Thursday, July 31, 2008

I may be morphing into an insect

I have put several knitting items into the Ravelympics pool. That should be all fine and good, except they don't seem to show on the mater roster if they are tagged properly. However, if I don't tag them with the special "ravelympics2008" tag, they are there. They had all been tagged and didn't show up; this was a common bug problem and info on how to correct it was sent. I followed the info (which involved removing tags, saving, and re-entering tags); and "Poof!" when I had the tags off they were on the roster, when I put them back on, "Poof!" they disappeared!
This is what the Ravelmpics Crazy Moderator said about it.
Paging p______ and Casey to have a look-see at your persistent bug problem! Sounds like a new species has emerged!

I am a bit excited to know I am a new bug species (and that I might be getting personal attention from the code monkey himself!). I also think I might be a bit of a geek.

(I realize this whole post doesn't make much sense to some of you. I am guessing that most of you knitters know what I am talking about.)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Better late than never

Jenny tagged me awhile ago to answer the following questions (back in June, sorry to be running so late). Since I am doing my best trying to catch up with some part of my life, here goes. (Don't anybody go getting any delusions that I am going to get organized; especially not as much as some people thst some of us know. It hasn't happened in 46.5 years, it ain't gonna happen now.)

The Rules: Rules are posted at the beginning. At the end of the post, the player tags 5 people and posts their names. Then the player goes to each of the “named” people’s blogs and leaves a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. If you've been tagged, you do the same, letting the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer. They, in turn, answer the following questions. Here we go!

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?
1998? Well now there's a good question. Do I remember what I was doing last week? I was the mother to children aged 15, 11, and 9, all involved in multiple music events, sports, scouts, etc. Hubband was traveling several times a month for his work. I did volunteer work for schools and church. Need I say more about what I was doing? Is it obvious I spent a lot of time driving?

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list today? (Well, I have more than five, but I'll stop there.)
Go to church for study group, and be Altar Guild person/Acolyte/LEM for noon service (done)
Call folks about donating Altar flowers for August and September
Pay bills
Clean knitting corner/organize knitting projects for Ravelympics
Go to knitting group tonight

3. Snacks I enjoy:
Ice tea; I guess someone is going to tell me that isn't a snack. Well, you can't convince me or some of my relatives.
Today I can think of gingerbread, peaches, hummus. I only have peaches hand. (Making hummus is on the to-do list.)

4. Places I’ve lived:
Missouri, Kansas, Idaho, Utah, Texas, Minnesota (Mom, did I get them all?)

5. Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
(Not necessarily in this order) Pay off some bills, give some to family, travel with some folks, finish our basement, buy retirement property, donate to local/diocese/national church, donate to several other particular causes, save some.

Since I am so behind on emails (as well as house cleaning, to-do lists, stuff in general), I know several people have already been tagged and executed this, so I am going with just two; Judy and Karen, consider yourselves "got." Anyone else out there that wants to play, feel free to do so and let us know when and where to check out your answers!

Somebody has a new toy

I had several errands to run today, one of which was stopping by Wild Birds Unlimited. They happen to sell these catnip pillows that we had for our previous cats and I decided to get one for Oribel. One has the option of briefly heating it up in the microwave. I didn't have time for that.


I think it may be her new best friend. Well, at least until I move her box around too much. Maybe there will be another WoW post in the future about a heated catnip pillow.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

No, it isn't a dream

After being worried that I would run out of time, abandoning housework for days, and knitting like crazy, I have a TdF report; today was my race of truth. I was running out of time, the trial was upon me this morning, I had no slipstream available anywhere.
They have no teammates to rely on, no others around to gauge their effort. It is simply the cyclist on the open road against the stopwatch.

Hubband and I spent several hours on the road today, with time limits on us, both there and back. Fortunately for me, Hubband drove and I was able to get a lot of knitting time in. (Hmmmm, I need to ask him if he was providing me with a slipstream after all.)

I made great progress and have crossed the finish line completely! This is actually a day early, which I had never guessed would happen a week ago.

Everything is done, including all seams and ends woven in. (Not to mention photographs and updates!) Well, everything, except for the trying it on Mr. A to see if it fits, but that part can't happen until August 9. If it doesn't fit, I guess I will be making another one in a couple of weeks.

FYI: No frogs were hurt in the production of this sweater and it was knit completely without the aid of any performance enhancing drugs. (No, caffeine doesn't count as a PED.)
Now comes the mountain stage of catching up on the housework.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A time suck; Make that a Major Time Suck

DTE went north to visit some friends this past weekend. She came back with a "new to us" web application. StumbleUpon has been added to my FireFox browser (though it does work in IE, for anyone still using that). This is just an innocent little button, sitting there, minding its own business (kind of like a cardboard box). You click on that button and it gives you random web sites from information you have entered (when you load it) based on your interests. There is also a button to give any site a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" as well as several other options.

Interested in Anthropology? You might get Stonehenge Rebuilt. Well, I suppose it could have been a checked interest in Archeology; or maybe something else. (Warning, it is a sub-page to a home page all about aliens.)

Here are some really cool bookshelves. I have some new ideas for our house.

knitPro is a web application that translates digital images into knit, crochet, needlepoint and cross-stitch patterns.

TasteSpotting, a site that shows great food and then when you click on a picture, it links you to where it was spotted.

This one is a "map" of a cat brain, with a link to "other cat stuff."

Here is a way to how to make roses out of maple leaves, but if you take off the sub-heading and go to the main page, there are some other cool things to see. (Or take of the sub heading down to /creative/ first and then take /creative/ off. When I did that I got some slightly different stuff.)
I will end with a video for a photography lighting setup. (Seriously, I could give you several more, but won't.)

I have stumbled upon several other cool sites since DTE injected this into my computer. I may be am falling down a deep rabbit hole. If you decide to fall down with me, we can all blame it on her. You can rest easy though, she is in the deep, dark hole with me.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

There is a cardboard box

that lives in our kitchen. Most of the time it just sits there, near the pantry, minding its own business, staying out of the way; but sometimes it does something different. I heard a story about it after I came home from my travels this spring out west. Apparently one night Hubband was in the kitchen, getting ready to fix himself some dinner, when the box decided it needed to relocate. Apparently it motored about the kitchen and over to the stove.
It took up a new residency there, and then it seemed that it was a bit on the empty side. It grew an orange arm at that point, which reached out and up to grab the apron off the oven. The apron then disappeared into the opening of the box, which then motored off to a different spot in the kitchen. I asked if he was able to get any pictures of this event, but apparently he was laughing to hard to be able to get any.
This box winds up being used for all sorts of things that none of us can even begin to understand. We have tried getting rid of it, but it just isn't possible, any time we pick it up Someone comes dashing over to make sure it is going to be right back. The other day I had put some empty paper bags on top of it and it turns out that isn't appropriate either. I am not sure she ever figured out that you can't push/kick sacks off of something when you are standing on top of them.

(Oh, by the way, this is the previously promised WoW post.)

Still no WoW, just sweater pictures!

So here is the progress on Mr. A's sweater (please ignore all the yarn hanging down.) I am going to work on the neck and start the hood later today. I may actually be able to sew the hood together tomorrow. (I suppose I should be a bit careful about how cocky/confident I get about this progress.)

The frogs had to get a good look at the progress as well.

The little frog seems a bit concerned about the hole in the sleeve join. I told it not to worry too much as it will all be sewn together soon enough.

On Sunday I made another Wee Tiny Sock for a Ravelry swap. This was made out of some yarn I dyed last summer with cherry Kool-Aid. (Biggest Brother, I'm sorry it isn't an egg for St. MM, but it was the closest crimson I could give you today.)

It's Wednesday, but so far not Whiskers on

Nope, not yet. I had had big plans yesterday to come home from my class at the gym and take pictures of sweater progress (which is going very well), make fresh pesto for dinner, and write up my WoW post. Well, none of that happened. Instead I came home and spent hours on the couch. Why? Well, I got very, very dizzy during class and everything went down hill from there. Fortunately DTY is in the class too and she drove home. The general idea that we were able to come up with was that I was dehydrated and hadn't eaten anything all day except for a few blueberry pancakes for breakfast. Yeah, some days I forget to eat. It usually doesn't matter, except for the nights I go to the gym at six. (Somehow it never seems to be an issue in the morning. Go figure.) Anyway, my evening plans were rather shot down in flames. I have my weekly Wednesday morning stuff to do, but plan on getting you all a WoW post later this afternoon (and sweater pictures, if not for anyone else, for a certain young man in California). Of course, my plans have been known to be derailed more than once.

Friday, July 18, 2008

See! There is a pocket!

After some difficulties with starting the pocket (the words "crochet hook" were in the instruction, so that was not a good start and at least some of us know I can't count), it all worked out and the pocket grew up and became one with the sweater.

For some reason the little frog decided to make sure that it wasn't completely "One with the Sweater."

I have to admit I am still a bit nervous about the fit between child and sweater, but if it is too small, I do know how to make another one. I found a tip for the pocket that doesn't involve crochet hooks!

The daughters and I just got home

from the midnight movie premier. Very, very, good movie.

I do have progress on the "blob of black knitting," though it is no longer just black. When I did the measuring needed, it came out the way I was hoping for. I have no real idea if it will fit the intended recipient, as I was told a couple of weeks ago, "Auntie Barbara, Dad doesn't know how to measure me correctly. When he does it, it tickles." (I told him I wasn't sure that was all his dad's fault.) Well, we will find out in a couple of weeks if it fits as the sweater will be done, and the nephew will be here for his annual visit!!!!! We have big plans for all the things we will do and places we will go! I'll give you some sweater picture updates after I get some sleep.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A cat with no dignity

would be a really good way to describe Oribel. She really, really doesn't care what she looks like, or if her plan of getting somewhere has proper follow through. Jumping up onto something and she misses the mark? Most cats would try to pull off the "Oh, I really did mean to slip off the edge. Really, that was on purpose." But Oribel is all about the "So what if everyone saw me miss and fall on my butt. I will just do it again and I don't care if I miss the second time either. Who cares if someone sees me look lie a silly dope? I sure as heck don't give a flip."
We keep store put her toys into a basket, which she digs through to find whatever she is in the mood to play with. I have been known to gather up all her coasters into her basket, just to find them all scattered about the house again within just a few hours. (Hmmmm, kind of reminds me of my kids' toy basket from years ago...)

Sometimes her "digging through" involves "climbing into" the toy basket to find what she wants. Somehow, fitting into the basket worked a lot better six months ago than it does currently.
Now there seems to be a lot of "Giving the basket what for and showing it who is the Boss" involved with the procuring of the proper toy. The basket handle was a bit wet from the biting and a bit more misshapen from the kicking by the time she was done this time around.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A little of this and a little of that

Yesterday afternoon the bird bath was all nice and level, when these creatures came along and unrevealed it. (That seems to happen on a fairly regular basis.) I took this picture from inside the kitchen as they tend to get a bit excited and run off when we open the door. "Off" being to the edge of the yard and into the forest.

It turns out that Anita had forgotten to put some things in my KCSD swap box, so she sent me a second one. She sent some of my favorite things in it! Raspberry preserves, Earl Grey tea, a pottery mug, a North Carolina cookbook ('cause that is where she lives), Gingerbread men, and flowers from her garden for mine! She has white iris that she was so kind to share with me, so I planted them this evening near my purple ones. It will be fun to see them bloom in the spring and know that she is seeing them as well. I forgot to mention the other day that she has an Etsy shop and makes very cool clay items. You really should go look.

This is the latest picture of the TdF sweater progress. It is ready to have the pocket started, but I decided to wait until tomorrow to do that sine the light will be much better then. Well, and my eyes won't be quite as tired as they were at eight tonight. Black yarn and old eyes, you know.

Just for the heck of it I thought I'd give you a Sadie picture. This is what she is leaving behind without too much work these days. Only a few minutes of brushing and only one side produced that pile.


I will leave you with a picture of that which was making strange noises in our neighborhood tonight. This was taken right over the trees in our yard, so you can tell it was pretty close. It came from somewhere across our street, across our yard and over the forest/field right behind us and then we think it ma have put down on the hill just past that. (Which would make a lot more sense to you if you have been to our house, or know how to look us up on Google maps I am sure.) Trust me on the "It was really close and low."

TdF Sweater progress

is moving along. I am to the point of adding the pocket, but decided I should put the whole thing on some waste yarn and measure to make sure it it the right size. I did make gauge earlier, but just want to check before proceeding any further. Call me nervous, I don't care. For the record, I have a sweater in pieces hiding in my basement that had a "on gauge" swatch but the sweater came out too small.... I'll get a progress picture for you all then.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Swap box in the my mail today!

I got my Keepin' Cool in Summer Dishcloth Swap box today. Anita sent some wonderful things; some for me and some for me to share. She did a great job of keeping herself secret, even when posting as her real self for Whiskers on Wednesday. She has Jasmine, who for all the world looks like she could be Oribel's sister or something! Of course they both think they are Queen of the World, so I am not sure they would want to share space in the same house!

She sent treats for the dogs and toys for Oribel. (Who has carried one of them off and hidden it away already.)

She also sent some hand wash, "I'd rather be knitting" pencils, and a notepad. It seems like we can never have too many of those!

She also sent some awesome knitting treats! KnitPicks CotLin (two balls each of two beautiful colors),stitch markers, a cute sheep tape measure, and some Harmony needles with appropriate cables! Very cool! The beginnings of circulars to match my favorite sock needles!


Last, but not least, there were two beautiful dishcloths! I love them both and am thinking I could work on lace this way. Miss Oribel is still running away with my yarn too much for me to trust her with lace-weight yarn just yet!

Friday, July 11, 2008

I guess this means summer is here

According to several projections for today

Updated: 9:05 AM CDT on July 11, 2008
Temperature 75°F
Humidity 83%
Dew Point 70°F

Forecast as of 7:18 am CDT on July 11, 2008
Rest of Today
Mostly sunny. Slight chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs in the upper 80s. South winds 10 to 20 mph. Gusts up to 30 mph in the afternoon. Chance of rain 20 percent. Highest heat index readings 95 to 100 in the afternoon

I think it will be an excellent day to stay indoors. Fortunatelly, my car has air-condintioning since I have a few errands to run. I think Hubband is going golfing today with a friend (silly boys).

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Stuff to do very, very soon.

Hubband and I went to see a movie tonight. A seriously excellent movie at that. If you haven't seen it, go now. Well, OK, if it is done showing for the night where you are, you can wait until tomorrow (it is midnight here, after all). Don't wait too long, you wouldn't want to miss it. Besides, you might need to see it again on the big screen while you can. I wonder who I can get to go with me in the next few days?

Sleeve progress, Part 2

The sleeves are finally done. (Really, I promise, 17.5", unstretched. Yeah, I know, they are still on the needles, but I did say "unstretched".) I have decided I am not very crazy about two circulars, mostly because it makes reading and knitting difficult since I had to stop more often than I prefer. Well, that and keeping track of which needle I pick up. I think I might work on the Magic Loop method instead sometime. (Not that I had a needle the right size and length this time around....) But, on the big plus side, both sleeves are done! Now on to starting the body; that will go a lot faster I am sure.
Well, I might not be able to start right now, it looks like we may be having to making a trip to the basement in a little bit. Oh well, it is the first one for our area this year. I think I will skip trying to get you a green sky picture. Who knows? Maybe I'll be able to give you big hail ones later.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Imagine my surprise

when I logged onto WoW today and noticed that Miss Oribel was the "Spotlight of the Week"! Seriously, I was rather taken aback over it. I told her, but she doesn't really seem to care too much, one way or the other. (Well, with that aside, on to the WoW post I was planning.)
The other day the very fast moving spot of orange went dashing out the the door and off the deck as soon as the door opened. She hadn't been anywhere close to the door before it started to open, I am certain. Once she was off the deck she did slow down; there are sunny, warm bricks to roll around on, after all. She tends to stay on the move for a while after leaving the deck, but so far hasn't felt a very big need to go far. She has noticed that if she goes under the deck, she can't be reached, so that tends to be a favorite hang out.
Sooner or later she will wander out to check out the yard. (I am willing to let her be out as long as someone is there to watch her and make sure she doesn't go too far afield.) The bird bath seems to be rather high on her "I Really Need to See This" list.

I wasn't quite fast enough with the camera to catch her sniffing the edge, but was able to catch her right after. I really think if she could figure out how to drink out of this, she would. I am waiting for the day she jumps up to look closer.

Once she had the bath checked out, she was moving on to hang out under the bird feeder in hopes of some other excitement. She did manage to hold very still right under it until a bird had forgotten she was there and was happily eating a snack. Just before she was able to do something about that, the world's best babysitter had to make fuss and tell us, "Oribel is off the deck! She is loose in the yard! Are you paying attention here?" Needless to say, when a Basset whines about a free cat, the birds fly off and the cat is disappointed. Good thing she didn't really realize it was Sadie's fault she lost out on her chance to have an excuse to jump up into the air.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Current sleeve progress

I still have plenty of time to lengthen these today, but took advantage of the sun coming out from behind the clouds and drying up some rain. Now to fix dinner and knit, not necessarily in that order.

Tour Food (again)

In honor of the Tour de France and a BBQ with friends, I made my "French Potato Salad" that I posted about last year during the Tour. (Repeat of last year's picture as well as the link to the recipe. Seriously, how many pictures of potato salad do you think I need?) Now I am off to work on some sleeves and then take their picture.......

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Unseen blob of black

is busily growing over here at Casa Coffee Yarn. Seriously, I promise it is. I have just been busy knitting and not taking pictures before dark and just didn't feel like staging one in the house. I have started with the sleeves, and am doing both of them at the same time on two circular needles. I will say that really isn't my preferred method of knitting, but I figure it really will go faster in the long run, and they will the same size with no real trouble. Plus they will both be done at the same time. I have 8.5" of them done and they only need to be about twice that, so I figure they can easily be done by tomorrow night. I promise to get a picture in daylight tomorrow. (With any luck the owner of this sweater will be allowed to look at progress pictures over the next few weeks. I might need to ask a question or two about design issues after all. Hint. Hint.)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Knitting update

You may remember a while back I made myself a pair of toe-up socks. As it happened, Hubband really, really liked the yarn, the stripes, and all around how the socks turned out. So I had told him I would see if I could find some similar yarn to make him a pair (he said if I could find the same yarn in browns it would be extra great). I found exactly what he wanted and thus his anniversary socks were destined. I finished them up this week and he is over the moon about them.

Fortunately, our socks seem to like each other and are looking forward to hanging out.

You may remember that last year I participated in the Tour de France Knit-A-Long as a Yellow Jersey rider; aka, the general category. (Well maybe not so much on the remembering, especially if you weren't hanging out here at Casa Coffee Yarn last July.) I am doing it again this year, but this time I am going for the Green. This is what the TdF KAL web site says about it
Green Jersey – also known as a Sprinter. You are choosing a project of average skill for yourself BUT you plan to speed knit and finish it before the end of the Tour. This category is all about the race against the clock.

I will be knitting a Wonderful Wallaby for my sprint over the next three weeks. So don't be surprised to see a blob of black growing furiously over here.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

If she would just cooperate

Update 3:30 PM: I realized I forgot to mention Whiskers On Wednesday, though I am hoping you all knew that was what this post is.....

Oribel usually feels very left out when the dogs get to go out on the deck and she is stuck in the house. We have told her that if she would be well behaved and stay on the deck she could come out too. (That kind of paying attention and following "the rules" hasn't worked out very well on her part.) DTE and I have put her harness on her a couple of times in the last week , just so she could wear it around the house and get used to it. Well, putting it on her required the administration of kitty treats, but we did finally get it on. The other night I put it on her and we tied a piece of rope to it (I couldn't find the leash, but the rope turned out to be better anyway.)
At first Oribel was a bit distracted by the rope and completely forgot to go out the open door.


But then she ventured out

and was distracted by the piece of rope that kept following her.

It kept following her everywhere she went,

it didn't seem to care if there were pots (or dogs) on the deck,

which wound up being a big surprise to her every time she turned around to discover it, once again.

Even when she tried to tell it "What for"

it followed her around the yard.

She got really tired of the stupid rope that wouldn't leave her alone by the time she was trying to get to the bird feeder. The rope did allow her to stand up and look into the bird bath just before this fight, which she won out wiggled out of her harness. Of course, then she had to go back inside the house.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Once upon a time

I started a blog to share stuff with folks, people that I thought would be mostly my family. Stuff like pictures of flowers and birds in our yard, our pets, and other such stuff.
Hmm, just realized that I am not sure I ever did post that picture of the Pileated Woodpecker...... Well, just in case, here you go.


Well, I realized I have been rather lax in the whole pictures of flowers and such in the yard lately. I do have some, so this is going to be a bit very heavy on the pictures of stuff about the yard. (No knitting today for those of you that have been around since the beginning and had no idea where this was headed. For what it is worth, neither did I.)
This is some kind of cool iris bush-thing that grows on the hill near the road (but this was taken before we had mowed a lot of the grass around it down).

There is also some coreopsis up there that will be blooming soon, as well as the daffodils that have already come and gone. Someday we hope to have the whole hillside covered in flowers.

(This is that iris up close.)

This is one of the Clematis that grows on our front trellis. We also have a dark purple on that I think will be blooming in the next day or so. I am thinking about adding another one in there with them (I need to decide it there is enough room).

This is a different kind of iris and it is against the front part of the house, along with the Bleeding Heart.

We have gophers in several different areas of our lawn, including through the rhubarb, which is also very close to the garden.
(Oddly enough it is also by and through the area of the yard the dogs are in. Apparently the dogs don't seem to care or notice the gophers in their space.)

We have also had a few interesting moths about today. This one was hanging out in the office upstairs,

and this very cool looking one was on the screen door to the deck.(Hubband says it has escaped from some one's nightmare.)

While I was knitting, whoops, we aren't talking about knitting today hanging out on the deck today, I heard these funny minor cracking noises but couldn't really see anything happening. Then there was a very large crack, but this time there was definitely something to see that had happened.
On a perfectly clear and sunny day, it seems that this tree had just gotten tired of being upright and needed to have a lie down. I wonder if it realizes it has made a permanent decision?

Good thing no one was down in the "lower forty" with the lawn mower today. I am not sure how they would get out. Looks like we will need to borrow a chain saw and cut up some firewood. Maybe there is a relationship between the woodpeckers and the tree falling down (not that it was a small tree).