Monday, June 30, 2008


I've been cuddling my knitting bag and telling it I will never leave it behind again. I've promised to take it to church with me to show everyone who prayed it would find its way home and I'm going to try to think about what I do when I do it.


That should be good for a week or so.

The good people at Moraine Park had put it behind the counter instead of the lost & found. One more reason to love that place.

Anyway, thanks for all the good wishes. I am so happy, even though I haven't knitted a stitch since I got home this morning. Because I've been rearranging the house again. Tom doesn't like it but he understands that I have to do it. I had taken the dining table upstairs to his sitting room and had put the living room in the dining room because the living room is now my bedroom. I can't handle the stairs that well in the wee hours of the night when I make my frequent potty trips so Tom insists I sleep downstairs. He works nights and doesn't want to come home and find me at the bottom of the stairs. His words.

Unfortunately the day bed isn't all that comfortable for two critters and me. I think one of the reasons I keep waking up in pain is because I have to sleep in one position all the time because said critters sleep on either side of me. So I swapped the day bed and the futon couch so I'll have a full size bed to sleep in now. And I took the card table, slapped a nice tablecloth on it and put it in front of the day bed so we can eat in the dining/living room again. Although we're not much at sitting down for a meal, Tom has expressed a desire for us to do it on the weekends so now we have a place to eat.

I am so looking forward to sleeping all stretched out.

But the house is still a mess. Or rather the kitchen and my bedroom are still a mess. The living/dining room looks pretty good, aside from all the clutter that gathers in cubbies on the hutch and desk.

So now I need to clean my room, find a place for all my knitting and look forward to knitting like a big girl tonight.

I got some spinning done and ordered some more roving. I've plied more than half of it and it looks pretty good. I washed it a bit after plying and hung it up without any weight on it and it looks pretty balanced. I didn't know if you were supposed to or not, but I saw on some boards on Ravelry that yes, you can. So, yes, I did.

Now I'm off to let the prayer chain know.


Friday, June 27, 2008

I am so hosed.

Not knitting today. Didn't knit yesterday.


I left my knitting bag at the college yesterday. At least I hope I did. It didn't make it home with us and that's the only place I went besides MickeyD's and I know I didn't take it in there so...

They were closed today and will be closed tomorrow so I won't be able to resolve this until Monday morning. Nearly all my knitting needles were in there along with some irreplaceable patterns and some library books. I'm more worried about the books than anything else because I take my lending privileges very seriously. I sincerely hope someone was honorable and turned it in.

And I sincerely hope that's where I left it because otherwise it went into the big black hole that sucks up all the stuff we lose and never find again. And that would be unthinkable.

I finished spinning the singles and will get a picture of it before I start plying. Right now it's hanging up in the kitchen setting the twist. I've been working with my black sheep wool and it's surprising how well I'm doing with it. I guess practice does make adequate perfect after all. My rolags are pretty pathetic though and the yarn is scratchy in places. I'm still picking VM out of it.

I guess I will knit dish cloths today because I still have all my straight needles and I might have a UFO somewhere still on the needles. Unfortunately I tend to pull the needles out to use them before I actually finish the project.

I think I may need a new brain transplant.

ETA: I found the Hedera pattern and I still have my dpns for that project so I'll be knitting socks this weekend. Whew!


Thursday, June 26, 2008

If I claim the camera broke would you believe me? I thought not.

Okay, you can shoot me at dawn tomorrow. Still no pictures. I've lost the picture-taking mojo, it seems. And the moving from this chair mojo since I am directly in front of the fan and it's hot here. Even Professor is planted in front of this fan, while Hannibal is on my bed by the other fan.

Supposedly we will have rain tomorrow which should make the heat nice and muggy instead of just hot. Oh. Joy.

Today was such a mess. Tom got home late so I had to take the truck to take Zach to school and I had no sun shade for it so I had to go buy one but it was still hot in the truck while waiting so I went and got breakfast at MickeyD's after which it occurred to me that not driving home to save money wasn't really saving money if I was spending it on ways to keep cool while waiting. time I'm coming home.

I finished one sock of Hedera and may get around to making another as soon as I figure out where I put the pattern. What I have been doing is a lot of spinning, which takes a while on a kick spindle. I've been drooling over spinning wheels and the Woolery has a couple that are reasonably priced. I got my kick spindle from them and they are very nice.

I've got to figure out what to do when I get done with this batch of roving. I'm nearly there. I still need to ply it and figuring out how exactly to do that on a kick spindle will be a bit of fun. But I want more to spin. I need more to spin. Do I buy a fleece or more roving? I haven't had a lot of luck with the black sheep wool I got for free, but the fleece is rather short-haired and everything I see in the instructions is twice as long. I don't mind the work but I want to be able to spin it afterwards. And all I have are carders. The manual kind.

And where exactly to get the fleece? If I just play around with my black sheep wool (and I still have probably 30 pounds of it left...some of it mysteriously found its way into the garbage can after Tom left for work...I mean 80 pounds of stinky, dirty sheep fleece sitting in the basement???? I didn't ask for it, you know.) and wait for the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool festival, then I can see the fleece in person, fondle touch it, and see the colors but that is all summer of washing and carding fleece that I probably wouldn't knit up into anything I would wear. On the other hand, I would get a lot of practice in. But it would be practice in fleece that has a lot of limitations.

I wonder how far away the nearest sheep farm is.

I really meant to ride my bike today but it's still too hot. I think maybe morning will work better. On days I don't ride, I need to get my step out and step to Deep Space 9, which I tape every night.

I think I will go watch stuff I have taped and spin while waiting for the sun to go down and the house to cool off. Cleaning at midnight has more appeal to me than cleaning right now. I know it isn't hot, hot yet but since I am so well insulated, the heat affects me more. I'm guessing I need to remove some of that insulation and soon. For my health more than any other reason though.

Yep...tomorrow I diet.

Somebody shoot me.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Here comes the thunder

Yet another storm coming in. Yesterday Professor was outside and I was watching from the front door when I saw a bright flash of lightening. Concerned because his leash had metal on it, I called to him but thunder happened just at that moment. Loud thunder. He crouched and looked around trying to figure out where it came from. And then he skedaddled into the house very quickly. All afternoon after that someone was either shooting at something or slamming something that sounded very much like gunfire and Professor was a mess, barking hysterically.

Since we live so close to the edge of town, we do hear gunfire fairly frequently.

Not fun.

So it just started thundering again and he slept through it. Didn't even raise his ears.

I do love the smell of rain even though we've had more than our share of it of late. I talked to some people at church this morning who have had more damage than we have. I count my blessings.

And even more blessings. Things are improving here at home all the way around. Well, except for the finances. Those are a lost cause, I think. But Tom seems to be trying and while I am skeptical, I am willing to work with him. And so is Zach. We're planning a picnic for the fourth of July at Ledge Park, scroll down and note: flush toilets! It's not far from home and is a breathtakingly beautiful spot with lots of shade.

Zach and I have been bicycling around town. We discovered Thursday, though, not to do it on our side of the highway because it's all hills around here and I'm not in shape for that yet. There are plenty of hills on the other side, but it is flatter in spots so you can catch your breath in between. Not so on this side. I had to buy a bike though because the one Tom fixed up for me is way too short. I was nearly hitting my chin with my knees. Zach is really doing well with it and with him not wanting to get his license any time soon (more on that later) he needs to find alternate transportation. Fortunately he really likes bicycling. I just wish this area was more bike friendly. You can't even ride through the downtown area because of traffic congestion, and that is the only road through town because of the river. The side streets end at the river.

Oh, and my rear end hurts from the bicycle seat. They can put a man on the moon but we still have to endure hard bicycle seats.

Today on the way home from church a car coming toward us (at 55+ mph) lost a hubcap which made its way directly toward us at a pretty good speed. I was able to avoid it (it would have caused serious damage if I had hit it the way because of the direction and speed and my car sitting low to the ground) by slamming on the brakes (the car behind me wasn't terribly happy at nearly slamming into us but let that be a lesson to him not to tailgate anymore) but Zach lost his breath for a few seconds and I thought I was going to have to pull over and lay him out flat.

This is what people don't understand about OCD. It's not a character-trait that makes you anal about things. It's a mental disorder that affects how you handle situations. And this is not a person you want behind the wheel of the car ahead of you or coming at you.

End of rant.

I keep meaning to post pictures soon but I've been so very lazy about it. I want to show you the river which is still almost covering the park benches. And the socks I'm making. I got some yarn today to make baby Timothy from church his welcome to the world present. But primarily I've been spinning and fixing up things around the house. And bicycling.

Zach got his grades from last semester. All A's except for one B. I'm so proud. I just wish we could hear from the financial aid people since tuition for the fall classes is due soon.

I have some new blogs on the list to the left. Peg's Journey is my sister's blog about her sabbatical and trip to Europe. She's in Rome now. All my life I wanted to go there so at least I can go vicariously. I'm so happy for her to have this opportunity. The other blog is the Enthusiastic Crochetaholic. I found her by way of Aisla (who is one of my favorite people in blogdom). I did some culling of the herd because I really wasn't reading a lot of them. But these that are left are my favorites although some of the less-well-known-ones are higher up on the list than the more popular ones.

Well, off to start the pizza. I have to start about this time of day since I make it from scratch and the dough takes a while to rise.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

No KIP day for me

But I did WIP yesterday. That is...Weed in Public. I managed to find the rose bushes and haul a bunch of stuff away from the back door to be hidden in the garage until I can load them up in the truck to their new home in the landfill.

Hey, I tried to give the stuff away but no takers through Freecycle.

I'm really not getting much knitting done at all. Not one stitch on Hedera but I did play around with some dishcloth patterns, trying to find the right one for my secret sister. I think I'll go with a round one.

I'm ready to set the twist on half of the remaining roving. My spindle is full so I need to do something with it. I'm not sure I'm doing it right but it's working for me so that's all that matters for now. I have such a dgas (don't give a sh*t) attitude right now. I do want it done right, but I don't know that there is one, and only one, way to do it.

We seem to be drying out now. Our predicted thunderstorm ended up being dark, dark clouds, distant thunder rumbles, and five drops of rain. I'm okay with that.

I'm off to take a nap. I never sleep well on Saturday nights and have to get up early on Sundays so I spend the day in a fog usually.

And then some real knitting tonight.


Friday, June 13, 2008

I need an attitude adjustment

Have you ever noticed that as soon as you get rid of something, you need it? I got rid of my South Beach books last month and decided this week that I need to go back on it because my sugar is high. Since I knew the principles (and darn near had the book memorized) I didn't figure I'd really need the book but the recipes would have been nice. I found a copy at the thrift store today for a buck so I took it.

Does anyone else ever go to the thrift store just to see if the stuff they donate sells? Or am I the only one?

Thankfully, everything I gave them last week is gone off the shelves now so I feel pretty good about that. I gave them a new load today while Zach was signing up to volunteer.

He's still pursuing jobs but can't even get an interview so he decided that he wanted to do volunteer work for the experience and the pleasure. He's very good with older people and they tend to be the ones volunteering so he should be fine.

I also found a vcr there for $20 (and since today was half-price day $10.) I thought I could use it as a tuner for my bitty tv that doesn't pick up all the channels but it doesn't seem to work that well. It plays tapes well though. I'll give it to Tom for his bedroom upstairs. There are a couple of channels we get down here that he would like to watch upstairs so he can tape down here and watch up there.

Happy Father's Day to him.

Actually we bought him a new coffee maker and a new gun sling. And plan on having a special sit down dinner on Saturday night with pork chops, his favorite meal.

And I got a calendar for Christmas. I know...I'm a bitch. He did buy me some flower seeds for Mother's Day but I had made a point of it on New Year's Eve. I always think of that day in italics because it was a very nasty day for me. Let's start the new year out by emotionally abusing the wifey. It's not like she's not down in the pits anyway. Let's see if we can dig deeper.

I mentioned to him that it hurt me that he didn't get me anything for Mother's Day (in like...ever), my birthday (for like...two years) and only got me a calendar for Christmas. He blamed me for it. I never got the logic but I did get the inflicted pain. And it hurt.

So now anything he gets me is meaningless. To be honest, I'd just as soon he got me nothing. Then I wouldn't have to pretend how happy I was.

Must. Stop. Bitching.

Of course, I could cop attitude and just grump that it's my blog and I can bitch if I want to.

After is who I seem to be lately.

On the plus side...the sun is shining. I bought some cotton yarn yesterday to make some dishcloths for my secret sister at church. I thought about not knitting at all for her because it would almost be like telling her who I was but finding gifts for $5 is near-impossible and I can do so much more with knitting. And my spinning is coming along nicely.

As for my secret project...not so much. I keep postponing it and I can't figure out why.

I'm off to wash dishes. Woopee! I can't wait.

But I'm the kind of person who has to have the house clean before I sit down to work on projects and that just hasn't happened in the last couple of weeks so...


Thursday, June 12, 2008

As the clouds roll in

Or rather, as they continue to roll in.

Yesterday I made my annual pilgrimage to Fond du Lac to see the surgeon and I am happy to report that all is well. Another year cancer-free. I consider each one a gift, truly. I just need to start acting like it.

I hadn't considered the road conditions on the way up but when we got to Theresa, I saw those lovely orange and white barriers and thought, "Oh, noooooo..." Fortunately, I had given myself plenty of time and the situation wasn't as dire as it looked at first. Okay, the river was covering the road, but there was a small area dead center where you could still see the center line so it was one-lane traffic for a short while. I had to wait for oncoming traffic but Theresa isn't a high traffic area so it wasn't a long wait.

I haven't fixed the basement yet because I haven't been to the hardware store but I was waiting for everything to dry out a bit first. And of course, there are some nasty colors moving in on the radar map. Just the day for spinning or knitting or reading. But I must go to the library and get the grocery shopping done so I have to find just the right moment.

The Hedera sock is coming along slowly, but nicely. I turned the heel last night although it might not be the same way the pattern calls for. Once I get to the heel, I just do things my way. It's not that I'm not open to learning new ways, it's just that I love turning the heel that way. Just like I love kitchener so I don't care to knit socks toes up.

I have one cake of yarn from my spinning. Unplied, of course. I started spinning the second ball of roving and it seems like I'm going to be far short of yardage on this one. I'm sure my yarn is as thin as the first ball, but I don't know. I guess I'll just have to wait and see. I may try Navajo plying if the cakes are obviously different yardage. Not that I know how to do that yet.

I have a project I want to start if I can get past being paralyzed by fear of failure. It requires a small investment of money and a large investment of time but I keep saying to myself that if I spend the money and once again, I bail out, then it's more money spent that we could have used elsewhere. On the other hand, not spending the money leaves me in a position of planned failure anyway.

Gargh! When did I become such a wimp? I used to take chances. I used to have follow-through. I used to actually finish what I started.

Off to the store before the storm gets here. I'm thrilled that Stephanie won Top Chef last night. I guess it's not the kiss of death if I pick someone to win after all.


Monday, June 9, 2008

Mercy, please!

I'm ready to cry uncle...throw in the towel...anything but please stop adding more stress to my life.


I've been dealing with a homeless son for a couple of weeks which was thankfully resolved last night when he finally found a place to stay. He's been living in his car, trying to find a job and avoid having his car repossessed. Both my mom and I have lost a lot of sleep praying for this guy. I love him dearly but it's hard to handle his problems on top of my own.

Then I read in the paper last week that several leading loan companies are bailing out of the student loan business for two-year colleges. Tuition is due in a little over a month and we haven't heard anything from the financial aid people. If Zach can't get a student loan, I'm not sure what we will do. He has applications out all over the place and not a single call for an interview. His references are great and his record at school is outstanding. He's available all hours this summer but nothing.

We had a major storm over the weekend with over 11,000 lightening strikes in one hour according to the news people. The thunder was near constant and very close. I have never heard thunder of that frequency or intensity before. And rain...lots of it. And some of it in the basement. I went downstairs to squeegee the floor so I could do laundry, not wanting to turn the dryer on while standing in a pool of water, and heard something like a faucet running. I looked over in the corner and water was pouring out of the wall like it was coming from a spigot. Hard and fast. Fortunately it was pouring into the old shower stall so it went right down the drain.

I went upstairs to Tom's bedroom to let him know and there was water on the stairs coming from the ceiling. I put a bucket under it but I haven't been upstairs since then so I don't know how bad the drip was. It's possible it just was water driven under the shingles. We were having some bodacious wind. There were tornadoes in other parts of the county.

Professor walked out the door yesterday behind Tom and Tom didn't notice. I didn't know until I heard him barking out front. I panicked and flew out the door but he was standing the distance from the door that his leash gives him barking at a passing car. Since he has been known to try to chase them while on the leash, I am so grateful that he didn't do it this time. He's never sneaked out the door before so now we will have to keep a close eye on him. I worry because he's tiny and we live behind a major highway, and I worry because his chihuahua-ness makes him snarky and he's been known to bark viciously. I don't think he would bite anyone, but I know he would snap at them, though never making contact. He's usually pretty good around kids but they can be unpredictable and he's a bitty dog.

Oh, Lord.

I just want a break. Just one day when I don't have to worry about money or family or health.

I did manage to finish spinning half the roving I got from the Sheep & Wool Festival last fall. It's hanging in the bathroom right now setting the twist. It's not great work but it is a bit more consistent than my first efforts. And I'm really enjoying the kick spindle.

But I haven't gotten much knitting done. I've been falling asleep when I crawl into my bed at night to watch tv and knit.

I've been doing some more reading of late as well. Still trying to kick-start my brain.

Off to cook supper and then into my jammies and cozy up with my knitting.


Friday, June 6, 2008

Too dark for pictures

I give up. The clothes are in the dryer. I wish I could finish them up outside because the wind is just lovely, but it keeps raining intermittently and I'm still on the same load of clothes from two days ago.

I'm beginning to question the intent of some people who are on Freecycle. I keep seeing people wanting to furnish their homes, want working laptops, 52" color televisions, working dvrs, and reliable cars. I thought the purpose was to keep things out of the landfill. Yet nothing on my list even got a hit. And none of it was junk. Sure, it needs to be repaired, but I was honest about the condition of everything. I think I'm just going to put a free sign on the stuff and leave it in the driveway. If no one takes it, it's going to the landfill. I have to make room here. We're about to explode with all the stuff we've got crammed into our bitty house. And I'm not going to feel guilty about taking it to the landfill.

I couldn't sleep again last night and was flipping through the channels when I happened upon the news stations. All of them had the same story: Secret meeting with Obama and Hillary. Huh? Secret? For pete's sake, there was a crowd of reporters outside her home. How secret could that meeting possibly be?

I've been getting a lot of spinning done lately. I'm still not very good at it though. I would hope there would be some incremental improvement going on but not so far. I will continue to work at it though.

Tom made a drop spindle out of the broken one from my kick spindle. I tried it the other night with my black sheep wool rolag and it works well, but the rolag was hideous to work with. I'm probably going to throw the rest of all that fleece out. It's just not good to work with now that I have improved enough to use the good stuff. Not to mention, it feels terrible. You can feel the lanolin still in it, it smells like sheep, and is very rough to the touch.

I still wish I could make a living out of doing this.

Well, SciFi is having a Firefly marathon on so I'm off to spin for the day. And get some knitting done tomorrow. Not much housework today as I'm working on three days with less than 3 hours of sleep each night. Number one son is having problems that are keeping me in a state of constant anxiety. It doesn't get any easier when they grow up.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

And then it rained

This is what happens when you procrastinate the laundry. It rains and you end up with racks of wet clothes in your bedroom. I knew I should have done it all yesterday when it was sunny and the wind would have dried them in no time. load a day until the sun shines again or I get caught up.

I got a lot of spinning done today. I'm still not sure I'm doing it right but it looks better than it used to. Sometimes I seem to get it too thin though. I'm debating calling Michelle at Loose Ends to set up a spinning class, but then I would want a spinning wheel and I can't afford it. Ideally I would love to find a way to make money doing this but I don't know how long it would take me to get good at it and if there would be a market for what I spin. It seems that handpainted yarns are still the rage and I don't know if I want to get into dyeing yarn. Nor do I really have the space to do that yet.

It was too dark to take pictures today and we're looking at a lot of rain this week so...someday I will take pictures again.

I need to get some seeds in the ground while we have all this good rain. My shasta daisies are finally coming up and I want so much to plant sage this year. And I've got to get my sunflowers in the ground. I waited too late last year.

I do have a good crop of weeds and dandelions though.

Well, I'm off to watch Midsomer Murders. I've had some serious withdrawal of late. We stopped getting the Biography channel a long time ago (and anyway it's not on anymore) so I get them from the library. But Set 9 is the latest they've got. I can only hope they get Set 10 soon.

And then it's time for my "Spanish lesson." I've gotten to a point I hadn't seen before. I'm able to follow a bit but I sure wish I could understand all of it. Not that it's great theater. The story is pretty predictable: three very attractive brothers, three sexy sisters, a vendetta against the sisters' family. You know how it's got to end. But it's still very good.

Well, off for an evening with Ispector Barnaby.


Monday, June 2, 2008

We have mojo

I think my mojo is back. Maybe the problem was knitting monogamy. I just can't do it. Now that I have four projects on the needles, I feel like a knitter again. Socks, socks, baby sweater and a bag or two. Okay, one of them is a crochet project, but I still feel pretty darn good again.

I went with Hedera instead of Pomotamus for one very good reason: I already had Hedera printed out and I'm getting low on ink in the printer.

I'm systematically getting the house emptied out of stuff we hang onto that we don't need. So far no opposition from Tom but I haven't touched any sacred cows yet. I'll save those for the last. And the dead of night while he's at work.

It's June now so I've got to get my flowers planted. I have sunflowers that I will plant a-plenty. I want them for the birds and squirrels this winter. I need a reason for Mr. Yappy Professor to bark more. My hostas are finally coming up but they are still puny and half-eaten. Apparently I'm feeding the rabbits as well. Hannibal is good at keeping the bunny population down although it pains me to let him. We already have three nests in our yard and the neighbor's yard. Last year, he thinned them out but increasing the population to twelve more bunnies would be a really bad thing.

Sometimes that Circle of Life thing really sucks.

Zach drove to church yesterday. He did a really good job but was still in a state when we got there. Not much traffic out on Sunday mornings so I think we will leave it there until he gets a bit more confidence.

I didn't sleep much last night. I woke up about 2:30 with pain from the fibromyalgia and ended up taking more tylenol and eventually more tramadol. It was about 5 a.m. before the pain subsided and by that time the sky was light and I just decided to get up. I've already got some clothes out on the line, my bedroom cleaned and had my first cup of tea.

I'll try to nap later but the Professor uses those times to bark at every little scent or skitter outside. I generally get sleep in ten minute intervals.

And speaking of scents, I had to light some incense last night because apparently a skunk exploded outside my bedroom window. Eeeeww!

Maybe pictures tomorrow. I rescued the camera from Zach's room and will find something to photograph later.

Now, off for another cup of tea.