You hear that?
Thursday October 22nd 2020, 9:05 pm
Filed under: Life

I was at the ENT doctor’s today, because I chipped a piece out of the hard part of the tubing on an ear mold and need it remade and to do that my ears had to be cleaned out first so the audiologist can get the right fit. Pandemic or no pandemic, I do like to be able to hear.

I mentioned to the doctor that I’d done the 23AndMe thing and that it said I had the gene for, of all things, wet earwax. A what now?

He was trying to remember the details: he’d read about that. It seems that that gene is also connected to a lower rate of heart and vascular disease.

Really?! I told him my grandparents (on my mom’s side anyway) lived to be 95 and 96, so…!

He was now very curious to go back and look that up and track down the details.

I’m like, hey. I’m going to live forever. Wet behind the ears has a whole new meaning now.



Mascara fish
Wednesday October 21st 2020, 10:30 pm
Filed under: Family,Knit,Politics

Cuttlefish quickly take on the colors of whatever is below them.

So just for fun I made a point of wearing colors that matched the yarns I wanted to play with while knitting mine.

They have prominent W-shaped eyelid-looking things that tend to have a lighter layer above, so after nine attempts at graphing out how to do that I finally got one I was happy with. But I did not swatch it. Maybe I should have.

I guffawed when I stopped to take a good look after the last eye stitches were actually done.

And then I had to explain to my millennial daughter what I meant by Tammy Faye Bakker’s eyelashes. My husband chimed in with, “She made Dolly Parton look not made up.”

Meantime, the ballots are good (I added a note to yesterday’s post to make it easy for me to find in four years should I need to remember re the signature question–the answer I got may be specific to my county, though), the ballots are in, and I can’t tell you how good it feels that we have done our part to make our beloved country a better and more hopeful place.



Watch those vote-by-mail envelopes
Tuesday October 20th 2020, 8:55 pm
Filed under: Family,History,Knit,Politics

Everybody in California gets mailed their ballots now as of this election. In our county, I think it’s our second time. 

My plan was to finish and show off the cuttlefish as well as the small blue jelly (which in this bad-lighting picture looks vaguely Star Wars-ish. Or like an enlarged dust mite.) I’m close, too, but then after dinner the daughter and husband pulled out the sample ballots, the phones, a laptop, and started going over the choices. With me running to the desktop in the other room from time to time.

For two hours. And this is with us having already individually read the state Voter’s Guide and various articles over time.

And then with a flourish, to make it official: the actual ballots.

No not that pen, I said, it smudges and we can’t.

Got it all done, signed the envelopes…

…And realized I’d given it my standard signature of name middle initial name.

The envelope said name name name.

Can I sign it both ways?

That got me a groan of, No! (Meaning, do NOT risk it!)

As Richard put it, you get to make someone’s day difficult tomorrow trying to talk to you on the phone while you find out if that’s how you’ve signed their book in the past. Left unspoken was, Or whether you have to wait till November 3 to hand it in in person covid or no covid so the envelope won’t matter. I said I could take it to the county office and ask for a new envelope and then hand it in right there–to be reminded that probably nobody would be there. Covid. Oh right.

So much for dropping them all off together at the official ballot box tonight. But they are filled out and they are ready and we are so ready.

——————–

Update Wednesday:

They looked it up for me. Name initial name is what’s on file for both of us, and they have both our signatures from way back when we registered to vote here in 1986 and our signatures from the most recent election, giving them both a range and any progression with age over time, and whether it was a full middle name or just the initial wouldn’t matter anyway, she said; what matters is that it looks like the same hand signed that new ballot.

We’re good.



Teach your children well
Monday October 19th 2020, 7:27 pm
Filed under: Life

A five year old made it into the news after his mommy was picking him up from daycare last week at a church in Daly City: Look, Mommy, there’s a lemur!

Maybe you saw a raccoon, honey.

The kid knew what a lemur was, he’d seen a lemur, and it was right there!

Which led to the daycare people closing the door on the little playhouse, calling the cops, the cops calling San Francisco Zoo five miles away, and the rescue of said lemur from inside that playhouse after it had gone missing. The person believed to have stolen it has been arrested and the five year old now has a lifetime free pass to the zoo with his family.

The daycare got the missing-lemur reward.

You never know when you’ll need to know what a lemur is.



Clicking her ruby slippers: there’s no place like home, so, show up, already
Sunday October 18th 2020, 7:56 pm
Filed under: Family

 A few more pictures while the babyhood lasts. Those are her big brother’s shoes, which is why she’s having so much fun walking around in them.

I love the funny faces they make when they’re trying to figure out how to say our words.

We FaceTimed with them yesterday, and Lillian abruptly decided she was going to settle this once and for all: she was done with that screen, she was coming to US. Now! Which made our day, and of course she was easily jollied out of her disappointment at our not picking her up from ~1000 miles away.

Meantime, there are a cuttlefish and a blue jelly on the needles with hopes that they’ll be done in a couple of days.



Fourteen months next week
Saturday October 17th 2020, 5:35 pm
Filed under: Family

An antidote and comfort for all that ails in a way that nothing else quite could. You know that old line, “Sleeping like a baby”? For utter contentment it should be, “Smiling like a baby.”

With thanks to the resident hero for restoring the photo function on the blog.

 



Cousin Jesse
Friday October 16th 2020, 8:51 pm
Filed under: Family,Life,Politics

The knitting entirely eluded me so far today. It just… I mean…

My mother-in-law grew up on a dairy farm in the mountains beyond Salt Lake City; her dad, who was also the high school principal, retired by changing it to a cattle ranch.

My husband’s folks drove cross country several summers of his growing up for the kids to help out on the farm and have some of the experiences and chores their mother thought an essential part of their growing up–and she wanted them to know their Utah cousins well.

I got to know them a little, too, the first few years we were married, though in the last few decades it’s all been at weddings or funerals.

One of them married and raised a son with Tim Birt.

I found myself nodding my head at the descriptions of what a nice person their son was; he sounds just like his mom.

Richard showed me the message she’d sent to his phone this morning.

A “well regulated militia” is not crazy people in the middle of the night waving guns at strangers who want to help.

The Zoom funeral is Saturday.



Adaptable
Thursday October 15th 2020, 8:26 pm
Filed under: Knit,Wildlife

A finished fish, and hopefully soon I’ll be able to add the picture in.

I’m definitely continuing on. I think the next one should be a cuttlefish. Cuttlefish are cool–they change colors to match whatever they want so I can make it whatever colors I want.



Who knows, maybe I’ll have time to do a second pandemic project after that, too
Wednesday October 14th 2020, 10:30 pm
Filed under: Family,Knit,Life

I’ve almost finished the angelfish after knitting like crazy on it for three days. Deadlines are a wonderful thing. Huge thanks to Afton for the annual Aftober race to finish something, anything, before the end of this month.

So if I end it after this fourteenth critter it’ll be maybe 70″ long.

My rule of thumb is that you make it to the height of the person, because it needs to be long enough to cover their feet and come up to their chin. Note that I am married to someone who is 80″ tall and after all this work it ought to fit him, too.

So far I’m planning on keeping this as my pandemic reminder project, to serve as a template for how to do each fish right the next time if nothing else in this time when we’ve had so much time together. And to remind myself that even when it takes twenty minutes just to get past the colorwork part of the triggerfish every single row, it does get done (and it did), just keep at it, keep going.

A trio of small jellyfish? Another octopus, only smaller than the monster at the bottom? Um? Anybody got a favorite fish to suggest? What should swim at the top?

Or I could just finish it off right there, do the final edging, call it done and be able to finish something else for Aftober, too. I’m so tempted.

Oh, and just for fun (and so I can find it again.) Man, that bass has a great voice.



Zombie gene
Tuesday October 13th 2020, 10:00 pm
Filed under: Family,History,Life

Biology is weirdly messy sometimes.

Yonder daughter and I were sitting talking after dinner. Her favorite undergrad class at BYU had been evolutionary biology.

She told me, Yeah, the difference between hair and spine? One gene. There was this family in history in Australia that for three generations had no hair–but grew fine spines all over instead, as she motioned towards the hair on, say, one’s arm.

I was gobsmacked. Did they crunch when they hugged?

She had no idea.

I tried to picture how one would style, much less cut, such “hair” and how long it might grow, especially if you couldn’t.

She had no idea. But she assured me it was, like, really fine.

I guffawed and said, You know that this is the perfect Halloween subject to be talking about.

The prof had been talking about the genes. I’m still dying to know how it would have been to live with that and what it would look like. It gives a cool wind through your hair a whole different take–you’d be your own wind chimes.



Got closer
Monday October 12th 2020, 8:31 pm
Filed under: Knit

IMG_4216.jpgTesting testing 1, 2, 3. Let’s try again on that Picasso triggerfish picture. I really want to show it off.

(Update Saturday: here you go!)



So new, so perfect
Sunday October 11th 2020, 9:32 pm
Filed under: Family

The news came in that our new grandniece arrived at 4:44 a.m. on 10/10/2020. Welcome to the world, Carolyn!



She was a long cool woman in a black dress
Saturday October 10th 2020, 4:38 pm
Filed under: Family,Life

(Sorry/not sorry for the earworm. I woke up with Frosty the Snowman nonstop in my head this morning, I figure that one’s an upgrade.)

“What’s a kangaroo pocket?” That was a new one on him. He definitely approves of pockets and can’t figure out why women’s clothes almost never have them or why we would buy ones that don’t, but yeah, he knows the answer to that is because they just don’t often make them. The fact that this one did is part of why I bought it.

I put my hands in and then pulled one arm through and out to this side and then the other through and out to the other to demonstrate. There’s this tube sewn on at the openings so it runs across on the inside, see?

It was this maxi cotton/modal black dress, pandemically priced down from $110 (which was ridiculous) to $15 that day (yeah we can definitely do that) and it definitely looked good on.

Machine washable. So I had run it through the laundry first, as I do.

And then I’d tried it on again just to, y’know, make sure it hadn’t shrunk any (but I think mostly because it was new and made me feel pretty and I wanted a dose of that again before putting it away.)

Holy cannoli what a tourniquet, but at least I got it–mostly–on. What happened?! I managed to scramble out again, perplexed and trying not to be upset.

And then it hit me.

So then I had to go show him, waiting for him to laugh. He did.

Oh yeah. It’s got pockets. Just don’t let the subject go over your head.



The fish
Friday October 09th 2020, 9:04 pm
Filed under: Knit

In the home stretch, with no more decisions to be made on which color going which direction where, I just have to follow the existing lines….

And you know what? It feels way easier to do something once it’s already done.

(Yeah I should have changed back to the green above/behind the eye sooner but I missed it. We’ll call it artistic license.)

The photo I’m working from is here, and with Picasso in its name, what else could an art dealer’s daughter possibly knit?



Squashed
Thursday October 08th 2020, 11:06 pm
Filed under: Food,Garden

There’s a joke to be made about the Waltham Mass but then maybe only because we used to live north of Boston.

Last night: one homegrown Waltham butternut squash–the seeds bought after Sally and others said that that was the best tasting variety. (I’m blanking. Who all else said so? Claim your credit, you earned it.)

Between being ginger with that back and the bit of flu still, carving it in half just didn’t appeal. Not even the method of putting the cutting board (on the floor, if there’s anything breakable on the counter) stabbing the edge of a large knife into the center of the squash and then going HeeYAH! smashing it into the cutting board with velocity so that it can split open and spew seeds under the fridge.

Like you’ve never done that?

Not doing it.

So I simply rinsed it off and stuck in the oven on a cookie sheet at 350 for 100 minutes or so. Whole. Along with the rest of the dinner after awhile, hey, join the party in there.

It was a pretty big one. We had seconds.

I said to him, That’s the best butternut squash I think I’ve ever had.

He looked up from his plate and pronounced, It’s a good one.

Tonight: I took the rest I’d scraped out last night and cuisinarted it with three eggs, a slight chug of milk (should have added butter) and a bit of ginger-infused maple syrup that was one of those weird things you occasionally find at Trader Joe’s that has just been *waiting* for this moment. Regular real maple would be fine, too. Put the mixture in my two quart Jewel-glaze cake pan from Mel and Kris, sprinkled a little brown sugar on top and took its picture because it was pretty–and again, it came out of the oven very very good and the blog still won’t load photos.

Thank you for the Waltham advice, you were so right!