geek Squad) so there are no visual aids today.  I did stick to the plan, pretty much, and most of what I bought is for baby stuff (hats, jackets, booties, bears) -- Rowan Cotton Glace, DK Tweed, Handknit DK Cotton; Debbie Bliss Merino DK and Cotton Cashmere; some Galway worsted for Kool-aid dyeing.  I may have found the ball of Baby Cashmerino (ooh, nice stuff) that Kristyn is looking for, too!

Graduation 1

I believe it was 29 years ago today that I graduated from high school.  My family loved me for my short ceremony, having transferred from a school of 1200 to one of 200 between junior and senior year.  A class of 36 (if I recall correctly) can graduate in 45 minutes, including songs!

Over the weekend, I attended the first of three graduations on my spring calendar.  My baby sister was honored with her Doctor of Education degree.  It was very nice and, even though I wasn't supposed to, I whooped as she was hooded.  It's a big deal!  Now she can relax and have her baby.  Next up, the high school graduations of my niece and second daughter!

We had a lovely dinner at an Italian restaurant in Madison on Saturday night.  Behind us, there were four tables pushed together topped with two very large boards and there were at least 20 people seated around for "traditional spaghetti on a board."  The "spaghetti" was in the middle and everyone just served themselves.  I never heard of this and neither had anyone I was with.  My mother just couldn't help herself and said, to the woman nearest her, "So, you don't use plates??"  Ann, your Boar is Italian, is this a tradition anyplace other than Madison, Wisconsin?  What's up?

There was so little knitting done over the weekend that I have absolutely no business bringing it up.  However, you may recall that I received a gift certificate to an LYS for Mother's Day and I just received news that the shop is being sold and there's a big inventory reduction sale -- it starts today!

World peace

Think Sandra Bullock and "Miss Congeniality."  Elizabeth tagged me with this meme and I'm just going to do my own thing with it.  I'm in a mood today... it's cold, gray and wet outside, so the weather's not helping.  We just had a meeting about the upcoming increase in health insurance premiums and that is absolutely not helping!  But it is Friday.  Kt's coming home for the weekend (she has finals next week and then it's "summer"!).  We're going to Madison this weekend.  I will knit.  Okay, feelin' a little better now.

If I could be a scientist… I'd concoct a formula for world peace.
If I could be a farmer… I'd fertilize world peace.
If I could be a musician... I'd play world peace.
If I could be a doctor… I'd prescribe world peace.
If I could be a painter… I'd paint world peace.
If I could be a gardener… I'd plant world peace.
If I could be a missionary… I'd spread world peace.
If I could be a chef… I'd cook up world peace.
If I could be an architect… I'd design world peace.
If I could be a linguist… I'd translate world peace.
If I could be a psychologist… I'd analyze world peace.
If I could be a librarian… I'd shelve world peace.
If I could be an athlete… I'd compete for world peace.
If I could be a lawyer… I'd defend world peace.
If I could be an inn-keeper… I'd provide world peace with a warm bed (and leave the light on for ya).
If I could be a professor… I'd teach world peace.
If I could be a writer... I'd write about world peace.
If I could be a llama-rider… hmm...
If I could be a bonnie pirate… I'd sail the seas for world peace.
If I could be an astronaut… I'd fly to the moon for world peace.
If I could be a world famous blogger… I'd blog for world peace.
If I could be a justice on any one court in the world… I'd make a ruling for world peace.
If I could be married to any current famous political figure… I'd withhold sex 'til we got some world peace!

And if I had a hammer, I'd hammer in the morning...

I hope y'all have a nice weekend.

I can move!

Okay, Jazzercise was a blast!  I don't know all the moves (but there's video online, how cool is that?), so I know I didn't get the workout that I could have, but it was enough that I've definitely been reminded of some muscles that had slipped my mind.  There are some "new" options, like using weights and bands, and I like that.  I feel great -- I'll skip it tonight (or I really might need a wheelchair), but will go again on Saturday morning.  My friend said, "I didn't want to like it, but I do!"  ; )

Dsc04379Dsc04378Sweet!  Lesli is a Quitter in GA.  I sent her an atta-girl package a few weeks ago and look, she sent one in return!  Taking my cue from the tins of Starbucks after-coffee mints and after-coffee gum, the photo was taken this morning with my coffee pot as the morning nectar brewed.  The lavender sachet has already been placed in my yarn hamper and I took a big whiff of the soap as I placed it in a dish upstairs -- yum!  She sent a great card, "Woo-Hoo!" and a package of gift cards that I can use, and "365 Knitting Stitches A Year."  Oh yeah, and really good cookies.  Thank you, Lesli!  There have been lots of triggers this week and I've thought about smoking more than I have in a while; I really needed a "Woo-Hoo!"

One of the biggest triggers has been the continuing frustration with my freaking internet connection at home.  I'm sorry for the lack of emails in response to comments, but I'm trying to remain a nonsmoker.  I've run every kind of virus, adware and spyware thing I can think of, plus the "soft restore," and it's still slower than molasses in January, though ever-so-slightly improved last night/this morning.  I finally called Time-Warner this morning to see if there's some overall degradation in my area or something.  Apparently, there was some sort of upgrade in late January and my current modem is no longer compatible; I should have received (didn't) an email about trading it in.  Huh.  I don't know if that will totally fix my problem, but if I can get to their office before 6 tonight, we'll soon find out!

It's all relative

As much as I can "enjoy" commercials, I have been enjoying Roadrunner's latest featuring Eric Clapton.  Funny thing about Eric Clapton; I never really liked his songs at the time that they were hits, but I like them now.  The unplugged version of Layla is a big fave and, I think, has made me appreciate the plugged version more.  Anyway, I heard a RR commercial on the radio last night and one of the lines was:  'They call him [Eric Clapton] slow-hand... but he's really fast.'  Cracked me up.

If they called me slow-hand, it would be because I'm slow.  I spent a fair amount of time browsing through the pages of Loop-d-Loop last night.  I even searched for suitable needles and yarn to cast on something -- almost anything -- from the book.  In the end, I realized that I don't have anything suitable and I worked on Cromarty instead.  I also (finally) threw Goldie in the washer on the handwash cycle -- Kt's coming home this weekend!

You've seen Loop-d-Loop on d-blogs of late.  Yesterday, Sandy said, "Some kind of different stuff, eh?"  I'm going to have to agree, but I think it's really great stuff.  It's a wonderfully photographed book with very innovative designs -- but not "too out there" designs.  Most of it is stuff that I'd wear or (if I'm a wee "too old") that my grrs would wear.  I am very much reminded of Maggie's Ireland, which I've had in my hands numerous times but which is still not in my knitting library.  I admire Maggie's work, and it is one of the most beautiful books ever, but I would not make or wear much of anything.

On the subject of books and comments, I would wholeheartedly recommend Debbie Bliss Quick Baby Knits as a good, general baby knits book.  I've only made two bootie patterns so far, but there is much more that I'd like to make.  I like the wide variety of projects -- from booties to blankets to sweaters.  I have to admit, Vicki, that I had to wing it at one point with the picot-edge booties because I wasn't sure what the directions were saying, but it all worked out.  Also, I knit the first garter stitch Kool-aid bootie completely blind -- there was no schematic and I had no clue how the stitches I was working on the needle were going to turn into a bootie, but they did.  I usually read through a pattern before I begin, but that doesn't mean I always understand it -- sometimes it's a leap of faith and I just work my way through it.

Dsc04376As hoped, these two have become fast friends.  Tonight, I'm going with one of my "fast friends" (heeee) to Jazzercise.  Y'all remember Jazzercise?  Ai said, "What is this, the '80s?"  (Are y'all laughing at me, too??)  Along with "saving money" from quitting smoking (I don't know where it goes), I'm also, apparently, saving fat (I don't know where it's coming from).  It's only about 7 pounds, but I didn't really have room for that, and I don't want it turning into 14.  Plus, I'm at the age where my body's just changing and doing weird stuff.  I've weighed pretty much the same for years, but lately my belly's like jelly (as is my butt) and my thighs are indescribable; I never used to have to wear a bra, but now I feel like I do -- and it makes some unsightly rolls and bulges. I did go to Jazzercise in the '80s and I had fun -- and it worked!  I'm givin' it a go again -- Hit Me With Your Best Shot!  (They probably don't use that song anymore, but it used to be one of my faves.)


My DH is flying to SoCal this morning to spend two weeks helping his dad build a "playhouse" in the backyard.  This playhouse thing is something in my DH's blood.  We were talking about his trip this morning and he told me that he had two stops -- one in Minneapolis and the other in Salt Lake City.  You know what I thought about, don't you?  My knit blog friends in those places (say "Hi" to Margene)!

Boot2Boot1I rushed around this morning and had time to photograph the booties.  I finished last night -- ends woven in and everything (and man, there were a LOT of ends).  That's thread-needled coreopsis on the right and the glorious creeping phlox on the left.  DH was watching and was humored.  He saw me put the booties in the phlox and aim the camera.  "Wait!!"  He repositioned the booties and said, "Take that picture from over here!"  Then I laughed -- how do you like that, I've got my own blog photo stylist, my own knit blog art director!

Anyway, I love these booties.  I'll update the photo album with complete specs, but for starters:  Plymouth Galway Worsted, Kool-aid dyed with Lizbeth Upitis during at Spring Midwest Masters seminar, US3 needle, another pattern from Debbie Bliss Quick Baby Knits.

LoopyYou know that $170-plus that I've "saved" since I quit smoking?  I don't actually have a single dime stashed because I keep buying myself rewards like this.  I'm probably even in the hole on that account, if you want to get technical.  These two arrived in my mailbox on Friday or Saturday.  I really have enough in the realm of baby knit books now and I should stop.  Now.  I'll never be able to stop buying books like Loop-d-Loop, though.  Never.

Crazy day

I had a good Mother's Day.  It was much better than the one when my car burned up in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn while we ate brunch.  That was five years ago and, really, that wasn't so bad, either, because I got more for the burnt up car that I was running into the ground than I would have been able to sell it for and I got a new car out of the deal.  No other vehicles were damaged because, miraculously, something-about-the-transmission and the car rolled into a low spot in the lot and just burned up all by itself.  It was very weird, to say the least.

It's nutso today.  We lost email at work because of something-about-changing-DSL-lines and six-months-as-a-courtesy, so it was a scramble to figure out what the hell was going on and then what to do to fix it!  Ack.  I'll tell you, some companies are not as hip to the fact that it's communication that's key, and making sure that they are understood, not their high-tech, voice-activated answering system.  I don't know about you, but I feel completely idiotic responding to systems like this whether I'm alone or there are people around.  It is unnatural to speak into a phone to a robotic voice prompt that creeps you out by thinking that it kinda-sorta understands.  I never thought I'd say it, but it makes me want to press 1 or 2 and then the star key.  Anyway, none of our email addresses are valid anymore and we did not understand that this was going to happen.  Compounding the problem is that I'm talking with someone not from 'round here and language further complicates/-ed the communication issue.

Over the weekend, I finished a baby bootie and got a great start on the other.  I got another novel about knitting for Mother's Day and a gift certificate for an LYS.  I went out to eat WAY too many times (but it was all good!).  I did some weeding in the garden and that felt great.  It was WARM yesterday!  I watched "Beaches" and "De-Lovely" and only wish I'd have had better success at my home computer stuff and more time for knitting.

My brain is mushy and I'm sure this is a bit disjointed.  Man, all of May is pretty much a whirlwind, but I'm hoping for a few calm patches.  I'm off to read about Aice's Norma's (and everyone's!) Adventures in Wonderland Maryland.

Let's focus on something else

I'm trying not to think about a few things:

States east of me that start with M.  Michigan = The closest stop on the Harlot Tour and yet too far.  According to Google Maps, it's 5-1/2 hours from my house to Kalamazoo -- I'll bet it would take half that time (and worth considering) if it wasn't for that stupid lake.  Maryland = Waaaaaaaaaaaaa.

Computers.  I think I'm making progress.  My mouse suffered no abuse last night (and neither did I spend all night with it in my hand).  I'm dedicating the weekend to solving the problem(s) in one manner or another.  I'll also be able to practice my knitting while computing (I've never been very good at it).

Knitting.  I worked on Cromarty and by the end of the night, I'd frogged everything I'd accomplished and more.  Obviously, I still need to practice "reading my knitting."  I'm happy that I'm working a sleeve instead of one of the body pieces.  The good news is that, in the process, I also ripped an additional mistake that I was going to live with, but now I won't have to.  Maybe I just need to loosen up.

Smoking.  My morning Quitnet numbers:  49 days; 983 cigs; 7 days, 12 hours; $171.50.  By this time tomorrow, that cig number will be over a thousand.  One thousand.  1,000.  It's still hard sometimes, but numbers like that motivate me.

On the bright side:

States east of me that start with M.  There will be bloggers galore at both events and I have not yet tired of such tales (or pictures).  There are sure to be antics in Maryland with the list of known attendees being what it is; y'all be sure to spill.  I want people stories sprinkled with pics of cute sheep, gorgeous yarn and breathtaking fiber.  Don't be shy you guys -- if you recognize anyone/anything (a plain vanilla sweater, a tank top setting off metal detectors, Hulda, a sock taking in the sights, an Aran that you know you've seen somewhere before), you walk right up and say hello, rub some shoulders, take some pictures.  No one's going to think you're weird -- you're one more crazy knitter amongst a bunch of crazy knitters!  You know you'll be sorry if you don't.  And I'm counting on you!!

Computers.  Really, if it weren't for computers, I wouldn't be a part of all this fun.

Knitting.  I'm holding down the fort at work today, and that means knitting!  I'm going to practice reading Cromarty and I brought a baby bootie.

Smoking.  Did you see those numbers?  I'm so proud of all the quitters.

Have a great weekend and Happy Mother's Day.

Stitchless in Wisconsin

After declaring that I wasn't going to spend very much time doing computer junk* last night, I spent all night doing computer junk.  I watched two minutes of the local news while thinking about pulling out the knitting, then went to bed and read Knitting.  I'm such a slow reader these days, but I'm enjoying the book so far.

Dsc04358This is for Cara.  She wanted to see the whole garden!  This is a big part of the back/lower garden -- kind of looks Old World-ish with all that stone.  Our big ol' house is perched at the edge of a ravine and this really is "lower" -- the window you see is a basement window and there's a door a ways off on the right.  The bleeding heart from yesterday is in front of the tree trunk.  The little tufts of green on this side of the path are forget-me-nots, and carpeting the foreground is a lot of dianthus.  Also in this garden are astilbe, yarrow, lilies, delphinium, sedum, columbine, hydrangea, chives, hosta, and four or five things that I can "see" but not name.

Serious brilliance right here.  Oh my goodness, the laughter and tears!  Oscar-worthy, no?  I've advised Jen to start composing her acceptance speech.

*I have been made aware and have scanned, blasted and cleaned all the crap, pop-up, redirect, spy and/or ad junk that I can and my cable internet is still so slow that, in a fit of frustration (when I'd formerly have gone outside and smoked an entire cigarette in 20 seconds, just blowin' off steam) I took it out on my mouse.  I left-clicked so many times, my finger was twitchin' kind of like you've pictured the Harlot's eyebrow -- uncontrollable.  When that didn't work (ya think?), I picked it up and slammed it down on its pad.  Hard.  More than once.  A couple-few times.  It's okay; do you think they take this behavior into consideration in the design phase?  DH (totally too trusting and not computer savvy) admitted to clicking on some things that he probably shouldn't have.  Bottom line:  major back-up and restore operations planned for the weekend, and more big warning notes scrawled and tacked up on the monitor.

Crabby much?

So, for my pity party luncheon yesterday, I had crabby patties generously sprinkled with PMS.  Could you tell?  I don't know why it's like a revelation when I finally make the PMS connection -- I suppose because it doesn't happen every single month.  I'm much better today -- the weather is improving and my computer seems to be a little better.  My mood was improving already yesterday -- your comments and emails were very sweet.  Ann even sent me pictures of HER bleeding hearts!

VolsHrt2Here are mine.  The picture on the left shows Mama Heart kind of at the upper right; there are offspring just to the left of her and at the bottom left (in the garden path) and right, and even they are blooming.  I think I actually spotted another volunteer last night.  I need to get these guys moved.  Aren't they beautiful?  I just love 'em.

PhlThe creeping phlox is starting to bloom, too.  I have them in two beds, one of which isn't looking too good.  They're sure a soft, pretty color, and I love how the flower buds are all twisted up (click to make big so you can see, it's pretty cool).

NotguacHostas!  Here's one that I like to call "not guac."  I keep forgetting what it's called -- it's a miniature, and might have "tiara" in its name.  There's a variety called "guacamole" that I want, but do not have yet.  The tallest shoot of "sum & substance" is about five inches; might this beauty live up to the last half of its name this year?  Most of the other large hosta shoots aren't even half this tall yet.

SumsubI pretty much ignored my computer last night.  I found an interesting article this morning, and this news helped cheer me up yesterday.  It just shouldn't have to be this hard or this aggravating or this (potentially) expensive.  Anyway, I've been using Bonne Marie's geek links a lot, and truly appreciate your suggestions and advice.

DunPlant and pet pics today; perhaps there will be knitting tomorrow.  I don't know exactly how this happened, but here's Duncan sprawled across DH's lap, sleeping with his head cradled in DH's hand.  I'll tell ya, he is one trusting and hangin' loose kitty!  While Duncan snoozed, I worked my way into the second repeat of the last Cromarty sleeve.


Do I have to count the ways in which a day off is better spent than dealing with computer crap?  Spyware, adware, viruses -- the litany of stuff that gets on my computer without my knowledge or consent, slowing my cable connection to the speed of dial-up, that requires me to become geekier than I want to be and/or fork out money to true geeks.  I'm disenchanted with computers and anything having to do with them.  It's just all crap and getting to be too much.

I'm knitting some cool Kool-aid booties and the second sleeve of Cromarty.  I finished Goldie, but the sleeve caps are wonky and they look like Patti LaBelle shoulders after a while.  If a blocking doesn't take care of it, I'll be reknitting them again.

My bleeding heart is starting to bloom (and so are the volunteers), but it's been too darn cold for a good look-see.

My sister is 8 months pregnant and doesn't have a single stretch mark.  What the hell?

I don't frickin' smoke anymore and I guess it's too early to drink.  Guess I'll have to blow some extra-fierce bubbles with my bubble gum!  Maybe I'll have a double.