Wednesday, March 08, 2017

A Baby, a Migraine, and Sleeves...

Well. It was happening eventually, but it happened last night... The baby "Pumpkin" was born last night. Our associate went into labor early, and after what I think was an insanely long labor, he was delivered via emergency C-section. Apparently, he was "sunny-side up" and never turned around. 

Little stinker. No pics. Well, I have a pic. But I have a "thing." I don't like to post baby pics on the internet. And, of course, it's not mine to post. If Mamma and Dad want to post, then go for it. But I'm not. 

Suffice to say, he's a nice size, and has a full head of hair. His first picture has him looking slightly befuddled, as if to say, "How the heck did I get HERE??" And being a C-section baby, he's a beautiful boy. 

Because, of course, he wasn't a pot roast trying to push through a Cheerio... 

Anyway, we're happy he's here, Mamma's sore and sleepy, and Boss Lady is slightly loony. But we'll figure it all out. 

Migraine...

It was inevitable. It had been months, and then I ran out of my magnesium supplement. I woke up at 3 a.m. this morning with a migraine. I worked through the day, with a dose of Excedrin Migraine, which kept most of it at bay. But I decided to skip the charity dinner Hubby and I were to attend. See, tomorrow is our office manager's last day before her vacation and we have a LOT to get done, particularly with rearranging schedules because we're one attorney short (in a 2-attorney firm). 

I figured that if I went and it was loud (which it usually is), or someone was unfamiliar with the fact that you don't YELL into a microphone (which they do), I'd likely not be able to cut the headache off at the pass, and I may end up missing work - which I can't afford. 

So at work, I also used my Deep Relief roll-on. It's a great Young Living product that contains a nice blend of essential oils. I put it on the back of my neck several times, and it helped me function. 

And of course I left it at work... Tonight, though, I'm going the Rx route - I need to deal with these while I can and get them taken care of before they get out of control. So I'm home now, waiting on Hubby to get back, whipping through this before the Rx takes hold and I get all sleepy. 

Knitting...

So we have sleeves. I put those on last night; and again - I fiddled with the original pattern. I added 10 more stitches to each sleeve to account for the smaller gauge of the Universal super wash wool. I think it works out. 

I would show you a picture, but for some reason, my computer doesn't see my phone tonight. Maybe it's me. Or the migraine. 

And it's ok - it doesn't look like much yet. I have my mug of Honey Chamomile tea here, I'll knit a bit more, take the next dose of the Rx and be ready for bed soon. Pictures will come later, when it looks like sleeves and not a formless blob. 

Women's Day...

So today was International Women's Day and also "A Day Without Women." I didn't participate in the "without women" part - especially since, well... baby, one attorney down, etc. And we're an all-women firm. We can make our point by doing our jobs. 

But I did wear red. The fundraiser was a "diamonds and denim" theme, so I did have on my jeans, a red sweater, a very obnoxiously gaudy pin and ... then I didn't go anyway.

I am pleased to see the increased activism. I think it's a good sign. More women than ever are running for office. More women are energized. Of course, there are problems because a good chunk of us are told we're supposed to "check our privilege." And I get it. 

Even though we're still paid less than men, I'm a white female who is college-educated. I'm a LOT better off than women of color, than gay or trans women, than immigrant women and indigenous women. 

But then again: still paid less. Still "graded" on how we look. Still in that "filter" that says even though I'm 59, I "should be" something or someone else. 

But I do get it. 

Women need to do a better job of lifting each other up. We don't do enough of that. We're still working on it. But we need to worker harder. Each of us has a unique gift to give. We need the space within which to give it. And we need to see it in each other. We don't - at least not very often. 

Random Picture...

Usually, I can dress Tippi up and she doesn't protest too much. She's gotten to be an expert at needing to "shake" and tossing whatever hat she has on. 

One year, I thought ears would be good. I'm pretty sure you can read her thoughts. 

She. Hated. These. 

H.A.T.E.D.

She gave me a stink eye, and it was translated in my brain as, "Human, you'd better be able to sleep with your eyes open." 

Needless to say, we didn't ever do these at a therapy visit. She wasn't having it at all. This picture still cracks me up, but I've also never put the ears back on her. 

I wouldn't dare. 


Monday, March 06, 2017

As Time Goes By...

...yeah, I know. It's a song lyric. (You did know that, right?)

So it's been busy, which is why I got distracted. But I'm back tonight, and I thought I'd update everyone. 

Knitting...

The baby knitting continues, and I have a bit of a problem. The Universal super wash is slightly smaller than the Cascade super wash. I've done this pattern so many times, that it just felt "off" as I got to the middle of the back, where I was about ready to cast on for the sleeves. 

I'm about 1.5" or so short of the actual length I need. So I dragged out the schematic and decided --- surprise, surprise --- to actually READ the drawing and adjust my knitting. It's amazing... mainly that I thought enough to do that. 

So I've added 6 more rows to the back and I'll use my tape measure a lot on this one. And I've learned something valuable about changing up the yarn - you have to pay attention. 

It's coming along nicely, even with the blip. I picked out buttons, and polled my knitting group. I'm not going to tell yet... Comment - and let me know which ones you think would be better. I'm open to suggestion. 

I've put all my buttons in the same bag and hopefully won't lose them again. 

The gauge I'm getting is technically correct. It's correct for what the ball band says. It's a tad small for what the pattern says. But that being the case, that's where I found the schematic helpful. As I re-wrote the pattern into my notebook, I almost didn't put the drawing in there, but now I'm glad I did. 

Occasionally, I have these flashes. So I grab 'em while I can and make sure that I've got my knitting ducks in a row. I'm thinking another 2 weeks and the sweater will be done. Then, booties and hat. I may make the hat the same size, since it's just a rolled-brim straight knitted hat. I think the "toddler" size might be too big, but the "newborn" size will stretch, even if the baby's a bit of a chunky monkey. 

The booties? They'll be a bit larger. First off, the kid will be born in July - no wool booties then!! So I want to make those a bit bigger, provided I have the yarn of course, and he or she can wear them into the cooler weather. 

I've pulled all my stash and stuck it into another bag, which helps keep my current project bag halfway organized. Maybe I might (depending on the buttons chosen) have to add some of the black-and-white yarn from Little Manu's set I did last year. For cuffs, I think. But then again, with three balls of the Universal, maybe I'll be ok. 


What's Going On In the World...

OK, I'm so upside-down that I can't see straight. Boss Lady, a dyed in the (red) wool (R), said to me today, "I think Trump might screw us over."

Ya think?? 

The constant smoke-and-mirrors has really got so many of us in a tangle. It's a deliberate attack by puppeteers pulling his strings, because I don't think he's smart enough. Fool enough, yes. Greedy enough, OH YEAH. Stupid enough - undoubtedly. But not smart enough. He's letting others lead him by the nose. 

But what he IS good at is the proactive attack. The recent smear of President Obama, and the distraction that's caused has torn our attention away from the obvious problem of Russia. 

And that's just where the puppet-masters want our eyes. Not on the stuff they're pulling with rollbacks on clean air and clean water bills. Not on the stuff they're pulling with gutting essential agencies. 

But on the antics of a 2-year old trapped in an elderly man's body. Because he is elderly, folks. 

I'm picking and choosing what to react to. And I'm stepping away from the news when I need to. We have to do that. 

Because together, we can all contribute a little something and make changes where we need to make them. But individually, we'll be worn to nubs if we let ourselves. 

So be selective. Check your sources. Do your research. It'll help. You won't feel so adrift. 

The Weather is Nuts...


It's howling a gale out there. There are tornado warnings for south and west of us. A strong line of storms will likely play havoc. And it's going to be extremely lucky for us if our neighbor's dead tree doesn't take out our power lines. 

Welcome to March 2017. This followed February 2017, where the Chicago area had no measurable snow. 

Yes. You read that right. No. Measurable. Snow. 

Before you break into your springtime happy dance, let me break it down for you. 

No measurable snow points to the most obvious change in our weather patterns. So do the (now familiar and frightening) night-time tornadoes. 

No measurable snow means that, if the spring isn't wet, the farmers will be in real trouble. But yet - a wetter spring also means they can't plant early enough. 

And if it's not a wetter spring, then we're headed, California-style, into a drought. Which will be a death knell to many farmers, too. 

Have no doubt about it: this wacky weather isn't funny anymore. 

I just opened the back door because I thought something crashed into the deck. Caused the Elkhound Alarm System to activate and probably woke up Hubby. Yikes... 

Random Picture...

So Quinn's favorite spot as a puppy was in my lap. And it's been a while. And she's been wanting to get back there. So the other night, we took off the cone and she jumped up. And nestled in where she's used to snuggling. 

This is what 45 pounds of Norwegian Elkhound looks like when it thinks it's a lap dog. 

She stayed up on my lap for a good hour, nudging me to pet her and to hug her. I think sometimes she gets fearful and nervous and this calms her down. She's kind of a nervy dog anyway - always has been. But when she figures out that you're ok - you're fine. She attaches herself to you and wants to play or snuggle or just lay next to you so that you know she's "your dog." 

Or you're "her human." Haven't figured out yet which way she's leaning. 




Friday, February 24, 2017

Just a Short Note...

It's been a week... So here's a random list of "stuff."

1.  The baby sweater is coming along. I'd post pictures but my computer went haywire and I have the feeling it doesn't "see" my phone... That's ok. I've only got about 1" or so on it.

2.  Pumpkin Baby Set is going home this weekend, along with two lovely Young Living Essential Oils: Gentle Baby and Lavender. 

3.  I'm so sick and stunned at the crap going on in this country that I can barely verbalize it. That being said, I'm working on it. 

4.  The braces just got tightened this Monday. It's not as bad this time around. But I'm still not chewing. About 15 lbs. down. 

5.  Here are some pictures...  Is it heresy to put a Kindle in William Faulkner's lap? This is from Oxford 2016. 

I'm in the middle of reading his take on a murder mystery, "Intruders in the Dust." Once you get past the fact that the sentences are literally paragraphs long, and once you get past his use of the "n" word (remember the time and place - I'm not saying it's appropriate today. I'm saying it's appropriate given the time and place he was writing in), and once you figure out who's who, because jeeze - they're ALL related... It's a decent story. I think people believe I'm being a "snob" because I read Faulkner and Vonnegut and so many other odd writers. 

I'm not. I just like good literature. And I'm not above reading a "fluff" novel. It's good to clear your brain every once in a while. It's just that for me, I prefer fiction to history, though I really like historical fiction. And I prefer to dive into a book with some meat on its bones. 

6.  This is a horse that we met at the Kentucky Horse Park. These pics may be repeats, but like I said -- the phone went kerpluff as far as the computer is concerned. Anyway, this was a horse that managed to take a hankering to Kid #2 - who wasn't a horse fan. He only went there (a) because I was driving; and (b) because it was likely our last "literary trip" (though now he's heard that Emily Dickinson's house in Amherst is going to be opening up...). 

It's a Marwari Horse. Extremely rare in the US. And the Kentucky Horse Park has 2 of them. Maybe 3 - I can't remember. 

Anyway, this one liked The Kid. The other one we were able to see -- well, it let me pet it, that's all I can say. I'm losing my horse mojo to a kid who's not at all fond of them. What's THAT about??

7.  This is the dignified Norwegian Elkhound. Also known as the Norwegian ElkCLOWN. Quinn decided one day that "upside down and half off the couch" was a comfy position for a nap. And yes, I took her picture. Dogs are goofballs, and mine are particularly good at it. 

This is typical of an elkie. They get comfy and they don't care who knows it. She's been known to get up on the couch, in the middle, and s-t-r-e-t-c-h her skinny self all the way to both ends. The dog's made of rubber bands, I think. 

8.  Random picture: Be different. 


Be you. Be what you need to be. Don't follow the herd. 

It's up to each of us to find something in ourselves that's unique and capitalize on it. It seems that more and more, we're surrounding ourselves by like people: people who share our views. People who share our hobbies. People who share our jobs. 

And there's nothing wrong with that - though it could be argued that we should get out of our own "bubble" and listen to diverse views. 

I'll listen when they're not shrieking at me... I love a good discussion. Talking points, not so much. 

Anyway - find the "different" in you. And learn more about it. Have fun with it. Heaven knows, there's precious little "fun" left - we're all worried; some of us are scared. Some have given up to the fear. 

Take an inventory of yourself and above all, during that process BE KIND to yourself. I bet you'll find something about yourself that's uniquely YOU. And that's what makes you a wonderful person. 



Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I Found Them...

...the buttons, I mean. Jeeze. In my other knitting bag. Well, now I have enough to knit a LOT of baby sweaters!

Finished...

The afghan is FINISHED. It looks really good; even though this happened at the end. I hate knots. I hate that sometimes there's no way to hide them...But I think I did ok with this one. It's buried in the middle of a row. I know you can't prevent them all the time, but why is it that they happen in gifts? 

Anyway, this is a very bulky, but yet light afghan. I like the way the colors blended together and I didn't have too much trouble with anything puddling. There are areas where the green stands out and there are areas where the cream stands out. It's nicely balanced. I think they'll like it; and it won't matter the gender because it'll go with anything. 

I have no idea of the decor of the nursery. They told my mom that they may not paint the room at all; right now it's a deep blue, and used to be my nephew's office. 

So...no hint whether it's a boy or girl, and I don't care. This sage will go with anything. 

So here's the thing with "plain knitting." As you can see, it's a big block. Bordered by straight knit. And you really do have to have decent tension, but the gauge doesn't really matter a whole lot. 

I will tell you that my grandma was a stickler for tension. She would make me rip out and rip out. Till my tension was just the way she liked it. I got used to being able to read my tension and see where I'd maybe been a little "stressed" or maybe a little too loose. It's not gauge. It's tension and it's important with a whole whack of plain stockinette stitch. 

This blanket actually came together relatively quickly. So, in my world, even though it was an 8-hour afghan pattern, it took me most of 3 weeks, knitting on it just about every other day. Not too bad. I think this would be pretty in brighter colors, and maybe the next one will be something really splashy. I'm thinking a bright blue with red, or black with yellow? It could work. 


It would depend on the sweater set though. And that's what I started last night. It's in Universal Yarns superwash wool, an equivalent to Cascade 220. The color is called "Greenery." Original, right? 

Anyway, not sure what buttons, but it's my usual - the "New Arrival Cardigan," and of course, as I started it, I kind of panicked, thinking, "It's going to be too small..." But as we go on, I know it'll bulk out. 

Unfortunately, I can't find my one pattern with the notes on it. I have to look for it; for right now, I'm working off the original book. I know I had some specific notes, but I don't know what I did with them. I thought that they were in the red and black bag where the yarn for the sweaters is kept, but somehow the notes aren't there. It figures. Wonder if they're in another bag with more buttons?

I'm using Kollage Square needles with the soft cable. They're nice to work with and they really do make the stitches pop. Of course the yarn helps! But it seems like my tension (that word again!) is better with these needles. And the soft cable really works well - no boiling to make it un-kink. Right out of the package, it's good to go. 

After the sweater, it's the hat and booties. And then, maybe. If nobody else announces a baby, I can get back to knitting socks!

A girl can hope... 

It Was a Dark & Foggy Morning...

This was my view outside my window in the office. I couldn't see the top of the steeple at the old St. Mary Carmelite Church. That's the steeple, and the building in front is the public library.

Much of our downtown is made of local limestone - at least a good bit of it, if they'd stop tearing down the old stuff and putting up concrete cubes. Right out of the 70s, for sure!

Anyway, St. Mary Carmelite is an 1882 Gothic-revival church that's in hideous disrepair because the Diocese can't get its act together. The last "project" was in 2015 - where someone was supposed to renovate the structure for senior housing. But the lawyer next door objected, apparently. 

And now? It's falling apart. It used to be a vibrant church, and when the downtown area was thriving, the rectory next to it was full, and the community was alive. The photo to the right is what it used to look like before it really did deteriorate. I remember going there when I first worked downtown; Ash Wednesday services at noon were very popular. And it had a hopping "Shepherd's Table" in the church basement. 

But as downtown went the way of many downtown areas...the church has languished. 

This photo is of the nave. Note the stained glass over the area where the altar would have been. Note the arches. Note the pillars. 

As a singer, I can tell you that the sound hung there like Michael Jordan on a jump shot. This church was beautiful. 

And now it's near death. It's going to cost more to tear it down. All because nobody knows what to do with it. 

Joliet went through a phase of "tear it down, tear it down," and we lost a lot of landmark buildings. We have a courthouse that's in disarray because (of course) they tore down the lovely limestone edifice and put up a concrete paneled monstrosity that looks like it was upside down. 

My uncle, the one-time County Engineer, took one look at those plans and said, "If you go forward with this, I'm noting my objection now. The design is awful and you'll be out of room in a few years." He was right on both counts. 

St. Mary's ... it's a sad story. I've been hoping that Joliet officials will see some sort of sense. But it's not looking good. With the state's reputation as it is (no budget for 2 years, several governor in jail...) - it's not surprising that nobody wants to build or invest.

We supposedly have a new transportation center coming, and they've renovated the train depot in stages. But it's taking forever, because ... well, budgetary restrictions.  

What's sort of saving us are the intermodal facilities just outside of downtown. But then you have the trucks coming through downtown on streets not wide enough to handle a couple SUVs and a bus... Maybe once we see the new junior college building start to hold classes. Maybe when the Rialto Theatre gets its act together. Maybe the University of St. Francis campus will start to bring the kids back. There are good things. 

But to allow a building with that kind of history to decay? It's shameful. 

Random Picture...

This is Alex. Alex is a graduate student at the university where Tippi and I do our therapy work. Alex told me straight up that he was a German Shepherd kind of guy. He told me that he was going to have one when he was able to get back to Israel and start teaching at Bethlehem University, or as he calls it, "THE Bethlehem." 

Well. Then he met Tippi. Who gave him her best Elk-Clown grin, and proceeded to sit in his lap. He laughed. 

I'm told he hadn't had much to laugh about lately, from people who've worked with him. And I'm sure that with him being from Israel, he's got a lot on his mind. He's graduating in May. He's from a place where war is an everyday thing. I'm sure he's thinking about what it's like at home, and what the current administration in the US might -- or might not -- do with the relations between our two countries. 

Last night, we had another therapy visit. And Alex was there. And Tippi did her thing. They took many selfies. He showed me a picture of his friend's German Shepherd dog. And then he asked a lot of questions about Elkhounds. 

He's decided that Tippi is "the perfect size." He learned about their care and habits, and he learned that they can adapt to just about any climate. He's thinking...and I think he's thinking that an Elkhound in Israel is a distinct possibility. 

As usual, Tippi does her magic. 








Saturday, February 18, 2017

About 4 Inches...

...that's how much I think I have left on the afghan. I thought today was going to be the start of a 3-day "knit-a-palooza" because we have Monday off from work due to a court holiday. 

But I got sidetracked and then upset... 

Anyway, I measured just now. You knit the body to 30" and then do the 10 rows of straight knit to end the afghan, and I'm at 26" or so. Whew...the "8-hour" afghans do move along quickly, thank goodness!

That Guy at JoAnn Fabrics...

So I gave up. Pffffffffffthhhhhhh....I can't find the buttons. This morning, I hiked myself over to JoAnn Fabrics. Wheeeeeeeeeeeee - President's Day sale! And I bought buttons. At 50% off, thank you very much. 

Realistically, it would have to be a population explosion of epic proportions to run out of baby-sweater buttons now. But I got on a roll. I have several of the same style, but different colors, and I only duplicated one set, because I thought they were adorable. Each baby sweater takes 2 buttons, so I have enough for TWENTY THREE sweaters. I'm pretty sure I won't make 23 baby sweaters. At least, if I do, I hope they come bit by bit so at least I can knit something else in between. 

Of course, I saw elephants, AFTER I've finished the Pumpkin Set. And no, I'm not removing the buttons I put on that set. The elephant buttons are smaller, and I'm not going to re-work the buttonholes. 

I'm really loving the black polka-dot buttons. And the black swirly ones. Those are my top contenders for the apple green baby set. 

So The Guy... As I was standing in the button aisle, I heard a guy speaking to someone else; at first I couldn't hear the other person, but the guy was complaining rather loudly about some Velcro. He wasn't happy. He started to swear, and while I'm not a quivering lily, I thought, "Jeeze, you're in a fabric store. What's the problem?" 

A woman came up to pick out some buttons for a lovely dress she was making, and we looked at each other and said, "Wow...cranky much?" Mind you, he wasn't abusing the person he was with. He was just cranky. 

As I think about it, perhaps I should have gone around the corner just to see what was going on. We need to stand up to bullies, and I think I missed a chance. 

Then I bought this bag. Because it was cheap, it's a nice size for a small-to-medium project (like baby knitting), and I love the definition:

procrastiKNITing: To defer all other activities besides knitting. 

Yep. That's what I was doing today. I did go to the grocery store, but my plan was to get in, and stay in, a knitting groove. However, the best laid plans often go awry. And they did. 

Essential Oils Workshop...

At the studio, two of my friends did an essential oils workshop about the Premium Starter Kit, which is what I call the "gateway" to essential oils. This is a neat kit: eleven oils plus a diffuser, plus some extra goodies, for $160. The oils themselves would cost over $300, so it's a great deal. 

They went through the various oils and how to use the diffuser. And another person in our oils group was there. Well, let me say this: She was AN HOUR late, which is annoying. She brought a kid in, which is normally not a problem, but the kid was hacking through the entire presentation. One of my friends said that she and her family had all been sick recently. I don't have time to be sick. 

And she was rather obnoxious. 

Look, we're very careful about being in compliance. In that, I mean, I will never tell anyone, "Hey, if you have a hangnail, then tea tree oil will cure that, so buy some from me." 

First off, the oils are 100% therapeutic grade, and they're pure. But they're not a cure-all. It's against the rules to say they "cure" anything. They do some nice things, but we study compliance issues and make very sure that we are correct in what we say and we don't make false claims. And secondly, we don't "sell" the oils. If you're interested, I can show you how to get them, but I'm a really awful salesperson (seriously, I can't even sell Tupperware...) and so Young Living Essential Oils fits me to a T -- they don't sell. 

The Late Chick was making some statements that I thought crossed a line, claiming that "Oil X cured my kid's anxiety" and a few other things. Then, she interrupted one of my friends to drag her attention away from someone she was talking to. And then she poached one of my students. 

That crossed a  line. And THEN -- she stayed. And stayed. And stayed. The workshop was to be 90 minutes. I came to the studio at 12:30 and I didn't leave till nearly 4 p.m. 

No, I wasn't happy. Luckily, I didn't have a class right after that. 

In talking with my friends, we agreed that we'll do these workshops again. There are some neat products I'm using that have reduced the toxins in my house. But this Late Chick? She's no longer welcome to the studio. 

Kid #1...

I finally broke down and did The Google to find out how long it would take if I was going to invite myself to visit Kid #1. 

A little over 10 hours. So I texted him and told him that at some point, I was going to invite myself over. He was enthusiastic (he really loves where he lives) and did warn me that I'd have to find a hotel, because there's no room at the house. Which is fine. I prefer it that way, to be honest. 

Hubby said, "You should take 2 days to drive out there." Pfth. Ten hours? That's a lot of Radio Classics and a nice drive. Now to see when the boss will take her umpteenth vacation and see when I can get a week in. 

The Orange Menace...

Well, I've avoided it for a while now, but I can't avoid it any longer. When Fox News people are saying this idiot is unhinged? Well, the great THUMP you heard was the world falling off its axis. 

My mother is scared of what's going to happen. I'm scared for the future of the country, and I'm scared of what will happen locally. Not scared to the point of paralysis. But aware and attuned to what's going on. 

I'm more involved in actual activism. The FB "click and share" stuff is nice, but I'm writing letters and making phone calls to my representatives, writing letters to the editor, etc. and I feel like I'm at least rippling the surface a bit. 

I can't fix it. But I can help. Even a little bit. 

Each of us can pick a cause we're passionate about. Learn more about it. Become the "resident expert" and then work for that cause. It's important. Our democracy -- our democratic republic -- works better when we're paying attention and doing our share. 

Random Picture...

Her highness wanted a belly rub. Right now, she's behind my chair, waiting for me to finish this so we can toddle off to bed. She was insistent about the belly rub. And she cares not one whit that knitting (at least for me) can't be done one-handed. 

Nope. Doesn't bother her that she's interfering with a schedule. All the better for her, in her opinion. 

Of course I gave in. Wouldn't you? Yes, you would. You know it and so do I.

And more importantly, so does she!







Friday, February 17, 2017

By The Way...

...my glasses are correct now... 

A few posts ago, I told you all that I had gotten new glasses. And that I was having some issues with them. I couldn't see! So I took them back, sat at the eye doctor's computer and showed them how far off the glasses were. Even though the prescription was correct, it wasn't sitting right on my face. The lenses are larger than what I've had in the past 10 years or so, and I have the Varilux no-line bifocals. For a while there, the fashions were such that the lenses were getting smaller and smaller. I had metal frames, with the "no frame" bottom for a long, long time. And I had to watch how small the lenses got, so that I had enough room for the "reading" portion. 

This time, even though the proportions were correct, I couldn't find that spot mid-range, where I could see my computer screen and my guitar music. I was constantly tossing my head back, which didn't make my neck happy. My desk isn't exactly a paragon of ergonomics either, so it was giving me quite a physical pain. 

So they took them back and a week later, I had another shot at seeing if they were going to work. It turns out that, even with measuring a couple of times, we were ONE millimeter off on the middle range vision. One millimeter! 

The technician ended up taking the earpieces and bending them ever so slightly, and now I'm fine. I can see and they're doing quite nicely. People have said they make me look younger. I'm not so sure about that part, but I do like the "new look."

The Movie...

I'm sitting here, knitting and watching The Miracle Worker with Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke. The amazing thing about this movie is the talent that Patty Duke exhibited at such a young age. Anne Bancroft? She's a classic. But for her age, Patty Duke, who was 16 when she played that role, it's amazing the talent... the way she portrayed what must have been a difficult role. It makes you think of what she had going for her and the obstacles she overcame to have the career she had in Hollywood. I was actually surprised to find that she was that old. She was a slight child, and she looked much, much younger in the film. But of course, that could be the "magic" that happens in a film like this one. 

The Knitting...

The baby knitting continues...I'm hoping to get the last of the afghan done this weekend, and maybe starting the sweater. I can't find my buttons. I'm not a happy camper. I had a bag full of buttons specifically purchased for the next several baby sweaters, and quite honestly, no idea of where they've gone. They're not in the "sweater bag" which I use to stash the pattern, needles and yarn. 

I also have - ta-da! - a "stashed" sweater that I've made. It's acrylic - I have no idea what brand of yarn it is - and it's an ombre in shades of bright blue fading to white. I've got a matching hat that sort of goes with it. That may end up in the bag with the Pumpkin set. Not sure if I can whack out the hat by the time the shower comes along, next weekend. I have to see how far along I am with it. 

I have a similar ball of yarn that's purple-to-white... that'll be knitted up soon. I can get a sweater and hat out of one large-ish ball of this stuff. My friend Doris had given it to me a few years ago. I figure that baby stuff is just about what I can do with it. There's not enough for anything else, and besides, I would probably (in all honesty) not knit something for myself with it. Not even a scarf. 

Yarn snob that I am, I'd rather have a wool scarf, thanks. 

Mugs...

I'm a mug fiend. Seriously, people give me mugs. I buy mugs. We have more mugs than you can shake a stick at. We gave the kids a box of mugs each when they moved out. 

Some of my mugs make a statement. Well, frankly, MANY of my mugs make a statement. I like the larger ones, and I like ones with snarky statements on them. Political mugs. Literary mugs. Dog mugs. Knitting mugs. 

One of my friends has posted her "morning mug of the day" on Facebook; this was mine a few days ago, but my camera didn't upload it fast enough... 

Jane Austen. From Kid #2, of course. Maybe this should be my Instagram project for a week. Heaven knows I have enough mugs to fill a week or so with images. 


My work mug is rather a plain one. First off, I'm the only liberal in a sea of conservatives. Second, I've been so frustrated with this job, for a number of reasons, that I've gotten myself into "15-minute mode." Wherein I can, if I desire, pack up and leave the office entirely free of my presence and my "stuff" in about 15 minutes. So I use a generic mug for the office, till we either figure out what we want to be when we grow up, or I find a better fit for my temperament and talents. Time will tell...

What's your "morning mug" these days? 

Random Picture...

Our Quinn has a history of sebaceous cysts, and she's often worn the cone of shame. And this time, it's a hot spot on her hip that she won't leave alone. She was in the "inner tube of shame," and little acrobat that she is, she managed to get to her hip. Sooooooooo - cone. 

As soon as the weather gets a little nicer, we'll figure out with the vet which cyst comes off next. For a lot of people (sorry, maybe TMI), they can just get rid of them like you would a fairly disgusting pimple. 

But Quinn? She's gotta be different. Hers are not only multiples, but they're beneath the top layer of skin and they spread out. So if she scrapes herself or scratches herself, or if it hurts and she chews on it? We're looking at a good-sized vet bill to clear up an infection, not to mention repairing the damage. 

We've tried it all: diet; supplements; skin treatments. We hear that sometimes elkhounds "grow out of them." She's 7... still waiting on that. 

She's not happy. But hopefully, the hot spot will respond to treatment and she'll leave it alone. Till then, "Cone Queen" it is. 





Wednesday, February 15, 2017

I'm Tired...

...because it seems like all I've been doing is fighting an uphill battle... Whether it's at work or elsewhere - even on social media, where I try to be nice to everyone. 

And I feel like I'm a bit "on my own." I've been standing up for myself for a long time, and maybe it's created the notion that I don't "need" anyone. But I do. We all do. 

Someone on social media accused me of "hubris." Hubris, in case you don't know, is defined as "excessive pride or self-confidence." And maybe it's because it's been rough at the office, to the point where we're all feeling beaten down, that I find that accusation almost laughable. 

If I could laugh. 

And it's a person who really only tangentially intersects with my posts. Who then proceeded to tell me that my posts were "inane" and "stupid" and a few other things... 

Am I proud of what I've done in life? Yep. I have 2 fantastic kids. I have an education that I worked hard to get - as an adult student, with nobody paying my way, and while working full-time. I have skills and abilities that have taken time to develop. Time and persistence. And hard work. 

That's hubris? Nope. That's celebrating what you've done with your life. That's being a human being. That's nothing to sneeze at. That's what I was being made fun of for, by someone who thought it was "cool" to do that. The person felt like a success because of this exchange.

And it hurts my feelings. Again, feeling like I've been degraded and intimidated at work probably doesn't help. But it hurts. And it hurts that nobody else stepped in. 

I'll get over it. I actually blocked the person. The energy I'm expending on this is ridiculous. But still. Words matter. And they're sharper than knives, sometimes. 

The Blue Bowl...

So once upon a time, a long long time ago, I got a gift. It was a blue glass bowl. Circa late 1970s or so. 

For a while, my mother took custody of it. She had the "perfect" place for it and for years - no, decades - it belonged in my mother's house. 

Till my mother got a bug in her rear end that she needed to "massively" de-clutter. She doesn't have clutter. Really. Seriously. 

So she says she's returning "my" blue bowl. Maybe I can give it to the church for our twice-annual Rummage Sale. 

I stuck it on the kitchen table and said, "Self, take this to church sometime soon." And then I came home one day, to this... 

Hubby has adopted The Blue Bowl. It is now his. His staging place. His "spot" for whatever he needs to place in a certain location so that he remembers where it is. 

It's an ugly blue bowl. And apparently, it's ours. Again. 

The Knitting...

As I geared up with the sock knitting, happy to be back at it again, I got a phone call. 

Yep. Another baby on the way, and this time, it's family. Soooooooo - I was all jazzed because I actually have a whole outfit's worth of a beautiful apple green which will be great, because they're not revealing the gender. 

There are so few surprises these days... I think that's cool. Mom (great-grandma) doesn't think so. I have no idea why she's this way - but she'll get over it. 

Then it hit me... It's FAMILY. Family gets an afghan, as a tribute to MY maternal grandma, who did it for all of us for our weddings and our babies. I heaved a sigh and headed off to Betsy's in Lockport. It's a yarn and tea shop, and I'd provide you with a link, except there isn't one. 


It's a decent-enough shop with a fair bit of yarn, though not my favorite place. I just didn't have time to drive 50 miles to where I prefer to go. 

My brain was spinning. I was ripping my house apart for the "8 Hour Afghan" booklet, which I never did find. See - the shower's in MAY even though the baby's coming in JULY (long, LONG story, not worth repeating). So an 8-hour afghan (which in MY knitting timezone is about 2 - 3 weeks) it was going to be. 

I actually made the couple an adult version of the 8-hour baby afghan for their wedding, in a nice basketweave pattern. 

Now... the color... I looked for a nice complement to the apple green and I couldn't find one. Nope. Nada. Nothing. Lime green. Electric green. Dark green. "Baby" green. Blue-green. Emerald green. Dusty green. Nothing was hitting me, and the few things that DID hit me? Then there wasn't enough for what I needed. 

The pattern is extremely simple, and that's a challenge. Your tension has to be spot-on with this much "plain" knitting. This is knit with doubled yarn, so it does go fast-ish. It's 10 rows of straight knit and then you have a stockinette center, with 7 stitches of knitting per row up each side. Knit for about 30" and then do 10 rows of the top border and you're all done. 

As you can see, I ended up with a nice sage-like green, heathered. And I added a cream heather, almost "oatmeal" in appearance. This seems to knit up nicely, and the way the colors lay out is kind of interesting. The yarn is Encore Worsted, and it's 75% acrylic, 25% wool. Washable. Barf-proof. Sturdy. 

Size 10 circular needles. And I'm zipping along, knitting as much as I can each day. This past weekend, it was "knit-a-palooza" on Saturday afternoon and Sunday evening. And tonight, my one night I don't teach, I should be knitting, but I'm visiting with y'all. I did do a few rows before I started. 

Knitting is calming, of course. Which, heaven knows, I need -- a lot of, lately. I figure that if I can get this done by the weekend (which is looking possible, since I'm already past 15" on this and I've started the second set of yarn balls (4 balls total, knitting with 2 at a time), I can start the sweater next, and take about a month there. 

As usual, no fringe, no fussy stuff. It's really nice to do a few rows before bedtime, with the TV off and the computer shut down for the night. 

The hat and booties will take about 3 weeks total, given the fact that I work full-time and teach several nights a week... 

What do you think? I don't know what buttons I'll be using for the sweater -- maybe bright yellow? Definitely a washable button, of course, so I'll also look at the wood-like ones, too. We'll see what's in the button-bag. 

Random Picture... 

This is our Yogi-baby! One of our teachers is leaving - she's the one I knitted that wild zebra-print ensemble for... He was 11 weeks early, and look at him now! 

She held her last studio class this past weekend, and he was our "special guest" afterwards. 

He couldn't decide whether crawling was a good idea or not. But he's a good roller. Funny enough, he's a chunky little stinker. And I found that my reflexes for "glasses-grabbing" babies? Well, they're still there. 

No, I don't have baby fever. But if I did? This little guy sure helped!