••• Thursday, July 29, 2004

A-ba-da-ba-da...Tha'Shawl Folksh!
This still needs to be blocked, but I felt the need to post "something" today. I hope to have it ready for the Prince concert coming up
Sunday. (And praying to the Artist-Formerly-Known-As-The-Toyota-Emblem gods for my tickets to show up in the mail..uh...tomorrow?)


Specs: Yarn, Skacel "Onyx" (a discontinued viscose/acrylic 50/50 blend, sport weight) Pattern, Here

A Technical Spectacle
My laptop has been infected with something nasty (Spyware?) which somehow erased or disabled my McAffee. I can't be online without constant Internet Explorer windows popping up asking me if I want to access offline. Plus the usual popups.

My husband has a computer guy "friend" coming to fix it, today. I'm kind of skeert though. While this guy knows his stuff (has a degree and everything), he seems to have significant issues with typlexia. 99% of the time, after laying paws on one of our computers, he has to make a return trip to fix a code typo. One good thing, he's unemployed, so he can get here toot sweet. ::Hmm...Is that unemployed thing trying to tell me something?::

Anyway, the I hope to be posting normal (heh) real soon.

••• Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Nothing But the Meme, Ma'am
This MEME went around a few weeks/months ago. Not only interesting, it also makes a handy dandy blog filler, on a fuzzy, fine morn.

Meanwhile, she works on a real post, sort of.

A - Age: 45.
B - Band listening to right now: Johnny Cash.
C - Future Career: Weird lady picking up stones on the shores of Lake Michigan.
D - Dad's name: John Sidney.
E - Easiest person to talk to: Husband.
F - Favorite song: (This is hard) In Your Eyes, Peter Gabriel
G - Gummy Bears or Gummy Worms: Whatever Gummy comes in 4 mg nicotine.
H - Hometown: Grand Rapids, Michigan
I - Instruments: Dull edged wit? Kicked some recorder ass in 6th grade and still remember guitar chords for Streets of Laredo. ::It's G C G D G.....::
J - Job: School Social Worker
K - Kids: Cameron (17), Ana (2.9)
L - Longest car ride ever: To the church for my first wedding.
M - Mom's name: Celia
N - Number of people you’ve slept with: Define "slept."
P - Phobia: Opening the sani-wipe package at KFC with honey bbq sticky fingers.
Q - Quote: "What doesn't kill you, makes you throw up."
R - Reason to smile: Pink Panther (and an 8 pack of AA's)
S - Song you sang last: You Are My Sunshine
T - Time you wake up: 5:30am employment season, otherwise, the Caker decides.
U - Unknown fact about me: I can touch my nose with my tongue, with arc to spare.
V - Vegetable you hate: Corned Beef Hash
W - Worst habit: Homicidal fantasies. Chewing my cuticles and related flesh until it resembles fresh ground Jimmy Dean.
X - X-rays you've had: Broken elbow, sustained during a fall while jogging. Some people thought the injury was a result of (ex) spousal abuse. I was appalled and insulted at the innuendo. One year later, I filed for divorce after sustaining significant spouse induced injuries. ::If only x-rays could see through the future.::
Y - Yummy food: Steak au poivre. Pesto Pasta (with pepper and peas, please). Sugar snap peas, au naturelle.
Z - Zodiac sign: Scorpio, with three houses in Scorp as well. All houses are filthy mess.

Shawl is a few (long-ass) rows from completion. Final shots coming soon.

Happy Monday/Tuesday.


••• Friday, July 23, 2004

Weekend Update
A week ago yesterday, we headed to the cottage to enjoy a long weekend. Well long did we enjoy. Today, one week and one day later, we'll be wrapping up said weekend with a voyage home.

Truth be, stretching a weekend getaway into a week long vacation, one day at a time, is definitely the way to go. There's no packing stress. No recreational performance anxiety. Lastly and bestly, no extensive menu planning.

Of course, peoples gots to eat. Being under the impression that we were leaving "tomorrow," day after day (after day..), there was no reason to stock up on groceries. Who wants to be messing with a meal and cleanup when there is packing to be done? Multiply that hightly rational cognitive sequence by roughly 7 nights and...well, you get the idea. Let's just say we ate around.

Doggone Blues
Some of you commented on Cheddar's seemingly "hangdog" or "tired" appearance. Well, you'd be hangdogged too, if you spent the better part of a week doing this:

FAQs about Cheddar sitting at the end of the dock, day after day:
What's he doing out there? He's pining and whining at his beloved white dots, bobbing joyously in the cooling farwaters.

Isn't he a full-blooded Labrador Retriever, a breed known for their ability to fetch fallen game from bodies of water? Why yes, he is that very breed of dog.

Why doesn't he just jump off the dock, like those labs I see on the Ted Nugent Network? I dunno.

Hey Cheddar! Your DNA called (cellular, of course). Left a message for you to Go Ahead and Jump.

Diamond Purl
You sure do shine.

I haven't measured this because my cord is too short. But just eyeballing, I figure I have two skeins to go. ::Sigh::. I'm shawly gonna miss the clarity of this gem.

Here's a closeup. (And a hex on your next five rows if you try counting lace holes in search of errors.)

G'night Jim Bob.

Sunset photo courtesy of yours truly.
Location: Platte Lake, Northern Michigan
Date: July 22, 2004.
Time: Sunsettish

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••• Wednesday, July 21, 2004

I'm blogging in stealth mode. We're still cottaging, and In-laws are here (but stepped out). They don't know about this place.

Our long weekend at the cottage turns into a week tomorrow. The 86 plus degrees with high humidity was just too hard to drive away from. With husband between jobs, and teenager out of town until Saturday, timing was perfect. And we're having a splash!

I've been experiencing some technological problems with my computer, seemingly related to some kind of "cache flow" problem, which disallows me direct access to my comments or even a refreshed blog page. Photo service is down too, so lucky for all y'all, no boring "long weekend/short week" picture trails.

Thanks all, for the shawl compliments. Robbyn: Yes, I'm using a smaller gauge yarn. The Opal is a sport weight and I'm using size 9 needles. This pattern is very easy and would just fly on thicker yarn and bigger needles.

And Rob, I'm upside my head with excitement and anticipation at your upcoming move! With my new predeliction for a shawl thing, I very well may become your next Charlotte Harlot!

Gotta run. Sorry for the lameness of this post.

••• Monday, July 19, 2004

Diamond Ho'

Diamond Joe
Come'n git me.
B'fore the cast-on Ho'
Done quit me.
Diamond Joe
Ya better come get me.
Diamond Joe. 
That's a bastardization of this little folk ditty from Dylan's Masked and Anonymous soundtrack.   It's one of The Cakers' favorites and it runs incessantly through my brain as I work on my diamond shawl.   

And nothing warms the cockles of a mama's heart like hearing the sweet voice of her two year old croonin' at top-o-lungs:
...Gonna get me a jug of whiskey. 
Gonna make my baby frisky.
Diamond Joe,
You  better come get me .
Diamond Joe.

And the point of all this?  Well, I've become consumed with the pursuit of the perfect diamond. Ergo, I be the Diamond Ho'.  

This pattern is pretty easy to memorize and I like that there is only purling on the backside. For some reason, when I'm working on lace and it's going well, I knit with intense urgency. It's like I'm trying to knit ahead of mistakes, which seem to be nipping at my elbow.

Picture Perfect Getaway
We decided to stay at the cottage a couple of extra days. The weather forcast predicted the warmest days of summer for yesterday and today. Evidently, the weather in Michigan can change without meteorological notice (that's a tongue in cheek comment for Michiganians, current or otherwise) and yesterday was chilly/windy as it ever was.

But at the end of the day, all that really matters are the weenies by the fire.

Lookin' for Some Tail?
Check out the new hutch on the block. Rabbitch. She's fast and furry-ious, and pulls no punches. (Don't say I didn't warren ya.)

P.S. My family situation is going to be a slow burning worry for the next couple months. It's about a big brother who's taken a job overseas. To a very scarey place. So thanks for all the good thoughts. Is there a patron saint for the terminally stupid?

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••• Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Diamond in the Stuff
I'm rebounding nicely from my most recent project estrangement. In fact, true to my impulsive form, I immediately jumped into a rebound relationship. Okay, off the record, I may have been fooling around a little before officially giving Adam back his rib (my husband nostalgically refers to that particular dating pattern i.e. picking the next before dumping the current, as relationship "overlap.") I say, let's get that nasty business behind us, shall we?

One of my goals for the summer was to knit away at my yarn stash. While digging around the bins, I found this lovely:

I bought this stuff maybe seven years ago. It's a viscose/acrylic 50/50 blend. It's very, very soft. So soft, you can hardly feel it. I've never felt a yarn so stealth-like in its tactile presentation.

You'll notice that there is a little snaggle of loose yarn behind the skein? That's what every skein does when removed from the tight plastic packaging. It kind of implodes. It's very slinky and slippery. I originally bought the yarn to knit an intarsia sweater that I designed myself. In fact, I still have the sketch of that piece, somewhere.

I originally pulled this yarn in consideration for Knitty's Hush Hush, but the gauge was too big. However, I had also been toying with the idea of a summery shawl/wrap to wear with my little black dress for my upcoming 5 year anniversary celebration. Perfect. ::Yes, I know I have frequently professed "I don't do shawls." I've also said "I don't do cute guys in Cobra Mustangs." I lied and I lied.::

So, I've got the yarn.

I've got the pattern. ::Yes, it's free. I'm not lion this time::

Here's what I have so far, after a few loopy starts. The pattern is not hard, but it did take me awhile to "anticipate" the lace pattern. I think I've finally got it. You know what they say, the 12th time is the charm. ::Neither of these pictures does the yarn's color justice. It's more periwinklish. I'm using size 9 needles. The yarn is a sport weight::

We're heading north tomorrow. Between that and some family worries, I may not be around much over the next several days. Or I may become your next stalker. Stress moves in mysterious ways.

Humpy Wednesday! It is Wednesday, right?

••• Monday, July 12, 2004

A Story Older than Dirt...
... Thou return unto the storage bin, for out of it wast thou taken: for balls of yarn thou art, and into balls of yarn shalt thou return.

Yup. The Rebecca Crossways Rib done crosswayed me crosseyed. (I know why that girl is running now. She's warning the villagers: Marcy's carrying needles! And they're loaded!)

Some of you might have seen this coming. But evidently I refused. So after wasting half my summer frettin' and sweatin' and hatin' over this ribbed displeasure, a froggin' I did go.

But not without a fight from this most worthy opponent.

First it tried cute. (Hey, Kitty. Nice try.)

Then it tried menacing. (Brak?)

But amidts their cries for mercy, swift justice prevailed.

For as we all know, The Good Knitter knitteth, and the Good Knitter ribbith away.


••• Sunday, July 11, 2004

Light Summer Whine
Vacation was nice. Not all that relaxing, but nice. Not that I'm complaining or anything, okay I am complaining, but a cottage vacation is kind of like being at home, with better scenery. And while there's always room to slack on laundry and housekeeping, there's no getting around that people gotta eat. And somebody's gotta feed 'em.

Like most family feeders, I try to plan quick and easy meals while on vacation. By the end of this most recent stint, I had decided that, with the exception of Yogurt, there is no such thing as a quick, easy meal.

Samples of "simple" meals that simply haven't lived down to the promise include BLT sandwiches (washing and slicing veggies, making the toast while the bacon gets cold), store bought lasagne (remember to put garlic bread in the oven. Remember to take garlic bread out of the oven, garlic bread back in the oven to melt the butter, toss a salad) and deli meat sandwiches (Put everything on plates, remember all the condiments, do we have any sweet pickles? Where's the Dijon? What's this blue powder stuff on the bread? Anyone allergic to penicillin? Is this all we're having?)

The quintessential easy summer meal is likely the grilled hamberger. However, considering my most recent experience with this alleged no-brainer, I'm thinking that either the burger's reputation for ease is a culinary myth or I'm a frickin' idiot.

Following are the step-by-step instructions I follow for serving up grilled hamburgers, vacation style.

Quick and easy? You decide.

Quick and Easy Burgers on the Grill
1. Get a husband to grill pre-formed, egg shaped meat patties.
2. Prepare hamburger buns. Note: If someone forgot to take buns out of the freezer, proceed to step 3.
3. Serve buns frozen, but pretend you hadn't noticed.
4. If serving hamburgers with frozen buns, condiments are absolute necessity. Go to pantry and get ketchup bottle. Note: If it's a new ketchup bottle, proceed to step 5.
5. Remove foil safety cap from unopened ketchup bottle as follows: Pull on the ridiculously small pulltab. It probably doesn't work. Bite tab. Hurt teeth. Cuss twice. Family members will glance nervously, then resume argument on whether or not any two frozen-bun-freezer-borne ice crystals are exactly alike. Grab steak knife and gently poke at the foil ketchup cap. Nothing. Stab foil cap. Observe mere dent in foil cap. Stab again...again...Stab..Stab.. Stab! Yell: Die you filthy bastard! Wipe drool from chin. Survey, with deep satisfaction, red substance oozing from tiny slit in foil cap. Bring ketchup bottle to table, where no one will make eye contact with you.
6. Get Mustard bottle from pantry. Repeat Step 5.
7. Sit down to eat.
8. Husband: Is there tomato?
9. Go to kitchen to wash and slice tomatoes for tableside delivery.
10. Husband: Lettuce? Respond: Glare. Husband: I'll get it.
11. Male Teen: Why are the buns all wet? Respond: Death Ray Glare
13. Drink rum and cokes til bedtime.

P.S. I have some knitting knus but damn blogger keeps eating my updated posts. Grrr.
P.P.S. Blogger has been chewing up and spitting out bits and pieces of this post and I just can't deal with rewriting and repatching any more. So I'm sending it out "as is."

••• Wednesday, July 07, 2004

We're back. Bags unpacked. Laundry done. Mail perused. House sniffed.

And now a little down time for me. Maybe some blog cruising. Maybe a post update. Maybe catch up on my favorite Co*rt TV drama.*

..maybe I could pet the cat?
I hope to have real post, real soon.

::What can I say? I'm just a ho' for justice. A circumstantial coochie. A forensic floozy.::

••• Friday, July 02, 2004

Get Your Kinks Out...
...And your Freak On, with the newest, sizzlin' edition of Knitty!. Given my increasingly plush form, I'm afraid I won't be able to wear most of these items, unless I could figure a painless method of tucking my tired ta-ta's into the front pockets of my levis.

I do and could manage the boy style bottoms of 1930. That's my favorite undie style right now, and for some reason, is kind of flattering on me. Maybe with a sexy tank in lieu of the bratop?

Another realistic possibility for me is Hush-Hush. Vahwee pwittee.

Now: Back to my regularly scheduled sun bathe. ::Who am I kidding? I'm doing laundry.::

••• Thursday, July 01, 2004

If Icon Do it
Socon you.

I think it's a fairly good likeness, in an anime-esque kind of way. The link to this program is courtesy of Amy. It's pretty fun, but if you are unfamiliar with this type of thing (That would be me. That would not be Amy),you may have to get through by the pixel of your pants, as there aren't many directions. And whenever I inadvertently moused over a sponser link, the ad would open and I'd lose all my entries and have to start over. I finally identified the touch/tap sensitive keyboard mouse as the culprit, and quit using it.

Vacation Drudgery
We've been blessed with day after day of sunny vacational weather, but it's been unseasonably cool. We who enjoy the great northern air, however, are a hearty lot. 68 degrees, on vacation, in Michigan? Pass the SPF!

The Cakers is having a blast and all that shivering and chattering tires a body out, making timely bedtimes smooth like buttah. A secondary advantage of the cold is that, because mama is unable to distinguish between sunburn and the purple mottled discoloration of hypothermia, Cakers has been overslathered with sunscreen.

My husband and I believe that a proper work ethic is instilled at a very young age. Here is The Cakers earning her vacation keep by by hauling water she will later have to heat to wash mommy and daddy's martini glasses. Assuming, of course,that she scavenges enough fire wood for heating the water. ::Those buckets are full, by the way. Get a load of those guns...::

Here's a sample of how clear our lake water is. These are my dogs, standing in four feet plus some inches of water.

Got Dirt?

It's a Bug's Butt
I can't/won't knit on the beach, so needles to say, I haven't been doing much knitting this vacation. I have, however, been able to work in the Rebecca pattern during a few of our intra-vacation mini-trips. And I'm happy to say that I'll soon be breaking up this circle of fun ribs, to shape the armholes.

Confession: This project has suddenly become loathesome. Hateful. Odious. Between the horizontal ribbing, the woolieness of the yarn and the tubular nature of the product, I can't shake the impression that I'm knitting a caterpillar skin, inch by inch. It's a wormy feeling, I'm unable to shed.

But I'm sticking with this one, dammit, in spite of my bleeding knuckles from the yarn's roughage and the nausea brought on by the gestalt effect of sensory displeasure overload. And I'm not just finishing this for me. I'm doing this for my knitting sistern and brethren who share with me the plight of a most horrible affliction. Finishunease Disease. (Yeah, Teresa and the person who recently emailed me about our common unfinished business habits: This Bugs for you!)

From the Imma Skeert Parent/Cakers Says the Darnedest Things file:
Daddy: Five minutes to bedtime.
Cakers: I wanna play foosball.
Daddy: Okay, five minutes of foosball and then you're going to bed. Okay?
Cakers: Okay.
Daddy: Now. What's going to happen after we're done playing foosball?
Cakers: I Scream.
Daddy: You Betcha.