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, January 31, 2008

Ten things I like about me - #10

I like my ability to make awesome friends. My friends are intelligent, compassionate, funny, and true. I like myself more when I'm around my friends. Friends are the gravy on the mashed potatoes of life. You are the down comforter on the bed I have made to lie in. Bless your dear hearts. Each and every one of you makes me glad in a different, particular way.

Tomorrow is February. Hugs and kisses to one and all.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ten things I like about me # 9

I like my skin. It does an excellent job of separating the inside from the outside, making me a much neater package on the whole. And it comes with the added benefit of all these nerve endings. I can feel sunshine. I can feel kitten fur. I can feel DH's warmth beside me. I can feel the whole, entire gamut of fibers, from baby alpaca to churro to tow. I can smoosh a handful of slinky rayon, or pet a deep plush velvet or rub my cheek against a baby belly. On a sticky hot day, I can jump into a cold river. Wah hoo! Thank you skin!

My skin is translucent. I've had great fun with a flashlight in the dark. Put the flashlight into my mouth and puff up my cheeks and freak out the other kids. Eerie! Hold the flashlight against my outspread hand. X-ray cool.

My skin tells stories. It has scars and age spots and wrinkles to remind me of lessons I've learned. It doesn't fit quite as snugly as it used to, but hey, I stretch out a bra in about a year. I've had my skin for over five decades. Where else are you going to get a foundation garment that will last that long?

Are you comfortable in your skin?

Meanwhile, some desultory knitting has gone on. I made a quick hat with little ears.

In my quest to become a better photographer, I thought maybe I should dress the photo a bit. My photographer's assistant felt she knew just what the picture needed. Everything is better with a kitty.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ten things I like about me #8

I like that I can find beauty and solace in the commonplace. It's all around us, and all we need to do is look for it. I've gotten prize-winning poems from seeing a strand of spiderweb glinting in the light, or from finding three almonds in a coat pocket. I spent a week in the hospital, so dehydrated from hepatitis that I had no blood-pressure, and comforted myself with the pleasure of the cool side of the pillow, the happy texture of the cotton blanket under my fingers, the playful dance of dust motes in the light from the nurses' station. (I tried thinkig of scents and flavors to enjoy, but when you have hepatitus, even the thought of scents and flavors gives you the dry heaves.) I've been pulled back from near suicide by a shaft of sunlight falling on a yellow-leafed tree. Thank God for commonplace beauty!

Yesterday, I felt a bit guilty about taking a snow day, so I actually DID do some housework. I swept and scrubbed the floor of the computer room, actually worked up a sweat, took a fabulously self-indulgent mid-day bubblebath (Lush French Kiss bubblebar - ahh lavendar bliss!) and had a sinfully indolent nap. There were over 600 travel accident-related calls to 911 yesterday.

So, in counterpoint to the winter weather, I have a shot of a good dog guarding the boss's boat in St. Lucia. Because, today is cruiseday.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Ten things I like about me #7

I like that I have smart fingers. I give really good massages, because my fingers find the tight spots and know just how hard to work them. I don't give massages to people I don't like because my fingers also know where the hurty spots are.

And my smart fingers can do simple knitting while my brain goes someplace else. I don't even need to watch them.

Our desktop computer has been infected with Trojan Horses. DH went to a web-site to get some weapons for killing demon cows, and the Trojan Horses followed him home. They are viruses that pretend to be helpful warnings and actually are causing the very problems that they offer to fix for you, for a price. So the desktop has gone in to the Geek Squad and is getting virtual chicken soup and aspirin, and the laptop is our only e-resource. I may have a bit of trouble staying in touch for the next few days.

Meanwhile, I have a snow day. I should be driving fourty miles awy and spending the day at the jail, but I don't drive well in snow, and there is ice and accidents all along the route I would be taking. So I'm staying home. It's not worth it to risk my car and myself out on the roads with all those idiots. The schools are all closed, so that tells me things are pretty ugly.

What shall I do with my free day? Sleep? Piece a quilt top? Write? Clean house? (Har de har har!)

Last night I finished a nice scarf. this is the first time I have ever added an eye-cord edging after the scarf was knit. I love it. I loves it so muches! It was easy to do and looks sooo finished. See?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

ten things I like about me #6

I like that I can do the right thing when I have to. Leave a bad relationship. Confess my mistakes and take the consequences. Turn in the twenty-dollar bill I found in the teller machine.(I figured they could check to see who made a withdrawal before I used the machine, and get the money back to them) Unfortunatesly, I still feel pretty damn smug about doing the right thing, so I haven't gotten THAT far on the spiritual path. But one step at a time gets me there.

Yesterday, DH and I went to the car show at the convention center. He goes to shop. I go to laugh. There was a street-legal monster truck that I, with my 36 inch inseam, would still need a step-stool to get to the runningboard. It was macho, agro RED and had tires I could rest my chin on. I think its gas milage was measured in gallons per mile rather than the other way around.

We put our butt prints in all sorts of cars we could never afford. And wouldn't buy if we could afford them. The BMW two-seater convertible sports car is so packed with luxury amenities that there's no elbow room left for knitting. The Saab version of the SUV is as comfy as my reclilner at home. Hummers are for little boys playing soldier, and the paramilitary interior, for a car that will never leave the suburbs, just makes me laugh.

The car colors are all pretty subdued. The less expensive models have brighter, eye-catchy shades, but the luxury models are all muted, subtle, metalflake or pearl finish. Chrysler has a lovely dark plum. Volkswaggon has another version of their pond-scum green. Ford has a muscle car in flat black with no gloss or shine to it at all. Sort of a "stealth," car. Of course, the male-menopause cars still come in red, but it's a subdued, understated, Expensive red. I saw one guy with two kids in a stroller and one on a leash, standing, gazing at the Viper with such naked longing and despair in his eyes that you could have written a whole treatise on it. (The car is barely big enough for two adults. It's one of those lie-down-and-go-fast cars, so low slung that your butt hits the ground on speed bumps.)

One thing they are doing with colors which I found interesting is the way they are mixing ons color base paint with a different color metal flake. Pearl white with gold metalflake is very pretty, as is the dark grey with light blue metalflake.

Gas mileage on the new rigs looks crappy. 12 mpg in the city and 18 on the highway? I get better in my old Taurus.

We also looked at the little electric cars. Three wheels, enough space for one person, fifty mile range . . . they're like an enclosed motorized bicycle. They really make a lot of sense for city driving. You couldn't carry more than a couple bags of grocery, but they would be great for scooting aroung the neighborhood.

And then of course there are the motorcycles. I see no realson to consider buying any means of transportation that demands I wear a jockstrap. Motorcycles are so hairy-chested. What ever happened to those nice little Honda scooters? "You meet the nicest people on a Honda." The Honda motorcycles cost more than my car. There are some Harley Davidsons that cost about half of what we paid for our house. There was one guy looking at a cafe racer - the kind of bike where you crouch on the seat like a monkey, lie down across the gas tank, and try to hold up your helmeted head so you can peer through the 18 inches of windscreen. The guy considering it had a paunch that swagged well over his belt. Less of a six-pack-abdomen, more of a half-case gut. It was the lying down across the gas tank that gave him trouble. Evidently, he had no idea his stomache might get in the way. He kept sitting up and shifting and lying back down, then sitting up and shifting again . . . I do enjoy the sights at the car show!

Kate, the goldfish under glass are swimming happily under a cover of ice. Goldfish have a sort of antifreeze in their blood so that they can be frozen completely, and recover just fine when thawed. My folks had a bowl of goldfish when they were first married, and every night in the winter, the bowl froze up, and every day it thawed, and the goldfish were never the worse for it.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Things that I like about me #4 & #5

I have never been known to spoil a good story for the sake of the truth. But I do try to honest with myself. Everyone has blind spots, and I'm sure my friends could list a bunch of mine - and I wouldn't mind hearing them either. You can't make progress until you know where you are.

Then, after being honest with myself, I like that I am able to forgive and accept. BECAUSE it makes it easier for me to forgive and accept others as well. Have you ever noticed that the things about other people that make you nuts are the things you have trouble accepting in yourself? As soon as I figured out that I live in modified squallor because I'm dead-butt lazy, I became a lot more tolerant of poor housekeeping in others.

There's a tiny spring-fed pond on campus. The other day, on my way to work, I stopped to see how the freeze is setting in on it. Behold, I give you Goldfish under glass.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Ten things I like about me #3

I have never spoiled a good story for the sake of the truth.

I like that my creativity and plyfulness helps me to make up good stories. I often start with a grain of truth, shine it up a bit, and give it a good finish.

For example: When my dad was a carefree bachelor, he and his buddies would go camp out for a week at the start of deer season. When he got married, he saw no reason to change his habits, so when deer season opened, he kissed Mom goodby and disappeared for a week, returning with a deer, a hangover, a week's beard, and a set of socks so dirty that they would stand up by themselves.

Mom, as a new bride, didn't much care for being abandoned for a week like that, so she demanded that the next deer season, he would have to take her along.

Dad talked with his huntin' buddies, and they figured that they would let her come, but make the trip so miserable that she would never want to go with them again. So the first morning, they decided to put her on a stake-out. They had her sit on a stump at the top of a ridge, and they promised they would go down in the surrounding canyons and drive all the deer up to her. Then, when she had shot one, she should fire two more shots into the air and they would come and help her dress it out. Actually, though, they all intended to go back to camp, have a few beers, maybe go hunting off in the other direction altogether. September in central Oregon is cold enough to freeze the hickies off a prom queen. Sitting all day long in the cold is a crappy way to spend the day. Sleeping on the ground, drinking camp coffee and eating camp food should just about finish her off.

So just at frosty sunrise they got her settled on her stump, and laughing at their cleverness, the lads trooped down the hillside. Suddenly the morning peace was shatered by a rifle shot, a pause, and two more shots.

"Well damn! Sounds like she got something." So Dad hiked back up to where he had left Mom, and there she was with a guy backed up against a tree and her rifle in his stomache. He was sweatin' hard and talkin' fast, sayin' "Ok lady. I won't argue with you no more. It's your deer. You shot it, you can have it. Could I just get the saddle off it first?"

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ten things I like about me

I like my playfulness. When I was fifteen, I saw some kids getting off the short bus (for the special needs school) and one of the girls -about my age- had a red plastic lunch box that she was so pleased with. She was swinging it and smiling at it and every so often she would give it an approving pat. The girls I was with laughed at her, in that snotty furtive adolescent way girls have, and it occurred to me that the simple girl was a lot happier than we were. I didn't defend her or tell my pals how shallow and dumb they were, but I resolved to go ahead and enjoy things that make me happy, even if other people might laugh at me. I'll never be cool, but I am often happy.

I had so much fun knitting my white cable sweater (shown yesterday) that I decided to have even more fun and knit it in color. This is the sweater for Intarsia, Warrior Knitter! Her purling can save the world. (You can see the warrior-princess bracelets knit in pink on the upper arms.)

Like most of the coutry, we are having a cold snap. I hate to be cold, so I made a funny hat to cheer myself up. Let's hear it for playfulness.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ten things I like about me

We are far too prone to think ill of ourselves. It's important to celebrate and acknowledge our good points. And so I am starting a meme. Ten things I like about me. Feel free to do this, especially if you are depressed. It's harder when you are depressed, but it's SOOO good for you!!

One: I like my creativity.
This is the sweater I knit for my Master Knitter's Certification. I started at the bottom front, knit over the shoulders, reversing the cables, and knit down to the bottom back. I'm proud of the way the side seams make horseshoe cables.

And I'm especially proud of the way I figured how to knit the shawl collar in one piece with the rest of the body of the sweater.

Then I picked up sleeves and knit them down, and finished with two (2!) only two seams to sew!

What are some things you like about yourself?

Monday, January 21, 2008


The sun is shining today. It's colder than a dead eskimo, but oh my how I love that sunshine!! On sunday, we went to Costco for a stocking up run, and every time we go to Costco, DH insists I get flowers. So I chose pink tulips. And now, with the sunlight in them, don't they look hopeful?

A couple weeks ago, it was snowing a little up at the college and I got attacked by a poem, which sort of fits in today.


The wisteria vine, overhanging the door,
where warm air gusts out with lies of spring,
has begun to sprout into this late wet snow.
Each vinelet is hung with melting drops
like crystal balls holding the world, inverted,
rimmed with light.

And now I am going to throw myself back into book #4 and try to get at least a thousand words written. Happy days, dear hearts!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Rather more well written post

Yesterday's blog was written in mad haste before DH and I went grocery shopping. I knew I would not get to the computer after we got home, and he was just champing at the bit to get gone, so you got the completely raw, unedited version. It did rather carry the breathless delight I felt, though. And I just found out that my nephew and his five-year-old son are going to the show today. Wayyy cool! Wish I could be there. (Greedy Roxie)

I did manage to finish the hat to go with the fingerless gloves. I just went solid color and knit away in the dark. And since the forecast is for below freezing temps the next few days, I think I'll just stick the set in an envalope and mail it off.

But meanwhile, it's mild enough for fat cats to bathe in the front yard. Fly is the only indoor/outdoor cat we have now, and boy does he make the most of it. He comes back in and lies to Baby Ben about how swell it is out there. So this morning, when I came back in with the newspaper, I felt a thump as the screendoor swung shut behind me. Oh, yes, the little red crapweasle had snaked between my feet in the dark and squirted outside. Luckily, he does not understand the basic concept of chian-link-fence. He knew he was in trouble, and tried to run away from me, and - well, SPANG! It made him so much easier to catch. He has been considerably thoughtful the rest of the day. Could it be that Uncle Fly has lied? (Imagine if you will, a fat black cat laughing up his sleeve.)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Walking with Dinosaurs

WOW, was that ever a fun show! My inner child was delighted, and my theatre tech groupie was fascinated. It was Shown in the same place where the basketball games are held. The first bank of seats closest to the floor were blocked off, so we were well seperated from the action. The stage was set with three structures that symbolized rocks or mountains or continents as required. We got there early enough to watch the guys who run the follow-spots winch themselves waaaay up into the flys and clamber precariously into their seats, suspended dozens of feet above the floor. Then peole in black clothes began wandering out onto the floor and quietly slipping inside the rock structures. Cloud shadow lights began playing across the audience. Finally, the show began. A guy appeared on the floor and told us he was a palentologist. Since the show is geared for kids, he explained what that meant, then took us on a slide back through time to the Creataceous. Hot red lights made the stage look desert-like. and that odd accretion at the end of one of them became a nest with eggs. Then, a guy in a fabulous two-legged dinosaur costume came out and he had the movements down to an art! The head of the critter was a good ten feet off the floor, and most of the weight of the costume had to be resting on his shoulders. The narrator had to run and hide from it, peering around the side of the "boulders" The head was animated, the tail was fully articulated. I was completely prepared to believe he was a predatory dino. He snuck up to the nest just as the eggs were hatching, and grabbed one of the hatchlings in his mouth and ate it!! And then, when he was getting ready to go for the other hatchling, there was a roar, and the mother dino arrived. She was twelve feet to the shoulder and roaring with fury. Wow, that was exciting! She chased the carnivore away and nuzzled her surviving little one. Really awesome technology. The critter was supported on a narrow little car that was camoflaged so you just forgot it was there, untill you looked and could just see the silhouette of the guy who was driving it. The legs walked. The feet flexed. The head and neck and tail all moved. It must have taken about fifteen rempte controls to make it all work, and they were seamlessly integrated. I was SO impressed.
Next time line, Jurassic, the Bracheosaurs arrived and seeing the narrator next to their fourty foot height was zastounding!! Big, ponderous guys, walking slowly around, nibbling on the inflatable horsetails and tree ferns. And then, then, they started looking out at the audience. Little kids all over were waving at them. I was one of those little kids. A big carnivore raptor tried to get one of the bracheosaurs, but the other came to help it, and they chased the bad guy away. Then they rubbed their long necks together in a dino hug. Next timeline took us to the time of tauranosaurous and ankylosaurus and the king of the dinos, T.Rex. One bull Tauranosaurus got in a fight with another, and the winnner celebrated by dropping a big ball of dino poop. The kids just squealed with glee! Potty humor is always a winner. The baby Tyranosaurus Rex was played by a guy in costume, and he was brilliant. He thought he would be so big and tough and go attack the tauranosaur, but it was heavily armored and big and it backed him into a corner till he had to yell for help. Then his mommy appeared. Wow, oh wow, oh wow! Angry momma Tyranasaurous Rex. Whee hoo! No bloodshed, but it was so exciting! At the end of the show, the announcer and the baby T. Rex both took bows, and the baby T. Rex kept trying to go back out for more applause. Gosh it was fun!!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Where has my Friday gone?

I settled down at the computer at 8AM to quickly jot down a bit of a poem, and then, just a quick idea on the new novel. The next thing I knew, it was one o'clock, I was cold, stiff, hungry and I really, really had to whizz. Sometimes, the world in my head is so much more absorbing than the place where my body has to live.
So, as promised, here are the short-fingered gloves I just finished. Now I'm knitting a very basic stocking cap to match. k2,p2 rib. This is made with two very similar shades of green, alternated each row. I might even be able to do that while waiting in line to see "Walking with Dinosaurs" the animatronix show that is touring the nation. I'll let you know how it goes.

Here we have a picture of the number one favoritest cat toy in the house. For years, I thought it was just a nice sash. But the last time I took it off, Pepper spotted its serpentine possibilities, stalked it, snatched it, and raced away with her prey trailing after her. Ben could in no way resist that wriggling critter, and went leaping and pouncing after her. Every time one or the other of them picks it up, they are good for at least twenty minutes of aerobic activity. Kitties are your best entertainment!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Thursday the 17th

Yesterday I took GED tests to the local county jail which means I drive a ways down a rarely used lane. Combining the elevation with the fog had put a light glaze of ice on everything, and as the cautious old woman I am, I was just creeping along. I came around a corner to face a police cruiser rather casually driving down the center of the lane. He tapped his brakes - and began to spin slowly, slowly like a graceful iceskater. When you see a Crown Victoria gliding sideways toward you, does your life pass in front of your eyes? No - your insurance policy does. I took my foot off the gas and steered gently toward the shoulder, and he was skilled enough to correct and pass me with inches to spare. No harm, no foul, lots of adrenalin. I know he was a much more cautious driver the rest of the morning. Goodness knows I was!

Other than that, life has been quite uneventful. Since Monday is a Federal holiday, and I work for the guvmint (state school system) I gets Monday off! What to do, what to do? I'm thinking maybe haul out the sewing machine. Clean house? Recycle cardboard boxes? Prune rosebushes? but- that sounds like work. If I have a day OFF, I want to frivol with it.

I am knitting fingerless gloves in pale khaki for one of DH's breakfast buddies. Pictures tomorrow when the ends are sewn in on the first one. One of the ladies at our writer's group told me that I could sell these to baristas in those little drive-up windows. I'm convinced of the need, but not the market. People just don't want to spend the money for knitting time. It takes me about ten hours to make a pair of those mitties. How much is my time worth? I do it for love, not money. Baristas need to befriend knitters. Everyone needs to befriend knitters, come to think of it. They NEED to!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Squeezing in anaother post while I can

Last night it rained like a firehose turned on the world. Then it froze. The college, along with most of the schools in the area, is opening 2 hrs late due to hazardous road conditions. So I have been hitting the computer with glee, catching up on everyone else's blogs and clearing some of the fluff out of my e-mail box. (Note. If you send me something that says I have to forward it, I won't. Especially if something awful is supposed to happen. It hasn't yet.) I have had kitty assist in my labors, and some of my blog comments were spelt a bit oddly due to helpful little paddy paws tromping across the keyboards. Oh, and kitties who lounge on the space bar get summarily ejected.

In spite of the Januaryness of it all outside, I have daffodils that are up a good four inches. I do hope they don't freeze their little buds off! They are my favorite first flower. I have lots of favorite flowers, but the cheerful insousciance of daffodills delights me! (Can you tell I've been hitting the "Free Rice" vocabulary site?)

But it's time to get into harness. I love these bonus free hours. I get so much done when I didn't expect the time!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Random cat shot

Jack is old, three-legged and going blind with cataracts. When he wants to sleep on my side of the sofa, I sit on the floor and let him sleep.

During Saturday's Knit-together, we wandered into a discussion of the Harry Potter books. The last one ticked me off. I found it so predictable and, after all the hype, something of a let-down. Of course, what book could possibly live up to the hype the media manufactured to whip up sales for the grand finale? But it seemed to me that the risen king theme has been hammered to death. And since Harry stands for JK's son, I KNEW she couldn't really kill him off. So to make up for that, she hit us with a King Lear sort of scene where everyone else gets slaughtered. But then, Linda A. Pointed out to me that the book was not written for a middle-aged English major. It was written for eager, idealistic teens. Linda's exact words were, "She didn't write it for you, Roxie."

Palm slaps forehead. Duh!! Well in that case, it actually was a pretty good book after all. Not up to the hype, but not too shabby. I'm still bitterly jealous of her success, but I don't begrudge it her.

We also talked about why men like to wet on things but never could come to an understanding about the matter. One of our merry group works in a bureaucracy where one of the guys would work late, then wander around and wet on people's keyboards or desks, or chairs, or even on the cardigan draped over the back of the chair. He became known as, "the sweater wetter." And DH used to work with a guy who, during graveyard shift in the casting department, would wet on hot metal castings when they were pulled out of the furnace. (a very bad thing to do by the way!!)

Why do men do that? The only answer I can come up with is, "Because they can."

I can sort of understand wanting to take a whizz in the woods, all wild and free and unfettered as it were, but why intentionally soil and spoil? Those colors are not on my mental palate and I just can't paint that picture. Any input?

So while I was at the jail today, administering tests to fifteen felons, the lights kept going out. I assure you, the inside of a cow is brighter than the inside of an unlighted jail. And the thing I noticed is that all sixteen of us were frightened when the lights went out. After five seconds, the back-up generators came on line, but for those five seconds, no one moved or spoke or even breathed. And we were all anxious around the eyes when the blessed, blessed light came back. I'm so glad not to be working with the violent criminals.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

sunny day

Mostly, life is gray,gray,gray around here in January. The occasional sunny day is such a treat!! Rose hips glow like semi-precious stones.
The apple tree shows off her moss-green velvet vest, and her dramatic shadows.
Yellow flowers in the window glow as if illuminated from the inside.
And everything is always better with a kitty.
A garden window is the perfect place for a kitty to lounge. Birds and squirrels offer constant entertainment, and a luxurious bath in the sunshine is such a sumptuous treat!

We live in a real suburb. No sidewalks on our street yet, so people are strolling along up and down the street itself, walking their dogs, walking their toddlers, pushing strollers and carrying babies in snugglee packs on chest or back. Some big-heartd dads even carry tykes on their shoulders, and everyone smiles. Two teens wandered by, holding hands. It's about fourty degrees out there, and they were in the mandatory t-shirts and baggy butt shorts. She had a stocking cap and fingerless mitts. He had a scarf. But they had their love to keep them warm. Actually, they were so sweet. Sunshine brings out all the happy people to smile and stretch in the light.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Portland purls at Roxie's

The theme was yellow. The table looks rather nice, even if I do say so myself. My assistant approves as well.
Here's the latest napkin fold, and a nice shot of the almond pound cake with the yogurt cheese filling. Yummy. That went very well. No leftovers.
Mommybird and her sweet chick joined us. (And I forgot to give you the quilt! Smite the forehead in frustration!)As did the delightful Miz LG
also attending were MN, LWB, and TW

And there were other people as well, but they don't read the blog, so who wants to look at them? We were 11 all totaled, and we had, as ever, a grand time. The curried chicken salad sandwiches didn't go over very well, and there are enough lemon blossoms to send to the locusts that DH works with, but all in all, I think everyone got adequately fed. IF they didn't it's their own fault for not speaking up and asking for more.
And I finally finished the modular scarf. Next up, hats and short-fingered gloves for the guys DH has breakfast with when his house is infested by laughing women.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Hello my darlings!

I've missed you all so much. I keep thinking of things I want to blog about, and then being very virtuous and doing housework instead. Or, on Monday, just lying still on the sofa with a needy kitty. (Those two hour commutes take it out of me. It was a mutual consolation session.)Poor old three-legged Jack is going blind with cataracts, and has been crapping everywhere BUT the litter box, (though he still pees there, thank God!) And sometimes he just wants me to sit and hold him. I hope you guys understand.

Anyhow, the big news for me is the preparation for the Portland Purls meeting at our place again. The theme is yellow, and thank God for that since I am expecting 13 people and the yellow tablecloth is one of the few that fits over the fully extended table. And I have lots of yellow cups and saucers. I did have a small problem with tablecloth lumpiness, but after finally persuading Pepper to come out from under her pretty yellow tent, things smoothed right out. And she has definite opinions about the napkin fold I am trying, finding it such fun to nip and fling into the air. I get the napkins all set out, and the next time I look at the table, they are scattered higgledy piggelty hither and yon.

Yesterday was the cleaning blitz. Today I bake. We will have lemon blossoms (bite-sized lemon poundcakes) an almond poundcake topped with yogurt cheese and nice canned peaches, curried chicken salad sandwiches, pineapple, and chicken and lemon-grass eggrolls (frozen appetizer goodies. Just pop in the oven when the guests begin to arrive.)

Knitting? Still working on that modular scarf.

Oh, and I have started writing book four of the Sanna series. First chapter went in to the writer's group this week. It was greeted with cheers. (Toe in the dirt and bashful head duckings. Shazam!)

Sunday, January 06, 2008

I need to come up with another movie project

This is the shawl I have been using for movie knitting. Triple stranded weaving yarn, new color added in as old color ran out. Knit everything. Increase first stitch of each row and first stitch after the stitch marker. I ran out of the last of the yarn during enchanted. I took it into the bathtub with me and used the shampoo that promised me gorgeous hair, magnificent body, and hot and cold running toyboys. All it ever managed to do in reality was get my hair clean. Now I use a pleasantly scented purple glop that keeps my silver hair from going yellow and dingy. After sudsing and rinsing, I also used some of the conditioner that promised to make me young and beautiful, running through fields of flowers and dancing in the summer moonlight in the arms of the man I love. If advertising has anything to do with it, this is one potently appealing shawl. Then I ran it through the clothes dryer. And still it has a six foot wingspan. And now I need another movie project. I guess it's time to toss the stash again.
Meanwhile, the kittens are consulting on proper procedure for spotting a squirrel in the bird feeder. So far, they havev agreed to just sit and watch, but the birds hate the furry thief!

I will not be blogging on Mondays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays for the rest of this month. Work is getting in the way of my social life! See y'all on Thursday!

Saturday, January 05, 2008


We went to see Enchanted today. So very Disney. Sweet, wholesome, and happily ever after. Of course it was predictable! It's a musical comedy fer crysakes! There were no car crashes, and the monster wasn't really scarey, so DH was kinda bored, but he endured it for my sake. Most of the audience was middleaged women. Well, good for us! We are entitled to go see happy movies even if we aren't the target audience.

And now I have a bunch of Fred Astair movies on the recorder, and I will spend the rest of the afternoon (while DH slaughters demon cows)dancing in my heart and knitting happily away. Sweet Saturday to one and all!

Friday, January 04, 2008

It's always better with a kitty

Here's a picture of the colorblock mittens and scarf for our wonderful, patient accountant. I am using a wonderful wine-bottle gift-bag to carry the scarf project.
You may notice bits and pieces of helpful kitty. He knows how to improve a blog, even if I don't.
There, isn't that better?

Yesterday, I got a wild hair and decided to take down the Christmas decor. For us, it's not that big a deal. I know there are people who do the whole house, even unto reindeer in the bathroom and garland twined 'round the pot rack. These are people who get a big case of Christmas spirits every year. In our house, a fifth of spirits is about all we can handle at any one time, Christmas or not. So there wasn't all that much to take down, though, of course, things do tend to grow. I keep adding animals to the creche for one thing. The original set of olivewood included a camel, a donkey, a cow, and two sheep. I have added two little ceramic cats, and a plastic cow that poops jellybeans, joined this year by a plastic sheep that poops jellybeans. Guess I could use a little plastic angel that poops - - is that irreligious? Is irreligious a word?

Anyhow, I got the tree undressed and dragged out with only minor damage done to hands and face (Trying to drag a well-opened tree through a door that is somehow smaller than it was when I brought the damn tree in, without spilling all the leftover water out of the stand leaves me prone to lead with my face when it comes to branches whipping back from being scraped through the opening.) And I got all the ornaments carefully wrapped and stashed and dragged back up to the attic (and gravity is NOT my friend when it comes to manuvering things up that narrow wobbly ladder) and having swept up all the needles except for the ones that the fur-faces have carefully stashed to drag out when it will be most likely to embarass,I felt entitled to veg for the rest of the day. DH, however, came home with a yen to hit the gym, and this, by golly, will be encouraged, so by the time we got home from there (and wuss that I am, all I did was 20 min on the treadmill at 4 mph)I sat down on the sofa and fell asleep.

Which is why I skipped blogging yesterday. Not that I have committed to daily blogstration or anything. When does your decor come down?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Write the date

I proctored another GED test today, and like everyone else, had to struggle to write the date. (Don't tell me you just wrote it right the very first time because I won't believe you.) I kept writing it as '80 instead of '08. Wonder how long it will take to get it right without having to stop and scratch it out? February, probably. Practice, practice, praktiss.

Other than that, though, it's been a lovely day. The temperature is between 37 and 47 degrees farenheit, the cloud cover is impenetrable, and the rain is a persistent, penetrating unceasing drizzle. It's not freezing (Thank God) no one is shooting at me, and I'm not pregnant. Everything over and above that is gravy!!

The way the light spreads out and evens up with every little drop of rain gently diffusing it is quite wonderful. The light sort of gets blended with the shadows and spread equally over and under everything. Colors are all greyed down and distances melt into pearly ambiguity. You know what it reminds me of? Politics! Politics is like a January day in the Willamette valley. All shades of grey, no blacks, no whites, no edges, and no clear views. Everything is fuzzy and muddled and best viewed from inside a warm dry house with a hot dinner on the stove. No one in their right mind would want to get out into that soul-freezing netherworld. See - just like politics!

Oh, don't I wax philisophical at times? I'm so sharp I could cut myself. Best I stick to my knitting, I think.

Sooo, right now, I am issuing a general invitation to anyone reading this who will be in the area on the second saturday of the month: Knitting at my house from 10 till noon, Jan 12. Yes, Linda, Tamara and Tammy, this means you, too. My theme this month is yellow. Yellow tablecloth, yellow china, lemon cake and who knows what else. I'm open to suggestions.

New Year's Day had some sunshine, and the kitties took advantage of the window. Ben admires that handsome cat under his feet.
Pepper lounges a great deal the way Cleopatra might, don't you think? Cleocatra perhaps?

Way back on last Saturday, at ten in the morning, LG and I hit the LYS for a pre-inventory sale. If you were there in the first half hour, regularly priced merchandise was %25 off. And all the sale stuff was %50 off. Can you say yarn orgy? We were waiting in the car at 10 minutes till opening and we were not the first people into the store. And the feeding frenzy around those sale bins? The shark tank at Sea World could not show such grace, speed and efficiency. And yet, no one was snatching yarn away from others. Strangers were helping each other find the right dyelots, and saying, "Oh, this is just the right accent for that!" LG and I were oh so moderate, but still cleaned up.

I got five skeins of pale lavender Cascade Dolce - 55% alpaca, 23% wool, and 22% silk,109 yds each, for $4.20 each, and one accent ball of plum-colored Cashsoft Aran. What will I knit? I dunno. It would make a wonderful sweater, but I need to carefully assess my current shape and size before I start designing. LG asked me how I decided how much to buy. "All I could find.It's a killer price!"

Meanwhile, I have finished the colorblock mittens and an ear-band, and there is so much yarn left that I think a scarf will grow from it as well.

Projects for next year - two hat and fingerless gloves sets have been requested - any color but pink. Hmm - I have some lime green, magenta and olive drab . . .

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

I am an alien

"Hogswatch came around, marking the start of another year. And with alarming suddenness, nothing happened." Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett

Somehow, this whole arbitrary cut off date for the year just doesn't resonate for me. If it were the solstice or the equinox or something that actually happens, maybe I could see making a fuss. It's rather as if the powers that be have declared that, "OK, this is the time everyone stays up too late, drinks too much, and decides to do better next year."

Why should I lose my precious sleep? The year is just as new when I wake up at 6am as it was at 12:01. Needless to say, no festivities were held or celebrated at Chez Matthews. And, since it's a dry day, we plan on doing a bit of yard work today. Woohoo.

Mind you, I am not complaining. I do not want to live in interesting times, nor do I need crisis and danger to feel alive. I am cuddled on the couch with a purring cat on my chest and a laptop on my knees, and I am very glad to be alive and moving,loved and dry and warm and well fed. Life is very, very good!

And may it be very, very good for you, too, with or without resolutions, re-assessments, and self-improvement programs. Don't worry. Be happy. Knit on with hope and joy.