Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Just Back

From Austin, Texas, where I went to celebrate second grand-daughter's 13th birthday.  My daughter now has TWO teenaged daughters!!! (Good luck, H.)

I went from this gorgeous weather:

back to Georgia, where it is now snowing. It's pretty, but it won't last.

We took Feebee to a dog park where she had the best time running and playing with other dogs her size, but what is a mystery is how dogs determine who is the leader. A dog that looked like a German Shorthaired Pointer, but with a long tail, arrived, and ALL of the dogs immediately followed it, chasing and running all over the park. Not fighting, just playing. I guess it was the alpha dog, but who decided that?

My 15-year old granddaughter, who must climb all.the.things found a tree to occupy herself in:

And the day before, when we drove through the LBJ Ranch, I found Air Force One-Half! No joke. That's what the sign said. There is a runway on the ranch, but it can only accommodate small planes, hence the tiny Air Force One-Half:

I peeked inside through plexiglass doors, and it is really small! It can maybe hold eight passengers.

We didn't have time to go through the house the day we were there, but we did drive around the ranch, which is still a working ranch, with cattle wandering loose on the land.  

We didn't have enough time because we were on our way back from Comfort, Texas, a cute, cute, cute town with lots to see, including shops in buildings from the 1800s. The prettiest yarn/needlepoint/cross-stitch/weaving/felting shop EVAR is there, in what appears to be an old Victorian style building, with large rooms and high ceilings. We spent way too much time there, of course, and even, imagine this, found yarn to buy. 

This is yarn in a bundle for this project, the Magic Three Yarn Scarf and Wrap:

I had more photos from the trip, but I can't find them. My 15-year old granddaughter helped me "organize" my photos by putting them in Google photos, so that I would have room on my iPad for games my 7-year old granddaughter wanted to download. Now I can't find the photos!!!

Not to worry. The next time I see her, I'm sure she will find them for me in a matter of minutes.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Sunday, January 31, 2016


my husband always says that he doesn't know what to give me for my birthday or Christmas, and he claims that he welcomes suggestions.

Well, I will have a birthday this year, just like every year, and I told him what I would like:  a mini-facelift!

He said:  Not on my watch.

So, I guess that means I need to replace him, preferably with a plastic surgeon so I can have a FREE mini-facelift. That way, if I don't even like the guy, I get something out of it. I'm no dummy. 

Anyone know a single or soon-to-be divorced plastic surgeon or an unhappily married plastic surgeon I could stalk meet??? (Call me.)

He also said he is afraid I would end up looking like Goldie Hawn.

Now that's just unfair, says I. The paparazzo who took this picture wasn't using flattering lighting, filters and whatnot. Poor Goldie. She should totally sue the guy.

Plus, all I want is a little lift of what are called "jowls." No puffy lips, no eyes pulled up almost to my forehead, no mask-like skin. Just a mini-mini-mini lift.

See?  It's possible!

Two problems:  

a.  I'm a coward. I don't like being knocked out.

b.  Apparently, things can go wrong.

Ouch!  Those cheeks!


click here.  

Monday, January 25, 2016

Long Time, No Post

I've been busy avoiding rain, snow, winter weather, and also, being lazy and just knitting. And this weekend I went through some of my stash in order to record where each skein is stored. I had put my stash on Ravelry (or FB for knitters as my younger daughter, who is not a knitter, calls it) but I hadn't indicated where they were stored. My LYS is no longer holding knit nights (@#$%^&). Since the shop is about 15 miles away and I don't go there usually except on knit nights, I guess I will be doing more shopping from stash. Now I know which location each skein is: bin one, bin two, turquoise cabinet, or the closet. 

What fun going through it. I found yarn I hadn't remembered that I had! Too bad I don't know what projects I might have bought them for, but some are so pretty, I can name them and call them pets:

Does anyone know what this is? There is no label.

100% mink!

They are so FLUFFY!

AND, over the weekend, I finished this:

What hot water bottle doesn't dream of a turtleneck sweater?! It is made from soft, soft, soft Malabrigo Rios.  It would have been an easy project had I read the instructions a little more carefully.  

I read the measurement for the ribbed flap at the bottom as 3/8" instead of 3"/8cm. I realized the error when I had almost finished the cozy. Knitter Anna suggested I just pick up stitches and knit until I had 3".  It worked!  And Hey!  I read instructions! Not carefully, I admit, but at least I did read them.

And to cap off the weekend, I found that I could stream my favorite British police drama DCI Banks.  PBS has only played series 4 and I love it, the stories, the actors, the characters they play. I've started streaming from Amazon and it's fun to see how the characters started out, how they all met and worked together, and to watch the character development.

I have half of series one, all of series two and three to go!

Snow? Rain? I don't care!!!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Forget Turkeys and Pedicures

Let's get back to knitting, shall we?

I just finished this cowl:

Får Away, free pattern on Ravelry
I made it for a gift, although I hadn't chosen the recipient yet. As it turns out though, I made it for me. It is so soft and so comfortable that I decided to wear it ONCE, then wash and block it and give it away. Never happened. It's mine, all mine. Another knitter, less selfish than I, made a beautiful scarf as a gift, wore it once, then washed and blocked it, and gave it to her daughter-in-law for Christmas!!!  

I am in awe!

I am also working on a second Easy Folded Poncho in a purple silk. It requires about fifty inches of stockinette stitch knitting, so it's both easy and boring. I'm making good progress.

Easy Folded Poncho

AND, I have promised myself that I will finally finish the sweater (Trillium) that I (on my broken ankle) hobbled into a yarn shop to buy the Shelter yarn for, oh, two years or so ago . I have swatched multiple times, knitted, frogged, knitted, frogged, and by all that is holy, it's time to finish the %^&*I(* thing. 

I'm using the same color yarn that the model is wearing in the pattern and I may not do the zig zag patterning. I don't think it shows up well --- or at all in this photo. Shaping for the armscye is done with short rows, and although short rows are easy, so I'm told, I am always intimidated by them. 

So we'll see.

But first to finish the poncho. It's dark out at 10:30 in the morning and cool and damp and promises to stay that way all weekend. Good knitting weather.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Health Risk?

I may have just inhaled some of my skin.  

Is that a bad thing?

I bought one of those Amopé skin sanders (might not be its real name, but it should be). Ouch. I bought it because when I asked my dermatologist about all the scary things I have seen on the internet about nail salon-caused infections, she said that there is no way that the workers can reliably get at all of the evil things that are in the pipes of the foot baths. Even if they put disposable plastic bags in for each customer, the plumbing can still carry bacteria or whatever. And those scary things the internet says pedicures can cause---they are TRUE, according to my dermatologist. And the internet.

So I can do this myself, I thought. But there was a white cloud of what I can only assume was bits of ME in the air as I used the sander. (Probably TMI, sorry.) And the bits of the cloud went everywhere.  

So I have inhaled me.  

Does that count as some sort of recycling? 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Back Home

and this mess proves it:

I am very good at packing.  

I am not very good at unpacking. I get distracted by everything that has to be done after a week and a half absence and go from task to task, doing all.the.things, but spending only seconds on each, and thereby accomplishing no one thing in its entirety for days.  

I should probably work on this, but actually, I think I don't care. It will get done, eventually.

Next post up, watch for turkeys, dead and alive.....

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Credit Fraud

Not MY credit cards, because if they were mine, SOMEONE ELSE would be using them.

I have been a victim of credit card and social security number fraud for the past couple of years.

First offense:  Someone was charging things on a Visa card that had never even left my house. I keep it sort of hidden in a drawer next to the sofa where I knit (and shop online a little). I had used it for my gym membership, but over the phone. So how was someone in California charging stuff on it? Beats me. The Visa people were very nice and took off the fraudulent charges and sent me a new card.

Problem solved.

Until.  Second offense against me:  Someone in California charging hotel bills and restaurant meals on my Gap Visa card. I was not in California, I had never been to that area of California, AND I had my card with me. In Georgia. So how the $%^&* does this happen? Again, Visa was nice and took care of everything.

Problem solved. 

Until, third offense:  I received an invoice in the mail for furniture bought at a store about 80 miles away from where I live. The first name on the invoice was not mine; the second name and the address were mine. I called the store and told them I had never been to their store. Who bought this furniture? Were they delivering it to my address? Did they expect that I would pay the invoice? Because I WOULD NOT!

Imagine the store owner's surprise. He said that a father and daughter had ordered the furniture, that they were paying for it with cash, and picking it up themselves with a truck. 

That was the last I ever heard about any of that, but why on earth use my address when they were using cash?

Problem not solved. It's a mystery.

Fourth offense:  We filed taxes with the IRS for the year 2013. Rejected because someone else was filing using my social security number. Months and months went by before we got that straightened out. The IRS sent us a PIN to use for filing for the year 2014 so that they would know that I am really me and there would be no problem.  

So, problem solved?


Fifth offense against little old me:  We filed our taxes for the year 2014, used the PIN. Rejected. Someone else had filed before we did, using, tah dah! my social security number.  Again.  We sent in all sorts of documents, statements, etc. to prove that I am me. Nothing.  I went in October to the local IRS office, which does NOT (of course) accept appointments. I waited three plus hours, talked with a very nice man who told me that the IRS had just rejected the other person's application the week before---in OCTOBER--- and everything was on its way to being resolved. A month later, everything was resolved and we are supposed to receive another PIN to use next year.  Like that will work.

Now, last night I went to see Brooklyn at a Regal Cinema. I have a Regal Card, a new one. A new one because I misplaced my old one, somewhere in my house. I also downloaded the Regal Club app. for my phone, transferred all of my points, and according to it, I was due a free popcorn.  

When I bought the tickets and showed my app, the ticket seller scanned the little blurry hashtag-looking thingy, and told me that I was using a lost or stolen account.

No, I am not!  I told her. More than once. 

She completely ignored me and charged me for the tickets but did NOT give me the coupon for the free popcorn.

Enough is enough, y'all. I want my $%^&* free popcorn.  

No free popcorn=last straw.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

I Played Yarn Chicken

and I won.  


I made this hat but with a heavier yarn than called for, so I cast on fewer stitches than the pattern directs. I had to keep weighing the yarn left in the skein to make sure I would be able to cast off once I finished the cable patterning. And even knowing the weight, I was still mostly just guessing.

Irish Hiking Hat

This is what I had remaining, just a couple of yards.  

Cascade Pastaza

On a weird note, this yarn (Cascade Pastaza) is 50% wool, 50% llama hair. The color is a bit different from what it looks like in this photo, but it is very similar to my sister's beautiful red hair when she was young. And the llama hair is sort of longish, so I was very aware that I was knitting with hair, much like my sister's hair. Kind of creepy. Maybe she would like this hat. 

She lives in Florida. So maybe not.

More yarn chicken.
I also just finished this Pure/Aran:

better photo than mine

I had bought an extra skein of Woolfolk Får (the softest yarn EVER!!!) in order to make the scarf larger. I knit extra repeats of the second texture section, and then I just kept going on the garter stitch section until I thought I had just enough yarn left for the cast off.  

Again, bring out the gram scale!  I just made it, with only a yard or so left over.

Woolfolk Får

Double PHEW!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

It's Too Cold Out

(for me) to go for a walk so I'll wait until later. In the meantime, some of the rest of the photos from Ireland. Not the entire rest, since there are 500 plus photos, but just a few. 

This is, and I am not joking, a two-lane road. We drove clockwise around the Ring of Kerry in order not to follow the busses that go around in a counter-clockwise direction. What we hadn't figured on was having those busses come at us on a road like this:

Let me tell you, it was EXCITING! Fortunately, unlike other roads in Ireland, this road was edged by wall of greenery, not rocks, and we could squeeeeeeze over and make enough room. No damage to the rental car. Whew.

This photo is of a random ruin along the Ring of Kerry. There were no signs for it, so maybe no one even knows its history, but it's still there, a photo op for us tourists.  

More from the Ring of Kerry. 

The cattle in Ireland have prettier views than most people do from their homes!!!

These are photos of the library at Trinity College in Dublin. What a gorgeous room. We took a tour with a student guide, and she said that to obtain a book from this library, a student has to know the size of the book; they are arranged according to size, with the largest on the bottom shelves, and the smallest on the top.  

The Book of Kells was in another room in this library and we did get to see that as well.

Sheep, of course. In the Republic of Ireland we saw many more dairy cattle than we did sheep and that was surprising. There appeared to be a lot more sheep in Northern Ireland.  

And, just because I like this photo. A building AND a tractor in my "signature" color. I saw that in a design magazine; designers have signature colors. If they can, why can't we? I thought, and I picked turquoise. 

Who has ever seen a turquoise tractor? I have!

That's all for now folks!

Friday, November 27, 2015

It's Christmas Shopping Time!

so says all the advertising on television. And especially today, Black Friday, but yet, here I sit, at home. Because I'm not crazy; no shopping in person today. There's always the internet.

So here we go, suggestions from our friends at Hammacher Schlemmer ©:

Because who doesn't need a $95,000 sofa that looks like a hippo?

And why not literally scare the snot out of your child while helping him breathe?

My daughter needs this. A smaller one in her neighborhood scares her 80 lb black lab! Imagine what this one would do. And for only $400!

For the ultimate narcissist on your list:
I don't even know what to say about this.

For grandchildren everywhere. In case a regular kazoo isn't annoying your parents enough:
(Hello?  H?)

And last and most definitely least, the perennial puzzle from Mori Gifts:  I know this is necessary in some places on this planet, but again, why would anyone give this as a gift?  

I'm here to help.

Happy Shopping!

Friday, November 20, 2015

So maybe I should just knit.

I finished these Honeycomb mitts:

Do you see anything remotely resembling a honeycomb pattern? No, no you do not.

As usual, I did not completely read the instructions and ended up with ribbing instead. The picture on the pattern was very faded because of printer problems, so I didn't really notice that something might not be right until I was FINISHING UP the second mitt. yay me.

I read someplace a long, long time ago that not reading instructions/directions is a sign of giftedness. I would like to think that that is true, but I don't. All that not reading instructions and directions has ever done for me is cause me to make mistakes. Sometimes even stupid mistakes. I often don't read complete labels on things in the grocery store and have ended up more times than I can count with soups I have no interest in eating.  

So now I am working on this:

and I guarantee I am reading EVERY word of EVERY line and it will be done correctly.

I hope. The problem is that I am altering the pattern in order to make it larger, and that means math so that it gets deep enough without getting ridiculously long. As a result, there is still a pretty good chance of error.  

Wish me luck. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Why I Should Set Up a Go Fund Me

As I have mentioned in the past, I LOVE post offices. I can't explain why. My family teases me about my habit of taking mail directly there to send instead of leaving it in the mailbox. When I travel, I always try to find the local post office and send mail from it, even in Mexico, where I can pretty much count on whatever I send not actually reaching its final destination. I don't know what they do with the mail.

A few years ago when I went to France with a friend, the hotel we stayed at on the Left Bank was a few storefront doors down the street from the Post Office. I was in Paradise and Paris all at once. Each day I walked to the PO and mailed a post card. There was a self-service scale; just put the mail on it, no matter what the mail was, answer a few questions in French, and out came the required postage. Perfection!

When I lived in Sarasota, Florida, there was a post office in the Mennonite part of town; it was housed in a tiny wooden building, and all of the Mennonite women came there in their cloth bonnets and pastel home-made dresses.  They all knew each other, of course, and spent the time they waited in line chatting. Outside was a bulletin board filled with all sorts of things for sale, work needed, jobs available. I often went to that post office on my way to my daughters' school.  

One of my favorite short stories is Why I Live at the Post Office by Eudora Welty. I guess Sister's family doesn't feel the least bit sorry for her; after all, she CHOSE to live there, but a small part of me thinks What fun!!!

Now, why am I talking about the PO?

Because my husband says that no way are we paying over $700,000 for a house when we have a perfectly good house now, one that we have lived in for 26 years and have made just right for us, our two cats, and my yarn stash.  

But this new development is right ACROSS the road from the PO. I could walk there, every day if I wanted to, and I probably would.


is DIRECTLY across the road from this, our post office:

SO, faithful readers of this blog, I think I will set up a Go Fund Me account, and you can all donate all the money you can generously give, and when it amounts to north of $700,000, I will buy a house. And for your donation, you can visit, get a tour of the house you bought me, and BONUS!!! I will give you a guided tour of the post office.

You are GREAT!!!  I'll let you know as soon as I get the fund set up and I thank you very much!

Finished in Time for Cooler Weather

I just finished blocking this Joker and the Thief scarf after finishing the knitting yesterday and I am quite happy with it! It was fun to knit using a gradient kit from Miss Babs and a skein of turquoise Gypsy Wools Gaia Fingering yarn, which was a gift from older daughter.

THIS is a genius invention and I am told that it existed when I was a youth, but I don't remember seeing one before. It's a dish that holds my blocking pins and it is magnetic!

It even holds the pins when the dish is upside down! I first saw one when another knitter pulled one out of her purse. In her purse!!! Don't the pins end up all over the place? Nope.

Genius! I say. I suspect that everyone else who is involved in any kind of textile arts already knows about this, but it was new to me. 

I am not an early adopter, apparently.