Friday, December 30, 2005

Fickle Fabulous!

One of the big discoveries today was that Aslan is not merely sitting on top of the computer because of its warmth.
Looks like it though, doesn't it?
If you look down through the slats in the blinds from the top, you can keep an eye on all the other cats in the neighborhood, thereby securing your status as king of all.

Okay, so it's maybe not the biggest discovery ever, but it does make me feel better about his mental state with all the growls coming from that corner of the room.

However, I decided I would pull out the gorgeous yarn I got from Beth in the Sock Round Robin. I'm teaching some sock classes in southern Maryland at the beginning of February, and since I like toe up so much better than leg down, I don't actually own any handknit socks that are knit leg down. I thought if I was teaching that way (I'll teach toe up in March) I should be wearing them that way, and thought these might be fun to knit that way.
An hour later, I had this.
Not going all that fast. (totally the fault of the leg-downed-ness, not the yarn, Beth) There were pattern decisions to be made since the yarn is highly varigated and yet really wants to be knit with a lace pattern. I don't know why it does, but it does. The one I'm doing now is... okay. Suggestions for other fun lace patterns will be accepted - working on 52 stitches not that it really matters. But I chugged on. I forged forward. I sallied forth.

And an hour later I had this.
Isn't it fabulous?
Doesn't it just make you giggle out loud? Poison green and purple striped yarn on hot pink needles? It's fabulous, isn't it? It is, it's fabulous. If you must know (and with all that fabulousness, you must) it's Lorna's Laces sock yarn in Jungle Stripe and I love it and all its fabulousness.

It's possible that maybe, just maybe, I'm easy to amuse. I blame the yarn. Cuz when your husband is away again (really, at this point, it's news when he's home) and will be away for your wedding anniversary, and you're in a foul mood and tired and achey from lack of synthroid, feeling this giddy can only be blamed on fabulous yarn.

It truly is fabulous, isn't it? It is.

It's one hour later and I want a full sweater in this colorway.

Say it with me.


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Off Her Meds

Thank you for all the encouragement! This is an exciting and very scary time, but once the decision was made I felt better immediately!

One of the reasons for the timing was medical. I had to go back on that crappy boring stupid bland icky wonderful Low-Iodine Diet and off my Synthroid as of yesterday. Nothing to be alarmed about. It's in preparation for a follow-up scan. Have to get my TSH above 30 by January 9th (I'm not thinking this is going to be anything close to difficult) and if it is, I have a full body scan on Jan 10th. We're hoping this scan shows no residual thyroid cells. If not, life with iodine and Synthroid resumes, if they do find some (and there's a 30% chance they will, so not expected, but not tragic if they do) then I get another dose of radiation. Fun.

And since I'm already feeling tired and cranky, I'm betting that 30 will be reached and then some with great ease.

So how 'bout some cheery news? I had a loverly Christmas, showered with loverly gifts. My parents bought me an iHome!!! I've wanted one for a while, so this was exciting! Can't wait to get that set up! I also got several books, a subscription to Spin Off, an iZ (named iZadore) and some gorgeous alpaca boucle yarn.
Check out that gorgeous curl!
There's three balls of that, 150 grams each, and he says he got it (from so it's good in a karmic sense, too) because he needed to bump up his shopping cart total to get a better deal on shipping. You should all order from a place that helps the world while simultaneously requiring you to buy me yummy alpaca yarn. Of course, I only have a weight, not a yardage, so I'm not entirley sure how much I have, but I'll suffer through it somehow. There must be a McMorran balence in my future....

David and Mark also got me a terrific pair of earrings, which I know each of you will want a pair of for yourself, so go ask where they got them. Why would you want a pair of these earrings too? Well, just look:

Told ya. Go ahead, ask, I'll wait.


Now, one last thing before I go (feels like naptime), and that's the socks, which are drying now:

Ta da!
Twinship is purely accidental, honest.

Okay, I've got a handsome blonde cat who wants me to take him to bed, and I don't have the energy to argue... toodles!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Crash landing?

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I'm through with playing by
The rules of someone else's game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes
And leap...
It's time to try defying gravity
I think I'll try defying gravity
And you can't pull me down

I'm through accepting limits
Cuz someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try I'll never know
Too long I've been afraid of
Losing love I guess I've lost
Well if that's love
It comes at much too high a cost
I'd sooner buy defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye, I'm defying gravity
And you can't pull me down!

So if you care to find me
Look to the Western sky!
As someone told me lately
Everyone deserves the chance to fly
And if I'm flying solo
At least I'm flying free
To those who ground me
Take a message back from me!
Tell them how I am defying gravity
I'm flying high, defying gravity
And soon I'll match them in renown
And nobody in all of Oz
No Wizard that there is or was
Is ever gonna bring me down!!

(from Wicked music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz)

You all know it's been a tough year for me. I've lost an awful lot. My health, my friends, a lot of support that I foolishly thought would always be there.

But I've lost more than that. In the past few years in radio, I've lost some things that I liked about myself. A spark, a fire, a passion, a joy... they've all faded.

And those things were a big part of who I thought I was.

I want that fire back.

And things are more easily combustible at greater heights, right?

So I'm leaping.

I have a wonderful husband who for reasons unbeknownst to me loves me more than I ever thought anyone would or could. I have some really great friends all over the country. I have a nutty family. (Many of these people are hearing this news for the first time, by the way)

What I don't have

is a safety net.

Today is my last day at the radio station.

I need to take some risks to start that fire. I honestly believe my unhappiness in work has caused a lot of my health issues, I know it's affecting the person I am, and I know that affects the partner I am to my husband.

I've left things on good terms, and in fact was told by one of my bosses "if you ever find yourself in the position of needing a reference, I hope you will do me the high honor of being able to speak up on your behalf." I have a few coals in the fire, none have lit yet. But if you believe in signs, within hours of my giving notice at the station, four of those "coals" made contact with me, without my doing anything additional at all.

I have faith, I have drive, and for the first time in a very very long time, I have passion.

So things will work out. I'll make them.

Pray for me, please.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Long Drive Home

The very second I pulled out of the driveway at work my Idiot Light came on. Time to get gas.

Alright, that's fine. Trusty little Normal gets terrific mileage, so I could easily go halfway along the thirty mile trip to the gas station that normally has the best price by several cents. So off we went.

Now, I have to drive past the local mall in order to get home. Anyone else realize it's four days before Christmas? Why aren't these people KNITTING? Instead, they're acting like they have all the time in the world to shop????

Around this time GB calls to tell me he won't be home AGAIN because some idiot has done something AGAIN that means he have to go do some investigation AGAIN instead of actually seeing his wife. At which point I learned that I am not mature enough to respond kindly to such news while knowing it's not his fault, but I am mature enough to not tell him what I was really thinking, so I figure it balences out.

But I get through that and into the creeping slow traffic on the highway. And out of habit drive right past the exit for the cheap gas station. I'm now starting to get a little worried about the level of gas. So I take the very next exit, and pull into a gas station, not even looking at the price.

I reach down for my purse, and pick up the bag that held the sock (photo below)... right. The bag that held the sock is NOT my purse, nor does it have any money or credit cards. My purse is no where to be seen.

So rarely do I forget my purse that my actual first thought is not shit, I forgot my purse but is actually shit, someone broke into my car

Yes. While I was driving it.

By now I am praying to the gods of refried beans that Norman has more than half a gallon of gas in his tank. We have to travel fifteen miles back to work, turn off the car while I run up to the office and fight with the alarm codes, turn the car back on, and drive a few miles to the nearest (and wildly expensive) gas station. So I need at least twenty miles worth of gas.

The gods of refried beans bless Norman.

We coasted into the gas station on fumes, drove past the mall again (seriously, people, shopping? Christmas is SUNDAY -KNIT, folks, KNIT!) and up the crowded highway to home, where, when I arrived, it appeared as though someone had set off a bomb, scattering cat parts everywhere.

Anyway, as promised, here's the sock as it stood upon the end of my workday. It's a little big on me because her feet are a little larger than mine. I did a larger heel than I usually do, and while I like the fit, I was pretty bored silly by the time I finished the heel flap. So I'll make the other to match it, but then I'm not sure I'll do such a roomy heel again.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Don't Get Well Soon!

It seems to me if you're going to take medical leave for a serious operation and tell a knitter that you won't be back until after the New Year, the least you could do is show a little respect and not heal faster. For crying out loud, what's with this "improving better than the doctors expected" crap?

The woman who is sorta my boss at AC Moore (they're hierarchy is one I haven't yet figured out - she hired me, but she's not a manager, and while I think she could fire me, she couldn't fire anyone else...) had pretty serious surgery at the end of October. She told me she wouldn't be back until after the New Year, and so I've had plans to make her a pair of socks (we went through all kinds of fun intrigue and espionage to find out her shoe size without arrousing any suspicion) and also a fair isle hat, along with a card that I hope she's feeling better head to toe (get it?) very soon.

But then she goes and heals faster, and that's just plain rude.

So now it's hat be-damned and I'm knitting socks furiously because SHE"S ALREADY BACK AT WORK! Two weeks early!!! Do you hear me? EARLY! Like a knitter isn't going to be late enough on her own, she has to go and be two freakin weeks early?

Maybe I should kick her in the knee to take her out more thoroughly.

Of course, I forgot to take a photo of what I've got, but I used a Regia ball of solid red for the toe, and a ball of AC Moore yarn (I wanted it to be from AC Moore for her) - Lion Brand's Magic Stripes in this colorway. The reds only match if you look at them from a slight distance, but I figure her feet are at least five feet from her eyes, so I'm safe.

I'll try to get a picture up later tonight, by which time I expect to be through the first heel (I'm on the gussets now and plan on being a rotten employee once the clients leave today, so I should get some good knitting time in...)

Monday, December 19, 2005

Skipping Rescheduling Christmas

aka "Let's Do the Time Warp Again"

For various familial reasons it was decided that Christmas Day didn't fit into our collective schedules this year. So we had Christmas yesterday. This meant a week less to shop for gifts, a week less for gifts to arrive from online merchants (still waiting on several) and basic confusion on my part. Being as most of the world saw it as an ordinary Sunday, or at most the last Sunday in Advent, the phone would ring at various times throughout the day, and many of us would look up and say "How ru-- oh." over and over again. (okay, I forgot more than anyone else. Sue me. HA! You can't, it's Christma- oh.)

We had a lovely day, despite some distant relative that I don't remember ever meeting before butting his nose into why I don't want my husband to get a motorcycle, and suggesting ways for manipulation to get his way (1. I'm too smart to fall for the manipulation, thank you, and 2. manipulation? wonder why your marriages always fail? ponder that for a while...) Ass.

After that, we went to my parents' church, where my brother (who doesn't get a link to his blog since it hasn't been updated this century) was guest preaching, and also singing. He'd brought along one and a half friends to help sing. That is, one friend spent the whole day with us, another just met us at the church. In any event, when we got to the church the choir was warming up and I was yearning to hop in and join them. I guess I was vibing pretty bad because they asked if I wanted to sing. I'm not sure the whole question was out of their mouths before I had grabbed someone's sheet music and found a place in the loft. Aside from my brother's birthday song, I haven't actually sung anything since the surgery, and I haven't really been cleared by the surgeon to sing yet. A little singing in the car, and I sang Martha Happy Birthday on her answering machine. But really, it's been months since it mattered if it sounded good. It was SOOOO much fun. And it didn't sound all that good, not to me, but my brother always jokes that gay churches are heavy on altos and tenors, and I'm a soprano, so I was needed, and those high notes felt so good....

And then I wake up this morning feeling like I spent hours at the gym. My legs hurt, my arms hurt, my back hurts...

But I sang!

I just might have to go back and do that again!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Overzealousness Killed the Beast

Oh, my.

We saw King Kong last night. And this morning. Literally.

Can someone please call Peter Jackson and let him know that movies are allowed to be shorter than three hours?

First the good parts.

When I was in college, I took part in a musical revue of sorts, in which several music majors sang works from various musicals (I sang It's Never That Easy, Worst Pies in London and something from Mozart's The Magic Flute, if I recall correctly...). I was the only of those music students who had a strong background in theater. One of my professors was discussing the revue in class a few days later and say "the singing was terrific, but the acting... well. When to finally see some technique when Amie came on stage it was like a breath of air after being smothered."

That's what Adrian Brody did for this movie. Each scene he actually acted in was sincere, and honest, and real. He had very little to work with, and he was quite honestly brilliant in his work.

The scenes between Kong and Anne were actually a close second. A relationship developed there, a lovely one, and one that I honestly didn't see in the original movie, not to this extent. Kong loved her, and she loved him for it, and it was quite touching.

However, those real moments and honest relationships were small percentages of the actual movie.

There were many times when clearly the intent was to show "chaos". However, five minutes of chaos, without the camera focussing on any one thing is too much. It struck me not as an attempt to show chaos but to keep the audience from being able to focus on any one thing long enough to see how bad the CG looked. And there were too many of these times. They happened every ten minutes it seemed - five minutes of slow, five minutes of chaos.

And, let me be clear here, I am a pro at suspension of reality. I love movies. I love theatre. I love musical theatre. I can accept that a a giant asteroid is coming to destroy the earth unless Ben Affleck and Bruce Willis are sent into space. I have no problem with the idea that a woman can dress like a man to get closer to the man she's in love with and no one will suspect a thing. I have no problem with people breaking into completely spontaneous and yet completely unison song and dance. I will even allow for an island that is completely unheard of in the 1920s except for one map which somehow falls into Jack Black's hands and contains dinosaurs and uncountable humongous insect critters as well as one (and only one) gigantic ape who is claimed to be 25 feet tall but changes in proportion to the tiny blonde woman that he loves drastically from one scene to the next.

I'm willing to believe all that.

But that men who are in no way special or revered in anyway can pick up a gun for the very first time and shoot thirty of those gargantuous insects off the body of a friend without once hitting that friend? That a paunchy, out of shape conniving theatre producer and his gangly writer friend can out run a herd of stampeding dinosaurs, and in the midst of this stampede can reach beside them and punch one of these dinosaurs, inflicting upon it such force that it actually is knocked back several feet, causing the entire here of dinosaurs to stumble and fall over it, snowballing into a gian dinosaur ball, which in turn creates a landslide because (did I forget to mention) they also happen to be right at the edge of one of the many cliffs on this island and the cliff starts to crumble away and the dinosaurs fall off the edge of the cliff but these perfectly normal men are able to leap off falling earth to more stable ground time and again and meanwhile the little blonde woman (who, frankly, was the most realistic in her physical feats because she had an established background of being an athletic vaudevillian performer) is being chased by completely different meat-eating dinosaurs who all fall off a cliff together, and the blonde woman is caught in the hands of her giant ape and three dinosaurs and the ape all land at the same level in some vines and then swing back and forth continuing the battle only to have it finish when the vines break (all at the same time) and two of the three dinosaurs die but the third and the giant ape take part in a WWE style grudge match? And we won't mention that well-tossed (and singular) bottle of chloroform that manages to bring down the giant beast after he battled flocks of bats and dinosaurs and plummeted off cliffs (maybe he was tired and the chloroform just added to it being naptime?) so they could get him aboard a ship off of which they've already thrown all supplies so that it would be able to lift off the rocks upon which it had moored and set sail back to the US where the aforementioned gangly writer manages to scale the side of the Empire State Building single handedly and times it precisely thirty seconds after the great ape is felled, so that the pretty blonde doesn't have to stand up there alone. Vertigo be damned.

Yeah, we passed my suspension of reality in a rocket ship. Three different couples left the movie early. Two different parties stood up and started getting their coats together when the showed the first shot of the Empire State Building. When we left the movie, 13-year-old DSS said "I think the director was trying to show us too much of his world."

Go see Rent instead.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

He Sees You When You're Sleeping

Christmas comes early to the Rose household. Aslan's Christmas gift showed up in the mail and I decided he should get to open it early. Technically, it looks like this, a Build-a-Bear bean-bag chair.

Aslan likes bean-bags.

He likes them so much that most of the time he looks like this.
Or sometimes like this.

I have a feeling Santa's going to be seeing Aslan sleeping quite a bit on this new toy.

As for the rest of us, I finished one of the gloves from yesterday and decided that in fact, I did need to rest my hands, and I'm nursing a mug of TheraFlu in attempt to kick what feels like the start of a cold before it gets too bad,
Oscar is next to me bemoaning the yucky cold rainy weather we're having, Trevor is snoozing on my lap, and they all love me.
Things could very much be worse than that, right?

Ahhh... and thanks, Catherine. This is exactly right.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I got rid of the final evil stocking, did a little happy dance with Oscar (who is quite a fetching dancer if you don't mind that he steps on your toes sometimes) and then sat down convinced I would rest my sore fingers.

Yeah, I can't believe I thought that would work either.

It's using this pattern, sorta. Sorta because I made the cuffs longer, and I didn't like the thought of saving the thumb for last when I could just get it out of the way, and then I didn't like the shaping of the hand-finger-join part, so all of that is reworked. But I did cast on the amount recommended in the pattern, and I'm using the pattern's gauge. So, yeah. That pattern.

Here at work I'm feeding my Dunkin Donuts Caramel Creme Latte addiction (goooood stuff) and making snowflakes.

Yup. I am SO getting employee of the month. I can feel it.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Knitter Down!!!

I actually have a bruise on my right index finger from the speed knitting I did this weekend.

BUT I also don't have anymore knitting to do on this:

Thank you. Thank you. Oh, you're so kind. Really, I didn't expect all this applause. How sweet. Thank you. Oh, thank you.


While my finger heals from its trauma, this is what I've been doing lately.

I played with this all last winter, too, and isn't it nice to know that my mental level is low enough to be entertained by something so simple not one but two years in a row?

Go on. You know you want to.

Meanwhile, my brother should be opening a package sometime soon that contains these:
One sock (with previously-unknown-to-me heel that I sorta made up as I went along)
Half a birthday card
Half an envelope

Because when I go halfway I really go halfway.

The other sock will get started when I get a confirmation of fit for this sock. Because I was making up the heel, I didn't know how much room it would add to the sock, and what I got looked like the world's longest sock to me, though I'm pretty sure there were some rifts in the yarn-space-continuem there because it actually measured what I think it should have. So we'll see.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Aslan is on the move

Um. No. Not that Aslan.

This Aslan.

Obviously, we saw The Chronicles of Narnia tonight!!!

It's a good review when the audience applauds at the end, don't you think?

To be honest, I was nervous apprehensive concerned terrified that they would ruin it. And the first five minutes didn't help my fears. It began with a WWII battle scene that looked like a cartoon and is not in the book (that is, they mention in something around one sentence that the children are sent away from London to save them from the war, but the details in the first five minutes are completely fictionalized) (yes, I know the whole book is fiction).

But once the children entered Narnia, I felt much better.

And there were some slight plot changes, and a few really hideous CGs and several just okay CGs (I'm not a fan of CG overall) and Aslan was no where what he is in my mind, but on the whole the movie was very good.

And then we came home and my own little Aslan got an extra cuddle and felt very regal...

So it was a good night.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

When I was a toddler, my brother interviewed me in a little tape recorder. After about three questions he said "enough about you, let's talk about what you like about me".


When I was in elementary school, my family went to King's Dominion. I liked Scooby Doo but didn't (and still don't) like rollar coasters. My brother rode the Scooby Doo coaster, and when he got off, he gently patted my hand and said "you can't handle it".


When I was in middle school, I got into a fight with my parents, and my brother took me out to dinner to the Tomato Palace without telling them. I remember we got in trouble, but mostly I remember how cool he was to do that.


When I was in high school, I was pet sitting for a friend's dog while she was out of town, and stupidly locked the key in the house. My brother climbed a tree, broke into second story window, and got the key for me. I don't think we ever told my friend.


When I was in college, my printer ran out of ink with three pages to go and nine hours before a paper was due. My brother bought an ink pack and drove down from Pennsylvania in the middle of the night. The paper was on time.


When I got married, my brother stood right next to me the whole time. "Reverand Dave," as my husband has him saved in his cell phone, performed the ceremony. He'd requested someone else do the music, and I said "if you can recommend anyone who'd do as good a job as you would, that would be fine". He did the music too.


When I was diagnosed with cancer, my brother was the very first phone call I made.


And as punishment for all that and more, I give you his birthday song:
this is an audio post - click to play

Monday, December 05, 2005

Fierce Lions and Shakey Barnes

Saturday night I went with my parents to a dance recital at the college where my dad teaches. I cast on while the lights were still up, and while watching the show, I knit this for Dulaan. It's a simple hat - no pattern, just 64 stitches of doubled Paton's Merino in 2x2 ribbing. I have more of the burgandy left than the taupey color, so I'll switch to two strands of the burgandy for the rest of the hat, and for some reason I think it needs a pom-pon, so it might look a little odd, but eh.

This particular section was knit while Jamile McGee was on stage. (He's an alum of the college) What can I say? The guy thinks he can dance, and in fact he can dance... and he's pretty easy on the eyes to boot.

Oh. I mean, um. Only God makes things perfect so I threw those mistakes in there where I got all off kilter on my ribbing so I wouldn't appear pompous.


Lanea and Rachel (who has no blog but I think she's a pretty rockin' chick anyway) have started a Poetry Eating group. For a long while I thought "that's a great idea, but I just don't have time for that". And to be honest, that hasn't changed at all. That IS a great idea, and I DON'T have time for that, but I really was fascinated by the choice and I had this gift card for Barnes and Noble that just so happened to cover exactly the cost of the book and shipping, while leaving me three whole pennies to spend on anything I wanted. So I ordered it.

It arrived today.

Here's the order form, proving I'm not a stark raving idiot (or at least not for this reason)

and here's the book, proving that either my Irish is even shakier than my Scottish Gaelic, or I'm extremely fluent in Irish without even knowing it and the book isn't about anything like what Lanea thinks they are.


And while I was sitting giggling over that, everyone's favorite lion went on the prowl. Many of you have heard me describe Aslan's temperment, which I immodestly think is strikingly similar to my own. Aslan does not explore. He is happiest in his own home, without need for worldly adventures. But whatever you throw at Aslan, he will conquer. He takes any stress you could give a little guy and comes through it with flying colors, but he doesn't go out looking for it.

Except, see, balloons are so pretty. And they have these nice ribbons that you can chew, and c'mon, don't you want to play with them?

Friday, December 02, 2005

How Do You Spell "Relief"?


Okay, here's the thing. Those GAS (God-Awful-Stockings) aren't sitting well with me. She begrudgingly told me she would pay me for the last stocking no matter what, making it very clear that she didn't understand how I could have gotten it wrong. And I hated knitting the things. I hate every minute of it (which I recently figured out topped over 200 hours of work) and only kept telling myself that at least she would be happy with them, even as hideously ugly as they were. And she wasn't happy with them, so that shot the one little positive right out the window. To be fair to her, I think she's trying to be kind. I don't think her words were harsh, and they are likely similar to the words I would have chosen if I'd expected something and got something else. I thought I was giving her what she asked for, what she asked for and what she wanted were not the same thing. So what happens is no one involved is happy.

Which means this whole experience is tainted for me. Nothing good at all has come out of it. And with the kind of year I had, I don't think I want anything that negative hanging over my head. Sure, the money has gone to frivolous things like bills, but I just don't see as I need the money that badly to be worth having that kind of energy in my life.


Last year, you may recall I gave to the Knitter's Review Heifer Project Drive. I just checked my receipts and I gave $100. I think it's safe to say I would have found a way to give that again this year.

And in a blind, flailing attempt to put some positive spin on this stocking experience, to make something positive happen because of that transaction, I'm giving all of the money from the stockngs, plus what I would have given anyway, to the KR Heifer Drive. That's $100 (regular donation) + $250 stocking donation = $350. That's a huge amount of money for me. With me being sick and working reduced hours, that's easily a paycheck. So I won't be able to give it all at once. It may take several months for me to get there.

But I can't keep this money and feel good about myself, and the energy floating around this whole thing just has to be made positive. There's too much ugliness around it now, but the Heifer Foundation knows how to turn that into good, and the kind of good that will last well beyond this season, and well beyond my ill-feelings.

Got any karma of your own that needs adjusting? Help out the Knitter's Review Heifer Project Drive


You realize what this means, right?

My karma really did hit my dogma.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

No Witch, No Wardrobe

Thank you for all the birthday wishes! I sat up late November 29th to watch my birthday arrive. At exactly midnight, I glanced at the clock on the tv and saw a picture of a lion. THE lion, to be specific, as in an ad for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe (which opens next week, and I am dying to see). I took that as an omen, and a very positive one, since that book, and that lion in particular, has meant a great deal to me since I was very young.

The rest of my birthday after that held up to the omen. I woke up craving tamales, had Taco Bell for breakfast in a (failed) attempt to satisfy that craving, and several hours later listened to my brother sing a twisted version of the Mexican Hat Dance. I got lots of really lovely wishes from some really amazing people. My birthday gift to myself, ordered from Patternworks a few weeks ago, actually arrived in perfect time, so I had this to play with
That's four sheep ornaments kits and Santa's Wardrobe kit.

I went to a Mexican restaurant with my husband and my parents, where my parents gave me this
wrapping paperwhich becamebook
(the wrapping paper is a family original. If you look closely, it's in the same handwriting that Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny share, and it says "wrapping paper" all over it, with a big "BOW" in the middle. It's quite lovely).

My husband got me a gorgeous floor swift and an electric bobbin winder! YAY! They're both incredible and fabulous and I forgot to take pictures of them. Just picture fibery goodness and we're good.

And the day after my birthday is a very special day indeed. Aslan and Trevor and Oscar had sardines for breakfast in honor of that special day. You, however, get this.

Without further ado, back by popular demand, I give you

~~~~~~~~~~~~ THE STORY OF ASLAN ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In 2002, I lived near Buffalo NY and worked at a radio station doing the morning show. I lived on the top floor of a crochety old house, with neighbors in the bottom floor. My birthday happened to fall on Thanksgiving weekend, so my parents flew me down to Baltimore for the weekend. I flew back up on Sunday, December 1st, and ended up driving home from the Buffalo airport in one of the many blizzards of the year. The drive took about three hours longer than I expected, and by the time I was close, there was two feet of snow on the ground. Trusty Norman was quite cranky, and I was no chipper Princess myself. A car ahead of me kicked a rock back, and it cracked my windsheild all the way across.

Exausted, but pushing forward, I called my friend who was babysitting for my two cats Misha and Trevor while I was away to tell him I was close. He was a cat lover as well, and both my two liked him a lot, so I knew he'd want to know if he needed to go back out into the blizzard to check on them again that night.

"Great! Glad to hear you're safe," said Al. "oh, by the way, your neighbors cat was asking to come in, but they weren't answering the door. I let her into your hallway, and put out some of your guys food and water for her."

"Okay, great. Um. Al? My neighbors don't have a cat."

"Yeah, the sweet little white one."


"Oh. Well, then there's a strange cat in your house. Um. Sorry?"


I got home, trudged through the snow, which was nearing three feet in depth by now, and stumbled up the stairs. As I rounded the bend, dark eyes glowed back at me, and a tiny, shivering cat peered out, clearly asking if I could be trusted... and quickly deciding I could. A timid squeak was uttered, and almost immediately the hall echoed with the sound of purrs... It was bittter cold, even inside the hallway (which was probably around 40 degrees F, compared to the 10 degrees outside), but I couldn't let this strange creature into my house when s/he might have deadly parasites. I refilled his food and water, and brought out a blanket and cat bed.

I woke the next morning, checked the food in the bowl in the hall, and went into work, announcing that I'd found a cat, and please call the radio station if you're missing one. No one called.

I called the pound, and told them that I didn't want to give the cat to them if he was going to end up being killed - adult cats are adopted out quite rarely - but if anyone called looking for him, they could contact me. I continued the announcements on the air. One woman did call the station and say she was missing her cat Rosie -the little sweet white girl that Al had found was actually an orange male, but an orange so pale he was almost pink.

Hoping against hope, I picked up the little cat, and nearly dropped him again in shock. This cat hadn't just wandered off before the storm. He should have been between eight and ten pounds, and was closer to three, ribs sticking out painfully through his scraggly hair. His feet, which had been declawed, were bloody and raw. He drooled massively, but offered no resistance when I checked his mouth for wounds and found none. I took him to the woman's face, and watched her face drop when she opened her door. This wasn't her Rosie.

But something had to be done.

I went to the pound and said "whoever lost him either doesn't want him back, or doesn't deserve him. What can I do to make this cat officially mine so they can't come and let this happen to him again?" They knew me from my radio show (celebrity is a good thing) and were able to bend a few rules for me. He still had to be taken into "solitary confinement" where he would be given a vet check and watched for parasites. But I could come visit him as often as I wanted - and I did. It broke my heart to take him to the pound and leave him there - it goes against every fiber of my being. But I was back every day, and he grew to know my footsteps on the stairs at the pound. I had resisted giving him a name until I knew he would be mine, but had been toying around with two, one of which was "Dickens" in honor of the season and the book A Christmas Carroll. But one of the women at the pound said "We just love that little cat of yours, he looks just like a lion," and I knew the other name would be his, the one that I thought would give this sweet, timid little thing some strength and courage, the name of the great and terrible lion from The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe.

Aslan brought a balence to my house I never thought was possible. He left Misha alone, but gave Trevor someone else to play with. He always cuddled when I needed him, but didn't mind hanging out alone either. He had charm, and wit, and character, and an intuition that was almost creepy. When Misha died, less than a year later, he left me alone when I wasn't ready to see any cats. And the second I needed to feel that fur, he crawled into my lap and cried with me. He will stand up to a pitbull who isn't listening to me, and will defend my husband when Trevor gets fiesty.

He was lost, and found me on December 1, 2002. I was lost, and he found me again and again since then. Happy, happy "re-birthday" Aslan.

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Marriage is love.