Sunday, September 30, 2007
Yesterday was my monthly "take both folks out to lunch" day. I wish I could take them both out together more but, quite frankly, none of us can handle more often. Dad gets tired from the "bigness" of the world and having to cope; Mom goes right into the "oh, I didn't know we can't drive" and poor me mode; and I - well, I get tired of having to come up with new answers for the same conversation. The only good thing is Mom doesn't think about not being able to drive until we actually get in my SUV and go somewhere. When we're at Dad's place or when Mom and I are at her apartment the conversation doesn't come up.
Yesterday I drove them around a bit to look at the leaves changing. I asked Dad if he knew what season it was - nope. I gave him a couple clues - leaving falling, weather getting colder.. still no clue. Is it winter? Is it Spring? - Yeah, I thing it's spring. It's tough to see basic things start to go out of his brain. But ask him what 2x9 is and he's right there with the answer. 24/2 - right there. I'd love to know how the brain works or fails to work.
They say dementia is the inability to learn new things. I can see that. Mom is also at the can't learn new things stage. But - so far she can still manage the basics of her apartment. Well, for now. We'll see how long that lasts.
On the cheerier topics -
Cats & Yarn
I have to say a quick Thank You again to my Secret Pal on behalf of the boys. The multiple presents she sent them are very loved. The Fish on a rope has been dragged around the house multiple times a day since I opened it. Bert hauls it into the jungle gym, into bed at night, into the bathroom, you name it - that fish has been there. You're probably thinking - I only sent one present for the cats- what's she talking about. Oh no - you sent 3 presents. The tissue paper has been properly chewing, mauled and destroyed by Chief. There have even been a few naps taken on the paper. Then there was the other present - the box. It's had a busy life this week. Chief (the 18 lb. cat) sits in the box. Sort of. It's too small to really sit in it so he gets about 10% of his body in it and pretends to sit. The box is also a drop spot for Bert and the fish. You know - the fish he hauls all over the house. The box seems to have become it's home in Bert's eyes. So - other than the 4 AM visits in the bed of Bert and the Fish, we all thank you for the fun they've gotten from the presents.
Cats & Yarn - Chief sits on my lap while I knit and usually ignores the yarn, other than to hold the strand in place for me. Hate to have the yarn escape! But there's something about the Tofutsie - he loves it. Can't keep his paws off it and will occasionally chew it. Is it the powdered shrimp? He hasn't been going after the finished sock only the sock/yarn in progress. Anyone else have this happen?
There are so many swaps going around I thought I’d suggest a few new ones.
The Dirty Laundry Swap – Send all the dirty laundry you don’t have time to do because you’re knitting to your secret pal and let them do it for you. Problem is – your pal is probably too busy knitting to do your laundry too.
The UFO Swap – You send a project you never got around to finishing to your pal and you get one from another person. At least you never have to look at your own and feel guilty about not finishing it.
The Yarn from the 70s Swap – send some of your stash from the 70s to another person. With any luck your partner will forget to send you yarn and you’ll have space in the stash for some new goodies. This swap would also work with the 80s and 90s. Although, yarn from the 90s really isn’t THAT old yet!
The Knitting Round Robin – send off a UFO for the next person on the list to knit a bit for you. Then it comes on to the next person and so on until you finally get your FO back and finished. Problem – if you send it off to other people with UFOs it may just become their next UFO and you’ll never see it again.
The NO fuss Recipe Swap - send recipes to the others in the group that take “no prep” giving you more time to knit. Hey – wait – this one may actually work!!!
You have any good swap ideas?
Thursday, September 27, 2007
You signed up on August 8, 2007
You are #24134 on the list.
5471 people are ahead of you in line.
12597 people are behind you in line.
50% of the list has been invited so far
I checked a couple days ago and it was way over 6000 ahead of me. It looks like 400-500 people are getting on each day - WOW.
Notice if you add the people before me, on the lost and after me there's about 42000 people. double WOW!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
I have spent the past 2 weeks going to different sites our company has people at and writing down all the stuff they do at the site - good and bad - and giving them scores to be certified or not. Does the staff answer the phone in 3 rings? Are they friendly? Is the Site Procedure Guide complete, to to date? Does the mail cart work properly? It's been rather boring and I got to the point where I was confusing one site for another. But 2 more days of this and I should be done. We have to have all the sites certified by the end of the month. When that's done - I hope to have time to get out to several of them and help rewrite procedure guides that are wussy.
I tend to write procedures that someone who never saw the site could use to complete necessary tasks. That's the way I used to write my machine knitting patterns. I'd turn on the tape recorder and say everything I did. Then, I'd take that recording and turn it into a pattern. It's amazing how many things we do automatically without even realizing it. In a pattern you make write M1 stitch but - what type of make one did you use? The different types will affect the look of the finished product and some times the wrong way will make the garment turn out wrong.
Total change of topic. There's a story on the news tonight about an 8 month old boy in our area. It's a story of child abuse. He had to have part of his skull removed because of baby sitter abuse and a swollen brain. The pictures of him now - he is missing half his skull so half his head is caved in. It's a frightening story, it's frightening pictures.
Bert's been coming in here asking for attention. He knows how to say "mama" in a very whiny voice and it's pretty bizarre. Some day I may manage to have recorder close by so I can get it on tape. Of course, no one else have ever heard this because he is my mythical kitty that no one has ever seen in person. Many of my friends doubt he really exists. Any noise in the driveway will make him disappear faster than chocolate at a knit-in!
Monday, September 24, 2007
Anyone have any answers?
Tonight's new yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy. They has a color dyed special for Amazing Threads - Cobalt Diablo. Very subtle purply blue blend. The pattern is one of Dream in Colors patterns - look a bit like leaves. When I start knitting I'll get some pictures up.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
On the more exciting side of life - I got a package from my Secret Pal. Or should I say - WE got a package. Yep. I got help opening it and exploring what was inside.
There was a lovely card (good grief - who says "lovely" now-a-days!) I think I have my Secret Pal fooled! She/he (handwriting look like - she) thinks I'm a brave person and admires how I'm taking care of my folks. Fooled you! I spent this week totally ignoring my parents. Mom called Wed all upset because she had gone off somewhere with some people from church (couldn't rememeber who it was) and got back somewhat late (5pm). She thought I would be mad because she had been out. Why would I be upset. She doesn't live here, she doesn't have any responsibility except to herself. What in her life got her so screwed up that she doesn't think she can go out and have a little fun without feeling guilty!?! Poor lady. But- I talked to her for a few minutes and that was it for this week. I needed to concentrate on work and I knew the people where Dad lives would take good care of him and if anything really happened with Mom someone from her place would call. So - bad daughter - but I'm okay with that. We'll all go out for lunch tomorrow and they won't remember I didn't see them this week. Bad memory can really work for you sometimes!
But - back to my package. Let's see what I got.
P.S. I just remembered. Best Buy had memory stick on sale this week. They were giving a donation to the Alzheimer Assoc. for each stick sold. How sad is it that I forgot something for a memory organization!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
You get a big kitty blob that looks like a fuzzy hamster.
Let's try that again - Chief was such a Momma's helper last night. He sacrificed his free time to lay in my lap and prevent the Tufutsie from escape. What a guy!
The Tufutsie in question is a sock. We got the yarn last month at Amazing Threads sock of the month group but I decided I wasn't keen on the pattern. It has 4 small cables with a lot of plain spaces in between. I thought it would look even fatter on my foot than normal so I decided to play around and do a toe up (my favorite). The picture is terrible for color. This colorway is coral and lime green in the light striping and purple and med sky blue in the dark striping. (told you the picture was way off - I just couldn't get it any better) The pattern is one round of knit and one round of k2,p2. Every 10th and 14th round I did a mock cable- knit the 2 knits together and before taking them off the left needle knit the first stitch again. Hard to see in the picture - I'll go for a cleaner picture when the sock is done.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Last November, 4 contractors in Iraq were kidnapped. One of them was Paul Reuben, a former cop from the Minneapolis area. For a month we heard news reported about it and then nothing. The families were told be be quiet and wait. They did. They waited and waited and waited. They heard nothing. Every once in a while they will get throw a bone - "we're still working on it". Nothing more. It's been 10 months of mostly nothing. It's been 10 months of 4 families waiting on a government that will only say - "we're still working on it".
Those 2 cute kids don't understand where Uncle Paul is. How can they? The adults don't really understand where he is.
Take a moment to say a prayer for the families and friends of these kidnapped men. Pray they are still alive and being treated well. Prayer that the government is really working to get them released.
If you feel the need to do something more - write your senator and any other government official you can think of. Thanks
Tomorrow I'll get back to knitting content.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Now let's talk Secret Pal 11. I've been hanging out at the Secret Pal Participant list and looking at many of the blogs. I was always one of the kids at the end of the line - the back row of the picture - the one without a date because I was taller than the other kids and normal sized (i.e. not a little skinny wimpy girl). I got a complex. So I tend to start looking at things from the back side. I take pity on the back of the line people. I started looking at the blog list with the "Z". I can say with much certainty I know some things about my Secret Pal.
You will be amazed at my deductive reasoning. Sherlock Holmes has nothing on me. My Secret Pal is from the United States. There - aren't you impressed. Beyond that- no clue.
What I can tell you is the flowers I got from my Secret Pal Labor Day weekend are still looking beautiful. One of the flowers wasn't a long term as the other and about half of it are gone but the others - just as fresh as they were almost 2 weeks ago. Amazing!
I have a few things to say about the comments I got about the stash, GIVE ME A BREAK! ;-) Deb do you really think because the boxes are in different parts of the house I don't know what's in each and every one. Ask me where the Sugar and Cream in light brown from 1986 is and I can tell you. This version of organized is what happens when you live along with 2 cats and a massive craft obsession.
Confession time - the real reason things are all over the house is because the basement isn't safe for yarn at the moment. It "leaks" when it rains outside. Until I find the cause I don't want to put anything of a fiber nature down there. I will not have my precious stash subject to potential mildew! Once is fixed I will have a well lit studio with great storage potential. The stash (both yarn and fabric); the knitting machines; the 4 heddle loom; the sewing machine; serger; cutting table, etc. will all have a new home. Until then, stash south lives in every room on the main level.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
And a lick lick there
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Once upon a time (a LONG time ago) I dated. The boys I picked to fall in love with never seemed to know how to buy flowers. None of them ever bought me flowers. Zero – zilch – nada. I was sad. I was convinced I was unworthy. Hey, I was young and romantic. Weren’t we all at one point.
Time passed. I grew up. I quit believing I flowers, except the ones in the garden. A bit over 15 years ago I started my shop. Sold sewing machines – knitting machines and all the goodies to go with them. On the first day I got flowers! My friends got together and sent me a beautiful bouquet with a lucky penny attached to it. I love my friends! But that bouquet was a lonely one. For the next 15+ years I never got another bouquet. (I can’t blame it on the guys I date ‘cause I haven’t been on a date since about 1852! Anyway –
Today the doorbell rang. Well, I can’t call it a doorbell. My Dad decided about 10 years ago he couldn’t hear the door bell downstairs so he attached the bell to the duct work down there. The house doesn’t ring it BUZZES. A VERY LOUD BUZZ. It’s awful. When I bought the house and moved in I tried to hunt down the buzz. Dad’s memory is gone so he doesn’t remember anything about this. Someday, I’ll get the house sounding pretty when people come over, someday. But –back to today.
The door BUZZED and I went to answer it. It was FLOWERS! A beautiful bouquet of flowers for me. Just for me. How exciting! And who sent me these pretty happy flowers? Why – my Secret Pal! Someone I don’t know, someone who doesn’t know me except by my posts, read about my crummy work week and decided to make my day. You did. Thank you is such a small thing to say but I mean it more than you know. The best I can do is be sure to pamper my secret pal person and pass on the kindness.
Knitters are such great people. We should rule the world!
Monday, September 3, 2007
Back many months ago I knit a shawl.
It got put into the “Block it someday” box and was forgotten. I finally got it out and decided it was time to block. A while ago I got some foam blocks really cheap but decided they weren’t the best for blocking because the little numbers in the middle of the blocks pops out at the wrong time. But, I used them anyway and they worked fine. The shawl is made out of Plymouth Encore – 80/20 acrylic/wool. I bought a skein to check it out because giving some to a friend to teach her how to knit. It’s soft and easy to knit with. I like it for the people who don’t think they can wear wool. So, I ended up buying more to make a shawl for a Christmas present/ I don’t know who will get it yet but I think it will be a nice watching TV type shawl. According to my notes it was started in 5-19-07 and finished 6-7-07. DO I have to change the finished date to today ‘cause I finally blocked it?!? The pattern is from Elann’s website – Victorian Lace Shawl.
The next is the socks from Amazing Threads. The pattern was written by Thora Lee Johnson of the shop. It is a mock cable but the heel and toe are a bit different from the usual. The heel flap is the Eye of Partridge stitch and the heel is a Dutch heel. Finally the toe is a round decreased toe. The yarn is Rio de la Plata and I like it very much. At least to knit with. We’ll see how I like wearing it once the weather allows for warmer socks!
The Dutch heel is a square heel. You knit to the middle 1/3 stitches and keep knitting these back and forth while picking up the other stitches one at a time to work them into the heel. I haven't made one of these to wear before so I don't don't how I'll like it on my foot.
The heel flap - Eye of Partridge stitch is similar to the knit 1-slip 1 heel except it's made like a seed stitch pattern verse a rib pattern. It it firm and does not have the stretch a regular heel have. I'm thinking it will be a longer lasting heel. we'll see.....
The State Fair
I got my pictures of the State Fair Crop Art out of the camera. People take all sorts of seeds and glue them to a board to create pictures. Some are pretty basic, some are totally amazing. Here’s a couple examples.
Somebody doesn’t like the Vice President!
Here’s that KFC Guy!
And a close up of the picture so you can see the seeds better.
Well, enough said on this topic. In other words I didn’t do much of anything on it this weekend. I got busy with going through Dad’s old paperwork down stairs and never quite made it to the bathroom. I did get a coat of primer and all the filled in. Next is to sand down the extra nail hole “gunk” and get a coat of the real paint on the walls. In the meantime I just heard from Dad’s sister. She and my Uncle may be coming up here middle September and I’ll end up housing them. Guess the bathroom moved to the top of the “Get done now” list!
I don’t believe it! I just saw a Geico commercial with Chatty Cathy. I still have mine and she still talked just fine! If you keep something long enough I guess it becomes popular again.
Just try to get good pictures of the cats – I dare you!
Bert, smile pretty! – me (don’t tell Bert but his droopy Belle’s Palsy eye is showing)
Catch me if you can – Bert
What’s this? A new toy to play with? –Bert
Hey! Somebody say a new toy? – Chief
Bert, what’s going on? This isn’t a toy. It’s Mom’s new blocking squares. – Chief
Well, I like them. I’m going to sleep here for a while - Bert
Saturday, September 1, 2007
I've been reading my secret pal receiver's blog and getting ideas about what to give but I kind of forgot I'm going to get spoiled too. I can get used to this!
I went to the State Fair Friday. I had requested the day off to use my last vacation day before the end of Sept. and decided I needed a ME day. It sure was different walking around looking at stuff instead of working long, hard, hot hours. I spent many years working the machine knitting booth and a booth for the sewing store company I used to manage a store for.
Back in the day I knew all the food booths that did not have fried food and the cheapest pop in our area. I was pleasantly surprised to see more healthy food (if you want it). Being a one day visit I enjoyed my honey sunflower seed ice cream YUM!
Unfortunately I wore a pair of shoes that were not broken in yet so I had a short visit. The Creative Activities building was filled with wonders to behold. Because I can't seem to stay with just one craft (I suffer from STASOC - Short Term Attention Span of Crafts) I like to see everything people have created. At one point or another I've been involved in: knitting, crocheting, weaving, sewing clothes, quilting, cross stitch, wood turning, stained glass, painting, - the list goes on. SO - this is definitely my favorite building at the fair.
One other spot I hit was the crop art area. I've got pictures and will get them up before the weekend is over with a bit more about this craft.
I've managed to do some knitting so far. The Sock of Month group at Amazing Threads met last Monday night. I didn't have the last pair finished but started the new one anyway. The new sock is in tufutsie which I hadn't tried yet. I've decided I'm not going to do the pattern we got because it's for a medium and I don't think it would size up real well. It has 4 small cables around it with stretches of plain knitting between. We'll see when I actually start knitting after I rip out what I did Mon night.
I am down to the toe of the 2nd sock from last month. With any luck, I'll finished this weekend and get some pictures up.
I finally got around to blocking the shawl I made about 2 months ago. It's drying as we speak so, yes folks, I may get some pictures of this up too.
Looks like I'm going to be very busy with the camera tomorrow!
I found the old copies of both family trees when I was cleaning out the folks stuff. I had most of it in Family Tree Maker on the computer but that computer died several and along with it a ton of my work. At least I lucked out and found the paper copies. I've been spending an hour or so each night this week typing away.
My Dad's father has always been a mystery. We know he was born in Brooklyn and had a brother. We also know his parents died when he was young and came from Switzerland. There was a difference of opinion about their names and when they came. With Grandpa gone and having no idea about his brother I always let that part of the family slide. This week I think I lucked out. When I out FTM on my new computer I got to playing around with the web sites and I think I found Great grandma & pa on a ship manifest from Switzerland. It lists them - her name we knew and it lists her husband as a watchmaker (we knew that) and his name was one of the two names I've heard used. I need to do some hunting but I may have them tracked down!
I've got Tea
I like tea. I'm a tea snob. I prefer loose tea that I can properly brew. I collect ways to brew tea. However, I also know my limitations. It's hard to brew a good cup of tea at work so, I make do with substitutes. I also drink a lot of iced tea in the summer. My waist is goodly plenty without the addition of more sugar and I can't do Nutrasweet (more on this later). I can handle Splenda just fine so I search for things with Splenda in them so I can keep my sweet tooth happy and keep my waist from growing.
Anyway, I discovered Arizona Green Tea with Splenda and love it. But buying it by the gallon would be very pricey and heavy because I drink alot. Target started carrying the powered version of the tea and I thought I was in heaven. It comes in a little tin with 4-5 2. qt packets. Easy to carry around, easy to make. Life was good. Then it happened! Target quite selling my beloved tins. I cried. (not really but it makes a good story). I suffered through Arizona tea withdrawal until last month. I went to the Arizona Tea web site and found the tins are still available. You can buy them 4 tins at a time. But - because the shipping was alot for 4 tins, I bought 8 tins and the shipping decreased per tin. It arrived and I am a happy camper. I have enough iced tea for a long, long time. Now my only problem, what am I going to do with all these cute little tins that I'm too cheap to throw away!!!
I have to start out by saying this is my opinion. I am not a doctor or anyone who should be taken seriously unless you feel like it.
I can't have Nutrasweet in my body. It's bad for me. I break out to the point of facial sores, I get headaches/migraines, I forget words. It's just a bad thing for me.
Someone may say it in my head but I have pretty good documentation of what happened to me. I kept records, my experience as a dietitian taught me how to investigate food chemistry things. But - like I said, this is about me, I'm not claiming this to be a universal truth for everyone. Studies I've read talk about how terrible aspartame is for people with MS. These studies are old now and I don't know what's been done recently. I just know I have to stay away.
So, for me it's real sugar, no sugar or Splenda. So far Splenda has been fine.
Well, let's see if I manage to get some pictures up before the weekend is out and if I manage to get some bathroom work done (nothing's happened so far....)