Saturday, November 22, 2014

Looks Like Prune Juice...

I mean my iron infusions. Seriously, they look like I'm ingesting prune juice via IV. And I actually LIKE prune juice. Especially warmed, with maybe a slice of lemon if I have it around. 

OK, so this isn't a great picture, but remember, one arm is tethered down with the IV set-up, and I'm balancing a camera which isn't set up to just touch the center of the picture to snap it. 

The OLD Windows phone allowed you to do that. Microsoft caved in and made you have to hit the "camera" icon and you have to hit it with a fingertip, not a fingerNAIL. Trust me on this one. 

Here's the IV set up. They're alternating arms, so next week I get to have my left arm skewered. This last time, I was actually in a room, not in the (very cold) common area. Still, I brought along the red knitted capelet I bought from WinterSilks. It was on clearance, otherwise I'd give y'all the link. 

It covered my neck and down to my elbows, which was just enough. As you can see, it's not likely that I'll be knitting during these infusions (drat), but I do get a fair bit of reading done. And if I chose to, I could probably drag my laptop along, but I don't want to do that. Too much crap to handle, and I don't want to risk it falling off the tiny table they give you. 

My entire professional life is on this laptop, and I don't want to be in danger of losing it. 

Copy Writing...

So. No word on the job yet. Stressed much? It hit me hard today, and I told BossLady in an e-mail. She's a peach. No, I mean it. She has just about given herself an ulcer trying to get me and The Assistant placed elsewhere in the university - preferably running the new site, though they can't seem to see that they need us there. 

Anyway, she e-mailed me back and said, "You know, you can just stop working on 12/12 - I will fill in."

And while it's tempting, my Better Self says to just suck it up and complete my job. Which is what I told her. I appreciated her offer, but she's insanely busy and I don't want to give her any more work. I can do this. I'm a big girl. 

But there are days when I really feel like I'm the statue and there are about 4 flocks of Canadian Geese flying overhead, fully loaded. It's just the way it is, lately.

Anyway, I have aligned myself with the American Writers Association, Inc., and will be taking a brush-up course on copy writing. I fancy myself a fairly good writer, and I believe I can be persuasive when I need to be. 

So I'm aiming to do web content and social media in a few specific areas that are appealing to me: alternative health, yoga, pets, public relations, and cooking. I have expertise in these areas, and I believe firmly that you write most passionately about that which you are passionate. 

For example, copywriters in the finance area make huge money. But I'm not good at that. Was my MBA a waste? Nope. My concentration(s) included HR and Marketing. I had to take the finance stuff, and I have a passing familiarity. But I'm not comfortable in that role. 

So. I will take about 3 months to finish the brush-up courses, build a portfolio and then launch myself back into the freelance world. I'm starting with folks I know, and I'll go from there. 

I write really good press releases, so I can at least offer my services there at the beginning. 

Knitting...

Speaking of knitting, I'm at about 13.5" on the blanket -- so, almost 50%!!! That's of the body - I still have to do the ruffle. 

Using math (don't be shocked), I think that if I can do 7 rows a day (not REPEATS, but rows) -- remember, it's cotton, so it's a bit of a stinker on the hands - I can get the body done in 10 days. Perhaps, with the holiday weekend, I can stick 7 rows at the beginning of the day and 7 at the end, speeding up the process, if my hands can take it. 

Then, likely 5 days to finish the ruffle, wash and block (I really want to block this thing) and mail it. 

There. Baby knitting DONE. I will still, of course, work on knitting from stash for the easy baby sweaters, booties and hats. But until I have grandKIDS and not grandCATS -- no more afghans. At least not in cotton!

The sock - I have it at work, but I was listening to a webinar and taking notes, and I was searching up invoices for various services at the campus. BossLady wanted to know about servicing the sprinklers, etc. 

So no sock knitting. I'll do my 7 rows today when I get home, and while the turkey is cooking. Maybe some sock knitting in the evening, watching Sherlock on BBC America unless there's a better movie on. 

Immigration...

One more time: It is NOT an amnesty program. It's deferred deportation. BIG difference. And really? Why is this an issue when Ike did it. Nixon did it. Ford did it. Both Bushs did it. Reagan did it. 

Hmmmmmmmmmm. One of these things is not like the others. One of these things just doesn't belong. 

Would it be the BLACK guy in the WHITE House?

Republicans need to back off and start governing for the PEOPLE - and I'm talking about the ones with lungs, brains and reproductive organs. Not the "people" of the corporate world. 

But hey... keep it up. Way to zap yourself back into oblivion. 

Soup...

Turkey is in the oven for Sunday's dinner. The relish is thawing. The potatoes will be done tomorrow a.m.

I had a lovely lunch. Ham sandwich on a pretzel bun, with homemade cream of broccoli soup. We had the broccoli and I had intended it as a side dish, but things got insanely crazy...So before we had to pitch it, this idea came to my head. Well, I searched for the recipe and found one that was so easy that Tippi could do it, if she had thumbs. 

It was really good the next day, after the flavors had a chance to sit for a while. I'm going to go get some tea shortly and knit on that blessed baby blanket. 

After I check the turkey. 

Random Picture...

My gorgeous Tippi. Last night, she heard something and I was able to catch this shot of her. Usually, you see her in some goofy outfit for her therapy work. 

When she came to us, she was a wraith. Scraggly coat; just had given birth a few months prior; ill-fed. And scared. But resigned. 

Scared + resigned is horrible to see in a lovely animal such as she is. 

But after she settled down, she found her place: as queen of the household! 

She's 7 years old and has a cataract. She's intelligent, goofy, loving and one of the best dogs I've had. 

My little heart-dog. 





Thursday, November 20, 2014

Too Hectic for My Comfort...

...more like "freakin' INSANE" and I don't like it. 

Well. Can't even remember where I left off. So we'll start with pictures and go from there... 

Weather... 

St. John's Church
So it snowed. Finally, I guess. Don't be lobbing snowballs at me. I like it. Honest. Though who knows - if I lived in Buffalo, NY, where they got a YEAR'S worth of snow in a day or so? Probably not so much. But this is what it looked like when we came out of church this past Sunday.

Kid #2 lives farther north and west of us, so he got his early. And Kid #1 doesn't care.

So far, we're just getting much of the cold weather. It's deceptive and shocking, because it's lovely sunny weather, and you walk outside - and freeze your lungs!

But this is definitely a switch because it truly has not been this cold, this bitter, this early.

Which makes me wonder what winter will be like when it finally gets here. 

Sunrise on Saturday
And I suppose the atmosphere had something to do with this shot. This was the sunrise last Saturday, when I had to come to work at "dawn:thirty." It is cropped, because as I explained to Hubby, you would otherwise see the gas station and parking lot lights. And the sunrise + clouds is just much more beautiful than all that miscellaneous stuff. 

Besides, I kind of wanted to compete with his pictures from the parks where he walks the dogs. This can't compare, of course, but it sure comes close. 


If you're wondering about the weather, take a tip from Tippi: Baby it's gonna be COLD outside. This is what we got off her last night. We figure she's gearing up for an even MORE luxurious coat for the coming weather. 

Yes, I know - enough to start another bag of spinning stash, but after what the last batch cost me, I can't do that. And I haven't even BEGUN to knit that stuff up. This will go outside for the birds, whoever's staying around for the winter. 

Knitting...

Well, I've got about a foot on the blanket now. Another foot to go yet, before I get to the edging. It'll happen. I'm willing it so. 

St. Charles Sock
Though I'm still plugging away on the St. Charles Sock. Here it is, and I think it'll be lovely. Not much done on it this past week, because I've been zipping along on the blanket. 

I have all my bags ready for the "Knit From Stash" KAL that our Addicted to Sock Knitting group is doing. Can't wait to see what Hubby put in the January bag. 

Can I knit a pair of socks in a month? I've done it before. And what with the stuff going on at work, I may have PLENTY of time to knit, if they can't find a place for me. 

Long. Involved. Soap opera. 

Three Planted Seeds...

...is the Etsy store of my friend Kristy. Here's a lovely amethyst bracelet she made for me. She got Audrey and in return, I got this bracelet. I love amethyst and it fits nicely. 

So check it out and see what you think:  Three Planted Seeds -- I think you'll like her work. The bracelets are lovely and she's got a nice little thing going there. 

She's a yoga teacher who teaches with me at Just Breathe Yoga in Crest Hill. She does a lovely weekend class and does a lot with kids' yoga and the like. 

I teach a basic class, and will also pick up two more of them during the week. It's nice to have some sort of job security, even if it's part-time. 

Health Stuff...

Ok, so SuPrep is an amazing "cleanse" for a colonoscopy. If only it wasn't so vile-tasting. I now have an aversion to white grape juice. You've gotta drink it with liquid. You have to dilute it to 16 oz., so it's 6 oz. of the stuff and 10 oz. of some "clear" liquid. I chose white grape juice, figuring that it wouldn't be so bad. 

Oh, it was. 

Then, I had to drink another TWO of the 16-oz. containers of water, within an hour of drinking that vile brew. In the meantime, Hubby made me some yellow Jell-O. I don't like Jell-O except as a vehicle for fruit and/or ice cream... As you can see, Raisa had an opinion on it. Urgh. 

Let's just say that this prep worked, and I didn't have to leap over dogs to get to the bathroom on time. But I was up at least 3 times in the night. 

For what it's worth, they found 2 polyps and are sending them off to be biopsied. But the doc says that it's "normal" to do that. Just typing this, I realized that I hadn't scheduled the follow-up. Well, that's done now!

And I had a little "toe problem" which was taken care of. Normally, I wouldn't mention this except that I was looking for coban tape - you know, that stuff that sticks to itself and not your skin? Well... Apparently, all we had was "doggie coban" - which, you will be happy to know, is chew-proof... Notice the lovely paw prints on the lime green bandage.

Yikes...

Anyway, I think I'm reacting to something; both legs itch. I suspect it's the cream I used on my feet last night. If it's not one thing, it's another! 

Christmas...

So this year, I won't have Kid #2 to help with baking. Hubby and I will split it. Here's our list, so far. Now to just stick with it. Kid #1 wanted to know why potica was questionable. It's not a question. I have to make it. It's just a question of WHEN to do so. 

I was thinking of decorating for Christmas over the Thanksgiving weekend, since I'm not working and we are actually having our family Thanksgiving this coming Sunday. We shall see how it works. Depends a lot on the weather, too. I want to put some things into the ground, but if the cold pattern continues, we may have to settle on garland and lights around the porch and call it good. 

I do have a hankering to make macaroons and they're not on the list. We'll stick to one batch of each thing, though I'm pretty sure Hubby will do several batches of the Filled Cookies. Addicting little buggers, though. 

And here's what was in our local paper today. Truly a statement on "Christmas Creep" which almost rivals my Zombie Santas on Halloween picture...

Of course, they didn't have pumpkins with legs helping to haul the sleigh, but they might as well have had. 

I just heard Sirius Radio expounding on their "Holiday" channels. I admit, part of me wanted to skip over to that space, but the other part is more like, "No. Not till at LEAST Thanksgiving." 

It's going to be an easy year anyway. I'm not loading the kids down with stuff. Just a few kitchen items I know they both want or need, and that's likely to be it. Maybe a couple of t-shirts, if I can find them. We have a "thing" about t-shirts, mostly with snarky sayings on them.  

So here's my Christmas gift to me. Two porcelain ornaments by artist Amy Bolin. She does fantastic dog stuff, and even though it's not a red Husky, it does remind me of my Topaz, so I got that one. And the heart with an Elkhound was too sweet to resist. 

Click on Amy's name and check out her site. She even does custom work, so if you have a special canine you want memorialized, Amy's your artist. 

These are 2-sided, and I had her print the picture on both sides. You could have the one side left blank or have an inscription on it. 

Random Picture...


Yep. Tippi. With her special friend from Lewis University. This is what I enjoy about Tuesdays with Tippi. The kids just love her. 

And she loves them. 

She has her favorites, but all in all, she's overjoyed every time we go there. 

Doesn't matter when. Just that she's happy to be there, and they are happy that she's with them.

Tonight we have a guest appearance at the local chapter of The Compassionate Friends at my campus. So in a bit, I'll log off and go get her to come back for a little while. She'll be a good comfort to those folks. 

Hopefully, they will appreciate the joy of a big fluffy Elkhound. I know so many people do. 











Thursday, November 06, 2014

It's Time for Soup...

OK, so the elections didn't go off the way I wanted, but hey - the turnout was good and we were busy as election judges. No machines crapped out. No voters were denied the right to vote. Except for the crazy lady (and I'm deadly serious here; I'll be calling the States Attorney's Office today), it all went off nicely. 

But today is today. Yesterday, I was in a total fog; feeling cruddy physically and mentally. Overwhelmed and sad. But I figure this: Nothing is going to be totally ruined in 2 years. 

They'll just do the same thing that they've been doing. Nothing. 

That being said, it's November. The radio stations are promising Christmas music already (oh, please...) and people are talking about Christmas shopping and all that. I'm going to be missing my usual "Girls' Shopping Expedition" because I have a Free Clinic workshop that week. Hubby will be happy about that...

So. In the spirit of November, fall, cool weather and the time change, I give you:

                                                     Butternut Squash Soup

1 large or 2 medium butternut squash; slice in half, peel, and scoop out the seeds. Chop roughly.

2 large-ish carrots, chunked

2 large Granny Smith apples, quartered and cored. 

1/2 c. leeks, chopped

2 T. olive oil + 2 T. butter

Salt, pepper to taste

1 t. Tarragon

1/2 t. dried lemon peel

8 c. water or veggie stock (add 2 Knorr Veggie cubes if you're using plain water)

1 c. half-and-half

Put the oil + butter in the bottom of a stock pot, heat to melt the butter. Add leeks. Stir around till they're slightly translucent. Add the carrots, squash and apples, and stir around. Let that all saute for about 10 minutes, with the lid on. Add the salt, pepper, tarragon and lemon peel.

Add the water or stock. Bring to a boil, stir it up and then bring down to a simmer. Simmer, covered, about 20-30 minutes - till you can poke the squash and it's tender (the apples will be mushy, but don't worry about that). 

Shut off the heat; use a stick blender (the easiest) and whiz it all up to your favorite consistency - I like it as smooth as I can get it. Then, add the half-and-half, and whiz again just to blend. 

NOTE: IF YOU WANT TO USE BAY LEAF (which tastes yummy), PLEASE REMOVE IT BEFORE YOU WHIZ IT UP. YOU CAN'T EAT BAY LEAF!! 

Serve warm in a mug you can hug. It also freezes nicely, but leave about 1" head-space for expansion. 

Enjoy!

Knitting...

Well, tonight, I'm home, so I'm going to just blitz through the St. Charles sock and see how it goes. I'll start on the blanket tomorrow. I have my first iron infusion, so I'll have to bring knitting and the Kindle so I can have something to occupy myself while they're watching me. 

I've turned the heel and done the gusset. It was a little weird because I ended up having more stitches on one side, so there's some "fudge" built into the sock.   And speaking of socks, here's the "Knit from Sock Stash" project. 

Hubby did his bit. I pulled 12 yarns and he stuck them in bags and labeled them for each month. I'm going to attempt to knit a pair of socks a month, starting in January. One of our designer friends in our "Addicted to Sock Knitting" group is generously going to provide patterns for us, but we can also default to our old favorites if necessary.

For example, I have a car-load of Opal, and most of it is self-patterning/striping. I wouldn't do a fancy lace pattern or something complex with cables (though I don't know how to do cables in the first place...) with a self-striping yarn. It's just too busy. 

But in my "Bags-O-Stash" I know there are some yarns somewhere that'll make nice lace or complex patterns. 

It'll be a nice way for me to not only make the sock drawer more attractive, but also get some of that stuff knit up. 

It also makes room for More Yarn. Which is still cheaper than therapy...I think. 

Politics...

OK, I wasn't going to go there, but I am going to anyway. The mid-terms were destined to really stink if you were a Democrat. The Republicans (and why ANY woman would be Republican? It just makes my head spin) have their people all together. They are in lockstep and I imagine this when I think of them...

And no, I really don't care if it's seemingly "offensive." 

The GOP platform is inherently "offensive" if you have a working brain cell, ovaries, and/or are human.   They talk "compromise," but that's not the first thing I thought of this morning, when I read the Chicago Tribune. Mitchy says he's not going to shut down the government or hold the deficit hostage, but as my friend Jan said, "Did he clear that with Ted Cruz and Joni Ernst?" 

Because he will be just as much an obscure footnote as Boehner is: leader of the least-effective Congress in history. But to hear them talk, Obama is the weak link.

And speaking of weak links, I'm sooooooooooo sick and tired of the Dems who jumped ship. Hey, folks - howzabout you tout the things that WORKED? Stop appealing to the "base" - which are truly the lowest-educated and lowest-informed voters. Perhaps if you talked to those of us who DO think, we'd be less discouraged and more inclined to work harder.

Oh, and let's get the big money out of Election$.... Or, if you prefer: $election$ - because so many of our politicians are truly bought-and-paid for. 

Yes, on both sides of the aisle. 

We have 2 years to watch them do nothing. They'll be busy yammering about "impeaching" the "illegitimate" (so illegitimate that we elected him TWICE) president, and hopefully, we can all finally wake up and smell the coffee.

And say it out loud: They're offended that a BLACK man won the WHITE House. And they want it back to where it properly belongs: in the hands of a rich, conservative white guy. Obama is perceived to be an "uppity" elitist black guy who manages to be, in no particular order: Marxist, Socialist, Fascist, Muslim, Kenyan, illegitimate, etc. Insert your favorite pejorative here... The sooner they can be shed of him and have an upright Christian American MALE in there? The better.

Baghhhhhhhhhh. We get the government we deserve. 

Random Picture...

I'll have to pull one out of the archives, because my Sky Drive is acting wonky. I can't even show you a picture of the socks; the Hi-Res pictures show up, but the other ones don't. And obviously, I don't want a bunch of hi-res pictures on my camera, because I don't want to use up all the space.

Yes. It's The Teal Sock. 

And yes, it's still a singleton. The other one is resting comfortably in the yarn bowl, under a pile of catalogs. It's that time of year, so the mail is full of holiday catalogs. Which I pile up till I get sick of them, and then they go into the recycle bin.

But for now, they're hiding the fact that I haven't done a single stitch on The Other Teal Sock. In months. 

Hey, I've got a baby blanket to finish before Christmas.

That's my story, and I'm sticking' to it!





Monday, November 03, 2014

Lacrimosa -- Full of Tears...

This beautiful chunk of Mozart's Requiem is one of the most famous pieces of music. 

And it is just how our church family feels. Our beloved organist and friend, Tom Secor, died on Saturday about 9:30 p.m. after a long fight. He took a fall about 5 months back, and thing spiraled from there. He wasn't that old, either. He just had a compromised system, being on the list for a kidney transplant. An infection got in, settled in and took its toll. 

Mass on Sunday was a "mess." We have had a substitute organist for a while; after struggling with those of us who could barely find our way around a keyboard (for a group of musicians, we are remarkably untalented with keyboard instruments!), we got her to play regularly. She's a pianist, and every pianist worth their salt will tell you "I don't normally play the organ." They are two distinctly different instruments, and most pianists find the feel and the set-up a little overwhelming. Several organists I know are also pianists, but it doesn't translate backward. 

She was shaken up; our choir was shaken up. You could hear a pin drop when Fr. Matt announced Tom's death. It shook our church to its roots because so many people knew him for so long. That being said, we've only been members of the church for not quite 3 years. And I can't stop crying. 

This is what I see when I let my mind wander. When my friend (and another organist) Janet's son died, she commissioned a painting like this of her son being hugged by Jesus. Is it sappy? Likely. But if it gives you comfort, you go with it. 

The funeral will be next Sunday and we're expecting an over-packed house. We have some music and luckily, some "choir ringers" -- many people who are talented musicians want to "Sing Tom Home" and we're very happy with that. That being said, I'm conceding my status as an Alto. There are soprano parts I'd been able to sing easily, but lately, those high notes are beyond my grasp. I guess I need to just accept that and be happy that there will be more than 2 Alto singers for this funeral. 

I'm meeting with Fr. Matt about Christmas and I'm not sure what he has in mind. There are a few people in the choir who don't want "slappy-happy" music, and frankly, I'm not exactly sure what that means. I'm thinking it means anything dated 1970 and forward. And while I adore the old pieces, I have to say - there's gotta be room for something else as well. Tom was accepting of my guitar, but not to the extent I used to play in my other church. And that lack of playing has started to show. As well, the sound system at St. John's isn't conducive to a guitar...hauling an amp is a pain in the sit-bones, but it may be what we do for a while. We shall see what he's got up his sleeve. 

St. Julian of Norwich...

This keeps going through my mind as we as a congregation reel from this loss. And as I deal with a lot of personal junk going on. Losing my job in December (it looks like nobody's listening to our claims that they're going to need us at the new location) is hitting me hard. I'm not sure what I want to do. I've signed up for some job search places online and I'm working with a freelance writing group. Maybe it's a sign that I have indeed been spoiled. I mentioned to Hubby last night that this job I've had for the past 8 years? It's spoiled me. Yes, I have a lot of skills, but after all this time, to an employer, my skills are "old." To ME, they're old. I did marketing and PR in the world before SEO and social media marketing. 

Yeah, I know blogs, FaceBook, Twitter, etc. But that doesn't mean I know enough to attract an employer, when there are a car-load of new graduates well-versed in these things. I don't know what the future holds, and it is bothering me. 

But I look to Julian and I hope that the appropriate solution will present itself to me. I'm not saying I'm waiting for someone to hand me something. I'm saying that I'm trying not to clutch my pearls and panic... I'm 56 years old, and jobs don't grow on trees for folks like me. I'm essentially over-qualified for a lot of things, yet under-qualified almost in the same breath. But I need to do what I've done before: consider things that are a little off the beaten path. You'd think I could get through this relatively easily, but you'd be wrong. 

Things hit us differently each time they happen. This is certainly not my first time at a lay-off. It's actually Number Five. It doesn't make it any easier. Familiarity in this case does not breed acceptance. 

Tuesday...

If I hear one more "gloom and doom" poll telling us that the Democrats have lost the election BEFORE it's even Election Day... I may scream. 

I'm secretly wondering if this really IS Venezuela, where they announced, several elections running, that Chavez had won by "unanimous" consent -- two days before everyone voted. 

Really. Let's get some perspective. It's not going to be an ice cream social. Nobody ever said that. But I'm really beginning to believe that people are waking up and smelling the coffee. 

Frankly, I can't see why any WOMAN would vote Republican. Let's face history. It hurts, but it's necessary. Republicans shut down the government last year. They have vowed to (yet again) REPEAL the Affordable Care Act. What? We don't have anything else pressing in this country? 

They deny the climate change staring them in the face. They are at the whim and behest of corporations - even all the way to SCOTUS (and why do Supreme Court Justices have contributions given to them by rich people???). They want women back in the kitchen, thank you very much. 

They penalize the poor, at the same time as they decimate what's left of the middle class. Mostly because the politicians themselves have already been taken care of by their own corporate overlords. 

Can we individually fight Citizens United - arguably the absolute worst decision to come out of the so-called unbiased Supreme Court in ages? No, we can't. But we can't afford to sit on our rear ends tomorrow because we're discouraged. 

Look at the graphic, you women especially. Our foremothers fought. They were beaten, arrested and humiliated. But they persevered. And we got the vote. 

Two countries don't allow women to vote: Saudi Arabia (and that's changing in 2015, finally) and Vatican City (yes, Vatican City is a country). 

Technically, women have had the right to vote well before the Amendment. In 1869, Wyoming actually allowed women to vote. The 19th Amendment wasn't ratified till 1920.

We could watch our civil liberties being sucked into the vortex that is Christian fundamentalism at its worst -- because that's what they want. They want us to be depressed and discouraged. They want us to throw our hands up and say, "Well, my vote doesn't count." 

It does. It truly still does. In spite of gerrymandering. In spite of commercials to the contrary. In spite of anything any local news reporter or newspaper says. 

Your vote is important. And it's important that you exercise that right. Tomorrow. If you've already voted early, then see if someone needs a ride to the polls. Don't be a bystander to your own destiny. Get into that voting booth and vote. 

And don't be a chicken about reporting irregularities. I've seen some reports where some voting machines are tallying (D) votes as (R) votes... Yep, hacked in and tampered with. Look at your ballot and watch, if you have electronic machines, what it says. Your future depends upon what you do in that voting booth. 

Einstein said something that should put all of this in perspective: The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing. 

Don't let someone else vote for you...because THEY show up and YOU decided not to. 

Knitting...

Well, I couldn't stand it. Let me backtrack. I sent the clothing out to the new baby, who should be here tomorrow, if he's on time... But I put an IOU in the card for the blanket. And I took this out because I needed a large break from baby knitting. 

Yep, the St. Charles Sock and also my music. Which, by the way, I totally screwed up on Sunday. Mind you, I could sing this in my sleep. But as I said, Mass Was A Mess, and I totally blew the song right off the page. In a bad way... 

Anyhow, the sock has now got its heel turned, and I'm in the process of doing the gusset decrease. I've got probably 10 rows before I get to the foot. I'll intersperse this with the blanket and get both of them done soon, I hope. 

I want the blanket out of my house by Christmas, though I may have to have Fr. Matt do a blessing on it, because I haven't had exactly sweet thoughts as I've been working on it!! 

Christmas Creep...

So as I go to buy a baby card on HALLOWEEN, I round the corner of my local CVS and this is what I see. 

Yes, I jumped. My friend Deb called it "The Attack of the Zombie Santas." Really. Halloween candy was still at the front of the store, but this was in the card aisle. 

And I'm already sick of holiday commercials. 

I wish to register a new phrase. It's not Christmas Creep. It's Christmas Chaos or Christmas Conquering. 

Because it's conquered all the way up to the week BEFORE Halloween, especially in Target, where the ghosty background was still up whilst they put up Santa, snowmen and reindeer. 

I really would like to see a pilgrim and a turkey. Just one. Sometime after Halloween and before Thanksgiving. 

Just one. There's gotta be one somewhere. Besides the flag that I have in my garden, I mean. 

I'll have to break down and buy one of those illuminated turkeys, just in protest. 

Sad News...

Well, Arlo went to Canary Heaven this week. He was fine in the morning, but when it was time to put him to bed, we saw he was dead in the bottom of his cage. 

Canaries usually live 10 years. He lived to 13 years, so in the last 2 or 3 years, he didn't do much singing. Arlo was a Roller Canary. That meant that when he sang, it could last 5 - 10 minutes. Seriously loud, too. Often, phone conversations ceased when Arlo started singing. Here's a YouTube of a Roller. I think we may have a file somewhere, but I can't lay my hands on it. 

He was a beautiful bird, called "blue" but actually white with grey-blue accents. Again - I do have a picture but not handy. 

Random Picture...

And to end this very sad blog on a high note, it's the always-crazy Raisa. Yes. Under my knitting chair. 

Why? Because she can. 

She's a rare breed: The Siberian Husk-Cat. Able to leap nearly 6' from a standing position. Able to cram herself into the smallest of places. Eater of anything not nailed down. Howler extraordinaire. 

And at this point, just the comic relief I need.