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.”

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

the costume

I have decided to go as Helen Black today. That's because I really look like hell in black. I'll slick down my hair and rub dark gray eyeshadow into the existing shadows in my face and find that purple lipstick. Just the basic ghoul-next-door look.

What's your costume?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Halloween candy

What is it about that left-over Halloween candy that makes it so darn irresistible? I don't even LIKE candy all that much. I know that I'll regret stuffing it into my mouth. But every time I pass a bowl of it - at work or at home - I find myself chewing. I can feel the slowfat creeping up over my hips, moving toward my heart. (Slowfat works a lot like quicksand, only far more leisurely.) My pockets are full of crinkly telltale papers, and I feel jittery and queasy from all that sugar. Yet, I can't seem to help myself. Those "fun-size" bars are so small, so cute, so artfully designed to tempt. And surely, just one doesn't count. Or maybe one more. Or maybe another one. Oh heck, I may as well just devour them all. Picture me crouched in a corner with a bag of miniature Musketeers, growling at anyone who comes near and scarcely bothering to rip off the wrappers before stuffing the morsels into my chocolate-smeared mouth. I'm a middle-aged woman. This is not a pretty sight.

I bought this stuff to give away. Why can't I just throw it out? It has no food value, only empty calories. I can resist the full-size bars. There's something a bit daunting about opening a WHOLE candybar. I know for sure I won't want the last third, and I hate to waste edibles. But those darling little snack-sizes are so munchable! What I ought to do, when the kids stop coming at the end of the evening, is take all the left-over candy and run around the neighborhood, ringing doorbells, crying "Trick-or-treat!" and dumping handfuls of my unwanted excess into my unsuspecting neighbors' candy dishes.

But even if I get it out of my house, the candy is still around. Every secretary I know has a bowl of tiny bars on her desk. The hairdresser has a bowlful next to the cash register. The grocery store has absolutely killer sales on the remaining pumpkin-decorated multi-bar bags. There are five (5!) jack-o-lanterns full of goodies on the counters at the bank. You can't get away from it!

I feel like an alcoholic who buys one bottle of brandy a year to make the Christmas fruitcake, puts the cupful of booze into the batter, and then is unable to resist drinking the rest of the quart. OK, I suppose I don't have to buy the giant, 300 count bags of candy. But what if, by some incredible fluke, we run out of candy before the kids quit coming? Horror unthinkable! The world may come to an end. Maybe. Well, it COULD happen that way. We have never had more than 30 little trick or treaters. I could buy thirty Hershey bars for what I paid for the mega bag, and anything left over could be saved for Christmas cookies. But right around the first of September, when the costumes come out in the stores and the candy sales displays go up, I am seduced. Sometimes, I can devour an entire three pound bag of Halloween candy before October 15, unless I hide it from myself. Out of sight, out of mind works very well for me. Of course, that sometimes means that I forget I bought the Halloween candy, so I go out and buy more. Then I wind up discovering 300 tiny bags of M&Ms in the back of the guest closet when I do my spring cleaning. What am I going to do with 300 pocket-sized bags of melt-in-your-mouth goodness? It's a dirty job, but someone has to eat them.

I guess it's like throwing myself on a grenade to protect my comrades from it. Eating as much left-over Halloween candy, as fast as I can, is my way of saving the world. It’s my mission in life, my raison d’etre and my bete’ noir, all in one. It’s a dark-chocolate, caocao bean pusher’s top level secret conspiracy, and I’m the only one who knows. So hand over those left-over mini-Snickers Bars right now, kiddo, and nobody needs to get hurt.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Where is all that daylight we saved?

I do love the morning we fall back from daylight savings time. The inner clock is still set an hour ahead, and waking up is so easy. I got to wake up and listen to the rain on the roof. And wet squirrels, galloping about on the roof, stashing walnuts down the drainspouts. And a crow who has discovered that when he yells down our chimney, it sounds funny. (It takes so little to amuse a crow.)And hungry kitties insisting that clocks have no relevance to appetites. I tried to explain that we have a new energy conservation policy. I don't feed them, they don't crap all over, I don't have to clean up after them. Great saving of energy! They didn't buy it. Three kitties, sitting on my chest, starving pitifully, is a force to be reckoned with. I gave in. So I am up and blogging, while the fur-faces are hogging down the chow.

A week from today, we will be boarding the Carnival Destiny and getting ourselves oriented onboard. I treat myself to one umbrella drink a day. Something with juice and chunks of fruit and rum. After that, it's water, water, water. I know the boat-drinks are no good for you. They're expensive and fattening and debilitating and promote reprehensible behavior. And I'm pretty reprehensible as it is. So only one a day, and get that first one out of the way just as soon as possible!

I packed yesterday. I'm not eager or anything. We pack a small suitcase inside a large suitcase for the trip out, because we know there will be souveniers to bring back. I have three pairs of pants, two skirts, and two formal dresses, walking shoes, slippers, and dress shoes, three blouses, two tank tops,a swim suit, and two sweaters. I hate to carry so much, but we'll be spending ten days in the tropics. (two days in San Juan, getting adjusted to the time zone.)and you need something to wear while everything else is dripping dry in the shower. DH can live with a swimsuit, 2 t-shirts, a pair of dockers, a polo shirt, and his tux. (A local tuxedo rental business had a killer sale on stuff that was no longer the peak of fashion. We got him a lovely used tux for $40!)Men have it so easy.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Woot! Woot! Didit again!

Yesterday, I got up, ate, blogged, got dressed, sat down at the laptop and put in another two thousand words! Good for me!! Yayyy!! That's probably the last time it will happen before Thanksgiving, so I am going to revel in it.

Today, even without a camera, I can do a picture of the Saturday sky. Here it is:

Yup - vast blank whiteness. We are currently in the belly of a cloud. Moisture condenses and drips off the leaves. Joggers can be heard before they are seen. An approaching bicylist is heralded by a sound like tearing silk, as he materializes like some Sci-Fi film special effect, growing larger and more distinct, then shrinking and dimming away when he passes. Spiderwebs are pearled works of art. And while you are still warm from being inside your cozy dry house, the very air itself caresses your face like a beautician's moisturizing touch.

If you have to stay out in the fog,however, it quickly works its clammy way into all your clothes, sinks into your joints, fills your lungs with damp chill, and leeches the warmth and optimism right out of you. But for the trip from front door to paperbox and back, it's magical.

Whooptey-Twelve needles (there is no such size, really) are big enough to whip out projects at top speed. They are whopping big needles and use whopping big yarn. Amy L. Says it even better in her response to my post yesterday.

Linda and Dave, I am looking at the Cannon Power Shot, and the Kodak power shot. I want something with a big screen and not so many bells and whistles that it frightens me. We are waiting till we get to the duty-free shops in St. Thomas before we invest in it. And I'd better pick up a stick to hold the pictures as well. Last cruise, I took 18 rolls of film, not counting the underwater camera. I'm no good with an underwater camera. I get so excited by everything that I wind up taking pictures of the water. "Here's a picture of the water right in front of a Moorish Idol. And here's a picture of the water right above a great big parrot fish. This is a picture of the very tip of the end of the tail of a humahumanukanukaapuaa. See - this little black dot right on the edge of the picture here?"

No digital fish pictures. I promise.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Wooot! let the brag begin!

I got TWO THOUSAND words in on the novel yesterday, and they were good words! And, I left myself at another spicey spot that will be such fun to get back to. Hoorah! I sat and wrote for four solid hours, had lunch, and wrote for another two hours. Oh, GOOD for me!!

Then I spun for an hour. (I am researching cameras and boy are you guys going to get a load of images next month!!)

And THEN, DH and I settled down in front of the tube where I finished the neck gaiter and began a scarf. Watch those nimble needles fly! (I adore whoopty twelves!) The silk blouse sits patiently with its size one needles, waiting for those four-hour stretches on the plane - two on the way to San Juan, and two on the way back.

Thanks ever so for your kind words about my poetry. "Autumn's Orphans" even got published in a real magazine. I got paid $15 for it! The term, "Starving poet," is no euphamism.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Autumn's Orphans

Autumn’s Orphans

It’s just half past October, and even the sunrise is headed south.
Another bright summer is over. The slate grey days are here.
The geese scrawl their cuneiform messages across the sky.
“This way out,” > they say. “This way.” > “This way.” >
Our snowbird friends have flown, and we stand,
yearning after them, and wishing for wings.
The days narrow down to year’s end.
The cold nestles into our souls.
The crystal air has an edge,
and winter is into us
with her first

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Best laid plans

I had a haircut scheduled for Tueday the 31st (Downtown on Halloween? What fun!)Then work called and they need me to come in on the 30th and 31st. So I called the hairdresser and asked to reschedule. "Well," the young lady laughed, "we could get you in at 11 today." "It's 10:30 now? I'll be there!" I scuffed on my shoes, and in jeans and sweatshirt, with no makeup, I bolted out the door. I made it with enough time to stop at the Pearl Bakery for a sinfully rich almond croissant and a cup of British Breakfast tea with a shot of hazlenut syrup. Ahhh, life is GOOD! My hardresser is a genius with my wavey grey locks. There was enough hair on the floor to build a small poodle, and I now have a piquant, elfin cut that hugs my head and makes me look five years younger and ten pounds thinner.

I nobly resisted the urge to shop since I was downtown, and drove myself home for lunch. And then, fool that I am, I rewarded my self-control by pulling out Amy Lane's second book, Wounded, and settled down for lunch. I should know better. I was totally transported by the first book, so why should I think the second would be easier to slip in and out of? I dropped right into her world and continued sitting at the table on that darn hard chair for FOUR MORE HOURS. I don't usually go for paranormal, babes and vampires and modern-day elves fantasy, but this is so vivid and engaging that I really can't put it down!

All of this pretty well shot my chances at getting in a thousand word on the novel. Today, I have Chrysalis, our weekly writer's group, so again, a thousand words is out. But I did get the hat for Miz G. finished. And to go with it I started on, not a scarf, but a neck gaiter, to keep out the wicked winds. But the hat needs some embellishments. A ribbon cockade? A tassel? A decorative button? Hmmmm. Oh, for a camera!

Now, since I will be on campus for Halloween, what costume should I wear? Last year I wore a tricorne hat, black slacks and vest, and a white t-shirt with the word "Enron" on the front. I was a really scarey pirate. Half the kids didn't get it.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Spinning at last!

If I got one thousand words in on the novel yesterday, I would allow myself to spin. I had time to spin one and a half bobbins. Wah hoo! I finished off some sky blue merino, and started some willows-and-spring-sky colored blend with shiney stuff in it to delight my inner magpie. I think I'll ply the merino on itself. It looks sock-able.

The one thousand worrrds are not perfect. I woke up knowing that some things would need to be expanded, and characters will need to be better defined, but I am excited to get in another thousand today. (And then I can take some Joanne's coupons and go buy trinkets for Miz G's hat. And then I can spin!!)

The hat is moving along quickly, but eating yarn faster than I had anticipated. So the matching scarf will have a stripe or several of a closely hued tweed. And maybe a bit of tweed embellishing the hat as well to unify the look. I love knitting by guess and desperation. Things turn out so much more interesting that way.

Time to write! Our newly widowed Susan has turned down a proposal of marriage and has to decide what to do with her life. Her husband was a scoundrel and a cheat, so grief doesn't complicate things much.

Monday, October 23, 2006


Friday night we went to the Cirque du Soleil's touring road show, "Delirium." I expected to be transported, awestruck, gob-smacked. I was entertained. There were nice costumes and cool special effects, but it was a let-down. The occasional gymnastics and acrobatics were wonderful, and the use of some simple stage set-pieces was cool, but the emphasis on singing and music got - boring. I could tell that the singers were emoting intensely, but either the acoustics were poor or the vocal styling was odd or the singers had heavy accents. I couldn't understand any of the lyrics. They could have been singing, "I am one with the creative comsic consciousness." or they could have been singing, "Johnny really loves me. He really, really loves me." Or they could have been singing, "Lalalalaeeeeeayiiiieeeeayiiiooooooooowah." I didn't have a clue. So a lot of the time was spent watching singers standing, clutching a microphone, and belting out impassioned noises with large grimaces and occasional bouts of strutting and hip thrusts.

They had some lovely bits with set-pieces and costumes. A calypso singer had a skirt that grew to cover the whole stage. Then she was lifted up on wires, the other performers slithered under the edge of the skirt as she rose and rose and became the top of a big white tent. Lights went on inside the tent, and dancers next to the lights threw their shadows in capering delight onto the sides of the tent, while the singer continued to belt out some wild Carribbean rhythmic noises. It was magic and fun.

And they had two big wedges as set-pieces. These things were about 20 feet from tip to base, curved like sections of orange peel, about 12 feet wide at the base. They first showed up as arches or bridges that people danced across. Then they were turned on their sides and used as walls, then turned again and the dancers and acrobats made them rock by throwing themselves from end to end. finall, the two smallest girls stepped into loops on the very tips of the wedges, and teh rest of the cast all moved down to the base of the wedge, so the tips were lifted wayyy up in the air. Pretty cool. I have no idea what it had to do with anything, but it was pretty cool.

So, unless you really love new-agey music, I'd say you should save your money and skip the road show.

We had just a perfect October weekend. Lots of sun, lots of color in the trees, lots of free time to enjoy it. My camera has died, so DH is letting me use his very fancy, very expensive camera till we get to the duty-free shops of St. Thomas and find a nice digital (with minimal bells and whistles. I want something easy to carry that I can whip out on a moment's notice and get shots of the kitties or the scenery or whatever.) One of the neighbors has a monsterous Halloween display in their yard, and we cruised over to burn off the end of a roll of film. Some people just loooove Halloween! The whole yard and house are dressed, and they have set up a 2-storey false-front on their garage to make it look like a haunted castle. They are writing a book on how to do the special effects. You can go to for more info.

And on the knitting front, I finished the hot-sunshine set for our favorite waiter(I really need that digital camera), and have started the hat and scarf for Miz G. It's kind of plain. Maybe I will take some of my Joanne's coupons and find some embellishments. I must control my inner magpie or I will wind up with four pounds of holographic sequins, and Miz G is not a sequins-on-the-hat sort of girl. I am. I LIKE flashy. I was showing off a new purse (gold and silver lame with barbaric brass and copper fittings) to a friend and he said, "Ah, yes, it's gaudy, yet tasteless. What are you thinking?" The magpie in my brain does not think. It just picks up the shiney things.

Time to clean up after the crapweasles. May that be the worst thing I have to deal with today.

If I get in at least a thousand words on the novel, I get to spin. wish me luck.

Friday, October 20, 2006

flogging the book

I finally got my self over to Barnes and Noble yesterday and spoke to the events co-ordinator to see about doing a book-signing. I learned that Barnes and Noble does not carry print-on-demand books even if they have an ISBN number. But, in the intrest of community relations, they will be doing a "New Voices" event sometime in the spring when I can bring in a hundred of my books, do a reading (along with bunches of other new authors) and allow B&N to sell my books for 20% commission. So why should I do it? They will PUBLICIZE the event. In the MEDIA! I'm no one. I can't get my tiny voice heard by the media no matter how hard I shout at them. But Barnes and Noble might give me a brief stint with their megaphone. Moreover, all the other new authors will bring their friends and relations, some of whom might be interested in my book as well. So there is hope. Moreover, I plan to instigate a knit-in, begging all my fiberous friends to bring their WIP and KIP to give me moral support. For refreshments, I will treat at the B&N coffee shop or at Cinnabon - your choice.

Anyhow, this is not till spring sometime, so first things first - like Christmas knitting! I have to clear out shelf-space somewhere to keep presents labled and organized. I keep saying, I have a mind like a steel seive, but the chain-link fence is getting more appropriate. I may work for three weeks on a wonderful cabled vest for someone, filling it with prayers and blessings for that special someone, and when it comes time to box and lable it, I won't have a clue who I intended it for. I know it's full of love, but I love so many folks in so many ways . . . Oh, that neuronal ferret will wander back home sometime, and I will turn to DH during a TV show and say, "The purple vest was for Mary, and I just gave it to Joan. It'll never fit!" and he will say, "Oh well. Too late to fix it now." And he's right.

This isn't Alzheimers - just rats in the attic. Wandering ferrets. I recognize friends and I know who the President is (though I wish I didn't) but I need to write things down! This blog is great for recording the daily diddly that becomes essential for ferret bait. I know it happened right after I finished The hot-sunshine hat. When was that? Ah ha! Yes, I remember now!

So if i give you something wonderful that doesn't fit, or if you were expecting something and it didn't show, it's ok to give me a nudge. Or a headslap if that's what it takes to get the ferrets back in their boxes. I will give you the same loving forgivness when you get loose in the socket - and if you haven't already, you soon will. It happens to all of us eventually.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Bathing cats

I gave the boys a bath. They were pitiful, miserable, and reasonably well-behaved. One tried to claw his way out of the sink, but I caught both his paws in one hand, stared into his eyes forcefully and said, "You are going to get this bath!" and he settled down. Can't say he took it like a man, because he still wriggled like a greased piggy, and I finally had to grab him by the scruff of the neck and suspend him for the final rinse, but at least the claws stayed in after that. The other boy was just pitiful. "Why are you being so mean to me, Mom? I'm a good cat." This is the one that craps on the floor. But a skinny, wet old cat is about the most miserable thing in the world. I held him on my lap for about two hours, getting him all dry and fluffy again.

Then I went to pick up Candy, and she lay contentedly with her paws tucked under her, looked me in the eyes and said, “You may be Momcat to those weakling males, but I am a queen in my own country, and I choose not to bathe right now.” So I put Frontline on all of them ($10 a dose!) and left it at that.

Now the boys smell quite lovely (I used lavender-scented glycerine soap on them.) and don’t itch at all any more. And Candy was being nibbled all night long, poor girl. But she has settled down, so the little buggers must have all died by now. I can’t bear to kill a mouse directly, but I positively ENJOY killing fleas! (If you catch one, roll it between thumb and forefinger to stun it, then crush it between your thumbnails. Nothing else seems to do the trick.)

O damn! There's a possum in the walnut tree. Anyone who has ever seen one of those verminous critters up close would never think "cute" in the same paragraph with them. Possums are so ugly that I think they must have to mate in the dark! They carry diseases and beat up on kitties and plunder unsecured garbage cans, spreading their spoils all over the neighborhood. and I can't do a thing to make it go away. Damn!! I would throw rocks at it, but I can't throw that high. I would squirt it with a hose, but the hose won't squirt that high. I will wish it a brief and glorious life, with emphasis on the brief part. And if it sets foot in my yard, the ferocious flapping woman will ride out on her broom and make it feel unwelcome!!

When frightened, possums flop over and play dead. Oddly enough, this never fools cars and trucks. Crossing a road with a possum is one of the most dangerous things in the world to do.

Finished the hot sunshine hat last night and cast on for a scarf to match. I am running a strand of white yarn along with the Blue Moon hand-dyed to make heavier yarn for faster knitting on big needles. I do love my good old Susan Bates nylon size 10s circs! These are my favorite needles!! No join, so they work very fast, but the nylon isn't so slick that stitches want to drop off. I am knitting the length of the scarf in seed-stitch. the white lightens the colors, but doesn't mute them at all. It's GORGEOUS!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

good intentions.

There is a village on the Island of Grand Cayman named Hell. I have been there. The road to Hell is paved with asphalt, just like the road outside my house.

I was going to bathe cats yesterday, and then I sat down with Any Lane's book, Vulnerable , to read during lunch. Next thing I knew, DH was walking through the door and I had accomplished damn-all. It's been a while since I got sucked into a novel like that. It has vampires. Getting sucked in seems a most appropriate pun. It also has love and sex in quite un-missionary-like groupings, but it's deftly handled and avoids most of the ugly words (Except the f-bomb. That gets used as verb, adjective, adverb, noun and probably dangling participle. It sounds like high-school kids talking.) I am ordering the next book in the series today. Well-written and fully visualized contemporary fantasy. This is not the book to give your fifteen-year-old niece(my book is) but get it for yourself for a spicey treat. Like those jalapeno-stuffed green olives.

I did buy flea bombs, and on reading the directions, found that I have to turn off the pilot lights on any appliances in the rooms to be bombed. So that will have to wait till DH can help, because pilot lights frighten me. No, I don't have nightmares of being attacked by evil pilot lights. I'm just uncomfortable playing around with things that can kill you. I don't even like getting out on the freeway. DH is much braver and more confident about this stuff.

Lucia (rhymeswithfuschia) was talking today in her blog about the way things disappear and materialize, and attributes it to Elvis passing through. That makes as much sense as any other explanation. It's all up to Elvis. Lost those bamboo DPs? Elvis took them. Found a pair of shoes you don't remember buying? Elvis left them. All those mateless socks? Elvis has a prankish sense of humor. I hope he brings back the tattered shards of my memory some day. I have to keep stopping to ask myself, "Where am I going? And why am I in this handbasket?"

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Circ du Soleil is coming to town with their show "Delirium." (all spelling is approximate on this) and DH surprised me last night with tickets. We are going on Friday night and I am so excited I could just squeee! Color and sound and motion and sensory overload. Wahhh hoo!

I didn't get to spin yesterday. Only 800 words on the novel. But they were good words. Today's big project is bathing cats before we squeeze on the Advantage. I can hardly wait! The boys have been SOOO cuddly this morning. Candy already knows something is up, and has hidden. Female intuition I guess.

I'm almost packed for the cruise. Only two weeks to go!

Knitting? Still picking away at the silk sweater and carrying the hot sunshine hat. the end is in sight, but it's sure a long way away. And so many things I want to start. . .

Monday, October 16, 2006

Monday adrift

I feel rather fog-bound and anchor-less today. Without the structure of the job to work around, I really don't know where to begin. Yesterday, we lolled in the new bed untill noon, read the paper (We looked so cute, propped up in bed together with our spectacles on and newspaper strewn about.) then DH slaughtered demon cows on the computer, and I watched CSI on TIVO and worked on the interminable silk sweater. Man, do we know how to party or what? Oh, well, the occasional "down" time is good for any system.

So I have been working on cleaning up the e-correspondence, and after I get dressed, I will finish that quilt duvet. And then? Shop for flea-dip and bombs. Do not waste your money on Sentry "Purrscriptions"systemic flea killer! I thought I would save a few bucks by using the Sentry instead of the Advantage. BAD IDEA!! It made all the cats sick, and now the cats and the whole house are crawling with fleas! We're ALL suffering, so it's time for more toxic chemicals. YUCK!! Poor kitties.

And if I get one thousand words written on the Western today, I will allow myself to spin some of my new fiber. Much as I love the process of writing, it's hard to get into it. I often need bribes.

Wish I could post a picture of today's misty, watery dawn. The sun diffused through the clouds like a sort of rosy tea-bag, steeping swirls and trails of color all through the air. This wasn't a sunrise that happened way off on the Eastern horizon. This one soaked the neighborhood with brief subdued glow so passing joggers were swimming through a thin fog of magic. The show lasted almost three minutes. Thank the powers that be that I was awake to enjoy it!

May your lives be insect-free!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

just like the apples

We have an apple tree in the backyard that is so organic it's practically ferral. We're too lazy to do diddly to it. It's unpruned, unfertilized, unsprayed, and every so often it gives us a bumper crop of little delicious apples. The knitting group was just like our apples - small and delightful. I served pumpkin muffins with yogurt cheese, and grapes with cheddar cheese, some Marcona almonds with rosemary from Trader Joes, and I rushed home from breakfast with DH and the guys so I could bake some focaccia. Unfortunately, even though I read the box directions three times, I missed the part about letting the dough rise for 20 minutes, so I was quite a bit behind on the final snack item. On the other hand, no one eveer shows up right on time either, so things pretty much evened out. There were 7 of us assembled and we had a marvelous two hours, chatting and nibbling and knitting away (except Pat, who was mending, and that's a good thing too.) It was a warm, mellow, comfortable time. Halley (11 or so) was using a knitting loom, and I watched with utter fascination, longing to get one of my own. (Like I don't have enough to do without picking up yet another technique.) Wwords can not express how delighted I am thatw this young lady enjoys our get-togethers. Hoorah for the younger generation!!

And just as I was starting the clean-up after the ending of the fun, the guys came with our new king-sized bed. When they left, I loaded them up with party left-overs, so I won't be as wretchedly tempted to devour every un-loved pumpkin muffin in exsistence.

The bed is so cool! DH and I spent about twenty minutes after the nice men left, playing with the controls Making the mattress softer, firmer, running the head up, lifting the feet, setting the massage feature for gentle, vigourous, wave. I usually sleep on my back with a pillow under my knees. Last night I slept on my back with the mattress lifting my knees. pretty cool! But, the bed is about six inches taller, and my feet had forgotten that by the time I woke up, so it's a good thing that I took a good stretch before I sat up and went groping for my slippers. Where's the floor for crying out loud? Oh. Floor's right where it always was. My butt's higher.

Today, time to finish the quilt cover. And time to plan my week. It's raining again. Half past October in Western Oregon.

Friday, October 13, 2006

After the dentist

Like many people, I don't enjoy going to the dentist. Just the word "Dentist" turns my mind into a chainlink fence through which the ferrets of information scurry at will. I may remember that I have an appointment at 9 AM, but forget which day. And I forget where I wrote it down. And I can't find the office phone number to call and ask. My dentist is so accustomed to people like me that they call the night before to remind me. I then write it in lipstick on the bathroom mirror so I can't avoid seeing it, thereby trapping a few of the more vital informational ferrets till I no longer need them. I have not, yet forgotten how to get to the office, but that always remains an option.

I have good teeth, but have reached an age where gingivitus threatens. Gingivitus is this disease where your teeth are fine, but your gums have to come out. So I am good about thourough brushing, and try to be good about flossing. And I was so good about enduring my cleaning yesterday! While the nice young lady was stabbing my mouth with sharp stainless steel picks and probes and pointy things, I did not cry or scream or bite her even a little. Not once!

Afterwards, I felt I deserved a treat. they don't hand out lolipops at the dentist anymore, so I took myself out for a cup of tea and a scone at the LYS. and I bought three skeins of turquoise blue Cascade wool for hat and scarf for Miz G. More fat yarn for fast, fast knitting! Wheee!!

(Envision three soft, yummy skeins like spun bits of really expensive Persian turquoises, draped artistically across a few golden Bigleaf Maple leaves for contrast. Darn!! I wish I could post pictures!!)

Then I picked up our cruise documents (Roxie dancing with glee) and drove home past Trader Joes where I decided to pick up some yogurt cheese for lunch. and as long as I was there, since I had been so good at the dentist, I deserved another treat. I got myself a bag of carmel waffle cookies. And three kinds of almonds for the knitting group tomorrow. Really. (I just have to taste them to make sure they will all work together.) then I stopped at Costco to pick up some photos, and as long as I was there . . . Let's say it's just a darn good thing that Costco doesn't carry gorgeous wool yarns at bulk-discount prices because I can not resist saving money on things I never knew I needed!!

And when I got home, there was a call from the boss telling me that we now have another part-timer to fill in, and I don't have to go to work until they call me in. WOOHOO!! time to finish the kingsize quilt cover before the bed gets here! Time to clean the house properly before the knitters get here. Time to bake goodies without getting up at oh-dark-thirty on Saturday morning and heating the oven for the marathon bake-off.

And then, I got this e-mail from Julielovestoknit with whom I've been corresponding for the past few months, and it turns out that we went to highschool together! Check it out on her blog.'s a small world after all! (Now, try and get that tune out of your head for the next two weeks.)

I will probably not have time to blog on Saturday, so on Sunday, I will give you the rundown of the knitting party. I'll be finishing the hot sunny hat and starting a scarf to match.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Gotta shop

I have today off to go get my teeth cleaned, pick up the cruise tickets, and get the house picked up for the ladies' knitting group. Also, to bake mini cheesecakes and hide them in a plastic box in the bottom back of the fridge where DH can't find them. Also make giant batch of cookie dough and freeze it in spoonfulls to be baked as needed (or eaten raw out of the freezer by the woman with NO self-control) On Saturday morning I will be baking cookies and pumpkin cupcakes, so the house will smell yummy when the guests arrive. Serving also mini-cheesecakes, grapes, cheese and foccacia bread. And teas. Maybe a thermos of Starbucks. (I make dreadful coffee.)

And on the way to and from, I must stop at a yarn store and pick up something in magenta or turquoise for MizG. for a hat and scarf. I may have something appropriate in the stash, but there's no time to look. Life is sooooo hard! (snirk)

Old Black Jack, the incontinent has begun having fits. He tumbles onto his back, twists his head around as if trying to bite his rump, and his hind feet thrash frantically. Either he is trying to scratch a powerful itch on his back, or he's having some sort of seizure. I used Sargent's flea control medicine on allll the cats last week, right before he began having his control problems. and Candy has retreated to dark quiet hiding places since then as well. I don't thin she feels well either. That's the problem with second-hand cats. No warranty. But you can't help adoring the little fuzz-butt crapweasles. And they give good value for the investment.

The quilt cover is probably 1/3 done. I'll have to lay it out and measure. Darn, I wish I had a digital camera. Soon. soon.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Pet diapers are called Peepers

Poor old incontinent Black Jack, the crapweasle, is at least fifteen, which is pretty venerable for a cat, and we have already gone to the flat pan option for his litterbox. He usually hangs his tail over the side, so all the excretory material goes outside the box, but now I put layers of newspaper down to catch it, so the damage is minimal.

But he has begun whizzing in his sleep. Poor old man. Maybe it's a prostate problem? Anyhow, next week is a return trip to the vet (at least another $60.) We took him in last week because his foot was swollen and sore. No injuries could be found, no elevated temperature. The doc said he was a healthy old cat and sent him home with some anitbiotics which give him drizzlin' shits. DH had to do the vet thing because I was working. Next week, I'm gonna go be the bad cop. DH doesn't do the litterbox thing, so I don't think he was able to give an accurate picture of the situation. Intake and output reports are crucial to efficient diagnosis. Do cats get gout?

As for the bedding problem, he has found a lovely spot in the garage in a box containing an old, second-hand down pillow. I was going to use it for a cat bed anyhow. Jack has decided to sleep there for the time being, so we will indulge him as long as it makes him happy. what's not to love about a feather bed?

Thanks for the input, you dear hearts! I remember when Lucia had a cat up a tree, and the world rallied round. Kitties do bring out the best in us.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Pinch hitting again

I had planned on using today to finish the quick and dirty pieced duvet I started yesterday. Then I got a call at 7 AM from a co-worker who was sick, so here I am back at work again. Best laid plans and all that. The duvet will get stuffed into a box and maybe I can get around to it next week. Otherwise, we will sleep under the pink, orange and lime green tropical fish comforter in our blue, tan and navy colored room. Quelle horreure! (Is that how you say, "what horror" in French? I know that you need to put the back of your wrist against your forehead and throw your head back dramatically to get the accent right.)

This is a good time to be getting a new bed, since Jack, our senior crap-weasle, has become incontinent. He crapped in my slippers last week. This morning, DH woke with his feet in a puddle of cat urine. Poor old cat isn't being bad on purpose. He just needs kitty Depends. Before the new bed arrives, we will have to figure something out. Untill then . . . four nights of avoiding the whiffy corner of the mattress. Do they make cat diapers? I know there are people that would have him put to sleep now, but there are lots of folks living full, happy lives who have similar excretory control difficulties. I'm not gonna snuff him just because he's inconvenient. though if I put my foot into another gooshy slipper, I may decide to snuff myself . . .

Miz G in Bend is in need of warm hat, scarf and sockies. Oh, my! Knit faster, Roxie. Knit faster!! Half through the sunny hat for George the waiter. Time to knint today.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Sewing day!

DH has decided that we need a new bed. We are moving up from Queen-size to King-size. (And we are getting alll the bells and whistles with individual softness controls and hospital -like adjustments to raise and lower different sections as desired. So I can sleep with my knees lifted, and he can sleep with his head and shoulders lifted, and we both can be propped up for reading the Sunday papers in bed.

So we no longer need the queen-size sheets, but we do need a king-size bedspread. And I LOVE to piece fabrics together. Today is a big bedspread piecing push. Whee!!

On Saturday night, we went out with friends to watch a magician at the local comedy club. He worked with a Netherland Dwarf bunny named Stew. After Stew's last trick where he was disappeared, one fellow in the back kept calling out, "Where's Stew?" The magician did a series of tricks with doves vanishing and re-appearing, but the guy in the back was still worried about Stew. We left, never knowing what happened to Stew. I, however, have visions of the club being raided, and the police patting down the magician and removing dozens of doves and silk scarves and packs of cards and collapsing wands from the guy's coat, and then, while patting down the pants, they find Stew, snoozing in a pocket down by the ankle. You never use up a good stew in one day.

Friday, October 06, 2006

How old am I?

I just administered a test to a young lady wearing more needlework than a petit point tapestry-covered arm-chair. Green snakes and red birds and Micky Mouse giving the finger and spider webs and things that disappear mysteriously under her clothing. She got me to humming "Lydia the Tattooed Lady" from that Marx Brother's Movie, "Night at the Circus." So I googled the song, printed off the lyrics, and have been chortling and chirrupping all afternoon. My gosh those guys were clever. "She has eyes that folks adore so, and a torso, even more so."

So, show of hands here, Who else loves the Marx brothers? Harpo is my favorite, with Groucho a close second. Whoo doo you love?

Ooops - there I go for another musical interlude. Where's my air guitar?

Everyone else is off at a GED conference, and I'm all alone here. They left the clown to run the circus all day long. And I brought my knitting, too!

And honest to gosh, there isn't a darn thing worth blogging about. Go check out Dave Daniels' Cabin cove and drool over his new yarns. and have a helluva swell weekend!!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

They might look like earthlings

On slow days, I tend to let my mind drift. It gets to some odd places that way.

They Might Look Like Earthlings

I saw the saucer, whirling bright, float high above the ground,
while small grey creatures in the light were gently floated down.
With thin pink feet and beady eyes, like possums or their cousins,
they hit the ground and waddled off, in couples and in dozens.
The saucer left as silently as any passing breeze,
and left my mind a prey to many questions such as these:
Were the creatures really aliens, or earthling abductees?
And why would "they" abduct possums? And what would "they" think of the fleas?

Now when I round a rural corner any moonless night,
and something small and grey and fey stands frozen in the light,
and I can’t stop the car in time, I always have my doubts.
did I just squash a possum, or road kill an alien scout?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Any suggestions?

We have this new boss, who is very young and inexperienced. Our old boss spoiled us terribly. She was always the first in the office and the last to leave. She posted the schedules so we always knew where she was and who was scheduled to come in when. She led by example. So how do we bring along our new boss? How can we coax her to show up on time, stay in the office while she is here rather than hanging out with her friends in other offices, take lunch hours that last 60 minutes instead of 75 or so?

She sent me home after an hour yesterday. I was delighted to have the time, but usually, since it's a twenty minute drive to work on a good traffic day, I like to stay at least two hours to make it worth my while. None-the-less, things were slow enough that it didn't make sense for me to hang around. I wended my way to the mall and, since it was mid-week and early in the day, I could have ridden a bicycle through the place. Lane Bryant had a shiny red blouse that will make a wonderful formal ensemble with my long black skirt. There was time to try it on, and there was that $15 off coupon that brought it down to an affordable price. so I now have my second formal outfit for the cruise. (The first is a lavender punjabi set with blousy trousers and a shin-length tunic heavy with beads and embroidery along the hem. Minimal embellishment at the neck makes for perfect display of my pearl necklace. Preen, preen! )

The pearl necklace is a talisman for me. DH buys me oysters with pearls in them. I drill and string them into an eccentric necklace of all colors and sizes. It's four strands now, and gets raves every time I wear it.

So, instead of drilling and re-stringing yesterdayy, I worked on my Western Romance. I needed a quiet, private time to do it since I was writing the really, really hot scene where the cowboy and the widow - ahem - well, you'll have to read the book. But I got in a good thousand words and was quite pleased with the results. Next Monday, sew the silk pants.

Knitting on the hot sunshine hat for George. And the silk blouse for the cruise is getting a row or so a day. With laceweight and size 1 neeedles, this could take years! Well, I'll be hosting knitting in two weeks. I should get a bit more done then.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Love those big needles

Fat chenille yarn plus size fifteen needles equals a luscious scarf in four hours. I finished it off last night and cast on a sunny-bright sport-weight super-wash hand-dyed wool on size 5 sixteen inch circs. for a hat for our favorite waiter. I love knitting hats. Soooo mindless! The fingers know what to do, and the imagination can run off and play.

The October rains begin today. May we have much snow in the mountains this winter! The snowpack is our fresh-water savings account. Hope we make a great big deposit this year. The glaciers are melting away, and when they are gone, what will we drink?

Yesterday I got my side of the trade. I knitted this hat and mittens for MizB, and she beaded 21 gorgeous stitch-markers for me in rainbow hues. Wayyyy cool! I wanted them for gifts, but now I want to keep them all. No two are alike, so they would be wonderful for marking different changes in the knitting. Blue for k2tog, red for YO, yellow for PTBL, whatever. Greed and generosity at war in my breast. Maybe Miz B would like another hat? If I had MORE markers, it might be easier to give a few away. Today, I'll give her the set-o-warmth and get a photo.

We leave for the cruise in five weeks. I have to make myself a pair of silk pants to travel in; drill 7 pearls and re-string my necklace, adding them in: try on all my possible outfits to make sure nothing needs mending before I pack it: lay in a stock of travelin' snacks (trail mix is good, but a bit too tempting. I tend to eat it all before the return flight); And host the October knitting party. Gleep! I gotta get organized!! Wish me luck!

Monday, October 02, 2006

I'm confessin that I love you . . .

I have another confession to make as well. Hope you will still love me afterwards. Here goes. DH and I are cruisers. We are dedicated disciples of the cruise industry. We are leaving in about five weeks for a week in the Caribbean: Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Dominica, Barbados, Aruba and back to Puerto Rico. I will be blogging in deep detail about our travels and my enjoyment thereof. If you can't bear to listen to someone wax poetic about watching the sunrise from the balcony of their cabin while flying fish burst from the ocean at her feet, you will want to ditch my blog from your favorites list. If you don't want to share my dithering about which dresses to take for the formal nights, time to jump ship. If you can't stand to hear how other people blow their hard-earned money on frivolous things like rides on underwater motorcycles, you won't be able to STAND me!

And worse than all that, we spent two and a half hours yesterday with another couple and their two teen-aged children, planning another cruise for next year. We are corrupting the youth of America. Can you ever forgive us?

On the other hand, if you want a nice vicarious vacation, I write a good travelogue. Stick with me, baby, and I will give you a glorious ride!!

On the knitting front, I finished the wool and alpaca hat, washed it, slipped a dinner plate inside to block it (it's a tam) and it should be dry and ready to present by tomorrow. Then I cast on a Christmas present scarf. It's made with two shades of hand-dyed rayon chenille and a thick rayon braid. And it's sooooo soft. Size fifteen needles. Cast on six feet, knit a row, break off the yarn with a five-inch tail, add in the next color with a five inch tail dangling, and knit another row. (Actually, I love seed-stitch for a scarf.) Those dangling tails make nice fringe at the ends, (Knot together by threes.) and the different yarns make stripes the length of the scarf. Great way to use up the left-overs. And after knitting with size 1 and laceweight silk, it is astoundingly fast work. wheeee!!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Sleepin in Sunday

Yesterday, we got in a lot of walking. First we put in our two miles of mall walking. Then, after breakfast and chores, DH decided that it really was past time time to get new tires for his car, so back to the mall we went to the Sears store, and strolled back and forth for an hour and a half while they installed our new tires. I almost never get to the mall on Saturday at mid-day. Holey old boot soles, there are a lot of people there! Since the mall is close to rurual redneck country, we saw young cowboys in their straw hats, snug jeans and workin' boots brushing shoulders with urban youths in oversize jerseys and those gawdafull baggy-butt shorts. (OK, so I enjoy long legs and a trim backside nicely displayed. Always have, always will. I also like to watch Irish setters running in the sunshine. I can appreciate the view without wanting to buy the property.) As for the girls, we saw many wearing colored leggings and denim hiphung microskirts about 10 inches long from waistband to raggedy hem. Wearing the messengerbag slung across the body causes these scraps of skirts to crawl up even further, so the poor dears tend to walk with one hand constantly twitching the garment to assure complete coverage. On the other hand, there were andogenous goths wearing long, shapeless black clothes with straps and studs and fifteen superfluous zippers and useless D-rings and enough black eyeliner for a troop of raccoons. These little darlings jingle as they walk, wear out the hems of their pants because they are walking on them, and carry about 11 extra pounds of metal (some of it stuck through their faces.) We saw one crimson mohawk spiked up about eleven inches. That kind of style takes lots of time and money to maintain, though. Mostly, the"cool" kids around here are into streaks of color in their hair, and a certain bird's nest look to the cut and style.

There were times when the crowds got so thick that I wanted to sharpen up my elbows and ram my way through to an exit. Stressful. But DH took me to a real sit-down restaurant for lunch, and I managed to mellow out, and when we got out, the car was ready.

And then to a birthday dinner with friends which kept me up an hour past my bedtime. I slept like I had been shot and stuffed, and if I had dreams, I don't remember them. So I still don't have a clue what all my nightmares of the previous sleep were about. Guess I could do a search on dream interpretation and see what the experts say.

Almost done with the hat (the blend is 75/25 Merino/ Alpaca Nashua Handknits from Westminster Fibers in Nashua New Hampshire. $8.25 for 220 yards!!) I am getting mittens and a hat from two skeins of yarn. Now to block, photograph, and present. (Damn, I wish I could get photos onto the blog!!) I LOVE it when a project is completed. What next? What next?