25 February 2012

One Year Later

Last year at this time, The Tim and I decided that the time was right to add another kitty to our family.  We missed Tess and the Garden Kitty, and even worse, Jetsam was incredibly lonely, having never been an only kitty.  But The Tim made a rule that we could only adopt a kitty "who really needed us."

My friend Kate, who besides a million other wonderful qualities, is not just an animal lover, but a volunteer at the city shelter, was fostering a cat who had recently had one of his legs amputated.  She told me about him, and said that yes, he REALLY needed us.  I suggested that she let me know when he was ready to be adopted and I'd see what I could do.

I think the deal was sealed when she posted this picture on Facebook.

Because the next thing I knew, The Tim had made it his profile picture!  We made arrangements for the kitty - then known as Lego - to come for a weekend, to see how things went.  Would Jetsam think he was OK?  Would all the stairs in our house be a problem?  So many things to consider.

Well, as you know, the rest is history.  One year ago today, that kitty came for his "trial visit," and he just never left!  His name got changed to Pip, and he has been here now for a whole year.  During that year, we have learned:

That there are probably no amount of steps that would be too much for him;
He works on the assumption that everyone wants to meet him;
He is crazy;
He is so friendly, it's ridiculous;
He loves to cuddle;
He loves to play;
He adores Jetsam;
He is at home here, and no one can change his mind;
Unless they are willing to feed him 24 hours of every day.

Thinking about it now, adopting Pip was probably just as beneficial for us as it was for him.  The fact that he has three legs instead of four does not even enter into the equation for him - I'm not sure he even realizes it.  He dashes up and down the stairs, and climbs on the furniture at least twenty times a day with no problem.  And he is an incredibly good boy ... except when he isn't ...

In honor of Pip's one-year anniversary with us, I would ask all of you to give your family members - furry or otherwise - a big hug.  I think the Pipster would like to know that everyone was getting some love and attention today because of him.

22 February 2012

This, That, The Other Thing

I had a post kinda sorta composed in my brain, and then just as I was getting ready to write it, Dug walked on the keyboard and dislodged a bunch of keys.  In my attempt to recover said keys and see if they could be reunited with the keyboard, the golden nuggets that had been forming vanished.  So you are now stuck with random things from my brain. Do not say you haven't been warned ...

--> Last night was my first quilting class.  It was a lot of fun, and since there are only five of us in the class, it should be nice, since we all seem to be at the same level with sewing, etc.  I haven't taken any pictures of my fabric yet, but I will in the next few days, after which you will be forced to see them.

--> I finished another Christmas gift - a pair of Dashing fingerless mitts for The Tim.  No photos yet, since a) he is either wearing them and I don't have access to them to photograph, or b) I'm hoping to get a picture outside on a sunny day, and unless it happens on a weekend,  it's already getting dark when I get home from work.  The good news is that he really likes them, since he has been wearing them nearly every day since they were finished.

--> I gifted the cowl I showed you in this post, and it was extremely well-received!  She was genuinely thrilled with it, and showed everyone who happened to pass by or go into her office that day.  It's nice to know that you brightened someone's day, and to know that someone is genuinely thrilled with something you made for them.

--> My efforts at kindness have been pretty decent so far, though I'm sure I could do more.  To be perfectly honest, I exist so much in the world of my own mind, that I don't realize sometimes that I've missed an opportunity to actually do something for someone.  On the other hand, I've avoided killing a lot of stupid people - or even just telling them to their face that I think they are stupid - so that's something. At least I think it is ...

--> I hope everyone who is thrilled with the non-winter we have had does not start complaining if/when it gets really warm, really fast.  When it's 60 degrees in  February, there may not be anywhere to go but up from there, temperature-wise.

--> I wish the 2012 elections were over.  I'm soooooo sick of hearing the candidates talking, promising, criticizing, preaching, being morally upright.  I would have a hard time being kind to any of them, and am glad that I will likely not have to worry about that opportunity arising.

--> I made hot cross buns this past weekend.  Last year, I completely forgot, and was disappointed.  This year's batch turned out very well, but a certain canine actually stole a few from the table where they were cooling!  Even Pip was shocked.  And trust me, it's pretty hard to shock Pip.  (He's usually doing the shocking, as a matter of fact.)

--> My pneumonia is, I would say, about 99.99999% gone.  However, now I have really terrible pain in my left foot, and have an appt on Monday with the orthopedic doctor to see what is going on. It may just be yet another site for my osteoarthritis, but I want to have it checked to be sure.  If my mother was here, she would say, "It's either an ass or an elbow with you, isn't it?" That was one of her classic expressions she would use when we got over one sickness/ailment, only to almost immediately have something else.

--> I realized the other day that I have not even attempted to knit a pair of socks in several months.  Wrong, wrong, wrong.  I must get started on a pair very soon, or the universe may never recover.

And that's it for now.  As you can tell from the beginning of the post, I should have some pictures for you before too long. But in the meantime, I thought you might find this amusing.

20 February 2012

Presidents' Day

So here in the U.S. today, it's Presidents' Day.  I think it was Richard Nixon (oh I can't believe I just typed that, I hated Nixon big time) who combined Lincoln's and Washington's birthdays into one federal holiday.  I will admit that since I had the day off, I'm good with it.  But of course then I always am reminded of how here in the States, having a extra day off, or more vacation granted is considered almost criminal.  The former Evil Boss actually used to calculate how many hours we worked each year, to prove how having an extra day off lost money.

I realize that if you own a business, it's an issue to consider.  And I know plenty of people worked today (The Tim, my dentist, etc.), but I just think it would be nice if time off and holidays were more universal and embraced.  I can remember as a kid when stores and other places were closed on Sundays, and since it was the norm back then, it was only mildly frustrating if you forgot, and tried to buy groceries or something on Sunday.  Now I think it would be an anathema to a good portion of the population.  And it would also mean I wouldn't have my Sunday job at Rosie's.  Of course, that is not my main source of income, so not having it would be a perfect example of White People's Problems.

But there is nothing more enjoyable to me than a day off from work that doesn't use my vacation time.  I see it as a true gift.  It doesn't necessarily mean I do anything extra special with the time, but in a way, that's the whole point.  Today, for instance, I was able to go to the dentist for my six-month checkup, and then just catch up on some stuff around the house.  I enjoyed it (OK, not the dentist so much, but I'm willing to see that as a necessary evil), and even though it was just one extra day tacked onto a weekend, it feels like a looooong time since I've been at work!

I hope whenever you have a holiday, you'll enjoy it, even if you don't - especially if you don't - have elaborate plans.  You only live once, and as far as I know, working every waking minute of your life doesn't get you anything extra when you take your last breath.

So, take a breath now and just enjoy the holidays that come around.

16 February 2012

Will Power (not)

At the beginning of the year, as I was thinking of all the wonderful and magnificent ways I would become a better, more organized, kinder, and all around more wonderful person, I said to myself, "Well, Self, you really do have plenty of yarn here.  So why not decide to not buy more yarn unless you TRULY need a type of yarn you don't have for some special project?"  Self replied, "Oh Self, I think that's such a good idea.  I shall try it."  Myself was then quite pleased with itself.

Then I got an e-mail about the Rockin' Sock Club.  I had no desire to sign up (been there, done that, enjoyed it), and even if it had been my fondest wish, could not afford the price anyway.  But then I thought, "Well, I wonder what else it out there.  It's fun to get packages in the mail, and try new yarns."  So I Googled around, and came across the Mad About Tosh Club, from Twisted in Portland, Oregon.  I have limited experience with Madelinetosh yarns, but I know that they are pretty, soft, and have colors that appeal to me (even the ones I don't really like I think are beautiful). It was an every-other-month deal, and for what it was, the cost was reasonable (meaning I had some money left after buying Christmas gifts), so I decided that I would join.  My reasoning was that a) I could afford it, b) the package in the mail every other month would be nice, since I wasn't buying other yarn, c) I would only have six more skeins by the end of the year, and d) I am weak.

The first package arrived in the mail last week, and I was more than pleased with installment one:

Now you have to admit that it's mighty pretty!  (Even my questionable photography skills don't make it look bad ...)  It was accompanied by a pattern for a really lovely shawlette that just looked like springtime to me.  I hope to get it started before too long, because it would be nice to have it once Spring arrives.  I was determined to finish the one remaining Christmas gift that I was knitting before I started, though, and I finished that last night.  (But that will be a whole 'nother post.)  So maybe this weekend - which is a three-day weekend, as the library is closed on Monday for Presidents' Day - I can start!  Granted, a glance at the pattern shows some Wrap & Turn stitches (my nemesis), but I'm gonna try and get it figured out as best I can.

So to review:

  • I talk to and respond to myself a lot;
  • I make lots of grand plans;
  • I have no actual follow-through when/if something new and shiny shows up;
  • I hate W&T;
  • I finished knitting the last gift for Christmas 2011;
  • I have an upcoming three-day weekend.

Maybe my will power leaves something to be desired, but at least I have self-awareness ...

14 February 2012

Celebrate Love!

Everyone has someone that they love - make sure they know it, today and every day.

And Happy Valentine's Day to all of my readers!

10 February 2012

Slow and Steady

... not that I'm ever a speed demon in anything I do.  Well, actually I am a fast reader - you know, one of those people who sit impatiently waiting while everyone else finishes reading directions at a normal pace?

But I digress.

As I've mentioned in the past few weeks, I've had a hard time concentrating on knitting and reading, because I've been so "busy" coughing and blowing my nose and feeling exhausted.  Now that I'm finally getting some of myself back, I can finally enjoy those things again.  And I even finished a knitting project that I started before Christmas, and that languished for weeks with just a little bit left to do.

A co-worker of mine, who is also just a great person, was thrust into the Interim Director job when the Evil Boss left at the end of last June.  Well, she has managed to not just hold things together, but make positive changes, and bring everyone together as a team.  She's done an amazing job, and though I know that she's had a lot of sleepless nights and worries, I - and my co-workers - all think that she has been good for the library and archives.  Her birthday is in November, and at the time, I thought I'd make her this item, but then realized that it would be unrealistic, given other things I had to do.  I didn't want to give it to her for Christmas, because I didn't want to create an awkward I-got/made-you-a-gift situation.  Then it was going to be a New Year's gift.  Well, guess what?  I'm wrapping it up to give her for Valentine's Day.

Here is a crappy photo - time, weather, and someone to help me photograph it just wasn't happening; but trust me, it looks a whole lot better than this in real life!

It's very cushy, and I think she will like it.  I know that red is her favorite color, and she spends a lot of times outdoors, both with her daily commute, and on the weekends, so I know she'll be able to use it.

For those interested, here are the details:

Pattern:  The Climb and Swirl Cowl
Yarn:  Lorna's Laces Shepherd Bulky, colorway Cranberry
Needles:  US size 7
Modifications:  Nothing major, but it ended up a few inches shorter than the pattern, because I knit until I ran out of yarn.  It's still a nice size to cover the neck and the lower part of your face if you want/need it to do that.

I can highly recommend this pattern as well as this yarn.  I enjoyed knitting this a lot, and hope the recipient will be happy with it.

I'm hoping to have another finished [belated] gift to show you soon.  I started a pair of Dashing mitts for The Tim for Christmas.  However, starting in the middle of the afternoon on Christmas Eve does not allow for finishing them in time for the next morning (well, at least not for me).  But I finished the first one right before I got sick, and the second one is well underway.

I was originally a little dismayed that my first two FOs for 2012 would be things I'd hoped would be the last FOs of 2011, but since it doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things, I'm over it.  Life's too short and all that.

OK, that's all for now, folks.  Enjoy your weekend!

05 February 2012

50 Things

Well, I didn't mean to go so long between posts - I was going to post a couple of times last week, but I was just so incredibly tired after getting home from work, I'd go to bed early.  I mean *early* - as in 8:00 p.m.!  I'm not sure I went to bed that early when I was in grade school ...

Shortly after New Year's, when I was reading about various ways to get your life organized, or how others were trying to free themselves of "stuff," I read an article in the Huffington Post about getting rid of fifty things.  The person writing the article was trying to let people know that if they want to get their lives together, it doesn't have to be a major undertaking.  As an example, there was the idea of cleaning out your medicine/bathroom cabinets, or your junk drawer.  The writer was saying that by the time you got rid of expired prescriptions, or recycled menus from take-out places you never call, you could easily get yourself to fifty items.  Making that much progress would give you the incentive to keep going.

I like this idea.  Starting small is - at least for me - often just the right thing to inspire me to keep going.  Today I wasn't at Rosie's, and I had hoped to get going on my fifty things.  But, I was SO behind on everything, that I never got started.  Though I did manage to find three household items to put in the bag for charity/Goodwill.  So that made me think there was hope for me.  :-)

Next to lists, getting organized is one of my favorite things.  And I have made it one of my goals for 2012.  So stay tuned, as some of my "getting organized" could lead to offering some things here on the blog to interested parties.

That's it for now. But since you've slogged through this to get this far, here's something that should make you smile ... a picture of Dug!