Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Three cheers

We closed on the condo purchase on Friday!!  Huzzah!  I have the original key, and made copies for the rest of the Plaid Patrol.  Three guesses as to what was first moved into our new digs.  Go on, you'll get it if you think about it.  Yes!  You're right, it was yarn!  I loaded up the Red Menace with boxes and bundles of yarn (all light enough for me to handle), and some tools, and scooted off to our home.  I moved maybe a fifth of the stash, and I'll move more mid-week -- I'd like to keep it from being knocked around or trampled underfoot by the movers.  I'm claiming the front room as my craft space.  I can have the sewing machine set up & ready whenever I might be moved to sew.  Funny, I never used to think that was fun.  Then I started finding blogs about revamping old clothes into new styles, and thought I could do that.  It looks like I'll "inherit" the large bookcase for the craft room too.  The Plaidman built it specifically to house some of my larger knitting books and magazines, out of 1" X 12" boards.  I'm going to need a narrow table for the sewing machine, swift, and winder.  Although we've a small desk that might serve for the sewing machine, I don't think it will accomodate the other two items.  There just isn't enough of a "lip" around the top to hold those tools.  We're going over to American Freight later (this week? the weekend?) , so I'll look for something suitable then.  We need a lot of furniture...dining table & chairs, sofa & either a loveseat or two comfy chairs for the living room, lamps for the LR & Disco's den & the craft room.  Disco has a built-in bookcase in her basement suite.  I think a good floor lamp would work well down there; if I can get a good deal I'll buy two.  We have to figure out where the computer desk will go, and where the stereo will reside -- I'm thinking the "breakfast nook" would be a good place for that; we've got a stand for it.
ETA:  We've started carrying lighter boxes of "stuff" to the new place.  Maybe half of the stash has landed in the upstairs "craft" room.  Now we're splitting time between the two homes, 'coz we carried all the laundry there -- as Dog is my witness, we will not wash clothes at a laundromat again! -- even though we can only process 1 wash and 1 drying load at a time.  Hours of work, during which I wandered away to the craft room and picked up my swatch for Color Affection.  I frogged it, and started the shawl!  Startitis strikes again.  This was Sunday.  Yesterday, our dining table and chairs were delivered.  Plaidman & Disco worked together to put the legs on it, then he left her to work on the chairs while he drove to the Box O'Docs to pick me up.  Of course we had to go back for Disco, and I wanted to see the table.  We actually haven't had a dining table since we left West Nashville, some 18 years ago!  I'm not sure what the general plan is for today.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I need a list

Or a spreadsheet, or just to have my head examined.  We are closing on the condo in two days!!!  We'll still own the crackerbox house, so there's no huge hurry to move -- but neither the Plaidman nor I can lift, push or pull much.  We'll need some help, which I'd like to hire.  The Plaidman has changed over the utilities at the condo, and our insurance is in order on both properties (I have two houses.  Who'da thunk it?), and you know I can't hold more than three thought trains in line at a time.  SO ... I don't know what else I need, other than a good list. 
I have frogged the sleeve joins, neckline decreases & raglan decreases on the Gramps Cardigan.  I watched Kate Oates' little video about moving the stitches to maintain the cable pattern, in fact I watched it about 3 times in a row.  I did not have any knitting in my hands, to be able to duplicate her process while watching.  So, I need my tech person aka DiscoDame to get into that video & download it to a flash drive, so I can watch it at home with the $&(#% sweater in my hands.  This little item must go to a new home!
I've worked many more rows on the Estonian scarf/shawlette, still loving it immensely.  Just think, in the condo I'll have a whole room for crafting!  I'll be able to block this puppy on the floor, with the door closed against feline intrusion.  I'll be able to have the sewing machine set up 24/7.  All my knitting & crocheting books & magazines will have their very own bookcase.  Speaking of which, the former owner's two offspring were present at our last walk through.  They'd been wondering what to do with some things that were still in the house (well, actually, on the patio) that had no places in their homes.  One item is a medium sized bookcase, needing a coat or three of paint; another was an older TV with a swiveling stand.  Both were offered to us, and will be staying with us.  Disco can have the TV & stand for her suite.  Once it's repainted, I'd like to put the bookcase in the front room as part of my crafting space. 
I have no idea how I'll manage to stay sane, moving right before Christmas.  I sure hope Disco & the Plaidman work up some more enthusium for this move, as they're at home all day most days & have the TIME to do some packing. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014


Not too many folks have this quality.  I knit a covering onto a holiday ball, and brought it in for our office ornament swap.  We drew numbers, and in turn picked up an ornament -- mine was the last one picked.  Did I mention that all the ornaments were wrapped?  I think the yarn bow I put on mine may have been too big a clue.   Well, I thought it was cute!  Most of my other knitting is in a holding pattern, as the Plaid Patrol wrestles with the paperwork and the physical work of getting ready to move.  Yep, we're buying a condo.  Disco will have a very large room (30' X 12"!  Half the basement!) that she can divide as she wishes.  She'll have her bath too -- no more waiting for her to get out of the bath.  Last night, as I pulled into the driveway, I saw the Plaidman & Disco at the shed.  They'd pulled a lot of "stuff" out; their mission was to find out if we still had a small dining table and an iron twin bed in there.  Disco is tired of her platform bed, and I was hoping we still had the iron bedstead.  The two of them did get a lot of trash out of the shed, but no table or bedstead.  I think she'll just have to keep the platform bed for now.  We do plan to buy a whack of furniture, as the condo is about 2.5 X bigger than the little crackerbox house.  Currently, we don't even have a couch!  We had a futon for a long time, then the frame started breaking down.  The plan is to move the fridge & oven out to the shed while we have the floors redone throughout the little house.  I'm not hurrying to get that done, we can take our time as long as the outside is maintained. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A blur

That's what this weekend was.  We've been super busy: we made an offer on a condo!  And it's been accepted!  The condo is about 2.5 times larger than our little crackerbox house, and it's clear on the other side of town.  My commute to work will be about 20-30 minutes, instead of 45-90 (yes, if the weather's inclement it takes an hour & a half {!!!} to get home, mostly because everyone else drives like a Nashvillian).  "Oo, oo, what is this stuff falling from the sky?!?!"  I need an Abrams tank. 
Our new home has 3 bedrooms & 3 bathrooms; there are stairs down to a finished basement which has one of the bathrooms, plus one large & one small closet, and a covered patio.  This 30' x 12' room will be Disco's den.  The master has its own bath, and the front bedroom (my office/craft room!!) has a bath in the hall.  We'll have a fireplace, dishwasher, washer & dryer, skylights, a little dining room (more of breakfast alcove, really).  There's a covered deck off the living room; the Plaidman has already started talking about screening it or maybe enclosing half as a Florida room & screening the other half -- it's quite wide.  The flies in the ointment are pretty obvious; who know we'd have to pony up some much money on the front end?  There are only about a gazillion fees associated with the loan application itself.  And then there's this: I hate to move.  I hate it with a burning passion.  Since the Plaidman & I became permanent roomies, we've moved all of 4 times.  Since 1975.  That works out to (scribble scribble) once per decade.  And until this last move takes effect, we'll have lived exclusively on the west side of Nashville.  I'm psyching myself up for it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Eat to live

That was always my Mom's advice.  I've got to pat my family on the back, because this week there's been a terrific effort to make up some healthy & tasty dinners.  The crock-pot has been in use, as well as our large stockpot.  We've had 16-bean soup, with country ham for flavor, of which I've carried some to work for lunch.  Last night we had a concocted soup of andouille sausage, kale, and potatoes & seasonings -- but not the seven-spice powder we'd just bought at the World Market in West Nashville.  It was delicious.  We also bought some tahini & chick peas; I see hummus in my future.  The Plaidman got a little snippy about the questions & comments I had re: the 16-bean soup -- maybe I should just back off!  But he often leaves out any seasoning, or adds it with such a light touch that it has no effect on the flavor.  He knows I don't want my food really spicy hot, but can't seem to grasp that moderate seasoning adds savor.
So, now I'm thinking of Thanksgiving, and we always have to decide whether it'll be turkey or ham for dinner.  There's just the three of us, and no room to entertain anyone else, so it'll have to be one or the other but not both.  I think it was last year that I cooked a turkey breast in the crock-pot, with a lot of garlic and sage and .... other stuff that I wish I'd written down somewhere, because that turkey was memorably yummy.  We had a sandwich or two out of the leftovers, but still had plenty left that weekend.  I decided to put it back into the slow cooker, with kale and carrots and more garlic and .... more stuff that I wish I'd written down, because the resulting soup was EPIC.  And will likely never be repeated. 
I've been knitting a little at night, working on Nancy Bush's Estonian Lacy Shawl and some rather plain socks, just K2P2 ribbing but knee length.  I dug my wooly warm mistake rib scarf out, and have been enjoying it the last couple of days.  This weekend I've got some vacation time, and will try to get the Gramps Cardigan closer to being finished.  When I tire of working on that, I'll wash & block a couple of FO's.  Should be fun, as one is lace but I've no blocking wires.  Sounds like I need to invest in them.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

To Knit or not to knit

I haven't started holiday knitting.  I rather think I'll give it a pass this year--I've got enough on my plate right now, why would I add any more stress?  But I still troll thru Ravelry for quickie accessory patterns!  I have no idea how many fingerless mitt or cowl patterns I have in my library there.  I want to knit ALL the things!  Just got the new Knit Picks catalog yesterday, those rotten enablers are tempting me to try the Fox Paws pattern...must look away!  The designer used Knit Picks Palette.  The catalog has a 150 color pack for just (gulp!) $419.oo  and change.  See, the Fox Paws doesn't require any stranded or intarsia knitting.  It's fabulous color shifts are worked with increases and decreases only!  So I could probably manage it, provided I was willing to knit nothing else until it was done.  And I want it soooo much. 
I ordered a book from Interweave, and re-upped my subscription Sigh! in spite of really being a bit peeved about not being able to download some of their freebies.  I've thought about getting Vogue Knitting too -- but right now I'm trying not to add too much "clutter" to the tiny homestead.  We've had roofers out with estimates, and selected one about a month ago.  Of course, then we had the wettest October in living memory, and nothing could be done.  Our roofer's gotten backed up, since they couldn't work much at all in October.  No one wants to be on a roof in a storm, unless that's the only part of the house not underwater!  So now we're just "hanging fire" while we wait on a roof, and trying to figure out other ways to tidy up the tiny house before we sell the sucka.  Speaking of which, I had an interesting discussion with a loan manager at the bank, and now I'm really pumped and ready to buy a house (actually, a condo -- the Plaidman just can't "do" yardwork anymore). 

Friday, October 24, 2014


I came back to work on Tuesday!  Only worked 3.5 days so far, so why's it feel like 8?!?!  Tuesday & Wednesday evenings, I was so beat I couldn't even knit.  I made myself work on my lace shawl last night (as Dog is my witness I shall wear lace!).  I just hope I haven't messed it up, due to knitting while tired. 

The Komen Race for the Cure is on this weekend; with all my health issues I didn't bother signing up.  Disco wanted to go again, and I'd take her in a minute, only I'd have to pay her registration & my observer ticket $.  That's a bit much right now.  We've had some estimates for the new roof, and settled on a roofer, so and descretionary spending has to be curtailed.  Sis has mentioned her own roof problems, excerbated by the clay tiles that are the top layer.  Each tile weighs about 8 pounds; that's a lot of weight on an iffy underlayer!  So, if I'm not coming out to the Race, I have the weekend free.  Hmm, maybe a good weekend to work on stash organization.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Here we are again

I had a complete bone scan a few days ago, and a follow-up with an orthopedic physician today -- and got some good news.  It appears there aren't any metastases in my right arm.  I'm very happy, as of course I don't want any surgery there. 
I have put the Gramps Cardi in hibernation for the time being, while I cruise the forums & project pages in Ravelry for some kinda clue about maintaining the cables in the yoke of this little sweater.  While it's cooling its heels, I must have some other knitting going on.  I finished the knitting for the CAP bracelet bags for the nieces, and don't "feel" the felting just now.  So...I dug around in my library, and came up with Nancy Bush's Lacy Estonian Scarf pattern in the Winter 2011 issue of Knitting Traditions.  And look!  I have several skeins of 100% baby alpaca laceweight yarn, including two that are the same color & dye lot.  And over here, I have the 2.5 mm circular needle called for in the pattern.  I started & frogged this d^$*#d thing about 12 times before I finally put some sewing thread into a needle, and started putting lifelines every 5th row.  Since then, I haven't made any errors that weren't immediately seen & fixable.   What magic is there in a lifeline?  I don't know, but I'll continue to put them in frequently, and hope the knitting sprites are happy. 
I had a call from my sister, with support & love & other good stuff as well as important news.  Dear old Dad has been moved into an assisted living facility a few miles from her home.  What a relief!  She's nearby, and he'll have access to social interaction, and someone will make sure he eats daily and gets his meds.  Now, I have some time left before I really must try to go back to work, and Sis is suggesting I travel to her home for a visit.  I would like to see Dad.  But can I afford to go?  I'll have to think about that.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

And now for something completely different...

How about a little good news?  I have been in less pain lately!  Thanks to all & sundry (looking at you, Michael!) for the good thoughts & well-wishes.  My last visit with the oncologist included a discussion of the uses of radiation therapy, which it turns out would be rather limited for yours truly because of the widespread distribution of my disease; and a mention of an expected result of less pain at this point in my chemo treatments.  I'm still having more or less constant pain in my leg, right around where that one lesion resides.  If it continues thru the next month, a quick zap of radiation to that one spot may be in order.  We shall see.  I'm making plans to return to work near the end of October, and beginning to wean myself from the walker.  Don't know if I mentioned the walker here before; I had to "pimp" it up so it would be less depressing: I put a bicycle horn on one side, and a bicycle bell (a Dinger 200!  Woot!) on the other.  My wheels have a voice. 
I am still plugging on the Gramps Cardi; I'm at the point in the pattern where the designer is trusting the knitter to know how to fit those darling cables between the neckline & raglan decreases.  I'm so screwed, aka clueless, aka ready to make a small bonfire somewhere....if only this yarn weren't so lovely.  I see there's a huge thread on Ravelry of other folks trying to come to grips with this beast.  Sure do wish I had the interwebs at home, so I could peruse it at leisure! 

I was supposed to see the doctor on the 19th, and was prepared to get all pirate-y on those folks (my pirate name is Captain Anne Bonney) for ITLAPD.  Only we had to reschedule due to insurance coverage issues.  So Disco (aka Red Bess Bonney) and I dressed up to go to the laundromat, and then to the local meat-n-three.  Got lots of comments on my Captain's hat!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

A second trip thru the wringer

This week I've had my most "favorite thing" of all time -- Surgery!  One of the metastatic malignancies I'm carting around ate thru 75% of my femur (that great big bone between hip & knee, for those who are anatomy-challenged).  It was at severe risk of fracturing, so now I have a titanium rod inside it to prevent that rather messy & certainly painful possibility.  I asked the doctor if he could find an adamantium rod instead, then had to explain what that was.  Now I'm thoroughly equipped:  I've a wheeled walker, an extended reach doohickey, a tub seat, and an extra tall toilet seat.  But hey! I can actually bear some weight on my leg now!  Unfortunately, our tiny crackerbox home is very difficult to maneuver through with the walker.  And it still has a lot of repair work that needs doing -- only how?  I suppose we could rent another place for a few weeks or months. 
I was not able to get much knitting done in hospital, as I had an IV in my hand that hurt.  But I've been working on the 2nd sleeve for the Gramps cardi, even putting in lifelines ( as Dog is my witness, I'm not starting over a fourth time!).  When the sleeves are done, it'll be time to work the raglan decreases of the yoke, and make the buttonband & collar.  Not much left!  I'm eager to see it done.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Good news (sort of?), bad news

I've met with my oncologist, and started treatment for the cancer that has spread to my bones.  He tells me there is no cure, but with treatment I will likely survive for many more years.  I'm not sure whether or not I've dodged a bullet, but I am somewhat relieved.  The survival span he's given would take me past 3 score and 10, which is really all any of us might have anyway.  BUT .. I am still in a lot of pain, taking some heavy duty pain meds.  For someone with a strong family history of substance abuse, who's managed to avoid that trap for her entire life, this is so very depressing.  Earlier this month, at a visit with an orthopedic physician, he advised me to take the meds more often.  So for two days I took it at the shortest prescribed interval, around the clock.  Then I woke up with a "travelling" itch -- you know, where it's over on the right arm then the left knee then at the back of the neck, etc. -- and I thought I might be having a reaction.  This was about 2 am, so I quietly got up & ducked into the bath to check for a rash or hives.  Nada -- no obvious source of an itch.  I'm standing in our tiny bathroom, staring into a mirror & thinking.  I remember seeing police dramas, where some junkie is being interviewed, and the junkie's always scratching...and I had to lay my head down on the towel bar and have a bit of cry.  So now, I don't take the narcotic pain med around the clock -- I have a prescription NSAID, which I use once every day, giving me a six-hour narcotic free period daily.  And I haven't been "jonesing" for the narcotic.  I just have to keep in mind that an addiction to my pain med probably isn't a primary problem, and if the treatments I'm getting work as planned I should be in a lot less pain eventually. 
Today I met with another ortho doctor, for the tendonitis in my elbow.  He took some Xrays, and saw where that elbow had an old fracture -- and there's some arthritis around it as well.  These and my work (computer mostly) have added up to the tendonitis.  I have a sling, to add to the soft collar (for the cervical fracture) and thoraco-lumbar support (thoracic fracture).  I'm sure I look like a total wreck, or that I've been in one.  After the office visit, we went over to the Krispy Kreme for donuts.  We ate inside, where the tables are tiny and have only two chairs.  Of course, we number three.  So I asked a gent sitting alone if I could have his other chair, and he jumped up and moved it to our table for me.  The perks of looking like a wreck, I guess. 
I thank any & all who've been checking in here, I'm sure your good thoughts for me are doing me some good!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The calm before the storm

Last Friday I submitted to a CT-guided biopsy of one bony mass on my hip.  Dog, that was one unpleasant experience. For starters, I had no pre-op instruction such as "Do not eat!", so I ate a cup of yogurt at 5 a.m.  The procedure was scheduled for 8 a.m., and I had to arrive at 6 a.m. for all the paperwork processing, and to allow the radiologist to view the CD of my earlier CT & MRI scans.  Hey, I had a greatest hits CD!!  Folks who know me, know I cope with humor -- even very bad humor.  As soon as my breakfast became known, the service was postponed to 11 a.m.  I was confined to a very uncomfortable gurney from about 7 to 11.  The only bright spot was finding Shark Week on the Discovery Channel (we're Luddites, and haven't got cable at home), very cheering altho rather bloody.  The rest of the Plaid Patrol was present, but took turns running down to the cafeteria for breakfast.  Some 36 years ago, I herniated a lumbar disc, and have not been able to lay on my stomach since then.  So, when I finally rolled into the CT procedure room, I was appalled to learn that I'd have to be on my tummy for the whole thing.  And the CT table is very hard.  They kept promising me some good drugs, otherwise I think I would have made a run for it.  So, I'm on my tum, with an extra cushion under said tum, and the gown opened in back, and the nurse tells me the table is defective in that it won't slide back under the CT scanner unless I can pull my arms off the edge to a "Superman" pose -- does she know I've got a broken C-7 vertebra?  Much groaning followed.  Well, the whole thing took about 40 minutes, and the drugs were good; I dozed a bit near the end.  I  had no pain from the needle aspiration biopsy itself, but every core collected involved a loud crunch -- let's try not to think about that too much.  This Friday, I'll discuss the results with my Alpha Team Leader (oncologist), and we'll make some plan.  Enough of this topic.
Yesterday I found a "fatal error" in the second sleeve of the Gramps Cardi, so it's been frogged & restarted.  I looked at a lot of my knitting books & magazines yesterday; I still have so much to knit and possibly even less time to do so.  I surely wish I could get Disco interested in knitting, I hate to think my rather large knitting library and collection of yarn will go to some stranger.  Maybe I should consider destashing? 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Unsettling, to say the least

I've been just about managing to keep working while suffering a severely pinched nerve in my neck.  My primary care physician diagnosed it (without diagnostic imaging) as a slipped disc, gave me 9 days worth of Prednisone and some muscle relaxant med to help me sleep.  When the Prednisone was a week gone, I had to call her again, wanting a referral to a chiropracter or orthopedist.  She sent me to a physical therapist.  I took PT 3 times a week for 2 weeks, then 2 times a week for 2 weeks, and wasn't really getting any relief.  The last scheduled session was cancelled by me, as I felt too much pain to allow me to do the exercises suggested.  I went home early from work that Thursday, and didn't go to work at all on the Friday after.  I was really just laying in the bed & moaning.  Saturday evening the Plaidman went to the hardware store & made a few more stops.  While he was out, I got up to answer Nature's call, took about 3 steps and heard (and FELT!!!) a huge snapping/cracking sound from my back & hip.  I was immediately immobile; Disco had to bring me a cane and take my arm to get me the last two steps to the bath (very small house).  I dithered, but eventually the pain won out and when Plaidman got home we headed to the ER in Robertson Co.  The upshot is, I've got two pathological fractures, in my cervical spine (the so-called slipped disc) and in my thoracic spine.
Other findings point to masses in my chest wall, spinal column, and hip.  The very worst of bad pennies seems to have shown up again.  I don't think I've talked much about my history of cancer, and I really don't want to now, but if you don't hear from me for a while just know that I am fighting and praying to save my life. 
Let's change the subject before I dissolve in tears.  AHEM! I've been working on the tiny Gramps Cardigan, and have one sleeve done up to the point where it'll be attached to the body.  I've started the other sleeve too!  Still tickled to pieces at this darling sweater.  I did a mini-project in cotton yarn, which should work as intended but which doesn't really deserve any more attention here.  Still working on the party purses ala CAP for the nieces, even though I still have not heard one word about the Bunny Hop being received.  Gah, all I want is one picture of the kid in it, for pete's sake.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Twice in one week

Gotta be a record for me posting, lately.  The Plaidman has his marching orders, to get in touch with some structural repair companies & have them give us estimates on the floor joist repair.  We'll just hold our breath until that's done...or maybe NOT.  But summer is now officially upon us here, and this is the time to get home repairs done  with minimal weather delays.  I don't know if anyone's interested in the process, but I think I'll be documenting it all -- just to show what I survived (if that actually is the outcome; otherwise, it'll show just where the final straw was laid on my back!).  To that end, I want to create another page here.  That would be the fourth page, although there are currently only two: I've promised DiscoDame her own page on my blog, to showcase her jewelry & stitchmarkers.  I'll need to take some more pictures!  She's really been busy since she took a class in jewelry making.  I gave her some strands & other bits that I don't wear much anymore, and she's cannabilizing them for other jewelry.  She's hoping to be able to sell some items; we'll have to set her up a PayPal account & figure out how (& how far!) she'll ship her goods.  So, I'll probably be back here this weekend to get all that set up. 
And I hope to have a Finished Object to show -- a lace scarf that I finished on Saturday.  I still need to wash & block it, but I'll get before & after pics.  Honestly, right now it looks like someone spilled Easter egg dye all over a huge vat of Ramen noodles. 
In other knitting, I finally swatched with the Knitter's Pride Trendz acrylic needles, for the Gramps Cardi.  Guess what?  I got soooo close to the stockinette gauge!  I'm so glad I forked over the $ for the Trendz interchangeable set.  I've already ordered more of the DK yarn from Knit Picks (and it's already been shipped!  yippee!), so I'll make the next larger size with the Trendz, getting a gauge just a smidgen smaller than the pattern calls for.  I'm sure I'll have to swap back & forth between the yarn I got earlier and the new yarn, as KPicks was actually completely out of the Tahitian Pearl colorway -- sure to be different dye lots.  Of course, I always order enough from KPicks to get the free shipping, so there are 6 skeins of the Coastal colorway coming along as well.  Plus some lace weight...for which there is no excuse. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014


Well, just disregard that stuff about moving.  We looked at the lengths we'd have to go to to get the tiny house paid off (like gutting my 401K!!), and the possible adverse effect that would have on our assets in general...and decided we'll try for a home equity loan instead.  This will be a longish process, as we first have to get some estimates for the work that must be done, and some for the work that we'd like to get done, and figure out if we can do more than the absolutely necessary.  And as we were discussing this last week, we had another problem arise.  I was sound asleep, 10:30 p.m. Friday, when something struck me on my head.  I woke up screaming and flailing, thinking I was being attacked, until I finally got the lamp on.  The ceiling had fallen on me!  Disco & the Plaidman ran into the bedroom as I was looking up at the very large hole in the ceiling.  It had rained about two days before, and apparenly the flashing on the front edge of the roof came down, allowing water to accumulate overhead.  The top of the bed was wet & covered in plaster.  We scrambled around to get some plastic draped over all, and put some pans under to catch the water still falling.  Of course, The Plaidman & I had to go to a motel for the rest of the night.  Fortunatley, the eggcarton mattress pad kept the mattress itself dry.  It's taken him a couple of days to figure it out, but Plaidman has put a tarp over the roof where the flashing's gone, and even applied some tarp to our ceiling, until we can get a repairman out.  Last night I got to sleep in my own bed again; Disco was thrilled, since I've been bunking in her bed while she slept on the floor.  Her cat was totally confused, "Why is MyMom on the floor?  Why is OtherMom in the bed?".  And oh by the way, I was unharmed, which is the reason The Plaidman is alive today. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Don't blink

Or you might miss this very quick post.  I'm still (!!!) working on the Cat's Paw scarf, and it's already going to be about 7' long after blocking.  I haven't returned to swatching the Gramps cardi yet, as I'd really like to turn the scarf into a(n?) FO.  And I'm deep into summer reading.  Got at least two, often three, novels I'm reading at any given time.  I really need to switch to listening to books so I can knit at the same time.
Hint hint to The Plaidman:  CeltChick would like some player to which I can download books from the library!  An Anniversary approaches, ya know.  Actually, what I'd really like is to find a decent condo (1,000 sq ft) in our modest price range, and move out of the crackerbox (about 750 sq ft).  Yep, we need to pull up stakes and roll on down the road.  So, darling spouse, please work on finding our new home. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Discuss among yourselves

Hello Hokitka.  Hello whomever reads this in San Antonio; wish you'd comment!  I really like San Antonio a lot, been there several times and always find some fun. 
The Peerless Bunny Hop has been shipped off to its new owner & intended recipient, Princess T.  I sent it inside another gift for her (& for Sis, sort of), a storage bench that is, if not spot on, a really close match for the off-white furnishings of the Princess' room.  See, I usually sleep in her room when I visit -- it's full of toys, and some nice girly furniture, but the bed is super high (I'm only 5'1") and unsuitable for seating, and the only chairs are all tiny kids' chairs with the seats about 1' from the floor.  It's kinda hard for a "traditionally built" gal to use those chairs while trying to get into her trousers or socks & shoes.  So...I bought a sturdy storage bench for T's room.  Shipping cost about two thirds again the price of the item, but it  was quite a bit less than the Postal Service wanted. 
The Plaidman has been under the weather since mid February, having been hospitalized twice and had two procedures.  Dog, he's just falling apart since he retired!  And couldn't wait on this mess until his Medicare starts....oh well.  I think he's finally getting serious about his diet, at least.  Nothing like being kept fasting for long periods, with a threat of liquid diet only after, to make you think about what you put in your mouth! 
Hopefully, DiscoDame will be attending a job fair this afternoon.  Let's all think good thoughts for both her & The Plaidman, please. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Home again, home again

Well, Texas & I have survived each other.  No monster (14” long, 1.25” wide!!) millipedes this time, and our dear Princess T is thriving.  Miss A has had some setbacks, mostly due to being a teen now (and just a bit of a drama Queen? Maybe).  The warm weather has officially moved into middle Tennessee, so we’re sleeping with the window open.  The other human members of the Plaid Patrol did not cook any dinners while I was gone, but still managed to dirty every dish in the house.  That’s ok, they’re the ones that have to clean it up! 

Exciting news: I finished the Princess’ Bunny Hop sweater!  I got some heavy duty fusible binding tape, same width as the ribbon facing for the snap closures, used it to press on the ribbon quite firmly – and totally stabilized the fronts of the sweater.  Then measured & marked (Dog bless washable markers!) placement for 11 snaps, and pounded on those snaps.  Whew!  Such banging and bashing!  But it’s done like dinner (love that expression, thank you Stephanie).  I’m waiting on some ordered presents to arrive, and will ship the sweater to our Princess as soon as I can put them all together. 


(pay no attention to the dates on these pics; every time the battery dies the $&^% camera resets to a random date.)
I’m using one of my birthday presents from Sis, some Kertzer sock yarn in very parrot-y colors, to make a Cat’s Paw Scarf (Elizabeth Lovick, Northern Knitting).  I started another pattern in this and then found my copy was missing one line, so switched to this much simpler pattern.  Right now it looks like someone spilled food colors in a vat of cooked Ramen noodles….but blocking will sort it out.  I did get the Knitters Pride Trendz acrylic interchangeable needle set (Haus of Yarn ordered it for me J) , which I mean to use for swatching the Gramps Cardigan – as Dog is my witness, I will get gauge! – but I’m using the size 10 tips for this scarf.  It’s quite loose; mostly air with a bit of string run through it.  It’s been good travel knitting, since there are only 6 rows and only 3 have increases & decreases.  I've been working on it off & on almost two weeks now, and I'm still only half way thru the skein -- this puppy's gonna be long! 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bless this mess

Last night I found out that the bed I've been using here in Texas has a heated mattress pad....I may never go home....  Perfect timing, as I'd been worn to a little nubbin trying to keep up with Sis, aka Super Shopper!!
We had a birthday luncheon at the Princess' school, then Super Shopper carried me around to Randall's, then Savers (all donated items, sales supporting programs for children), then Tuesday Morning (I had a major fall down on the budget there, SHHH!), and finally Jo Ann Fabric & Crafts.  I don't know how she does it.  By the time we left Tuesday Morning, I was ready for a nice long visit to a recliner & maybe some mindless TV (Sis has a great media room!), but we still had to get a few items at Jo Ann. 
I've started a lace scarf on the road.  Hope it goes better than the last time I tried that!
Yes, Disco, our dingbat dog was the one that let you hang onto his ear while you learned to walk.   I'd like to find that pic I took of him, while I had the camera in one hand and his favorite toy in the other!  Lots of BIG TEETH coming right at the camera!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


That's an odd word.  Some folks around here use it to mean the "pacifier" given to babies.  I'm calling it the same as Spring.  We got a blue million daffodils up in the yard, it got into the upper 60's last week, and yesterday it snowed.  Enough winter!  It's almost April, for cryin' out loud. 
The Plaidman is losing his marbles.  Today he noticed that his car tags expired last December.  He distinctly remembered going to get the stickers, but couldn't find them.  After a search of the living room and both cars he finally found the envelope from the county clerk's office -- showing that no, he did NOT already buy new "tags" (actually just the stickers).  So he had to run out to the vehicle inspection center, but there's no hope of him getting to the clerks office before they close.  He'll have to get that done tomorrow. 
DiscoDame is (and there should be a fanfare) now covered by insurance!!!  Thank you insurance marketplace.  She had to wait about 3 months before they got done processing her application, and the premiums for two of those months + April had to be paid all at once (!%*$^%!!), but she's insured. 
I am still swatching for the Gramps cardigan; I've even got a set of acrylic interchangeable circs on order at Haus of Yarn to try to get gauge.   I spoke with the recipient's doting grandmother yesterday, to explain the issue, and she's cool -- the boy lives in a very warm climate and will likely not need a sweater till late Fall, but maybe I should make it bigger?  He's two, I'd planned on making a size 4....but if gauge continues to elude me, I guess I could re-jigger the math to get a size between 4 and 6.  This is not supposed to be a jacket-weight sweater, being worked in DK weight yarn.  Still, I certainly don't want to use needles larger than US 7.  I'll have to work on it. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Oh why not

It's been a bit quiet on here lately.  Sorry, I got distracted, and I really can't even say what it was that drew me away.  Just "stuff"! 
Saturday the two junior members of the Plaid Patrol were stuffed into a pet carrier, then to the car (cats in cars!! the horror!!), then held in a line with a bunch of dogs for about an hour before being taken away by someone they didn't know & given their rabies vaccines.  That was their birthday present, getting legal. 
Disco is getting down to the wire.. she agreed to have at least one job interview before the end of March, and it hasn't happened yet.  Don't know why she doesn't apply where I work; the Box O'Docs isn't a bad place to work.  And she could ride in with me, and hear John Boy & Billy on The Big Show every day.  Heck, if she'd learn to drive we could swap up, and I'd have more knitting time. 
Which I need so much!  I'm still working on my Arden mitts, another 4 or 5 rows before I start the thumb gusset on the 2nd one.  I just know I'll lose interest once the weather turns warm, and then be mad at myself when the Docs turn on the air conditioning. 
I just bought a bunch of Shibui sock yarn -- so soft! so lovely! -- and Dana told me that it's been discontinued.  Bummer, dude!  So I'd better get over to the Haus to see what they've got left of it, maybe they'll have that one color I'd still like to get.  
So, currently on the needles: the Ardens, swatches for the Gramps cardigan, and not really anything else.  I'm not getting #&^%# gauge for the Gramps, and I've about worn out a large portion of one of the skeins I'm gonna need for it. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Missing a friend I never met

Yesterday I dropped off a 16 lb sack of Meow Mix, a 4 lb bag of Purina Kitten Chow, and two bundles of large trash bags and tall kitchen trash bags at the Nashville Humane Society.  Some puppies there tried to call out ot me, but I resisted.  Don't you know, when I went to their website earlier, and looked at their donations page, it opened to a picture of a tiny ginger kitten in someone's hand...and Duncan was ginger...Sigh.  Teh catz haz such efer epfem short little lives.  Cat folks have to learn to deal with missing them.  I like to remember some of mine, especially The Snow Baby.  If she was days from delivering kittens, and soaking wet, she might have weighed six pounds.  The Snow Baby was a white, mostly-Persian little lady of a cat.  Her eyes were a dark gold in color, and her nose and ears showed pretty pink accents.  Always ready to play, I could play with her all day and never ever get scratched--such lovely manners!  She pretty much liked everybody, although she did give the shepherd pup a bad scratch to his face.  She was provoked!  The dingy dog put his nose right in her tummy; she probably thought she was about to get eaten.  He never did that again.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Goodbye, little friend

I am so saddened to see that Duncan Donut, The Glorious Dogcat, has passed away.  So often his exploits, related by Zoom at, brought a laugh to my day.  Duncan was a shelter cat, and I think it would be nice if we could all make a small donation of pet food, volunteer some of our time, or maybe knit up some washable cuddles for other shelter pets in our areas, in his name.  RIP, Duncan!  So sorry for your loss, Zoom!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Knitting challenge for the duration of the Olympics

 My challenge to myself this time is to finish as many WIPs as I can.  So...during the Opening Ceremony I wove in ends on my beautiful Janet Beret, then during the first commercial break I tossed it and a lacy headband into the sink for a nice soak.  I left them there for about 30 minutes, and at the break after that I put them into rinse mode.  After a few minutes of draining, during which I collected an old towel, both got rolled up in the towel and squeezed nearly dry.  I pulled out one of our 12" plates. s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d it over that huge plate, then threaded a tapestry needle with about 5' of size 10 crochet cotton.  Using that folded in half, I put the needle through all the edge stitches around the brim, then started pulling -- and pulling -- and pulled the opening closed to about 6" across.  I tied a bow in the crochet thread.  This opened up the lace, and drew the brim down so it would dry smaller, and fit better.  Which it does!  Love it when a plan comes together.
I've worn the headband to work, it looks really nice and as I recall it was a really quick knit.  The only issue I have is that the lace I used is stockinette based, and wants to curl in at the side.  Blocking improved that, and of course you won't see that when it's wrapped around a skull, so it's ok. 
2/20/14 Update:  Over the weekend, Disco presented me with two pairs of fishhook dangly earrings she'd made for me!  I wore one pair up to the office yesterday and had 3 ladies ask if she had anymore ready!  Are you listening, DiscoDame?   I need to get some pictures, and put them here.  Also, Disco has said she'd model the Arden mitts for some photos, and I mean to hold her to that. 

I will be so glad

...To see the back of this week!  The arthritis in my back has really been kicking me down lately, sometimes waking me up & other times just making it very hard to get to sleep.  This is a problem, but I can & will soldier on -- with more frequent breaks in the knitting and trying to avoid holding any heavy books open to read 'em.  Got a scare Thursday:  The Plaidman hadn't been feeling well for a couple of days; around 11 a.m. Thursday DiscoDame called to let me know she'd called an ambulance for her Dear Old Dad, as he felt he needed to go to the ER but didn't think he could drive.  Disco doesn't drive at all.  So I told her to see if she could ride in the ambulance with her Da; she rode shotgun in the cab.  No, they didn't use the siren.  So, I waited to hear something more from her.  And I waited.  And waited some more.  She called me again about 2 p.m. to let me know that tests were ordered, but no definite diagnosis was established yet.  Then she called back at 3 with the diagnosis, and asked if she should call a cab to get home.  Heck no!  I left work at my ususal time of 4 p.m. and went straight to the hospital to pick them up.  We have a high deductible plan, so this is going to be expensive enough.  So he's been puny all weekend, only started back on solid food this morning.  And he had a call from his sis last night; his aunt's oldest son had committed suicide on Valentine's Day.  Not a great holiday for this family.
In the slightly better news, I did get some of my WIPs finished up.  I washed & blocked the Janet Beret, and a lace headband.  I finished the first of the Arden mitts, and wow is it handsome.  Take a look:
Have you seen it from this angle?

Please note the background ... my new favorite for photos!
So, I've still a good bit to do on this pair of mitts.  And I really REALLY need to finish the Bunny Hop sweater for the Peerless Princess.  Of course, that involves sewing, so no telling when I'll work up the gumption to get 'er done. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Dinner time!

OOh, please pardon the blurry pic!  These are stitch marker sets, on small lanyard hooks attached to a jewelry hanger.  Disco makes these!  She uses several sizes of rings, so if there's a size you'd like to see just tell me in comments -- sizes are in mm, mostly jump rings.

My title today is a reference to the Harlot's phrase, "Done like dinner", 'coz I'm done with the departmental ruffle scarves!  The last two will be given today, to coworkers I rarely see.  Next up is an experiment, to see if a neon orange ruffle yarn from Red Heart Sashay can be tea-dyed to look more like Vols orange, which is a bit more muted than the neon shade.  Yep, I know some Tennessee fans, and I'd like to make some things for them -- but finding that ruffle yarn in orange is a trial!  Whether or not the tea dyes the orange into a more suitable shade, I'll be knitting that yarn with a very white ruffle yarn into a super scarf for the fan.  And after that, NO MORE RUFFLE SCARVES!!  I'm pretty burnt out on 'em....

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Weekend WIP update

The 3rd skein of Europa Tweed has been joined into the (endless!)broken rib scarf, putting this project at about 55% done.  Just in time for the weather to warm up, of course.  I'm tired of working on this, and want so very much to move on to the Gramps Cardigan (Kate Oates, TotToppers).  MW at work wants this cardi for her two year old grandson, who's a bit big for his age.  I'll make the size 4, so he can wear it for a while.  Such an adorable little sweater!  Then I hope I'll still be in the sweater mood, and can make an Aidez for myself.  I may get that done by my birthday....if I don't get distracted.  I have a whack of yarn set aside for a sweater for the Plaidman, too.  Still haven't settled on the exact pattern, but one of Martin Storey's looks good for it. 
Disco is getting a bit more active in her quest for employment.  Plaidman & I have a standard response anytime she asks for something, "Get a job!"  She's got ideas to go somewhere and do something interesting -- "Get a job!"  She wants bacon in the fridge -- "Get a job!"  I think it's working.  Next we'll have to teach her to drive. 
Oh, I bought another cute pattern off Ravelry.  I remember when I first got on Ravelry, and saw the wealth of free patterns there, and thought gosh I'll never have to pay for a pattern again.  But so many of the paid ones are so lovely; still, I should just stop 'coz I'll never have enough time to knit all I've got in my library already. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Happy happy joy joy

Jan 10 214  Goodness, I started this almost a week ago but never got further than the title.  Which, btw, refers to getting all 17 coworker gifts done & delivered Dec 30!  Win!  So many folks were so surprised, since I'd gone around before Christmas and handed out candy filled mini-stockings -- guess they thought that was all I was doing.  And had lots of very positive responses, and got to know another coworker a bit better -- she's a knitter too!  She said she hadn't told but one or two folks that she knits, so when she opened her little gift sack and saw the yarny stuff within, she thought one of those folks had given her some yarn.  Then she pulled it out of the bag & was doubly surprised to find a scarf.  HeeHee!  So good to know my "people" are represented well in our organization (there are at least six yarncrafters within our walls).
Ok, you know I was desparate to get Disco's cooperation on this project.  Saturday after Christmas I had all the scarves knit, ends corralled, all ready to go.  My plan was to put each into a plain brown paper bag, fold down & punch holes in the top edge, and tie each closed with yarn.  Those plain brown bags just refused to stay plain.  That evening Disco & I got all "Girl Scout" crafty on the bags, with glitter glue and stickers and colored markers ... it was a mess, but so much fun!  No two were even remotely alike.  Unfortunately, I never took one single picture of the scarf collection or of the gussied-up bags.  Blogger fail, for sure. 
Last weekend I had a bizarre dream; guess what it means?
Dramatis Personae: (no lines -- this occurs in silence)

The Plaidman





TomTom is a neutered ginger tabby.  He’s slim, and has just about the longest tail I’ve ever seen on a housecat.  He’s a sweet little guy!  Loves attention & playing with string toys, and has always been just a little bit shy of The Plaidman. 

The Plaidman is a retired blue collar workin’ man.  He’s never intentionally harmed a pet in his life, and can’t imagine any justification for doing so.  He’s a quiet dude, but as the only other male in the household he’s viewed by the pets as the Big Dog. 


So, in the dream, Plaidman has taken a real shine to TomTom.  They are buddies, practically inseparable.  I’ve no idea how I know this (in the dreamworld), but “it is known”.  Plaidman & I are lying in bed, and TomTom is curled up with his buddy.  Disco knocks on the door; I know it’s time for us to get up & go do… something.  I get off the bed, and turn around to see Plaidman throwing off the covers.  TomTom is at the near edge of the mattress, and starts a great stretch.  Plaidman rolls onto his knees next to his little pal, and does the same cat-stretch.  I realize that they are too close, when I see Plaidman’s growing a stripey ginger coat all down his back.   They’re not tiger stripes, no sir.  Plaidman is turning into a very large ginger housecat. 
End Scene
Whaaaaat???  Is he trading in his beloved plaids for stripes?  Will I have to train him not to wear clashing stripes (like I trained him not to wear more than one plaid at a time...oy vey!)?