Thursday, November 09, 2006

Avoidance Issues

I have severe avoidance issues. The poncho-turned-wrap is still not done. In fact, it is suspiciously the same size as the last time I touched it. Considering I haven't done any work on it, why does that surprise me? I don't know. It just does. My mother's lace scarf is HALF done. I have cast off the first half and cast on the second half, finished the first few rows and maybe two repeats of the pattern. Only 15 more to go, and several rows of stockinette which we will not mention because I insist it "goes fast" even though it never does. Then grafting in the middle and blocking. I have not added even a single row to either the second sock I started before going to Chicago nor the toe up sock I started at around the same time. All it is right now is round after round of knit stitch, perfectly mindless knitting for in front of the TV or waiting in lines. And yet, have I done any? No. But I HAVE been spending a lot of time knitting. Knitting what, you say? Knitting THIS. It is a scarf. A fisherman's scarf. For DH's Uncle, who is not a fisherman, but if I ever met a man that NEEDS a fisherman's scarf, it is he. I have been pouring over my new books, all four treasuries of knitting patterns by Barbara Walker. Basically, each book is divided into sections by type of knitting. Cables, Lace, Yarn Over, that sort of thing. There are pages upon pages of cables and ribbing and textures and lace and just about anything you could ever think of. Two of the books are charted, the other two have written directions. This is the first time I have ever followed a chart like this, and boy is it complicated! The part that complicates my brain, is that every other row you work the REVERSE of what is charted. So if it shows a knit stitch, it is a knit stitch on the RIGHT side, so you have to do a purl stitch for the row you are on. If it shows a purl stitch, you have to knit and so on. I have no idea what would happen if I tried to do a chart with a cable where there are crossing rows. My brain short ciruited a bit right now when I even wrote it. Anyway, I was looking for a cable for the ends that would suit him. And he is a cable sort of guy. But for some reason, nothing was jumping out at me. Then I saw some texture pages, and I realized my error. He needed a textured fisherman's scarf, not a cabled one. And I have to say, for the yarn I chose, it turned out to be the best decision I have made in my knitting history. I looks absolutely gorgeous, and will suit him to the proverbial "T". I have been so inspired and loving this scarf that I can't seem to put it down. After the ribbing in the middle I will repeat the end from the other side, which will be slightly different because it will be upside down. But since it is a repeating pattern with no real "up" or "down" the difference will be slight and not worth working the piece in halves. The yarn is a natural wool, a neutral colour with flecks of a rich brown (I have no idea why the sides look different colours in the pics, they are the same colour. I really need a new camera!). I chose wool specifically for it's warmth, even in wet horrible weather. The pattern is dense and worked in smaller needles than normal to keep it wind proof. The ends are wide (WIDE. Like 10 inches) to provide warmth and windproofing when tucked into his coat, and I might continue the ribbing long enough that he can wrap the scarf around completely once. He has been having such a problem with the cold, these last few years. Severe arthritis from an injury, and it pervades his entire body. He is small in stature to begin with, and his nature (most of the time) makes one just ache to bring him comfort. A warm hug is about the best I can do, and this is the best hug I can make for him, with love in every stitch. Which is why I started knitting in the first place. Never mind I have at least an illusion piece (which is getting smaller and smaller by the minute, started off as a thought for a pillow and then a scarf, and now maybe a hat), funky socks with toes (niece), long leg warmers (DD), and a sweater for myself to knit before Christmas. Oh, and like three minutes ago I decided to make my dad a cashmere scarf if I can find the yarn in time. Doomed, I tell ya. DOOMED.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Inevitable laws of the universe

There are many inevitable laws of the universe. For example, the toast law. The toast law states that the chances of your bread landing topping-side down on the floor increase proportionately with the stickiness rating of the topping, and the fuzz factor of the floor. Peanut butter and jam versus white shag carpet? We all know how it will end. Dry toast on linoleum? The toast will cling to the plate and refuse to make the jump. There is also a secondary law that applies to toast, bagels, muffins, in fact any bread products where a topping is applied and the item is brought to the mouth. It deals with white shirts or important papers and the likelihood of dripping said topping, but we won't go into it here. (It is too complicated, what with the clauses that deal with hidden drips and becoming aware of them only while giving an important presentation in front of shareholders or important clients, or breast shelf targeting, that sort of thing). Another inevitable law, is that no matter how hard you try, your child is going to eat the messiest thing possible at the worst possible moment. The cheesies minutes before leaving for the birthday party. Chocolate drool is helpless against the irrisistable pull of a white flower girl gown. Sticky sucker residue in the hair on picture day. Anybody who has ever met a child most likely knows something of this law, and the fact that it has a ricochet effect. The messiness often includes more than JUST THE CHILD. Other children in party clothes, adults wearing clean white shirts, well meaning brides in stark white dresses that cost more than my car. By the time you realize what is going on, it is far too late. Ask me how I know, as I bleach out the cheesie handprints from my favourite white gauze blouse (and just so you know, white gauze blouses are very much in fashion right now, and camisoles are NOT, so just deal with seeing my bra. It is a pretty bra. Get. Over. It.). Since moving into this house, we have discovered yet another inevitable law of the universe. And it deals with some odd geological phenomenon surrounding our property. If there is a piece of junk, flotsom, jetsom, trash, litter, garbage, abandoned machinery, anything unwanted and unclaimed, it will eventually find it's way into our yard or onto our boulevard. A busted shopping cart 15 blocks away in the park takes (on average) a week to make it to our house - where it stays until we make arrangments to get rid of it. Cardboard cartons have variable travel times, depending on how big and unwieldy they are, and whether or not they are wet and dirty. Plastic bottles, newspapers, junk mail and inserts, well, those are pretty immediate because the communal mail box is right at the back of our lot. We asked the city for a garbage can and were denied. We placed our own garbage receptacle there and were advised to remove it, only city approved garbage bins are allowed on "public" or government property. We aren't sure which applies to the general surroundings of a mail box, but it doesn't really matter does it. We pass stuff in our neighbourhood and make bets on how long it will take to get to us. I am starting to think we should rent a truck once a week and go around gathering this garbage, then bring it right to the dump. Cut out the middle man, so to speak. Then again, all those kids that would normally spend their time pushing the broken cart and kicking the cartons would have nothing ELSE to do with that time, and a crime spree will ensue. Like a rock and a hard place, my friends. Just a side note. The tv is on, and I am not really watching. But there is a news conference on right now with 'gov-elect So-and-So'. Well, that is what the red white and blue banner at the bottom of the screen says. I am Canadian, what do I know for governors. My beef? While we can hear the replies, we cannot hear the reporters questions. And they are LONG questions. So there are long gaps of a faint "mwah wa wah" and then his answer. Who knows if he is even answering the questions they are asking? "Is it true sir that you are a cannibal and have seventeen chinese nationals in your home and plan to eat them?". His answer "I have no plan to raise taxes at this time". "Sir, you were seen hacking into voting terminals and effectively stuffing ballot boxes. Do you have any response to these allegations?". His answer "I believe that the answer is to educate our youth, put the values back into the family and give our kids the best opportunity we can for a bright future". Hmmmmmm. Side note over. I know nothing about politics, let alone in a different country. Well, against another inevitable law of the universe, there may be good news about my car. See, the inevitable law is that the minute you have a spare dollar, karma invents situations to suck it right out of you. Just when I thought I had enough to finally buy the fridge I covet, BAM. My transmission goes. My winter coat falls apart and my boots from last year are missing. DD grew four sizes in a year and didn't fit into her old winter coat, and her canoe sized feet no WAY fit in her boots. The animals are due for vet visits. The list goes on and on. It seems this time though, the universe decided you CAN'T get blood from a stone, and toned it down a tad. Sure, it still sucked every last dollar out of the fridge account, but I am spared the humiliation of trying to sell my body (and finding out I have to actually sell body parts and organs because I am not marketable in any other way, and every part I do have is damaged so I have to offer them at a deep discount. I have bad eyes, heart, and kidneys. An inherited skin disease. An x-smoker so I don't think my lung tissue is useful to anybody. I can't even donate my hair because it is dyed. My blood is flawed and useless. I wonder if I could still sell plasma. Hmmmm). They were able to reseal the transmission so I don't need a new or rebuilt one. The vet visits can be put off because they seem healthy and it wasn't for shots anyway (just a "well pet" visit which is a different way of saying "pay me to look at your pet for no good reason"). My niece was given a brand new coat and boots that are way too small for her and fit DD perfectly so passed them on. I have a gift certificate for a store that has coats on sale next week. And who needs boots if you can't feel your feet anway ;). Just kidding. I can at least feel that purple toe, and Barney likes to be warm. We found my boots behind the shed in a plastic bin. I don't recognize the bin and don't remember putting them back there, but they aren't covered in blood or anything so I am going to wear them in good spirit - and hope they weren't used in a crime spree.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Sugar melts

This morning DD and I decided we could not POSSIBLY walk to school, because it is raining. And we all know that sugar melts. And us, being so sweet, are certainly made of sugar and would melt to nothing in an instant. *Just an aside. If I really believed I could melt off body parts in the rain, I would be walking in the downpour in a belly-shirt.* DH was planning on driving us anyway, but it never hurts to assert that you are a delicate flower as often as possible to whomever may be in ear shot. You might want to write that down. The toe no longer feels like it is trying to kill me, it has settled to a dull ache. Dull aches are more my style. It is less puffy today, but still a little purple with streaks of black. My sister came over last night to look at it, insisting it can't be THAT bad. She took a peek and drew back like a vampire about to kiss garlic. "Yikes! It looks worse today!". I know. Thank you. Now go away and leave me be with my toe, so I can sing smarmy songs about friendship and family unity and rainbows while drowning my sorrows in fruit salad. I took some arnica last night and rubbed it with arnica cream, so I think that helped make an improvement. I am a firm believer in arnica for breaking up bruises, and trust me, I know for bruises. You could spit at me and I would bruise. I have a spectacular one right now on my behind that is just starting to fade from purple to that odd yellow/green/black. I got it when the cat jumped onto me off the window sill while I was sleeping. Not the bowling-ball-butt cat either, the lighter one. She bruised my ribs a few weeks ago, jumping onto the bed onto me, then being startled because she didn't expect me to be there and rebounded off. It was actually paw shaped. Aren't you glad I am sparing you from pictures of my ribcage and butt, and only subjected you to a toe? I have a bone to pick with somebody. I don't mind that DH and DD are helping themselves to the leftover halloween candy. In fact, I am glad it won't be wasted, although don't think I didn't notice the chocolate bars all went first. My issue? Look carefully. Is there a reason why the empty wrappers and candy boxes are being put back into the container? Are they that lazy, they just toss the wrappers right back in? Wait a minute - what am I saying? I just remembered who I am talking about. Is it wrong that some of that candy is going into the treat bags for DD's birthday? Is that like regifting? Then again, it's not like any of those kids gave us that candy, so regifting isn't quite right. And don't think I didn't see you giving me those looks either....not like YOU don't have a cauldron at home. I have been hankering for some good old fashioned home made chicken soup. So I bought the fixings for the broth, which will be dumped into the slow cooker and let rip until we can't take the savoury smell any longer. My intentions are good, but most of the time the broth never makes it into soup proper. I end up drinking the broth as is, cup by cup, bowl by bowl until it is all gone. The chicken will be removed from the bones and used for other things like sandwiches and casseroles. Tonight I am testing a recipe, so DD will be thrilled to find steak on the menu. Steak is one of her favourite things, but only if it is pink in the middle - pinkified as she calls it. I got some of the biggest steaks I have ever seen, almost two inches thick. I was only going to get one and halve the recipe, but leftover steak has so many uses (including eating it cold, sliced, and dusted with salt and pepper). I will eat mine with roasted brussels sprouts, and DD will have corn and potatoes. There is a pan sauce for the steaks that calls for poblano peppers. The chances of finding a fresh poblano pepper in this city are about as great as the chances I will be crowned "Queen of the Universe" by Simon Cowel. Not bloody likey. I've only been able to find the canned variety once, and I bought every can they had to make chiles rellenos. There were only two peppers in each can, so they went fast! So tonight, a green pepper and a few rings of jalapono will have to do. I am not a fan of sauces on my steak anyway. Unless it is overdone, in which case I like pickled hot peppers or steak sauce. With any luck I can get the broth going and do all the dinner prep at the same time, so cooking tonight will be a breeze.

Monday, November 06, 2006

House of the purple toe

I have a black brieface on wheels. I love that thing. I can fit my laptop, all the cords and accessories, my paperwork, pills, and a whole world of things in there. A handle telescopes out, but doesn't seem to take any room at all in the bag. I love that thing. DD loves it too. She is always playing with it and getting in trouble because there are things in there she should not be touching or playing with or rolling around. She sits her dolls on top and drives them around, or uses it as a shopping cart, or tries to use it as a skate board. We get in more fights over that briefcase! And this weekend was no exception. It lives behind a chair in the family room, right next to my work area. It is out of the way there, but still accessible so I can store things in it. Of course, it is a constant temptation to DD because it is in reach. Sunday she had it out (with the fly swatter in it to be used as a gear shift. I don't even want to think about the fact that the business end of the fly swatter was in with my paperwork) and DH caught her and warned her to put it back. Which she did, sort of, as it was sticking about two inches out. I came down to get the phone, and didn't see it sticking out in the dim light down there, seeing as the thing is matte black and low to the ground. I caught my baby toe, and broke it pretty good. In between the toes it is black and purple and the whole thing is pretty puffy. Now, I am sure nobody is in a good mood after breaking a toe, but I was FURIOUS. This isn't the first time she has left it sticking out, and it isn't the first time I have tripped on it. And when she saw me fall, she ran like hell and hid under her covers because she knew she was going to be in trouble. Dh lectured me that it was my briefcase and I should have a better place for it, blah blah blah. Fine then, I'll toss out your drums and store it THERE, asshole. Oops, did I say that out loud? All I can say is the therapist is going to be earning his money tomorrow. We had a family birthday party yesterday evening, and I spent most of the night defending my foot against my own child, who has some uncanny knack for honing in on an injured part of my body and constantly bumps it. Finally I put it up on a kitchen chair to keep her from stepping on it AGAIN, and what does she do? Drops a cup on it. That's right! Dropped a heavy ceramic mug over the back of the chair and it hit me in the toe. I need a cage, so I can sit in it for my own protection. At least until the toe looks a little less like Barney. I am trying to come to terms with the fact that my car may not be coming home. We have to face facts, if they want like 3 grand to repair it, it won't be worth it unless they can guarantee I'll have at least two more years without any new repairs. So I have been keeping my eyes open for something I might like. While I want a four door (I have a two door now and really it is a pain) it has to be something small with good mileage and low kilometers. I prefer hatchback styles because I feel they have more storage space. And four cylanders or less, please. I am sure it will have to be used, I can't afford something new right now. As it is I hit the end of my pay every month, no way I can add a car payment to my list. As we have been driving around, I see some that look interesting. DH has a unanimous response, basically he hates just about everything that I like. Finally I said never mind. I won't point any more out and please stop sharing your opinion because you are unsupportive and rude. I don't like the cars that he looks at, but I don't say "ew" or "that is just stupid" or make derisive comments. Once again, he doesn't "get it" and says I am being moody. Being without a car is one thing, being without a car and unable to walk around comfortably is another. It should be interesting, walking to get DD from school with this toe. I'm doing a test run around the block in about an hour to see how I do. My dad will be home so I can call him if I need to. He has a convertible mustang (don't even get me started on that LOL) and said he can pick up DD and bring her home with the heat on full blast and the top down. She would be thrilled rofl. I know these last few blogs have been depressing, but sometimes life is that way ladies and gents. I hope there is an upturn in the near future, I really do.