If you're not knitting, the terrorists win

(My mostly on-topic ramblings about knitting. And life in general. My life in specific.)

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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle aged mother of 2 grown children and wife to a man who doesn't seem to mind my almost heroin-like yarn addiction. I spend my time writing, knitting, and generally stressing out.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Another Christmas Project Started

Yes, I know. I should be finishing some projects. But we have to do things as we have the resources to do them, right?

I've decided to make this stocking for Bre for Christmas. I'm using a snow white yarn and my beads are red and green. They are also a bit larger than the beads in this pattern. So far it looks fine, though.

I guess if I knit a bit and it starts to look crazy stupid, I can always rip it out and start over. I do that enough, so why not?

Anyway, as much as I hate doing socks, you would wonder why I insist on making stockings for the kids. I don't know. Tradition, I suppose. My mom made our stockings when we were little. Not knitted. They were felt and she embellished them. But I kept mine and used mine for probably 40 years. I still have it, actually. It's just a little fragile these days, so I don't use it for stocking-like purposes.

Anyway, Magic Loop makes this go quickly. Beading slows it way down. Hopefully I can finish before we need it on Christmas Eve.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


I've been thinking about aliens lately. No, I don't think about aliens a lot. I'm not one of those people who are looking for the conspiracies everywhere. But I do think, like most scientists, that there is other life out there somewhere. Maybe not Star Trek life. Maybe more like primordial life. Then again, maybe far more advanced. Who knows?

But I saw a commercial for some station that's going to be re-running the War of the Worlds movie and I was just thinking about it casually.

I was thinking about how we always (in the movies and television) try to make alien life fit our own definition. Like, we assume that because we love our children, they will. But what if their offspring are survival-ready right after birth (like many Earth animals) and they don't even think about their children except for the time that it takes them to stop and drop an egg or whatever? How would we relate to a being like that?

Or what if the aliens we meet are like the ancient Samurai? We may be able to relate to the loyalty and discipline part of their psyche, but remember... the Samurai were trained to be as if they were already dead. They had no fear of injury or death because of that. They also did not require even the most basic comfort or attention. A being that is not worried about its own self would be something very alien to most humans. Maybe even something we could not communicate with.

Worse, still. What if aliens were like the fish in the ocean--only worried about whether they were going to be able to eat something weaker than itself and whether they were going to be eaten by something larger. Someone like that, who only respected and feared (and yet expected) death, and only wanted (and expected) to dominate/eat the weak... How would we even relate to someone like that?

Personally, I have always said that the alien race that will have the best chance of communicating with us are the Star Trek types. You know, the human-looking ones. I would imagine there may not be many of those. (Although, simple math would suggest there should be some...)

After that, we would probably be inclined to communicate well with aliens that reminded us of friendly mammals--dog aliens, chimp aliens, squirrel aliens.

Pity the poor race that makes First Contact with humans looking like this:

Seriously, they could offer us The Cure For All Forms Of Illness and we would still rather kill them.

But probably the worst aliens of all would be the cat aliens. I say worse because we would definitely be accepting of them. Who doesn't wish cats could talk and fly space ships? But let's think about this a second.

Have you ever seen how long a cat keeps its prey alive and terrified?

Saturday, September 28, 2013


Way back when I was a teen, that was kind of a catch phrase: THIMK. You'd see it on t-shirts and posters and signs in offices and schools. It was kind of humorous way of saying, "Hey, pay attention. Check your work." You'd also see THIMK's cousin, Plan Ahead in those kinds of places, too.

The message, for both of these signs, really, is "Think about what you're doing." I've always liked those signs.

I probably should take my own advice.

I'm trying to complete some Christmas gifts--since it actually is pretty late in the year, you know. I thought I had it all planned out. Like, since January planned out. But now, as I am sitting down to really put my nose to the grindstone, I realize I'm missing the off-white yarn I need to finish R's gift, the white yarn I need for Bre's stocking, the brown yarn I need for M's gift, and the blue yarn I need for another. Also, where the @#$%!! is my beading hook? I need to be able to slip beads over a stitch and I can't find that little crochet hook for the life of me.

So now, I need to sit down and figure out exactly what I can accomplish and also go to the craft store and get what I need.

THIMK! And Plan Ahead.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Bead Crochet Bracelet

No, I didn't make it. As if I could!

It was crocheted by my friend, Lori. She told me she whipped it (and several others) up on the plane on the way here from California. Wow. Here it is under the Ott True-Light:

Bead crochet is something that just astounds me. I tried to look at this to determine how it's made, and I just can't tell. I finally asked Lori about its construction--is it crocheted in a tube? Is it flat? It is crocheted in a circle? Or straight and then seamed?

She explained it to me, but--to be completely frank--I still don't get it. I do have a couple of patterns that are similar, so I might just try it at some point. I'm pretty sure mine are not going to look this good, though.

When Lori gave me this bracelet, she showed me a bunch and let me take my pick. I almost couldn't decide between the first one and this one.

So she gave me this one too.

I won't see Lori again until next summer, when she visits for GenCon. Maybe I will learn to do bead crochet by then and I can give her one of my bracelets?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

My Robo Friend

So sorry I missed this on Indiegogo. Although, I'm sure I would not be able to come up with all the funds they were missing on this project.

I'm shocked that they weren't able to fund this project. The idea was to give a robot the intelligence of a 3-year-old and then also give it the ability to learn from there. I think this is a really cool idea and has a lot of implications not only for the field of robotics, but also to help understand human learning and diseases which attach that part of the brain.

Maybe the project was not articulated well enough. Maybe they dumbed it down too much to make it seem worthwhile?

Or can it be that people are worried about some sort of Robopocalypse? That seems so foolish to worry about, doesn't it? Everyone knows it will be the zombies that take us out.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

If I Could Knit Anything

Oh, Jeez. I gotta get back to my knitting.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hot Dog!

OMG, I literally laughed out loud at the sight of this.

I don't even know where to begin. This thing is 6 feet tall.

He's got one mustard eyebrow and one ketchup eyebrow!

He's squirting ketchup on himself and licking his lips!

He's wearing high-tops!

He's got an American flag on his collar and he's wrapped in another American flag!

His wiener is sticking out of his bun!

If this could get any more awesome, I don't know how.

Monday, September 23, 2013

My Dog Is A Brat

My dog, General Nuisance, has been such a brat lately. In the past few weeks, she has:

  • Helped herself to a cup of milk and 2/3 of a package of Oreo cookies someone left on the coffee table.
  • Helped herself to a can of Coke someone left on the coffee table.
  • Helped herself to a package of gum she got from I don't know where.
  • Gotten on top of the table and drank the rest of R's coffee. (Probably because he drinks it with so much sugar.)
  • Opened a case of Coke that was on the floor next to the fridge, spilled all the cans out, bit a can open and drank all the Coke. (I know this because the can was not open, but was empty. There was no Coke on the floor.)

She has also gotten poor T up in the middle of the night with urgent "pee-barking," then just stood on the porch, confused.

If she were not so crazy-senile, I would think something was wrong with her. But she has also, for the last year or so, started getting confused when she turns around in her sleep and wakes up facing the wall. And she seems to be losing her hearing and vision, too.

She's an old doggy, so I can't be too mad at her. But really. Coke and Oreos? You've gotta think those are bad for dogs.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Bad Neighbors

I'm not a friendly-friendly "Let's all get together and have a block party" sort of neighbor. Frankly, I'm just a little too busy to be concerned with what other people are doing. It seems a little middle-school to me, anyway--what do the neighbors think of me?

But, you know, I keep the grass cut and the yard clean and the house in good shape. I don't have loud parties or put tacky signs in my front yard. I keep my cats and dog inside. (Except Odysseus, who was actually the next door neighbors' cat before they threw him out in the middle of winter. Now, he's so shy of people, he'll probably never come inside.) So I think that's a pretty good neighbor.

That's all I expect out of my neighbors, anyway.

Not that they are as considerate. My next door neighbor is a teacher, so he's on vacation in the summer. He likes to have parties on weekdays in his backyard (next to my bedroom) with loud country music, a fire pit, loud guests, and inevitable fighting with his wife.

My neighbor across the street has a Confederate Flag on the rear window of his truck. Also plays country music loudly, no matter how early or late. Has a yard littered with kids' toys and whatever half-finished renovation project he's working on at the time.

My neighbor behind me wears a Speedo to do his yard work. With black knee socks. And gold chains. He's about 70. And has so much body hair he looks like he's wearing a bear costume.

But I say nothing about all of this.

A while back, someone hit our mailbox across the street. (I sincerely think it was the neighbor across the street, because they picked it up off the ground and put it back on the pedestal.) That sucks, but oh well. Those kinds of things happen sometimes. They are to be expected.

What I did not expect was to get a letter from the Neighborhood Association informing me that one of my neighbors has complained about my broken mailbox and I have to replace it immediately.

People are assholes.

So, now I am in the market for a new mailbox. Since it sits across the street, in the neighbors' front yard, I think my new mailbox will be something like this one:

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Revising My Christmas Knitting

I've revised my Christmas knitting list to account for the decreased amount of time I have to actually knit. I'm a little sad about that. But, it's better than last Christmas when things didn't get done and nobody got any knits.

So, this Christmas will be about the small, individual gifts. I hope that I will have time to do some larger gifts for the family, but I seriously doubt it at this point.

So, those afghans will have to wait until February for birthday gifts. And Christmas will be all about the hat and scarf.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Poor Laptop

Poor Laptop Baby. Poor My Precious.

This morning, my poor laptop was sick. I was desperate to fix him. I tried every trick I knew of to get signed on so I could run a scan on him.

And, by the way, what about all that protection Norton is supposed to be giving me? Why wasn't I protected? I called Norton, too. And after being on hold for 38 minutes ("Your estimated wait time is 8 minutes.") I finally got though to the help line. I don't want to be ugly here. I know you have to have Level Ones to triage the calls so that the actual techs aren't bombarded with stupid questions.

But listen, I just told you everything I did. There is no need to go over the same things that I have already told you I've done JUST BECAUSE IT IS IN YOUR SCRIPT. I think at that point, you should say "It sounds like you've done everything that I've been told to ask you to do. Let me transfer you to a tech."

And then, the tech goes over THE SAME DAMN THING. Listen, even if I hadn't done all of this prior to being on hold for 38 minutes, then surely I would have done it with the Level One CSR before she transferred me to you, right?

Anyway, Norton was no help. They say if my computer was infected with a virus, then it is a hardware issue, not because they don't offer the kind of protection they claim to provide. I asked her "Then why am I paying for Norton?"

After that, I was able to take my baby over to Fixxit, where Mr. Fixxit was able to get My Precious going again. Thanks, Jim! You're a miracle worker.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I Dreamed About Singing

Let me preface this by saying I cannot sing. Not a note. I'm the proverbial can't-carry-a-tune-in-a-bucket person that you hate to be near when everyone is singing the National Anthem or Happy Birthday or Amazing Grace.

It's not that I'm tone deaf... I can hear exactly what it sounds like. It's not that I don't know where the notes are supposed to be. I know exactly what it's supposed to sound like. It's that I just can't make my voice make those sounds. I'm just a bad singer.

It's okay, really. I have many other fine qualities. I just wanted you to realize how weird these dreams were.

So, last night I dreamed that I was performing onstage at some big event. I was singing the National Anthem and not doing too bad of a job of it. Still, I felt pretty awkward because I had not wanted to be the one to sing the anthem in front of everyone and I was missing a few notes. Then I get to the very end of the song (home of the brave) and for some reason God only knows, I decided to American Idol it.

You know what I mean... where you just run through every note you can possibly hit at the top of your lungs because you think it makes you sound like you can sing. Normally, this is pretty horrible when people who actually can sing do this. But when I did it... well, it was bad. And as embarrassed as I was, I just. Kept. Going. Until finally, I was booed off the stage.

Then I dreamed that I was part of a marching band performance. But I hadn't marched in, like... well, let's just say two children have been born and grown up in that time, okay? Anyway, I was made Right Guide. Everyone guides off of me. Again, I wasn't doing too bad of a job, until I decided to do some fancy moves. Then, I just screwed up until they kicked me out.

So then, I'm on stage again. This time, as part of a group. (That's good. Other people's voices can cover up mine. Or I can just lip sync. No one will be the wiser.) And I'm in the back. (Again, that's good. Lip syncing is definitely doable now.) And, again, it all goes well. The audience enjoys the performance and even applauds.

Then I decided to do a little scat solo during the final notes of the song. I think you can guess what happened.

Weird dreams. Obvious stress dreams. But why am I dreaming them? I don't have performance anxiety stress. I'm certainly not trying to do something I know I can't. Why am I singing?

One last dream. I dreamed I was sleepwalking and singing. In my dream, I was aware that I was asleep and sleepwalking. And that I was singing. I even thought it was a little funny. And I hoped that I wasn't singing in my sleep while dreaming about singing in my sleep.

Argh. At least it's not the dream where you have to pee and can't find a bathroom. Those are the worst.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fidget Work

I got all fidgety tonight and just grabbed a ball of yarn and some needles. This is a yarn M gave me. (Or she was with me when I got it. I can't remember. At any rate, this yarn is now linked to M in my mind.)

Rowan Glimmer Print. I can't see what the color name is because the price tag is on top of it and it tore when I tried to lift it. It's a pretty pale blue-green with a gold print on it. I only have one ball of it, just 50 yards, so I'm not sure exactly what to do with it.

I decided to knit a lacy scarf with big needles. I thought I might get enough length out of it that way. So I cast on to some large needles and did a basic YO, K1 / K1, K2tog 2-row lace.

It's pretty, and it shows the gold off really well. But...

1) I don't think 50 yards is going to be enough for any sort of scarf.

2) The gold is really getting all over.

All over my pants.

All over my cat.

I'm thinking of ripping this out and maybe using the yarn to make something that won't be so actively used... Like a flower decoration for something.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Makeover Magic

I feel pretty blah these days, as far as the way I look. Part of it may be that I have a birthday coming up next month. And it's a pretty big one. Like, there will be enough candles on the cake to likely set off the smoke detectors. Like, after this birthday, I can officially start calling myself "vintage." Like, the kind of birthday that looks much better in Roman numerals. Like, in dog years, I'd be... uh... dead.

Anyway, so that's my state of mind these days. Combine that with the crazy hormonal things menopause is doing to me and, well... I think it's pretty safe to say I could a little work.

Now, before anyone thinks about submitting my name to Ambush Makeover, let me say that that is not the way to get on my good side. If you want to stay on my good side, you say "What? No! Patwoman, you look marvelous! Marvelous, I tell you! Do not change a thing."

But it's okay for me to say I need a makeover. And, saying that, I went to www.instyle.com and virtually made myself over. Here's what I looked like the first time I tried.

Looks a lot like my mom.

Here's another. This is basically what would happen if Julianne Moore and I had a baby. And then that baby grew to be a middle-aged woman.

And here I am with short hair.

And then I got a little weird.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Scrap Scarf Update

Well, I've run out of the scraps I was using for the Scrap Scarf. And the scarf is not as long as I would like it to be.


I am hoping to find a bit more navy blue so I can add one more blue stripe and then end it. That will make it a shortish scarf, but it will keep the color scheme I have already established.

I should have more navy blue scraps around here. I've used that color in tons of things. Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

I've Been Thinking About Christmas

I love Christmas. I love knitting for Christmas. But I'm afraid this Christmas may be another knitless holiday.

I'm just not very far along in my Christmas Knitting. Which is really depressing, given how well I started the year off. But I just don't have time to do very much at all these days. 18 hour work days, pretty much 7 days a week. How can I accomplish anything?

Frankly, if I had an extra hour, I might sleep instead of knit. As it is, I am using the time I used to knit--television time--to work. I ran into my old boss this weekend and she asked if I was still writing.

Still writing? Good God. I don't even remember what it feels like to write. That's how long it's been.

Ugh. Enough. Enough grumbling. It just is this way. It just will be this way. I will deal.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Robot Friend

I was reading a bit on the internet a while back--and sadly, I didn't save the link to share with you. But I'm sure you could Google a few key words and find it--about this study done to determine how favorably people view robots.

Basically, they gave people a questionnaire and asked them to rank activities they would enjoy more. Like, would you rather have a robot that completed a task you gave it specific instructions to complete? Or would you rather the robot gave you instructions? Or would you rather the robot helped you completed the task?

The results were surprising to me and very uplifting. Most people said they would rather have a robot help them, over all the other choices. They would rather have a partnership than a relationship where one is dominant over the other. That is very interesting to me. And encouraging.

That seems to indicate that people are receptive to robots in our society--no matter what SyFy Channel says. And how cool is that? How cool would it be to have a robot partner on the factory line. Or a robot co-worker at the next checkout lane? I definitely think nursing is an area well-suited to robots. And customer service.

The study was pretty interesting in other ways, too. For example, given the choice between a robot mom and a robot butler, most people chose robot mom. I have always said that, when I am an empty nester, I will enjoy having a robot companion to hang out with me.

T likes to remind me that he will still be here, keeping me company.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Along The River

I thought you might enjoy some of the pictures I took along the river. I take a lot of pictures. A professional photographer told me once that he took a lot of pictures because that way, he was sure to get some that he was happy with.

It was very peaceful there. The rain was just starting, so all the people who didn't want to get rained on everyone but us had pretty much cleared out of there.

The rain gives the place that woody, mossy smell. I grew up near a creek, remember. That smell takes me right back to childhood.

The river seems so peaceful here, right? But just down the way, it turns into this:

This doesn't look like much in this picture. That's because there is nothing to use for scale. (See? That's why I'm not a professional photographer.) Anyway, it's a pretty good sized waterfall.

All along the water (and, under the water, as well) there was a limestone shelf. You can see here where the water has run over this stone. It's rippled, like the bottom of a riverbed. And, of course, there is a reason for that.

Geologically speaking, this rock has probably not been out of the water for very long.

We had some fun, walking along, looking at stuff. Stopping to smell the figurative roses, I guess. Too bad it rained, or we might have stayed a bit longer. I am always afraid of being struck by lightning. T, however, likes to flirt with danger. Here he is, calling down the lightning.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Taking A Break

I don't even know how many days in a row T and I have worked. It's definitely in triple digits by now. So, we decided to take a day trip and just do something fun.

Of course, The Universe always laughs about things like that.

First of all, the people who told us how to get to this place were liars. They told us "Go to the next exit, just right down there, and turn. Then, it's two miles."


The gas station people are also liars. "Just turn at that next exit, and it's about six miles."

Wrong. Wrong.

And, once you're on the road, the liar sign says 10 miles.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

First of all, the next exit is two miles away. It is not "just down there." Although, technically, I guess it is. I just expect that when someone is pointing at something, they are pointing at something fairly close by. Something you could see. Not something two miles away.

Secondly, it is not two miles down that road. It's not six miles down the road. It's not 10 like the first sign says. Or 5 more, like the second sign says after 15 miles.

No, it's actually 30 miles down that road.

That'd be the twisty, turny, only technically big enough to be called a road, road. Road that you have to drive no faster than 30 miles an hour on. Road with so many turns I was literally getting motion sickness. No shit. The roads snaked so much that, when one of the upcoming curves actually had a warning sign on it, I almost had a panic attack. How bad does it have to be that this one has a sign?!

Anyway, we got there and it was lovely. Green and waterfally, and really pretty.

And then it started raining.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I'm Ready For Halloween

I have noticed a lot of really creepy things about my house these days.

Like the giant spiderweb that has sprung up overnight between my porch light and window. I got rid of that right away (and by that, I mean, I screeched like a banshee until Tim tore it down) and it was back when I got home again, in the space of a few hours. Never saw the spider. But wow. He really hauled spider butt to reconstruct that web so quickly.

Tim tore it down again.

Also, the cicadas are here. It's freaky loud outside from those damn bugs. And there are holes in my front yard, where apparently they came from. Holes. In my front yard.


And, worst of all... The plumbing guys apparently knocked the lid off my composter when they were working in the back yard. And there is some scary stuff going on inside, let me tell you. Decomposition process, you scary.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


I hate spoilers. But worse than spoilers, I hate the Spoilers, people who spoil things on purpose.

You know who I'm talking about. They know you haven't seen the episode, the movie, or read the book--you may even tell them you haven't seen it yet--and they have to tell you everything. Immediately. And over your protests.

And why? Are they so socially awkward that they have to "prove" they know something you don't? Kind of a "Look at me! Look how special I am!" thing? I think a lot of Spoilers fall into that category.

I was having a conversation with someone the other day about a show on television. Someone else--who was, in no way, invited into this conversation--came up and started to talk about all the things that had happened in the book and were going to happen in the next season.

Listen, if I just wanted to know what happened, I could read the books myself. (Not really. I don't have time to read anything these days. But they don't know that. For all they know, I live a life of luxury, sitting around eating bonbons and reading serial novels.) But that's not the point. The point is that I enjoy the television show. I enjoy watching what happens. It's a real dick move to butt into a conversation and start spoiling things.

As a general rule (with a few exceptions) I never read the book if I'm going to watch the movie. I'm just never happy with the result if I do. Take, for example, Jurassic Park. Loved that book. I read it in one sitting. It was one of the most exciting books I'd read in a long time. And when the trailer started being played for the movie, I was so excited...

And the movie was great, don't get me wrong. It just didn't have a whole lot to do with the book. Except, you know, that they were both about dinosaurs.

And don't even get me started on World War Z. That movie had no business even calling itself that. It had absolutely zero to do with the book. (Which was, by the way, brilliant and I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't seen the movie.)

And then there are the Troll Spoilers. Those are the people who know you don't want to know what happens--usually because you've told them repeatedly and firmly that you didn't want to know--and they tell you anyway because they want to spoil it for you. They're the same kind of people that see your wet cement and write FUCK YOU in it in the middle of the night so it dries that way. (That's never happened to me, by the way. But it happened to one of my neighbors. I won't tell you which one, but you'll know him by the crappy patch of cement at the end of his driveway that looks like it was put down after the rest.)

These are the same people who not only told their little brothers and sisters there was no Santa, they searched the house until they found their hidden Christmas presents, showed their siblings, and laughed when they cried. They're the same people who delight in every disappointment anyone else has and are somehow offended when someone else is happy.

Mean, mannerless people.

I console myself with the knowledge that they've imparted every bit of their wisdom in that one conversation.

Monday, September 09, 2013


Water has been my thing, lately.

My dreams are dominated by the images of flooding--my most frequent stress symbol. Then the water main. Then, because the water main apparently broke and got dirt and stuff in the line, both of my bathroom faucets had to be replaced. Apparently, rocks had been forced through the line into the faucet and had blocked the flow of water almost completely.

Even in my early childhood, water was a stress symbol. I remember taking swimming lessons two different summers. Back then, the thought process was, you spend 9 months in water, so you instinctively know how to swim. So the "instructors" would just throw you into the deep end of the pool, where you couldn't touch bottom (Wasted effort on me. I would still have trouble touching the bottom of the pool.) and then, they would stand on the side of the pool yelling "Swim! Swim!"

And yet, I seem drawn to water. I'm attracted to lakes and pools and streams. Why is that, when water is clearly my one weakness?

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Scary Things

So you know how you get something in your head and you don't realize it's in your head until you're all by yourself and it suddenly lets you know it's there? No, I'm not talking about anything gross...

I mean, I keep having scary dreams. Which is okay, I guess. I've had nightmares since I was a child. No big deal. That's just how my body dumps the stress of the day. It doesn't really manifest during the day.

But, after you've been awake and going about the business of the day, you just forget about the bad dream. It was just a dream. Until, of course, something happens.

So, I was sitting here, on the computer, working away yesterday. I'm all alone in the house (except cats and dog, who are all asleep in close proximity to me) and it's very quiet.

Suddenly, the printer started printing. I HAD NOT PRINTED ANYTHING FOR SEVERAL HOURS. And even more suddenly, my bad dreams jump right to the forefront of my brain.

What did I do? I didn't go look to see who was in the house, that's for damn sure. I just put my phone in my pocket, grabbed the car keys, and slipped my feet into my flip flops as I was walking out the door. Listen, if a ghost or an ax murderer is in the house, sending me messages on my printer... I DON'T WANT TO READ THEM.

By the way, it turns out that my printer just periodically cleans itself and it sounds just like it's printing something. Oh well. Better safe than sorry, I always say.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

My Next House Will Have A Pool

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "But Patwoman, you don't even like to swim."

And you're right. But I'm thinking I would enjoy coming home at night and getting in the water for a while. And I'm thinking that, at my age, I really do need to be exercising a lot more than I do. And of all the exercises in the world, swimming is probably the least offensive.

Not that I'm a good swimmer, mind you. Have you ever seen a housecat in water?

That's me.

But T likes to swim. And R & M do. And I'm not so opposed to it now, in my middle age. I'm thinking a pool would be really nice to have. And a big kitchen.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Scrap Scarf Update

Here's the first bit of the Scrap Scarf.

The colors go together pretty well, I think. I tried to put together all the colors that are in the boucle yarn. So, while I might not normally pair some of them together, they work well in this scarf.

This is a mistake rib stitch. I like to use Mistake Rib sometimes when I don't need the focus to be on the yarn. It works well with stripes, I think. It also knits pretty fast. I've done this much in just one sitting.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Scrap Scarf

As you can imagine, I have half skeins (and less) of a bunch of different yarns. Now, of course, I have several scrap yarn projects going on.

This Psychedelic Squares Afghan, which I've been working on for about ten years. (Okay, I don't know how long it's actually been. It just feels like ten years.) I just do a few squares with whatever scraps I have and then throw them in the bag. The weaving in of the ends and seaming together will probably keep this in the WIP pile for another ten years.

And I've been known to do a scarf or two like this one.

And I'm saving all my yarn snips in a jar to make a yarn bowl.

But, all these colors work so well together, they just want to be a scrap yarn scarf.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

British Television

I'm something of an Anglophile. I have been since my brother and I discovered Monty Python's Flying Circus on late night tv as children.

Yes, I know I shouldn't judge Britain by Monty Python. But I also watched shows like "No, Honestly'" "Dave Allen at Large," "The Two Ronnies," "Are You Being Served," and many more that I can't remember right now. Plus, back in the 70's the only thing on PBS (besides Sesame Street, The Electric Company, and Zoom) were British shows. For the longest time, I seriously thought British TV was the highest form of television. (Since it was on PBS and that was commercial free.)

I watched all those shows (which I think were old back then maybe?) late at night all through jr. high and high school. My older brother watched Doctor Who, so we did too. That was old-school Tom Baker Doctor, btw.

And I believe the first mini-series I ever watched were BBC shows.

So, you can imagine how much fun I am having with all the new stuff I'm seeing these days. (Not that I have time to watch, but...) My cable company has all these shows On Demand, so I have watched a few episodes of a couple of interesting shows.

I'll admit, I only watched "Broadchurch" the first time because of David Tenant. But it's a very interesting show. (Although, I would've fired Miller by now.) I'm hoping these shows stay on the On Demand channel for a while so I can catch up.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Rickety Stairs

I was thinking today of these rickety iron stairs I used to climb as a child. There were actually three sets of these stairs in town. One was on the far east side of town, one in the middle, and one on the west side of town. I don't know what purpose these stairs actually served, because there was no sidewalk leading to or from them. They were just iron stairs cemented into the hillside.

They were cemented into the ground at intervals, but that didn't stop them from having a very wide range of movement. Walking on those steps was an adventure. They creaked and moaned, and swayed from side to side and up and down as you moved on them. You were convinced every time that they would collapse.

The ones on the west side of town were relatively close to my grandma's house. But we were forbidden to go on those steps. (Because they were dangerous, see?) My cousin, who was not forbidden, would climb up and down those stairs to taunt me and my brother.

I did climb the ones on the east side of town, many times. As I've mentioned before, there were vast stretches of unsupervised time in my childhood--or time in which I was the supervisor of my little brother. So, from about age 10, we would walk to town on the railroad tracks, over the trestle (over the river), and end up in this shitty little dump area (which is now a historical park, with recreated log cabins and such). That place was pretty close to the iron steps, so it was pretty much given that my little brother and I would play on those steps.

Later, in high school, my friend's boyfriend lived at the bottom of those steps and when I went to her house, we would sometimes go down those steps to go hang out with him. We would sit on those steps and smoke cigarettes and talk about the kind of crap high school kids talked about back then.

I don't think I've ever traversed the steps in the middle of the town. There was a boy that I liked all through jr. high and high school who lived right there, so of course, I never went near those steps.

I dream frequently about those steps... being on them as they sway and groan and threaten to collapse. The weird thing is that those are not necessarily bad dreams. Sometimes I even feel like I'm having fun.

I asked my brother about the steps a while back. You know, did he remember playing on them? Do the kids still use them? Stuff like that. Sadly, he told me they had been torn down years ago.

So now they exist only in memory.

Monday, September 02, 2013


I don't remember if I told you this, but about two weeks ago, a water main broke in the front yard. Spewed water all over. Luckily for us (sarcasm) the break was on the customer side, so the water company said, "Too bad." (If you'd like to see what a $600 water bill looks like, let me know. I have one.)

So we got some guys to dig up the front yard and fix it. Hooray. No more water pouring out into the street. Then, yesterday, one of our neighbors stopped T as he took out the trash. The conversation went like this:

Neighbor: Hey, you guys are working a whole lot, I guess?

T: Yeah. Pretty much.

Neighbor: So I guess you haven't been in your backyard lately?

T: Not in a while.

Neighbor: You probably should.

So we went into the backyard and hey, presto! The backyard is a swamp! The ground is so saturated it doesn't even absorb any more water. There's just 2 inches of standing water on top of the lawn. And I thought my yard was just doing well, all green and stuff, because I finally got this green thumb thing right!

Yay! (More sarcasm.) So, now the guys have to come back and dig up the back yard, I guess.

Hey, perhaps this is what all those dreams about being underwater are about?

Sunday, September 01, 2013

A Little More Knitting

I've been so busy lately with the store, the cafe, and the website, that I just haven't had time to knit much at all. (Or do anything really. Read? What's that? Write? I'm not sure I understand that word.) And when I do have a bit of time, I just feel so brain-tired that I really can't focus.

But--and I'm not sure if I've mentioned this to you--our friend Don is moving away in a couple of weeks. Beyond the fact that Don is a long-time friend, he is an integral part of our gaming group, so--even though we have not had time to game in several months--we will miss him a lot.

To that end, we are trying to make time to play before Don leaves. Like tonight. We all got together for a few hours to play something R had written.

I always knit while gaming, as you know, so this helped me relieve that pressure valve, too. And it gave me a little time to work on the test knit that I am doing. (I couldn't knit on any of the Christmas presents, since everyone except M was there and I have already finished M's gift.)

This is looking pretty good, trust me. I don't want to show you a picture because, as I've said before, this pattern is not published yet. It would be pretty rude of me to be showing around someone else's design before they were finished, wouldn't it?

Manners. They're important.

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