Saturday, January 30, 2010

My Cat

I had to put my cat, Lewis, to sleep today and it was an awful experience. It was just so fast - I had been holding him and he was purring. Then the vet put him on the table and pushed in an injection of an anesthetic. Lewis tried to pull his foot away, and then toppled slowly over. He was gone. And not to sleep. Putting an animal to sleep is a dishonest euphemism.

I came home last Wednesday from Costa Rica to find that Lewis had not eaten while I was away, and wouldn't eat anything I tried to entice him with. I took him to the vet's yesterday and he had blood taken. This morning the vet told me that the blood work was perfectly normal. I took Lewis back over for x-rays, which showed large lesions in his lungs. There was also a lot of fluid in his lungs. He had lost four pounds in about a month, so whatever was going on had caused him to stop eating. The vet explained that there was no humane treatment for the lesions, and we decided to do the kind thing and put him to sleep.

Lewis showed up in our back yard in 1997 and was insistent that he live with us. Our dog had just died and we were pet-less. He was a very civilized cat and so I think he must have been lost or dropped off. We put up signs and called local vets, but no one claimed him.

I loved that cat (past all reason, according to my family) but that's the way it was; he was my cat; I was his person; and I miss him.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

And There Were Monkeys!

Lots and lots of monkeys, who were not happy to see us.

And this business.

We didn't go in to check it out.

And there will be much, much more, after I get my brain sorted out, and after I finish washing the coffee out of my clothing. Yes, like all tourists to Costa Rica who love coffee, I brought back several packages in my checked luggage. I don't know HOW one of the packages ripped open, but it did and the loose coffee went everywhere!

More later. Threat or decide.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

There Will Be Monkeys

That is what I am promised. I am off tomorrow for a week in Costa Rica.

For the past three years, friends and I have gone to Mexico, but this year we decided to go to CR instead. Mexico is unfortunately less and less safe for tourists, unless they stay put at a resort, and we rent houses in towns instead. So we've rented a place on the Pacific in Tamarindo, CR, and the owner of the house promises that we will see monkeys. There were some in the part of Mexico we visited last year, but we never saw them.

I just think animals belong in the wild and so I will consider the trip a great success if we see monkeys in their natural habitat. I don't want to meet them or feed them, just see them!

Second Bacall Sweater

I have finished the second Bacall sweater from Rowan Knitting & Crochet Magazine Number 44.

I made it for older daughter and it will go in the mail today. I sewed the band on as I knitted it (knit it?) and it did work out a bit better than sewing the whole thing on after finishing the band. This way it was exactly the size I needed.

But I know why I knit so many scarves and hats----no seams! I need lots of practice on finishing.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Knitting Lesson No. 213

Rule 213: Just go buy the yarn.

I did think I could make another ten rows or so with the little yarn I had left, but I studied it and looked at the gap and decided that it was unlikely. Really, really unlikely. And I realized that if I did make it, using up all the yarn I had left, I then wouldn't have the yarn I needed to sew the rest of the band and collar and the sleeves to the sweater.

So I gave up and went to the yarn shop for more yarn.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Knitting Lesson No. 212

Do NOT return yarn to the yarn shop just because:

a. the pattern calls for four skeins
b. you mistakenly bought five skeins
c. you are starting the fourth skein and only need to knit the band
d. you happen to be at the yarn shop for knit night and have the sweater and yarn with you and you think-Oh, I may as well return this while I'm here because I won't need it.

Why not return the extra skein?

Because returning it will pretty much guarantee that this will happen:

Yes, I need just enough more yarn to knit, oh, maybe ten or so rows to close the gap in the collar portion of the band.
Thirty stitches times ten or so rows.
And all I have left is this:


Maybe if I kind of s.t.r.e.t.c.h. the collar a bit when I sew it on.....


I'm sure that will work. Sort of like blocking in advance.....

I'll let you know.

It might become Knitting Lesson No. 213.

Friday, January 15, 2010



OK. I'll stop now.


It's been gone for months! weeks! eight days!

But now it's back and all the nasty viruses are gone (until I download the next one....) and it has more gigs (huh?) and has been thoroughly defragged (I didn't even know that existed, and what is a frag anyway) and updated. Yay!

I can't count the number of times I've thought: Oh, I need to write a blog about that, or that is funny/interesting/scary and not been able to post. Think of all you've missed! And you really have, because now, being 50-plus (in the sense that anything over 50 is 50-plus be quiet family) I've forgotten what I wanted to write.

But this didn't happen....

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Help, Indeed...

Once again, my computer is off to the computer hospital. We (that's the royal we; I am referring to dh) tried to replace Windows Vista Home Premium (the Worst Operating System in the World) with Windows 7. We couldn't get the updates to Vista to install, and without them, Windows 7 wouldn't install. So to get rid of the Worst Operating System in the World, you need to have the Worst Operating System in the World in operating condition.

Makes no sense, does it?

So, no blogging until my computer is repaired, if that's even possible....

[photo from Google Images]

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I am just altogther too smug about this hat:

Yes, I did knit it and I think it's beautiful. It's shown being blocked over a dinner plate but is almost dry. The color is a bit deeper than it appears in the photograph.

I think the real genius, however, is the designer, Desi Knitter, and those of you on Ravelry can get to the free pattern (Cabled Rangoli Hat) by clicking on the "Desi Knitter" link. The pattern is stitch perfect and I am amazed by that. I think that pattern-writing is difficult and this pattern is particulary fussy, with the cables moving around on the hat. I followed the advice of another Ravelry knitter and made the bobbles larger; they were small and not very noticeable in the original pattern. The only caution: the pattern calls for dk weight yarn, but the hat the designer and others on the site made were all knit from worsted weight, as is mine. I think it must just be a typo.

The yarn is Malabrigo, kettle-dyed worsted, 100% merino wool, and it is wonderfully soft. The designer suggested using a tightly-spun yarn so that the cables will show up well, but this Malabrigo is in spots almost just roving and it worked out fine anyway.

The hat is for younger daughter, and I think she will love it too.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

It Snowed!!!

Well, not really.

Our neighbors took advantage of several days of well-below-freezing temperatures to make snow. All it takes, apparently, along with the cold weather is a compressor, a snow-making machine and a pressure washer. I don't know what order those things are set up in, but it works.

Our neighbors' kids have been having a blast sliding down the hill lying on whatever they can find that is slippery. This snow is between our house and theirs, so we've been able to watch and listen to the fun. It is a bit odd, though, when we walk down the stairs to the family room, and the snow catches our eye through the window at the bottom of the stairs. Snow? It snowed? Oh, yeah.

Now don't laugh, you northerners. To us in the Atlanta area, this IS snow!