52

What’s in the number 52? Looks innocent enough. However, when employed in statistics, it means that whatever you’re polling has a better than half rating; as a decibel measurement, it’s a whisper.  In 1952, the average cost of a home was $9,050.  Additionally, it’s the number of weeks in a year and the number of white keys on a piano.  To be terribly obscure, it’s also a significant number in the Mayan calendar.  We all know how important the Mayan calendar is in our daily lives. *cough*2012*cough, cough*

It’s also means that AARP has been sending you membership cards for the last two years; that you see your doctor twice a year instead of once a year; that you’ve had your colon probed at least once, and the mammograms are really starting to wrack up in number.  And because progressive lenses don’t work for you, you have bifocals and now you’re thinking of tri-focals. old age humor It means you don’t especially know what YOLO means, nor do you care enough to Google it.  Ok…I looked it up.  You Only Live Once.  True enough, but are we saying it that much that it warrants an acronym?   

But, if you’re damned lucky, it means you’re 52 years old and in relatively good health.

Happy birthday to me!

The Cat’s Out of the Bag

 

Looking like an old hippie - LOL!

Looking like an old hippie – LOL!

I was just going to go to work and back home. It wasn’t a patient day, just time for the office help to get caught up and set up a new computer.  So why not wear the tee? And don’t bother with makeup or doing the hair- just put it in a braid. It was appropriate.

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Most of the shirt…

As much as I am an advocate for medical marijuana, I don’t use it,  and when you live in a small town, you have to tread carefully. So what do I find myself doing? Going to the local grocery store and pizza place. Yea. Treading carefully. If I was to judge by the looks alone, I’d say I was doing the butterfly stroke!  Oh, well.  No pussy-footing around any more-  the cat’s out of the bag!

Working with Fingering Yarn for a Top

Am I out of my mind? I hope not. I found a cute tank I could knit and the pattern called for sportweight yarn, but I was able to find a comparable fingering weight.  Correction:  an expensive comparable fingering weight made of cotton, bamboo and silk. High definition for the pattern – not

A foresee some blocking in my future.

A foresee some blocking in my future.

that it’s needed; it’s a simple 3x rib.  Period.  I need something a little mind-numbing, and the toy rabbit still isn’t finished because I was having to do too much thinking.

Anyway, I wanted a summery top after working with all that heavy winter wool.  This will also be the first article of clothing, that’s not an accessory, I’ve made in a long time.  The last one I made took my three months, and it came out way too big.  So I deliberately threw a wool sweater into the dryer.  Now, the arms a bit short, and all the detail work is lost due to the felting effect, but I still wear it!  I didn’t spend three months on that just to throw it away, dorkified or not.

 

The Smell of Gasoline and the Stress of Not Knowing

All right, you guys: fess up. I am not the only regular, non-whiffing human who really enjoys that first sniff of gasoline when it’s being pumped into the tank.  You know, that first little hint, and then it become overpowering and you’re done.

My heinous secret!

My heinous secret!

I’ve told others of this, and I’m always looked at askance, like, “Ahh…that explains it!”  For all you smart asses out there, it’s not a recreational thing, I don’t huff/whiff/whatever, because it’s something I’ve honestly never thought of doing, even if it wasn’t illegal.  Yuck.  Even when I was a young hot-head looking to experiment with mind-altering…uh…experiences, this was never an option.  Ever.

And I cannot be the only one who has this olfactory quirk.

So what does this have to do with the stress of not knowing?  Well, it’s a tenuous connection at best, but I know that whenever I’m fueling my car, I can always expect that little, secret pleasure.  As fun and/or miserable as life can be with all its whacky twists and turns, it’s nice to know that if, in a
very particular circumstance, you do a, it equals b, not f or qx!

As for what I’m stressing on, in my last post I said we had pulled out of escrow on one house because a house I really wanted had come back on the market.  We were one of two bids on the house, and we didn’t have any contingencies, they did, and we were waiting to hear back from our realtor.  We were fairly confident that our bid would be the winning one and were mentally re-designing the kitchen, which colors the walls need to be painted and in general talking about what we’d need to do to make the house really slick and cool (you know,when you first move into a new house and you have all these great ideas, and only 10% of these go through as planned!)  Imagine my surprise when the next day our realtor called to let us know that the other offer had been accepted, even though it was a lower bid, because they wrote a sob story about their children needing a home.  Son of a b…well, you know.

The owners of the house I’m currently renting are really cool.  As a former home owner and landlord/lady/whatever, myself, I have always kept them abreast of what is going on, especially with the house hunt, because it’s a good thing.  And not only that, Staci has some of the most photogenic children I know, and you’ve probably seen them modeling my stuff in earlier posts.  She has been a sympathetic ear throughout the process, but she didn’t know that the amount we qualified for had been raised, because I didn’t think it was worth mentioning.  So when she heard of my latest disappointment, she texted me back and said, “I wish you could just buy the house!”  After several back and forths and all sorts of other stuff that would bore you, we are know in escrow to buy the house we’ve always wanted from the beginning, the one we’re already living in and loving.

With our track record going here, I’m on pins and needles.  I expect something to be too much, such as insurance.  Homeowners insurance here is quite dear, because we’re right in the middle of the forest during one of the worst droughts in California history and summer brings a rash of forest fires that puts one on their toes during this time.  This is included in our monthly payment.  That’s what is worrying me.  I have several insurance agents searching for a not so god-awful expensive policy.  I am keeping my fingers crossed!

As for my knitting, I’m plodding along at a snail’s pace, snatching what time I have to do a couple of

Figuring out how long to make the ears and how to place them.

Figuring out how long to make the ears and how to place them.

rounds and then regretfully, putting it back in my yarn satchel.  Yes, I have a yarn satchel for my WIPs, don’t you?  Even though this is a relatively easy knit, because I’m making so many modifications to the original pattern, written by Cassidy Clark, it moves very slowly.  Backing up, doing knitting math, and seriously trying to envision what you’re going after.  These take time.  Hopefully, I will have a bunny wabbit that looks somewhat cuddly.

See you in the funny pages!

 

House Hunting and Teddy Bear Pattern

I’ve been terribly lax about posting anything these days and I apologize.  I’ve been in the middle of house hunting and knitting teddies.

The housing market these days – shees!  It’s definitely more of a seller’s market vs. a buyers market, and that’s been stressing me out.  I can’t speak for anyone else’s home buying experience, but living in California, you have a window of time to buy for the best value, but not especially the largest selection, and that’s in winter to very early spring.  We are on the cusp right now, and I have found a home I want to buy…after pulling out of escrow on another home I wanted to buy but thought better of only one week into the process.  Now that I’ve read that, I guess the market isn’t that skimpy on selection if I’ve been able to find two houses I like well enough to put in escrow!  Anyway, tortuous.

In the meantime, I’ve tried some new knitting techniques for myself and in the process have created  a cute little teddy!  Just click on the link for the pattern.  arrow

In the designer’s defense, I did make some modifications to her pattern and ended up arms a bit longer than I would have preferred, however, I am overall impressed and pleased with the toy.  Thinking of sending little Teddy off to my niece!

So wish me luck on my house hunt.  Hopefully, we’ll find out soon enough if our bid is accepted.

Quick Note About the “Crafting Links” Page

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It would appear, that for some unknown reason, my patterns cannot be accessed from smartphones.  Links to other crafters appear to be ok, but for some reason, the patterns I wrote are not working.  Fortunately, they can still be accessed from a laptop and I assume this also applies to desktops.  If you have difficulties with this, let me know and I’ll see what I can do; maybe if I send you a direct link?

If anyone out there knows what the issue is, please let me know.  Until then, we will do our best.

See you in the funny pages!

Change of Perspective

Rachel goofing around at the World Market

Rachel goofing around at the World Market

When my daughter, Rachel, was spending her tax refund money before it burned a hole in her pocket, she and I stopped at the local Cost Plus World Market to ransack their wares.  We’d been to most of our usual haunts and couldn’t pass up visiting this perennial favorite.  There are items there that can’t be had anywhere else.  I like to buy the McVities Digestive Milk Chocolate Biscuits since it reminds me of living in England, and my husband really likes the German section since he was born in Germany.  And Rachel, well, she just likes the place!

While perusing the pickles, I noticed a couple about my age, in the same aisle.  Nothing spectacular, just your ordinary, middle-aged couple looking for some exotic pickles.  Almost immediately after seeing them, my eyes were drawn to the woman’s purse.  This purse was not your everyday purse.  No.  This purse was of a make and design that I have yearned and longed after for years.  Has anyone ever heard of Dooney & Bourke?  The Giraffe print? Yep.  However, being the absolute cheapskate I am, I refuse to

It's love!

It’s love!

pay retail on such designer products, so that means I go to eBay and look for gently used purses, and this particular design is about as hard to find as a great quality diamond at a department store. Yet here one was, in the flesh, looking oh, so pretty, and very well kept (angelic choir hitting high note).  I walked with purpose to the couple and immediately remarked on the woman’s purse.  I discovered she’d had it for 6 six years and how she loved it too.

I walked away, feeling I’d made a connection with another true Dooney & Bourke lover and didn’t think much of the conversation.

Later, (yes, we spend that much time there) I was approaching the couple again.  They were looking at the dining tables and had negligently left the cart, with the purse alone in it, in the aisle.  The husband saw me coming and, for no apparent reason, made a mad dash back to the cart as I walked by.  My brows creased in consternation…what was that all about?  And then, the only scenario I could think of popped into my head.  The husband was protecting the purse from…me.  I thought about our conversation and reviewed it for anything suspicious.  I looked at my once pretty crocheted purse,

It doesn’t look like this anymore. :-(

 

which is now battered up beyond belief because it comes everywhere with me, and it dawned me that, yes, in a parallel universe, maybe I would have thought of such a thing, but really, why would a thief alert their prey?  Was I too friendly?  Too jealous?  Huh?

I started laughing as I tried to imagine a scenario that involved me snatching the purse.  We were located about as far away from the exit as possible…well, that would be the wine section, but you get it.  There were displays, rows of products, and people milling about between me and the door.  That would just be damn stupid.  And as for a quiet switch, again, I would have to make my way out of the building before she would notice that her purse was missing.  There were so many others around, I don’t see how it could be done.

Am I not criminal-minded enough?  Am I a pigeon looking to be plucked?  Am I not careful enough of what I say?  Unfortunately to the last one, I believe the answer may be “yes”.  I saw a purse that I adored and thought I would remark on it.  I like when people compliment my purse, and yes, it still happens, but I don’t think they’re looking to steal it!  Maybe living in the sticks has changed my outlook?  Possibly.  Will I be more careful what I say to strangers?  I seriously doubt it!!  The moral of the story?  Don’t approach strangers and rant about how beautiful their purse is and how you’ve always wanted one, unless you’re going to anyway, then expect people to act strangely if you get near them again.

Lesson not learned.