••• Friday, January 30, 2004

Marcy May Go Mary Moe..(or "What's Up Chuck?")
Earlier this week there was a disturbing article in our local paper about the USDA's ban on using meat from non-ambulatory cows (aka "Downers"). A rather loose para-phrase of the recent mandate goes as follows: Only the meat from cows healthy enough to walk themselves to death may be sold for human consumption. >::I'd provide a link to this article but I can't find it in the on-line local edition, which makes me wonder about a cowspiracy. A general on-line search produced a link to this article, which contains the gist but not the gristle of the local article.::

As a bone-a-fied meat eater, I should feel reassured that the government can guarantee my next standing rib roast will be the real deal. But for some reason, I can't find beef relief. Although the thought of downing a "Downer" burger is down right depressing, I'm finding little to celebrate in the assurance that Mama's Meatloaf will be soon be walking itself to the dinner table.

It's not the health issues that concern me. It's the pictures stampeding through my head. Pictures of healthily dying cows walking to my dinner plate. I can't shake the image of a weeping Susan Sarandon, reaching out to the redundantly ill-fated Dead Cow Walking. The bovine image I prefer is that of a sizzling New York strip, cozily coupled with an exquisite Beaujolais.

No doubt, this regulation is going to be costly to the farmers. I'm thinking Ol' McDonald will be seeking methods of getting around the non-drooling ruling. Some farmers may even turn to the church for guidance. I'm not talking about prayer, I'm talking about access to the Vatican's Procedures for Proper Papal Propping also known as PLA or Project Look-Alive.

This simple concept may the most efficiently clean way to float around the standing rule.

What will be the impact on the meat marketing industry? How long before a burger chain promo reads "Don't settle for the last cow standing. At the Get-Up- Now, Cow Burger Barn, our beef walks to the front of the line? " And if a walking cow is a tasty bite, a jogging cow must be that much better: "Our beef is 100% guaranteed to have participated in the Slaughter House 5K Run for Your Life." Yumm.

My husband and I have been talking about this beef shtick for a couple of days. While we were disgusted by the content of the article, the subject has mostly been the butt of many a lame joke around here. Had anyone asked, I would have said the article will not impact my choice of protein. However, during this week's grocery excursion, we silently wheeled by a usual stop. The meat cooler. It may mean nothing, or it maybe we're just chicken.

Daylee Foenetix (or say it, don't filet it)
I was delighted (and surprised) at the number of people (via comments) who indicated they have been mispronouncing Patons along with me. For those who missed it, per Marnie (and confirmed by a Bear in the Know) the proper pronunciation of Patons is PAY-tons. All this time I've been Celine Dioning it a la Pah-TONE, which explains why the woman at the yarn shop had never heard of it.

I've been wondering about this one for awhile. Is GGH pronounced Gff or Jff? And I guess I won't be calling around about Koigu any time soon.

••• Wednesday, January 28, 2004

It's Snow Squall Matter
Snow day lavished.
Snow day savored.
Knit by the fire,
Hygiene unfavored.

So much on my mind,
Yet nothing spills blogward.
Animal husbandry tales,
Seem somehow untoward.

I think the following is a perfect filler for a dry hump,slump day such as this (thanks Greta):

you are lightskyblue

Your dominant hues are cyan and blue. You like people and enjoy making friends. You're conservative and like to make sure things make sense before you step into them, especially in relationships. You are curious but respected for your opinions by people who you sometimes wouldn't even suspect.

Your saturation level is lower than average - You don't stress out over things and don't understand people who do. Finishing projects may sometimes be a challenge, but you schedule time as you see fit and the important things all happen in the end, even if not everyone sees your grand master plan.

Your outlook on life is bright. You see good things in situations where others may not be able to, and it frustrates you to see them get down on everything.
the spacefem.com html color quiz

And maybe this little eye-boggler I call "Cheddar Dreams..." (courtesy of the real Dutch Marcia)

I must go now. My husband has built a fire, as yet unroared. He then went outside to move his car, and returned with a bottle of wine. God Bless the thinking man.

••• Sunday, January 25, 2004

Things That Scare Me
1. Two year old daughter yelling "Ohhh Nooooo!" from the other room.
2. Hearing my 75 year-old mother say "I Googled Johnny Cash."
3. Accidently swallowing a piece of Nicorette gum. I felt woozy for about an hour (remember that first Kool? Multiply x 6) but now I hope to be free of nicotine cravings for seven years.
4. Cal Thomas and Dr. Laura yucking it up on late night cable.
5. Pubes growing from my eyebrows.

Gnitting Gnus
The Berrocan is blocked and ready for assembly. I hate assembly.

I received this yarn the other day from Elann.com. I initially ordered it for the "Must-have" knit-a-long (Sarah, you ain't catchin' me not lookin' agin) but then thought it might work for the "Coppertone." Once here, the yarn told me (in a virginal, lush tone) that I Must Have been dreaming if I thought to use it for anything but a cardie.

So a Cardie I Must Have. Now I Must Have a pattern. I don't want to wait for mail order but I'm dreading calling around yarn shops to ask if they carry the pattern. Things that Scare Me ): 5. Calling yarn shops in search of Patons pattern book, not knowing the proper pronunciation of "Patons"

Yarn specs-
Brand: Peruvian Highland Virgin Wool
Color: Starlight Blue.
Price: Deuce-inna-quarter a skein. *
*For those of you not urbanly reared in the 70's, Deuce inna Quarter is 225, as in a nice big Buick, or for current purposes $2.25

I know, a deal like that is practically scary.

••• Thursday, January 22, 2004

Jim Croce is Dead?

what decade does your personality live in?

quiz brought to you by lady interference, ltd

My blog gets hits every day from people googling "Marcia." Just the one name. No other variables. Yeah. Weird.

Through trying to figure out this weirdness, I've determined that the Marcias of the world are being stalked by someone with issues of specificity. Vague issues. Commitment issues.

Anyway. Today, curiosity got the better of me and I peeked at the gaggle of Marcia googles. It's there I found the link to my European Blog Sister de Nom. I'm half Dutch (second generation) so this other Marcia-powered-blog was a particularly special find. She has some interesting links, including the "What Decade..." quiz.

*Amy is still my true blog sister, this other one is a sister in name only.

I'll have knitting updates in a couple of days.

I do have happy basketball news. He played 10 minutes and made 7 points (in 45 seconds) on Tuesday.

For the record, I'm not one of "those moms" who thinks their kid deserves special entitlements, above others. I believe all kids deserve a fair chance. Truth be, I hardly understand most sports. Basketball is the easiest for me on account of the big balls, and all.

There are 14 on the varsity team; 7 seniors, 5 juniors and two freshmen. The freshmen are starters. Although they are really good players (for 14 years old) they aren't exactly cracking up to be the crackerjacks promised. I actually feel bad for them because they're under much scrutiny by peers, parents and the community at large.

There's more to the story, but it's complicated, political and not particularly interesting to anyone outside this community (and hardly interesting to those within). So no more whining.

I have no idea if things will play out differently now. Most important is that my boy was given a chance and the son done shined!

••• Tuesday, January 20, 2004

From the Mouths of Babes (and butts of dogs)
Yesterday The Cakers runs to the kitchen and says excitedly "Choo-Choo Poop! Stinky!" Choo-Choo=Cheddar, the dog. Gawd.

I run to the family room to find the accused snoring innocently from his favorite corner of the couch.

Me: Where's Poop?
She: In Choo-Choo's tummy. Stinky.
Me: He must've let a tooter.
She (reflectively): Tooo-ter.

I walk away thinking she's sooo dang cute, smart too.

I turn to give her a loving glance and what do I see? My cute, smart Cakers holding up poor Cheddar's tail, her face about one inch from Tooterville.

Yeah, that Tooterville.

Stinky. Says she.
I'm too old for this sh.. stuff. Says Me.

Quick Knit Knews:
The Berroco Turtle knitting work is done. Body is blocked and sleeves are next. This sweater seems to be another "right gauge, wrong size" situation. It's bigger than it oughta be but the gauge is perfect. I even double checked while blocking...grrrr.

I've not decided if I'm joining the "Must-Have-a-long" yet.

Last week I was looking through an old VK and fell in love with a sweater, all over again. Next morning, I drop in at Bonne's and see a really cool wip that she'd recently resurrected. Mmmm...I love that sweater....looks familiar...it's not.....it is! Same sweater. Coppertone. (bottom of pageish).

Maybe we're psychic psisters or psomething. Or maybe not. Cool sweater anyway.

I have some time to decide between the Coppertone and the Must-Have. Because I will finish the Smocking on the Move first. I will.
I will.

Gotta run. Basketball game tonight. The opposition is one of the worst in the league, so maybe tonight will be Revenge of the Practice Dummies.

Oops! I thought we all agreed to stop the complaining and negativity. We're gonna focus on what's best for the team. Sacrifice. Teamwork. Good attitude. We're positive, adult role models. We're brave and wise.

FTS. My baby's basketball jones' been stomped and trampled and it's breakin' my heart.

Go blue.

••• Sunday, January 18, 2004

I win. Right?

Pholph's Scrabble Generator

My Scrabble© Score is: 26.
What is your score? Get it here.

And if the Good Lord would've castigated the pipples for sharing the family jewels with horses instead of pigs....It'd be a slam dunk.

Pholph's Scrabble Generator

My Scrabble© Score is: 33.
What is your score? Get it here.

Speaking of slam dunks (no, not basketball story yet, maybe not ever. We need to get over ourselves over here.) some of you might remember my post about my inner Aunt Bea having a smack down perpetrated upon her by The Cakers' day care provider? (Refresher here, "Hope Lies Bleeding..." August 7 or so) Well, (are you sitting?) last weekend, My Sweet Ana ate my pot roast. Not only did she eat it, she said "Mmmmmm." I was a little worried about her agreeing to the carrots on account of them being all browned from the gravy, but she asked for seconds.

No knitting updates yet. Too much going on. I did haul out my Smocking on the Move piece and now worry that it is too small. It may need more ease. Boobease.

I've been in a bit of denial about my middle aging body and recently resorted to buying a Minimizer* bra to help me maintain the facade that I'm the same as I ever was. Although the Minimizer is somewhat effective in reducing the appearance of excess boobage, I've determined that it's less a minimizing system than a "redistribution" system.

*A bra designed to reduce the appearance of boobs by one bra size.

In fact, it seems to me that the minimizer bra concept works much like my own yarn redistribution system: Stuff into small containers and hide where no one will look. The engineered hiding place for my vintage classics? Under the armpits. No one will ever look there, the logistical experts figured. And they were right.

So let's raise our cups to those fabulous foundation pioneers with the courage to think outside the underwire.

For the record: Most days I have a pretty good idea of where I'm taking a post when starting out. Today was not one of them.

Labels: ,

••• Friday, January 16, 2004

Things that keep me up at night, Part II
My son is on semester break, so last night was a "weekend hours" curfew. Before he left I reminded him, again, that it was a work night for me so he needed to be home on time and quiet. He's real good about this stuff, usually. He needed to be home at 12:00.

At 12:15 I woke with a start, realizing he wasn't home yet. He's never this late. I couldn't call him because he had gone sledding and didn't call me with an update on his location (violation number 2). I couldn't call him on his brandspanking new cell-phone because it was sitting downstairs. He had left it at his dad's. Dad had dropped it off as a courtesy, along with his basketball uniform, which he needs for the game tonight.

So at 12:25 he calls. He's all chipper, announcing they had gone out for a bite and lost track of time. I remind him this is a worknight for me. Oops, says he.

When he arrives home, 10 minutes later, I calmly remind him that when I send him out in the world, I need to know he can find his proper way back. When I send him out in the world, I need to know that he's at his thinking best. Always.

Mom, I know. I'm sorry.
You're not going out after the game tomorrow.
You're kidding.

I turn for bed.

Behind me, in the silence, I could hear him puffing up for an argument. I then heard him think twice.

That's my boy. That's my thinking boy.

I don't ground Cam much. I've had no real need. A brief, poignant talk is usually sufficient. Ever once in awhile he needs to be "reeled in." Sometimes, if he's had a tad too much freedom, he tends to equate freedom with autonomy. A blur I equate with trouble.

Anyway. I wasn't sleeping well before he called and after I went back to bed I was wired and feeling kind of guilty. Then I remembered that he had also forgotten about his uniform. This could've been big. Had his dad not been paying attention, Cam wouldn't be able to suit up for the game tonight. I stopped feeling guilty immediately. He needed this reality check.

We all cut corners or "round off" our standards once in a while. It's a dangerous habit for a 17 year-old, whose brain isn't quite done. I believe that excessive cutting of corners as a teen is the leading cause of running in circles as an adult. That's the last thought I remember until...

... 3:00am, when I woke to find a purring cat nose in my nostril. Not near my nostril. In my nostril.

Winterized (read: Housebound) Boosky is obsessed with me. It happens every year.

She wants to be near me. Always.
She wants to be one with me. Constantly.
She wants to be the air I breathe. Literally.

I want to sleep. Peacefully.
With Brain unattended.
Nostrils unenfluffered.

She's Back!
I do have some knitting updates. I have a couple of rows left on the final Berrocan Uxbridge sleeve. I hope to block it tonight. I’m not going to Cam’s game because it’s a 30 mile drive and it’s just too long a night for the Cakers, especially since he played zero seconds the last game. My husband is going with a friend and Cam's dad will be there.

The basketball team drama is a post in the works, but not ready until I can temper my sanguinary impulses.

I'm joining one of the knit-alongs real soon. I'll update later because right now, I'm too tired to link about it.

Ah-May-Zing Followup:Thank you all, for making this blog a living, breathing thang.

••• Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Things That Keep me Up at Night
Last year, in the spring I believe, I bought Lily Chin's The Urban Knitter (It was only after I brought it home that I realized I fell out of the recommended age demographs. They really aughta put a grandparental advisory warning on the front).

From this book I found out about Yahoo's KnitList, and promptly joined up. From the KnitList I found out about Chicknits. At Chicknits I clicked on a blog link. This particular blogger was a brand new knitter, posting pictures of her obviously brand new knitting for all the world to see. I was impressed by her bravery, if not her knitting skills.

Her blog offered links to other knit blogs (of course) and I promptly sat myself down to a linkin' park blogfest (where you park your butt for the purpose of clicking blog links for hours). I was immediately hooked. In June, I opened this sty.

In the beginning, I was publishitty-shy. I thought most of my posts were stupid, or boring, or obscure or down right crap*y. When I did come up with something I considered worthy, I would then worry "What if it's all I got?"

Eventually a few peeps trickled in through the Knitblog network. Amy was one of my first "regular" customers and also a Newbie. Through those first few weeks (and now) I could always count on finding her familiar http in my comment peanut gallery. Her daily presence and encouragement was, many days, my only source of confidence to keep going.

So, how is this keeping me up at night? Well, this week, Sweet Amy sent me a package. In it was an adorable (or "nuhdorable", as we say around here) piglet calendar, a package of Life Savers and two Skeins of Lions Brand Fun Fur. I just find this an amazing thing and last night I couldn't sleep because I couldn't stop thinking about it.

Last spring I bought a knitting book. Because I bought that knitting book, last week Amy (in California) had a sweet thought about me and sent me a gift package (Addressed in cool, artsy handprinting, no less. Of course, I'm not surprised.)

I'm not even sure this is making any sense. But on I plod.

Buying that knitting book also brought to me the opportunity to observe, enjoy and participate in the collection of diverse worlds and genuine affection found among and between the incredibly witty, intelligent, creative, and generous human bein's who make up the knitblog ring. Weird thing: I don't even like the book.

As The Cakers utters, drop-jawed, at the sight of the garage door opening by remote...."Ah-may-zing..!"

I've no computer access again at home, for most of this week, so I'm stealth posting this, piecemeal. I haven't had opportunity to respond to all the funny and supportive comments individually, but I've been sneaking peeks. Thanks all! I hope to resume somewhat normal activities next week

••• Saturday, January 10, 2004

Just When I Thought it was Safe
I thought I was recovering nicely from my recent episode of Knittinsuckinola. Even though I have not picked up a needle in days, I have been dutifully scouring pattern books (per sistah Amy's advice) for some stash busting projects. I've even been thinking about thinking about finishing the Uxbridge Berrocan Turtleneck this weekend. heh. Sometimes I really crack myself up.

So, I was cruising my favorite blogs, feeling muchly on the mend, when I came upon Bron's, place. There, I was unwittingly exposed to photos and descriptions of her expansive stash. As I perused the pictures and related narrative, I experienced a sudden lurching of the heart and the urge to hide under my desk. After a few minutes of self-calming strategies (this time: sniffing the ink cartridge bay of my jet printer) I concluded that I had experienced what we in clinical knitting circles refer to as a Stashback.

A Stashback is like a flashback, only fuzzier. It is an intrusive memory of a sudden and traumatic exposure to yarn. One's own yarn. Stashbacks are the hallmark of a serious, pervasive disorder known as Post Dramatic Stash Disorder (PDSD).

A Stashback can be triggered by the viewing of someone else's stash, being in a conversation about yarn stash, overhearing a conversation about yarn stash, the swooshy sound of a Rubbermaid container being opened and, in extreme cases, the sound of an idling delivery truck. There have been reports of severe cases of PDSD where the "victim" experiences symptoms at the mere sight of any man wearing brown shorts and matching socks. Okay, I guess you don't have to have a disorder to be alarmed at that visual.

The most common cause of PDSD is the shock of reality (i.e. shattering of myths) experienced by a deluded yarn owner upon the examination and accurate asssement of all yarn holdings.

Say What? Layman's Definition: PDSD is caused by sudden realization that one is a most silly, incompetent knitcumpoop, via a seemingly well-intended count of yarn skeins.

Other symptoms of PDSD:
-Avoidance of all things knitting.
-A constant, ceaseless, redundantly repetitive preoccupation with all things knitting.
-A preoccupation with beginning new projects.
-Avoidance of beginning new projects.
-A preoccupation with finishing current projects.
-Avoidance of finishing current projects.
-Obsession with a particular Ebay purchase that promised to be an amazing glittery vintage yarn, but turned out to be mill ends from the Brillo factory. (I'd show a picture, but I can't bring myself to reopen the bin. You might discern this crap in one of the pictures of my stash, from the bedroom closet).
-Avoidance of all things related to scrubbing pans (see previous symptom).
-Hypersensitivity to other knitters' extensive list of finished knit products, usually knit up in yarn that was actually purchased for the intended pattern, with fantastic results.
-Constant comparing of one's own yarn "crap" to other knitters' apparently "bigger" and "better" stuff.
-Dissociation from or depersonalization of knit products (ex: Finding a knit piece of Berroco Uxbridge Tweed, like a sleeve, wondering what the hell it is and how it ended up in a bag in your office, then deciding it would make an excellent dust rag).

I realize that I have been beating the stash trauma to death. But evidently I wasn't as "over it" as I believed. In grad school I learned that an issue ain't over until it is. I paid mighty big bucks for that nugget, by the way. It's yours for free.

I know I'm on my way now. Really. I guess I just needed a little more "textual healing."

That being said, while I'm not one for "resolutions" per se, I do believe that in order for one to make a real change in behavior (physical and/or cognitive) a simple plan is in order. I've made such a plan. Serious too.

My Simple Plan for a Happier Knitting Tomorrow:
1- Purchase yarn only for an intended pattern.
2- Purchase yarn on eBay only when I have true, first hand knowledge of the yarn's value (i.e., I've heard of it).
3- Finish a project before completing another.
Sidenote: This one may not seem related to PDSD, but it really is. It has to do with commitment, which is related to the ease of being distracted by new projects, which is related to purchasing yarn which is related to not using the yarn I currently own.

Tell Me Something Good...(thrill me thrill me thrill me)
Thankee Buddy Don for the nice comments on my childhood stories.

Related Purly trivia: Before I came to Blogger, I had a blog (for about three days) at a different site. My first post ever was an intro to the Girl with Gum in Her Hair and the blog was also named after her. I abandoned the blog after I decided to join the Knitblog ring and I wasn't able to link outside the host site. So telling The Girl's story was the impetus for my starting a blog. Once people actually started coming here, The Girl got kind of shy. For the record, The Girl is me, of course. And the buckeye poem is based on real events.


••• Friday, January 09, 2004

I haven't been knitting.
I've nothing to say.
Been working on post
That's not ready today.

My son sits a ball game
On this Friday eve.
I'll snuggle the Cakers
Until time to leave.

My lack of knittelligence
Makes me feel like a barf.
But I'll toss you a knit bone:
A garter fur scarf.


••• Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Snow Day, Yippay!

For any of you who grew up in Snow-Day-Potential climes, I'm here to tell you...They're even more whee-worthy as an adult. I know, it's hard to imagine.

This was my view from my living room couch at 8:30 this morning.

So, you might be thinking that at 8:30 I parked myself in front of this window and had myself a good knit. Au contrare. I did housework. All day. Detailed, smelly, deliciously compulsive housework.

Housework on a Snow Day is typically way, way against the Snow Day rules. Ask any snow belt teacher-type. But for me, today, housework was just what the doctor ordered (Dr. Knitlittle, I presume?).

It sounds crazy, I know. Believe me, I know. This is one Snow Day rule I have never, ever violated. In fact, I appears that I hold to this rule most days of the year.

But last night I decided that the sorry state of my household was a contributor to my recent contraction of The Knittinsuckinola. ::there are other contributors, I've no time to address them now. And tomorrow, it may not even matter.::

You see, I'm not a clean person. But I wouldn't call myself a slob either. I guess you could say that I have high tolerance for mess, matched with equally low levels of motivation to do anything about it. Rachael recently confessed her housekeeping habits at her blog. But I'm thinking she's The Fly Lady, compared to me. I have dust webs with their own eco-systems and weather patterns. In fact, I'm sure I've seen glimpses of them on local Doppler radar.

But today, tolerance and motivation seemed to strike a perfect match. And I'm pleased to say that I'm on my way to a healthy recovery.

Thanks all, for your good thoughts and excellent advice.

••• Tuesday, January 06, 2004

This Is A Message From the Emergency Knitting Broadcast System.
My heart n soul's been stricken with a bad case of knittinsuckinola. The bug took hold shortly after I took stock of my stock.

Current symptoms: I knit knot. I dwell plenty. Writing and reading knit blogs exacerbates symptoms.

I'm posting this from work. We've been ordered out of the building on account of a blizzard warning. This would be wonderful news for a West Michigan school employee, if said employee wasn't still at work (a 25 minute drive home on a clear day) and I dun near got run over by a semi on my way in this morning (four wheel drive is great in snow but will not protect me from a Dickweed behind another wheel).

I'll have little to no computer access tonight, but mayhaps a snow day tomorrow will be the perfect prescription for this current bout of 'suckinola.

Please send thoughts for my safe passage through the blizzard out there and the fog within.

••• Sunday, January 04, 2004

Catchin' a Draft
I've been taking stock of what I have, what I need and what I can do without. I've done this with my yarn stash, my clothes closet and now my Blogger Draft Bins.

In my Draft Bins, I've found several unfinished posts. Most of them were discontinued because, once started, they seemed to require more time and energy (for contextual history) than I was willing or able to expend. One of them was unpublished because it was simply too boring.

At one time, however, I believed the topics were worthy of mention. Because of that, I hereby honor my original inclinations with a (hopefully) brief summary of each post unposted. Context provided only as needed (and maybe not then, even). Reader is free to fill in the rest with imagination.

Draft Bin 1: Angels in Underwear
I take no issue with beautiful women dressed as angels, modeling underwear on the catwalk. Fashion shows are traditionally displays of drama and fantasy.

I do, however, have a problem with the idea of a TV commercial showing angels trapped in a house, in their grundies.

Why do I have a problem with it? Because it doesn't make any sense.

First of all why/how are they trapped in the house? (I assume they are trapped, on account of the restless pacing.) I have always been under the impression that angels don't recognize earthly entrapments or physical boundaries. If that's true, why can't they just leave? Did someone steal their clothes? Is it the work of Satan?

Finally, do angels actually need underwear? I don't think they get cold, and I can't imagine them having hygienic needs (i.e. needing a clean change...etc.).

Draft Bin 2: Straight From the Donkey's Butt
This was one of the posts that once started, seemed to require too much thinking, writing and/or family history. It still seems a daunting task, so bear with me.

A bit o' background: My mother was raised in a tiny town in Northern Michigan. This town is in the poorest county in the state. It's loggin' country. Years ago The Grand Rapids Press wrote a lengthy article about this town. It was referred to as the "Dodge City of the North." Some of my kin are responsible for this reputation.

In my search for links relevant to the "Drinking Bird" post I came upon this. My grandfather had one of these. While I'd like to say I have fond memories of fun and giggles with my dearly departed grandpa, I don't. I don't have bad memories either, just memories. Kind of flat and kind of strange.

Following is an outline of the thoughts I tried to organize in a meaningful manner in the original post:
1. Grandpa was a drinker.
2. Grandpa had only one eye. He "lost" the other one in a fight.
3. When I was a little girl, I pictured grandpa getting punched in the eye and afterwards everybody looking on the ground for the one that got "lost." I later learned it didn't exactly go that way.
4. Grandpa did not get a prosthetic eye. He just had this sunken, shriveled slit.
5. When grandpa was awake, we were frightened that we'd stare at "it" so we hardly made eye contact.
6. When grandpa was passed out on the couch, my sister and I would take turns creeping up on him to look at "it." "It" was very crusty and "it" appeared to have eaten most of his eyelashes but a few sprouty tufts.
7. Grandpa had a Cocker Spaniel named "Skeeter." Skeeter also had only one eye. He lost his eye in a dog fight. This is a true story.
8. As a child, I didn't think the dog/man eyeball serendipity was all that weird. It actually made some sort of childlike sense. Is that an example of assimiliation or accomodation? I forget. But as an adult, the dog/man eyeball serendipity is downright spooky.

Draft Bin 3: I voted for Chevy
Back in November, a special education teacher asked if I could help chaperone a field trip to Gerald R. Ford Museum.

I said "yes", but regretted it immediately. Not that I'm stingy of spirit (pissy sometimes, but never stingy) but because I'd recently been slammed with more evaluation requests and was still catching up from being out sick two days. Besides, I had been to the Ford Museum once before and found it to be an incredible yawner.

I'm glad I went. It was quite a treat. Not only was it fun interacting with my charges in a different environment, I found the museum to be quite interesting, from my middle-aged perspective.

Following is an outline of the thoughts I tried to organize in a meaningful and interesting manner (and have yet to achieve) in the original post:
1. In the summer of 1974, I was heading into my junior year of high school and working at a fish-n-chips-n-fried chicken take-out. This place was an annex of a Big Boy restaurant next door and employed only high school students. While we were supposed to be under the management of the Brother Ship, they hardly ever checked on us, so baby, did we party.
2. Every night, at closing time, I mopped the dining room floor to a cranked radio (we never had customers after dinner hour).
3. Three distinct mopping memories of the summer of '74 include daydreaming about my boyfriend getting his driver's license in August, boogying to Rock the Boat (by musical giants Hues Corporation) and Nixon's resignation speech .
4. From the adolescent perspective, the Nixon debaucle fit into my view of adults as being powerful, hypocritical, suspect and "other worldly."
5. I'm now one of those adults.
6. Oh yeah, Betty Ford is a fellow high school alumnus. She gave a speech at my high school graduation (1976). It was just prior to her going into rehab. We were thrilled to have her, but I remember kids remarking on her slurpy speech. Of course, we had no idea.

Draft Bin 4: The Girl with Gum in Her Hair
The Girl with Gum in Her Hair
Spent the day
Plucking, Polishing and
Politely Piling Buckeyes
Into a borrowed wagon
Pulled up and down the block.

Mrs. Schnell wouldn't open.
Mrs. Tunning wouldn't buy.
Mr. Gray yelled for cutting across
On account of the wheels and all.
Plus he was crazy drunk, again.
Then he looked real close and smiled stinky nice.

But nobody was buying Buckeyes
From the Girl with Gum in Her Hair.
Nobody would know
How much she cared.
How she loved the way they felt.
And they smelt like dirt.

The Girl with Gum in Her Hair
Met the Boy With the Ugly Finger.
He loved her Buckeyes
All brown and shiny.
How she loved the way he felt.
And he smelt like dirt.

True Story.

••• Saturday, January 03, 2004

Bad Yarn Habits...I Bid thee EDieu
First of all, I need to say that the recent baring of my stash was not intended as bragging or meant to inspire envy. It was a confession. A confession of personal weakness. A confession of having commited at least 3 deadly sins (gluttony, greed and sloth).

While I'm proud for not buying more yarn on January 1, I'm very much regretting my lack of similar restraint throughout the past Yarn Year, 2003 (YY03). While some of the stuff pictured in the January 1 post is beautiful, quality yarn, most of it is crap. Stinky crap that I not only paid to possess, but actually paid extra for someone to send to me, from time zones near and far. And for the record, all said junk junkets were courtesy of EBad.

I have been working on "plans of use" for the good stuff, most of which is chunky and plentiful. As for the stinky crap, I'm going to keep it forever, mixed with the good. I'm keeping it as a reminder of the collective price of poor judgment, impulsivity and bidding on the edge (at least 3 stinky yarn "wins" occured only because I was giggin' on the biddin' and payin' no 'tenshun to the prize).

So, envy not comrades. Learn from my errant ways. Purchase carefully. Purchase with a purpose. And most importantly, purchase with love and commitment.

Yarns of a Different Color
In addition to taking stock of my literal, fibry yarn stash, I've also been taking stock of my literary yarn stash. I speak of the unfinished and/or as of yet unused posts currently resting in my Blogger Draft Bin. While I was really excited when Blogger added draft capability for us "low rent" users, this option made it much too easy to collect and store unused materials (hmmm...sounds familiar)

Some of my unfinished posts are silly and others personal. Because I hate to see a thought go to waste, I'm trying to put together a post which will briefly honor these currently comatose drafts, via thumbnail summaries. Said post is hopefully coming soon. ::It's taking me longer than I thought. Brevity with context is hard to pull off::

In the Meantime
Check out some new knitting links, Hatamaran and The YarnPath. And the tales of a Wandering Hillbilly, courtesy of Teresa at Hatamaran. To ensure a first visit Hillbilly hook, be sure to read a few posts.

Note: For some reason, The Hillbilly blog makes me feel kind of homesick. I've always felt this way about some parts of the South, although I've lived only in Michigan. I've sometimes wondered if my birth angel had some kind of directional dyslexia and inadvertently sent me down the wrong side of the Mason-Dixon chute. .

••• Thursday, January 01, 2004

Taking Stock
My favorite yarn store holds a 20% off sale every New Years Day. I woke up this morning with every intention of going.

Being the responsible knitter and consumer that I am, I thought it best to devise a plan of purchase before embarking on this annual trek.

First, a cup of coffee. Next, a look at my current "Yarns I Need" list. Hmmm, where is that list, anyway?

As my mother would say "It's here somewhere." So I went to the basement, to look around. Unfortunately, I didn't find a "Yarns I Need" list, but I did find 2 bins filled with this:

All righty. I'll check the main floor. No "Yarns I Need" list there either. And believe you me, I looked carefully, through this:

One last place to look. My bedroom closet.

Nothing but this:

The sample I'm holding represents one of 90 skeins, still in plastic wrap, in a huge box, on highest shelf of closet. It's 100% prickly donegal tweed, 30 years old. I paid a buck a skein on Ebay. What a deal!

Well, long story longer, I never found the "Yarns I Need" list. And without it, I just didn't feel right embarking on a fiber sale journey. I know many of you are admiring my will and resolve. Well, I have my faults, but making impulsive, frivolous, fiber purchases will never be one of them.

Peace and Blessings to All for 2004