Saturday, June 27, 2009

Lost and Found

I found my notebook! I got to wondering where my laceweight yarn was, and dug thru the knitting bag (in my house, every bag is a kntting bag) that I'd carried to Texas. Lo & behold, yada yada, there's the yarn snuggling with my notebook. So I couldgive you all the minute & finite details, but I'd rather we still be friends. Some highlights may be in order: I did knit in the airport, after checking my elaborately painted bag with the skycaps. The luggage painting was something I picked up somewhere on the web, as a way to tell my black fabric rolling luggage from a zillion other black fabric rolling bags. Worked really well, too! And several people at the luggage claim found it both amusing & a good idea. Sis came to pick me up, without the rest of the family -- we got a little "sibs only" time on the drive out to Chez Sis. There we found Miss T still napping, before her ballet class. After the class, several of her classmates came to the house for a puppet show (in which they were the performers -- not a one of 'em over 4 yrs old!) and a pizza luncheon. I couldn't get Miss T to pose for me in her leotard & tutu before all the young ladies changed into street clothes.

Painting of ballet dancers by Edgar Degas, 1872.Image via Wikipedia

Miss T actually spoke to me! Last year she was too shy; I stayed in "her" house for five days and she spoke to me once about 5 minutes before I had to leave. This trip, she called me Auntie Ann immediately, and talked a blue streak. Too cute! But she's still a bit of a wild child, at least a willful one! If her Momma tells her "no", she sticks her tongue out! Miss A would have wilted, if she'd been disciplined at that age. These girls are so very different, nearly polar opposites in their personalities. A is a thoughtful, quiet & biddable young lady, as well as being pretty doggone bright. Miss T is willful, energetic, wildly imaginative, and still a bit of a wriggler. Plus, at about 1/3 of her sister's age she weighs about half what Miss A does, even though getting her to sit still long enough to get some food into her is problematic.

I decided to keep the trips up & down the stairs to a minimum this time. So, next morning, I bathed & dressed before going down to breakfast. I was sitting at the kitchen counter/island, having a terrific breakfast of eggs, bagel, clementine, bacon, MORE bacon, juice, coffee...and watching the beta cruise (this had to be the slowest fish in Texas) around his little bowl. I'm a bit surprised at what I took to be a weird fishbowl ornament: it looked like a scorpion laying at the bottom of the bowl. So I asked Sis about it (she was cooking the breakfast); turns out it actually WAS A SCORPION in there, quite drowned. Sis fished it out, & put it in a zip-loc type snack bag; Miss A collects interesting dead bugs. But how the heck did it get into Mr. Beta's bowl? and did the "agressive" Mr. Beta have anything to do with the scorpion's drowning? We'll never know.....and hey, welcome to Texas!

Ok, fast forward two days: Misses A & T, Sis & I all head over to Bluebonnet Yarn Shoppe ( outfit Miss A with the essentials she'll need to knit up some cotton washcloths. I'd been on Ravelry earlier, printing off some good basic washcloth patterns. I think washcloths are a great start for a new knitter, since they're so small & quick to finish -- unlike scarves, which can take a looooong time to finish.
Washcloths are knitter instant gratification, just the kind of encouragement the new knitter needs. Anyway, we invaded the Bluebonnet & had a great time picking out some (4 hanks!) cotton yarns, needles in two sizes, and a few other oddments. Our proprietress (God bless her, I can't recall whether she was a Pat or a Pam!) was helpful, and even let the two girls play with the ball winder. We wound 3 of the hanks, 'coz I wanted to use the last one to show Miss A how to wind a center pull ball by hand. Didn't actually get around to that, but that's ok. We'll have something to work on next time I visit, which may be this October.

Pup actually asked me to bring the family next time I visit! I sure hope he's warming up to the Plaidman; after all, they've only been in-laws for 31 years+11 months+18 days. Yes, the countdown to anniversary #33 has begun. And the two of them have something in common (besides their undying love & adoration of moi, that is): the Plaidman has turned 60 recently, and officially joined the ranks of the old farts. I'm married to an Old Fart. Oh joy.

The family has been out on an expedition to Wally World, and DiscoDame has just called to let me know they're on the way home. I told her I was blogging, and she wanted me to announce (drumroll, please) that she has an internship! in her field of study (web design)! and that henceforth & until she decides otherwise her new superhero identity is THE INTERN. So I've gotta remember that. Wish me luck.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Speak of the devil

Well, I went stash diving a few minutes ago, looking for the laceweight yarn I'd worked with in Texas. I just thought I'd get a photo. Guess what else was in the bag with the notebook. I need to clean more often.

We have been busy lately, went out & got DiscoDame a new mattress & box spring set. Her choice, of course. Then we went to Big Lots & found her a bed frame, which we let her choose. She's got under bed storage in the form of two drawers under a platform bed. When we put both box spring & mattress on it, the top of the bed came up to mid-chest on me. Disco is an inch shorter than I am. Needless to say, she didn't want to feel like the Princess with the Pea.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Wait here; I haz a surpriz...

It's Friday, one of the few I haven't worked lately. I have been a poor host, leaving you all alone for so long! I actually kept a diary while I was in Texas, but have misplaced my notebook. The whole purpose was to have it together for the blog, but the wheels fell off. So there's probably not going to be a "blow by blow" account of my visit (until I find that notebook!), but Texas was lovely as usual. My nieces are both little lights in the wilderness, in very different ways of course. :)

To paraphrase Kliban, I love my nieces to pieces. The rest of the family? They're ok too. Pup is still an old fart, Sis is still wound a little too tightly, and her DH is still just the nicest guy.

And I got to visit with Sis' MIL again this trip, although she was a bit under the weather. Last but not least, I met the Stamper sisters, a really sharp-dressed & -witted pair of fine lady octagenarians, one of which may be Pup's "girlfriend". What a hoot!! We went out to dine with the ladies twice, and spent a few hours just sitting at their dining table & shooting the breeze. I hope I wasn't putting a crimp in Pup's "style".

I did work on some knitting, actually casting on in the airport. It was to be a lace scarf for DiscoDame's birthday buddy, but somehow I got lost in it and wound up with an extra stitch -- the bane of my existence, that extra stitch!-- so it was frogged when I got home. I crocheted a tiny charm bag for Neice A, and also got to teach her to knit. How bright is this kid? She picked it up in two hours, TWO HOURS, on the car ride from Sis's to the San Antonio Zoo. This craft, which I love & never have enough time for, which it took me probably two years to figure out, she picks up in two hours. I'm floored. Or gobsmacked, I'm not sure which.


Oh yeah, we went to the Zoo! Kinda necessary, as I had to be in San Antonio to catch my flight home, but my "driver" had up & left Sis's a day earlier than planned. Oops! But it worked out, as least as far as the transportation issue. Then I got an inkling of why Sis has been so wound up about Pup: he knew I was coming down, knew it weeks prior, but when we got to his house (he joined us at the Zoo), there was hardly any food there. Pup has a rather limited diet, hates cooking for himself, so he usually dines out. But after the whole day at the Zoo, we were both pretty tired, and I was famished. Now, I have believed for most of my life that I disliked tomato soup, can't stand it! Pup had no lunchmeat to put on the bread he had, no eggs, not even any cheese--but he had an extra large can of condensed tomato soup. I ate it all, two big bowls full, and absolutely loved it. But I'm almost afraid to try it at home--am I really hungry enough to enjoy it?

I am still working on the secret project for my pal, and am nearing the finish line. The collar is the final knitting, and it's more than half done. I've started on a five-part project for Neice T, something I'd asked her about while we were in the playroom. Neices A & T were playing, both on their knees at the train table (very low, has toy train set up on it), and I was watching them & looking around at all their toys. Now, A was never all that "into" doll babies (she seems to like Barbie well enough), but T has a large collection of baby dolls, and loves them. I aked her if she had enough blankies for her babies, because if she needed one or two more I could knit them. She thought for moment, looked around, then held up her hand with fingers spread. "This many!" she said. So Princess T has given me a commission which I'm honored to endeavor to achieve. I've started a Feather & Fan baby blanket, making a little smaller than the pattern calls for, but then I had a thought (why this didn't occur before I'd knit 4" of it, I'll never know): what if I could make these 5 different baby blankies in such a way that when T is past her baby doll stage, I can piece the blankies together to make her a lapghan. Yeah, it's ambitious; so I'll move out of my comfort zone, and just go ahead & frog the F & F blankie. It needs to be bigger. Kinda like everything else in Texas.