Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It's Official

The extended greeting is set on my work Blackberry, and my Microsoft Outlook away message is on, too. Of course, this won't stop colleagues from calling to give me a heads up about patients going south. I have news though...they'll have to go south without me. I'm heading south on my own, albeit, in a much better manner.

My brother and I are piling into my Escape around 5 am on Thursday. I have no plans. I want no plans. Well, maybe the farmer's market on Saturday. Then again, maybe not. I'm packing my wheel and taking some knitting with me, but nothing new. Just three WIPS (works in progress for you non-knitters) will be making the trek. I will be stopping in to see the Needle Lady's new digs if I get downtown, but like I said, I've got no plans.

It should be an interesting 600 miles with my brother. He leans way to the right and is certain to have a book penned by that literary genius, Glen Beck or that other preacher, Rush Vicodin-Poppin' Limbaugh. I'm planning on reordering my Sirius satellite radio so I can play some serious left wing drivel for him. Good times ahead, people. Good times. Wish us well--no yelling, political baiting, fisticuffs or name calling will be involved. It's a vacation for God's sake. Safe territory is BP bashing, the weather, medicine and work. Just in case, I'm taking earbuds.

While my youngest brother isn't joining us, I did find something for him to watch and enjoy:

You know, FTM, it seemed so much more dangerous when we did this. These people are pansies, what with the Sheriff there to tow them to safety. Of course, we never went in under the bridge, either. To that, I have to say, Screw Loose, is an understatement! I bet a lot of people peed in the river that day. I know I would going under that bridge.

For those who don't know this neck of the woods, a neck is what it is. The water from Lake Huron drops into the St. Clair River with amazing force at a sort of bottleneck where the two bodies of water meet. The strength of the eddies and the current are a sight to behold.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Train of Thought

Gordon Lightfoot's, "Detroit's Maritime Sailor's Cathedral" aka Mariner's Church.

We spent our lives growing up near Lake St. Clair and played in the water further north in the St. Clair River. One of our favorite things to do in our misguided teens was to get huge inner tubes with six packs of beer tied on and jump in the river well above a chosen landing spot. From there we could move downriver with the current and watch the boats and ships move by. Once in a blue moon, we'd become aware that we'd drifted way too close to the shipping lanes and have to paddle our asses off to get out of the way of the freighters making their way up and down the waters. Talk about playing chicken...I guess I'm rather lucky I lived to tattle on myself.

Lake St. Clair, while not a Great Lake, is very wide and it's impossible to see most of the ships from shore. But the St. Clair River is a narrow band of water with some very shallow areas that make for great human frolicking. The river makes travel around the Great Lakes possible--if you want to sail from Chicago to the Atlantic Ocean, you can do so if you travel through the areas I used to swim. Some spots along the river are so narrow, I think one could spit and hit Canada. It's a beautiful shoreline, and watching the ships go by is a favorite way to spend time. If one studies long enough, one can learn the names of all of the different ships that carry their loads back and forth by heart (and shape). I'm sure if I could think hard, I could recall having seen the Edmund Fitzgerald before its demise. I don't remember having seen that ship, but I'm certain I probably did.

On date night Saturday, when leaving downtown Detroit, we drove past Mariner's Church and this always makes me think of that ship, those sailors lost and of course, Gordon Lightfoot. I've never been inside Mariner's Church and always think it would be interesting to see. I don't think about it until the church is right in front of me.

One of these days.

Photo of Mariner's Church from Wiki Commons

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Date Night in Mexican Town

St. Anne's Church

Last night was date night for my honey and me. We piled into the car around 7 PM and headed to southwest Detroit and Mexican Town where we had dinner at Los Galenes restaurant. He had the margarita, I had the cerveza, and we both ate a lot of food. This particular restaurant is my favorite in this part of town and lucky for us, it's not the busiest or most popular restaurant down there, but,'s our secret. We were seated immediately and finished in no time at all. Not bad for a Saturday night.

For dessert, we decided to drive down Jefferson and through Grosse Pointe on our way to the ice cream parlor that has the best frozen custard in town. Near the border of Grosse Pointe, we could see Jefferson was blocked by big top tents. I don't know if it was a festival, carnival or revival of sorts, but in the background, we could see thick, billowing black smoke rising into the sky. We had to drive down side streets to get around the big top tents and had a tour of the urban devastation so common in Detroit: burned out shells of what were once beautiful homes and neighborhoods, and wide open spaces which were once housing tracts. Utter blight and only a stone's throw from Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River and the wealthy Grosse Pointe communities. In all of the big cities I've seen, I've never seen the likes of the destruction so prevalent on the lower east side of Detroit. I wonder what the French priest, Father Gabriel Richard, would think of Detroit these days. I thought about him because we drove past St. Anne's Church, the second oldest continuously operating Roman Catholic church in the United States, in Mexican Town where he was a priest in 1796 (the church was founded in 1701). Detroit's motto is attributed to Father Richard after Detroit and most of his church burned in 1805: Speramus meliora; resurget cineribus. Translated: "We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes". Let's hope that history can repeat itself.

My husband and I presumed, not unreasonably, that the thick smoke rising above the homes was another boarded up Detroit house going up in smoke, and despite the plethora of Detroit Fire Department trucks racing in the direction of the fire, we were wrong. Detroit's DFD was on its way to help out Grosse Pointe Park's fire department. Apparently, someone's grill exploded and ruined dinner and the garage for that family. The fire was incredibly intense and the homes there are packed in like sardines in a can--perhaps the DFD was there to prevent a small fire from becoming an unspeakable tragedy. I got a few pictures on my cell phone camera, but had forgotten my regular camera, so you'll have to imagine what this part of our date looked like to us.

Sadly, the frozen custard joint was closed for the night. Broke my heart. We had to settle for a different parlor's attempt at frozen custard. It was so-so.

On a brighter note, we watched the orange moon rise over Lake St. Clair. Full, low in the sky and stunningly beautiful, I couldn't help but be secretly thrilled that for once, I wasn't working on a full moon hospice night. I thanked my lucky stars.

Two more days to work and my vacation will start in earnest.

What did you do this weekend?

Photo, Wikimedia, from the U.S. Register of Historical Places

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Twenty Two Dollar Experiment

Silk Cocoon: Fotograf: Gerd A.T. Müller
Courtesy Wiki Commons

In search of additional silky wool for the Log Cabin blankie, I went up to the yarn store the other day. I found what I was looking for and a little something else for a cute little cardi that I had in mind for the chilly moments encountered in summertime, specifically, air conditioned venues. The pattern is free on Ravelry. I didn't want wool, because let's face it, menopause and wool in the summertime just don't make for a good match. I looked for worsted weight bamboo, but the store didn't have any. I'm not crazy about knitting with cotton, and the hemp? Meh. I opted for, Rowan's Summer Tweed. It's 70 percent silk and 30% cotton.

About 1/3 of the way through the cast on edge, I noticed this yarn has a peculiar, funky and bordering on nasty smell. In the nursing biz, we call that malodorous. As though saying something has an odor isn't enough, we have to add the prefix, mal, to distinguish the smell as being particularly offensive. One should be able to say, it smells like shit, and any other nurse should have complete understanding, but no, we are a group compelled to add a little literary flourish to our otherwise drab charting: the patient had a large, malodorous stool. It's still shit, but now it reads better on paper.

Back to the silk. I've used one out of 8 skeins so far and can't bear the thought of returning the remainder of the yarn to the store yet. The odor encountered while holding the beginnings of this sweater in my hands was enough to stop me from continuing. Not wanting to give up, I've tossed a second skein of the silk into a basin full of scorching hot water and soaked it in Eucalan for nearly an hour. Of course I read the instructions not to soak this fiber. Why do you ask? I lost a little color with the use of hot water, but what the heck, it's that or nothing. For the rinse, I added a splash of white vinegar (no citric acid powder on hand). The skein is hanging out to dry now, and so far, so good. It smells like vinegar and eucalyptus and believe me, that's a lot better than the stench I first encountered.

I've not knit with silk too often, and what I have knit and spun has had no odor, probably due in part to the fact that the silk was not the predominant fiber in the blend. When I googled stinky silk yarn, quite a few things popped up. It's not as stinky as dog though, so maybe it'll be OK and there are some sites where knitters have stated the smell goes away after a couple of washes.

Fingers crossed.

Have you encountered stinky silk before? How did you manage the smell?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Just thinking out loud

I have a diverse interest in music. I'm all over the place with my tastes and can't be pinned down to anyone genre.

This week, it's Al's turn.

While I'm not particularly drawn to gospel, I love the Reverend Al's gospel songs. He speaks to me:

help me and i'll help you

save my soul and i'll save some for you

i'll do my best to do what I can

to stand up and be a man

What the newer generations of singers and musicians don't know about music of the soul is a lot.

One comment on one of Al's youtube videos stated: that voice is a weapon.

Enough said.

I'm off to sing and dance as though no one is watching...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

6,480 Stitches to Rip

Around 5,000 stitches in, an acute awareness began to develop in the knitter's mind. "Holy Cannoli," she said aloud to no one in particular. "Dammit! There won't be enough of the green from this hank to finish this never ending block." There was only the dog to hear her mild oaths and he only cares about the knitter running out of cookies. He looked at the knitter oddly, sighed, and with certain knowledge that his treats weren't in question, he went back to sleep.

The knitter wasn't wrong about the looming yarn shortage, and she was aware that of all of the Elsebeth Lavold Silky Yarn that she'd purchased, only the green was in separate dye lots. At the time she'd thought that it wouldn't matter if the blocks weren't knit side by side, and indeed, it wouldn't. Nobody would have noticed. She tried the next best thing and began to alternate the new dye lot with the already in progress lot in an effort to get the two yarns to appear to blend.

In the afternoon light, all looked fairly decent and the knitter fell into a comfort zone, feeling rather smug that despite being from separate dye lots, the yarns were looking identical. Taking a step back to marvel at her ingenuity, the illusion created by a man made light fell apart.

The knitter is crying into her wool now and making a complete mess of things.

Please tell her it doesn't matter. The sophisticated babe won't care. Neither will its mother. Truth be told, the knitter can't bear the thought of ripping out more than 6,000 stitches that has taken her days to create.


Monday, June 21, 2010

A day of peace and quiet. Ah...

I got stood up yesterday. Mr. Larger Than Life spent the morning at the casino with my son, and then told him coming to my house for dinner was, "too much." Of course, this message did not reach me prior to starting the shopping for dinner, so there I was stuck with the groceries, and no guest of honor. My husband was working, so it was really MLTL we were cooking for. Maybe he was miffed about his father's day gift. He didn't like the new laptop we purchased for him. He's used to using my son's MacBook, and thought the pc we chipped in on for him was cheap and didn't work right. I'm telling you, next year, I'm getting him soap. Or nothing. You cannot please an ingrate. Maybe he doesn't like my company. Who cares? He stayed home and called relatives and told them he was alone on Father's Day. We had a good time without him and cooked early enough for my husband to join us for dinner.

Leo enjoyed it, too, and although he is enormously frustrated that nobody will feed him from the table, it doesn't stop him from trying. I'm sure he thinks begging is the purpose he has a long snout in the first place. I laugh myself silly every time I see his nose in this picture.

I was just looking at the nest that got washed off the pillar and into the garden when I looked up and saw the robins were at it again. Sheesh! They should give it a break already.

The plantlings are coming along despite me. I already killed one tomato plant, but the other is doing well, and so are the herbs. Here is what looks like a green pepper. I hope it turns red like the picture says it will.

The morning glories are doing well despite me, too. They're so cheerful looking, don't you think?

Oh, my...look at the time! I can't count on this, though it is accurate. It doesn't give me the time in daylight savings time. It was really 3:45 and time to go to work.

The countdown is 7 working days to one glorious week off. I have this week and then Monday and Tuesday next week. I'm heading south for a few days of sweltering in the Virginia heat and visiting with my family. Since I'm driving, my wheel will make the trip with me.

Can't wait-can't wait-can't wait.

I wish there was a way to speed up that sun dial...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Convoluted Justification

I've been really disliking the windowless wall in my living room. The love seat holding up that wall didn't look good no matter how it was angled. As seating goes, it was the least comfortable piece of furniture I've ever purchased in my life. To be honest, life is too short to be miserable, so while furniture shopping for my husband's Father's Day gift, I bought a little something for myself. After all, he wouldn't be a father to the children he has without me, would he? Believe me, I can justify anything.

I've always wanted a place to faint. Perhaps when Sara comes by later, she can snap a photo of me falling out because Mr. Larger Than Life has just dropped by for a celebration dinner and has wrestled the remote control from Rachel. Ugh.

This book shelf is temporary. What I imagine behind this chais is an entire wall of shelving for my books, tchotchkes, and of course, knitting supplies.

Just so he has somewhere to put his feet up after a long day weeding out wretched refuse and huddled masses, we got my husband this chair. He really does deserve it and since we moved the first time a year and half ago, it's the one thing he's really missed. We left his at Rachel's Place.

I'm sure Leo knows it's not his chair, but his master's. Perhaps he thinks he's just keeping the seat warm. MLTL is going to have a fight on his hands for a place to sit today. If I catch either one of them on my fainting sofa, there will be hell to pay.

Happy Father's Day. If we can stay out of the ER today, I'll count us blessed.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

What have we here?

I snapped these two photos right around dusk tonight--right before the air raid sirens assaulted the neighborhood with horrible sound as they heralded a line of wicked storms. Leo is hunting something very peculiar to him. It's as though he's never seen the likes of this, and maybe he hasn't. We had such a chilly summer last year, that it's entirely possible he's never met these creatures before the past few evenings.

He's charmed...and charming as he stalks fireflies.

Two nights in a row, he's been out at this time of night and is trying to figure this bug out. They come close to him while flashing their lights and he stands as still as can be. When the lights go out it's as though he can't quite put his paw on what's up.

Tomorrow we'll give it another go. For tonight, we're busy staying away from windows.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

We pause for this announcement

from the BP (big people)

For criminy sake, get a better speech writer.

And you know, even though I know my actions are a tiny drop in a great big ocean, and that I can never be sure what I'm buying didn't originate from a BP refinery, and even though BP doesn't own all of its namesake stations, I'll never willingly spend another nickel at a BP gas station. Multiply that by the amount of small people who feel the same, and I think we could make waves. I'm hopeful the ripple effect could be a financial tsunami of the sort Big People never considered.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

So Long

Under the auspices of dad, and sometimes mom, the birds have flown the nest. The first two left rather gracefully and flew a short leg off the porch and onto the neighbor's truck. From there, they jumped into the cover of a pine tree and spent the morning jumping from branch to branch.

The last two sent their parents into conniptions. There was a hell of a lot of twittering going on to get these two to a safe haven.

This little birdie flew out of the nest and into my living room window. Of course, this got the dog to caterwauling and carrying on, and likely scared the poor little bird. The dog has a ferocious bark and even through the closed window, it would still make your hair stand on end. So the baby hung out on the porch for a bit, hopping back and forth from where you see him to the wrought iron chair. I had to go to work, so I wasn't able to see how they got him out of his predicament, but he's gone and there aren't any feathers hanging around the place. The outcome must have been good.

This little bird gave us all conniptions. He was the last to leave the nest and was probably the smallest of the four. He flapped like mad coming out of the nest and smacked into the porch. He hopped down the steps and landed in the grass where he began chirping like a scared little bird. All at once, mom and dad swooped in to chatter instructions. The little guy hopped to the street nearly colliding with a car, crossed the boulevard and into the neighbor's yard. The neighbor with the cat who patrols the hood at night. I don't think he could fly, and I wonder if mom and dad stashed him in the thick ground cover in Kaye's garden.

It's over now, and not a moment too soon. These guys were making a filthy mess. If they were tenants, I'd evict them for their slovenly housekeeping skills. Tomorrow the porch will be scrubbed.

Monday, June 14, 2010

As the knitting grows

The blankie is coming along. Block seven was picked up along the spines of blocks five and six last night and it's growing ever so slowly up there at the top which is technically the left side of the blanket. After this, there will be three rather large blocks to go, two of which require sharpening my intarsia skills and then I'll be looking for a border. This has truly been a joy to knit, but honestly, I shouldn't be talking as though it's finished. Surely that's a curse.

There appears to be a class going on at my neighbor's house. Mom flies in and out, but instead of coming back with food, it seems she showing her wee ones how to do something: fly. She flies into the nest, the four babes stand at attention and then she twitters something and leaves. When they spy me looking at them, they all crouch down and act as if I can't see them if they make themselves tiny and still. It won't be long until they leave their nest. I wish I could have snapped a photo of the eggs before they hatched. Sapphireblue got the perfect picture. Now tell me, is that not the most gorgeous shade of robin's egg blue? She must have color correction for her photos.

Enough lollygagging around. I have to shower and get ready for another day in the trenches. My driver is picking me up in an hour for what is shaping up to be such a wonderful Monday.


Fifteen more days...fifteen more days.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Have You Really Thought About Corn?

At the market yesterday, I was reminded of one of the reasons why I like summer. The corn is starting to come in. State by state, it arrives in Detroit until finally, the corn is from local farmers. Right now, we're finding Florida corn, but soon it'll be the corn grown in Georgia, then South Carolina, etc. You get the picture. My market finds help me count the days and weeks of summer. I get really excited once I see Ohio corn, because Michigan corn is not far behind.

One of my favorite uses of corn is to make a salsa that can be eaten independently with tortilla chips, or served over something like fish, grilled eggplant, or even grilled steak-like portabella mushrooms. The best way to make this dish is with fresh corn that's gently boiled for about 5 minutes and then cut off the cob with a sharp knife.

Rudee's Corn Salsa
6 ears corn on the cob
4 roma tomatoes
fresh cilantro
vidalia or other sweet onion-diced small
jalapeno pepper
lime juice
french sea salt (or other coarse salt)

Cook 6 ears of corn in rapidly boiling, salted water for about 5 minutes or so and then plunge the corn into ice water to cool and halt the cooking process. Cut the corn from the ears using your sharpest knife. Don't discard that boiling water need it to peel the tomatoes.

Choose 4 ripe (but firm) red roma tomatoes and make a shallow x on the bottom of each tomato with the tip of a paring knife. Plunge them, one at a time, into the boiling water. Wait 10 seconds, retrieve the tomato and stick it into ice water to stop the cooking. Repeat until all 4 are done. If you've done it right, the peels should come off easily starting from the 4 corner spot where you made an x. Peel them all then dice them and put them into a bowl with the corn.

Dice 1/2 of a large vidalia onion or all of a medium sized and put this in the bowl. Red onions are pretty in this dish, but are strong, so adjust accordingly.

If you like your dishes spicy, you may use all the parts of a finely diced jalapeno pepper. If you like things milder, remove the seeds and veins and then dice and add to the bowl.

Mince the cilantro well and add 1 to 2 tablespoons to taste. Cover the whole thing with a sprinkle of salt and the juice of one to two limes (do it to taste).

This was the most requested dish to bring to potlucks at work, but we've hardly touched the surface of how flexible corn can be.

For instance, you can pop your corn and then douse it in butter and salt and snarf it down. When you get thirsty from eating that salty corn, you can brew a beer from corn to dilute your sodium levels in a tasty way. While eating your popcorn and drinking that beer, you can watch Bill and Jo try to outrun the tornado in a cornfield in the movie, Twister. Worried about the future of fossil fuels? You can fuel a vehicle like my Flex Fuel Ford Escape with corn. Though ethanol is cheaper than gas at the station, it burns faster and is ultimately more expensive. The nice thing for me is that if we run out of refined gasoline, I have other options. You can even knit with yarn made of corn. I prefer wool, but if you like knitting with corn, who am I to stop you?

Interestingly, corn can be used to take your own life. I don't think Jack Kervorkian knew this, but my own mother certainly did. It was Labor Day weekend in 2006 when my brother, who has a particularly awesome "corn guy" who deals on the weekends near his home, showed up at my mother's house with an enormous amount of the most delectable corn I've ever had. Apparently, my mother agreed. When she got up to get her third or fourth helping of corn, I remember asking her what she thought she was doing. "Mom," I said, "you're going to pay for that." I think her precise words were, "I don't give a damn, it's so good." And it was. Good. Several days later, she was gone after she developed her last bout of diverticulitis and a bowel obstruction from the corn. Corn is a no-no for those with diverticular disease and my mother routinely developed bowel obstructions when she ate the no-nos. So you see, you can suffer death by corn.

Today I'm using this flexible vegetable in yet another way: as an icepack. My favorite frozen veggie to use is peas, but the peas I have in the freezer are there so I can make a tuna noodle salad. The corn was handy when I was attacked by my laptop as it fell off the ottoman last night. My injury was compounded by the dog stepping on the same foot. I'm not sure if I broke a bone, or just bruised the delicate area, but the corn has come in handy, yet again. So has the Motrin IB which, surprisingly, contains cornstarch. Who knew?

What's your favorite way to use corn?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Loaded Questions

Does this new blog background make my butt look big?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Unguarded moments

Photo details: snapped about 15 minutes after he woke me up because he couldn't stand to see me napping.

Or perhaps it was because he wanted the sofa to himself so he could stretch out properly.

It doesn't matter... it warms my heart to see a rescue dog so relaxed and feeling safe enough to expose his undercarriage to the world.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Logistics is an art

Leo with his red rubber bone.

Don't believe a word she says about me. I embrace all dog breeds--there are just some who need
to be shown who is boss.

Leo took me for a walk downtown yesterday. Oddly, he steered me right to the yarn store where he knows he is loved, wanted and fed unlimited treats. The store, ...have you any Wool?, is a small shop, but has an impressive inventory for its size. We bought some mohair so that I can knit a curtain for a rather odd window in the living room. I'm planning something in stockinette with the same felting treatment I did for that scarf last year. Anyways, back to Leo. He's pleasant enough with the people who are in there when he arrives, even the cat people, but when anyone new walks through the door, he barks and acts like he owns the joint.

This dog is incredibly strong and when he sees something else with a tail and 4 legs, I have all I can do to keep him under control. I woke up with sore shoulders today and I know it's because of the pitbull who lives two blocks down and 3 blocks over. Oddly, the little Dachshund that lives across the street from the pit did not elicit the same response from Leo: snarling, growling, barking and frothing at the mouth with a touch of madness thrown in for good measure. Squirrels and rabbits make my dog insane, but it's only the pitbulls that throw him over the edge and my town is filthy with pits. It seems every other house is a refuge to a rescued dog of mixed heritage and mapping out a walk where we won't encounter this breed of dog is difficult, if not impossible.

Isaac, a mixed dog with dominant pit lives behind us. He seems like a sweet boy, but I can no longer pet him over the fence as this simple and friendly act would make Leo go bonkers. For the first month, these two dogs would yap and bark at the dividing line between our yards. Now they stalk each other silently and only bark when one of their humans is in the yard at the same time. We considered putting up a privacy fence for a little peace and quiet, but frankly, I'd rather spend my money on something else. Leo and Isaac are just going to have to get along. Besides, I don't want to be the first person in the neighborhood to block my neighbors out. All of these homes have fences with gates linking all the yards that allow neighbors to go back and forth through them. Who am I to disturb such a friendly dynamic?

While we're on the subject of neighbors, it won't be long until the robins are forced to move. I was wrong when I told you there are three of them. Indeed, there are four and they're quickly running out of room. According to my next door neighbor, robins nest in that particular spot every year and have done so for 5 years in a row, now. This is only the second time they've had 4 wee ones and for the life of me, I can't figure out how they're managing with such limited space. I need to take some logistics lessons from them. This week, my oldest child will be moving back in with us. You know the story...economy, economy, economy. She's been gone from the nest for a long time and feels badly about having to come back. My husband has tried to tell her that even his 50 year old friends at work are moving back in with their 80 year old parents and that it'll all work out in the end.

Like our neighbors, I'm sure we'll find a way to make do with what we have.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Odds and Ends

There's been an incredible amount of action going on at my neighbor's house. If I lived in a dicier neighborhood, I would think this particular home was a crack house. With 3 little mouths to feed, what seems like non-stop, the adult robins are flying back and forth all day long and well into the night with food. With such a tiny nest, I can't see this lasting very long. There's barely room for mom to sit anymore and when she does, she looks like she's perched high above the nest in a hovering mode. Yesterday, I could see only two of the wee ones with their necks elongated and beaks sticking way up in demand mode. Today I see three little beaks resting on the edge of the nest while mom and dad look for breakfast.

I'm tired for their parents.

Hog-Dog Leo.

Here is someone I know would not share his food no matter how many starving pups he had. I do believe that this is the longest time a cookie in his possession has lasted. He usually hides them all immediately in his gut.

Not too busy last night...block #4 completed with block #5 well under way. I'd say this photo is more representative of the true colors of this blankie. The cast on edge of this is in the middle at the bottom right of the oatmeal colored square. I'm completely charmed by both the yarn and the pattern. Here is a link to the free pattern if you don't own Mason-Dixon Knitting. The pdf link is hosted by Amazon. After reading this link, it's apparent that the border isn't published, but it's about 8 rows of garter. I'm planning on doing an applied I-cord border. Here's a video link for accomplishing this. I'm still many stitches away from doing the border, but I am considering the options. Another would be a ruffled border. I'll have to go check out my Nicky Epstein books for ideas.

I'm in a vacation countdown mode. Twenty two days until respite. I hear those mountains calling my name.

Have a great day!

Monday, June 7, 2010

A quick hello before blogger dies again

I have no idea what's up with blogger, but I'm still here and haven't been kidnapped. I've been unable to post or comment since yesterday. So, to while away the hours, I knit and watched movies instead. Here is that log cabin blankie for an apparently very sophisticated yet to be born babe.

Silky Wool? Yummy. Stitch count so far: oh, around 12,000, give or take. By measurement, I'm only a third of the way through.

I'm off to work, but first I'd like to thank blogger for being so vocal about their issues. Not.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

First Things First

You know the old adage, never grocery shop when hungry? Yeah, well I did. We were supposed to go out for dinner tonight, but if I don't cook everything I bought, it'll go to waste. I guess we're having dinner in and apparently, some items will be stuffed. Like the peppers. No dish speaks summer to me like my Grannie's bread and cheddar cheese stuffed peppers.

Keeping with a red theme, there will be cherry pie for dessert. Achatz cherry pie to be exact. I feel sorry for those of you who don't live in Michigan with direct access to Achatz pies. You don't know what you're missing, but hey, if you want to know what they're like, you can order one here. I can vouch for all the flavors, but it's the cherry and Michigan 4 berry pie I can't pass up. Other pies are clearly pedestrian in comparison. They're expensive, but oh so worth the price of admission. A word to the wise: hide it! Don't share. In fact, when it gets to you, eat it all first--even before dinner. No sense in risking that you won't live long enough to get to dessert.

It's warm and humid in Detroit today with plenty of cloud cover to soften the blow of the heat. Every once in awhile I see a peek of the sun and tomorrow, there's a little of that in the forecast. It's a good day to knit, though the heavy and colorful shawl will have to wait for cooler temps. It's a hot one to have in the lap. Not knowing which unfinished project I should devote a little attention to, I got out the books, bought a little yarn and cast on for a baby gift. A crib sized Log Cabin blankie is in the works for my very pregnant friend who is due in October. I don't know what she's having, so I stuck with genderless colors in cream, sage, blue, gray and charcoal. Since I hate knitting cotton, Silky Wool will have to do.

Poor little babe.

Hey! Have a great weekend. I'm off to eat that dessert.

Friday, June 4, 2010

An observation or two

You know, for as many times as this man has shoved his foot in his mouth, you'd think he'd have a larger orifice.

Um...Tony? I think those 11 men who died on your rig wouldn't mind their lives back, either.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Excuse me! Excuse me, please! Can you answer me this? Why is she sitting on my water bowl and taking my picture?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Answer me this...

I don't recall who I know that always asks to, "answer me this", but it'll come to me. Maybe.

The sock is suffering, and if I weren't so tired of doing hospice starts of care, I'd do one on the sock right this minute and here is how I'd report off to the next shift about this dying creation.

Name: Mrs. Twisted Right Sock (Oh, ok, at this point she could be a right or left sock, but who cares?)
Location: Bottom of the knitting basket
Diagnosis: Terminal tedium. Fatal for sure.
Physician: Dr. Ruth, of course
Prognosis: Not long for this world
Acuity Level: Very high.
Problems: This patient is very needy and tedious. In fact, if I hadn't been overusing the phrase so much lately, I'd label her a pain in the arse, but it's really unprofessional to speak so poorly of the nearly departed. Mrs. Sock is consuming an inordinate amount of time per row due to all of her purl stitch requirements being done on itty-bitty needles. It has taken her primary caregiver all weekend to purl her way through 14 rows and this fact alone has created a rift in their relationship. This sock is done for and its hours on earth are numbered.

Is sockenasia a crime?

In a last ditch effort to save Mrs. Sock, I've considered introducing round robin knitting, or in this case, purling, to keep this sock on life support. To my knowledge, nothing like this has ever been attempted outside of Sock Wars, but if anyone out there is willing to purl a few rounds on this sock, I am willing to send her on and when you've had enough purling to the point you'd rather stab yourself in the eye with that fancy double point, you can send it forward to the next do-gooder. If she ever makes it back here and lives to tell, we'll start the second sock and do the same. At the end, we'll donate the darned things to charity. Debra and Cups of Kindness should be sending out feelers for their annual event and this would be the perfect resting place for socks with a story.

Any takers?

I will forward the sock, on Kollage double points, the pattern, yarn and a disposable camera to the first knitter willing to do CPR on a dying sock.

Entering another dimension

Warning: when wearing 3 D glasses, objects right in front of you may appear closer than they really are. When you reach out to grab said object, you will come up with nothing to show for the effort, however, you will give your children a lasting memory of how silly you looked.

With great trepidation, and only because we never know how this plan will pan out, my oldest kids and I decided to drag Stinkerbell out to the movies with us. Hating anything on her face or head, she steadfastly refused to wear her own 3 D glasses, which may have been a good thing. On the whole, she was really good today. There was no whining, which is really annoying when performed by a 20 year old, no incontinence (a bonus) and as long as we supplied her with never ending soda, Sno-caps, Sour Patch candies, popcorn and nachos, she was entertained. Here and there she paid some attention to the movie. The amount of soda this human consumed makes the absence of incontinence a miracle. I did however plan a mid-movie potty break, so maybe it was my wisdom that prevailed.

Shrek, Happily Ever After, was, as Sillliyak warned, a bit on the dark side, but nevertheless, very funny. No spoiler alerts here, but I do need to get myself an array of wigs to match my moods. I loved Stiltkin's angry wig.

About 2/3 of the way through the movie, fueled by chocolate, caffeine and sugar, Stinkerbell had taken all the sitting she could tolerate. Not caring a hoot about theater decorum or manners, she stood up to watch the movie and dance and sway as she usually does. We were seated in an area with a wide aisle right in front of us, so she had plenty of room for her escape. Engrossed in the movie and wearing my glasses, I barely noticed she'd vacated the seat Sara and I had flanked and by the time I did, she'd moved further than I estimated. Certain I couldn't miss, I grabbed for her belt and and came up short, then Sara grabbed for her with the same outcome. Not giving up, or even considering the 3 D glasses were creating depth perception issues, I tried again. And again. Each time I attempted to corral the child, I came up with air. Everyone was highly entertained by this event.

We picked a good time to go to the show and missed a torrential downpour and storm. There was just enough time to get home and barbecue some burgers before the next wave of storms hit. While busy in the kitchen, my son and his father conspired to bring MLTL back for round two. He was better behaved tonight, though he still makes a ridiculous fuss over the presence of my dog. He'll have to get used to it. That dog isn't going anywhere.

Don't miss the opportunity to see Shrek in 3 D. It was wonderful and provided many laugh out loud moments.