Sunday, January 31, 2010

On February Lady’s Sweater Revisited:

Over on Flint Knits Pamela Wynne posted about her making of the February Lady’s Sweater pattern and is asking for feedback from any and all who have ever knitted or tried to knit one up. Comment on the posted link above.

I made one a few years ago. Or maybe it was just started back then and finally finished this past spring. Anyway she is looking for input to become a better pattern maker and to write something up on its many incarnations since she started it not so long ago.

She alone has found over 7000 entries/versions of the sweater since it was first put out there in all its untried glory.

If you have never made this wonderful sweater there is no time like tomorrow to get started. I’ll give you time to get the yarn and supplies. And if you have knitted one you already know of its appeal.

I used two different colors of yard and I made mine in acrylic which was a mistake. In my defense I couldn’t find the colors I wanted in wool at the time.

I love my February Lady’s Sweater (A larger version of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s February Baby Sweater.) And plan to make more of them someday.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

On What Did You Do With The Milk?:

Earlier this morning I was watching the snow falling and letting my mind wander and it went to when the kids were about nine and seven.

We were pretty good at recycling and making fun out of nothing much even back then. Years before this story I’m going to tell you about, we had started collecting empty paper, half gallon, milk and orange juice containers.

We would carefully wash and dry them out and every time we had two of them we would cut the top off of one and turn the second one upside down and pinch its sides in a bit so it would fit, then slide it into the now opened top of the first carton until it came to rest at the bottom. Instant free building block. (You can tape them with tuck tape to make them stronger if you like.)

At first it wasn’t much, but after a while we had a cardboard box full of these blocks. After a few years we had more then a large refrigerator box full.

Well, on to the story: One day we had a few, out of town, family members for a weekend visit and the kids got silly. They got up early and built a carton block wall in front of the door to the room our guests were sleeping in. The kids didn’t build it flat to the door, but out in a squared small room of its own for the guests to find themselves in when they came out of the bedroom to start the day. With the help of Daddy to reach the higher rows it was higher then the door itself.

They had a good laugh. There was crashing and bashing of blocks to free the guests. And breakfast was full of laughter at the memory and plans for bigger and better buildings and jokes in the future. The family still tells the tale.

The blocks were given away to other kids when my children had out grown them and we moved to a smaller house.

I think that if the day ever comes that I find out I’m to be a grandmother, I’ll start recycling my milk cartons into blocks again for more cheep fun.

And yes, I now have a few open pitchers of milk in the frig.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

On All’s Quiet On the Gothic Front:

Well, at the moment anyway.

We are doing better around here. Sir Laidback is over his ear infection and his rash is almost gone. Lady Long is still bandaged, but only to keep her from picking at it.

The house seems larger when the kids leave. It is only the two of them and their dog. But their dog is twice the size of either of ours and has twice the energy. So it is like there are double the people and critters around here when they come to stay a few days. (Well there is twice the people, but you get the picture.)

The only thing we still have to do is to go out shopping to get more first aid supplies to replace the ones Lady Long had used up, but other then that we are good and can sit and watch the snow fall since the weather has changed back into winter again after a few days of rain and local flooding.

As for the other shoe dropping: We are waiting word from a outer member of the family. One of my used-to-be brother-in-laws has cancer and we are waiting for the tests to come back to find out how bad and what options he has, if any. His kids (3) and grandkids (10) are having a bad time of it.

Ups and Downs of life are the markers but you can give me the in between days anytime.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

On No Sorry’s Needed:

My ‘Princess Daughter’ and her husband ‘Prince Charming’ came for a brief unexpected visit and they brought their dog, Lady Busy. That is why I was missing from the blog for the last few days.

Well, dogs will be dogs and Lady Busy hurt Lady Long. I don’t in any way feel that it was anyone’s fault or that I am even upset about the fact that it happened. In my mind it was just an unfortunate accident.

Lady Long is all patched up and having fun being fussed over, she is also not in too much pain at all. It looks worse then it is while we try to keep it clean from infection. The gash was only an inch long and we took care of it right away.

But how do you convince others that it really is ‘all right’ with you.

The more you say, ‘Its okay.’ The more it sounds like it isn’t.

We had a good visit all together. It was only one small accident. The rest was fine and I can’t wait until they all come back again.

Lady Long will heal and all will be well again in no time. I hope they don’t feel bad about it for another minute.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

On Back Peddling on Forwards:

I was doing a bit of house cleaning on the computer. Removing stagnant blogs I once followed. Dumping old out dated Email addresses. Filing pictures and files.

I had become lax in my habits and my up keep. My computer is set up so it does all the regular house cleaning, virus de-germing and sweeping out of cobwebs on a set schedule.

I also dumped a bunch of old emails with forwards and/or attachments in them. I was having trouble again with the computer because I opened an email from a trusted family member. My computer got the sniffles again.

My computer has had its share of troubles, so far nothing insurmountable and I want to keep it that way.

So, I have gone back to my rule of ‘not opening forwards’ or ‘attachments’ from anyone, friend and family alike, unless I am aware of and have asked for said forward.

The jokes were funny, and the chain emails made me crazy (I have never passed them along anyway.), but I can’t keep on having to service my computer at an expense just because I was curious about an email forward or attachment.

I like the idea of getting little trifles that ones friends or family find funny or useful in an email, but I won’t be opening them anymore.

You may trust the source, but that doesn’t mean that they weren’t duped themselves and passing on a computer virus.

I hope you all understand and don’t feel I’m ignoring you. I just have to look out for unnecessary expenses.

I love my computer because my friends live in it, so I have to protect it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

On A Bewitching Hulu Time:

I was over at Hulu where I watch free TV and movies. (It has limited commercials.) I was in the mood for some ‘Rocky and Bullwinkle’ cartoons from back in the 60’s. I am old enough to still get all the references, famous and political. (I even named a pet Nell after Nell Fenwick from Dudley Dowright on the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.)

I also watched a few of the old ‘Bewitched‘ sitcoms while I was there.

I didn’t watch Bewitched as a kid in my parents house because it wasn’t allowed. Witches were taboo, which of course made them extra magical, despite being told that witches were evil and magic made you lazy.

I started to watch today just to hear the theme song. That was all we got back then before a grownup came rushing in and changed the channel.

The show was quite good for back then. At least the first few that I saw were at any rate. Magic didn’t fix everything and often caused more troubles then it fixed. People misunderstood it and the world of magic wasn’t perfect.

I don’t know if watching Bewitched as a kid would have changed me in any way. But I’m sorry it took until now to finally watch it. Where did all the good non demeaning sitcoms go? Once you could laugh at a situation instead of how dumb the people were in it.

I long for better TV these days. But I think I found some of it in old reruns.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

On Do Your Ears Hang Low?:

Well one of them does. (Am I the only one that remembers that old camp song?)

Poor Sir Laidback has an ear infection. His left ear, or the right one on the picture. The one hanging lower.

He started last night with whimpering that turned to crying if you touched his head.

We headed out to the Doggy Doctor today and had him looked after.

Here he is sleeping in front of the wood stove as I write this.

It is good to see him a little more comfortable then he was last night.

I will be going to bed early myself. It was a long night.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

On Best Toe Forward:

What is it about mile stones that make me freeze up some times.

I must have stared at that blank screen for hours yesterday and it held over today.

It was only a number, nothing really important. Yet I felt the heat. I wanted to step it up a notch.

And Instead of putting my best foot forward, I barely managed to put a gnarly toe out there.

No, not all days are good days in the world of blogging. The muse is not always sitting pretty on my shoulder.

I choked. And it showed.

I will try to do better in the future.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

On Blog 500:

I don’t know why it was so hard to get started.

Possibly just the fact that it is the five hundredth blog I’ve posted here got me going, but nothing I thought of fell good enough.

So here it is.

No fan fair or fripple. My 500th blog.

Friday, January 15, 2010

On What’s In the News?:

I was reading my new Faerie Magazine last night to off set the bad feelings I was having all day because of the earthquake in Haiti, and I found an article that intrigued me.

It was on a couple of people that are putting out a Newspaper. A fairy newspaper called ‘The Filigree.

They make the dolls that are photographed for the articles, write the stories and the advertising too.

I went to their website and found a free download they are offering for the current issue to encourage sales. I promptly printed out all twenty pages. (Smaller page size then the real issues.)

For a mere six dollars US you get four, quarterly issues of the newspaper, a years subscription, and there is no real people advertising in it so you are not paying for pages full of promotional sales in your face. Back issues are also available.

This is fairies, but a bit on the dark side, stuff. Obituaries and advice column, articles and ads, funnies and classifieds. All like a respectable Newspaper should have.

The art dolls are wonderful and for sale and all can be viewed from their website.

I think it is a hoot and a half. I plan to get my subscription application off in the mail very soon.

So if you find, like me, that you can only take so much depressing people news. Go check this one out. Here is their blog link.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

On Shopping Trip:

One more day spent shopping, but not coming home with all I wanted.

The main thrust of this shopping trip was to get me the glue I needed to make the paper clock I had down loaded on New Years Eve.

I have already cut out the first section of pieces and was waiting for the time to finally get shopping in the direction of the craft store.

After hours in the craft store I was left with the choice of highly flammable glue or stuff that wouldn’t fill the bill. I came home empty handed… well almost.

I did get a clear soft plastic ball that has sparklies in it. A bouncy snow globe. I am into orbs.

Some Ducktape, the color called Purple Duchess. A few DVD’s on sale and my Gothic Beauty and Faerie Magazines.

I also got myself Susan Boyle’s CD ‘I Dreamed A Dream.’ And I’m listening to it right now. I’m enjoying it on a lot of levels. She appeals to me. A person busy with a life and then finally getting to live a dream. Touched with a magic fairy wand.

I needed the escape from the worries of the world. I was heart sick all day yesterday because of the earthquake in Haiti.

I posted a new story called ‘Midnight Walking‘, on my ‘Thrill or Shiver’ story blog yesterday. But I could not bring myself to self promote it then with the earthquake victims so much on the news. My stories are frivolous stuff in comparison.

The gluing will have to wait until I can work with the clock glue in open window weather. For now I’ll look at my sparkly and pray for help to those that need it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

On Diet or Good Mood:

Let me be one of the first this year to say, out loud, that I am not on a diet to loose weight.

It seems that a lot of people out there dieting since the first of the year.

I have long since past the mark of the big Five-O. I’ve past through and gone on into menopause, and I’m not afraid to call myself old.

I’ve seen cancer and the death of my eldest child. I’ve lost friends and family to death by accident and disease. I’ve lost my hair to chemo and waited until it all grew back.

I’ve climbed mountains and swam in oceans, I’ve sung on stage for money to strangers, learned to dance the tango, mastered in a craft or two and generally enjoy my life.

So, I flatly refuse to make myself miserable by the fact that I’m over weight and having a hell of a time overcoming it.

This does not mean that I am giving up.

I will still exercise because it is good for me. I’ll eat right because I do not want to make the situation worse. But, I will not under any circumstances diet to loose weight ever again.

I may some day loose the extra poundage I have acquired. I also may not. But if I do, it won’t be because I starved myself on some freakish fad diet or popped some pills to get there. It will be because I finally found the balance I’ve needed for so long in my life.

So, until then, I will never again have the excuse that I’m on a diet and that is why I’m so cranky. I’ll just be cranky because I’m in a bad mood.

By the way I’m in a great mood today. Mostly because I’m not on a diet.

Monday, January 11, 2010

On Scheduling, Brought to You by TV:

First let me say that I do know how to tell time. I just didn’t grow up in a household that used clocks.

It was the TV programming that told us when it was time to leave for school or go to bed, not the clock. Once a certain program came on we were to leave for school in the mornings. If the first commercial break came on we had to run all the way, if the next was on we were late and needed a note.

Program theme songs told us when it was time to eat or go to bed. Home work was done before or after a favorite after school cartoon show. Dinner was always tolled by ‘The Flinstone’s’ theme song at our house.

The Television was always on and a backdrop to our days. A force. A constant. A time piece.

“Be home from your friends house by the Evening News” or “Right after “Wagon Train.”

I used to blog in the mornings around 7:00 AM, right after my morning cartoon show. But they changed my morning television line up and I’m a bit lost.

The new time for my show conflicts with my yoga practice and I find myself not getting on the computer until the afternoon now.

This way of telling time is a wonderment to Mountain Man. He laughs and tell me once again that we have no less then six working clocks in the house, not counting watches, and the computers and cell phones also have clocks in them. That it shouldn’t matter what is on the TV. But for me it just does.

The TV as time piece is just how I’m wired since birth. I can’t be the only one. Can I?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

On Black Hats Vs White Hats:

I watched a cartoon the other day. It was ‘Pearly.’ This cartoon is about two fairy cousins living in a garden called Jubilee Park. Pearly a bright eyed, white haired, sweetness and light, helpful fairy, and her cousin Safirah (or Mistress by her minions) is a squint eyed, black haired, mean and demanding, greedy fairy.

What caught my eye was Safirah’s clothing. Black and purple and spiders web. Things I myself like. I was hoping that it was not that old cliché of evil/black, good/white.

In this cartoon, Fairy magic is used to make the world a better place. Pearly uses her magic for everyone’s benefit and Safirah uses her magic for her own benefit and to try to make the downfall of Pearly.

It is all evil is easy to recognize. Black and rats and bats are bad. White and flowers and sparklies are good.

Thou the lessons that are being taught about being nice and helpful is better to be then greedy and mean.

The lesson of not judging a book by its cover or that bad things can come in pretty packages is lost. Isn’t that how child molesters catch kids? With candy and fun games or helplessness?

I like cartoons for the most part and prefer the ones that have a life lesson. But lessons of ‘You’ll know the bad guys when you see them.’ keeps kids away from good guys in black hats and playing with the bad guys dressed in the white ones.

A lot of Goths have heart’s of pure gold.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

On The Trouble Of Living With Lists:

I know I’ve said it before but my memory is not what it used to be and this gives rise to confusion. Like yesterday for instance.

I had been sick earlier this week and not doing my chores around the house. I woke yesterday morning and got right down to the business of the cleaning list so I would be caught up for the weekend.

Laundry sorted and in the washer, crafting projects straightened and put away, clearing clutter, hanging the clothes to dry by the wood stove, cooking and baking, folding and putting away said clothing…

Mountain Man brought wood in and cleaned out the chimneys, vacuumed and got his clutter cleared away. Dogs were bathed. Sidewalks cleared of snow…

We sat and breathed, happy we accomplished everything on the list.

Except… I hadn’t remembered to turn on the computer. To Blog!!! How could I forget to have fun and friendship yesterday?

I did things out of order to my normal day and I didn’t remember to blog because it wasn’t on the list of ‘cleaning things to do.’

It makes me feel like if I lost my lists I’d loose my mind.

If you still have your short term memory, enjoy it. If not, laugh yourself silly at my expense. We will never remember things, but life will be a daily adventure.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

On Pruning Relationships:

So I was sitting in bed for the last few days, with a migraine head ache, and not being able to do anything else I was thinking. Mostly thinking about how I wasn’t as happy lately as I used to be.

I came to realize that I wasn’t as happy as I had been before my daughters wedding. Not because I don’t think it was right for her, or that I don’t like him, or any other negative reason I could think of. I love my new son-in-law like my own children.

I’m pretty sure it was the change. I was expecting some change in my relationship with my daughter, but maybe not so fast or complete.

Though I’ve gained a son I’ve lost some of the closeness to my daughter. A closeness that is already hard to maintain since we live six hours away from each other.

I was looking at the dead flowers of our relationship and crying, and not deadheading them so new flowers can grow. I’ve turned over a new leaf and now that I see want I was doing I’m happy once again because I can make things better and not just let it grow worse.

I’ve cut those old apron strings for myself and I feel better.

The rumbled flower from my Venus Flytrap. It grew into the lid of the terrarium and bent it’s peddles.

Monday, January 4, 2010

On Icy Cold and Windy:

This weekend just flew by and I just never seemed to get to the computer. I like to be busy, but not so busy that I can’t get to visit with my friends on the web.

The weather turned colder and we had a few minor emergencies. Nothing major, just frozen pipes and icy walkways. Cold jobs that take time and then you have to thaw your hands out afterwards.

We did manage to get some silly/sad icicles after the sun came out strong for a few hours the other day. They looked more like something you’d see on the Addams Family home, but I didn’t mind that they came to dress up my house for the day.

We’ve been keeping the wood stove well fed. I, for one, am glad that we cleaned out the chimneys last week and we don’t have to let the fires go out to clean them this week. It is just too cold out there.

Well I have a cup of tea waiting and some more jigsaw puzzles to do. If I work it out just right I won’t have to go too far from the wood stove at all today. May you have a warm cozy corner to curl up into also.

Friday, January 1, 2010

On Happy New Year 2010:

Do Over! Do Over! Last night we played The Catapult game after I put it together, and Mountain Man kept himself busy while I was making it by making himself a paper 1930’s car. (Thank you Raven Blight’s paper toys.)

We set the game up on the floor and lobbed bundles of spikes at a vampire in a vault some seven feet away.

I won by the way. I had a bundle of spikes score a goal when it bounced off the dog as he walked by.

I also printed out a version of a working paper clock last night. I have wanted to make one since I was about eight years old and saw one in a museum. And since I seem to be getting good at making Raven’s paper toys. a clock is my next goal. There are only 160 small to tiny paper parts to cut out and glue together.

The clock I found on the web has a few metal parts using wire for axles, unlike the one I saw as a kid, but I think for a starter project with a free download it will do very well.

Back to the New Years Eve high lights: The pizzas were great and we had sparkling mixed berry juice to wash it all down. I made strawberry chocolate cookies for desert.

We danced the tango through the house to ‘Sally’s Song’ from ‘Nightmare Before Christmas.’ (There is a tango version of the song on the two disk Soundtrack CD.)

At midnight we watched the ball drop in Times Square with the sound down and our own music playing, Mary Hopkin’s ‘Those Were The Days’ and I buried the old year in the paper crypt.

Good-bye and Rest in Peace 2009. We are starting over and moving on. And yes I’ll say it, ‘With time on my hands.’