Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Frogging Has Occured

I'd been thinking about frogging these socks, or rather this sock.



The yarn just wasn't right for it. It doesn't have nearly enough twist for a proper sock yarn. But it does have just enough fluff to make a really cozy scarf. So today, I finally did it. I frogged the sock. Here is evidence of said frogging:


Coming soon to a scarf near you.  Just to show that I've been somewhat productive, here's progress on the Conwy sock.


Word in the wind is that overtime is slowing down at work.  We haven't worked a Saturday in a month, and we're working more and more 9 hour days (down from 10).  My hope is that with fewer  hours, my brain fog might clear, and blog posts might become more interesting.  I've got half a dozen half written posts in my little notebook that I carry around, but once I get home, I just don't feel like typing them out.  They'll get done, eventually.

I'll tell you this, though.  It is getting so frustrating at work.  If you don't know, I work in a facility that manufactures evaporator coils for home air conditioners.  I'm a brazer, which means I use a gas flame and a silver alloy brazing rod to join together the manifolds (headers) and adapter tubes.  If you go look at your evaporator coil, you'll see a big copper tube with a bunch of little copper tubes sticking out of it.  That's what I make.  If you don't want to go crawling around in your attic, here is something very similar:


That big hunk of copper in the front is what I put together.  Well, they want the coils to be 100% leak free.  That is a good thing.  Leaks mean that they have to pay out warranty claims, so leaks are not good, right?  We do two different leak tests on our coils before sending them out.  If they leak at the first station, they are repaired immediately, and retested.  Then they are sent to the second station. If they leak at the second station, they are sent back to the first station, repaired, retested, then sent back to the second station, where they are tested yet again.  So, very few leaks should be leaving the plant.  Right?  So, what's the problem?

The problem is, they they want the coils to be 100% leak free before they are leak tested. And without leak testing them, we have no way of knowing whether they have leaks or not.  Sure, if there is a big, gaping hole in the joint, we can tell that it will leak.  Those we fix right away.  But those tiny pinholes...we can't see them with our eyes.  We don't know that they are leaking until they get to the test station.  Yet, somehow we are supposed to be clairvoyant enough to know without seeing which joints will leak. 

We have a big chart where the testers record how many leaks every brazer has each hour.  If we have more than three leaks in an hour, then we have somebody in our faces wanting to know what is wrong.  I guess today, I'd had enough.  When my supervisor got in my face wanting to know why I thought the coils were leaking, I replied, "You don't really want to know what I think!  You just want to hear me say that I was careless, or that I wasn't paying attention."

He said, "No, I don't.  I really want to know what you think."

So I said, "OK, what I think is that I don't know.  I don't know what is causing them to leak.  I'm not doing anything different [from the hour I got 0 leaks to the hour I got 6 leaks].  It's got to be something else--this cheap rod you're making us use, this gas (that none of us like), oil or dirt on the headers, copper burrs....it could be hundreds of different things.  I don't know what it is, but it isn't us!

Amazingly enough, I didn't get fired.  The next hour, the other brazer had quite a few leaks, and he asked her the same thing.  She told him basically what I did--that it isn't us.  And it isn't. If it were, we'd be consistently good or consistently bad. But to go from 0 leaks in an hour, to 13 the next hour, then back to 0--that's not us. Our brazing skills don't deteriorate that fast, then recover just as fast.  I think--I hope --that with both of us going off on him like that, maybe they're finally getting it through their heads that they can't just pin the blame on us.

All of these things that we as brazers have been complaining about for the last 15 years are finally hitting the fan.  Adapter tubes bent wrong--for years, we've been told to just make them work.  Gas not burning cleanly and consistently--for years, we've been told no excuses, just do it.  Burrs in the punch holes, jigs that look like they were put together by a kindergartner playing with Tinker Toys,  header assembly designs that are ridiculously complicated, even that we can't get clean gloves to wear.  All these things we've been complaining about, and were told to just deal with it.  Or in the vernacular of our plant management, "shut up and get back to work!"  Only now, some of the higher ups (and I mean really high up) within the Lennox organization have gotten wind of the problems, and the local management is finally being forced to address these things.  They don't like it one bit. 

For years, they've been saying that we just don't know what we are doing.  Now they're starting to find out that it isn't us.  It's them.  The management.  Engineering.  The tubing department.  They're realizing that the problems run much deeper than they thought. 

And they don't like it one bit.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Music Monday

We sang this song in church yesterday morning. I noticed that I was not the only one it really touched.

No power of ***, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from His hand.

This past year or so, I've been feeling so alone. Even my family doesn't seem to want anything to do with me. But I know that I--even I--am secure in the love of Jesus. And that my mother was wrong. I am not such a horrible person that even Jesus can't love me. He can. And he does. And he will. With an everlasting love*.



This video has the lyrics, but it is the same song. I actually like both versions, though this arrangement is the one I sing (though not where anyone can hear me).



*Yea, I have loved the with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Year

It's been a year since we said goodbye to you.  A year today, and there's not a day gone by that I didn't think of you.  And my heart still aches.


In my crazy, chaotic, dysfunctional world, you were always there for me.  You were my one constant.  You were the one thing I knew I could depend on.  It hurt so much to say goodbye, but it hurt even more to watch you suffer.


I remember the day as if it were yesterday.  I'd walked out to the mailbox, and you followed, just like you always do.  Only this time, you didn't make it.  You couldn't even make it halfway across the yard, you were so weak.  Then, when I picked you up to help you up the stairs, you screamed and then you bit me.  That's when I knew.

You had never bitten anyone in your life.  Especially not me.  And I'd done all sorts of things to you.  I'd poked your eyes, and your ears.  I'd doctored cuts.  I'd pulled thorns out of your feet.  I'd pulled a fish hook out of your ear.  I'd even accidentally ripped an incision open trying put you into the car to take you back to the vet.  You flinched.  You whimpered.  You even yelped.  But you never bit.

I knew then that if you'd lost so much of yourself that you would bite me, you weren't my sweet Katie any more.  I knew then that it was time to let you go.


Now, a year has passed, and my hurt is still raw.  My wound is still as fresh as it was that day--the first day in my life I wept so hard I couldn't breathe.


The grass has nearly covered your resting place.  Soon, no one will even remember where we laid you.  But I will.  I will always remember where you lie.  I will always remember you.  Your spirit will forever run with me.

Run well, my friend. 


Run well.

.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I Forgot The Title

I bought these cute little sandals yesterday at Wal-mart. 


They were on clearance, marked down to $7.00.  I love these Earth Spirit shoes.  I've worn them for years, and they don't wear out.  Well, I haven't gotten a pair to wear out yet. 

The sky started off looking like this


It cleared off for a few minutes,


 but then clouded up again, and even rained for a bit.  It never stayed clear enough for me to feel comfortable taking the dogs for their walk, so this is how Rylea spent most of her day, sleeping on my knitting bag.


While I watched movies via Netflix and worked on the Family Blankie.


The knuckleheaded thing I did was to get up early and watch the last episode of Northern Exposure, so I could send the disc back today, but I forgot to put it out in the mailbox.  So, I thought I'd run into town and put it in at the post office, but never got around to it.  Eh, I guess it'll just have to go out Monday. 

**Note: Yes I did publish this post without a title. I didn't realize it until Sunday night, so I retro-titled it.

Friday Night

posted Saturday morning...

This weekend is supposed to be an adoption fair up at Petco.  I'd originally planned on going and finding myself another dog, but now I'm rethinking that plan.  Why?  Well, the neighbor's dog came over again and stayed until I shoved him out the door so I could go to bed.  It's almost like I have two dogs already.  Maybe I'll wait awhile -- at least until the neighbor's dog learns some manners.  I'm still working on that. 

They'll have more adoption days.  I just need to figure out what to do with this other dog.

Now, some of you may be wondering why I don't just go down to my local pound and find a dog.  Well, I check there from time to time, but it seems that all they ever have is pit bulls and pit bull mixes.  Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against the breed, other than that I am just not all that fond of the real blocky, chunky breeds of dogs.  They are a good breed of dog that has been given a bad reputation by irresponsible owners.   

Ah, but the real reason I wouldn't want a pit bull is that city ordinance makes it so difficult to keep one.  They have to be kept on a chain and inside a fence at all times.  You can't even let them loose to run in the back yard.  If you take them outside the yard, they have to be kept on a chain leash and muzzled. All this was brought about by a combination of irrational fears, which are fed by the actions of irresponsible owners. 

Pit bulls were bred to fight, but that doesn't mean they are vicious, mindless killers. They can be calm, well adjusted, sweet natured dogs if just given the discipline and leadership they need.  Sometimes, I think people just want to be afraid of something. 

Before pit bulls, it was Rottweilers, and before that, Dobermans, and before that German Shepherds.  My daddy once told me that a German Shepherd is nothing more than a tame wolf.  Technically, he was right, since all dogs are just domesticated wolves.  Yes, even the fluffy Shih Tsu and the tiny Chihuahua are the same species as the wolf.  They are all canis Lupus.

Some people like to point to the existence of dogs as proof of evolution.  But truth is, dogs came about--dogs were designed by an intelligent higher being:  humans.  Without the intervention of humans, dogs would not even exist at all.  And without human control,  the different dog breeds would not remain pure.   A Pekingese does not think, "I must keep my breed pure.  I'm only going to breed with other Pekingeses."  On the contrary, a Pekingese will breed with whatever is in heat, as will a Labrador, or a Dalmatian.    It is only through the careful monitoring of an outside force that the dog breeds remain pure.  Left to their own devices, different breeds of dogs will mix and mingle, and left to their own devices long enough, they will return to their wild form. 

Now that I've thought about it, I don't think I'll get another dog any time soon.  They'll have more adoption days. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Our Evening Walk--A Pictoral Essay




Top to bottom:

Rylea and the neighbor's dog
Blue sky with just the right amount of clouds
Deer tracks
Horse Tracks
Bird tracks
Cotton Bolls
Rylea--What is that there in the kudzu?
Military Aircraft
Neighbor's dog
Soybeans (I think--I'm not 100% sure on this)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Stirring up Hornet's Nests

I'm just a wee bit bummed.  I'd wanted to watch The Book Of Eli again before I returned it to Netflix.  I got my notification e-mail today, and that's when I discovered that I'd mistakenly returned it instead of the Macguyver I'd meant to send back.

My consolation came in the form of a new disc of Northern Exposure.  I want to be Marilyn when I grow up. 

We had a meeting at work (yes, another one) this morning.  During the meeting, the Director of Operations --hereafter known as the Boss Hoss --said something about someone getting his hand caught in a machine and nearly losing a finger.  The Boss Hoss said that the operator had known the machine had been malfunctioning but hadn't told anyone.  My first thought was that he probably had told someone --most likely again and again, but they just didn't listen.

I know how it is out there.  When I used to work on machines, I'd report that they'd be messing up, only to be told to run them until they wouldn't run any more.  Then they'd get someone out to fix them.  So, when the Boss Hoss made his afternoon rounds of the shop floor, I called him over to show him something on my brazing stand.


My hoses.  My gas hoses.  They are supposed to be dark red and smooth.  As they get older, they fade to a light red, then to a pale pink, and eventually they turn white.  They also develop what can be best described as alligator skin.  The instructor in yesterday's brazing class said that when they get like that, it is very, very bad.  Mine are like that.  One of them even has a hole in it.  It is plugged with dried flux, but it is a hole nonetheless.  I've been complaining for I don't know how long that they need to be changed out, but no one had done it.  The last time I talked to maintenance, I was told that nobody had the time to do it.

So I called the Boss Hoss over, showed him the hoses, told him that I'd been reporting them, but nobody was listening.  Then I said, "Now you can't say that I never said anything when I get burned up." 

Guess what?  I opened that can of Whoop-*** on the right person.  Maintenance suddenly found time to change them out, and the job was done before the end of the shift.  One of the maintenance guys came by later and told me that they weren't even the right type of hoses for the gas we are using.  They were for acetylene only, and we'd switched to propylene a year ago.  They should have been changed out then. They just weren't.

Hmmm, maybe I need to talk to the Boss Hoss about that chocolate milk shake Rod owes me.

.P.S.  The neighbor's dog came over at 6.  I had to shove him out the door at 9, so I could post this and get ready for bed.  I think he wants to move in with me.  Heck, if he's gone for 3 hours and they don't even notice...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

One Of Those Days

I knew it was going to be one of those days the moment I woke up thinking it was Wednesday and wondering why I hadn't washed my hair.

It took a few moments to realize it was Tuesday. The good news is that it was actually kind of cool when I walked Rylea this morning.

I went to work and spent most of the day in a brazer training class. There was a lady in there from another plant. I'm not sure where, but she kept saying "In my plant, we do this. In my plant, we do that." Finally, one of the guys from our plant asked her how many units they ran per day.

She said, "Well, we've slowed down a bit because our peak season is over, but over our two shifts, we are running about 450 units."

I like to have choked.  Good thing I didn't have any liquid in my mouth, or I would have sprayed it all over her. In my plant, we run 450 units per line.  If I had 16 hours to run 450 units, I'd have time to do all those time consuming quality checks, too.  Our plant will never stand for it.  They give plenty of lip service to quality, but when it comes right down to it, the bottom line is getting the units out the door. 

But I am now an AWS certified brazer. 

And after 10 hours of work, I came home to find cat puke in the middle of my living room floor. 

The day wasn't all bad.  By 6:15, the temp had cooled off enough that I was able to walk the dogs.  I came home, took a shower, had some ice cream, and now am watching the first episode of 24

Frankly, I don't see what all the fuss is about.  I'm not that impressed.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Music Monday

Every time I turn around
There's another Monday to be found.

But this'll brighten up my day at least. It's almost time!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Danger of Embellishment

Mike Warnke once said that the gruesomer your testimony, the more people want to hear it. 

He does have a point.  When you tell people that you were born into a Christian family, went to church your whole life, and got saved at an early age-- nobody wants to hear that.  That's boring.  That's not a testimony at all. They want to hear about the evil, depraved life you led and what a radical change Jesus made in you.  Now, that's a testimony. 

This leads to a tremendous temptation to spice things up a bit. How easily then do the elderly aunts who raised you after your parents died become a series of foster homes.  Then that series of foster homes becomes a series of abusive foster homes.  Then those abusive foster homes become crack house foster homes, and so on..

The occasional childhood spanking becomes a childhood filled with abuse.  The decision to move out becomes getting kicked out onto the street.  A bachelors degree turns in to a masters, then a doctorate, then two doctorates.  One war wound becomes two, then five.  The purple heart becomes a Silver Star, or a Congressional Medal of Honor.  The typical teenage rebellion becomes a life filled with drugs, pornography, Satanic cults--complete with bloodletting and human sacrifice. 

Oh, these people usually are well meaning--the Jim Bakkers of the world notwithstanding.  They just want to make an impact.  They want to lead people to Jesus.  The problem is, the truth will always come out.  And when it does, even the slightest embellishment to your testimony will completely destroy your credibility as a Christian witness.  Even worse, people tend to judge Jesus by what they see in us--in you and me.  They don't always get that the failure of the Christian does not equal the failure of the Christ. 

So, if you truly want to make an impact, it's best just to be honest all around. If you don't, you may end up doing more harm than good.  

.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

No New Dog Here

This weekend was National Adoption Weekend at Petco.  What I did not know is that this does not mean that Petco's are having adoption events at their stores.  So, I drove all the way up to Southaven thinking there would be dogs available, but there were none.  Needless to say, I am still a single dog household.  According to the store events tab, they are supposed to have an adoption fair next Saturday.  Still, I think I'll call before I drive up there. 

I did buy this for the neighbor's dog.


Today was his birthday. He is one year old. But really I got it hoping it would keep him entertained when he comes to visit. It's got these holes in the ends


that you can put dog food or treats in.



According to the label, this provides endless hours of boredom prevention. It didn't work with that dog. He still wanted me to throw it for him.  For an hour.  Then I put him outside, and he came back later and wanted me to throw it some more.  I am so ready for cooler weather so I can take these dogs on proper walks!

I also bought another one of these hides.


This one will be for Scarlett. I don't have a photo of her in it yet, though she has gone into it. I want to give her a day or two to get used to it.

After all that, I consoled myself with a chocolate milkshake from McDonald's and came on back home, where I knit on the sock.


And watched The Book Of Eli.  It was a pretty good movie, but not exactly what I expected.  The story line was good, but I really don't like those futuristic movies where everything is all gray and sepia.  It just doesn't look real.  I know it's supposed to depict a bleak world destroyed by a war, but there is still going to be some color left.  Anyway, Eli is a man charged with taking the last copy of the Bible on earth to a safe place, out West.  He has to battle an evil man who views the book as a powerful tool he can use to control people.  That's all I'm going to say about it, because it's a fairly recent release, and some people may not have seen it yet.  Just a couple of cautions, it is violent and full of obscene language.  If you can get past these, it's a movie you ought to enjoy.   

Friday, August 20, 2010

Golf Clubs and Cats

Yesterday I went in for my semi annual dental checkup and cleaning.  While I was there, the hygienist was telling me about an incident that happened at the public school.  Seems a boy called another boy a name.  The second boy went and got a golf club out of his car and hit the first boy with it.  She said the second kid was suspended for the rest of the year--which is good.  However, she is worried that his parents will put him into the private school, where her son attends, and that the private school will take him.

I don't blame her for being worried, though her son will likely never see the kid.  Her boy is in second grade, and the other kid is in 10th, but still.  I know this kid.  He's only a year behind Cody, though I think they are the same age.  They were on the same baseball team one year.  This kid was born when his parents were older, and his siblings are much older than he is.  But his mother in particular thinks the sun rises and sets in him.  She thinks she is the "stuff", too.  He is spoiled rotten and mean as fire.

The hygienist thinks that maybe this will wake the parents up, but I don't think so.  They will blame the other boy, the school, George Bush--anyone but their precious little darling.  The sad part is, when this kid gets out into the real world, he's going to be in for a rude awakening.

I have started on my Conwy sock, but haven't gotten very far with it.  The neighbor's dog has been coming to visit me every evening, and I can't work on it while he's here.  I feel sorry for the poor dog.  Tonight when I put him out the door, I had to do just that.  He didn't want to leave, and actually fought me when I put him outside.  But, I'm ready to go to bed, and he couldn't stay.

Poor Rylea is just a bit overwhelmed by him.  When he's here, she spends most of the time hiding behind the recliner.  He's just too hyper for her.  I've told the neighbors that when it cools off enough to start walking Rylea again, I'd take him with us.

This weekend is pet adoption weekend at Petco.  I'm seriously considering driving up and seeing what they have.  Rylea keeps trying --albeit unsuccessfully--to get the cat to play with her.  It just ain't going to happen.

Squeaky says, "I'm much too dignified to play with a dog."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Socks And More Socks

I finished my Tidal Wave socks:


I actually finished them a couple of days ago.  I wore them to work today, and they left purple stripes on my feet.  When I got home, I soaked them in some Eucalan, and the water turned dark purple.  I hope I got all the excess dye out.  We'll just have to see.

Next up: Conwy from Knitting On The Road, by Nancy Bush.


Some clouds, just because.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

First Blood

A couple of years ago, someone once told me that you just don't see any blood in professional football. You see blood in hockey, but not football. Ironically enough, the first thing I see when I logged into NFL.com that day, was a photo of a very bloody Jeff Garcia.


Perusing the remainder of the photo galleries from that week, I saw many, many photos of bloody football players--none quite as bloody as Garcia, but bloody nonetheless. It was my intention to write a blog post highlighting the incidents of blood from just that week. Naturally, I procrastinated, and the post never got written.

Monday night, the New York Jets and the New York Giants faced off in the inaugural game of their new shared stadium.  It's still preseason, but both teams wanted to claim the first victory in the  New Meadowlands.  Though the Giants went on to win the game, it was the Jets who drew First Blood.



Yeah. There is plenty of blood in football.  You just have to actually watch football to see it.

I got a feeling it's gonna be a good year.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Music Monday

Are you ready for some football?



I am so ready!

This morning did not start well. I had taken some Benadryl last night, and ended up sleeping through the alarm. Well, the alarm had gone off, but the radio station was off the air for some reason. Usually the static is enough to wake me up, but what with the antihistamine induced fog, it wasn't this morning. I woke up at 5:15, and decided not to rush to get there by 6. I would just go in at 7, since that's when the shift starts anyway.

I got there and told Rod I had slept through the alarm, and he said that man must have kept me up too late last night. I said that there wasn't any man at my house, unless it's the one named Ben Adryl.

The neighbor's dog came to visit a while this afternoon. He was here for an hour, then his master called him home. He seemed a bit peeved. I don't know why. He never pays any attention to the poor dog. That's why he comes and visits me. He was over here for 3 hours Saturday before they even noticed he was gone.


I feel sorry for the poor baby.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Progress

On the sock, that is...


I'm ready to start the toe decreases, which I will do tomorrow. 

I had to run in to Wal-mart this afternoon to get milk, and I found this:


I know it's hard to tell what it is from the photo, but it is a lap pad thing for my laptop.  It's got a space inside to store the laptop in, if I ever need to take it anywhere with me.  The main reason I bought it, though, is because if I actually hold my laptop in my lap, my thigh muscles start twitching.  I guess it's from the electrical current of the computer.  Whatever the reason, it is very uncomfortable.  I'm hoping this will put enough of a barrier between the laptop and my legs to prevent this from happening. 

It hasn't inspired creativity, though.  I was going to write a post about my earliest childhood memory, and I was going to do it on my laptop while watching TV, but it didn't happen.  I think the sock may have had more to do with that than anything.  I really wanted to get the foot finished before I went to bed tonight. 

And since the foot is finished, I'm going to bed now. 

Goodnight. 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

New Books

It was around 9:15 or so this morning when I looked at the weather icon on the computer screen.  It said it was 80' outside, so I decided to go walk Rylea before it got too hot.  I hadn't gotten very far when I came to the conclusion that the weather icon lied.  It sure felt a whole lot hotter than 80' out there.  Being that it was so hot, we walked all the way down to the creek so Rylea could cool off a bit and get a drink before heading home.


We didn't pick up any strays this time, either. But, I did see quite a few cotton blossoms left, both pink and white. 




There were a lot of bolls forming, though.  For those of you who don't live in cotton country, I'm going to try to go get photos of the bolls opening and such.  It won't be long now, because they usually defoliate and pick the fields around the middle of September.

When I got home, though, I found a box of books from Knitpicks waiting for me. 


I'd been wanting to find just the right pattern for my new sock yarns that I picked up last week, and a couple of people suggested the Knitting On the Road book by Nancy Bush. I looked it up online, and was able to preview some of the patterns that are in it, so I decided to go ahead and get it.  I think Conwy would be the perfect pattern for my Winter Spruce yarn (which I have since found out that the real color name is Honey Sage.  I think I like my name better.). 


 What I like about this book is the spiral binding, so that it really lays flat.  There are some other great patterns in the book.  I really like Friday Harbor and New England.  About half of the patterns are color work, though.  I'm not really fond of doing color work, but still, if I'd bought these three patterns individually, it would have cost more than buying the entire book.  So, in my book, that makes this book worth it.  And who knows, I might just try some of that color work after all. 

Well, once I'd gotten to the site, I found that Knitpicks was having a 40% off book sale.  I'd been wanting Wendy Johnson's Socks From The Toe Up for a while now, so I threw it into my cart as well.  I've been reading her blog for years, and it was really cool to see there in the book some of the socks that I'd watched her design and knit. 


I think this one is my favorite, and I remember when she blogged about designing it.  I know exactly which yarn I will use to knit them.  The other sock yarn I bought last week.  The Cherry Tree Hill Indian Summer yarn.  So now, I've got to hurry and finish the Tidal Wave socks I have OTN right now.  Oh, I forgot to show you that I finished the first sock a few days ago. 


Kindly ignore the blinding white bit of leg showing at the cuff of the gorgeous sock.  It was a gift from my Swedish ancestors.  Thank you for not guffawing aloud.  Well, not too loudly at least.

Yeah, I finished that one I think it was Sunday, and cast on the second sock that same day.  No SSS with this pair, that's for sure!  As of this afternoon, I was this far along:



I tell ya, the new books did the trick.  Sock mojo is back and better than ever!  Just one thing, the Gingerbread House sock about halfway down in this post, I'm thinking of frogging it.  The yarn just has such a loose twist, I'm not feeling the sock love for it.  The yarn is whispering "scarf" to me.  And if I have enough, I might make a hat to go with it. 

The third book I bought was Knitted Lace of Estonia, also by Nancy Bush.  I haven't really looked through it yet, but from what I've seen, there are some gorgeous patterns in it.  It'll be something to use some of my huge stash of lace weight.  Speaking of lace...

The other thing I'd bought was three new sets of Options cables, in 40", 47", and 60" lengths. 


Though the lace mojo is still on vacation, I did manage to drag the Anniversary 10 mystery shawl out long enough to transfer it from the 32" that it was on to a 47".  About halfway through the process, I spread it out and took a picture, without it being all bunched up.


I know, I know, but I just keep singing, "Some day my mojo will come!"

Sheesh...

Let's temper that with a Saturday Sky.


No, this is not a Glidden paint chip.  It really is the sky this morning.  Taken on my walk. 

That is all. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Want To Walk

I want to walk along the beach again.

Late afternoon in August, Island Beach State Park

To feel the ocean breeze.  And the sand beneath my feet.  To hear the pounding surf.  To smell the salt air, and pick up shells.

Seashells on the beach of the North Sea

To marvel at what treasures the tide brings in.  I want to walk along the beach again.  To find peace.  Contentment.  Comfort.

waves approaching beach

I want to walk along the beach again. It's where my soul finds rest.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tuesday Tragedy

I was going to  write this post last night, but my computer was being so annoying that I just said to heck with it and went to bed.  I took the day off yesterday so that I could watch the ball game Sunday night without sitting there thinking the whole time about how tired I would be when I went back to work.  Oh, and it was nice.  I actually slept until 8:30 AM, which when you've been getting up at 4:15 was absolute Heaven!  Well, I did get up and let the dog out, but went right back to bed.

I didn't do much of anything, but somehow, my day went by way too quickly.  I did get a certain package mailed off, though, and got my checking accounts reconciled.  Some of them I hadn't done since April.  The problem is, I hate the program I have.  I used to use one called Money Matters Basic, and I loved it.  It was very simple, easy, and just right for a single person who basically just needs a check register.  However, when I got my new computer (like 5 years ago now), that program wouldn't work with Windows XP.  When I went to the site to see if they had an upgrade, they had stopped making that program.  The simplest program they had is one called Money Map.  I hate it.  It is slow.  It is cumbersome.  It is annoying.  I have to click like 50 different popups just to do the simplest of transactions.  OK, so I exaggerate, but it seems that way sometimes.  All this is to say that I find it  very easy to procrastinate doing my checkbook because of how annoying this program is.  Yet, I don't want to spend the money to buy a new one right now.

Speaking of, I got the bill for the balance of my oral surgery.  It wasn't as much as I thought it would be.  It was less than $300.  It would have been even less than that, but they billed my insurance company three times, then charged me rebilling fees for each of them.  If they had just called me, I could have told them that I'd already used up my insurance for the year and that I'd just have to pay the balance myself.  I started not to pay the fees, but it was only $2, so I didn't quibble.  I've still got to get a crown, then a bridge.  I'm going to go ahead and get the crown, but I'm going to wait until my insurance starts over at the beginning of the year to do the bridge. 

I get back to work this morning, which didn't thrill me and I find out I missed some excitement.  My coworker told me she saw our shift supervisor "and them" (though I'm not exactly sure who them is in this case) running full out towards the shipping department.  A few minutes later, they came back and told her a truck driver had died back there.  We're not sure what happened, but we're *guessing* it was a heart attack, because he was very, very overweight. He was in his truck and my coworker told me he was so big, they had to use a forklift to get him out.  She didn't know who the guy was, though. 

If you've a mind, say a quick prayer for his family. 
.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Music Monday

This is the original version by Bobby Darin



But honestly, I think I like Ricky Nelson's version better. It's just a bit slower, and he has such a mellow voice.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Football!

Football!  Football!  Football!  Football!  Football!

OK, it's just preseason, but it's still

Football!  Football!  Football!  Football!  Football!

Football

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Road Trip

Christi has been bugging me for months now to come visit her in Columbus, and today was the day!  But before I could leave, I had to attend to some very important business.


I had to get my new True Blue sticker on my car.

That done, I was off to Columbus.  It's about as far as it is to either Memphis or Jackson, and it was a very scenic drive.  It had been years since I'd been to the Eastern part of the state, and I enjoyed the drive very much, but finally, I arrived in Columbus, and found myself at Yarns Downtown.


This was the first time I'd ever been to Columbus, and I loved the old fashioned downtown architecture.  I didn't take any photos, though.  I really should have.  Once I got inside, I found a very pretty yarn store.


Lots more yarn than this, too, I just didn't get photos of all of it. It was big, open and airy.  Lots of yarn stores seem crowded, but this one had plenty of room.

As soon as I got inside, Christi came out and said, "May I help you?".  Then she realized it was me, and she grabbed me up in this big old bear hug and exclaimed, "I'm so glad to finally meet you in person!"  Now, you know me.  Normally I'm nervous about meeting new people.  I always worry that I won't be able to think of anything to talk about, but not to worry.  Right away, it was as if I'd known her for forever.  We were chatting like old buddies within just a minute or two.  Even when we ran out of things to talk about, we just sat and knit and watched the Food Network until the conversation started again.  That little voice in my head, the one that always says, "hurry up and say something--don't let the conversation die" never showed up.  It's not often that I meet someone that it's OK to be quiet with, but Christi was one of those people.  She even gave me a little ball of leftover sock yarn for the blankie.


This one will go in my sister's blankie.  I had some other yarns follow me home, too. 


Cherry Tree Hill supersock in Indian Summer


Heritage Hand Painted Sock Yarn from Cascade Yarns.  There is no color name on the label that I can see.  Just a number:  9903  Whatever it is, I love this color.  It reminds me of spruce trees in winter.  If I were going to name this colorway, that is what I'd call it:  Winter Spruce


This is King Cole Splash DK weight, in the seaspray colorway.  I'd never heard of this, but Christi said that it is dyed so that it makes patterns when you knit it--more than just stripes and brocade.  There was a pink color that makes little roses.  She didn't know what the blue makes, but it was my favorite of the colors.  I think it will end up being a scarf.  I don't know, though.  I haven't decided. 

I did love this yarn.  It is cashmere and was soooo soft.  I loved this color, too (the gray and yellow one).  But in the end, it stayed on the shelf.  


In case you didn't get that, here it is again:


Yeah.  Moving right along...

I'd chosen today to go because football season will be starting soon, and my Saturdays will be full, but Christi told me that SEC football is always on in the shop.  The owner is an Ole Miss fan, and Christi is a State fan, so Saturdays ought to be fun there!  I think I should plan on going on Egg Bowl day.  And as you know, I'm an LSU fan--when it comes to SEC.  My first loyalty is to the Longhorns. 

I'm sure Christi would have loved for me to stay until closing time, but I needed to get on home. We had just one last mission before I could leave. 


Yep, we had to get a picture together.  When I went to visit Amy, we never managed to get one. 

I got home and discovered that Scarlett had had a very bad shed.  So into the snake sauna she went.  She didn't have to soak very long, though, and her old skin peeled right off. 

The best news, I found out one of my Facebook friend's husband is stationed overseas, and they have the Green Beans Coffee cafe on his base.  I pestered her to death until I got all the pertinent information, then promptly went and bought him a coffee card.  I told her I was going to, and she said he'd love it.  The last time he'd called her, he asked her to send him their coffee maker, and she said she wouldn't.  Won't he be surprised when he gets his card? 

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