Sanna's Bag

“I never seem to have what I need when I need it. I’m going to make a belt-bag that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside, and just carry everything with me.”

Friday, June 30, 2006

Can I post photos without a digital camera?

I have been in hand to hand combat with the computer for over an hour, trying to figure how to scan a picture and get it up on the blog. I have the scanning part down, and I can even get it into an e-mail as an attachment, but blogs don' need no estinkin' attachments, and I am up the proverbial crick without the paddle.

And it just occurred to me that even if I HAD a digital camera, there is a certain ammount of learning needed to get the picture out of the little box and into the big box. Anybody have any suggestions about easy to use, favorite, easy to use, reasonably priced, easy to use, versatile, easy to use digital cameras? I can manipulate manual tools quite well, but put a power source in anything, and I'll either break it, or cut myself. The vacuume and I maintain a cautious armed truce while I keep reducing the ammount of carpet needing care. The dishwasher crouches malevelontly under the counter, biding its time, waiting for a truely terrible opportunity to either errupt in broken hoses and mouse nests, or go on strike with 10 dinner guests coming in twelve minutes, and not a clean plate in the house. I regularly sacrifice a bit of fingertip to the sewing machine's spirit, and always play books on tape to keep it distracted while I sew simple "straight" seams on items that do not need to fit - usually pieced comforters. DH handles the TV. Driving a car is a daily miracle right up there with water into wine and raising the dead.

But any words of advice or direction on how to get pictures onto the blog would be eagerly received and pondered. Clues? Hints? suggestions? GRATITUDE!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Taking the baby out in public

I took the fast-foot socks to the knitting group yesterday. It was premature. I'm not sufficiently accustomed to the pattern to work it without paying attention, and will have to tink or frog a couple of rows. And I didn't pay enough attention to the writing, either. Just because I can work the socks flawlessly while watching re-runs of the Simpsons doesn't mean I have the process down pat yet.

We have three cats: Dear old Jack, saucy young Fly, and our bi-polar girl, Candy (and her evil twin, Pickles. You never know which one you're petting till she hauls off and shreds your hand.)
Since it's dry and warm outside, Fly wants to play the door game constantly. Lately, when he wants to go out, and his slaves with thumbs won't respond quickly enough, he pounds on poor old Jack and gets thrown out. Jack does not like being used as a doorbell. He has taken to spending his time on my lap, but what will he do when I'm not here? Thank God I don't have kids!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

trying something new

I started the fast-foot socks yesterday. The new part was knitting both socks at once on circular needles. I have one 28 inch circular and two 16 inch circulars in the appropriate size, so I am actually knitting two socks at the same time on three circular needles. And it WORKS!! I am so fascinated by the process that the socks seem to grow by magic.

Also, I am using yarns selected by Miz G. Usually, purple and orange combinations send me screaming into the outer darkness, but this particular muted shade of purple and this varying hue of dull orange actually look good together! Working with a palate selected by someone else is an eye-opening, horizon-expanding experience and I recommend it to one and all as an annual exercise. Develope your own color sense, then abandon yourself to someone else's once in a while.

I have this theory about our perceptions of color. When we are young, all the rods and cones in our eyes are intact and functioning, and we appreciate subtle difference and nuances in colors. We relish the beauty of a taupe, greige and mushroom Fair-Isle sweater. As we age. the rods and cones tend to wear out just like all the other parts do. (Wait till your estrogen goes away and the collagen follows. Slack skin is SUCH a nasty surprise!) We no longer see colors as well, as acutely as we used to. Remember that dark turquoise and chrome yellow striped sweater your grandma gave you when you were thirteen? To her, that actually looked wonderful. (I love my LOUD sweater again. It fits perfectly and exaults in its own glory!)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Be careful what you ask for.

After a few weeks of cool, rainy weather, and hordes of whiney citizens begging for some sun and some warm temperatures, we just got slammed with two record-breaking hot days. 101 and 102. That just doesn't happen in June in Portland. We don't usually expect summer till after the 7th of July! This has been a surprise. Everyone has to go out and buy new sunglasses because we forgot where we put them last fall. We have to dig out our sun-clothes and we'll wear them wrinkled because it's too hot to iron anything. Our skin is fishbelly white, so we need sunblock. Probably put away with the sunglasses, don'tcha think? But it wouldn't matter if we COULD find it. The stuff expires after a year or so. And I'm not risking my pasty pale epidermis with anything less than fully functional factor fifty. I've already had one bout with skin cancer. (Basal Cell Carcinoma - the best kind to get if you have to get it. One dashing scar on the forehead and regular visits to my darling dermatologist. Doesn't carcinoma sound like something a hillbilly family would name their oldest daughter?)

The mind like a butterfly flutters further from the track . . DH and I heard a story that some misguided equal-rights organization was protesting that all hurricanes are given white-centric names, and wanted more colorful names in the options. We thought that red is a color, and started coming up with red-neck names for the hurricanes. There's Andy-Bob, Betsy-Bob, Cletus-Bob, Daisy-Bob . . . . "Dade county has been devestated by hurricane Wanda-Bob. This, coming in the wake of hurricane Vernon-Bob and hurricane Uneece-Bob, has completely overtaxed the trailor-park insurance agencies."

I don't mind heat as long as I can lie in the shade somewhere with lots of cold water, but a lot of folks are suffering, and what anguishes my knitter's heart is that there is nothing I can knit to help them. We all have our gifts in life. When someone is in need, we respond with what we have. Nurses nurse. Cooks will cook. When a friend comes down with serious illness, I don't volunteer to bring over casseroles. (My casserroles would likely make them sicker anyhow.) My very first impulse is to knit them something. Chemo caps or a cuddly lap-robe or bed-socks or whatever seems most useful. You folks in the hotter climes, is there anything I can knit for the homeless in our city to help them through this sweltering summer?

Monday, June 26, 2006

Part-timer's dash to monday

Sunday was great fun! Breakfast and Sunday funnies in bed, then a stroll to the farmer's market. The guy we talked to last week about knitting needles wasn't there, but we found another wood-worker who agreed to make me a set of five holly wood needles for $15! He is Phil Lingelbach and his website is

Then we headed to Pet Smart to get treats for the fur faces. DH saw an open house sign and we followed its lead. The house was too fancy and cold for us. But it led us to another sign for an estate sale in a ritzy neighborhood. A nice, fourty year old house with views and a swimming pool and heart-warmth. A sale where they were trying to clear things out. And, since it was the last day of the sale, everything under $50 was half price. I scored two new teacups for my collection for $4 each, a pale pink tablecloth and 8 raspberry napkins for $5, 16 oz of pigeon-blue worsted weight wool for $2 (!), and 8 crystal wine goblets with gold rims for $12. Oh, my inner magpie was dancing with glee!

Then home to our air-conditioned house and out into the 101 degree yard, to the shade of the walnut tree and the sling chair and a book (Solstice Wood by Patricia McKillip). Kyle poured wine into two of our new gold-rimmed goblets. The wine is that lovely Australian Shiraz - Woop Woop. Can you imagine some French vintner naming his wine Woop Woop? Or a German? Naw! Now in America, we have such delights as Barking Frog and Two Buck Chuck. There's a lot to be said for a lack of pretension.

Too hot to knit, but lots of design going on in the back of my curly little mind.

Off to work for 9 hours today. Another 101 degree scortcher predicted. Enjoy it while we can. It'll probably rain on the 4th.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Sunny Day with comics

Went to a party at my friend Lisa's last night. She is brilliant! Not only does she write wonderfully, cook like a kitchen goddess, and garden like the pro that she is, she also welds and drives race cars! And when she planned this party, knowing that there would be swarms of rug-rats, she went to the dollar store and made up goodie bags for them. Bubbles to blow, sidewalk chalk, plastic leis to be silly with, plastic bugs and lizards - I was jealous of the kids! I lay down in the driveway and got one of them to draw an outline around me so I could play with the chalk, too. DH was in the garage with the gear-heads looking at dis-emboweled vehicles. Thank goodness the wrenching-on-cars disease is not contagious! He can appreciate without needing to dive in.

And, as usual, all my switches tripped to "Off" right about 8 PM, so we toddled on home. I slept until 6 AM this morning! Talk about a seriously lazy Sunday sleep-in! Obviously I had filled right up to the brim with fun and it just tipped me straight over into sleep! No fiber work accomplished yesterday.

But today - we are going to the farmer's market and I am taking some double-pointed needles to the guy who makes hardwood fountain pens, to see if I can get him to make me some exotic wood sock needles. Maybe even some short glove needles. Anyone have any favorite wood to knit with other than bamboo?

And as long as we are at the market, well, it's still strawberry season . . .

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Ahhh, scatterday!

People with children have an entirely different experience of Saturday. People with children don't get to sleep in. They have to roll out early and head for soccer games and camp-o-rees and bike-a-thons and enormous grocery shopping trips. I know people with school-age kids. When I beeble on about my halcyon Saturdays, they give me a look between bitter envy and acrid annoyance. So I will not beeble. But it has been a grand day.

OK, I'll beeble just a little bit. Stephanie Pearl McPhee responded to one of my comments on her blog! ( Oh wow! I have been virtually touched by greatness! I went outside in the glorious dawn and danced in the backyard in my bathrobe and slippers. I frightened a raccoon. The neighbor's dogs woke up and barked at me. (No worries. They bark at passing squirrels, falling leaves, noisy earthworms - barking is their hobby.) Thanks to all the folks who read my comment and then dropped by to visit my blog!

I took the LOUD sweater off the needles last night. OK, it's not actually toooo ugly. Next step, trying it on. And then, photos.

What's next? I'll finish the white wrap sweater, then start the fast-foot socks. I have an ever-so-easy shawl on the needles for movie knitting. I plied 8 more skeins of yarn last night and washed them up. At least another 8 to go. Then three more bumps of experimentally dyed roving to spin off. Never again. After this, I'll dye only finished yarns. It's amazing how much better I can stay on task when I'm reporting to people about it. Thanks for listening!

By the Way, Joanne, how can I get the fabric to you? Leave me a return address or e-mail or something.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Look what I found

I used to be a professional weaver until I blew out both shoulders and a disc in my back. I was looking for a particular tablecloth (Still haven't found it) and ran across some leftover handwoven yardage ends. Anyone want some handwoven coat-weight wool, oatmeal and beige stripes, 27 inches wide, 2 yards long? How about some dark teal tweed, about 30 inches by 25? It would make a great tea-cozy, or a poncho for a kid, or a heavy vest, or - geeze, I don't know. It oughta be good for something. If you can think of a good use for it, I'll ship it to you.

I know, I know, pictures would help. But life is an adventure, andd the price is right. If it sounds appealing, why not take a chance?

Lovely warm sunny afternoon yesterday. Jack cat and I took the spinningwheel outside and plied singles. I don't think I'll try dying my roving again. I didn't get it rinsed enough, so lots of excess came off on my hands as I worked, and then when I washed the finished yarn to set the twist, It turned several shades paler. I know there are successful ways to dye roving, but I'm so happy with the results I get dying the finished yarn that I think I'll just stick with that. Time to set up the drying rack in the shade and hang out those mottled pastel blue-green skeins.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

summer is icumen in

One of the joys of being an early riser is watching the garbage men at the crack of dawn. All that hefting of fifty pound cans of slop gives them terrific upper-body development. And in the warm weather, they peel down to t-shirts and bib-overalls. What a splendid show to go with the sunrise! No lechery here - just profound appreciate for the glories of God's creations. S/He did a darn fine job on garbage men!

There's another morning peculiarity I feel a need to share. I can't drink coffee, and felt rather wistful about all those wonderful cinnamon moccachinos and other foofy drinks available to coffee drinkers at "Fourbucks," (and similar java emporiums.) Then it occurred to me that I could take the syrup they use, and pour a dollop in my tea. YUM! YUM! YUMMY! Raspberry is the current favorite, though hazlenut runs a close second. And after dinner, a nice hot cup of postum with a shot of Irish cream syrup is the perfect warm, sweet dessert for a good girl like me.

Yesterday, I took the LOUD sweater in to Chrysalis (The women's knitting group I have been involved in for years) and no one had to run retching out of the room, so it must not be as ugly as I had feared. In fact, Pat, our fearless leader (and my peerless copy editor) even offered to adopt it, so if I can't learn to love it again, it will still find a good home.

On the other hand, Pat knits. Maybe I can teach her the pattern, and she can make her own sweater (s). Her's would be much quieter and more tasteful, though, because Pat is quieter and more tasteful - though still a raging amazon warrior at heart. She's just a quiet raging amazon warrior.

Many thanks to all my new friends who have visited and made such nice comments. What a delightful connected feeling. I could just squee with joy!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

How did my stash get so big?

There’s a magpie in my brain.
I bet you’ve got one too.
It likes the bright and shiny things,
the brand new cars and diamond rings,
the track shoes with the built-in springs.
It always keeps my checkbook drained
and all my bills past due.

There’s a magpie in my brain,
a noisy, greedy bird.
It wants the things it wants right now –
this darling chair, that gilded cow-
so who needs groceries anyhow?
This bird’s impossible to train.
It never hears a word.

There’s a magpie in my brain.
Some say that it’s addiction.
But buying things will bring me peace –
red cashmere yarn, merino fleece
self-striping sock yarn for my niece –
it’s really not that I’m insane,
it’s just a predilection.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Payiing it forward

I decided what to do with all this blue-green yarn I am spinning. I don't wear blue-green. I don't know anyone who does. But Northwest Medical Team is always going to cold countries to deal with disasters. Theyy need warm hats, scarves, sweaters to help keep people alive. Also, the work with orphanages in second and third world countries, and the kids always need sweaters and baby blankets. I can knit and donate.

Northwest Medical Teams is my favorite charity. Last I looked, they use 98% of the money donated to them to take care of the people who need help. It goes for medical supplies and equipment for disaster relief, and for plane tickets to fly volunteer doctors and nurses to help desperate people all over the world. They spend only two percent (2%!!) on staff salaries, office expenses, administration costs. Red Cross spends about half on Administration. Their executives travel first class and have plush offices. I want my hard-earned cash to go to people in need, not to comfortable executives. I have been tithing to Northwwest Medical Teams for years. Wanna check them out for yourself? You can learn more about this incredible team by visiting"

Purgatory on rollerskates

Work was much too interesting yesterday. Not actually hell on wheels, but edging in that direction. The two women who usually handle GED were both gone, and the rest of us haven't had enough practice to process everything smoothly. The lad with the broken ankle was in so much pain that he had to go home at noon. (He ripped the tendon right off the bone. Man, I would be home with big drugs and books on tape. He soldiers through anyhow. the trooper!!)
On top of that, one of the other GED centers in the area has shut down for the summer, so their folks are driving an hour to our site, and expecting to just walk in with no paperwork what-so-ever. This is Federal Government stuff, folks. Of COURSE there is paperwork! And additional fees and there is no way you can whine, argue or intimidate us out of it. I have to go in early this morning to organize for all the joys this day will bring.

It sure does make going home a joy. Putting my feet up and sharing the sofa with DH and the cats is bliss! I ask no more of life than that it should go on as we have it.

I tried on the loud sweater last night. Wow, is that an ugly puppy! Well, I can always overdye it with navy if the colors make my teeth hurt. But I may be going through that phase when you have been creating something that has taken its own direction, doesn't match your vision, and you are sick, sick, sick of it. I always have a delightful surprise when I see a sweater I knit some time ago and gave away because I hated it. Golly, it's actually quite nice. Down right beautiful, in fact. I really AM a great knitter. So, maybe when it's cold enough to wear the loud sweater, I'll like it better. It fits nicely. I like the way this mitered design fits the mature body. Yes, yes, photos will follow. If I have to scan the prints I get from Costco and figure how to attach them, I will get photos up somehow. Suggestions?

Monday, June 19, 2006

Strawberry season

The very best strawberries in the world grow in the Willamette valley. the very best strawberries are the Hood variety. They are fragile, impossible to ship, and sweet as young love's first kiss. And they're available now. Oh bites of bliss! Oh mouth and hands stained red! when DH and Miz G woke up, we motated down to the local farmer's market and treated ourselves to fresh baby carrots and half a flat of strawberries and baby bok choy and somehow I just couldn't resist the cookies or the kettle corn.

Miz G looked over the array of cookies and asked, "What's the difference between the cowgirl cookies and the cowboy cookies? Is it the the cowboy cookies have nuts and the cowgirl cookies don't?" The teenaged boy manning the counter never even considered that a mature woman would be pulling such a naughty double entendre on him and patiently explained that the cowgirl cookies were double chocolate with cinnamon, and the cowboy cookies were oatmeal and coconut with walnuts and dried apple. Miz G went for the cowgirl cookie. I succumbed to a giant maccaroon. DH had wandered away to loook at fresh golden beets. He's never tempted by sweets - the lucky guy!

After Miz G went along her merry way, and DH and I had dealt with all the daily duties, he went to slaughter demon cows on the computer, and I settled down with Xena recordings and the spinning wheel. Jack was so stubborn about wanting some lap time that he consented to drape himself across my thighs while I spun, annoyed by the twitch, twitch, twitch of the treadling, and steadfastly ignoring the roving transforming to yarn above his back. Every so often, I would stop spinning for a session of stroking and cooing and baby talk to the poor old dear. I'm a bad slave, but he's fond of me none-the-less.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

While the world is dreaming

Miz G came to visit yesterday.. She is a brilliantly gifted fiber artist who recently returned from a sojourn in Arizona, and has moved to a medium-sized town not far from my home-town. And she has made a run up to the big city for fibers and fun. Miz G is primarily a tapestry weaver, but has skills in so many areas that it blows me away. (She makes an income as a legal assistant!) We are planning an assault on Abundant Yarns today. (See link) (I don't know how to put links into blogs yet. any clues?)

And as a fan of my novels, she has heard about Sanna's Fast-feet Socks, and has brought some yarn to be knit into thick, wooly house-socks to help her speed through the housework. Gotta figure out if she wants the 10 mph, 12 mph or 15 mph socks. Very important not to put a 10 mph sock on one foot and a 15 mph on the other. Disasterous consequences!

Last night, I bound off the sleeves on the loud sweater. I am too darn casual about some things (like counting,) and wound up with one sleeve that has the right number of stitches, but the underarm seam is ten stitches out of place. Any perfectionist should gird her loins now. I'm going to leave it like this until the whole thing is finished. and if it doesn't look too crippled, I'll just wear it. It's a HOUSE SWEATER! It's for my personal warmth and comfort. I can always rip and re-knit later.

And it makes me smile! Miz G. careully did not remark on the colors. She approved of the over-sized coziness.

Whn I get a digtal camera there are going to be a LOT of photos posted!

Miz G and DH are still sleeping. I have had tea and biscotti and the Sunday funnies. I love getting up to see the morning with its face just washed. I love listening to the dawn chorus of birds and smelling the air before too many cars have run through the neighborhood. And I love the wicked privacy of it all. Oh yeah, all those other people are out there, but just for now, while they are asleep, I don't have to share anything with anyone. It's mine, all mine! Mmmwaahaahaahaahaa!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

May I have a word?

Lucia ( My blogging mentor, gave me a meme. My 1947 Webster's doesn't define meme, though all the other words with the same beginning have to do with memory. To be specific, in the parlance of the web, I have been tagged with a meme to describe her in one word, then to ask four of my friends to describe me in one word. But only if I feel like it. Since Lucia is the only person who has ever commented on my blog, I feel like doing it thisaway. May I have that word, Lucia? and if anyone else is out there, a word (or two )would be like, wayyy affirming.

Have you ever wondered about the late-night radio hosts, who are all alone in their studios, talking to the darkness? Throwing words into a well and never, never hearing a splash or even an echo. I so enjoy the sound of my own voice, that It would be kind of a bonus to get paid for talking, but I would need human cocntact before or after. Not the job for me in any case. I have solar batterries. The sun goes down, I tip right over. I'm up at 5 most mornings and sunrise is my favorite part of the day. The team at the publishers, two time zones away, are pleased that I'm up and on line by the time they show up for work. Makes me easier to deal with.

I am finishing the sleeves of the loud sweater in hot pink ribbing. They will be elbow-length and open, and the ribbing won't draw in a lot, just enough to keep the suckers from rolling. The cats have been pouty about the loud sweater, since it takes up a lot of lap space and needs to be shifted often. the white sweater laid quietly on my lap and made a lovely nappy blanket for happy kitties. They sit beside me on the sofa, glaring at the loud sweater and scolding me telepathically, "Bad slave! Bad slave! Put that down and pet me!"

Yesterday I wore my self-knit yellow cotton socks for the first time. It was such a treat, on a grey day, to hike my pants leg and get that flash of yellow!! I know they are machine washable and dryable. The lable promised me that they were, but still, I took them into the bathtub with me. Now they smell like rosemary and clary sage bodywash. Is it peculiar to sniff your socks?

Friday, June 16, 2006


This middle-aged stuff has its amusing elements. The radio is running in the background and someone is talking about, ". . . reptile dysfunction. . " ?? Oh, it's a Viagra commercial. I wondered why a disobedient lizard was a problem.

I NEED a digital camera! The knitting looks less like a nest of skinny eels, and more like a psychedelic spider on it's back, twiddling its legs. The sweater is turning out pretty cool, though. It makes me happy to work with all these colors.

Speaking of colors, on the way to work yesterday I realized I had forgotten to make a lunch. I was just about to pass Abundant Yarns, so I stopped in and, Hooray, the Busy Bee coffee shop was open. See, I was MEANT to stop at the LYS! And oh, what lust for color it stimulated! I petted yarn coming and going. I dawdled around, caressing this fiber and that as the sandwich was being made. I managed to get away without any naughty addition to the stash, but I made promises that as soon as the loud sweater is done, I'd be back to rescue some of those lovely yarns from durance vile.

They have knit skirts on the models in the window. KNIT SKIRTS! I remember our family doctor's wife used to knit her own suits with steel circular needles like wires, and yarn the size of thread. Her knit skirts (with godets knit in no less) were the thing of legends! And she was a substantial woman. She must have done nothing but knit circular stockinette and listen to the radio for hours every day! What a rich internal life she must have had.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

blogging on the job

Due to a broken ankle on a full time employee, I am getting a few moreproctoring hours at the community college testing center. It's finals week, and right now, all it takes to do the job is two sound legs and half a brain. I qualify!!

Oh, don't worry. I have already done all the part-timer work. The test-takers come in waves, and I am blogging during a lull.

What never fails to amuse and amaze me is the earnest innocence of the young people who try to get away with things. They forget that all the old fogeys working here were once 18year-olds ourselves, and have tried all the lies and excuses decades ago. Didn't work then either. It's a learning experience.

Speaking of learning experiences, I was working away on the simultaneous sleeves, feeling rather smug, and thinking, "Gee, this is easy! No way I could mess this up." Yep, you know it. The next time I looked down I saw that I was putting both sleeves onto one needle, with one of them inside out and backwards. Thanks to all the knitting gods that look over me, I had more double-pointed needles to slilde onto and turn things around before I had knitted myself into a klein bottle. (Picture of Roxie, trapped inside the knitting, pawing feebly at the meshes like a fly in a web, wailing in a tiny voice, "Help meeeee. Help meeee!")

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

If it works for socks . . .

I am down to the armpits on my LOUD sweater, and since I am making it up as I go along, and there's no telling how far the yarn will go, I have decided to knit the sleeves at the same time, on two more circular needles. (Ahh, the joys of collecting many circulars in your favorite sizes!) This is pretty neat! I can knit off the outside of the ball on one sleeve, out of the center on the other. For a while, anyhow. I kind of like when the sleeves are fraternal, rather than identical twins. And God knows I don't want them to match the stripes on the body. Where's the fun in that? but if it gets to the point where I have to finish off with solid, I want to be able to ease the endings into being at the same time. Three circular needles in the lap looks sort of like a nest of mutant eels.

I went to my chiropractor yesterday. He is retiring. My vet just retired. I have been with these people for decades. How dare they get old enough to retire! I'm going to go find a nice young little female chiropractor who has to finess my creaky old back because she doesn't have the bulk to force it into place, and I will stay with her till I retire!! And the vet just down the street is young and kindly and always talks to the kitties, so she'll work out nicely. But no one else better retire this year. I have had it with finding new caretakers.

Ohhh, I'm going to be one of those old women, aren't I? "What's this? Tapioca pudding? Isn't this Tuesday? We always have vanilla pudding on Tuesday. What's all this change in aid of? What's next? Bingo on Thursday night instead of Wednesday? Where will it end?"

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

It was a wonderful day

The first color draft for the cover for my book showed up. Wow! It looks like a real book! Wayy too cool! I forwarded it around and got the full spectrum of responses. Some folks love it. Some folks hate it. I am touched that the people who hate it are going to some trouble to analyze the problems and offer suggestions to improve. I think that if I asked everyone who has read this book what was the most important scene from the book, I would not get two answers the same. It seems that when someone creates something, it becomes a sort of vessel for other people to fill with their own meaning. That is delightful to me. The book is a sort of literary Rorschach test.

So, having tabled the question of the cover (I DON"T KNOW!! I like it, but whatthehell do I know?) I worked away on the galleys like a happy little beaver untill my postal person arrived with a big smile on her face and a box in her hand. "You have a friend in Australia," she told me.

I ripped into that box like an aardvark tearing into a termite mound. Janette sent me a marvelous, beautiful, elegant, modernist cup that will be the PERFECT thing for my repeated cups of tea. And it's a birthday present. My birthday was in March. Thanks to Customs and overseas shipping, I get to stretch my birthday celebration to unprecedented lengths! WooHoo! Thank you Janette for my pressie from Sydney!

Then my DH came home and reported that the locusts had descended upon the leftover goodies with typical avidity. They stood around the little lemon cupcakes and scarfed them down in handfulls. They carried off the chocolate cupcakes with bestially proprietary growls and snarls to devour them - each in his own crumby corner. Cupcake papers began appearing in odd places around the shop. The chocolate chip brownies were snatched away in a time warp by a golden charriot of the gods. Their empty box appeared in the lunch room shortly before second break. My DH warned me that I should run all the boxes through the dishwasher, since the locusts licked them clean. Makes me proud to be a baker.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Monday in the morning!

“Good morning Vietnam!”  Ooops – wrong movie.  “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.”  Nope, still not right.  “Good morning!  Good mor-r-r-ning!   We’ve talked the whole night through.  Good morning, good morning, to you!”  Well, Fred Astaire, Donald O’connor and what’s-her-name are a lot closer to my state of mind.


 It’s raining, so I don’t have to drag the hose around the yard giving drinks to all the green things.  I will, however, trip lightly through the dripping grass to harvest  a Perfume Delight rose that has just opened up.  I could just about BATHE in the scent.  And this bush seems relatively hardy in spite of the blight of blackspot, so I would heartily recommend it to anyone who wants a perfectly rose-pink rose with perfectly swoony rose fragrance.


I breakfasted on fresh tea and left-over biscotti (Bless you Tamara!) and am wide awake and cheerful, with minimal clean-up necessary.  I have a list of errands as long as my arm (if I write big) but they should be speedily completed, and by two, I hope to be spinning.


I have left my boring white sweater (size 3 needles) to languish while I play with my vivid, handspun chevron, knit from the neck down sweater.  Stripes.  (Yipes!) in shades of pale blue, aqua, sea-green, mossy green, fir green, pink, plum, HOT PINK, and chrome yellow. (I really do need a camera) Yeah, it’s so loud you can hear it coming a block away.  When I’m working at home in the blue depths of winter, I can pull on this sweater and be cheered and cozied.  Heck, I might even wear it to the jail when I take the GED tests to the inmates.  A jolt of color might be welcome.  And God knows that testing room gets chilly.  The thermostat there has two settings.  On, and off.  Over the course of a two hour test, the temperature goes from 60 to 80 to 60 again.


Biggest job for today, (after getting the bonbons mailed to beloved father-in-law) is editing the galleys on the book and sending in the corrections.  Sooner done, the sooner we hit press.  I’ll just get dressed and get into it! 


Thanks for checking in!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

A gazillion grams of sugar

The knitting group was a blast. On the invitation I sent out, I told everyone it was a Mad Hatter's tea party. Of the 9 people who arrived, four had not read the invitation in full and were a bit surprised when I plucked hats from my collection and plopped them onto the uncovered heads. (Drat, I forgot to get photos. Oh well, without a digital camera, how could I share?)

One of the regulars (who has had to miss our gathering several months running) showed up, properly hated, and bearing chocolate chip brownies, and a tin of her killer biscotti. This, plus the mini cupcakes with lemon glaze, the full size chocolate cupcakes with peanut-butter cup baked inside, the sticky bread (still warm) the fruit salad, and the marinated artichoke hearts, gave us a completely full table. I had pots of tea and about a gazillion grams of sugar in its various incarnations.

Suddenly it was 12, and everyone had places to go. My DH had stopped by Home Depot while he was avoiding all those nattering women, and he realized that it's past time to plant things. So we went back and bought tomatoes and peppers and pumpkins, took them back home, and stuck them into the raised beds. I think these might be wild tomatoes. We had to put them in cages.

And when the plants were planted and the dishes were all washed and put away, and the whole place was tidied up, and I was still vibrating like a hummingbird, it occurred to me that I may have had just a weensy bit too much sugar and tea. When it all wore off, I crashed like a rhino shot by a tranquillizer dart. Oh, I do love an afternoon nap!

DH and I went down to the neighborhood grocery store and hit the salad bar for dinner. Krab and green stuff was all that I wanted.

So I got up this morning, snuck a peek at the funnies, and finished off the last four servings of the sticky bread. With a cup of leftover, microwaved tea. I sealed the biscotti in an airtight box and hid it on the top shelf of the cupboarrrd so at least I have to stretch a bit to get it. I boxed up everything else for DH to take to work and give to his co-workers. We call them, "the locusts." They will devour anything. If I overbake a pan of cookies and they turn out hard as rocks and black on the bottom, we give them to the locusts and they're gone in fifteen minutes. Stale cake? Give it to the locusts. The locusts love it when I host the knitting soirees because they get enough comestibles to last half the morning. Just listen on Monday morning, and I'm sure you will hear the contented chomping of happy locusts.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Lemon blossoms and chocolate overdose

The baking is almost done. I just have to remember to start the sticky bread so it can rise overnight. Then I'll slip it into the oven in the morning, and the whole house will be redolent of yeast and cinnamon and baking, instead of stale catbox. Ever so much more welcoming, don't you think?

Now I'm going to do battle with the demons of computerdom for an hour, trying to figure how to put links in my blog. Everyone should read yarnharlot and rhymeswithfuschia. Once I am properly linked up, (or not, a the end of the hour, my DH should be home and it's time for his turn on the computer. ) but in an hour, I can then indulge in a nice bout of spinning while I watch Trading Spaces. Or maybe I'll copy the kitties and do some power napping. Sighhhh!

Oh, check my website!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

A blog before bathing

It's been a busy day - the pre-knitters house cleaning frenzy. Tomorrow is the big baking blitz, Then, on Saturday, the ladies arrive at 10 and we nibble and giggle and talk and knit till sometime after 12. We try to meet once a month, and we welcome all like-minded souls, regardless of knitting skills or lack thereof. (Mending, needlepoint, and macrame are also welcome.)

I'm serving lemon cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes with a peanutbutter cup baked into the middle of each, sticky bread, fruit salad, and marinated artichoke hearts. Also awful coffee (I don't drink it and can't seem to figure how to make it) and adequate tea.

And if I get my baking done in time, I'm going to spin some more, too. I tried dying whole cylinders of roving, and seem to be getting yarn that gradually shades from dark to pale. Maybe, if I ply the palest with the darkest, it will all even out in the wash.