Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Really, Really Random Ramblings

Younger daughter trapped in a suddenly stopped elevator
in Los Angeles.  She doesn't look too stressed.
She was rescued in 15 minutes.
This could be Molly in our Christmas tree.
But it's not.
We don't have a tree.
This could be Baxter in our Christmas tree.
It's not.
We don't have a Christmas tree.

I miss having a tree.
Maybe next year.

I have discovered knitting mittens!  They are fun to knit---as much fun as socks and much better in the immediate gratification category.  

And because I am, as always, generous, I am sharing this um...singer with you:

Florence Foster Jenkins (July 19, 1868 – November 26, 1944) was a wealthy woman who truly believed that she was gifted singer.  She hired out Carnegie Hall, orchestras, and pianists to accompany her.  She had records made.

Audiences attended her concerts to ridicule her, but on she sang.  She is reported to have said: People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing.

I think she is a pretty good example of determination...and denial.

Merry Christmas Y'all!

Friday, December 14, 2012

I just heard on NBC that 40% of legal gun sales do not require background checks.  So maybe that is why when I turned on the noon news, I got this:
I hear that we have plenty of gun laws, but apparently, common sense is not a part of them.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Finished Mitts

I have been knitting, but after sort of finishing the Volt shawl, I did one needlepoint project and then these fingerless mitts.

They are knit with Malabrigo Tosh Vintage (I LOVE Tosh Vintage) and from the pattern One Cable Knits.  Not a creative name, but accurate.

Friday, December 7, 2012

It Ain't Braggin' if it's True, part 2

OK, so it turns out that my last post wasn't entirely true.  I will pass along to you, dear readers, what I have learned from my experience.

Once you have finished what you consider to be your Christmas shopping, wrapping and shipping, DO NOT, under any circumstances, go into even one more store.  Possibly the grocery store isn't even safe.

Because I went to Lowes, the home improvement store that sells soil, plants, toilets, wiring, and tools I can't even identify, I have this package to mail.

What's inside that could possibly be a gift for my 4-year old granddaughter? That I found at Lowes?


I went to Lowe's looking for a wreath, which I did not get because all of theirs were raining needles and would not last until Christmas, and this ornament jumped out at me.   Elizabeth loves, loves, loves all things Hello Kitty and so of course I thought--- Elizabeth MUST have this. 

Now I am off to the post office to mail it.  


My apologies to anyone in this house who might want to eat home-cooked meals between now and Christmas.  Publix and Kroger and especially Fresh Market are now off limits.  Because apparently no place, not even a home-improvement store, is safe.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

It Ain't Braggin' if it's True

I am finished with Christmas preparations.

Dh and I are relaxing. Don't we look cheerful!!?? Well, we are because all of the gifts are purchased, wrapped and shipped.  According to the good people at the UPS store, they will all arrive at their destinations on Thursday.

BOOM!  Finished.

You may worship and adore me.

I'll stop now.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Public Service

I have written before about my problem with scarves---but now I've found this!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Evenings in Paris with Old Lady Arms

My Texas daughter has spent much too much time looking through weird catalogs, considering the weird things for sale.  The rest of the family hopes she puts them in the recycling bin before bad things happen.

However, I just received a copy of the Vermont Country Store catalog and I found a couple of memories.  First of all, there is this:

What a miracle!!!  Just 30 minutes a day with these wraps and double chins and jiggly arms are gone!

And jiggly arms remind me of my sister:
She is the child on the left.  Isn't she cute?  Red hair, freckles.  And everyone who saw her said,"Isn't she cute?"  I heard this over and over and over...

We were at our elementary school one day so that my mother and my sister's teacher could discuss something.  (Probably how cute she was........)

Suddenly my sister said to her teacher, "My sister wants to know what that stuff is that hangs down from your arm."  Oh, great.  Implicate me.  I am sure I had wondered nothing of the sort.  I was a kind child.

My mother was suitably horrified.  And my sister wasn't so cute right then.

Now on to something sort of related.

We only had one "department" store - a dime store - in the town I grew up in and it sold Evening in Paris perfume. Thanks to how cheap it was and how many students bought it at Christmas time for their teachers, they must have sold a lot of it.  I don't remember what it smelled like, but that cobalt blue bottle with the fancy silver label indicated to us that it was VERY special stuff.  

If the teachers held on to their stash of this perfume (and they are still alive), I guess they could sell it for a nice sum now; the current price is $49.00.

Maybe my daughter can find some on Ebay in case her children need teacher gifts.

Monday, November 26, 2012


Except for an uncountable number of stitches to make the chartreuse i-cord around the entire perimeter of the wrap.

2 x 495 + 2 x ? = I don't want to know.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It's Official

This man, actor Channing Tatum, has been selected by People Magazine as 2012's Sexiest Man Alive.  I don't know who he is.  I've heard the name, but I thought it was the name of an actress.

I am officially old.

Monday, November 12, 2012

On an Old Wreck

Of a car, this would be funny or ironic or cool. On anything else, it seems like bragging. (I have no idea what this car is.)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Been There, Done That, Bought the Shirt...


What we didn't buy was a lot of yarn.  This was our fourth year at SAFF, so I guess we've become more blasé or selective or something.  

I bought yarn for just one project:  The Shetland Garden Faroese Shawl:

knit from The Unique Sheep's Tinsel Toe yarn, gold to green gradient colorway:

This shawl has eight charts.  And all four of us bought a kit.  What WERE we thinking???

(Yarn fumes.  It's the only answer.)

My only other purchase was some bison yarn for older daughter:

I have, over the years, purchased yarn made from llama, alpaca, sheep (of course), mink, cashmere, mohair, possum, and now bison.  

So that was the Fair.

Random shots from the weekend:

A trucker with a good Halloween sense of humor...or a trucker we don't want to meet---
 Some well-packed dogs.
Our little rented house in Weaverville, NC.  It's a lot larger than it looks thanks to an addition on the back.
Welcome to Weaverville!!! They are such kind and generous folks.
Really, they are.  We spent some time in greater downtown Weaverville.

Some truly great decorating.

And that's all, folks!

Ooops. No it's not.  I forgot our mascot, provided by Sallyknit!

That's all Blogger would let me transfer from my phone, but I'm sure you remember the rest of the lyrics.

Listen to them enough, as we did, and you may never forget them.  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Tomorrow I leave for a long weekend at SAFF (the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair), in Asheville, NC.  Four of us have gone there the past few years and had a great time.  It's literally everything from sheep to shawl, although we have sworn off any yarn-buying this year.  Right?

The past couple of years, we've had the use of an apartment, but it is not available this year, so we have rented a house.  The apartment came complete with celebrity gossip magazines last year, but I think that the house will not.  So I bought these today when I went to the grocery store.  Yes, I was kind of embarrassed and I did feel as if I should explain to the teenaged boy checking me out that I don't usually buy this sort of thing, that I know I am the wrong demographic for them.  My proof is that I don't even know who Emily is!!!

But then I decided that he probably really didn't care.  I bought them and moved on.  Last year we took turns reading them aloud; whoever just couldn't knit ONE MORE STITCH would read to the other three knitters.  We're stocked up for this year.

Traditions are important!  

Oh My...

I hope I'm not a corpse.

It IS almost Halloween.

I had turquoise polish put on my fingernails a few months ago, and when it was time for it to go, it went.  No fuss.  No muss.

But this on my toes?  I CAN NOT get it off.

I hadn't planned on trick or treating, but maybe I should.

Maybe I should be a zombie.  Corpses can't walk.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Crisis Averted!

The threat level can go back to ...... orange?  blue?  chartreuse?  Do we still do that?  I don't know.

On my recent trip to Austin, the ever-diligent TSA agents at the Atlanta airport found my Swiss Army Knife---AGAIN---and confiscated it.  We are all safer now.

I always carry one (except for the few days after the TSA confiscates it).  Who knows when I will need a toothpick, tweezers, a knife blade, a nail file or, most importantly, a corkscrew?  Because I always carry one, I never remember that I am carrying it.

But have no fear, travelling public, the TSA is here to save us all from whatever evil deed I might have in mind using my Swiss Army Knife.  Knitting needles? Those I can carry.  And really, they look more potentially dangerous to me than the knife.

But shhhh.....don't tell the TSA folks.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


I just saw a commercial for this on television.   
It's a vacuum cleaner for ears.
I'm speechless.

But wait.  (There's more.)

Christmas is coming....

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Just Random, Mostly

Well, first of all, I do not like the new Blogger interface.  Just for the record.  Just in case Blogger even cares.

Secondly, I am knitting away on this project:

By knitting away, I mean I am on row 22 of 200 rows.  This should be an easy project, but it didn't start out that way.  It required using a provisional cast on of 395 stitches.  doG help you if you lose count along the way, which is even possible when using markers. So when I made multiple mistakes in the first several tries I made to get going on this, there was no way on this green earth that I was going to just rip it out and start over with the cast on.  No. Way.  That would be, I swear, as bad as doing a prep for a colonoscopy when you aren't even having a colonoscopy.  It is just that bad.  (I apologize for the thought, but I realize I am still offended by the stuff I had to drink for the prep.  Bleaghhh..)

But once I got going, I realized that I was going to have to count 395 stitches on each and every row.  Are you #$%^&;* kidding me?  I moaned and whined, and then I learned that the now Knittergran-certified genius Lucille had found a way around counting all those stitches.  It does involve markers and genius.  

So Lucille, this is for you:

Thirdly, I have learned that Baxter still likes yarn, LOVES yarn, as in chewing and eating yarn.  And Molly likes, LOVES the movement of the needles.  Yarn + moving needles= knitting.

So, yay.

However, I did make a mistake on a recent row and I counted the stitches to be sure.  There is nothing I can do about it, and it won't show since it's at the edge, so it is what it is.

Who's counting?  I'm not. Not any more, no matter what.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Wook at dat widdle face. How could you not wuv dis kittee?

Even Baxter might be changing his mind on this. He and Molly seem to have reached a sort of detente. They take turns chasing each other---no hissing---and then Molly retreats to the basement and Baxter remains upstairs.

Yesterday, Baxter had pretty much stopped hissing; instead he just ignored Molly's presence. I see nothing. Today he is paying much more attention. I think that Molly is having fun but I don't know what Baxter's take is on all of this running around.

I am assured by everyone with experience in bringing a new cat into a home with a resident cat that this will all work out, that they will end up snuggling up together to sleep.

Again, I'll believe that when I see it.

Friday, September 7, 2012

This is not going well.

I have written occasionally about Baxter, my mischievous cat. He loves to play, and play, and play, and then, play some more. But I am older-ish. dH is older-ish. And we can't play ALL of the time.

What better solution could there be than to adopt another rescue kitten?

So we did. Her current name is Molly; it's her third name and I think this one will stick. But for the first 24 hours we didn't even see her. She was hiding from us and from Baxter. This morning she finally came out of hiding---she had found an access hole through a wall in the basement that allowed her to get into the area under the bathtub in the basement. We can't fit in there, so we had to wait. And wait.

But she has come out of hiding and she is limited to the basement for now. dH's office is there so she is not alone, and she has gotten friendly (or desperate) enough to climb on our laps and allow us to pet her.

Baxter, on the other hand, is very put out. He is hiding in our closet, the same place he hid for two days last summer when our older daughter and her four children came to visit. He eventually joined the fun, so I hope that he will join us again this time. But he is p*ssed!!! And he lets us know it by hissing any time he hears or smells Molly. He even hissed at ME when I petted him after petting Molly. At ME!!! His favorite human!

I am told that all of this is normal, and that in days, or weeks, or months (months?!) the two cats will settle down and be buddies.

I'll believe it when I see it. And I am hoping that Molly won't like yarn.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Los Angeles

I'm back and, as Delta is my witness, I will NEVER take a red-eye flight again. I left LA at 11:55 pm and arrived in Atlanta at 7:30 am. And no, that doesn't mean that I had 7 1/2 hours of sleep. It means I had 4 1/2 hours of constantly interrupted light sleep, and I still feel drugged. Blechhhh...

But we did have a great time, and we had sort of a whirlwind tour of sights. The most unusual was this huge rock at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It was paid for by donations and cost about 10 million dollars. I'm not sure how a museum gets patrons to donate for a rock but donate they did and this is the result. It's fun to stand under it....really! But we had a 2.2 earthquake our first day in LA and I did wonder a little how this rock would fare in a large earthquake. It's considered by the sculptor to be an art installation. That is accurate, I suppose. We, art critics that we are, decided that it doesn't qualify as sculpture since the only part carved away was on the bottom in order to make one side of it fit squarely on the brace. A very strong brace, I hope.
I love the palm trees, all planted in a row.
And the collection of old street lights, all installed in rows.
A strange shoe in a shop window.
Oil bubbling up on land near the La Brea tarpits.
Oil near the tarpits that has somehow formed a cone.
The heat shield from one of the re-entry capsules; all of the streaks are from the extreme heat experienced during re-entry through the earth's atmosphere.

This is the Gamble House, designed and built in 1908 by Charles and Henry Greene, famous during the American Arts and Crafts period. It is spectacular. The house, both inside and out, is almost entirely wood. The heir who was the last of the Gambles to own the house put it on the market in the 60's, but when she heard prospective buyers discuss painting the entire interior white in order to make the house brighter, she changed her mind and donated it to Pasadena and USC.

Below is a part of the Berlin Wall. It is covered with art, both official and the usual LA street art.
We also went to the Huntington Library, which is so much more than the
library I had expected. It comprises an art museum, over 125 acres of gardens, a library (we saw an original Gutenberg Bible), and a research facility. It merits a return trip because in the time we had, we could only see a small portion of what is there. (So watch out, Sarah and Ben!)

But of course, the best part of the trip was spending time with Sarah and Ben. They were enthusiastic and generous hosts. I did whine a bit about not getting to the ocean, but Good Golly Miss Molly, we saw almost everything else...and...we'll be back.

Now, I just need to get them to visit here so I can return the great hospitality.

Monday, August 27, 2012


Even if separating eggs isn't a tortuous task for you, watch this how to. It's amazing---so amazing that I want to go separate eggs that don't even need separating.

It's not in English, and I knew this before I started watching it. However, when I couldn't hear it, I TURNED THE VOLUME UP. Did I think I would understand it if it was louder???


I call this My Pool this time of year, when all of the kids have gone back to school. I guess the moms have had enough of pool time and just don't come here without their children. 

If I swim during the summer, I come earlier in the morning so that I avoid the pee soup that I assume the water becomes as the day goes on. 

But all I hear today are some crows racketing about and a sole red-shouldered hawk  gliding overhead. There is a cloudless blue sky in spite of the hurricane that is slowly working its way north.  I suspect that for now, its only affect here is pulling all of the moisture out of our air in order to deposit it elsewhere.  

So I am at the pool alone.


But I am writing this post on my iPhone.  I need to learn to leave the electronics at home.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

If Wishes Were Horses,

I would knit a Fair Isle sweater.
Or ride a horse, which I know is a lot easier. (my apologies to Shakespeare)

Even if I never knit anything from this gorgeous collection of gorgeous patterns, I will still love looking through the magazine.

When I returned to knitting about ten years ago, my goal was to make a Fair Isle sweater for my oldest granddaughter. As I did more and more research on stranded knitting, I became more and more intimidated and have never even started to knit such a sweater. dH says I should make one for myself, that grandchildren grow out of sweaters faster than I could make one. Good point, but that makes it literally an even larger challenge.

According to this Rowan magazine (#52), Fair Isle knitting comes from one of the Shetland islands and uses two colors on each row. The two strands of wool running across every row make for a very warm sweater, necessary in the climate. The style was popularized by the Prince of Wales (Edward VIII, who abdicated the throne in order to marry Wallace Simpson) when he was seen golfing while wearing a Fair Isle vest in 1921.

I had sort of written off ever knitting a Fair Isle sweater but when I look at these designs, I sigh and wish..........

Aren't they beautiful?
Hmmmmm....maybe some socks?

Or a horse.

Friday, August 24, 2012


Baxter----isn't he cute?!
This photo was taken by Mrs. G during her visit. He was hiding from her.

He had his annual physical this morning, after a hairy ride to the vet's office. I could not get him into his carrier and called the vet to cancel the appointment. Instead, the receptionist told me that if I were comfortable doing it, I should drive to the office (only two miles away) with Baxter and the carrier in the car. When I arrived, I was to call the office from the parking lot and they would send a vet tech out to help.

That's what I did. The vet tech opened the back car door while I held on to Baxter; I was sitting in the driver's seat. I handed Baxter to the vet tech and she quickly loaded him into his open carrier on the back seat. He was happy to get into the carrier to get away from this stranger.

His appointment was a breeze. He weighs nine pounds and is perfectly healthy. I had him chipped so that if he ever gets outside again, whoever finds him can have a vet scan his neck area, and the vet will be able to track us down. I hope we never need it.

Now he is back home---after willingly riding IN his carrier for the return trip---and is busy licking all the vet and vet tech cooties off of his fur.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Don't Let Anyone Tell You

That knitters don't save money. This Capelet by Oscar de la Renta costs $2,990.00. It is probably knit by machine and the ad doesn't specify what it is made of. It had better be kiviat.

I don't understand the garment either---it looks like something that would annoy me. Every time I reached for a door handle, for something from a store shelf, for the steering wheel, the capelet would ride up to my shoulders. I won't be making one, no matter how little it would cost to knit it myself.

(And I don't know how to get rid of the those editing marks. Mac help anyone?)