Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Oh, My Aching...


Yep. Back. In the past 30-ish hours, I would rather have given birth to a set of 10-lb. (each) triplets. 

My back has been bothering me for about 2 weeks now, and until a few days ago, I had been managing using yoga and stretching. Though it had begun to spasm more and more often - so I asked my friend if she knew a good chiropractor, since the one I used to use was arrested for child porn. 

That's true, by the way... 

Anyway, my appointment was for yesterday, and up till then, I thought things were healing nicely. Till I woke up. And it was in full "someone is using a jackhammer on my spine" spasm. So bad that when I got into my car to go to the doctor, I had to lift my left leg in. 

Yeah. Fun. He went through the usual new patient rigamarole, and did give me an adjustment - which he says he normally doesn't do, but for those of you of a certain age, I can tell you that I was doing a pretty good imitation of Tim Conway's "little old man shuffle." For those of you who don't have a clue, here's the You Tube... classic comedy. (Fair warning: it's funny, so don't blame me if you're drinking something and it comes out your nose...)

But not funny when it's you!

Today, I feel a bit better. I'm thinking this guy will be ok - he called me at 8:30 p.m. and asked how I was doing. 

I'm actually baking some cookies. My back still hurts, and where he adjusted me is feeling a little tender, but I believe this is the best road for now. I don't want to go the "muscle relaxer" route, because I think this is structural. 

I'm pretty sure that it happened when I fell asleep in a twist - knees and hips pointing east and shoulders pointing west. It happens, and I like twists... but not for 5 or 6 hours at a time!

I didn't teach last night; yep - it was that bad! Nothing was helping for the pain, unless I wanted to try to function going from a squat to a child's pose. And that's not necessarily useful to your daily life. 

After heat & cold, I then iced for 20 minutes every couple of hours. I have to do more of that today. He also said, "no squishy couches; firm chairs, firm mattress or floor." So since we have a Sleep Number bed, I cranked it up to 90 last night. It did make a difference. Hubby says I like sleeping on a "concrete slab" anyway; but it did change how I felt. 

I've been thinking that I had to replace my chiropractor, but the only thing I wish is that this new guy had an acupuncturist on-site. He doesn't, but I'll find one. 


So I've had a hankering for chocolate chip cookies. This is the Baker's Square recipe off the box - double chocolate. I'll let you know how they turn out. They're a little more moist than my usual recipe, and I should have melted the butter with the chocolate, but we'll see how they turn out. **They're delicious!!!**

NOTE TO SELF: Because you gave away all your glass bowls, you had to melt the chocolate in a Pyrex measuring cup. THEY GET HOT!!! Do NOT grab the handle. 

I guess it's true that one pain cancels out the other, because after I grabbed the hot glass handle of the measuring cup, for a brief moment, my back didn't hurt at all! 

Bigger needles, thinner yarn!
They're kind of going to be "monster cookies" - rather large. But that's ok. 


I'm still working on the Before & After scarf, and I think I'll just do that the rest of this week. Sock #2 of Bowties are Cool will be fine; and I need to see a little movement on that B & A project. 

It's nice to feel the alpaca lace-weight; it's very squishy and will be nice next to the skin. 

I've also been cruising some of the sock patterns, anticipating my next bag of stashed yarn. Haven't found anything that sings, but then I am also fond of letting the yarn tell me what it wants to be. 

Heck, I may grab a non-stashed hank of some Opal and do a plain vanilla just for the heck of it. A nice 1" cuff and then off we go. Done and done. 

I have a stash-baby-hat staring at me. That might be next on the WIP list. Just - again - to give my hands a break from size 1 needles. 


So we finally (well, hubby did) got the garden weeded in between rain storms. Who knew? The weather guy finally said June will be "the wettest in some time." Ya think??

Here are a few pictures. And of course, it's going to thunderstorm tonight. 

So, quick tour. We have daylily plants around the front yard. We did have some "hedge roses" but several bad winters dealt the death blow to them. Nothing, it seems, will kill these. 

We've got a bunch of different colors, and the little buttery-yellow ones are Stella d'Oro - which you see in a lot of public spaces here, as they'll bloom all summer. 

I believe the dark maroon lily here is "Cranberry Cove" or something. I used to have labels on all of them, but we had divided them over the years and had given a lot of them away. 

Next up is a full view of the "triangle garden" - which is actually more "home plate" shaped, but for our purposes, when we mention the triangle, know which bed we're talking about. 

This area, last year, was overwhelmed with marigolds, due to Hubby's desire to have a "full" garden. It was too full. It looked over-blown and I didn't like it. That being said, those marigolds certainly kept the mosquitoes away! This garden now contains a number of different, lighter plants. 

Pink cosmos
Next to the flag pole are Columbaria; there are petunias of various colors, snapdragons, gallardia at the front bottom left, and the huge poppy there toward the point. Also, up near that bird feeder pole (upon which there's no bird feeder) is the coneflower - a purple one. And in the front, at the right, is the dill. And another plant that I truly don't remember planting, so once it blooms, maybe I can figure it out then. 

Also in this bed are lavender and butterfly bush. They're closer to the poppy and the "bubble" looking gazing ball. We gave up on shading the bird baths; the solar panel bubblers wouldn't work, so they're both in the triangle bed. We haven't hooked up the bubblers yet - that's on the to-do list. 

At the very front, toward the street, are the lilacs. They didn't bloom this year; I'm told it's because they're still immature. 
Bee balm

The bee balm, however, did nicely on one side. Not so much on the other, and I can't figure that out. 

I'm trying to find a decent source for monarch-friendly milkweed, but I'm afraid we may be too late to plant it this season. 

I have seeds for hyssop and a few other hummingbird- and butterfly-friendly plants, and those will happen next year, likely. I just wanted instant color, so we got what we could get that was blooming. 

Speaking of blooming... remember that we had dill from last year? Well, of course it came back. Dill is friendly to swallowtail butterflies. And we had more than a few last year, which made me happy. 

But what I want you to look at is the head of dill which is resting on my palm. That's my palm. The head of dill reaches past my palm by a good 2" or more. And the plants themselves are about 4' high. 

Of course, this year we're not doing pickles. But my mom said that if I can get it bundled, she'd hang it in her basement to dry it. 

That's one for The Google, because I haven't ever dried dill before. I can say, though, that it's striking in the garden. And when we planned it this year, we took out about 2 or 3 feet of dill plants. It can - and will - easily overwhelm your space, so if you plant it, be vigilant about where.

Women on the Money...

Ok, so there was that campaign about getting a woman on the $20 bill. But Jack Lew has other ideas. He wants a woman to share a spot on the $10. 

Why in the world do we have to share?? Can't we be there by ourselves? Here's an excellent Op/Ed from yesterday's Chicago Tribune. And the Trib has a good suggestion - Jack Lew, our Treasury Secretary, wants opinions. So tell him: Women need to be on the $20!! Now, please... Here's another one. If you tweet, please let Mr. Lew know that we're done. We want to be seen on the money - the paper stuff. Go to #TheNew10 and let him know. 

Enough that we've been relegated to a $1 coin that's often mistaken for a quarter. Hmmmmmmm. Much like women's wages; diminished... Even the cartoonists are having a field day. 

The thing is, it's about time. I know - it's only money. But we can't even get past the still-looming "78-cents on the dollar" wage gap. Why can't we just have a picture of a woman on the $10 that it takes us a couple more hours to earn? Is that asking too much? 

Random Picture...

We have doggie detente. For now at least. It's not likely we'll get all 3 on the couch... Tippi likes to take her half out of everyone else's. 

But for now, peace reigns in the house. 

Tippi is shedding up a storm. (No pun intended) She's the last of the 3 to give way and of course, tufts are in everything. I've taken to putting a napkin over my tea mug just because I don't really need the extra fiber. 

And if I'm not at least partially covered in dog hair, it must be that I haven't been home lately!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Portable Faulkner...

As in William. 

Here's the thing. It's a tradition, once you've made it through Faulkner's novel Absalom, Absalom! that you plan a pilgrimage to his grave. 

The tradition includes taking a swig of whiskey (he favored Jack Daniels) and leaving the rest of the bottle on his monument... 

So, Kid #2 and I did that. I mean, we both read Absalom, Absalom! And I promised him a trip to Oxford, MS. It was initially to be after he graduated from college, but life got in the way, and for that I'm sorry. But we're planning it for this July. 

Who in their right mind goes to MISSISSIPPI in July?? Well, I guess we're going. I've looked at the Southern Living version of the trip, and we'll get together to plan the logistics. I'm going to drive, because my Edge is wayyyyyyy more comfortable (and larger!) than his older Focus. And no, I'm not planning to drink the whiskey! 

So in preparation for the trip, I've started to read the book that the Kid gave me for Christmas, The Portable Faulkner. It's a compendium of all of his novels - little snippets that show the arc of his writing and how he progressed through his version of the South and its culture. 

Faulkner isn't an easy read. But here's the point: once you get into it? You're automatically drawn into the prose. I could say "soaring prose" but it's been said before. What I will say is that the rhythm of his words and the pace of his writing gets to you, once you muscle up your literary courage and dive in. Like a dip in Lake Michigan before August -- it's cold, dude!! But once you're in there, you kind of like it. 

Instead of working on the flyer for my studio's upcoming workshop with Gabriel Halpern, I'm dashing off this blog. I'm also avoiding laundry... Ahem.

If you've never read Faulkner before, or have dim memories of A Rose for Emily from high school, let me refresh your synapses. I'm at the point in the book where we're talking about "The Courthouse" -- how Jefferson got its name. Here's a little taste:

  That was Ratcliffe's trouble. But they didn't even listen. The heard him out of course, but they didn't even listen. Or perhaps they didn't even hear him either, sitting along the shade on Holston's gallery, looking, seeing, already a year away; it was barely the tenth of July, there was the long summer, the bright soft dry fall until the November rains, but they would require not two days this time but two years and maybe more, with a winter of planning and preparation before hand. 

You will notice, if you're a grammarian, that this man never met a form of punctuation he couldn't gleefully ignore. Many of his paragraphs end with a semi-colon. And many of his sentences...well, they just kind of meander like the Mississippi River itself. But once you've caught the pace, you're enthralled. He uses words that you rarely see. When was the last time you saw a sentence like this one? (This is actually the last SENTENCE of the PARAGRAPH before the one above...and yes, the paragraph ends with a semi-colon.)

 It was he - they: the settlement (town now) - who had thought of charging the lock to the United States as a provable lock, a communal risk, a concrete ineradicable object, win lose or draw, let the chips fall where they may, on that dim day when some Federal inspector might, just barely might, audit the Chickasaw affairs; it was the United States itself which had voluntarily offered to show them how to transmute the inevictable lock into proofless and ephemeral axle grease - the little scrawny childsized man, solitary unarmed impregnable and unalarmed, not even defying them, not even advocate and representative of the United States, but THE United States, as though the United States had said, "Please accept a gift of fifteen dollars," (the town had actually paid old Alec fifteen dollars for the lock; he would accept no more) and they had not even declined it but simply abolished it since, as soon as forever lost it; as though Pettigrew had put the actual ponderable fifteen gold coins into -- say, Compson's or Peabody's - hands and they had dropped them down a rathole or a well, doing no man any good, neither restoration to the ravaged nor emolument to the ravager, leaving in fact the whole race of man, as long as it endured, forever and irrevocably fifteen dollars deficit, fifteen dollars in the red;
See what I mean? That's ONE sentence. When was the last time you read or used the word "emolument" in a sentence? What I love about his prose is that he's really painting with words, and you have to be at the top of your game to get what he's laying out on the page. You have to - in your own defense - grab onto your vocabulary and have a dictionary handy. You have to - I've learned - have a pencil handy. I don't normally write in books. But Faulkner? He begs for annotations. He baits you. He forces you to go back and read - and re-read - a passage for the nuggets he's buried in the vast landscape of a simple sentence. Of course, "simple" in regard to a sentence he writes? Well, that's relative. 

There is, of course, the famous one-sentence chapter in his novel, As I Lay Dying. I believe it's Chapter 19? "My mother is a fish." 

Yep. That's it. I read that novel, which was relatively short, on a plane trip to Texas. I'm sure that the title put my fellow seat-mates slightly on edge. But I hate flying. I needed something to really engage my brain in case knitting didn't do it. 

Faulkner may even persuade me to set aside The Pickwick Papers, which has been my bedtime reading. Dickens does have a habit of putting you to sleep, except that this Kindle edition has some odd markings - like someone didn't know how to format the document. They're annoying enough to make me lose sleep!


Worked on Sock #2 of "Bowties" last night. I think I might play with the "travel project" of "Before and After" scarves, just to give my hands a break from the endless small needles. 

I think I have something going here with "pairs." Because the travel project is a PAIR of scarves... 

As you can see, I'm a fan of stitch markers. I use a solid one for marking my "needle 1" and then I use a pin-style to catch the tail of the cast-on and that one will move up once I get the pattern established on the leg. I love the pin-style markers for their versatility and because they're really fairly secure. The split-ring markers have their use, of course, but I've dropped those little suckers a couple of times!

And I really don't like the rigid triangular ones. I know - they're supposed to work wonders by snuggling up to your needle. But for me? The yarn always goes around them oddly, to my eyes, and creates a loose spot. So I don't use them unless I can't find the ones I really want to use. 

Stitch markers are both the bane and benefit of a knitter's toolkit. We need them. We buy them. We lose them. We buy more... It's kind of like our version of Lego blocks. You'll find them in the oddest places when you least need them. 

Before and After Scarf  #1
I'm really coming close to the finish line with the "Before and After" scarf - the first one of the pair. I can't wait to block this out. The only worry I have is the provisional cast-on. Like an idiot, I did it with a worsted weight yarn. Soooooo - it'll be interesting because the beads that go on that lace-weight yarn may not be as snug as I'd like them. The beads for this peacock-toned yarn are...well, peacock-toned themselves. They'll add needed weight onto the bottoms of the scarf. 

I've never knitted with beads, so this will be a new skill to learn, and I'm looking forward to it. I think that, if I knitted on this for a solid month, I'd have this one done, beads included. I'm not sure that I actually WILL knit on it for a solid month, but I do have to get cracking on it. Lord knows that its solid-colored mate will be dead boring, so I need to just figure out a system for alternating projects. 

Go ahead, laugh. Because you've heard this before, right? 

I'll know for the second one, a really rather interesting shade of lime-ish-green (what was I thinking????), that you should use a similar weight yarn when you use a provisional cast-on. I'll grab some spare sock-weight yarn. I don't keep much lace-weight around, and I'm not burrowing into the stash to clip some off of the few hanks I have. 
Finished look

The beads for this lime-ish, pale avocado yarn are a pretty, slightly deeper shade of green - rather like a peridot. They look good with the yarn. The idea is that you wear these as a pair. See the picture - which is the one on the pattern itself. I've linked it up a few paragraphs. 

I love the layered effect, and I think this is totally do-able with just about anything in my wardrobe. When (if) I get another full-time job, it'll be a great pair to layer in the air-conditioned space - just enough to keep the draft off your neck, but not too much, since I'm having my own "personal summers" lately! 

The alpaca lace yarn is wonderful to use; it's so fine that you - or at least, I - worry about the strength, but the ply is nice and firm and I can see how lovely it'll be once it's blocked out. Yep, it's a hot mess when you look at that "before" picture. But the "after" will be well-worth it. 

It'll probably take every square of my blocking panels, and I'm really happy that at the Knitting & Crochet Guild expo a few years ago, I splurged on lace blocking rods. I'll need them. 

Speaking of a Job...

I was lamenting to my brother that jobs for people with my skills are just NOT happening. The state Department of Employment Security (ha) keeps sending me notices for job fairs, and most of them are of the "forklift, material handler, assembler" variety. 

I am absolutely not saying that I'm not "worthy" of such jobs. 

I just can't drive a forklift. Somewhere in all my education, I've never had a chance to learn that. 

So, Brother says, "I'll teach you."

And you know what? I may take him up on that. I'm handy. I can at least take a stab at this. He taught me to shoot a handgun and drive a stick-shift. I taught him to write a coherent memo and how to interpret a musical score. This could work...

In an interview I had recently, I was asked the question, "Where do you see your career going?" In my head, I answered, "I want to ramp down and not travel all over God's Green Acre, and have a job with some security." 

But what I answered instead was, "As you can see by my resume, I've had some interesting twists and turns in my career. I've always thought that my best career opportunities came when I opened my mind to different possibilities. Since I've never worked in this sector, but I have the skills and competencies you're looking for, I thought that this would be a very interesting possibility for me."

Oy, the schmaltz... 

But it's true. My best jobs have come when I've thought, "Hmmmmmm. This sounds interesting." I'm hoping that this interview comes to something, but you just don't know. 

Otherwise, I'm gonna learn to drive a forklift. 

Random Picture...

Do you get it? 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Reading About Knitting...

...makes me want to KNIT!!

So I'm at a temp gig - strangely enough, at another location for the place I used to work before they laid me off... And they said, since it's a position answering the switchboard, "bring your laptop for the downtimes." 

I figured this would be a perfect way to get caught up on my knitting blogs. My favorites will be listed alongside the blog, but for now, I'm caught up with Jean Miles (Oh, my - I hope her hubby doesn't have any more major health issues); The Knitting Curmudgeon (which I'm not listing as a favorite because she blogs less than I do!); Queer Joe (too many pics of the Men's Knitfest, but some beautiful projects he's been working on)... and all I have to do is catch up on The Yarn Harlot.

Pi Shawl
The kicker, of course, was Knitting to Stay Sane. Glenna does some PHENOMENAL knitting. I swear, her designs are gorgeous. Although some folks have commented that her Jaywalker sock pattern is a tad too tight, her sweaters are "to knit for." I've - of course - written a bunch of her pattern names down, and we'll see how that goes. 

I'm also on a mission. I've gotta do a Pi Shawl... Of course the pattern is on Ravelry, but here's a picture of its "un-venter" Elizabeth Zimmerman, wearing her creation. It's in her book. 

And if you don't have her book(s) -- what are you waiting for? She's the Goddess of Knitting with Your Brain. Her instructions aren't so much "instructions" as they are "indicators pointing you toward using your common sense." 

It's a little scary trying to do her patterns. Because they're not specific in many of the respects that we expect a pattern to be. But I'm going to try. I've had a suggestion from my friend M. to try the Baby Surprise Jacket first. 

And since I have a car-load of stash, I'm going to do that. THEN, the Pi Shawl. In sock yarn. Lord help me!


So the first "Bowties are Cool" sock is done. I have actually started the second sock. It's just that this temp gig got in the way. They told me the one thing I could NOT do was knit. 

Sock side view
Apparently, I can cruise Ravelry, look at my blogs, etc. but knitting is a no-no. Oh well. I had to catch up on the blogs at some point. 

So - the sock. Lorna's Laces "Bigger on the Inside" is basically navy blue with black tucked in here and there. It doesn't photograph well with my phone and honestly looks better in person. 

I didn't get this from their site; I got it on clearance at Jimmy Bean's, so I'd suggest starting there. This is, for me, my "luxe" yarn. It's a bit pricey. And I'm hoping, since this is the first pair of socks I've knitted with this yarn, that it's worth it. 

Otherwise, the remaining yarn gets put to use with shawlettes. 

Bowties are Cool
I apologize in advance for my whiter-than-white leg. What can I say? I never tan. I go straight to burn. I took the above shot so you could kind of see the pattern. In the diagram for the pattern, the "bowtie" effect looked to be achieved by the ktbl that you did. But honestly? I think the bow tie image comes when that ktbl pulls together and you get the "shape" of the bow tie, with the two "wings" and the center roll of the knot. Here's a Pinterest page showing the original picture. The red looks darling, but really - it had to be TARDIS blue. 

Hopefully, the other picture gives you an idea. If you click on it and blow it up a bit, you'll see what I mean. 

The sock is snug. More than I would like, and I made a Large. I did my usual 6-row knit at the top of the cuff to make it go over my foot more easily. But the whole thing could use more ease, in my opinion. 

The yarn is certainly squishably lovely. And the color is stunning. But I'm worried about the wear. How will this work over the long-term? Will it pill like the Madelaine Tosh that I did up? Well, the MadTosh I used, in honesty, was 100% superwash, so perhaps that ramps up the pill-factor. 

Stitch definition
The stitches in this yarn pop. I mean they absolutely shine! As you can see, I used the black Karbonz and I did start the first sock using my Ott lite + magnifier, because it was the darkest yarn I've used at that size. But as time went on, it did just perk along nicely. I didn't have any trouble casting on the second sock. I could seriously see this as a vanilla sock with a cable up the leg. 

As is usual, I did NOT take the pattern down onto the foot. I learned from Roman Rib that I don't like it. So I'm not doing it. No Sock Police!! 

So tonight, I'm knitting. I really need to get cracking on that sock, because I want to wear the pair!

I also need to start on a Plain Vanilla pair for not only the stash-busting, but also for "carry-along" knitting. Something I can do relatively mindlessly, where I almost have the pattern memorized. 

Oh, and on one pair, I want to do the Fish Lips Kiss heel. I bought the pattern. This link takes you to an image. Everyone who's done it says it's a better fit than the usual heel flap. And it's worth at least one pair of socks to try. 

Heck, I did a Strong heel just to try it. (See Roman Rib sock at the left) I don't think I'll do that again, unless I feel strongly (ha) compelled. It wasn't horrible. Just not something I think will wear well in the long run. 

And I don't like that string of "lacy" look along the gusset. It annoys me. And life's too short to be annoyed at silly things when there are better alternatives. 

So Then This Happened...

Wow. In a span of about 10 days, the Pope issues an encyclical on climate change; the Affordable Care Act is (finally, please??) declared constitutional, AND we get gay marriage in all 50 states

That sound you hear is the sound of multiple conservatives and "Christians" whose heads are exploding. 

Though I do wish that the Pope had done a little more in exploring the idea that PEOPLE -- creating MORE people, that is -- may perhaps be a bigger contributing factor. C'mon Catholic Church - please. Birth control. Now.

So of course, there are people in a certain (Southern) section of the US who will try with all their might to delay the gay marriage issue. 

And the House and Senate can, maybe, please, please, PLEASE get past the whole kerfuffle on the ACA and get something else done...  Is it too much to ask for immigration reform and proper funding for schools, and maybe doing something about student loans rather than kowtowing to banks? 

A girl can dream. And while I'm dreaming, I'll think that maybe with this slew of good news, the overturning of Citizens United might be nearer than it has been. 

Like I said... I can dream. 

And this meme was floating around the "face-space" (that's what the kids & I call it...). 

No, sadly. He didn't say that. But the truth is still there. 

Oh, the other thing, Congress? Jobs for the rest of us. Stop worrying about getting your lazy selves re-elected and do something for us voting slobs who actually may still believe that YOU work for US. (Sorry - again with "a girl can dream.")

I'm sitting here, with two master's degrees, answering phones. And don't get me wrong: I'm HAPPY for the gig. But when I'm talking to my brother and he says, "I need to teach you to drive a forklift" -- then I have to wonder. Jobs for folks like me aren't in vast supply. Not even "medium-reasonable supply." But there are apparently jobs aplenty for forklift drivers, material handlers and welders. 

Kid #1 said he'd teach me to weld, but then he figured that, given several factors (including raging hot flashes and lack of sleep), putting a torch in my hand was perhaps unreasonable. 

I actually may take my brother up on that forklift thing. I've always been handy with my hands, and as a woman, perhaps there's a hiring preference. Yes, I'll use my gender. Thanks. I've lived with it, so I may as well use the few advantages we DO have!

The Garden Grows...

We've had rain. LOTS of rain. To the point where we haven't done anything except mow the lawn, and that barely between showers. My carefully plotted flower garden is a mess. And the veggie garden is nuts. Totally nuts. 

Tonight, we're having cod, with dill from the garden and snap peas, if we have enough. And a salad. LETTUCE we have a-plenty! 

This is the sage I took from the garden the other day. I should have put my hand there for a reference. It's HUGE. Freakishly huge. 

There's Rosemary there, too. I was cooking something - can't remember what - and I figured I'd use the herbs we had. 

I've already done a batch of pesto from the basil. And I found, sadly, that you CANNOT use common garden sage for smudging. Which is what I had intended, but apparently, it's not the right variety. Now I have to find something to do with an enormous quantity of sage. I didn't plant a lot of it. One plant, and with the monsoons we've been having, this is what I get. 

Any ideas?? I'm open! 

The Dogs...

Quinn surveys her domain
I'm not happy to report that Quinn and Raisa got into a tangle. Luckily, Hubby was home. I don't even know what started it, but it had been brewing. If I had to guess, I'd say that as Raisa enters her "adolescent" phase (she's just about 2 years old), she's been trying on the "who's top dog" thing. 

So they started in, and I grabbed Tippi - who was going to join in the "fun." I got her into her pen, Hubby got between the two, and we did sadly discover that there was blood. 

However, it wasn't as bad as we initially thought. He whisked her off to the Emergency Vet (of course, it was an hour AFTER our vet closed) and what we thought was a really bad thing turns out to be just a nip on the nose. 

I'm not saying that lightly...there are behavioral studies examining just how and WHERE a dog bites another one, and apparently, the bite on the nose is indicative of a much milder case of aggression. 

I think we need to contact a behaviorist, and so does the vet. Hubby doesn't think so. I've got to work on that because this really scared me. They're all big dogs. Raisa will not mess with Tippi after their last tangle (no injuries, but Tippi made her point). But she and Quinn? I'm not sure and I want strategies. 

Random Picture...

This was taken the other night, as I was leaving a yoga class. It was a much larger view of a beautiful cloud, but I was struck by the little sliver of moon here. 

Luckily, we are in an area that's still semi-rural. We have, for Illinois, a lot of sky in a lot of places. I've been going nuts with the sky pics. So we don't get the Northern Lights, but we do get some quite interesting sunsets and beautiful cloud formations with the storms we've had. 

Not that I want more storms! I'm feeling a little moldy!! But Mother Nature has provided some lovely sights while we're in between the storms. 

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

It's Gonna Take About Two Weeks...

...to catch up. 

On my reading (of the blogs I haven't been following for a couple of months).

On my blogging (which got sadly overtaken by the elephant journal apprenticeship)

On my knitting (which is still there...wait till you see where the Dread Teal Sock landed...)

On my Business of Yoga class (I'm a week behind).

On my copywriting class (we won't talk about how far behind I am here...). 

On the voiceover demos I have waiting. 

But anyway. I'm back. The elephant journal apprenticeship finished! It was lovely, and here's a link to my thesis... Note what the image is. No, you have to go read it. Thank you. 

So I learned a ton about social media. I learned about how to write for a website - which is different than writing for print media and even more different than blogging. 

And I learned I still can't create a decent headline with any regularity. It comes in flashes. 


Bowties are Cool
Here's the latest. My version of Dr. Who socks. No, no TARDIS on the cuff. But the yarn and pattern lend themselves to the Doctor. Yarn is Lorna's Laces "Bigger On the Inside" and the pattern is "Bowties are Cool." The pattern was done in red yarn and the pattern went all the way down the leg. 

But that's not how mine worked out. And I'm not fond of her heel design. But there it is. And, another thing. The sock is tight. Rats. Lorna's is so squishy and I was really looking forward to these. But it's tight and I even made a large. Such is the way of knitting though. I'll wear them anyway. 

As you look at the leg, you can sort of "see" a bowtie in the large diamonds with the small diamonds in the middle. But in the author's pattern, the weird thing she does with a k1b supposedly makes a little "bow." Not so much, but this is working up nicely anyway. 

There's a part in her pattern where you get to the leg length, and then K three rows - well... this is where it got weird because it created a long stripe of K stitches which wouldn't look nice when you put the pattern down the foot. 
Roman Rib

And I've decided, since Roman Rib, that I'm actually not fond of patterns down the instep. Yes, they're actually on sock blockers. This is Borneo Ricky, Opal's Jungle colorway, so it's tones of grey with some ivory. I think THESE are too loose. But they're comfy anyway. 

At some point, I'll pick up Kid #2's afghan. It's in grey and red, which goes with NOTHING in his house. I don't care, though. He chose the colors a while ago and I'm not going to re-start it for the 3rd time!!

Knitting IS supposed to relax you, right? 


Lettuce thief!
So the veggie garden is going well except for some ^&#% marauder. Something got into the lettuce patch. Hubby ain't happy!

We thought about putting the lid back on, but we have some romaine in there and I think that we can just move on from the garden thief. I'm finding that earlier lettuce isn't always as tasty. Tender, yes, but the lettuce needs a little maturing before it gets a deeper taste to it. It's good in a salad and on sandwiches, so we're having fun with this early crop. 

We also have 2 tomato plants, a couple varieties of snap peas and some carrots. The neighbors and my yoga students will benefit if it all comes ready at once!

FRESH berries!
On a good note, the strawberries in the hanging pots are wonderful. Boy-o-boy...just like garden carrots, when you taste these, the strawberries in the supermarket are just -- blah. This batch is an odd batch: three plants of "pineapple strawberries" which are white and supposed to taste like pineapple, and 1 traditional berry plant. We have them in hanging baskets, but I think we could have put them in the raised herb bed. Which is a thought for next year. 

I went light on herbs this year; too much went to seed. And honestly, the dill in the front yard is just going to flower and be enjoyed by the butterflies. We are doing cukes, but only salad cukes, not pickles. We're still recovering from Picklemania 2014...

The flower garden has exceeded expectations so far. We went light with this, too. Hubby really, REALLY over-planted last year and I didn't like it. So we have snapdragons, verbena, lavender, bee balm, columbine, gallardia, a vine-y thing the hummingbirds like, coneflower, and several plots of petunias. Oh, and cosmos. And this giant is the campanula that managed to survive our winter. We have 2 that survived. This guy is about 3.5' high! We put a little wire around it because it's so top-heavy. 

Oh, and there's also some salvia that over-wintered, and the butterfly bushes. And some tickweed. 

The front garden has some globe basil in a hanging pot and some clown flowers. I'm just waiting to see what else survived the winter. There's lots of green, but nothing much has flowered yet. 


Last night was a Strawberry Moon. Sorry this isn't great, but it was with my phone's camera and we're in an area with a lot of light pollution. 

Strawberry Moon
The full moon had a pink-ish tint to it and it was very bright and beautiful. Tonight's yoga class will include a Candra Namaskara (moon salute as opposed to sun salutation). I did that Monday night, too. 

I tried to see it at sunset, but there was so much haze in the sky, and it was far too light. I know someone has a better picture out there, but I'm not going to stress about it. 

If it's still full tonight, I'll take a picture over the cemetery. Creepy? Not really - it's more in the country and I can get a shot that's less obstructed. We'll see how that goes. It's supposed to storm later tonight, so it might be clouded over by the time I get out of class. 


I have my bones and I shall nap.
So last night Raisa, after being an absolute nut-case (an 18-month old husky - what else is new??) crashed on the couch. As you can see, there's one Kong bone under her chin. The second one is tucked under that front foot - you can see it if you click on the picture to blow it up. She was snoring away and just gearing herself up for "last call." 

At "last call" they all sweep the back yard for any intruders who might blight the peace of their sleep. So begone opossum, skunk, stray cats! The Canine Patrol is in charge at night!