Friday, March 30, 2007
We quickly found ways of skirting this rule. Our driveway was 1/4 mile long so we could see the folks when they turned into the driveway. We kept a dishcloth in the fridge and put it on the back of the TV so it wouldn't be hot when they came in the house. Various other sneaky methods were devised but that was our favorite. We were major latch-key kids and had a lot of time to figure things out.
Don't get me wrong. We lived on a five acre ranch in California. There was plenty else to do and plenty else was done. My mom taught us to read when we were each 4 years old (mostly to get us out of her hair) and while my brother never took to it like I did, we did a lot of reading. But not as much as our TV consumption.
My husband is always on me about how much TV I watch and how I can't live w/o a show and how pathetic and sad it is that I tape shows when they overlap. He's right but, too bad.
TV is the perfect compliment to my other addiction. Yarn. I can sit on my ass for hours and feel productive! (Course, my ass is getting huge, need to move it more!)
OK, so there's this new channel that is perilously close to fusing said ass to the couch permanently. It's called Chiller. It's all the cheesy, psuedo-scary, schlock you can stand. It has one of my favorite shows ever - only not really. Alfred Hitchcock Presents. I have a ton of Hitch's movies on DVD and I used to love the show. The ones Chiller shows are the weird colorized version of Hitch's promos wrapped around 80's versions of the shows. It's disappointing, I was hoping for the original black/whites but it's also kinda cool because you get to see a lot of people before they were famous. So far, the best sighting was of Joaquin Pheonix
as a child trying to hire a hitman to take out his dad. He was listed as Leaf Pheonix in the credits.
So yet another addiction is scary stuff. When I was under 5 years old and we used to go visit the bio-dad, he'd let us stay up late and watch Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Twilight Zone. Also, when we'd go visit his parents, I'd sneak into his sister's closet where she had a huge hidden stash of Tales From The Crypt comics. (Chiller channel also shows the Tales From the Crypt episodes, albeit a little more edited then when they were on HBO) I've always loved scary books and movies. I used to think I didn't really like slasher films but I'm finding that may not be the case.
I read a lot of Stephen King, Jeffrey Deaver, and Michael Slade. My book cases are segregated into the scary side, the chick books side and misc. in the middle.
You know, I actually had a plan where I was going with this post but seem to have lost it. Sorry about the rambling. I didn't get much sleep last nite. I'll try to be more coherent next week.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
I held it together better then usual when lost. I didn't snap at the boys and I didn't cry (almost). I wonder how long it'll take me to get used to where things are around here. I lived in Tucson for 3 years before I stopped confusing Speedway with Broadway. Yes, I can read street signs. The two streets are so similar in make-up and style of buildings that it's easily confused when you're trying to remember which building is on which street.
OK, so having explained my feelings about being lost, I think I would be fine if I were, in fact, Lost. As in the TV show. That's not trying to find something, that's survival mode. I'd be fine with that. I (for reasons that are for another day) am very concerned with survival techniques. I'm a worst case scenario kind of girl. I learned a lot about survival techniques while camping w/our dad as a kid (not that he ever put us in any kind of survival situation, he would just show us techniques for fun and education) and in the Army (again, never in a bad situation, just as training purposes). One of the best books I've ever read was "Life of Pi". A fantastic, brilliant, creative book in it's own right but I also gleaned many new survival techniques!
So, whatjda think about last nite's episode of Lost? My husband and I are addicted to this show. When we moved out here to Colorado, we left early in the morning on Lost nite and it was the nite of the last episode before that b.s. hiatus they took mid-season. My husband's friend, Chris, came out with us to help with the move and to see CO. Chris is also a big fan. We actually planned (and succeeded) to stop somewhere for the nite in time to feed the kids, get them in bed and be able to watch Lost uninterrupted. We could've pressed thru the nite with the driving and made it to CO sooner, we chose to watch Lost! Last nite's episode was very cool, very Alfred Hitchcock presents. Love that show.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
This recipe will wash anything out of anything.
1 cup powder Clorox 2, 1 cup of powder Cascade dishwashing soap.
Run the water into the machine, add the powders, swish around. Add items to be washed, stop the washing machine and let things soak for an hour or overnite. Run as usual.
This works best with the hottest water the dirty items can stand but also works well with warm or cold water.
I found this recipe in one of the Tightwad Gazette books.
I never had a chance to use it until I moved out of a house and was cleaning out a closet. My grandma's good muslin sheets (which I thought were in my cedar chest) were on the floor of the closet and had been used by my Rottweiler as a bed. 3 years of grass, mud, and blood (in heat stuff, she's not a killer). Ground in and, I thought, hopeless. I remembered the recipe and gave it a shot. It cleaned the sheets completely.
It also works great on grease and other uncleanable stuff, too.
Monday, March 26, 2007
I love this next shot. Ladybugs are cool and they are everywhere right now! There were two on top of each other and the boys asked what they were doing. I told them, "They are making baby ladybugs." Trev asked, "You make babies by doing piggy-back rides?". I said, "Kinda".
We are hopeful about our seeds. We never tried to plant a garden in Tucson. Partly because it's too hot and everything dies too easily. Mainly because I have been known to kill cactus!
Here's some pics of flowers that are spontaneously growing at the base of our tree in the front yard. Thank you to the previous tenant or whomever it was that planted them. They are lovely!
Nobody planted these, they plant themselves. Dandelions are my favorite flowers. Pull 'em, spray 'em with pesticides, yank 'em out, stomp 'em. It doesn't matter. They always come back. I love that kind of persistence and they are pretty.
Here's Trevor playing in the dirt and helping plant seeds. He's a good helper.
Enjoy the Spring!
Saturday, March 24, 2007
We saw a coupla fat robins in the trees. When we looked down we saw why. The boys started collecting worms and I got them to throw them onto the grass lawns as we walked.
Davis wasn't as adept at getting the squirmers up and often came up with pieces instead of whole worms. "Look Mommy, I got his face!" Poor squirmers. What's worse - drowning in the gutter, being eaten by birds or having your face pulled off by an almost-4-year-old?
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Mark Twain is a smart, opinionated, funny man. I don't think I can honestly say I've ever read anything from him. I take that back. I tried to read Conneticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court but it was depressing and boring to me. This letters book is definitely NOT boring.
It has letters from Satan who is visiting Earth millenia after it's inception to see how things are going. He sends letters to his other angel buddies (Gabriel and such) on the sad and confusing state of the human's view on God and religion. There are also writings about/from Adam and from Eve's diary. Today, from Eve's diary we learn about the introduction of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. They are told not to eat from it as they will surely die. Eve writes about how they have no concept of what good or evil is as they have never been exposed to evil. They have no baseline for what evil is and as such, you can't compare and know what good is. They also have no concept of death and therefore no fear of it. They are a scientific couple and are being driven mad for the not knowing. They decide to eat the fruit, then they will know what death is and get it over with and then they can move on with their lives. Then they get distracted by the sighting of a new animal and go off chasing it to study it. I love this book.
I once worked on a woman at the spa that was in Tucson for a symposium of women on/for/about religion. She had a wonderful theory about that tree. She felt it wasn't so much a Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil but more a Tree that allows judgement. We can't make judgements of others as a) that's God's job and b)it is our judgement of things/others/ideas that cause people so much grief. Her idea was that God was trying to spare us this grief and keep that burden for himself.
Further in our conversation, this woman told me that some of the other women in this symposium were from Iraq/Iran and similar countries. They were thanking the Americans for coming and helping them and that this was the first time in their lives that anyone had asked their opinion or listened to them on any level. Can you imagine? (For a better view on that kind of life read Reading Lolita in Tehran or The Handmaid's Tale.)
I have very different views both about religion and the war in Iraq then this woman but her ideas intrigued me just the same.
The Black Dahlia book is pretty interesting. It's written by a man who believes his father was the culprit and that LAPD and the DA's office engaged in a massive cover-up. So far his reasoning about his father is pretty sound. I haven't reached the part where he explains his theories about the why/how of the cover-up. It's well-written but his father was a really crappy dad and that puts a bit of a taint on the whole theory for me. We'll see.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Rachel, you are officially a fiber hound. Welcome to the club, sister!
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Today's tip. When people see my knitting books, they think I'm brilliant. I feel good but I assure them, it's not my original idea. I can't remember who told me about it but I think it was a client I had a few years ago at the spa I used to work at. Anyway, here it is.
Monday, March 19, 2007
2. The kids playing outside for hours without frying to a crisp.
3. People drinking water from the tap.
4. The children's parks are actually full of children.
5. Neighbors hanging out outside their homes, actually being neighbor(ly)s.
(I was actually excited about seeing grass stains on Davie's pants yesterday. I know, I'm a dork.)
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Sometimes I have to wake Davis early from his nap to go volunteer at Trevor's class. This is what we get when we wake a sleepy Davie....
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Currently, I am working on a feminine shell that'll be submitted somewhere. I'm still plugging away at a blanket I started for our family. It was meant to be a throw blanket but my husband keeps saying it's too small to fit all of us on the couch. By the time it's done a) it won't be cold anymore and b) it'll be the size of a twin bed! It's the Moderne Blanket from Mason-Dixon Knitting. I'm doing it in Lion Brand Homespun, much to the chagrin of any fiber snobs out there.
I have at least 3 other things on needles, all of my own design and all at a standstill for one reason or another. (Does anyone have any Drops/Garnstudio Alpaca color #2919? It's been backordered for about 6 months and I need 5 skeins please!) I'll write more later and I'll start including some pic's - promise!
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Turns out my lovelies found a new friend. And they brought it with them. They had this one inch spider captured in one half of a metal ball ornament (the kind that you open and put a trinket in). I'm half asleep and they are shoving a spider in my face! I made them put it outside. I'd like to say I was nice about it but that would be a lie. "GET THAT THING AWAY FROM ME!!!" was uttered a coupla times. (I'm new to this blog thing and if I wasn't so tired, I might've had the presence of mind to take a picture to show y'all!)
Spiders never used to bother me. But, two months before I got out of the Army, I was bitten by a brown recluse. Here's the story:
So there I was....
Stationed at Ft. Huachuca, AZ. I had ACQ. This stands for assistant CQ. (That's right, can't remember what CQ is. I wasn't the best soldier.) ACQ is this boring 24 hour detail where you have to sit in the barracks at a desk and answer the phone. Luckily, being in the medical unit (our motto is, "We sham"), the desk I was at was outside the CO's office (Commanding Officer - I know that one) and if front of a TV. That current CO was addicted to daytime talk shows. Anyway, at some point in the evening I sat on the little couch in the day room, sighing a happy sigh that the CO had gone home and I could stop listening to people's oversized dramas. When I sat down, I felt a pinch in the back of my leg. I stood back up and saw a crushed spider and a pen. I thought it was the pen that had poked me. That was Thursday.
On Saturday, I went to the ER with a really painful lump on the back of my leg. The ER doc had me lay face down in my underwear and looked at it. Poke, poke poke. uhm, ow! Then he brings the intern over to have a look. Poke, poke, poke. OK, Stop! They gave me oral antibiotics and kicked me home, telling me to go to sick call on Mon. morning. I drove home and took my pills.
Sunday nite at about 3a, my Rottweiler (Maggie) jumped up on the bed. (I shared my twin bed with her, my cat Oscar and my small wiry terrier Toto.) Maggie just barely brushed the back of my leg where the lump was and w/o any preamble I threw up on the bed from the pain. (It only gets worse from here people. Those with weak stomachs should turn back now.) Imagine how pissed I was having to wash my comforter in the tub at three in the morning and then having to deal with sick call in a few hours.
Sick call. One of the strangest things about the military. You know how when you're really sick or when you have a golf-ball sized lump of pain on the back of your leg you can just call in to your job and get a sick day? You know, because you're a responsible adult and you know when your too sick to be at work?
Not so in the Army, my friends. In the Army, no matter how sick you are (excepting ER sick), you have to haul your sorry flu-ridden, germ-spreadin' ass into work, report for duty, and then ask permission to go see a doctor. Then this doctor determines whether or not you are actually sick enough to go home. It rarely depends on your actual level of health and usually depends on the day the doc is having.
OK, so Mon. morning, I drive on post (I had this lovely little mobile home off-post) to go to check in and get my "hall-pass" to go to sick call. (I had actually made the dr. from ER write me a note to make sure my psycho major would have to let me go to sick call.) When driving in that morning, I had to use my left leg since, as evidenced the night before, any pressure on my right leg was unbearable. I get to sick call and check in, tell them the ER doc told me to come in Mon morning and take a seat. For two hours. (See, btw ACQ and the ER wait and the sick call wait, I could've knit an entire sweater had I known how to knit back then!)
Finally it's my turn and I go into the exam room, tell them my issue and my pokey adventures in ER and they give me the gown and come back with a dr and a chaperone. Now, I work in the hospital and granted, I'm just an optician (we screened the patients for the optometrists) but I know strange and worried whispering when I hear it. Then they bring in the sweet, old, civilian dr. OK, now I'm worried.
They are whispering again until I tell them, "Hey! I'm right here. Just tell me!" So they do. They were discussing whether or not to admit me for IV antibiotics! They decide on an I&D - incision and drainage. (Again, it's just gets worse from here.) They took this 3" needle on a hypodermic full of anesthesia, they curved it and buried it four times into my leg (to the left, right, above and below the lump).
I told the doc I didn't want to see him cut me but I wanted to see what came out (because I'm just that gross). He said fine. I couldn't feel the cut but I felt, I don't know, the pressure of the knife. The chaperon exclaimed, "OHMYGOD!" Again, we all know each other in the hospital and I looked at her in disbelief, "Way to reassure the patient, Cheryl!". Then I looked back at my leg. ohmigod, indeed.
There was this thick yellow pus just flowing out of the incision. The doc made the hole bigger and started cleaning out the wound. It took almost ten minutes and then he got deep enough that he hit tissue below where the anesthesia needle hit! I bout came off the table. He apologized and squirted a lot more numbing goodness into the hole. Then he starts pulling out what he calls necrotic tissue (that's dead stuff to you and me, Rusty).
OK, so when he finally finishes, he puts a long Qtip in the hole and pulls it out to show me how deep the damage was. He said, "Thank goodness you came in today. If you had let it go any longer, it would've started eating muscle tissue." I replied, "Wow,doc. Three inches deep and it didn't hit muscle? Thank god I'm fat!".
I told him how I hadn't waited this long, how I'd been to the ER on Sat. and they sent me home. He took the ER doc's name and later wrote the guy up. He packed the wound with antiseptic gauze strips and sent me home w/T3's (Tylenol w/codeine). He told me I was going to have to come back twice a day for a week so they could pull out the gauze and repack it. So basically I spent a week at home, high on T3's. My friend JD (John Dunn, where are you?) had to come pick me up and take me home twice a day for this procedure. (T3's made me feel like my head was floating above my body on a string - no driving.)
It was possibly the most painful week of my life. That was 1994 and I still have a scar on the back of my leg. People in the know who've seen it, tell me it looks like a bullet wound. Hate spiders.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
I learned to knit June/04. I actually wanted to learn to crochet (and am currently doing so) but I saw my friend/client Lisa L. knitting and asked if she could teach me and some of the women in my playgroup (kids, not theater). She said "Sure!", having no idea what she was in for. We met at a local spot that only serves desserts (Something Sweet in Tucson, highly recommend it!) and in a little over 2 hours she was only able to teach the four of us to cast on and the knit stitch! She's a fabulous, patient teacher, we were just completely lame. She told us she hadn't laughed that hard in years! I was the only one out of the four that stuck with it! I bought Stitch n' Bitch, read it through, understood very little and pressed on. In July, I had lunch with Lisa and she showed me how to bind off, then in August, she showed me the purl stitch! It's not that I'm that slow a learner, it's just that Lisa's a midwife and btw her schedule and mine, we don't get together as often as we'd like! So btw June/04 and Dec/04 I made about $600 selling the stuff I knit! I was hooked. Now, in the past, I've taken up with various craft-like endeavors all in the search to make some easy money. I admit that knitting started out in the same greedy manner but as time passed I realized I really enjoyed this crazy sticks and strings thing! And, I might add, I'm actually pretty good at it! I've been addicted to cross-stitch in the past but with the birth of the boys I can't really do that as much anymore (babies and the 300 pieces of stuff needed to make a cross-stitch project just don't blend well). But with 2 sticks and some string, they're over it and they leave me be! (I call it fostering independence in my children) Same with the cross-stitch, though, I'm completely addicted to the fibers and the patterns and the books and the mags!
OK, fast forward to today. My obsession passion has become a business. I own an ebay yarn store (http://store.ebay.com/YarnSpa), I'm writing a knitting book, and I've developed a product that hopefully will be a big hit soon (the Needle Knoggin). And I've just recently cast on my first project with sleeves! (The "pinup queen" sweater, S'n B pg. 207). (I know, some may ask, how can you write a knitting book w/o knowing how to do sleeves? I've been assured it's not a problem, it's not a how-to book, more of a pattern book.) My friend and teacher, the aforementioned Lisa L. came to my office to shop for yarn and she laughed when she saw my massage table. She says she forgets that I'm a massage therapist. She thinks of me as a knitter who just happens to do massage. Can you think of a better compliment?? (By the way, I AM a licensed massage therapist (LMT) in Tucson, AZ. Peace Of Tucson is my business name!) That's all for now, lovelies! More soon!
OK, that was a post from my old blog. Update - finished the pinup queen sweater. LOVE IT! Here's a pic:
Still plugging away at the book. The Kneedle Knoggin has been a disaster (another story for another day). I still sell a few things here and there but mainly I knit for me these days! I also still have my ebay store. Oh and I'll be 37 this 4/13 (presents still welcome!)
Monday, March 12, 2007
"Title: Tech Please Category: Tippa Tuesday
OK. Seriously. If you're going to have a blog, you might want to check if it's actually hitting the ether. I have about 20 entries and I was thinking they were out there the whole time! NOT SO! How lame am I??? I will be hiring a web designer soon and will resume my sporadic blog life!"
I posted that one on November 28/06. The category is Tippa Tuesday because I will be trying to give hints and tips on Tuesdays.
Here's the first post of my last blog attempt:
"Title: Pop the Cherry"
"So here is my very first entry in a blog. I feel so trendy (i.e. lame). I will not attempt to be witty or angry or anything but myself (apparently I am neither witty or angry!). Let's start with who I am. No, no, no, that will take too long. My name is Ruth, that is sufficient for now. How about let's start with what I'm working on. How much time do we have?
I'm working on Twisted Cherries from knitty.com (my favorite e-zine!) and I'm using Berroco Foliage in anemone pink. I'm attempting it for Pearl-McPhee's knitting olympics but I don't think I'll place.
Also, on needles: Bamboozle (also from knitty), a shrug I'm designing (for knitty), just finished my first cable sweater (figure eight from an Interweave Knits) but I need to put the two pieces together (need to learn how to do that).
That's good for now. This will be an interesting experiment!"
Here's an update on those projects. Bamboozle and the shrug are in the same place they were a year ago! (yikes). I didn't finish the Twisted Cherries in time for the Yarn Harlot gold but I did finish it. I've worn it a couple of times and I'm going to pull out the bottom ribbing, add a few more inches to the length and redo the ribbing. (I found an extra skein in my stash!) The cable shell also got put together (picture pending) and I love it!
One of my goals for this year are to finish my WIPs (I'm trying to stick to aswiminknits rule of only 5 wip's at a time). I just pulled out my first attempt at a sweater ever. It was "Top Secret" the sweater on the cover of the first issue of knitty. I loved it at the time but in the past few years I've been knitting (started June 04), I've moved from roomy to fitted sweaters as my preference. Now I'm wondering what to do with the yarn because I still like it!
Another goal is to stick to the stashbuster rule that's going on this year. I broke it once so far to get a skein of yarn for the one-skein scarf from Happy Hooker.
That's all for now!