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.”

Thursday, August 30, 2007

surprise in blue

Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise jacket, mostly in Paton's Encore, with a downy soft scrap from the stash for trim around that soft little baby neck. It looks like ocean colors to me. I'm going to look for buttons with fishies on them. And I think I'll pull out a bit from that oversized beret and knit a little pocket for this jacket.

Close-up of the colors. Something about mitering pleases me inordinately!!

Today's photos were brought to you by Julie O'Neal (well behaved women never make history is the title of her blog.) She lives close enough and is kind enough to let me come visit for a getaway. We went to highschool together during the last century. She got out the old yearbook and we laughed and sighed. Who would have ever imagined we would go the places we went? Or turn out like we have? And yet, neither of us would change a thing even if we could. All things considered, we are each quite happy with our lives. Right, Juli? And thanks again for the break. It's a life-saver.

There was a nice little thunderstorm here last night. Folks who live in places where there are real thunderstorms would laugh at it. I found it delightfully entertaining. The lightning strikes came about two or three minutes apart. The wind didn't get wild at all. I turned out the lights and watched it roll toward us through the twilight. Clear sky with stars all around it, and one massive thunderhead streaming veils of rain from the trailing edge. I know when you see the lightning, you're supposed to count the seconds until you hear the thunder and that will tell you how far away the strike was, but I can't remember the formula to save my life. But the interval went from thirteen seconds to 8 to 5 to flashKABOOM!! Then to three, to 6, and then the rain started. tac. tictac. tictictacketytic. Tackeytacketytacketytacatacatacatacahshhhhhhhh!!!
The blacktop steamed in the lamplight. And the smell, oh the smell! The dust-settling, air-freshening, leaf-washing fresh smell that comes with the rain! I left the window open and slept like I had been shot and stuffed.

Mom is so much better today. She's alert and cheery and good to go. I didn't put nasturtiums in the salad after all.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

not one of our better days

The Empress was fairly disoriented and restless yesterday - looking for Brother and SIL, constantly searching through cupboards and drawers, repeatedly surprised to see me in the house. When I asked what she was looking for she would jump guiltily and say, "Oh, nothing. Just looking." I didn't want to leave her alone in the house, so didn't get away to do a post with pictures. I kept hoping she would settle down, but she didn't. Still, she went to bed at 6PM, slept quietly, and seems bright eyed and alert today.

She repeats a lot. It's like she plugs in a short tape and says the same things in the same sequence. "There's sure a lot of beautiful houses up here. A lot of these houses are for sale - I wonder why. I guess people just got in over their heads. Everyone is trying to keep up with the Joneses. I wouldn't want to be raising a kid today - it's so expensive. Both parents have to work. And you have to keep up with the Joneses." I, for one, am sick to death of hearing about those stinking Joneses. Then she pulls another tape at random. "Your brother does all the cooking here. He's a good cook. In fact, all the boys are good cooks. You never did learn to cook, did you?"

And then, maybe she pulls out the, "There's sure a lot of beautiful houses up here," tape again. It doesn't really matter what I say in response to her comments. Obviously, it's my job to listen. I am not there to be heard. The tape plays on regardless. How would I like to be treated if I get like that? Pretty much the way I treat Mom I guess. With as much kindness and patience as can be summoned. I'm paying it forward.

Counting hours till I can go home? Not quite. But rejoicing that Thursday is the only full day left. I do not know how SIL can endure.

One of Mom's reoccuring brags is that she likes all kind of food. I'm going to put nasturtiums, violas and sweet pea blossoms in our salad today and see how she likes that. Is that too mean?

The surprise sweater is almost done. I'll post with a picture tomorrow.

Monday, August 27, 2007

sunset progress

I want a dress in these colors.
I feel as if I’ve fallen into a vat of absolutely clear Jello, and it’s setting up around me. Time is not moving. Nothing changes. Everything is cool and quiet and motionless. My inner coyote is trying to decide which foot I will need to gnaw off to get out of this trap. And as for counting days, I’m already playing games. I don’t count Friday, because that’s when I leave (even if I have to haul out at midnight!) And I don’t count today because that would make it too long to contemplate. So that leaves only Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. And dear Julie just got in touch with me, so I can go visit her here in Redmond, use her wifi connection, and get some intellectual stimulation.

Aren’t I the big whiner? I bet there are about ten thousand women in Baghdad who would trade places with me in a heartbeat. Heck, there are probably ten thousand women in America who would. I am a lucky woman. It’s not like I need to change Mom’s diapers or chase her naked down the street. And it’s not like we’re stuck in a single-wide trailer in Albuquerque with nothing but a swamp cooler and some irritable scorpions.

AND, it’s not like she lives with ME!

I figured out what went wrong with the surprise jacket. The instructions say, “After 22 decreases . . .” They mean, after 22 decrease rows. So, instead of starting my increases after 22 ridges, I started after 11 ridges. On 121 stitches, rather than on 90. Ooops. Things are going much better now.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I found a wifi site!!

Sunrise colors the clouds to the north at 615 AM

And then, by 6:30, the sunrise has begun to color the Three Sisters. Note to all my Aussie friends. This is what I think of when you say Three Sisters. The mountain on the left is Mt. Bachelor. Then, moving to the right is Hope, Faith and Charity. Usually snowcapped. This has been a hot dry summer. Just a few glaciers clinging to the shady sides right now.

Last night I struggled awake, alone in a strange bed, sure that John Wayne was in the house. At first, I couldn’t have told you exactly why I was sure of this, but by God, I knew he was around somewhere. Slowly I remembered that I was Mom-sitting, which accounted for the strange bed and the lack of DH, so I sat up in bed, turned on the light, looked at my watch . . 1:30 AM. Wotthehell?

Then I heard a man’s voice. And another man answered him. I couldn’t quite hear the words, but by their tone, I could tell they were arguing. “It’s a couple of yahoos outside on a Saturday night bender,” I reassured myself.

But they didn’t sound like they were outside. I got up and walked to the head of the stairs. The noise came from the rear of the house. Toward the garage. Toward Mom’s room. What if someone broke into the garage and was stealing Brother’s stuff? I tiptoed downstairs and pressed my ear against the garage door. Dead silence. Then suddenly, from Mom’s room, a man said, “What are you gona do about it?”

“I ain’t gonna hit ya. I ain’t gonna hit ya. The hell I aint gonna hit ya!” said John Wayne.

Mom had fallen asleep with her TV on. She loves the America Movie Channel. I went back to bed and slept contentedly. After all, what could happen with John Wayne in the house?

Mom and I are getting along pretty well. I’m doing the cooking because she puts things on the stove and forgets them. She doesn’t really love what I cook because I cook low fat with lots of veggies and nothing fried. Mom is from the school of thought that believes that if it ain’t fried, it ain’t food. But I make sure she has something sweet with every meal – And I do know how to make acceptable desserts – so she doesn’t complain. Also, I laid in a few TV dinners just in case.

Conversation is easy. She can’t remember anything, so we can have the same discussions, word for word, over and over and over again. I’ve thought about making stuff up, but that seems so unethical. And I’d hate it if someone did that to me. Just because I have a mind like a steel sieve, it still doesn’t make me a fit target for japery. Ands when I’ve had enough, I tell her I have to go work on my writing. She can’t climb the stairs, so I retreat to my fortress of solitude and play with the computer. Life is really pretty good.

The Turquoise baby surprise sweater turned out to be quite a surprise! I made a mistake in the directions somewhere, and the thing finished off about one foot high and three feet wide. Oops. So I raveled the thing all the way down and am starting over. I like to knit. And it’s not like I have anything better to do at the moment. I didn't want to throw the thing on the floor and dance on it screaming imprecations, because Mom would never understand. When ladies are upset, either they cry, or they drink. They never stomp on things in fury.Time for a Starbucks run I think.

Nope, not Fourbucks. Infinitely better, a local coffee house called, "Underdog Coffee. Yayyy!!! I'll be making a number of Underdog runs this week.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Ensconced with the Empress

On Friday, the Hood to Coast Relay started about half an hour before I left home. This means that 3,000 runners and their support staff, vans, and assorted other vehicles were coming down Mt. Hood as I was going up. They run in the breakdown lane, so they don't actually impede traffic, but the flow is slowed none-the-less. The runners start at Timberline Lodge (you've seen pictures of it glorious in the snow if you have seen, "The Shining.") and drop some six thousand feet in altitude, passing the baton from runner to runner for something like one hundred and fifty miles until the suffering bastards finally stagger over the finish line on the beach at Seaside, Oregon some 24 to 48 hours later. They run in the dark with a follow car cruising in granny gear behind them, lighting the rural road ahead with headlights. they smear Vaseline liberally between their cheeks to prevent crippling chafing, and by the end of the run, the transport vans probably smell so gamey they need to be burned.

So what does all this mean to me? It means that the local constabulary are out in force to ensure no possum mad asshole runs over into one of the gallant athletes. As I was cruising through the village of Damascus, I absent-mindedly drove through a 40mile zone at 50 miles an hour. The nice lady motorcycle cop who pulled me over ran my plates and registration and gave me a warning about speeding and a ticket for expired tags. the computer told her I had paid for my tags, but she could see they were not affixed to the plates. I distinctly remember, when I got those tags in April, putting them aside for a day when I wouldn't have to squat in a mudpuddle in a rainstorm, freezing my buns off while affixing the tags to my plates. I wonder where they are now? If I can show up at the Damascus City Court with the tags on the plates - before Sept. 23 - I can skate without paying the fine. The lady motorcycle cop was very kind once she realized I am just a harmless batty old broad. I was quite impressed by the high-techness of the motorcycle's on-board computer. And by the significant persuasiveness of the shotgun in the motorcycle's saddle holster. If you go to Damascus, stick to the straight and narrow!!

I faced runners for only a few miles. The rest of the drive was cake! I'm glad I got here before Brother and the crew left. There was a lot of training needed. How to run the AC. How and when to water the lawn. How to lock up. What to lock up. Where to find the mail box. etc.etc. But the crew of happy fisherfolk are on the road and have had to call with things remembered only twice so far, so things are going well.

I got out and took a lovely walk at six AM this morning. Cool in the dawn. Lovely sunrise. I got wonderful pictures. Now all I have to do is find someplace with a wifi so I can transmit them. Brother doesn't have any ports that will fit my camera cable. Well, there's always Starbucks. I won't face them on Saturday morning, but maybe by Monday, I can give you pictures.

And now, knitting. Joy to one and all!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Packing for the trip

Going to attend the Empress (my mom) takes more forethought than does a vacation, because I know I will need to entertain myself. I went to the library yesterday and picked up half a dozen books on tape, and last night I went through the stash to see if thre was anything that needed to be knit up soon. There are all these little bits and bobs of turquise that will make a wonderful baby surprise sweater. I had to start last night, it was so appealing!

And My MIL called and asked for a brown, machine-wash cardigan. So I had to go to the yarn store.

Good old Encore! Reliable, inexpensive, and always a pleasure to use. MIL said I could use Red Heart if I wanted. I don't want to use Red Heart.

Having no discipline or self-control what-so-ever, I went over to the sale shelves. The Cameo was fifty per cent off. And it was pink. Before I knew what was happening, the credit card wasm sliding back into the wallet, and the pink yarn was cuddling into my bag and smiling up at me contentedly. Doesn't it look just like a bunch of roses? How could I turn it down? I'll take it with me and see what it wants to be.

Meanwhile, I need to pack clothes, books, toiletries, the lap top, meds, address book, and something else . . .

I probably won't blog tomorrow, since I'll be on the road, but I hope to make it to a Starbucks on Saturday.
New construction in the neighborhood. The sun caught that half-finished spiderweb perfectly and the paper for the new siding made a splendid background. The neighbors wondered why I was lurching around their driveway, crouching and squinting, pointing the camera, then scowling and shifting and pointing again. But they never said a word. Guess they didn't want to get involved with a local madwoman. Silly them.

And here's your last dose of kitten for a week. He looks broken and crumpled, but he's just crashed out and comfy. Pepper is equally adorable, but she doesn't photograph nearly as well.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

And the results are . . .

When you bring your kitty home from the vet after major surgery, you expect her to spend at least a few hours being quiet and dopey, right? Not Pepper. I let her out of the carrier, and immediately she went staggering around the house, ensuring that her empire was still running according to her will.

"Don't let her play roughly or jump off things." they told me at the vet's. I figured the discomfort would prevent that. Either she feels NO discomfort, or she's a heckuva lot tougher than I am. (When I had MY hysterectomy, I felt damn proud to walk up the flight of stairs to my house without whimpering or weeping. ) Trying to catch her before she jumps causes more difficulty than it might solve, because she fights her way out of my clutches and jumps anyway. I suppose I could keep her in her carrier for the next three days. Yes, that's bloody likely. Her stitches look good with no reddness around them, so I will just keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best.

As for the knitting, it's an experiment in lazy increase and decrease that hasn't turned out as well as I might wish, but has been educational.

Four stitch markers. K2tog after each one in circular knitting. I keep forgetting that although garter stitch is square, stockinette is rectangular. I am pleased with the swirl, but dissatisfied by the way the decreases come to a point.

Sweater? Nah - we don' need no estinkin' sweaters. We are making hats for the homeless. You could stash a lunch in this one.

And for your daily dose of kitten, Here is Ben, again lounging in his favorite spot - the fruit bowl. Plums are scattered all over the rug. Cat is contentedly curled in bowl. How could you be cross with that little face?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Grateful for the luck

Yesterday was another round trip to the Wa. County jail. 87 miles round trip from my door. I got to the college at 6:15 to pick up the GED stuff from the double-locked secure room, and realized I had left my magic magnetic key at home, in the other tote bag. I slapped my face with both hands, wailing, "Crap! Crap! Crap!" Oddly enough, this did not make the key appear. But I decided to see if maybe someone was in the building early and could let me in. As I got out of my car, a friend of mine showed up and happily opened the door for me.

Traffic was slow, but I made it to the jail in time (thanks, in part, to my early start.) As I crossed the street with my burden of tests and answer sheets in a rolling briefcase (which, because the handle is too short for my long legs, keeps bumping my heels and knocking my shoes off), I stuck my hand in my pocket to pull out my driver's liscense and - yup, you guessed it. And luck struck again. the desk sargent recognized me from the previous week and rather than demand my ID, she apologized for making me wait yet again for an escort.

Halleluia, thanks be! Two major snafus averted by pure dumb luck, and a wonderful learning experience for me. I now have a tote bag just for the jail, holding the magic key for the college, and my brand new jail ID. And now I have three weeks to forget everything I know about the system while I go and sit with my mom and give my brother and SIL a break from parent-care. I leave for Redmond on Friday, laptop in hand. I'm already packing yarn. I guess I'll need clothes, too.

Today I took the babies to the vet. Ben got his second round of baby shots. Pepper, AKA Peeper, AKA Pester, AKA Miss Downy Butt, has gone in to be spayed. and the doc said I'm supposed to keep her from being too active for a week. And just how am I supposed to do that? Drugs? Kitty bondage? Should I duct tape her to the wall? Maybe all I need to do is reason with her. Right. We'll start with sweet reason, then proceed to tieing her legs together, and if that doesn't work, there's always the great big glass jar with a few holes punched in the lid.

Of course I wouldn't do anything like that! Do these cats look like they are accustomed to severe discipline?

Fiber content. Paton's encore. Mindless traffic-jam knitting. Guess what it will be when it grows up.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

the final three letters

N is for nestling into nooks.

I is for irresistable. In the beholder's eye is where that irresistability lies.

A is for agile. Which I am somewhat in comparison to other women who are three years short of 60. I'm listening to an Ellery Queen mystery, published about 1936, and there is one anciet ond guy in the story who dies pretty much of old age. He's 66. Perceptions of age have changed considerably since then!

This sign was posted in a cage at the petting zoo in Disneyland. It made me laugh and laugh.

No fiber-related photos today, but a couple of parcels got put in the mail.

I went for a walk with MJ yesterday and she plum wore me out! I got home, sat down on the ecliner, and fell asleep for several hours. She no doubt went on to play a couple sets of badmiton and write a paper for a communications journal. Oh well. I have a rich and active imaginary life.

Friday, August 17, 2007

additional letters and an opinion from the old pro


I is for insousciant, imperfect, and impetuous

F is for f0rnication. Yayyy!

O is for occluded opening and obnoxious good cheer. (It took DH a minute to get this in focus. My thighs were trembling with strain. I used to be able to chimney right up something this easy. But how often does a women my age get the opportunity to chimney up small openings?)

Ris for relaxed rest and recreation.

As for the opinion of the old pro - Kristin asked, several posts ago, what I thought about getting a rigid-heddle loom for her daughter. I think it's great, as long as you don't figure on this being the only loom she will ever own. Rigid heddle is easy and quick to warp and use. It's limited in width and versatility, but for starters, it's great. Remember to avoid fuzzy yarn or yarn with a soft twist for the warp, because it will get a lot of abrasion during the weaving process. And tell her to be patient. You are teaching muscles how to do things. Muscles learn slowly, but they never forget. That's why you can ride a bike decades after the last time. Your muscles remember the incredibly complex dance of momentum and balance without having to apply to your brain for help. In time, she will have perfect edges and a quick, steady rhythm. It helps to sing while you weave. Good, four/four folk tunes with lots of verses.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

and now a few photos

The log cabin pattern lends added interest to Dave's yarn. Wish I could get the colors to0 show as rich and luscious as they really are.

Here's the sock yarn Bamboo and nylon. I'm not sure what it wants to be yet.

playing with the letters.

A is for adit- an opening.

L is for legendary.

What the "l?" I'll pose heroically.

OK, Back to the loom. Tally ho!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Chewing my feet in fury

Again, Blogger and our server have combined to prevent me from posting pictures. God only knows why. It is certainly beyond my feeble powers to comprehend. And all I can do is hope that it will heal itself, or possibly take my posessed laptop to the highpriests of the Geek Squad who will exorcise the demons in return for some small sacrifie on my part. A first-born child perhaps? The silver in my fillings is surely not adequate recompense - even at today's inflated prices. I won't even bother to offer to sleep with one. That particular currency has devalued astonishingly over the course of my life.

So, another picture-less blog. Guess I'll have to illustrate with wordpower. I was going to show you a shot of the lovely hand-painted yarn I just recieved from the Zen Garden Artwalk sock club. The yarn is bamboo and nylon - and the colors are inspired by Dali's "Hallucinogenic Torreador." Looking at the picture, I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined you could get nice yarn colors from it, but Roxanne has done a brilliant job. I photographed the lovely, muted red, grey yellow and white yarn wrapped around a red and yellow streaked apple. Very Flickerfiberlicious.

And I had another shot of the runner for Dave. It's three feet long now, and only half the yarn is used up. It's SUCH a treat to work with.

Lastly, I had three knitted toe-cozies for a friend with a badly broken ankle. They are large, to fit over his cast. The staid, sober grey tweed is for business wear. As he is a retired captain in the navy, I knit a navy blue one with four gold stripes for full dress. And the for at-home wear, there is a small, snug, sporty model I call "the Speedo."

If there were time, I thought I might also post a few more letters from "California." Oh well. Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

granola post- some of this, some of that

Kitty picture: How about a little orange in the fruit bowl?

finished object: A tuxedo vest. neck straps hiding behind top of support.

Close up of tuxedo vest. It might be too lacey for DH. There's lots of yarn left. I suppose I could knit it again on smaller needles, but I don't want to. Maybe I'll line it.

Saturday sky a bit belated. This is the country where I grew up. A dear friend passed away and the memorial service was held at this cabin on Saturday. It was a real voyage of nostalgia to attend. I spent many halcyon days as a bare-legged kid running wild across this lawn and wading in that icy cold river till I lost all feeling in my feet. I'm not going to tell the world where this idylic spot is because then you would all want to visit, and I'm not good about sharing.

Monday, the 13th, I did my first stint at the Washington County jail, administering GED tests. First glitch: I wanted to leave the college at 6:30 to give myself a little cushion of time in case of traffic delays. So I got there at 6:15, only to find that the buildings were all locked up and no one was around. NO one. Campus security was not in evidence. The coffee shop staff had not yet shown up. I finally saw a secretary in a second-story office, attracted her attention by throwing pine cones at her window, and got her to agree to send maintenence to let me in. By rushing wildly through my procedures, I managed to leave the college at 7:00 and by speeding just a little bit, made it to the jail by 8. They were expecting me, but the folks in the Control booth had no oks to let me in. Finally, the desk clerk had the happy thought to check and see if I might be listed under the company I worked for. Yup - Clackamas Community College. There I was. So I got the tests started only half an hour late, which for a maiden voyage and shake-down cruise is nothing to sneeze at. And with great joy I founf that they did not need me to stay till 5. I got to leave at 3 which put me in just the early stages of traffic congestion. It took me an hour and fourty five minutes to drive back to the college where I surrendered my GED stuff, then motored happily home. Thank God for books on tape! But I wound up spending wayyyy too much time sitting, and my hips are cracking like popguns today. Still, it could have been much worse, and it pays well, so I'm happy.

Today, I weave!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

babes in joyland

Here's a typical darling child on her way in to Disneyland. Can you read her shirt? It says, "Patience Tester" Oh boy do they have that right! She was scampering free, screaming "No! No!" and laughing. As soon as I asked mom for permission to take the picture, the kid spotted me as an alien boogeyman about to eat her brain. She fled to safety where Dad patiently peeled her off his leg and laughingly displayed the shirt. Although repeatedly reassured by both parents that I was harmless, you can see she still views me with deep distrust.

Here are two more little darlings. I saw them several times over the course of the day. The wings were quickly bedraggled, but not surrendered, no matter how limp and twisted they became. The fluffy skirts got more and more crumpled and grungy looking. The floral crowns molted petals. I saw them on the way out, both piled in the stroller, looking like a couple of Anne Geddes urchins, sleeping like kittens

Beautiful little Belle here is obviously Daddy's girl and holds his heart in her two tiny hands. Her face is painted like a yellow buterfly to match her dress. I told her that she looked very pretty and she graciously replied, "Thank you vewy much."

Here we see an assorted cluster of princesses (Cinderella, Jasmine and - umm, someone in pink) strutting their stuff in front of the shop where mums and dads drop bundles of bucks to dress their darlings to the nines. Jasmine gets to wear pants. I wanna be Jasmine. Guess I oughta watch the movie first, though.

The entry to California Adventure is marked with the word California spelled out in giant letters. We had time to kill while waiting for the rest of our crew. I played with letters and poses. Here is my imitation of an Anne Geddess infant sleeping angelically on a giant letter C. I look rather more like a clean but psychotic brain-eating alien. Maybe the kid was right after all.

Fiber content? You want fiber content?Whattayathink I am, a breakfast cereal?

OK, here's the start of Dave's log-cabin pattern table runner. Those colors are soooo gorgeous! He spins and dyes masterfully.

Tomorrow, the old pro will be spending the whole day administering GED tests in another county. As in - leave the house before 6AM and get home sometime afte 7PM More fiber content on Tuesday. I finished the tuxedo vest and am starting a matching shell for me. Oh, and there are toe-cozys for a friend with a broken ankle in a cast. More fiber content on Tuesday.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Blogger still won't take my pictures

I have some adorable shots of little girls dressed as various Disney princesses. (Do they make those costumes in women's size 1 X? I would wear it. Honest. I would tromp all over the place as a portly Jasmine or a substantial Snow White or a buxom Belle or a zaftig Cinderella. And I would enjoy the hell out of it!) Blogger won't let me post pictures today either. Very frustrating.

I also have almost finished the silk tuxedo vest for DH and there is enough yarn left over to make a sleeveless shell for me. Photos of these will be forthcoming when the blogger gods are sufficiently propitiated.

I spent three hours yesterday catching up on blogs and e-mails and I'm still not done. Has everyone gone to Norma's blog and voted for Ryan? Knit-bloggers are mighty, and we should use our power for good. And the heedless lad has volunteered to model for us. Anything knitted. Willy warmers will be a dime a dozen. I have to think of something truely exotic.

Also, I took a few minutes to weave on Dave's table runner. Photos to come when the blasted technology sets us free.

The suitcase is unpacked. Laundry is well started. But the kitties left me a wonderful surprise and I still haven't gotten it entirely cleaned up. The tiny darlings knocked over the paper shredder, got into the bin, and strewed paper shreds hither and yon with frantic abandon. There are drifts of shreds under the desk. There are piles of shreds co-habiting with the dustbunnies in corners. Shreds have bonded with the carpet and may need to be extracted by hand, one at a time. And I am frankly afraid to lie on my belly and look under the sofa. Bills to pay, litter boxes to clean, and life goes on whether I'm ready for it or not. Well, it's a splendid sunny day, and I'm going to get a haircut, so I'd better get my rear in gear, here.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Home from So Col.

We are returned from our sojourn in the south. Everyone who was sending prayers and good vibes for our trip was remarkably successful! Usually I spend my time in LA in clench-jawed determination to be a good sport. This trip, I actually enjoyed myself!

The fiftieth anniversary luau was lovely. DH had the idea of taking our picture of the original wedding party and having it blown up to poster size as our gift to the happy couple. It was a huge success. So many of us can no longer see well enough to appreciate the details of a 5X7 photo.

People sat wherever they chose. DH who was the ring bearer lo these many years ago, wound up sitting next to the woman who had been the flower girl. They had a marvelous time talking cruises. Her husband is a sculptor for films and TV. In an upcoming episode of CSI New York, when you see the investigators rappelling down the face of the Statue of Liberty, I met the guy who built and sculpted that face! And he's interested in doing the cover for my western romance! Wayy cool!

We went to San Diego with my MIL and rode the Historic Trolley which I would reccommend to anyone new to the city. It was $30 per person, but the pass was good for the whole day, you could get on and off as you chose, and you got to see the historic old town, the gaslamp district, Seaport Village, the beach resprt town of Coronado, the San Diego Zoo, And Balboa Park which has seventeen different museums! DH and MIL. although born and raised in So. Cal. had no idea San Diego had so much of interest. (Our driver was funny, very informative, and enunciated clearly, which is really important to old farts like us.)

People in LA give directions by using strings of numbers. I don’t really clue in to numbers. “You take the 110 to the 91, cross the 710, and get off onto 57 . . . I could be listening to the refrigerator running for all the significance I get from this. If I write it down, and track it on the map, I’m ok, but God help me if I ever have to drive in this madhouse!

SIL had two friends visiting from out of town, so we joined them for a nice brunch on Sunday, and again, on Tuesday when they went to Disneyland. I think I'm too old for Disneyland. The crowds wear on me, the rides are too short for the length of time you spend in line, and the t-shirts and trinkets are cheesy and overpriced.

I took a mid-afternoon break, walked back to the hotel, and lay down in the dark, cool silence for a two hour nap. Oh golly it was nice!! I had DH’s cell phone so we could re-connect. I headed back and called SIL’s number. She never answers her phone but waits for people to leave voice mail. Frustrating when you are trying to find someone. But I left the voice mail. Soon the phone rang. It was DH on SIL’s phone. I could hear him fine. He couldn’t hear me at all. I don’t own a cell phone and though I can see their wonderful utility, I still sense they are a snare of the devil. Goodness knows our connection was cursed. I was fighting my way through manic hordes frantically having FUN the length of Downtown Disney with overstimulated toddlers and parents on their Last Nerve snarling, “It costs $120 a day for you to go to Disneyland. I don’t care if you’re exhausted, you are going to get my money’s worth if I have to drag you kicking and screaming the whole length and breadth of the damn place!” And all the time I was bellowing, “Hello? Hello? Can you hear me now?” Finally I hit the wrong button and disconnected. So I called back. This time SIL answered. She couldn’t hear me either. I could hear them just fine, but they couldn't hear me at all - though as loud as I was shouting, everyone else in the damn park could. I was like a salmon, swimming upstream on Main-Street USA, trying to find my mate, and unable to make connection. Goddam modern technology! In the old days we would have arranged beforehand to meet at a specific place at a specific time and that would be that. Now, I have no idea where he is on the acres of park, and I have nightmares about losing people who are dear to me in crowds. Panic is rising in my bosom when at last my phone rings again. SIL has given the phone to her son who can hear just fine and talks me right straight to them. I was so fraught that I nearly threw the phone on the ground and stomped it!

I would have been blogging about this all along but time was short, and although the hotel has a wi-fi service for $10 a day, there was a computer gaming convention in the next hotel, (and the streets were thronged with young people wearing “World of Warcraft” t-shirts.) So, When I tried to access the hotel website, another site kept popping up with a stronger signal. Every time I tried to log on, the security programs in my laptop said, “Ohh, bad juju. If you go there, don’t tell them anything you don’t want to world to know.” Well crap. With all those web-heads out there, do you suppose someone is financing his trip with a pirate site? No blogging after all, untill finally I found a wifi site at the airport where I could pay an exhorbitant fee for a few minutes of internet time. I checked my e-mail and right away up popped a picture that Ay Lane had sent me of a guy who had an expansive tattoo in a singularly tender area. "Puff the magic dragon. " The young man sitting at the terminal next to me, glanced over, goggled, giggled, and then nearly blushed to death when I glared at him. I was so flustered, It took me a moment to figure how to move on to the next item in my inbox. And then I started giggling. Which pretty much blew the rest of my internet time.

and Blogger is refusing to upload my pictures. I'll try to edit some in when we get the desktop back from the Geek Squad. Laptop- desktop - boxtop - it's all confusing to me.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Deathly Hallows spoiler

I started out by reading the epilog. who dies? Who dies? Well, it wasn't Harry, Hermione or Ron. Knowing this, and knowing that they were all friends at the end probably took the edge off for me. The story proper seemed to go on far too long. I hate stories in which the hero wanders aimlessly, when everything he "knows" is the solution goes sour on him, when loved ones leave and people he has trusted with his very being turn out to have hidden agendas. I read fantasy for escapism. If I want things dark and grim and hopeless, I'll go volunteer at a shelter for abused women. And yet, I couldn't put the damn book down. I kept turning pages, waiting to see how it all came out. Maybe, if I hadn't know it all came out OK, I would have just given up on it. Rowling writes well, but The Deathly Hallows seemed a bit of a let-down. Well, things get so over-hyped, how could it not be?

So, back to the weaving. I am picking up a pattern in my next warp. Since it is only two colors, I pick up all the threads for the first color with a flat shuttle or ruler, and tie them off. This makes it sooo much easier because look - all the threads are in order and proper placement in the fabric. Then when the first color is tied on, the second color is all that's left.

I am using a tube of linen for one of my colors. Very tippy and difficult to deal with. the solution - voila! You can buy these vases for as little as fifty cents at yard sales. They are also a huge help for balls of yarn that like to run around picking up cat hairs and winding themselves around table legs.

The pattern I am using is called "Log cabin." As you can see, light and dark alternate. I will be weaving with light and dark yarn as well. Fingers crossed.

Tomorrow we are flying off for a fiftieth anniversary party in LA. DH was the ringbearer in the wedding. I will try to continue blogging but who knows what may come. If it doesn't work out, I will be back on the 9th. Happy trails, Dear Hearts!