13 September 2019

In Which I Rant About Unsolicited Advice

Everyone has advice.  A lot of people are more than happy to give it, whether it's been requested or not.  One of my friends and I joke that you should never take your own advice, because it's only important for others.  ;-)

Most of the time, when people give me unsolicited advice I ignore it and move on.  But there are some things that when someone "advises" me for the billionth time, just make me want to scream. 

Example the First:  When we adopted Hamlet, he was wearing a choke collar.  I asked Jeff (his former owner and "employer," so to speak) why this was the case.  He pointed out that the collar had a plate on it identifying Hamlet as a dog from the Seeing Eye Foundation in Morristown, N. J.  They put it on all of the dogs.  But as Jeff pointed out, they also showed them how to use it.  When you attach the leash to the collar, you NEVER attach it to the part that pulls and chokes the dog - you attach it to the other ring that is just like a regular collar.  They use choke collars because they are less likely than leather or fabric to cause an allergic reaction on the dog's neck.  So that is the background.

We left the collar on him because a) he is used to it, b) it provides a kind of identification even if his tags fall off, and c) because we know how to use it.  Out of approximately every 10 walks I take with Hamlet, I receive advice about choke collars at least 8 times.  Originally, I would stop and show people how the leash was attached so that he would not be choked, etc., but ever since I showed someone 3 times and they still lectured me, I just tune them out.  If you can't listen to what I have to say in response to your advice, I can't be bothered to listen to you in the first place.

Example the Second:  Whenever I mention that we have cats, someone advises me not to declaw them.  They are not declawed.  However, our late cat Jetsam was declawed when we got him.  People would come to the house, meet him, and then lecture me for 10 minutes about the evils of declawing cats.  Immediately after I mentioned that he was that way when he arrived.

Example the Third:  I have a friend that I have known for years (since college) who is a nurse.  She lives in another location altogether, so we don't see each other very often, but we do keep in touch via social media on occasion.  But I seldom interact with her there anymore because she drives me crazy with her unsolicited advice about health, behavior, etc.  A couple of years ago, I posted a picture of my little great-niece with Pip on her lap, giving him a kiss on the top of the head.  She posted under it that I was endangering the child because even if the cat is friendly her face was too close, and she could be scratched in the eye.  And then she posted on my niece's account the same thing, and also on my sister's account (the child's grandmother), since "not being a mother" I did not seem to be paying attention to her warning/advice.  I finally took the post down because it was just not worth it.

Example the Fourth:  My hair.  OMG, sometimes I am tempted to wear a headcovering so that people - both known and unknown - will stop telling me that my hair is too short!  Spoiler alert:  It's on purpose.  I would love to have long, luxurious hair, but I do not.  So unless it's a state occasion, I am not interested in spending a lot of time to fix my hair.  Also, particularly in the summer, I don't like having hair that I can feel on my neck, face, etc. - I'm already hot enough, thank you.  So your advice that I wear it to a) not look manly, b) not be mistaken for a lesbian, or c) let it grow because husbands like long hair is not just useless, but also something that is really, truly, absolutely NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS UNLESS I ASK FOR YOUR OPINION.

I generally respond by saying, If someone thinks I look ______, it's their problem, not mine.  Which is nearly always rewarded by a pitying glance which just says, Oh sweetie, you don't understand, do you?

I guess what I am trying to say overall is that maybe we should all refrain from advising others unless they ask for it.  If someone says to me, "Do you think I should buy this pair of shoes," they are asking for my opinion/advice.  If I say to someone "You shouldn't buy those shoes because _____," that is a whole 'nother story.  And I deserve it if said person tells me to go away or whatever.

So that is my rant, as well as my reminder to myself, for this Friday.  If no one is asking, keep it to yourself. As illustrated below.

But now, some unsolicted advice from me that will hopefully not offend:  Have a good weekend!

11 September 2019

Unexpected Unraveling

I'm joining Kat and everyone today for Unraveled Wednesday.  This time, it actually involves some unraveling, which in the end is OK, but which is also something that was not really fun to do.

Before we get into that, here is what I am currently reading:

So far I'm only a few pages in, but I already like it and hopefully that will continue.  I've been wanting to read it since it came out, and my turn on the library hold list finally happened.

On to the unraveling ...

I had been making slow but steady progress on my Pabaig, and had separated for the sleeves, and [I thought] I had finished the front knitting.  I went to start the back, and when I reviewed the pattern instructions, I thought to myself, "Hm, I don't remember it going that way."  But since I had also been working on other projects, I just figured I wasn't remembering the details.  I got a few rows in, and looked at the instructions again, and realized that I had misinterpreted them for the front, and I would end up with two badly mismatched sides of the sweater!  Ugh.  So off to the frog pond, where I went back to the first row after separating for the sleeves, and started over.  

As a result, it looks like the red blob of before, but with a bit more length.  Sigh.

However, since I discovered it before thinking I was nearly finished, it didn't bother me as much, and I'm moving right along again.  So the whole thing will take a bit longer, but since I hadn't really given myself a deadline, I'll just finish it when I finish it, with no regrets.

But I would like to point out that the yarn IS fingering weight, so there was a lot more to rip out and it took a stupid amount of time.  Such is life.


It occurred to me today that with it being the 18th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, any child born that year is starting their first year of college this year (if they decided to go to college in the first place).  Which means in some ways, an entire lifetime has passed since that horrible, sad day.  Time really does go on, no matter how much it stands still for you when something awful happens.  I hope for the survivors and all of the families affected, that they have reached the point where the first memories of their loved ones are the best and not the saddest.

Don't forget to say I love you today.  This day is a reminder that tomorrow doesn't always come.

10 September 2019

Finally x Two!

Did any of you watch the original Mickey Mouse Club as kids?  On Tuesdays, they would sing:

Today is Tuesday,
You know that that means?
We're gonna have a special guest!

[and then I forget most of the rest until  the end]

Well, because I can remember that, instead of current things that I actually need to remember, I sing that to myself every Tuesday as I'm walking to work.

Which - other than it being Tuesday today, has nothing to do with this post.  


I have two "Finallys" for you.

Finally #1 - Packages for the winners during Christmas in July.  They were packaged and ready to send out, and The Tim offered to take them to the post office, since he passes one every day on his way to and from work.  So, I assumed they were on their way.  Then one day last week, he brought them inside, with the packaging kind of mangled.  He had put them in the back seat and forgotten all about them.  In the meantime, various things had happened which had really messed up the packaging.  

So I re-packaged everything, and FINALLY got them in the mail to the winners last Friday.  Hopefully some/all of you will receive them soon, but at least now you can be on the lookout.  Of course, once they were all sent, I realized that I had re-packaged them, but had failed to include the notes I'd written and put in the packages.  Sigh.  Oh well, they are in the mail, that's what is important, right???

Moving on to ...

Finally #2 - Guess what?  It's Tiny Needle Tuesday, and my honeybee cross-stitch has been completed!

Clearly it needs to be blocked, and I want to find a frame for it, but the actual stitching part is finished, and I love it even more than I thought I would.  This is from a kit I purchased a few years ago, from a company called Modern Needlework.  (I think a shop on Etsy, though I don't see them there any more, so that's really no help, is it?) Anyway, it was a lovely kit and the charts were easy to read and follow.  I'm looking forward to finding a frame and hanging it.  It's got some mistakes, but overall, I'm pleased with how well I did, considering it had been easily 20 years since I did any counted cross-stitch at all!

Next up will be the item for my niece Amanda, which I *think* I can finish before Halloween and send to her.  It's pretty small, and not dense at all.  If it's not finished in time - well, Halloween comes every year, right?  I want to pull out the cross-stitch supplies I inherited from my mother to see if I already have the colors of floss I need before I purchase any, but either way I should be able to start in the next week or so.

I am particularly pleased that my laptop cooperated to I could upload the photo - maybe things are beginning to improve, technology-wise.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed ... :-)

09 September 2019

It Was Nice While It Lasted

Last week was so incredibly enjoyable, being able to stay home and not deal with my horrific co-workers!  As you may have noticed, I didn't even post here, though to be honest, a lot of the reason was because nothing much was happening worth showing you.  :-)

It was an excellent blend of getting things accomplished and relaxing, and the weather was very cooperative, which I appreciated A LOT.  I didn't get all the things on my to-do list taken care of, but I hadn't really expected to, so I wasn't really upset with myself.  But the things that were done gave me the chance to feel like I had finally made a dent into a lot of things!

The weekend topped it all off nicely, with the New Jersey Sheep and Fiber Festival on Saturday, and the Eagles winning their football game on Sunday. 

The fiber festival was so much fun!  One of the nicest things about this festival is that it is very approachable as far as size is concerned.  Which is not to say that it is not as much sensory overload as the larger fairs and festivals - trust me, there's A LOT to see!  Of course, I spent a lot of my time talking to and petting the sheep (whether or not they wanted me to - spoiler alert: most of them didn't care), and I even got to kiss and hug one of the sheep which was THE BEST THING OF ALL.  The Tim even took photos, but as my camera and my computer are currently not on speaking terms, I'll have to show you that later.  Even Instagram isn't speaking to me, so I can't send you there to see any photos at the moment either.  Oh well. 

It was very difficult to not buy a whole bunch of beautiful yarns.  But I managed to restrain myself and came home only with a bar of goat's soap, with Franckinsense and Myrhh scent.  It's put safely away until Christmastime. 

I did get the chance to see some people that I had hoped to see, including Dee, Vera, three good friends from Philadelphia that I follow online but don't often get to see, and Kathleen Dames.  It was so nice to run into people to briefly catch up, and to live vicariously through their purchases.  It was especially nice to meet Kathleen, as we have been friends online for approximately 15 years, and had never yet met in person!  We'd come close, but it just never worked out until Saturday.  She was there with Kay Gardiner (one half of Mason-Dixon Knitting), and introduced us.  Kay was as nice and as funny as you would expect her to be.  One funny thing was that when I was talking to Kathleen, I mentioned that I ran into her when I was looking for The Tim.  She said, "Oh my God - THE TIM is here???"  I got a huge chuckle out of that.  (And eventually I did locate him, well after the fact.)

You may also enjoy this exchange, which occurred over breakfast that morning.

The Tim:  So ... is this one of the big fiber things?
Me:  It's relatively small, if you remember.  [He has gone with me at least 3 times in the past.]
The Tim:  When did it become smaller?
Me:  As far as I know, it's always been smaller.
The Tim:  When did they move it?
Me: What?
The Tim: Well, didn't it used to be in Maryland?
Me:  That would be Maryland Sheep and Wool, which happens in May.
The Tim:  Oh, I wondered about that.  I guess I'm talking about a whole other state.
Me (in my brain):  !!!!!!!
Me (in person):  Ya think??

Anyway, then yesterday I just hung out at home, worked on some laundry and some stitching, and watched the football game.  What a nice way to finish my week of vacation.

And how sad to have to return to work.  Such is life.  At least tomorrow, we have our lunch hour craft group meeting.

Again, sorry for no pictures here today - hopefully I can show you some things soon.  Have a good week!

02 September 2019

Labor Day 2019

Labor Day finds no laboring at our house.

For those who are laboring, bless you for working on a day a lot of us have a holiday.

Whatever you are doing - relaxing, picnicking, spending the day with family, anything at all - I hope you enjoy it!

30 August 2019

A TGIF Where the First Thing Is a Rant

For a lot of people, Labor Day means the end of summer.  Schools either have already started or will start next week, vacations have been taken, and school supply lists are providing a last gasp of required shopping.  Around here, it usually means that last of the big beach weekends, and on Monday the news will spend a whole lot of time covering traffic jams from the beach back to the city.

We didn't make it to see the ocean once this summer.  Sigh.

Anyway, I've decided that it's time for a TGIF post, and as warned above, the first one is a rant.

Thinking About - how correct spelling seems to be lower and lower down on the list of things people care about.  This morning on the local news, they were teasing a story after the commercial about Hurricane Dorian threatening those in Florida.  It showed am image of a marina, with the caption "YATCH CLUB THREATENED."  The other day, they promised us a "WENDSDAY FOURCAST."  Really?  I understand that on social media for example, not everyone is a native English speaker and I am willing to let a lot slide there.  But one would hope that on a TV station (or print media or wherever things are "official"), that there are people checking things, and then correcting them if there is a problem.  Yes, I knew it was a Wednesday Forecast coming up, but that's not the point.  When The Tim used to work in publishing, he would often receive resumes with cover letters saying that the sender was interested in a job as an "edditor." 

Having said all of that, I guess I'm glad that I don't own a yatch, and have to worry about it.  I mentioned this to The Tim, and he agreed, though he did point out that it's unlikely we could afford a yatch anyway ...

Getting Ready For - the long weekend, and all of next week, when I will be off work!  For once, my vacation time was approved, and I'm trying to make a more conscious effort this year to be able to use my vacation time so I don't lose a lot of it, as has happened over the last few years.  We have an extremely short-staffed department, so it's hard to get time off approved in the first place.  And since we can't carry any time over, you just lose it, which galls me to my core.  I have no specific plans for next week, other than to just not be at work, which is the best plan of all!

Interested In - spending at least some of the next week getting rid o' crap.  Too much is piled up and it's making me nuts, so I'm hoping to do enough of a cleanout to feel that I've made a good dent in all of it.

Feeling - happy that the summer is winding down, though I know there is still plenty left.  And looking forward to next weekend, when we are going to the New Jersey Sheep and Fiber Festival, which is always so good.  It's not that far away, and it's extremely manageable.  I don't necessarily have plans to buy anything, but I love looking at all the yarns and other goodies, and especially seeing the sweet animals. 

I hope those of you that live in the U.S. have a lovely long weekend for Labor Day, and that everyone else has a good weekend.  See you next week!

29 August 2019

Love/Hate Relationship

There's a meme going around on Instagram stories, where you name three things that you hate, but everyone else loves.  Since I don't do Instagram stories, I thought it was the perfect thing for Three on Thursday.

So here are Three Things Everyone Else Loves and I Hate*
*(which is to say "dislike strongly" since I don't want to be lectured about the world "hate" ...)

1.  Beyonce.  I think she has talent and she certainly knows how to market herself, but I cannot stand her.  I find her tiresome, self-involved, and completely humorless.  She is way more impressed with and by herself than the rest of us could ever be.

2. Reality TV.  I'm sick of it, and I'm also sick of how it is making people famous who have no legitimate reason to be known other than to their friends and family, due to their toxic and/or stupid behavior.  (Having said that, I should point out that it has provided a good career for one of my nieces who is a TV producer and has worked on some of the reality shows.  Full disclosure and all that.)

3.  Nutella.  I love chocolate.  I kinda sorta like hazelnuts, though they are not my absolute fave.  But I am not a fan of nutella, and by extension all of the food items that use it/incorporate it/are "improved" by it.  I have a lot of friends who think it's the food equivalent of the Second Coming of Christ, and I just don't get it.

The meme on Instagram has you tag three friends to share, but I'll just leave it here for anyone who may want to play along, either on their blog or in the comments.

26 August 2019

So Relaxing!

The weekend delivered and then some on the promised lovely weather!  It was so nice to be able to go outside and not only be able to breathe, but not start sweating immediately.  Saturday was nice, but Sunday was even nicer, and that made it one of the best weekends for a long time.

So what did I do?  Well, to be honest, not a heck of a lot.  I did a lot of the usual things that I do every single weekend, but I also took plenty of breaks to just enjoy being at home.

I did some knitting, worked on my cross-stitch quite a bit, stitching the honeycombs background, but I did A LOT OF READING.  I was just in that kind of mood, you know?  I enjoyed being able to read and enjoy a cup of hot tea with the windows open and nice breezes coming through.

There was a lot of this as well:

The Koodle is getting ever closer to his ultimate dream of sleeping curled up right into Hamlet like he used to do with Dug.  As it is now, he seems very content with this set-up.

I hope your weekend was lovely as well.  And here's hoping the week goes well, leading up to Labor Day Weekend here in the U.S.

23 August 2019

This Post Brought to You By Letter Writing

Hello and happy Friday!  It certainly seemed to take its time getting here, but as long as it arrived, that's what mattered.  Today seems like a good day for some letters.


Dear People Ahead of Me In Line at Wawa:

None of you have an overwhelming amount of things that you are buying.  And though the wait is normally not that long, it's long enough for you to be prepared when it is your turn to check out.  So how about being ready?  You know, have your wallet/card/cash easily reachable and ready to go, so that you are not holding up things by a) digging around in your bag and/or b) looking to see what cash you can dig out of a pocket.  And by extension, do your fellow bus riders/subway riders a favor and have your card ready for that too.  It's not like you are running to catch the bus and haven't had time.  Most of you are the types that complain when it's someone else doing the same thing, so work on some self-awareness, why don't you?


Dear Guy Spraying the Sidewalk in Front of the Bank:

I know you want to just get it done and move on, but please remember that people are walking by, and don't just randomly pull the hose.  Yesterday you nearly knocked a guy down, and he was even trying to be careful!


Dear People on Social Media:

Stop complaining.  No one is forcing you to a) use social media, or b) follow everyone and everything.  So your continual whining about how terrible and toxic it is gets old really fast.  I am not an expert, nor am I a paragon of what is right, but I am a sensible person.  I do look at Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.  However, if something/someone bothers me a lot, I don't follow them, or I block them.  Problem solved.  And since the world is still the world no matter how you try to control it, I don't look at any social media after 8 p.m.  Why get yourself upset/worked up/overwhelmed to the point where, by the time you go to sleep, you can't get to sleep?  Also, no one is making you look at/use social media all the time, so your "vacations" seem awfully made up to me.  If you are spending too much of your day on social media, it isn't social media's fault.  Geez.


Dear People with Cell Phones:

Look up.  Pay attention.  And unless the call is REALLY important, don't take it in the middle of spending time with someone else.  It's rude.  Before cell phones, people had no compunction about saying "I'm busy right now, I'll call you back," and the world still kept turning.


Dear a Large Number of Men:

Get over yourselves.


Dear a Large Number of Women:

See above.


Dear Fall:

I see you, waiting in the wings.  Let's get together soon, OK?


Dear Cardinal Family Who Live in the Garden:

Wow you guys eat a lot!  But I'm glad you seem to think our garden is the best restaurant in town.  Feel free to stay as long as you like, we are more than happy to have you in the family so to speak.


Dear Oliver Who Lives Down the Street:

I am so glad that even if you are scared of most dogs, that you and Hamlet have become friends.  He is just as excited to see you as you are to see him.  I would apologize for his bad breath when he kisses you, but you don't seem to mind.  I hope you two stay friends for a long time.


Dear Perry The World's Most Annoying Neighbor:

Yep, you're likely the only one who doesn't call yourself that.  Just so you know.


Dear Blog Friends:

Have  good weekend, and thanks for reading!  Hope you get in a lot of knitting, reading, cooking, exercising, or whatever makes you happy.  I'm hoping to actually spend some time outside willingly, since the weather is supposed to be pleasant.  YAY!

22 August 2019

I Know I Need Reminders From Time to Time

It's easy to get caught up in, well, stuff.  And sometimes little reminders - even cornball ones - are helpful.  I know that Carole is on vacation this week, so there is no "official" Three on Thursday, but these three reminders have come up recently and I thought since they were helpful reminders for me, I'd share them, just in case you could benefit as well.

Take care, friends.

21 August 2019

Raveled and Moving Right Along

OK, the heat and humidity is supposed to break for the weekend.  I'm letting you know right now, that if it does not, you may never hear from me again, because I will be ready to end someone and I'm not sure they would let me knit and blog from a prison cell.

Having said that, I must tell you that I am being truly challenged by my desire not to wish days away, and to live in the present.  It's extremely difficult to breathe in this weather, much less sleep, and I'm tired of feeling cranky and damp with sweat all of the time.  Let's just say that I spend more time in my head than usual ...

Anyhoo, I'm joining in with Kat and everyone for Unraveled Wednesday today.  Fortunately, my knitting is not unravelling, rather I'm moving right along on things.  My Pabaigh sweater is now split for the sleeves, but the photo I took of it looks pretty much the same as any other photo I've shown here, so just think of those photos, but with more knitted fabric. 

The other project I'm knitting though, is zooming right along!  I am knitting a pair of socks, in my own way of doing two at a time.  This was the yarn that I was untangling a couple of weeks ago.  As I was then winding it into a ball, I realized that I could wind it into two balls, and knit two socks together.  I have tried the two-at-a-time methods, and frankly I don't really enjoy that.  But in my own way, I find it enjoyable - I knit one cuff, then another; then one leg, and then the other, etc.  

As you can see below, I have one leg and cuff done, and am ready to start on the leg of the other sock.

The pattern is Heel Toe Do Si Do, from the Crazy Sock Lady, and it is so much fun!  It's pretty memorizable, once you do a couple of repeats, and it's one of those patterns where you think, OK I'll do x more rows before I quit for today, so it goes really quickly.  Also, since the pattern is just on the front, that also makes it move along.  I'm really enjoying this knit, both the yarn and the pattern.

I'm also reading this book at work during my lunch break:

I just started it on Monday, and so far it's a good lunchtime read.  I find that having something that is not too heavy to read at lunch works best for me, since I only get half an hour and generally books like this have fairly short chapters, so I can read a couple and get into the story.

I'm also getting ready to read this book, which I just picked up as a hold at the library.

I've been intrigued by it since it was first published, so I'm hoping I'll like it and not be annoyed or disappointed once I start.


In other news, today is a day of birthdays!  My father was born 101 years ago today, and so it's always been a special day in our family.  Of course, I can no more imagine him being 101 than I can imagine having a million dollars, but I still enjoy celebrating his birthday.  In an odd coincidence, it's also The Tim's father's birthday!  I *think* he would be 97 years old if he was still with us (I hope I'm at least somewhere near his age, so he won't haunt me for making him a lot older!).  And our late calico cat, Tess the Bunyip, was "assigned" this birthday by us, since we didn't know her actual birthday, and this seemed like a good day to choose.  So tonight we will lift a glass to all of them.

As far as those presently among us, today is my friend Andrea's birthday!!!  I got to know her when she became my Sunday co-worker when Rosie's Yarn Cellar was still open.  We have remained really good friends since, and though I don't get to see her and hang out with her nearly enough, I know she will have a wonderful day, since she enjoys celebrating birthdays as much as I do.  So please join me in sending her a wish.

Happy Birthday, Andrea!!!

19 August 2019

Sweating As An Oldie

It was stupidly hot and humid this weekend, and is continuing today.  I feel like I sweated enough to solve the water problem in that town in India.  And I SWEAT - I do not glow, nor do I perspire - to quote a friend of mine, I "sweat like a mug."

Thankfully, my cuckoo clock bird didn't die of heatstroke, but this is pretty close to how I spent the weekend:

I only went outside when necessary - to walk the dog, who was also not interested in being out any longer than he had to be.  It was, as my mother liked to say, "hotter than Billy be d*mned."  I did accomplish some things around the house - kinds of things that need to get done, but are not really noticeable.  So I don't have any "before and after" photos to share.

Then this morning not only was the weather worse, but things didn't go well.  I didn't sleep well as a result of the miserable weather, and then as I was feeding the kitties their breakfast before Hamlet and I went out, he peed on the rug.  I felt bad, because he has a urinary tract infection, but that still meant having to clean it all up when I got back, and convincing him that he wasn't in trouble.

So I headed upstairs to get ready, feeling like I had just stepped out of the shower already, and when I went to wash my face, I noticed that my left eye was swollen and red, big time.  I put a cold washcloth over it, and then put eye drops in it, and tried to keep it closed until I left the house.  Which helped, so I hope by the end of the day, it will be back to looking normal.

After getting dressed, I went downstairs to fix breakfast, and broke a bowl when it slipped out of my hands.  So I cleaned that up, and then fixed my breakfast, which at least cooperated after that.  Brushed my teeth and headed to work.  

Then I got here, looking somewhat like this:

only to find out that the air conditioning is having issues.  They are working on it, but it is currently 82 degrees in my office, which is bad enough when you don't start out looking like the guy above!

It's like a Monday on steroids, I tell you!  Surely things can only go up from here.  I'll be grateful even if they don't head downwards any more ...

Here's hoping your day is going better than mine!

15 August 2019

Now I'm Amused

Over the past few days, I've seen things posted on various social media that have amused me.  Since it's Three on Thursday, I thought I would share them.

I've seen this before, but I can't emphasize enough how much it still needs to be said!

This just made me laugh.  I will admit to being puzzled by pink camo.

Now I know why I'm always tired by the time I get home.

What about you?  Have you seen any things recently that made you laugh?

13 August 2019

Bee-n Busy

Hooray for small and satisfying accomplishments!  I had a small goal for the weekend, and was able to accomplish it, and I love the results.  How nice that Tiny Needle Tuesday is here so I can share the finished body on my bee stitchery project.

I love it!  I was a bit dismayed that it is not perfectly symmetrical, but one of the entomologists at work told me that it is not uncommon in nature for bees to be asymmetrical, and that pleased me quite a bit.  

Now on to the other honeycombs to get the whole thing completed.  I can't wait to see it all blocked and in a frame.

I took a sick day today, since I had an echocardiogram and a stress test this morning at the cardiologist's office.  He had mentioned that I may want to do that, since I have some balance issues, and the stress test could cause some dizziness that could last for part of the day.  Turns out he was right and I'm glad I can be home where I can control my activity and surroundings better.  I got *really* dizzy at the stress test, and still feel a bit unsteady.  But since I'm at home I can sit and relax instead of having to go to work and jump in.

Hopefully by lunchtime I'll feel more with it and can take a walk with Hamlet (and don't worry I know when I can and can't do those things).  And since I'm going to be home, I think I'll fix some eggplant parmesan for dinner.  Usually during the week, dinners are simple and to the point, so it will be a treat to have something "fancy."  

Best of all?  Since I'm at home, I can read, knit, stitch - do whatever I like!

12 August 2019

What? Monday??

It doesn't seem fair that it is Monday already - the weekend was good, but seemed to go by even more quickly than usual.  I think the really lovely weather may have had something to do with it ...

Friday night, I finished getting the yarn I wanted to use for a pair of socks untangled and while I was at it, wound it into 2 separate balls so that I can make my socks together (I knit one cuff, then the next;  then the leg, then the next, etc.).  I got everything together and ready to go for getting started.

I pulled out one of the first project bags I ever bought, and the little fishes just kill me!  It has a notions pouch that matches, and it all made me very happy.  :-)

Saturday was a nice day with all of us home and enjoying it.  The Tim, Hamlet, and I walked up to the Farmers' Market in the morning, and bought some apples and tomatoes.  We also got to pet a 4-month-old tricolor corgi puppy named Daisy, who was freaking adorable.  In the afternoon while everyone else napped, I sorted through some clothes to determine if they were going to become cleaning rags, or donated to those who might be able to use them.  We also watched "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" and it wasn't great, but it was good enough for our attention span.  By the end of the day, I had the cuffs knit for my socks (but failed to take a photo).

Sunday The Tim had to work during the day, so Hamlet and I took a super long walk in the late morning because it was just so nice outside, and for so long our walks have been short and to the point.  When we got home, he made a beeline for his water dish, then pretty much passed out for the rest of the day - I guess the combination of an especially long walk, going to the dog park on the way home, and all that fresh air wore him out)!  I spent most of the day doing some laundry and working on my stitching project and Cozy Squares of Memory Blanket, while watching some knitting podcasts, and later some TV.  We had a yummy dinner, courtesy of The Tim (he even made garlic breadsticks, which are just SO GOOD), and read for most of the evening.  When The Tim was ready to take Hamlet for his walk before we went to bed, he had a hard time getting him to go, and said to me, "You clearly wore him out, making him do the Bataan Death March" ... - yeah, he's a laff riot.

So here we are, getting another week started.  I gotta say, I had really hoped by this point in my life, I would be able to be thinking about retirement.  But sadly, that's not gonna be able to happen anytime soon, so I need to think of some new ways to keep my spirits up.  I like my job well enough, but the administration is awful, and my co-workers are less than enjoyable to be around for an entire day.   It's a good thing I always have a whole 'nother life happening in my head!

Here's hoping it will be a peaceful week for everyone, individually and even as a nation!

09 August 2019

And Here You Go, a Friday FO!

Friday is upon us, and after this week, it is even more than usually welcome.  Plus, today I have an FO to share with you - seems like it's been a while!

I finished a pair of socks for myself.  You may recall that I had completed a single sock of the Georgia Socks pattern, and decided to move on to something else.  I was still wanting to make a pair of shortie summer socks, and as I said when finishing the first sock, I don't mind scrappy socks, just not changing yarns really frequently.

So I made myself a pair of shortie socks the way *I* wanted to do it.

As you can see in the photo, the heel on one of them has two different yarns, but since they are for me, I don't mind.  It's also far enough down on the heel that you won't see it when the socks are worn in shoes.

Project:  Watermelon and Mojito Shortie Socks
Pattern:  Vanilla shortie sock pattern of my own
Yarn:  Watermelon Self-Striping Yarn from Artistic Yarns by Abi; West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4-ply in Mojito; and the yellow and golden brown are from tiny remainders in my stash that I no longer can identify.  
Needles:  US size 1
Modifications:  Well, none since it is my pattern and I make it up as I go along ...
Notes:  I love the finished socks!  All of the yarn is leftovers from my stash, and the two main yarns are from two of my favorite pairs ever.  They seem extremely summery to me.  Originally, I was going to call them Watermelon, Mojito, and Lemonade Socks, but then I ran out of the yellow yarn (aka "Lemonade") so I adjusted my name for them.  

When I make pain vanilla shortie socks, I just knit 12-18 rounds of 2 x 2 ribbing, then an inch to 1.5 inches before starting the heel flap and gusset, and then just knit after that until they are the length I want and finish off the toe.  They generally go pretty quickly, and all of the pairs I've made like this are very comfy and well-fitting on my feet.  I seem to do best with the heel flap and gusset construction, at least of the options I have tried so far.

So I am very happy to have both another pair of finished socks, as well as an FO to share after what seems like a long time.  


I started to wind the yarn for my next pair last night, and it was clear it was one that was not going to cooperate with the winder.  I have about 90% of it wound, and there is some more untangling left for tonight before I can even start thinking about next steps.  But I'm ready to start a new pair, so I'm determined to have the yarn bend to my will!

Now I just have to get through this workday without a) killing anyone, and b) going insane.  There's a better chance of "a" being easily accomplished because none of these people are worth doing time, if you get my drift.  ;-)

Happy weekend to all of you!

08 August 2019

Coming Up

Well this week has been annoying.  Mostly work stuff, but since I sadly spend more of my time at work than anywhere else, it has just plain sucked.  Fortunately, tomorrow is 
Friday, and the weekend beckons.  

And I have decided to participate in Three on Thursday, so I am giving you Three Things I Am Looking Forward to This Weekend.

1.  Getting my hair cut.  It's sticking out in places where it shouldn't and is driving me crazy.  Having it back to the way I like it will do a lot for my state of mind.

2.  Finishing the body of the bee on my cross-stitch project.  I have about one half of the second wing, and the outline border to go before the entire bee will be finished.  Then the honeycombs around the border and their outlines are all that will be left to do.  I'm still enjoying it, but am also looking forward to starting another project.

3.  Casting on a new pair of socks.  For the first time in a while, I have no socks on the needles, and that is just wrong.  I pulled yarn from my stash last night, and once it's wound and ready, I'll be ready too!  Right now, I'm not sure if I'll do a plain sock or try a relatively simple pattern, but that's part of the fun, don't you think?

What are you looking forward to this weekend?

06 August 2019

Best Laid Plans and All That

Hello and I'm glad to be back!  It's been quite a few days, let me tell you.  Frustration mixed with fun.

First the primary frustration - I had all of the packages from Christmas in July ready to go (except the one for Roslyn, who I have not heard from yet), and walked them up to the post office on Friday.  But the post office had apparently suffered an electrical outage, and was closed.  So don't be on the lookout for your packages, because when I tried to send them again yesterday, there was a sign saying they would not be open until Thursday, due to electrical issues.  Sigh.  So hopefully I can get them out this coming Saturday - I'll keep you posted.  In the meantime, FRUSTRATING!!!

And Roslyn - please contact me!!  If I don't hear from you by this Friday, August 9, 2019, I'm going to choose someone else for the final prize.  I checked on Ravelry, and the only person with your name in the same location had a photo that did not match yours at all, so I hesitated to contact her.  Please e-mail me at baclancyATverizonDOTnet with GIVEAWAY in the subject line!!

Moving on.

Yesterday I was all set to tell you about our weekend trip.  The weekend in Baltimore was SO. MUCH. FUN.  We got to see nearly everyone, and the weather was fairly hot but not humid, so going around to different places was actually enjoyable.  However, our Internet was down for the whole day, so I couldn't post anything at all (secondary frustration).  Grrrrrr.  I do have some photos to share, but they are all currently still in my camera, so you'll see them later. 

Lots of catching up, lots of laughs, and tons of food and drink.  Hamlet is still recovering.

Guess what?  No rats were seen.  SAD!  ;-)

02 August 2019

Furball Friday - Koodle Edition

The Koodle would like me to remind you that he is adorable.

I would like to warn you that this is a typical Koodle M.O. - you see him and think, look at that sweet kitty, showing his belly, I think I'll give it a rub.

And then you come up with a bloody stump.  So proceed at your own risk.  I'm sure that our cat sitter will see this a lot this weekend, while we are in Baltimore - I just hope he remembers from the last time! 

Of course, we will likely be busy fighting off rodents, since according to The Orange One, Baltimore is infested with them, so maybe I shouldn't talk ... 

Have a good weekend!  I'm sure there will be many good stories to share, and for any of you wondering, I'm 99.99999% certain there will be at least one plate containing hard milk products.  :-)

01 August 2019

Hardy Har Har

Sometimes everyone's inner 10-year-old boy surfaces, and stupid/rude things strike you as just simply hilarious.  I haven't done Three on Thursday for a while, so I decided this was as good a week as any.

So I am sharing Three Stupid Things That I Found Amusing This Week.

1. Dogs for Sale.  This one isn't really part of the 10-year-old boy oeuvre (that's the next two), but I still got a heavy duty laugh out of it.  My niece Annie posted on Facebook that she had seen "The Muppet Movie" in the theater the other night as part of the 40th anniversary of its release.  She wasn't even born when it came out, but she loves the Muppets and wanted to see it in the theater as opposed to on television.

The Tim and I went with another couple, and about 5 minutes before the movie started, one of the ushers came down the aisle of the theater and made some kind of announcement which none of us heard all that well.  But Kenny, the husband in the other couple, said as the usher left, "Well that was a crazy thing."  We all kind of looked at him in a puzzled fashion, and found out that what he heard was that the usher had "dogs for sale."  (The guy sitting in front of us turned around and said, "No, he was saying that they were having trouble with the projector, so the movie would start a bit late."  It was just so ridiculous, that the rest of us laughed until we cried, and thinking of it still makes me laugh pretty hard.

2.  Unfortunate Names.  Today on the morning news, they showed a photo of a man who had been arrested for something, and his name is Dick Wang.   Which of course we found hilarious.  But that reminded me of a former co-worker who had a classmate in elementary school whose name was Sheldon Fartslinger.  For real. 

3.  Famous Family Quotes.  This coming weekend, we will be in Baltimore (you know, that rat-infested place where no human being wants to live) visiting with some family and probably doing a lot of laughing.  I was thinking of the one time when The Tim and I went to visit when my one sister's family were in Bethany Beach for a vacation, and we went to spend the night.  All of my nieces were pretty young, and Annie, the youngest, was probably about 8 years old.  We arrived really late at night, and my brother-in-law had set out a plate of cheese and crackers.  But instead the cheese was just a block, and he put a knife on the plate.

Everyone was chatting, and The Tim picked up the knife.  Annie wanted to be part of the conversation, so she said loudly "Stop everyone and look!  Uncle Tim is cutting the cheese."  Of course, we all started laughing, and she realized what she had said, so she tried to improve on it by saying, "No, what I meant was he is slicing the hard milk product."  Which seemed so much funnier.

Poor Annie, she is almost 40 years old now, and whenever anyone puts out a cheese plate, someone says, "Who is the one who's going to slice the hard milk product?"

Because we cannot ever let things go.  Ever.

30 July 2019

Tiny Needle Tuesday

Before (bee-fore?) I write anything more, let me say thank you again to everyone for your kind comments and your participation in Christmas in July.  It made me happy to know that you enjoyed it and thought it was a good idea.  I have to say, it really helps me in the hot weather, to think about a time when it will be much more to my liking.  I'm hoping to make it an annual event.  :-)

OK, on to the business at hand, aka Tiny Needle Tuesday.  As you can see below, I have now completed the other half of my honeybee's body, and started on part of a wing.  I got all of that accomplished on Sunday and Monday evenings, while The Tim was reading aloud from the second of the Patrick O'Brian novels.  I find that I can work on this and still keep up with what he is reading, so it's a pleasant way to spend time.  I am hoping that when this is finished, I can figure out the best way to put it in some kind of frame and hang it in the craft room/office/junk room.  (And yes, I am working on eliminating the "junk room" part, but that is a slow process.)

As I was stitching on this last night, I was also remembering how, when my niece Amanda was a little girl, she started calling me BridgieHoney, which morphed into Honeybeebee somehow.  Then her younger sister picked it up, and for a while that was my name.  After The Tim came into the picture, our mutual name became BridgetandTim - as in, "BridgetandTim do you want to go to the playground?"  It didn't matter which one of us they were talking to, we just had a morphed unified name.  Not as glamorous as say, Brangelina, but pretty amusing nonetheless.

Back to stitching, I have a question for you.  I am hoping to work on the witchy/Halloween-themed cross-stitch for Amanda once I finish this.  I was hoping to find some light to medium gray cloth to use, so that I could have the words and images in blacks, browns, and oranges.  I've checked at A.C. Moore, which is not that far from our house, and they only have white or cream cloth.  Have any of you found a place where you can order "colors" of cloth?  If so, please let me know in the comments.  If I don't find it, I will just go with white or cream cloth, but figured it was worth asking all of you.

Here's hoping your day goes well.  I am currently cooling off at my desk before starting my work day, and hoping that by the end of  the day, I don't feel so damp with sweat - ugh!

29 July 2019

Two Winners and Soon It Will Be August

Well, all of you certainly had fun stories about growing up, playgrounds, and subjects in school.  I so enjoyed reading all of your comments, often shaking my head in agreement.

And so that I don't draw out the process of letting you know who the Week 4 winner is for this year's Christmas in July, let me tell you, the winner is:

Here are her answers to my questions:

I don't think I've commented here before! This is a really fun thing to do!
My answers:
1. When you were a kid, were you more likely to want to go to the playground, or have your own fun at home in your yard or a friend's yard? - I grew up in a really tiny town and there were no playgrounds! But we did have tons of outdoors to run around in however. My favourite thing to do was to get a book and a blanket and go sit among the trees and read!

2. In school, did you get better grades in Arts classes (humanities, art, music) or Science classes (sciences, mathematics, statistics)? I did better in science, although university level stats almost did me in! (ultimately received a BSc in Biochemistry!)

Congratulations, Roslyn!  Please send me your full name and address, if possible before this coming Friday, since I'd like to send the packages then.  You can contact me at thekittyknitterATverizonDOTcom, and please include GIVEAWAY in your subject line so I know it's spam.  EDITED TO ADD:  I have heard from one of you that this address comes back as Undeliverable - if that happens, try baclancyATverizonDOTnet, or send me a Ravelry message (I'm thekittyknitter there).  Sorry for any problems!

As for my responses, we moved around a lot when I was a kid, so I generally stuck close to home with my book.  However, anytime there were swings or one of those things that you pushed and jumped onto and then it whirled around, I'd suck it up and go to the playground on occasion.

In school, I did really well in Arts classes, and my grades in Science classes were always just barely passing.  Every year, every semester, they brought down my overall grade average.  Other than basic arithmetic, mathematics has always been a complete puzzle to me.  Same way with science, though I sometimes think if I could have taken more specific classes, i.e., botany or ornithology, I might have done better.  Who knows?  I just know that in my last year of college, I took a class everyone called 'Science for Idiots' and actually got a B.  I was ridiculously proud of it, and even *I* knew it was more basic than basic science .... but hey, I got to graduate!


As I mentioned in the post about it being the last week for this year, I have never heard from Anne in Virginia, the winner for the first week's prize.  So I did another pick, and the new winner is:


Here's what she had to say in her response:

Iced tea, love the smell of coffee but hate the taste. Green salad. On another note I thought I was maybe the only strange bird that carried around her own tea bags. Now if I could only get eating establishments to offer real cream instead of low fat milk I would be totally tea happy.

So again, please send me  your full name and address, as requested above, and I can get your package in the mail on Friday as well.   (And I'm glad to know I made you feel better about carrying your own teabag ...)  :-)


THANK YOU SO MUCH to every single person who commented and played along this year!  I had so much fun with this and loved hearing from all of you and finding out more about what everyone had to say.  For my "old" friends, thanks for hanging in.  For the "new" friends, welcome, and I hope you'll stick around!

I'll see you all again next year.  :-)

26 July 2019

Another Friday, Another TGIF

I don't know about you, but today on the way to work, it seemed that it was The Super Crazies Are Out Day.  My entire walk was one weird thing after another, and I was actually starting to feel like one of those people on the old "Candid Camera" show, who started looking for the hidden cameras.  Sadly, I'm 99% sure there weren't any, just actual craziness on the streets.  Which made me especially glad it was a Friday!

And so, I have decided that it's as good a day as any for a TGIF post.

Thinking about - what is it that makes others mean-spirited?  An acquaintance made a comment the other day about "People who get food stamps and buy lobsters all the time," which irritates me because that is so not true, but also because it was spoken as someone who clearly never had to rely on assistance of any kind.  When I was a kid there were many years when even though my mother worked full-time, we relied on food stamps to buy groceries.  And it never failed that people in line at the grocery store felt compelled to comment on what was being purchased.  Because, you know, they were the ones "paying for it."  God forbid she buy a treat for us on a birthday or special occasion, then the uproar would be the worst.  Because poor people are not ever supposed to enjoy anything.  Sigh.

Giggling about - my friend Johanna's birthday is today.  She is the person who introduced me to Gams, and every year I try to find a knit-related photo to post on her Facebook page on her birthday.  This year's photo has the caption, "I hope your birthday is filled with music and hot guys."

Nailed it, don't you think???

Ichthyology - OK, this is just a word I had never seen before, or heard of until I started working at my current job.  It intrigues me first of all, because of the whole "c-h,t-h" structure at the beginning, but also because I realized shortly after starting to work here, that "ichthus" is the word for this:

and then it all made sense and mind = blown.  For those of you still wondering WTF?, ichthyology is the branch of zoology that involves the study of fishes.  We have an entire Dept. of Ichthyology here at work.

Feeling like - it will be a good weekend.  First of all, it isn't supposed to be a zillion degrees with humidity, so that's a plus.  Tomorrow morning, Hamlet has an appt with the vet for his annual checkup, shots, etc., and it is always fun to see him at the vet's office, because he LOVES to go there, and is just so happy about everything involved.  That's the only specifically scheduled thing for the weekend, but there are some other things I'm hoping to accomplish, and they are the kinds of things that still leave plenty of time for just being and enjoying.

I hope all of you have a good weekend, and can enjoy some time to do what you want to do, rather than only what you have to do.  :-)

25 July 2019

Christmas in July 2019 - Week 4

I don't know about you, but I find it surprising that we are at Week 4, which is the Grand Finale so to speak, of 

Christmas in July!!!

It makes me a little sad, because I enjoy doing it, and seeing who participates.  It's always fun to hear from people that are new, and are commenting for the first time.  And it's also fun to learn new things about those you already "know."  :-)

In any case, today I have the following for you:

Since my photography skills are so poor, let me tell you what this is.  It's a skein of Caterpillar Green Self-Striping Shawl Yarn.  Caterpillar Green is now Gauge Dye Works, and it turns out that I have two of these exact same skeins!  So one *had* to be a giveaway.  Anyway, yarn details are here, and this is colorway Concrete and Tulips, which you can see here.  This skein is enough to make the Playground Shawl or the Hydrogen Shawl, both of which are free patterns on Ravelry, and were written specifically for this self-striping yarn.  (Of course, you can knit whatever you like with it, no one is going to knock down your door and arrest you ...)

The prize package will also contain some other goodies, which will remain a surprise until I know the recipient has gotten the package.  Not that they are so exciting that it's a big secret, but I think that some element of surprise should remain, don't you??

SO - if you would like to be eligible to win this prize, let me know in the comments to this post only what your answers are to these questions, which I decided on based on the two patterns for this yarn:

1.  When you were a kid, were you more likely to want to go to the playground, or have your own fun at home in your yard or a friend's yard?

2.  In school, did you get better grades in Arts classes (humanities, art, music) or Science classes (sciences, mathematics, statistics)?

Let me know your answers no later than Sunday, July 28th, 2019 by midnight EDT.  I'll announce the winner in Monday's post.

IN A RELATED NOTE:  I have still not heard a peep from Anne in Virginia, the winner of the Week 1 prize.  I realize at this time of year, a lot of people are on vacation, etc., and may forget to check blogs or may not even be able to do so easily.  But if I have not heard from her by Sunday at the time listed above, I'll choose another winner for that package.  This is primarily because my plan is to take all of the packages to the post office a week from tomorrow, and I want to be sure that I have everyone's names and addresses in advance to have them ready to go.  I still hope she will contact me, but if not it seems only fair for someone else who entered that week to have a shot at the prize.


Remember my plan for last weekend to get my Christmas knitting plans sorted?  Well, I ended up not feeling that well (headache, severe nausea) because of the heat, and hardly did anything - I didn't even knit a stitch!  So I have moved that plan for this weekend, and hopefully I can at least get it started. 

I know you were waiting with baited breath to hear about that, huh?

I have also not knit during this whole week, because my formerly broken wrist and the elbow on that side have been bothering me a lot.  I have a feeling that last week at work I overdid it, since we had to move a lot of stuff due to an upcoming renovation.  I didn't do a whole lot of lifting and moving, but apparently I did enough.  So it's been a non-knitting week, and I've been doing more reading instead.  Things have improved though, so I should be back to my regular variety of knitting, stitching, and reading by this weekend.

That's it for today - I can't wait to see what you have to say in your answers.  Have a good one!