28 February 2010

This Is My Blog Post I Hope You Like It A Lot!

Hello everyone my ma is busy with some stuff today so I thought I would write a blog post because I like to try new things and I can't even think about going outside because there is still some of that wet and cold stuff that they call snow and even though I thought it looked like fun it wasn't really and if you want to see for yourself just look at this picture where it is getting ON me!!!

And not only did it get on top of me but then it was on my belly too!!!

This was right before Christmas and Tess said that Santa lives someplace where it is snowy all the time and I thought that couldn't be true but then the Garden Kitty said it was the truth and then I thought that Santa must be very tall which is why I bet it doesn't get on his belly and then I remembered that he doesn't stand on all four of his legs like I do so I guess his belly is OK.

I think snow should be soft like it looks so that you could sleep on it and be cozy.  Tess says I think that because I am an eejit, and I don't know what that means but I'm pretty sure it's something that is fun because I love to have fun every day.

Anyway, I have been busy helping my ma with something she calls sewing but I call it playing with paper and scissors on the floor and it is so much fun but she doesn't seem to think it's as much fun as I do but I think she just says that because how is this not fun?

She and my da both said this was ridiculous and then she put things away because she said she wouldn't be able to get anything done but I don't see why because I was ready to help some more but she didn't care and put things away.

The Garden Kitty says that I need to use punctuation here because my sentences are too long and they ramble and I don't know what punctuation is and I don't care because if he thinks that then he can use punctuation or whatever he wants to when he writes a blog post because I am writing this one and I think it is  just fine the way it is because it all makes sense to me anyway except that it is taking me a little longer than I thought because it is harder to do than I thought because I am trying to make it make sense and that is not too easy except when you stop and think and I don't like to stop doing things for any length of time when I am having fun and think that it is important but I think I might be done talking to you because I told you all the things I wanted to plus now I think it's time to rest because when you are a 3 year old kitty who has been up since early and then you have to write a blog post with pictures and everything else you have to do then you get tired really fast and so I am going to rest I hope you like this writing of mine and maybe some day I will write more and see if there are more pictures of me so you can see how busy I am all day and how I like to have fun.

Wow this is tiring but I hope you have fun today I think I will once I take a break

so bye and now I will stop typing love Jetsam.

24 February 2010

For the Record

1.  Yes they are predicting another snowstorm.  And yes, we've had much more snow than usual.  But a) it's winter, and b) there is nothing we can do about it, so let's all just move on and deal with things OK?  I complain when it's hot and humid, but mostly to myself, because a) it's summer, and b) I know there is nothing I can do about it.  So far I've lived, and so will you.

2.  Dear Octo-Mom: Please go away. 

3.  Oddly enough, I still don't care if I never see an episode of "American Idol."

4.  I think that most people do what they have to do most of the time.  And that is courage, even if no one else never knows or understands.

5.  Dear Co-Worker:  I'm glad you are watching your salt intake.  However, I can watch my own, thank you very much.

6.  I've said this to others, but every time I watch the Olympics, I think it would be so much more enjoyable if there was a Tim Horton's near my house.  As would life in general ...

7.  I will truly miss Brian Westbrook.  I thought he was a nice person, besides just a really talented football player.

8.  Dear Zach:  I'm sorry your birthday present will be about a whole month late.  It has nothing to do with how much we love you, it has to do with the fact that finding stuffing material for your gift is way more challenging than it should be.  Hopefully once you finally get it, you won't care that it took so long.

9.  My birthday is coming up.  Unlike most adults, I actually look forward to, and enjoy mine.  Still being around to have birthdays seems like something you'd want to happen.

10.  Are Girl Scout cookies good because they are expensive, or because they are only available for part of the year?  Or is the answer both of the above?

Feel free to go back to whatever it was you were doing.  It just feels good to get that off my chest ...

20 February 2010

Tiny Bits of Progress

In the past month or so, I have been reading about, thinking about, and talking about knitting.  As far as actually knitting something - not so much.  I blame it on a combination of things, but primarily on an inability to focus for any length of time on much of anything, not just knitting.  You know, you have the desire to knit, or read, or bake, but when you actually go to do it, you are so unfocused that you either mess it up or just decide not to start in the first place.  I can't pinpoint one or even two reasons, but hopefully I'll be back on track soon. 

In spite of the aforementioned problem, I have managed to move a little bit closer towards the finish on a couple of my knitting projects.  I completed both front pieces of the Pickle Cardigan (shown unblocked in their right-off-the-needles-state):

I have started the back, which is the last big piece left to knit.  This is the first time I've knit a cardigan sweater, so besides the eventual sewing of the pieces together (not one of my fortes), I'll have to add the neckband and front buttonbands, which should be a challenge.  But I am loving the yarn, and I think the non-blocked pieces look good, so I am actually anxious to make it a successful project.  And at the rate I am going, I may have it ready to wear this spring!

Back in December, I mentioned that I had not made the progress I had hoped for on the Adventskalendar pattern.  I haven't made a ton of progress even by now, but I do have 12 of the 24 needed pieces knit:

One more mitten, and 11 hats to go.  I'll do the mitten first, since it's slightly more involved, and then the hats are quick little knits.  In another amazing feat, this may be ready for Christmas 2010 - if I get really ambitious, I may have it completely finished and ready to use as a decoration.  (Just saying that makes me feel light-headed.)

So all is not lost.  I guess I should just keep reminding myself that slow and steady wins the race ...

In other news, I've been busy watching the Olympics.  Not glued to the screen for every event, but seeing bits and pieces.  I always think that maybe I won't get sucked in, but I do, just like with a lot of sports in general.  I do my requisite amount of railing against the whole organized corporateness of it all ahead of time, and five minutes later am screaming at the TV screen at someone whose existence was unknown to me moments before.  Good times.

Remember when I started my new job, and in the second week or so attended the Friday Botany Department Happy Hour?  I haven't been back (mostly because I don't remember how to get to the Botany Department*), but yesterday the archivist for the Academy was nice enough to take me with her to Friday Afternoon Tea in the Malacology Department.  They brew real tea, in a real teapot, and have cookies, and spend about 20 minutes or so just chatting and joking.  It was fun, and a nice end to the week.  Plus, it only requires getting on an elevator and pushing the button for the correct floor, then when the elevator door opens, you are right at the hallway leading to the group, so I'll be able to remember how to get there.  And I do love me a good cup of tea ...

*Directions usually go something like this: "Go out the door and down the hall.  When you get to the __ diorama, and see the (exotic animal name not in English), turn left.  Then look for the (other words which may describe an animal ... or maybe not), and take the blue set of stairs, then ..." - at this point, I have stopped listening.  I mean, the whole place is practically nothing BUT dioramas of animals whose names and visual identities are completely unfamiliar.  Honestly.

11 February 2010

Snow Day Photo Essay

February 10, 2010, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Left: Morning

Right: Afternoon

By this morning, the cars were nearly covered.

Fitler Square.

A walk with Doughboy

10 February 2010

And We Are All Diminished

This is a picture from my niece Julie's wedding in Puerto Rico in August 2008.  With the back of my head in this picture are Michael Murphy, and his girlfriend Virginia.  In this photo, I'm sure we are all talking about some important issue, as noted by the emptiness of our glasses and the redness of our complexions. 

I have known Michael Murphy since I was thirteen years old.  He and his first wife, Paula, were friend of my sister Mary Ellen and her then boyfriend (now my brother-in-law) Patrick and he spent a lot of time at our house.  When Mary Ellen and Patrick got married, Michael walked my mother down the aisle, and I remember her saying that she was glad it was Michael, because "if I had a son, I'd want him to be like Pat or Michael." 

Throughout the rest of my life, Michael was as much a part of the family as any of my blood relations or in-laws.  When he and his wife divorced, I felt awful.  But Michael was one  of those people who just moved on, not letting the bad things in life win.  He ended up with two great kids who are now adults, Julia and Patrick.  He met Virginia and they seemed to be the perfect couple.  She "fit in" with the rest of us effortlessly, and became one of the family.

Did I spend a lot of time with Michael and Virginia?  No, but I have not spent a lot of time with my family either, since we all live in different areas.  But we all keep up with each other, and when we are together, it's FUN!  We used to tease Michael, because he had a tendency to be really enthusiastic about things, saying they were "GREAT!" as only he could.  I think I have mentioned here before that every summer when my they were all in Bethany Beach together, Michael and Virginia would stay for a few nights.  When we/they would all go to dinner together, my brother-in-law would always tell the waitress that it was Michael's birthday, so they would bring out a cake.  We would all sing "Happy Birthday" at the top of our lungs and a lot of the time, other people in the restaurant would join in.  Oh, and by the way - Michael's actual birthday was in February, I think ...

So when my sister called me today - a snow day for both The Tim and I - to tell me that Michael had died last night, you can imagine the shock and disbelief  I felt.  Apparently, Michael had a heart attack at his home in Baltimore, and died in his own bed.  His son found him after being worried that he wasn't answering the phone. 

Once again, someone has been taken away well before their time.   The idea that we won't see Michael again, or sing "Happy Birthday" this summer, or hear him say that something is "GREAT!" doesn't make sense.  His daughter will now plan her wedding without her father, who was so excited about the whole thing.  There will never be the opportunity to laugh at something (like the Mr. Bean movie) just because he is laughing so hard about it, whether or not it is funny. 

Michael, I hope that heaven is GREAT! and that there are plenty of opportunities for a good laugh.  We'll do what we can down here, and be happy that for whatever amount of time we had with you, but it won't be easy.  Thanks for taking the time to be here and be part of the family.  We love you.

08 February 2010

... Make Lemonade!

This past weekend, my niece and her husband were having a birthday party for my great nephew Zach, who turns 4 years old today.  As you can guess, it got cancelled when the snowstorm arrived.  Having a birthday party cancelled could be pretty sad for a little kid, but then again, when you are a little kid, snowstorms are at least as much fun, maybe even more. 

Zach gets it (picture shamelessly stolen from my niece) ...

Happy Birthday, Zach!

06 February 2010

Snow Dontcha Know?

And here you have it - the top and the bottom of our house in today's snowstorm.  The picture on the left is our front gate this morning, and the picture on the right is our deck off of the third floor this morning.  Since these pictures were taken, we've gotten about half again as much of snow!

I know that this is wreaking havoc with a lot of lives, but I have to say that I am LOVING this!  I have been very disappointed in the past couple of winters, which have been very wimpy. 

As far as I'm concerned, if I have to put up with unbearable summers, and those who love them, I should be rewarded with a true winter.  This year - at least so far - I'm feeling fully justified. 

It helps that I walk most places, and don't need to drive anywhere, and that I'm not working today.  Yeah, I realize that, and know that I'm lucky.  So sue me.

The down side of this will be any ice that appears, as ice is my personal nemesis.  However, as Mrs. Santa brought me Yak Traks for Christmas, I may be able to function in a manner close to normal this year ...

So, you may ask, how have I been spending this snowy day?  Well, it started out well, with The Tim fixing chocolate chip muffins and a pot of tea for breakfast this morning.  I am doing laundry, working on some sewing projects, and enjoying a glass (or six) of wine.  Ahhh ...

I also photographed and entered a bit of my stash into Ravelry.  After I sign off here, I will probably spend some time knitting.  The Tim is fixing homemade pizza for dinner (his is amazing!), so you will hear no complaints from me today. 

Snow.  Wine.  Sewing.  Knitting.  Pizza.  Cats.  Cuddling.  Movies.  Saturday.

Now this is what Willis was talkin' about!

04 February 2010

Stupid with a Side of Lazy

This evening I did something so stupid (and potentially dangerous), that I am still disgusted with myself. I got home a little bit later than usual, since I had made a stop on the way home from work. The cats were, of course, near death from starvation, so the first thing I did was feed them so I would not be accused of cruelty to animals.

Then I went upstairs and changed my clothes, came back downstairs and started fixing myself something for dinner (The Tim is working late tonight, so I'm on my own). I decided that a nice piece of homemade bread and a glass of wine would be most excellent. But the bread was frozen. No problem, I took a chunk out of the freezer, and plopped it in the microwave. I have had success setting the microwave for 5 seconds to thaw bread - it stays nice and bready, and tastes like it was recently baked.

As I was finishing pushing the buttons on the microwave for the bread, I heard a crash in the living room, so I went to see what was happening. Jetsam was having an attack of the 6-pm-crazies, and in his dashing about had knocked over a lamp. Fortunately it didn't break, so I picked it up and set it back on the table. About this time, I thought to myself, "Hm, I smell smoke." And headed back to the kitchen, wondering what it could be.

Upon entering the kitchen, I noticed it was extremely smoky, and the microwave was the source! I immediately turned it off, and opened the door, to see a charred, smoking hunk of bread. Then I realized how this happened - apparently when I was setting the timer, and then heard the crash, instead of pressing buttons for 5 seconds, I had set it for 5 minutes!

Fortunately, the only loss was a hunk of bread. I turned on the exhaust fans all around the house to get rid of the smell and the smoke, and doused the bread with cold water and threw it away. But I feel incredibly stupid, and am extremely relieved that the whole episode didn't lead to the news headline "Distracted Woman Loses Home After Bread in Microwave Bursts Into Flames" ...

You'll be glad to know that Jetsam was not harmed in this incident.

I have now decided that it's not worth doing anything useful for the rest of the evening. Besides, we are supposed to get a blizzard this weekend, so I can work on stuff then.

Unless of course, I feel the need to just sit around and be cozy because it's snowing so much outside ...