26 March 2011

Urge to Purge

For the past few weeks, I have been thinking to myself that I really need to get organized.  I think this to myself on a regular basis, and usually it leads to some kind of successful purging event.  Lately though, it's been a pretty serious "urge to purge."  So I've decided to follow that feeling while it's here, and tonight I started with some of my stash. 

I knew that if I tried to go through it all at one time, I'd get overwhelmed, as well as not putting as many things aside to destash.  So I decided that I'd do it in parts, and that turned out to be a good idea.  I finally bit the bullet with a few things that yes, are very nice/pretty/whatever, but that I have not used up to this point, and frankly, I'm pretty sure they would just always be sitting there, not getting used.  As of this post, they have all been pulled, photographed, and entered into Ravelry on my stash sale page.  (That always takes more time than I think it will, by the way.)  I do hope that I get some takers, since once I decide that I should get rid of something, I hate to have it still around for very long! 

In any event, this makes me feel like I made a good start on my urge to purge.  I am reminding myself not to get as carried away with things as I did a couple of years ago, when I was purging my closet.  It was the end of winter, and I was putting stuff away to get out my summer stuff.  I decided to be brutal, thinking I'd look for new/replacement things in the fall.  Except I forgot all about that.  So I went to get out my winter clothes, and I had one skirt, two pairs of nice slacks, a pair of corduroy pants, and three blouses.  Not that I am a fashion plate, but I also don't do laundry every single day, so I need a few more things to get through a week at work!

As you can imagine, Jetsam and Pip were excited to help me with my project.  And you can't get that kind of help anywhere else, that's for sure.  Apparently they were working a lot harder than I realized, since they are both completely zonked out asleep now. 

Which means that I am typing this post without anyone trying to sit on the keyboard or attack the cursor ... funny how that cuts down on the time it takes, you know?

22 March 2011

Bits & Pieces

That post title makes me smile, 'cause in a former job, one of the other people working there subscribed to a small periodical with that title.  It was made up of "quotes, quips, and inspirational stories," and he would route it to everyone.  Are you surprised, that I found the quotes and inspirational stories funnier than the quips??

Anyway, I'm a little bit betwixt and between, but was in the mood to post, so you're getting my own version of Bits & Pieces.  I cannot vouch for any of them being quotable, quippable (that's not a word, is it?), or inspirational.  Face it, if you are irritated at the end, you're the one who kept reading - you have only yourself to blame!

Pip update - things are going extremely well with our new family member.  He has made himself right at home, and he and Jetsam are already great pals.  They spend a lot of time chasing each other, which is especially good for Jetsam, since he needs to lose a few pounds.  A vet appointment has been made, mainly just so the vet will have a look at him, he seems fine.  And hardly a morning goes by when Pip does not wake me up by rubbing his wet, cold nose on my face, and wanting to cuddle under the covers.  He's quite a character, and thinks The Tim is the most amazing creature ever.  So all is well on that front.

Birthday update - I had a wonderful birthday, and birthday week.  The Tim gave me a Color Nook, which seems pretty cool, even though I haven't spent much time with it.  Let's just say that the gift giver is busy "setting it up" so I'll "use it all the time."  I'm sure I'll like it, though much like my laptop, I hadn't requested it or felt I needed it.  I love my laptop though, so I'm sure the Nook and I will be friends.

St. Patrick's Day and St. Joseph's Day update - also good.  I made soda bread and this year it turned out particularly well.  The recipe I use makes 4 loaves, and though I could cut it in half, I usually make the whole thing.  We eat one, each of us takes one to work to share, and the other usually gets given to someone.  We also had plenty of Guinness.  So it was a tasty day all around.  Then on Saturday - zeppoles!  A fun week of eating and drinking was had by all.

Health update - good, though frustrating.  I don't remember if I've ever mentioned that I have osteoarthritis.  Occasionally it flares up in one place or the other and bothers me, but not for long once I take something for it.  And overall, the more active I am, the less it bothers me.   But after having some x-rays and seeing an orthopedic doctor last Friday, I have learned that it has moved into my right hand, in particular the thumb.  On top of which, my thumb bone has shifted, so it is hitting the bone below it in a particularly painful fashion.  Fortunately, I am left-handed, so I can still do almost everything without a big problem, but it is often aggravated when I get carried away and knit a lot.  So now I'm consciously trying to intersperse my knitting and reading in a reasonable fashion.  It's the only osteoarthritis spot I have that bothers me when it flares up, even if I'm not moving it.

At the rate I'm going, I will probably be one stiff creature by the time I'm 65, and have to be moved around on one of those dolly-type things they use to move Hannibal Lecter around in the movie "Silence of the Lambs" ...

So that's it for now.  Just a little update on some things rattling around in my head.  I'll be back soon with some pictures of some knitting and some kitties!

20 March 2011

Farewell Winter ...

Spring is making an entrance this evening. And I think one of the best things about it is seeing daffodils. For me, they look like happy creatures who are anxious to enjoy the sunshine and blue skies, without needing their hats, mittens, or scarves. Even when there are still some cold days, daffodils are giving us their guarantee that other flowers will be popping up shortly with their own bright colors.

"Autumn arrives in the early morning,
but spring at the close of a winter day."

- Elizabeth Bowen

17 March 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light,
May good luck pursue you each morning and night.

~Irish Blessing

14 March 2011

Another Year

Well, here we are.  On this date 55 years ago, I showed up.  I have no idea the time of day or night.  (Yes, I could look it up on my birth certificate, but it's filed away in the vault with the other papyri records, and hard to find.)  According to my mother, when my parents brought me home on St. Patrick's Day, my sister Mary Ellen said, "She's nice, but I would rather have a puppy."  When this story was told when I was a kid, my sister Nancy would always add, "But we ended up with a dog anyway."

Why yes, I do come from a family of comedians, thank you.

I have had a good birthday weekend, and am enjoying my day today.  For dinner, I requested barbecue sandwiches (Tim makes yummy vegetarian barbecue!), and a white cake with chocolate frosting, which is looking pretty delicious, I have to say.  I've gotten a ton of birthday wishes on Facebook, which is a very nice feeling, as well as some of the early wishes I've gotten from people commenting here.  (Thank you so much, by the way!)

So yes, I'm older.  I'm wiser in some ways, though I wish it was in more of the ways that would be useful.  But I still love birthdays, and no matter how you look at it, it's still better than the alternative.

Happy Birthday to me!

10 March 2011

Philosophical, Part One

I am sitting here on the couch, typing on my laptop, thinking how glad I am that I don't have to go back to work until the Ides of March - Tuesday, March 15.  That's because both The Tim and I have taken time off for a 4-day weekend.  Originally, we had planned a trip home for a St. Patrick's Day party, but that isn't happening this year.  Then we thought maybe we'd head to Baltimore for an overnight, but those plans got scrapped too.  So, we are sitting inside, nicely warm and dry while it's pouring outside, just happy to not have to be ready to *do* anything.

Also, this is my birthday weekend (my birthday is Monday), so there will be plenty of "special-ness" to enjoy.  I have been feeling particularly reflective this year.  I think it has to do with a lot of things, but the feelings have been following me around for the last week or so.  Not necessarily a bad thing, but still right there, you know?

Before I go any further, I want to tell you that The Cat Formerly Known as Lego is now Pip.  We just decided that it fit him, and was a name we both liked.  He seems quite happy to be part of the family, and he and Jetsam have been getting to be better and better friends.  You know me - I don't think we could ever have too many animals in our life.  So I'm glad it's all working out.

So - back to my reflective thoughts.  One thing that I've realized is that, in spite of many birthdays having come and gone, there are some ways in which I have just never changed. 

I still love animals, and think they are all wonderful/sweet/smart;

People?  Not so willing to be enthusiastic about them, though I am a fiercely loyal friend and family member.  It's just humanity in general that annoys me a large part of the time;

I still love: chocolate, potatoes, old movies, jewelry, shoes, makeup, books, and a bunch of other things that would make this post just way too long;

A sense of humor is still one of the most important things to me in deciding how I feel about another person;

I still hate Ronald Reagan, both George Bushes, stupid people, liver, and people who try to push religion of any kind on me;

I still think there is no reason for the existence of Wilford Brimley, Jeremy Irons, Gwyneth Paltrow, or Julia Roberts;

Going to the beach is still fun, just because it means you are at the OCEAN!

Though I still dread summer and hot weather;

I still love snow and cold and winter;

I'll take being near hills and mountains over being somewhere flat any day;

I don't regret not having children;

I am still glad to know that I will never, ever have to go back and relive my high school or college days;

and probably another hundred things that I can list. (OH- I still love LISTS!)  But I guess this is just one way that I realize that even though I'm older, I'm still the same person on a basic level.  Which is fine, I'm pretty happy in my own skin, thank you very much.  And I still think I have the ability and the capability to learn and appreciate new things, and to change in some ways.

My younger self would have no problem recognizing my older self.  I can live with that.

06 March 2011


I am a person who prides myself on understanding priorities in my life.  Perhaps it is related to my love of lists, or maybe it's just the way I am wired.  Admittedly there are times I get overwhelmed, but when I can stop and think about it, the priorities fall into place nicely.

Recently, my friend and Sunday co-worker Andrea decided that she needed to make a list of her knitting priorities.  This was partly because she felt that some of her knitting was out of control - lots of starting, little finishing - and also because she wanted to do some other things she liked, such as quilting, riding her bicycle for enjoyment, not only to get someplace, etc.  Everyone immediately started asking her, "You mean you're giving up knitting??  Why would you do it?" 

But her plan was never to give up knitting; rather, she wanted to make some real progress on things she was making, and get some balance into her life as far as crafting and enjoyment go.  Since then, she has finished up a few projects, and though she hasn't finished everything on her list, she says it made her feel more organized and reasonable about her knitting.

I've been giving this some thought, and I like the idea.  I do love to knit, but I also love to read, cook, bake, walk, bicycle, and many other things as the mood strikes.  I always feel like I should spend more time on _____.  So in the next couple of weeks, I'm going to make my own list of knitting priorities.  It may not be extensive, and it won't make me knit faster, but I know it will make me feel like I am accomplishing things, rather than spinning in circles.  For the first time since I learned to knit, I have more things than I really want "in-progress" and some of them in particular I really want to finish - 'cause I started the projects because I couldn't wait to use/wear them!

I do reserve the right to have a pair of plain socks going at any given time, and during the week at least, keep them in my locker at work to work on at my lunch time.   But I think that is a reasonable "exception," don't you?

So stay tuned to see what I decide will be on my list.  I'll also be going through my stash to prune it as well, so maybe this early "spring cleaning" will make me feel like I have a fresh start.  And that always makes me feel better about things.

Having said all of that, if this whole plan makes me start to feel overwhelmed, I guess I'll literally have to go to Plan B ...

02 March 2011


Here's one for you:

What is orange and white and has three legs?

The answer:

Our new boy!

Yep, here he is in all of his sweetness.  The name they gave him at the shelter was "Lego," (short for Legolas) but we're not sure we'll keep calling him that.  We are trying to think of better names (of course we tried that with GK as well, and you all know how that ended ...). 

Anyway, he officially joined the family this past Monday.  I found out about him through my friend Kate (of Kelbourne Woolens and Vintage Modern Knits fame), who volunteers at the city animal shelter (I am too much of a wimp to be able to handle that kind of thing).  She took him home as a foster while he was recovering from his amputation surgery.  He showed up at the shelter with a badly mangled left back leg, which had to be removed.  Other than a slight infection that was treated, he recovered well enough to be adopted.  But, needless to say, a three-legged cat is not likely to be whisked out of the shelter.

The Cat Currently Known as Lego is a very happy boy, I have to say.  They think he's about a year old, so he is still very kitten-like.  And one thing I was worried about was all the steps in our house.  We live in an old Philadelphia rowhouse, and there are LOTS of steps.  Suffice it to say he dashes up and down with no problem.  (Actually, he does steps better than I do!)

Jetsam was puzzled at first - I think he couldn't figure out how another kitty turned up ... but they have found many things they have in common, like a good game of Kitty Tease:

They are also both good eaters (it's a family trait, what can I say?), and cuddle boys.  They are becoming better friends every day, and I think it is making Jetsam less lonely.  If you look closely at the picture above, you can see where the amputation was.  It's healing nicely, and it won't be long before the fur will grow back and it won't be as disturbing to see.

And talk about pretty markings, look at this shot:

Isn't he a beautiful boy? 

We are having a great time with him, and he seems to be enjoying himself immensely.  I'm so glad that we were able to adopt him.  The Tim suggested that we rename him Lucky, since he is lucky to still be here, and we're lucky to have him.  Not a bad suggestion, I guess.  We'll see what happens.  We've decided to give ourselves this week to either change his name or leave it the same. 

No matter what his name is, he isn't going anywhere away from us!