Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Has Anyone Got A Light? It's Kinda Dark In Here!

My brand, new car, Preston, has 780 miles on him. I know it flies in the face of convention to give a car a male name but y’all know me, I FLIES IN CONVENTION’S BIG OL’ FAT FACE ALLA TIME! Take THAT convention, I say! Ahem…anyway. Preston. 780 miles. Just a baby, really, and I’ve already crunched him. I am not a responsible car Mommie apparently. I had a fender bender in the gas station parking lot last Friday evening. Crap. Yet another thing that ain’t goin’ my way these days.

It wasn’t my fault and it didn’t do major damage but Geez Louise, will someone please get me out of this G***D*** whale! It smells really fishy in here, I have a shrimp allergy and Jonah's constant humming is really working on my last nerve.

Anyway, I go to the auto place today for an estimate. My insurance company set up the appointment for me. I check in with the receptionist. Pretty soon ‘the guy’ comes out with his clipboard of doom and gloom. I’m the only one in the miniscule ‘waiting area’. He looks right at me and says “Scott?” (We’re still on the same policy because it’s paid through January). So I say, ‘Well, yes, before the operation… It’s Molly Bee now. " Thankfully he caught on that it was a joke and started laughing because the estimate process included taking lots of photos of Preston and I can just imagine a few sneaky ones of me making the rounds in the garage after I left. “Yeah!!! Lady used to be a DUDE! No! Really! She told me! "

Preston’s owie will take 3 days to fix. I still don’t have the numbers yet, but it has to be significantly lower than the $2,033 estimate one of the BIG dealerships gave me. Especially since I suspect I could fix it myself with a rubber hammer and some rubbing compound, or WD40 and Duct Tape-whatever'll git ‘er done. Unfortunately it’s a dark gray car and what little light Jonah and I get from the whale’s blowhole is weak and intermittent at best. It’s really not conducive to doing my best work so I’ll leave it to ‘the guy’. Hmmm. I could probably still use the rubber hammer if someone would be so kind as to send one. It may solve my problem with the constant humming. Just sayin'. So please take a minute on September 10th, 11th and 12th and send healing thoughts Preston’s way as he goes to the car hospital for an owie-ectomy. I’m sure he’ll be much braver than all of those cars with girly names, but he can use all the help he can get.

Monday, August 25, 2008

One Hat,Two Hat...

Red hat, blue hat.

The biggest skein of yarn in the world had yielded six completed hats, one on the needles and quite possibly one more before it finally dies. It was 11 oz of puff so I expected several hats from it, but not quite this many several! It's hard to tell the size in the photo but they'll fit elementary school kids. They are for the Sow's Ear charity thingie so maybe there are a set of septuplets (possibly octuplets) who widdle noggins are cold!
Went down to The Ear for Charity night knitting and potluck. What a great bunch of talented ladies. They always make me laugh and feel human for at least a couple of hours. They have no idea how much that means to me these days.
I cleaned out my stash last weekend. I have one plastic tote full of kits and bags with a specific pattern and the yarn I bought for it together (so essentially a 'kit' made by me), one tote full of lace and worsted weights that I thought were pretty but have no projects in mind yet, one tote of sock yarn, one tote of roving, one medium basket of acrylics etc. that I will knit through this winter for charity projects and a cardboard box of odds and ends for the yard sale. Realistically, I will never have to buy another skein of yarn in my lifetime.
Parting with all but a few of my quilting supplies and books was a killer. I packed a tote with small wall hanging kits and a few yards of my very favorite fabric, two or three books, a handful of magazines, my tools and some thread. I'm not sure how to handle the rest of it. I have a lot of books, patterns and fabrics (yards and fat quarters) that I won't be able to take with me. I hope some quilters show up to the yard sale!
I cleaned all of my bookshelves off and took all the books to used book stores. Got pennies for them which always ticks me off, but I get all my books from the library now so I don't need to keep any but my most treasured books which are about 1/2 shelf's worth now. Same with my cookbooks and cooking magazines. I kept the few I always use and took the rest in for resale.
It's sad leaving some of my favorite things behind, but there is something to be said for starting fresh and simply. These days I'm pretty happy with a library book, a hank of roving or yarn and needles in my hands and I've got all of those things in spades. I've got a cozy new nest to look forward to and my big, dopey, love, muffin puppy. Things could be worse!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Two New Hats

Been grooving on the Charity Knitting initiative for The Sow's Ear. The hats and other knit goods are going to various charities including the good folks over in Cedar Rapids who were flooded out this spring. Makes me feel good to be doing something for other and the mindless repetition of going roundandroundandroundandround for kids' hats is about all I can handle right now! I found various skeins of acrylics in all different weights in my stash. Good way to use it all up. Off to start # 3-a purple fuzzy one!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Little Knitting and Big Buffoonery

Have been knitting a bit but forgot to take pictures before I gave the projects away. I made a kid’s black hat with multicolored stripes for the Sow’s Ear Charity endeavor. I also have the Hat from Heck worked up on straight needles, I just have to seam it tonight at Knit Night and I started another black hat which I can hopefully finish tonight too. That is if I don’t punk out too early like last time. (8:45. Peh, it was disgraceful!) I’m emotionally drained and overly distraught these days and it all seems to make me way more physically tired than normal but I am determined to say until at least 8:55 tonight. Building up my stamina.

I made a dish cloth at Dishcloth Night at The Ear on Tuesday. It’s pretty cool. It’s only knit and purl stitches, all one color. The knit stitches are the background and the purl stitches make the Olympic Rings symbol with ‘2008’ underneath. I have a few more balls of dishcloth cotton in my stash and the Olympic one went so fast that I’ve decided to knit new ones for my new nest. The one I’m working on now is a green tree frog. Will try to get pics and post them this weekend. Mostly all I’m able to concentrate on these days are the simple quick projects.

Be it the fatigue or the medication, I pulled a couple of buffoonish moves this week. One was on Sunday when I went to the movie ‘Mama Mia’ [It’s a cute movie but DON’T go if you are in the throes of divorce.] I didn’t notice one of my coworker/kids was there until I sat down in my seat. She was 2 rows down from me. Since it was before the movie started, I whispered, “Pat!” Nothing. So a little louder “Pat!!!” Still nothing. So I did the standard “PSSSST” pretty loudly. Everyone else in the theater turned around, but not Pat. Finally I decided it was time to pull out the big guns and sacrifice a kernel of my freshly popped popcorn. I poked around to find one that looked liked it had both the weight and sail ability to make it two rows down. All those disqualified were promptly eaten. I found a winner and wound up and chucked it. Some irate lady who looks JUST LIKE PAT from the back turned around. I was so embarrassed. And she was less than amused. Lesson learned? Probably not.

Then on Wednesday I was waiting for my turn in front of a glass walled conference room. The people that had the meeting the previous hour were running late, so it is company policy that when this happens one must stand directly in front of the glass and stare in. Friend-Jen was running the meeting and mouthed ‘Is this room yours?’ I smiled and nodded. She held up her index finger, miming ‘just one more minute’. I like Jen a lot, so being the goof that I am, I went to give her the ‘Vee’ to the eyes ‘I’m watching you’ sign but disaster struck. My bracelet caught on my security badge [which is clipped to the hem of my shirt on a Spider Man utility belt type thingie that allows you to pull the badge towards the security scanner on a long sting. Then you let go and it sucks right back up in.] It stayed stuck to my bracelet until it meet with my eyeball where it then let go and promptly snapped me in the back pockets on it’s way home. Uh huh people, all this and coordination too! Jen saw the whole thing and was laughing too hard to continue her meeting, so I got my room, but there must have been a classier way to do it. I may be the only employee in this company that has nearly gouged their eyeball out with their own security badge. I wonder if Workman’s Comp covers that?

PS. Anyone who was considering the Quilting Magazines before but thought they were too spendy, I've cut the price in half. Over 275 magazines filled with patterns for $50!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Linuses Blanket

I finally finished my blanket (except for the blocking) for Project Linus. It was 3/4 done and languishing in the basement. All of this Charity Knitting for the Sow's Ear made me remember it again. I really like the pattern. It's crocheted. I've made a couple others as baby gifts for friends. I'll take this one to the Fitchburg Fire Department. They are the drop off for Project Linus.
If any of you are local to Madison, WI and love quilting, I just posted my entire Quilting Magazine collection over on Craig's List ( I won't have room for them in my new place. Thousands of patterns and ideas if you are a quilting addict! And it's a really good deal too! Go on over and look!
I've had pretty good luck selling stuff, that I can't take with me, locally on Craig's List. It's stuff that's a little too nice to put in a garage sale, like my piano keyboard and violin. I've met some really nice folks too. It's a little scary at first, inviting people to your home. But I figure I won't be here that long. They may 'stalk' Mr. Bee after I'm gone but that won't be my problem! :-)
Well, back to the sorting and packing. Tonight's fun? The bathroom vanities and the linen closet. Woo Hoo! Have a Tigger week everyone. After a looooonnnnggg Eeyore weekend, I plan to!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Bullet Proof Baby Blankets and Bad Hair Days

Bulletproof Baby Blanket

I finally finished the hat from heck, and laced the leftover granny squares I had lying around together for a baby blanket or lap robe. Those buggers made one industrial strength blanket, let me tell you. I'm showing it all spread out because it literally won't bend. It's one solid sheet like plywood. Red Heart-bleck. I, as a Yarn Snob, snub thee.
I know, I can't believe it myself, but I am making another hat out of the stuff. This time I am doing it on straight needles like the pattern tells you to instead of in the round. I call the purple hat the "Biblical Hat' because it seemed like it took 40 days and 40 nights to finish. (I used to call it that Damn Voodoo Hat, as some of you at The Sow's Ear can attest, but I changed it.)

I got 6 inches done in 2.5 hours with the new variegated one I started last night. Same pattern...same Red Heart....only using straights instead of circs. Somebody call Ripley's because I don't believe it either! I should be able to finish the thing in another sitting! Don't get it! Does not compute. It's probably one of those physic-type things I slept through in High School.

Today's weather was great. I rode around with the Rapture Roof open and both front windows down. I almost didn't because, while it feels wonderful, it's not really conducive to a good hair day. Then I though, dang it, I'm gonna do it anyway because I have this thing in my purse with lots of teeth that can put all that wayward hair back in place. It worked. The folks at work were none the wiser. The people on the Beltline that witnessed me going 55-60 mph probably thought I looked like Nellie the Wild Woman but so be it. Since every lock was all straight up in the air I hope I at least looked taller. At 42 years old I still haven't given up on the dream that I'll be tall and willowy someday....Could happen. Miracles happen every day.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Wouldn't You Like To Be A Tigger Too?

I read a review of that book that everyone's raving about, The Last Lecture, and it says that everyday you can choose to be either a Tigger or an Eeyore. I have had way too many Eeyore days lately (like Monday when I had to put my 8-year old bunny girl, Sneakers to sleep-talk about an Eeyore Day! Oy Vey!) , so decided that for the rest of the day I was going to be a Tigger; optimistic, happy and filled with energy. And I was for the most part. I had a couple of tiny Eeyore moments but they didn't amount to much and I was able to transport myself back to Tiggerdom quickly and without the aid of medication. Has my situation changed? No. But my attitude is slowly changing; making it easier for me to make the upcoming transition to being on my own. From now on I'm choosing Tigger days every day.

Tiggerish Things That Happened Today
  • Finished and washed the charity baby blanket (photos tomorrow when it's dry)
  • Finished the charity hat (and started another one-How Tiggerish is THAT!)
  • Had a wonderful visit with my PT whilst he was torturing me on his various instruments of pain.
  • Sold a new quilt computer program that I had never used to a lady who will love it (and gave her the Hancock of Paducha fabric catalog that just happened to come in the mail today -You would have though I'd given her money by the way she reacted).
  • Saw the Jurassic Turkeys again tonight. {I've seen a lot of wild turkeys from afar and they look big but when they are on the sidewalk next to the road, they look T-Rex big! Spectacular!}
  • Saw a wonderful sun dog on my ride home tonight.

It's the little things that make a Tigger happy. Wouldn't you like to be a Tigger too?

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Knitting and Another Fabulously Funny Friend

Went to Knit Night last night. I had to go back up on the porch because I just couldn't run with the big dogs. I pooped out at about 9:15 and wussed back home to go to bed. It was a pretty quiet knit night (except for me...of course).

The Hat From H-E-Double Hockey Sticks

I was working on a child's hat for the Sow's Ear Charity initiative. Sounded easy. Cast on 73 and knit (K1/P1) ribbing for 10.5 inches and then there are 7 decrease rows. Simple, yes? I was knitting on size 9 circs with Red Heart Acrylic [Which I used to love when that's all there was, and is infinitely the best choice for a sturdy, practically bullet-proof hat but now is icky because I have become a natural fiber yarn snob. But I digress].

I discovered that either the pattern, the needles, the yarn, or my tape measure (you know who my first suspect is, RH) is possessed by Satan. I knit and I knit and I knit and I knit (repeat this phrase about twenty-hundred more times) and when I measured and it would be only 1/2 inch bigger than the last time I measured it hours and hours ago! Other people crank this hat out in an evening. I can make an 8" ribbed sock leg on size two double points in one evening. I think my personal best for this dang hat is going to be 3.5 YEARS!

It's witchcraft I tell you! I worked on it all Monday at Charity Knit Night and when I got home afterward (4 hours), at the PT office (30 min) on Tuesday and for almost 4 hours last night and I finally got the ribbing done. Eight and a half hours for a hat?! And I still haven't done the decrease rows?! Me thinks not. Friend Jen turned me on to a straight stitch, top down pattern that she can crank out in about 15 nanoseconds. I think I go for that next time.

More Red Heart Madness

I also found 30 acrylic squares and yarn that I was planning on making an crocheted stained glass afghan out of many moons ago, but right in the middle of it I learned to knit and that was the end of that. I dug it out and donated the yarn to charity night. I kept the 30 squares and will put them together as a baby or lap quilt to donate. They really are the same size, the edges are just folded funny in the photo.

And last but certainly not least, as the title of this entry implies, I have another friend who really should have a blog of her own. She sent this to my at work this last week and I laughed out loud like a loon. Coworkers wondered what medication I was taking these days. (Oh, if they only knew the half of it!) I asked her if I could post part of the email and she gave me her blessing. So here goes...

The Garden Olympics by Friend-Donna

The garden's pretty much on schedule, but I need to train the mosquitoes to harvest since they're preventing me from doing so. Actually they're not too bad if I go out during the hot part of the day, stay in the sun and hope for a breeze.

It's good training for the Garden Olympics . There's the "Weed Wave" event, where you quickly pull a handful of long, wavy weeds such as wild grasses and thrash them wildly in the air in the hopes of connecting with as many mosquitoes as possible. The "Slap and Dash" game has a self-descriptive name and I've extended arm flexibility to the point where I can now reach that spot in the middle of my back that is normally impossible to hit. The "Row Run" is tricky, because you have to pick a long row of beans with only one hand WITHOUT breaking off the branches as the other hand is occupied with killing skeets. I don't have any problems with the drug testing since I go out chemical-free, although I almost flunked the citronella test when, in a forgetful moment, I applied lemon-scented deodorant. I'll definitely win the "Bumps and Hives" competition, when the judges count the number of bites received in a 10-minute period. My personal best is 17, well above the average. I thought I was doing well in my training when the neighbors stop what they're doing to stare at me, but knew I'd qualify when my Weed Wave technique had them calling 911 to have me fitted for a jacket where the arms tie behind the back....

Any fans of Friend Donna's work leave me a comment and I'll get it to her in the hopes I can get her to start a blog too!