••• Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Give Me a Break 

It's the last day of my midwinter break and I am, of course, lamenting all that I didn't accomplish on my list of to-do's. ::I realize that it is still early in the day, but I also am intimately familiar with the dysfunctional nature of my relationship with the day-off-time-space-procrastination continuum: Abusive.::

The main thing I wanted to accomplish this weekend was post my New Years Ides of February Some Time in 2009 intendments post, including a personal review of 2008.

Why bother now? You ask.
Because I need to.

Even though I didn't write an intendment post of 2008, I did have my good intendments, and remembered them, and attempted them. They are still a work in progress, however. And I think I do better when I put a font on them. And the primary reason I keep this blog is because it helps me be better at, well, living me, better.

Meh. So much for giving up contemplating my navel, for lint. ::say it out loud, with a alternate spelling, it's better.::

What I have accomplished during my break. So far:
1) Laundry.

2) I stuffed the freezer with three home cooked meals. While this activity doesn't sound much like the hallmark of a relaxing weekend to you, it really is to me. First, I love to cook, as long as I have means, motive and opportunity. ::If you could see my kitchen after I make a yum-cooked meal,you would see the connection to a crime scene.:: Secondly, a well-packed freezer is a huge stress reducer in a hectic work week, and we were freezing on empty. This weekend's menu items included a baked turkey breast, with my favorite Thanksgiving gravy and mashed potatoes. In the freezer: Chunked turkey in gravy.

Another freezer-friendly favorite accompli was Pioneer Woman's Chicken Spaghetti . It makes a huge batch anyway, and I double it. I hit a big sale on chicken breasts last week, so used those, but my favorite chicken choice is a rotisserie chicken from the grocery in that it's easier and less expensive.

Meal number three was Black Bean Cuban Stew. It's a very simple recipe, but the combination of flavors and textures (cilantro and lime are musts), makes it oddly addicting. I puree about 1/3 of the beans for added texture.

3) Cottage Cleaned the house. I invented the Cottage Clean for the house a couple of months ago, when I realized that between the consorted efforts of Cabana and me, we could clean the cottage, top to bottom in less than two hours

4) Knitting.

I finally started my Ingenue (Ravelry link), which was supposed to be knit in conjunction with Kristi knitting hers via a mini-knit-along. I fell behind. Her kids fell sick, which allowed her fall ahead, via midnight fever vigils.

The yarn is Dream in Color worsted. Ruby River (or something) is the color. That first picture does not represent an accurate potrayal of the colors.

This picture is more accurate, and was taken in the car en route to visit college boy, a weekend back.

This shot, well, it makes me think things. You?

I knit on this for several hours yesterday, which was wonderful. Last night I finished up the last shoulder/sleeve increase. A final count of stitches revealed a few a-num-olies (I was short three stitches total), which was fixable merely an extra round of increases. Unfortunately, I also found a blooper of the significant variety: A stitch marker had somehow jumped a stitch, so one of my raglan increase trails kind of, well, trailed off. I typically prefer to rip at the end of the day, so when I pick up the piece again, the pain has been moderately assuaged through the aid of sleep and the Memory Arrangement brain feature.

Today, I kno knit.

Today, I Ascend Maslow's Hierarchy of Beads

I have kind of figured out a workable rhyme and rhythm to making the stitch markers. Through several rounds of trial and error, including a couple faulty, impulsive internet purchases, I have learned following:

1) Don't make faulty, impulsive internet purchases.

2) A cool bead does not always make a cool stitch marker.
3)If you pay $2.00 for a 2 pound bag of random furnace beads, marked "as is", don't expect the beads to possess typical, bead-like attributes, such as symmetry and wholeness. Or holes.

4)If you pay $2.00 for a 2-pound bag of random furnace beads, expect a 2-pound bag of colorful, chipped, tube-shaped marbles.

5) Rubber gloves killed the Superglue Stupid.

6) Remember to lock Bella out of the office when I'm working with the glue. She is cat, therefore, she Must Sit On It. No matter what It is.

I brought some samples of my markers to show at work, and ended up selling about 20 of them. One woman tried snatching the last of one design straight out of another woman's hand. "I'll take those..." Before it came to blows, I promised to make another batch, just for her. She paid up front. Now that I've lazily saturated the local market with product, I should probably seek further marketing horizons. Seeing as how I've not much time and neither am I much of cold call solicitor, I'm going to have to get clever.

Effin' O

My first FO of 09. Socks for a friend at work, who special ordered it through Buy It Now, Get it Later feature at a charity auction.
Yarn: Lana Grossa something.
Pattern: My own, using a 2 stitch cable pattern.

Comments: The cable shows up better in person than in photo. Even in real life, the cable gets a bit lost the marly-ness of this yarn. I will use the pattern again, on a plain colored yarn. And will probably cable every third row instead of every other. This yarn is pretty and the recipient likes it. The pattern was kind of ruined for me when I noted that between the grays, reds and pinks, it brought to mind the insides of freshly imploded road kill. You're welcome.
Oh, Fur Cripes Sake
I found this shot in my camera when I dumped my last picture load.

Just goes to show that we all have our burdens to bear.

Speaking of burdens, the other day Cheddar chewed off another Barbie foot. This time, instead of presenting his usual M.O. of selecting from the daily Pile-O-Barbie on the floor (I mean, they practically ask for it, under those circumstances), he hunted his prey directly from the toy shelf. As punishment, he received two separate verbal chastisements from Cabana and me.

I don't know if it's the steroids he's on for his arthritis, or maybe the consumed Barbie ankle took a bad turn, but after the consecutive tongue-lashings, he went into a full blown, pre-pubescent female snit. First, he refused to eat his "welcome back to the house" treat after his potty break. Rejection of food? Unprecedented.

Usually Cheddar goes to bed with me, after I close up the downstairs. The second that the TV goes off, he moves to the bottom of the staircase and patiently waits for me to lock the door and turn off the lights so I can scoop his butt up the stairs (He has taken a couple bad falls and requires constant supervision on the stairs.)

On the night in question, at about 11:00, with the lights still glaring and T.V. still blaring, he walked to the stairway and scooped his own butt up. When I heard the usually thump-thump-thump of his lame-ass bunny hop, overhead, I thought the house was under seige. When I realized it was him, I was kind of scared to go upstairs. He NEVER goes to bed without me. Ever.

When I walked into the bedroom, his eyes were black with full blown bitch. When I spoke to him in my special Cheddar voice and approached him for a pet, he did not look at me, or assume the Pet Position or wag his tail. Although I did observe a brief quiver in the very tip of his tail, which I immediately feared as a signal he would be lunging for my jugular any moment.

I'm happy to report none of us were mauled, gnawed or angrily humped on our sleep. Well, at least not by a dog.

P.S. I hear California is sending us a possible Snow Day tomorrow. Can you imagine...?

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