Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Bring on the snow! Or at least a temperature below 78!

Hi everyone! Welcome to another week.

Oh, and Happy September!

This is one of my favorite months of the year, because of the promise of my favorite season, Autumn!

Although one doesn't see much autumn in southern GA. Palm trees don't really change colors much.

However! Should there be an influx of cold weather, I am more than prepared:

Yes, I finished the arm warmer in the pink yarn. And I actually had enough to do the other one too! This pic shows the colors really bright - they're actually more muted like the first pic.

I changed the pattern up a bit and already emailed Berroco yarns to see if they want the pattern to this one and the blue/green/teal one from last week.

Speaking of, I got the yarn for the other arm of that project - it arrived on Saturday. Allison at Supercrafty.com is so fast with shipping! Amazing. Also? Somehow accidentally some pretty green sock yarn also ended up in my checkout cart. I just can't imagine how that could happen! What a tragedy! Heh.

On other (non-knitting) topics: Had a good weekend. Went for a long drive with Noel, saw some fun stuff which I will be posting pics of later this week. Played with the kittens, and also took them to the vet. Found out that Loki is apparently a little chub ball - we thought Poe was underweight. No, actually Loki is pulling a Garfield and is a little fat. Oops.

Also, I went for a motorcycle ride with Noel on the big white motorcycle, Bertha! I learned some things:

1. 60 mph doesn't feel fast in a car, but it really does on a bike.

2. I don't like the idea of swallowing bugs.

3. I still had to try to get my cheeks to do the whole flapping in the breeze thing, despite Point #2.

4. Cheeks, no matter how big, don't flap at 60 mph.

5. Birds fly low.

6. Motorcycles are hard for short people to mount without looking like a geriatric contortionist.

Bertha and I remain merely acquaintances. Bike riding is not my thing. I wasn't overly comfortable with feeling so open and vulnerable. Also? I was afraid my contacts might blow off of my eyeballs. Not a good feeling. Might be different if I were driving, but probably not. Noel was very gentle on the bike, going around the curves slowly so I wouldn't freak. Thanks for that! But yeah - a biker chick I am not so much. Guess I can save some cash since I don't have to buy that Harley bikini now. heh.

Also? I look like a total dork in the helmet. Sersely:

Good lord.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I am perhaps delusional.

Why delusional? Because I insist upon making stuff obviously intended for cold weather, despite the fact that currently in Savannah it's approximately 542 degrees out. And yet I persist.

Y'all may recall my obsession/love for my new socks in the previous post. I had some yarn left over, so.....

Cool, huh? I designed them myself and wrote out a pattern, so we'll see - I'd love to get a few patterns published, and this might be one of the first.

I love the little teensy thumb on it:

The only problem is, I'm running dangerously low on this yarn (which I found out is Berroco Sox, in Kingston colorway, for all those who give a crap). And I only have 1 of them finished. And I am a believer in equal warmth for all arms! So I went onto http://www.supercrafty.com/ to order some more, and as always I got a confirmation immediately that my order was in process. If you ever need yarn, sersely order from Supercrafty - excellent service and you're supporting a small business that deserves it!

But alas, that yarn is at least 1-2 days away...so! In the meantime, guess what happened?

Yup. It's another arm warmer, this time out of the leftover yarn from my pink socks. Seeing a trend here? At least I'm not making these quite as long, so there's less of a chance of running out of yarn.

Now I just need to move to Vermont so I can actually wear them.

And for those of you who are concerned about progress on Rachel's sweater, please be assured that I'm working on it as my non-traveling project. I was actually traveling with it, but it's getting to be too much to pull out of my knitting bag, so it's going to be home work from now on. Socks, arm warmers and hats make great travel projects. Sweaters? Not so much. But it is progressing nicely and I hope Rachel likes it!

I started this pink arm warmer today while waiting at the doctor's office. I had to go for a follow-up exam from my cancer scare from February, and ended up waiting for about an hour in the waiting room (not the doc's fault! - I *heart* my doc!). The PAs kept apologizing, and I tried to explain that if I have my knitting bag with me, I love to wait! They didn't believe me til I started pulling out stuff to show them. I promptly was told (upon modeling my arm warmer - I am SUCH a dork!) that I was to make pairs of them for everyone in the office for Christmas. :)

On a totally unrelated note, the scariest thing about going to the doctor? Is getting weighed. Ok, I know I've plumped up a bit since The Days Of Not Eating that occurred last fall (pre-divorce). At that point I had pretty much a flat stomach! wow. Not so much anymore. But! I still think that doctor scales are about 20 lbs heavier than normal scales. I think they do this to scare the ever living crap out of you, so you think that you REALLY need to exercise and get fit, etc. I refuse to give in to the lie, and am defiant as I eat my potato chips. :)

It's rainy here again today, and is supposed to be all week. Good staying in and snuggling and petting kittens weather. If only work wouldn't get in the way!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Busy busy busy!

Happy Monday! (As if there is such a thing, even with copious amounts of coffee). Hopefully everyone had a good and safe weekend.

Mine was busy! I got a lot done: exercising (I'm working on interval training now), submitting a dress design to Burdastyle.com, cleaning, crocheting (a lot), knitting, etc.

I finished up these socks about a week ago and have just admired and gawked at them as if they were the first socks ever made. I ADORE this yarn!

Embarrassingly enough, I actually showed the off to everyone at work. Including the lady who sells us corporate branding stuff, and an interview panel for a job promotion. Yeah, I'm kinda dorky. But! They're so pretty! I love them.

Even Loki had to be in on the exciting sock action! He's my quality tester.
"Is that a twisted stitch? I'd better sniff it to be sure."

Can you see how HUGE this little guy has gotten? He's not fat, just massive! I think he's going to be well over 14 lbs when he finishes growing. I have to take them for checkups on Sunday, so we'll find out then (if I can wrangle them into the carrier). Poe is about the same size, but just much lighter. Strange.
Oh, and in case you were wondering (and I know how riveted you all were by last week's litterbox post), the kitties are doing fine with 2 boxes (both uncovered). They actually prefer the 2nd one now, as it's more private (oh geez), so now I get to rock 2 catboxes every night. But the boys are happy and spoiled, and I wouldn't have it any other way. :)

We also watched The Craft this weekend. What a fun, guilty little pleasure that movie is. hee hee. So cheeseball.
OH! And speaking of cheeseball, there's a new Sy Fy (I hate that name change) movie coming on next week, called something like Mega Shark vs. Monster Octopus (or something equally inane) and it features....Deborah Gibson! Not Debbie - she outgrew that, and apparently the side ponytail. She's now A Serious Actress who must battle a massive shark that attacks airplanes. Sersely. I HAVE to watch this.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Territory Wars - Kitty Style!

Oh yesterday evening was fun. Oh yes. Let me set the scene:

We had just eaten dinner (one of those TGIFriday's frozen pasta dinner things - very tasty) and had some ice cream. I was working on Rachel's sweater, Noel was reading. I noticed a lot of pacing by the kitties, particularly Poe, who seemed to be engaged in running toward the litter box and then running away from it.

Let me put in here that over the weekend, we made a decision to go with one of the covered litter boxes, not because of smell issues, but because we have some Olympic-worthy litter flingers in the house. These guys can get litter EVERYWHERE and often do. So! We got a nice new litter box with a top on it, and the cats had seemed to take to it. I thought. I decided to play National Geographic and observe, because something was obviously up. Here's a sample of what was happening:

Poe goes into the box.

Loki follows him to the door of the box, and thwacks at Poe's tail with his paw.

Poe jumps out of the box and runs away.

2 minutes later, Poe reapproaches the box.

Loki, sprawling in front of said box like Mufasa, King of the Lions, glares at him.

Poe runs away.

3 minutes later, Poe gingerly approaches the box yet again.

Loki ambushes him as soon as he tries to get in the door.

Kelli swats Loki with a magazine.

Poe, thinking he's somehow in trouble (he's very skittish!), runs away.

Poe poops in the bedroom.

Because Loki won't let him in the litterbox, because apparently it's the center of the universe now and is up there with the Playboy Mansion in real estate desirability, but HELLO it's full of cat poop.

I went online for cat help forums and Noel and I discussed at length what measures could be taken to topple Loki's Reign of Litterbox Terror.

We are very scientific and intellectual and smarty-smart about this whole thing. After all, just getting these guys to use the litterbox in the first place was a major ordeal, requiring careful observation of kitten behaviors, having a controlled environment in which to make one change at a time til we figured out the issue (namely, they preferred peeing on paper and so we put mostly paper in the litterbox, slowly changing to more litter/less paper until they got used to the litter.) See? Very sciency! Very hypothesisy! Even the vet commented on it, and said we could be Cat Whisperers! (Except Poe claws my face every time I try).

Anyway. So we debated and discussed and tried to figure out what to do. We came up with a solution of sorts:

(1) Take the lid off the box, since Loki and Poe both love enclosed spaces. This will make said litterbox less attractive as a Fortress of Solitude (although we will be subjected to more litter flicking).

(2) Put out another litterbox in a different location, because Loki, as all-powerful as he seems to think he is, can't be in 2 places at once. I really wish we didn't have to resort to this, since they were just fine using the same box before. Perhaps if they don't use Box Deux I can take it away.

(3) Buy Poe a taser.

Isn't my life exciting? Don't be jealous! There's enough cat poop to go around.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Howdy and crafty photos

So much has been going on! Oh the craftiness. My fingers have been extremely busy lately working on all kinds of stuff (and I remembered to take pictures!). Will wonders never cease?

First, I did a little bit of clothes shopping. Now those of you who have known me for more than 93 seconds know that I am NOT fond of clothes shopping, because I'm....well, let's call it frugal. Because I am a seamstress, I HATE buying overpriced, poorly made clothing that doesn't fit me well. If I'm going to buy poorly made clothing that doesn't fit me well, it can AT LEAST be cheap. Let's hear it for the Goodwill!

I went there last week to buy a few pairs of jeans and whatever else I could find that was inspiring. I ended up buying 3 shirts and 2 pairs of jeans (at $2.50 each. wow.) Not bad. I'm having to do some work on one of the pairs of jeans, but they're Tommy Hilfiger, and also, did I mention they cost $2.50? Yeah.

I also picked up a cool shirt/sweater thing. It's really colorful and fun, and matches everything (nothing?) so it's very versatile. And the shape is flattering. I think I might use this shirt as a template for sweaters and other things I make for myself, to get the same fit. Here's what the fabric looks like:

Funky, no?

I've also been channeling my inner HGTV host and bought a $10 chair for my newly revamped sewing/writing desk. Here it is in its Old Floridian Beige glory:

I took off the cushion and started painting the frame a lovely teal color, because that's the way I roll.

Woo hoo! And because I refuse to let someone's retinas NOT sear while in my house, I covered the cushion in chartreuse velour. Voila:

Now one funny thing that came from overthinking (as many of my mistakes do): I was meticulous about not putting paint on the top of the seat of the chair, so that the fabric wouldn't stick and the paint potentially chip if I ever wanted to recover the cushion. I got into the corners and around all the visible areas well, leaving the beigy color showing on the top of the seat pieces (see above photo of the chair for clarification, or if you're bored enough).

So! Imagine my surprise when I put the cushion on, and realized that the seat cushion doesn't cover ALL of the wood of the seat pieces! Huh. For a second or 3, I actually thought somehow the paint had gotten wiped off of the back seat, and looked over my person to make sure I didn't have a big teal streak on my leg. Then I thought that it must have been sabotage. Perhaps gnomes, or evil fairies, or poltergeists (paintergeists?). Then I realized that no, I'm just a moron and didn't paint that spot.

But it's not noticeable! Really! See?

Yeah. Needless to say, that got fixed. The chair is now finished and has been used by everyone in the house, particularly Poe, who enjoys leaving black fur all over the green cushion.

I've been sewing a lot too lately - fixing Noel's work pants, modifying some jeans of mine, and making a fun baby hat for some friends who were moving (and are going to miss the SEC a LOT there in Nebraska). No pics of sewing...yet!

Next in our cavalcade of craftiness, we have knitting. I've been a sock knitting machine lately, and also terrible at the photo thing because I have a beautiful pair of new socks sitting in the drawer at home, unphotographed for posterity. Here's another pair that I'm almost finished with. This yarn is Berroco Sox, and was a birthday gift from my sister (she gave me a gift certificate to http://www.supercrafty.com/ - great site! Go buy some yarn! Or another gift certificate for me and I'll go buy some yarn!)
I'm almost finished with them, and then I need to get to work on holiday knitting, because as far as knitting timelines go, the holidays are virtually around the corner!

Speaking of holiday knitting, my sister's birthday was last week and I'm crocheting her a sweater. This yarn is gorgeous! It's some kind of eco yarn (I am so bad about yarn names!) and it's got a great luster to it. Rachel, I hope you like the color (it's a bit lighter than in this picture). The pattern is Aruna from Berroco.

I did my gauge swatch and was so pleasantly surprised to get the same gauge as the pattern. That never happens! So I happily started away, and got about 4 inches of the back (pictured above) done, when I held it up and thought "My sister is not ginormous, and yet this sweater is." The back piece, which was supposed to measure 24 inches, was coming out at around 30 inches. Um....that won't work. So I had to frog the whole thing and crochet the sweater that's 2 sizes smaller, to get the right measurements. OY. I don't know what voodoo happened between the gauge swatch and the actual sweater but WOW it was a doozy.

It's coming along nicely now and measures exactly 24 inches. Go team!

Also? I like the wrong side of the fabric better so far. I asked Noel for his opinion, and he chose the wrong side as well. So I may just make that change in the pattern. :)

p.s. That's my ergonomic crochet hook, a christmas gift from a coworker. This thing is wonderful, and cuts down tremendously on the tendonitis, which severely interferes with my drinking and eating of homemade bread.

Good news! If any of you decide to collapse in a heap in my presence, I can help!

I'm official (again). This certification was through work, and lasts for 2 years, which is really nice. (The last time I got certified it was a yearly renewal, which is just...a lot to remember).

But please don't collapse on my behalf, just so I can have practice. Really.

We're watching out for Hurricane Bill down here, hoping he doesn't come for a visit. Will keep you posted!

Back to the birthday sweater now! Maybe there's some CSI or Poirot on....

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Can I just tell you how thrilled I am that today is my (work-wise) Friday? Wow. This has been one crazy week! Today was orientation, which is always somewhat hectic, but for some reason today was worse than normal!

Also we were handed down changes to our benefits plans at work from the Bigwigs, which includes a change in the severance pay policy from 60 days payout to 2 weeks payout (and you're expected to work those 2 weeks, so how exactly is that a severance package? You're working and getting paid. That's normalcy, people. Not a "benefit.") Anyway. Noel thinks this is the harbinger (oh, I love that word!) of more layoffs to come. Sounds feasible, probable even. We'll see.

Harbinger. HARBINGER. Sorry I just LOOOVE that word! You just don't get to use that word often enough in conversation. That or loquacious. Or verisimilitude. ooooooh.....verisimilitudinous. heh.

Anyway. Sorry to be so loquacious. HA!

I'm getting ready to take on another furniture refurbishing project, which should be simple. Damn. I just jinxed it. Anyway. Should be fun! Damn. I'll post pictures. It's a $10 goodwill chair that will be FAAABULOUS when I'm done!! DAMN.

OH! In other news, for those of you who like to cook (and those who don't really, but enjoy the benefits of cooking!). My dear sister gave me the easiest bread recipe on the PLANET. Sersely.


3 cups self-rising flour
3 tbsp sugar
12 oz. beer

Mix together into a dough, put in greased loaf pan, bake about 45 min-1 hr at 350 degrees. Slice, devour.

I've used lime beer (Bud Light lime?) that leaves an interesting taste. I think so far my favorite experiment has been using Strongbow Hard Cider in it. YUM. Rachel said the main key point there is to use something effervescent/carbonated - somehow that gets the self-rising part of the self-rising flour going. I wonder how champagne would taste in it? Hmmm.....maybe for New Year's?

We've had about 4 loaves of this in the past 2 weeks. Oink. OOH! And you know what's really tasty? Mixing margarine and honey (about 50/50) to make honey butter, and eating that on fresh baked bread. OH MAN that sounds good. Might have to make another loaf tonight.

Hear that muffled screaming noise? That's the sound of the seams of my jeans, crying out in agony and terror.

Guess it's about time to head toward the house now. Pictures, coming soon to a blog near you!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Better (and worse!) living through chemistry

Sorry for the delay in blogging. I know, I know. It's been over 2 weeks! Many apologies. I do have excuses though! Let's see...

(1) Noel's kids are in town visiting, so time for blogging has been limited. (1st part true, 2nd..not really).

(2) I've been busy at work and therefore had no time for writing posts. (Ha).

(3) I've been totally uninspired. (This is true).

(4) I've been on a veritable cocktail of medications that have made me alternatively droopy, sad, angry, tired, and unconscious. (This is also true, and possibly the cause of Excuse #3).

Let's discuss chemistry for a second. Modern medicine tends to revel in medications - pills, syrups, shots, whatnot. I myself am not averse to taking pills to make myself feel better. In fact, I am known for taking Flintstone Vitamins With Iron because they seem to be the only vitamin/supplement capable of keeping my iron count at an acceptable level. Plus they taste good.

However. There comes a time when one must draw the line.

As some of you may know (here comes the TMI part) - I've been having....let's call them lady issues. Of the painful cramping/crying variety. These issues have gotten worse in the past few years, to the point where I was willing to go on medication to hopefully eradicate the root problem, which can't be confirmed without surgery (and would be treated with this same medication, so what's the point in surgery?). Anyway. My doctor put me on a daily pill for said lady issues (not getting into specifics here, but it rhymes with Baz). These pills were supposed to make me less moody.

I lost track of the number of times I cried during the month I was on these stupid pills. Sersely. I would cry at ANYTHING. Noel caught me on the computer one day looking at animal rescue shelters, fighting back tears as I read about this one Large Cat shelter who had taken in a terminally ill lion who died after a year of residing there, and how much he loved sitting under the tree, and how he at least had 1 year of his life that was full of caring and love. And I cried.

And I cried retelling this story to some coworkers a few days later.

Reminds me of a time (years ago). I was talking to my mom & sister about how depressing/morbid Disney movies can be, and they, upon not believing this hypothesis, were subjected to me telling them about how sad Dumbo is when they bring Dumbo to his mom, who's been locked away for being a mad elephant, and she puts her trunk through the window and rocks Dumbo before they take him away from her. And the tears began to flow, ladies and gents. And I even managed to have my mom and sister crying. Because we're all a bunch of animal-loving saps.

Anyway, I digress.

So! These pills = extreme moodiness and weeping at work.

I was considering going off of them, because let's face it. 5 days of severe pms is still better than 30 days of moderate pms.

Then last week happened. Last week was full of searing pain in my head. Like Lou Ferrigno was squeezing my head like some kind of exercise ball. It HURT. I took advil, I took tylenol, I took excedrin migraine. Nothing worked. By Thursday I was in such pain that I went to the urgent care center. I thought it was a sinus infection but the doc said it was a textbook migraine, and gave me 2 prescriptions, 1 for nausea and 1 for pain. I went to get the prescriptions filled, and folks, this doctor was NOT kidding around. He prescribed Hydrocodone. Which is that stuff that people get addicted to and sell behind the Wal-mart. I will not be selling mine, nor will I be developing an addiction to it, because this stuff knocks me out cold. After 3 days of it though, my migraine was rapidly waning and life began to return.

The side effect of this medicinal unconsciousness was that I didn't take the other pills. The Moody Pills. Which, as you know, must be taken every day, 24 hours apart. I missed 2 days. And realized that in those 2 days, I hadn't cried over dead lions or lost puppies or Hallmark commercials or the cat walking away from me when I wanted to pet him. Huh.

So I decided to stop taking them. I just quit. And I feel much better! Whew!

In other (differently boring) news, I've been knitting and crocheting a LOT. I've been making socks like crazy for some reason. I'm on my 4th sock in 2 weeks. Not sure what's going on there, but I have to say I like it. I'm also working on a few crochet patterns, and am already thinking of holiday gifts. Gotta get an early start!

It feels really good to just get stuff cranked out. I tend to procrastinate on projects when I want them to be perfect, and so it's hard sometimes for me to get over the fear of something not being what I imagine, and just let go. I've found it very liberating to realize that even if this sweater I'm designing isn't perfect, you know what?

I can make another sweater.

WOW. What a concept!

Ok, this has been a blog post about really nothing. Sorry to bore everyone to tears! Much is in the works behind the scenes that I hope to be able to share soon, but until then...you'll have to suffer with posts about my medical problems and yarn. Sorry.