18 March 2019

Back to the Unfortunate Reality of My Reality

Ugh.  Today is back to work.  I have come to the conclusion that I don't mind working as much as I mind my crap job.  And my incredibly rude - and often just plain mean - co-workers.  It's bad enough on any given day, but after four days off, it's just insulting, you know??  :-)

Oh well, such is life.  Since I can't afford to retire, and I have no other prospects, it's time to suck it up and enjoy the other parts of my life as much as I can.  That's what I did for four wonderful days.

Last Thursday was my birthday, and in keeping with my personal tradition, since I had accrued some vacation, I took Thursday and Friday off.  I will admit that I am always surprised these days when I consciously think about how old I am.  This was my 63rd birthday, and of course that always comes after your 62nd birthday, right?  I guess part of it is that I have outlived my father by ten years at this point, and if I am lucky enough to live for a few more years, I will outlive my mother as well.   That just seems weird, but then again, I'm glad to still be here!

The Tim baked me a birthday cake, which looked really yummy.  He placed it on a table where I warned him that it could either a) be knocked onto the floor by the kitties, and/or b) be reachable and therefore eatable by Hamlet.  He responded in a way that made me sound like a crazy person, so I left the issue alone.  You can see where this is going, right?  Thursday afternoon at one point, I came into the living room and thought, hm, what's different?  Well, the cake was on the floor, and half-eaten by a very pleased doggie!  When The Tim got hom from work, he said, "Gee, I guess I should have put it someplace else."  YA THINK????  Anyway, we had birthday candles to blow out in some Rita's Water Ice, and another cake was baked the next day which was placed out of reach, and best of all, no sick dog!

Friday, I had an occupational therapy appt in the morning and then headed to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned.  Then Hamlet and I went for a long walk, since it was a lovely day.  Thursday was also perfect weather-wise, and I took a long walk with him in the morning, and then a really wonderful long walk myself in the afternoon.  I couldn't believe that it was so nice for two days in a row when I was actually home from work!  Usually the days I'm home are the ones with terrible weather. 

Saturday was also nice, but really really windy!  I walked over to Loop to get some double-pointed needles in the early afternoon.  Friday evening I had started to try and pick up stitches and start knitting the sleeves on my Neverender sweater.  After a few rounds, I frogged what I had knit and just decided that the needles I was using were making me miserable.  They were a really old pair that I'd had for years, from when I started knitting and there was not a lot of choice in different types of needles.  They had some kind of covering that almost felt like rubber, and it was making it truly difficult to move the stitches around.  Fortunately, Loop had a good variety, and I came home with a set of Knitter's Pride wood needles, which so far are working really well.

Yesterday was of course, St. Patrick's Day, so I went to church first thing (growing up we *always* went to church on St. Patrick's Day, and then if it was a school day, my parents would let us stay home).  Then I did a small amount (emphasis on "small amount") of cleaning, and then baked some Irish Soda Bread, which turned out really well.  For dinner we had a vegetarian shepherd's pie and some Guinness.  The only thing I didn't get to do yesterday was any knitting, but I still had a really enjoyable day with Hamlet and the kitties.

It felt good to do my own thing without being sick or having other problems for a change.  It would have been nice if The Tim could have taken a day off as well, but we had a good Saturday together, and enjoyed our evenings.  (For all I know, he might have been relieved to not have a day off with me, since he had quite a few over the last months, LOL.)

So, though I am not necessarily thrilled that it's Monday and that I have to be back at work, I'm glad to still be here for my 63rd year, to see what might happen going forward.  Here's hoping that it will be more enjoyable than the latter part of the year before!

Hope your week is off to a good start.

17 March 2019

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

May you have the hindsight to know where you've been,
the foresight to know where you are going,
and the insight to know when you have gone too far.

Have a lovely day and may St. Patrick send blessings your way!

13 March 2019

Reading, Ravelling (and Thankfully, No 'Rithmetic!)

First of all, thank you for your kind comments on my last post, and wishes to Milo for his birthday.  I read them all to him, and he was quite pleased, doing that slow blink thing that cats do when they are happy.  He got a catnip goldfish which was a big hit with everyone, and everyone had celebratory treats, so it was a good day all around.

Today is Unraveled Wednesday, and I'm joining Kat and the others to talk reading and knitting.

I recently finished A Week in Winter, by Maeve Binchy, which was a lovely, quiet book and just made me enjoy reading it.  Next up is this book:

The Tim recently finished this book, and recommended it to me.  Since we do not often read the same things, I thought it was worth giving a try, so today at lunchtime I'll get it started.  He mentioned that he had read that they are making a movie of it, and the plot sounded interesting, so he decided to see what he thought - his verdict is that it's "a page turner."  Well, we'll see.

It's been quite a while since I could share any significant knitting progress here, but over the weekend, I finished the body of my Neverender sweater.

Now if I can get the sleeves knit, soak and block it, I'll have an FO, which will be so rewarding.  Of course, I'm pretty sure that by the time I accomplish this, warm weather will have arrived ... oh well, it will be "new" then next year!  :-)

And that is what is happening around here.  After today, I have the next two days off, so I can read or knit or do whatever I want, which will be the best.

What are you up to this week?

11 March 2019

Lucky #7

Seven years ago today, a feral cat had a litter of kittens in South Philly.  The feral cat was lucky, because she was in the backyard of a friend of ours, who had created a shelter for feral cats and fed them.  Once the kittens were weaned, she was able to find homes for all but one kitten, as well as take the mom to be spayed.  We had recently adopted Dug the Doodle Dog, and I told The Tim that we should adopt the kitten because Dug needed a kitten.  After a few weeks of reminding him of this, and some agreement from the friend, that kitten (aka The Koodle) joined our family.

He was so little!

By the end of the same evening that he arrived in May of that year, he and Dug were inseparable, causing The Tim to say, "I guess Dug did need a kitten."

Of course, his real name is Milo, and he has been a real character for sure!  He and the other cats have always been friends, but when Hamlet joined the family last summer, you could tell it made him really happy.  They are such pals, even though Hamlet is still figuring out the whole cat thing in general.

He embodies the adage, "When he was good, he was very very good - but when he was bad, he was horrid."  

Happy 7th Birthday, Milo the Koodle! 

 We hope you'll be around to drive us insane for many more years.

08 March 2019

In the Mood Again for a TGIF post

Well.  Here we are, another Friday has arrived and March is underway.  I am now on a once-a-week schedule for my occupational therapy, and it's scheduled for Friday mornings at 7:30, which works really well for me.  It means that I get it all done first thing, and then even when I have to still go to work, it's the last day of the work week. 

Having said that, since I am not at work until later in the morning, I have more time that belongs only to my and my brain.  Here's what was rattling around in there earlier.

Thinking About - how undervalued it is anymore to be average and/or normal.  Everyone is obsessed with the Most Wonderful People.  But it's the average, normal people who get up every day and go to work and do the things they are supposed to do  (often providing support to the Most Wonderful People).  And most people do well enough in their schooling to advance through the levels of school.  But only the Amazing Smart People get the recognition.  They go to The Good Schools - which has always made me wonder: Are there parents and teenagers who - if not Amazing Smart People - say to themselves, Oh well, I guess I'll just go to A Bad School, or An OK But Not Really Good School? 

Getting Ready For - a big week coming up.  We have Milo the Koodle's birthday, my birthday, St. Patrick's Day, and then St. Joseph's Day which means zeppoles!!

Interested In - trying to find the best way for me to get myself and my life organized a bit more.  Most people who know me think I'm already incredibly organized, and I am by nature someone who likes to be that way, but since I broke my wrist and have been recovering so slowly, things have fallen by the wayside.  I've decided to try and figure out something this weekend, or at least get some ideas.

Funny - this falls into the category of it's funny but I do know it shouldn't be.  I saw a link to this article on Twitter, and not only does the headline amuse me greatly, but a) it's ironic it would appear on International Women's Day, and b) some of the Twitter comments were hilarious.  My inner 12-year-old boy was amused by the person who said that it proves that "money can't buy happenis." 

Have a good weekend, and be careful out there.  :-)

04 March 2019

Lazy Saturday Then Scrappy Sunday

Hm.  That weekend seemed about 3 hours long.  Sigh.  

But it was a good one, nonetheless.  First of all, it was the weekend.  Saturday when I woke up, I didn't really feel that great - sniffles, headache, joint aches, you get the picture.  So after I took Hamlet for his walk, I went back to bed for about 2 hours, which actually helped.  Then once I took my shower I felt even better.  I don't know if that indicated that a cold was on the way, or it it was just being tired, but fortunately it didn't seem to stick around the whole weekend.  

So Saturday consisted of a lot of just doing small things in between taking lots of breaks.  I finished a book I'd started on Friday (it was a quick, cozy mystery, so it went pretty quickly), watched a couple of knitting podcasts, and worked for a little bit on my Neverender sweater.  (Which is what most of you know as the Weekender pattern by Andrea Mowry.  I think I'll like the finished piece, but even before I broke my wrist, it seemed to take FOREVER to knit.  Anyway.)  The Tim had to work, so I just enjoyed an unexpected day to myself.

Sunday, I decided (for the second week in a row) that it would be Scrappy Sunday.  This is apparently a thing others know about, but I only became aware of it after watching one of the episodes of the Crazy Sock Lady.  She mentioned that on Sundays, she tries to work only on scrappy projects, so they get some regular attention.  I decided that was a really good idea, and I was going to give it a try.  So last Sunday I managed a square on my Cozy Squares of Memory Blanket (it's the one on the top right in the photo below).  Then yesterday, I completed the square shown in progress in the photo below, plus one more.

I enjoy this idea, since prior to this, I'd only added a square or two after I'd finished a project.  This way I can visit it more often, and feel like I've accomplished something, even if it's just a couple of squares.

Other than that, I tried a recipe that was a sort of fake spanakopita, and it was a) very easy, and b) really, really good!  So that will definitely stay in the group of things we have regularly. It's always nice to find a new thing to fix for dinner that doesn't take hours to assemble.  Then we watched some shows we'd recorded, and waited for the snowstorm which was supposed to be HUGE but at least in the city, just meant dampness and wet streets this a.m.  I know that they got a lot of actual snow in the burbs and other outer areas, but it was a bust for us.

So even though the weekend seemed to go by too quickly, it was a good one, and I got to do some knitting.  I'll take it.  :-)

01 March 2019

Let's Begin a New Month with Some Letters

The first day of March, which is one of my most favorite months of the year!  It's snowy and becoming slushier by the moment here in Philadelphia, but it's Friday, and it's the first of March, so as far as I'm concerned, it's all good.

Having said that, I have decided to start the month off with some Friday letters.


Dear Bryce Harper:

So you are now one of the Phillies.  Good for you.  I do think you have talent, but I gotta say, I'm not a fan on a personal level.  You strike me as grand example of a douchebag bro.  I doubth that - or you - will change, but at least I hope you help the Phillies win.  However, should you turn a team that seems to be a bunch of relatively nice sporting nerds into other douchebag bros, I'm the least of your worries, because other Philadelphia residents will straighten you out with no hesitation.  Welcome to Philadelphia - the City of Brotherly Love that is not in any way for the faint of heart.


Dear Bernie Sanders:

Jesus Christ on a snowmobile, WHY do you feel the need to run for president again?  Look, I agree with a lot of your concerns and ideas, but seriously, dude.  Just stop.


Dear Hamlet:

I love you beyond words, but I wish you could understand that when you are allowed on the bed for a few minutes in the morning before we get up to go for a walk, that it would be more fun for me if you didn't feel the need to park on top of my chest.  I enjoy being able to breathe, and 80 pounds of you makes it quite challenging.


Dear Knitting Podcasters:

Thank you for your company these past few months when I couldn't knit.  It was nice to have you around, particularly on the days I was stuck at home and didn't feel like reading.


And that's it for me.  Do you you have any letters you'd like to share??

Have a good weekend!

27 February 2019

Still Reading ... and, HOORAY - Back to the Needles!

Well, hello there.  Here's hoping your week is going well and even if it is not, at least it is Wednesday, so we're probably all going to make it, right?

My exciting news is that I am finally allowed to knit again!  I can't believe that I forgot to mention it here right away, but I think I was so excited, I just somehow figured that everyone knew somehow, I guess via osmosis??  Well, in any case, you do know now.  :-)

I'm only supposed to knit for an hour or so, and build up from there.  It was so exciting to get back to my projects, though it also felt weird.  Fortunately, it seems that I have the same gauge as I did before, and it's starting to feel "regular" again when I pick up the needles.

So that is my knitting news, and sorry I have not taken any photos lately, but once I make some more progress, I'll share some.

In reading news, I have finished two books in the past week.

Highly entertaining, if completely unbelievable.  But even if it had been incredibly awful, I thought the dedication page was *brilliant*:  "Thanks, Obama."  That right there is what my friend Lisa calls fried gold.

This one suprised me - right at the beginning, I thought I had it all figured out, but kept going because it's very readable, and I wanted to be proven correct.  Well, guess what?  Much like Jon Snow, I apparently know nothing.

So that's what is going on with me.  If you are so inclined, head over to Kat's for Unraveled Wednesday and see what others are reading and making these days.

22 February 2019

Old Photo Friday - Last Friday of February Edition

This guy is a native of a *real* place we visited - Trujillo Alto in Puerto Rico.  This is from a trip we took for my niece Julie's wedding in 2008.  Since we were going there anyway, we turned it into a little vacation.

One day when we were eating breakfast, I dropped a piece of orange and in record time, someone else claimed it.  :-)

Hope your weekend is full of unexpected treats!

21 February 2019

Oh The Places We Go!

Hello on a Thursday!  The almost-always-good-day-because-tomorrow-is-Friday day of the work week.  This morning it occurred to me that you might enjoy learning of some of the places we have travelled recently, for Three on Thursday.

There is a good chance that you are not familiar with these locales, and to be honest, we didn't know about them for a long time ourselves.  How did we discover them?  Well, I think I have said many times here that Pip the cat is quite the talker.  We call him The Narc because he has to comment on every single thing that The Tim, myself, the other cats, and/or Hamlet do.  And he just has a lot to say in general, particularly when he is waiting to eat.  So a while back (who remembers when), I decided that he wanted to know where his food was coming from.  From there, I decided he would like to try things from other places, so as I was fixing his food, I'd tell him where that particular dish (which is technically always the same thing, as you might imagine) originated.

You are probably not surprised to know that The Tim finds this to be a questionable endeavor, but occasionally plays along, often asking me for details about the various places.  Here are three recent though not necessarily well-known places that provided the origins of Pip's meals.

1.  Pipton-on-Koodle.  This is a very small, somewhat remote town just over the border from England in Scotland.  In the election a few years back, 100% of the eligible population voted for Scottish independence from England.  The primary industry is tuna fishing.

2.  Furballstadt (there should be an umlaut over the "u" but I don't have diacritics on my keyboard).  Furballstadt is the capital city of Crunchova, a former Soviet republic that is now independent.  It is a very tiny principality that is known for producing the best string in the world.

3.  Tabbahtoum.  This city was formerly known as Stripestantinople, but was renamed when the famed military leader Kataturk was installed as its leader in the early 1920s.  Some say that Kataturk was the inspiration for the statesman who created the modern Republic of Turkey.  Tabbahtoum has some of the most famous pawprint friezes in the ancient art world, and was known as the vacation destination of the ancient Egyptian goddess Bastet.

And there you go.  If you like geography as much as I do, you too may want to seek out little-known destinations and learn about them.  I always think that even if I can't afford to travel, learning about the world opens up my thoughts and ideas.


15 February 2019

Wishing All of You a Gentle Weekend

I am excited because after work today, I have a three-day weekend, and few things in life are better than that, at least at this moment.  As far as I know, the only thing I *have* to do is show up tomorrow for my haircut appt, so I have no plans and a million plans, if you know what I mean.

And I'm on board with that.  Lately, I'm feeling tired of the world.  Mostly because I find it tiring these days when everyone is worked up about everything.  When nothing and no one is good enough, active enough, smart enough, sincere enough, feminist enough, and on and on. 

I am of the firm belief that most people try their best most of the time.  That may be naive, but I truly do believe it.  It's hard enough to get up every day and face the universe.  Even people who seem to lead charmed lives still have something that is a struggle for them - maybe it's internal, or maybe they are just good at keeping it in the undertow.

In addition, everyone chooses their own battles to fight more intensely than others.  This is what seems to me to be what has been lost.  And you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.  For example, I have a close friend who works non-stop to prevent hunger.  She has decided that for her, that is the focus of her existence.  I admire her commitment, and I know that she sacrifices time with her family to help others.  And as far as I know, they understand and are OK with it.  Recently, she was asked by someone in her kids' school PTA group to run for office in the PTA, and she explained that she felt that would be overextending herself.  Now she is getting all kinds of blowback from other parents and some of the school faculty, asking why she cares more for strangers than her own children and their friends and their well-being.  Someone told her she "doesn't care enough" about kids at one of the PTA meetings.  She got up and explained her reasoning, and that she *does* care, but felt that her current efforts with the organization where she volunteers would suffer if she cut back on her time, and that would have a direct effect on those they try to help.  Apparently, she was then criticized and mocked for thinking she was "so incredibly important." 

And that is just one example of the kind of thing that is making me tired.  What business of anyone else is it if we decide that we prefer A to B?  Unless A is serial killing, and B is fighting for women's rights?  How is it up to others to decide how much we do, how much we care, if we are "enough"?  And if they don't like our explanation, why does that deserve to be criticized and mocked as well? 

I feel very strongly about certain things.  That doesn't mean I ignore everything else.  I will do whatever I can to stand up for what I think is right or wrong, I will defend others until the cows come home if I feel they are worth it (and I will defend the cows if they decide not to come home, if someone is mistreating them!).  Like everyone else, I have a certain amount of energy, certain things I have to do, and a certain number of hours in a day.  Unlike most people that I know, I have a very low tolerance level for double standards and crap.

So this weekend, other than getting my hair cut, I'm gonna be gentle with myself.  Because I'm tired, and I haven't done anything wrong.  My way is not your way, but that doesn't mean I'm wrong, or that I don't care.  And I hope that you will treat yourself gently as well.  Know that not only can we not be everything to everyone, but that it's fine.  Most people try their best most of the time.  If you are like most people, give yourself a break.  Smile and enjoy what you are lucky enough to have, for those around you that you care about.  Don't worry if you are "enough" of anything.  Just be.  Do.  Think.  Laugh.  Help.  Look.  Be gentle.

We deserve it.

Have a gentle weekend, my friends.

14 February 2019

Happy Valentine's Day!

I love Valentine's Day (or rather, "Valentime's Day" as I called it as a kid), and always have.  It was always a fun day in our house - my parents would give us cards, and usually some kind of treat or little package.  It was always just a day to be happy and try to make someone feel better, rather than a day when you had to be part of a couple, or give elaborate gifts. 

The Tim and I have pretty much the same kind of observance, but with a birthday party added.  Four of our cats over the years had their birthdays on Valentine's Day - not that it was their actual birthday, as far as we knew, but based on what the vet would tell us when we went took them the first time, it seemed like they were born in February - so why not February 14???

Our only Valentine birthday kitty now is Pip, and he was quite pleased with himself this morning.  He'll likely have a good day, since The Tim is home today, so Pip can provide constant narration to the various happenings at home.  Then tonight all of the furballs will get treats, and Pip will get a catnip heart I found the other day (well, it will be *given* to him, I'm sure it will be community property pretty quickly).  The Tim and I will celebrate with birthday cake!  It's win-win for all of us.

Then there's only one more day of work until a long weekend for Presidents' Day.  Works for me. :-)

13 February 2019

A True DUH Moment!

Hello all - finally, a morning with no precipitation on the walk to work!  And - there was even a bit of sun, so I've decided that's a good sign even if I have to be at work today.  I'm just tired of "wintry mix," and wish it would just make up its mind, I have no patience for indecisive weather.

Anyway, today is Unraveled Wednesday, and I have decided to play along, because I am of course reading, and I had a true DUH moment about knitting the other day.

My reading:

I have about 50 pages left, which should be done today at lunchtime.  It's not a long book, but since it's my lunchtime book it takes longer than it would otherwise.  I'm determined to finish it to see how/if things resolve.  Parts of it have been funny, but I think I don't "get" it, so I am not enjoying it as much as others have.  It has great reviews, so it might be one that just isn't quite for me.

Your mileage of course may vary.

Regarding knitting, still none - AT THIS POINT.  You may recall that my appt with the orthopedic surgeon a couple of weeks ago didn't happen due to an insurance mess.  At that appt I was planning to ask her if it was OK to start knitting again.  Well, the insurance issues will supposedly be cleared up this week (I have to call tomorrow to check, cross your fingers for me), and I have rescheduled the appt for February 25.  Which is not that far away, but it's still another week plus some change away.

Well, the other day, it occurred to me that I could just send one of those Non-Emergency Messages to the nurse and ask her to check with the doctor to see if knitting could start happening again.  DUH - why did this not occur to me before????  I am glad I finally thought about it, but I wish it had entered my brain sooner!

So who knows, I may get the green light before my appt and I can pick up my needles again.  That would be VERY exciting!!  :-)

11 February 2019

Am I Ambitious or Delusional?

OK, probably delusional because I will admit to not being a very ambitious person in general.  But then again, hope springs eternal where crafts are concerned, and I do have some ambition in that area.  

Case in point:  This past Saturday, The Tim, Hamlet and I headed out to Manayunk to visit my friend Lisa at her yarn store, Hidden River Yarns.  I enjoy going to Manayunk and to Lisa's store, but we don't make it there very often because even though that part of Philadelphia is not technically too far from us, it's also not very close, and we are lazy.  Anyway, we arrived and found a fairly close parking place (parking there is as tricky as anywhere else in the city), and started our walk down Main Street.  Hamlet thought this was all wonderful, because a) car ride, and b) new smells!  He got *really* excited when we saw the Dog Bakery - and yes, of course we went in.  I thought he was going to explode with excitement.  We didn't stay long because he was being ridiculous, but in honor of it being National Pizza Day, we bought him a treat in the shape of a slice of pizza.

Then, on to the yarn store.  My primary reason for wanting to go was to purchase a copy of this book.

Strange Brew, from Tin Can Knits, is a hard one to find, and when I learned Lisa had gotten a shipment, I asked her to hold one for me and said I'd pick it up this weekend.  It's not hard to find because it's a rare, old book, but rather because it is so popular.  And if I could get it from Lisa, that would be not just shopping locally, but saving on shipping fees.  

We had a good visit with Lisa, and Hamlet got a lot of cuddling and petting, so he was happy.  But he was just so excited about everything, he was kind of out of control, and annoying.  I gave him his treat, and that was successful, but he was still too excited for us to stay for very long.

Then I noticed that there was also a basket of Crazy yarn sitting there ... I had bought two skeins a year or so ago, but had not yet used it.  Lisa showed me a project she was making that used three skeins and OMG I loved it!  The pattern was The Shift, by Andrea Mowry.  I'd seen some iterations of the pattern on podcasts, but none of them looked as amazing as the one made with Crazy yarn!  I decided to take a look and see if another skein spoke to me.  It's been quite a while since I bought yarn, so I wasn't going to get it just to get it, but rather I had to find one that just simply had to come home with me.  And I did.

GAH!  I love it soooooo much!  Look at those colors.  To be 100% honest, I don't clearly remember what the skeins I already have look like, but I'm not worried because I know they are colors I really like.  

So, to review - I went to get a book, and came home with this:

I don't feel bad, as far as buying the yarn, but I have to admit that even before I got the book, I wondered about my state of mind.  I have done very little colorwork, and have made very few sweaters, none of which had colorwork yokes.  However, seeing projects made using this book and reading reviews of it made me think it was something I really wanted to own.  Because I kept thinking about it, I decided to find a way to get a copy for myself.  Because ... someday, right?  Not anytime soon of course, since I am currently waiting for the OK to knit again, and I want to finish the projects I had underway.  However in my ambitious/delusional state, I'm thrilled to think that my future could involve something so different from anything I've tried before.

I'm really excited about the yarn and the project I want to make with it.  I have done well not buying yarn lately, and though of course I would love all the yarn in the world all of the time, I haven't been feeling deprived or upset that I was not buying anything.  But I know I would have gone home and wished I'd just bought this if I left it in the store.

And that was the exciting part of my weekend.  I feel like I may be coming down with a cold or something similar, so I spent most of the rest of Saturday afternoon sleeping, and a good portion of yesterday also sleeping.  Which is very unusual for me - I'm not someone who can take a nap unless I'm not feeling well.  But I would like to think that maybe by sleeping so much I have headed off whatever it is, or at least kept it from being really bad.  (In reality, it probably makes no difference, but I like to give myself a pep talk like it does.  Don't judge me.)

Now of course it's Monday - and one filled with slush and the dreaded "wintry mix" to boot.  Though I guess it's appropriate, since both things are faced with a certain amount of dread ... ;-)

In any event, have a good week - we're already working on Monday, surely it will be all good from here!

08 February 2019

Friday Funny

I don't know about you, but I could use some laughs for today, and going into the weekend.  Here are some things I've come across during the week, and decided to share with you today.


I'm proud to say this is the case with me.

True story:  My brother-in-law thought Facebook and MySpace were the same thing, and he called it MyFace.  He would say things like, "All of my daughters are on MyFace," and they would say, "DAD! Stop saying that!!!"

If anyone knows where this is, please contact me directly!

Mind = Blown

I love this so much.

My favorite.

Have a great weekend!  I hope you find some things to make you smile and laugh.

07 February 2019

In Which I Think About Life Lessons

Hi everyone - I've had an interesting few days, and they have given me a lot to think about, which for better or worse, I'm sharing with you.

I have been flabbergasted at the stories of the governor and attorney general of Virginia, and their current problems resulting from at one time or another in the 1980s, wearing blackface.  This is something I just cannot wrap my brain around.  I knew as a child that it was beyond wrong.  I had a father who was not in any way fond of pretty much any minorities, but he always let us know that in that particular way, we should NOT be like him - and he would enforce it, even if we did or said something without consciously planning/realizing it.  So to think that in the 1980s, *anyone* would do it, even as a joke, just does not compute in my brain.  And yes, I realize that sadly there were and are plenty who still see it as either funny or not harmful, but wow, pay attention to the world, would you?  And I know that each of them claim it does not reflect their persons now, and I hope that is the case, but at least in the case of the governor, own up to it and resign.  Geez.

Staying on the topic of white privilege/prejudice/stupidity, we move to the discussions recently on Instagram about the exclusiveness of the crafting community.  (If you are not aware of it, it all started with this post.)  The past few weeks have seen so many people speak up for themselves and others like them, and have helped others realize just what is actually going on.  For example, there have been non-white knitters who have told numerous stories of not being welcome in yarn stores, knitting groups, etc., to the point of being followed around by yarn store staff while they are browsing!  (While I am not surprised, I will admit that it never occurred to me when I worked at a yarn store to be suspicious or iffy around any customers except for some regulars who could just suck the life force out of you even if they just stopped in for 10 minutes.)  I believe that the dialogue has been important and illuminating.  There have been backlashes against a few people who do not believe it's been a problem, basically only because they have never seen/experienced it themselves, and I do wish that could be handled in a better way somehow, but I have no solution in mind to be honest.  Anyway, in a new twist on the whole thing, apparently the other day the company Knitters Pride put a post on Instagram with a photo of some products, and the caption was: "Tell us your #CraftyProblems & you could win one of these great prizes!" A personal friend of mine, who I have actually worked with in a yarn store, commented that her problem was (and I am summarizing as I don't have the exact quote) that there was a problem in the crafting community related to BIPOC, and rather than continuing to deal with it, we were just moving on with contests and giveaways.  The company blocked her, and now the comments are blowing up. 

I have to be honest with two things here.  First, it was stupid that they blocked her, as her comment was not rude or vulgar, only her honest thought.  And second, I have to say that on a personal level, I was somewhat annoyed by her comment.  (White privilege, I admit.)  Because the first thing I thought was that we can still work on being inclusive and understanding others' problems and at the same time still have some levity and fun with contests or giveaways.  Admittedly, using the term #CraftyProblems" was tone-deaf.  But I am a firm believer that you can devote every bit of your being to resistance, change, helpfulness, etc., and still be able to enjoy  something or have fun.  In my opinion, life is not pie where you can only deal with a piece at a time, and people are capable of many things and many feelings at once.  I also admit that I am too chicken to post this to her, because I could face her wrath, but don't want to deal with everyone else's.  I guess you can call me #chicken.

If you are still reading (and bless you if you are), now let's move on to something that I have found to be such a positive and happy experience, I wanted to share.  I'm not going to name anyone specifically, because it is not overall my story to tell.  But here is what happened.  Yesterday, I read a blog post by someone whose blog I regularly read.  She was writing about something she watched on TV and how it made her feel.  It was a well-written and thoughtful post about her reactions and her thoughts.  It struck a chord with me, but mainly because I disagreed.  I almost just moved on, but rather than be a #chicken again, I wrote a comment on the post stating my own thoughts about things.  Of course, once I hit "Post" I thought it was a mistake.  Not because I hadn't said my piece, and tried to make it as thoughtful as her post, but because I didn't want it all to become A Thing.  Later that day, I looked at her blog again, and she had written a very kind and thoughtful response, clearly understanding that I was disagreeing BUT NOT SHOUTING and saying she was wrong.  Shortly after I saw that, she sent me a direct message on Instagram, asking if I had seen her response and saying that she hoped I was not offended. 

This is one of the best experiences I have had recently.  We disagreed.  But we exchanged opinions in honest and civil ways, without devolving into name-calling or personal grudges.  As far as both of us are concerned, we are still cyberfriends, and are moving on to the next thing.  I am forever grateful for her kindness and her understanding of what I was doing when commenting on her blog. 

Finally (sigh of relief heard), I just wanted to say that I know that I have a long way to go before I fully understand other people and the world.  But one thing that has been helping me lately is listening to the Pantsuit Politics podcast.  The women who are on that podcast are opposites in so many ways, yet they can have a reasonable discussion on a level we should all aspire to reach in our dealing with those who may disagree with us.  They sometimes have guests who delve further into some fo the topics they discuss.  Occasionally, religion comes into it, but it's not something that I would call overly   "Jesus-y" (my term).  I am especially looking forward to reading a book they just published, called I Think You're Wrong (But I'm Listening).

For the record, I'm not in any way a representative of theirs, or being paid in any way to promote their podcast or book.  I'm just sharing, because I think the way they handle their discussions is a valuable example to the rest of us.

And that, my friends concludes this post at last.  I shall return to my usual blather and ridiculousness in the next day or so, but these thoughts were spending too much time swirling in my head, and since I had no one else to discuss them with, I wanted to post them here.

Have a good day, and remember to try and be kind.  There are days when I'm happy if that is the only thing I can accomplish.

05 February 2019

First It Was Bad. Then It Was Good. Then It Was Frustrating.

And now it's Tuesday ...

Anyway, our weekend trip to Baltimore started out on a bad note, as Friday morning when we were supposed to have a "covering" of snow showers, it just kept snowing, and by Friday late afternoon when we left to get on the road, there was about an inch of snow and it was really slippery.  The weather reports said that the snow stopped as you went south, so we carried on.  Except the snow didn't stop, it actually snowed more!  A trip that is usually pretty quick and uneventful was instead very slow and stressful.  But we got there safely, which in the end is the only thing that matters.

As soon as we arrived, things got good.  Pat and Amanda had ordered in sushi for all of us, and they have a really good place near there house, so that was a treat.  They were thrilled to meet Hamlet, and he of course was incredibly excited to see them.  One of their neighbors came over for a few hours, and we had a great time talking about everything, and learning about the year he lived in South Korea.  All thoughts of the snowy trip completely disappeared.

Saturday we started with breakfast at one of our most fave bagel places.  Then we all settled for a while before deciding to go to the Baltimore Museum of Art.  We'd never been there at all, and Pat and Amanda hadn't been for a while.  Amanda called her sister Annie, and we met her, her boyfriend and her boyfriend's daughter there and walked around with them.  It was great.  I wish we could have spent more time, but we still would not have seen everything, so I guess we just will have to make a return visit sometime (such a sacrifice!).  All of us headed back to Pat and Amanda's for pizza, and we ended up watching a Netflix documentary about the Fyre Festival.  I had heard of it and what a disaster it turned out to be, but until seeing this documentary, I had no idea of the details.  Never let a narcissistic bro plan anything is the lesson I took away from it.  (Not that I would let that happen anyway, as I stay as far away from any types of bro as I can.)  Hamlet got a ton of love and attention, as well as many many ice cubes (which are his favorite treat).  I'm pretty sure that everyone wanted him to stay in Baltimore.  As if ... :-) 

Of course, we were so busy having fun, this is the only photo I thought to take, but it's a good one - Hamlet *loved* their wood-burning stove and just wanted to sit in front of it the whole time.

We headed back home on Saturday evening, since The Tim had to work on Sunday.  The kitties were very excited to see us, and Pip in particular had a very long story about the neglect and starvation they endured while we were gone.  Sunday I spent the day catching up on laundry, paying bills, and other things people with a glam lifestyle do on their weekends.

So that's the bad and then the good.  Now comes the frustrating.

I had taken the day off on Monday, because I had an appt and x-ray with the orthopedic surgeon, then a session of occupational therapy, and then a bit later in the day, I was going to have a crown finally put onto a tooth that has been needing it, now that I can use my dental insurance again.  I figured it was easier just to take the day off than to worry about time, etc.

I got up bright and early and headed over to my dr appt and x-ray.  But that was not to be.  Why?  Well, apparently all of a sudden I needed a referral from my primary care physician, and I didn't have one.  This was puzzling, since that was never the case before.  The receptionist said that since I had switched my health insurance, the new one required referrals.  Um ... I had not switched insurance, so I was puzzled.  In any case, after about 15 minutes, it was determined that I would need to get things straightened out and call to reschedule the appt.  Sigh.  I headed upstairs to go to my occupational therapy session, and guess what?  Same problem (even though for all of January I had been going without any questions), I needed a referral, etc.  The woman at the front desk was apologetic, but said they couldn't treat me unless I was willing to pay out of pocket.  Which of course I cannot afford, so I headed home to work on getting things figured out.

First I talked to the insurance company.  They informed me that my employer had sent them the information about the option I had chosen back in November during Open Enrollment.  I had a printout from when I completed that, showing that I had enrolled in the same insurance I always had.  So I called Human Resources, and after getting shuffled around for approximately 20 minutes, I finally got a person who would a) speak to me, and b) said she could try to resolve the issue.  She said she was relatively new, but would try her best to help.  According to their records, I had switched insurance.  I told her about the printout I had saying I had not.  We went back and forth for a bit, and it was deteremined that somehow it was my fault even though of course it was not.  Anyway, to sum things up, I had to send an e-mail to the head of HR requesting a Benefits Appeal to see if I can go back to what I have had for the past few years.  The young woman I talked to was actually very helpful, and after I sent the e-mail, she sent me a response saying that it had been received, and "expedited."  So now I have to wait and see if my appeal is granted before I can do anything else at all.  Just one of the 4 billion reasons I wish we had national health insurance though of course why would we because "the American healthcare system is the best in the world."  Grrrrrrr.

OK, that was at least underway and will hopefully be resolved sooner rather than later, so I moved along to getting ready for my dentist visit.  I have dental insurance, but thankfully it is a different thing altogether from my health insurance.  Then about 1/2 hour before I was going to leave for that appt, the office called to cancel.  It seems that due to the snow problems on Friday, FedEx was behind on deliveries, and my crown had not been received and was still "in transit."  The person at the dentist's office said she would call when it finally arrived to reschedule my appt.

In the end, the day off was not just frustrating but wasted.  Which would be annoying under the best of circumstances, but me making arrangements for a day off is such a hassle due to my co-workers that it's not even funny.  And now at some point, I'll have to do it all again, and who knows if I'll be able to get it all done in one day.  Ugh.

That good time over the weekend sure seems far away now ... on the other hand, surely it can only go up from here, right?  RIGHT????

01 February 2019

Furball Friday

This past Sunday, Hamlet's former family stopped by for a bit on their way to visit a local winery - they wanted to bring us this book.

It's a book with photos and information about Hamlet's life before he came to live with us.  There are a few puppy pictures (OMG!), as well as all of his travels, here and abroad.  Yes, abroad - Hamlet has been to Europe 4 times, and has gone on 2 Viking River Cruises!  (And this weekend we're taking him to Baltimore ... yeah ...)

Anyway, it is probably one of the biggest surprises and best gifts we have ever received.  It takes a lot of effort to put one of these together, and this one is so well done, besides being such thoughtful thing to do in the first place.  They said they put one together for Karma and her new family too.  :-)

Of course, their current guide dogs, Oakley and Mike, came along and oh the hilarity!  All three dogs had so much fun chasing each other and "fighting" over toys.  After they left, Hamlet was wiped out for the rest of the day and evening.  But such a happy pup.

And on that note, Hamlet and I send along best wishes for a good weekend, whether or not there are any surprises.  Happy February!

30 January 2019

Neither Ravelling Nor Unravelling ... But Reading!

I've been reading the posts for Unraveled Wednesdays on Kat's blog, even though I've been reading but not knitting.  It's as much fun for me to see what everyone is reading as much as what everyone has been knitting.  I'm still not knitting, but I can share a recent read and a current one today.

This was one of those 99-cent deals for the Nook. 

It was very short (~95 pages) and very awful.  Even the main character having a dog couldn't save it. I only finished it because I could not for the life of me imagine how it was all going to be wrapped up in a way that made sense.  Not recommended.  (And it annoys me to no end that someone who spells her name as I do is such a bad writer.  I'm taking it quite personally.)

Fortunately, I had this book in the wings, and was able to start it a couple of days ago.  I'm really enjoying it, which is not a surprise, since I figured I'd like it.

I like the characters of Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin, and I will be curious to see not just how the case in the book works out, but how/if their working relationship is able to improve.

No knitting ... at least not yet, but we'll see what happens at Monday's appt with the surgeon.

Have a good one, and keep warm!

29 January 2019

Some Randomness for a Tuesday

I forgot to download photos from my camera, so you are getting this post right now instead of the one I was planning to write that had a particular photo for it.  No matter, you'll see it sooner or later.

In the meantime, I'm in the mood to write, but have nothing specific to write about so it's time for some random ramblings from my brain.

1.  One of the local TV stations had a meterologist who is also a big DIY person.  She is always referencing projects she's made/working on, and also posts the results on Instagram pretty frequently.  Lately, she has decided to create a YouTube channel, and the first one is for a yarn ball wreath.  Of course, not being a knitter, she had to buy the yarn to cover the balls, but I give her credit for sharing.  I think sharing your DIY projects would be a recipe for disaster for me, as mine do not always quite live up to my imaginings of them ...

2.  The other day, I overheard someone talking about how many days it was until the first day of summer (no I didn't make note of it because a) I don't care, and b) I try hard to live in the moment).  And I had a revelation.  When Christmas decorations are put out for sale in stores right after Labor Day, people begin to have conniptions about it.  However, when someone starts talking about the first day of summer in January, it's all good.  Puh-leeze.  Don't b*tch about one and say the other is different. 

3.  I am currently in a situation at work where two individual co-workers have decided that they are in charge of all of us, particularly me and my work.  Of course, they have no training or background in my work, but they know better.  I am keeping a file of all e-mails, etc. so that I can visit HR at some point.  It won't do any good, because our HR is technically in place, but in truth does nothing for anyone (mostly due to fear of legal reprisal), but I'll have the file should it become such a level of harrassment that I need to take it further.  Most of the time, people take my ability to work with anyone and be flexible as weakness.  However, they have no idea what they are walking themselves right into.  And I have never been one to care if someone liked me or not.  I can be civil and work with just about anyone.  But it doesn't mean I'm not paying attention.  And, as my mother used to say, I'm the sort of person who "would just as soon look at you as go to hell."  (No, I don't really understand it, but I get what it's saying, and to be honest, it's true.)

4.  The other day I was walking down the hall at work and a young boy was standing with his father/brother/caretaker looking at the mummy exhibit.  The adult was explaining how the mummification process works as best he could to the kid.  When he finished, the kid said, "That's a lot of work.  Just put me in the trash when I die."  Which amused me, but also made me think that would be a whole 'nother level of trouble if they followed his direction.  :-)

5.  I had a weird dream last night where Kym invited me to her house for cookies, but then when I got there, her husband said she had moved into a trailer in the back yard and was not talking to anyone.  So, Kym if you are reading this, and that ever happens, please leave some cookies with your husband so I can at least have one or two.  Oh, and maybe think about getting some help?  (WHY did I dream this????!!!  Maybe because I heard a news story about Kalamazoo, and I think she lives there?  Maybe *I'm* the one who needs help ... )

6.  We are leaving on Friday after work for an overnight visit to my niece and her husband in Baltimore.  Hamlet is going with us, and they are dying to meet him.  She sent me a note asking what his favorite treats and toys are, because "we want to be his most popular relatives."  You can see why they are popular with us, right???  ;-)

7.  My sister in California and I were talking on the phone the other day, and she was telling me that her 4-year old granddaughter Ari said she couldn't wait until she grew up so she could be rich.  Nancy asked her how she was going to be rich, and Ari said, "I'm going to marry money, and become a famous 'modeler' (read: model)."  She is the only 4-year-old I've ever heard of who used the phrase "marry money" - which is amusing, but also unsettling ...

8.  The Tim informed me the other day that the Eagles are not in the Super Bowl this year.  Is he on top of things or what???  (Go Rams!)

So there you go, news you can use.  Actually neither, if you think about it.  :-) 

24 January 2019

With All This Time to Think About Knitting ...

As you know - and are likely tired of hearing - I have not been able to knit for months, due to a broken wrist.  For the most part, I've done a lot more reading, but I miss being able to watch a TV show or movie and still work on something.  Or, knit and listen to a podcast or some music.  Hopefully when I visit the surgeon on February 4, she'll say I can start knitting again, but in the meantime, I've done LOTS of thinking about knitting!  

So I thought I'd share three of those thoughts with you today, as part of Three on Thursday, with Carole and others. 

1.  This weekend is Vogue Knitting Live in New York, and it sounds like so many people are planning to go, even if only to peruse the marketplace.  Which sounds like a lot of fun, since like most things, there are special yarn colorways dyed for the event, special project bags and giveaways, etc.  But one of the things I think would be the most fun would be meeting some people I know but really don't, or even just see what they look like in person.  Even in the case of designers or people who do video podcasts, I have a certain idea in my mind of what they are like.  So it's always fun to see if they look the way I think they do/should, and how they sound if you are talking to them one on one.  I remember the first time I got to meet Clara Parkes at a Maryland Sheep and Wool.  She was standing by herself in one of the barns, clearly waiting to meet up with someone.  I introduced myself and though I knew what she looked like from photos, she really did look like that, and she was genuinely what I had expected and hoped she would be.  She didn't know me at all, but was still as friendly as if we had been hanging out together all day.

2. I am liking some of the make-alongs that various podcasters are doing.  A whole (rather large) group is doing a New To You MAL, which I think is a great idea.  The primary requirement is that you try something that you have never done before.  From postings I've seen on Instagram, it looks like a wide variety of things are being included, from the very intricate and involved, to things that are not overly difficult, just new to some people.  I like that it is so inclusive.  And then New England Gal is doing a Finish That Stuff MAL, which is basically for people to work on things that may have been sitting around unfinished for too long.  (I think that nearly every knitter I know would qualify for that one!)  Needless to say, I'm not officially joining either of these (or most likely any others down the road), but I think that these two in particular are good ideas.

3.  Am I the only one who thinks that too many new patterns are coming out these days?  I'm kinda sorta joking, but seriously, it seems that every time you look at Ravelry, or a knit publication, or listen to a podcast, there are at least 50 new patterns a day!  Not that I like them all, or even want to ever knit them, but I'm suddenly feeling the information overload related to it.  Though I guess it's a good problem to have, right??

So there you go, right from my brain to your eyes.  I hope the rest of your day goes well.

18 January 2019

Another TGIF Post for You

Oh it's been a week, let me tell you.  But you know what?  It's Friday, and in my case at least, leading to a 3-day weekend, as we have MLK Day as a holiday.  I don't even care that it's supposed to rain like a flood on Sunday and then freeze overnight because of the polar vortex, because I don't have to even leave the house except to take Hamlet for walks.  Mind you, I do feel cheated because the flooding rain on Sunday was originally predicted to be snow.  But since it's a long weekend, I'm gonna let it pass ...

Anyway, I have decided that this is a perfect time for another TGIF post to make me re-orient my thoughts.

Thinking about - how if you are someone who loves winter, you are considered some kind of weirdo freak.  But if you love summer, you are "normal."  Who decided that?  No, never mind I really don't care, I will always take winter over summer.  Sorry normal people.

Grateful for - the words of Mary Oliver.  Her poetry may have been dismissed by critics, but for someone like me, who has an ambivalent at best feeling towards most poetry, it made me happy.  Because words and language are a deep and meaningful part of my soul and being.

Inspired by - all of the voices raised to challenge, inform, and share knowledge and experiences this week on Instagram and other places as a result of a blog post by a woman getting ready to take a life-changing trip.  I am guessing that this weeks' events gave "life-changing" a different meaning than she originally intended, but I am glad that people spoke up and out to let everyone else know the real state of things.  I have many opinions (because, well, I'm me), but in cases like this I do a truly poor job of making them coherent.  So I would just ask that you read, think, and learn from all of this.  And try as hard as you possibly can to do better.  I consciously try, and often fail because I haven't give things enough thought, or I just did not know something.  No one should stop learning, ever.

Fun things - I have no idea.  Doing nothing is fun, but so is a good book, a good cup of tea, an old movie (particularly one of the ones that just have you thinking, "What?"), and animals to cuddle.  Or baking gingerbread muffins on a cold day.  Just being, when you are fortunate enough to be able to do that because it's what you want to do.

I hope all of you have a lovely weekend, and a safe one.  Be kind to each other.  And remember that we are all just passing through.

Penn and Oden

14 January 2019

Once Again, My Mother Was Right

If you have read my blog for any length of time, you have been subjected to many of my mother's favorite sayings.  One of the ones we would hear most often growing up was "It's either an a** or an elbow with you, isn't it?"  This was said when for instance you just got over a cold and then sprained an ankle, or some combination like that. 

She was right.  

Of course, you all know of my long and varied times of getting over one illness or injury, just to have another show up.  It happens to everyone at one point or another, but in my most self-pitying moments, I feel like it only happens to me.  The day in October that I finally felt like I was truly recovered from pneumonia was the day I feel and broke my wrist.  A**, meet elbow.

At the moment, it's not *exactly* the same, but close enough.  When I fell and broke my wrist, I also broke two front teeth.  One had been previously broken a few years ago when I fell (I guess) and ended up with kidney cancer.  Last month, I was eating yogurt, and the temporary replacement that had been put on the one tooth in October came off.  Since I had maxed out my dental insurance, I was waiting until now for them to be able to do two crowns:  one for the broken tooth, and one for the implant in progress.  The dentist temporarily fixed the tooth, and all was well.  I have an appt this coming Thursday afternoon for the crown over the implant site.

And now that appt will also include temporarily fixing that same tooth, yet again.  Tonight I was eating soup and guess what?  Ugh.  I called to see if they wanted me to come in right away, or wait until Thursday.  (It will get a crown, but they can only do one at a time with my insurance and the implant is overdue.)  Which is fine, but it means that I have to spend a couple of very uncomfortable and self-conscious days until then.  And I have to give a tour on Wednesday at work, which makes it even more annoying.  Plus, the broken tooth keeps catching on my gum and that really hurts!

I know I'm lucky to have dental insurance, and the original crown on the tooth that broke off again would still be in place if I hadn't fallen in October, but really???  I'm so tired of all of this stuff, and I was just starting to feel like I was getting back to normal. 

An a** or an elbow.  Once again, my mother was right.  ;-)

11 January 2019

Furball Friday

When it's a very cold Friday, and you are a small, one-eyed kitty, sometimes curling up for a nap is the best idea.

It also works well if you are a large, 80-pound Golden Retriever.

Here's hoping your weekend will be cozy and relaxing!

10 January 2019

Those Kids Need to Get Off My Lawn

I started today in a good mood, honest.  Hamlet and I had a nice early morning walk, the kitties were cuddly before I left for work, and I fixed myself a nice cup of tea once I got here.  

Now it's lunchtime, and stabbiness has taken over.  I just realized that three things happened leading to the stabbiness, so I am sharing them with you for Three on Thursday, aren't you glad???

Event the First:  One of my co-workers eats at her desk all of the time, even though we are not supposed to do that.  It's annoying mainly because of the food smells when you are trying to work.  This morning she arrived and found evidence of a mouse having been in her desk.  She called the maitenance dept and they were out of snap traps, so put down a glue trap.  A mouse was almost immediately caught, and the poor creature was so distraught it broke my heart, and still makes me feel terrible to think what happened to it.  Then said co-worker cleaned out her desk drawers and HOLY CRAP she had a small grocery store snack aisle in there!

Stabbiness Level:  Blood Red

Event the Second:  One of our co-workers is out this entire week at a workshop.  She has several volunteers who come in, and she told them to come in anyway, because her assistant would set them up to work, etc.  Today's volunteer starts at 10 a.m. and showed up about ten minutes ahead of time, and of course the assistant had not even gotten to work yet (long story, we're not even going there).  I tried to help the volunteer, but couldn't really do much.  The assistant finally showed up about 10:10, and got the volunteer settled.  Then he came back into our office and was annoyed because she "showed up early."  It took every fiber in my being not to say that she probably showed up early because a) she takes public transportation, and b) she probably didn't want to be late.  And that maybe he should have made an effort to show up early ...

Stabbiness Level:  ____ Brown

Event the Third:  I started to watch a knitting podcast at lunchtime, and about five minutes in, the person's phone rang, and she stopped and said, "I just got a text - let me see what it's about."  She checked the text, typed out a response and then picked up again with what she had been saying.  If you know you are going to be recording, and you forgot to turn off your phone (which, I'm sorry come on), and you get a text/call/whatever, wouldn't you say "Excuse me" turn the phone off, and then continue??  Let's face it, if you are waiting for a text saying the brain transplant surgery was a success, maybe you shouldn't have started recording.

Stabbiness Level:  Annoyed Orange

And now that I have dragged you down with me, I wish you a good day and hope your day is going better and will continue to go better than mine has!  :-)

08 January 2019

2018 Knits

Before we get much more into the new year, I wanted to do a summary of what I made during 2018.  I'm pretty pleased with my total, especially when you consider that I couldn't even attempt to knit for the months of October, November, and December.  Realistically, if I hadn't broken my wrist, I think I could have gotten one or two more pairs of socks done - though it still would have been short of twelve pairs for the year!  No problem though, since for me, the Box o' Socks is for fun and a bit of challenge more than anything else.

Anyway, I'm happy with what I was able to accomplish.

Eight pairs of socks

A sweater for me

A sweater for my new great-nephew Oden, who was born in April

A patriotic dishcloth for the 4th of July

A pumpkin hat and an eggplant hat for dear friends, whose babies were originally due in October, but arrived towards the end of July (they are doing really well, btw).

Total:  13 items - I thought it was a lower number, so that's pretty exciting as far as I'm concerned!

05 January 2019

You *Can* Go Home Again ...

... if your name is Hamlet!

A week ago today, we had made plans to take Hamlet back to visit the family that he spent most of his life living and working with (the past 7 years or so).  It was the first visit since we adopted him in July, and both persons in the couple had been matched with new Seeing Eye Dogs since.

First, the cast of characters:

Hamlet - you know him!
Karma - a black Lab mix, and Hamlet's guide dog partner and companion before he was with us
Jeff - Hamlet's former owner, now matched up with:
Mike - a Golden Retriever/Lab mix
Sharon - Karma's former owner, now matched up with:
Oakley - a black Lab
Karen - Karma's new owner

We had a lovely day for our visit, so we got Hamlet into the car and headed over the bridge to New Jersey.  When we turned onto the street leading to the house where he used to live, Hamlet got really excited.  When we pulled up in front of the house, he started wagging his tail and whimpering. 

He could not wait to get out of the car, and ran right up to the front door.  Jeff opened the door, and Hamlet dashed inside.  Once inside, Jeff was really excited to see him, but the first thing Hamlet did was run around and gather all of the toys!  Then he realized Jeff was also there, and immediately sat on his lap.

Sharon was upstairs, as they were keeping Mike and Oakley up in their room, so they could introduce them slowly.  First, Mike and Hamlet got to meet.

That, of course was very exciting.  Before Sharon and Oakley came downstairs, Karen arrived with Karma, who could NOT wait to see Hamlet again!  (She had already met the other doggos.) 

Finally, Sharon and Oakley joined the group, and hilarity ensued!

Hamlet was also very happy to see Sharon, and had to go and shake hands with her.

There was a lot of running, chasing, playing, and "fighting," and a couple of times Hamlet disappeared upstairs!  (Jeff said he was probably checking to make sure everything was where he had left it, lol.)

Mike and Oakley "attacking" Karma

After a bit, things settled down, with all of the dogs getting quieter, and eventually all of them lined up and nearly asleep!  

Hamlet and Oakley

Hamlet made sure that he got lots of cuddle time with Jeff, supervised of course by Mike.

It was all really fun and really wonderful.  It was fun to see Sharon and Jeff, and meet Karen, who we had never met before.  We loved seeing Karma again, as she is just one of the sweetest pups, and a fan in particular of The Tim.  And getting to meet Oakley and Mike was such fun as well, as they are still somewhat puppy-ish (they are each about 2 years old), and busy as only young dogs can be.  We caught up with everyone's news and stories of their Christmas celebrations, and it was just enjoyable to know that all of the dogs had not just had a good time, but worn each other out!  We were all amused that Jeff's dog is named Mike, and decided he sounded like he was from South Philly, and that he "knows a guy" ... :-)

When it came time to leave, we were wondering what Hamlet would do.  In July, when we went to bring him home, he hid behind Jeff and whimpered, which was heartbreaking.  But when everyone was getting ready, Hamlet walked over to The Tim when he got out his leash, and seemed ready to leave, get back in the car, and come home.  Jeff said that means he has completely bonded with us, which of course is the ideal result.  Hamlet was pretty zonked on the ride home, and let me tell you, the excitement and fun of the whole day wore him out for a few days!

The cats found it interesting as well, since Hamlet returned home with many new and intriguing scents on him - they probably were wondering just where we'd taken him!

We made tentative plans for another get together in the spring, this time hopefully outside.  We told Hamlet he'd better start storing some energy now ...