Sunday, July 31, 2016

Ends, Odds

School starts here at the end of the week.  Wrong.  So wrong.  

And yet, I get excited seeing school supplies in the stores.  That speaks more to my love of paper and things to mark on them with, though.

This wouldn't make it as a lunch box staple, needing to be served warm and all . . .  But, have you ever heard of grilled peanut butter and jelly?  I was making myself a grilled cheese the other day, and decided to give it a try.  It's really, really good. 

My children have played Pokemon since the very beginning.  In fact, I vividly remember the day a VHS tape arrived in the mail, introducting a new TV show with this little yellow guy:
They have both played every Pokemon game that has ever come out, so, of course, they got right into Pokemon Go.  I'm playing now, too.  It's a lot of fun, actually, though I'm not into the battling as much as the finding.  It's interesting, the little creatures that are all around you, that you'd never noticed before.  ;)

For some reason, I'm on a knitting run of square hats:
I've made child and adult versions.  They've never grabbed me like this before.

There've been dark, rumbly thunderstorms late in the last few days.  As a matter of fact, one is bubbling up outside right now.  The cats would normally be hiding, but they all realize that it's almost feeding time.  Funny how their internal clocks kick in for things like that. . .


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

This Is An Easy One

Are you ready for the next Blankapalooza color prompt?


Well, either way. . .

Look down.  What color is the shirt you're wearing?
THERE'S YOUR NEXT COLOR!!

As for myself, I shall be going through my yarn looking for a nice baby pink.

Keep those squares coming!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A Day Late. . .

. . .and a dollar short.
That was one of my Daddy's go-to phrases.  Another one was, "The good Lord willin' and the creeks don't rise."  Southern, much?

Kathy's weekly questions are as follows:
*You are getting yarn in the mail today as a gift.
Tell us about it.
First of all, there's enough of it to make one of the sweater/coat projects I like.  Therefore, it's most likely DK weight.  It's heathered grey tweed with purple and blue undertones.

*You are knitting poolside.
What do you order from the cabana boy?
Can I order two things?  A personal fan and an ice cold Dr Pepper.


*You are asked to give a 5 minute presentation about any aspect of knitting at all. What is your topic?
The social aspects.  

*You can ask for a knitter to finish any of your WIP
Which one is it ?
Wow. . .  This is the toughest question yet.  Does the "one" refer to the knitter or the WIP?

*You take good care of your hands.
Are your nails long or short?
At the moment, they're short.  They were long about a week ago, but then one broke, and I trimmed them all down to the same length.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Nice Segueway

For the past couple of years, I've been sort of involved with ECAD, an organization which trains assistance dogs.  I've had the honor of naming three of their dogs;  first was "Vandy":
She's now fully trained and graduated, and working.

Then came "Colt" and "Cherokee":
Full brothers, they are both still in training right now.  Colt had some very serious health issues a while back, but, as you can see, is a big, healthy guy now.

Today, on ECAD's Facebook page, was this photo of Cherokee:
It was captioned, "Cherokee, you're such a hunk!"

I KNOW!!!!  RIGHT????

This year's Knitters' Hunk and Knitters' Chick will begin on Thursday, August 18th.  Nominations can start that day, and will be open until Saturday the 20th.  As we get a little nearer the time, I'll let you know about seeds and such.  For know, go give your pet a hug, and start thinking about the persons you'd like to knit with!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Block Party

It has been emphatically stated here that I loathe blocking my finished knits.  That remains true, with the only change being what-is-a-stronger-word-than-"loathe"?

The scarf that Kelli asked me --- lo, these many weeks ago --- to sample knit for her is finally done.
The body is this lovely lace, with a thin garter stitch border.  On each end
is a simple, but elegant, old shale border.

Only, I had MANY PROBLEMS with the simple old shale border.  

The scarf is about 4 feet long, and, the first time I made it, I got all the way to the ending old shale, only to find I had made a counting, and, therefore, a stitch, mistake.  I tried to unravel back to the error, but just made a hellacious mess of it all.  (One reason I rarely knit lace.)  It kept ripping back into the body of the scarf, and I finally decided to just frog the entire thing and start again.

Except I could not --- could NOT --- make that first border.  I'm not exaggerating when I say that it took me a week of casting on and ripping out before I finally got past about Row 6, and made it to the body.  I have never felt so defeated and fed up.  If I were making it for myself, I would have kept it unravelled and moved on to the next project.  But, since I was working for someone else, I kept at it.  And, over the weekend, I got it done.  There will never be enough "thanks" to Kelli for giving me this opportunity, and being so patient with me.

I didn't block it full-on, as it's going to be sent through the mail, and subjected to who knows how much squishing.  I did, though, give it a good steam.  While I was at it, I also tackled the Vikings shawl, which was made as part of a knitalong way back I don't know when.
The truest color is in the close-ups, and you can also see that, despite my efforts, the bottom of the shawl still curves inward.  Again, since it's for me, I normally would just let that go.  But the bottom section is in that beautiful "waves/sails" pattern, and needs to be seen.

I've said over and over that I'm a process knitter, not a product one, which might explain why blocking gripes me.  I'm done with the process of knitting;  I don't want any more to do.  Then again, blocking can be seen as part of the process, meaning maybe I should have more patience with it.  Embrace it.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Cat-Man-Doo

 When I said I sort of cheated on this Chewy review, it's because I already knew what the verdict was going to be on these Bonito flakes.


Riley came to us with her toys and litter box and papers and a cannister of Cat-Man-Doo flakes.  For a while there, before she got used to living here, they were just about all she would eat.  Then, the other cats picked up on the fish scent when I put them out for her, and, before I knew it, they were all listening for that top to come off the cannister.  Are you familiar with the cat stampede phenomenon?

So, I could have written this review on the day I asked for the sample.  Still, let me make it clear that my cats adore these.

Also let me make clear that I receive no monetary compensation from Chewy.com for my reviews.  They are based on my own experiences with their products, and are honest reflections thereof.

Monday, July 18, 2016

A Rainy Monday Afternoon

1-I'm giving some away, (Lets just say) do you want 
Homemade pickles or homemade salsa?
It would depend on what type pickles and how spicy the salsa.

2-
Should I pack my knitting all in one box or spread it around in the event  a box goes  missing?
Spread it around.  Not out of fear that it will be lost, but because of the prolonged fun you'll have when you unpack.

3-
Best yarn sale this summer? 
Share the savings!
I've stayed away from yarn sales lately;  sorry I can't help.

4-
I'm running out of underwear. 
So less to pack. 
Should I buy in a month?
Just wash what I have for a few weeks? 
It's clean for goodness sake, I'm just running out
Wash.  Dull, but, more yarn money!

5- 
Give me your best no cook summer dinner. 
I can't come up with an entire meal that doesn't involve some cooking, but I will say that sliced cucumbers and sliced onions in a mixture (to taste) of vinegar and water, then chilled in the refrigerator is very summery crisp and cool.

6.
I'm drinking coffee from the dear Fred Rodgers Mug. 
Fred says,
"You can never go down the drain" 
What is your favorite Fred saying?
"I'm proud of you."

7. 
Al's knitting with Quince and Co linen. 
Apparently linen shrinks, but stretches back. 
What's been your experience?
I've only knit with linen blends, so, again, I'm of no help.  With regard to off-the-rack clothes, however, I avoid linen altogether.  I hate the wrinkles.

8.
I think I may make a silver and gold Christmas stocking.
Would this be weird? 
Not at all!  It sounds lovely.

9. 
What network do you use for a new cable company.
We liked Wide Open West, or WOW.
They don't service in Wisconsin.
Thoughts?
Sorry. . .  No.

10.
The cicadas have started singing their summer song. 
I like this sound.
What summer sounds do you like?
I like the crows, and ravens, conversing about the figs on our fig tree.  The air conditioner coming on is always a welcome sound.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Oh Boy! Or Girl!

Quite a few of my Facebook friends have been talking about and sharing pictures of babies.  This gave me an idea, so, your next Blankapalooza prompt is 

PINK?
or
BLUE?

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Summer Truths

 It is suffocatingly hot.  (Duh.) 

If I were a high school boy, I would so have a crush on Camren Bicondova.
She plays the-so-young-she-isn't-Catwoman-yet Catwoman on Gotham, which is my current binge show.  

If you can't find a parking spot right in front of the frozen yogurt shop, your carefully constructed confection will be 3/4 melted by the time you walk to your car.

For everyone to reap the benefits of a ceiling fan, Maximum Couch Capacity is one human, one dog, and one cat.

Having the same "I am serious;  I honestly don't like watermelon" conversation over and over is tiresome.



Wednesday, July 13, 2016

My Cats Love Chewy

Time for another Chewy.com review. . .


Weruva Paw-Lickin' Freeze-Dried-Chicken Treats.

Mercy, do they like these!  I got the shipment yesterday, and the carton is already half-empty.  The treats are bite-sized, and there is no odor, and no stickiness on your fingers.  The only one who didn't gobble a treat down was Madeleine, who may be so used to her diabetic diet now that other things don't have much appeal.  But the other three wonder if these come in any larger containers!

Once again, Chewy sends me products of my choosing each month for an in-home trial.  Absolutely no money is involved, and my reviews are my honest opinions of the product(s).

I have to admit, I cheated a little bit on the second product we have to try.  It's something that I've given the cats in the past, and they devoured it.  There will be another rave review in a day or two, unless there has been significant change in some palates.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Which Is Which

So, I don't know if this
or this
more accurately describes how I'm feeling today.  It's so blasted hot, which has given me a headache, which is making me want to sleep (or at least stay very still), and I can't seem to get anything done.

You?

Monday, July 11, 2016

Monday Qs and As

That's right --- I'm taking Kathy's questions and her title.

*After a long day of knitting would you rather:
a) soak in a hot tub
b) have a massage
c) have a manicure
This is SO easy.  Massage.  Always massage.

*Many of us are sock knitters.
Have you ever put rubber dots on the sock bottoms for slippage? 
No;  I didn't even know you could get those.  All I've ever seen are leather soles.

*Super secret Revelation:
I haven't had a pedicure yet this season.  WHAT? Hush, no shame as the Fat Squirrel knitter Amy Beth would say. 
When was your last pedi?
Never have I ever had a pedicure.  And never shall I ever get one.  I avoid drawing attention to my feet.

*Are you waiting for anything to bloom in your garden?
                                Only in the video game on my phone.  There are daisies there.               

*Do you own anything at all, anything, solar powered?
Sadly, no.

*So Many CUBS are in the All Star lineup this year.  It is so super exciting to me.  Will you watch the home run contest or the game?  Neither? Both? 
If anything, I'll watch the home run contest.  I was a big Cubs fan when Briton was a baby --- staying at home with him, I watched a lot of games.  Those were the Andre Dawson/Ryne Sandberg years.  As a matter of fact, my baseball glove is a Ryne Sandberg model. 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Tonal Shift

Time to think about other things, wouldn't you say?  At least for a few minutes.

Since it's July, my mind has begun to turn to Knitters' Hunk and Knitters' Chick.  Mostly, that means looking at the calendar and setting the dates for nominations to start coming in.  Too, it means beginning to put together prize packages for the winners' and runners up nominators.  Thankfully, that can all be done from inside my air conditioned home.  Seriously --- I just went to the grocery, and it was 93 degrees out, but felt (according to my handy app) like 111.

ANYway, you might want to sort of start thinking about the people you want to nominate this year.  It's tough work, I know.  Go somewhere and ponder.  And concentrate, my friends, concentrate.


Saturday, July 9, 2016

Loss

In the past, I've wondered how my parents felt in the Late Sixties.  Did they feel like the world was on fire?  Were they worried about the future that was being built for me?

I get it.  This week, it seems the world has been aflame, and it has felt like nothing good was on the horizon.  There has been so much to be sad about, as a citizen of the nation.  And, on top of that misery, there has been heartbreak here.  Our veterinarian, Monica Kucher, died after an awful car accident.  She was one of my first, and always one of my most important, friends in Athens.  It's been almost too much to think about.





Thursday, July 7, 2016

This World, Our World

The world is overwhelming me today.  Loss and grief and anger and helplessness are tumbling around in my brain.  They are so loud and so painful.  They are standing in the way of my being able to think clearly, to make sense of it all, or at least to make some sort of constructive peace with it.

My mother would have said that this type of day is given to us so that we may build Christian character.  But when the only action you can take is curling up quietly in your safe little house in your safe little neighborhood, you feel cowardice, not character, growing within.

Today is a tough day.  Tomorrow will be, too.  My brain, and my heart, are going to have to decide where to go next, and how to get there.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

July Quora Begins

1. We all have our Christmas movie favorites.
Do you have a summer movie you watch over and over? 
No.  Not really. 

2. How's your Holiday 2016 knitting coming along?
As far as I know, I'm not doing any Holiday knitting this year. 

3. I have more time to read in Summer than around the Winter Holidays.  What have you read lately?
And Then All Hell Broke Loose by Richard Engel.

4. Is there anything better than an iced Christmas cookie ?
So sorry, but I have to say "Yes."  Really good banana bread and my mother's butterscotch pudding come to mind . . .

5.  Have you knit a gnome?
Many!  In all sizes!

6. 
Are you more excited about your Christmas tree or your summer garden? 
Even if I had a garden, it would still be the Christmas tree.  Christmas trees beat almost all other decorations --- except lights.  I love lights. 


7.
You've just created your favorite winter colorway.
What do you call it?
(Something like this was a tie-breaker question one year in Knitters' Hunk!)
"Moonlit Snowfall."

8.
Someone is secretly knitting you a Christmas gift.
What do you wish it to be?
This is an AWESOME question.  I LOVE this question.
A throw, or a lap blanket.  Something to snuggle in, and to remind me of them.

9. 
If you need snow for the perfect Christmas, 
what do you need for the perfect
4th of July?
Folks not shooting fireworks for the week before!

10.
Let's make the last one yes or no.
Yes or no, :

Are you knitting in the Air conditioning today?
OhHELLYeah.  The A/C is going, AND I'm under a ceiling fan!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Flags Day

Your holiday weekend Blankapalooza color prompt is

THE COLORS OF YOUR STATE FLAG.

For an awful lot of us, in fact, for most of us, that's going to be red, white, and/or blue.  Take Tennessee here:

However, if you live in (or were born in --- your choice) 
New Mexico
or
Washington (Hi, Twinnie!)
or
Maryland, 
you've got all kinds of room to play!

Enjoy your 4th, and stay cool and safe.


Friday, July 1, 2016

Changes

As my therapist and I begin to deal with the possibility of my moving out of Athens, my "homework" between sessions is to clean out and clean one room.  My first room is the kitchen.  For a week, things were going gangbusters.  I was throwing out some things, putting others aside for a yard sale, consolidating cabinets and drawers.  Then yesterday, I had neither drive nor desire to do anything else.  Hopefully, the urge will return.

My daughter will be moving soon;  she's found a cheaper place.  Poor Klunk --- it will be the sixth 
place he's lived.  As you can see, he's a bundle of nerves at the prospect.

We had a beautiful rainbow here yesterday, after a pounding rain.  There have been those sudden 
storms all week.  They haven't done a lot to cool things down, but they're a joy to listen to.

Life On the Couch

It's a quirk of my biology that when I am sick with cold/flu/sore throat, I cannot drink milk.  It tastes really, really funny, even on...