Thursday, April 27, 2006

When Queasy Cats Go Bad...

This, as you know, is Trevor.

In addition to being the messiest eater I've ever known in a cat (yes, that's food on his face. He's enthusiastic. He gets water marks up to his eyeballs, too) Trevor is often a victim of hair balls. Perhaps because of his enthusiasm, he tends to scarf, and then... well, about half of what he eats is seen again.

And you also know Aslan, who, aside from a minor kleptomaniacal obsession with goat fibers, is as polite as you can get.

He's a dainty, picky eater who is known for making commentary on his food in the form of attempting to cover it up when he's done. You know, like he'd do in the litter box. Apparently, he thinks I am lacking in the cooking department (but a good mommy otherwise, so he's willing to love me anyway).

Anyway, you can imagine my surprise when Mr. Innocence puked all over white yarn I was knitting with this morning.

This yarn, which along with the fellow victim purple, spent the morning in the kitchen sink, soaking in cold water and Dawn. Because I am a kind, generous, and upstanding person, one that you can hold to a higher standard (and I panicked and forgot about you) I didn't take a picture of the vomit covered yarn, but here it is post immediate soak.

I then wound it (wet) into a hank on my swift, and washed it again in that form.

It's now drying, up high, where the cats would have to really work to barf on it.

And for some completely ralph-free fiber content, here is my mommy's very first sock!

Isn't it cute?

She's stuck on the heel, but we'll get through that as soon as she stops asking questions long enough for me to actually answer one.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Listing a resume with

Name: Oscar Tobias

Age: 3

Special Skills: No pain sensors allow for much abuse from feline brother, excell at following "bedtime" command. Other strengths are "sit," "dance," and sometimes "down".

Reason for seeking employment: Pay off vet bills from today's check-up so mommy doesn't have to live in a cardboard box.

Oscar got updated on all his vaccinations today. The good news is he's in peak condition, the vet was quite impressed. I suppose we could also count as good news that he didn't bite the vet, who he dispises (and don't tell me dogs are color blind. The vets wear blue scrubs, the vet techs wear pink, and he wagged away at everyone wearing pink and growled at everyone in blue). As usual, I had to put a muzzle on him (he flings himself wildly at anyone who tries to get between me and him) and as usual, I was grateful for my experience working with horses. Muzzling him is quite similar to putting a halter on a really slippery, small horse. When the vet lifted him on the table she said "well, he's obviously just putting on a show, because he's clearly strong enough that if he really wanted to fight us, I wouldn't be able to stop him.

Then he got all his shots, and even took the gross one up the nose with less arguement than the most dogs, so I'm told (it must not taste bad, because that's the only one he didn't growl through, though choking on medicine might have had something to do with that).

As soon as he was done and the muzzle came off, he was all smiles again, and gave the vet a big kiss, and even took a treat from her (which he promptly spit on the floor, treat snob that he is). He even let her look at his teeth (okay, it was from a distance and I had to lift his lips, but still) They went over the results of the exam, which were all extremely positive - he really is in excellent condition. The big metal table is the height of an average counter and most of the time when I touched it, Oscar would stand on his hind legs and put his front feet up on the table so he could see what was going on. When we got the results, I touched the table and all of a sudden Mr. Muscle-Dog leapt up on the table in one swell foop. He was so proud, and I was rather impressed myself, mostly that there's still enough radio-self-editing instinct left in me that I didn't shout HOLY F*CKING HELL but only "holy cow!"

Then we got the bill, and that's when it was determined.

Oscar needs a job.

Thank God he's not sick.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Paranoid Pitbulls Plus Pretty Puppies

My beloved-yet-ever-absent husband bought me a dressform.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Trevor has another story.

Trevor thinks his daddy bought him a fort.

It's particularly fun to give the dog a heart attack by lying in wait inside the box fort and just as the dog is walking by lunge out at him with a blood curdling scream.

If you've ever wanted to see a pitbull cower in fear, that's the moment you'd want to be in my house.

He almost looks sheepish about it, though, doesn't he?

It's an act, trust me.

And now the dog is afraid of cardboard boxes - he's no idiot, those things attack.

The rain we had this weekend may have kept me from sleeping well (I'm not naming names, but the two boys I mentioned above are a bit afraid of thunder. Aslan led life on the streets before he met me, and just laughs at them.) but it also washed away a lot of the pollen that means my eyes are almost their normal size again. You really take blinking for granted when it doesn't hurt to do it. Watch me go crazy now!

Anyway, I've been knitting a little on the world's longest socks (one down - sixteen inches from heel to cuff - and ten inches to go on the second) and doing a little spinning (with 1600+ socks knit, it's starting to dawn on me that I'm going to actually have to finish the sock yarn I promised I'd spin for the winner) and doing a bunch of other work stuff that I'm hoping will bring in a little money, or else my radio voice might get me dibs on a drive-thru speaker somewhere close (would you like that taco hard or softshell?)

So can I distract you, instead, with a brief update of my sister? My parent's puppy, Jackie, has doubled in weight since they've had her

and she's not shy about it.

She'll be starting puppy school soon, but already knows come and sit with a fairly high accuracy rate. My parents think this qualifies her as a scholarship student. They are just the tiniest bit smitten.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


For the past two days I've looked a little like I got punched in the face repeatedly with a pine cone.

Well, specifically just punched in the eye.

Lo! and Behold!

ABC News claims this is the worst month for allergy in as long as they can remember, and the DC area is one of the worst in the country.

I believe the expression is... umm... No Shit

Yeah, that's it.

I'll be back soon, but in the meantime can I interest you in a movie?


Monday, April 17, 2006


On day 101 we have 1546 socks knit. That's an average of 15.3 socks a day! We're 27% through the year, and over 77% to our goal! And now that we've passed 1500, I think it's time to start leading you into temptation...

How's this?

How is that temptation?

Well, assuming I can find a box big enough, that, and then some, is going to the winner of the 2000th sock.

Not yet in the picture are two patterns from Eunny - you'll get to pick what you want, her sock patterns, or maybe you're all socked out and want to go for her awesome vest, or something else...

Also not yet there (but winging it's way to me through space) is hand-dyed sock yarn from Amy-Boogie, who's stuff is funky, spunky, and cool.

And the illustrious Mama E is donating sock yarn in a brand new colorway, named (drum roll please) ROSEBYANY! It will basically look like roses, but with green. I'm kinda frothing at the mouth a little over that, so I'll be sure she dyes up a few extra hanks... Rumor has it she likes handspun sock yarn, and I think I can dangle a yarn shaped carrot in front of the dyeing workhorse for that....

So think of those patterns from Eunny, the two pairs worth of sock yarn from Amy and Mama, and add them to the picture. In addition, the winner also gets those hanks of Koigu from Minh, the Twenty-Five Dollar gift certificate from Dea Terra, the handspun sock yarn from me (which I hope will be self-striping - whoever wins has to send me pictures!), the cute little Color-a-Mug, in which I've wrapped yarn as a demonstration, but one could knit a little sleeve to go inside, if one was so inclined, and of course the adorable, giant, nearly lifesized baby sheep, donated by my husband-by-way of my mentioning that I thought it was cute and him buying me three (this is a good quality in a husband - I highly recommend it) and they're just so big the cats and I can share two, but then another needs to go to a good home.

I'm really regretting the moral obligation that's requiring I remove myself from winning this prize!!!

The cool thing is that we've blown the whole "Close but no cigar" thing ... thanks to It Girl, the randomly chosen 1763 sock knit wins its knitter a prize, as well as the "MAN I was SO CLOSE" positions of sock 1999, 2001, and 2006... How cool is that? I mean, still no cigars, but wouldn't we all pretty much pick yarn over cigars anyway???

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Grumble Grumble Grumble

I didn't sleep well last night. That's becoming less and less unusual, but nevertheless, it was rough getting out of bed this morning.

Then I knew I needed to go grocery shopping, and decided to go to Safeway to get some of their yummy soups to stock the freezer, even though that meant driving past two closer grocery stores. I went around and stocked up on the soups, other frozen veggies and things like that. I then walked to the front with my frozen food laden cart, looked at the only two lines they had going, and went to the slightly shorter line.

Shortly after, a group of maybe three or four German speaking folks came up behind me. I know enough German to know only that they were in fact speaking something German or something close to it, but none of them had a wedgie.* They were invading my bubble. Perhaps it's a cultural difference? But they wanted to stand reeaaallly close to me, constantly brushing against me, and it was creeping me out. Then another woman walked up, and rather than getting behind us in line, she walked right up next to me and just stood there. When I started loading my items on the conveyor belt, she started sighing. Then the fans switched on, and I glanced up at the noise and saw that the fans were now pushing the herd of balloons of Elmo and the Wiggles and various other cartoon characters (which have what to do with grocery shopping, I ask you??) away from their previous position of blocking the "EXPRESS LANE" sign.


So I started apologizing and took my items off the belt and back into my cart and went and stood in the longer line. The sighing lady was suddenly gracious, and didn't even spit on my food as I had to ask her to excuse me to get past her to get all my food back. I wouldn't have gotten in the lane if I'd have seen the sign, it was just those damn balloons.


When I finally paid and headed to the parking lot, I was looking for a little handicap accessible ramp to take the cart to my car, since I had taken the moral high road and parked far out at the other side of the lot. I couldn't find a ramp. There must be one, though, right? Can't find it. Finally, I see one about 120 yards away. So I'm walking, pushing this big heavy cart all the way across the shopping center, and people are looking at me funny again.

Well, dammit this is starting to tick me off!

I loaded stuff into the car, and started back to the store to return the cart, now started to get a little tired from all this walking. And then I see the ramp. Which had been approximately fifteen inches from where I stopped to look for the ramp to begin with.


I get home, load everything into the house and get things in the freezer. Then I decide to make lunch. I heated it up, put it on the plate, turned to bring it to my seat, and lost my balence in the turn, fell backwards slightly, caught myself by stepping on a dustpan and breaking that, and dropped my lunch all over the floor.


Once it cooled down enough to touch, which involved a brief game of tackle football to keep Trevor and Oscar away from the mess, I got that cleaned up (mostly) and started to make another lunch for myself. This time I wasn't taking any chances, and decided to go for a simple sandwich.

I opened the bread without incident. I opened the mustard without incident.

The mayonaise, however, fought back.

I flipped the lid for the little squeeze bottle and it started pouring out, and wouldn't stop. Somehow I had created some sort of freakish suction, and I couldn't get the mayo to stop. It was everywhere, all over me, all over the counter, defying gravity, shooting up, shooting out.... It was gross.


And my camera isn't working either, or I'd have pictures of almost every step in today's fun.

I give up.

I'm having Vermonty Python for dinner.

Forgot to explain the * about how I knew the folks behind me didn't have wedgies:
When I was in college I lived sophomore year in the "German Suite" with Rick, Randy, Ryan, Amy, Amy and me (Amie). I don't speak German, but had already agreed to live with my roommate (Amy) before the Suite was developed, and everyone else was okay with my being there, so that's how it worked out. In that year I learned how to say only one thing in German (and not how to spell it, so forgive me here): Meine unterhosen hangst schvichen meine arshbacke which literally translates to "My underwear hangs between my ass cheeks."

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


That was just to get your attention. There's business to go over first - then Jackie-Mania will continue. We've knit 1482 socks so far this year. We're 95 days into the year.

Does anyone care about the other statistics, or do we just want more puppy pictures?

That's what I thought.

Carry on.


After spending the night in the hospital Saturday (in the first picture with the blue toy, you can see her shaved leg from being on an IV all night. I told her she shouldn't have shaved it because it will just grow back thicker - what are big sisters for? - but she had her mind made up), Jackie came home around noon on Sunday. She's been eating a chicken broth/rice mixture until her tummy adjusted, and today had some actual puppy food. She's feeling much better, responds to her name most of the time, comes on command a high percentage of the time, and is incredibly sweet. If anyone can teach me how to put short movies up on blogger, you'll be able to see her cute prance and hear her thunderous footsteps (which are impressive considering she currently weighs about eight pounds).

So thank you for the many prayers. I really don't believe she would have lived through the night if my parents hadn't adopted her, and I'm sure the prayers helped as well.

Now Oscar glues his nose to my pants when I return and I swear I'm hearing mutterings of "traitor" and "Benedict Arnold" under his breath. Trevor and Aslan don't care.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

It's thundering outside, do you know where your pitbull is?

Mine is shaking in my lap.

Do you know where your Norwegian Forest cat is?

Mine is sitting on the back of the couch laughing at the silly dog.

Do you know where your brand new "sister" is?

My parents got a new puppy! This is Jackie, a rescue pup 8 weeks or younger. She's (as you can see) extremely thin, but (as you can also see) extremely cute.

I went to play with Jackie today, and as I was there she started getting sick, unable to hold down food or water. Finally my parents took her to an emergency vet. It was looking a lot like Parvo (which, if you haven't, please vaccinate your dogs against now - Oscar has an appointment to go in next week) which is deadly and horribly, horribly contageous. But Jackie has been tested, and it's not that (thank goodness) but is either a reaction to the worming meds she had at the shelter, which should resolve itself shortly, or a more serious intestinal issue, which might resolve itself, or might require surgery (causing my parents to be greatly relieved they opted for the pet insurance).

So the babe is in the hospital tonight, and we'll likely know more in the morning.

If you believe God cares about animals (I very much do) a prayer for little Jackie might be nice, if you're so inclined.


Oh, and an update on the daffs - I did some reading and discovered one source that says that some pink daffodils start out sort of apricot in color, and gradually become more pink. So there's hope that it was an adoption (not a hostage situation) after all.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Mountain, Meet Mohammed, and the (Garden) Plot Thickens

When I left to teach this morning, I noticed that at least one bud on each of my daffodil plants has now bloomed. When I bought the bulbs last fall, I bought a pack of fancy daffodils. Three bulbs each of a yellow and orange, a frilly white and peach, and a pink and white. I was particularly looking forward to the pink and white, because I've never seen them before. So today I took a look at all my pretty blooms.

Do you see any pink? I don't.

So apparently I was mistaken about the adoption of the jonquils, and we're looking at a hostage situation, in which my pink daffodils were taken in exchange for the little yellow jonquils. Does anyone have any experience in daffodil hostage negotiation? I really wanted pink daffodils!!!

To be honest, the situation could have escalated at any time in the past week, as I've been a bit distracted. I haven't seen my husband in nearly a month, and only for a few days then, because of his wildly insane and abusive work requirements. Well, it turns out that he's busy at work about 100 miles from here this week, which is too far for a commute on top of a ten hour work day, but is not too far for a two day visit when you're only slightly employed. Mohammed couldn't get to the mountain, the mountain had to go to Mohammed. So I drove down to see him Tuesday, and spent Wednesday in the hotel room getting some much needed sleep (I tend to sleep a bit like a rock when I'm not home, since we live too close to train tracks here) and taking a little time to knit something just for me.

It's my New Beginnings Project from the Knitters Review Retreat last fall. The requirements were I think just that it be something for us, and this is one of the very few sweaters that I love everything about (Alice Starmore's Durrow from Celtic Collection). Almost every pattern I see I think I would change something about - the sleeves, the neckline, something. Not this one. And even though I didn't do the colors that it was designed for, I would if I could find them! These colors aren't quite right in the photo - I had to do some adjusting to get the cable to show up, they aren't quite so day-glo in real life. I'm using the sadly discontinued but really lovely Rowan Shetland Aran, which is an alpaca/wool blend, and the colored yarn is actually AC Moore's cashmere yarn, because it matched the gauge so well for me.

I had just finished the ribbing section along the bottom there, so did the cable and color work Wednesday. It was lots of fun to get to the point that the cable and color looked intentional and like something rather than those messy beginning periods where you can't really tell what's going on. I found myself stopping almost everyother row to giggle and fawn over the beauty. The yarn is fantastic, the pattern is fun, and I'm very much looking forward to getting it done... which is going to have to wait. I have a few things that involve income that have minor deadlines to them, so they have to come first... but Durrow will be waiting in the wings, ready to fly...

Monday, April 03, 2006

Blogging Potpourri

(or "what happens to a post when the blogger isn't creative enough to spin all this fluff into one cohesive story")

Oh, that Aslan is so dignified. Why, he's just a picture of sophistication and class.

I bet he never does anything goofy or silly.

(that vaguely pink thing in the upper left corner is the raised foot of a recliner. Aslan's new favorite game involves attacking it from below, so it least suspects it)

Some friends and I went yarn crawling this weekend, and while I was there I was reminded of a promise we had made. We meet at Panera and usually end up staying after they've locked their doors. Last time we were there, a manager and employee came to ask about the knitting. This was a long drawn out conversation, since the employee didn't actually speak English, and the manager spoke Spanish in that oh-so-American method of adding a vowel to the end of words (we ask how old the child is, the manager looks at her and says, louder, "How old-o?") With all of our lousy Spanish (and my mostly forgotten Italian) we worked out that the woman has eleven children, one of whom is a six-year old girl who really likes green, and how much would we charge to knit her some green socks? Because they are so nice, we said we'd knit socks for the little girl.

And then we promptly forgot. But in the yarn crawl this weekend I found a ball of Regia yarn that I wanted to try, because it was a different stripe pattern than I've seen before, so I figured I'd get that for this woman's child.

(Yes, the sock needs quite badly to be blocked, but I also alternated ribbing with each color change just to make it a little more interesting)

Besides, that means I get to add another sock to the count, so it's not like you guys are doing all the work.

At that same shop, I found some really adorable buttons for some yarn I have that's wanted to become a cardigan, but I was nervous about committing to that without the right buttons for it (because I think we all know I would have gotten to the last inch of the thing and ripped it all out, and I just don't have that kind of time right now)

What do you think - did I find the right buttons???

My last little bit of potpourri involves Daffodil adoption.

Apparently, I have some flowers that are particularly giving of their spirit, their time, and their love. They had an emptiness in their life pot, and wanted to share, to give an opportunity to a bulb that might not have that kind of chance without them. They were willing to take in bulbs that had different backgrounds and appearances to them, because they feel we're all the same under our skin dirt.

This is the only explanation I can come up with for this:

When my fancy daffodils split, they somehow managed to create entirely different jonquils.
(Mother, a botanical explanation for this would be appreciated.)

Marriage is love.