Sunday, November 30, 2008

On Epitaph Contest Nov. 30, 08:

Sorry to my Sunday Viewers that are not interested in the Epitaph Contest. It has kind of taken over the Sunday blog. Which was one of the reasons I didn’t start it from the first.

We are now starting week four of the Epitaph Contest. New prizes have been readied. A new winner has been notified and last weeks prizes not chosen go back in the box for another day.

This Weeks Prizes are:
1-K Tatted Lace Edged Handkerchief. Pre-embroidered handkerchief with tatted lace designed and made by Lady Euphoria. Choice of Black or Purple.

2-D Knitted lace Doily. Knitted by Lady Euphoria from Tea Dyed Cotton, Pattern from The Complete Encyclopedia of Needlework by Therese de Dillmont.

3-NB Tatted Lace Necklace. Made of Crochet Cotton, Lady Euphoria designed and handmade by the lady herself. Choice of black or blue.

I will ‘return email’ to inform the winner of the week and get information for delivery. Name of choice will be announced on the blog. I do not use any information I get to sell or trade, nor to contact you further. I myself value my privacy and would not like that trust broken. It is only for the purpose of delivering your package.

Send in your Epitaphs for this weeks contest and Good Luck! Lady Euphoria

Saturday, November 29, 2008

On Alarm Clocks and Sleep:

Today I am out of sorts. I’ll take a nap later and put myself to rights but still it’s not the same.

I am a morning person and Mountain Man is a night one. This is a good thing for us and it works in many ways. I get the house to myself in the mornings to write uninterrupted for a while or craft. I can start the night in the bed all spread out and comfy. Then Mountain Man gets the same in reverse. And in the winter there is always someone to tend the fire in the wood stove so no one has to get up in the middle of the night.

Mountain Man has to get up early to go somewhere for the day and he set the alarm clock. I am not an alarm clock person. I wake up just about the same time every day no matter how late I go to bed the night before. And I have to say I just hate the rude awakening of that noise starting my day.

Well I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night because every time I rolled over I had to look at the clock and check how long it would be before it went off. And I finally just got up to avoid being blasted awake.

How do the rest of the world do it? The one time I had a job that requited an alarm clock to wake me, I got so literally sick and tired I had to quit. Is it that rude way of waking that is the cause of such discontent and ill in the world? All I know is I can’t do it. I am a monster when I’m startled awake. So to avoid the whole thing I lay awake half the night and in the morning I’m out of sorts.

Mountain Man only does this a few times a year and for that I am grateful. I will go back to bed as soon as I’m done here and get some sleep. All the time wondering how other people live their lives with alarm clocks?

Don’t forget to send in those Epitaphs. I draw this weeks winner tonight. New group of prizes to choose from tomorrow for next weeks contest drawing. Knotty Mouse now has her necklace and tells me she loves it. Your turn?

PS: I posted this one on the timer so I didn't wake you early too. Ha ha

Friday, November 28, 2008

On Getting It Straight:

My blog yesterday sounded like Mountain Man and I spent the day in different rooms for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Not the case. We ate together and played cards, Gin Rummy, and we each won an equal amount of games I’m glad to say. We also hung out together while taking turns during the day controlling the TV.

On to answering some questions I‘ve gotten about the Kevin Mittens.

1. What pattern are you using for your mittens?
After going over a lot of different patterns I took a little bit of this and a little bit of that from all the other patterns I had. I’m currently typing up the pattern with all the sizes and I’ll post it here when I’m done. So far I’ve been using #4 worsted weight yarns and size 4 US doub pt needles.

2. What are those colored marks on your knitting needles in the pictures?
Since I make some of my own knitting needles and I don’t have a branding iron to mark the size on them, I paint a band on them in different colors so I can tell the sizes apart at a glance.

3. What size mittens are you making?
I’m making all different sizes, from baby’s to men’s extra large. Although I’m making more larger sizes because too big is better than to small. I’ll make more of the smaller ones as the yarn in the stash gets lower too.

4. How are you going to keep yourself from getting bored with the mitten project?
I have what I call an honor project going at the same time. This time it’s a sweater for myself that I only get to knit one row after each mitten is finished. And since I’m giving away the mittens each week it helps keep track of my progress. By New Year’s Day I’ll have thirty-eight or more rows done.

So far for my goal of knitting one mitten a day until New Years Eve is going well. I have been knitting the mittens for four days and have six mittens or three pair done.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

On A Quiet Holiday:

Mountain Man and I are not going anywhere for dinner today nor are we having anyone over. The Princess Daughter and Prince Charming are going to his mother’s this year. I cleaned the house and did piles of laundry yesterday so I could have the day off today.

I’m waiting to have a good sit by the wood stove and watch the parade on TV while knitting up some more mittens and sipping herb tea. Mountain Man is waiting for the games on this afternoon and snacking on fresh veggies cut into bite size chunks.

We could have gone elsewhere. We had invitations. We just wanted a quite day. There will be food of course but no grand spread. As we get older we don’t go in for all the fancy foods that although they are very good in taste, don’t agree with us. And Mountain Man never was the holiday type.

I don’t know when it happened, this less is more, but I just don’t need to have a grand gala ‘to do’ anymore. Once upon a time every room needed to be dressed up for each and every holiday large or small. Special foods and guests were planned for. Now home and quite are best.

I decorate lightly for the entire season not one holiday or another. Tomorrow autumn leaves will be replaced by snow flakes and I’m done. Boxes of holiday doodads will sit quite in the barn storage area, unused for another year.

Did I get old or just wiser? I’d like to thing the latter. I’m not depressed. In fact I’m quite happier then I’ve been in some time. It’s taken a while to get over the death of my son nine years ago and then my breast cancer three years ago too. And it’s not the seeing friends and relatives. I talk to and see them at other times without all the hubbub of holidays.

I guess I’ve just learned how to relax. Most of my holiday memories are of running around like a chicken without her head trying to make everyone else’s holiday nice and landing exhausted in bed wondering where the day went. I missed all the good moments only hearing them from the other room while I cooked.

Now I treasure my friends and family in relaxed quite without holidays in the way. (Insert sigh of contentment here.) Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

On Yesterday Continued:

So, when I finished up with my blog yesterday I was sitting here knitting mittens and watching the birds in the snow.

The first pair of mittens was a child’s size (to give me a good start) and this next pair is man’s extra large.

Mountain Man got dressed in his ‘Gonna’ get grungy under the car cloths’ and headed outside with a sheet of plastic for the ground. I anticipated he would be back in no time stating the obvious. That it was not the best of conditions to be working on a car, with that adorable look of apology in his doe brown eyes that I can’t resist.

He did come back a few times to warm his hands and or collect different glasses to see better. And as the rounds of knitting collected on my needles the snow stopped falling and I heard a sound. It was the car starting. Woo whoo!

With the holiday of Thanksgiving changing the shopping pattern of the week we made a mad dash to change our cloths and hit the grocery stores and the post office. (Knotty Mouse your prize is in the mail. I hope you enjoy the necklace and it gets there in quick time.)

Life is good and I have a lot to be thankful for, even if I can’t eat the turkey tomorrow. (Poultry allergies.) I have more good in my life then bad all totaled. Yes, I miss my son all the time and holidays even more but knitting these mittens helps in a way. Having the Epitaph Contest is fun for me and is helping me know some more of you a little bit better with the extra emails going back and forth. And the epitaphs of the week are getting a boost too.

Thank you all for sending in epitaphs and keep on sending them. Not everyone that reads my blog is having a holiday to keep them too busy to send an epitaph in. But for those that have the time, chances are good for a prize right now since no one has sent in an entry yet this week. (Look on last Sundays blog for the prizes offered.)

I know that a lot of you will be busy with family, friends and holiday food tomorrow thou not every one that reads my blog will be. So I’ll say it today for those that are, Happy Thanksgiving everyone. And to those that are not I’ll be back here tomorrow to enjoy the day.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

On Looking for Better Weather:

First, yesterday Sooticas Dreams got back to me about the Epitaph Contest and had me donate her prize from the first week of the contest to charity. You can see her blog ‘Fallen Angel and Hidden Demon’ here.

I am getting on well with the 19 pair of Kevin mittens by the end of the year. One pair done and I’ve started another. I’m trying to get ahead of myself because I know that there are holidays coming before I am done and those days are not likely to produce mittens.

Mountain Man got the latest replacement part for the car yesterday. The only trouble was it wasn’t available until later in the afternoon and it was getting dark by the time his ride got him home.

Today it is windy, cold, raining, snowing and generally retched outside. No, the car is not in a garage. It is out in the yard up on lift ramps (so he could get the original part out) and yes the car is incased in a layer of ice. It is questionable as to whether the car will be back on the road today.

Lady Short, our Pug dog, had a bad day yesterday and couldn’t get up and walk for more then a few feet before sinking down to the floor again. She is in no pain and is walking today but with a bad wobble. It is hard watching her grow old. I still think of her as a puppy.

I’m wrapped in a woolen blanket and sitting on the window seat. I’m knitting and watching the bird feeder out the window with a cup of tea in arms reach. I can wait for better weather.

Monday, November 24, 2008

On Kevin’s Mittens:

While watching the local Evening News lately I’ve noticed the lines of people waiting for Thanksgiving Dinner boxes or heating assistance and the like. These people with children in tow are dressed for the cold weather for the most part but there was a lack of gloves and mittens. Children had their hands in pockets and adults were blowing warm air from their mouths to warm their fingers.

My son used to help the homeless on a regular basis when he lived in the city. And I have been wanting to do more since he died but have been at a loss since I don’t live close nor can I drive. Then it all came together. I once made that Big Mitten for him. While I’m sitting and knitting I could help out by knitting mittens for those in need.

So from now until New Years Eve I’m going to knit a mitten a day in my sons name and send them to a church or organization that gives that kind of thing out to those in need. I’ll send them weekly so no one has to wail until I’m done with them all and I’d like others to join me and my nineteen pair.

Make a commitment with me to make (or buy if you don’t have the time or skill to make them) at least one pair of mittens and send or drop them off at an organization that can get them to the needy in your area (or send them to a colder area if you live in a warmer zone) before the end of the year. Then leave a comment or email and I’ll daily up date a count of pairs of ‘Kevin’s Mittens’ sent to charities on the side of my blog.

Any style, size, color or type of yarn will do. It’s up to you. One pair of mittens may not seem like much, but to the person that needs them it is a big help. ‘Kevin’s Mittens’ may not fix the worlds problems but it can’t hurt.

Thank you, Lady Euphoria

Congratulations Knotty Mouse! She won the prize this past week for the Epitaph of the Week Contest and she chose one of the Black Tatted Choker Necklaces. It will be sent out to her soon. Check out her blog if you haven’t yet.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

On Epitaph Contest 11-23-08:

If you have a spam filter that doesn’t show you what is being deleted or you never look at it and you sent in a contest entry, you may not get my notice that you have won. Look in your spam for my name. I send the notice out on Sunday mornings around the same time I post my blogs.

The Epitaph Contest had it’s first winner for last weeks drawing. Sooticas was the name picked. But as there was no reply after repeated attempts to contact Sooticas. I will be placing all but one of the prizes back in the prize choices and donating one at random to a charity. If there was a problem with a spam filer and Sooticas didn’t get any of my notices, please contact me again before the end of the month.

This weeks drawing was made and the winner notified. Hopefully there will be no problems this time.

The prizes for this weeks Epitaph Contest are as follows:
Okay I woke up late and sick and didn’t have the time to set up and take pictures of the new prizes, so I’ll re-offer the ones from the last two weeks. With the understanding that one of them may be chosen already by last weeks winner. Some of them I do have multiples of already.

1-S. A wool knitted Toilet Paper Scarf, five feet or 150 centimeters long.
Mochimochiland pattern without a face, thou it can be added on request.
2-H. A Three Horned knitted Jesters Hat with bells of a Bulky Acrylic/Mohair/Nylon yarn. Gothic Knit pattern in choice of two different color combinations.
3-N. A Tatted lace, cotton choker Necklace. Lady Euphoria designed and hand made by the lady herself in choice of black or white.
4-S Six Tatted Snow Flake set. Suitable for hanging on tree, in window, or just spread on a table top, you get the idea. Lady Euphoria’s designs and made by her hands.
5-B Bookmarks. A choice of one of two sets of four. Lady Euphoria made the lace and created all but one of the sayings on these. Paired with a bit of her tatted lace these original bookmarks were fast sellers when on the market last.

Send in you Epitaphs and Good Luck! Lady Euphoria

Saturday, November 22, 2008

On Selective Germs:

I am sick yet again. An ear infection this time. But as these things do happen I am now fairly sure where I acquired the little buggers. At my cancer meeting. I don’t get to my cancer meetings as often as I’d like to, but every time I do I am sick within days.

The cancer meeting is held in a large waiting room in one of the local hospital annex buildings. Whether the cut backs have caused the cleaning staff to clean less or the germs are getting more resistant, I do not know. Is it the emotion I feel there making me more susceptible to the germs? Or is all this some cosmic joke on me? All I know is that I come home sick each time I’ve gone there for the last year or more.

I love my cancer group. We are a hodge-podge of people who understand and care for each other. And I am at a loss as to what to do. I want to see them and be with them. But getting sick on a regular bases is not something I want to put my body or expenses through twice monthly.

I shop and go to other meetings with no problem. One of these meetings is in a room just vacated by a cub scout troupe in a public library. Boy child germs all over the place and I come home fine.

I shop for food, go to doctor’s and dentist’s offices, get tests done in the hospital itself, I go to banks and eateries and I can spend hours weekly in craft stores fingering merchandise and don’t come home sick.

I wish I knew the answer to this one. I don’t want to avoid this wonderful group of people just because I come home sick after I’ve been there. But the evidence is not looking in their favor. When I don’t go there for months I’m fine, when I do go I get sick. I only worry about it at all because I can’t get a flu shot, I’m allergic to eggs.

So, do I go to the meetings or stay home for the entire flu season? Maybe I’ll wait until I’m well again to make this decision. But I’m in agony over it until I do.

Friday, November 21, 2008

On New Information Please:

I was going through one of my old address books. It was bursting with index cards, business cards and scraps of paper. Hand written scribbles of names and phone numbers, email addresses and even some ‘We’ve Moved!’ notices.

I was doing this to clean out the drawer it was in and make more room for the newer people in my life.

As I went through the papers and pages, names of people I don’t associate with any longer and others that had died looked back at me. I wondered about the ones still alive when last we saw each other and remembered those not still here anymore.

I transferred some of the information to the new address book and card file. Realizing that my life really did change a lot after the death of my son and my cancer experience. I had a good long look at my life before and the information was set before me. I am not the person I was before life sent me in new and different directions.

Relationships with people I once hung out with didn’t hold the cohesiveness they once did. We may still do things we did before but the friendships are no longer there. Why?

I was willing to wait it out when they were grieving after the deaths of close relatives. Why didn’t they do the same for me? When they got older and ailments came to them, I helped them adjust and held them when they cried over lost youth. Why did my cancer scare them away?

I have new friends now but I tread cautiously. Expectations are lower and bosom friends are not on my near horizon. Time is needed to make them. Time that has not passed yet. I am a fierce friend to those that befriend me. But I have a book of broken relationships that did not stand the test of time.

I put the book in a plastic bag to keep it from spilling out into the other areas of the drawer and put it back in the drawer. I’m not ready to throw it away. I have more to learn from those broken fragments of my life. But I don’t want it spoiling the future of my new relationships.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

On Turkey and Socks:

Yesterday my cancer group had their Thanksgiving Diner. Everyone brought a covered dish or two. We had turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, salad and an anti pasta platter. I brought fresh baked, still hot from the oven, loaves of honey wheat and maple oat bread, both apple and pumpkin butter and butter to melt on the warm slices. There was two cheese cakes and a pumpkin roll for dessert. Three kinds of soda and coffee and tea to drink. Everyone ate too much and had a good time.

And the promised pictures of the knitting.

Mountain Man’s cowl scarf, a wool blend, in a bulky yarn. I’ll have to find the label if anyone is interested. One skein. I made mine with two skeins, so it can double as a hood type hat.

My new socks. A thick plain toe up sock, stockinet stitch with ribbed ankle and I ruffled a lace trim from the book ‘150 Knitted Trims’ by Lesley Stanfield. Number 59 on the top of the ankle. Sport weight yarn no. 3, Red Heart - Designer Sport, acrylic, color Grape because it matched perfectly the purple top I was wearing the day I bought it.

I had to change the lace pattern into the round and put it in wrong side out so when the cuff was folded down the right side was out. I also doubled the stitches of the sock rounds early on in the lace to make it ruffle. I was concerned about how it would come off in the heaver sock yarn so I picked a simple pattern and I think it worked. I have it written down if someone wants it, just ask in the comments or email me.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

On Knitting and Dinner:

I have been knitting. Once I started the socks that got me through the car kafuffle I haven’t been able to put them down. Not even to take pictures unfortunately. I am hoping to get them done today. Done or not, pictures tomorrow, I promise.

I also knitted Mountain Man and myself a tubular cowl scarf from stash leftovers since I talked about projects last. I was working on but have yet to finish the throw for the bed. I’ve been working far too long on it and have knitters block with the thing. I feel like I spend more time frogging then knitting on it these days. The thing is I really do love the purple, ever so soft, yarn. I’m just tired of the repetition of the pattern.

I have a lot to do today. I’m baking fresh bread for my cancer group’s Thanksgiving Diner later on this afternoon. So I’d better get going. I want to wear my new socks still on the needles.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

On A Long Shopping Day:

Those of you who have been reading my blog from the beginning already know that Mountain Man has a thing about cars. This is not a love or awe thing. It is a frugal investment thing. Once Mountain Man has committed himself to a vehicle he will keep it running until all hope is lost.

This is a double edged sword. On the one hand, the frugal me knows that he will not be after that elusive perfect car, ever up grading and trading in after each dent or ding. But the down side for me is the death knell tolling. The many times it breaks down and I stay stranded in the house while he hunts for ever dwindling parts.

Yesterday while shopping the car broke down.

Mountain Man stayed in the car like he usually does with the news paper when I go into craft shops. I went into the store and was uncharacteristicly fast. I got everything I needed for a new project. I got in and out with my purchase, got into the car, buckled my set belt, and Mountain Man turned the key.

Nothing happened. Nothing at all. Not a click. Not a hiss or hum. All electrical things worked just fine. The starter refused to engage. I sighed (Inwardly) and start to dig in my handbag for the cell phone.

Yes, you guessed it the cell phone was dead. (It is never dead. I have a high cell phone maintenance thing going. You know in case of a car emergency.) It is dead because for some reason it froze on a screen and wouldn’t shut down, all buttons locked. Of no use.

We collect our purchases, lock them in the trunk and go off looking for a pay phone in the strip mall parking lot. After clearing the phone of debris and finding it working we called a neighbor to find her baby sitting and car-less as her husband was out with the car at their daughters house fixing something for her in the basement. No, he didn’t have his cell phone but should still be there. And it was in the same town that we now stood.

We grabbed what we could of our stuff from the car and hike over to the house at a brisk pace in hopes of catching him before he leaves, for a lift home and deal with the car tomorrow. Up hill of course we trudge, arriving huffing and puffing. Just in time to sit and wait because he just mixed the cement and must use it up as not to waste it. (Thank the powers that be for my new knitting project in one of the bags I grabbed.)

When done he cleans up and helpfully drives us not home but to the dealership to ask about our dilemma and surrender our keys, arrange a tow truck and go back to the car to wait.

While waiting, you do know what happen don’t you? The car started up just fine. We cancel the tow truck, go back to the dealership collect the keys and go home. Mountain Man can’t resist turning the key one more time after we have gotten the last bag from the trunk. The car is dead again. An hour later it works.

Mountain Man is on the hunt again for working parts and I’ll be home waiting. Waiting for the day we get a new used car and start the process all over again.

Monday, November 17, 2008

On Thankfulness:

With Thanksgiving on the horizon, I’ve been thinking of the things that I am thankful for. Of course I am thankful for my family and friends, home and pets, health and happiness. But with all the changes in the world lately I’ve been thinking about the newer things I have to be thankful for.

After a little over two hundred daily posts, I’ve been thinking about all the new friends and acquaintances I’ve met here on the web. I am grateful for all the people who read my blog. More so the people who stop in regularly and comment, because we’ve had more interaction. But I haven’t forgotten I also have the occasional or silent reader out there. And I am thankful for you too.

I found my voice and courage to blog by visiting other bloggers, commenting on what they had to say and getting some feedback. I was encouraged to join in the fun and friendship and for that I am grateful. The spirit of the blogging community has been a good one to me.

I’ve tried to extend the friendships I’ve found here by adding links, commenting, and encouraging other new bloggers, as well as the bloggers that have been here before I came around.

I’ve made mistakes, and listened to the advice of others as I’ve tried to make my blog a friendly safe place to visit. Yes, I’ve ranted about things important to me at the time. I’ve typed too fast and not fixed my errors. And still you’ve come back to see what I have to say. For that I thank you.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Without you I am just whispering in the well. All I hear a small echo but there is no connection.

Thank you very much for coming to visit me here! Lady Euphoria

Sunday, November 16, 2008

On Second Week of Epitaph Contest:

This contest has been more fun then I thought it would be from my end. Still, how does the saying go again? ‘Slow and steady wins the prize.’

Only two people joined the contest this past week. But being a new thing on my blog I didn’t expect too much. And I don’t believe that I have a huge following to begin with. Once the entries grow large enough I will add more then one prize winner each week. So get those thinking caps on or take a walk in an older cemetery for ideas.

The names went into the hat last night and the winner has been informed this morning. The results will be in a later blog when a prize has been picked out.

As to this weeks ‘Epitaph of the Week’ Contest. The prizes to choose from are as follows:

1-S Six Tatted Snow Flake set. Suitable for hanging on tree, in window, or just spread on a table top, you get the idea. (I just finished them so in the picture they have not been stiffened yet. But they will be by the time I draw the winning name next Saturday night.) Lady Euphoria’s designs and made by her hands.

2-B Bookmarks. A choice of one of two sets of four. Lady Euphoria made the lace and created all but one of the sayings on these. Paired with a bit of her tatted lace these original bookmarks were fast sellers when on the market last.

3-N. A Tatted lace, cotton choker Necklace. Lady Euphoria designed and hand made by the lady herself in choice of black or white. (I have other black in stock but not white at the moment. So if the white one is chosen by last weeks winner there may be a slight delay in sending that prize if chosen a second time. I was busily tatting snow this past week.)

Send in you Epitaphs and Good Luck! Lady Euphoria

Saturday, November 15, 2008

On Mountain Man and his Stones:

This years stone wall project has ended. The north side of the garden closer to the house now has its stone wall done. He finished it late on Thursday but I didn’t get the pictures until yesterday.

He had fun building it and collecting the rocks and stones. The next project will come and be a surprise to me when it is started. Most of his stone projects are. I don’t mind. He doesn’t tell me how to decorate the house so I think we’re even.

I like having a walled in garden even if it is only on the north and south sides so far.

I had to get up on the roof of the house to take some of the pictures, but I think they were worth it. I couldn’t get back far enough to get the shots I wanted and get the whole thing in. 3 1/2 feet tall, 4 feet wide and 90 feet long of stone wall.

Friday, November 14, 2008

On The First New Writing Group Meeting:

The first of the new writing group meeting was last night. Only four people showed up due to illness. There were phone calls from some of the people we knew, about just that. And I believe them because I woke up sick this morning also.

We had a good group. I was the only new one. The rest were all in the old writing group. And I got some good feedback on the stories I read.

Not to say that what I wrote was perfect. I mean that the feed back was helpful and I could see the points made to me did make a lot of sense.

The book industry has like most other things slowed down in this economy. Release dates have been set back indefinitely and editors are not returning phone calls as fast as they once did. This was the word from the authors with manuscripts in the works.

So the up hill battle gets steeper and the road longer. Even so I do not write because I want to be famous. I write because I can’t do anything else. The stories are in me and want to get out.

Once I find a proof reader I will start to but some of my stories on the web. But for now they sit in wait. I write differently when I write a store then how I write here or in a letter. So with the stories I need the proof writing step. And as last night’s meeting reinforced, I should not skip it.

The group does not have a name yet. We are hoping for a larger turn out before we do that. But on the second Thursday of the month we will be back again for the next meeting.

Now, I’m going back to bed and try to get better as fast as I can. See you tomorrow.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

On Slug Salad Day:

This was my Grandmother’s answering letter to my Aunt writing ‘Make Slug Salad’ on my Grandmother’s calendar page for November thirteenth.
To this one I add with a disclaimer in Bold because I don’t want anyone to think it is a real recipe.
This is just a silly ‘not real’ recipe. This is not meant to be eaten.

Slug Salad

2 doz. Slugs - ripe
1 / 2 cup snakes lips
I left front frogs foot. finely chopped
2 snail eggs
Small dash tobacco juice
Mix well with lizard milk and serve cold on skunk cabbage leaves.
Garnish with 1 cup of spiders eyebrows.
Serves 4 if they can take it. Yech!!

Do Not Eat! This is just for reading fun and not meant to be eaten as some of the ingredients are Poison, Toxic, Dangerous.

We in the family refer to Slug Salad on a regular bases since then. It covers a wide variety of things from recipes that didn’t come out right to mood lifters like, ‘If you don’t wipe that frown from your face, I’m gonna’ server you Slug Salad.’ Which always produced a smile.

I miss my grandmother and her laughter. She was a big part of my younger life. But there will always be the Slug Salad references to keep her humor in mind.

Next month on the thirteenth, Belly Button Lint Day.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

On New Writing Club:

Tomorrow night the new Writing Club/Group starts in my area and I can’t wait.

The old group lost it’s meeting place and disbanded a year or so ago. This new group will be a mix of new and old people. New name, new meeting place, new blood. It should be a good meeting.

I’m hoping that after the rules are established we can get some work done too. It’s always good to get a feedback. I’m guilty of typing too fast. Then when I proof read, I knowing what I wanted it to say, and miss the mistakes. Silly things like was and saw, form and from, I’ll and I’m are in the wrong place. That or dropping the ends off my words.

I know this because I find them a month or more later when I pull them out and read them again. I find myself looking ceilingward and rolling my eyes quite often when I proof read my own story writings. But later on today I will be doing just that as I polish some stories to copy for the meeting.

In a situation like this I prefer a group that is committed and gets down to business. I’m all for socializing but before and after the meetings, please. And one of my pet peeves is being on time. I hate having to restart a number of times each meeting as the stragglers come in.

I know I’m probably just dreaming. Most creative people live more fluid lives and I’m just as susceptible to loosing track of time when I’m in the creative zone so I can’t fault them too much.

I do need to hire a proof reader and hope that someone at the meeting knows of a good one around here. I could always hire a college kid but don’t like trusting my creations to that set. I remember being in college myself and don’t want to find my works show up as someone else’s homework. Not that I ever did that but I have seen it done before.

Well tomorrow is the thirteenth and ‘Silly Day’ here on my blog. I’ll get back to you on the writing group meeting and don’t forget to send those Epitaph’s into the contest for this weeks prize. I’ll post next weeks prize grouping for the winner to choose from on Sunday.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

On Veterans Day and Other Important Things:

In The States, today is Veterans Day. To any Veteran, on this Veterans Day and every day I will say that I am proud and honored by your service. I thank you. Thank you very much.

For me November eleventh is more then a national holiday, growing up it was my grandparents wedding anniversary. There was always a party with family and friends on that day. Grandpa died when my kids were small but Grandma didn’t until 1982 on her wedding anniversary, Nov 11.

I was there taking care of her from the cancer that took her life. With as many family as we could get and wanted to come, we were in the room as she breathed her last. I loved her with my whole heart and soul. She was in such pain in the end that it was a relief to see her go.

She taught me how to crochet and she made hundreds of baby layette sets for friends and family over the years. When I close my eyes I can see her in her living room chair, crochet in hand watching Jeopardy answering the right answer before the contestants or playing the piano in the corner. She played the ukulele and always wanted to see Hawaii but never did. She had a good sense of humor and was very smart for a woman who never went to high school.

My Grandma was the woman who in answer to my Aunts silly notes written on grandma’s kitchen calendar one day, took the time to answer each date with a silly reply letter. The letter’s that still survived were the inspiration for my Silly Holiday on the thirteenth of each month in this blog.

It’s been twenty-six years and I don’t miss her any less. I make her recipes in my kitchen, I sing the songs I learned at her side while she played the piano and I think of her often. Her wedding picture is on my mantle and I still have the dress.

Today is Grandma day for me.

Monday, November 10, 2008

On Socks with a Perfect Fit:

No body is perfect and I’m no different. I think that is why I like knitting so much. It is forgiving and versatile. And the more you are willing to play around with the pattern, the closer you can get to a perfect fit.

I found that for myself, once I get past the half way point I’m less willing to do the stopping and starting, knitting and tinking/froging it takes to make the fit right.

Enter the sock.
Ankle down sock patterns have the foot and toe at the end of the project. And so I would just forge on to the finish and most socks were too long and/or narrow for my short wide feet. I admit I gave up years ago.

Well, now that I have finished my first pair of toe up socks, you can’t get them off my feet. (Okay, I take them off at night to rinse them out and dry while I sleep then back on the next day.) I need, want, got to have more of these things.

I can fit it on my foot as I go in the first half of the knitting process.

I am a toe up sock convert and sing it proudly. I have plans to turn many sock patterns on their heads.

I can’t start until I have a few other projects done around here. But before the winter is over I’m going to have a lot of them I think.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

On Epitaph Contest:

I have been trying to have a little Epitaph of the week sharing spot on the side of my blog. The response has been spotty thou nice but I’d like to have more entries to choose from.

So I am offering a group of prizes to choose one from for the winner from the people who send in epitaphs. I will pick out ‘one’ name at random from a hat each Sunday from the entries I get that previous week. One name per epitaph entry. The more entries you send in the more times your name will go into the hat. The winner does not have to have an epitaph chosen for the blog but it must meet the rule requirements.

Here are the rules for writing your own headstone epitaphs and having them shown on my blog.

1. No more then 8 lines, but the shorter the better.
2. It does not have to rhyme.
3. Just words. No pictures, cartoons etc.
4. Nothing ‘overtly’ sexual, violent, disgusting, or racist will be considered.
5. Leave a name of who sent it. (It doesn’t have to be your real name.) But it will be attributed to that name. No name, no entry.
6. If the words are not your own. Add the original authors name if you know it. Otherwise just add ‘Anonymous’ and add ‘Sent in by’ and your name after that.
7. Spelling counts. Please proof read it before you hit the send button.

The ones I like best will get a posting in the ‘Epitaph Spot of the Week’ on my blog. Along with a link to your blog or web sight if you have one to submit. If you don't want to be in the contest just say so in your epitaph comment.

Only one winner of one prize each week. Prizes to choose from for the first week are:
1-S. A wool knitted Toilet Paper Scarf, five feet or 150 centimeters long.
Mochimochiland pattern without a face, thou it can be added on request.
2-H. A Three Horned knitted Jesters Hat with bells of a Bulky Acrylic/Mohair/Nylon yarn. Gothic Knit pattern in choice of two different color combinations.
3-N. A Tatted lace, cotton choker Necklace. Lady Euphoria designed and hand made by the lady herself in choice of black or white.

I will ‘return email’ to inform the winner of the week and get information for delivery. They will chose the prize they want from the list at that time. First name and general living area will be announced on the blog.
Good Luck! Lady Euphoria

Saturday, November 8, 2008

On My Lucky Day:

I like to have lighted candles in the house in the evenings. I like the light and aroma. They feel warm and cozy now that the weather has turned cooler.

I usually have them in glass holders on insulated coasters and don’t leave the room when they are lit. But just to change things up I lit some tapers with silk autumn rings at the bottom.

I left the room just for a minute to go to the bathroom and be right back but I got distracted. The next thing I knew the leaves had caught fire and the plastic ring holding them all together too.

I was lucky that they burned themselves out and nothing else caught fire. The top of the old slap-together book shelf was burnt and the paint damaged along with the books that the melted plastic had dripped on. It also got so hot that it melted the paint on the old bookshelf to the bottom of the brass candle holder.

I’ve learned you can’t be too careful around candles. But I was lucky and only have a smallish mess to clean up today instead of finding a new place to live while we rebuild.

Friday, November 7, 2008

On Music in My Life:

Music is an important part of my life and always has been. When I was a child there was always music of all kinds around. Rock and Roll, Swing, Classical, Blues, Jazz, Country, Broadway Musicals, Church Hymns and Opera all graced the backdrop of my formative years at home. My grandmother played the piano and we would all stand around and sing when at her house. I was in the Band and Glee Club in school. Every holiday had its own music and songs to travel along with it through it’s calendar page each year.

I was the first kid in my town to have an AM/FM radio and was always on top of the latest trends even if I didn’t follow certain music myself I knew what was out there before the rest of my crowd. AM was where it was at, but FM was how they got there and I was on board. I was the one even adults in town came to, to find out what was new on the music front.

When I was a young adult and was doing the commune thing with friends and we lived with no electricity, we still had a battery radio and music.

Music has grown with me as time marched on, as current hits became oldies and new kinds of music emerged as popular chart toppers. My life became full of things and people and I no longer knew all the words to the latest songs. I still listened but I wasn’t the go to person anymore. FM had found it’s day and most people knew what I knew.

I still find the music on the edge or fringes and stop to hear them out but I don’t keep up with their names or buy near as much music as I ones did each year. Most all my music collection has been given away.

My computer has an eclectic group of music on it and the music player is on most of the time the computer itself is on. As the random selector picks and pulls at the threads of memories when it jumps the gaps of years from The Doors to Dido, Judy Collins to Mysteria, Vivaldi to Moody Blues, Johnny Cash to R. Carlos Nakai, Cyndi Lauper, Delerium, Bette Midler, ELO, REM, Jalan Jalan, Sarah McLachlan, Edvard Grieg, Fleetwood Mac to name a very few. All have meaning and memory attached that have nothing at all to do with the music itself.

Oldies are popular not just because the music is good but as a back drop to ones life it brings other times to mind. And my music selections tend to run through the past more then move on into the future like they once did. I am getting older and can only visit certain people in those times gone by. The new songs hold no memory of these people because they weren’t here anymore by the time these newer songs came out.

I am never without music running through my mind in the back of every thought. It connects my life together and is like the air I breathe to me.

Music is memory to me.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

On Socks on the Road:

I was hoping to show you the toe up socks all finished but I hit a snag. My plan was to knit the trip to my mother’s house and back. Five hours of knitting, whoo, whoo! But sadly I got car sick for the first time in years. So I had to keep my eyes on the road. This slowed the progress a lot.

We had a good visit and Mom is doing good. I worry about her living alone with her two cats. The cats were camera and people shy and Mom doesn’t want her picture on my blog. All I can say is the older we get the more we look alike. When we were younger we looked like our fathers side of the family and nothing like each other, but now we look much more like our mothers and like each other.

I love knitting these toe up socks. I’m a convert and may never work a pair of socks from the ankle down again. It will all depend on how easy it will be to do over the pattern. And how much I want that pattern on my socks. And the larger yarn makes the 48 stitches (Okay I used more stitches on the foot.) for each round a quicker knit up then the sock weight, average 60 stitch a round, socks.

But these are the first socks I could make fit my odd feet perfectly. I have short wide feet, you see. I have bald Hobbit feet. I wear boys five and a half extra wide shoes. All my life shoes and socks have been too long or too tight for me. I’ve tried to fit my ankle down socks but between the width and length I’ve never gotten it quite right.

I am now on the prowl for size three, sport/baby, light worsted weight wool yarn because I need to make some more of them for myself. Being who I am, I mostly use black, grays, purples and some greens for my clothing. So if you know of a place that makes these types of yarns at reasonable prices let me know please?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

On Cartoons, Knitting and Politics:

I turned on the TV this morning to see the election results because I fell asleep before the results were in last night. The channel that came on was showing a cartoon version of the book ‘Harold and the Purple Crayon.’ I was drawn in once again by the simple complexity and the sheer amount of possibilities that owning a purple dream crayon held.

In that second I didn’t care who had won, the sun would come up and my day would be filled with work and play as always. Just like Harold’s purple crayon goes on and on in the story, time will continue no matter who won.

I didn’t care at the moment, in one click of the remote I would and could know who had won or lost the presidential election in the US. I was a child once again safe and happy in a world that my biggest trouble was, ‘Would Harold get back home again safely before his crayon ran out?’

A few minutes later the story ended and I was back in reality again. A commercial came on and I changed the channel. The answer to my political question of the day was finally answered but win or loose not one of my personal needs for the day had been changed or met by the answer.

Whether or not the man I backed got into office, time will tell if the choice was the right one. Government is more then one person or decision anyway, and there is an enormous amount of mess to clean up and still be discover from the current administration before it will be over. One or two, four year cycles may not be long enough to fix it. And the new administration will make it’s own share of mistakes in the process.

The closest I have to a grown-up purple crayon is my knitting/lace making. The thread goes on and on in the colors of my choice. I add a knot or graft a connection into the process and make something new and stronger then the fiber it had once been.

In the mean time I’ll watch cartoons and knit my socks like ‘Dragon’ and his friends while still hoping and praying for the best but knowing that most of the people will have more to suffer before it is over because no one person has all the answers. Life is never as easy as in children’s books or cartoons but a lot of answers can be found in the simple things in life.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

On Project Updates:

I had to re-start my toe up socks over again because I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing and I skipped the step of doing a test piece to see my gage. I found out when I had both socks done from toe to the start of the ankle that they were too long by an inch and a half and too wide for my wide feet also so I had to use a smaller set of needles. So I pulled it all out and got my size 2 US or 2.75 mm needles into gear. This time I’m having more fun for having learned the pattern and I can just move thru with less stopping and re-checking of the pattern.

Once I had found that I was using the right size needles for the yarn I was working with, I then went on a hunt around the house to make more needles so I could do up both socks at the same time. I found that the cheep bamboo skewers in the kitchen were the right size and in the next two and a half hours I had two sets of number 2 US or 2.75 mm double pointed needles. The only reason they took so long to make were that they needed a coat of clear nail polish to keep the fibers from catching.

I was displeased with the yarn I had chosen to make the Sheldon the Turtle with and have lost interest. It was left over from another project. So his head/body is stuffed but without eyes, legs or shell. And he sits in my knitting caldron waiting for me to feel sorry for him enough to finish him.

I have not been working on the large throw for the bed lately. Mostly because now that it has gotten colder I haven’t been knitting in the bedroom in the evenings, it’s just too cool in there. I even moved my computer out of there and into the family room for the winter. So now that I’ve gotten the throw out and for the picture I’ll have to put the weight of it on the table while I work on the throw where it is warmer. It won’t be finish any time soon but I only have three more balls of yarn to add to it. Nine balls are in it already.

Most of my knitting has been being done while I’m bicycling away my fat. Yes, that’s me in all my excess weight working it away. Better, thinner, knitting days are coming.

Monday, November 3, 2008

On October Updates in November:

The snow storm came and went last week and the only thing we lost that mattered to us was the Trumpet Vine. The pictures are of the vine from before and after. Mountain Man has been working on the wall again. And I am back in good humor after my bad allergy day.

For those of you who knew about it, my hand has been healing well from the bad burn I got back handing the inside of the woodstove door while putting wood into it last month.

I am back to using my exercise bike and the pounds are starting to come off again. I will not do the 30 miles a day I had been before I stopped because my knees were hurting but without it I just can’t stay on top of my weight. (I really can’t wait to be off the cancer med that make me want to eat all the time.) I will still do the yoga, walking and hand weights also to keep my exercise program in balance.

My memory troubles have been getting a bit better of late. The video memory games playing has been paying off. I know this because I don’t have to check my cards as often through out the day. But the secret of my success is still the thousands of index cards I use to keep my life in check.

Yes, that is an entire file box full of 5 x 7 cards just for my Sims games. I just use them to keep tract of my many towns and families of Sims. But they are used and re-used for that purpose. I keep a file box of 3 x 5 cards for household jobs and pull out what needs to be done for the day, placing them back when they are done. And there is another box for my desk which keeps my writing and blogging ideas and information in order. The other card files are for my diet calories, food shopping needs, knitting and crafting projects, and my volunteering.

It actually cuts down on the amount of paper I was using in notes to myself because I reuse them. I pull out the card for the food I need to buy and stick it in my hand bag pocket. I have the cards with me at the store so I don’t forget to buy things and after I shop I put them back in the file until I’m out of the item again.

Tomorrow I’ll update the knitting projects and I have pictures.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

On Deadly Allergies:

There is nothing quite like losing consciousness, while unable to talk and call for help, wondering if you will ever wake to this life again or if the meds have gotten into your system in time.

This happened to me yesterday while I was all alone. I had eaten something that I had eaten before with no troubles and wham! My throat started to close and quickly drinking some Benadryl liquid with my last gasping breaths, I lay myself face down on the floor before passing out. My head to the side incase I get sick while unconscious.

I woke a few minutes later with a head ache the size of a continent. The dogs were licking my face and hands in concern, or maybe just trying to get at the food flavor still on them, who knows?

My head, throat and chest still hurt, my eyes are still blood shot and I have an appointment to see my doctor. This is not the first time I have had a violent reaction to something but it was the worst time because I was alone when it happened.

Scary is a very small word for what I felt at that moment. So is panic, the need for mercy from my supreme being, the wish to see loved ones still alive again, the want to see loved ones already dead, desperateness, need for air, hot, cold, pain, blackness, light, alone, lost, space, begging for help from anywhere, dread, peace, nothingness, and more all at once.

For the moment I can’t stand anything around my neck. Even my hair is up in a bun to keep it from touching my throat and neck. I have been touched by the hand of death again, my skin feels scorched by it and I live to tell the tale. But there was nothing romantic about it. It was sheer terror and nothing I want to repeat.

So just to humor me, take anyone who says that they have allergies seriously. They are not just seeking attention. Have a list of every ingredient of every dish you bring to a pot luck or party in case someone asks. Save the labels of foods until they are gone so you can check them again. Have Benadryl Liquid on hand if you have people over to your place a lot. Some day those people might not be here to talk to you again and you don‘t want to be the one that helped them into the life after because you forgot that there was peanut oil or any other allergen in the dish you lovingly made and shared.

Yes, I know you can’t do anything about when a company changes an ingredient and doesn’t put it on the label like what just happened to me. But they often say things like ‘made on equipment that has been used for peanuts or other allergens.’ These I can avoid if I know about it.

Thanks, Lady Euphoria

Saturday, November 1, 2008

On Goofy Mistakes in Knitting Patterns:

Okay, so I haven’t been too good at choosing patterns lately. Not that I didn’t have fun fixing the mistakes myself but I should have told you about them so I didn’t entangle others in misinformation. I’ve added a link from my other posts to here so anyone finding them at a later date can fix things too. If you’ve found this and want to know what I’m referring to they are my blog posts of the last few days.

The Jesters Hat was missing information. There are knit rows between the increase rows. You need to turn the work to the wrong side to bind off. After you bind off the first point, purl up to the next point before binding off the next section, repeat. And gather the extra stitches in the center hole if you had an odd number of increase rounds, then tie off.

The socks let you choose your own lace pattern (Or you can do them up plain) and it doesn’t say that it is an eighteen stitch pattern, a double nine repeat or a triple six repeat. Still you have eighteen stitches of each round at the top of the foot to fill. Not to mention the entire ankle to finish. I whipped out my ‘Knitting Dictionary, 800 Stitches and Patterns’ an English translation of a French book that came out in the US in 1963 and I’ve had it for that long.

This is not the pattern Cookie A. used. Hers was a mirrored feather type of eighteen stitches over six rows I believe. I chose a double nine pattern repeat that is a four row repeat.

Round 1 - (P 1, sl 1, K 1, psso*, yo, K 3, yo K 2 tog, P 1) repeat.
Round 2 - (P 1, K 7, P1) repeat.
Round 3 - (P 1, K 2, yo, K 3 tog, yo, K 2, P 1) repeat.
Round 4 - (P 1, K 7, P 1) repeat.
*(psso - pass slip stitch over)

When changing knitting patterns from straight Rows to Rounds or the reverse.
I set the pattern in ‘the round’ but if you want it for regular rows just change the even rounds from purls to knits and the knits to purls and do it in reverse order. Easy with this one(K 1, P 7, K 1) and etc. Same for regular patterns that you want to make into rounds. But remember to leave off the extra end stitches of a pattern if they have them. It gets harder for the more complicated patterns but most can be changed in this way.

Sorry for the mix up for any of you. I’ll try harder in the future to not make the same goofy mistake again. Lady Euphoria