Monday, November 30, 2015

Exclamations

I was awakened this morning by the ringing of my phone.  Calls that early are usually annoyances, but this brought very good news.  Madeleine has improved!  She ate for the first time today, then groomed herself after eating.  She purred and meowed!  The plan is to get her off the IV insulin, and onto injections.  She does have a urinary tract infection, so she's been getting antibiotics, too.  The doctor who called this afternoon asked for permission to do an abdominal ultrasound, to check her kidneys and pancreas.  Of course, I said yes.

She will probably be at the hospital for a couple more days.  The initial cost estimate has been left pretty far behind, but, come on, it's Maddie.

I get to go see her tomorrow, which makes me so happy.  Everyone who has called me today has commented on her looking "brighter" --- I can't wait to see it for myself.

In other news, despite all my best efforts, I CANNOT get the closet door open to get to the Christmas decorations.  I want to get a tree as soon as possible. . .  We may have to decorate it with bits of string and tin foil.  Between Maddie's health care, and having to help Briton out with a new car, money is tighttighttight --- can't buy all new things.

 Briton is moving at a glacial pace with regard to a car.  Almost anyone would be chomping at the bit to get a new one;  he's had an envelope of something from the other driver's insurance company for almost a week, and hasn't even opened it.  Who does that??


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Ladies

Who knew?  A Barbie doll Farrah-Fawett-poster-yes-that-one.  And it's really good.

This morning's news on Madeleine's blood sugar level is that it's fluctuating between 250 and 290, but since it's staying between those two, they're calling it "stable."  She hasn't been eating, but I'm guessing the fluids are taking care of that.  Oh, and according to the tech that called, "Everybody here thinks she's a big sweetie."  Which she is.

I'm not really worried about her, as she's getting around-the-clock attention.  But I do miss her.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Long Night

A distinct advantage of living in Athens (and there aren't many for anyone not college-aged) is having access to the UGA Vet School.  Last night, I availed myself of the school's Emergency Room.

Madeleine.
who could never have been called a plump cat, has been looking extra-thin of late.  I thought maybe she didn't like her food.  I ran out yesterday morning to get her a couple of different choices, and when I gave some to her, she lapped up a bit of it.  Throughout the day, she became more and more dull, so, around 10 last night, I bundled her up and took her across town to the UGA VER.

She is diabetic.  I was relieved to hear that, as it's something I know, having been dealing with Briton's Buddy.  I was terribly embarrassed that, having just been through the diagnostic process with Buddy, diabetes never even crossed my mind for her.

There is possible ketosis, too, so she is staying at the hospital until they can get her stabilized.  I got a call this mornng to tell me she'd had a good night, and that she was still getting fluids.  They had given her her first dose of insulin, and were waiting to see what happened with that.

I know she is in good hands, and getting 24-hour attention.  That's a HUGE advantage of having her there, as opposed to our vets'.  Our vets are magnificent, but they don't stay staffed around the clock.  It's going to be a costly advantage, but what wouldn't we do for our pets, right?

Friday, November 27, 2015

Mass Merchandising

The deluge of catalogs that comes in the mail this time of year can be a bit overwhelming, don't you agree?  I must admit to looking through most of them, however.  Some go straight to recycling, without ever making it into the house.  (Sorry, LL Bean and Eddie Bauer.)

In the past, I've found really good gifts in catalogs.  Since I boycott so many stores because of their Thanksgiving/Black Friday policies, catalogs come in handy.  And I've discovered a lot of wonderful businesses --- my favorite this year being Fairytale Brownies. Oh, my goodness.  OH MY GOODNESS.  I only ordered brownies and bars, but. . .

I believe I could live for a fair amount of time on the Cheesecake Swirl Bars alone.  Them and cold milk.



Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Lion Sleeps On and Off All Day

Head colds and Thanksgiving don't much go together.  I've been wrapped up in my robe today, and sleeping a lot.  Drainage and sneezing and coughing and drinking hot tea for an achy throat.  Thank goodness I didn't have a house full of guests to cook for.  And entertain.  I had a few side dishes from Trader Joe's to bake, and, when Briton came over after work, I was able to watch him eat.

Please don't feel sorry for me.  There was always a football game on when I was awake.  I balled up some sock yarn, and cast a pair on.  I'm not running a fever, though my skin sure feels like I am.  Barring an extreme emergency, I'll be in all day tomorrow, too.  Plenty of recuperation time.



Wednesday, November 25, 2015

To The Day

My plan for today was to go to CVS and get my flu shot.  Then, last night, at about this time, I started feeling slow and sleepy.  My joints started to ache and my head to hurt.

Long story short, I didn't get my shot today.  And I've been excessively drowsy.  Plus my throat is starting to tickle.  I took Hannah home from work a couple of nights ago, and she was on her third day of The Crud;  I suspect she shared.

SO, maybe a flu shot Friday?

Hannah is going to have lunch with her boyfriend's family tomorrow.  Will (the boyfriend) was very kind, and invited me along.  They're meeting about an hour away from here, though, and with my incipient whatever-it-is, I turned the invitation down.  Then, they're going to a co-worker's tomorrow night.  Briton works all day, so he may, or may not, stop by after he's done.  I've got some Thanksgiving-y things I can prepare if he'd like.  We'll just have to see.

For those of you who are going to have full houses and tables, and whose ovens will be pouring forth all sorts of delicious smells, please know that I hope you and yours have a cozy, happy, non-stress day.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Right This Minute

Right this minute, I am thankful for
1) my very most comfortable sweat pants --- which have "Commodores" written down the left leg;
2) Harpo Marx --- he would be 127 today;
3) the Rustic Apple Tarte from Trader Joes's --- I take a nibble each time I pass through the kitchen;
4) the cloudish, rainish sky;
5) learning new ways to wear scarves;
6) this cold Dr Pepper;
7) Rupert snoring beside me;
8) Riley snoring behind me;
9) the fun catalogs that came in today's mail;
10) word games.


Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Holiday?

I don't know how my grandparents ever did it --- getting all the children to be at a holiday.  My mother was one of five children, my father one of seven, no one lived in the same city, and yet, there was always That Day that everyone stuffed into those little houses (!) and ate and caught up and ate and tried to out-brag and ate.

After eating (for the first time!), I would always go with my uncles and watch whatever sport was on the really snowy, static-y TV.  Or, if it was warm enough, I'd join them outside, where they were  smoking or chewing and just shooting the breeze.  Maybe whittling.  I have wonderful HD-picture quality memories of me and Daddy handing a block of cedar back and forth, taking turns with his pocketknife, seeing who could shave off the smoothest, thinnest slice.

All that to say that I have two children, who don't have children, and who live in the same city as me, and we can't figure out if we're going to be able to get together this Thursday or not.


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Not Gonna Break

Although I didn't "officially" "join" the blog-all-November deal, I have been posting daily, just to prove to myself that I can.

Today, I have a headache that is pulsing down through my jaw, neck and shoulders.  I've been on the verge of throwing up all day.  But I'm not gonna not post.

Nobody said the posts had to be lengthy, or even interesting, for that matter.




Saturday, November 21, 2015

Slapdash

Yesterday, I had a headsmack moment.  "Primrose" is "Prim Rose."  Why that particular adjective was applied to that flower, I don't pretend to know.  But then, none of this had dawned on me untl I was 55 years old.

It looks like 2016 may be The Year of Charity.  I'm still planning to do Blankapalooza, and now Bridget is looking for ways she can help some folks out in honor of what would have been her father's 100th birthday.  I'm in.  Are you?  We may even be able to incorporate some of our squares into scarves or hats.

Madeleine portraiture.  She and Briton's dragon are having a long look down their noses at us commoners.

I came across some yarns I bought at Revival specifically to make a Color Affection shawl, so I've cast on for it.  I didn't remember the pattern being so easy to memorize;  I can click right away on it.  Well, until my finger gives out.







Friday, November 20, 2015

Bye

This is what's left of Briton's car.  If you look kind of closely, you can see me in the driver's seat, cleaning things out.  Yep, today was the day for getting everything out of the car, and turning it over to the towing service, so that they can do whatever it is they do with cars that are beyond repair.

It was surprisingly sad.  This wasn't Briton's first car, but it was his first really good car.  It was obvious that he didn't want to acknowledge that this was farewell.

He now waits on the insurance check, and the new car hunt will begin.  It might be another week before he can even think about making any decisions.  He works pretty much non-stop next Tuesday through Thursday, so finding time is going to be incredibly hard.  But it will all get done, and, ideally, this will be just a memory for him.  A memory to learn from, but not one to wallow in and/or become paralyzed by.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Chewy Review, Part 2

A while back, I talked about my November goodies from Chewy.com.  (It was the 7th, if any of you are playing along at home.)  There was a bag of cat treats, which didn't even last through the rest of the afternoon they arrived, and a box of litter box liners.  At the time, I mentioned that I was going to let my son try the liners out, because his cat is really, really, really tough on liners.

This is Buddy.
Now, Buddy doesn't necessarily look like a Destroyer of Things, but he has slain every type of litter box liner my son has ever used.  Until now.
Jonny Cat is withstanding all of Buddy's shreddery.  I was skeptical, but I've seen it for myself.  They truly are heavy duty.

Remember that I am receiving no compensation whatsoever from Chewy.com.  I provide monthly reviews of their products, reflecting my true experiences with them.

Wish List

The adjuster's report is in;  Briton's car is a total loss.  He sounds gut-punched about it;  he really, really liked that car.  But, it is what it is.  We have to go over to the towyard and clean it out --- probably tomorrow.  Then, the selecting of the new car, which depends largely on how much the settlement is.

I'm going to be sad, giving up the van.  It's so comfy and clean, and one of its bumpers is not held in place with duct tape.  My eyes will most certainly stray to other cars as we look for one for him.  Self control, Kim. 

Speaking of beautiful things I'd like to have in my life. . .

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Gearhead

So, this van that they've got me in has what a friend of mine calls "all of the candy."  It's a beautiful machine, and, boy, could I have used those DVD players when Briton and Hannah were little.  The two things that I've been struck by, though are, first
it has an analog clock.  Right above it is the significantly larger digital read-out screen, but this is where I'm looking when I wonder about the time.  It's a pretty little clock, with sort of a nostalgic feel to it.

Second,
the gear shift is on the dashboard.  I don't know what the engineering, or aesthetic, reasons are for placing it there.  But there it is.  It's taking a whole lot of getting used to.

Oh, there's a camera for backing up, but I'm not finding it all that helpful.  I have always used the passenger-side side mirror for reverse, and still do, even with the camera available.

The van is mine "until."  There still has been no word from the other driver's insurance adjuster, so we're kind of in limbo with regard to how it's all going to sort out.  My son seems to think he's going to get his car back, but, from what I saw, it's likely to be declared totalled.  Which means we get to go car shopping.

Whee.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Fabric of My Life

I went to a fabric store today to buy snaps for some Barbie clothes I've knit.  Have you ever gone in for something --- some one thing --- that you could put in your purse, or pocket, and come out with a bag full of lots of other things?  So, I can take comfort in knowing that I am

Fabric stores are just about as dangerous for me as yarn shops.  Actually, maybe more so.  The patterns are right there.  You know exactly how much material to buy.  There are quilt quarters all bundled up, inviting you to make them into all sorts of things.  It doesn't take very much material at all to make a set of pillowcases, or a tote bag, or some napkins, or aprons, or baby clothes, or Babie clothes, or placemats.  And skirts --- man, do I love making skirts.

My mother sewed or knit virtually every stitch of clothing I wore until I began earning my own money and chose "fancy" store-bought over "square" handmade.  So, I spent many hours in fabric stores, looking through pattern books (we mostly went with McCall's or Simplicity --- Butterick was too pricey.)  Lots of time roaming the aisles, looking for material I liked AND my mother thought we could afford.  Too, would that fabric work for what I wanted, was it going to be easy to take care of, etc.  She was a wonder.  She made I-don't-know-how-many pairs of bell bottoms with pleats at the bottom of the side seams.  I never seemed to be without one-piece, zip-front rompers come Summer.  And, I don't know that it grabbed hold anywhere else, but for a while there, in Nashville, smocks were it.
Smocks worked for Mama and me, because she could use remnants for collars, pockets, cuffs, yokes, and I could be trendy.

I've never been too much of a seamstress, to be honest, but Hannah has an incredible gift for making clothes.  Without patterns, most of the time.  She can picture it in her mind, and reproduce it in cloth.  It's amazing.  Fabric stores are sort of dangerous for her, too.  But we go together whenever we can, and "ooh" at the patterns, and "ahh" at the fabric, and leave with a larger bag of things than we ever intended to.

Monday, November 16, 2015

My Way

Our Christmas decorating tradition is to start the gussying-up on the day after Thanksgiving.  The other day, I went upstairs to see what we have, to see what we might need.

I couldn't get the closet door open.  The knob turns, but the bolt doesn't move.  There's no lock.  If I have to take that sucker down from the hinges, it's going to be extremely unpleasant.

For some reason, this year I'm thinking about decorating for my Christmas.  Put what I want where I want.  There are some things that have been part of the Deans' Christmases from, well, always, and I won't change them.  But I'm the one who will be living here every day, and I want to have things that make me happy and comfortable and holidayish.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

"Minivan" Should Be The Drinking Game Word Here

I decided that, despite my lack of life outside this house, I needed a rental car while my son has mine.  I made an online reservation, following up with a call to tell my enterprise "branch" that I needed to be picked up.  Was told there were no cars available.  None Friday, none yesterday.  Today, 45 minutes before their office closed, I got a call that a minivan was available.

I had reserved a compact.

I haven't driven a minivan since last century.

It's a nice minivan --- don't get me wrong.  But it scarcely fits in the garage.  

Our minivan must have been smaller than I remember.


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Song of Despair

The memory of you emerges from the night around me.
The river mingles its stubborn lament with the sea.

Deserted like the wharves at dawn.
It is the hour of departure, oh deserted one!

Cold flower heads are raining over my heart.
Oh pit of debris, fierce cave of the shipwrecked.

In you the wars and the flights accumulated.
From you the wings of the song birds rose.
. . .

--- Pablo Neruda




Friday, November 13, 2015

Why. Why Won't It Stop?

Mon coeur se serre pour Paris. Je prie pour la force, la compassion et la sécurité pour tous.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Folks

My son finally heard from the other driver's insurance company today.  The wreck was a week ago last night.  He was in the shower when the rep called, then he got her voicemail when he tried to call back.  Hopefully, things will start moving soon.  Car-sharing is wearing on both of us.  Which is weird, considering only one of us has a job. . .

I was looking through some pictures today and came across this:
That's Bridget on the left and Shari on the right.  Shari and I have been best friends since middle school.  Bridget and I met many years ago, as pen pals, I think.  Is that right, Bridget?  (ETA: We met through a swap.  Bridget has a much better memory than me.) At any rate, these are two important people in my life spending time with each other.  And with me.  At the now-defunct Rosie's Yarn Cellar in Philadelphia.  Those were such fun days.  I'm glad I found this to remind me.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Apparently, There's This Thing. . .

. . .called The Sweater Weather Challenge. Kathy answered the questions on her blog today, and they are interesting.  So, here I go.

Favorite Candle Scent: Gardenia.

Coffee or tea: Hot tea.  No coffee, ever.  Dr Pepper above both.

Best Fall Memory: My son's birth.

Best Fall Smell: Wet leaves.

Favorite Thanksgiving food: Scalloped oysters.  Sometimes family traditions go off the Path of Normalcy. . . 

Most Worn Sweater:  A rust tweed turtleneck that was made a looooong time ago.The turtleneck is cozy (some aggravate me) and the sleeves are nice and long, for pulling my hands into.

Favorite Fall Makeup: I don't do that much makeup any time of the year.

Favorite Pie: Chess.

Favorite Fall Accessory: Scarves.

Favorite Fall Activity: Watching football!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Favorite Fall Sleep:  Late.  ;)

It seems to me that, a few years ago, this type of question-thing, plus swaps and exchanges, were around all the time.  I just don't see them anymore.  Have people stopped doing them, or am I just out of the loop?  I suppose Ravelry is the place to go for all that now.  I just miss the planning and the surprises and the friendships that can be built;  guess that's why I'm doing the Care Squares thing.

(Too twee? Twinster suggested "Blankapalooza."  I don't think we'd run into any trademark issues with that.)







Tuesday, November 10, 2015

SnoozeFest

For some reason, I've been extremely sleepy all day.  I've managed to get a couple of things done, but mostly, I've just thought, "Should I go back to bed now?  Is it too early?"


The answers: "Yes" and "No."  Nighty-night.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Buncha Squares

When I asked for suggestions on a group project to follow up The Travelling Scarf, "squares" came up an awful lot.

So, squares it is.

Squares for me to sew together into a blanket.  Twelve months' worth of squares.  Maybe more than one blanket. . .

Anyone who wants to "play," can.  There will be monthly guidelines for colors, and you will be able to make as many, or as few, squares as you want.  Send them to me monthly, or all at once, or whatever is most convenient for you.  The aim is freedom from stress.  The only "rules" are each month's colors.  If you don't have them, or don't like them, or just don't have time, don't worry.  I'm really stressing the "stress-free" part.

So:
You can knit or crochet.
You can use up yarn leftovers.
You'll be done in a flash, and you'll feel like you've accomplished something.
You can choose any yarn or any pattern you want.

Does that sound okay?

Now, I have to think of a catchy name for it. . . 


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Just Random Thoughts

Today, I've been able to wear a sweatshirt.  Being able to wear a sweatshirt is second only to being able to wear my boots as A Reason Kim Loves Cold Weather.

One of my dreams last night included Don Felder (The Eagles.)
I haven't a single clue as to why.  Seriously.  Haven't been listening to any Eagles lately --- he just showed up.

Yes, "dreams."  I usually have more than one a night.  And they're always in color.

So far, car-sharing with Briton is working out.  That's one (of a very few) benefit to being jobless.  Hopefully, the insurance adjuster will get on the stick and we can take some steps forward.  Thanks for all your positive energy for Briton --- it means so much to both of us.

Tomorrow, I'll give you my idea for our next Group Project.  If you don't like it, there's time to decide on something else.  I'm thinking we'll start in January --- everyone will be so busy from now until the end of the year.

I'm getting close to finishing one of my Drea's Shawls.  I think there are about 50-odd rows to go.  I cannot tell you what a relief it is not to have to think about Christmas knitting.  Christmas shopping is still out there, but no knitting.

We Have A Winner

No more guesses on the Travelling Scarf allowed.  

The Scarf has 39 yarn changes!!  Lora, with a guess of  "31," wins.  Congratulations!!  Watch your mail. . . 


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Two for Two

Chewy.com has done it again --- a cat treat that the Dean cats are devouring.


Natural Balance Perfect Bites (rabbit formula) are perfectly-sized, and, if the meowing is any indication, insanely delicious.  The freeze-dried liver treats I reviewed last month were also enjoyed, but had to be broken up for the cats to eat.  These pour right out of the bag. And the cats already know the sound of that bag being opened.

Chewy also sent
which I gave to my son, as his cat regularly shreds the liners in his box.  I'm not sure he has used them yet, but I will review them when he has.

I am a part of Chewy.com's Blogger Review Program, and receive products monthly to try.  There is no money involved whatsoever.  I will write fair and accurate descriptions of my experiences with these products.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Blink

Well, there's only one guess on the Travelling Scarf's yarn changes so far.  Until a few more are in, I'll hold off on calling the guesses "hot" or "cold."

My son had his first very serious car wreck Wednesday night.  He is well physically, but awfully, awfully shaken up.  The other driver was at fault --- he turned left into Briton's path, and Briton slammed into his car's passenger side.  His (Briton's) airbags deployed, so it was that violent a hit.  I haven't seen his car, but he says the front is "crunched up."  He's waiting on an insurance adjuster to go take a look at the car, get back to him, and help him know what step to take next.

There's been a lot of guilt and fright and freaking out and attempts at calming down over the last couple of days.  He hasn't been scared to drive again, which is good.  He's using my car until his is repaired or replaced.  Since I scarcely ever have places to go, it isn't a big inconvenience for me.

Speaking of things that don't happen very often, Erin came out the other day, and stayed out long enough for me to take her picture.  She is almost always hiding away somewhere.  I've always thought her fur looks like grey velvet, and her eyes are the color of Granny Smith apples.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Do You Like Guessing Games?

Here it is;  your 2015 Travelling Scarf!




 Stretching from one end of my mantle, over the other, and into a tin vase.  It is 139" long.  (That's over 11 feet!)

Here, now, a contest.  How many yarn changes do you think there are in the scarf?  Yarn, not color.
For instance, in this part of the scarf,
up toward the right, you see a black stripe/green & yello stripe/yellow stripe/black stripe.  Now, although that is three different colors, it's clear that they all came from one type of yarn.  

You have between now and Sunday (the 8th) Noon (ET) to submit your guesses.  The winner will be the guess nearest to the actual number, without going over.  The winner gets the scarf!!  And, undoubtedly, a couple of other things, too.

Continued thanks to the knitters who helped out with this.

Start your guesses!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Scarf Has Landed!

The Travelling Scarf has made it home! Kathy was the last knitter and returned it to me.  Thank each of you who participated for your time and contribution to the scarf.  I will have a photo tomorrow, along with a contest to determine the scarf's ultimate destination.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Weight Issues / Wait Issues

A gray day today.  When I mentioned my love of grayness a few posts ago, several people shared their love of silvery weather.  You're scarcely ever really alone.

A good deal of today was spent in the waiting room of my Toyota dealership.  My "Check Engine" light came on over the weekend, and in the past, that has meant anything from the gas cap not being on securely enough to major engine issues.  This time it's a valve that's either sticking when it shouldn't, or not sticking when it should.  I had made the bad mistake of taking a lace-weight project with me, and trying to keep up with it meant not fully taking in what was said to me.  ANYway, the part had to be ordered, and should be in in the morning.  So, back tomorrow with, maybe, a book this time.

Both of my Drea's shawls are coming along apace
Some days, it's easier, finger-pain-wise, to knit with thin yarn, some days with thick.  I've got about five projects on needles right now, so, each day, there's probably something that can be worked on.

I have a little germ of an idea for our next group project.  It may take me a few days to fully flesh it out, though.  In the meantime, if there's something you want to do, or something you don't want to do, let me know!






Monday, November 2, 2015

Plans

My friend Camille introduced me to "Outlander" this year, so when I saw that Lion Brand had an "Outlander" line, I knew I had to get busy.  This is the "Gathering Spellbinding Capelet," and the Homespun Thick & Quick colorway I used.  My original idea was to make the capelet and put it in my etsy store.  But I sort of like it, and may decide to keep it.


Thank you for your suggestions on what to do with The Travelling Scarf!  I may have come up with something on my own.  Stay tuned.

I reserved my room for Stitches South next year.  In Nashville (hooray!!), March 31st through April 3rd.  Why don't you join me there?? 



Sunday, November 1, 2015

Now That I See Them Side-by-Side


I have always thought Grant Hill had the cutest/best ears Ever.  Then, Marcus Mariota sidled into the conversation.  While I still think Marcus' ears are very nice (and he seems to be such a good man),  Grant maintains the title.

Qs

"Q" as in "curly-q," as one of this week's prizes is this  pattern book.  There are some beautiful wraps here....