The doorbell rang: a friend of Michelle’s I didn’t recognize and whose name I tried really really hard to get her to say loud enough for me to hear, since I was the only one home just then, offering up a blooming pot of narcissus in condolences. It was very sweet of her. Darned if I know who she was.
I remember the last time I had to be in real weather in winter, I felt very Californian because the only shoes I owned that had a closed heel were sneakers. (Other than the Wookie horsehair shearling-inside mukluks someone once gave me, but never mind.) So there I was in Birkenstock clogs, flipping snow at the backs of my quickly-freezing-wet legs as I walked.
Wookies are great for Halloween night as I hand out candy, funerals, not so much.
Young professional daughter to the rescue, Chan to the rescue by having given me a heads-up about a site to check out, and though they weren’t perfect, a new pair of size 6.5 EE-width leather boots in a price I could fathom right now was actually found. (A good time of year to be looking, too.)Â Not flats, which I need, but at an inch and a quarter, close; we’ll see in express-shipping time if they fit, and if they don’t I will actually have to be dragged out shoe shopping, trying to find that one physical store among the millions of people in the Bay Area that has what I want in a size I can wear. Just a plain, classic, comfortable, no-frills pair of black leather boots. Hopefully they’re already coming.
That backup pair in that picture is motivation if nothing else. Family photographs will be taken. Um.
Jeff and Brady
Part 1. Turns out my daughter has her own Piano Guy friend. He had no insurance and was saving his money to pay for the surgery he knew he needed but the stroke beat him to it. At 30.Â Sam blogged a link to the effort to raise money for Jeff’s medical expenses and I’m passing it along.
Any amount is an emotional as well as a financial support and makes a difference. Thank you.
(Edited to add.)
Part 2. Later in the day I read that there is a surge of interest and donations to the Brady Campaign, with politicians and others coming through their doors who perhaps would not have been seen there before, asking what can we do to help? On Brady’s site, they decry the official NRA argument of it’s all guns vs no guns, setting forth proposed limits that most NRA members would find very reasonable.That we have had in the past. But to go on with no changes, now, even after Newtown…
Again, out came my credit card. My token amount was a small but present voice among the many.
I hit submit.
It took me very much by surprise how fiercely the feelings came, instantly. I had owned my voice. I had used my voice. I knew then that I will use it again. Our children and grandchildren need our every voice, and when they needed me I too was there for them, is the only way I can put into words how strongly good it felt: more powerful than, as Superman says, a speeding… Yes.
Wednesday December 19th 2012, 11:14 am
Filed under: Non-Knitting
My blog vanished last night.Â Blank white only for any page and we had no idea why. I googled while Richard spent hours on it, and half the posts listed seemed to have been replaced with spam–which is pretty self-defeating if you can’t click on anything.
And here it is up again as if there’d been no problem, all 2232 posts that had gone poof, my very-nearly-daily journal of over six years back up again, my written record for my grandson and future grandchildren; my grandmother wrote her autobiography when I was ten and I treasure it and managed to find a copy online for each of my kids a few years ago.
Googling just now, most of the spammed results are gone. All but one. I’m on it.
And so I am reminded and nudged that hard copies are wonderful things.
Tuesday September 25th 2012, 11:29 pm
Filed under: Non-Knitting
I told DebbieR I couldn’t remember the name of the type of wordplay that this belonged to, only that my mom had given me such a round of applause over it when I was a teenager that I actually remember what I came up with: I dropped the toothpaste, she said Crestfallenly.
Debbie sent me this link with examples like, That’s the last time I’ll stick my arm in a lion’s mouth, the lion tamer said off-handedly.
Okay, let me give it a try.
We need to call security! he said guardedly.
What are you doing, Captain–do you think you can just barge in like that? Wow (turning to the others) canoe believe it? (Turning back) Shape up and ship out!
I like the way you cut and colored your hair! she said in clipped tones.
I don’t like what you did to that window, he said in great fenestration.
Lemme decide where to plant that peach tree, she plotted.
It’s fruitless to try to make sense out of a toddler; they mango their words.
I think the stove is leaking! he gasped.
That’s not the fridge I want, she told the salesman coldly.
With this Hunger Games thing going on and the demand and prices going up, too many people are paying too much tax on Paul Ryan’s arrows, he said pointedly. I think you got the shaft.
I wouldn’t ever want to own an animal with a cloven foot, he vetoed.
Her enthusiasm for hazelnuts is well nutted.
There’s an artist with us in the marathon and I think he just broke his foot! the runner painted.
Ganache me what the chocolate is for, said the Greatest Cakes contestant; we’re going to get creamed!
Bill Gold was the columnist for the Washington Post when I was a kid who taught me to love reading the newspaper–he was wise, he was funny, he was generous, he was and showed so much that was good about the area I grew up in.
And I remember his word contests: take any word, add one letter, and give it a definition.
My friend Ruth was marveling a few minutes ago as we chatted that, unlike herself, our friend Holly can knit lace, socks, intricate patterns, and chat at the same time without losing track of the pattern or dropping a stitch–only, the way Ruth put it was, she could do it simpultaneously.
And Ruth goes for the Gold!
It’s late as I type and I’ll come up with more tomorrow, but here’s a start.
Yarn’t. Not going to knit that one.
Musht. Gotta finish that oatmeal.
Spilk. What I did with my hot cocoa on my blouse on Sunday. (Right at the bottom, and I quickly rinsed it off, no problem.)
Prolitics. The likelihood that your candidate will win in November.
Windoww. Why I have scars on my arm from when I was eight.
Hamperr. The one with the happy cat in it.
Birrdfeeder. The one they would go to to cool off on a hot day.
And with that I’m off to bed. Anyone?
Edited to add in the morning, squirrtel. What my supersoaker is.
Time to put on the Cat in the Hat hat
Monday October 31st 2011, 10:11 pm
Filed under: Non-Knitting
…With the googly eyes glued on to either side of the seam to give it that certain Frankensteinian je ne sais quoi.
Or eye. Lost one in the bottom of the box a few years ago.
You can never plan right–but you can never plan on being stingy, sometimes it’s lots and lots of kids. I decided one 150-piece Costco bag was probably enough, though.
Tonight it was just two nice dads saying thank you, looking me in the eye and wishing me a Happy Halloween and meaning it, with their three tiny princesses, one of whom needed me to turn off the loud scary green “Happy Halloweeeeeeeen” rubber hand before she dared reach into the candy bowl. One little boy. Don’t remember his costume, all I noticed was that sweet little face that had clearly been coached to take one just one.Â I thwarted all their training.
And with them was a sullen young teen who had either gotten dragged along to keep an eye on him, or maybe was determined to still get his share of the loot in defiance of how much he’d grown in the past year, a combination of the above–whatever. I’ve had four teens, I recognized his look that didn’t quite dare to dare me to challenge his right to be there.
Instead I laughed, “Sure, go ahead,” when he looked at me, and held the bowl of candy out to him too and held it and held it to make clear that he, like the little kids, was just plain welcome to all he wanted–it’s all about having a good time, and I was glad they were making memories together. (With a strong bit of Take it Take it Please Take it!) I was grateful to them for reminding me just how magical all this is for little kids: it’s more real for me when I actually get to see them getting to pretend and wave their wands and stay up late and be all dressed up and be so excited about it all. And candy too! Grownups are so nice!
Had I known they were going to be the only ones who were going to come, they wouldn’t have needed to knock on another door all night. On the other hand, I stayed on the dads’ good side. Pretty much.
Getting to the root of the problem
The boss came.
The idea the other guy floated yesterday about maybe having to jackhammer the entire length of the house? Not so much. The boss ran his camera down and showed me the view on his screen: he’d been able to cut through some of the tree root from the inside and he got things going for now, but there was more there and it was only going to grow; he was going to have to get a permit and whack this big root coming from the flowering pear out front and replace that pipe it was breaking into.
Yup. My tree. And it looked so innocent, holding tight to its snowy-white blossoms through two solid weeks of rain, something it’s never done before.
And then after that root canal, we’ll be done with seeing the plumber as often as the dentist.
The new toilet is in, everything is working, and I can’t tell you how glad I am that all this waited to happen till after I got better.Â Taking my long-awaited shower, I thought of all the people in Japan still waiting for theirs.
I went off to Purlescence and knitted among friends tonight in quiet celebration for how good I have it. It felt so good to be back, and they are all such good people there–it had been three weeks and I had missed them keenly. (And Fon, your copy is signed now and going off from there in the mail tomorrow.)
Wednesday March 30th 2011, 9:41 pm
Filed under: Non-Knitting
At least I got a small shawl project finished while I waited for them to be done and gone. I have to put the word “plumber” in the post here just so next time I do a blogsearch to see how long it’s been, I’ll be able to find it.
Why I was pouring water over my hands over the azaleas in the dark a few minutes ago, to get the sticky off my hands after scooping ice cream, because boy did the evening call for ice cream:
We’re going to need to install a new toilet, ma’am, I’m so sorry. In the morning. We’re going to have to come back. We broke the toilet.
You broke. The toilet.
Yes, ma’am, I’m SO sorry.
So… (After their two hours of work) are the other ones usable now?
No, ma’am, I don’t think so.
(Just covering all my bases here.) So can I take a shower in the morning?
No,Â ma’am, I don’t think so. (He probably wanted to scream in frustration, Are you CRAZY? There’s a hole in the floor! But I hadn’t seen that yet.) But my boss, he’s the one who came last time, he’ll be over first thing in the morning any time you want him to come. Um… Are you good friends with your neighbors?
I winced as I guffawed and he groveled, I’m so sorry, ma’am!
The legendary Arthur-ian
Winter break: when you read the Sheldon comics start to stop. It’s a Sheldon-seen tradition.
I need me a duck to guard my stash. I’d have to draw it a skein-atic diagram of where it’s all tucked away around this house, though, and then it would come to this.
(See? All this research that’s already been done for you!)
Right, then. Off to go play Upwords with my kids while they’re still home on break.
Plane as day
His plane was late but that just meant I could go to Knit Night and afterwards go help pick him up, too. (Saying a prayer along the way for all those people in all those cars (six?) with all those rescue crews at work in the other direction on the bridge, it looked like at least one of the cars totally spun out in heavy traffic–slow DOWN, people, the weather is bad, it’s not worth the speeding! ‘Tis the season, you want everybody to be able to celebrate when you get there!)
John’s home, John’s home!
Maybe cane-abalize the plain old maple one
Stepping away for a moment from the intensity of a new knitting project…
So. I have this cane. It’s made from sassafras wood, it’s spotted and hand carved and very cool, and my childhood friend Karen found it at a shop in Williamsburg, Virginia. (Yes–that is her on the left in the original Water Turtles shawl; new book copies available at the cover price+shipping at Purlescence.) I’ve used it as my main cane for five years now; I have to admit, the upper curve in the handle is looking rather well used by now.
Shown in the picture above, I have another one from Karen, who finds just the coolest ones, this one from Africa with painted animals on it and an ankh symbol for a handle: zebras, the perfectly-colored and -spaced spots of a giraffe, it’s got it.
Some small child got entranced with it at church recently and a zebra lost an ear.Â It’s not very noticeable, except to me, but, so that one got put away for special occasions for its own good. Hearing aids for wooden horses are in short supply.
I went looking today out of idle curiosity, my local shop seeming to have gone to ugly aluminum only last time I checked, and where’s the artistry in that? I say, if it’s a permanent part of your life it needs to earn it a little bit.
And so I found someone who took an old cane and had fun with it. He steampunked it!Â There’s a gear here, another few there, leather added to the handle, and, of all things, a lace-up black leather corset going up the shaft. It’s really, really cool! (But I can’t buy it without seeing if it’s comfortable with my hand leaning on that metal there, and I needÂ 35″ and have no idea how long his is.)
I tell you. With apologies to my fellow knitters, this way beats the candy-cane stocking cover that every year about this time I start to daydream about knitting it for the season. Or maybe it’s just that that idea has lost its novelty for me by now.
Hmmm… How would you decorate one?
How to get lots of knitting done:
The phone rings, giving you a time estimate so you can’t leave. Then the workers show near the end of that period, with no idea how long it will take them, so you can’t leave. Knitting kept me from constantly getting in their way and asking questions. (At that hourly rate, this is a good thing.)
It was the plumbers. Â Having come here often enough by now, this time they sent a camera down the line to figure out just what was going on in there.
The guy who put in our addition put in a bend that ought not to be bent, and didn’t put in an outtake but it ought to have had an outtake. He also installed the water heater in such a way as to cause carbon monoxide poisoning, if not for the wallboard between it and our bedroom.
The inspector caught none of that. We got that water heater taken care of on our own. The pipes, well, they’re being taken care of.Â Frequently.Â Expensively.
Well, hey, I had some knitting I really wanted to get done.Â I got in five hours straight. Ice my hands, the thing is blocking now, my shawl is done!
I apparently have been ignoring people I didn’t know I was; my apologies. My husband set up a Twitter account a year ago to post my progress from the hospital to his family–and he used my spindyeknit moniker to set it up.Â So if you wanted to follow me on Twitter but never got a response, well, hey, you’re reading this; you found me!
(p.s. And thank you, everybody, for looking out for Natalie with us.)
A fix-ation on the issue
Michelle picked Natalie up from the hospital today. She’s out.Â Yay!
Meantime, replacement to fix this broken dishwasher doorhandle: $23 plus shipping (they sent us the full assembly beyond this part; we were pleased).
Time to take the door apart, remove the broken piece,Â replace it and put it all back together: under fifteen minutes. The new handle is better designed.
Time for the $133 electronic panel to arrive next: I’ll know after I place the order. So much for that. But it’ll be even faster to swap out, he says, and it’s quite satisfying to be doing it ourselves.Â (We’ll reserve true elation for when the darn thing works.)
Meantime, it’s funny how having something you can’t fix right now makes it feel imperative to work on something you can make do absolutely whatsoever you say–or you will frog its little loops into oblivion, so there.Â I am master of the yarniverse. I doodled with some silk/cashmere in a whole new tangent and really really like what it’s turning into, even if it doesn’t look like much yet.
Now, pardon me, our local parts place closed down. PartSelect here I come again. (And if you need a new silverware tray? You want Mending Shed for that.
One hopefully-last appliance post
I now have a safe, non-working dishwasher, but at least it won’t set my house on fire. And no, Maytag did not pass along the other information to the fellow who came out–who was hesitant to work on the thing once I told him, and wanted to know, was I sure?
He was already here, so, hey. My other choice would have been to get a discount to buy a third one in a row of these, and that was so unacceptable to me and not likely an option anymore anyway the moment he stepped in the door. I do not want to add to the landfills.
I want the thing to work. Is that so hard to ask?
Turns out the last recall for a fire hazard– our previous Maytag–happened in 2007.Â So that machine sitting there dead was three years old.
I really really needed me some Sea Silk time. Even if I only have half a skein of Glacier left.
Meantime, if you have a front-loading GE washing machine, those could be downright entertaining: flames shooting out the front? Every little boy’s dream!Â Break out the coathangers and bring on the marshmallows!
(Ed. to add) I think the moral to the story is, when millions of people are suddenly trying to buy the same brand at once because of a recall and an offered discount and it’s on backorder while they try to make them all at once, give the local guy the fix-it job rather than risk the lag in quality controls.)