Sunday, October 31, 2010

One Year In Tucson

First of all, Happy Halloween for those of you who will be partaking in the festivities.  As of yesterday at around 3:30pm we have been in Tucson for one whole year.  For some strange reason both D and I woke up yesterday as sore and tired as we were a year ago, after having drove for 36 hours straight hours and proceeding to unpack. But, I'll start at the beginning of the past few days then sum up the year. (Warning this is going to be long, get a beverage of your choice and hopefully, I won't bore you to tears.)

On Thursday, I knit, knit and knit for 10 hrs straight on the slippers.  I decided I didn't like the pattern I picked on Wednesday and switched to this one.  I also figured the yarn I had wasn't thick enough.  I had an 8 oz skein of Crown Mountain Farms BFL in East of Eden, I had spun a couple years ago.  Why I got it, I do not know as it's not a color I would wear, but I did enjoy spinning it. So I wound it into a center pull ball and used the two strands with the purple.

From Knitting Kitties

It was a heavy worsted, maybe bulky on size 9 needles, so I just doubled the stitch count on the pattern and figured it would ok.  Never having made a felted project before.  Also, the washer's are coin operated, so I'm doing this felting thing by hand.  Yeah, I bet you can see where this is going.

From Knitting Kitties
This is at 10pm Thursday night on my size 7 feet.  D wears a mens 12, so I was still kinda hopeful. I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed in really hot water.  For those of you who have dyed yarn, remember those first attempts and getting impatient only to have a matted felted mess?  Why does felting work so easily when you don't want it to happen?  I shocked it with as cool water as I could get from the tap in Tucson.  Then I boiled water and poured it on.

The next morning more scrubbing and it wasn't shrinking very much.  So I decided to try to trick it, I got out my blue dye, as I had planned to make the bright fuchsia parts purple. That part worked, I got a nice iridescent looking blue violet.  However, not much more felted shrinkage.  In my desperation at that point, I grabbed D's leather work shoes and formed the slippers around them and pinned up the back.

Here is where achieved a whole new level of crazy cat lady status.  Just as I was trying to take a picture, Di and J scrape on my window.  It's Di's way of knocking that makes me a little nuts.  I hollered at her as I let her in that I was trying to take a picture and went back to the camera.

"What are you taking a picture of?" she  asks.  Not see anything photo worthy.
"This" I take the picture.
"You made shoe coozies?" J asks and they both look at me like I might be just totally round the bend.
"Yeah, you know I wouldn't want D's shoes to get to cold here in the desert."
They left me to my madness and went to the office room to sing happy birthday to D.

From Knitting Kitties
That's as far as I got.  They are still sitting there in time out to think about where they went wrong. (The slippers that is) In the next couple days I will sew up the backs and cut off the extra. I have some blue worsted weight wool I can use to crochet an edging.  We'll see what happens later this week.

On Thursday night D said he was an old man and all he wanted for his birthday was a day of peace and quiet. Di dyed most of the grey out of my hair that afternoon, so he could have a woman 20 years younger.  Hah, he doesn't want a 20 something woman, he just wants peace and quiet.  We did our usual when he has a Friday off, cooked out on the grill and played Scrabble, which as usual he won twice.  Then we all watched a DVD he bought last year but hadn't watched Masters of Horror - Stuart Gordon - Dreams in the Witch House based on a story by his favorite author H.P. Lovecraft.

Yesterday I made shortbread and a pumpkin cheesecake.  We didn't have graham crackers in the house so I whipped up a couple batched of shortbread cookies.  D's favorite cookies are Pecan Sandies, so I added some chopped pecans.

1/4 cup sugar
1 stick butter
1 cup flour
1/4  cup chopped pecans
a pinch of salt (butter was unsalted)
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

Let the butter soften to room temp, then cream with sugar.  Mix in flour, pecans and vanilla, salt(if butter is unsalted) until it forms a soft dough.  I then formed 1 inch balls and smashed them flat with the palm of my hand.  (I'm not getting all fancy with rolling and cookie cutters. *smile*) Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350F for 10-15 minutes.

From Knitting Kitties
I found this recipe on for Pumpkin Cheesecake. As always, I rarely follow a pattern or recipe exactly as written.  I used a 1 1/2 cups of the shortbread cookies crumbled up with 4 tsp melted butter to make the crust.  For the cheesecake, I added 1/2 cup more pumpkin and more spices.  I like my pumpkin a bit spicier than most recipes. Spices added were 1/4 tsp each ginger and ground cloves instead of allspice I added 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice.
From Knitting Kitties
When it was chilled and ready to eat, I forced to D to have a piece for picture and blog purposes. It was his belated birthday desert. The crust stuck a bit to the bottom of the pan and I told D next time I'm going use non-cook sticking spray.  He said, "I thought that's what you did, it's called glue."  I need to just go sit in a corner somewhere.  The good news was he said it was the best pumpkin cheesecake he's had and that the pecan shortbread crust added something special to it. 

From Knitting Kitties
Pictures of food don't come out quite right in here.  The colors are just a bit off.  I would have went outside in the sun to take a picture but my reputation for baking has spread around here and I didn't have enough to share with the masses.  Every time I mix pumpkin filling I remember an incident when I was four.  I think it would be best posted in pictures the way Allie does for Hyperbole and a Half.  I'm going to work on my mouse drawing in Paint and see what I can come up with for Thanksgiving. 

Yesterday, in my mailbox I found a special surprise other than the bills, which are never a special surprise.  Dina of Five Cats From Crazy had a contest on her blog.  Only three of us entered so she made each of us a bracelet rather than pick one name.  She included an extra surprise of some really soft and pretty yarn. It goes well with my futon. 
From Knitting Kitties
The bracelet fits perfectly.  Thank you so much Dina.  You still see the scratch scar my very first bunny gave me almost two decades ago.  Baby bunnies have very sharp claws. 

From Knitting Kitties
I finished the first spindle of the bfl.

From Knitting Kitties
Almost finished with second foot of my footies.  These taking forever. Normally, I can make a pair in a day or two. These are like knitting into a black hole.  I'm not real happy with the yellow green in this yarn, so I will probably mix up some blue dye and over dye them.  Watch these will felt on me, just because I don't want them to.

This year we've had more downs than ups, but we are all still together.  Unlike when I attempted this move 8 years ago, I haven't cried myself to sleep every night homesick.  I do get homesick every once in awhile, I really miss my granddaughter.  I just remind myself how much pain I had been in for years.  Now, I have weened myself off all the pain meds the dr. in NY had me on that barely worked.  I just take 1 Advil PM at bedtime and maybe a couple during the day once a week.

I'm up to walking 2.5 miles in around an hour without my cane, last year I could barely make it around the grocery store.  Hopefully soon, I can get a part-time job.  The days are getting pretty long and boring now that I'm not all doped up.

Last time, I was down here the culture shock was really bad, D said it was like he picked me up and dropped on another planet.  I still get culture shock but I prepare for it every time I open the door.  Now Denise, the probability something will happen that will cause you to pick your jaw up off the ground is really high.  Panhandling is really bad.  "Do you have a dollar for the bus?" is the average greeting.  I had a lady chase me down as I was leaving CVS wanting me to give her $10.00 for her medicine.  If I had it, I might have helped her.  However, people always asking for money rarely happens in Rochester, New York, so it shocks me when I am accosted every time I go for a walk.  Seriously, every time.  I think it's because the social programs are just horrible here compared to New York.

Bright Eyes is my cat.  My familiar is what my kids and D calls her.  She used to like lay on my hip ever since she was a kitten.  With all my hip pain, it would become quite uncomfortable and I would push her off. So she started waiting til I was asleep then I would wake up in the morning feeling like a truck ran over my hips.  She has a new thing she started when we moved down here.  Now she climbs up on my side and puts her head on my shoulder.  Her little nose is in my ear purring, to keep me asleep.  She's doing this more and more, like all night or anytime I lay down.  D took this picture last year, I just haven't gotten to post it.

When she decides she's so hungry she can't wait any longer, she will do this to D, then stick her paw in his ear to wake him up.  There's no waking me unless she gets a bull horn and shouts in my ear. Yes, by the way, she is a poly-dactyl like her father Butterscotch who has 7 toes.


If your still here, I'll say good-bye for now.  I  do hope I didn't bore you tears.  Hopefully my next post, D will have his slippers.  Cross your fingers or paws.  I'll leave you with pictures of D cuddling Nippit.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

WIP Wednesday

Due to various upsets, I wasn't able to finish my footies as fast as I normally would.  One foot is finished, except for the kitchener stitch.  I like to wait until both feet are finished then do the kitchener stitch as I always have to look it up.  My brain simply refuses to store that bit of information in long term memory.

From Knitting Kitties

They may or may not be finished by Friday.  I have a birthday present to whip up.  D aka Mr. Kitties' birthday is on Friday.  We don't have anything really special planned.  We are both born at the end of the month, so we are used to being at the end of money on our birthday.  Mine was 6 months ago.

Two years ago, D mentioned he would like some warm slippers.  Since he didn't wear the socks I knit for him.  He said they made his feet too hot.  So, I dyed the wool but never got around to spinning it.  So last year when we moved down here, I asked if he still wanted the wool slippers.  What are you nuts??? I then proceeded to spin it my usual 3 ply fingering.

From Knitting Kitties

Two nights ago when we were headed next door to play Scrabble he mentioned the wish for warm slippers to wear.  It's a bit chilly at night now sitting in Di's dining room that is lacking walls (her patio.) Yesterday, I pulled out the purple yarn and cabled plyed it to about a sport weight.  It is presently drying on the fence.  One of the good things about the desert is that it doesn't take things very long to air dry.

I found Cookie's blog recently and have been reading about her freakishly fine spinning.  I haven't spun for a couple months and after yesterday's plying session I decided to look at what was left of the spinning stash for something to spin.  I found this BFL I had dyed in shades of turquoise, royal blue and navy.  Attempting a Kauni coloring scheme, only softer yarn.   I separated into three sections and it should end up with long sections of color.  Unlike Cookie, I've been spinning and saving my sock yarn scraps for a technicolor sweater. Compared with the way many of the people dress down here, it will be quite stylish. It will not have paisley with plaid, no, no.

From Knitting Kitties

As soon as the yarn is dry, I will set the wheel aside and adapt these Fuzzy Feet, to the yarn and needles I have. Better pictures of the yarn and hopefully a FO or two on Friday, my needles will be working fast and furiously until then. For more WIP Wednesday posts you can go to Tami's Amis blog, she has a Mr. Linky.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Apple Cake

A very long time ago, in the last century, (I love saying that) I worked at the local branch of a national bank. It's international now, may have been then, but that is not here nor there.  Once a month with our paychecks there was an employee newsletter stapled to our checks.  One particular month, an employee from Hilton submitted her families apple cake recipe.  I kept that newsletter planning to make the cake.

Many years went by, and I switched careers to LPN.  One afternoon I was sorting through some boxes and ran across the newsletter.  It was a quiet fall afternoon and I thought making cake sounded like just the thing to do. So I drove up the road to the farmer's market, (it's also the best place for sweet corn) since I knew the twenty ounce apples would be just coming in.  So, I grabbed a couple bushels or more. What? Oh when these apples come in, they sell out pretty quick, you need to get as many as you can keep in cold storage that is if you like to bake with apples.

From Knitting Kitties

My daughter and I cut and peeled too many apples, so I made a second cake to take to work.  My kids ate up the first cake so fast there almost wasn't a second cake to take to work the next morning. Word spread pretty quick around the nursing home, as it always does when there is really good free food, or really juicy gossip, and very soon people from other floors and departments were snooping in our kitchen for the cake.  Out of two 13 x 9 pans, I had one small piece.  One CNA offered to make me a pan of collard greens (which I loved but couldn't figure out how to make) for a cake for her family dinner.  Later another CNA showed me her secret to making the best collard greens for the recipe to the cake.

In a disastrous accident, I lost the newsletter.  I was no longer working at that facility and didn't have contact with that aid. A few years later when I bought a  computer and plugged into the internet, I searched and searched, for ten years I searched.  I was beginning to think that maybe that was a secret family recipe to that lady in Hilton.  Then last year I finally found this recipe, so very close to the original.  I made her recipe, except I used Granny Smith apples, a baking apple.  It really wasn't as good as the cake I remembered.  This year, I played around with it and came up with one that tastes exactly like the original.

13 x 9 cake pan greased and floured

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
3 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups tart apples, peeled, cored and cut into bite size chunks
3 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup walnuts or pecans (optional)


1 cup walnuts or pecans
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon


1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
just enough milk to make it a glaze that you can drizzle over the cake, (I use half and half creamer)

In a very large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix together.  Mix in sour cream.  Fold in the chopped apples.  (I usually wait to this point to peel and cut the apples that way they don't turn brown) Sift together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda. Mix in with the wet ingredients. Add the (optional) cup of nuts if wanted in the cake batter as well.  Pour into a 13 x 9 inch pan.

Mix together the topping ingredients, nuts, brown sugar, cinnamon in a small  bowl and sprinkle over the top of the cake.

Bake at 350 F for 35-45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  (Gas mark 4 for UK)

Let cake cool. Place on foil lined cookie sheet or where ever you usually place your cooled cake.  (Me, I usually just leave it in the pan, it's not hanging around for very long)  Mix together the glaze ingredients then drizzle over top of the cake.

From Knitting Kitties

(The photo is a piece without the glaze as we were out of creamer and milk)

I know I promised to post this on Saturday, however I woke up to a very sick little bunny Saturday morning. I was busy nursing her all day.  She's back to her normal spunky self today.  Took her little paw and punched me right in the nose when I picked her up.


Friday, October 22, 2010

FO Friday - A Quick Handtowel

From Knitting Kitties

This is what I made over the weekend after I finished the shawl.  I wanted something colorful for my dreadfully small, drab kitchen.  I had some Henry's Attic Alpine 2ply cotton yarn, that I had dyed to sell awhile back.  I think it used around 120 yards.

Size 5 US knitting needles for dk weight cotton or Size 7 US for worsted weight.
1 tapestry needle
1 12mm/1/2inch plastic ring for button.

Cast on: 59sts

Work 6 rows seed stitch.  K1 P1 then knit the purls and purl the knits on row back.

Row 1: K1, P1 for 6 sts then K to the last 6 sts, K1 P1 to the end.

Row 2:  Work seed stitch the first 6 sts, then purl to the last 6 sts, work seed stitch to the end.

Row 3: Work seed stitch for the first 6sts, then P2, K1 to the last 6 sts, work seed stitch to the end.

Row 4: Work seed stitch for the first 6sts, then K2, P1 to the last 6 sts, work seed stitch to the end.

Repeat these 4 rows until you have the length you want.  I made mine about 14 inches.

Work 6 rows in seed stitch.

Decrease row: K2tog, P2tog to the end, K the last stitch.  30 sts.

Work 3 more rows seed stitch.

Repeat Decrease row keeping in seed stitch pattern, there will not be an extra stitch at the end. 15 sts

Work 3 more rows seed stitch.

Repeat decrease row keeping in seed stitch pattern, then work the last stitch. 8 sts

Work the 8 sts in seed stitch until desired length.

Button hole row: work 2 sts, cast off 4sts, work last 2 sts in pattern.

Next row: work the 2 sts, cast on 4 sts, work the last 2 sts in pattern.

Work 2 more rows in seed stitch patern, then cast off.

For the button, I used one of those white plastic stitch markers from Susan Bates.  They are 12mm or 1/2 inch. I just attached the loop around the ring, chain 3, then double crochet around until I couldn't fit anymore stitches.  Sew to the front.

From Knitting Kitties

From Knitting Kitties

Please excuse my cabinet, it only has the one door attached. The other door we found stuck in a closet when we moved in. Are you surprised? No, I didn't think so.

On the dress I posted about yesterday, I could very easily recreate it from those pictures.  I'm the reason many designers won't post close up pictures. Very rarely do I ever follow a pattern, mostly because I can never find one that is exactly what I want with the yarn I want to use. Even when I do use a pattern, I end up tweaking the thing to death. The exception would be some of the lace shawls.

From Knitting Kitties

My butterfly friend is still alive.  I showed it to D last night and when I touched the wing it started fluttering inside the lid like crazy.  D had to grab a few cats as they were trying to dive bomb me to get at the thing.  He's still in the lid in my secretary and he still moves around a bit when I touch his wing.

From Knitting Kitties

I Googled native butterflies for Arizona.  It seems this one is a Giant Swallowtail.  I was trying to find out how long they live and if this one was going into hibernation. It says only the chrysalis goes into hibernation, especially in the desert.

I did do some baking last night during Private Practice, but I didn't get around to writing this post until this morning.  So far so good, my body isn't punishing me for that walk just yet.  I have a feeling it's waiting til tomorrow, since I threatened it with a long walk every 3rd day.  Tomorrow's post will be out the yummy thing I baked, with a recipe.  I have to have something to entice you to return.

For more Friday FO fun go to Tami's Amis blog, she has a Mr. Linky.

Thank you for visiting me at the mad house and I hope you have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Waking Up To Winter

Winter?  When I woke up at 7am, it was rainy and 55F, that is winter to us, here in the desert.  Yesterday on my walk, I saw quite a few people in winter jackets and it was 75F.  I can only imagine how bundled the natives were with a high of 66F.  No, I didn't go out to see, I need to find my own winter clothes.

So many, interesting to me, things have been going on in the past 36 hours.  You may or may not find them entertaining.

From Knitting Kitties

First of all this "a weed" growing in front of my window.  It is not weed as in marijuana like the head of management insisted to our manager, bright and early yesterday morning.  I had just poured my coffee when two old guys, that sounded like they were from the Sopranos, only without the Jersey accents.  Could be Chicago accents, I didn't ask D when he got up a little later.  The owner is coming on Monday, so the bigwigs came by to give orders.  So I'm sitting in my chair with two old guys staring in at me, through my window, yelling about my weed to the manager, who had the decency to keep his eyes down, on my weed.

Today, we have workers scurrying every where fixing up the empty units.  They are also finally fixing the leak from the pool pipe under the pine tree.  I guess they had someone come last year with expensive equipment to find the leak and that's as far as it went.  They are now draining the pool out into the concrete courtyard and we have Lake Mead forming from the courtyard and out into the parking lot.  I took pictures from behind the blinds, so not to be noticed.  The madness never seems to end around here.

From Knitting Kitties
From Knitting Kitties
From Knitting Kitties

I took the pictures of the dress at Target.  I was afraid I would be questioned by employees, but nobody seemed to bat an eye.  I was noticing the neck is between a turtle neck and cowl.  I doubt it would work GD, she's like me and can't stand anything up around her neck.  Maybe, I'll get some fingering weight superwash wool and knit one in a similar style.  I have big, like huge cones of lycra thread in white opal, gold and purple. The black one is the same as the white one, only without a lycra thread.
From Knitting Kitties
From Knitting Kitties

My body did curse at me during the walk.  I cursed back and threatened to do this every third day.  Someone had mentioned that 2.5 miles was pretty good.  Actually, being that I'm 44, with fibromyalgia and various 11year old low back and pelvic injuries, I think it's excellent. Last year at this time I was in Rochester, New York with my chronic pain specialist trying to convince of me going on methadone and wanting to put in a request for a wheel chair to my insurance.  I think I'm doing fantastic walking 2.5 miles without a cane, even though I'm bracing for the agony that will hit me tomorrow.

When I got back, I found my daily afternoon visitor laid out on my patio.

From Knitting Kitties
From Knitting Kitties

All summer, I watched this butterfly come and check out all the bushes and my neighbor's kumquat tree.  He is alive, I think barely. When I touched his wing he took a few steps forward.  This morning, J came to the door and said my friend was dead.  I looked out and saw him laid flat out in a puddle. (The butterfly, not J) I waited for the puddle to dry out, and went out to check on him.  His wings fluttered barely, and he tried to take a few steps.  A lady almost stepped right on him when she used my patio to avoid the lake.  So now he's resting safely in the lid of a candy box, inside my secretary.  I'll show you a picture tomorrow.  I have to save something for tomorrow besides my FO.  Besides we have more territory to cover, come along now.

From Knitting Kitties

I made more progress on the stole.  The colors seem to be brightening up with the knitting.  Fiber crafts can be so magical and fascinating at times.  To think it started out a cream colored alpaca fur, which I soaked in vinegar water and then added dyes.  The brightly color top is spun into more brightly colored yarn, then a wash leaches out some of the dye and mutes the bright colors.  Then the knitting makes it a little brighter again.  Fascinating.

From Knitting Kitties
From Knitting Kitties

With the cold, I had to set aside the stole for a bit.  I don't know where my footies are.  My back and hips are hurting too much with the cold damp to go searching.  It was much easier to find some handspun bfl and make new footies.  I can whip up a pair pretty quick, just not as fast as my cold feet would like. I knit the cast on and knit the cuff in less than an hour while watching Grey's.

From Knitting Kitties

I think I'll do some baking while waiting for the new episode of Grey's Anatomy to come on.  I'm thinking of something yummy. Will post about that on Saturday. Plus  I need to write tomorrow's FO post tonight, you know, just in case, I'm  unable to tomorrow.

If you are still here and awake, I thank you for coming to visit in my strange little world.  Please leave a comment I love to here from my visitors and return visit if you leave your calling card in the plate by the door.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

WIP Wednesday

The carpet man came and it wasn't as bad as I was dreading. Except they smacked into both my bird cages with the new carpet padding. Didn't even apologize for it.  I put the birds down in the hallway where they would have no business going (the carpet people) and made myself scarce by going next door to the manager for the quarters he promised me.  I knew it would keep me out for a bit as he likes to talk. They didn't clean the carpet as I thought they would, so I'm going to spray my Woolite carpet cleaner on it today.  Tomorrow D will get J to help him put my antique secretary back in place. Then all will be normal in the desert, until the next surprise happens.  I do hope it's not me again.

The birds are put back in the proper place and everyone is settling down for the most part.  Emily can see the old cage from where they are at, for now.  She has attacked the bars in that corner of the cage, like she is trying to get back to her old home.  The very congenial Mr. Bird is happy where he is.  He does seem to miss his buddy Huey, but I think he's happier with Emily.  Huey often liked to bully Mr. Bird and push him over on his back and make Mr. Bird squawk.  I think it's funny that the aggressive birds chose to pair up with the more docile mates.  I guess opposites attract in the bird world.

From Knitting Kitties

Ladybird is checking out the nesting box. I wonder if Huey is trying to encourage her to try again. The birds, they are a work in progress.

I finished two small projects this past week. One was the shawl and the other I'm going to wait until Friday to post about.

Over the summer I spun some alpaca fiber I had dyed to sell a couple years ago. I made it into a nice 2 ply lace weight. It was disappointing the color really washed out and became muted when I set the twist. No clue on the yardage, I was to lazy to measure it. Yesterday,  I attempted to start a simple feather and fan pattern stole. Apparently the part of my brain where reading comprehension happens had shorted out and that person who whispers warnings and advice went into a short coma. (I really wish they would give me the winning numbers to the Powerball.)

From Knitting Kitties
From Knitting Kitties

I couldn't find the stitch pattern book that had the feather and fan stitch pattern. It's either in a box buried or in a box back in NY. My luck it's back in NY, but we won't go there on that one. I did a search on the mighty Ravelry and found this pattern. It says a multiple of 18 plus 6, check. So 18 x 2 = 36, 36 x 2 = 72 + 6 = 78. Cast on with waste yarn, work the first 2 rows, then the pattern row, but I have 6 sts too many. I recount 78, I do my math 78. WTH why do I have 6 sts extra. After five times of ripping and recasting, yes, five. I'm stubborn and maybe a touch insane. At midnight, that person wakes up out of the coma and says hey, read that pattern again, more carefully. I think that may have been when they rewired that impaired part of my brain.

Well, the pattern row, K3, *(K2 tog) 3 times, (yo, K1) 6 times, (K2 tog) 3 times, rep from * to last 3 sts K3.
 I was doing (k2 tog) 3 times, (yo, K1) 6 times, (k2 tog) 3 times then instead of another (k2 tog) 3 times for a total of 6, I was going ahead to (yo, K1) 6 times.
So it was, (k2 tog) 3 times, (yo, k1) 6 times all the way across. Gah! Did you understand that, the mess up I did? I hope so cause I'm not repeating it. So I stayed up and fixed it and on my 6th try I got it right. I did this just for your amusement and entertainment, the staying up until the wee hours part.

From Knitting Kitties

Back when I was in my mid 20's I had a friend that just turned 40. They were into jogging. One day they did twice their normal distance. I said, "You must have felt that when you woke up the next day."

They said, "It's the strangest thing, ever since I turned 40, I don't feel it the next day. It hits me hard the day after that."

Sunday I walked up to Target to get a few things. It's 2.5 miles round trip. I know this because when D came home he said it wasn't that far, so I Google mapped it. I was quite proud I made the trip without the aid of my cane. Yesterday, was Tuesday and I wrote the first 2 paragraphs of this post, intending it to be a different post. That was as far as I got and then it hit me, hard. My muscles, sciatica, low back, high neck all of it, revolted against any further movement.

I'm headed back up to Target, right after I hit publish, for cat food. I think I should write my Friday post on Thursday night, just in case.

When I was at Target on Sunday, I saw this really cute knit cable dress in my Granddaughter's size. It was fingering weight cotton.  The white one had a gold lame thread and the black was just plain cotton yarn. At $16.99, I don't think I could get the yarn and make it for cheaper. I came home and searched the website, but it's not listed. So, I'm going to take my camera with me and try to get a picture. I don't have a cell phone camera. I just hope they don't hassle me about it.

For more WIP Wednesday madness go to Tami's Amis blog, she has a Mr. Linky.  Oh and be sure to tell her Happy Birthday.  The birthday cake on her Ravatar told on her today.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Thoroughly Quite Exhausted

I'm sitting here waiting for the rude carpet man to come back, get his fan and finish up.  I'm dreading the whole thing and wish he would hurry up and get the whole thing over with.  I'm so not in the mood for his rude tone.

He came just as I was sitting down to watch Grey's Anatomy reruns on Lifetime, on Friday.  Said it still wasn't quite dry underneath and I would have to put up with the fan for another 24 hrs.  Of course, it wasn't dry underneath as he had wadded up all the carpet padding under there.  I could shut it off at this same time on Saturday and he would be back on Monday.  I was quite surprised he said I could touch his fan. He still had his sarcastic tone of voice and body language.

I would prefer it if they just ripped all this nasty carpet and put down some nice tiles or linoleum. It would be much healthier.  I really don't understand what the big deal with wall to wall nasty anyway. It holds all kinds of dirt underneath and it's expensive to clean.  Just give me bare floors, I don't mind sweeping and mopping.

So Friday evening, the manager comes to my door and asked if he can check my kitchen sink. Di was having a flood in her kitchen on the opposite side.  My sink was half full.  He left to call the plumber. I remembered Di said it was her adoining bathroom that flooded the night before.  So I ran to mine.

From Knitting Kitties

There is Niagara Falls coming from the leaky pipe under the sink and the floor is Lake Ontario. I called him back over to come see. His boss had him call a new plumber over and he was here faster than calling the police. It was then that the manager actually went upstairs and made the people above stop running water. The lady above Di was doing dishes. I couldn't help but think if he had gone up in the beginning it would be less of mess. I used up all our bath towels mopping up the mess. He is supposed to give me quarters to wash them.

Saturday morning I get up and our Ladybird has been laying eggs for a week in the nesting box. All the upset of the previous days stressed her and she abandoned the nesting box. Emily decided to attempt murder on Ladybird it seemed. I couldn't sit for more than 2 minutes but Emily would stalk Ladybird and attack her. I would squirt her with the water bottle and a few times had to stick my hand to be bit, and separate them.

I have a little person that lives in my head and occasionally they whisper in my ear. When I ignore their warning, there is usually hell to pay and I regret not heading their advice. I've heard there are other people with a little warning person too. This time they advised Craigslist. There I found not a free cage like I hoped, but a breeder that just converted to aviaries and was selling 30 cages. After a flurry of exchanged e-mails she messaged that her husband would coming my way and would be happy to drop off a cage. It would have been quite a long bus ride to get to her.

From Knitting Kitties
There they being good for a few minutes during the flurry of e-mails. They are from left to right in the back, Ladybird, her mate Huey, and the bad, bad Emily.  In the front is Myrtle and Mr. Bird who is Emily's mate. D says he wants to get a mate for Myrtle at some point.  I spoken to Myrtle about this and she says she would rather do without the hassle.  I think Emily is jealous of Ladybird because Huey seems to know what to do and Mr. Bird prefers to take his passions to the rope toy.  To put it nicely.

The new medium size cage arrived and I gave it a good shower in the tub with some bleach cleaner, just to be safe.  I tried and tried and couldn't catch Emily or Mr. Bird.  So when I saw Di and J outside I mentioned I got the new cage.  Di had loaned me the money earlier that morning and was worried they would bring me some nasty rusty thing.  J came over and helped me get Emily and Mr. Bird in there new home.  I felt bad having to split the boys up.  They are quite the buddies usually sitting on the front perch together chattering and I picture them with each a beer having a grand time. 
From Knitting Kitties
Mr. Bird and Emily in there new home.  Emily is quite put out about me moving Mr. Birds lovey rope into their new place. Mr. Bird and Huey shout back and forth to each other. "Where are you?" "I'm here. Where are you?" "I'm here. Where are you?"  I can't wait to get the living room put back together and place them next to each other.  

I finished the shawl Saturday afternoon.  Well, I ran out of yarn that is. It's more a shawlette and I'm hoping I can steam block a bit larger.  I don't know if I can find a matching yarn down here.  I got at Michaels back in New York a year ago.  Not sure if Bernat Satin is a "no dye lot" like Simply Soft is. 

It's now 10:30 in the morning and I'm still waiting on Mr. Rude. I'm hoping it won't be as bad as I'm anticipating. I really dislike overbearing men and I seem to be a magnet for them. D says it's because I'm small that those type of men feel they can be abusive to me. I do hope he doesn't come just as my shows are coming on, but I have a feeling.....

Oh yes, a friend and long time reader e-mailed and said she couldn't comment as the pop up window wasn't working. I've switched to full page. If you are trying to comment and having problems send me an e-mail so I can see what else I can do. I really would hate to miss out on some commenting as I do enjoy hearing from you and I like to return visit when I can.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Fun

It is 9:30 am and I'm sitting here waiting for the rude carpet man to come back. The carpet feels quite dry and the fan is still running adding to our electric bill.  Rude carpet man told me not to touch his fan and to wait for him to decide when the carpet is dry.

At midnight, Di came over and asked if my bathroom sink over flowed.  Our sinks for the bathroom and the kitchen are adjoining.  Mine had not. Hers had overflowed and flooded the bathroom into the hallway. *heavy sigh* Our sinks also adjoin with two apartments upstairs. We had a kitchen sink flood back in April when the boys in the apartment above me stuffed the garbage disposal with hard boiled eggs.

I'm thoroughly exhausted and disgusted.  So I give you this video I found on Ravelry's Big 6.  It made me smile.  I might keep it on repeat all day on my lap top.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Trouble and Mayham

The next time I end a post with I'm going to cause trouble and mayham, please stop me.  Wait, that's right you can't. Right after I hit publish post, I stood up to get more coffee. My feet were wet. At first I thought I might have left my tea mug on the futon hand rest over night and the cats knocked it over marauding in my yarn bin. I must have been so tired when I went to bed, I forgot to put the lid on. Some time during the night, I got up to stagger to the bathroom and tripped over a large spider web.  It was quite actually my yarn.  The wet was too big to be what was left in a tea mug.  It was getting progressively worse.

We pulled out my rocker and there was a warm pond. I went to the manager next door and he and D pulled back the carpet.  There was a pond forming in the concave of the concrete right next to his wall.  He went and pulled back his carpet and he had a bubbling pool coming up from a crack in his concrete.

From Knitting Kitties

This morning, the workers came and sledge hammered out a hole on his side and found a pipe running from the community hot water heater.  Luckily, there was the leak right next to the wall.  He said last year, there was a leak in one apartment that the water flowed under the concrete and came up through a crack in another apartment and flooded it.

After a morning of the water being shut off.  Why is it that when the water is off you can find a million uses for it?  I'm now sitting here with a fan blowing dry the musty wet carpet that is probably older than I am.  Why is it my bunnies had to choose that corner under the secretary to spread their doots?  Not a good time.  Hopefully it will all be over soon.

You know for living in the desert, where there is supposed to be no water, I've seen more floods than all my years in watery Western NY.

From Knitting Kitties

From Knitting Kitties

I finished my first skein this morning and joined the new one with a Russian join.  It was really quite easy and you can't see the join in the knitting at all. I keep thinking of various residents I've known while working as a nurse.  I try to imagine the lady who will be receiving this one and hope she enjoys the warmth it will bring, it's so cuddly, snuggly soft. As you can see I got over 13 inches from the first skein, so I'm thinking maybe half again the length with the second, it should be 20 inches at the longest point.  I think this should be good for someone sitting in a wheelchair.

For those of you who might want to make things to donate to long term care centers, they're not just for old people any more.  I've seen my share of residents my age that are in with Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, Downs Syndrome and even strokes.  Basically, any long term condition where the person requires such extensive daily care that can't be at home.

My suggestions are: lapghans, about the size of a baby blanket only in more grown up colors.  Snuggly shawls for women and hats for men.  Fingerless mitts (for oh so cold hands) in very soft yarn, something like the Bernat Satin I'm using for the shawl would be good. Older peoples skin is tissue paper thin and the smallest scratch can quickly turn into a skin tear. I've bandaged many a tear caused by just a bump against something hard.  Slipper socks are good for non-ambulatory patients.  Bags for wheel chairs and walkers are good.

As you can see, I much on my hands right now.  Hopefully my next post I'll be in a better position.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

WIP Wednesday

 A couple days ago, I saw a post on Ravelry asking about patterns for nursing home residents.  Some of you may know that I worked as a nurse in nursing homes, or long term care facilities for years until I injured my back 11 years ago.  I made some suggests for things that could be made and found myself being compelled to make something to help out.

They are trying to make gifts 185 residents for Christmas for a nursing home in Illinois. I told them if they can get any extra it would be a good idea as there is a high rate of turnover during the holidays.  Many people might be surprised as to how many elderly are dumped into a nursing home and forgotten during the holidays.  They seem to be the very last to be remembered during the holiday season.  I think some of the very loneliest places are nursing homes.  If you want to read more about what they are doing they set up a blog at One Stitch At A Time

From Knitting Kitties
I rummaged through my yarn and found some Bernat Satin I bought to make throw pillows and found a simple shawl pattern.  It's working up pretty quickly on size 9 US needles.  I have 9 inches in just one evening. It's so soft and cozy, I just picture someone enjoying snuggling up this winter. I would happy as a clam if I were in a home and a stranger gave this to me. This weekend I going to look through my fabric and make a couple bags to hang on walkers.

From Knitting Kitties
I sewed on half of the 4 x 4 x 4 granny square blanket together.  So far it will be about the size of a baby blanket square.  I'm not sure if I just want to trim it and my Granddaughter can use it as a snuggle blanket while watching tv, or if I want to get more pink and make it a rectangle for her bed.  Still plenty of time to decide before mailing out for Christmas. 

Grey's Anatomy reruns are about to come on the Lifetime Channel. I'll get some more stitching time in while watching those, then I'll go see what trouble and mayham I can cause.  To see more posts by The Blog Hub on Ravelry head over to Tami's Amis

Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Canada

I hope everyone in Canada is enjoying their turkey and pies.  I love Thanksgiving, mostly, I love turkey, gravy, stuffing and pie.

From Knitting Kitties

I'm watching for the turkeys.

From Knitting Kitties

What do you mean only in Canada?

From Knitting Kitties

I ran out of yarn.

From Knitting Kitties
I ran out of the pink yarn.  I still have bunches of other yarn.  If I ran totally out of yarn, D would call all the newspapers and declare it international headline material.

I had just enough to finish the two larger squares and now I'm sewing them all together.  Not sure, how I want to finish it off.  I think I'll wait until I get more of the pinks then decide, I have time. 

I frogged back the dress I was knitting for my Granddaughter, got it back on the needles and now to finish as a longish sweater.  Her birthday is just before Thanksgiving here in the US so it will give us something to do while Butterscotch and I wait anxiously for our turkey, gravy and pies.  Did we mention how much we love turkey?