Sunday, September 30, 2007

Thanks, Zuzu

Zuzu allowed me to sleep in until 6:30 this morning. Actually, she would have let me sleep longer but I woke up and was worried since she wasn't pestering me to get up. Anyway, she has now eaten her breakfast, so kitty's life is good.

Worked on Stripey Sock 2 yesterday, and have gotten within two colored stripes of the heel. It's actually the only sock I have going right now, although I still have to make a second Royal Llama. Speaking of which, the place where I bought that yarn is going out of business. It's nice enough yarn that I might have to get more, and make my mom a sweater to match. Or hat. Perhaps a hat and mittens would be better. Danielle was over on Friday to help me tidy the craft room, and I measured her foot for socks, and she picked out a yarn. So I have another sock project. Although, really, as Mike asked for a hat, I should pick up the specified yarn for this hat (You mean I need more yarn??? Good!) and work on that before starting more socks, or at least starting another pair. Oh, and it's baby season again. I should work on some baby hats, as my friend Nancy is pregnant, as is my neighbor. Maybe it's time for a stash inventory.

Test drove a Corolla on Thursday. I liked it, but I think Mike is too tall. We'll have to go out there today so he can sit in it. What bothers me about Toyota is that the safety features (that are standard just about everywhere, I thought) are options. What do you mean that anti-lock brakes aren't standard? I thought they were required by law..... If there's a traction/anti-skid package offered, I want it, since I'll be on the road a lot this winter - in Cleveland. Lake effect snow, right? A former coworker recommended Subaru for their all wheel drive. Perhaps we'll check out a Honda dealer today as well, and maybe even a Nissan dealer (why not - they're not far from the Honda dealer). I can stop by Subaru on Monday after work, as there's a dealer not far from where I start my day.

Oh--wanted to share some silly kitty behavior. Friday morning, just after I'd posted, she became interested in something outside. I don't know what, but she was agitated, and running from one window to sliding glass door to another window and back again, all with a big puffy tail. I looked outside, but it was just dark enough that I couldn't see anything that would interest her. But she was definitely interested in something! I wondered if there was a kittyfriend out there somewhere. Or maybe she wanted to go deer hunting again. Don't know.

We are becoming consumers, at least of big-ticket items. Went mattress shopping yesterday evening, too. (Went to dinner at the Lizard after Mike and Chris brewed 12.5 gallons of Helles, and there is a mattress store next door.) I still like Tempur-pedic, particularly the Rhapsody bed. The Grand Bed is even better, but I don't know anyone who can justify spending over $6000 on a bed. I would love to, but we just don't have six figures worth of disposable income. But hey, there is interest-free financing on the Rhapsody (and probably the Grand, but still, that price is outrageous), so it could work.

Oh well, I should get moving. I have a stack of stuff to sell on eBay, and I'd like to get it posted today as there are no listing fees in September. Let's hope that someone wants my old cheezy romance novels!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bite me

My wonderful friend Cathy is a Nerd. A Lowe's (Greenhouse) Nerd. She even has the T-shirt. On Tuesdays during the month of September, Nerds can buy blue-potted perennials for $2.50. Cathy went to Lowe's this afternoon, and bought out their stock of black-eyed-susan plants for me.I had a light afternoon of work, so I stopped by her house to pick them up. We had a lovely hour or two hanging out on her patio, watching the clouds and enjoying the beautiful day. I skipped the Cuyahoga Falls knitting group meeting tonight to plant my new perennials.

Went outside in a t-shirt and track pants, and got out the shovel and gloves. Dug up some bee balm, primroses, and kerria for a neighbor who has just been putting in beds, and then planted my 14 new flowers. Anyway, I play in the dirt, water my plants, and head inside to take a shower. Which is where I discover two %$&@($&$*(@ mosquito bites. One on my boob, the other on my bum. I was molested by mosquitoes. Through my clothes. (Obviously, as I rarely run around outdoors without clothes, and never in the front yard.) I don't understand it, but somehow mosquitoes always bite me on those pasty-white areas that are most always covered by clothing. Any ideas as to how or why?

My replacement Brittany needles came today. They sent me three even though only two had broken. Thank you Brittany Needles! Somehow they seem stronger than the first batch, although I haven't used them yet. Just happy to have them - I can start another pair of socks on size two needles! The beautiful hand-dyed yarn that I picked up at Miss Chickpea's looks like it would work on 2's, so maybe I'll start those.... But I should finish some current projects. Worked a bit more on the stripey sock today during the drive and while babysitting a computer. I need to finish the tote bag, as it's taking up a lot of room in the project bag. Also I may have a buyer. We'll see.

In the True Confessions department: I have been eating fast food. My lunch break is usually spent in transit, or trying to get things done, and I remembered that Burger King has a veggie burger on the menu. I have had two so far. No fries or other stuff, just veggie burgers. Does this make me a bad person? I kinda feel like it does. But I haven't found a $3 lunch anywhere else, unless I bring my own food. Plus there's a Burger King right across the street from where I work in the morning, so it's convenient for me to walk. I still feel guilty.

Bought some Jimmy Stewart stamps today. Walked to the post office, too, as it is very near where I spend my mornings. Oh well. I'm getting sleepy. Time to feed the kitty her second dinner, curl up with a book, and snuggle said kitty when she is done eating, so she can help me sleep. Night-night!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Monday Monday

Haven't posted in a few days - been busy. Or just busy but not in an exciting and new way. Working a lot. Met with the knitting group tonight, and finished the Royal Llama sock. Posted a picture here since the group organizer demanded that I post one to the meetup site. Zuzu was being hammy, so I posted one of her as well. She loves her barstool!

What else? Stopped in at a book signing (purchased a signed book), and started the second stripey sock (again). Still working on the toe, and will hopefully finish it in the morning, as I doubt I can stay awake long enough tonight to do it. Mike is feeling miserable, and blaming me, since I'm the one that actually leaves the house, so if he catches a cold, I was the one who brought the germs in. Actually he's blaming me for taking him to Martin Sexton, as he probably caught the cold from someone in that room. Maybe it was from someone in the WineCave - did you ever think of that? Oh well. There is tea and juice in the house; he should survive.

Zuzu is giving me sleepy eyes, so I should probably go to bed. See, nothing exciting going on here.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Day of the kitty

I spend my mornings Up North. And in Cleveland, you can only go so far north, because you run into the lake. As much as I try to forget it (don't know why I have a mental block - I *know* the lake is there, but I always forget that it is, particularly when driving downtown), the Lake is North. Since I was already there, I ate my lunch at a picnic table overlooking the lake. Very pleasant, even though my phone would not stop ringing. As it was a beautiful day, the park had lots of visitors. One woman had three kittens climbing all over her table, and playing in the grass in front of her. Of course I had to say hi to the kitties. Apparently they were strays, and had smelled her tuna fish for lunch, and come calling. She finally gave them her leftovers, as they would not leave her alone. I guess the mama cat had her kittens and then disappeared. So I met three kitties at lunch. I'll tell the people at City Hall; perhaps they know a rescue, as the odds are not good that the kittens will survive a snowy lakeside winter.

Yesterday afternoon, I was playing chauffeur, and waiting for my friend's kid while he ran around looking for everything that he needed. I'm waiting by my car, and I hear some meows. A kitty is hiding under their shrubs. I look at her, offer my hand, and she comes out to be petted. She has a collar and tag, so she clearly belonged to a neighbor. Oh, and I saw another cat when I was leaving.

Then I get home, of course, to my Zuzu. She's usually the only kitty I interact with, although I did catsit Bri-Bri's kitty on Saturday, and will stop in again this weekend. Oh, Zuzu was just tempted by the kitty trap but did not fall victim.

I restarted the stripey sock, but did not get very far. Working on the Royal Llama sock, and turned the heel last night when I picked up Mike. You *must* touch the sock! Met with the Cuyahoga Falls Knitting group last night; seemed like a nice group of girls.

Biggest news in my life right now: I'm in the market for a new car. Our friends at the Lusty Wrench tell me that my car needs about $500 worth of work, and that this winter would be its last. We're debating a new Civic or Corolla. I've never had a Toyota, so it will involve more test driving and whatnot. I wouldn't mind a Prius, but they don't come in manual transmission, so I don't think so. Four door, stick shift, good fuel economy, sunroof are my primary requirements. I've really gotten spoiled with a sunroof.

Zuzu is now on top of the kitty trap. Maybe I'll take some pictures, of Zuzu and my socks.

Reading chick-lit waiting for the Tori appearance. It's funny how fast the pages turn compared to other books. Read over 60 pages last night in a short time frame. Participating in the Barnes and Noble First Look Book Club, so I received a free copy of the Monsters of Templeton. It's near the top of my list, although the new Pratchett is on its way, and I requested some books from the library, and they may come first.

Going to see Martin Sexton tonight. Should be a good time.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Two important things I learned in college

1. Speed is more important than legibility, as evidenced in my signature, and cryptic handwritten notes.

2. Everything I needed to know, I could have learned in the computer lab. I've been realizing lately that working in the Hoover Computer Lab was on-the-job training for what I'm doing now. Kinda depressing, but I don't really use my degree. Oh well. I still had fun getting it. No regrets.


Knitting update: Finished Malabrigo sock 2. LOVE the yarn. Will probably have to go get some manly-man colors so I can make socks for Mike. He's all about warm thick socks in the winter. Sock 2 is noticeably brighter than Sock 1, even though they were the same dye lot. Not a big deal, as I'm sure 2 will fade with washings, and even if it doesn't, they're for my feet only. Will post picture at some point.

Ripped out Stripey Sock 2, as I discovered that the "few flaws" weren't on the same side of the sock. Can't put the flaw on the bottom when both sides have small holes. Haven't restarted it yet, but will.

Started the Royal Llama sock for my mom. It's a wonderful yarn, very pleasant to work with - you can definitely feel the silk. I'm modifying this pattern, as I'm using a bigger yarn. I'm doing two pattern repeats rather than three on the top of the foot, and will add two stitches when I get to the top so I can do four repeats. Hopefully it will turn out well. I'm only three rows into the pattern so far. Did the toe last night while out with Mike (since he kept me away from my knitting group) and started the pattern this morning while on hold with Gateway. Actually, I wasn't on hold, just babysitting a computer to see when the error messages would pop up. I tried to amuse the woman on the other end of the line, but I'm just not that entertaining; I just like to think I am.

Oh well, maybe I'll work on the Llama sock while I babysit two computers. Oooh, one wants to restart! I need to do something! Excitement!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

What a way to start the day

Zuzu woke me at 4:30 today, and allowed me to curl up on the couch until 6:00. (I think I earned extra time because it's so COLD COLD COLD COLD down here. - side note, after she ate her breakfast, she climbed into the papasan chair kitty trap, as she wanted to be covered by a blanket, too.) Anyway, I gave her breakfast, and turned on the radio. Not streaming, but WKSU - the NPR station. What came out of the speakers was not what I expect from NPR. Loud guitars, and Bruce Dickinson screaming, "666, the number of the beast." I move towards the receiver, to make sure that I've got the correct station. Yep. Somehow, I'd turned on NPR during the 30 seconds they were playing Iron Maiden.

After they turned the music down, the discussion involved the scrap of papyrus some archaeologists discovered indicating that the original mark of the beast was 616 not 666. Fun stuff. Turns out that the program was RadioLab, and I really enjoyed the second story, "Goat on a Cow." Probably would have enjoyed the third story, but was trying to track down the show info, as WKSU kept calling it Other Voices. Oh well. Will download the mp3 and listen later, when I'm fully awake and expecting Iron Maiden.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Arrrrgh - I’m such a nerd

Tonight we went to the Lizard for dinner. I was very anxious to get home, as the Yarn Pirate was having (very limited) sign-ups for her Booty Club. Success! The openings lasted at least 75 minutes, because they started at 7:00 eastern and we got home around 8:15. I will now have sock yarn shipped to my house every month.....and that makes me happy.

As I was trying to explain to Mike why I wanted to rush home, he offered to mail me some fun sock yarn every month. Then he admitted that he doesn't even know what fun sock yarn is. I told him that he could go to any yarn store and they would happily show him, but I doubt that he'll do it. I can always hope for a surprise, though, right? Then again, I will now be receiving a package of [Yarn] Booty every month, so he doesn't need to buy me yarn. Would it be appreciated? Of course. Necessary? Not at all.


This morning was absolutely gorgeous. I left around 7:00 to drive to work, and the sky was incredible. Distinct break between clear and cloudy sky, with shades of blue, grey, and orange. It was dry near our house, but drizzled a bit once I hit the road. And before I reached the highway, I saw the most vivid rainbow I've ever seen. The colors were as bright as neon lights. It truly looked like the rainbow's end was in Macedonia, until I got closer, when it was further north. I know that all rainbows are paired, but usually the second one is very faint. The paler of the two this morning was as deep as most of the rainbows I've seen. Anyway, I really wish that I had my camera and had had time to stop.

Looking forward to listening to Chasing Infinity (also found in my friends list) tomorrow morning. I've missed catching Ed's show live for several weeks now, as my Sunday mornings have involved things other than listening to the radio. (Out of town travels, mulching, etc.) Thank goodness for the archives; I've been catching up on shows at work this week. Don't know why/how, but I really appreciate Ed's taste in music. Tomorrow I should wake up early and clean, and WRUW will be streaming while I work downstairs. Mike's brother is coming over to watch the Steelers game tomorrow, and I should clean up somewhat before he gets here. And the rest of you should stream WRUW, too. Good stuff!

Knitting update: Have not worked on Malabrigo sock 2 for a few days (but I will!) while I've been working on stripey sock 2. Did the toe outside of the museum last night before the lecture. Worked on the foot during the lecture. Since it was dark, there are a few flaws, but I think they'll be fine with a bit of weaving (or, alternatively, the flaws can be on the bottom of the foot). Worked on it a bit more at dinner.

Speaking of the lecture, it was a good time. Saw some of my Kirtlandia friends, another woman from my knitting group, and met another knitter who just happened to be sitting in front of us. Very funny - we all have the attitude, "There's another one of us!" The lecture itself was very interesting, about native plants vs. imported ornamentals, and the species they support. His theory is that biodiversity among animals is increased when there are native plants to support them. Definitely inspired me to plant more native plants. Oaks are good, as are maples, if you're looking for trees. Black-eyed susans were one of the top-10 flowers he listed, which is good as I'm planning on planting more of them. Will have to get his book once it's released. Will post it below, as another endorsement for today. Will also investigate the Native Plant Society of NEO for additional suggestions. Hope to accomplish a bit of guerrilla gardening someday to add some green to the pseudo-lawn area between our house and the next neighbor on the east side of our house. Maybe blueberries.

I guess I'm quite the consumer reporter today - I've mentioned yarn, music, a book, and plants. But does anyone care for *my* taste? Who knows. As long as I don't *discourage* sales/listeners/gardeners, I'll be happy. Oh well. It's about time to feed Zuzu her second dinner and go to bed. Today's kitty alarm clock went off at 4:00, so I'm tired.

Friday, September 14, 2007


Backstory: I've been driving Mike's car, as the check engine light in mine came on the other day. The radio reception in mine is *much* better than in his, for whatever reason, so my music selection has been spotty, at best.

Anyway, this morning, while driving to work, I had one of those patchy radio moments, but a halfway decent song was nearing its end, so I listened. Well, as that song ended, the song that I'd been singing in my head for the past two days came on. The song from the mid-90s that is not really in everyone's playlist. I won't share it here, as it's a Guilty Pleasure (note capitals). Right as the song was fading out, the station that the radio was tuned to came in. Weird, eh? I was amused enough to post again today.

Wildlife moment of the day: Saw Grizzly Adams walking down the street.

Waiting for a computer to finish doing what it needs to do, so I'm babysitting here. Was amused because for a while I had four laptops lined up in a row, mine and three others. Okay, you've probably figured it out by now - I'm easily amused.

Anyway, there's still a chance I can catch the art museum before it closes. We'll see about that.

Long day ahead - and help!

Long day ahead - and help!

Zuzu woke me at 4:15 today. It's better than 3:30, but still early.

Have to leave for work early to pick up a computer which now hopefully has a working hard drive, then install all the software that it needs to be useful. From there to a place where I get to uninstall everything and clean up several machines for resale. After that, hopefully I can swing by the art museum to see their photography exhibit (I always catch their shows on their last weekends, it seems!) and then meet a knitting buddy for the natural history museum lecture. We plan on knitting to fight extinction! Well, okay, the title of the lecture is "Fighting Extinction with Native Plants: A New Role for the American Garden." (I highly recommend the whole series.) I'm hoping to get some ideas of what to plant in my now-thinned-out flowerbeds.

In order to have mindless knitting for the lecture (and yes, I knit during the lecture - I am capable of multitasking!) I need to finish the toe of the second stripey sock this morning. I'm three pattern repeats into the second Malabrigo sock, so two more to go before turning the heel.

Oh - request for assistance. Can anyone recommend a *good* energy bar-type-thing? I picked up a variety at Trader Joe's last night. I need to keep a stack in my bag, as my new career seems to have many days of missed/not good lunches, and as many of you know, if I don't eat, I get cranky / dizzy / disoriented / etc. and then might melt down. Anyway, I'm looking for something that's not necessarily a meal replacement, but something to help keep my blood sugar from dipping to an unhealthy level. Most of the energy bars I've tried are very hard to stomach. (Was it a Power Bar that I took a bite, spit it out and threw the whole thing away?) I can take Larabars every now and then, but was on a Larabar kick for a while and ate too many, so they don't excite me anymore. Can anyone suggest something that they like? Thanks...

Monday, September 10, 2007

Quick update

Posted a picture of the Cookie Monster scarf, and the two unblocked socks. Stripey and Malabrigo. (Will someday add pictures to Flickr.) Started the second Malabrigo sock tonight at knitting group. Showed off my traveling stash as we were leaving. The Royal Llama went over well. They'll be coming over here in October for a field trip. We're going to Miss Chickpea's and then back here for pizza and beer. Fun!

Zuzu is being a talky toaster tonight. I love my kitty! She's been chasing red laser lights for a good bit of the evening. Mike's been playing with the laser level, making her pounce over pillows and stuff, and she attacked the beams that my camera uses to check lighting when I was taking the pictures I posted tonight.

Got a new catalog in the mail today - patternworks. It could be dangerous. Lots of yarn and stuff.

Oh well. I should deal with the laundry and go to bed.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Home again

Got home from Pittsburgh not long ago. All I'll say about the wedding is that I'm glad we did things our way. Was surprised to see Mike's oldest brother and his wife there - apparently they are friends of the groom's parents.

Finished the first Malabrigo sock today, with the exception of closing the toe and weaving in the ends. *Love* that yarn. Must buy more, and make more socks (and other things) with it. Soft, warm, wonderful.

Made a scarf over the past two days (started at the Kirtlandia Society meeting, where we learned about meterorites in Antarctica) that I'm calling Cookie, as it's the color and furry appearance of Cookie Monster. Very cute. Will post a picture, as it amuses me to do so. The yarn kept tangling, so I finished the scarf so I could avoid untangling it again. Only one ball of yarn, so I can make a few more.

My sister is claiming the stripey socks as a Christmas gift. Still need to make the second sock. My mom offered to be a swift for my Royal Llama yarn (60% llama, 40% silk) which will most likely be socks for her. Wound two balls of it today. It's easier to wind when the yarn is being held by another person rather than my knees. Asked for a winder and swift for Christmas.

Knitting club tomorrow night; will probably start the second Malabrigo sock just because. May do a gauge swatch of the Royal Llama, because it seems like it would be nice to work with. May try to convert this pattern for that yarn because Mommie and I both really like the pattern, particularly in the solid yarn. Or, may just buy some finer sock yarn. Hmmmm.... Maybe the stuff that I bought at Miss Chickpea's would work for that. (Only problem with having them wind the yarn is that I don't know where the label ended up...)

What else? Zuzu was happy to see me. She licked my arm. Learned this morning that I can sleep in until 7:30 now if left to my own devices and am not disturbed by the kitty alarm. She woke Mike this morning. I'm glad to be home with my hungry kitty.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Really, I’m not a shopper


Item 1.) We've lived in our house for just over three years now.

Item 2.) My cousin is getting married tomorrow (and forming a new family that very much resembles the Brady Bunch with two fewer kids, complete with Mike Brady architecture of bathroom between kids' bedroom, kids sharing bedrooms, and an attic [or is it basement?] room for the oldest kid to move into when he develops a need for privacy).

Item 3.) I needed to buy a dress for the wedding.

Items 2 &3 made me realize that I don't know where the nearest mall is. Strip mall, yes, indoor mall, no. I felt like such a fool, but I asked about it while exercising one day. Apparently I used to work across the street from the nearest good mall, so I'd actually been there once or twice with coworkers. And I'd heard of the others, so maybe I'm not as hopeless as I'd thought. I guess I'd figured that there was a secret mall down one of the roads that I never drive. Oh well. I bought one dress, but I still haven't decided if I'm going to keep it. Better try to find one of the non-secret malls this afternoon and look around, see if there's anything better.

Side note, every time I've wandered in to a department store (strip mall) looking for clothes, I've had a moment where I see a shirt (or other article of clothing) that looks vaguely appealing (good color, fabric, whatever) so I pull it from the rack, glance at it, and recoil, often making a repulsed sound. ("Gah!" is a favorite.) No clue if everybody else has no taste, or if I never had any to begin with and the shirts with ruffles and sequins and who knows what else are really lovely. Somebody, please, hand me a clue.


Skipped the book signing last night, as Mike needed a nurse. He had a migraine all day, so I brought him food and vitamin water. We were both dehydrated, me because I still haven't figured out how to get enough water during the day (I miss my Spaten 1L beer mug/water glass! Probably the only thing I miss about my old job, accessibility to a water cooler...) and he can explain himself elsewhere if he likes.

Worked on the malabrigo sock yesterday at home, and finished the pattern rounds. Time to turn the heel. Don't know that I like the pattern, but I *love* the yarn, so I'll definitely be working with it in the future. Perhaps more socks, but the idea of a sweater is very tempting. The pattern reminds me of slouchy socks, and while I appreciated them in the 80s, I've outgrown them (but not legwarmers). Could just be that they haven't been blocked or anything (not that I've blocked socks, at least not yet, although I have learned of sock blockers and am intrigued) and they're bulky yarn, but they look slouchy. Will post more pictures when there's more to show.

Finished Stripey Sock 1. Need to start the second, but was having difficulties for no really good reason.

Anyway, should get started on the day. Lots to do before I sleep!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Okay, I admit it... inner eight-year-old still loves rainbows and unicorns. It manifests in rainbow-colored yarn. I'll upload a picture of the malabrigo sock, and you'll see what I mean. Did two of five pattern repeats Tuesday night, and have only worked on the stripey sock since then. May have to do another repeat or so before leaving for work, which means that I have better things to do than post here.

Oh, I'm nearly done with the stripey sock. That is, I'm nearly out of yarn. Yet another benefit of toe-up socks - you know how tall to make them!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I couldn’t resist...

I caved and started a Malabrigo sock this morning. Yes, I'm still working on the stripey socks, but the kettle-dyed merino wool was calling out to me. Cast on and did the first round before leaving, and then did a few rounds while sitting in stop-and-go traffic. Love the yarn, but the pattern reminded me of one reason I don't like top-down socks - during the first round, the sticks go everywhere! It's not so bad when you get started. (Other reason is picking up stitches. I still have not perfected that.)

Did a few rounds of the stripey sock while waiting for a client to finish up a meeting. Could have done more on the way home but tried to be a good, responsible, non-knitting driver.

I think my lack of sleep is finally catching up with me. I am *very* tired, but there's a lot to do. Laundry is first on the list, and if I feel energetic enough I'll figure out what plants I need for my flowerbeds. Otherwise, I'll just sit on the couch and knit while my washer churns.

Oh, I think I'm being told to be kitty furniture. Must sort laundry, then obey kitty. Meow!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Nap central

I have had more naps today than most adults have in a week, and it's only 9:30.

Zuzu woke me at 4:00 because she wanted food. I went downstairs so she wouldn't wake Mike. No, kitty, you can't have breakfast until at least 5:00. She did whatever she could to keep me awake, but somehow I managed to get Nap 1 in.

Woke up at 5:30, fed Zuzu. Took Nap 2.

Noticed that the sun was rising, knew that I needed to get the jungle mulched before the bees were awake, so I worked outside for a while. Came back in around 7:00, and took Nap 3.

Mike woke up and came downstairs around 7:30, then generously agreed that he'd leave me alone to sleep some more, hence Nap 4.

I'm finally up for a while now, I think, but it wouldn't surprise me if there was a Nap 5 in my future.


It's funny the things that a kitty will do to wake a person. This morning she was big on the purring and kneading, and breathing on me (I assume she was staring, too, but I did not open my eyes). She did the tail-face-tickle a few times, too.

Stripey sock 1 is now an ankle sock. Will probably finish out the ball of yarn, unless it gets too tall.

Oh well. I should go make breakfast. And stretch. I hurt. I'm not used to physical labor anymore.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Endorsement of the day

Spent the morning mulching, and put a significant dent in the huge pile of mulch in the driveway. Am now taking a break while the earth moves far enough that the beds I that still need done are shaded. Just had to share that I'm using the best mulch ever - Sweet Peet. It's pricey, but definitely worth it. Very fine texture. MUUUCCH better than what I got last time. Last time, the mulch stunk, and seemed buggy. Sweet Peet is very fine, very dark, and only occasionally do I get a whiff of composted manure. Plus, it's 100% organic. (And if you look at this link, you'll see that some of that manure probably comes from the Cleveland Zoo! I wonder what exotic poop has ended up in my garden...)

It's funny, I felt dirtier yesterday after pulling weeds. Maybe sweatier today, but not quite as dirty. (Is this better exercise?) I'm still looking forward to taking a shower, though. Oh well. I should go back outside. Mike's brewing today, so I've been mulching alone. I failed in my campaign to find a mulch helper. At least the Sweet Peet is a pleasure to work with. It's good, honest dirt - no dyes or anything. It comes right off when I wash my hands.

Oh, and my minor thrill of the day so far came from seeing a honeybee. We mostly have bumblebees and yellowjackets (who are having a hard time staying away from me today), with a few other stinging insects thrown in for variety. I saw a honeybee on some sedum today, and it made me happy. At least one hive in the area was not totally devastated by Colony Collapse Disorder.

Have stayed away from my knitting so far today. I would stick a gold star to my forehead but it would drip down my face while I mulch.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

I’m a bad and dirty girl.

Well, not so dirty anymore. But I was quite dirty after working outside most of the day. Lots and lots of weeds were removed from my flowerbeds.

I was very susceptible to peer pressure today, though, and Mike's bad influence. As I was about ready to walk out the door this morning, he demanded breakfast, which delayed my departure an hour. I missed my favorite grocery store timeframe, so I skipped it until tonight. Worked outside for a bit, and then we took a long lunch break with Veronica Mars. Every time he took a break, I ended up taking a break, too. I should have worked outside more, but instead worked on the stripey sock. Even though I wasn't going to work on it until after dark, I managed to turn the heel before sunset. The stripey yarn looks lots better at the heel than the toe, although I shouldn't really complain about either, as the top of the sock is really what people see.

Anyway, showered before heading up to Trader Joe's to pick up the groceries that I did not get this morning. 30 minutes before close is usually a decent time to shop there, although it was still busier than I'd like. I wish they were open 24 hours, so I could shop before 7:00am when they'd be nearly empty. Oh well. I hate crowds. And Buicks, lately.

Zuzu just fell victim to a kitty trap. We have a papasan chair (thanks Danielle!), and it is covered with a blanket. A corner of the blanket is stretched over my knitting basket (thanks Mom!) so that she has a path under the blanket onto the chair. She just had the second half of her dinner, and crawled up onto the chair. Oh, I wish I had the life of a housecat. I'd spend my days sleeping in the sun (already one of my favorite things to do on lazy summer afternoons), playing with yarn when I feel like it, and eating the food that materializes in my dish when I stare at it long enough. Actually, I've had days that are similar to a kitty's, although I usually have to actively do something so I can eat.

Oh well, I should go back to salivating over my new sock book. So many beautiful patterns! Maybe I'll use one of the patterns for the top of the stripey sock. Or maybe not - we'll see.

Sock obsessions

Kitty's tummy is full. Good Kitty. Sweet little girl let me sleep until 5:30. Yay.

Worked yesterday morning (and for once, it really was just morning), then paid for the mulch and talked about raised beds with a former farmer. (He used to grow tomatoes in a former vineyard - between posts and with string/stuff for them to climb. Very interesting.) The crazy garden guy did not sing to me today, but he gave me a basket of mums.

Stopped in at Miss Chickpea's to replace my size 2 sock needles, as I was very upset to have a project on the needles that I simply could not work on. Yeah, I probably could have gone to a size 3, but still... A woman there said that she'd had a size 2 needle break, and she just taped it together. I told her about Brittany's generous replacement policy, so she can probably get another needle. While I'm looking forward to getting my replacement Brittany needles, I'm really enjoying the Crystal Palace Bamboo needles I picked up. Very smooth, very pleasant to work with. Also picked up the Malagbrigo sock pattern I'd wanted, and may have to go back for more Malabrigo because it's such beautiful, soft, wonderful, lovely, yarn. Loved the blues, greens, purples, yellows, pinks, . It's very tempting to buy yarn for a sweater, as their Malabrigo price is quite good. I really thought about it yesterday, but couldn't decide on a color. Perhaps I should make a stripey sweater, and get many colors!

Mike and I went to North End last night, where I met another knitter. She was also working on a sock, but from the top down, and on three DPNs not four. We compared techniques and yarn and just generally annoyed our husbands and amused the bartenders. I'm most of the way through the foot on my stripey sock - size 2 needles go much slower than size 5. About an inch to go before turning the heel.

I should switch back to top-down socks, as that's what all the really fun patterns are (and I'm not good enough yet to 1. convert patterns to toe-up or 2. design my own patterns) but Mike wants a pair of toe-up socks, as they will be sure to fit. Maybe that's my excuse for more Malabrigo! Make him some thick wooly wonderful socks.

Oh, and don't yell at me. It's still too dark outside to mulch. Yesterday when I was on my weed-killing-spree, I watched a juvenile red-tailed hawk buzz our house. It landed on the next-door neighbors' roof, where it sat for a moment, stretched, excreted a giant stream of poop, and took off. (Better their roof than ours!) I was reminded of a woman I'd met in northern British Columbia who had been a wilderness guide, and used to take her groups to camp near where bald eagles nested. She'd wake them early in the morning, get their cameras trained on the nest, because --what do bald eagles do first think in the morning? That's right - they stretch, and then they poop. I guess there are countless people out there with video of bald eagles showing off their impressive wingspan, and then pooping. Oh well. She knew all of the can't-miss places to go up there, like Liard Hot Springs (so what if someone had been mauled by a bear the month before - the Beta Pool was better). Also saw a small toad near our front stoop, and while it's nice to see wildlife in my shrubbery, it was not nearly as unusual has the hawk skimming the roof.

Oh well, the sun's coming up, so I should get my day started! Lots to do, and unfortunately no knitting until after dark. Must grocery shop, buy dress for cousin's wedding next weekend (50% off if I go today), and above all, MULCH!

Oh--must not forget the reason I was posting today. I wanted to share the Space Invaders Sock patterns! Don't know why they excite me, but they do. As do these stockings. Very pretty, although I think they require more skills than I have currently. But I could buy the yarn! (No! No more sock yarn buying until I finish at least three more pairs of socks! Current stripey socks, Malabrigo, and another pair yet to be named. Then I can maybe think about crossing the threshhold of a knitting shop again.)