Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tree hunting

on Thursday was successful.




Thursday, December 22, 2011

I am happy to say

that today's vet trip was much more successful than Monday's. Last night Hubband and I finalized the "How to keep Oribel from disappearing" plan; we decided that we wouldn't give her a full dose of bedtime food, so that she would be certain to show us that it was empty when we got up. Sure enough, she was very insistent that Hubband fill it first thing, so while she was eating he closed the door to her room, and she was held hostage until I was ready to stuff her into her crate. (Of course, we had to listen to pitiful, sad kitty noises for the duration, but that was better than the alternative.)
After we got situated in the exam room, Astrid decided she should investigate the snack area. She was a bit disappointed that that they had treats for all sorts of pets including birds, but none for slugs.

After that she decided that Oribel might need some comforting words while we were waiting, but I don't think it made any difference to her. (I promise there really is a cat squished up against the back of that carrier.)

She also wanted to investigate the scale, but didn't weigh enough for it to registrar.
Oribel had another amazing vet visit. Amazing in that as usual Dr. E gushed about how amazing her whiskers are, how beautiful her fur is, how amazingly muscular and limber she is, how white her teeth are, and such like. Fortunately Oribel does register on the scale, and has gained a whopping four ounces since last year.

She also seems to think that she has been tormented enough for one day and should get compensated by being allowed outside. Sadly for her, she doesn't get to go out until we get back from tree hunting, providing it isn't too late.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The drive north

and back home went without any problems. Astrid looked for luggage, but I had to tell her it wouldn't be here yet, since DTY's plane hadn't even landed at that point.

Turns out we didn't need to look for luggage anyway, as DTY only had one carry-on backpack with her for her ten days home. (I think she'll have stuff to either ship or check when she heads back to grad school.)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Today's calendar stuff

includes Oribel's annual checkup/tests/etc, as well as a trip to the big city airport to retrieve DTY. This morning started out with all expectations of those two things being accomplished with the dropping of a coaster on my head at seven, followed by some dashing in front of Hubband down the stairs for the ritual showing of the food dish, and curling up on me just before I was about to get out of bed. All in all, a fairly normal morning. She hung out with me for most of the morning, looking in the closet with me, following me downstairs and back up again for my coffee refill, getting a drink of water from the faucet while I was washing my face and putting in my contacts, etc. Then I went down to get one last cup of coffee while she debated which sun-spot to take a nap in, again all of this was is fairly normal morning. After filling up my coffee cup I stuck my head up the stairs to see if she was following me (which she often does when she realizes I am going to be in the vicinity/on the same floor of her treats). She was just standing at on the landing, looking down at me, so I decided to get the jar of treats and shake it, which normally results in having an orange blur show up at your feet in less time than it takes to get a full shake in. No cat showed up. No cat on the landing. No cat to be seen in our room. No cat to be seen anywhere. Seriously, how did she know it was time to be put into her crate for the ride to the vet? Yeah, well, now she is scheduled to go on Thursday morning instead.
Astrid was rather disappointed as she had been looking forward to meeting all the nice folks at the vet's office. Fortunately, she is willing to settle for just the road trip to the airport to see DTY again and waiting a couple of days for the rest of the plan.
Want to guess who came out of hiding about an hour or so after her appointment?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Today was our parish's

annual Habitat For Humanity Gift Wrap Day. The local mall donates the use of kiosk space and tables, and several businesses in town donate the paper, tissue, boxes, ribbons/bows, and tape (or the money to cover the cost) for the month of December. Different groups in town sign up to wrap packages for folks and all of the proceeds go toward the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity and the house they are currently building. We were in charge of the 10 AM to 4 PM time frame this year (the last couple of years we have done the whole day to 7 PM), and I had signed up for the second part, from 1 to 4 PM.
Astrid went with me to help supervise inspect presents (she is under the impression that a radio controlled helicopter or car would be an awesome present for someone to get her).

She decided she should also be in charge of making sure the ribbons and bows were all securely attached to the packages,

and after that she thought that directing what colors of ribbon was put on each kind of wrapping paper was a good idea.

I'm not sure why she was quite so bossy today, normally she is much more polite. I think it might have had something to do with both of us forgetting to eat before we left the house.

Last August I went

rode the train to Milwaukee to meet/visit several Ravelry friends for a few days. In addition to the knitters and some family members that I was expecting to meet, I got to meet Darwin, a family member I wasn't expecting to meet. Darwin and Srknittykitty have a deal worked out where he makes sure her meals are safe to eat in exchange for her being his main source of transportation.

After lunch and some sight seeing, we went to listen to a band and immediately Darwin became an enthralled groupie.

Darwin started fussing about not having t-shirt sleeves to roll things up in and how he really needed one if he was going to be hanging out with the band. Srknittykitty reminded him that he already had a job with her, and really wasn't cut out to be a band roadie; especially since the amps would most likely squash him flat. He settled for hanging out on stage for the first set and then was enticed away with the prospect of new foods for dinner.

Since I was there over a weekend, and the friend I was staying with is a priest and a knitter, a couple of us went to the parish she is serving on Sunday morning. While we were waiting for church to start, Darwin and Srknittykitty introduced me to their friend Astrid, explained to me that she was getting kicked out of the park she had been living in, and the three of them were wondering if there was any chance she could come live in my garden, the plants on my deck, or maybe even inside the house where she would be safe from the birds. I told them I would have to pray about it during church, though I did voice a few concerns about her manners, given I had already spent the previous day with Darwin, watching and learning all about his exploits.
All three of them assured me that she was very well mannered and the two of them promised to sit quietly between us during the service.

The service included a baptism, and since they couldn't see very well from the pew, Astrid and Darwin asked afterwards if they could get a closer look at the font.

Darwin said something about how much he missed swimming in the ocean, and how that looked like in would do in a pinch, but Srknittykitty grabbed him just in time, while Astrid dove to the floor to dissociate herself from such inappropriate activities!

Since I didn't want Astrid to end up living the dangerous life on a hot patch of asphalt street corner, or being encouraged to get into who knows what kind of trouble by hanging out with a skinny-dipping penguin, I decided she had better come home with me. I did let them have another picture taken together, and have promised both of them, and all the knitters that Astrid and I will come back to visit again. (Though the two of us are also hoping they will come see us too!)

Guess what? You blog readers will get to see more of Astrid too!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Complements of Netflix,

I just got done watching a really great movie, Lars and the Real Girl. Given that it came out in 2007, I am guessing some of you may have seen it already. It is a wonderful study of relationships within families, work, church, and the wider community. It is about how we live, hurt, grow, heal, love. It is a really good movie and I highly recommend seeing if you haven't, and if you have, I would recommend seeing it again; it is the kind of movie you will get new stuff from each time you see it. It will be the movie I share for Movie Discussion Night this Lent.

Friday, December 9, 2011

I had fun last night.

A friend had some tickets to a prerelease screening of a movie that the whole family has been looking forward to seeing. Yep, I went and saw it with out them! Sadly, there wasn't any pictures to be had in the theater, and since I was with my friend, his daughter, and her friend, I didn't wander around to see if there was a poster somewhere. (Thus, I did the standard "use one from the Web.")
I enjoyed the movie very much and thought it was really well done (no creepy uncanny valley that I noticed!). I have no clue if the script kept to the story-lines it was drawn from, I will have to report back on that after the movie comes out around Christmas and we see it as a family. Despite having a whole lot of the books make their way in, around, and through the house when the kids were young, I don't recall having ever read any of them myself. (I would guess that some of them may have been checked out on my library card though.)
I am looking forward to seeing it again, especially since I will be with folks that can give informed critiques. I am thinking I might want to see if I can do some research first. I am hoping this is a start.

Monday, December 5, 2011

On Saturday

flowers were delivered to my neighbor's house since I wasn't home. Since I had just spent several hours driving and sliding in this,

I decided to go a head and drive over to their house to pick them up. It was worth it, I would have hated slip and drop this from my mom.

Sunday afternoon the deck looked like this, which I shared with Hubband and he said something about winter having arrived in his absence. It certainly did.

Since he couldn't be here yesterday, and the florist doesn't deliver on Sunday, these came today.

So far both of them seem to have been safe from Oribel; we'll see how long that lasts. Fortunately, I will still enjoy them even if they get a few teeth marks.

Friday, December 2, 2011

For those who are wondering

about yesterday's post, yes, a certain Someone is currently traveling. Yes, he seems to have (or will today) passed one million miles with one airline. Before you ask, no, he will not be home for the 50th Singed Cat anniversary on Sunday; he will be in a place that requires flying on a different airline than the one he will get the bonus from.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Apparently at least one airline

gives frequent fliers a 30,000 mile "bonus" when they have flown one million miles. This is not necessarily news that one wants to learn, especially when that doesn't reflect all airlines flown.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

So last year

we read Shanghai Girls for book group and Hubband and I both really enjoyed it. Well,as I recall, I am pretty sure most everybody in the group liked it. I was really happy when the story was continued with the publishing of Dreams of Joy, and quite excited to be on a fairly short waiting list for in in eBook form. It was an excellent read, full of history and wonderful research. (Again, much easier to let you read the links rather than me repeating what has already been said.) I would strongly recommend both of these if you enjoy well researched historical fiction.

Friday, November 11, 2011

I recently read

a very popular book (Powell's link). I checked it out in eBook form from the library, since it is/was so popular I would have had a very long wait to get it in paper (currently it has 30 holds for four copies). I am guessing that some of you will have heard of it by now, as it has had a fair amount of press, including the selling of movie rights before it was actually published (pretty good for a first novel). Rather than me going on and on about it, you can read at least the first few chapters yourself, via the publishers website.
You can also see a trailer for the book at the author's website, as well as some other cool/interesting stuff.
(With any luck, in the very near future I will tell you about another excellent book that I finished recently.)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Apparently not all

the cool kids are turning fifty this year. At least one of them got to do it last year.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

DTE suggested

getting Oribel a pet Guinea Pig to keep her from being lonely. I will be willing to do that with the same rules we had for the kids and pets when they were still at home. AKA, when Oribel is mature/dedicated enough to feed, clean the cage without having to be reminded every time, and play nicely/safely with her pet, I will be happy to get her one. (I don't recall being accused of inconsistency much in my life.)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Some folks have asked me

if Oribel misses Sadie, to which I generally have answered "Who really knows with a cat?" I still stand by that statement (not my business to try to understand a cat!), but I am beginning to think she might, at least a little. It used to be that Oribel would sleep on Sadie's bed in our room every afternoon and some evenings. Well, she hasn't slept or even gotten on it at all in the last week (plus a few days). She has slept on Sadie's bed in the family-room a couple of times, but again this used to be a daily activity, if not several times a day, so that is another significant change.

The biggest change I have noticed is that the water bowl has looked like this all week,

instead of this.

Coasters are still being given (loud) tours of the house, dropped on me at all hours, as well as being kept very close and greatly loved.

It would seem she knows Sadie isn't here to get presents anymore.

Monday, October 3, 2011

This was not the post I planned on

returning from the blogging hiatus with, but it is the one we all get anyway. I had planned on telling you all about our trip to Portland in May for DTY's college graduation, catching you up on my Project Spectrum doings, telling you about all the knitting I have been doing, sharing news about my trip to Milwaukee when friends that "lived in my computer" became "real", as well as a trip report of a family vacation to Washington, DC, this past week. Other than that brief "what I would have said" bit, I am not really here today to talk about any of that stuff.

Well, I guess in a way I will mention DC a wee bit more since in a way it leads into the real subject of this return posting. Last Wednesday Hubband, DTE, and I all got on a plane together, then changed planes together, and then landed in Washington, DC, where DTY met us via different plane routes. We all had a several days of fun and activities together, and then headed in three separate directions (all of that would be the previously planned report) on Saturday afternoon.

DTE and I flew back to our starting point together, where we were greeted by a cat who seemed fine with our return, and a dog who was, as always, very happy to have most of her pack back where they belong. About three hours after we got home from the airport, Sadie started fussing at the two of us, pacing, and wanting in and out. We figured fairly quickly that she was not OK and needed to to go to the Emergency Veterinary Clinic. Shortly after getting her there she was diagnosed with GDV (which I had rather suspected would be the case). Given that she was fourteen-and-a-half, an rare/strange heart murmur, and several other known age related issues, she was not a candidate for any kind of surgery, so I am pretty sure you know the rest of the story.



DTE headed back to her place in Minneapolis today and our house has never, ever felt this empty.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Thanks Sweetie!

Happy Anniversary to you too!
(I hope meetings are going well. You know I miss you.)

Friday, June 17, 2011

When I shared this


with my uncle the other day, he said, "Well, you must have some really fine knitting needles."
Happy Birthday today to my Favorite Uncle!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Where was I last?

Oh, right, I was at the point of one big block, wasn't I? Well, ends all got woven in, the i-cord got done, and the finial bits and pieces were woven and snipped, and a washing/blocking have been accomplished. Thus it has been declared finished! Not that you can see said edging, but I promise it is there. The finished size is about 40" by 54" and weighs in at about two pounds. I loved working with this yarn, the pattern was very well written and a lot of fun to knit up. Actually nice enough that I told Hubband part way through this one that I was pretty sure I would make it again. I have concluded that I will, just not this month. (Want to know something else cool about the pattern? As of June 3, $15000 had been donated from the sales of this pattern, at $5 a pattern purchase!)
For those that are wondering (or haven't figured it out) about why I picked the colors I did and why they are arranged the way they are, I am happy to share said information. A couple of years ago, I had decided to knit a "Block A Month Blanket" as can be evidenced here. Well, I did get a couple of the blocks made, but the idea kind of stalled. The stalling had nothing to do with the sewing together issue, it had more to do with the finding the pattern for what I kept seeing in my head. (For the record, what I kept seeing would be much easier to produce with pieces of fabric. That might still happen someday, but don't hold your breath for it to be very soon.) Anyways, I had been acquiring the proper colors/yarn and was waiting for the proper inspiration/pattern/thing to happen, as I knew it would and sure enough, as soon as I saw the Mitered Crosses Blanket pattern I knew it was exactly what I wanted. So, the first one is blue for Advent (depending on a few things, that could have been purple instead), the second is white for Christmas, the third is green for Epiphany. Next comes purple for Lent, red for Holy Week, and white for Easter. The seventh one is red for Pentecost Sunday, then there are three different green ones for the long season of (Sundays after) Pentecost/Ordinary Time. That brings us to the eleventh block, which is red for The Feast of St. Luke (not necessarily significantly more important than other saints, but he happens to be the patron saint of our congregation), and the twelfth/last block is white for The Feast of Christ the King (the last Sunday in the liturgical year before starting over with Advent).

Now I just have to hope that the person I made this gift for isn't allergic to wool.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cat(s) and garden a garden hose

Don't mix well, which is what I was counting on earlier today. I was hanging out inside and heard the distinctive sound of two cats that don't like each other, or where the other one is hanging out. I went out to see where they were and they sere off the east end of the deck, so I went inside to grab a pitcher of water. When I got back out, they had moved to under the deck, so could then be reached with the hose. As I had suspected, I was able to convince the non-orange cat to leave the area with the mere idea that it might get wet any second.
Nope, no pictures, averting bloodshed was my one and only priority.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The other day,

I mentioned "it" was happening again, starting with red and orange. There is some red growing in our yard, red birds around the yard, red blocks, and other red stuff has been noticed with more attention as I have gone about life this month.

Orange has not been forgotten.


Actually, orange is really hard to forget, given all the help it gives us around here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

With the use of markers,

and more three-needle bind off, I have turned four rows into one big block. I need to weave in the ends from that, do the I-Cord edging, weave in any remaining ends and block it to be able to declare it finished.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The very best thing for me

that has come from blogging the the past four years? All the friendships I have made and grown! Thanks all for being here, hanging in in my ebbs and flows of life and posts, and for becoming my friends. You really do make my life better, even when I forget to tell you.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Four years ago today

I started this blog, and a lot has happened in the years since. A few highlights include, but certainly are not limited to, and in no particular special order:
DTY graduated from high school; various family members have traveled here, there, and yon (some have traveled more than others); a lot of different things have been planted and grown; patios have been built; pets have been lost and are greatly missed; a pet has been gained; Hubband changed jobs and went back to a "real office" instead of working from home while in town; Mr. A has come for regular visits; Hubband started graduate school; a lot of bread-making and picture-taking improvement has happened; a whole lot of knitting (despite the lack of evidence sometimes); DTE graduated from college; a lot of making decisions for someone I love even when they, and others, didn't always like or agree with said decisions; time with loved ones was gained; loved ones lost; and a whole lot of life has been lived and learned with more to come.
There are still a lot of highlights in life to come, I am pretty sure most of them are still to be found out about and learned. I do know of at least one highlight coming soon; DTY graduates from college! Then she shall move about 150 miles and start school all over again.
I plan on sticking around for the sharing, if you all will have me and want me to share.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Using the ever wonderful

3-needle bind-off (despite the not-so-wonderful job of picking up stitches the "proper" way, at least I was consistently "improper"), twelve squares have been turned into four rows. The four rows will get a very similar treatment to become one big square this weekend.