••• Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Oyster Fork Wednesday 

Brains are baking.
Nerves are shaking.

All my pixels
In disarray.

Intendment No. 2:
Finish Intendment list by the end of 2008.

But not this week.

I also had every intention of fixing that magnificiently mongo sentence frag in that last post. I even said such a thing to a friend, via IM, Saturday morning. "I gotta go fix that." And my friend said "Or it will bug you all day."

But I didn't fix it. 'Cause I kinda liked it. It's like I wrote an-almost-one-sentence mystery. Despite the discomforts, inconvenience...frag, frag, frag... did I enjoy the skiing or did I not? ::I reveal the answer later in this post.::

We all frag.
We are all guilty of incomplete thoughts.
And open code tags.
And soaking pans too long in the sink.

::But never do I fart in the revolving door. Never.::

I actually did go back to change it, but when I opened the post I think I heard the faint sound of nails on chalkboard. And some teeth gnashing. And the renting of clothes. And the howling of aggrieved dogmata.

And I kinda liked it.

::I have never once told you that I am not disturbed.::

From Emails
Via email, I received several requests to see a picture of me in my ski ensemble. And you know, I’m all about pleasing the pipples,

So without further ado and for your complete mocking pleasure, I present Madame Dorkski:

Okay. I lied. Nobody emailed requests for a picture.

I did get another email from my new friend from West Africa. She's a recently widowed Dutchess (that's how they spell it in West Africa). She seems like a nice lady and everything, but I'm feeling like the relationship is going kind of fast. She's getting a little pushy.

Maybe things will settle down once she receives Cakers' social security number, so she can deposit some money in her college fund. She really is a sweet lady. And so generous.

Intendment No. 3:
Stop lying to make myself look important.
I will lie only for the higher good of others, or free yarn.

By the way, I really did have a good time skiing, and wish I had done more of it this year.

Out of the Lens of Babes
We used Cakers' camera for the day on the slopes. When I unloaded the pictures to my computer, there were several bonus shots. I suppose people other than Cakers' mother may not find these as entertaining as she did.

Oh well.

Here we have super hero, and the short bus she rode in on.

Even though she didn't get to save anybody, who could hate being the main meat of a Barbie/Ariella sandwich? ::I think that's who is on her lap.::

A little family portrait of Webkinz. ::I like how it's so serious.::

Pretty Pony by Day:

Pretty Pony by Night Vision Lens, Skulking Down a Back Street, Looking to Score:

Monkey Foot:

Wine Glass on the Desk aka Evidence for the Custody Hearing:

Speaking of Monkey Feet

One down.
I'm very happy to knit socks for my husband, but between the length of the sock and this boring yarn, I'm about to take addi cord to neck.

Things are going whack around here, so this is likely the post of the week.

••• Friday, February 22, 2008

Be Not Afrait in 2008 

And Yes.This Is It.
The first installment of The New Years Intendment post. Just in time for the Ides of February, give or take a week or so.

No harm done really. For the year, she is still young.

Me? Not so much with the young. In fact, this is the year I turn 50 years old, which has been the issue at the heart of my reluctance to think about write this post. It is has been the stopper in my flow hole, if you will.

Before I get to Intendment Number 1, ::which is the only Intendment I'll be sharing today.:: I need to lay a foundation of thought and inspiration.

So grab your shovels...

It's Downhill From Here

For the past couple of years, on New Years Eve Day, Cabana has taken Cakers skiing at the resort near the cottage. In years past, while Cakers enjoyed a morning of professional instruction, hot cocoa and playtime at the child care center, Cabana enjoyed a few hours of lone shredding. ::And I really enjoyed a morning alone at the cottage.::

This past New Years, a new plan was hatched, in that there would be no ski school for Cakers. Instead, Daddy was going to show her the ropes. ::This would be a great play on words, but the infamous rope tow has been replaced by a magic carpet escalator thingie.::

Included in this plan was the POSSIBILITY of Cakers going on her first chair lift ride.

Sidebar: Cakers is six years-old and I realize that Real Skiing Families (fanatics, if you will) expose their children to the chair lift much younger than that. We are not one of those families. We get on the slopes about twice a year, so this was a big deal to us.


The night before the big day we went for a sleigh ride at the resort, and happened to park near an operating chair lift. Once out of the car, Cakers stopped to watch the chair lift process.

After watching in silence for a few minutes, she shared her observations as follows:

I see how it works! It slows down so you can get on, then it goes faster when it goes up the hill.

If you almost fall, the man will help you.

It works like a big cat scoop, except it scoops people, not poop.

I just saw a grown-up fall down and then get up. Even grown-ups fall down. And that’s okay. Right, mom?

All along it was made clear to her, by both of us, that she did not have to go on the chair lift unless she wanted to. There would be no pressure here, only free will.

For the rest of that night Cakers was clearly preoccupied with thoughts of the following day. I knew this because she stopped talking about skiing and chair lifts altogether, and chatted non-stop about any and everything else under the moon. By the time she went to bed that night she could hardly sit still, and every few minutes busted into random song. ::This is a common strategy used by children, to distract themselves from scary thoughts. I do it myself, at times.::

Before leaving for the slopes the following morning, she sat on the living room, surrounded by a posse of stuffed animals.

I did not attend this excursion, but waited anxiously all morning for an update. Because Cakers’ plan for the day included hourly breaks for hot chocolate, I expected the first call at around 10:00. But no call came.

Neither at 11:00.

Or 12:00.

By then, I was getting really nervous. ::It's like a part time job, this nervous. And I'll be the first to admit that the pay sucks. And there are no benefits.::

At 1:00 Cabana called to say they were in the car and heading my way. Of course,he also relayed to me the day's events, and they went something like this:

After 2 runs down the bunny hill, Cakers slid over to the edge of the bunny area to watch the chair lift operation, on the slope next door. After a minute or two of silent consideration, she looked at her father and said “I’m ready.”

After that first swoop of the poop scoop, there was no turning back. Neither were there any hourly breaks for hot chocolate.

And after 5 hours of nearly non-stop poop scooping and skiing, she didn’t want to leave.

So what has this to do with my Intendments for 2008?

Quite a bit.

You see, I've always been a bit of a fraidy cat.*
A Nervous Nelly, if you will.

As a Fraidy Cat, I tend to avoid a gamut of perceived, uncomfortable situations, ranging from the ridiculously benign to the clearly stressful. Examples of said situations include making phone calls, meeting new people, trying new things, asking questions, and going to the dentist. ::I think my dentist office has an ongoing betting pool on when I will call to cancel my next cleaning.::

When I'm fretting, I don't sit in the corner and chew on my the sole of my shoe. Outwardly, I seldom appear alarmed or agitated when working under frets.

Usually the fret starts off as a mild discomfort, which grows into a slightly bigger nag of possible complications, which often leads into things that can go sort of wrong, then on to things that will likely cause death or at least serious embarassment. At any point along the continuum, I can, and often do, determine that it will be much easier to just stay home and knit.

Then along comes Cakers.

Clearly she was frightened of going on the chair lift. As she well she should be.
But she really wanted to ski on the big hills.
But before she could do that, she had to do a scary thing.
And before she could do the scary thing, she had to face it.

Which she did.
On her own terms.

First she thought about it.
Then she watched it.
Then she pictured herself doing it.
Then she thought about it some more.

Was she still scared after all that?
You bet, she was.
But she did it anyway.
And found it to be well worth it.

Then and there I decided that I want to be like my daughter, when I grow up.

And hereby decree 2008 to be The Year of I’ll Have What She’s Having.

Intendment No 1:
Go skiing with my family.

Skiing is a perfect example of an event over which I can easily work into a lather of fret, especially if I haven't gone in awhile. On the smallish end of the fret scale are worries related to anticipated discomfort, inconvenience or confusion. On the bigger end we'll find frets of falling down getting on the chair lift, falling down getting off the chair lift, falling out of the chair while it is lifting and running by brains into a tree, a la Sonny Bono.

But this week Monday I set aside my frets to join my family on the slopes. And despite the discomforts, inconveniences and the falling down while exiting the chair lift and my daughter hearing me yell to the bong-watered attendant, “Turn this fucker off!!", as yet another empty chair in a series swept over my head, while several feet away, my husband says “Just get up.” “Can’t you get up?” “Why don’t you just get up?” as though I was actually enjoyed being all a splay, directly in the path of the human depository of the busiest chair lift at the resort.

And there was that other time, while disembarking, when I so very much tried to concentrate on keeping my skis straight and poles out, but then very much started to slip, and in a frenzied attempt to stay upright, bopped my daughter in the side of the head with my ski pole, prompting the best quote of the day from Cakers: "Good thing I’m wearing a helmet. And goggles.”

So that’s the first installment of Intendments: 2008.
I promise the rest will be much less painful.

In the meantime...Where'd My Baby Go?

*I do have an understanding as to why this is so. While part of it is genetics, much of it stems from the childhood onset of a series of shitty-ass things that happened to me.** Those are stories for a different time. Or a book. To be released after I die. Because I’m a fraidy cat, like that. ::

**On a paradoxical note, working through these life altering events, I have also developed a profound sense of survivorship and consider myself very brave in ways I may never be able to share with you here. ::

••• Saturday, February 16, 2008

Saturday Briefs 

Mr. Saturday Sky

My father-in-law left this little fella on the porch, as a special welcome.

Sorry, Frond Number

Not a frond at all, but a pine tree, loaded for snow bear.

Big Heel Keep on Turnin'

I have turned the heel on my husband's first sock. It was all going well until I somehow dropped a couple of vital stitches whilst transferring them from the waste yarn, back to the needles. Complicating matters is that working with black yarn on a wisp of a needle is a bitch. Especially come darkness.


It's Saturday night and the gerbils-on-wheels who power the dial-up are all down with a bad case of furballticilitis, making the connection up here urpy, at best.

For the record, I am SO not down with this.

••• Friday, February 15, 2008

Snow Time Like the Present 

A Baby Ate My Dingo
As of right now, I am on a 4-day weekend. I always look forward to this annual winter break, ::No doi, dinkledorf.:: But because I've had four days off within the past three weeks, on account of snow, this planned hiatus is feeling a bit, well, awkward.

I'm sure I'll get over it.


Tomorrow we're heading to the cottage for a few days. The weather forecast for the region, over the next two days calls for Lots and Lots of Snow, With Potential for Total Knit-Out Conditions.

Stay In School...
Otherwise you run the chance of missing the unit on Why It's a Bad Idea to Skip School in February, In Michigan, Via Walking Through a Field of Snow, Two Feet Deep, In Flipflops.

Smart Assedness Asside, one of the girls' feet are pretty messed up. She is currently being treated at the regional burn unit.

Can you imagine being the parent on the other end of that phone call?

And Don't Call Me Shirley
Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which
produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very
little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered
from bad breath. Therefore, he was a super-calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

As You Were.


••• Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sunday's FO is Filled With Child 

Pattern: A Bastardization of Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton's Willamsbro.

Yarn: Encore

What I Didn't Do: Read the directions all the way through before starting, nor did I look at the picture closely and neither did I comprehend that the contrast yarn was suppose to be a weight or two up from the main. I cast on with the contrast without realizing that the contrast was added later, by picking up stitches along the bottom and knitting in stockinette. So there I was, in the contrast part, cabling along with the main color part and when I realized the error of my cables, I decided I was keeping it as is. I also changed the cable pattern, on purpose.
Please excuse the jammies and the unwashed face and electric hair. With the temps hovering at 147 degrees below zero, in the shade, it's been Sunday Morning 'round here, all day.

And no, she's not signing to her homies. That's just standard Cakers' Sunday- Morning-All-Day casual fare.

Snow Rest for the Dreary
I tried to capture a shot of the blizzardy Snow Devils blowing down the street, but apparently, like witches and vampires, their images cannot be captured.

So instead, I bring you Shiver Me Timbers:

Shiver you.
Shiver me.
Shiver shadows
From a tree.

P.S. Today's Finished Object is sponsored by Mission Possible '08.

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••• Friday, February 08, 2008

ValentEYEne Candy 

Monday was the annual Daddy Daughter Dance, in our little town.

The pink tights were HER idea. Initially I tried to talk her out of it, but 1) No way. Pink and red are related through white, she says. 2) What do I care? I would be spending the evening home alone, knitting.

The little hair tie thingie lasted about an hour. To quote a Cakers: "I pulled it out when I had to Rock It."

Well, duh!

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••• Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Ice Man Dumb-eth 


Yesterday afternoon there were these meteorologists.

On T.V.

Getting all excited.


On account of the snow.

A big snow.

The biggest snow we’ve seen around these here parts.

In years.



One weather dude went so far as to invoke The Blizzard of ’78 .

Followed by a Pause of Silence.

Followed, no doubt, by a Pause of Program Director Crapping His Pants.

Followed by 500,000 viewers looking across the room/table/hot tub/bar and saying to whomever: “Did he just say The Blizzard of ‘78?"

That’s some serious snowshit, peeps. The kind of snowshit that invokes the name of the grocery store, to which I drive, for which to purchase a bottle of He Said ‘The Blizzard of ‘78'.

::In case you’re not familiar with categorical drinking rituals,that would be a lovely white. Said potable is always and only purchased at sale price, so the purchaser can enjoy the comfort of an observably noble reason for having purchased alcohol on a school night, and not look quite so much like someone with a drinking problem. Which is definitely not me, seeing as how I only buy mine on sale.::

So, I get home and commence with the Anticipation of Snow Day drinking.

About 10:00 Cabana comes into the room. “Better stop that drinking. They’ll be no snow day for you.”

I turn on the news and hear for myself, from a team of shamefaced meteorolo-whores, that, well, earlier, they forgot to, um, mention that, well, the storm in question might actually be better defined as occuring in, well, two phases, with phase one pretty much including, well, no fucking snow. We were, however, warned to keep our windshield wipers on for the morning commute, on account of the pouring down rain we will likely experience, to wit.

You know how when your cat thinks she’s all the shit, because she can jump 7 feet from the counter to the couch, in one magical leap? But every once in awhile, when off her game, she misses and kerplomps to the floor? But instead of looking all embarrassed and running away in shame, she stays where she fell and starts licking her paw, all casual, as though the whole thing was just part of the show and silly you for believing for one second that this was an actual faux paw?

Well, that’s the impression I had of these 2nd shift weather eaters.

The weather is commencing as anticipated.
Any impression that the only way out of your house tomorrow would be through either a snow tunnel or medi-vac is the fault of the receiver.


Of course, there was no snow day today.

This morning the local forecast was updated to say that the worst of the snowfall was going to miss us, but we could see a few inches by nightfall.

As of noon today, it’s been snowing like a Mutha Fluffa.



••• Sunday, February 03, 2008

Sunday's Cool 

And The Nominees Are...


1) Gibknits. She's sweet, generous, talented, really talented and has a wonderful laugh. Okay, that last one you wouldn't necessarily know from just reading her blog, but now you do. Most important: She's my friend. And I Lurves Her.

2) Rabbitch. She's really funny. And kinda scary. And her name has Bitch. ::Can blog readers catch Stockholm Syndrome?::

3) Niksknits. Nik is someone I believe I would be instantly comfortable with, were we to meet in the real world. She's a clever designer, smart and funny, and never takes herself too seriously.

4) Reddogknits-I don't much care for the freckles on her but the horsemen knew her. 'Nuf said. And she draws a mean tampon wrapper.

5) Panopticon-Duh.

6) The Darwin Exception.-I found this blog last fall, on a google for a sewing tip. Somehow I didn't bookmark the site and lost her for awhile. She's got an interesting life going, that's for sure. Her observations and prose remind me a bit of Gwyn, of Woolly Mama fame. Check out her Neighbors category.

7) The Knitting Channel. I've been trying to come up with an apt, brief description of Betsy, and I'm not confident that I can do her justice, in abbreviated terms. But here goes anyway: a) She's a real fast knitter. b) She's a real good knitter. c) She loves knitting tams but she doesn't know why. c) She's lead a very interesting life and hints, at times, that it hasn't been all Peaches and Herb. d) She suffers no fools gladly, or at all for that matter. e) She has strength of character and f) a sense of humor and g)I think she is the kind of person I'd want by my side in the trenches h) which has nothing at all to do with the fact that f) She knows her way around an M16. ::I trust she was kidding about the cat thing.::

8) Sandy's Knitting. Sandy, Sandy, Sandy. She's genuinely upbeat and sweet, without a smidge of saccharine. Nope. All Chirp. No Urp. That's our Sandy.

9) Rachael. Rachael lives a rich life and I love how she paints it for us, through her writing. When I read her posts, I feel like I'm right there, soaking sunbeams with a critter, or having a cuppa joe on the porch. She is love.

10) JenLa. They are the heartbeat Knitblogistan.

Please Just Sleeve Me Alone

::This Mission Probable Possible stint is going to send me back into therapy. Maybe it's God's plan. To feed the therapists of the world with the remnants of what remains of what used to be a moderately intact psyche. I'm close to figuring it out though. I'll keep you posted.::

Souper Bowl Sunday

Cabana took to the kitchen this afternoon, and whipped up a pot of chicken rice soup. The recipe was pretty standard fare, except for the surprise element of fresh mint. It tasted kind of weird to me, at first. Not at all minty, but kind of licorice-y. However, after about 2.5 slurps, I was all about the weird. Yum.

Here's to an evening of tight ends and fresh balls.

*The rules are, if you're nominated, you pick 10 bloggers who make your day, and pass it on. You're supposed to leave every person a comment about the nomination. I prefer to just put it out there and nominees are free to do with it what they will.

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