Good Times, a Parking Ticket and Farewell to a Dear Friend

 

On Worldwide Knit in Public Day, June 10, I made the 100 mile round trip trek to the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento to knit with a friend of mine that I hadn’t seen for awhile.  Last Knit in Public Day event I had been to was in 2015, and we were outside where I had to sit on some hard ground. Well, it was the well manicured lawns around the capital building, but ground is ground and it can be hard on these middle-aged bones! Being indoors with air conditioning during a heatwave was a welcome relief and I didn’t have to constantly shift my weight for pressure compensation.  It was a pleasant affair and I did enjoy myself immensely.  We closed them out at 2:00 pm, and my friend and I walked to our metered parking spots where I discovered –

A parking ticket.  I had been very careful to choose the time I wanted and paid up with a debit card and was unhappy.  I’ve disputed the ticket, and now I’m in ticket limbo.  Fun.

On a sad note, I had to put down my beautiful baby boy, my chocolate labrador retriever who was 12 years old, on June 29.  We were there with him at the vet’s office when he passed peacefully.  I’ve been crying on and off for the last few days – in fact, I just finished a crying jag.  I have a Queensland Heeler and a Chihuahua mix rescue doggie, and they’re adorable, but they’re not my Mario.  He was my 24/7/365 companion.

I’m not having a good year.

What’s happening with everyone else?

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Review on Red Heart Scrubby yarn

Aaaand….we’re back.

I purchased this yarn several years ago with the intent of making it my “next” project, as soon as I was done with whatever I was working on at the time.  Oops.  I’d actually started this particular post around then.  Its been languishing in the Drafts section, silently accusing me every time I wrote about something else.  Why haven’t you whipped up this easy project?  I’d skim over the Drafts option and choose New.  Sometimes, that’s the way it goes.

So, what did I think after the two year wait?  The yarn is nice and scrubby, textured enough to make finding stitches a little difficult.  I can definitely see its value as a household cleaning item.  But this is a double-edged proposition.  For the yarn to be effective enough, it has to be coarse enough, and that can make it rough on your skin as you’re working it.  I had to stop twice before chafing started!  I will also add that I already have dry, rough, older skin, so this may not be an issue for all of you who try it.

As for the particular pattern I used, Fancy Flower Scrubber, that sucker is big.  I won’t be making a second blue one because I can’t see using them for their intended purposed.  It’s way larger than my hand so it wouldn’t be ergonomic for me.  I may whip up a simple square in hdc just to use it up…but later.  Need to give my skin a break.

For the first time in over 30 years…

I’m doing my laundry in a laundromat. Such captivating entertainment!

And it is expensive. Wow. Takes me back to the last time I did this. I was active duty stationed in England. And so young! 

I am also going to take advantage of this down time to update my readers (hi mom!) of what’s going on. 

St. Patrick’s day hat – incomplete

I have been in a strange mood. I should be whipping out bunnies for the upcoming Easter season, but I just don’t have the heart.  Same for St. Patrick’s day. 😕 I understand life goes on, and I also understand that sometimes, you need to sit back and watch it go by, even though it rankles the hell out of me. 

But I don’t understand what I did to highlight these paragraphs!

I must say all is not lost. I am making headway on my Hawaiian shirt that I attempted last year. 

Wave action!

 I’m not using the same cotton yarn I tried last time, but a more user friendly acrylic. I’m very excited about it and will post the pattern as soon as it’s finished – assuming it makes the cut. 

So, dear readers, I hope you’re enjoying your Tuesday, or as in my case, reliving an experience – and making the most of it!!

Sad News

Necessary mittens

Necessary mittens

It’s February and this winter has gone on forever.  Normally, I’m a real fan of cold weather.  I look forward to having a crackling fire going in our stove or playing outside in the snow and having an excuse to knit or crochet almost nonstop.  Of course, this month is generally when the blahs kick in and I can’t get excited about anything, but this year the constant rain and darkness and worry is creating a different feel to my usually scheduled February lassitude.

On Sunday, my mother-in-law passed away (see Of Flooding and Exploding Dryers).   That was way ahead of schedule.  My husband was shocked, naturally, but also because he had just talked to his mother only a few days ago and she hadn’t indicated things were any worse.  As to the why my husband and I had this erroneous notion that her death was in some mid-long distant future, I can’t really say.  Maybe because she appeared to be relatively healthy and mobile when we saw her last month, or maybe, truly, we just didn’t want her to go.  Since this notion created a warped sense of of time, preparations that should have been made earlier were all of a sudden upon us.  We’ve spent the last several days making travel arrangements, funeral arrangements, buying clothes and so much more that I can’t think straight – and there’s still a lot more to do.  As I lie here in bed, typing this entry in the dark, I hear the wind whipping up the trees and hope this won’t delay any travel plans for tomorrow because I am ready for this to be over.

Our new fur baby, Nicky, playing with his recently adopted brother, the chocolate lab, Mario.

Our new fur baby, Nicky, playing with his recently adopted brother, the chocolate lab, Mario.

In the meantime, life goes on.  I’ve managed to make a few more hats for sell, make our new little rescue fur baby a doggie vest and I’m working, slowly, on a pair of mittens.

What are you working on?  I need some good news, dear readers!

*Name changed for privacy.

Ain't he a little stinker?

Ain’t he a little stinker?

Of Flooding and Exploding Blow Dryers

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We’ve all heard the expression “When it rains, it pours.”  January was a monsoon for me.

It actually started mid-December with the news of my mother-in-law’s stage IV stomach cancer diagnosis.  With a six-month timeline, Elke* has opted to receive hospice care.  All her life she’s dealt with cancer.  It started in her late 20s, returned in her 40s, again in her late 60s, and with this last bit of news, she said she’s done.  Prognosis was not good to begin with, and she just didn’t want to go through the “cure” again.  Her husband, John*, has been displaying signs of dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease.  He had to be reminded who we were, and yet, most cruel, he’s aware of it right now.  They live in Texas, three and a half states over, and timing was not good.  But it had to be done.

The journey back to Texas was odd.  Any road trip I’ve taken before has always been a good thing.  My husband and I made the most of it, since it was three days hard travel.  My sister, who lives in Bakersfield, was gracious enough to let us use her place as flop house.  We literally spent less than 15 minutes talking to her before we headed for bed, and then in the morning, we hugged one and another and moved on, both going and coming back.  The second day out, I wrote some errant thoughts.  Those long drives gives a person way too much time to think.

January 4, 2017, Wednesday

When the sun is rising, the errant contrail casts a shadow on the higher clouds

Driving east along Interstate 10 to Texas

Don’t know how to feel

Sedimentary, layered mountains Las Cruces

Texas landscape out of El Paso flat

Scrub brush

Minimal traffic

Can use cruise control – indefinitely

Occasional butte, rolling hills

Road stretches out in front of you in gentle, undulating waves

Cerulean sky, painted with high altitude stratus clouds

Harmless, no rain

When sun is setting, the color of the western sky shifts from blue to lavender, then gradually to a dusky plum, all but obscuring the horizon, then gradually, deep purple to the black of night.

Headlights

On the third morning of our visit, I was drying my hair, when my blow-dryer of at least 10 years decides to go out with a bang.  Sparks flew and I had to unplug it to stop the sparks from turning into flames.  The acrid smell of burnt electronics filled our hotel room for at least a day.  I felt it was appropriate, somehow, that it should happen at that time; however, I had spent the night before crying, so it was possible I was just upset.  Saying good bye to something else, even something as replaceable as a minor appliance, really set me off.

When driving back, we ran into the storms in Northern California that we’d been monitoring even before we left.  It was an eye-opener to see the areas around Sacramento, flooded by water that had overrun the bank of the Cosumnes River.  Sacramento has the American and the Sacramento Rivers to deal with and the levies around the city are monitored more closely.  What I photographed was the Cosumnes River gone a bit wild, just south of Elk Grove, a suburb of SacTown.  And then from Highway 99 North to I80 East, up around Applegate, the trucks were pulled over because the road over Donner Pass was closed due to snow.

I was so grateful to be home…because our garage was flooding.  We got some more sandbags (don’t ask) and cleaned up what we could.  Thanks goodness the foundation is concrete, and no real damage was done.

On a lesser, but more immediate note, my husband’s car has stopped running.  The money we would have used to fix that was spent visiting his mother.  It sits in the front of the house, ads running on Facebook, Letgo and Craigslist with no results.  I guess no one wants a mechanic’s project at this time.

There is more to the story, but I will leave it.  Sometimes it’s good not to tell so much, and this is one of those instances.

*names changed for privacy

Beanie Freebie

This is the perfect dog lovers toque!  There is stranding, so you have to put up with that (sigh) but the frolicking dogs playing on the new spring grass with the puffy clouds floating overhead make it a worthwhile endeavor!  Because of the height of the chart and the gauge of yarn I used, this particular pattern will only work for pre-teen through adult sizing.  If you want a smaller  hat and want to keep the integrity of the chart, I would recommend using dk or even fingering weight yarn, and the appropriately sized needles and keeping everything else the same.  Click here for the pattern.

Enjoy!20170113_141701

For Those of You Marching on January 21st, 2017…

…and still haven’t started your Pussyhat Project! If you’re like me, using worsted will be the death knell for your hat because it will take too long; however, I want to wear one!  In the interest of saving time, I whipped out my calculator app on my phone and started with some baseline numbers.  As most of you know, when modifying a pattern, it’s a combination of math and “feel”, so if your noggin is…let’s say, anywhere from 19 – 22″, these numbers should work for you.

I searched my yarn and found every other color in the rainbow, except for pink.  Typical.  So the mock up here, will be just that.  As soon as I can find a ride to my LYS, I will be purchasing the yarn to make for me and a friend of mine.  So don’t worry, I know.  The color here is wrong!

In the interest of not being sued, I will generalize the information about the yarn by not giving the brand.  They’ve already dealt with me before, and to keep it brief, let’s just say my issues are that I am a California girl, born and bred – LOL!  Anyway to the modifications!  Using two skeins bulky gauge yarn and #13 knitting needles, cast on 28 sts.  Follow the instructions as written, keeping in mind that the bulkier yarn may make the ears larger – I’m doing it anyway!!!  And that’s it.

If you don’t knit, or would prefer a crocheted version, I found this pattern:  https://www.pussyhatproject.com/crochet/

Need to find where the march is in your state?  I googled “women’s march 2017” and put your state.  You will be able to find information.  I checked some random states, and was pleased to see all had at least a Facebook page.  Hope to see all my sisters, be you female, male, transgender or otherwise, out marching with us on Saturday 21, 2017.