Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
Before the breathin' air is gone...
Before the sun
Is just a bright spot in the night-time,
Out where the rivers like to run...
I stand alone
And take back somethin' worth rememberin'...
("Out In The Country", Three Dog Night)* At our house there are but two "signs" that Spring has finally arrived. And when I see the first sign, I then try to anticipate what the other will be.... Because I know for sure that Spring has truly arrived once Little Baby stops sleeping in her food bowl and, instead, starts sleeping in the sun....and.... ...and that Blaine has made his Big Decision on just how he is going to prepare food on the back deck for the warm weather season. Will he grill it on the little table-top charcoal griller? Will he buy a larger charcoal griller? Or will he regret selling his huge gas griller and get another one? Hibachi? Campfire? WHAT? And then yesterday it happened---the puzzle was solved. Blaine came home with a huge box---and proceeded to build a gigantic meat smoker. Yep, a smoker..... and he built the damn thing in 3 hours --- smack dab in the middle of the living room. And the whole time he was building it, he waxed poetic on its virtues to me. "Yeah, honey" , he said from the huge pile of cardboard and plastic wrapping, "This thing is just the right size for you and me. Not too big, not too small." "Really?" I replied, trying to sound interested. "Yep!" he exclaimed happily, "And it's even got a temperature gauge!" After he finished building it, I helped him tote the behemoth out the back doors and then down to the bottom of the deck--- whereupon he promptly began smoking a huge rack of barbequed ribs that he'd had marinating in apple juice & spices overnight. Another assurance of Spring is less impressive. I found that one of the many snap bean seeds I planted has arisen from the dirt like a green Phoenix. Yahoo! A real live bean sprout!! No other seeds in that pot nor the other pot have yet to sprout but hope springs eternal... Also yesterday I joined a sleeve to the Little Red Riding Hoodie, in a special way I like doing, and I'm about to finish the last inch or two of that sleeve. Once the first sleeve is designed and finished, it only takes a day or two to knit the second one because there won't be umpteen froggings like the first one required. (You can click on the picture for a larger view.) (And before joining a sleeve to the body of a garment (after letting the sleeve "rest" overnight) I always loosely baste the sleeve onto the body several times as I approach the end of the wrist in order to check whenever the sleeve length gets to the perfect length that I want.) The way I join sleeves to a garment on which I've steeked the sleeves and then knitted facings is that I pick up stitches a couple of rows inwards from the facing edge --- all around the entire circular hole for the sleeve (the knitting is usually neater a couple of rounds in from the facing, especially if there's been a lot of fair isle work). And then I knit one round. And then I bind it off. It is to that one-row structure that I sew my sleeves, matching the outer loops of the round of bound off stitches to the outer loop of the first round of the sleeve--and then the sewed edge usually turns out much neater than if I had picked up stitches along the very edge of the facings. Um.... I didn't mean that a "sign of Spring" is me joining a sleeve to a knitted garment. But while I was out there taking a photograph of the lone bean sprout I also snapped a pic of the Little Red Riding Hoodie. Today I'm going to finish the cuff. I'm thinking that I'm going to make a little flared-out part onto which I can sew the tiny little leaf edging that I have been painstakingly knitting. (I've had trouble thinking of an attractive way to end the sleeve and utilize the little leaf edging. But by God, those dang tiny leaves have been so difficult to knit on those dang tiny glove-sleeve needles that I've decided that I'm going to use them on this hoodie even if it dang near kills me....) * *
Thursday, April 15, 2010
I know that I must do what's right,
As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus
above the Serengeti,
I seek to cure what's deep inside,
frightened of this thing that I've become....
("Africa", Toto)* It's Thursday and I'm still melancholy. But at least I'll get to see my idol on TV tonight, pictured above---the angel Castiel on the program "Supernatural". Forgive my obsession with him, but I have a complete teenaged crush on him. He is absolutely the sexiest thing I've ever..... Where was I? Oh yes, updates. The below picture is me catching the little asshole Leonard red-handed in the act of sassing me. (Or should it be 'red-pawed'?) These dang cats always have to get the last word. (Er....the 'last meow'?) Where was I, dang it? Oh yes, the updates! Below is an updated pic of the Little Red Riding Hoodie. (You can click on the picture to make it bigger.) The shoulder area will look different when finished because the dropped sleeves will cause that red & black area of rosettes on the top of the sleeve to be down around the top of the arm horizontally instead of the vertical way it appears now. And that's the third stupid sleeve I have attempted--the other two were tossed... tossed as in Do Not Pass 'Go', Do Not Get Out of Frogging Jail, Do Not Collect Any More Yarn....) I've just begun a length of cabling on the sleeve but it doesn't show up well in the picture. And that little circle of tiny leaf edging will eventually go on the flared cuff I'm going to do on the wrist area. And don't forget---there's going to be a hood on the garment, upon which the leaf trim will go up and encircle---and then go back down the other buttonband. And the hood will have a black drawstring with multicolored pom-pons on the ends. And now, my next picture..... I know, I know---you're thinking "God, she's NOT going to show us pictures of her plants again!?" But I'm afraid so. I don't have much on the deck but the little I do have I'm hoping mightily will do what I want them to do---which is to make tomatoes, herbs, and snap beans. And, weirdly, the tomato plant in the Topsy Turvy upside-down planter has totally turned itself RIGHT-SIDE UP trying to find the sun! It did that overnight, actually, which totally amused Blaine and myself. And the herb pots are doing alright. Every morning, in the dark, I snip myself some cilantro to mince and add into my breakfast omelette. (Have I ever told you that I make killer omelettes? I fill them with grated cheese, herbs, and slices of vine-ripened tomatoes---yummy.) Last but not least are the below snap beans. These ones are further along than the other ones. Which is because I started the other two pots of snap beans with seeds, and the seeds haven't come up yet. But these three are growing like crazy.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
I hear your voice,
it's like an angel sighing,
I have no choice,
I hear your voice,
Feels like flying....
("Like a Prayer", Madonna)* Whenever things start changing---and I hate change with a purple passion---I get very melancholy and sad. One of the things which is changing are the seasons..... Sensing that planting time is nigh, I dragged my stupid self out to the back deck and began the necessary preparations to put together and plant all the things Blaine had bought me for a nice little deck garden. It had all started with me wanting to try out that "Topsy Turvy" upside-down tomato planter doohickey I keep seeing on TV. And so I asked Blaine to buy me one. While he was buying the Topsy Turvey thing (and a "large-size cherry tomato" plant to put into it) he also picked up four kitchen herbs: mint, oregano, sweet basil, and coriander/cilantro. The little plants look somewhat bedraggled but I think it's just shell-shock from being transplanted. I'm not worried. I have an amazing green thumb---and I talk to my plants. I can make anything grow. The only time I ever had bad luck with plants was a garden bug trauma which occurred when I was still living in Texas--- "The Great Petunia Massacre of 2002" ---let's not speak of it! ("The Great Petunia Massacre of 2002" was to my petunias as The Alamo is to Texans...) (Remember the Alamo!!) (Remember The Petunias!.....) Okay, another major change which has me swooning around like a forlorn waif is the huge change which is about to happen in my therapy. The powers-that-be have decided to transfer me to a year-long program of DBT, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, meant for patients who don't respond to conventional therapy--- and it's in a completely different building than the one I've been going to for 2 years. And worse yet, it is comprised of a group of completely different 1:1 therapists---which means I will lose my therapist, Fred! (A year-long program??? Son of a bitch.... I've got THAT MANY bats in the belfry??) But it's losing Fred that has me the saddest. But both Fred and my case manager claim that I need the above-mentioned type of therapy. They said it's an "exclusive" group for a certain type of patient, and that it's "intense". They also said that you work closer with your therapist--- closer even than I have in the past with Fred. And that's the part I hate---losing Fred. Because although I will keep my same psychiatrist for the prescription of my meds, I will have a different 1:1 therapist than Fred. I'll have one of the therapists tied to that DBT group, a guy who specializes in DBT---and a guy my case manager claims is "just as excellent as Fred". But the instant he said that, I thought in my head: "NOBODY is as excellent as Fred"!! What will I do without Fred? Remember the Petunias!...... Where was I? Oh yes---planting a deck garden. I planted three pitiful looking snap bean seedlings in a pot and stuck two metal stakes next to them for the young vines to climb up while they're growing long enough to vine themselves around the deck's railings. I told Blaine that these three little plants will NOT be enough to have a nice crop of snap beans, so he is currently making a second trip to the store to get more. I told him to get me two big planters and a packet of snap bean seeds. Yes, the season is changing... My therapy is changing.... And the idiot cats couldn't care less. They either sleep..... Or they squabble.... about whatever it is that cats squabble about.... Remember the Petunias!.... * *
Thursday, April 08, 2010
Call me a joker, call me a fool,
Right at this moment I'm totally cool...
("I Go To Extremes", Billy Joel)* So who are you to yawn at me, Little Baby? You're not exactly the damn Patron Saint of Excitement, you know. Nor the paragon of good manners, either.... Damn cat..... Okay, I'll admit it---I'm totally getting BURNED OUT on this damn thing I've created called The Damn Little Red Riding Hoodie. (Okay, sorry for all the cussing but the word "damn" is on my mind a whole lot lately while knitting this donnybrook. I am totally frustrated with how damn long it's taking to put this thing together.) As you can see, I've still got a zillion more damn miles of leaf trim to knit for the buttonbands because the damn trim has to also extend up onto the hood I'm going to knit for it, with both leaf strands meeting on top of the head in the middle. (The dark areas at the top of the pieces are shadow---and you can click on all the photographs to make things bigger.) And so far I've only finished a half of one damn sleeve and it's leaf trim. (Don't worry about how funny the wrist shaping looks because it fits fine---the baby cabling is stretchy and I also wanted fairly skinny sleeves anyway.) Here's a closeup of the leaf trim knitted out of Aunt Lydia's crochet cotton. At first I actually loved knitting this easy little trim---except not miles and miles of the damn stuff!! Both the buttonbands and the sleeve trim areas have other finishing details I'm going to perform in addition to the leaf trim--- such details as I think will really make things pop. But at least here you can get a picture of the general idea. And don't forget that there's still that damn hood to be knitted--- and I've never knitted a hood in my life!.... aaaarghhh!!!! Like I said, I'm SOOOOO burned out on this lengthy project. But I'm determined to finish it, by golly. NO WAY IN HELL is this thing going into a damn UFO bag.... And surprise surprise----you guys all convinced me that I should give the Bond "Embellish-Knit" i-cord maker one more try! So I went BACK to the store and re-bought it. (Is "re-bought" a word???) And I practiced until I had it right---and then cranked out the necessary i-cord to use as the drawstring of the hood. I'll think I'll knot it or something and see if I can make it more attractive.... * *
Monday, April 05, 2010
Bought a ticket for a runaway train,