Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Where there is smoke...

There may not be fire, but there are beautiful sunsets, obscured mountains, and a layer of dust that makes breathing, and therefore living at my usual speed, difficult.

I could blame that, the fires to the North, West, and East of us, for my absence from Blogland. I could blame catching up on a workload that fell severely behind during the two weeks of hand uselessness. I could even blame life on the ranch - the guests, the cows that need feeding, horses that require riding, the cats that want a little momma-time....

But the truth is, I am lazy. Yes, my friends and knitters (and crocheters!), I am a procrastinator. But...but...but...there has been knitting progress in my blog hiatus. No crochet (Aieeeee.....no table runner for the holiday-a-long, no finished vest for the calendar...) because turning my hand that way still makes me week in the knees in a not at all pleasurable way. But I have worked a bit on the rectangle question, I finished a baby hat, started the Pea Pod set from IK summer '06, and....am halfway through Adamas from KnitPicks...yes, I am knitting lace and /liking/ it.

For those of you who don't know my hate-hate relationship with lace (Give me colorwork any day, please!) I have avoided the stuff for years. And yet, I own books full of shawls, I covet lovely little panels in sweaters. And I am finally embracing the stitch markers, the risk of dropped yarn overs...the whole shebang, the entier kit 'n kaboodle.

I like it. I am going to tackle the IK fall swallowtail next. Look out world....errr....or something. I suppose I ought to finish one whole project first, hmm?

Pictures, as always, await digital camera procurement or borrowing. Patience is a virtue. ;)

Friday, August 11, 2006

Glass Shower Doors

Are, in fact, dangerous. Okay, so not as dangerous as plate glass doors once were, but when mine decided to implode on Wendesday, it was still scary.

Seriously, imagine yourself wandering into the bathroom, groggy and sleepified still. You try to open the door, frown a bit when it seems oddly stuck. Shift to close the /other/ door, you know the one with the towel rack that never moves under normal circumstances. Think to yourself: you know, something could be..ut oh...is it off its....CRASH...hinges?


This was my experience at 6:15am on Wednesday, when the shower door slipped, crashed, and burst into about a bajillion and twenty little pebbles of glass all over the floor and showerpan. Interestingly, tempered glass really does work, since despite having my arms and torso spattered and covered in glass, I only got one cut. And it did not come from the glass, but rather from the heavy hinge that derailed from its track in the first place.

That bit of heavy, sharp metal cut a gash across the joint of my right (Why must you always injure your dominant hand?) hand and went skittering out to join the glass in the bottom of the shower. Three stitches and two days later, we think there might be some minor nerve damage, since my thumb still feels 'asleep', but its all good otherwise. I looked pretty goofy the first day, what with about 22 layers of gauze and bright neon green vetwrap stuff the nurse at urgent care wrapped in it in.

Yesterday saw WAY less guaze, and a prettier sky blue vet wrap. Today, we are down to just a bandage. My workmates thought I should have gone for the wrap for longer, for 'sympathy milking' purposes, but it was getting in the way of my attempts to knit a guage swatch!

And yes, I can knit. Passably well even, using my fingers and no thumb - for once having tendonitis comes in handy, since I am always switching how I hold the yarn for that reason and to prevent it 'progressing'.

I can't, though, hold a camera, so despite dad rescuing it, I still have no pretty pictures to share. :P

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Fire, Rain, and Holiday Knitting?!

I live in a place that is always under danger from this particular natural disaster. There is at least one major fire a year, either from someone's stupidity, nature's forces, or, worst, a deliberate act.

Rarely, though, does it come so close to home that I am nearly run over by the local tank company while driving down my driveway. Which is what happened yesterday morning. For perspective, my driveway is 1/2 a mile long. 1/4 a mile up the hill, and another 1/4 after you turn down our private portion of said driveway. It was at the turn that the tanker decided to pull in and turn around, and I had to back up quickly to avoid being squashed. And let me tell you, being squashed is not something one is generally afraid of driving a behemouth of a car like an Expedition. (The only thing I have at the moment, forgive me my gas guzzling, trailer hauling wasteful ways)

It turns out said tanker was trying to get into our neighbor's property, where lightning had struck an hour earlier. I got the nice CDF man to come up the drive as well, get the phone number to the land owner, etc. And despite reassurances that 'the rain this morning made it hardly dangerous at all, dont' worry'...we worry a little. The rain lasted all of four minutes, leaving spots of dampness between the great tracts of dry earth, gravel, and shriveled lawn stubs. Hardly 'rain' of any real standing. But apparently enough to keep a small spot fire from being a ragin inferno endangering livestock and oak trees, and yes, home.

The fire is not, yet, out, despite those assurances. It is scheduled to burn for a week or so, smoulderng underground where old ash and paper waste from a mill are buried. It reminds me of Pennsylvania, of visiting Centralia, where coal still burns some many decades after the fire's beginning. Only, of course, it isn't coal, and a week is not a decade. I also doubt the raod will melt, or the noxious fumes will make our country road inhabitable. It is just a tiny thing, and yet it is the tiny things that seem to matter most, most especially when they are smoldering and smoking and flaring up in what amounts to your backyard.

On the crafty front, I finished a little crochet baby hat for one of our manager's grnad-daughters today. I think I'll write this one down, since it turned out really kind of cute. I'll try to wrestle the camera away from Dad again to take pictures, but don't hold your breath.

I did, though, join a holiday create-a-long. I've always wanted to do more homey stuff, and here was the inspiration...no...demand...to do it! I wanted to post the purty little button, but my technological skills suck.

I'm still working on teh rectangle issue, but the thought of all that short rowing leaves me a little...daunted. Not that I don't like short rows, but oy. I think I'll just do squares. :)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Booking Through Thrusday

Booking Through Thursday

  1. Do your reading habits change for the summer months? Reply here
  2. If so, how? I am sitting here attempting to recall the last time I was in school, and therefore, had a recognizable difference between summer months and any other months of the year in terms of activities, time to my self, etc...

    And I have determined that back then, yes. Absolutely, I read a lot anyway, but in the summer, I would set myself goals, in an attempt to get every ounce of 'good' reading done possible in the span of 12-20 weeks. One year, it was the entirety of the Kittridge Players complete Shakespeare (A compendium of every play, every sonnet, every letter, that could be located in 1968 when the compendium was published). One year it was 'all teh stuff I picked on the reading list for English plus whatever else I could get through' (I got through the five 'required' readings, and six more plays/books...don't ask me which ones, it was too many decades ago. ;))

But now? Well, now, no, I don't change my habits much at all just because its summer. I still read 1-2 chapters of at least one of my 'open' books a night. Perhaps I read a bit less, since there are chores to do, animals to feed, horses to ride...things that can't be done as late in the day or for as long in winter, when there are all those hours after daylight to while away in front of the television with my knitting, a book, and World of Warcraft breaks. (I don't actually /watch/ television, but it sits there and stares at me, and occasionally is interesting enough to glance up for. ;))

OKC: I stopped working on the &%$*()@)@!!!ing rectangles for a couple of days to crochet a coworker's grandbaby a little sunhat, which is far to neccesary a thing for a wee babe to have in the ridiculous temperatures that are likely to come back again next week.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The 'Have you Ever' list.

So, some time ago I saw this on CraftKitten's blog....and thought, wow how neat. A lovely list, but I warn you now, very very long. ;)
83 yeses
23 that I never want to do
That leaves 44 on the todo list. Not horrible, but not great, i guess. ;)

Have you ever...
1. Bought everyone in the bar a drink? yes, but it was only my family in the bar at the time, so I am not sure it counts.

2. Swam with wild dolphins? No...though that would be fabulous, only seen them from boats.

3. Climbed a mountain? Several. I'd still like to conquer Shasta, which towers over my property morning and night.

4. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive? No, I'd be frightened of crashing it. Or getting a speeding ticket!!

5. Been inside the Great Pyramid? Alas, not yet. Someday.

6. Held a tarantula? And a snake, and several other varieties of 'icky' creatures.

7. Taken a candlelit bath with someone. And its never as comfortable as you think it should be, either.

8. Said 'I love you' and meant it.

9. Hugged a tree. Climbed 'em to read too.

10. Bungee jumped. Not sure if I'd want to.

11. Visited Paris. Got close, still will make it on the world tour someday.

12. Watched a lightning storm at sea. And worried about the boat capsizing...or stood on the beach hoping no ships were in view of the lighthouse.

13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise. Over the ocean, no less. ;)

14. Seen the Northern Lights. Another life list candidate.

15. Gone to a huge sports game. Twice, and not entirely by choice though they were fun.

16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa. You know, I'm not sure I want to climb something that leans out over concrete and pavement and other buildings. I tried to do the Statue of Liberty though....since 9/11 its closed to tourists. :(

17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables. Since I was a wee tot, though I tend to kill more than I grow. I leave the tending to Mom, who has the ability, and merely mooch off of her bounty nowadays.

18. Touched an iceberg. No, though I did walk across a glacier.

19. Slept under the stars. As a youngster. I like tents. ;)

20. Changed a baby's diaper. Not my own child's, but neices and nephews and babysitting charges galore.

21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon. Once, at a fair. It was tied to the ground though. Do it for real? You betcha!

22. Watched a meteor shower. At least once a year...and stars fall through the night sky on the ranch with alarming regularity (Yay for no city lights!!)

23. Gotten drunk on champagne. Don't like it enough to drink that much. :P

24. Given more than you can afford to charity. I would say too often, but can you give to charity too often?

25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope. Used to use Dad's all the time out in the driveway back in the less-country homestead. Also, once at a space museum place on vacation.

26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment. While being disciplined at work. I had to make it look like I was crying.

27. Had a food fight. In high school, once. I think I might have thrown a french fry, the rest of the swim team really got into it, though.

28. Bet on a winning horse. Well, on one that placed, I won 5$. The last time I ever watched a horse race live, too.

29. Asked out a stranger. How about agreed to meet in a sort of random 'wow, hey, you live here too' way? And are they a stranger if you'd spoken to them in an online environment? Hrm...

30. Had a snowball fight. Many many times. Built snow forts at Grandma's place, sledded.

31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can. Try not to, its not pretty.

32. Held a lamb. They are terribly wiggly, but not nearly so bad as calves or pigs. :P

33. Seen a total eclipse. Lunar one here on the West Coast a few years ago. I /think/ there was a solar eclipse when I was very small, but I don't remember it if ther was.

34. Ridden a roller coaster. Up and down the West Coast. ;)

35. Hit a home run. How about got on base once?

36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking. Errr, does it count if I /only/ dance like a fool?

37. Adopted an accent for an entire day. As part of drama class practice.

38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment. More often than I likely have a right to.

39. Had two hard drives for your computer. Three, once. Experimenting with SCSI.

40. Visited all 50 states. Not quite yet. Missed a bunch of the south and new england, still. I'll get there, and add in all the provinces of Canada, too!

41. Taken care of someone who was drunk. Whole housefuls of them, bleah.

42. Had amazing friends. More than I deserve, for certain this time.

43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country. Not that I can recall. Pubs in Ireland weren't of the dancing sort.

44. Watched wild whales. Yupyup, off the coast of CA, and had an Orca go under our boat in the San Juans. Now that was pretty spectacular.

45. Stolen a sign. Errr, that would be, like, stealing.

46. Backpacked in Europe. England anyway. ;)

47. Taken a road-trip. BEST way to travel.

48. Gone rock climbing. This goes hand in hand with the whole mountain thing, no?

49. Midnight walk on the beach. At a high school trip, when the nematodes where out, and the sky was lit up as the waves crashed in an amazing panoply of silver and black and grey. Everywhere we walked there were trails of phosphourescence. Quite amazing.

50. Gone sky diving. Almost.

51. Visited Ireland. And would go again in a heartbead.

52. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love.

53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them. Yes! In boston. Two very lovely women there for a conference, while I was there for a totally different conference.

54. Visited Japan. On that very long list.

55. Milked a cow. On an elementary school field trip. ;)

56. Alphabetized your cds. About once a year or so.

57. Pretended to be a superhero. Ummm, does playing 'Champions' count? *cough*

58. Sung karaoke. Under /extreme/ protest, on my last night out in CA last year.

59. Lounged around in bed all day. Heck yeah.

60. Posed nude in front of strangers. No thanks. :P

61. Gone scuba diving. One more item on the list. I've snorkeled!

62. Kissed in the rain. More than once. ;)

63. Played in the mud. To the ruination of a good pair of clothes, ultimate frisbee in my high school days.

64. Played in the rain. Sung and danced too....Ala Gene Autry at sillier moments.

65. Gone to a drive in theater. All the time when I was younger, and they were still open.

66. Visited the Great Wall of China. List, list....

67. Started a business. Might, someday.

68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken.

69. Toured ancient sites.Not nearly as many as I would like, though we looked at petroglyphs in HI, and I saw some pretty neat castles and standing stones and such in Ireland.

70. Taken a martial arts class Judo when I was seven, Tai Chi more recently.

71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight. Ran whole conventions of it. ;)

72. Gotten married.

73. Been in a movie. Not unless home movies count!

74. Crashed a party. I wouldn't want to go somewhere I wasn't invited.

75. Gotten divorced. Almost....papers aren't signed.

76. Gone without food for 5 days Good lord. never!

77. Made cookies from stratch. All kinds!

78. Won first prize in a costume contest.

79.Ridden a gondola in Venice. At the Venetian, in Las Vegas, though. ;)

80. Gotten a tattoo. After I lose /all/ the weight.

81. Rafted the Snake River. Not even sure where this one is, but I've done parts of the American.

82. Been on television news progams as an "expert". No, though I did a short spot that /might/ have been on TV...I never saw it, so don't think it was. And it was as a woman in gaming, not quite as an expert.

83. Got flowers for no reason. During the romantic stages of various courtships.

84. Performed on stage. Only once or twice, in school.

85. Been to Las Vegas. To help run a convention.

86. Recorded music. Well, I ran the sound for Unspoken Truth....And I did a lot of those personics recordings in the 80s.

87. Eaten shark. Not the endangered kind. ;)

88. Had a one-night stand. Nah..

89. Gone to Thailand. Not yet.

90. Bought a house. I wish, indeed.

91. Been in a combat zone. No, though I almost got all the way to Norhtern Ireland on my trip to that wonderful country.

92. Buried one of your parents. Lord willing not for many more years.

Been on a cruise ship. Not yet. ;) Far too many of those on here, I think!

94. Spoken more than one language fluently. French and English. :)

95. Performed Rocky Horror. Do I have to admit to this?!

96. Raised children.

97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour. There is something just vaguely stalker-like about this.

98. Created and named your own constellation of stars. Since its something thats been listed a few too many times as a bad scam, nope, and I won't, either.

99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country. Its on that long list...

100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over. Yup. And then moved back home at far too old an age. Poor parents!

101. Walked on the Golden Gate Bridge. In fog and sun.

102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking. You're supposed to stop?

103. Had plastic surgery. Won't, either.

104. Survived an illness that you shouldn't have survived.

105. Wrote articles for a large publication. Wouldn't that be fun?

106. Lost over 100 pounds. Working on it!!

107. Held someone while they were having a flashback. Not that I am aware.

108. Piloted an airplane. No, but I did get to co-pilot a helicopter once. I'd love to, but it isn't on the life list.

109. Petted a stingray. At the Montery Bay Aquarium. They feel like a snake. Only, well. Wet.

110. Broken someone's heart.

111. Helped an animal give birth. Its part of the whole 'cowgirl' thing. ;P

112. Won money on a T.V. game show. That woudl require appearing on TV first. yikes!

113. Broken a bone. Despite climbing far too many trees, barn rafters, ladders....

114. Gone on an African Safari. I might do a photo safari, someday.

115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced. Ew, no thanks.

116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol. Part of the cowgirl way I have yet to get trained in.

117. Eaten mushrooms that where gathered in the wild. Yes, but not by me.

118. Ridden a horse. Errr....it would be hard to be a proper cowgirl without a proper mount. ;)

119. Had major surgery. I'd prefer not to, too.

120. Had a snake as a pet.

121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Not sure I would want to. Raft down, yes. Mule ride, yes. Hike? Dusssssssssty!

122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours. Once, when I had pnuemonia.

123. Visited more foreign countries than Canada. Canada, Mexico, Denmark, England, ireland. Not nearly enough.

124. Visited all 7 continents.

125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days. Nope....might. ;)

126. Eaten kangaroo meat. Not too much on the meat front period.

127. Eaten sushi. Yes, please. Yum!

128. Had your picture in the newspaper. When I was very little. We were picking out Christmas Trees, and got on the front page of the small town paper.

129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about. Hopefully. Certainly at least once.

130. Gone back to school. For one day, and for 'real' starting this September. AIEeeee...wish me luck. ;)

131. Parasailed. Mmm, not so sure I wanna.

132. Petted a cockroach. Why would anyone in their right mind want to?

133. Eaten fried green tomatoes. Decided they weren't quite my thing.

134. Read The Iliad and The Odyssey. A couple of times.

135. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read. Uhhh.....quite a few. Kurt Vonneghut (sp!) Alduous Huxley, Margaret Atwood.......

136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating. Maybe that's why I don't actually eat beef? Hmmm....

137. Skipped all your school reunions. Oh, its far too much fun to watch how little everyone has changed through the years.

138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language. To the amusement of my coworkers, often.

139. Been elected to public office. Only if secretary of the honor society in college counts. :P

140. Written your own computer language. I'm a nerd, and only a wannabe geek. ;)

141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream. Not yet.

142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care. I hope I never do.

143. Built your own PC from parts. Quite a few of 'em.

144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you. Knitting /is/ art, yes.

145. Had a booth at a street fair.

146. Dyed your hair. Regularly, for a while.

147. Been a DJ. All that tryign to please people, ouch.

148. Shaved your head. Does the neck count for a short short haircut? I dont' want everyone to see my peanut head. :P

149. Caused a car accident. Only according to the police report.

150. Saved someone's life. My brother, from drowning once. Stupid sister!

And if you made this far....boy...do I admire your fortitude. ;)

Mitred Rectangles!

I did it! Okay, so a) The camera is once again lurking in Dad's glove box, and b) I had to undergo some horribly awefully vicious blocking to get an actual rectangle to emerge, but it is possible, sort of.

Now, I am not super fond of the vicious blocking look (Tiny rows on one side, super stretched rows on the other) so I have started experimenting with a short rowing concept that has some promise. Hopefully, I will be able to go spelunking for the camera tonight and have some pictures of the current attempts and the second short row attempt, since the first one got ripped right back out again.

On a non-knitting front, the horrible heat wave has ended on a not so wonderful note. A large fire is buring in the Trinity Alps to my West, which means the smoke is hovering over the towns I live and work in, causing all manner of fun asthma related issues, which translates into far more lying about and not doing anything than I prefer.