Thursday, December 31, 2009

Back From Austin

We are back from Austin, where we had a great Christmas with both daughters, son-in-law and four wonderful grandchildren. They might not be so wonderful for their parents for a few days - I did my best to spoil them. They didn't hear the word "No" from me!

I did not get my coveted turquoise Thunderbird (sniff, sniff) but younger daughter did give me this sparkly case for my I-phone. She knows well that I love all things sparkly, and potentially a bit gaudy, so this is a perfect gift. She also helped me find some glitter eye shadow, which I first saw on a waitress in Sayulita three years ago and have wanted ever since.

I thought that with this sparkly case, I would now be the envy of 12-year old girls everywhere, but then my 7-year old granddaughter stopped dead in her tracks and gazed longingly at it. She loves sparkles too. So perhaps I am the envy of 7-year olds everywhere.

What doesn't a TSA agent like to see? Long pointy things in the x-rays of luggage. I had wrapped these cool mushrooms (gift from older daughter and family, handmade by an artist in Austin) in bubble wrap to keep the stems from snapping off in transit, but they showed up in the x-ray machine. The TSA agent went through my luggage, finally saying in bewilderment, "She (the x-ray agent) says that there is something long and pointy in here."

At which point, my brain clicked on and I said, "Oh! Those are my mushrooms!"


So we had to take them out and x-ray them separately.

I apologized for the mushrooms; he apologized for the delay, and all was well in the Austin Airport once again.

This is a gift from DH, but found by younger daughter at a crafts fair in Los Angeles. A mother/daughter team uses old knitted sweaters, felts them, and uses the felt to make pillows and designs. I love this pillow and have a favorite bird, the third from the top, right in the center of the pillow. He looks particularly cheerful to me.

While I was in Austin and not feeding sugary treats to grandchildren, I worked on the Yarn Harlot's one-row pattern scarf and finished it up last night. It's made from Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport, colorway - Franklin's Panopticon. I made it on size 8 needles, and it's a bit lacy, but I'm leaving it as is. Otherwise I would have to take it all out, use smaller needles, increase the number of stitches, and use much more yarn. I'm too lazy for all of that.

So today is New Year's Eve Day. DH came home from Austin sick with some sort of head/chest thing and sounds as if he is at death's door. I have a pot roast in the crock pot and some splits of champagne in the refrigerator. AND, just too exciting for words - the plumber just left after installing a new water heater. The old one had a leak, which fortunately didn't blow all out while we were gone.

Woo hoo.

I hope your New Year's Eve is more exciting than mine and wish you a

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Just a Jumble of Thoughts

Because that's all I'm capable of today.

I started off the day by opening my computer to check e-mailed photos a friend had sent me of the snow around her home in West Virginia. I saw the photos, and then Windows Vista Home Premium (the world's WORST operating system) took over, telling me that it was installing a major update, the first one there has been since I bought the computer.

(Yay, thought I. Maybe now the computer will actually WORK! And be FAST! And not FREEZE!)

So it installed, and installed, and installed. It installed for about two hours and then shut itself down.

Great, thought I. Now I get my computer back. I can download the knitting pattern I need; I can download the shortbread recipe I need; I can check blogs; I can look at Ravelry; I can...................................................................................................................................................................

do none of those things because this is what the screen said:

So even the updates for the world's WORST operating system don't work.

Of course they don't.

So then Windows Vista Home Premium (the world's WORST operating system) spent another hour or so "reverting" back to the original crummy and s.l.o.w. system it has always been.


Now on to something completely different:

I have been trying out yarns for the Yarn Harlot's One Row Scarf. I can't find the link to that specific post, but the pattern was free on her blog, so I will print it here:

Cast 26 stitches onto size 8 needles.
Row 1: *knit 2, knit into the back of the next stitch, purl 1.
Repeat from * till there are 2 stitches left. Knit 2.

Just keep doing that row until the scarf is as long as you want it, or until you start hating the project, then cast off.

This is what it looks like in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport, colorway - Franklin's Panopticon:

I like it! And it's certainly easy enough for me to do on a jumbled-up day.

My first try was with some Noro Blossom yarn I bought a couple of years ago at an LYS sale:

The colors and textures of the yarn are so varied that the stitch pattern didn't show up at all. I have yet to figure out what to do with this yarn, so it's going back to time-out for now.

And now for something completely different, again:

I usually scan through the Sunday New York Times engagement/wedding announcements because they are, well, unusual. People submit their own stories and information, and then hope, pray, dance, do spells and whatever else they can think of to get their announcement published in the Times.

This leads to some weird/interesting announcements. When we first met in 1998, we didn't like each other at all, says the groom, but later, after meeting again at......., we fell in love.

That sort of thing, but with lots more detail.

The announcement that caught my eye today was for the wedding of .................., the groom, age 61, and .............., the bride, age 56. After all the usual stuff - parents (deceased), schools (long ago so who really cares), jobs (nice) - the last paragraph simply stated:

The bride's first marriage ended in divorce, as did the groom's first two marriages.

And that's all she wrote.

I just think that's an odd thing to put in a wedding announcement.

And that's all I wrote.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I'm a knitting machine! (But it does help to only work on smallish projects...) This is my latest finished project, a Basic Tam for younger daughter:

It's being blocked over a kitchen plate - a clever idea I learned from Jane at last week's knit-night.

This is the second hat I've made from the pattern in this book:

The first one was made from a Noro yarn, and I think I like this one better. The solid color shows off the stitch patterns and the decrease swirl. I used ella rae Kamelsoft yarn (75% Merino wool and 25% Camel) and it's very nice to work with.

The pattern includes optional flowers, but I'll wait till Yd tries it on at Christmas to see if she thinks it needs the flowers. Knit-night knitters suggested a large button, or clusters of smaller buttons, or a pin of some sort, so we'll see.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I have just finished the Bobbles blanket from the pipsqueak knits book and I'm quite happy with it, and happy that I have no more bobbles to knit until I take up making the hat after Christmas. The baby is not due until February, so I have time. Mine is a very pale yellow; I do like the blue on the cover better, but like so many parents today, this couple has chosen not to find out the sex of the baby ahead of time. These young people apparently do not know that they frustrate grandparents everywhere, grandparents who would love to knit, sew, or shop well in advance of baby's arrival!

This is the book the pattern is in. Isn't the blanket and hat set cute?
And what a cute and cooperative model!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Stupid Should Hurt

says my friend, Kathy, and usually I agree with her, but not today and not me.

Dh has been nagging reminding me that I've been driving around since September with an expired driver's license. Just a few months, but who's counting?

So off I went to the Georgia Drivers Services Department, about twenty miles away, to get my new license. Dh had also told me that there was someone new in charge of Drivers' Services, and that he had made changes so that no one would wait more than ten minutes in line. HAH!!! I arrived, found a LINE that ran outside the office onto the sidewalk in the cold. As we stood in line, we all entertained ourselves by complaining about the line.

Now here's where stupid comes in. Had I ever actually looked at my license to verify that it was, in fact, expired? Nope. Dh is generally so OCD concerned about these things that I took him at his word.

When I fished my license out of the mess that is my purse, I looked at the date. It expires, as you can see, in September of 2010.

As I muttered about how my license hadn't actually expired and then walked away, I heard laughing from my fellow drivers. It was justified; I had earned it. And I realized that not-so-deep down, they were jealous. I got to leave. They had to stay.

But no pain, please; I've suffered enough.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas is a turquoise Thunderbird:

I know. H*ll would have to freeze over. But our two cars are twelve years old and I'm sure that one will be coughing up blood any day now, so why not replace it before it croaks?

And Santa, a used Thunderbird would be just fine.



P.S. I SEE me in this car....

Pret a Porter

I've finally finished the Bacall sweater I started October 2nd for younger daughter. It's en route to LA and she will have it tomorrow. I just hope it fits!

If I make this or any other sweater with a sewn-on band and collar again, I think I will try knitting it on as I go rather than what I did this time - making it and then sewing it on the sweater. Just out of see how that works.

The pattern calls for a brooch to hold the fronts together, but I've left finding the right one to younger daughter. She'll have fun picking one out and her taste and mine might not be the same.

Now I've started another Koigu Puckered scarf, but with a different yarn. I love the colors -pictures soon!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I bought cat food, thinking it was cereal. I mean, doesn't this box look as if it contains cereal?

But doesn't this look like cat food kibble??? And it's hard as rocks.
I don't KNOW what cat food tastes like, but I think it might taste like this stuff.