23 July 2024

Watch ... Then Read


I hope you can see/hear the video OK - it's me on my phone, attempting to bring something different into my blog posting.

For those of you who can't watch for whatever reason (technology is not my forte I'm afraid), this starts with me in our kitchen, showing a disgusting floor and filthy wall where our old refrigerator used to be. And then I head down the hallway to show you where our new refrigerator is.

Yes, last Friday, we got a new refrigerator. We had our old one for 30+ years, and fortunately, we'd never had to have it serviced or had any problems at all with it. Over the last month, the door started to do that kind of thing where you needed to check to make sure that it actually closed. The Tim (referred to simply as Tim in said video), thought we should be proactive and get a new one, and I had to agree. Why tempt fate, you know?

But you may ask, why is there an empty space in the kitchen, and why is the new fridge in the dining area? Well, The Tim decided this was a great idea, because that way when we replaced the kitchen floor, we wouldn't need to move the refrigerator out and then back in again. I tell ya, the guy is a regular Einstein.

Actually, that's good except ... up until that time, there had been no serious discussion about replacing the kitchen floor! As in nothing said at all about it. But apparently, through osmosis or mindmelding or some other process, I was supposed to be not just aware of it, but trying to find people to do it for us! 

To recap:

1. Old fridge = gone.

2. New fridge = here but in the living/dining room.

3. We are getting a new kitchen floor.

4. I was apparently in the process of finding someone to do this for us.

5. I have just been made aware of #3 and #4 over the past couple of days.

6. I have discovered that I am not in fact telepathic.

7. I am however determined that this will happen BEFORE the holiday season.

8. I am not involving myself in any way, shape, or form in the process of later moving the new refrigerator into the kitchen with the newly-installed floor, whenever that time comes.

9. I have informed The Tim of #8.

10. Should things go south in some way, one of us will pay. It will not be me.

Fun times, amirite?

22 July 2024

I Used To Think She Was Wrong, But ...

Then the 2016 election came around. And I have to tell you, I was completely blown away by the absolute vile hatred that so many men had against Hillary Clinton. And I know she is a very polarizing figure for both men and women, but WOW did the idea that she could become President bring them out of the woodwork!

I was reminded of this yesterday, when a co-worker of The Tim called to ask if he had heard the news that Biden had gotten out of the race and endorsed Vice-President Kamala Harris. The Tim had the speakerphone on because he was working on something in the kitchen, and I was in the next room so I could hear it. 

And the first thing this guy said was, "I'll vote for Trump now, because I am not voting for that woman!" When asked why, he said, "Well for one thing, she slept her way to the top." 

I have to tell you, at that moment, my head nearly exploded. I have no idea what else he said after that because I was immediately incensed. Because of course, men still continue to firmly believe that if a woman is at all successful, it can't possibly be because she is smart, capable, and determined - nope, it had to be something in relationship to a man. 

This is so disturbing to me, because I am so sick of women being treated and spoken of this way. Take VP Harris' opponent, who I will not name and who I blame for making so much unacceptable behavior and talk "acceptable" now. We all know that he was unfaithful to all of his wives, we know he talks about women in the worst verbiage possible, he has been found guilty of sexual crimes, and yet there he is, brazen as anything. 

But no, she is somehow the problem. 

I like Kamala Harris, but I am also aware that she has some problematic issues. You know, JUST LIKE EVERY PERSON. I have no problem thinking of her becoming President, just as I did not in the previous election cycle. 

My problem is that it's barely been 24 hours, and people - let's face it, primarily men - are talking about her in ways that no one deserves to be talked about. And you know why? Because she's a woman. First and foremost.

I know that it's about as likely as me winning the lottery (spoiler alert - I never buy a ticket, so there you go), but I would absolutely love it if somehow she would choose another woman for her Vice-President, and they would win. Let all of those misogynistic jerks have their heads explode for a change.

Rant over, at least for now. 

I need to take another deep breath and have a cup of tea. There's still a long way to go.

18 July 2024

FO Post : She's Here At Last!

Meet Maggie!

You may remember that The Tim gave me this kit for my birthday:

Project: Maggie the Emotional Support Chicken
Pattern: Emotional Support Chicken Kit, from the Knitting Tree LA in the colorway M-EggShell Obama
Yarn: Supplied in kit: 2 skeins worsted weight, small amounts for comb and wattle - brand, content, etc. not indicated
Needles: US size 7/4.5 mm
Notes: This is one of the most fun things I have ever knit! You start with the tail section, which is made in two sections that you join together.

Then you knit the back and work your way to front of the chicken, in one piece. I saw one where I really liked the way it was joined, and watched a video where it was joined by a crochet chain, so I did that (vertical red line below).

This requires paying attention, because you need to count a lot, but not in a complicated way. Once you do a couple of the rows, you can see what you are doing. The pattern uses wrap and turn short rows, which I generally find difficult to do, but you are just wrapping and turning, there's no picking up the wraps and knitting/purling them. So I had much more success with that.

Before you know it, you have a chicken body! Once you have added the beak, the comb, and the wattle, you create a separate gusset piece for the bottom so that she can "stand up" so to speak. That requires seaming, which is something that is my downfall, since I really suck at it. But for something like this, I figured it didn't matter as much, because it was a) for me, and b) not a garment. Once that's all done, you stuff her and stitch her up at the tail (kinda rude, but it has to be completed).

I knit the sections in fits and starts, and in between other things. It's very manageable that way, and not at all intimidating. 

I decided that I didn't do a good enough job to call her "M-EggShell Obama," and decided that she would be Meg. But I like Maggie better than Meg, so she is Maggie the Emotional Support Chicken. 

She seems very pleased to be part of the family. The cats were interested at first, but they they were like, "Meh, it's not a real chicken. Call us when you're offering that." 😊

I love her so much, she just pleases me. Right now, she is hanging out in the craft room, which seems to agree with her. When I was nearly finished knitting her, The Tim said, "You should give her away, she would be a nice gift." Nope. I'm keeping her, at least for now.

It occurred to me that now that a) I know how it works, and b) I have the pattern, I could use any yarn I have to make more if I like. Depending on the weight of yarn you use, you'd get different sized chickens!  

BTW, if you are not interested in the kit, but want to give the pattern a try, you can buy it on its own.

I highly recommend this project. The pattern is clearly written, and it is just so enjoyable to knit. You have a sweet friend for yourself or a loved one when you are finished. And there's an added bonus - it's vegetarian friendly to boot!

12 July 2024

Five Favorites For This Friday


OK, it was kind of hard to come up with five good things about the past week, mostly because it was so hot every single day all day and night that everyone in our house was miserable. Plus I got sick, which did not help the overall vibe.

But there are always some good things, so I just needed to find them. Here you go.

1. This podcast. I came across Renee's podcast about a year ago, and granted, not every single episode is one that I watch, but in general, I really enjoy it and get a charge out of her. She lives in Kentucky with her husband, and has two adult daughters. She is so crazy about her family and her two sweet dogs, and it's funny because I think she would be fun to hang with - while at the same times suspecting we would not really get along that well in real life. 😂

2. My walks. It's been really hard to get moving this week, but I've forced myself to go out between 5 and 6 a.m. every single day this week, even if it's for a shorter than usual walk. And even though I've seriously had to force myself to do it, or do it out of guilt, once I'm out and walking, and once I get home, I'm so glad I left the house. And for most of this week, it's been the only time I've left the house! Wednesday was the best walk because I got to pet 8 dogs. Eight!

3. Ordering a new refrigerator. Yes, ordering it. Because that's the fun part. Emptying the old one and moving stuff to the new one is another story, as is paying for said refrigerator. But the ordering is full of anticipation. We've been lucky - our current fridge is 30 years old and we have never had a single issue, or had to call for service, etc. But it is falling apart, and we figured rather than continue to tempt fate, we'd take the active step. As when we shopped around for a new front door, we were surprised at the cost of refrigerators - because when you didn't buy one for so long, prices do tend to go up! It will arrive next Friday, so we don't even have to wait that long until it's here.

4. Chocolate chip brioche bread toast. I've had this with my breakfast this week three times. The Tim found the loaf at a Lidl store in New Jersey, and bought it for us to try. It's been a big hit.

5. My current book. 

This is such a good read, and entertaining to boot. My mother spent summers during her childhood in Chicago, where her aunt, uncle, and cousin lived. Her stories from those days were always great, and some of them seemed ridiculously fantastical. This book covers a time period just before her childhood, but a lot of the same places, people, and well, practices, were involved. And having lived in Chicago myself as a child for a few years as well as an adult, I love the stories and the history as well. This is one of those non-fiction books that is so readable and enjoyable, you might forget that it's all based on real things!

So there you go - I did find five good things, and I have to say, finding those were fun. I'm starting to recover from being sick, and it has just (barely) started to rain here, so maybe myself and the plants and flowers will at least get a break for today. Because they have been predicting worse heat and humidity next week (is that even possible? Won't we all just explode?), and it's one of those weeks when I have some kind of appt every single day. So that will be a challenge.

I hope wherever you are, and whatever weather conditions are happening, that you can round up five things for yourself that made you happy. Have a good weekend, however you manage to do that, and I'll check in next week.

09 July 2024

My Mom Was Right


This was one of her favorite expressions - who knew it was actually in the Oxford English Dictionary??

Stay cool, friends!