••• Saturday, July 30, 2005

The Incredible Lightness of Peeing 

I’m back.

Thank you all for your good thoughts and positive energies and prayers.

I'm feeling pretty good but not quite 100%, yet. And my stomach is still bloated like that of a three-day roadkill, on a Texas two-lane. I am, however, very appreciative of whatever % I am at, because whatever it is, it’s 100% better than yesterday and 1000% better than the day before that.

T’was a strange ride, this one. Too pathological to make even a mildly interesting tale, let alone a humorous one. I know, when has that ever stopped me?

However, Monday evening in the ER, I had a little scare with the CAT scan results (which was one reason they prepared me to stay overnight), when they found what looked like a mass on my left ovary, of the non-fibroid variety.

But thanks to my after-midnight interlude with Tony Orlando and Dawn and their magic shaft, they/we/I learned it was nothing but CAT fluke. So they handed me a post-interlude crotch-towel, a 6-pack of narcotics and sent me hobbling down the yellow taped road (Robbyn, is there a play in there, somewhere? They don’t call you the Whiz for naught).

And despite the toxic pain, and the wee-weeness of the hour and the trail of Tony goo, slimbing down my limb, I was a happy, grateful girl. Okay, the morphine didn’t hurt.

It’s that sense of gratefulness, or feeling like I dodged a bullet (I can’t stop hearing the words that weren’t said....), which compels me to keep most of the story/whining/complaints about my rotting privates, private.* Just a little superstitious sensibility, I reckon.

My husband and chilluns have been pretty supportive throughout the ordeal. Of course, as soon as I put on my bra (the universal signal for Momma's Feeling Better! Let the Essence of Life Drain Resume...) all bets were off.

That being said, because I took to the bed for days, after arriving home from 1.5 weeks of vacation, there's some serious shit needing some serious attention around here. So, I best fetch my bra and get on with my favorite blog reads.

But first, this Knittin' Knugget...

A Stolin' Moment
Here's a visual update on my lacey shawl.

I'm still loving this project, but the little nip in the air this morning has me thinking about rummaging through yarn bins, for some reason.

I did have a bit of a setback with this, while on vacation. At the end of the first skein, I realized, based on the length, I was not going to have enough yarn to get 6 feet of stole.

Now, I am known to be impetus, but I swear, I did the math before starting the project and believed that I was getting similar yardage to that of the recommended yarn. But, the measuring tape don't lie, so frog's away!

I then started over with a bigger needle, and when I came to the end of the ball again, the wrap still didn't look as long as I hoped it would, but it was an improvement. So I go to my yarn bag to get the next skein, and what do I find? A little ball of yarn.

And what did I remember? That when balling the skein, I came to a join, with tails, so I severed the yarn. So the skein I was using as my measure model, was actually about 2/3 of a skein. Maybe less.

An entire frog foot, for naught. But, I think this gauge makes for a drapier, lacier fabric. Right?

Have Peesfull Weekends, all.

*You can thank me for this omission in comments, email or by sending me packets of AA batteries.I’m back.


••• Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Off the Playlist 

I've been sickern a dog, since Sunday night. Improvement is slow, despite the 8 hours in the ER, a diagnosis (upper UTI) and prescribled antibiotics. I'll probably not be posting for a few more days, 'cause it hurts, dammit.

For the record, this is not your mother's UTI. Tests in the ER included CAT scan and ultrasounds. Inner and outer. Hot damn. ::At least the lubricant was heated and the 12-year-old performing the procedure seemed to know what he was doing. Although I was not too impressed with the female attendant he selected. A hot, blonde, very young thang, dressed for clubbing. I kid you not. She wasn't in scrubs but was wearing a black/glitter striped, low, low cut blouse and black dress pants. Yeah, those 25 minutes in a dimly-lit room, with Doogie's magic probe, and Good-To-Go Barbie sitting just inches from my stir-upped flank, just flew by....::

In the meantime, here's a shot I had lined up for Sunday's Farewell To Vacation post.

See ya on the other side....

Of this misery.

••• Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Wind Down 

Well, we’re on the back half of our week plus of vacation, and, truthfully, I’m about ready to go home, because:
It’s been really, really hot.

We’ve had some glorious times.

Too much glory, in a short period of time, can burn out the retinas of your soul.

It’s been really, really hot.

I miss my air conditioning.

My husband has been working throughout this vacation, and when you’re the parents of a three year-old, and on vacation, but one of you is not
really on vacation, no one is on vacation.

I miss feeling like I don’t have to worry about feeling like I’m on vacation when I really don’t feel like I’m on vacation.

I’m tired of applying sunscreen.

I’m tired of scraping off sunscreen.

I’m tired of squeezing in and out of my fabulous Land’s End Waterside Breast Management System, several times a day. By the third time, it's like trying to put two squeezes back into the toothpaste tube.

I’m tired of that stretch of pond scum in the middle my back, seemingly unfazed by current cottage water pressure.

I miss my water pressure.

I miss doing laundry and dishes and wondering if my husband is ever going to finish this job, from within the comfort of my own, air-conditioned home.

I’m tired of feeling bitchy and whiny in such a beautiful place.

I miss feeling bitchy and whiny from witin the comfort of my own home.

I miss my cat.

I miss my wireless. (hah)

My in-laws are coming.

I miss missing my in-laws.

We’ve had some glorious times, but too much of that shit can really get on an inherently crabby person’s nerves.
Pre-Post-Vacation Ponderings
S’mores. So, what the hell is up with this shit? Did we just pretend to love them, as young campers? Was it to appease our counselors? Did we hope the graham-mallow combo would compensate for not brushing our teeth for days on end? Was it a case of The Emperors New Dessert, where everyone just convinced themselves that it tasted good?

So, after gagging on re-visiting this childhood nostalgia, I have concluded the following:
1) Marshmallows belong only in combination with Rice Krispies, hot cocoa or pistachio pudding.

2) Graham crackers belong only sandwiched around left over cake frosting, under cheese cake or dipped in cold milk.

3) The use of a perfectly good Hershey bar in this vile concoction is not only a perverse waste of chocolate, it should be prosecutable.
Catch a Skeeter By the Toe

Have you ever tried this stuff? What a joke. By the time you catch the damn thing, get someone to hold it down, so you can wipe it, you’ll have been bitten by seven of his angry friends. To say nothing of the mid- procedural mortality rate.

Well....I had a bunch more to bitch upon say, but my husband just returned from a trip to town, and announced that the job he's been working on is currently on its way to the customer, via overnight express. And that he's now free to enjoy the last two days of vacation.

Well, yea!

So, later.

P.S. Okay, about the s'mores. Does anyone really like these things? Really. I need to know.

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••• Friday, July 15, 2005

Am I Having Fun Yet? 

The cadence of a true vacation,
Beats only to the rhythm of the soul.

(And really bad poetry)

So far, it’s been hot and sunny every day, despite the weatherman’s contra-predictions. Tomorrow my extended family is coming up for a sleepover picnic. It will be their first visit to our little heaven on the lake, and I’m very excited to share the wealth.

And no, I’m not stressing. The beauty of these surroundings speaks for its splendorous self. Otherwise, there's cable TV.

The day we left for Northern Parts, I spent most of the morning not packing. Instead, I obsessively perused shawl patterns, both those in my physical possession, and on line, to use with that decadent yarn I received from That Sweetie, Kim.

And I found one, in the knick of time, in my personal stash. It's The Ocean Lace Shawl, a pattern I purchased a couple of years ago, from Just One More Row.

It's a pleasantly easy pattern. And, I think, a perfect match for both the yarn....

....and the lovely environs.

Here's a closeup of the pattern:

So...Am I having fun yet?

I'll let the digital imagery speak for itself:

::FYI: I'll be blogga non grata over the next few days.::

::At least::

::Digit..Digital...didja get it?::

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••• Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Be a Frayed, Cable. Very a Frayed. 

A review: Back in the spring of 2005, my son took an axe to the TV/Wireless underground cable, in the backyard. This was an act for which he received a financial stipend, because, as he hacked the cable to death, he also happened to catch and clear some underbrush.

Clearly, the taking of the axe to the t.v. cable, by a paid employee of this homeowner, is the fault of said homeowner. Why the underground cable was not exactly underground is an issue of moot, since we have already paid for the repair. Although, the question lingers.

So, for one week we were without wireless internet and cable tv. But we owned it. We survived.

After the cable enabler guy pieced once and spliced twice, we were once again wired, and left with a bill for 138 bucks.

One week later, my wireless went wonky. The rare times I made a connection, I was hanging by a pube. Or otherwise booted, without ceremony.

So I called Comcast, and spoke to a Geek God named Wally. Now, I’ve placed several phone calls to Comcast since we’ve had wireless, and always felt that I received good service, over the phone, anyway. That is, until I met Wally.

From the moment Wally asked “what seems to be the problem?” it was Signal Strength Excellent, all the way.

After he asked me which lights on the modem were lit, he was patient and loving as I apologized for being old and feeble and unable to read the pixie print from across the room.

When Wally asked if I had unplugged and replugged the modem, it was as though we were plugging and unplugging, together. Uncannily, Wally sensed that ours was not a typical connection, and therefore dispensed with the remainder of the usually painful protocol of questions. You know, like did I unplug the cordless, reboot the computer, check for morning bikini line stubble?

Then, Wally did something no cable guy has has ever done before. In a calm, assuring, moderately nasal tone, Wally told me of my wireless history. My personal story.

As though my connectivity to the internet was the sweetest of all love songs, in his tiny work cubby, upon his tiny keyboard, he was tapping my fate with his fingers.

And it went something like this:

According to our records, it looks like on May 24, you had excellent reception between 8 and 8:10 in the morning, then again at noon, for about 7 minutes. No, make that 8.


Between 9 and 10 pm, you were in pretty good shape, then….nothing.

Yes. Yes!

The next day, you started off slow in the morning, but escalated throughout the day, reaching a phenomenal peak at about 4:12.

Say my name...!

Then: Nothing.

::sigh:: I remember that day. All too well.

Well, it looks to me like the problem is in the outside line.

You mean, it’s not my fault?

No, my darling Mrs. G., it’s absolutely not your fault. In fact, I’m sending a technician to your home on Thursday. Since the problem is obviously outside the home, you won’t even have to let him in.

Should I give him water, or nourishment?

Ma’am, that’s entirely up to you.

Thank you, Wally.

You’re welcome, ma’am.


Yes, ma’am?

Umm…well…No one’s ever…well…I’ve never had… I mean, nobody’s ever been able to.. it’s like you knew exactly what I needed. And, I’ll never forget this. Ever.

Happy to help, ma’am. Is there anything else I can help you with today?

No, Wally. You’ve done quite enough.
Fast forward to Thursday, June 2, when Tech Blob Joe knocks on the door, saying he’s come to fix the wireless, and invites himself in.
Have you talked to Wally? I asked.


The service rep phone guy. Surely, you know Wally. He's Godlike.

No. I don’t. And don’t call me, surely.

Anyway. Wally said you wouldn’t have to come into the house. That the problem was the outside line.

Wally’s wrong.
Stunned by this outrageous blasphemy, I clutch my breastesses and swoon gently into the wall. Tech Blob Joe takes my movement as an invitiation to enter, and ambles past, asking what seems to be the problem.

So, I tell him. But he doesn’t listen. He asks to see the basement. Then all the computers. He thinks we have too many t.v.'s on one cable, and there’s a problem with the splicer in the basement, but he thinks he can fix it with a couple adjustments. And after 20 minutes, Tech Blob Joe has hooked me up and is out the door.

For about a week following Tech Blob Joe's visit, I admit to enjoying full wireless benefits. Then I went to the cottage for a long weekend. When I returned, the wireless benefits were not so good. Not bad, but not good.

Then I went for another long weekend. Upon my return, the wireless connection was nearly non-existent, with the exception of early morning and late evenings. And by now, I’m about to lose my mind.

So, once again, I call the InCompetent Cast hotline. This time, I speak to Wanda. And I ask her to help me.

Wanda was a doll. Very empathic and reassuring. ::I think I recognized Wanda's voice from the Butterball Thanksgiving Suicide Hotline. Wanda could talk a turkey into a roasting pan. No kidding.::

Without strumming my fate with her fingers, or singing my internet life, with her words, Wanda makes an appointment for the cable guy to come to my house. Again. July 11 (almost one week from the phone call), some time between 8 and noon.

::How convenient. Wanda, I thought you cared! How’s Wally, by the way?::

So, about 11:30 a.m., July 11, Tech Stub Steve* comes knocking at the door, with a piss poor attitude and a chin full of chaw.
*::Tech Stub Steve is dubbed such on account of his having legs just about two inches too short for the rest of his athletic, well-toned body. I imagine Tech Stub Steve was a fairly good athlete, but the distance between his thang and the ground consistently kept him out of the starting lineup. I think you’ve all known a Tech Stub Steve. A short-legged man, with tall dreams. And deep resentments. The emotional issues of the Short Legger is not the same of that of the merely short, well-proportioned man. In fact, I believe that short men, as a species, have gotten the short end of the stereotype stick, so to speak. It’s the Short-Leggers of whom you must be wary. The Disproportionate, if you will. But I really, really digress. I tend to digress a lot, although I try hard to stay away from digression. And Short-Leggers. k. ::

::I’m running out of time and space here, so I’m gonna bring her on home. Sort of. ::

So Tech Stub Steve is here for about 10 minutes, before determining we need a new cable hole outlet thangy.

Trying to be helpful, I tell him what Wally said, so long ago. You remember, about the problem being on the outside line. That it’s not my fault. But Tech Stub Steve only gives me a stare, while sucking long and hard from the chin chaw.

After drilling me a new hole (Short Leggers like that kind of thing. I think it’s The Power. The Power of Hole. Truthfully, it’s kind of fun to say, too. Try it. The Power of Hole.) Tech Stub Steve then packs his tiny tools into his tiny tool kit, and leaves.

Just behind him, I leave for a hair appointment. When I get home, I eagerly fire up the wireless. But instead of getting the smooth sail into my AOL greeting, I get Jack. Squat.

I check the modem. Light is off.
Same Ol’ shit.
Fucking A.

So, I call the NinComPoopCast hotline, once more. This time I get Jen, who apologizes profusely and says she can have someone out as soon as Wednesday. I tell her, in a calm, professional tone, that before I hang up from this call, I want to hear that someone is coming to my house, today, to bring me some fucking wireless, or the next call I’m making is to the local DSL service provider.

After being forwarded to a higher up and being put on hold for a total of 30 minutes, I was informed that Tech Stub Steve would be coming back to service me, as I see fit.

Five minutes later, the now Very Pissy Tech Stub Steve calls to report that he will be here in 15 minutes.

When he finally shows up, he is not happy.

But neither am I. But, years ago I vowed to never again, act a crazy ass bitch in front of a Short Legger. It makes them feel tall, for a minute. And I just ain't giving it up.

He said “I can’t believe this.”
I said “Me either.”

And after about two hours of hooking up new modems, talking to smarter guys on the phone, laying a new line of cable, Tech Stub Steve pronounces that the problem was, actually, outside the house. That the guys who fixed the axed cable, did a very bad job of splicing it, and eventually the wireless connection eroded.

Oh, so the problem was actually outside the house?

Yes, ma’am.

All this time?

I’ll never forget. Ever.

As the Fiber Turns, Some More
Amidst all the boolshit, yesterday, the mailman brought me a package of silky, woolly goodness. All the way from Idaho.

The yarn is a 50/50 silk/wool blend, from Spirit Trail Fiberworks and may be the softest stuff I've ever had chance to caress.

And hugs to my very special benefactress, Miss Kim, who sent me this bounty, just because.

Evidently, Just Because happens. And I'm okay with that. Thanks again, sweetie!

I'm thinking a lacey shawl, but will need to find the perfect pattern. Last night I swatched for Meadow Flowers from The Knitters Stash, but I was disappointed with the look. This yarn needs a special pattern. Lacey, but not too prissy. It needs a pattern with Power. You know, The Power of the Hole.

Any ideas or direction to specific pattern, would be greatly appreciated.

P.S. I've been working on a what has become quite a lengthy post, over the past several days. No, it's not this one. Yes, this one is lengthy. I'm sorry, but the other one is too lengthy,too. Sorry again. I'm just trying to warn you. Anyway, with all the internet issues I wasn't able to finish it, but it's coming. But I don't know when. We leave for vacation tomorrow. Yes, I'm on vacation all summer. Okay, let's just say I'm relocating my current vacation location to a place further north, on a lake. Better? Okay. Please, quit with the distractions, already. Actually, I don't know why I'm telling you this. I guess I'm hoping you're still with me, here. After all this. Or maybe I'm trying to see how much shit one blog post can hold. Blogger, don't fail me now.

Later. Much.


••• Saturday, July 09, 2005

Beads of Inspiration 

Yesterday I took The Cakers to a beading party at my sister’s house. ::My sister makes jewelry out of beads, and to support her habit, she holds gatherings where people come to her house and make their own beaded jewelry.::

I was kind of skeptical about how The Cakers was going to handle herself, because when it comes to activities involving sitting, my girl has the attention span of a flea.

Anyway, my worries were for naught. My Wee Wiggly Whiner sat for two hours, stringing two necklaces, and one coiled bracelet. With total creative license.

And she models, too.

Earrings are my specialty. I always make a duplicate pair for my sister to sell, and she gives me a break on the price. Earring design is not as easy as it looks. The devil's in the seed bead selection.

Hair of the Dog

Having gotten tanked earlier in the week, I've been trying my best to live up to a cleaner standard. Yesterday, however, I succumbed to the urge for a little belt. Of course, this is the leftover yarn from Bastard Nina. The stitch pattern is the same as the cross hatch scarf, found at Sheep in the City. Only smaller, of course.

This belt is my mind-free project, for when I'm watching The Cakers outdoors. It's going pretty fast, although I had to rip the entire thing out once. If you've ever used this stitch, you'll know it's a bitch to undo.

And, hell no, I'm not going to wear the belt with the matching tank top. I've never been that kind of girl.

I also finished the back of Peaches. Ain't she a fuzzy delight? It's amazing what a little following of the directions can do for a girl.

Last night, I cast on for the right front, while watching a Six Feet Under DVD. ::I'm an HBO, therefore SFU, newcomer, and am wrapping up season one on DVD, while following the final season on HBO. It's kind of interesting to watch the beginning, alongside the ending. Like Pulp Fiction. But less pulpy.::

While watching and knitting, I also entertained a couple of friends: Vern and Bicardi.

Today's knitting plans: Frog two inches and re-cast on for the right front of Peaches.

Mag Drag
I finally had a chance to get out to the book store, to pick up the Fall edition of Interweave Knits. However, after a not-so-quick perusal (I really wanted to find something I liked. I really did), I put it back. That's my first IK rejection in two years.

Earlier in the week,I picked up the new Family Circle Easy Knitting . There is some cute kid stuff (like the sock monkey sweater!) and I kind of like the textured men's v-neck, which I would make in a crew. For me.

Also in the EK, there was an article about Melissa Matthay, creator of the Yarn Co., and her rise to success. From the beginning of the article, I found the "subject" lacking in, well, substance. Or as my mother would say: “She’s kind of full of herself, ain’t she?”

However, I don't think it's entirely fair or even possible, to make an informed opinion about a person's character, based on a one-page article in a knitting magazine. So, I kept an open mind.

But when I got to the end of the article, and this Matthay quote, all doubt benefits were withdrawn: “In Manhatten I felt like a real celebrity when I saw a bag lady strolling around with my Yarn Co. shopping bag.”

Yeah, Melissa, I’m sure the bag lady was happy to oblige.

••• Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Eternally Tankful 

As you can see, no can accuse me of operating on half a tank.

The Two-Timed-Bastardization-Of-Nina is done.
Pattern adapted from: Nina

Adaptations: Instead of the assymetrical-esque block pattern, I went with ribbing all the way up the side. The middle section on the back is all reverse stockinette. On the front, I added five stitches of ribbing in the middle, to visually detract from the ridge riding up mid-nip.

Yarn: Plymouth Fantasy Naturale. Mercerized Cotton. Worsted.

Needle Size: 8

Sweater Size: Large. But on the front, I went with the size small armhole shaping, since I'm only a Large Boob.

What I would do differently, next time: I would make it in a smaller size and add shaping for the tatas. It seems a bit loose around the middle.

The pattern does not call for shoulder or strap shaping on the back, which I would add. With the shapely front straps just attached to a straight line, from the front, it kind of looks like I'm being grabbed by the shoulders, by the varigated swamp thing.

I'd add about an inch to the length. And maybe a cable up the middle, in lieu of the five stitches of ribbing.
When I modeled this for my hubby, his eyes widened and he said "Wow!"

Then: "You finished something!"

::I think I finally figured out the issue with my boobs. They're too big for my head. That's just wrong.::

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••• Monday, July 04, 2005


When I the saw blood in the sink, I just assumed that I was brushing too hard. But then, my dentist told me that bleeding is a sure sign of someone having gnawed off her own arm, in order to escape another day, of a long holiday weekend with extended family. - TV Commercial
I have seen this commercial several times, but last night was the first time I really paid attention to what they were saying. I felt like they were speaking directly to me.

Okay. The weekend at the cottage with in-laws has not been that, but bad enough. I wish I could say more, but I can't.

That being said, here are a couple weekend at the cottage with the fam related truths:
1) I have seen every Lawn Order SUV ever made, at least 16 times. No, wait, counting the back-to-backs last night...make that 18.
2) I absolutely need TV remote control before 10:20 p.m., at which time, it's too late to catch vital details on a current CSI or L&O, yet too early for me to be in a drunken enough stupor to notice, or care.
3) Waking up to the great inquisition on the whereabouts of 15 tiny, peanut butter cups, takes all the fun out of taking a fork to the Moose Tracks ,after midnight.
4) It's not that difficult to remove telling, fork trail evidece, from a carton of ice cream.
5) It's nearly impossible to make tiny, peanut butter replacement cups, out of stale peanut butter cereal and baker's chocolate. At 2 a.m.
6) I swear, it wasn't me, but I see no harm in a) Keeping a collection of toe nail clippings in a baby food jar of distilled water, and b) microwaving them to see what will happen. I mean, sometimes a girl person forgets to take some shit out of the microwave.
And stuff.

Then Momma Got Drunk...
...and Left Her Knittin'in the Rain.

I've been making some gains on the Peaches back redux. I'm very glad that I frogged it, and can now appreciate how bad my armhole shaping was, on the previous try.

That being said, I must confess to leaving my paper bag of Peaches next to the firepit, last night. All night. Then, at six a.m. this morning, the long-promised, torrential thunderstorms, came rolling in.

Good thing it was only some cotton. And not some human, or some canine, or some husband, who was left out in the rain. And I wasn't really drunk. Just stupid. The drunk part makes for better television.

I have lots of pictures from the weekend, with which I plan to bore you all to tears, over the next few days.

Land O Linkin'
Have you seen this site? Too funny.

This here is a non-knitting, good read. I came upon one of her archived posts (at least 2 years old) via a recent google. It was fun to read her old stuff, then jump to the current posts, to see how things turned out. She seems to me, to be a remarkable young woman. With an exceptional way with words.

And...feeling a little crotchety? Try here.

On a nearly related note, I'll close with this shot of a toe-tal eclipse of the sun.

Editor's Note: The previous version of this post was published under the influence of a whole bunch of people taking turns looking over my shoulder while I typed, and trying to engage me in verbal banalities. These influences affected the context and sensibility of the post, beyond, I fear, any possible redemption. I apologize for any resulting confusion.

I also fixed the pictures so they fit into the template. Damn that Blogger.