Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pearls Before Swine
"Pearls Before Swine"  by S. Pastis.  One of the funniest strips I've ever read. 
Pig has a stalker.  It's a sheep. 

Just thought I'd share a laugh today.  Not much else is happening but a laugh always starts the day off in the right general direction.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I made it through the day on Friday surprisingly well.  Ah, the wonders of caffeine.  I usually avoid it since it interferes with my bp medicine but some days it's definitely called for.  I spent the day preparing for clinic on Monday.  The morning clinic is being observed by some high muckety-muck and the doctor is a little nervous.  Me?  Not so much.  This person has no power where I'm concerned and I know I'll do a good job anyway.

While I was on the train on the way home, my phone buzzed (it lives most of its live on vibrate).  Pk letting me know he was at the station.  I let him know I was enroute.  The phone buzzed again and it was Em.
Em:  You guys have plans for tomorrow?
Me: No, why? 
Em: We want to come down and hang out.
Me: You want to go to the lake?
Em:  No.  How about dinner at the park?
Me:  Ok.  How's chicken salad sound?
Em: Great!  What can I bring?
Me:  Chips and Ice.  I'll make sandwiches and desert.


Me:  Want to take your wheel to the park?
Em:  Yes!

So, that is how we ended up getting up early and going to produce junction to get some celery (and cherries and watermelon) to make chicken salad.  Pk grilled the chicken and I made salad and sandwiches.  Then, in a fit of madness (it was a HOT and muggy morning), I baked a large batch of chocolate chip cookies. 

Em came down and we headed to the park.  I've never taken my wheel outside to spin and the thought appealed to me immensely.  I am always afraid that it will get damaged somehow but we made it ok.  I set her up and got a quad chair and I was set.  The park was empty so we didn't have to beat up any old people and steal the shade.  Em took a photo of me spinning.  I look deep in concentration which I guess I was.  I had just put on a new drive band and had to play around with it for a bit to get it situated correctly.
We spun and talked and ate.  There was a lovely breeze and it was relaxing and a terrific way to spend the late afternoon. 

What I hadn't thought about was the interest people would show in the wheels.  People would walk by and stare discretely.  Then one guy came up and started talking and went off on a tangent that included Hitler and Margaret Sanger.  He seemed to equate the two. I said "that's bullshit"  and I defended Ms. Sanger (who was responsible for bringing information about women's health and birth control out in the open) .  He stopped directing his conversation at me and moved onto Pk.   Poor Pk put up with him for a little while as the guy moved all over the map.  Eventually, he left and a family with two little boys came over. 

The mother was talking about how her mother used to spin cotton and then weave it into rugs.  She told me that no one spins anymore.  I told her that it was a thriving community and she'd be surprised at the numbers.  Her husband made some inane comments about my toe ring and how Em and I looked like sisters.  It was slightly surreal.
We stayed as the sun went down over the river.  The ranger made her way around on her little ranger cart to tell us that she was closing up.  We put all our things into the cars and she came by again to tell us she was "closing the gate".  I guess she was ready to go home.

We got home and put away the food and I took a shower and was in bed by 10.  I was tired. 

This morning, I made pancakes and bacon which Pk consumed as he watched England play it's World Cup game.  The US game wasn't broadcast here on cable yesterday so he's hoping he can catch it on replay this afternoon.

Me?  I'm moving as little as I can get away with.  It's a hot day.  The temps are expected to hit near 100 degrees F so moving around is not something I want to engage in.  We turned off the a/c to see if we can llive with it until later in the day.  There's a london broil to put on the grill with some potatos and vegetables for dinner and some cold watermelon. 

Em's one year anniversary of the alien spine baby surgery passed quietly in early June.  I called her and wished her Happy Anniversary.  She said "you remembered!".  (like I could forget!).  She had a CAT scan this week and it's clean.  It's hard to believe it's been a year. 

Time to put away the hot laptop and find a cool place to sit.  Have a good Sunday.

Friday, June 25, 2010

It was a blank day yesterday.  No important emails (this does not count the horroscope or the word of the day, both of which are important), "no new messages" on the phone and an empty mailbox!  They didn't stay blank for the whole day (what a day that would be) but it was enough to get me started.

I generally work from 7:30/8:00 until 3:30/4:00.  I'm on the schedule from 8-4 but I'm here early so my supervisor doesn't care if I leave early as long as my clients are taken care of and my work is done in a timely manner.  On Mondays and Tuesdays I am usually here until after 4 because those are my clinic days.  I try to make up for it at the end of the week but that doesn't always happen.  (I have to learn not to return phone calls at 3:30!)

Yesterday as I was waiting for it to be 3:30 and time to go home, I noticed that the window had that reflective quality it gets when it's dark outside.  Now, it's summer here and is not usually full dark in late afternoon but yesterday it was.  I had on a skirt and sandals and the idea of running through the pouring rain did not appeal to me so I packed up quickly and went to leave the building only to be confronted by very high winds ("it looks like the Wizard of Oz out there" said the receptionist) and as I was watching, the sky opened up.  There was thunder and lightning and rain.  Lots and lots of rain.

I called Pk and told him I was trying to leave but would wait a little bit until the rain slackened a bit.  He told me he had ducked into a doorway to wait out the downpour.  After about 15 mins, I left (it was still raining just not as much) and as I was walking the two blocks to the train station, the skies opened up again and I was slipping and sliding in my wet leather sandals.  I always have an umbrella with me but with the wind, it wasn't terribly useful. I try to remember not to wear sandals when it's going to rain but yesterday I goofed.  They have been predicting rain that hasn't come for over a week so who knew this would be the day?

We got home and had blt's for dinner and Pk was watching the soccer game and I was knitting (I had blocked the Travelling Woman shawl and was peacefully working on an easy lace pattern with that lovely green sock yarn) when the power went out about 8:30.  At first we chuckled and then I went outside to see how widespread the outage was.  It was just dusk and none of the streetlights were coming on and the persistent hum of a/c was not present.  My neighbor came out and asked if our power was out and said hers was, too.  She was calling the power company.

We sat outside until the mosquitos got too bad and then we sat in the bedroom looking longingly at the window unit.  We drifted in and out of sleep until 2:30 am when the power came back on.  It promptly went back out.  About 3:30 it came on and stayed on but by then it was too late to get any meaningful sleep before the alarm went off at 5 (I had to keep resetting it since the battery backup was not working). 

I'm at work but am not sure how effective I'll be today.  Listening to the news, there was a line of severe storms that went through the area and some people may not have power for a few more days.  Luckily, as Roxie points out, I'm in an air conditioned building, in a comfortable chair and I don't have to dig ditches in the hot summer sun. 

I just have to stay awake.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"It is possible to live happily in the here and now. So many conditions of happiness are available-more than enough for you to be happy right now. You don't have to run into the future in order to get more."

~Thich Nhat Hanh

This is today's inspiration and it's one that I have been striving for this year.  To find happiness in the present and not be waiting for "someday".  Most days I do ok.  Most days I can find some small spark of joy or wonder.  Some days I feel like joy and wonder are surrounding me.  Those must be the days when I am open to it and let it in.  Some days, I'll admit, it's a struggle and I have to look a little harder.

Today, while riding on the train into work, there was a woman with a small child (probably close to a year old) sitting across the aisle.  What a flirt he was!  All big eyes and smiles.  It made an ordinary train ride  something special. 

The weather continues to be hot.  This morning they said it will be this way till the middle of next week.  It's tiring as my body struggles to remain comfortable.  I'm really sleepy this morning despite getting what I thought was a good night's sleep.

I cast off the Travelling Woman shawl last night.  If it's not too humid, I'll block it tonight when I get home.  I think this was the fastest knit I've ever completed. I love this pattern.  This one is slated to be a gift but there is definitely one in my future.

Time to check the email and voicemail and then walk down the hall and check my mailbox.  Best case scenario?  No new messages, no new email, empty mailbox.  It's unlikely, but I can hope.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

We are in the middle of another heat wave.  It's 90 degrees today and is forecasted to be hotter tomorrow and Thursday.  It's a bit warm for June but it is summer now and I guess we can't complain.  I'll  probably complain when I see the electric bill after running the a/c so we can sleep at night. 

I'm sitting here trying to get used to new glasses.  Pk and I went to the eye doctors and I got new glasses this year.  My vision plan allows for new glasses every year (which I understand is generous) but I usually average a new pair every two years.  It seems wasteful to me to get new ones if I haven't worn out the old ones yet.  The past few years I've gotten the same style, small oval with tortoiseshell rims and thin arms. 

This year I got a new style.  Through the magic of the internet, I found them online. (I looked at the arms and found the name and model number) These are my new frames.  They're more modern than what I usually wear and I have to keep looking at myself.  I like them.  I had forgotten what they looked like since I ordered them a month ago.  Since we ordered two pairs of glasses under the same last name, the lab got confused and filled one and lost the other.  When I called after 2 and a half weeks to inquire where my glasses were, the doctor's office was very apologetic and re-ordered them.  They came in last night and I picked them up tonight.  They fit very differently and the prescription is just a bit different so I have to adjust to them. 

(I've been trying to take a self portrait but with no success.)  One day soon, I'll get a photo of myself and I'll show you.

I have a question for you.  What do you do if someone "friends" you (on any of the social networks) and you don't recognize the screen name?  Do you automatically "friend" them back?  I ask because for the second time, someone has 'friended' me on ravelry and I don't know her/him.  I don't recognize the ravatar.  I am not a person who glories in having hundreds of friends.  The few people I have friended are people I follow or who I feel familiar enough with to friend.   Is it rude not to friend someone when they have friended you?  (and how weird is the word friended?)  These are new etiquette questions and maybe we need a Dear Abby for the internet.

It's after 8 and now time for a small bit of knitting before I fall asleep.  I have to go figure out what to wear tomorrow that will be cool enough for the world on the way to work and warm enough for all day in the heavily air conditioned building.  Thank goodness for layering! 

And I have to chop some veggies for the crockpot so I can have dinner waiting after a date at the gym.  Thank goodness for the crockpot! 

And thank goodness for all of you!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day (to all the Dads and the Moms who have to be both). 

We took Pk to Atsion Lake today.  We made the turn off from Rt. 206 into the park to be confronted by a line of cars and a Ranger in a golf cart counting cars.  We had some nervous moments as we approached the little building where you pay to get in.  We have been turned away before because when the park gets to "capacity" they close it.  We hadn't planned on it being too crowded, we usually get turned away on holiday weekends like July 4th or Labor Day.  It's five dollars a carload during the week and ten on the weekends.  Not a bad deal.  Today we were early enough to get a spot and we unloaded and took our cooler on wheels into the park and onto the beach.

There was one swimming section up and manned when we got there and after about an hour, they opened another one.  There were some fine examples of young man and womanhood working as lifeguards. 

It was a hot day sitting on the beach.  We have chairs and three umbrellas so that there's plenty of shade.  There's my favorite Dad sitting under an umbrella listening to a book on his iphone.  Kate and El were reading and I'll bet you can guess what I was doing.  Besides watching all the little kids playing in the sand, I was knitting on the striped sock and listening to a book. 

The sandwiches were delicious, the soda was cold and the chips were salty.  It was a perfect lunch and a perfectly nice day.  The weather people said a chance of thunderstorms (my grass is brown and crunchy at this point from lack of rain, despite all the predictions of storms) but look at this sky.  Does that look threatening to you?  No, I didn't think so either.  It was cloudy this morning but they burned off early in the day.  By the time we left the house at 9:45, the sky was clear and the sun was high.  We got to the lake by 10:35 and stayed until about 3.  Kate had to be at work at 5 and needed time to shower and get ready.

Now, I have to go make some shortcake to have with the strawberries and cream I bought yesterday and make some kabobs to go on the grill.  There's corn on the cob and salad.  Pk wanted lamb kabobs but lamb isn't easily available here except as a large leg o' lamb and tiny little chops.  I promised to cook him a leg o' lamb in a few weeks (although I think that it's a cool weather dish).

Happy Sunday! 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

We have been blessed with absolutely perfect summer days.  Yesterday, Pk took our car to the shop and 6 hours and 310.00 later, I walked the mile to the shop and picked it up.  And now we once again have high beams.  Whooppee.

Pk was working from home and so he had to stay by the computer most of the day.  I repeatedly fell asleep on the sofa and did some knitting.  I had to rip out the Legolas kerchief.  I couldn't keep the stitch numbers correct.  I kept tinking and I was afraid of making the yarn too fuzzy.  I finally ripped it out and found a one skein scarf/wrap that is a lacy leaf pattern and will show off the yarn and its colors perfectly.

We went out to dinner and then to the bookstore.  We got home at twilight and the temp was delightfully perfect.  We decided to sit outside while the sun went down.  I made some coffee and Pk had a beer and we sat and watched the lights come on up and down our street.  I tried several different settings on the camera but this is the darkest I could achieve.  It was darker than this but the camera amplifies the ambient light.  The sky was a clear blue and the air was soft.  We sat out there until the mosquitos became unbearable.  If you look at the photo between the telephone pole and the fence, you can see a firefly.  They are plentiful this year and early.  I love them.

Today, we took the car back to the inspection place and got a new sticker.  The young man stood in front of my car and said " show me the headlights.  now the high beams"  And that was that.  I asked him when the last time he had used his high beams and he said he didn't think he ever had.  Huh.

After the grocery shopping was finished, I did the laundry and Pk watched another soccer game.  I made some progress with the striped sock.  It's a summer yarn with a good percentage of cotton in the yarn.  The colors are pink/burgundy/grey and seem to be random.  I did a short row heel which I like with striped socks.  I think I'll keep this pair for me but it's time to start the Christmas socks marathon.  If I start now, there's no pressure and everyone gets a nice new pair of handknit socks.  (right after I took the photo, I lost the 5th needle.  I looked everywhere but couldn't find it.  I have another set of 2.5 needles so I can continue.  I just hope I find it before someone sits on it!)

Tomorrow we'll be at the lake.  Good thing, since the temp is supposed to be 92 (33.3 C).  I made some shrimp salad and we have croissants to eat it on.  There were some really nice nectarines at the grocery store so I bought some of them and will  put them in the cooler.  Nothing more refreshing than ice cold fruit. 

I hope you're all having a good weekend.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Today, I spent the day at a training.  It was Choosing an Overall Rehab Goal and is part of the courses I have to take to keep my psych rehab certification.  Problem is, I have been taking these courses so long that I am running out of new ones and they are all sounding the same.  It's a three day training and the first two days were in May and today was the final day.  I think it could have been done in two days but now I have 18 more hours in my training column.

I was working on Pk's socks in May and someone remembered the red socks and asked about them.  She was fascinated by the sock knitting and proceeded to watch me knit plain stockinette with a self striping yarn (perfect for lectures).  I got a few inches done on the sock today.  It's moving along faster than I expected but I think self striping yarn moves faster.  I keep watching the stripes form and it motivates me to keep knitting.

I am taking Friday off from work to take my car into the shop.  It failed inspection last month.  (did I tell you this already?  If I did, feel free to skip further down).  Now, my car is 16 years old and has always passed inspection but I wasn't surprised when Pk told me we failed this time.  I thought, brakes?  suspension?  exhaust?   Nope. None of the above.  It was the highbeam switch.  You know, the one that turns on the high beam lights.  I can't remember the last time we used the high beams since we don't live in a rural area and very seldom are we somewhere at night where there aren't any other cars on the  road.  It works well enough to flick it on to signal another car to pass but it won't stay on. 

Pk found a mechanic who will fix it on Friday.  The part (it's a switch, just a switch) costs 150.00 and the labor will be about the same.  Three hundred dollars for something we don't even use!  Grrrr.  At least it was a small thing and not a big thing. 

Kate and El and I went to see the A-Team on Sunday night.  Yes, I know.  It's a movie that doesn't require more than two living brain cells.  But you know what?  I loved it.  I laughed out loud throughout the whole movie.  It was so black and white.  The good guys were good and the bad guys were bad.  No ambiguity and no gore.  It had plenty of explosions and lots of people got shot but you didn't see it.  I had a strange fondness for the tv show when it was on in the 80's so I was prepared to not like the movie.(but I'm glad I did)  Kate and El liked it, too.

 Now we're waiting for The Expendables to come out in August.  It's all the action heroes like Stallone, Schwarzenegger,Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, David Stratham, Mickey Rourke and Bruce Willis and Steve Austin and probably others I can't remember.  Lots of men wearing green clothes with rags around their heads with guns in the jungle.   It looks like it will be fun and silly and lots of things will blow up.  Perfect summer movie.

Father's Day is Sunday.  Pk wants to go to the lake so that's what we're going to do.  I'll make some sandwiches and we'll pack some drinks and munchies and we'll spend the day swimming and sunning and sitting.  He wants a photo of the girls and me for Father's Day so I have to make an appointment and then convince the girls that having their picture taken would be a good thing to do.  I'm not above bribery.

We went back to the gym this week.  We took 10 days off due to various things and started back on Monday.  My muscles are a little sore but not too bad.  The funny thing was, as we were walking toward the building (holding hands as we always do) one of the trainers said "Hello happy couple".  Various members of the staff have commented on the fact that we walk into the building holding hands and sometimes work out together.  Maybe they don't see many couples who enjoy each other's company? 

Well, this was all a bit random, wasn't it?  It's time to check on dinner.  We put a frozen casserole in the oven a while ago and I need to see how it's coming on.  Pk is getting ready to watch some soccer.  He is in a little bit of heaven with all these World Cup games.  Without a television, he had to search a little but found ESPN3 which shows all the games after they've been played. He finds one he thinks will be good and then gets his fix.  I don't know what he'll do when it's over and there are no more games.  Probably go through withdrawal. 

We're expecting rain tonight.  Again it was the Wind!, Rain!, Thunder!, Lightning!, Hail!, and all manner of weather.  And again it has deteriorated into 'scattered showers'.   Weather people. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Today is Flag Day here in the United States.  It's not a major holiday here, postal service is not interrupted and businesses and schools are not closed.  It's just a reminder that our flag is special, just like your flag is special.

I am whatever you make me, nothing more. I am your belief in yourself, your dream of what a people may become.... I am the clutch of an idea, and the reasoned purpose of resolution. I am no more than you believe me to be and I am all that you believe I can be. I am whatever you make me, nothing more. ~Franklin Knight Lane

When I was a little girl, we flew the flag for the major holidays (Memorial day, 4th of July, Flag Day, Labor Day, Veteran's Day) but not every day.  I had neighbors who had huge flagpoles and flew their flags all year long.  I thought that was cool.

We had a flag and a while ago flew it on the patriotic holidays but we seem to have fallen out of the habit.  People here fly flags of all sorts  celebrating a birth, graduation,  a season, anything really.  But the US flag seems to have fallen back into its obscurity.  After the bombings in September of 2001, flags were everywhere and if you didn't have one, you weren't a REAL patriotic American.

I just happened to remember this morning on my way into work.  I'm not wearing a flag pin nor am I flying a flag at home (it's supposed to rain and the flag is not supposed to fly in the rain or the dark without a spotlight).  The sight of my flag flying in the breeze can arouse deeply patriotic feelings in me and I have been known to shed a tear.  I know, it's weird but I am very sentimental.

And completely off topic, the evenstar issues continue.  It's a fine line between trying to find answers to problems and just rehashing disappointments and I'm not sure we're finding it.  I don't know what the solution to this mess is but I hope we find it soon.  It's draining and upsetting and trying to keep things in perspective can get your head bitten off.

Happy Monday, all.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I was really disappointed not to be able to change the look of the blog but wasn't willing to spend inordinate amounts of time to play around.  Then I got up this morning and lo and behold, blogger offered different choices and made it easy for me.  I kinda like this one.  It appeals to my sense of summer whimsy.

When I say nothing much has happened this week, I really really mean it.  It was a quiet one.  I think I had a small cold and kept falling asleep at my desk at work.  I got enough sleep (or what I thought was enough) but I would find myself nodding off.  I just didn't seem to have any energy so Pk and I took a "gym vacation" for a week.  Tomorrow it's back to regular workouts.

Yesterday, I spent some time spinning.  I was spinning along on this roving that I bought quite a while ago.  I think it's merino.  I like the colors and have been playing with it for a while.  I have enough just about 4 ounces of it so it may be enough for a pair of mitts or maybe a small scarf.  It spins nicely and my singles are nice and even.  I've got about half a bobbin full.

Last year, I took part in an online swap.  It was baked goods and yarn.  How can you go wrong?  I love both of those things.   I put together my box and sent it off to a knitter in California and I got a wonderful box of goodies from a knitter in Florida.  Now, if you don't know anything about Florida, I'll tell you.  It's hot and humid most of the time.  Even in the winter, it rarely freezes (although there are years when the citrus crops are threatened by cold weather).  People tend to go for bright colors.  This was a long explanation to explain this roving.  It came in the swap box.  It's bright blue, white and some neon yellow and lots of sparkly bits.  There isn't much of it, just a few ounces but it is so much fun to spin.  It reminds me of fairies.  I think I'll use it to make a headband of some kind for my niece, Maggy.  She likes sparklie girlie things and I think this will appeal to her.

We went to Kate's for dinner and World Cup games last night.  Pk has been following the games online.  ESPN3 plays them as replays and he can see the ones he wants.  Last night was the USA vs England and Pk, Kate and Elanor all wanted to watch.  I made lasagna and Kate made desert and we went over and ......no game.  They kept saying the game would be available but it wasn't. ( Since Kate had to work, they couldn't watch it live).  We watched Nigeria vs Argentina instead.  Kinda boring if you ask me but I knitted on a plain vanilla striped sock.

I am on the last chart for the Travelling Woman and I think this is one of the fastest, easiest patterns I have ever used.  It's easy to see if you've miscounted (not that I ever miscount!) and easy to fix mistakes.  I haven't worked much on the legolas kerchief but I'm thinking I'll get to it today.

It's really humid today.  We're expecting heavy thunderstorms.  We've been expecting them all week but except for a bit on Thursday, they've all floated off overhead.  I think today may be the day.  Pk is going to play with the torch  we bought him this week.  It's an MPP gas torch and is supposed to burn  hotter than propane.  He's trying to melt some metal tool so he can reshape it.  Yep, he secretly wants to be a blacksmith.

I wrote and deleted a paragraph on the evenstar kal.  I'm not sure how much I want to talk about the kal but I have a question for those of you who have participated in a designer led kal.  Did you expect a perfect pattern and did you get one?  Or were there errata?  If there were, how much and how did you feel about it?

This was the first kal of this kind I had ever done and I had no expectations beyond the fact that we were all knitting the same thing and would all end up with something beautiful at the end.  I knew the designer was still working out the kinks and I was ok with that.  Other people had different expectations and they feel their expectations were not met.  It has been a heated discussion at times.  I don't want to make light of people's concerns/problems so I moderate as little as possible and just try to keep things civil.  I wasn't expecting this.  There were over a thousand folks in this kal and maybe some issues are to be expected in a group that large.  What do you think? 

Monday, June 7, 2010

I have wanted to make small changes in the look of my blog for a bit but am not that computer savy.  I found all kinds of templates that I liked but somehow they wouldn't stick when I tried to move them over.  I am a creature of habit.  I don't move my furniture around (except to clean behind it) and I don't change my earrings every day.  I found 3 pairs that I like and I wear them all the time.  I don't want to have to mess with the blog settings too often.

I just don't want to be bothered with all those decisions.  I also like simple.  So, for now, I'll live in this pink world and see how it fits.  I can always ditch it if I can't stand it.

eta:  I hated the pink.  The text space was so limited that it messed up the arrangement of the photos so I moved back into this arrangement. 

I finished Pk's fire socks last night.  He offered to try them on for a modeled shot even though the temps hadn't dropped by that point. He loves them.  They're the Diagonal Cross Rib socks by Anne Budd in 25 Favorite Socks. (and btw, that book has certainly been worth the money).  The yarn was the December artwalk club from a painting by Theo Den Boon.  Pk loves them and I must say I am quite smitten as well.  The pattern was easily memorized and easy to do.  Pk asked if the feet could be plain and so I stopped the ribbing at the ankle and made stockinette feet.  Men's socks take a long time. 
On Friday when I got home from work, my June installment of yarn was in the box.  It's a beautiful superwash merino/cashmere/nylon blend in green.  This green looks like all the colors of a pine tree and it's so soft and lucious. (inspired by a painting by Andy Warhol called The Green Cat) I felt an almost visceral urge to knit something with it at once.  I was determined to finish Pk's socks and I did that first while I watched some chick flicks on Sunday afternoon (it was too hot and muggy to do much else).  So, I immediately looked on the computer for the pattern that came to mind as I fondled this yarn. 

I chose Legolas from Sunflower Designs.  It was a free pattern given to those people who signed up for Susan's LOTR patterns.  It's a small kerchief/scarf and so far is an easy knit.  I finished chart one last night and will work on chart two tonight.  It only takes about half this skein of yarn so I may try to make it larger and use up more of the yarn.    I also have the Travelling Woman shawl otn and the one using my pink/yellow/orange handspun and two pairs of socks.  It's almost overwhelming.  I'm not used to having more than one and maybe two projects on the go at the same time.  I'm not sure what came over me. I only know when I saw and felt this green yarn, I had to knit with it NOW.
Has that ever happened to you?

We are in heaven today.  Last night we were predicted to get storms (Lightning! Thunder! Hail! Tornados! Winds!  AHHHHH!) but nothing.  Nada.  Not a drop of rain (not that I'm complaining).  The good thing that happened is that the storm system moved through and behind it was more seasonable weather.  Today was a perfect late spring day.  Clear and sunny and dry and cooler.  It was a gift after the last 10 days of ugh.  I think tomorrow will be nice and then we're forcasted to get some rain later in the week.  Rain is not so bad but that heavy air and heat was a bit much.

I have to choose a gift from the catalog that came in the mail today.  I have been in my job for 15 years and every 5 you get a dinner and a gift.  I'm going for the ladies' stainless steel watch.  I have a metal allergy and stainless steel is one of the few metals I can wear without a rash (or gold but they're not likely to give me a gold watch). 

So, that's all the news from our neck of the woods.  How are you?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

What do you do when the weather is unseasonably warm and you are not used to it yet?  If you have not installed the a/c in your bedroom yet? 

If you're us, you go to the river where there is always a breeze and it always feels cooler. 

Pk and I got up and lazed around a bit.  I had a wicked headache but after a shower and some breakfast, it seemed to abate.  We went to the post office where I mailed some sock yarn to Louiz for her blanket and a bit of yarn left over from my Feb sock yarn club to someone who needs just a little bit more to finish a project.  Then we hit the diner for breakfast and the grocery store for food.

We came out of the grocery store (which is overly cool and I actually put on a sweatshirt) into the hazy heat of a very hot day.  Usually early June is not too bad.  Nice balmy days and cool nights.  This past week has been a trial.  We got the groceries home and put away the cold stuff and decided to pack the cooler with ice and some of my very favorite soda, Stewart's Orange Creme (it is soooo good), some black cherry and some root beer and we picked up some sandwiches at the deli and went to the river.

This is the Delaware River.  It is between New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  In this photo we are standing in NJ and looking at PA.  Actually, you are looking at the Philadelphia International Airport.  That tiny little thing in the distance is the control tower.  If we zoom in, you can see the tower and the red and white checked fuel storage units for the airport.  One of the best things is watching the planes coming in and guessing where they're coming from.  It's a busy airport and there are a lot of UPS and FedEx planes coming in.  Yarn deliveries, perhaps? 

There was a Greek container ship coming in to be unloaded.  It will eventually end up here.  Philadelphia is a busy port.  I tend to forget that sometimes. 

 There is a bit of a beach here but not much and it's posted as a danger site.  The soil is soft and the water is deep.  Does that stop people from wading there or looking for driftwood?  Of course not.  We never go down onto the beach.    I can remember when the Delaware River was so dirty that no one would go near it.    Today, it is clean enough for people to boat and ride ski-dos in it.  I still have the image of the dirty river in my mind and I'm not sticking my precious tootsies in it.    I do like the smell of the river, though.  It's deep and mysterious smelling.  Today there was a strong propane smell on the air. We weren't sure where it was coming from and it was disconcerting.

It can be rather windy here.  Can you tell?   Look at these trees.  Can you tell which direction the wind usually blows?  Several of the trees in this part of the park look like they've got a disease.  There are few leaves.  This means less shade.  That could be a problem.  We have our favorite spot to sit in and there are several old people who sit in the other really shady spot.  We might have to fight the old people for their spot and that could seriously mess up our karma. 

If we ever win the lottery, I want to have a house that is within walking distance of here.  Then I would walk down here and watch the sun go down every clear night.  Tonight it was too cloudy.  And by the time it got to be sunset, the gnats were coming out in force. I hate gnats.  And mosquitos.   One of the nice things about the wind is that it keeps down the mosquito population. 

I have laundry to do tomorrow and Pk has some work outdoors.  I'm sitting here feeling windblown and in need of a shower.  The fans are whirring and it's comfortable if you're not moving around, or if you don't have a laptop sitting on your lap.  So, I'm going to put the computer away and go wash the heat of the day off my skin.  I'm going to knit on Pk's fire socks and watch The Women (the new one).  I watched the original one on Thursday night and once again loved it. 

Have a peaceful Sunday.

eta:  I forgot to mention that Charlotte, (my brother's mil) is actually doing better.  It's kind of a medical miracle.  Just goes to show you medical science doesn't know everything.  She is off the ventilator and while she is not in great health, she is not quite at death's door right now.  She's sitting up and working crossword puzzles.  How cool is that?  It feels like we dodged a bullet with that one.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Whew, it's a hot day.  We laid Aunt Joan to her much deserved rest today.  She was dressed in pink and was wearing blue handknit socks that I made for her.  Like me, she always had cold feet and it's comforting to know her feet are blanketed with love and wool. 

We had a nice day at Emily's house on Monday.  Jim barbecued some delicious chicken and of course hamburgers and  hot dogs.  We had potato salad and carrot cake. I made the carrot cake that Bells made and it came out delicious.  I changed it a little and put some frosting on the top.  If I were to do it again (and I probably will, it was soooo good), I'd leave that off.  I might put a little crushed pineapple in it, though.  And maybe some raisins.  Or I might just leave it alone. Sometimes recipes are fine just the way they are.  It was not as high as I expected but I used a wider pan than called for because that's what I had.

It was so hot, I didn't have the heart to ask anyone to model the Evenstar.  I draped it over the railing and then Kate held it up so I could show you the sheerness of the lace.  It's about 60 inches across and light and airy.  The beads add just enough weight but don't make it heavy.  It feels good to have it done but I was also feeling a little at a loss.  I didn't know what to work on.  I have 2 pairs of socks and a travelling woman shawl otn but I needed something different. 

I tried three times to start Ancient Woodlands but am having some difficulty so this is not its time.  I decided I needed something simple and colorful and came up with a scarf pattern from A Fine Fleece and decided to use the handspun I had just balled into a cake. The pattern is a wavy lace kind of thing and easy to memorize.  The yarn is soft and slightly fuzzy.  The colors move from orangeish to pinkish to some yellow bits.  It's small enough not to be too hot so I don't mind holding it.  It's the first thing I've done on straight needles in a long time.  I figure it'll make a nice Christmas gift for someone who doesn't mind hand washing their woolens.  I don't know what it is, I think it might be bfl but there was no label on the roving when I got it.

Work tomorrow and then the weekend.  Unfortunately, we are probably facing another funeral next week.  My brother's mother in law (whom we all adore) is very sick and on a ventilator.  They are removing the vent tonight and it's just a matter of time until she stops breathing.  She's  been sick so this is not a surprise, just a sadness.  Another strong, vital woman gone from our lives. 

I am not cooking tonight.  Too hot, too tired, no umph.  I think a nice chef's salad would be good.  I have all the ingredients in the fridge, I just have to put them together. I think I can handle that. 

Happy Sunday!  I am sitting here working on my sweater made with the cashmere yarn my husband gave me for my birthday last year. I’m further...