Saturday, February 28, 2009

Saturday Snow

What cold couldn't do, what frost couldn't do, a day of driving rain managed to accomplish. My daffodils have been pounded into mush.

This is one of the better looking bunches left. The rest are gone.

And now it is snowing. Tiny little flakes that won't stick, but it's about all the snow we get around here. I tried to take a picture, but it was just black.

This is what my sky looked like today. It never got any better.

Feeling in a rebellious mood, I didn't knit a single stitch on the shawl. Instead, it was the blankie who got my attention today.

This is the width of it. When all is said and done, it will be about twice as long as it is wide.

I also spent some time adding the blogs I have in my Ravelry reader to my Google reader. I'm much more likely to read them in Google. I'm also going to try to comment more on what I read. I'm always whining and moaning about how nobody comments on my blog any more, so I figure I should comment more myself.

Kinda like the old saying, if you want to get letters, you need to write letters.

Yeah.

Paul Harvey

And now you know the rest of the story.

The author of those most famous words passed into immortality today at the age of 90.

Rest in peace, Paul Harvey. The world will miss you.


Copper Clappers

How they managed to keep straight faces throughout this is beyond me! (Well, though most of it.)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Rain Rain Go Away

It has rained all day long. And I do mean all day long. It was raining when I got up this morning, and it is still raining at 10:00 PM as I type. For most of the day, it wasn't just raining. It was storming. Thunder. Lightening. Katie trying to climb my leg. The works. This is what my front yard looked like at 7 something this morning:

It has rained on it since! It is a lake of a yard. Needless to say, I did not go grocery shopping. I didn't venture out of the house except once, to walk out to the mail box. Wouldn't you know it, not one scrap of mail. Figures.

I spent this stormy Friday trying to keep Katie out of my lap and taa daa--I knit the very last row on the Mystic Waters shawl! Woo Hoo.

Here it is: Starting to knit the last row:

and finished!


I'm working on the edging now, and it's going to take a while. But if this weather keeps up, I'll have all day tomorrow and Sunday as well.

I was going to do a Dogs on Thursday post yesterday, but my hormones have been in flux or something, because I'm in one of those really whiny "nobody likes me" moods. That, and my dogs are camera shy. I just didn't get it done.

I'm not really sure what's wrong with me. I've been off this whole month. February is the shortest month, but this one seems to have lasted forever. The Superbowl seems so long ago. Even Valentine's day seems like it was much more than two weeks ago.

I've definitely got to get out more.

If it ever stops raining, that is...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Blogging

will take a temporary hiatus until the shawl is finished. Five rows to go. But they are long rows. Like 400 stitches long.

Gotta go...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Conversations At Work

So, I was at work this morning, not bothering anyone. Happily doing my job, which today was sub assembly brazing for line 4. Around 9 o'clock, the group leader for that line came up to me and asked, "Are you doing order # (whatever it was)?"

"Yes," I reply.

Group Leader says, "You need to pull off of that order. They are going to skip it because they don't have [shipping] boxes."

So I pull off the order I was working on, put all my components back into their bins, return my jig to its proper place and move on to the next order. Who should run up but Group Leader.

"Run [that order] anyway," he says. "Supervisor says the boxes will be here. "

So I pull off the order I was working on, put all the components back into their bins, return the jig to its proper place, and set back up on the first order. I braze just a few header assemblies, when who should run up but Group Leader. "Pull off it again," he says. "Supervisor said the boxes are just leaving [the box company warehouse half a state away].

So I pull off the order, put all my components back into their bins, return my jig to its proper place, and move on to the next order. All is well, for a while. About 1 PM, who should run up but Group Leader.

"I need you to pull off what you are doing and go back and finish that order we skipped this morning, " he says.

So I pull off the order, put all my components back into their bins, return my jig to its proper place, and begin setting back up on the skipped order.

Who should run up but Group Leader. "Cancel that," he says. "Supervisor is giving that order to [another line] because they don't have anything."

"Group Leader!" says I, pointing emphatically to the top of my head. "Do you see all those gray hairs? They weren't there yesterday!"

"That's Supervisor's fault, not mine," Group Leader responds.

Off I go to find Supervisor. "You're the one giving me all these gray hairs!" I say.

"Well, look on the bright side," Supervisor replies. "At least they're not falling out."

True story.

Now, if you will excuse me, I'm off to buy some industrial strength hair dye.

.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Knitting Lace

Knitting a large lace project is in a way, a little like having a baby. There is the joy, the anticipation, the magic of creating this wonderful, incredible thing.

For a lot of women, when having a baby, there comes a point when you feel like you've been pregnant forever, and will be pregnant forever. Logically, you know it's not true. You will eventually have the baby, but there gets to be a time when you are just ready for it to be done. Oh, the anticipation is still there. The wonder of creation is still there. But you are just ready for the baby to get here already!

I am to that point with my Mystic Waters. I only have 13 more rows to knit before doing the edging and cast off. I am still enjoying the project. Still enjoying the process. But I'm ready to be done already!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Blog Awards

I've been nominated for a couple of awards. I received this first one a while back, really, I just hadn't managed to get it posted to the blog yet. It came from Stephie, fellow Cowboys fan, knitter, and all around good blogger.




Yesterday morning, I was nominated for this one

by Carol., who lives in a magical place and has the cutest li'l grandson I ever did see.

Now, I'm supposed to nominate blogs to receive these awards, but how can I narrow it down? All the blogs I read are fantastic. So, what I'm going to do is to nominate everyone! If you are reading this, consider yourself nominated for either or both of these awards.

Happy Blogging.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Frost and Flowers

I must confess, I've been having a hard time finding motivation to blog here lately. I wonder if my recent illness has somethign to do with that. Isit down to blog and end up just staring at my computer screen and nothing comes to me.

I took these photos yesterday morning.


They were supposed to be yesterday's blog fodder--talking about how cold it was (27') and how the daffs were covered in frost, and how once the frost melted, they would bounce back so that you'd have never known that they'd froze the night before. But it just didn't happen. I ended up going to bed without blogging at all.

I got up this morning, and the sky looked like this:

It rained most of the day, so we didn't go shopping as I'd planned. Oh, I suppose you can shop in the rain, but with both of us recently being sick, I didn't think it was such a good idea. So, I stayed home and knit. (And cleaned house and did laundry, but I didn't really figure you'd want to hear much about that.)

And just what did I knit? Well, the shawl, of course. But then the mail came! Looky what I got!


Fifty 5g mini skeins of sock yarn just perfect for the blankie. I ordered the 50 count starter kit from Robyn's Nest. I promptly knit up several squares, but then managed to tear myself away and go back to the shawl. I only have a few more rows to finish chart H, and I want to get it done tonight.

I guess if I'm going to do that, I need to tear myself away from here and get back to work.

Onward...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mini Skeins and Music

Cody's guitar and mini skeins of sock yarn all ready for a swap.



Turkey noodle soup hits the spot.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I Spoke Too Soon

I'm feeling much better. Still dealing with the after effects of being sick and spending the better part of the week hacking my head off, but still feeling much better.

Cody, on the other hand, came home from school with a 99.9 fever. He'll be staying home tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Things I Think About

Since y'all are probably sick and tired of hearing about me being sick and tired, I thought I'd share with you some of the weird stuff that goes through my slightly demented mind. I work in what is pretty much a no-brainer job. This means I have a lot of time to think. Maybe I have too much time...

Why do people post photos on public photo sharing sites, then pitch a wall-eyed hissy fit if you link to their photos? And God help you if you include a thumbnail. Come on, people! They are called photo sharing sites for a reason! If you don't want your photos shared, then don't post them there. If you must post them online then buy your own domain name and post them there. At the very least, set your account on the public photo sharing site to Private. Then you won't have to worry about people enjoying, and linking to, your precious photos.

Why do those who are so insistent that we share our wealth share so little of their own? By the same token, why do those who insist on raising taxes not pay their own? And who is his right mind would nominate a known tax fraud to a government authority position anyway?

Why did they decide that the Verizon Wireless guy needed to start talking? I thought those commercials made a much greater impact when the sight of him--and the Network-- was all that was needed. He's still totally cute, though.

Why in the blue blazes is Drew Pearson not in the Ring of Honor? Yeah, yeah, I know we all have our favorite players from when we were growing up--Charlie Waters, Too Tall Jones, etc. But if anyone deserves to be in the Ring Of Honor, it's Drew. I mean, how many people change the lexicon of pro football terminology? Ever hear of a Hail Mary? Remember the Hail Mary? The one that started it all? Yeah, that was Roger Staubach to --guess who?--Drew Pearson. He made the 1970s All Decade Team, but can't make the Ring of Honor? Go figure.



Do I have too much time on my hands, or what?



.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Still Sick, The Sequel

but I'm starting to feel better. I went on and stayed home from work today, and stayed up in the bed until nearly noon. I think that helped a lot. I'd woken up at 2:30 AM and could not get back to sleep. I finally dozed off right before the alarm went off, but it didn't do me much good. I tried to get up and go to work, but decided I just couldn't handle it on so little sleep, and still feeling bad to boot. So I called in sick and went back to bed. I didn't sleep, just dozed a bit, but I do feel some better.

Cody has been sick, too. He said he feels much better today, but he is still clogged up. They were out of school for a teacher work day, so he got to stay home. I probably would have let him anyway. If he felt half as bad as I did, he deserved it.

So we laid around and watched TV. Cody played on his playstation, and I knit. We had a pretty relaxing day. Well, except for when Rylea threw up on the carpet. That wasn't so relaxing. If I sleep well tonight, I should be much better tomorrow. Then I will start getting caught up on my blogging. I have several posts already written in my notebooks that I need to copy, including the one I'd written about Bob Hayes like two weeks ago. It was right after they announced the HOF class for 2009. I've had time to type them up, but when I sat down at the computer, I just didn't have it in me.

Speaking of TV, Congress voted to extend the deadline for switching to digital until June, but most of the stations around here have said that they will be shutting off their analog broadcasts tomorrow anyway. I'm getting all of my stations in pretty well, now, except I have to wait until after the sun goes down to get really good reception. Cody says that the sun interferes with digital transmission. I don't know, but it makes sense. Alls I know is that after the sun sets, my signal doesn't break up nearly as much. Still, getting an outdoor antenna ought to take care of all that anyway.

Audio Book Review: Diary Of A Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith

Charles Pooter is a city clerk who sees all these famous people having their diaries published. Feeling that a record of his life is just as important, he starts a diary of his own in hopes that one day it will be published. One would think that the ordinary, mundane details of someone's life would not be in the slightest bit interesting, but this book was. I really got a kick out of hearing this man's trials and tribulations with his son Lupin, and his neighbors Cummings and Gowain. The book was read by a man named Martin Clifton, whose accent and inflection are absolutely perfect for this book. All Librivox readers are volunteers. Sometimes you get good readers, other times you don't. This one was so well read that I thought this guy was a professional. I give it ***** Five Stars

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Still Sick

but still knitting:

Squeaky says, "I sure hope I don't catch Mama's sickness!"

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine Sky

And this is what I got Cody for Valentine's Day:

Candy and some plastic BBs for his air gun. But I got the red ones.

I'm still fighting this cold, so I didn't do much except watch TV and knit. I managed to finish chart F on my Mystic Waters shawl, and have started chart G. That's about it.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Well, No Wonder!

I've been feeling bad here lately. I just took my temperature and I'm running a slight fever. It's only 99, but since my normal temperature is 97.6 instead of 98.6, it's higher than it looks. We had a plant shutdown day today, and I had all this stuff I'd meant to do, but most of it didn't get done. I did get my Machosauce squares mailed off, groceries bought, and some new pictures hung in my gallery (which is my hall). It took all I had to get that done. I'd meant to copy some posts from my notebook into the blog, but that will have to wait. For now I'm going to go veg out in front of the TV, then go to bed.

The photo blog will be updated tomorrow, also.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Lesson For The Day:

.
.
It is never a good idea to try to knit complicated lace after taking a dose of Benadryl.
.
.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Spring!

The first flowers of spring have bloomed! Sorry about the crappy photo. I'd meant to get out and take one right after I got home from work, but piddled around too much and ended up waiting too late. I really wanted to get this up today, so I had to use the flash.

I'll try to do better tomorrow.

Calliope Would Be Pleased

In my blogging journey over the last three years, I've learned one thing. Calliope doesn't like keyboards. It's true. My writing muse does not like keyboards. She almost never speaks to me when I'm sitting in front of my computer. Kinda makes blogging a bit difficult.

Calliope most often speaks to me while I'm at work. She whispers to me most when I am far away from the keyboard. The problem is, by the time I get home and sat down at the computer, what she has spoken to me has long since vanished from conscious thought.

Calliope likes pen and paper. Long and lovely thoughts she whispers to me when I have pen and paper in my hand. I have taken to carrying a small notebook to work with me, to jot down these musings.

I knew the day would come, and it finally happened. I filled up my first notebook. It's a bittersweet moment. If you are any sort of writer, even a poor one like me, you know that a notebook is more than just a bunch of paper stuck together. It becomes, in a way, an extension of your heart. A friend.

The old friend that I had written in for nearly a year finally had to give way to a new acquaintance. Somehow, it is only fitting that my last thoughts jotted down in my old notebook is a post about Bob Hayes

and the first ones written into my new notebook is a post about Terrell Owens.

Calliope would be pleased.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Blankie

After doing some sock yarn mitered squares for the Machosauce afghan project, I decided I'd start a blanket of my own. I'd been wanting to do one for a long time, but Ifelt I just didn't have enough scraps of sock yarn. But I decided to go ahead and start, and I'd just work on it as I got yarn. I've also joined the BlankieMania group on Ravelry, and will probably sign up for a couple of the bouncing bag swaps.

Anyway, I mentioned in the comments to that first post how much I hated sewing things together. That's probably got some of you wondering how I'm going to make an entire blanket out of three inch mitered squares without sewing any of them together. I'll tell you...

Magic.

No, seriously. It's magic. It's called picking up stitches.

What I do is to pick up stitches along one side of a completed square, then pick up more stitches along one side of another completed square

and begin knitting as usual.


Soon I have a completed third square, all joined in and not a seam sewn anywhere.

I told you. Magic. I just keep picking up stitches and knitting squares, and soon a blankie begins to take shape.

(Please ignore the state of my carpet.)

Unfortunately, this is as far as the blankie is going until I get some more bits of sock yarn. For now, I'll occupy myself by weaving in yarn ends.

And thinking about shampooing my carpet.



Friday, February 06, 2009

Cappuccino

Tammy posted something on Facebook that reminded me of a night watch when I was in the Navy. She questioned how much coffee is enough. I don't drink coffee. I never have. I never learned to get past the bitterness. When I was in the Navy, there was this one guy on my watch named Todd. Todd could drink some coffee. He drank about a pot a night. I'm not talking about one of those little Mr. Coffee pots like you have in your kitchen. No, he could drink one of those big, industrial size pots of coffee. You know, the ones that stand about 2 feet tall and are metal.

Anyway, one night there wasn't any coffee. I don't know if the pot was broken or if they were just out. As I said, I don't drink coffee, so I never paid much attention to those kinds of things. Now, the building we worked in was shaped sort of like an L. The Navy had one leg of the L, and NATO had the other. In the front of the NATO wing, there was a little greasy spoon and a couple of vending machines. I loved that greasy spoon. They could make my eggs just right. This was back before I was diagnosed allergic, of course. One guy, Rich, ordered the same breakfast every single day--two eggs over easy, bacon, and toast. He got to where he just walked in and told the cook, "The usual." She knew exactly what to make. Rich's breakfast just happened to be my favorite breakfast as well. In time, I could go over and order "Rich's Usual." She knew exactly what to make.

But I digress...

There wasn't any coffee, so Todd was going to the NATO wing to get some cappuccino out of the vending machine, and he asked me if I wanted one. I'd never had cappuccino, and I thought it was just like coffee. I replied that I didn't drink coffee, and Todd said, "This isn't coffee. It's cappuccino." Well, I'll try anything once, so I agreed to let him buy me a cappuccino. It was pretty good. I must say, however, that the best cappuccino I've ever had was at a little bar halfway up the side of Mt. Vesuvius. But that's beside the point.

So, Todd was buying himself cappuccinos throughout the night, and every time he bought himself one, he would bring me one too. By the end of that night, I was zipping around the place like a chihuahua on speed. When I got to work the next night, I asked Todd, "Please don't buy me any more cappuccinos."

For the entire rest of the time I was stationed there, Todd and I laughed about the night he bought me all those cappuccinos.

And I haven't had a decent cappuccino since I got back to the States. Well, not like the ones at that little bar half way up the side of Mt. Vesuvius.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Trade Off

So, a couple of years ago, when I was first diagnosed allergic to my cat, I was supposed to get rid of her, but I didn't. Instead, I kept her confined to a single room in the house.


That worked out well for a while. My allergies seemed manageable, and the cat seemed content. However, this year, there have been a lot of mice getting into my house. I mean a lot. I tried setting traps. I tried putting out poisons. I tried leaving freshly shed snake skins in strategic locations around the house. All to no avail.

So last week, I once again gave the cat the free run of the house. Even if she didn't kill any, just her presence might be a deterrent. It seems to be working. I've noticed a significant decrease in mouse activity. But it comes with a trade-off. I've also noticed a significant increase in allergy activity.

So there's the rub...do I want tired, burning eyes and bloody sinuses, or mouse turds everywhere? No question. I'll take the allergy symptoms.

It's worth it.

.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Wednesday Wanderings...

Some musings on a Wednesday evening...

Rylea has a little boyfriend.

As you can see, they always get along perfectly well!

I hated to break the li'l feller's heart, but that is a dry well he's trying to dip into. Like a responsible pet owner should, I had Rylea spayed when she came into her first heat. Actually, a responsible pet owner should have a dog spayed before she comes into her first heat, but there was this little issue of being run over....

In Knitting Knews, here are my three squares for Mr. Machosauce's afghan:



I actually re-knit the first two. After washing them, they ended up not being big enough. My mother would say they "drew up". I believe the official knitting term is boinged. They boinged back to only 5 1/2 inches, so I re-did them. I'll get them into the mail Friday.

I slept all night last night, but I'm still sleepy as heck because I had such strange dreams. I only remember one. I dreamed I was visiting my little zoo. For those of you just joining me, I have this little zoo that I visit in my dreams a lot. It doesn't look like any zoo I've been to in real life, but I dream about it frequently, and it always looks the same. The last time I dreamed about it, Cody took the lion's cage apart. Anyway...

I was visiting my little zoo, and I went into one barn. There was a deer like animal in there, and she had just given birth. I mean, this baby was so new that it was just standing up for the first time. Another lady was in there, and she had climbed into the corrall to take pictures of the baby. I decided to take pictures also, but had the respect for the new mother to stay outside the fence. Didn't matter. The mother deer jumped the fence and began butting me until I was well away from her baby. The other lady was bemusedly watching from inside the enclosure.

I'm blaming that one on Opal, and her spicy noodles.

.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Ramblings On Digital TV

But before I begin, since I know this will be boring to most of you, a picture:

This was my front yard yesterday after a day and a night of rain. Now, on to the boring parts:


I can't help but be amused by some of the conversations I've read/heard about the upcoming switch to digital TV. The conspiracy theorists are the most amusing. Some say it's the cable companies doing it so that they can raise rates. Others say the government is doing it so they can control what we watch. Others say it's so the government can send subliminal messages through the TV.

What really amuses me is how many people are having trouble getting their converter box hooked up. One lady complained that she had to buy $80 worth of extra cables, adapters, and other types of converters to get her TV hooked up. Really? I just unhooked my co-ax from the antenna in connector on the back of my DVD player and hooked it into the back of my converter box. Then I hooked the converter box into the back of the DVD player. Very simple, very easy.

Someone else was complaining about all the extra stuff she needed to get her Playstation, DVD player, etc. connected to her antenna. What? Why does she need to connect that to her antenna? Shouldn't she be hooking it to her TV instead? Or her DVD player? That's where all our extra stuff is hooked. The antenna has nothing to do with it.

Yet another person said that even with her coupons, she had to pay $50 for her two converter boxes, because they charged her tax on the $50 price instead of the $10 price. I'm not sure where she bought them, but my total out of pocket expense was just under $11.

Today at work, some of us were talking about it, too. I walked up on a conversation between Roger and Rene'. Rene' was talking about getting her converter boxes hooked up because her DirecTV package doesn't have local stations. Roger was telling her about how many more stations he's getting in digital. Rene' was like "Really?" I jumped in and said that I was also getting a lot more stations. She said that if that were so, she was going to drop her DirecTV and just go with antenna TV.

The conversation went on from there. Rene' eventually walked off and Roger and I continued talking. I was saying how I'd managed to find all my stations, plus a few more. The only one I'm not getting in really well is NBC. He said he gets NBC in really well at his house. Yeah, but he lives about 10 miles closer to the transmitter than I do. I said that maybe I would get a stronger antenna than my rabbit ears. Roger said just to wait until after the deadline and see what I have before buying something else. He'd heard that once they turn off their analog broadcast, they will strengthen their digital broadcast. I replied that I wasn't going to do anything just yet, and that I hoped that they would do this. The conversation then moved on to Tax refunds...

My digital is all ready to go. I've managed, by tinkering with my antenna, to find all of my stations, including the ones I was having trouble finding before. I wonder sometimes if they were just not turned on yet. As I said, the only one that is not coming in really well is NBC. I think that's because I'm right on the edge of their transmission range. I'm hoping Roger is right and they do boost their signal strength after the switch. If not, I'll just get an outdoor antenna.

Now the latest is that the government wants to push the deadline back to June. I have to ask why? It's not like it's sneaking up on anybody. I mean, this has been in the works for some 5 years now. I personally have known about the switch for over a year. So why should they want to delay the switch because some people wait until the last minute? If you haven't gotten your converter box by now, whose fault is that? If you didn't get your coupon, whose fault is that? I say they should switch on the date they set over a year ago and be done with it. But that's just me.

Well, that's the end of my ramblings about digital TV.

Speaking of TV, this ended up being my favorite Super Bowl commercial.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Just For Fun

Because I didn't get to sleep until nearly midnight last night and I'm too tired to be coherent. I think it was too hot in my house, or else I was having hormone issues, but we won't go into that.

Coaches Wired For Sound

Players Wired For Sound

Fun, but not as good as last years: Sounds Of The Game

Sunday, February 01, 2009

What's On Your Calendar?

My bedroom calendar:



That's my brother and my nephew.


My Kitchen Calendar:



And my office calendar:




Patrick Crayton

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