Thursday, October 05, 2006

I never learn

I have two knitting projects on the needles that are not done, and time is ticking away. I know that I have to sit and work on them every night between now and christmas or they will never be complete, and yet there I was last night starting a NEW project. Sometimes if I am going somewhere that requires a wait, I like to bring a project along and get a few rows done while I am waiting. Waiting rooms, lines, TV time, this is how somebody who has NO time MAKES time for hobbies. I can't tell you how many people see my knitting and say with a sarcastic smirk - "It must be nice to have enough time for something like that". Let's get one thing straight right now. Nobody has time to knit. But those who knit, make the time. We are not superhuman, but rather able to relist our priorities to get those precious minutes we need to do 'just one more row'. For example, laundry. You would be surprised how long you can stretch between loads of laundry if you really want. It's all a matter of tolerance, and teaching your family that they should ENJOY wearing bathing suit bottoms instead of underwear, that it is like a game or something. Letting the bath towels get a little damper before tossing them in the wash, waiting just a day or two more before washing those bedsheets (by the way, making the DH and the child wash their feet before bed? Adds an extra day. Don't look at me like that. You're just jealous that you didn't think of it first). Toilets go unscrubbed, floors go unswept and certainly not washed. The crumbs on the table cover other crumbs. See, if you sit in a whole other room (that is clean already, seems to be the trick here), the rest of the hovel is not nearly as oppressive and you can really get some knittin' done. But back to the projects, and addition thereof. While the poncho-turned-wrap and the scarf are not hard, they do require close attention to the pattern. At least for a person like me who can't memorize a sequence of FIVE stitches let alone 22 or 100. And all those knitters who say things like "the pattern is easy to memorize" and "eventually you can just anticipate what comes next rather than staring at the chart" - well, either they are lying or I am brain damaged because NO WAY can I manage it. Having to keep such a watch does not mix with that style of knitting - portable, in lines, a few rows at a time. It is better suited to a long TV program or a few quiet hours after everybody is in bed. I needed something portable, that didn't require staring at a pattern constantly. So we have SOCKS! These socks are for myself. The first person that says that I don't wear socks gets a smack, I know I don't wear socks. That doesn't mean I can't MAKE myself a pair. So there. Anyway, I cast on the first sock a while ago, using some hideous yarn that I absolutely love love love. But between then and now the socks stalled and languished. So I pulled out what was there, recast, and started again from a new pattern. This is them so far. The great thing about the new striping and patterned sock yarns, is that you can knit miles and miles of straight stockinette (just knit stitches in the round) and it looks like you did something really complicated. The crocheted poncho for DD is basically done. I may add a few touches, but I promised a picture so here it is. She absolutely adores it. It is quite warm, due to the tight, single crochet stitches in the blue areas. It does allow some ventilation though, as crochet is always full of holes LOL. The green edging is a stitch pattern I have used before and I like. By varying the stitch lengths and crocheting in the back loop only, you get a waved effect. Nice for water, or in this case meadow grass. I am not sure I like the tree, and I would do certain things different next time. But DD loved it and didn't want it changed. In case you need reminding, my brief was "a poncho with a blue sky and green grass, a tree and a bush. And a dog, a bunny, and a bird". This is my take on those instructions. The animals can come out of the pocket to be played with, and are tethered so they don't get lost. I may add a cloud or two, or some other detail if she requests but for now she loves it and wears it. Gets quite a few comments on it to. And if you are a KT reader, you know about our new addition to the household. A potato bug named, of all things, "Princess". When she found it, she called it a he, but somehow at some point the bug got morphed into a girl. Royalty, no less ;). Princess is the dark blob on the white blob (damp paper towel). Apparently they need moisture to breathe. I think this may qualify as the best tended and well fed backyard creepy-crawlie ever. The pictures suck, I know. I need a new camera, as this one won't take good closeups and doesn't capture colours nicely. I will slice potatoes and carrots and sliver almonds for this thing. I will spritz the paper towel every few hours. I will even take pictures and post them on my blog. But I ain't touching that thing. If it gets loose and the cats eat it, circle of life baby. Circle of LIFE.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The simple things

Sometimes I look at Ruby and think she is much smarter than I give her credit for. She really knows how to live. Full enjoyment of the simple things in life, that is her ticket. Not only does she like her meals, she revels in them. She eats with her whole being, tail tightly curled in unrivaled joy. Several times during the process (and while chewing and smacking and licking her chops) she walks away from her dish to give you a look of frivolity, as if to say "Can you believe how good this stuff is?". In fact, while I am preparing her food she can barely contain herself. She dances for joy, pirouettes, huffs and buffs and woos at me. When she can't take it anymore she stands up on the cupboard with her front paws and claws at the drawer fronts, clenching her little paws (she has such expressive toes) in excitement. She dances all the way as I carry her dish over to the feeding area, and if anybody else is in the kitchen she will run over to them and jump up on them as if to say "Isn't it grand? Aren't you excited?!?!". When she sleeps, she ZONKS. Complete body paralysis. Deep snoring and sighing. You know she is asleep from the tip of her pushed in nose to the tip of her curly tail. Even a cat doesn't look as comfy as she does when she sleeps. Watching her slumber on a pillow in such bliss, it is impossible to make oneself move her over to set down ones own head. Okay, I am a pushover, but I just can't do it. I squeeze my head onto a tiny little corner while she gets the rest. Literally, because I sure ain't resting on that one tiny cornery inch of pillow! If she sees me sitting on a chair or couch, she assumes that she is supposed to be on my lap, and in fact, insists on it. She won't jump up on her own until she is completely desparate, but "assumes the position" so I can haul her up. It's like lifting a squishy cinder block with legs that snorts. And I always exact my price for such a service, which is a big kiss right on her face as I lift. She hates it, but tolerates it LOL. Once up she turns once or twice, then plops down with a sigh. Nothing looks more content than a pug in a lap. Except maybe a pug with a lovey. Ruby has always had a lovey, but it has changed over time as they got grungy or damaged or disemboweled ;). She will suck on one part while kneading it with her paws. She sighs and snorts and grunts in satisfaction, and usually falls asleep. First her eyes close. Then her body relaxes. And finally, even her tail goes limp. So much enjoyment from a simple stuffed animal. Her current nap partner is a purple bear, stolen from DH. When we had the flu, DH was the last to suffer. DD, being a good nurse, brought him the purple bear from her own stuffy collection, to keep him company while he was in bed. Was it jealousy? Was it opportunity? After all, Ruby knows she isn't supposed to take DD's stuffed animals, but this one was on HER pillow. Either way, she appropriated it and sucked on it's nose and it became her new lovey. She still loves her squirrel(s) and the blue neck pillow, but the bear is her treasured nap partner now. If I ask her if she wants to take a nap, she excitedly goes and fetches the bear. If she sees me lying on the couch, she runs and gets the bear and joins me. Maybe there is something we can learn from her. She wants little, really. Just a few good meals, a nap or two, a nice soft pillow, a warm lap, and a lovey. With even one of those things, she is good to go.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A sad day

Last night we lost an important member of our family. Dudley. For those of you who don't know, Dudley was a goldfish. Not just any goldfish. He was friendly. He liked to swim over and take a good look at you when you looked at him. He was always happy to see me, food or not. He would follow my finger, and when I had my hands in the tank to clean it, he would swim in and out of my fingers like he was playing hide-and-seek. Or maybe endurance trials like the dogs do at shows rofl. Every once in a while we would float a ping pong ball in the tank, and he seemed delighted in bumping it to-and-fro with his speckled snout. I liked to say he was the pug of the goldfish world LOL. DD had a friend over, and wanted to show her the fish tank. "Mom! Dudley is stuck behind the filter!". He wasn't so much stuck, as had floated there. So another circle of life lesson for DD, and her little friend by default, and her first visit here to boot. Between that and the fact she couldn't find our bathroom and wet her pants while she was here (there is nothing quite like the look on a parent's face when they come to pick up their child and notice they are wearing different clothes), well, this first visit is likely to be her last. There is only so much that can happen on a first play date. Life lessons and pee in the shoes push those limits. Either way, I am going to miss that little fish. Don't let anybody tell you that fish don't have a personality, or aren't real pets. I only regret that I never got a picture of him, they just never turned out right and I don't think I kept any of them. On the work front, I have been very very busy. Go-lives, presentations, daily deadlines, meetings and conference calls, I barely have had time to breathe. Today was particularly difficult, but it is too raw and too new to talk about it yet. Let me just say it was not pleasant, and as go-lives go it was dreadful. I have been part of downsizings that were less tense and nasty, even when I was the one who gave the axe and walked them out of the building. Just a little perspective there. After DD goes to bed I plan on taking the longest, hottest shower known to man. Or at least our little water heater. On the knitting front, I have completely abandoned the column of leaves scarf for my mother. I was hating it, the yarn overs were too fiddly to work with and I kept screwing up, and really. Did I want to knit that much hate into a GIFT? I didn't abandon the idea altogether, however. I started again with a few rows of garter stitch. Then two repeats of a beech leaf stitch pattern with some garter stitch in between and at the edges. There are only a few yarn overs and the pattern is much less stressful. It is wider than I originally wanted, and I see now that I put too much garter in between the repeats. But I still like it so will continue. A wider scarf suits my mother better anyway. I think it looks good, and I know it will look even better after blocking, even though acrylic type yarns don't block the same way nor as severely as wool does. And just so you know, it is not nearly as yellow as it appears in the picture! It is more of a pearly, shimmery wheat colour. My camera doesn't always capture colours well. Have you ever been craving something, bought the stuff to make it and could hardly wait until it was done to eat it? I have been craving - of all things - sausages and sour kraut. I finally gathered all the ingredients (ALL the ingredients, like it was a huge list. A can of sourkraut, a sausage, and an onion) and made it tonight. Disappointed! The sausage had a good flavour but the texture was too dry. The kraut was way too tart, and the onions kind of got lost. So I tossed in a defrosted container of cabbage rolls. It made the cabbage rolls taste really good, but didn't fix the sausage and kraut front. Maybe I will eat the cabbage rolls, pick out and toss the sausage slices, rinse what is left and use it for perogie filling. After adding a lot more browned onions and frying it a good long while, that is. I have been looking forward to this meal since the weather got colder (cool-ish. It was HOT today!), which is sort of sad in itself LOLOL. So that is it for now. I am ready for bed already. I wonder if I can convince DD it is later than it is, so she goes to bed two (or three) hours early. I really need that hot shower, before the over-tense muscles in my shoulders sproing.