Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I was at work this morning, humming a wordless little tune. Catchy thing, it kept running through my head over and over. I just couldn't figure out what it was. Finally, it dawned on me. It was the circus music from one of the ride on toys outside Wal-mart.

Page 2....Monday, I had to go somewhere right after work, and we worked late. (I had to leave work early to get to my appt on time.) Tuesday, I had to go somewhere after work, and we work late. (I didn't leave early. I just went straight there after we got off.) Today, I had nothing to do but come home and prop my feet up, and we get off on time. That sort of symbolizes how my life goes.


I had to poke a pill down my cat's throat. I wasn't looking forward to it. I don't think the cat was too thrilled about it either. But I assembled my supplies: cat--check; pill--check; bandaids--check; iodine--check; more bandaids--check; still more bandaids--check. I braced myself and went in...

The pill was given. Blood was involved. Mine, not the cat's.

I'm still not quite sure how the claw marks got into my foot, though.

Squeaky says, "Don't ever do that again."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I took Squeekums to the vet after work, and he said she's definitely got something going on there. He said it could be either of two things--a urinary tract infection, or it could be minerals crystallizing in her bladder, causing inflammation. The symptoms are the same, and the only way to know for sure would be to get a urine sample. To do that, they'd have to sedate her and run a catheter up into her bladder. But, since the treatment for both is the same, he wasn't going to do that just yet.

He gave her a shot of antibiotics and some anti-inflammatories. He also sent home some prescription cat food that was specially designed to dissolve any crystals that may be forming in her bladder.

Of course, if she's not better in a few days, he said to bring her back and they'll pursue the matter further.

While I was there, another person was bringing a dog in (a small dog). He didn't have the dog on a leash, and it ran away. Several of the workers in the clinic ran out to help the guy catch the dog, and they probably scared it even further. They eventually managed to catch the dog, but they were very lucky. I mentioned to the receptionist that I would never take my dog anywhere without her being on a leash. When they get into an unfamiliar situation, you just never know what might go wrong.

Monday, March 29, 2010

More Bad News

I went back to my dentist today for my post root canal follow up, and we talked about my options for getting my teeth replaced. The first thing he wants me to have done is to get that one tooth pulled. But he wants me to go to an oral surgeon and get my wisdom tooth cut out at the same time. That's all good.

The problem is, they are going to put me to sleep to do it and I need someone to drive me. I know several people who would, but they all work during the day. I hate to ask someone to take a day off of work just to take me to an oral surgeon. Oh well. I'll figure something out.

I think the cat has a UTI. At first, I thought she had worms, but when I cleaned her litterbox, I didn't see any sign of them in her poop. I checked on PetMD and her symptoms seem to match urniary tract infection. She seems very uncomfortable, keeps licking herself, is spending a lot of time in the litterbox, and is dribbling a little. I'll be taking her to the vet tomorrow after work.

Squeaky says, "You didn't have to tell them that."

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Am I Crazy?

I have three lace shawls already on the needles, so what do I do? I go and join another KAL. I've signed up for the Anniversary 10 Mystery Shawl from Goddessknits. That means I really, really need to finish the Anniversary '09 Mystery Shawl, so I've set aside Vernal Equinox to work on it. I'm finally back to where I was before I frogged back to the lifeline. I am on the final chart, though, and the KAL doesn't start until the end of April. I should have time to finish.

I will need to order more yarn. The pattern calls for 1700+ yards of laceweight, and just don't have that much of any one color. Good thing Knit Picks has finally released their spring colors.

If I don't get a move on, I'll have to order more needles, too.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday Fun

When I was in the Navy, every so often a British ship would pull into port. When they came to the enlisted club, we always played this song just for them.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Different Kind Of Surprise.

There are some kinds of surprises that you like to get. Like this one.

Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitter's Almanac, sent to me by my friend Ann. This is a good surprise.

Then there are others that, when you think about it, really aren't so surprising. Like this one:

My Vernal Equinox shawl. I realized I'd gotten all the way to row 79 without putting in a lifeline. I promptly put one in on row 80. That was a good surprise, that I'd gotten that far without messing up. But then, this is a simple, easy to knit pattern.

But then, there is the kind of surprise I got last night. I was awakened around midnight by thumping noises. "What in the heck is that cat doing?" I thought. I didn't yell at her, and soon the thumping noises stopped. I drifted off to sleep again, only to wake up this morning to find a dead mouse in my kitchen. I dead, cat-killed mouse.

Nine years I've had that worthless cat, and this is the first mouse she's ever killed. She usually just plays with them, then lets them go. Maybe now, she's finally figured out what to do with them.

Squeaky says, "I am not worthless. Somebody has to hold this love seat down."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Warning: Grossness Ahead, With Some Niceness At The End

So I was blaming the cat for pooping on the living room carpet, even though it was just one piece of poop. Still...

But when I went to scoop it up, I discovered it wasn't really poop at all. It was a giant hairball. Only it was my hair.

What I figure happened was that the wad of hair I'd cleaned out of the shower drain had somehow gotten wrapped up in a washcloth, and had gone through the laundry. When I pulled the clothes out of the dryer and put them on the couch to fold them, the hairball must have fallen on the floor.

OK, so giant wads of hair do gross me out. Even more so than cat poop.


But a cool thing happened, too. I was listening to A Little Princess on I really liked the reader who was doing that story. So I clicked on her name, thinking I would be able to find more books she'd read. Instead it took me to her blog, and to my delight, I discovered that she is a fellow knitter! Isn't that the coolest?

Ummm, I was going to fold the clothes, but my pain medication is kicking in and I'm getting pretty dizzy. Yeah, any excuse to put off house work. I think I'll just go lay down, instead.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Teeth and Yarn

First, the bad--two root canals. Well, one and a half. One of them was what the dentist called a partial cleaning. He said the decay in that tooth was so deep that it was getting in between the roots. If he drilled it out completely, the tooth would be separated from the roots and so he couldn't save it. He put a temporary fix on it until it could be extracted. The thing is, it was under a crown, so we couldn't really tell that it was getting decayed. Not only that, it wasn't hurting, so I had no way of knowing how bad it was getting. It only started hurting a week or two ago, but by that time it was too late. So we get it pulled, then start talking about replacements. Probably the cheapest thing would be a bridge, and I'll probably go with that for now. Eventually I want to get implants. Those are expensive, though, so I'll have to get them one at a time.

The other tooth only started hurting over the weekend. He successfully did the root canal on that one, but didn't remove the crown. Well, maybe you need a little backstory...

When I was a kid, I had two molars that never came in. The permanent teeth just weren't there, and so my primary teeth never fell out. When I was 19, my dentist decided they needed to come out. They were starting to turn sideways and affecting my other teeth. So he cut them out, and put fixed bridges in there--fixed as in glued in. To glue them in, he had to glue them to the teeth on either side of the spaces. It is very hard to keep these teeth clean at the gumline, and now they are beginning to decay and abscess. This makes three of them that I've had to have root canals on now. But, the good news is, I managed to make them last 25 years, when my childhood dentist said I'd probably have to have the bridges replaced every 10 years.

So that's where we stand on that. I'll probably call my regular dentist later this week, when my mouth has had a chance to heal a bit. I'll keep you updated.

After the dentist, well, you know what I always say, "Yarn makes everything better", so I went to the Knit Studio. This is the first time I'd been to it since it changed hands. That's been about 3 years ago. Anyway, I bought

Opal Mississippi Color 2084--I think. The label is entirely in German. This yarn is discontinued, but they still had quite a bit of it in the store. It was hard to pick just one color.

Corntastic --made from 100% corn. I've always wanted to try corn yarn, since it seems to hold patterns really well, so I finally broke down and bought some. This color is Turquoise, and it isn't completely accurate in the photo. It's more turquoisey in person and not so much baby blue. I think I'm going to make one of the highly patterned socks from Cookie A's Sock Innovation book with this.

This one is totally new to me. It is Filatura Di Crosa Maxime print in the color 5048. No name, just a number. But I loved these bright colors.

And finally, to console myself for knowing that I was going to lose a tooth, I splurged and bought myself some Kidsilk Haze. I've always wanted some of this, but the price tag was a bit off -putting. They only had two balls in this colorway, which is 592. Again, no name just a number. I love the soft, fuzziness of this yarn, and may just have to make something for me with it.

I also bought a small thing of eucalan wool wash. I'd always used shampoo to wash my knitted items, and wanted to try this out to see how it compares. Now I just need to finish something.

On the way home, I stopped by Wal-mart and bought The Blind Side. Wonderful movie, and based on a true story. I remember watching Michael Oher play when he was at Ol' Miss, and had heard about how the Touhys had taken him in when he was living on the street. The movie is their story. Even if you aren't a football fan, I recommend you watch this one.

But then, more bad news. I got home and when I took off my shoes, I found this:

I was so upset! These are my Falling In Love socks, and they hadn't been finished very long, either. Just over a month, in fact. I used to say that Cherry Tree Hill was my favorite sock yarn, but I'm beginning to think differently. I just had to toss my Nutkin socks because they had several thin spots and holes in the heels. I'd tried to fix them, but even the repairs wore out. Now these. They are the only two pairs of socks that have worn out. I have had another couple of pairs that I accidentally ripped holes in, but these are the only ones that have just worn out. I'm going to try to darn them, and see if I can get a few more weeks of wear out of them.

I hate that. These were my favorite socks. They always made me think of Marion Barber.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Product Review: Woolite Rug Stick

I don't normally do product reviews on my blog, but I was so impressed by this one that I had to share it. The product is the Woolite Rug Stick. I've been looking for a long time for an effective way to clean my carpet without having to rent a steamer every week or two. I'd used the foaming cleaners before, but they just weren't cutting it. When I saw the Rug Stick in the store, I decided to give it a try.

The Rug Stick is pretty much what it claims to be-- a stick for cleaning rugs. There is a place in the back to put a can of foaming rug cleaner.

By pulling the rug stick towards you across the carpet, the cleaner is dispensed through a comb like set of nozzles.

The Rug Stick is then turned over, and the scrub brush is used to work the cleaner down into the carpet.

The bristles also act to lift and refresh matted carpet fibers. After the cleaner dries thoroughly, the carpet is vacuumed to remove the dirt and cleaner.

I must admit I was a bit skeptical when I first saw the Rug Stick in the store. But, I thought I'd give it a try. The first time I used it, I had a hard time getting the foam cleanser to dispense. Through trial and error, I discovered that moderate pressure must be used to get the can to spray properly. Once I figured this out, my opinion of the Rug Stick improved greatly.

One thing that surprised (and appalled) me was how much dog hair the scrubber was able to remove from my carpet, and right after I'd vacuumed it.

After the first time I used the Rug Stick, I noticed a definite difference in my carpet, and after the third use, my carpet looks almost brand new. Before Katie died, she'd developed kidney problems and therefore sometimes had accidents in the house. This left several badly stained areas near my front door. Using the Rug Stick has greatly diminished the appearance of these stains, and I hope through regular use, they will fade even more.

If there was a con to the Rug Stick, I'd have to say it is the handle. It is lightweight aluminum, and feels so flimsy that every time I use the stick, I'm afraid I'll bend it. But for the price, it is a good value. The suggested retail price is under $20, but I found mine at Wal-Mart for less than $15.

Knowing what I know now about the Rug Stick, would I buy it again? Definitely. It was not meant to be a replacement for regular professional carpet cleaning, but for weekly cleaning it does the job well. In my opinion, it is worth the money.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy Spring

To celebrate, I cast on the Vernal Equinox shawl. The pattern is in the left sidebar, and is in English:

The yarn is Knit Picks Shadow Kettle Dyed in the discontinued colorway Begonia.

When I cast it on, I knew what it would mean, but I cast it on anyway. But what does it mean? you may ask. It means I have three lace shawls on the needles at the same time!

Orkney Pi is progressing, and I'm at the end of Chart 3.

And the Anniversary '09 Mystery Shawl is still trudging along.

If you'll remember, I had to rip it back to the lifeline last week. Well, today I finally got it back onto the needles and knit back to the end of chart 4. One more chart and it will be done!

And we mustn't for get about the blankie, which has had several new squares added to it, as well.

Then there are the two pairs of socks...

And the scarf...

And the new hat I want to cast on...

And it goes on and on my friend...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

to all my Irish friends out there.

St. Patty's Clover Pinwheel

No, I didn't wear green. I don't think I even own any green. Oh, well...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

More Zoo Photos

I didn't take a lot of photos this time, because I've taken so many before. But here are a few of the ones I did take.

The Caspian Stallion

This little lamb was so new it hadn't even dropped its umbilical cord yet.

Another lamb and its mother

Alligator Snapping Turtle

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

Ya-Ya, the female panda

The baby giraffe and it's parents

Monday, March 15, 2010

Teton Trek

The newest exhibit at the Memphis Zoo. Teton Trek features animals from Western America. The exhibit is based on the Yellowstone ecological system. It opened last October, but this is the first time I've been able to go.

The Great Lodge

The Geyser Fountain

A couple of Elk Statues



And the Grizzly Bears

They were behind Plexiglass, and I wish I could have gotten a better angle so that there were no reflections, but the glass was pretty dirty. The bears would splash it, and put their paws on it and such. It was cute, but made for not so great photos.

This photo was taken from the opposite side of the enclosure.

And finally, the trumpeter swans.

More photos tomorrow.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy Pi Day

Today is Pi day--3/14. I didn't eat any pie though. I did cast on a Pi shawl, though. After much deliberation, I chose the Orkney Pi.

It's actually one I've been wanting to cast on for a long time, and I finally decided today was the day.

The pink bit is not part of the shawl. It's a belly button cast on. Well, my version of it anyway. The belly button part is basically a glorified i-cord, so that's what I did. Instead of knitting the first inch flat, I just did it in i-cord fashion for about an inch. Then I split it over my 4 needles like the instructions say. It worked great, and seemed a lot less fiddly.

The yarn is Knit Picks Shimmer in Spice. I really wanted to do it in another yarn, but this shawl takes an enormous amount of yarn. I would have had to order more anyway, and Spice is the only colorway Knit Picks still had in stock. Since I really wanted to cast on today--it being Pi day and all--I went ahead and used it.

I've also been knitting on the blankie. It is barely over 1/4th done.

Some of us have started a blankie group over on FB, and we're in the midst of organizing a swap. So hopefully, I'll soon have some new yarns to add.

One day last week, I was at work and suddenly got the craving for liver and onions. I hadn't had liver in ages, and I was going to make me some. About then, I realized I didn't know how to fix liver and onions. Internet to the rescue! I found a recipe and turned out today's lunch in no time.

It tasted as good as it looked.


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