Tuesday, December 29, 2009

You Get What You Pay For: Tale of the Ninja Death Scarf.


So I decided the Tuesday before Christmas, that over the break, I absolutely had to make myself an Irish Hiking scarf to go with my new red jacket. I didn't want wool because it tends to itch me if I wear it close to my face-even Cascade 220-which was my first thought. I didn't want to spend the $$$ for alpaca-especially since I tend to lose things and I wanted a really looooong scarf. I would have had to mortgage the farm for enough alpaca, yak, or camel for that. I didn't have time to go to a big box craft store to get some of the newer soft acrylics. About the only thing I had time and money for was a local store that only sells Red Heart. I know. I was in a hurry. I was that desperate.

So in went I and fondled the yarn and tried to convince myself that it felt better than it had the last time I'd used it-when you could literally file your nails with the stuff. They had three skeins of a red that matched my jacket left for $2.50/skein! It seemed to be kismit, so throwing caution to the wind, I bought them all thinking I would have enough for a hat and mittens to match.
All the way home I repeated the mantra...it's not as bad as it used to be...it's not as bad as it used to be....and by the time I pulled into the garage, I believed it. I put it in my knitting basket and went back out to do my other chores. By the time I cast on a couple of nights later, I had almost completely forgotten my reservation about RH. This would be great; an inexpensive acrylic scarf, hat, and mittens that would be a breeze to wash and dry and would match my jacket. Wouldn't I be stylin'!? Wasn't I a clever, thrifty, little Yankee girl!?
Over the holiday I finished about three and a half feet of scarf. Actually, you can't technically can't call it a scarf because...well...scarves bend. This sucker is so stiff that it will literally stand up on it's own and I'm not a particularly tight knitter. (Well, only when we get into the chocolate wine at Knit Night and that's a whole different kind of 'tight' that actually makes my knitting looser...but I digress) My Saturday Knitting buddies suggested that if I did actually manage to break it in a couple of spots so that it would hang, (and 'hang' is not something this scarf will never do! 'Drape'? Ha! A pipe dream! Become an actual pipe when it growns up? Slightly more plausible.) I could use it as a lethal weapon. A couple of quick swishes and !ZOT! it would immediately render any would-be assailant unconcious, if not decapitate him completely. (Of course, you more faithful readers know that I would almost certainly lop my own head off trying to get it off and swing it 'round. 'Cause that's how I (uh...at least how my head would) roll!) Hence the Ninja Death Scarf was born.

Oh, it's a thing of beauty. The RH positively POPS the cables. Jen says that they are beyond 3-Dimensional...they're FOUR-Dimensional! Elizabeth says that a wash and dry may make it softer but I don't have a lot of hope at this point. I'm think after it's completion, I put it up for bid on construction sites. It would make excellent rebar!

Additionally, I'm thinking that adding a hat and mittens of the stuff would be a huge mistake. While I would be properly armored against any type of surprise enemy or alien attack (and again...knowing how I roll, this is a distinct possibility) which would be an asset; the fact that I couldn't bend my hands, or lift my head or turn my neck could be a liability. Possibly. And then there would be that whole lopping off of one's own head while trying to flee to worry about.
At any rate, I will finish the scarf and wash/dry it to see if Elizabeth's right about it getting softer. If she isn't, I will have once again learned two major lessons that I seem to keep flunking over and over: 'Haste Makes Waste' and 'You Get What You Pay For'!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Is For The Dogs-A Pictoral Entry

Ben must have been a very good boy last year because he sure got heaps of treats and presents. First he got a new Christmas tug toy. It's a felt braid with a little tennis ball on the end. A least it was. Mr. Ben loved it. Hard.

New Toy

Aftermath.
(You know a toy is good if you sprawdle out all froggie-legs to destroy it!)



Then Grammie sent him a new penguin pal.

Oooo! It's so hard to wait while Mommy takes a picture!

NOM! NOM! NOM!



Why, he even got his very own Christmas card stuffed with tasty treats!

And...this is what a tasty treat hangover looks like.
(Actually he's not as sad and sick as he looks. He's tired for systematically destroying toys all day. Death to squeakers!!!)

All in all I'd say he had a super day! As for me, I'm excited to be able to finally be able publish pics of the 'Fetching' gloves I made for my sister and nieces for Christmas...

The bad camera angle makes them look all wonky, but they really are all the same length, just poorly photographed as usual! I just love the colors of the Mochi Plus.

Next up: Tales of the Ninja Scarf!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Whoa! Whoa!! WHOA!!!

I'm living life in the bonus round, People! I came thisclose to getting squished by a car Friday night on my way to The Ear for Knit Night. Once again, I have proven that Knitting is a dangerous sport! I was in the cross walk. Traffic in the far lane had stopped for me to cross (Thanks White Truck Guy!) and this little, old (apparently blind and deaf) dude pulled out of a side street to my left on two wheels at 90 mph. Had I not seen him and jumped back, he would have run square over me! And he never even slowed down! Not even when I slammed my open hand on the hood of his car and yelled a bad word. Really loudly! He was totally oblivious.
I didn't haul off and sock his car on purpose. Us little Yankee girls just automatically come out swinging when we're backed into a corner and poked with a stick! Even if the perp is a ton of metal with a Chevy logo on its back fender! As it was, I sprained my arm hitting the thing and spent most of the day Sunday on the heating pad. So even though I didn't actually get hit, he still managed to wing me! No matter though. Once I got over the scardey-ness, I got to experience that high you aquire when you really GET the fact that everything can change in a heartbeat.

Saturday I went to lunch with Friend Donna and then downtown to get a Christmas gift for my boss. It was mighty cold down there, but beautiful around The Square. Someone has been feeding the squirrels on the Capitol grounds and there was a veritable rodent convention going on! This photo does not do justice to the sight that we beheld. Each squirrel weights, conservatively estimated, 2 ga-zillion pounds. No. That's a lie. My mother has told me 10 gagigabillion times not to exaggerate. They were closer to a ga-thousand pounds each. There were easily 25 on one tree. And they show NO FEAR. When you walk by, they look you up and down, sizing you up. Humans look like too much of a challenge to each one individually, but it's only a matter of time before the concept of strength in numbers occurs to them.

Keep feeding them, Whoeveryouare. Woe's the day when they get hungry...


Saturday night was Mike and Hef's Christmas party. It was a blast; great food, games like 'Decorate the Christmas Cookie' and 'Human Christmas Tree', presents for all and so many new folks to meet including these guys:

Thing One and Thing Two


They were just a hoot and a half. Christmas is so much more fun when you have little kids around. Especially when they are just shy of two years old. So easy to mess with their little minds.

Why I was having such fun that I even loosened up and partook in a 3rd of a paper cup of champagne. I figured I might as well since I only had to walk down stairs to get home!

Thing One didn't handle her liquor as well as I did. When you're too short to reach the lampshades, sometimes you have to improvise.

Sunday I went to New Glarus to have brunch at Toffer's with Joe and Steve...


I love N.G.! I love the drive down and then it's such a cute-n-cozy little village once you get there. I highly recommend breakfast at Toffer's. The breakfast was second only to the wonderful company. By the time breakfast was over, I literally couldn't move my arm so I spent the rest of the day on the sofa with the heating pad; napping, doing the NYT crossword and watching Benjamin Button with my buddy Ben. (Thank goodness I discovered that I can still knit if I adapted my approach a little.) It was good to decompress for a half a day after another wild weekend.

Things should slow down some this week. Don't have much planned...with another big storm on the way, I won't be traveling. Got some snuggly red yarn and plan to knit myself a cable scarf and some mittens to go with my new jacket. That's right! Knitting for myself what a concept!

Hope you all have a lovely holiday week and remember to be fleet of foot and look both ways before you cross the street! Happy Christmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Vicodin Induced Brilliance

I had oral surgery yesterday to install an implant post for my right bicuspid. Right away I OD'd on the nitrous while I was waiting for the numbing to set in and had to be thinned out with oxygen. Once they turned the gas down a bit I was fine, but I went for a fine fly there for a bit! Wheee! There was much Novocaine, grinding, and other unpleasantries and after all the fuss was over, it looks for all the world that he just hammered a 2 penny nail into my mouth. The flat metal head is very visible flush against the underside of my gum; the ultimate piercing. For $1,800 I at least should have gotten to choose something pretty to hang off it; something shiny or perhaps some wee fuzzy dice.

Doctor Dentist sent me home with copious amounts of antibiotics which are currently ripping up my tummy and Vicodin which makes me not care about it all that much. I have noticed however, that the pain meds have given me the super power of amazing intelligence. Why just this afternoon I solved a Biblical riddle that has puzzled scholars for decades. I was watching NatGeo and they have a special on Jesus: The Missing Years. We all know about Jesus' birth, and the last couple of years of his life until his crucifixion at age 32, but nothing in between. This special looks at the economic and social conditions of the area where Jesus grew up and speculates about what he was up to during the time that's not documented.

Based on the information that they gave me in the first 5 minutes of the documentary, I figured it out. They said that the only story in the Bible about Jesus between birth and age thirty was about the time Mary and Joseph took him to a nearby city for a religious festival when he was twelve. They get ready to go home and no Jesus. They can't find him for THREE DAYS. When they finally do, he's in the church talking with some scholars.

His mother says something to the effect of 'JESUS CHRIST! Where have you been? We've been looking for your for three days!'

The preteen gives her a little flip answer that went something like 'Duh, Ma! Why didn't you, like, look here in the church first?'

Mystery solved as far as I'm concerned. It's obvious to me that Mary drug his butt back to Nazareth by the ear ranting, "I don't care if you are the son of God , Mister Man! You are grounded 'til you're thirty."

NatGeo could have saved a lot of filming dollars if they'd've come to me first.

In other news, Sweet Willie Brown received his snowman hat

Isn't he the cutest Frosty Boy ever!?!?

Have to run. NatGeo has more mysteries for me to solve this afternoon; Amelia Earhart, Big Foot, Alien Abductions. I've got my work cut out for me. Just home the Vicodin doesn't run out!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Finally Face to Face with Franklin

Cutie patootie Franklin Habit , knitter, photographer, blogger, writer and cartoonist extraordinaire, spoke at the Madison Knitter's Guild tonight. He and I have emailed/blogged at each other occasionally for several years now but haven't ever met. [As you recall, I looked for him in Chicago last month, but he was too wily for me.] Dale Harriet gave me an original FH cartoon for my birthday last year that is among my prized possessions and his book 'It Itches' possesses a place of honor on my bookcase. (It doesn't hurt that I'm a fan of his sister's blog as well and she happens to live in Maine of all places!)

Anyway I moseyed on over to join the Knitter's Guild and to hear him speak. What a treat! He's a soft-spoken, gentleman with intelligence and wit to spare. His lecture was on the advent of written knitting patterns. I loved it! He was very knowledgeable. He even had some things that he'd knit up from antique patterns with him. A feat that's not as easy as it sounds!
The minute I got there he was separated from the herd, up on the stage alone so I marched right up and handed over the Oreo truffles. Chocolate is always a foot in the door. I also gave him a pair of mini-mittens for Harry. He was kind enough to not point out that Harry doesn't even have hands. And as luck would have it, he didn't know how to hook his computer up to the projector and since I do that practically every waking day of my life, I was there for the assist! (And it wasn't a disaster like the Nancy Zeiman easel assist of Sept. 2006!)
He was kind enough to sign my copy of his book and pose for a pic or two. It went very well, much better than my fellow Hog 'n' Bloggers thought it would. When they heard I was going, they made me promise not to throw my underwear on stage or try to kidnap Harry. They quickly rallied Dale Harriet to chaperon and keep me from smooching him although both of us were sorely tempted. He's highly smoochable. But we resisted and thus there was no need for a restraining order. This time.
He said that interest in antique knitting patterns was a kind of specialized insanity. Now I'm intrigued. And you know what happens when I'm intrigued? That's right. Now we're ALL in trouble. But for tonight, Molly Bee is a happy camper yet again. I KNOW! Two happy days in less that a week. What is this world coming to?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Weekend Update

We had a house guest this weekend. The lovely Tapanga (ie: Pangaroo to her Aunt Molly Bee) from upstairs stayed with us for a couple of days while her daddy was out of town. She's my kinda girl. She played with Ben for a while until he bugged her a little too much and then one snap put him in his place. She would cozy down for a rest and then after a while she was ready for another dose of the silly sogginess that is Bengaroo. Look at that face. I know right! Awwww! What a sweetie.

I made brownies a little differently-put Andes Candies in the middle and the rest of the batter on top. Got two thumbs up from the neighbors.

I spent all afternoon this afternoon making Oreo truffles. I decided to roll them in sugar and cocoa instead of dipping them in chocolate like I usually do. I put some in little tins for friends:

And the bulk of them will be used in our cookie/candy exchange at work this week.

With the exception of mailing two boxes (they are already packed) I am OFFICIALLY done with my holiday gifting and baking!
And this just in from the East Coast. My Mum actually FINISHED knitting a pair of socks she started last time she visited. She always starts a pair when she visits and then goes home with half a sock and the best of intentions of finishing the pair....but until recently she hadn't gotten the knitting bug. She's on a roll now as evidenced by this artistic shot she took of her own feet! Mum and me? We're gettin' 'er done!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Turns out, Grease IS the word!

OMGOMGOMGOMG, you guys! I just got home from seeing Grease at The Overture Center. Let me just start by saying... SHE-RAH! I made it downtown and back safely AGAIN! This time in concert traffic on tundra covered roads that would make those Ice Road Trucker guys quake in their woolies! That personal triumph aside, Grease was AMAZING!!!!!! I got tickets so that I could see Taylor Hicks from American Idol (I voted for you EVERY WEEK, Tay-Tay!). The evening turned out to be all I hoped for and more. First of all, my seat was THIRD ROW CENTER. That's right! I was court side, People! Any closer and I would have been in the orchestra pit! Taylor was astounding like I knew he would be, but get this... No one told me who was playing the John Travolta role.... ACE YOUNG! Also from American Idol. He was so great in the role-what a voice! Thank God they were only in one song together or I would have broken my fool neck trying to gawk at them both at the same time. And then after the play, Taylor came out and sang a song from his new album. I can't tell you how perfect the night was. I haven't been this happy in a long time. And on the way home...a huge shooting star. I know. It's like a Hallmark movie or something. Sigh... I really got my Idol geek on tonight! Off to bed now. I'm sure to have sweet dreams! Hope you do too!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Ode to Stephen King

(Sung to O' Christmas Tree)
O' Stephen King, O' Stephen King,
Your books they so delight me.
O' Stephen King, O' Stephen King,
Your novels they do fright me.

From Salem's Lot to Needful Things
From Misery and The Shining,
O' Stephen King, O' Stephen King,
I'm so enamoured with thee.

O' Stephen King, O' Stephen King,
Outside the blizzard's raging,
O' Stephen King, O' Stephen King
Through your latest read I'm paging.

If I must be tucked in at home.
I'm glad I'm stuck here with The Dome.
O' Stephen King, O' Stephen King
Chester's Mills is done, I'm wag'ring.

O' Stephen King, O' Stephen King,
Cold winter winds they do blow.
O' Stephen King, O' Stephen King
Outside the temps are zero.

A cup of tea and quilt of down
Will Captain Barbie save the town?
O' Stephen King, O' Stephen King,
Today you are my hero!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Ho Ho Holiday Spirit!

It's been a busy weekend as usual. Friday night was Knit Night where I finished a project for me. Then up and at 'em bright and early Saturday for errands and back to the Sow's Ear by 10:00 for charity knitting until noon. I'm making a 2' x 2' cat mat for the Humane Society. Then Friend Anne and I hit the open road to Mt. Horeb for lunch at The Sommer Haus (lovely parsnip soup) and to the Chocolate Shop for dessert; homemade cranberry gumdrops dipped in chocolate! Oh. My. Gosh. I have long suspected that there was a suspicious lack of chocolate in gumdrops and I was right. Great flavor combination. Tart and sweet.

After that we waddled on over to The Cat and The Crow fiber shop and fondled all of the yarn and fleecy goodness. Mo and Rebecca are seriously talented enablers. I didn't buy anything this time but came away with a fierce yearning for my own alpaca.

Then it was off to the Cave of the Mounds for their annual 'Caroling in the Cave'. This time around we heard a local A Capella trio of ladies called 'Ansestra'. They were lovely and the sound in the cave is just amazing. The Christmas spirit so whopped me up side the head that I gaffled poor Santa Claus on the way out and gave him a huge rib-crushing Christmas hug! You would think he'd be used to that kind of thing, but he looked kinda stunned. I'll bet he asks for hazard pay next year!

This morning I went to Walmart for dog food and there was Santa again...sitting in the jewelry department looking sad and alone so I hugged him again! Even though it was just the day before, he didn't recognize me from The Cave Of The Mounds. Either it was so traumatic that he blocked out the previous day's incident or ...well...I'll just say it...Santa may be slippin' a little, kids. All of those years of eggnog and cookies can't be good for the arteries. Lack of sufficient oxygen to Santa's brain makes for fuzzy thinking. I've always maintained that Mrs. Claus must be the brains behind that operation. Just sayin'.

The rest of the day was devoted to chores around the nest and finishing up reading Diana Gabaldon's latest book 'Echoes In The Bone, which is SO GOOD that it led to a lot more of the readin' and less of the chorin' so I'm off to do laundry. Have a good Sunday night and if you see Santa tell him Molly Bee says 'hi'! If enough people remind him, maybe he'll remember me!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Randomness

We had our first significant snow of the season last night; during rush hour of course! It took me 45 minutes to make the 12 minute trip home. Most of that time was spent dodging fender benders and weaving around people who couldn't make it up the two 'big' hills between work and home. I made it safe and sound thank goodness but during the evening I counted NINE pizza guys delivering to my 20 unit building. What is it about treacherous roads that makes it open season on the Papa John's guy? It's too nasty for YOU to go out, but it's ok to risk Skippy's 17 year old life for an extra large sausage and mushroom? And those of us who have to be on the roads would appreciate not having another newly-minted, inexperienced, teenager out there with us. Especially one who has to get there in 30 minutes or it's free! Just sayin'.

I had my dental impression made today. The first one got muffed up so I literally made a bad first impression, but I got a second chance to make a good one which is rare! T minus 11 until I can get the first stage of my bicuspid implant taken care of and then only 3 more months after that before I have a full set of chompers again. The missing one doesn't show that much but I'm wicked self conscious about it. I'm sure the faces I make while trying not to laugh or smile are way more conspicuous that if I just let 'er all hang out.

Mr. Ben has had his share of office visits this week too. He got a raging case of the itchy-scratchies and created a bald spot on his side by digging. I took him to his vet, who diagnosed 'some kind of allergy' and put him on a low strength steroid for the next several days. It's worked wonders so far thank goodness. There's nothing quite like an 80# moose-dog engaged in a scratching frenzy at the foot of your bed at 2 AM. I swear it's the equivalent of a 6.9 quake.

Dr. Vet also cut Ben's nails. It's not his favorite thing on the best of days and after he got nipped a little too close last time AND he was itchy, he was....well...less than enthused. He was pretty good though and when they brought him back into the exam room, Dr. Vet skooched down to make it up to him with copious amounts of smooches, treats and sweet talk. Ben was having none of it. He bumped her over onto the floor, promptly turned around and sat on her and then proceeded to casually look around the room through narrowed eyes like he had no idea she wasn't actually a throw rug. She was laughing so hard she was crying.

I'm enjoying having all of my Christmas knitting and shopping done. So much of the pressure is off. Tonight is Knit Night and tomorrow morning is Charity Knitting. I'll make mittens for me during the former and kitty blankets for the Humane Society during the latter. 'Bout the only Christmas thing I have left is baking and I love that so I plan to just enjoy the music (starting with Caroling at The Cave of The Mounds this weekend) and lights of the season and chill this year. May y'all have a relaxing holiday season too!