Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Come A Gulleywasher

A few days ago at work, I told one of my co-workers that I was plumb tuckered. She looked at me as if I'd suddenly sprouted a third eye right in the middle of my forehead. She had no idea what I was talking about. I guess they don't use the word tuckered much here, because she said she'd never heard it before.

It kind of surprises me when people don't know what I mean when I say "It's coming a gulleywasher!". I guess that's another expression they don't much use around here.

I've also noticed that an insult really loses its punch when you have to explain to somebody exactly who "Der Fuhrer" was and why being called that is a bad thing. But that's a topic for another day. 

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. It come a real gulleywasher today.  By the time I got home, my whole yard was flooded.

It was raining so hard, the dogs wouldn't even go out.  That's my back yard, looking out my back door.

Around 4-ish, the rain stopped, but the dogs still weren't too sure about going outside.  Rylea says, "Are you serious?"

And Jesse said, "I don't know about this." 

Eventually, the need to pee overcame their uncertainty, and Jesse ventured out, albeit rather tentatively.

Rylea soon followed.   Doggie bladders were relieved, and mommies were relieved that doggie bladders weren't relieved on the carpet. 

I spent the rest of the evening reading a book called Unwind.  It is set in a futuristic America in which abortions are not allowed, but parents can retroactively abort a child once he becomes a teenager.  If a parent wishes, he can have his child "unwound".  Basically, the child is dismembered and all his parts are donated to people who need new arms, hearts, lungs, etc, etc.  They justify it by convincing themselves that the child is technically still alive, just in a "divided state".  It was a fascinating, and ultimately very disturbing book, and you can expect a full book review with a few days.

Next up on the docket:  If The Devil Had A Wife.  This should be interesting, because it all took place in my hometown.  I grew up hearing stories about the Stark family, and spent long hours imagining what it would be like to live in the Stark House.  Half the town was named after someone in the family:  The Francis Ann Lutcher Theater, The Stark Museum of Art, Stark  High School-- which would later merge with West Orange High School to become West Orange Stark High School, from which I graduated.  Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading this one, too.

Now, the moment you've all been waiting for.  The Weekly WIP Update.  Yeah, I know you're on the edge of your seat.  Well, I won't keep you in suspense any longer. 

1.   Conwy sock:  No progress this week

2.  Traveling Roses Scarf: No progress this week.

3.  Arwen Wrap:  I'm making pretty good progress now that I've gotten past the gakked up hairball.  I've started on the third ball of yarn.  The entire pattern will take 8.  I think it calls for 7, but I bought 8, so I'm going to use them all.  It is knit in two pieces and grafted together, so my plan is to knit up 4 balls, then cast on the second half and knit up 4 more. It might be a wee bit long, but that makes for more wrapping room. 

4. Garter Rib Scarf: No progress.

5.  The 2010 Anniversary Mystery Shawl.  No progress this week. 

6.  2011 Anniversary Mystery Shawl.  No progress this week...

7.  A Sock:  I finally ripped this one and tackled the tangled up skein.  I'm going to set this one aside for now.  The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Supersocke, which I've decided I don't really like for socks.  See, I've knit three pairs of socks out of it, and two of them wore out within months of me completing them.  The third pair, I've treated like crystal.  Though they haven't worn out yet, they've felted beyond what I feel is comfortable for sock wear.  I prefer Cherry Tree Hill Socktitome Select for socks.  So, I've rewound this yarn, and will probably use it for a hat or a scarf. I think the color is Indian Summer, but I can't find the ball band, so I'm not for sure.

8.  Fruit Of The Vine scarf: Ditto.

9.  Orkney Pi Shawl:  In Knitpicks Shimmer in Spice.  I actually paid for this pattern, so I'd better get this one done!

10.  Another Charity Scarf:  I haven't worked on it any, but it is starting to whisper my name. I may get it out this week.

These next three are really more ongoing projects, so they don't really count as WIPs, but I'm showing you them anyway.

11.  Leper bandage: Slowly but surely, I'm getting it done. It's almost time for a new picture.

12 & 13.  The two sock yarn blankies. I've knit a few squares on each of these.  I need to spread them out and take a new picture, but that would require vacuuming my floor.  We all know how I feel about that.

One final word, then I'll be done. I know, finally, right? I've got to do something about my desktop computer. It has gotten excruciatingly slow here lately.  I've done all the recommended things-- clearing my cache, defragging, cleaning my registry, etc, etc.  It is still slow as molasses.  I can't afford to buy a new one right now.  Why is this a problem, since I also have a laptop? 

I'll tell you.  I can't blog from my laptop.  I just can't.  I tried this last week or so, and it just isn't working.  Calliope doesn't like my laptop.  She has finally gotten reconciled to my desktop, even though she still prefers pen and paper.  Thus, my conundrum... boring blogging, or desktop distraction? 

Why can't life be easy? 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Well, whaddaya know?  They really do write songs about Tuesday.

Poison Ivy-- I haz it.  I has it in places that I'm not sure how I gots it there.  I itch everywhere.  Gah... and I still have three trees to clear off!

I was at work today, working away, when The Other Rod -- Not To Be Confused With Former Group Leader Rod-- called me over.  He told me he'd cooked some possum, and asked me if I wanted some.  I said, "Seriously?  That's possum?"

He insisted that it was.  I tried a little piece and said, "Possum tastes a lot like beef."

He kept saying it was possum, but later on, I heard him tell a couple of other people that it was wild hog.  Since I've never had either, I couldn't tell you what it was.

He said he's going to bring some more tomorrow.  In the meantime, I'm going to go itch. 

And itch.

And itch...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Question For The Day

How can a knitting needle disappear so completely in such a short amount of time? 

I mean, I had it in my hand, and in an instant it is gone.  Nowhere to be found.  

It's one of the great mysteries of life. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Paying For It

Along about 5 PM yesterday evening, I suddenly remembered why I don't work in the yard much.  Sneezing, watery eyes, itchy ears and throat...Yeah...those.   To make matters worse, I woke up in the middle of the night with my whole head clogged up.  So clogged that I even the nasal spray seemed to have no effect. 

Somewhere in the midst of it all, I picked up some poison ivy.  Rub salt into my wounds, why doncha?

I was really tempted to stay home from church, but it was my day to open the library, so I toughed it out and went.   Once, I got home, though, I didn't do anything else.

I read.  I knit.  I watched TV, and that's it. 

I've still got a few trees to clean up, but I'm going to get some gardening gloves and pollen masks before I do them. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pruning Plums

Over the last few years, I've noticed myself becoming more and more of a hermit. I seldom leave the house unless I have to. I go to work. I come home, and sit in front of the TV. I don't go out. I don't socialize. My own cousin lives right next door, and I rarely even go visit. I'm my daddy made over.

I was sitting in my office, trying to reconcile my bank accounts. The combination of my frustratingly slow budgeting program and my ancient computer was making for an excruciatingly slow experience.

As I leaned back in my chair to stretch my back, I just happened to glance out the window. I said to my self, "Self, it's a beautiful day. You should go do something outside."

So, I shut down the banking, grabbed my old rose trimmers from the days when I had roses, and headed out to the plum trees.

We've got 7 or 8 little plum trees out in the back yard.  They haven't borne fruit in years, but have always been covered in white blooms every spring.  Here lately, they are blooming less and less. 

Part of the problem is that we've let the honeysuckle grow up and nearly choke them out.  Yes, believe it or not, under all that mess is a plum tree. 

After a quick online search revealed that plum trees should be pruned in June, my mission today was to clear all the honeysuckle out.  I made a good start, too.  I got about half of the trees cleared of the pesky vines, but quickly realized that I would need to go buy some gardening gloves before doing the rest of them.

And some bigger clippers, too.  Some of those vines were nearly as thick as the tree branches.

Still, all of the trees showed some signs of life.  Come June, I'll try to get out and cut all the dead wood out and start trying to prune them correctly. 

Will they come back?  I don't know.  Will they ever bear fruit again?  That remains to be seen.

But they did get me out of the house today.

And that's a good thing. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Inspecting Bridges

I grew up just a few miles from this bridge, and I had no idea it went through this rigorous inspection process. Of course, back in the day, the Veteran's Memorial bridge hadn't been built, and the Rainbow Bridge was two way traffic.

You couldn't drive down the center of the bridge like that one car did.

Approaching the bridge, it seemed as if you would be driving straight up...then straight down on the opposite side.

What was really unnerving was when an 18-wheeler passed you going the opposite direction, and the entire bridge seemed to be shaking.

Then there was the fear of going over the side...

Needless to say, this bridge haunted my dreams for many a year.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I Knew

I knew it was going to be that kind of a day when

I was in the bathroom getting ready for work, when I felt a tickling along my lower back. Thinking it was a loose hair, I took several swipes at it, to no avail. The tickling continued. I took a few more swipes, but still the tickling continued. By this time, it had descended to, let's say hiney. It had descended to my hiney. In desperation, I stripped my nightgown off, then my underwear. As my white cotton, Fruit Of the Loom granny panties fell to the floor, out tumbled a ladybug.   There'd been a ladybug crawling around on my *** all morning.  Hiney.  Excuse me.  Sigh...

I knew it was going to be that kind of a day when

I make my own coffee and take it to work, because it's a lot cheaper than buying it from the vending machine--even counting the cost of the disposable coffee cups. It tastes better, too. As I was getting out of my car, and getting my cup out of the cup holder, a little bit of coffee sloshed out and onto the cup lid. I slurped those few drops up, and that's when I realized I'd forgotten to put sugar in it. Sigh...

I knew it was going to be that kind of a day when

I could have sworn that schedule said "21". But it didn't. It said "12". I did "21". They needed "12". Sigh...

I knew it was going to be that kind of a day when

I was walking the dogs. I'd gone to the bathroom before I left the house, but less than halfway into the walk, I felt that old familiar urge. Last fall, they'd cut down almost all of the bushes and brushy stuff, so there were only a few places left to sneak behind. I was headed toward the closest one as fast as I could go, wondering all the while if I was going to make it to that particular bush. As I topped the hill and relief came in sight, I noticed that there was a blue truck parked right beside my pee-ing bush. Sigh...

I give up. I'm going back to bed.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dreams and Dafodills

Well, last night I dreamed I was being admitted to the hospital. I had to have surgery to repair torn ligaments in both knees and my left hip. Must have been that bike trip to North Carolina...

Back in the day, when I was on second shift, I used to have flower beds. I stopped fooling with them after I got moved to day shift. When I got home, I was just too tired and it was too hot, so I let them go.

I never really missed them-- until this year. I've kinda been wanting to fix up some flower beds again. Nothing too fancy. Just a box with some annuals in it. The hard part will be keeping the dogs out of it, and finding a place to put it.

Now, the answer to yesterday's trivia question: what did George Washington and Abraham Lincoln have in common (besides being presidents born in February)? The answer is: Lincoln was the president who ended slavery in this country. Everyone knows that, don't they? But Washington was the first president to call for an end to slavery in this country. That's something they won't teach you in government indoctrination centers...uh, I mean public schools.

Finally, if you haven't been watching Downton Abbey, this is what you've been missing:

Monday, February 20, 2012

Music Monday

This song has been stuck in my head for the last three days, so I'm sharing it with you.  Now, it can be stuck in your head.  You're welcome. 

Today is Washington's Birthday. Well, not really. His birthday is really the 22, but federal employees want a long weekend, so they observe it today. It's commonly known as President's Day, but the official name of the holiday is still Washington's Birthday.

So, the mail didn't run today. I knew there would be no mail delivery. I spent all day telling myself that there would be no mail, and not to walk out to the mailbox. I get home from work, park my car...

and walk out to the mailbox.


A couple of nights ago, I dreamed I had to go to the south end of town for something. I rode my bicycle down there, and was on the way back. It was dark, and I took a wrong turn. I should have turned left, but I turned right. Next thing I knew, the sun was up and I was riding down some back roads, through the woods, and I had no idea where I was. I finally found one of those highway markers, and discovered that I was in North Carolina.

I never did figure out how to get back to Mississippi.

Now, since "President's Day" is when we honor both Washington and Lincoln, here is your Holiday trivia question? What did they both have in common, besides being presidents and born in February?

The answer will be in tomorrow's post.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sunshine and Rain

I trudged out to the mail box on this cold, dreary, gray, rainy Saturday, expecting nothing. But what did I find when I got there? A package!

And what was in that package that I received on this cold, dreary, gray, rainy Saturday? Yarns!

Yes, my friend Ann sent me some more sock yarn leftovers for the blankie. As you can see, I wasted no time on this cold, dreary, gray, rainy Saturday  knitting them into the blankie.

Thanks, Ann! Mwaaaa!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My Life

There comes a point in everyone's life when you seriously have to question if a person's sinuses can really explode or not.  I reached that point late yesterday afternoon. I went to bed early, knowing that everything is better after a good night's sleep.  I just wish I could have gotten one. 

Seems Rylea ate something she shouldn't have and had the scoots.  Every two hours, she was needing to go out.  Unfortunately, one of those times, I didn't quite make it out of bed, and woke up to doggie diarrhea in the living room. 

But that wasn't the worst.  She somehow managed to knock over and poop on my A Christmas Carol, illustrated by Greg Hildebrandt.  I'd bought that book for my dad way back when I was in college.  It was a keepsake.  I was so upset.

And it was then that I discovered that I was out of paper towels.  Cleaning up doggie doo with paper napkins just doesn't cut it.  No problem.  I'd just grab my rug stick. 

It was then that I discovered that I was out of carpet cleaner.  Sigh...such is my life. 

Let's move on to a more pleasant topic, shall we?  My weekly WIP update. 

1.  Bubble Wrap sock:  Completed!

2.  Conwy sock:  No progress this week

3.  Traveling Roses Scarf: No progress this week.

4.  Arwen Wrap:  Yes, I picked this one back up.  I managed to wash most of the gakked up hairball remnants out.  It came out pretty easily, so I'm sure the rest will come out in the final wash.  The pattern got the worst of it, and it wasn't any problem to print out a new one.  I've knit a couple of rows, but not enough that you can tell from a photo.

5. Garter Rib Scarf: I knit a couple of rows, but not so much you can tell any difference.

6.  The 2010 Anniversary Mystery Shawl.  No progress this week. 

7.  2011 Anniversary Mystery Shawl.  No progress this week...

8.  A Sock:  Ditto

9.  Fruit Of The Vine scarf: Ditto.

10.  Orkney Pi Shawl:  In Knitpicks Shimmer in Spice.  I actually paid for this pattern, so I'd better get this one done!

11.  Another Charity Scarf:  This is yarn Kristen sent to me.  The only name on the label is Dardo. 

These next three are really more ongoing projects, so they don't really count as WIPs, but I'm showing you them anyway.

12.  Leper bandage: no progress this week

13 & 14.  The two sock yarn blankies. I knit 4 squares on my sister's version of the blankie.  I'll get a new photo up soon.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

I got a packet of grape jelly for Valentine's Day.

I know you're envious.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Light Blogging

This sinus mess I've been battling it seems like forever flared up again yesterday.  I woke up feeling like my head was going to explode.

It was also 19' outside. 

It was so cold, I wouldn't even let the dogs stay out for very long.  They weren't happy about that, but they got over it.

I didn't get out in it either.  I went to church online, then spend the rest of the day catching up on Downton Abbey episodes. 

So there really isn't that much to blog about, because there really hasn't been that much going on. 

Still, we must persevere, and go on with our Music Monday.  In honor of Valentine's Day, I give you one of only two Ditsy Twits songs I like.  It was written to be about children, but could be a love song as well.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Chilly Saturday

It was sunny, but cold all day today. The North wind was blowing so hard, I could hardly get the door open to let the dogs in and out.

And in and out

And in...

And out...

You will be happy to know that Jesse is off of his restrictions, and can finally run and play like a dog should.

What else did I do today? Well, I drank hot chocolate and knit, while watching videos via Netflix. And what did I knit? These:

Yes, I have finally finished the Bubble Wrap socks, nearly two years after I cast them on.  Now, I wasn't knitting on them for the entire two years.  For about 23 months of those two years, they languished in Second Sock Syndrome.  But no more.  They are done.  And they are huge.  I don't know why they turned out so big.  I was nervous for a minute that I would run out of yarn, but I didn't.  I finished with just about 10 yards left.  Not even enough for a blankie square.

Now, this, my friends, is nectar of the gods. 

It is chocolate pudding dump cake, and is really easy to make.  Just take a cake mix-  chocolate, of course-- a box of pudding mix -- chocolate, of course-- and 1 1/2 cups of milk.  White, not chocolate.  Mix the milk and the pudding together, then mix in the cake mix.  Spread it out in a greased and floured cake pan, sprinkle chocolate chips on the top and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

That's it.  Really.  The batter is going to be thick, and it tends to be a bit gooey in the middle, but it tastes delicious.

So good, in fact, that I think I'll go have another piece.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Dear CoWorker

Was "I don't want a man in my life right now" a little too subtle for you?  Should I skip straight to the "*$^#&* off, you jerk"? 

I'll be only too happy to do so.

Oh, and here's another little hint for you:  you cannot make a woman fall in love with you by annoying the snot out of her all day, every day.  So stop already.

Thank you,

That is all.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

WIPs On Wednesday

Wow, I didn't realize it had been so long since I posted a WIP update.  I'd meant to post one last week, but there was that pesky tornado thing going on.  Then I forgot that I hadn't posted one the week before, either.  In the intervening three weeks, I have gotten quite a bit done--relatively speaking.

But I'm still working on coughing up my lungs.  Haven't finished that one yet. 

1.  Bubble Wrap sock:  After languishing at least two years in the throes of second sock syndrome, I finally cast on sock.  It's a pretty quick knit, and I'm already past the gusset decreases and beginning the foot.  I'm still not thrilled about this yarn though--Knit Picks Imagination in Pixie Dust.  I just hope the socks last longer than it took to knit them. 

2.  Conwy sock:  Still languishing in the gloom of ...well, you can't call it SECOND sock syndrome because I haven't finished the first one.  Is there such a thing as first sock syndrome?

3.  Traveling Roses Scarf: No progress this week.

4.  Arwen Wrap:  Still languishing in the gloom of Gakked Up Hairball Syndrome.

5.  Sport Weight Socks:  Completed!!

By the way, they did loosen up considerably when I washed them.  They're still wearable, but I'm wondering if next time, I should go down to 40 or even 36 stitches. 

6.  Garter Rib Scarf: No progress this week.   The yarn is Knit Picks Imagination in Gingerbread House.  I know, I know.  I wasn't thrilled with this yarn for socks, but it should be fine for a scarf.

7.  The 2010 Anniversary Mystery Shawl.  Which I still haven't finished. 

8.  Followed closely by the 2011 Anniversary Mystery Shawl.  I detect a pattern here...

9.  A Sock:  What you don't see here is that Jesse got ahold of  the yarn cake and it is now a tangled mess.  At this point, it's  probably going to be easier to just rip and start over. 

10.  Fruit Of The Vine scarf:  I think the yarn is Knitpicks Gloss Lace, but I'm not really sure.  It was some I had left over from doing a larger project.  Still, I think there is enough to make a good size scarf here.

11.  Orkney Pi Shawl:  In Knitpicks Shimmer in Spice.  I actually paid for this pattern, so I'd better get this one done!

12.  Another Charity Scarf:  This is yarn Kristen sent to me.  The only name on the label is Dardo. 

These next three are really more ongoing projects, so they don't really count as WIPs, but I'm showing you them anyway.

13.  Leper bandage: some progress, but not so much that you can tell from a photo.

14 & 15.  The two sock yarn blankies. No progress

So that's it for this week. Slowly but surely, little by little, I'm making progress.

Believe it or not, I went all the way to Memphis yesterday and did NOT stop at the yarn store.  I've made a commitment to knit from stash-- mostly because I can't afford more yarn-- and I'm determined to stick to it whenever possible.

Yeah, we'll see how long that lasts.


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