Friday, December 30, 2016

Soooo funny....NOT

So my blogging pal Emily of Cosmos & Cashmere has characterized 2016 as the Year of the Dumpster Fire, as in a total crash & burn.  I'd have to agree, and it's almost funny to think of it that way.  I'm sure Em is working very hard to find the fun, what with being flooded out of her home just about the time she found she's preggers.  Keep smilin', girlfriend.  Better days have got to be ahead, because they sure couldn't get much worse.
I have been amusing myself by reviewing the Joe Biden/Obama memes.  I sure will miss our Uncle Joe (no relation to nasty old Uncle Joe Stalin!).  Pennsylvanians know how to party, by golly.

Are your holidays over?  If not, I hope you're taking comfort in home & family time.  If so, I hope it was just the break you needed from the past year's wild & crazy ride.  I tried to knit a lacey bookmark, out of No. 10 crochet thread.  It was supposed to have 5 repeats of the lace pattern, but after the third one I just cast off and made a hanger, and put it on the tree!  It was just wearing out my hands.  That's ok, I have over a dozen other WIPs I could be working on.

I have been buying yarn again, even though I'm supposed to be going "cold sheep".  However, this is not my usual "OOO, shiny!" type of yarn buying.  You know what I mean, you find some yarn that is just too pretty not to bring home, buy what you think is a crapton of same, then get it home and find you have absolutely no idea what to do with it because you don't have enough!  No, this yarn buying is for specific purposes, both of which must be kept out of sight until they're accomplished.  Now, if I can just make myself start on one....haven't been feeling the knitting mojo much lately.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

All better!

My car went to the dealership because Firestone couldn't work on the "dealer specific error".  Firestone didn't charge us anything for the readout, since they couldn't do the work.  So, when the dealer's service dept. read the code, they discovered it was a bad sensor in the cam shaft.  As this was part of the drive train, which was still under warranty, they repaired it at no charge to us.  Whew!  A possibly big bullet dodged, right before Christmas.

There is no way I'll finish the little projects I'm working for coworkers, before Christmas.  Oh well, they can be 12th night gifts.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

With Feeling

The Vikings are seriously interfering with my early bedtime.  Yes, I stayed up to see the new episode last Wednesday.  That Ivar, he's just a barrel of laughs, ain't he?
The Plaidman finally made it over to the library, quite a trip since it's all of a half mile away.....  He paid our fines on all the books that were returned, and brought home some more books.  I've already finished A Green and Ancient Light by Frederic Durbin, which is lovely if you're into Faery tales.

Oh my, John Glenn has passed away.  I was in elementary school when he first went into orbit.  I've always considered him a hero.  Godspeed, John Glenn, and safe journey Home.

So...this has been a heckuva morning.  I was running a little late getting ready to go to work, but squeaked in with one minute to spare.  Went back to my desk, hung up my coat, combed my hair, then realized that I had an 8 am doctor appointment.  Dashed out, tooling down the highway, tried the doctor's office twice on the phone but couldn't get through; glanced down to check my speed and saw the "check engine" light was on!  Well, I called the Plaidman to meet me at the doctor's office & swap cars -- he went to the wrong building, got turned the right way, we finally met up.  I drove the beater from there back to work; thank goodness I hadn't eaten yet.  The old car smells like the world's biggest & nastiest ash tray.  But at least it got me to work, and I hope it'll get me home tonite.  Meanwhile, our mechanic has read the code to no avail; all it said was "dealer specific error" which means it has to go to a dealership to be resolved.  Fantastic.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Update to the appliance issue

The freezer died, then the fridge died.  This was the day before Thanksgiving.  We threw away everything from the freezer, then got out our coolers so we could keep milk, butter, breakfast sandwiches, etc.  The Plaidman couldn't get thru to the proper manufacturer over the phone that day or the next (natch! everyone was at home eating turkey!).  When he did get thru on Friday, he was told that the warranty was expired -- on a purchase we made just 3 months ago.  They said the warranty was counted from the date it came off the assembly line, rather than the date of purchase!  Truly ignorant, and made us pretty ticked off.  So on Saturday we went to the store where we bought it, and a manager there got just as ticked off at Frigidaire as we were.  He gave us a different phone # to call, they wanted proof of purchase, we sent it off...and had no response from them until a service tech showed up at the house mid-morning on Monday.  Guess what?  It was fixed, and cost nothing but The Plaidman's autograph.

As to The Plaidman's health issues...well, last week he saw the surgeon again and did get some relief. The doctor was concerned about his blood pressure, asked when he'd last seen his PCP.  My strong, silent dude hasn't been seen by a doctor in years.  I've been trying to get him to go for a check up, for years.  The surgeon says,"We've got a family clinic downstairs.  I'll get you an appointment for today."   And lo, The Plaidman agreed, and it was good.  So now he's got prescriptions for his blood pressure, and a scheduled follow up.  And he can't take decongestants anymore; this is a biggee and I'll likely have to pitch them all in the trash to keep them out of his hands.  Or I could ask Disco to take them all downstairs, and not let her DOD have them/

My how time flies

Last week I watched the first episode of the new season of Vikings on the History channel.  Ragnar is looking pretty run down.  Still got those icy blue eyes...  Anyway, the entire Plaid Patrol was fixated on the TV, watching both the telling of the tale of Ragnar and the new episode.  I need to get the last season on DVD, I missed a lot of it.  I sure wish we could get our DVR to work with our TV (compatibility issues); I couldn't stay up to watch the "making of" program that followed.  Oh well.
I haven't the faintest idea of what to knit for coworkers this year, except maybe some lacy bookmarks or headbands (has to be something that will fit in a money gift holder! flat like folding money).

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

How much do you love sock yarn? Wanna win some? has a "cause" for promotion:  They're giving away a heck of a lot of sock yarn in their Socks For Life giveaway.  Check it out:

Win Socks for Life! Well the yarn, you’re on your own after that.
(Vancouver, BC) “To be fair, it’s actually only a 25 year supply, so we can only hope the winner dies early to keep me an honest woman.” - Nikki Smith, VP
After extensive research discovered two key issues which continue to plague the world which we’d like to help bring to an end.
  1. Some people have hobbies other than knitting (idiots)
  2. Other (marginally insane) people buy socks at Costco 
“With one final blow we’ll give someone years of knitting and make it so they never need to succumb to Fruit of the Loom again.” - Robert Matherson,
Don’t want to use all the yarn to make socks? That’s okay, no hard feelings.
Yes, some marriages may end as the winner ignores her husband in a multi-year knitting frenzy. But that’s simply a risk we must take. On the other hand, maybe getting non-terrible socks for Christmas could bring families closer together.
The prize will go to whomever can show how their life will most be changed by winning and what you will do with the prize.
Anything could happen:
“I’ll use the yarn to start a knitting business on Etsy!” - Beth C, Winnipeg
“My friends always get together to watch The Bachelor, but goodness it’s boring, now I’ll have something to do to keep me distracted.” - Janet G, Toronto
“Honestly I have no self control. With all that yarn I’ll knit non-stop, stay up for days and miss work. I’ll get fired, not be able to pay rent and get kicked out of my apartment. But… I’d have so many socks!” - Samantha T, Vancouver
“I’ll knit them all up as fast as I can and give them to charity.” – Nicole

Whatever the reason, let us know why knitting is important to you and how a lifetime supply of sock yarn would change your life.

Enter to Win a Lifetime Supply of Socks

And look at this picture, doesn't make you drool?

OK, how about a close up?
Well, what are you waiting for?  Go & enter to win -- I'd wish you luck but I want it all myself!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Forget the song

No song for our new refrigerator, please.  The thing is a side by side, and the freezer side has died.  Yes, the day before Thanksgiving.   We have a turkey breast defrosting in the fridge side, and that's ok, but it's kinda big and the idea was that we'd make up some other meals out of it and freeze them for future dining.  But I think we'll be eating turkey for a while.  I'll have to make some of my famous turkey, kale, & lentil soup in the crock pot.

I've started a small project, a soft cover for my seat belt.  I'm using Caron Simply Soft in a bright teal, just knitting a rectangle about 8" by 4.25", in garter stitch.  Once I've got my rectangle, I'll turn it on it's side and pick up stitches all down the side, to knit the same size rectangle again.  Then I'll fold it, take the doubled rectangle out to the car, and stitch it around the seat belt.  Two layers of garter stitch should make a bit of cushion between me and that belt.  If it doesn't, I'll just snip it off and put some batting between the layers.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I'm mad as ...

     So, the feeling of being absolutely heartsick over the election has started to fade, but I'm mad now. We messed up, people!!  Folks are scared, and I don't see how they could feel otherwise.  The worst of us are being emboldened to act out, targeting people who aren't just like them.  And La Donald is so sincere in telling them to stop.  Heck yeah, he'd better step up and be more forceful about telling the haters to stand down, grow up, and behave like civilized folks.
     So, now I see there's a call to eliminate the Constitutional amendment that created the Electoral College -- as if that will happen anytime soon.  Did you know the states set how their electoral votes are allocated?  There's a movement now to get states to set up their allocation so that whomever takes the popular vote in the state, will get all the electoral votes.  I'm looking into that for my state, as we're not among the dozen or so that have already gone that way.  You can check it out by Googling "National Popular Vote"; I think it'll be one of the first sites listed. knitting lately, I've been escaping my pain in books.  Yes, when I voted early it was at the library, so I brought home some books.  One was a Wild Card collaboration, High Stakes, edited by George R.R. Martin; it was pretty far out there.  Another was by Louise Penny, A Great Reckoning, which comes into the station at speed, making my head spin.  And I've nearly finished Unwrapped Sky by Rjurik Davidson.  This one gave me fits: first it was kinda slow starting, then for a reason know only to him TomTom kitty decided that when Gramma is reading that book, he needs to claim my lap and both hands have to be devoted to adoring the cat.  I think I have about 4 pages left....I may have to sneak out to the car with it....
     I have a two-day work week this week, so I'll try to block some FOs and get some pics (probably with an orange kitty in them sigh) on here.  Must knit faster!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

What just happened?!?!

I can barely function at work today, because I'm so upset about this fine nation's election of  President Whacka Doodle.  The only people in the whole world that are happy for us are the Russians.  It's as if someone in the family had done something so disgraceful, that we all have to change our names now.  What part of "he's not presidential material" did y'all not understand?  Now we have a bigoted, misogynous, 5th grade bully with delusions of entitlement about to sit down with his finger on The Button -- you know which one!  (Button, not finger; but it works either way...)  I understand the Canadian Immigration website crashed last night.  I'll wait a week to apply.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

No takers yet

     I'm still waiting for music (not necessarily original, needs to be in public domain if not) and lyrics for my new 'fridge song.  I finished the lace headband in two colors of Lornas Laces Shepherd Sport, and it's just dying to go to a good home.  I'll put up pics of the refrigerator and headband, just in case inspiration is needed:

     Actually, I could have done better on the headband, and I'm thinking I could make several out of the two skeins I used, so I'll go ahead and make another.  My songwriter could have a choice of either one.

     Chez Plaid has been a little subdued lately, as the Plaidman works his way through another bout of diverticulosis.  He cooked dinner a few nights ago, and woke up with pain the morning after.  I keep telling him he needs to watch think about what he eats.
Heavens, I think I started this post two weeks ago....Since then, The Plaidman has been admitted to the hospital, had surgery, had some issues (!) that kept him in hospital, and finally got to come home. I dread getting on Facebook, his family will disown me for not letting them know his problems sooner.  I believe a good part of his problem was inactivity, he's in the habit of spending the day at the computer.  Anyway, he's patched up now, just suffering the aftereffects of surgery -- and making sure we know he is.
I've started binding off the EZ 100th Anniversary Camping Half-Circle shawl, with the lace bind-off in purl from the wrong side.  Seems like every time I pick it up I wind up falling asleep over it!  And I started a second skein on Miss A's halter top -- I love the yarn, and I should have one skein leftover with which to play.
I finally went for an eye exam.  Yes the tiny cataract is still there.  Something new is a very slightly elevated pressure in one eye, which they'll check again in a few weeks.  I have new sunglasses, new lenses in my office/computer glasses, and new lenses ordered for my regular glasses.  The sunglasses are huge, green & black frames -- very cool.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The last day off

   So, I took a couple of vacation days in conjunction with my birthday.  I just twiddled my thumbs thru about 4 hours of waiting to have new tires put on my car.  Of course, as a knitter, when I twiddle my thumbs I'm making something.  I've worked up to the set up rows for the lace edge on the EZ 100th Anniversary Camping half-circle shawl.  I'd been plugging away at this, just a few rows here & there almost every day this past week, with a few more done daily during my vacation.  I'm soooo close to the end!
   My birthday was lovely.  We all went out to the Smyrna IHOP (can't stand the local one!) and I had a garden omelet that was covered in about 3 servings of steamed broccoli (one of my favorite veggies).  After, the Plaidman took me over to the Target, 'coz one of my coworkers said they carry the filter replacements for our Keurig.  While there we did the obligatory birthday shopping, me coming away with 3 new pretties for the wardrobe, a new pair of suede slippers, and two necklaces from the clearance rack.  DiscoDame also shopped, but at Rue 21, buying herself some green and fuchsia jeans.  And when she caught up to us at Target, she got some bling from the clearance rack too.  Then we went home to digest our big breakfast (Disco actually took a nap!  I should have, since I fell asleep over my knitting!).  Much later, to no one's surprise, we went out again for a meal.  Our hearts were set on the meat & 3 place over on Murfreesboro, but they weren't open.  So, we looked around and saw the Ruby Tuesday -- and we hadn't visited there in a coon's age, so that sounded good.  Plaidman & I both had the herb seasoned tilapia, pretty good but not front page news.  Disco got a dish of ravioli, supposed to be 5 cheese, but man what a good sauce that had on it.  Disco often scrapes off most of the sauce, this time not as much, but there was still some extra which I scooped up & slathered on my grilled zucchini -- yummy!  Slept well that night (code for "food coma ensued").
   I got a little crazy over at Knit Picks, ordered some birthday yarn and a couple of books -- BTW, the fall book sale is on, if you want to expand your knitting library.  The other stuff I've been doing on the computer is Plants Vs. Zombies -- Disco finally got around to installing it again!
   And last night I stayed up & watched the presidential debate.  The Plaidman read an article by a language analyst, who reviewed all Trump's public speaking for the last 4 years.  The analyst's conclusion was that Trump speaks on a fifth-grade level.  I was so waiting to hear him address his opponent as "crooked Hillary", but he managed not to do so.  Some pundit said all Trump had to do was show up and not tell dick jokes, and he could consider it a win.  Boy, it was close!  La Donald, divorced how many times?, said he wanted to say something nasty about the Clintons but had too much respect for Chelsea.  Got news, Donald:  Bill isn't running for office.  

Monday, September 19, 2016

I got nothin'

  I think I've got the "meh" when it comes to the blog.  I've tried to start a post like, three times, without a clue as to what to say.  I was hoping to be able to visit Texas again, either this month or next, but Sis has bigger fish to fry just now.  Just as well, I haven't made much progress on Miss A's halter top. The weekend saw me working on the EZ 100th Anniversary Pi - half circle Camping shawl.  I think I got five rows done.  I just don't know if it is something my nephew's wife would appreciate.
  I am hanging in there in my new position (I think), with lots of time working in the billing program -- something I rarely used before.  The super would like me to work up some mini-tutorials for our monthly meetings, but I'm leaning more toward discussion of the out of the ordinary reports with an eye to figuring out how to code them.  I've seen that the 2017 ICD10 CM will have codes for the GIST specimens.  That's good.  The coders have come to the conclusion that all the pathologists must have attended the same seminar on Obfuscation as a Means to Keep From Having to Make an Actual Diagnosis.  And we still have the ever-popular clinical "indications" that bear no relation to the specimens submitted, like facial itching as the clinical info for a urine specimen.  O-o-o-o kay......
  Our parking lot (at work, not at home) is being repaved, as in scraped down to the dirt, steam-rollered, and rebuilt from the ground up.  The building management has given us a lot down the street, with shuttle service to & from, but the lot's gravel and goodness knows whether there's handicap parking near the shuttle stop.  So the Plaidman gets up early every day to ride to work with me, then take the car home & come back later to pick me up.  It's pretty odd for me to have someone else in the car while I'm driving to work.  I've asked him to do the evening driving, as my eyes are really tired by then.  I also asked him if he could see the bumper of the car in front of us.  He pulls up so close at the lights or just in heavy traffic!  I asked him if he really trusted the brakes on the car behind ours; if not, could he please stop a little further back.  He mostly remembered to do that tonight, but I doubt it'll become a habit.  Old dog can't learn new tricks. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Is there a song for new 'fridges?

When our daughter was in elementary school, anytime a kid showed up in new shoes the whole class sang a song about new shoes.  I got home last night to find our brand new 'fridge installed, and I want someone to sing to me about it.  I'll have a nice headband knitted up, lace, in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport -- for the first person to send me lyrics & tune for My New Fridge song.

Monday, August 22, 2016

We're all friends here (or there)

I just found out one of my fave knit designers, Emily Ringleman, got flooded out of her home in Baton Rouge.  All you Ravelers out there, go check out her designs -- she's having a major sale to try to fund the basics she & her family need right now.  Send her some luv!
Well, the plumber couldn't fix our fridge problem, so he cut off the water.  That was last Wednesday, but the thing is still leaking.  So we've priced new ones, meh...and thought about getting a repairman here, also meh...leaving it up in the air as to what we would do.  We moved on to other homey issues: the carpet needs a deep cleaning, but we don't want to totally interrupt our lives to have strangers do that.  Gee, if we could just find a steam cleaner that wasn't too expensive, we could do rooms in "zones" at our leisure.  Then the Plaidman saw one in the HH Gregg ad in the Sunday paper.  So we went over there looking for the Bissell, found & bought it, and found a tall narrow "out of box" (meaning new, returned to store) fridge with the ice & water in the door--and bought that too!  The plumber will be back this Wednesday to install a pressure relief valve (and do some other stuff), and the new fridge will be delivered Thursday!!! I'M EXCITED, CAN YOU TELL?!?!?

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Goodbye and good riddance

We signed papers, closed the sale of the northern property, and got a modest sum for it.  I am thrilled, and so glad this could be done before another season passed.  The ugly little house will no longer be our concern.  I'll ask the Plaidman to turn off the ele ctric.
I did a lot of knitting on the Half Circle shawl last weekend, getting into the third repeat of the final lace section before the edging.  I haven't been able to knit the last several nights, because my hands are sore from lots of computer work. It's frustrating, but I know I'd better give it a rest.
I have found a knit pattern for a classic halter top, and it's free from Knitty!  It's the Diamond Halter Top; and I've even tracked down & bought the yarn called for in the pattern--discontinued since publication.  Thank goodness for Ravelry.  Work on the Half Circle shawl will be suspended until I get this halter done.  I've read the notes other Ravelers made on their Diamond Halter projects, and may just continue the top portion with the smaller needles.  I was also considering I-cord trim across the top of the back and up over the bodice, perhaps snugging up the edges of the bodice?  As there are still about 7.5" of ribbing to do before the bodice portion, I think I'll just mull over that idea.  It occurred to me that this is only the second Knitty pattern I've ever tried -- pretty odd, since I love the 'zine.  Oh, and yesterday I got the latest Interweave Knits!  Some nice stuff, but oddly some of it just looks so similar.  If you've seen the pullovers in the first section, you know what I mean.
 I took some pics as we were finishing up clearing out the ugly house, but haven't loaded them to the computer yet.  I think this is from one of the last times Disco posed for the camera at the old place.
Well, I have another Knitty project in mind, the Aeolian shawl.  I was thinking of Knits Picks Bare Gloss Lace, yes to beads though not too sure whether they should be clear or pearlescent, yes to nupps though I've never worked them before (!!) and oh BTW I might need to buy some Stilleto point needles from Signature Needle Arts.  Whew!  and this will be a semi-stealth project, for an unnamed party, but if she asks, it's for me.  Got that?

Friday, July 29, 2016

This time

I took a week of vacation, and managed to get the rest of the Plaid Patrol out to the old house to do some "final" collecting of items we'd left behind, as well as picking up all the paper from the living room.  We were out there, without running water (we carried water), during the hottest week of the summer so far.  There were, at last count, four lawn trash bags full of trash still to be taken away.  I mostly sat in a camp chair on the porch and cleaned things we're keeping, then re-wrapped them & put them in new boxes.  Lots of sorting, we had probably 100 pounds of National Geographic magazines alone!  Many kids' books and toys, and I found a new home for the string trimmer.  On about our third visit, the gal next door walked over to ask if we were moving back in or selling.  We named a price, and she snapped it up!  Soon, my pets, I will no longer be concerned about how high the grass is, or whether the security light is working, or if the water heater has caused the floor to collapse...a real concern.  The neighbor lady is a contractor, and says its ok that the place needs work as she'll just work on it as she has the money & time available.
While all this back & forth between the new & old homes was going on, I had contacted my primary care provider about a new health problem.  I did get in to see her (on a vacation day, how sad), and will have some tests done today.  On another vacation day, I went to the oncologist's office to get my regularly scheduled injections.  What is it with doctor visits; they just seem to proliferate on my calendar.  I am nearly doctored out.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Hark back

Four posts ago I mentioned needing a very tall ladder for replacing lights in the kitchen.  Well, guess what the Plaidman got for his birthday!  Darn near $200.00 worth of ladder, that's what.  So the lights got replaced, and he's got a place to store this massive thing.  What's next?  Our neighbor stopped him on the way out to the car a few days ago, and said the gutters on the front of the house needed attention.  I think Plaidman let that run in one ear and out the other.  But wait! There's more!  He drove to the mailbox yesterday, shut off the car & collected the mail, and when he tried to start the car it wouldn't start.  So he left it at the mailboxes!  He's let me know that it's finally been towed to the shop, and it's being studied.  We may have to take it out back of the woodshed & put it out of it's misery...this is a twelve year old car!  But we can't have another car note right now.  So, we may soon be down to one car.  In a way, that would suit me: I'd be sure to have someone else awake enough to help me put on some socks (left hip/knee/foot no longer bend enough for me to reach my toes on that side) when I want to wear some.  Then he could drop me off at work & pick me up after.  We'd make it work, provided he NEVER smokes in my car.

I started this post maybe a couple of weeks ago, before all the fecal material hit the fan.  I have lately decided not to watch too much of the news, as it hurts my heart to see folks mistreating each other as they've done recently.  I've known for years that I am more a part of the problem than the solution, due to my upbringing.  I do try to let down my guard [Thanks, Mom] and really see folks, because all of us want to be seen and understood.  What really tears me up is the children, telling us to behave better:  Alton Stirling's son, wanting folks to protest "in peace"; the 12-year old with the poem about white boy privilege, the slain officer's daughter giving a bracelet to the child of another slain officer.  I can't watch these without tears, can barely bring myself to write about them, but I want everyone to think about them.  And yeah, I can pin some of this s**t to the Republican nominee's dossier, for his own hate- and fear-mongering.  What a world, what a world.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Is it fixed?

Big sigh.  We've been having recurrent frequent issues with both the cable service and internet service, for ...well, I guess it's actually been over a month.  The tech guy came out again yesterday morning, rearranged connections & oh hey -- found a cable incorrectly hooked up by the last tech guy that was here (on the 20th!  we like to keep them busy...).  So we are functional again.  I hope this lasts more than a few days.  Yesterday afternoon I finally got to see the Battle of the Bastards on GOT.  Hopefully, we'll be able to watch the finale tonight.  Oh, that is soul-crushing!  It's such a long wait to see more of this series!  Or even to read the rest of the story; George Martin needs to have his arse glued to the seat in front of his computer.  I'm sure he can afford to hire someone to attend to his food & drink while he's BUSY.  Quit goofin' off, George!
Knitting news:  I think I did some actual sleep-knitting on the Camping Half Circle shawl.  I was going over the last row 'coz I thought I'd missed a yarn-over (yep, I did), but then I found a dropped stitch about three rows down, and then I found four more dropped stitches further along that row.  So, I frogged back to the row before the doubling increase, and I'm on track again.  Lesson learned: when I start yawning over the knitting, it's time to put it down!  This morning I've been cruising Ravelry for some simple fingerless mitts.  One of the imagers at Box O'Docs has offered me some purple iris bulbs, and I'd like to make her some mitts in return.  It's pretty darn cold in Imaging, everyone working there stays wrapped up in blankies or ponchos, but none seem to have mitts.  I just happen to have some brilliant teal Caron Simply Soft, 2 skeins bought on an impulse, which could become several pairs of fingerless mitts, in several different patterns.  Team Imaging, FTW!
Disco went to another job fair during the week, and seems cautiously hopeful of becoming employed. She's got to get work, because she ran up a big bill at the dentist's office.  Her pay from working at Amazon is about gone.  Welcome to adulthood, Disco.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Interesting times

I've heard that "May you live in interesting times" is more of a curse than a wish for pleasantness.  It seems we here in the USA are living the curse.  My TV viewing was interrupted this morning with the news of the attack on the Pulse nightclub.  What could possibly make someone think he needed to kill all those people?  May God help the families of these victims.  I hope someday we'll find a way to keep semi- and fully automatic firearms out of the hands of civilians.  These are not hunting weapons, these are only good for warfare.  The folks at Pulse had no idea they were at war.  I'm not sure I can say anymore about this here.
So, let's move on: I did frog & restart the EZ 100th Anniversary Half Circle Camping Shawl (say that five times real fast), and am now on row 16 (of 36) in the Slanting Twigs section.  The edges are nice & soft on both sides, due to a) working the garter stitch edge starting each side as YO, K2together, K1; and b) carrying the unused color loosely up the side.  We shall see how it blocks out.  I would also like to make a blanket for my grand-nephew, but haven't settled on a pattern or yarn yet.  I'm antsy to get the shawl done, and even antsier to start another project.  Or many other projects..the Startitis is bad this summer.  One project that comes to mind is a pair of socks, from a pattern that's only available in German.  It just so happens I know someone who's just received certification of a mastery of that language, and he's attempting to translate the pattern.  He's not a knitter though, so some of the terminology is throwing him.  But he's having fun with it.
One of our new hires in the Coding Dept is moving to much smaller digs, and letting go of lots of her stuff.  She used to teach elementary school, and wore a lot of costume jewelry because the kids liked it.  She no longer wears that much, and noticed I like necklaces, so she brought me a huge sackful of necklaces!  I'll have to take some pictures, but you can see some of them on the Outfits Challenge page.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Can you hear me now?

Our internet access is borked, only operating intermittently -- which means when the tech guy gets here it'll likely be working just fine.  This stuff has been going on since Thursday (? I think, it's kinda hard to keep track of the days when your calendar is inoperative...) and today is the first opportunity for a tech visit.  I was so excited about it that I actually vacuumed yesterday.  I guess I'll clean the kitchen today....
I'm still banging away on the EZ 100th Anniversary Camping Half-Circle shawl, now in the Willow Leaves lace portion.  I need to get another picture.  I'm pretty sure I'll have some yarn left over, but probably not enough for a little hat.
I can still watch DVDs on the 'puter; I watched four hours of a current favorite series (VIKINGS!!) on Saturday.  I love this show!  The casting is wonderful, the costumes are wonderful, the storyline is fabulous -- if you're watching tell me how many times you've wanted to smack Rollo upside the head and ask him just WTF is his problem.  But please don't leave me any spoilers, I'm only on season 2.  And of course we're still watching GOT, gotta see it even though last week's episode just broke my heart.  Even the Plaidman thought it was about the saddest thing he'd ever seen on a TV show.
Well, I just wanted to let y'all know that we're still alive.  If we get access back on a regular basis, I'll have a Workday Outfits update later.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

I left the house

I have become such a homebody on the weekends, so when we went out shopping yesterday it was a treat.  DiscoDame had a birthday mid-week, and got dinner at the Olive Garden (her choice) and a red velvet cake roll filled with cream cheese.  Everything was delicious, and we'd gotten there early enough that it wasn't at all crowded.  The young man who came after to clear the table asked if we wanted to-go cups of our tea (I did; it was the Bellini fruit tea) or boxes for the remains (Disco did, she'd only eaten half her lasagna), or anything else.  He had a hairstyle like Jon Snow's, and was almost as pretty.  So I said yes, we just need someone to sing Happy Birthday to Disco -- and he immediately started singing!  Then he told her to enjoy her twenties, it's a great time of life -- and I about fell out of my chair laughing.  She's over 30, BTW.
I wanted a picture of each of her parents with her.  I took the shot of Plaidman & Disco, and he got the dreadful pic of me & my baby girl.  Thanks a lot.
The man can not take a picture.  I think I'll have to invest in a tripod and timer, so I can get some decent pics of us gurls.  There are now tons of pics of just me, thanks to the Workday Outfits Challenge (updated!).  I am fighting to stay alive, but still consider what my funeral photo montage will look like if there are so few of me with other loved ones.  If I could just figure out how to use that selfie stick...!  
Anyway, we waited until the weekend to take Disco shopping for some really nice clothes that she could wear to work (as if..), and wound up at the Kohl's in Smyrna.  They had a pretty good sale on trousers for tiny gals, so we got one pair each in tan, navy and light grey -- good neutrals that go with anything.  She also got a camisole (pink) and a very light cap-sleeved tank (pinkish) with an interesting neckline -- she can wear it back to front, and it still looks great.  She plans to use it under other blouses, which she'll buy for herself at the Goodwill store.  I had changed purses before going out, so I could have just the minimum required (ID, bank card, comb, keys), and found a tenner in the little bag that I had forgotten I had.  So I gave it to Disco for her trip to Goodwill.  Then we went to Cracker Barrel, and we all had chicken livers.  This morning the Plaidman is hurting & thinks it's his diverticulitis flaring.  So he'll be pleasant company (NOT!) for the next few days.  Maybe if I take him to the hardware store, he'll get to feeling better.  We got a Northern Tools catalog and coupons in the mail, and he's got his heart set on that ladder that folds up ten different ways.  As high as our ceilings are, it would sure be useful!  We've two lights out in the kitchen, that just can't be reached without a very long ladder.  
Speaking of home sweet home, the HOA got on our case about the fishpond behind the house.  They were concerned that without having it filled and operating the pump, any water that accumulated would become mosquito breeding ground.  So they said we had to take it out.  Ok...but how much work would that be?  We were given referrals to folks who do that work, but couldn't get any of them to call us back.  It  was getting down to the wire, so Plaidman went out to look at it and found that it had heaved up out of the ground partially (frost?) so he just grabbed a shovel and got it out himself.  Then he went to Lowes and got 10 bags of topsoil, and filled in the hole, and scattered grass seed over it -- we're good!  Anyone want to buy the liner & pump?
Hey, the Yarn Harlot is riding for PWA real soon -- please consider donating to the cause, either in money or in "Karmic balancing gifts" -- going to check my stash now!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Fits and starts

We've had a time over at Box O'Docs, with a update to the billing system that failed to edit the way it was supposed to do.  A week after closing last month's books, we're finally getting a few tweaks in the system that are allowing some edits to be worked.  Whew!
I had been working on my Kara capelet, after finishing the Allotrope cowl and before finally biting the bullet and deciding on a pattern for the grand nephew's shawl.  But once again the Kara has been laid aside.  I cast on for the EZ 100th Anniversary Half-Circle Camping shawl, and I'm loving it.  It has just been flying along.  The only "problem" I have is putting it down, which I need to do because my hands are hurting.  So I'm trying to limit myself to just two rows, taking a break, and maybe coming back later for another two rows.  But look at it!
This is Cascade Heritage Sock Yarn, 75% superwash merino & 25% nylon.  It is lovely and soft, and don't those colors make you think of blue sky and piney woods?  I am quite taken with the pattern, the yarn, the colors...and I may have a hard time parting with it!
Last night I finally got around to watching the first two episodes of Vikings, dang but Rollo is a good-lookin' dude!  And little Beorn!  What a cutie.  I only started watching this series on TV in the third season, when Beorn is grown -- and still a cutie!  But as least as much of a badass as his daddy.
I guess that's to be expected from the shield-maiden's boy.
Well, I have been thinking hard about a halter top for a niece.  All the pictures she showed me were of crocheted tops, and I'm pretty sure I can find a pattern (although most seem to be swimsuit tops, very minimal and probably not meeting her Mama's standards), but I don't want to do even that much crochet.  So, how to knit one that will provide the required coverage?  I have an idea, which would allow me to practice a technique I haven't used much, and also allow me to try something new.  I suspect some maths may be involved, but if I can get it working the coverage will not be an issue.  Stay tuned for developments.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

News of all kinds

We've certainly had both kinds this week.  Let's start with the good news:  The Allotrope Cowl is off the needles!  My favorite goofy knitwear model will display it's beauty:

Oh yes!
It's very soft & stretchy, not too difficult to wrap twice.  I carried to work to show to a friend there, who's been sharing her own handicraft adventures with me.  She's a quilter, and just recently learned to knit too.  So the only thing left to do with this object is a wash & block, then careful storage until the giftish holidays.  I've decided the Every Way Wrap can join the cowl in the gift storage, along with the wild colored cat's paw lace scarf.  
The other good news:  I'm free to think about casting on another lovely project, such as a shawl for my new grand-nephew.  I did find two hanks of solid color merino superwash wool in the stash, giving me about 860 yards of yum to work with.  I've been looking at scarf patterns, with an eye to making them wider and shorter -- there are a lot of lovelies out there, but I would have to work out some math to make them square.  Or I could just use a pattern for a half-Pi shawl, like the EZ 100th Birthday half-Pi shawls by Mwaa Knit.  I kinda favor the camping one.  The issue is using the yarn efficiently and evenly, so I don't run out of one color long before I run out of the other.  Also, could I stand to give it away?
Then there's the sad news, of Prince's passing.  I only became a fan a few years ago.  No more new Prince music, it's just devastating.  We had a work anniversary celebration in our super-dept on Friday, and of the 30 or so folks that came by, only two were not wearing purple.  Here's my Friday look:
And that's a purple purse behind me, stocked with the usual purse stuff plus a pattern and two balls of yarn.  You can't tell, but I wore my wildest looking underwire bra too.  Anything for you, sweet Prince!  

Thursday, April 21, 2016

I shall wear purple

Tomorrow I'll wear purple from head to toe.  Goodbye, sweet Prince!  I wish I'd known you better, being late to your party, but hey! at least I became an admirer before your passing.  We must thank the Yarn Harlot for that, with her wonderful affection for you.  I never gave you much thought until YH started writing about her "other man" (not that she'd ever turn loose of Joe!  There'd be a stampede....).  Now I want to actually buy some of your albums.
I know I haven't been a good blogger lately, having skipped the Outfits update last Sunday.  I do have some knitting news:  I finished the Allotrope Cowl!  Now I can turn my mind to other knits, like the baby shawl for my grand-nephew.  I've about decided to make a Pi shawl, with EZ's pithy directions in hand.  I just have to figure out where & how to put some lace into it; also have to see if I have anything in the yarn stash that will serve -- I have tons of fingering yarn, a lot of solid colors but not superwash, a lot of superwash stripey stuff, just have to keep digging until I find a sufficient quantity of solid color superwash wool.  Or acrylic; I'm desperate.  I used to have a slough of acrylic "baby" yarn but gave away most of it.  It just sat there, taunting me about my hope to be a grandmother.  So of course it had to go....

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Ups and downs

Well, the sciatica continued to kick my can all week long.  Thursday was particularly painful, I could hardly sit still at my desk.  Then L remembered seeing some kind of ergonomic cushion in a box under her desk (that used to be S's desk, but S left months ago), and pulled it out.  Lo & behold, it's an orthopedic sciatica cushion!  She offered it to me, so I painfully pulled myself up off my seat, placed the cushion there, and carefully sat down again.  Immediately, my eyebrows flew up and my jaw dropped down, and L thought I was hurt -- but no, my entire left leg (that had been hurting continuously from just beside my lumbar spine to midway down my shin) had QUIT HURTING.  I was flabbergasted, and so so grateful!  I asked L what she wanted for it, but she said she thought the employer had gotten it for S, and S had left it, so I may as well have it.  It's barely used, and works very well with the office chair at work and the one at home where I'm using right now.  The Plaidman wants to get a second one, so I don't have to carry this one back & forth.  I did try it in the passenger seat of the car, but that seat is set in a semi-recline position and the cushion just didn't help much.  However! We went into Five Guys for a burger dinner, and thankfully I did carry it in with me because all they have are hard straight back wooden seats.  But I was fine!  So I must remember to carry the seat with me to eateries.  Lawks, that'll need to be kept track of, just like the cane.  I'd better put an address label on it.  Anyway, the plan is to get one of the TOA docs or my PCP to prescribe the thing, so insurance will pay for part of it.  I'll see the PCP later this week, and ask her about it.
***I am just 3 rows from binding off the Allotrope Cowl.  Now, neice A has asked me to make her a halter top, and showed me several pictures from various websites as examples of what she'd like.  Her momma just wants to be sure there will be complete coverage of ,.well, the bits that need complete coverage.  Most of the designs I've seen are in cotton, and crocheted.  As soon as I can decide on a design, I'll get some nice cotton or cotton-blend yarn & get it under way.  Fortunately, it's a small garment, so won't take a lot of yarn, and crochet is quick so it won't take a lot of time.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Free for a little time

I love Ravelry.  Here's something I found in the freebies:
This is the Textured Laguna Wrap, quite stylish!  I may have to make one.  I am 4.5 rows from binding off the Allotrope Cowl, so I can think about knitting other pretties!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

WIP Wednesday! (as an afterthought) many WIPs are currently lurking about chez Plaid?  Well, while attempting to corral all the yarn in appropriate containers in my new "craft room" (the guest bedroom aka BIG storage room), I found a dozen small and two large WIPs in various containers.  Most were in opaque totes; I guess if they weren't immediately visible they could linger forever...but now all are in clear plastic ziploc-type bags.  There's a tiny lace sachet, 3 pairs of socks, a lace scarf, a lace shawl, a lace tank top (I'm sensing a pattern here....), a Gramps cardigan (cables instead of lace!), 2 bracelet bags, a pair of cabled armwarmers (Arden pattern), and last mentioned but probably the earliest started: the feather & fan stole (more lace!) in Lorna's Laces.  This is not counting projects that I plan to work several times, such as the old time slippers or fuzzhogs.  It's also not counting the Allotrope cowl or the red capelet that I started last December.   I have seriously been considering frogging the F & F stole for the 2nd time (!!!), and making into a sweater for me.  To that end, I bought some more of the colorway from a Raveler, and some from a commercial source.  I now have a whopping 10 skeins, so should be able to make just about anything!  There will have to be some careful planning, to make sure all the slight variations in the dye lots are evenly spread over the whole item -- I guess I should plan to use 9 skeins because I'll have a lot of ends.  Now, the first time I frogged this thing, I had two whole & one partial skein in it, and washed the yarn to get the kinks out.  I did try to alternate skeins when I began reknitting it, so I'm likely to have a lot of fairly short pieces of yarn.  As this stuff is superwash, it won't wet splice (felt) together.  I think I'll have to use Russian joins.  I wonder if it would be worthwhile to cut up a skein of each dye lot into pieces the length of the shortest bits from the stole (or just random lengths at least that long), and just go ahead & join them?  Or am I overthinking this?  It would likely speed up the knitting if I didn't stop every other row to add in a different skein.   There was a lace sweater pattern on Elann that I really liked, can't recall whether or not it was worsted weight.  I'm a fair hand at cables too, and there are a ton of cabled sweaters out there.  But first & foremost, I must finish the Allotrope cowl.  By golly, I will get it done!  Right  after my nap.....

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

I missed you too!

But I'm back now, and all's right with the world.  Yes, my pets, I took some time off just for me and flew down to Texas to see Sis & Pup & the nieces.  Pup seems to be in better shape than the last time I saw him, better able to follow & add to conversation.  Sis is a home health specialist in cognitive and speech therapy, and she has some patients at Pup's senior home -- so she gets by to see him several times a week, and really works with him.  Thank God for her training!
I took the Allotrope double-knit cowl with me, but had the same issue there as I've been having with it here: I'm bored with it, to the point of falling asleep with it in my hands.  I don't think I'm meant to be a "monogamous" knitter.  But Sis found other "crafty" things for me to work on:  Peerless T's birthday is coming soon, and Sis will have a carnival for her!  I put together some darling red & white striped "circus tent" cupcake stands, blew up about a zillion balloons, folded up a slough of cupcake boxes, etc etc.... Sis will have midway-style game booths, and nerf guns, and prizes!  The kiddo's will get to pick out their own cupcake, and carry it home in one of the boxes.  They'll also get a box they can fill with assorted candies, just to be sure everyone's on a major sugar rush.
Well, of course the Super Shopper & I went shopping too.  We did not make it over to the Clothes Mentor, but did hit up Burkes' outlet -- I got some Skechers, and some nice suede sandals, and of course some jewelry.  The next day we went to Savers, where I found two more pairs of slip-on type shoes -- both pair by Naturalizer! -- plus a Jennifer Lopez purse in the most unusual light taupe color, and of course some jewelry.  We made it over to Michael's for some crafty goodies (yarn, and jewelry making supplies for DiscoDame).  And seriously, between the shopping trips, climbing in & out of the Escalade, climbing up & down the steps in the living room & guest room, I think I may have overdone the physical stuff.  My back has not felt this bad in many years; I can barely hobble around.
There was one morning of rather extreme excitement fear:  Bro-in-law shot a water moccasin that had come up out of their pond, and later Peerless T found a live possum in the tipped-over trash can.  I was actually on the phone with the Plaidman; hearing T screaming I hung up & hustled to see what was up.  But I didn't move anywhere near as fast as the little dachshund Copper!  He was way in the back of the yard, the trashcan was clear in front of the house, and at the first screech from T that dog became a bullet racing toward her -- little legs just a gettin' it!  All 20 pounds of defensive doggy flew to her rescue.  And her Dad popped out of his office, snatched up the girl and zipped back inside -- I'm sure he suspected another water moccasin.  But the possum was ok, and left under his own power a bit later, and no one got bitten.  No harm, no foul!
The other thing Sis & I do together is binge watching something really special on the big screen in the media room.  This visit, it was War & Peace -- approximately eight hours of miniseries, which we watched in four segments over four nights.  It was fabulous.  The costumes, the locations, the story!  We were so rooting for Pierre to have some happiness.

Friday, March 18, 2016


I'n in it.  I've got to get on a plane tonight, and did not even begin to pack until last night.  But hey, the purse (the green one, of course) is cleaned out and harbors nothing imitable to the TSA, and the purple purse holds nothing but knitting ...and my phone & charger, and a flash drive for pulling pics off the camera.  Off course I have to have the cane too.  So, if you want pics, check out the Outfits Challenge page.
Now I had to find a doctor last Sunday and get medicated so the sinus infection wouldn't ruin my trip.  I'm happy to say that I feel a lot better, and might not have my head explode on take off.  You kids be good while I'm out, and I might bring back some treats.

Sunday, March 13, 2016


I've kept a cough ever since being treated for a sinus infection a few weeks ago.  Well, over the past week it got worse, then I started having headaches.  I believe the sinus infection never actually left. The Plaidman carried me to a walk-in clinic close by, but they're closed weekends.  I really need to get this attended to, because I've gotta get on a plane Friday.  Trust me, it's no fun flying with a sinus infection.  I think I'll try the Vandy clinic at 100 Oaks.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Up early

I got up earlier than usual (for a Sunday) today.  I had such plans for Saturday, but blew them off to sit on the couch & knit while watching a Harry Potter marathon.  I did get several more rows done on the Allotrope Cowl, yippie.  So no, it's not done yet.
We may be coming to the end of overtime for the coding dept at work.  This would be super, but I'm not sure whether I'll be able to sleep in much later.  Lately, I've been going into work an hour before my regular time.  The traffic is soooo very much lighter at that hour!  But it gets thicker & crazier the later I try to leave, so much so that what takes me 20 minutes at the early hour takes more like 40 minutes later.  That is if the weather isn't awful; Nashvillians cannot remember how to drive when the weather distracts them.  It can get pretty scary.  Anyway, I will go in early tomorrow because I've got to leave for a doctor visit.
It's going on noon now, I guess I'll get Disco up & dressed so she can go to the ATM & see if her card works.  I sure hope so!  She owes me money.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Not much shakin'

I usually don't "do" much on Sundays, just take it easy.  That is the case today.  This is post # 325, a rather big number for such a puny little blog.  I hope to recharge my knitting mojo today, and maybe get a half-dozen more rows done on the Allotrope Cowl.  I tried working on it yesterday, but I fell asleep with it in my hands.  Hard to maintain any excitement about it, since I've seen about 3 other cowls I want to knit in the last week!  I think it would not be "cheating" on the Allotrope, if I just go stash-diving for an appropriate yarn for the Irish Mesh Cowl.  Not casting on, mind you!  Just picking out a yarn, maybe printing out the swatching yet.
I hate seeing the hallway junk piled up behind me in the Outfits photos I've been taking.  I really want to have a small piece of furniture there, something with storage room and a flat top.  So I've been looking at furniture online, here and there.  Then it hit me: we have a small chest of drawers, very cheaply made, which has basically failed to function.  The drawers were all hung up, and would not open but about 4".  So the Plaidman took it all apart to try to put new runners in, and it's been sitting in the craft room like that ever since.  I suggested that shelves would work just fine, if we got some nice looking bins; in fact, it only needs one shelf.  Everything going into it would have to fit inside a bin, to keep it neat, but I think that could work.  It might be a bit wide and/or deep for that space, but we'll try it there and if anyone keeps bumping into it we'll just move it back to the craft room.
I do love to plan; it would be nice if I could get more done on some plans!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Follow thru

Our Costco order arrived Wednesday night, probably while we ate supper.  We don't know when the two boxes were placed on the porch, because the delivery folk did not even ring the doorbell.  Plaidman discovered them when he went out to the market.  I'd ordered two heated mattress pads: one queen size fancy-schmancy one, and one twin size plainer one.  But we got two of the fancy queen size ones!  So I guess we'll carry one back to the store & see about getting the right size for the twin bed.
ETA: We went to Costco yesterday, with a printout of my order & the extra queen size pad.  I'd ordered online, without a membership ID.  Well, the gal at the returns counter couldn't pull up my order #, and without a member ID she had no other way to look for it.  Le Sigh!  We brought it home again, and I called their 800 number, and explained the sitch.  Veronica in Customer Service was happy to make it right; we'll get shipping labels sent, a pick up arranged, and the twin pad shipped within 2-3 business days.  Now the Plaid Patrol captains are discussing whether we need a membership; would we use it?  I'm in favor, because I want some small furnishings for the house such as a console or accent table for the hallway.  Note the cardboard box full of junk which is currently in use as the place I park my purse:

Captain Plaidman seems to think we could buy something cheap from WalMart to put there.  I don't mind saving money, but this is something that everyone coming in the front door will see so I do want it to be "nice".   I also want to hang a picture over it.  I'm sure I have enough artwork around to hang up something, just need to figure out the furniture part first.  Costco online has a few cute tables, I could see getting one there.  Walmart has cube storage, like for a dorm room -- probably not going to meet my standards for "nice".  I would start putting the purse in the hall closet, but will still need an elevated surface to hold it as I don't want to bend over every time I want my purse. (Note the cane in the photo bottom left, and the cat in the top left!)

WIP Wednesday link up!

Ok, all I can say is that is counted the rows done & the total rows on my Allotrope Cowl last night.  And I've reached the half-way mark!  Yippee!  It's all downhill from here.  I'll get you a picture:
There are a couple of flaws, but I figure I can just duplicate stitch over those & make it lovely.  I am so so glad that I've past the halfway mark on this.  Now it's so warm today, I'm sitting at the computer just 4' from the open door to the deck.  TomTom kitty has been running out there and back inside; he loves it!  He did get a little freaked by a large crow flying close by and cawing; he came running in very low to the floor with his ears laid back.  Not exactly the mighty hunter.  But what I meant to say is, I will not be wearing this item because it is A) too warm for the coming weather and B) going into the Long Range Planning box.  Someone will get this for Christmas this year!  

Saturday, February 13, 2016

He loves me

Just so.  So often, we make plans to do so-and-such around the house, gather supplies & tools, and then nothing happens.  Not this week!  The Plaidman has really been busy.  He hung a full-length mirror in the hall, laid another step off the front porch, and installed another hand rail in the master bath!  I'm so tickled with all three!  I can start taking my pictures for the Outfits Challenge in the morning, before I get all wrinkled and tired-looking, by using the mirror (which is also likely to be cleaner than the one over the bathroom vanity!).  The extra step in front of the porch is half the height of the step up onto the porch, which has become difficult for me.  So this makes it safer and easier for me!  And as gravy on top, the Plaidman likes it very well too (his ankle has been bothering him lately).  And wow does that extra hand rail help in the bath.  I think it takes me half as much time to get in & out of the tub, and I feel safer to boot.  Look, here's me in the mirror & the new rail:
Now I just have to clean up the other side of the hall (behind me in the pic), maybe hang a nice picture?  And would you look: he didn't even crack the tile when he installed the bar.
Well, today we took a trip out to Costco to buy some things that weren't in stock -- no, that's not right, we hoped they were in stock but were disappointed.  However, I can still order them online, so I will do that.  I hope there's not much of a shipping charge!  Let you know when I do.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Throw me a line

I have been AWOL from the blog for a bit, still recovering from a sinus infection and just generally not wanting to spend any more time on the computer after working on one all day.  But the past few days have been short due to the weather, so I'm not quite wiped out this evening.  I updated one week of the Challenge, if you're interested or even if you're not -- how the heck would I know?  But I can say I'm already celebrating a more meaningful Valentine's Day this year.  My sweetheart, The Plaidman, has installed an extra step in front on the entrance to the front porch, so I don't have to struggle to get up on the porch every night.  He's also gathered the materials & tools he needs to install another bar in the master bath, to make it easier for me to get in & out of the tub.  I expect that task will be undertaken this weekend, and I'm really looking forward to having that extra support in there.
My doctor's office tried to get me enrolled in a patient advocate program, that would pay part of my treatment, but alas I make too much money.  So, I'm facing some large medical bills.  But I will file with the other policy, which pays me the $, and use that for the bills I have.  If there's any leftover, I'll put it in the special savings acct set up for medical co-pays & deductibles, that I've got from my employer.  Then maybe I won't have this issue next year.  That's the plan, anyway; but you know and I know that plans have a way of unraveling.
I am still slowly working on the Allotrope Cowl, which will certainly not be done before winter ends.  That's ok, I'm fine with putting it into the long range planning box (aka Christmas knitting!).  I'd still like to finish my capelet, but I will be good and stick with the cowl.  The other knitterly stuff I want to do is finishing:  I have two Color Affection shawls that need to be blocked.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

The world turned

And we wound up in spring-like weather.  Go figure.  I haven't been able to enjoy it much, as I've had sinus devastation for the last week, barking coughing all day & night for a week.  I haven't slept more than a couple hours a night all week,  It got so bad my supervisor sent me home yesterday.  I went to a walk-in clinic, but they couldn't work me in yesterday so I went back this a.m.  I have 3 new prescriptions, including an inhaler.  Got home just about lunch time, ate a bowl of deliciously spicy white chili, and crawled back into bed and actually napped!  Folks who know me would know that's a sign of how ill I am.
I am still plugging away on my Allotrope Cowl, wanna see?  Of course you do!

I still have part of the first two skeins to work through; the plan
is to use six skeins total.  This is really fun to do, and I love the yarn, but goodness it's slow going!  I won't be wearing it this winter, that's for sure.  And now I'm really leaning toward making this lovely thing the first item in the 2016 Long Range Planning (aka holiday gifts) box.
Disco has fallen deeply madly in love with her phone, and can hardly be separated from it.  She's neglected any chores other than cooking supper.  So, I assigned her a chore and collected her phone.  She's hard at work at the moment.  I came across a free cute app called Neko Atsume, not really a game as such but just a silly cuteness.  Disco & I both have it, and look at it often.  ****
The Outfits Challenge will have a small update, probably tomorrow, and it's small because I took sick days.  But hey! At least all three outfits are modeled!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

This just in: Nashville closes for a weekend

Well, I must say I am heartily grateful to the management of Box O'Docs for allowing us coders to go back to working only 45 hours/week.  I love having my Saturdays back!  So I have been going in very early each day, in order to be able to leave before the worst of the traffic.  This works really well, most of the time -- early enough to beat most of the traffic both ways!  But Mother Nature interfered with the plan on Friday.  I left the house about a half hour earlier than usual, because the forecast was for sleet followed by snow.  I was keeping the speed way down, doing about 20 mph until I got out onto Bell Rd, which was in a bit better shape.  Then the sleet started mixing with these huge flakes of snow, which got heavier & heavier, so I slowed down again.  But not slow enough!  There's a stoplight at the bottom of a hill, and I really tried to stop the car (my new car!  my gorgeous new car!), without causing it to skid, but ... I slid right through the red light!  Thank goodness the cross traffic ( all of two cars at that hour) stayed put!  But that was it, once my heart slowed down some I decided I'd get off the street at the next light.  The roads were totally slushy, the snow was coming down thicker, and I was da**ed if I was going to risk my precious car or myself just for a nine-hour workday.  I pulled into a shopping plaza at Nippers Corner, called off work, then ever so slowly pulled back out, turned towards home at the light, and crept home at about 10 mph (which went down to 5 when I was approaching lights), white-knuckled all the way.  This has cost me a vacation day, well worth it!
My left eye had been bothering me for a couple of days, so Thursday I left work to see the eye doctor.  I have a history of eye problems, and just needed to get this nipped in the bud.  Well, I had somehow scratched my eye!  The doctor did something I'd never heard of before, but which makes sense.  She put a minimally corrective soft contact lens on that eye, saying it would be protective the way a bandage is on a cut.  I got prescription drops too.  Since I'd been out of the office for a couple of hours, I did go back and stayed quite late.  The weather forecast was looming all week.  When I got home Thursday evening, I had to run right back out & down to the dealership to get another drive-out tag for the car.  While the Plaidman & I were in the area, we stopped at a cafeteria for supper.  I got stuffed full of good stuff: pasta salad, broccoli, Lima beans, chopped steak (children's portion), and peach cobbler!  Just about put myself into "food coma", what with the long day and starting to feel a little under the weather.  Nothing I could put my finger on, just not quite right.  Well, in the middle of the night between Friday and Saturday, I woke up coughing & coughing.  Felt rung out all day Saturday, but never ran a fever, and today I feel better.  Still coughing, just not as much.  I'll see how I feel about going to work tomorrow. For now, the knitting calls!  

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Knit Your Library

Emily over on Snapdragon Crafts has been challenging herself to knit from her own library of books, magazines, downloads, and single pattern pages.  I had seen this on another blog, and thought it was about giving props to your local public library, which is certainly a good thing.  But this year, that's been clarified to trying to work (knit, crochet, bead, weave, whatever craft you do!) from your own collected published materials.  Hoo boy, I have a few (hundred) such items, all collected because they contain something I really wanted to knit or wear -- I could be busy for years with the contents therein!  So this is probably a good time to finish working on my craft room.  I really need a small table in there; I think the deconstructed chest of drawers will have to go.  I was rather hoping it would be "re-constructed" so I could use it for storing fabric and notions, but it's been sitting there for a year without that happening.  It's very sad.  Anyway -- I have decided, and told a few people, that I will try to knit either something for the holiday gift box or some holiday decoration every month.  And I'm sorry I said it!  Because I'm still working as much as I can on the Allotrope Cowl, I'm afraid it may be the only thing I finish this month, and I would feel honor bound to put it in the gifting box.  I'm finally developing some speed, working one color with my right hand and the other in the left.  But I'm not very far along!  Maybe I can just take a quick break and make an ornament?  And here's where my own library of knitting patterns comes in handy:  I must have a couple dozen ornament patterns! So that would kinda kill two birds with one stone, doncha know.  
I've done the Challenge update, if you want to check that out.  There's a couple of new things there, which you'll see again later in other outfits (I hope).
Disco quit her job, so I put her to work.  I gave her a short list of just the basic cleaning that I want to see done every week, and told her that if she did all of things on the list between Sunday morning and the following Saturday evening, I would pay her a certain amount.  But only if all of these chores were done!  No per hour rate, just a flat rate for the chores on the list.  Of course she waited until Wednesday to even begin, and was working on the last item when I went to bed last night.  But glory be, my bathroom got cleaned!  And the hall bathroom got cleaned (a very BIG deal, since it's the one Plaidman uses, and men are just gross about bathrooms).  The kitchen floor got washed, and the vacuum was run all over the main floor.  I will have to go to the basement to see what that looks like; she was having problems with the downstairs vacuum getting clogged up.  It's old.
I am a little worried about paying for my chemo, since our deductible went up again this year.  I may have to draw my pension from the clothing manufacturer, which should only involve jumping thru about ten or fifteen hoops of fire.  Sheesh.  I'd better get my paperwork together.
Nashville remembers Dr. King.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Doin' the two step

As in two steps forward and one back.  I was doing so well on the Allotrope Cowl, and then discovered I had an extra stitch in the main color.  I puzzled over it for a while, and realized how late it was, and just put it down.  The next morning I still could not figure out how to correct it, so I frogged it.  I immediately cast on again for the bigger size ("Hi, my name is Anna, and I'm a glutton for punishment." "HI, Anna!"), and have actually been developing a rhythm and marching along on it once again.  I did forget to count at one point and wound up having to tink back something like 10 repeats of one row, and I will be trying to avoid that in the future -- tinking it requires the same concentration as knitting it, without actually having anything to show for your trouble!

Well, it looks like the Coding Dept at Box O'Docs is getting up to speed, with the addition of three new coders (one just passed her exam, one is an old hand at it, and one needs to retake the exam).  So for me that means no more working Saturdays!!!  I get to live the American Dream and have two whole days off every week.  Disco quit her job, she & The Plaidman went out to the free admittance day at the Hermitage on Friday.  Saturday we all got to goof off have family time together, first at the cinema:  we saw The Force Awakens!   Oh my, what fun.  We'd been looking forward to it, and just not able to do much together with Disco & me working so much,  After the movie we went to Panda Express for supper, then over to the Goodwill Store.  I had this idea that some of the ugly Christmas sweaters folks got for their holiday parties might be making their way to Goodwill, and I might be able to find some that fit me.  I found this shining example of Christmas excess (on the left), and a truly fugly find too (on the right)!  Unfortunately the one on the left was a bit small for me.  I did not try on the other one.  I did find two other Christmas ones, and a knit tunic that I liked too, and those all came home with me.  You might see the tunic in rotation on the 250 Outfits Challenge page in the future.  Yes that is Disco behind both these sweaters, note the very cropped hair!  She bought herself about 9 tops on this trip.  Plaidman found a complete set of fireplace tools in a stand, and that came home with us too.  Now if Ashbusters would just get back to us about the fireplace repairs....we are ready to rock little TomTom kitty's world.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Let's not forget why I started blogging

It was to show off & brag about my knitting!  So, for the first time since I got on Ravelry back in '08, I'm actually participating in a knit along.  I'm in the Cowls group, and for the January theme we're suppose to work on "something new" to us as knitters.  It could be a yarn that I've never handled, or a technique I've never used, or what ever is outside my usual knitting "envelope".  I have always wanted to try double knitting, and had just serendipitously come across the Allotrope cowl by Lindsey Freeman.  I cast on for it New Year's Day, and have so far worked about 5.5 rows of the patterning.  I'm really glad I had some experience with stranded knitting & holding a yarn in each hand, as that has been the key to getting this project moving.
Oh, and it is a double whammy, as I've never knit with Rowan Pure Wool Superwash DK yarn before.  New technique + new yarn = interesting knitting.

And I think I'll find this a useful item, as it's been colder than that chunk of brass folks are always putting in a snow bank, at my desk.  
And of course I'm still working on Mi Kara, which is from a Drops free pattern.  Shh, don't say anything to the Plaidman, but I'm trying to buy some yarn from another Raveller.  See, I've got about half the amount of this yarn that I need for a particular project.  If I can get these skeins from one Raveller, and a few more from another Raveller, I'll have enough!  Cross your fingers.  

Teehee!  I just got this shirt from the Ravelry mini-mart.  I'd never ordered anything from Rav, but when I read the story I thought it was too funny, and had to have the names of many sheep breeds shirt.  You can see the error, running up my left chest.

Disco has been offered the chance to convert from a temp to a permanent position at Amazon, which I sure hope she'll jump on like a duck on a june bug.  Let's hope she's smart about it.